Marine and RV PR firm Martin Flory Group celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. Since 1962, its editorial-focused services helped more than 800 companies expand worldwide, via more than 25,000 press release projects. President Laura Martin announced the milestone.
"The symmetry of this particular anniversary is especially significant," Martin said. "My dad led the company for its first 20 years, we worked together for the next two decades, and I've had the helm for the past 20 years."
The firm was started by Laura's dad, Jerry Martin, who was Johnson Motors' first sales promotion manager. Originally called The Jerry Martin Co., the Gurnee, Ill. agency helped many small businesses learn the value of PR by participating in "Press Kits" to benefit the industry and grow boating. Tempo Products became its first full-time client, and the ranks grew. At one point, every item of communication produced by early industry stalwart, Uniflite Boats, came through the JMCo. office.
Myriad products and technologies have been introduced or elevated through the company's PR services; a few include trim tabs, four-stroke outboards, electric propulsion, RV power connections, gyro stabilization, electronic controls and power catamarans. The company became Martin Flory Group in 2003.
"Though methods have changed drastically since 1962, the media's basic need for good product and company news has not. We're thankful for our close relationships with editors and writers worldwide. These, plus our respected clients, dedicated team and industry contacts, enable us all to succeed," said Kelly Flory, general manager.
Beyond generating media coverage, the company has been deeply involved in marine industry affairs and expansion into global markets. Both Jerry and Laura played integral roles in the early days of US marine and RV exporting to help expand clients' global reach. Through on-the-ground boat shows and networking projects, relationships blossomed in developing markets in Europe, South America, the Middle East and Asia.
Jerry was a founding member of the Marine Retailers Association of America (MRAA) and served for decades as their director of development. Also serving as headquarters of the National Marine Representatives Association (NMRA) for more than 20 years, Martin Flory Group's support of many other industry and writing associations spans decades.
Laura is a recipient of the MRAA Darlene Briggs Marine Woman of the Year Award. Jerry was honored with the MRAA Irv Rosenthal Award and the NMRA Mel Barr Award. MRAA created the Jerry Martin Journalism Award in his memory after his death in 2007.