SAN FRANCISCO—Ketchum has acquired San Francisco-based Access Communications, one of the largest high-technology and consumer-technology firms in the country. The acquisition is intended to significantly strengthen Ketchum's global technology practice enhance its client work in the consumer-technology segment and expand the agency's California footprint, expertise and services.
The 75-strong Access staff will join with the 120 professionals in the Los Angeles and San Francisco markets as part of Ketchum West, creating one of the largest agency teams in California.
According to Raymond Kotcher, Ketchum senior partner and chief executive officer: "Our strategy was to source the best expertise available in technology PR and we found just that in Access, an industry leader. They are out in front of the innovation taking place in the technology sector and can apply their insights across all industries. As impressive, for more than a decade they have been pioneers in the application of digital media to public relations.”
The move represents a homecoming of sorts for Access president and CEO Susan Butenhoff, who founded Access in 1991. Butenhoff began her PR career at Ketchum 25 years ago, rising to become a vice president responsible for Ketchum's San Francisco consumer-marketing group.
"Our clients and staff will be well-served by our joining Ketchum," says Butenhoff. "Our clients will benefit from access to greater domain expertise and comprehensive global services backed by a worldwide PR leader, while our staff will be able to participate in Ketchum's award-winning professional development programs. This also provides Access a much stronger ability to grow our business and build on our tradition of client-service excellence and innovation.”
Access clients include Citrix, Intuit, PayPal, Sega, Shopping.com, Trend Micro and Vonage. The firm reported $14 million in fee income last year.