History of Hill and Knowlton Public Relations

Timeline created by kfisher
  • John W. Hill Founds his Public Relations Agency

    John W. Hill Founds his Public Relations Agency
    The PR firm is located in Cleveland, Ohio. Among his first clients were banks, steel manufacturers, and other Midwest industrial companies
  • Partners with Donald Knowlton During the Depression

    Hill entered into a partnership with Donald Knowlton who was the PR director of a bank before the depression hit.
  • Firm's Headquarters move to New York City

    Firm's Headquarters move to New York City
    Although the firm moved, Knowlton stayed in Cleveland to run that office. The headquarters moved to allow them to be closer to their clients American Iron and Steel Institute.
  • Despite Recession the Firm Grows Rapidly

    Despite recession Hill and Knowlton continued to grow and aquire large new clients throughout the 1940s. These included steel and aircraft manufacturers and the petroleum and shipbuilding industries.
  • Establishes overseas offices in Europe

    They begin to build partnerships with overseas organizations, and by the middle of the 1950s they became the first U.S. company to own entire offices in Europe
  • Hill leaves the firm

    Hill leaves the firm
  • First Ever to fuse Lobbying and Public Relations

    Former Press Secretary for President Eisenhower, Robert Keith Gray, invited Hill to meet with him. He persuaded Hill to hire him to provide lobbying services. By the mid 1970's they had a DC office for lobbying employing 30 people and had a substantial amount of new work.
  • Hill Dies in 1977

    Hill Dies in New York City
  • J Walter Thompson advertising buys Hill and Knowlton

    J Walter Thompson advertising buys Hill and Knowlton
  • WPP aquires J. Walter Thompson

    WPP aquires J. Walter Thompson
    WPP aquired both J. Walter Thompson Group for $556 million is a communications conglomerate that in 2012 employs 153,000 people* working in 2,400 offices in 107 countries. The new CEO Robert Dilenschneiders changed the culture of Hill and Knowlton significantly by valuing profitabiltiy above all else.
  • Jack Martin starts Public Strategies

    Jack Martin starts Public Strategies
    Jack Martin, with a history in politics, founds Public Stategies as a public affairs and business advisory firm.
  • Involved in Crisis

    Hill and Knowlton received funds totaling $14 million from countries known to abuse human rights. They have also been involved with other human rights scandals and were "accused of taking cases from countries who abuse human rights, those who deal with corporate crime, and some for the CIA."
  • WPP aquires Public Strategies

    WPP aquires Public Strategies
    As Public Strategies experienced quick growth and success WPP became interested in buying the firm.
  • Buy a 70% stake in Rikes Communications and Synergy

    Buy a 70% stake in Rikes Communications and Synergy
    Rikes Communications is a PR firm based in Hong Kong. This deal allowed Hill and Knowlton to aquire a larger Chinese client base. Synergy is a South Korean partner of Rikes who Hill and Knowlton also aquired a majority interest in.
  • Launched first office in Chengdu

    Launched first office in Chengdu
    Hill and Knowlton opens its first office in Chengdu which added to their operation in Beijing, Shenghai, and Guanzhou. Hoover's Company Report.
  • Establishes Hill and Knowlton East Africa Ltd.

    Establishes Hill and Knowlton East Africa Ltd.
    Hill and Knowlton expands its presence in Africa by establishing a joint venture with the holding company Scangroup Limited. They offer public relations services throughout Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.
  • Hill and Knowlton becomes Hill and Knowlton Strategies

    Hill and Knowlton becomes Hill and Knowlton Strategies
    Hill and Knowlton and Public Strategies merge to become Hill and Knowlton Strategies. The CEO and Global Chairman is Jack Martin.
  • Period: to

    From the beginning until now