Two years ago, Fineman Associates was well on its way to establishing a reputation as one of the west coast’s best packaged goods PR firms. Award-winning work for local and regional clients, an approach that stressed brand-building over mere publicity, and the firm’s involvement in a couple of high-profile crises—the Odwalla e. coli outbreak and ongoing controversy over packaged salad safety—had helped it emerge from a crowded field as one of the fastest-growing (more than doubling in size last year to $3.6 million) and most highly regarded dot.com PR firms.
Fineman relies heavily on its Brand PR approach, which is designed to build and communicate a name that stands for something unique and relevant with target audiences. There is an equal focus on building reputation and credibility and achieving more immediate marketing objectives: stimulating trial and traffic, supporting repeat purchase or return visit; nurturing emotional connections between the consumer and the brand. Typical is the work’s firm for sporting goods e-tailer Fogdog—Fineman has generated hundreds of consumer and trade publication stories about the company, raising awareness and driving traffic.
The growth of the past year has been fueled largely by the firm’s increasing focus on the Internet and consumer technology business, with clients such as Law.com, Questium, Team Toolz, and CyberBills joining a roster that includes America Repographics, Foster Farms, and Fogdog. Key hires have included Silicon Valley veteran Gary Quackenbush as vice president and Ray Camino as VP of finance and operations Fineman’s membership in IPREX, an international network of midsize PR firms, has also paid dividends.