Van Dyke Horn Public Relations, a prominent boutique firm based in Detroit, is opening an office in Lansing to establish a closer touchpoint for clients near the capital.
The new office will be led by communications veteran Maureen McNulty Saxton at 111 E. Michigan Ave., a block from the Michigan State Capitol building. CEO Peter Van Dyke said the expansion makes sense for its work with outstate clients, including Lansing-based nonprofit Michigan Historic Preservation Work, Diocese of Lansing and Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island. It will also serve as a more suitable launchpad for growing its work with legislation coalitions. Saxton, who started in her new role April 1, comes with a deep Rolodex. She previously owned a public relations company called PR Edge, with clients in industries ranging from energy to early childhood education, many of which will transfer to accounts with Van Dyke-Horn.
Saxton has headed communication offices for several state departments, including treasury, management and budget, and arts and libraries. She was a reporter with the Detroit Free Press, Grosse Pointe News and Erie Daily Times in Pennsylvania.
“(The expansion) is really about having boots in the middle of the state,” Van Dyke said. “We know we can have a stronghold and build in Lansing.”
Van Dyke-Horn has doubled revenue and staff since rebranding in 2016. Started in 1998 and originally named Berg Muirhead and Associates, the firm changed names when longtime employees Van Dyke and Marilyn Horn bought the company from its founders.
It now has a staff of 13 in Detroit, in addition to Saxton in Lansing, where another couple of employees are expected to be hired within the year, Van Dyke said.
The firm hit $1 million in revenue in 2016 and achieved $1.5 million last year, it said. Van Dyke said he expects growth to keep a similar pace with $2 million projected this year. It has 40 clients and is headquartered in the Fisher Building in Detroit’s New Center neighborhood.