Trenton-based EFK Group has merged with Newark-based Winning Strategies to form a marketing communications firm with expertise in public relations, public affairs, digital marketing and design, the firms announced Wednesday.
The agency will retain the EFK Group name. It will maintain offices in both Trenton and Newark.
Eleanor Kubacki, founder and CEO of EFK Group, will head the new organization. Winning Strategies PR founder and Chairman Jim McQueeny shifts to senior adviser, while remaining actively involved in strategy and daily client work to synthesize the tools and skills of the combined organization.
Karen Geisel, who has held top leadership positions at public relations agencies in New Jersey throughout the country, joins the organization as public relations managing partner.
“There is tremendous growth potential for EFK now that we have joined forces with Winning Strategies,” Kubacki said. “It allows our growing firm to be even more competitive when it comes to winning national clients. The synergies between both organizations were strong, and following an extended period of successful collaboration, the merger made sense as a logical next step.”
Kubacki and McQueeny said the unification of the two New Jersey-based marketing communications firms creates a single agency able to provide a “one-stop” agency experience for existing and future clients.
The two said the merger allows Winning Strategies’ expertise in public relations and public affairs to complement EFK’s award-winning digital marketing and design capabilities for clients that include the United Nations, National Science Foundation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, University Hospital, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, the Newark Alliance, Atlantic Health System, Montclair State University and more.
Headquartered in Trenton, EFK Group is a woman-owned, HUB Zone-located advertising agency focused on tech-driven brand, digital and creative experiences. EFK Group has recently joined forces with Ogilvy under the Small Business Administration’s All Small Mentor-Protégé Program. The firm completed a social marketing cancer awareness campaign for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2020.
For more than 20 years, Winning Strategies has provided strategic communications services that integrate political strategy with advertising, public relations and digital content marketing. Winning Strategies has led public relations campaigns for well-known clients such as Allstate, ExxonMobil, Prudential Financial, K. Hovnanian, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Verizon, New York Waterway and the Nets of the National Basketball Association.
“As Winning Strategies found a way to navigate the pandemic, we learned the future of marketing communications depended on streamlining services and bringing more value to clients,” McQueeny said. “Both organizations are truly stronger as a single, unified team and I look forward to working closely with this larger corporate family.”