Adams Sandler Inc., the Baltimore public relations and advertising firm, is heading for the information superhighway.
By October, Adams Sandler will adopt the name of the public relations giant that bought the firm in 1989, Shandwick, and tap into its computer technology.
Using the Internet, the worldwide computer network, potential clients will be able to get detailed answers to questions about Shandwick's services, its areas of expertise and its clients.
In addition, technology now being tested at the Fells Point firm and some of Shandwick's 90 other offices will enable existing clients to provide their customers instantly with information on request about products and services.
"Our position is simply that any public relations firm in the future is going to have to be prepared to use Internet," said Kevin O'Keefe, Adams Sandler's managing director.
Mr. O'Keefe said technology has also helped prompt Shandwick, the world's second-largest public relations firm, to bring its well-known name to most of the local offices it owns.
Traditionally, public relations firms had been viewed essentially as local businesses and thus often retained local names.
But with the technology revolution making geographic boundaries less important, Shandwick hopes to strengthen its identity as an international firm, Mr. O'Keefe said.
The technology also will link Shandwick-owned firms in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia, allowing employees in different offices to communicate by computer to brainstorm, for example, or have electronic "meetings" about an account.
Shandwick, which reported $165 million in revenue last year, employs 1,900 people worldwide. The London-based company says it will spend about $3 million on technology this year.
Adams Sandler, with 32 employees, handles accounts including New York Life/HealthPlus, Chase Manhattan Bank of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, the United States Catholic Conference and St. Joseph's Hospital in Lancaster, Pa.