Randall-Reilly: How to be 80, but Think Like a Startup!

It’s official. This year Randall-Reilly celebrates its 80th anniversary. We’ve had a few parties, and hopefully we will have a few more. But let me tell you, we are proud to display our age. In honor of this milestone, let’s do things a little differently.

I will prolong a marketing or recruiting article for a little bit, and regale you with a story about the history of Randall-Reilly.

How was Randall-Reilly founded?

 
During the early 1930s, Pettus Randall, Jr. was a student at the University of Alabama. As a student, he was nominated to an honor society. Needless to say Mr. Randall was ecstatic. That is, until he learned he would be required to pay $5 to join this prestigious honor society.

Now that may sound a little odd by today’s standards, but remember this was during the height of the Great Depression. To give you a sense of what he was being asked to pay, we looked it up. The modern equivalent tp $5 in 1934 is $87.

Coming up with that amount of money wasn’t easy when 21.7% of Americans were unemployed.

Pettus decided that he wasn’t going to pay the $5. He lobbied for a meeting with President George Denny, then the president of the University of Alabama. During the meeting with President Denny, Mr. Randall explained an idea for a free student honor society, which would require nominations from teachers, administrators, and principals.

It was from this plan that Randall-Reilly was founded as Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities in 1934.

But when did you become the cutting edge Randall-Reilly we all know and love?

 
In 1976, Pettus Randall III took over for his father as President and CEO. By then the core Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities had expanded to include the Award Company of America. The company was also printing state trade and used equipment publications.

Under the leadership of Mike Reilly and Pettus Randall III, the company moved into B2B media in 1986 with the initial purchase of Overdrive. They expanded this part of the business with the purchase of other publications like CCJ and Equipment World.

The company experienced tremendous success and growth as B2B publisher and media company.

However, we weren’t content with stagnating as a B2B publisher, regardless of how successful we were. In the late ’90s, Randall-Reilly experienced further evolution and expansion. First, we jumped into business information with the purchase of EDA in 1998. This was a prescient move into data before the industry began to demand data on the scale we see today.

This evolution continued with the acquisition of eVision Marketing 2009, expanding our capabilities far beyond that of B2B publishers. The eVision Marketing acquisition provided Randall-Reilly with the unique opportunity to expand into digital advertising across multiple channels, i.e. Google, Bing, etc.

In 2002, current Randall-Reilly CEO Mike Reilly became President and CEO. His son, Brent Reilly, took over as president of the company in 2012.

The company has continued to experience growth and transformation over the last decade. Today we employ over 400 employees. And if you’re interested in joining us, you can find our open positions here.

We are headquartered in Tuscaloosa, AL, but also maintain offices in Anniston, AL; Brookfield, WI; and Charlotte, NC.

We have transformed ourselves from a traditional B2B media corporation into a data, media, and marketing services company.

Our transformation and the continued evolution of Randall-Reilly is exciting. One of our biggest priorities is continuing to improve our capability and provide our clients with tremendous value.
 

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