Ron Sachs Communications acquires top Orlando marketing firm headed by Disney veteran

Vicki Johnson Communications brings broad travel, tourism and marketing experience and deep Orlando roots to 17-year-old firm

TALLAHASSEE (8-August-2012) -- In its second major acquisition in two months, Ron Sachs Communications has announced the acquisition of Vicki Johnson Communications, headed by a longtime former Disney veteran, who brings extensive experience in marketing, travel and tourism and strategic planning.


Vicki Johnson Communications represents a range of public and private sector clients in the entertainment, food service, corporate, government, not-for-profit and franchising sectors. Founder Vicki Johnson, formerly Disney's Director of Worldwide Sales and Travel Ops Public Relations, has helped dozens of organizations with issues management and crisis communications challenges.


"The acquisition of Vicki Johnson Communications deepens our expertise in marketing, travel and tourism and extends the breadth and depth of service available to our clients," said Ron Sachs. "Vicki is an internationally respected proven professional, who will provide dynamic leadership as we further expand our Central Florida operations."


Johnson is a seasoned tourism strategist who established her firm in 2009 to help destinations and businesses develop effective business and communications strategies that drive results. Vicki Johnson Communications has assisted a number of prominent organizations including Brand USA, CoCo Key Water Resorts, accesso, the U.S. Personal Chef Association, LEGOLAND Florida, Super 78 Studios, the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Mandala Research, and the All Into Health Campaign for Orange County, Fla.


Johnson branched out as an entrepreneur after 13+ years with The Walt Disney Co., where she promoted and publicized the world's most-popular vacation experiences -- Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland Paris Resort, and Hong Kong Disneyland -- to worldwide media. Her work with Disney included spearheading communications and press event responsibilities for many major theme park/cruise ships launches and key marketing campaigns including 100 Years of Magic and the Year of a Million Dreams. Johnson also handled crisis communications and issues management, in addition to internal communications to the more than 4,000 Disney Sales and Travel Operations "Cast" members worldwide.


Johnson will join Ron Sachs Communications as Senior Vice President of Central Florida Operations. The firm's six-year-old Orlando office represents an array of clients from CF Industries to Bridges of America and the Amateur Athletic Union. The Central Florida leadership team includes another Disney veteran, Senior Account Manager Beth Watson.


The Sachs firm acquisition includes Johnson's clients, resources and international network. With offices in Tallahassee and Orlando, Ron Sachs Communications is consistently ranked among the top three public relations firms in Florida and the top 100 in the nation. The Bulldog Reporter, the respected industry journal, in 2011 named Ron Sachs Communications as "National PR Agency of the Year." As Florida's leading integrated public affairs communications firm, Ron Sachs Communications builds public and opinion leader support for issues of local, state and national importance and creates effective campaigns for corporate, non-profit and government clients.


"Combining forces with Ron Sachs Communications provides a powerful alliance with Florida's top-ranked, integrated communications firm -- to offer existing and prospective clients unparalleled creative talent, professional expertise and relationships," Johnson said. "I am excited to join this award-winning firm and to expand its marketing and tourism focus."


Last month, Ron Sachs Communications announced its acquisition of What's Next Marketing, a nationally acclaimed social media and digital marketing firm. Sachs said the strategic growth of the firm positions it well for continued evolution as an industry leader.


Johnson previously served as director of public affairs for the U.S. Travel and Tourism Administration (within the U.S. Dept. of Commerce) in Washington D.C., promoting the United States as a primary destination to visitors all over the world. In that capacity, she also coordinated media relations for the first-ever White House Conference on Travel and Tourism. Prior to working for the Clinton Administration, Johnson was the director of communications for the former Florida Department of Commerce in Tallahassee, promoting the state's economic development, international trade, tourism, film and sports efforts.


Johnson is a graduate of the University of Florida College of Journalism. Her travel industry-related activities have included chairing the PR committee for VISIT FLA and the Orlando/Orange County CVB, and serving on the public relations council for the US Travel Association. She is a Rotarian and also serves on the Board of Directors for Harbor House, the Orange County (Fla.) center against domestic violence. Johnson's husband, Bill Carl Johnson, is the Disney Institute's Custom Solutions Manager for Sports. The couple has two children – Amber 17, and Piper, 13.