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BSA Establishes PR Practice

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Blanchard Schaefer Advertising has teamed up with public relations veteran Aline Parrish to create Parrish Blanchard Schaefer Public Relations.

BSA of Arlington, Texas, has offered public relations in addition to advertising for five years, but principal Ken Schaefer admitted the effort had "no commitment" and said "the approach was to tack it on, and that's not what our clients need." He added, "We knew we needed to get in the game or get out."

The agency decided to enter the public relations arena with the expertise of Parrish, who most recently was executive vice president of Springbok Cohn & Wolfe in Dallas. She also has worked in Boston as vice president at FitzGerald Communications and as director at Cunningham Communication.

When a mutual friend introduced Parrish to Schaefer and partner Bobby Blanchard, the three decided to pursue the idea of creating a separate public relations firm in which each would have an ownership stake. "By going to someone with extraordinary experience and integrating those services [with advertising], we felt it was a great combination," Schaefer said.

Schaefer said the agency has picked up seven new clients since the new arrangement quietly began in July. Among them: Ramtech Building Systems, Palm Beach Tan and Elixir Salon & Day Maker.

The new public relations practice will offer its services to existing and future clients of the ad agency.PBS will also serve public relations-only clients.

Schaefer said PBS's money-back guarantee makes it unique. "For clients that are retained, we guarantee we will get exposure for them greater than or equal to the agency compensation," he said.

Although Springbok focused on technology clients, president and partner Parrish said PBS will pursue a diversified customer base and plans to foster "slow, calculated growth." The practice currently has three employees; BSA has a dozen.

Schaefer said Parrish was an ideal choice for a partner. "She has an impeccable reputation," he said. "And when we were talking to people within the industry, they said if you can get Aline, you can do no better."