As a founding member of the Public Relations Global Network, I’m often asked how the network came about, what was behind the important first step and who are the people who made the bold move. For your records, here’s now the beginning of a 27-year journey now called the PRGN.
In 1992, a small group of independent public relations agency owners met in Phoenix to discuss how to better network and partner with industry peers. They were trying to pick up the pieces of what was the Edelman Public Relations Network, which had been abruptly disbanded by Edelman.
Those at that initial meeting were Anne Buchanan, LevLane, Philadelphia; Scott Hanson, HMA Public Relations, Phoenix; Ed Stevens, Dix & Eaton, Cleveland; Pat Fearey, The Fearey Group, Seattle; John Van Mol, Dye, Van Mol & Lawrence, Nashville; Robert Deen and Christi Black, Deen & Black, Sacramento; Melissa Sturges, Sturges +Word, Kansas City; Dale Zabriskie, Zabriskie & Associates, Salt Lake City; Charles Pizzo, PRPR, New Orleans; Mary Ann Miller, DDF&M, Pittsburgh; Sally Jackson, Jackson & Co., Boston; Ed Neuger, Ed Neuger & Associates, Minneapolis; and Janet Maizner, Maizner PR, Miami.
The group decided on the name, “The Phoenix Network.” Little did they know, the informal organization they were starting would one day grow to become the Public Relations Global Network (PRGN), one of the world’s top five international networks of leading independent public relations agencies.
Rising from the ashes of the shuttered group, The Phoenix Network quickly looked to new markets to grow its membership base.
The Phoenix Network marked its 10th anniversary in 2002 by expanding its geographic reach to include international markets and by changing its name to reflect its growing worldwide presence. The network adopted its current name: Public Relations Global Network.
Today the PRGN is one of the top global public relations networks . With 50 members across six continents, the agencies post revenue of more than $87 million (U.S.) and employ 1,000 communications professionals.
Four of the original founding member agencies – HMA Public Relations (Phoenix), Stevens Strategic Communications, Inc. (Cleveland), Buchanan Public Relations (Philadelphia) and The Fearey Group (Seattle) – still remain active in the organization.
Although the size and reach of the organization has changed through the years, its original purpose remains constant, to be an organization comprised of independent agency owners committed to openly sharing knowledge, contacts and resources to fellow members and to serve and promote global clients successfully.
For further information, take a look around on this website and get to know the people now behind PRGN.