Award-winning agency continues connecting brands to consumers through authentic and culturally relevant work
The marketing communications industry has changed dramatically in the last 30 years, as evidenced by the current agency landscape. Agencies have been acquired by global holding companies, merged with other agencies or have closed their doors. But Flowers Communications Group, an independent boutique agency in Chicago, is celebrating its 27th anniversary by holding true to its roots— working with iconic brands not just to reach multicultural consumers, but to create campaigns that respect culture, heritage and traditions.
“At FCG, we don’t just ‘do’ multicultural, we live it and breathe it,” says Michelle Flowers Welch, the agency’s founder and CEO. “We are the culture, and it’s been reflected in our work for the past 27 years.” Flowers Welch recalls the agency’s work in the early 90s on a pioneering HIV/AIDS awareness campaign designed to educate African American and Hispanic women. “We were privileged to respectfully share the stories of real women who were HIV positive to provide information that would help other women. The campaign featured culturally relevant storytelling that made a difference.”
FCG is known for its creative, impactful campaigns and ability to authentically connect brand partners to multicultural consumers. The agency has grown into an industry powerhouse garnering multiple industry awards and acknowledgements for its work and leadership throughout the years. Flowers Welch was recently honored with the 2017 Distinguished Senior Leader Award by the Public Relations Society of America Chicago Chapter for her dynamic work in the multicultural space. Most recently, the firm won two 2018 Golden Trumpet Awards from Publicity Club of Chicago for a Jack Daniel’s PR campaign, and video content work for MillerCoors, as well as a Silver Trumpet for video content work for the Chicago Park District. FCG was also honored with five 2018 Skyline Awards of Excellence for content management and multicultural public relations work for Honda Battle of the Bands, multicultural public relations and community relations work for McDonald’s Food for the Body & Spirit, and multicultural public relations work for Jack Daniel’s – Gentleman Jack Real to Reel campaign. FCG also received the top honor – the PRSA Skyline Award – in the reputation/brand management category for its very own agency branding campaign – FLOW.
When Flowers Welch started the agency in 1991, multicultural PR agencies were faced with the challenge of proving their relevancy and getting corporate leaders to understand the importance of building relationships with multicultural consumers. Today, according to recent Nielsen data, ethnic consumers are more than 120 million strong in the U.S. and are making considerable contributions to the overall market — in some cases representing more than 50 percent of overall spending in key product categories. As the multicultural consumer market grows in influence, the authenticity and perspective of agencies like FCG are now being sourced by major brands to lead out on total market efforts.
Headquartered in Chicago, the agency has also expanded its footprint with an outpost in the Los Angeles market. In keeping with the advertising and marketing communications industry demands, FCG continues to grow Greenhouse Studio, its creative services division, its experiential marketing capabilities and work in Diversity & Inclusion. FCG still remains a 100 percent minority-owned, women-owned certified firm providing opportunities for diverse professionals to get their start and grow their career in the communications field.