As the largest full-service agency in the Mid-Atlantic region, Tierney Communications offers public relations, advertising, digital, and direct marketing services and has established itself as the agency of choice for national companies looking for an integrated approach to the Philadelphia market—clients range from Lincoln Financial Group to Wal-Mart to McDonald’s to the Salvation Army—as well as to several national brands (Bayer Environmental Science and IBM, for example) looking for a firm that offers national quality counsel in consumer and business-to-business communications, along with impressive issues and crisis management capabilities, the latter including experience in management transitions, criminal investigations, environmental issues, labor disputes, product recalls and more.
Founded in 1989, Tierney Public Relations employs 40 professionals in its Philadelphia headquarters and an additional 11 in its public affairs office in Harrisburg, but is supported by a team of 140 across various disciplines—including creative, media, and digital departments—whose expertise is available to every client, even those who hire the firm for PR exclusively, rather than its integrated offer. Not surprisingly, given its leadership position in the market, the firm also takes a leadership role in giving back to the community, contributing more than 2,000 hours annually to counseling non-profit organizations, volunteering in community projects, and serving on boards.
Tierney also boasts one of the deepest management teams in the region, led by executive vice president and general manager Steve Albertini; president and CEO (and issues management expert) Mary Stengel Austen; and Sue Jacobson, executive vice president of public affairs and former aide to former Mayor and later Governor Ed Rendell. They are supported by a handful of senior VPs including Betsy Linaberger, an expert in communications and government relations; Maureen Garrity, issues and crisis communications expert; Suzanne Tavani, who handles crisis and litigation communications; Denise Portner, marketing communications with a focus on healthcare; and Tracey Santilli, consumer brand marketing.
As part of Interpublic, Tierney does not disclose its financials, but the firm has grown in 18 of its 19 years in business, and has seen fees rise by 50 percent over the past four years, with the Harrisburg public affairs practice leading the way last year, with additional business from the PA Horticultural Society, the PA Office of International Business Development and the PA Treasury Department in addition to ongoing assignments for the PA Tourism Office and the PA Development of Community and Economic Development. The firm’s major public relations clients include Bayer Environmental Science, Lincoln Financial Group, PA Workforce Development, McDonald’s, Foxwoods Philadelphia, Independence Blue Cross, and Verizon Wireless, and there was new business in 2007 from General Motors, Atlantic City Express Service,
Over the past 12 months, Tierney has planned and executed the media relations and event logistics for the visit of Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, to Philadelphia in support of Ronald McDonald House Charities; provided public relations counsel to Foxwoods Casino Philadelphia in its efforts to begin building a casino in Philadelphia—the Commonwealth’s first effort at casino licensing; developed and implemented integrated marketing campaign to support the $30 million effort to Build a Salvation Army Kroc Center in Philadelphia; and supported Lincoln Financial Group’s new “FutureSelf” national ad campaign launch with a variety of PR tactics including national survey of boomer attitudes, targeted media outreach and a radio media tour touching millions of Americans.
“Tierney is a true strategic partner,” says Peter Farno, director of marketing, professional pest management, Bayer Environmental Science. “For the past six years, they’ve helped us reach our industry’s key stakeholders—including consumers, pest management professionals, academia, and others—across a wide range of communications channels. From media relations, custom publishing and new media opportunities, to product launches, trade show support and strategic counsel, they have consistently delivered the highest quality results we expect from an agency.” Adds Melanie Fitzgerald, marketing supervisor, McDonald's