In 1994, when many mainstream PR firms were just beginning to experiment with a new and unfamiliar communications tool called e-mail, Michigan-based Hass Associates was helping its rust-belt clients harness the Internet as part of their corporate communications plans, building one of the first media-focused websites for client Chrysler. Founded by Mark Hass, who spent two decades as a reporter with newspapers in Washington, Miami, and Detroit, Hass Associates today offers a unique blend of online development and design services and traditional public relations skills, including media relations and event planning.
The firm has also developed a proprietary process it calls MediaQuotient for monitoring a company’s reputation on the Internet. MQ studies can be used to assess how well companies are communicating online and to understand how online and offline PR activities interact.
With a professional staff drawn from diverse backgrounds in journalism, public relations, the graphic arts, and even library science, the firm works primarily with technology, transportation, and auto industry clients. The firm has expanded its operations in the past 12 months, with the addition of Sheila Gruber McLean, formerly of Chrysler, as vice president of public relations and Kishore Nayak as vice president for technology. Hass will report revenues of $2.6 million in 2000, up close to 20 percent, thanks to assignments from clients such as General Motors, DaimlerChrysler, Toyota, and McKinsey.