For music fans of a certain age, it’s impossible to hear about something that happened “20 years ago today” and not have the opening notes of the Beatles’ “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” come to mind – as they did for me while reflecting on the 20th anniversary of Linhart PR, which we celebrate beginning this week.
January 1, 1996, is the official birthdate of the firm that became Linhart PR, founded by Sharon Linhart with one employee (herself) and one client – Denver cable television magnate Bill Daniels. Bill hired Sharon to provide PR support for his attempt to set a new speed record for business jets. Four pilots flew a Daniels-owned Learjet 23,500 miles around the world at 475 miles per hour, setting a new record while raising $300,000 for education. Thanks to Sharon, this feat was covered as it happened, by media around the world.
The volume and velocity of change in the 20 years since our firm was founded is breathtaking. To name just a few:
• The internet was still relatively new in 1996, with broad adoption by businesses and consumers just beginning; the launch of the iPhone was more than a decade away
• Brand marketing still meant, for the most part, paid advertising in print and broadcast media outlets – plus direct marketing and public relations, of course
• The media landscape looked dramatically different – there were more newspapers and magazines than today, fewer cable TV outlets and greater public trust in the Fourth Estate
Throughout 2016, we’ll explore the significant changes impacting the business of communication and the world over the past 20 years here – and we’ll take a look ahead at what the future may bring.
On behalf of our partner team at Linhart PR, sincere thanks to all of the clients, colleagues and friends who have joined us on this journey. Here’s to the next 20 years.