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Eric Mower joins forces with Manhattan public relations company

Eric Mower + Associates has combined with a Manhattan public relations firm, giving it a long-desired presence in New York City.

“It’s New York City, it is the advertising and public relations capital of the nation, if not the world,” said Eric Mower, chairman and CEO.

Middleton & Gendron, a 10-person firm, will join Eric Mower + Associates Nov. 1. Over the years, Eric Mower has combined with other companies, establishing eight offices, including Rochester and Charlotte. But in those other markets, it was easy to identify potential clients and set business goals and targets.

“In Buffalo, Syracuse, you can look up the biggest companies, make a list that you work toward,” he said, “But in New York City, you can’t make a list. There are too many companies. It’s kind of a sky’s the limit opportunity.”

The new company will be M&G/Eric Mower + Associates and will operate under that name until the end of 2015 when it will change to Eric Mower + Associates. Middleton & Gendron, founded in 1978, is a leading public relations firm, specializing in luxury hospitality, travel and leisure.

Yvonne Middleton, the company’s chairman, and its president, Mary Gendron, will continue to lead the New York City office and join as partners of Eric Mowers + Associates. With the addition, Eric Mower + Associates will grow to 250 employees. Currently, public relations accounts for one-third of Eric Mower + Associates’ business but with the addition of Middleton & Gendron, that segment of the company will get a boost, Mower said.

Also Middleton & Gendron will also give Eric Mower + Associates a new area of specialty in luxury hospitality, travel and leisure, which will be added to the portfolios of all locations, Mower said.

Middleton & Gendron have done work for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, The Savoy Group, Rolex, FAO Schwarz and Singapore Airlines.

And the New York City operation will get advertising and other services by joining Eric Mower + Associates, allowing it to offer additional services to existing clients and attract new ones.

Expanding the New York City office would be cost prohibitive because of exorbitant lease prices in Manhattan, so as that operation grows, with aid of technology, new employees working on New York City accounts will work out of upstate locations, he said,

“Our commitment to upstate is undying,” he said.

For years, Mower had looked for expansion opportunities in Manhattan, also in Chicago. He has met with different companies in Manhattan, but he couldn’t find one that would be a good fit.

“There were a lot of first dates, but no second dates,” he said. “Nothing panned out.” But when he and Middleton & Grendon met, he found a match.

The company’s business practices and personalities mesh with Eric Mower + Associates, he said.

“I like them a lot; they’d be an excellent cultural fit,” Mower said. “They will fit in with us, and we will fit in with them.”

His Chicago search continues.