NEW YORK — Harrison & Shriftman, an eight-year-old public relations firm known for hooking up brands with high-flying celebrities, tastemakers and socialites, has been sold to Omnicom’s Radiate Group, which specializes in event-driven marketing.
Terms of the deal were not released.
In recent months, the Boca Raton, Fla.-based Radiate has been buying agencies. In September, it purchased the Delfin Group, a Madrid-based agency specializing in sports and event marketing, consumer promotions, field marketing and media productions. Radiate now has 23 agencies in 12 countries.
Founded by Elizabeth Harrison and Lara Shriftman, Harrison & Shriftman employs 43 people in offices here, in Miami and Los Angeles. From its early days in a cramped Madison Avenue room, Harrison & Shriftman has built its annual billings from $200,000 to “millions” today, said Harrison, fielding a call in between meetings Tuesday.
“This takes the scope of what we do to a whole different global level,” she said. “Laura and I have always thought that eventually we could get there, but obviously this gives us the chance to be part of something much bigger.”
When they were starting out, a friend cut a deal for them for the Madison Avenue address, Gucci timepieces signed on as their first client and the duo “figured things out as they went along,” Harrison said. Several years ago, when Bonnie Fuller was still at Glamour, they lined up Ben Affleck and Matt Damon for a small downtown dinner party the magazine was hosting. That event was the start of more star-studded events.
“From day one, we developed an important database that targeted real tastemakers,” Shriftman said.
The publicists helped boost recognition for Juicy Couture and Jimmy Choo. Instead of shipping out standard press kits in folders, they played up creative packaging with selective mailing lists.
“Something we learned later on was the importance of cross-promotions and how we could team up corporate brands with cool, hip and trendy companies,” Harrison said.
One of their next projects will be a weekend retreat to plan the next four years for the business. “But we’ll drink a lot of champagne while we’re there,” Harrison added.