Outside of Washington, D.C., Sacramento is probably the largest public affairs market in the country, with local firms benefiting from a surfeit of ballot initiatives and an activist government that has developed some of the largest social marketing programs in the country. As a result, the market has been invaded by national agencies (APCO, Burson-Marsteller, Fleishman-Hillard, and Hill & Knowlton all have offices there) while the stock of a handful of high-quality local firms—Deen + Black may be the best example—has risen considerably.
While Deen + Black bills itself as a full-service public relations firm, there are three areas of expertise that set it apart from competitors: public affairs, social marketing, and cause-related marketing. The thread that ties those three areas together is a commitment to social responsibility. Whether the firm is handling land-use issues at two former defense installations, promoting the benefits of quality childcare on behalf of the Department of Education, or working with AT&T to distribute wireless telephones to women’s shelters, Deen + Black is a firm that prefers to use its talents to make a positive difference.
Recent expansion has included the addition of a technology practice (clients include Meridian Project Systems, LGC Wireless, and consulting group Quest) and the expansion of the firm’s geographic reach, so that it now has offices in the major California markets: San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco as well as the state capital. Fee income is expected to double this year, to about $3.7 million.