The Next Practice Group (NPG) announced it has invested in Bliss Integrated Communication, joining forces to build a next-generation marketing communications firm. Michael Roth and Cortney Rhoads-Stapleton, who were instrumental in building Bliss over the past two decades, will become managing partners of the firm, which will be renamed The Bliss Group. They will be joined by industry innovator Bob Pearson, who will serve as CEO of The Bliss Group in addition to his role as Chair of NPG.
The agency was founded by journalist, John Bliss, in 1975, in New York City with a focus on professional services. Over the last decade, Bliss’ heritage of business-to-business professional services expanded to include a focus on highly regulated industries, including financial services, health care, business of health and life sciences. Bliss has been a pioneer in integrated communication strategies, introducing a focus in digital and social media in 2008. Bliss currently has over 30 clients and 60 employees.
“I was inspired by the firm’s long-term commitment to excellent client service as well as the team’s ability to dive deep into the most demanding and technical verticals,” said Bob Pearson. “Our goal now is to unlock the next generation of growth for Bliss, its clients and its team members by introducing new capabilities—from innovative applications of data science and agile media models, to new ways for companies to make a social impact.”
NPG is a founder-driven collective of firms united by a core desire to develop “the next practice” for its clients. Launched July 2020, it includes: The Next Practice, a global digital media firm; Ringer Sciences, a data science and analytics firm; Rocket Sauce Media Labs, a performance marketing firm; BrainTrust, a digital transformation firm; Victory CTO, a technology and software solutions provider; The Next Security Group, a cybersecurity, physical security and digital protection firm; and ChangeX, a social purpose firm.
Chris Foster, CEO of The Next Practice, will now take on more responsibility within the full collective as Vice Chair of NPG, as Pearson co-leads Bliss with Roth and Stapleton.
“The most important decision for us was to preserve our strong commitment to our clients and teams, while adding new skills and expertise,” said Elizabeth Sosnow and Meg Wildrick, former managing partners for Bliss. “The Next Practice Group will make it possible for our team to provide a more robust PESO (paid, earned, shared, owned) marketing offering powered by human thinking, data science and technology. We believe this will add value for our clients and create career opportunities for our people.”
Wildrick, a veteran financial and professional services thought leader and counselor, will continue with the firm as a senior consultant working with clients. After 30 years dedicated to the firm, Sosnow will become a founder and senior partner at Two Paths Investment Partners, a real estate firm.