Cary-based S&A Cherokee has rebranded its disparate operations as two different businesses: S&A Communications, a public relations firm, and Cherokee Media Group, a publishing company.
“People could never understand what we did with the name S&A Cherokee,” said Chuck Norman, one of four co-owners of the two operations. “There was too much brand confusion in this marketplace.”
Norman also said that rebranding the PR side of the business would be a boost in the agency’s efforts “to compete with the big boys.”
S&A Cherokee’s clients include N.C. State University, Bell + Howell, the Town of Cary, Netsertive, the law firm Smith Anderson and the Precision Tune Auto Care franchises in North Carolina.
Cherokee Media Group is publisher of Cary Magazine, Auto Remarketing and SubPrime Auto Finance News. It also offers automobile warranties to dealers that kick in when the manufacturer’s warranty expires.
The combined businesses have 38 full-time employees and generated about $6 million in revenue last year, with the PR operation enjoying a 40 percent jump and the media business rising 10 percent, Norman said.
The businesses’ roots go back to 1982, when founder Ron Smith, who remains one of the co-owners, founded the PR firm Smith and Associates.
With that background, S&A Communications touts itself as the oldest public relations/marketing firm based in the Triangle.