On first impression, G.S. Schwartz & Company is an ideal emblem of the old guard; a full-service midsize public relations firm founded in 1981 and built on a solid base of traditional consumer and business-to-business marketing communications. But Jerry Schwartz’s firm was working on the Internet before the majority of today’s hot high-tech agencies were founded—it started working on France’s Minitel system in the mid 80s—so it’s no surprise that the agency has adapted well to the digital age, expanding its portfolio of services to include Internet pioneers such as DLJdirect and CDNow, as well as smaller entrepreneurial clients such as Net Nanny and ePromos.com.
That kind of adaptability has been a strength of the firm from its inception. Once known as one of the less hospitable work environments in the city, Schwartz responded to changes in the industry by transforming itself into a flexible, progressive employer. Once known primarily for its business-to-business expertise, it forced itself into the consumer space. Once regarded as a one-dimensional media relations boutique, it expanded to become a brand-building, problem-solving full service firm. Once regarded as a one-man band, it has built a strong cadre of senior counselors, supported by a team of bright energetic young professionals.
New business wins in 2000 included DLJdirect, MyPoints.com, CMGI, Blair Corporation, and Nature’s Bounty Vitamins, which returned to Schwartz after a brief stint with another firm, while the firm continued to work with blue-chip brands including DHL Express, Bank One, Dow Jones, and Anheuser-Busch. Overall growth was around 25 percent, and G.S. Schwartz finished the year with revenues of around $6 million.