Bringing a Tinky Winky doll home to my 3-year-old daughter made me a hero in 1999.

The story of how and where I bought the plush Teletubbies toy conjures up good memories of the 20 years I spent on the management team of PR Newswire, and how acquiring innovative businesses contributed to our growth.

teletubbiesTeletubbies was a live-action children’s TV show in which actors dressed up in life-sized alien costumes and frolicked around the English countryside. It was centered around Nottingham, which was the village where entrepreneur Graeme Radcliffe started NEWSdesk International.

When PRN acquired NEWSdesk, I traveled to Nottingham to help integrate the business so it added value for our U.S. customers. While the size of the deal was small, the additional distribution it created for technology and healthcare reporters to reach specialized reporters and analysts added millions in revenue.

PRN has throttled back on M&A as growth has flattened. Communications professionals today rely far less on press releases and invest more in content creation.

Some familiar marketing services platforms are growing exponentially through bolt-on acquisitions. In the past year, the private equity firm GTCR has rolled up Cision, Vocus, Visible Technologies and Viralheat under the Cision brand. London-based Gorkana is also expected to become part of Cision, after a review by U.K. competition regulators.

The social media management firm Sprinklr has also been on a buying spree, incorporating Branderati, Get Satisfaction, Pluck, TBG Digital, Dachis Group and Scup.

In the content distribution and sustainability sectors, where my company, 3BL Media, operates and where PR professionals are increasingly concentrating their energy, we announced this week the acquisition of Dunstans Publishing Limited in Canterbury, England. This is our fourth acquisition since 2011.

It’s hard to overestimate the energy and momentum that comes from buying innovative startups and integrating them into a successful business. This is especially true when the merged companies operate in segments that are growing – like content marketing and CSR.

Dunstans was founded in 1999 by environmental journalist, Alistair Townley, who grew it into the print and online publications Ethical Performance and a popular email alert service for corporations publishing sustainability reports.

The Dunstans editorial and client services team will now be able to offer clients like Marks & Spencer, RBS and BAE Systems the 3BL Media distribution platform to increase visibility for the brands’ sustainability news and content, and benchmarking tools to gauge how well the content is performing. High-visibility campaigns and social media engagement tactics like Twitter chats will drive awareness of client achievements.

Conversely, 3BL Media clients like Southwest Airlines, Subaru, Mars and CVS Health will benefit from additional editorial coverage that reaches a coveted audience of CSR professionals, journalists, regulators, socially conscious consumers and investment decision makers across the globe.

Our earlier 3BL Media acquisitions were the online CSR community, the social entrepreneurism hub, and the pioneering press release distribution service CSRwire. Each site, and its associated social media community, is thriving today under the new ownership and stronger capital structure.

I look forward to visiting and working with the newest 3BL Media team members in Canterbury, and introducing to sustainability communicators new channels and audiences to share the work their companies have been doing to put people and planet on the same plane as profit.

Now that my daughter is in college, the take-home gift will be a tad more intellectual than Tinky Winky. Geoffrey Chaucer will soon be on her reading list.

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Dave Armon spent 20 years at PR Newswire and was president and COO when he left in 2008. Since then, he has been a board member, advisor and executive for PR and marketing technology platforms including Techrigy, dna13, Critical Mention and 3BL Media, where his currently serves as CMO.