RLF Communications Acquires GBW Strategies

Greensboro, N.C., Jan. 10, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- RLF Communications, a full-service public relations agency with offices in Greensboro, Raleigh and Charlotte, acquired GBW Strategies. a Raleigh-based public affairs and public relations agency, on Jan. 10, 2024. GBW co-founder Billy Warden will become RLF chief strategy officer; co-founder Greg Behr will serve as a strategic advisor following a transition period.

The acquisition of GBW strengthens RLF’s public affairs capabilities and increases the firm’s capacity to create and execute strategic campaigns for clients conducting business regionally, nationally and globally.  

“Clients value agency partners who bring talent and creativity to solve complex problems and create a positive and lasting impact,” said Monty Hagler, CEO of RLF. “Over the past 15 years, GBW Strategies has earned an outstanding reputation for generating big ideas, insightful strategies and delivering on their promises. Our teams have worked together on several client projects over the past year, and officially combining our agencies is a logical next step. We are fortunate to bring their talents to RLF.”

Founded in 2009, GBW clients include real estate developers, public health and professional services organizations, technology firms and nonprofits. GBW was a key partner in the years-long effort to expand Medicaid in North Carolina, which was successfully completed in 2023.

“GBW has always been nimble, imaginative and tenacious, and we are thrilled to find in RLF a partner that shares this passion,” said Warden. “We’ve already partnered on exciting projects, but nothing like the adventures ahead. From corporate communications to advocacy campaigns and more, we’re poised to take storytelling and engagement to a new level.”

The deal is a reunion of sorts. Hagler and Warden have known each other since attending UNC-Chapel Hill, crisscrossed paths when Warden was a writer and producer in Los Angeles and Hagler served on the North Carolina Film Council and worked together at public relations firm Capstrat (now Ketchum).

In addition to supporting the transition and strategic efforts of RLF, Behr will create a new organization, Circle City Strategy, with a focus on supporting festivals, events, and other community initiatives.

“Billy and I have been so fortunate over the past 15 years to build a client-focused business which allowed us to work on important initiatives and with some of the biggest companies in the world, and Monty has done the same,” said Behr. “I’m eager to continue this great work consulting alongside the accomplished, high-octane team at RLF and to explore new avenues.”

This is the third acquisition for RLF in the past 12 months. The firm acquired Raleigh-based BAERING Group in January 2023 and Clairemont Communications in December 2023.

About RLF Communications
RLF Communications offers a full range of public relations and communications services tailored to meet the needs of its clients, which include public companies, nonprofits and privately held corporations. The company is based in Greensboro, North Carolina, with offices in Raleigh and Charlotte. For more information, visit www.rlfcommunications.com.



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