In no particular order, here is the list we’ve compiled of five top public relations agencies that are owned by African Americans.
Owned and managed by Robin E. Beaman, the firm has been operating for 25+ years specializing in entertainment and corporate PR. Ms. Beaman began her career in DC at the Capital Children’s Museum, then went on to create the first PR campaign for a new television network – BET.
In 1992, she moved to a position as PR Manager for Harpo Productions and remained there for five years. Some of the firm’s clients areBally Total Fitness, Coca-Cola, Illinois Bureau of Tourism, Shorebank, and the National Black MBA Association.
Owned and operated by Don A. Coleman. Mr. Coleman began his career working for big agencies in Detroit and Chicago. But in 1991 he started a firm specializing in African American PR. His firm, then called Donald Colman Advertising, Inc. climbed to a spot where it was the third largest African American PR Agency in the US.
Eventually he sold a minority interest in his firm to two other firms, merging them into the now Globalhue. Added branches are in San Antonio, specializing in Hispanic PR, and Los Angeles, specializing in Asian PR. Including the original Michigan office allows this firm a rainbow of options.Some of the firm’s clients are Dodge, NBA, Walmart, Subway, Verizon and the US Navy.
Carol H. Williams Advertising
Carol Williams landed her first job as an intern with Leo Burnett Co. She broke through the glass ceiling there when she became the agency’s first female Vice President – creative director. She left there to open her firm in 1986 as a full-service agency specializing in broadcast radio, print, and digital branding.
There are offices in New York, Chicago, Detroit, and Oakland. The firm has helped create multi-cultural award-winning campaigns. Clients of the firm include Walt Disney, Hewlett-Packard, Sunny Delight, Nationwide Insurance, and General Mills.
Tom Burrell has come a long way from his origins in a working-class family on the south side of Chicago. His first job was in the mailroom. Today he owns and, though retired, maintains a role as chairman emeritus with his agency.
Burrell Communications incorporates a deep understanding regarding the economic power of youth and communities of color. Some of the firm clients are American Airlines, Olay, P&G, McDonald’s, and General Mills.
The Garner Circle & Co.
The Garner Circle is headquartered in Atlanta and has offices in New York and Los Angeles. The Garner Circle, founded by Nicole Garner, specializes in celebrity clients, event execution, and lifestyle marketing. They like best to deal with rich, raw, and unconventional ideas and clients.
The firm also has a branch that deals with pro bono and nonprofit clients.Some of the celebrity clients include Ne-Yo, Ciara, Young Jeezy, Kim Porter, Bilal, Janelle Monae, Chrisette Michelle, and Keri Hilson. And nonprofits include the Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes Foundation, Double Take Makeover, AIDS Atlanta, Strike 4 A Cure, and Show Me The Way Foundation.
It is clear that with talent and experience on their side, these African-American owned PR firms will continue to build pathways to progress.