Sommers & Associates is a full-service public relations and financial relations firm best known for its work in business-to-business marketing, energy, crisis management, media relations, financial communications, investor relations and the counseling of emerging companies.
Organized in 1986, the firm assists corporations and other organizations in managing communications with customers, investors, employees and other important audiences.
We work with management on projects such as financial community surveys and meetings, media interviews and publicity, marketing and sales campaigns, market research, new product introductions, stockholder and corporate publications, customer and employee communications, and other assignments.
The firm performs communications audits and advises regarding the organization, training and management of in house communications departments. It also assists clients in screening, selecting and managing providers of such services as graphic design, market research, advertising, etc.
In selected instances when additional resources are needed, local public relations firms in major cities as well as state and federal government relations counsel are available to clients through affiliated firms.
Tom directs the firm’s work in the areas of financial communications and investor relations, energy, health care and technology.
He was a senior managing director in Hill & Knowlton’s Houston office and, prior to originally establishing the firm in 1986, he was director of corporate relations for Intermedics, Inc., an implantable medical device manufacturer headquartered in Angleton, Texas. Before moving to Texas, he was director of public relations for Gould Inc., an electronics manufacturer headquartered in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. Both Intermedics and Gould were traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
Previously, he supervised the Gould account with Hill & Knowlton, then the world’s largest public relations firm, and served as an account executive with Carl Byoir & Associates, both in Chicago. Before joining Byoir in 1979, he served as a staff assistant to the Governor of Illinois and, earlier, worked as a broadcast journalist. He attended Loyola University of Chicago, majoring in economics.
He has served as an advisor to the President of BioHouston and chairman of BioHouston’s communications committee, a member of the Executive Committee and co-chair of the Communications Working Group of Care for Elders, a former member of the regional board of directors of the American Lung Association of Texas, and a former director of the MIT Enterprise Forum of Texas and the Texas State Poison Center advisory board.
Fleury directs the firm’s work in the areas of marketing communications, corporate publications, employee communications and communications audits.
Prior to establishing the firm, she was an account supervisor with Hill & Knowlton, then the world’s largest public relations agency, most recently in the firm’s Houston office. Previously, as an account executive in H&K’s National Division headquarters in Chicago, she conducted communications audits for a variety of clients and pioneered H&K’s in house business writing curriculum.
Before joining H&K in 1979, she was an award winning columnist and editorial writer for a mid sized newspaper in Ohio and, earlier, sales promotion manager for a subsidiary of Macmillan Inc. She received her BA in literature from Barnard College, and her MSJ from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
Burnis Reginald Morris has been a senior consultant with Sommers & Associates since 1990. A veteran journalist, newspaper executive and communication consultant, Morris is the Carter G. Woodson Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications at Marshall University’s School of Journalism.
He founded and was director of The Fourth Estate and The Third Sector, and associate professor and the first Samuel S. Talbert Lecturer in journalism at The University of Mississippi.
Morris specializes in improving coverage of organizations and people the media tend to ignore. He used his interest in improving coverage of nonprofits to create The Fourth Estate and The Third Sector, a mid-career workshop for journalists who cover charities and philanthropy, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
He is the author of Nonprofit News Coverage: A Guide for Journalists (1993), and Covering Nonprofit Organizations and Their People: A Journalist’s Guide (1998). Morris has also studied and written on the growth of private foundations, created workshops to encourage minority students to enter the journalism profession and to enhance journalists’ understanding of science, and introduced computer-assisted reporting to the Mississippi journalism community.
Morris holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Ole Miss and a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Dayton. Morris’ background includes stints as a New York Times intern, Journal Herald (Dayton, Ohio) business editor, Atlanta Constitution night city editor, Charlotte Observer city hall reporter, Palm Beach Newspapers assistant business manager and Austin American-Statesman’s director of community relations and director of marketing services. He has studied urban education for the Charles F. Kettering Foundation and was a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow, Freedom Forum professional in residence at the University of Kansas, an American Society of Newspaper Editors’ summer professor in residence at the Dallas Morning News, and visiting scholar at the Freedom Forum’s First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University.