Long before Denver became the latest city to host a burgeoning high-tech public relations sector, JohnstonWells Group was offering clients throughout the Rocky Mountain region comprehensive corporate and product public relations services, covering not only the technology and telecommunications categories but also consumer products, financial services, healthcare and real estate. Even after the influx of tech specialists and national full-service firms, JohnstonWells remains the market leader, thanks to a leadership team that has built one of the best-managed midsize PR firms in the country.
A leader in the Council of PR Firms, Gwin Johnston has developed one of the best professional development initiatives at any midsize firm, offering a formalized training program that is being duplicated by her peers in other markets. It has played a key role in helping to attract bright young people to the firm, and in keeping turnover to a minimum. At the same time, the firm emphasizes the role of research and evaluation, and its focus on results is a major factor in its reputation for first-rate client service.
Among the more interesting assignments in which the firm has been involved recently is a program on behalf of ServiceMagic. JohnstonWells coordinates the efforts of 20 firms (its partners in the IPREX network) around the country, building grassroots interest in the online marketplace for local home services. The agency has also been handling public, community, and employee relations for the newly formed Denver Newspaper Agency and strategic counsel and public affairs for PacifiCare of Colorado. Fees for 2000 will be around $2,750,000, up about 12 percent from last year.