Education agency C. Blohm & Associates, Inc. (CB&A) joins FINN Partners
November 1, 2023
Move expands FINN’s Midwest footprint and agency’s leadership in education sector
NEW YORK – Global independent marketing and communications firm, FINN Partners, has acquired C. Blohm & Associates, Inc. (CB&A), a Midwest, 12-person PR and content marketing agency, with special expertise in B2B education and education technology. The firm will be known as CB&A, A FINN Partners Company, and work alongside FINN’s existing PreK-12 and Higher Education practices.
CB&A is managed by long-tenured leader Emily Embury, who is responsible for client acquisition and retention, staff management and development, and business administration. Embury will join FINN Partners as a senior partner, integrating CB&A into the Midwest region and collaborating with the agency’s global Education and B2B Tech and Services groups. CB&A founder Charlene Blohm will continue with FINN Partners and add velocity to business development and industry thought leadership initiatives to support the firm and its clients. Embury and Blohm will report to founding managing partner and Midwest lead Dan Pooley and become part of the FINN Partners Midwest management team. There are no staff redundancies.
“This is a very exciting time for education, and we chose to join FINN to expand our ability to serve clients as we deliver PR and content marketing campaigns that meet their evolving and expanding needs,” said Charlene Blohm, CB&A founder. “Education is at an interesting crossroads. There is a tremendous opportunity to partner with education companies for media relations, communications, thought leadership and strategic content. The pandemic accelerated the need for learning of all kinds, and we believe education shines when students at all levels and ages – from early childhood to high school, and universities to corporations – get the greatest materials and resources they need to be better and brighter. From our first conversation with Peter Finn, it was clear that our core values, culture and expertise were aligned.”
Founded in 1991, CB&A provides brand awareness, thought leadership, lead generation, customer retention and industry expertise to clients ranging from emerging providers to established brands, as well as major multinational corporations that direct their corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs to the education sector.
CB&A’s national and international client base includes education brands such as Funds For Learning, BloomBoard and National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI). Clients hire CB&A for its deep experience in B2B education, a highly regulated and complex sector that involves issues related to public policy; diversity, equity and inclusion; emerging technology; sustainability; community relations; and reputation and issues management.
In addition to its B2B work in K-12 and higher education, CB&A is building its expertise in the lifelong learning arena, a growing market that addresses challenges and opportunities presented by longer life spans, career-switching trends, and shifts in the labor market. Companies are investing in learning and development in response to current skills gaps and future workforce needs, as they confront talent development and retention pressures, and to keep pace with emerging technologies.
Peter Finn, founder and CEO of FINN Partners commented, “FINN already has one of the leading Education practices in the industry and joining forces with CB&A amplifies our ability to serve clients across the full spectrum of growing needs in the sector. We have a powerful legacy in the education sector, specifically with colleges and universities, policy makers, philanthropy and clients focused across early childhood, primary and secondary education. FINN is also very strong in the technology sector. Now we can deepen our bench in B2B education and expand our ability to support clients in education technology, one of the fastest growing and increasingly important areas of education.”
“FINN provides strategic counsel and nimble, powerful execution to colleges and universities and related foundations, associations and companies,” said Margaret Dunning, managing partner, Higher Education. “Adding CB&A’s knowledge in B2B education will only enhance the expertise and service we offer clients in this quickly evolving field.”
“Our work in PreK-12 education has set the standard for strategic communications across a number of critical issue areas in U.S. education policy and around the world. Whether it’s standards and assessments or early childhood education; literacy or out of school time learning; STEM or student health and wellness, we’ve been involved at the front lines,” said Marina Stenos, senior partner, PreK-12. “With CB&A joining the FINN family we will broaden our offerings and solutions for our clients and the sector.”
FINN’s Midwest region has grown significantly, accounting for more than 10 percent of the firm’s U.S. revenues. Its diverse roster of clients includes iconic travel and tourism brand Pure Michigan and Michigan Economic Development Council (MEDC), Carmax, RRD, Little Caesar’s, Pilot and Honeywell. With the addition of CB&A, FINN’s Midwest region will grow to a staff of nearly 100 people and more than $20 million in revenue.
Said Pooley, “B2B is a core strength in the Midwest and agency wide. CB&A deepens our bench of B2B expertise with the specific focus on education and learning. Education will be an increasingly dynamic sector that continues to evolve with new innovation and investment. FINN and CB&A share the belief that high-quality education is key to socioeconomic transformation – and is integral to a vibrant, thriving society.”
Scott Bushkie of Cornerstone Business Services made the introduction between FINN Partners and CB&A and helped facilitate the transaction.