The Worldcom Group® is the third oldest PR organization in the world beginning in Canada in 1951 when three independent firms came together to serve national clients under the name The Inside Canada Public Relations Group, but maintained their separate identities.
The group quickly expanded to eight firms successfully competing for national clients based on each firm’s strong local knowledge, local ownership and deep history in their respective communities and markets across the country.
In 1959 as Japan’s manufacturing might began to emerge from the ashes of World War II propelling the country into a world economic power, a renown Japanese PR executive took the concept international uniting dozens of major independent firms globally under the banner The International Public Relations Group of Companies with the original Canadian firms joining as block.
In the mid-to-late 1980s, a surge of global mergers and acquisitions in the public relations industry concerned members of the international group as other firms within the group were absorbed by competitors severely limiting each member’s ability to grow and serve clients internationally.
In 1988 key members rejuvenated, revamped and rebranded the concept creating The Worldcom Public Relations Group with 32 partner firms in North America, Europe and Asia.
Several years after the founding of Worldcom, additional partners in Latin America, including firms in Buenos Aries, Sao Paulo, Santiago, Caracas, Bogota, Lima and San Jose joined Worldcom. Partners in Latin America have always been an important part of Worldcom and they periodically meet as a region within the larger Americas Region.
Partner firms will join together as one to serve clients with international communications and marketing needs. One partner firm will lead the group while other partner firms work like branch offices of the lead firm all acting in the client’s interests across a broad range of borders, cultures, languages, societies and political and economic systems.
New partners are vetted by existing partners and must meet specific criteria; demonstrate high professional and ethical standards; have a solid reputation in their market area in the practice of public relations; have five years’ operating experience; have at least five professional employees with five years’ experience; and have a principal decision maker of the firm attend Worldcom’s the annual meeting and regional meetings each year.
Recognizing the differences in the development of PR firms around the world, The Worldcom Group is organized into three regions; Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe/Middle East/Africa.
Each region is responsible for recruiting and vetting partner firms in its area, but no firm is granted partnership until voted upon at an annual meeting of the entire organization.
Each region has its own board of directors with the regional chairs holding a seat on Worldcom’s global board of directors. Each firm, regardless of size, or number of offices, has one vote.
The Group’s Administration is led by Managing Director Todd Lynch based in Jacksonville, Florida.
Today Worldcom bundles the knowledge and expertise of 110 international PR agency partners operating in over 95 cities on 6 continents with more than 2,000 employees and more than US$288 million in annual billings.
Worldcom partner firms serve local, national and international clients while retaining the flexibility and the personal client service focus inherent in independent public relations firms.