Carly Reed
Carly Reed

Reed PR & Communications, which will focus on elevating brand presence for destinations, travel brands and hotels, is launched by Carly Reed, a former partner in FINN Partners’ UK travel practice. The new agency will offer services including PR, events and activations, broadcast media, travel industry relations, partnerships and promotions. Reed’s travel industry experience before joining FINN includes managing Virgin Holidays’ media center, as well as heading up the EMEA comms efforts for the launch of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter while she was at Universal Parks and Resorts.


PR Boutiques International, which includes more than 30 boutique firms around the world, elects its executive officers and directors for 2024 - 2025. Julia Labaton of RED PR will serve a two-year term as president, along with vice president Durée Ross of Duree & Company, treasurer/secretary Jeffrey Graubard of The Other Agency, member-at-large Tarunjeet Rattan of Nucleus PR, and president of PRBI Europe Juris Petersons of Jazz Communications. The board of directors has brought on Taru Nikulainen of Brunnen Communications to help guide the organization’s international growth. “The network thrives on collaboration over competition, offering a community to learn, network, and mentor while its members provide their clients more executive counsel and tailored services than larger, brand-name agencies,” said Labaton. PRBI’s annual general meeting will take place this spring in New York City.


Britton Marketing & Design Group merges with production and strategic marketing company BrandStar. Britton will continue to operate out of its Ft. Wayne location, and CEO Jeff Britton and president/chief creative officer Susan Britton will remain in their roles. The agency says it will now be able to provide its clients a broader range of offerings from within the BrandStar ecosystem, among them a state-of-the-art film and television studio with virtual reality capabilities. “BrandStar’s integrated offerings ideally complement ours, and geographically opens markets for both organizations,” said Jeff Britton.


RLF Communications, which has offices in Greensboro, Raleigh and Charlotte, acquires GBW Strategies, a Raleigh-based public affairs and public relations agency. GBW co-founder Billy Warden will become RLF chief strategy officer; co-founder Greg Behr will serve as a strategic advisor following a transition period. GBW clients include real estate developers, public health and professional services organizations, technology firms and nonprofits. “Over the past 15 years, GBW Strategies has earned an outstanding reputation for generating big ideas, insightful strategies and delivering on their promises,” said RLF CEO Monty Hagler. In addition to supporting the transition and strategic efforts of RLF, Behr will create a new organization, Circle City Strategy, with a focus on supporting festivals, events and other community initiatives. RLF acquired Raleigh-based BAERING Group in January 2023 and Clairemont Communications in December 2023.