Spokane Journal of Business

Desautel Hege rebrands to reflect changes

PR company’s new look part of six-month process

  • Print Article

Desautel Hege Communications Inc., a 25-year-old marketing and public relations firm based in downtown Spokane, says it has rebranded itself to highlight its growth and additional design skills the firm now offers in-house. 

Michele Hege, the company’s CEO since 2013, says Desautel Hege has sought to update its look and feel with a new logo, using DH more prominently rather than the entire company name.

Also, it has updated its website and added new business cards and materials. It made the changes partly to reflect the firm’s expanded expertise, including in design services, she says.

“We’ve always integrated marketing public relations, marketing and public affairs, and three years ago, we started to add design,” Hege says. “That part of business has really grown, and we think it’s important to tell our story to the community and clients.” 

Rebranding is a marketing strategy in which a company adopts a new name, term, symbol, design, or a combination of those, with the intention of developing a differentiated identity in the minds of consumers, investors, and others.

Hege says the firm has been working on the company rebranding for six months. 

Located in the Morgan Building at 315 W. Riverside in downtown Spokane, DH currently has 19 employees, four of whom are in-house designers. 

The public-relations company was started here in the 1990s by Jim and Cher Desautel. 

The couple hired Hege as its first employee in 1998, and she subsequently became a partner in the business in 2000.

She adds that the way the firm looked and the way it talked about itself lagged behind its reputation and its work. 

“To my eye at least, there’s something powerful going on … from the negative space that’s so present in the logo, and we’re using not one, but three secondary colors,” she says. 

“We’re really taking a new look and feel and applying it across our own field of business,” she says. 

The company has grown a lot over the years, she says, and broadened its offerings from doing large-scale brand work and campaigns that involve TV, radio, print and traditional advertising tools to now also providing digital advertising and website design services. 

“The thing that makes us different is born of basic public relations disciplines and using a multi-audience communication strategy at the center of it,” she says. 

She adds, “Unique to our company in a deep way is looking at community goals and business strategy across all audiences. We’ve partnered with folks to do that and now we can really do that in-house.” 

The company’s philosophy hasn’t changed, Hege says.

“We still have a strategic, research-based philosophy. We just have more types of executions and that’s fun for the team,” she adds. 

Hege says the rebranding effort ultimately was a great experience for the firm to step into the shoes of its clients. 

“We were reminded what it’s like to let go and look at a range of new options and make decisions on how to proceed and we’re not usually taking advice, we’re usually giving it. It was good to be reminded of what that role is like,” she says. 

“It’s been exciting around here, and you can see DH now looks a little different. A lot different, actually,” she adds. 

She says that while strategy is still at the heart of DH’s approach, there are now designers working side-by-side with strategists. 

“So over the past few months we’ve dug deep into who we are and how we should be positioned,” she says.

While it’s been hard to find extra time and resources, she adds, “We’ve all had a lot of fun doing it.”

Judith  Spitzer
  • Judith Spitzer

  • Email Judith  Spitzer
  • Follow RSS feed for Judith  Spitzer

Reporter Judith Spitzer covers technology, mining, agriculture, and wood products for the Journal. A vintage-obsessed antique collector in her off hours, Judith worked as a journalist in Colorado and Oregon before joining the Journal.

Read More

Sign up for our E-mail updates

including the
Morning Edition

Join our list