Integrated consumer and business-to-business
For the first three years after its inception in 2001, Trone Public Relations seemed pretty comfortable playing a supporting role to its sister agencies, Trone Advertising and Maxim Direct, both of which are among the region’s leaders in their respective disciplines. But that all changed in 2004 with the arrival of former Capstrat president (and Wachovia communications director) Monty Hagler, who had more ambitious plans for the PR shop. Since then, Trone Public Relations has almost doubled in size, and it now has 34 professionals in three
Trone’s strengths include business-to-business public relations, issues management, product launches, and media relations. Clients are drawn from multiple sectors, with the agribusiness, chemical and financial services industries areas of particular strength, although the healthcare and education practices are also growing. Client challenges are approached through a proprietary process called SITES (strategy, ideas, tactics, evaluation, stewardship) that trains employees to think holistically about their client’s issues.
Hagler has a strong leadership team in place, including John Taylor, vice president in the High Point office and a veteran of the financial services sector; John Dornan, vice president in Raleigh, who joined in 2005 after spending eight years heading corporate public relations at software company SAS; and Kim Counts, vice president in the Charlotte office, who has experience in community relations and legislative outreach in Washington, D.C.
The firm picked up nine new clients in 2005, seven led by the PR group and two in joint integrated pitches with sister agencies. The include Ascend One which provides back-office processing and technology support to credit counseling agencies; CNL Financial Group, a $13 billion privately held company specializing in real estate investment trusts; Duke University Health System; childrenswear company Healthtex; Liverpool, one of Mexico’s premier department store chains; Timco Aviation Services; and Wrangler Home, a division of Wrangler that produces of quality home furnishings. They join a roster that includes Novartis Animal Health, Syngenta, and Uniroyal.