Brogan & Partners turned a client into an employee who will open a Raleigh-Durham, N.C., office for the Detroit shop.
Brogan had not planned on expansion, but when Jim Tobin, senior vice president of public affairs at Michigan Economic Development, said he was moving south, agency president Marcie Brogan saw an opportunity.
"When we heard he was leaving, we approached him about creating a position around his skills," Brogan said. "The next best thing to a good client is a good staffer. We thought he was somebody we could build business around. As we're doing more business-to-business and high-tech stuff--that is a very ripe area."
High-tech, dot.coms and healthcare are the categories the shop expects to pursue, Brogan said. Tobin will also work on accounts and new business prospects for the Michigan headquarters.
"But our intention is to also build a client list in the South, particularly North Carolina," Brogan said.
Tobin said he wants to help Brogan attract new clients. He's also looking forward to being on the other side of the agency-client relationship. "I've worked with them a number of years and appreciate the agency's corporate culture and ability to do high-quality work," he said.
Tobin's client-side skills attracted the agency to him, Brogan said.
"I think they translate very well to client service," Brogan said. "He's strategic and clever. He brings some public relations and public affairs skills as well as marketing and an understanding of advertising."