The Worldcom Public Relations Group adds Baltimore’s Abel Communications and Rochester, NY’s McDougall Communications to its partnership. Abel Communications, which has been in business since 2005, specializes in awareness-building campaigns for clients in diverse industries, with a focus on companies that are headquartered or have a prominent presence in the Mid-Atlantic. Founded in 2011, McDougall Communications supports clients across the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific with services that include strategic planning, media and customer relations, reputation and crisis counsel, and digital platform management. “They are highly respected in their local markets, and have deep regional, national and global experience in public relations and communications,” said Stephanie Paul, managing director, The Phillips Group (Brisbane, Australia), and Worldcom’s global recruitment chair.


Ironmark, which provides a range of services that include digitial marketing, web development and predictive analytics, acquires Deliver Media and L & D Mail Masters. Deliver Media is a Tampa-based company that uses first-party data and predictive analytics powered by machine learning to launch marketing campaigns. L & D Mail Masters is a direct mail firm that offers solutions for direct marketing needs, from campaign design to implementation. Deliver Media CEO Sean Johnson will retain his role and take on the role of chief strategy officer for Ironmark. Jill Peden of L & D Mail Masters joins Ironmark as VP of sales and marketing. “Adding these two organizations specializing in predictive modeling and highly sophisticated integrated performance marketing solidifies Ironmark’s position as a national leader in strategy and execution across digital and physical channels,” said Ironmark CEO Jeff Ostenso.


Davis+Gilbert’s Public Relations Industry M&A Activity Tracker reveals a slowdown in M&A deal activity this year. While 40 deals were completed between January and April of last year, that number was down to 36 in 2024. The number of different buyers also slid a bit, from 35 to 32. The drop was particularly prevalent in Europe, with M&A transactions dipping from 19 to 10. In North America, the number ticked up slightly, going from 19 to 20. The Middle East and Asia, both of which registered no M&A deals at all in the first four months of 2023, had two each this year. More than half of sellers this year (58 percent) had revenue of less than $6 million at the time of the sale. The top firm seller specialties were integrated firms (36 perent), followed by healthcare/life sciences (19 percent) and consumer, corporate and technology (11 percent each).