Project Chairman and CEO Robert G. Vallee, Jr. announced that the Detroit-based agency network has acquired the PR firm founded by Andy Pray in December of 2012. Praytell, one of the fastest growing agencies in the U.S. and one of PRWeek’s best places to work in 2014 and 2015, blends social and digital expertise into a nimble, holistic communications offering. The agency has more than 45 employees with offices in Brooklyn, San Francisco, Austin and Los Angeles.
“We have wanted to add a PR agency to our mix for a while, but it took time to find a team with the contemporary skills and digital smarts that Praytell possesses,” said Vallee. “Our clients need and want PR expertise, and Praytell will undoubtedly deliver the top-notch integrated PR programs they seek.”
Vallee cited Praytell’s remarkable growth since its inception, business acumen, dogged determination and cultural synergies with Project as attributes that attracted the network to the PR firm. “Praytell is a creative communications agency that truly understands that the nature of PR has changed, that you can’t offer public relations without having digital and social expertise as well,” said Vallee. He called the shop named New Agency of the Year in 2015 by The Holmes Report “a young but already-established powerhouse that is poised for even greater heights.”
Pray and his core leadership team – Beth Cleveland, managing partner and PR director of account services, and Claudio Taratuta, managing partner and digital director of account services – will continue to lead Praytell.
Having the might of Project behind his shop and the freedom to operate autonomously were attractive to Pray, who said the agency wasn’t actively looking to be acquired. But, after being exposed to the network in a meeting for a shared client with executives from Project agency ARGONAUT, he knew there was a connection he wanted to explore. “We sensed an acquisition might be in our distant future, but the event came much sooner than expected when we found what we think is a glass slipper in Project. From the way we fit into their portfolio to the way our vision aligns identically, this became a no-brainer awfully quickly,” said Pray. “We’ve got big plans to reshape the way brands approach communications in today’s media landscape, and Project will help us achieve our mission to deliver extraordinary service for brands that matter and clients that get it. We’re incredibly thankful for the support of the best client and employee family in the universe, and we’re as energized as ever to show this is only the beginning for Praytell.”
Prior to opening Praytell in 2013, Pray had nearly a decade of experience working at leading PR shops including Ruder Finn, Waggener Edstrom, and Antenna Group. Named to PRWeek’s coveted 40-under-40 list in 2015, Pray started his career as an on-air reporter for CBS television stations in the Midwest, leading to work as a news writer and producer at KPIX, San Francisco.
The agency, which has an exceptionally high retention rate among staff while living by the mantra “Do the Right Thing,” joins leading experiential, general, tech, entertainment, and shopper agencies under the Project umbrella.
“We’re committed to adding disciplines to our agency arsenal that are imperative to client success,” said Vallee. “Praytell is filled with brand savants, and we are thrilled to welcome them to the Project family.”
PALAZZO served as financial advisor to Praytell in this transaction, with Praytell receiving legal representation from Reitler Kailas & Rosenblatt LLC.