Marshall Consultants Celebrates 50th Anniversary as First PR Executive Search Firm
Marshall Consultants, LLC, PR-oriented executive search firm, is celebrating its 50th Anniversary. Founded in New York City in 1966 by Larry Marshall, CEO, Marshall Consultants was the first national retainer-based executive search and management consulting firm to specialize in the evolving Public Relations, Corporate & Marketing Communications and Investor Relations functions.
They have represented over half the Fortune 500 corporations, as well as evolving companies, most major and growing PR, advertising and marketing communications firms, and leading nonprofit organizations and associations. Currently based in beautiful Ashland, Oregon (home of America's largest repertory theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival), they have had their headquarters in New York for over 35 years, with additional offices in Seattle, WA and Los Angeles, CA.
Well-known recruiters who had been associates with Marshall Consultants include associates: Late-Walter Carlson, former NYTimes Ad columnist (NYC), Judith Cushman (NYC & Seattle, Marshall Consultants West), Hugh McCandless (NYC), Susan Elion (NYC), Sandra Charet (NYC), Neysa Schindler (NYC), Anna Kosof (NYC), Cathleen DesRosiers (LA), Late-James Bardwell (LA), etc.
During this half-century, Mr. Marshall has observed many changes in the PR and corporate communications profession. These are some of them:
- In the late '60's, most communications practitioners, especially senior-level, were male, many of them former journalists. Now most are female and come from a broad variety of disciplines. Few women in senior-level communications management roles; now a myriad of well-respected women as high-profile top level executives.
- PR, Corporate and Marketing Communications and Investor Relations were relatively minor corporate functions, often for "window-dressing", whereas now they are positioned in senior management, akin to other senior management corporate functions, i.e. Finance, Legal, Marketing, Human Resources, etc., and vital to the very existence of corporations. Some have even become the 'consiglieri's or "gurus" to the 'Dons' of industry!
- Compensation was usually in the $25-$50k area; now mid-senior level PR execs are in the $125-250k bracket and some compensation packages even exceed $500k. Years ago, salary was sole component of compensation, whereas now compensation packages are often boosted by hefty bonuses, stock options, deferred compensation, family college grants, etc.
- Most PR programs were for marketing publicity; nowadays include corporate media relations, internal communications, public affairs, crisis communications, corporate social responsibility, etc.
- PR counseling firms annual net fee income was rarely above $10 million; now some exceed $500 million. Were often stepchild of advertising agency add-on marketing services; now sizable independent PR firms mostly owned by entrepreneurial communicators. Now, few large staff independent PR firms, with most owned by major, foreign-owned, global advertising agency-oriented conglomerates.
- PR agency executives success was often measured by how much 'ink' they could secure in publicity for their clients; nowadays message-targeted, strategic media PR programs, counseling ability, media training, relationship-building and business acumen are often keys to success.
- While print & broadcast communications were the exclusive media; today comprehensive and diverse communications, especially new digital and social media, is the key emphasis.
- Communications practitioners had little job security, often being "last to know, first to go"; now more essential to corporate growth and survival , some being the one to finally turn off the lights in failing companies!
Marshall had been bicoastal between New York and western offices, but now spends most of his time based in Southern OR, handling a limited number of interesting, senior-level national and global searches. Together with his wife, Joy Marshall, nationally-known for fundraising and producing special events with the Children's Miracle Network, their 10 year old cause-marketing firm, Marshall Fundraising and Event Management (www.marshallfundraising.com) represents local, regional and national nonprofit clients with compelling missions.
search-consult is published by Dillistone Systems, supplier of FileFinder Executive Search software. Dillistone Systems is part of Dillistone Group Plc, as are Voyager Recruitment Software, FCP Internet, supplier of the Evolve Recruitment Software SaaS system and ISV Software, provider of online pre-employment skills testing and training tools.