Profitability

Gould+Partners Billing Rates/Utilization Report Cause for Concern

By Matthew Schwartz

NEW YORK, NY, July 6, 2017—North American PR agencies and firms did not increase their hourly rates in 2016, according to a new report released by Gould+Partners, the management consulting firm specializing in PR and PR M&A. The outlook for hourly rates should be cause for concern among PR firm owners grappling with boosting profitability and increasing valuation, …read more


G+P Benchmarking Survey: PR Agency Profitability Flat in 2016

By Rick Gould CPA, J.D.

U.S. PR agency profitability was 15.2 percent of net revenues, according to PR professionals responding to the annual Benchmarking survey conducted by Gould+Partners. A total of 101 prominent agencies—based throughout the United States and Canada—reported an average profit of 15.2 percent in 2016. That’s compared to 15.3 percent in 2015, 16.2 percent in 2014 and …read more


How Should PR Firms Plan for the End Game?

By Rick Gould CPA, J.D.

(This article originally appeared in the June issue of  O’Dwyer’s) The PR M&A process is seldom easy. But as the public relations industry has evolved and become more complex, so too has the PR M&A process. When sellers sit down with buyers these days there are sharper and more difficult questions coming from both sides of …read more


Agency M&A: Big Decision, Vital Questions

By Rick Gould CPA, J.D.

I had the privilege of speaking at the Public Relations Global Network‘s (PRGN) annual conference, which took place in Dallas, in late April. The presentation, titled “Agency Mergers and Acquisitions: What Works, What Doesn’t,” was well-received among the PR firm owners and C-level communications executives attending. During my presentation and afterward—when I had the opportunity …read more


A Bill of Rights for PR Firms

By Matthew Schwartz

Overservicing among PR firms doesn’t simply mean working for nothing. It’s a lot more costly. That’s because when your firm starts to expand client services—without being adequately compensated—it has a negative effect on the rest of the operation. Indeed, the repercussions for overservicing can make a bad situation considerably worse. Perhaps more so any other …read more


Valuing Your PR Firm ‘As If’ It Were Your Home

By Rick Gould CPA, J.D.

Your home has been good to you. You have invested a chunk of money into sprucing it up throughout the years and the work has paid off nicely. You are ready to sell. As you brace for a sale you remember that tiny crack in the wall near your bedroom and some chips scattering the …read more


Making Sense of Your Balance Sheet

By Rick Gould CPA, J.D.

For many PR firm owners and C-suite executives it’s often considered the management equivalent of getting root canal: Reading their balance sheet. While a growing number of PR firm owners have gotten more comfortable with reading their balance sheet, there’s still a lot to be desired in terms of owners having a solid grasp for …read more


PR Predictions for 2017

By Rick Gould CPA, J.D.

We were having drinks with a PR firm owner when we started talking about long-term planning. “It’s an oxymoron,” said the owner, stressing that the marketplace is so fluid these days that if PR firms get too far ahead of themselves planning-wise it could be downright counterproductive. The point is well taken. We can’t recall …read more


Psychological Buy-in Critical for Exit Strategy

By Rick Gould CPA, J.D.

Amid the dramatic and ongoing changes within the media and marketing industries is the accelerating rate of M&A transactions within the PR field. PR firm owners, including heads of boutiques, smaller shops and mid-size firms, are giving more serious consideration to selling out. Many of these owners are products of the baby-boom generation and would …read more


G+P Part-Time CFO Division Looks to Fill Void in PR

By Rick Gould CPA, J.D.

The positive reaction in the marketplace to our new Part Time CFO division has exceeded our expectations—and it’s little wonder. Gould+Partners launched the division because we see a huge void in the marketplace among PR firm owners to hire a CFO and get a better grip on their financial operations. Checklist for CFO Effectiveness and …read more