1998 – The year that the communications firms now known as 98Forward and Lambert Global were originally created. Both firms are home-grown success stories, rising from startups to industry leaders. At times, both agencies have looked at the other and recognized a strong competitor. And yet, for 24 years, the leadership at each agency have always been friendly with each other – Heck, we’ve even shared clients and campaigns. Even then, our chemistry was obvious to many people and clients, but we didn’t see it.
Then, one spring day in 2022, a mutual friend played matchmaker and asked if we would consider having a meet and greet coffee together. From that meet, things became clear:
- Each of our agencies offer services and capabilities that bring out the unique strengths of each company. So while we’re similar, we’re still quite different – but not direct competitors.
- We also learned that we are aligned on values, that we are both catalysts for change, servicing clients to the highest degree and always upholding ethical standards.
- We realized that we could complement each other.
That’s why 98Forward and Lambert Global entered a strategic partnership, combining 98Forward’s award-winning public relations and community engagement expertise with Lambert’s leading integrated communications and investor relations practice. The alliance is not a merger or buy-out, it is a strategic and collaborative partnership. We are better together.
98Forward is the largest minority public relations agency in Michigan and has held a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Certification for the last 24 years. 98Forward continues to be a minority-owned and managed entity, with all daily operations and management controlled by 98Forward. The joint go-to-market plan and growth strategy for collaborative projects between the two organizations is co-led by Lambert CEO Michelle Olson, APR, and Chairman Jeff Lambert, in concert with 98Forward CFO & President Marilyn Horn and 98Forward CEO Georgella Muirhead, APR.
The vast complement of services now offered by the 98Forward-Lambert alliance includes: community engagement, internal and corporate communications; ESG and diversity consulting, organizational development, communications, and cause-marketing; fractional DEI Officer services and recruiting; and multi-cultural marketing spanning PR, digital, advertising, and integrated marketing focused on the “new majority”–people of color, women, and underrepresented stakeholders. 98Forward also builds on its proven track record of board placement and board development for women and diverse candidates focusing on paid-board positions and board and organizational audits, and consulting on action steps for CSR and ESG including programming, giving and foundation support.
Our sister company, Lambert Global invented the PR and IR integrated agency model in 1998 and has grown every year since, leading with strategic communications and integrated marketing campaigns that deliver to the bottom line. The national award-winning firm is a top-40 PR and top-10 IR firm with top-5 practices in Automotive and Mobility, Education, Corporate Social Responsibility and M&A/Private Equity.
The firm also has robust practice areas in consumer/food & beverage, healthcare & biotech, and tourism and hospitality. Its reach spans six major talent hubs, including Grand Rapids, Detroit, Houston, New York, and Phoenix. Agency Founder and Chairman Jeff Lambert is the incoming global board chair of the world’s largest and most diverse partnership of PR and communications firms, PROI Worldwide, and was awarded the Diversity Action Alliance “2021 Ally of the Year,” the top diversity award in public relations.