Michael Fineman’s firm has long been known for its ability to approach consumer public relations—particularly in the food and beverage sector—with a broad, brand-building mindset that goes beyond a focus on product publicity. It’s an approach that has won FinemanPR more awards than most firms of its size, and an impressive portfolio of clients with a national profile. But in an increasingly competitive environment, he has recognized the need for more specialized approaches to keep his firm on the cutting edge, and the past few years have seen the development of a formidable crisis communications specialty and an expertise in marketing to Latino and other multicultural populations (under the Mosaico brand).

Fineman has also invested in making sure that his firm is not seen as a one-man band, building a senior team that includes 14-year agency veteran Heidi White, vice president Lorna Bush (10 years) and Mosaico director Juan Lezema. Last year saw the addition of a pair of group supervisors: Rachel Bennett, from publicly-traded real estate company AMB and Michael Kellner, formerly with tech specialist Schwartz.

Growth in 2010 was a very impressive 20 percent—the firm now has 13 employees—with new assignments from Ascension Healthcare, Derenoncourt California wines, Arkenstone Winery, Moone-Tsai Winery, Palo Alto University and the National Outdoor Leadership School, and an expanded remit from 14-year client Foster Farms Poultry. There were also project assignments from House of Air, JMB Construction, Annie’s Homegrown and Xoom and via the firm’s international IPREX network, including Midas with JSH&A in Chicago.

The Foster Farms work included creation and implementation of a comprehensive Foster Farms Presidential Turkey Pardon education program, culminating in a White House ceremony and resulting in 300 million media impressions; the completion of a “Say No to Plumping” campaign that positioned the company as a good guy in drawing attention to hidden sodium; and the company’s first West Coast Chicken Cooking Contest. Fineman also handled crisis communications initiative for Town & Country, the organization that had referred an (illegal immigrant) housekeeper to California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman.