Access PR changes name – merges with Tampa firm

The Jacksonville public relations firm that contracted with the City of St Augustine on August 1st, then admitted, as the contract is drawing to a close, that they have yet to realize any of the fundraising goals contemplated, has announced that it has merged with another agency.

John Finotti, co-founder and principal of Access PR, the man who actually signed the “single source” contract with the city, along with his co-founder, Marty Fiorentino, who initially negotiated the lofty terms of the agreement with City Commissioner Bill Leary, will each become shareholders with the successor; Tampa-based public relations and public affairs firm Tucker/Hall.

According to an announcement published in the Jacksonville Business Journal, Finotti will become a vice president and member of the Tucker/Hall board of directors.

Fiorentino is president of The Fiorentino Group.

As part of the strategic combination, Access PR is changing its name to Tucker/Hall.

“This merger greatly benefits all of our clients in Jacksonville and North Florida,” Finotti said in a press release. “Tucker/Hall has a large team of highly-seasoned PR counselors and additional resources that now allow us to provide an expanded menu of communications services in North Florida.”

The contract between the City of St Augustine and Finotti’s Access PR, expires on January 31, 2012. In an appearance before the city commission at their regular meeting last week, speaking for what Fiorentino referred to as “the TFG Team”, Allison Defoor remained optimistic that there is money to be raised down the road.

Defoor used the term “pro bono” several times in his presentation; explaining that he “would” have done the work, that he says was done, without charge — out of “his love for the city”. In the actual contract, previously published by Historic City News, the city agreed to pay Access Public Relations a fee of $15,000.00, plus fifteen (15%) percent of all private funding it is able to raise on behalf of the City for the 200th Anniversary Celebration supposedly going on this year.

Tucker/Hall was founded in 1990 to focus on providing strategic communications, public affairs and crisis management. The firm now represents clients all over Florida and the United States, as well as some overseas.

“We’ve partnered with Access on a number of client projects over the years and have always been highly pleased with the project results and working relationship,” said Bill Carlson, Tucker/Hall president, in a press release. “We’re excited to have John and his team as part of the Tucker/Hall family. We feel the two firms are a perfect fit, and this merger is the right avenue in expanding our business in North Florida, which has been a goal for us.”

Photo credits: © 2012 Historic City News archive photograph

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