Maybe it’s my Texas roots, but I was determined to remain independent and fiscally sound since starting my firm more than three decades ago.  That promise still holds today.

Over the years, there has been a great deal of consolidation in our industry.  We have witnessed the emergence of worldwide holding companies—many publicly held—combining advertising and public relations.  Large firms have been interested in acquiring independent public relations agencies, particularly those in the lifestyle arena.   At the Lou Hammond Group, it has never been under consideration to follow that route.

Why? We value our independence and the ability to do whatever it takes to provide the highest quality service and results for our clients.  Having no debt load gives us the freedom to offer practices not often found in the industry.  Our motto here is no time sheets…no debt load…no surprises.

We don’t charge for time or count hours. We don’t markup charges for suppliers and service providers.  That means we can find the best people for the job without adding additional costs for our clients.  These practices may not work for everyone – but they work for us.  Like every enterprise, we need to be profitable in order to succeed. But being debt-free means we are not as beholden to the bottom line.

Being profitable has given us the ability to grow and to expand our services.  But, we have not grown by acquisition—instead we have evolved.  Starting with three people in a small office in Manhattan, we now have more than 40 employees. Headquartered in New York, we have offices in Charleston, South Carolina, Los Angeles and Miami.

We have also expanded our services to offer an integrated communications package.  Public relations is no longer a stand-alone discipline.  Our integrated services now include digital marketing, creative services, website development, branding, content creation, thought leadership and strategic planning.  From a handful of clients in the travel industry, our client roster now includes technology, real estate, destinations, food and wine, lifestyle, and economic development.

Knowing that we will not be acquired gives our employees the security and opportunity to build a career here.  The president of our New York office has been with the company for 25 years.  Six of our employees have tenures of more than 20 years and many others range between five and 15 years – well above the industry average.  We promote from within and we have added a diversity of talent to fuel our growth.

While we have grown and expanded over the course of three decades, we have remained compact and nimble. We work in teams and we all know what’s going on at LHG. Clients don’t have to go through layers of management to get an answer or solve a problem.  We answer our phones and every media call or message must be returned by the end of day. We place a high value on accountability to our clients, our colleagues, to the media and the community.  And we all take a great deal of pride in what we do.

 

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