Two Raleigh marketing firms, Walk West and Greenroom Communications, have merged to create an agency with an expanded lineup of services and more than 30 employees.
The combined agency will retain the Walk West name, and Walk West founder and CEO Brian Onorio will continue to lead the business.
Sharon Delaney McCloud, managing partner of Greenroom and a former news anchor at WNCN-TV, is a partner and vice president of professional development at the combined agency. She is among eight Greenroom employees now at Walk West.
Two other members of Greenroom’s staff, former WNCN anchor Penn Holderness and his wife Kim Holderness, a former TV reporter whose resume includes a stint at “Inside Edition,” are joining Walk West as part-time creative consultants.
Their part-time status “was merely a function of their schedules” given their other endeavors, including producing a steady stream of YouTube videos, where they have enjoyed considerable success, and their recent Food Network special, “The 12 Foods of Christmas.” Their “Xmas Jammies” family video has attracted nearly 17 million views on YouTube.
“They’re chasing a lot of really, really cool things that Walk West is certainly going to play a role in helping to support,” Onorio said. “And, in converse, they’ll certainly be able to support us on a client-by-client basis.
Onorio said that the two firms had collaborated on a few projects and started talking about joining forces in October.
“We build websites really, really well. We know how to market websites really, really well,” Onorio said of the pre-merger Walk West. “They’re video production and social media. So, when you take a step back and you put those pieces together, what we have now here at Walk West is a truly full-service digital agency.”
Walk West, founded in 2007 as O3, had just two full-time employees two years ago but has enjoyed a growth spurt since then.
“In 2015 we made a couple of strategic hires that have paid dividends for us,” Onorio said. Those hires enabled Onorio, who up to then had focused on creating websites, to step back from the computer screen and focus more on attracting clients.
Walk West’s client roster includes North Hills, Stop Hunger Now, Brooks Bell and N.C. State University. Greenroom has worked with clients such as H&R Block, Fox Home Entertainment, Target and UNC Hospitals.