Two of Michigan’s top public relations and communications agencies today announced that they are joining forces.
Van Dyke Horn Public Relations (VDH) and Lambert (“Lambert”) are pleased to announce they have entered a strategic partnership, combining VDH’s award-winning public relations and community engagement expertise with Lambert’s leading integrated communications and investor relations practice. VDH is the largest minority public relations agency in Michigan and has held a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Certification for the last 24 years.
Joining VDH’s current owner, President and CFO Marilyn Horn, Lambert will invest a less-than-majority stake in VDH. VDH will continue to be a minority-owned and managed entity, with all daily operations and management controlled by VDH. The joint go-to-market plan and growth strategy for collaborative projects between the two organizations will be co-led by Lambert CEO Michelle Olson, APR, and Chairman Jeff Lambert in concert with Marilyn Horn, VDH president and CFO, and Georgella Muirhead, VDH CEO.
Both firms were founded in 1998, and both are home-grown success stories, rising from startups to industry leaders spanning public relations, community engagement, investor relations, integrated marketing, corporate communications, and multi-cultural marketing. Both firms have shared clients and campaigns over the years in the non-profit and corporate sectors.
The vast compliment of services now offered by the Lambert-VDH alliance includes: community engagement, internal and corporate communications; ESG and diversity consulting, organizational development, communications, and cause-marketing; fractional DEI Officer services and recruiting; and multi-cultural marketing spanning PR, digital, advertising, and integrated marketing focused on the “new majority”–people of color, women, and underrepresented stakeholders. VDH will also build on its proven track record of board placement and board development for women and diverse candidates focusing on paid-board positions and board and organizational audits, and consulting on action steps for CSR and ESG including programming, giving and foundation support.
“In the communications field, where innovation and adaptation are essential to serve our clients, the credibility our agency has earned with clients and communities is an asset that we work constantly to develop and grow in new ways. That means being open to bold collaborations and the possibilities that they create, “said Marilyn Horn, president and CFO of VDH. “This partnership with Lambert strengthens the foundational values of this agency, as they were established by Georgella Muirhead and Bob Berg, to serve the region we call home, and it amplifies our ability to apply the lessons we’ve learned along the way to new challenges, new methods and new relationships across Michigan and beyond.”
“As an agency, we’ve earned a reputation for integrity and leadership in the Detroit area, as well as work we’ve done with regional and statewide partners, for more than two decades in community and multi-cultural engagement, said Georgella Muirhead, APR, founder and CEO of VDH. “We believe that our record of success will serve us well as we broaden our portfolio to include more public company board rooms, national brands, and major institutions outside the state. Marilyn and I are thrilled to announce this formal partnership that will allow both agencies to grow and expand services for our clients more rapidly.”
“We’ve been minoring in DEI consulting and multi-cultural marketing, but this is an opportunity to major in it and to help the Van Dyke Horn team scale their services nationally and into fast growing sectors like private equity, public companies and ESG mandates,” said Michelle Olson, APR, CEO of Lambert. “This investment and partnership reflect the heart of our agency, it was part of my platform as PRSA National Board Chair, and I’m so fired up to put my words into action as part of the VDH team.”
Lambert founder and chairman Jeff Lambert added: “I founded the firm with a focus on growing our Return on Equity as a business metric, but this has expanded to also measuring the return on equity in our representation, our inclusion, in the clients we serve, and in our investments. This partnership – and our national consulting on diversity and multi-cultural marketing – is us doubling down on our commitment to be catalysts for change for our clients and any organization with the desire for growth.”
In addition to its investment in VDH, Lambert is a partner and minority equity owner in Hispanic-owned brand strategy, consulting and multi-cultural marketing firm 9thWonder.