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NATIONAL Public Relations Acquires SHIFT Communications

Posted Wednesday, May 04, 2016


    SHIFT Communications & NATIONAL join forces to create communications powerhouse. Front row from left, from SHIFT Communications: Paula Finestone, Executive Vice-President, Operations; Todd Defren, Founding Partner; Jim Joyal, Partner; Amy Lyons, Managing Partner. Second row, from NATIONAL Public Relations: Valérie Beauregard, Executive Vice-President; Jean-Pierre Vasseur, President and CEO; Royal Poulin, Executive Vice-President and CFO.

We are very happy to announce that NATIONAL Public Relations has just completed a transaction to acquire SHIFT Communications, an award-winning integrated communications agency composed of over 150 creative, smart and innovative consultants, with offices in Boston, New York City, Austin and San Francisco.

The transaction is part of NATIONAL’s long-term growth strategy focused on maintaining and diversifying the Firm’s international client base and capabilities. Added to our already flourishing specialist healthcare consultancy, AXON Communications in New York’s Hudson Valley, we are now poised to quickly emerge as an industry leader in the U.S. and thus support our clients across North America.

“Our story is one of sustained targeted growth,” said Andrew Molson, Chairman of NATIONAL. “We are thrilled to welcome SHIFT into the NATIONAL fold. Their stellar industry reputation, notably in data-driven PR, and their geographical footprint add significant value to our current and future service offering.”

SHIFT was founded in 2003 by principals Todd Defren and Jim Joyal, and quickly established itself as a pioneer in the PR industry with its early thought leadership and adoption of social media. By blending earned and social media with marketing technology and creative elements, SHIFT is bringing the vision of “data-driven PR” to life and is leading the evolution of public relations into a true strategic driver for marketing at the C-Level.  And in a unique turn, last year SHIFT entered into a strategic agreement with Google to become a Google Analytics™ Certified Partner (GACP), a significant milestone for the Agency and for the public relations industry as a whole. 

“We are delighted to join the NATIONAL family,” said Todd Defren. “This is a deal that began – and crossed the finish line – because from our first meeting, we recognized an immediate alignment on values, culture and vision. We’re very much looking forward to helping NATIONAL expand its North American footprint, and believe we have found the right partner to help us achieve our own ambitions for delivering a new style of data-driven PR.”

SHIFT will retain its name, leadership team, marketplace agenda and geographic footprint following the transaction and the firm is committed to ensuring a seamless transition for all of its stakeholders. The success of existing client programs and priorities was a central consideration in the structuring of the transaction, and both parties look forward to collaborating in support of our teams and clients.

Would you like to know more about SHIFT? Check out its award-winning blog and newsletter for the latest insights on industry innovations and strategies.  


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