Post-it notes, the Rubik’s cube and HMA Public Relations all made their debuts in 1980, likely with the boom box blaring ”Call Me” by Blondie, the year’s No. 1 song. When founder Ed Moser opened the agency, then called Ed Moser & Associates, and soon welcomed Scott Hanson, our owner since 1991, they had no idea the agency would become the longest-tenured and among the most successful public relations agencies in Arizona.
HMA Public Relations – Providing Communications Expertise Since 1980
The agency quickly became a community and industry leader, with the tenets of community involvement and giving back ingrained into the company’s culture. That mindset, coupled with providing strategic, insightful and effective public relations and communications programming for a blue-chip client list, helped propel the agency’s early years.
The firm became known for its expertise in crisis communication, media relations, issue management, community relations and employee communications.
When Scott Hanson acquired the agency from Moser in 1991, the firm’s name changed to Hanson, Moser & Associates, but the award-winning work done on behalf of clients throughout the Southwest continued. Among the agency’s notable clients in those days were Phoenix Transit System and the Arizona Department of Administration’s “Discrimination Elimination” campaign, thought to be Arizona’s first bilingual public relations campaign.
Hanson, a Phoenix native who had been a sportscaster at KNAZ-TV in Flagstaff and later at KPHO-TV in Phoenix, knew the importance of putting a great team together.
Abbie S. Fink, who had worked in the Fiesta Bowl’s PR department for five years, joined the firm in 1993. She brought her expertise in event management and nonprofit communications, adding to the agency’s areas of expertise. At that time she also started working with the HMA team and a consortium of Native American tribes to help introduce Indian gaming to the Southwest. HMA, along with a team of tribal law experts, was instrumental in working with the tribes to get their first gaming compacts signed with the state of Arizona. Later, the agency played a key role in the establishment of the Arizona Indian Gaming Association. The demonstrated commitment, expertise and trust developed between the tribes and the agency continues today as HMA is recognized across the country for its work in tribal communications.
In 2000, the agency changed its name to HMA Public Relations to provide a better description of the company’s focus.
The firm’s work across a variety of industries such as professional services, real estate and finance, nonprofit, government, tribal affairs and restaurant/hospitality/retail enabled the firm to continue to grow. Alison Bailin became a part of the team in 2004. Now director of client service, she is known as one of the Southwest’s top media relations experts and communications strategists.
Seeing a need for global communications capabilities, HMA became a founding member of the Public Relations Global Network (PRGN), which currently has more than 50 member agencies in countries around the world. PRGN is comprised of independent, owner-operated public relations and communications agencies in order to share expertise and resources on a global level while still offering clients the attention and integrity that comes from working with a small business. PRGN gives HMA resources unmatched in Arizona – essentially with offices worldwide.
HMA is the Arizona franchise owner for FINDERBINDER AZ, the state’s only comprehensive media directory, providing up-to-date information regarding Arizona’s print, broadcast and online media outlets. By managing this database, the agency is in constant contact with editors, reporters, producers and managers at hundreds of local media outlets.
HMA Public Relations is proud of the vast professional and personal associations we have developed over the years, some spanning several decades, with clients, media, strategic partners and others important to our team and the success of our clients.