Leading emerging technology public relations firm Connors Communications has sold its West Coast business in Los Angeles and San Francisco to company president Scott Allison.
The sale comes amid a slowdown in the tech PR business, which is a victim of shrinking budgets and vanishing clients.
Founded in 1985, Connors is now left with its New York and London offices.
“Unless you're really close to your market, it's really hard to be certain about the business,” said Connie Connors, New York-based CEO of Connors. “Our New York office is doing so well and so is London, that it feels good to focus on what's in my back yard.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
As part of the deal, Connors' Los Angeles and San Francisco offices are now officially the operations of Allison & Partners. The new firm is named for Allison and to represent the few West Coast colleagues who hold stakes.
“I knew the downturn in technology PR was going to be somewhat short-term, so I felt there was really a tremendous opportunity to build my own agency,” Allison said from San Francisco.
Allison & Partners will assume Connors' West Coast clients, most of whom agreed to transfer contracts. The new list includes Sony Pictures Entertainment for “Stuart Little 2,” eUniverse, ZipRealty, Media Revolution, EXP Systems, Tibco, MedicWare, Visto, Logilent and Lasershield.
Connors and Allison & Partners will maintain an affiliate relationship, tapping each other for help across the coasts.
The new agency will also expand its focus beyond the tech and Internet market to entertainment and healthcare.
“Our real positive is that we've not laid anybody off, and we feel that it's real important,” Allison said. “On the West Coast, the agencies are having so many layoffs that it's really dramatically affecting how they service clients.”
Connors keeps its East Coast and British clients. The roster has names like priceline.com Inc., Schema, Cablevision, nationalgeographic.com, Deloitte & Touche and Swan Systems.