Not long after we shared news of the merger of FleishmanHillard Canada and High Road, we sat down with agency leads Angela Carmichael and Katherine Fletcher to get their take on FleishmanHillard HighRoad and what the future holds for the newly minted brand.
Okay, so whose idea was this merger anyway?
Angela: That would be me. I joke that I had been asking for years, but High Road kept turning me down. Now they finally said, “I do!”
Katherine: She’s definitely persistent. I’d like to say she wore me down, but in reality, we all recognized the potential the two agencies combined could bring to the market.
You describe the merger as creating a whole that’s greater than its parts. Can you explain what that means to you?
Angela: First of all, on their own FH and High Road are amazing agencies with proven track records. But I think both agencies have strengths that complement the other. FH in Canada is widely known for its public affairs and corporate reputation work and High Road has deep expertise in digital and brand marketing. By coming together, we add to each other’s capabilities in those respective areas.
Katherine: We do have a stronger offering together. In fact, over the last few years, we’ve been working collaboratively on many key accounts – much to the satisfaction of our clients who benefit from streamlined access a wider range of services.
What do you think are the most important markers of a good relationship?
Katherine: For us, I think respect is most important—it’s the cornerstone of any good relationship, including our relationships with our clients. As sister agencies within the Omnicom network, we have known each other for a long time, so we’ve developed a deep respect for each other.
Angela: It’s true – I think both teams know what they bring to the table, so there’s a very healthy respect, and that’s critical to building trust. In the few short months that we’ve co-located in Toronto we’re already seeing connections forged and a growing level of trust.
For many clients, fit is essential – how will the new agency offer a compelling “fit” for clients?
Katherine: First, the merger has doubled our bench strength giving clients access to an impressive talent pool to collaborate with. Second, we now have a broader spectrum of services. It’s a more complete offering, which means clients can rely on the team they trust to provide more integrated, turnkey solutions to their communications needs.
Earlier this summer, the Toronto teams “moved in” together. What have you learned cohabiting, and how has the mix changed the office dynamic?
Angela: I think the biggest thing I have learned is that we are not that different. Whether you get up each day and put on a suit or a pair of jeans, we all put on our pants one leg at a time. I think we’ve found a lot of similarities.
What can we expect from FleishmanHillard HighRoad?
Angela: I think the talent from our team will make us unstoppable. We come to the table with a thirst for creative and strategic work, and it shows — our offices are humming with the potential this team has. I also believe that when you are producing good work, you have more fun. And when you are having fun that leads to success.
Katherine: I agree – I think there’s a lot of excitement for what comes next. This team is committed to building something amazing together, and we can’t wait to get started.