Rasky Builds PR Shop, Unites With Baerlein

Coppersmith Recruited to Senior-Level Post
BOSTON–Rasky & Co. has formed a new public relations agency with members of the Choate Group, the public affairs arm of one of Boston’s top law firms. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Larry Rasky is chairman of the new entity, which has offices in New York and Boston and focuses on public affairs and general public relations.
Joseph Baerlein, president and chief executive of the Choate Group, becomes president of the new firm, called Rasky Baerlein & Co. The Choate Group will continue to exist at Choate Hall & Stewart, with new managers to be named at a later date.
Jim Coppersmith, who in June 1994 retired as president and general manager of Boston ABC affiliate WCVB-TV, will become vice chairman.
Rasky and Baerlein hold an equal equity stake in the newly merged venture, said Rasky, who declined to disclose billings.
“This was the right move at the right time for me,” Rasky said. “I was looking to grow the company and provide a broader range of [public relations] service to existing clients as well as expand into new markets.”
Baerlein brings with him seven staffers and such clients as the Boston Celtics, Nestle, Seagrams, Eli Lilly and the National Automobile Manufacturers Association. While his primary responsibility is to represent those clients in New England, Baerlein is also working nationally, Rasky said.
Coppersmith joined the company because he “viewed it as an opportunity to be a rain maker for two very talented guys who I thought had a smart business plan.”
“Jim is one of the great minds in ºBoston,” Rasky said. “He has an extensive knowledge of how business works and what effective communication can do for business.”
Coppersmith has remained active in numerous charitable and educational organizations since his retirement. He currently is serving his final year as chairman of the board for Emerson College. Rasky is also a member of the board.
In early 1998, Coppersmith will join Rasky Baerlein at its new office on 70 Franklin St., which the agency is planning to open in December.
By then, Rasky predicts the office will have about 20 employees. The New York office focuses on public affairs and has three staffers.