They came from different backgrounds. They represented a broad range of interests and beliefs. But in 1946, at a time when public relations was still a new profession, Al Fleishman and Bob Hillard came together with a singular purpose: to shape the business model, values and culture of what is today one of the world’s largest communications firms.
From the company’s inception in a tiny office in St. Louis, Missouri, the founders’ top priority was a commitment to their clients and to excellence — a promise the agency continues to keep today. In 1974, John Graham was named president. A true industry pioneer, Graham transformed FleishmanHillard into a leading, prestigious global agency with offices across six continents. After an unprecedented 32-year run, Graham named Dave Senay as the firm’s president and CEO. That role passed again to John Saunders in 2015. Today, with 80+ offices in 30 countries, FleishmanHillard is widely recognized as a global leader in the communications industry.
OUR LIVING LEGACY
Following WWII, former Pentagon employee Al Fleishman reaches out to his writer friend and Navy veteran Bob Hillard.
The new company reveals its first logo.
Emerson Electric becomes a major client, a relationship that continues to this day.
Imaginary employee Albert Cringely is created to help with internal communications, leading to Memo From Albert, the company’s first staff newsletter, which ran through 1973.
FleishmanHillard hears the best news releases in town are coming from local YMCA PR director John Graham, who is hired by the agency as a consultant.
The agency's total employees tops out at 30, a number that now eclipses 2,500.
FleishmanHillard handles efforts for the St. Louis visit of 28-year-old Charles, Prince of Wales. The one-day stop was part of the Prince’s 12-city tour of the U.S.
Dave Senay is hired as an account executive. In 2006, Senay was named CEO, only the third in the agency’s history.
FleishmanHillard establishes its London office, the first outside of the U.S.
The agency opens an office in Beijing, its first in Asia Pacific.
FleishmanHillard joins the Omnicom family, which includes Porter Novelli and Ketchum, for an estimated $100 million.
The agency helps organize the visit of Pope John Paul II to St. Louis, beginning the festivities with a youth walk from the Arch grounds.
FleishmanHillard contributes to the launch of the 2003 Special Olympics in Dublin, the first Special Olympics held outside the U.S.
AT&T introduces the iPhone, with the help of FleishmanHillard.
FleishmanHillard opens its first Middle East offices, establishing a presence in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
The agency's first major brand refresh in 23 years, including a completely redesigned logo, is launched.
FleishmanHillard is named
John Saunders becomes the fourth CEO in FleishmanHillard's history, and the first to hail from outside the U.S.