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Communications firm outlives its 1963 competitors while operating under same family ownership

COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 31, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Strategic communications firm Paul Werth Associates, born in a former candy store on Olentangy Road in 1963, is marking its 60th anniversary this year as one of the few remaining Columbus firms from that time and the only one still operating under the same ownership.

Founded by its namesake, the firm today provides public affairs, public relations, marketing, research, digital and creative services to a blue-ribbon portfolio of local, state and national clients. Located on Capitol Square, Werth has distinguished itself as a sought-after strategist and connector for some of the region's most influential leaders, and as a change-maker on community issues.

"Our 60th anniversary, which we'll be celebrating throughout 2023, has given us a chance both to mark an important milestone and to reflect on how the public relations profession ? and Werth ? has evolved," said Sandra Harbrecht Ratchford, Paul Werth's daughter and the firm's CEO.

"For the first half of the 20th century, PR was seen primarily as gaining publicity through the news media," she said. "That was starting to change by the time my father founded our firm, and he actually was an early influencer in professionalizing the practice of PR and marketing. While our profession today is still often misunderstood, the best definition I've seen is the one used by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), which describes it as 'a process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.'"

Werth's work has ranged from helping companies relocate and acclimate to central Ohio (e.g., Honda of America Mfg., American Electric Power, Borden Company, Chase Bank and Anheuser-Busch among them) to advocating for positive public policy related to education, healthcare, environment and workforce development.

"Over the years, we've added more robust research, digital, design and public affairs capabilities," said Julie Granillo, Paul Werth's granddaughter and recently named president of the firm. "As social media proliferated, we became experts in that, telling our clients' stories outside traditional news outlets. And, we've continued to build important partnerships that allow us to connect our clients with those who are vital to their success." 

While smaller than the largest national firms, Werth has long punched above its weight when it comes to the sophistication of its work and recognition within the industry. Since the 1970s, Werth has won 10 Silver Anvils, the highest award bestowed by PRSA for work on behalf of clients. Its most recent came in 2021 for its collaboration with the Ohio insurance industry to build a workforce pipeline to fill a projected talent shortage. 

"This is certainly an interesting time to be in our industry," Granillo said. "And I'm excited for what the future will bring."

Werth will be celebrating both publicly and with its many partners throughout 2023. In the meantime, a timeline of Werth milestones can be found here.

SOURCE Paul Werth Associates

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