Allison and Partners
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report
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Allison and Partners

Holmes Report

Multispecialist with strong cause marketing capability

San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, New York


The fastest-growing public relations firm on the west coast, Allison & Partners opened its doors in September 2001 (a week before the terrorist attacks), after founders Scott Allison and Andy Hardie Brown led a management buyout of the California operations of consumer technology specialist Connors Communications. The plan was to fill the void between large, global agencies and the smaller niche firms, to create a national firm while retaining their independence and entrepreneurial spirit.

                The plan appears to be working. After opening in San Francisco and Santa Monica in 2001, Allison acquired San Francisco boutique The Montgomery Group following the untimely death of its founder, Steve Pisinski (Allison also established a memorial scholarship fund in his name) in 2002, then opened an office in San Francisco. A second acquisition—Smith PR—followed in 2004, along with the firm’s first east coast office, in New York. And 2006 will see at least one more acquisition, and another new office in Washington, D.C.

                The firm is focused in four major practice areas: consumer (with a focus on the hospitality sector), professional services (real estate and legal services), technology and public affairs. The firm also boasts considerable expertise in cause-related marketing—with Allison and partner Scott Pansky offering clients experience developing programs for clients such as The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Campfire Boys and Girls and The American Library Association, among others—and media relations, with senior team members delivering national coverage based on long-term relationships.

                Revenues were up better than 50 percent in 2005, and the firm was the only PR agency on the San Francisco Business Times’ Fast 100 list for the second consecutive year. New business came from clients including Best Western International, Guidance Software, Saratoga Systems, Hasbro, Toys-R-Us, Core Capitol, and American Idol Underground, joining a roster that includes Aramark, ZipRealty, Sony Electronics, Foley & Lardner, and the Goldman Environmental Prize. Assignments ranged from an internal communications audit for Best Western; promoting the Dream Halloween fundraiser for the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation; launching American Idol Underground, an online version of the popular TV show, for Fluid Audio Networks; and managing low water level issues for Aramark, which manages properties at Lake Powell in Arizona and Utah.

                “In all of my years in marketing, I have never worked with a firm as dedicated and responsive as Allison PR has been to ZipRealty,” says the company’s senior vice president of product strategy J. Patrick Lashinsky. “They have cultivated media relationships that have resulted in significant results for our company… The people that make up Allison PR are not only good at what they do, they are good people.”

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