A DARLINGTON public relations firm has landed a major contract to handle the PR for a string of American clients.

Recognition marketing and PR has formed a trans-Atlantic alliance with Boston PR firm Schneider and associates, after a business trip to Boston by Recognition bosses.

The firm will handle PR campaigns for American companies wishing to expand into the British market and for some US businesses already here. Re-cognition's link with the US also means clients now have a route to promoting products and services in the US.

It handles PR for more than 40 clients, mostly based in the North-East, including KPMG, the Grainger Town project and Patterson Ford. It is also running the press office for Conservative central office's North-East and Yorkshire regions in the coming general election.

The company's first assignment is a national promotional campaign for a US firm which designs and builds huge car parks. It has a new British partner and plans to bring its massive car parks over here.

Mr Graham Robb, a partner with Recognition, said: "More North-East firms should look to broaden their horizons and this deal proves there is business out there to be won.

"We are living in an increasingly global economy, which is often portrayed as a negative issue for the region, rather than an opportunity for our firms and individuals to go out and bring work in from elsewhere.