Seventeen years ago Elise Mitchell’s dream of starting a world class public relations firm was born at her kitchen table in Fayetteville. She had high hopes at a time well ahead of the growth explosion that enveloped Northwest Arkansas a few years later.
Mitchell says she’s both honored and humbled to be joining the Dentsu Network, the No. 1 agency brand and fastest growing agency network in the world.
The Fayetteville-based startup joins a prestigious list of home grown businesses to be acquired in recent years — Saatchi and Saatchi X, Rockfish Interactive and I O Metro to name a few.
Mitchell becomes the first acquisition of a public relations agency in Dentsu’s expanding portfolio of world-class communications companies.
She will continue in her role at Mitchell Communications and will now also join the executive team and operating committee of Dentsu Network reporting to Tim Andree, CEO at Dentsu.
In this new role, she will be responsible for building Dentsu’s global public relations network.
“We’ve been fortunate to experience rapid growth ourselves, and we’ve significantly expanded our capabilities to serve client needs. Becoming a part of Dentsu allows us to offer clients even greater resources and access to innovation, technology and a global presence while maintaining our unique agency culture and intense entrepreneurial spirit,” she said. “It will be a privilege to work with Dentsu going forward to continue serving Mitchell’s clients to the best of our collective abilities, and to attract other agencies to join the Dentsu global public relations network.”
Andree said, “Elise will lead and direct this important effort for us. We are confident in her ability to attract other public relations agencies that are like-minded – client-centric, collaborative and entrepreneurial in their approach to the business.”
Mitchell Communications Group’s headquarters will continue to be located in Fayetteville. The agency has annual gross revenues of more than $13 million with 75 full-time employees in addition to a national network of more than 20 project employees, who are located in 14 states.
Mitchell said the company spent its first 10 years as a home office tapping part-time public relations professionals in remote locations across the country to serve a growing customer base,
“At the time I sought out senior level staff based elsewhere because there wasn’t a large local talent pool. That isn’t the case today as worldwide talent has flocked here in recent years, but this innovative staffing model has become a core competency for Mitchell. We have 28 people working in 14 states in addition to our growing staff in Fayetteville,” Mitchell said.
She credits her staff with much of the success Mitchell has been able attain in the past decade.
Sarah Clark has been named president of Mitchell Communications. Clark was formerly executive vice president and chief strategy officer of the agency. Clark has been with Mitchell for the past five years.
“Mitchell Communications Group has built an exceptional reputation as a thriving midsize firm in the public relations industry for its work with some of the most iconic national and global brands,” Andree, said.
The financial details were not disclosed in this acquisition.
Dentsu Network is headquartered in New York and Tokyo with 82 offices in 29 countries.
Mitchell Communications is an award-winning, strategic communications firm doing work on a national and global scale with some of the world’s largest companies and best known brands.
The agency’s distinctive and expanding client portfolio includes: Walmart Stores Inc., Sam’s Club, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree Hotels, Procter & Gamble, J.B. Hunt Transport, Tyson Foods, and Southwestern Energy.