For Brendan Flynn, recently named vp at Fleishman-Hillard's consumer and brand entertainment communications practice, his new post is a reunion of sorts with his mentor, Richard Kline—the Los Angeles office's general manager.
"I trained under Richard when I was at [Golin/Harris]," said Flynn, who for the past four years has been a management supervisor at independent Rogers & Associates in L.A. "I consider Richard my sensei. It's more about the environment he strives for; he creates an entrepreneurial team atmosphere."
At Omnicom Group's F-H, Flynn, 36, reports to Hayley Sumner, svp and director of the public relations firm's consumer brand and entertainment practice. As the unit's second-in-command, Flynn will handle some new business but will mostly focus on planning and implementing campaigns.
His admiration for Kline is reciprocated. "He is results-driven, he's dedicated, he gives great personal commitment, he's a great team player, and those are our basic critical elements for being effective," Kline said.
During his stint at Rogers & Associates, Flynn—a Los Angeles native who gets around on a 1976 Honda GL 1000 motorcycle—worked on accounts such as Yokohama Tire and the L.A. County tobacco-education campaign. He was a journalism major at California Polytechnic University in Pomona, Calif., when his interest in PR was sparked by a book written by David Ogilvy.
"His picture was on the cover," he recalled. "I said, 'Well, this guy wrote the book—I have to go work there!' "
Following graduation, his first job was at WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather Public Relations in Los Angeles. He later joined Interpublic Group's Golin/Harris, where he first worked with Kline and managed the Yamaha account. He also spent time at a dot.com startup called Fasturn before joining Rogers.