Overcoming an Impasse in M&A Transactions

In an M&A transaction, the ultimate goal should be to resolve any impasse that arises through an approach to negotiate based on the interests of the buyer and seller. You should always be willing to negotiate. You must be willing to sit down with your adversary—preferably face to face—and attempt to make a deal that…
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Managing Your Benchmarks

The key to managing your PR agency to earn a 20% or higher operating profit is to set the correct benchmarks for your key cost and expense categories. To begin, let’s look at some of the basic ratios you’ll want to understand and monitor. How to target your revenue/cost benchmarks: Net Revenue: 100% (Not “Gross”…
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The Keys to Successful Transactions

What is the basis for selecting a merger partner? How do you time the transaction? How do you maximize value? The key is multifaceted. Value Creation Merging Cultures Creating a best-place-to-work environment and culture by maximizing the intellectual and creative capacity of both seller and buyer. Overcome the apparent risks in consolidation and the merging…
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Solid Financial Management Adds to the Value of Your Agency

What is the easiest pathway to maximize value? The answer is simple. Get to the mark of 20 percent operating profit. One proven method for understanding and effectively managing a PR business is using financial benchmarks. Knowing the key ratios and their benchmarks gives management the tools to fine-tune financial operations in order to increase…
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How to Recession-Proof Your Firm

If you’ve been watching the news, reading the papers or listening to the pundits, chances are you may be convinced that we’re already in a recession. My opinion, after a full year of taking the pulse of the industry—via the annual surveys published by Gould+Partners—is that the PR industry will not be facing a recession….
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Good Deals/Great Deals

A ‘good’ deal is when each party feels relatively positive about the outcome. Making each party emerge a winner is the essence of a ‘great’ deal. Often, conceding to the other party what they want will not impact what you want in a material way.  I always put myself in the place of the person…
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2022 TRENDS IN PR – MERGERS, ACQUISITIONS AND MORE

All signs point to 2022 being a very good year for public relations agencies. We’ve looked into our crystal ball and predict these trends for 2022.  Overall public relations trends  Increasing emphasis on DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion)  Customers want brands to take a stand on social and political issues, and clients are responding. PR…
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Knowing What Your PR Firm Is Worth

Valuing PR agencies is a complex process.  It takes financial expertise, knowledge of the M&A marketplace and an understanding of how buyers create offers/term sheets. Term Sheets presented by buyers to sellers for the acquisition of the seller firm are customized based on several factors. “Recasted” Operating Profit for the past three full years plus…
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The Earn-Out Model Works!!

The earn-out model has been the gold standard for the 20+ years that I have been doing mergers and acquisitions. It is a proven, fair model used by all major PR firm buyers from holding company firm buyers to mid-size firm buyers to bolt-on firm buyers. The appeal and benefit of the earn-out model is…
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How to Build a Business Plan Exit Strategy

Establishing an exit strategy isn’t something owners of PR firms and advertising agencies typically think about as part of their business plan. However, when it comes time to leave, it’s important to have a plan in place to protect accumulated wealth, as well as to smoothly transition the business to the new owner, and to…
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Compensation: Clients Who Fit the Bill

Healthy client relations are the lifeblood for PR agencies. Every client is unique, of course, with disparate needs, and PR agency owners often must take pains to provide those services, as well as a trust-based relationship. When it comes to effectively serving clients, one size doesn’t fit all. The same holds true for agency billing….
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PR Firms Remained Profitable in 2020

U.S. PR agencies managed to remain profitable in 2020 despite the severe economic damage wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an annual industry survey conducted by PR merger and acquisition consultancy Gould+Partners. Gould+Partners’ latest Benchmarking report, which analyzes key factors affecting PR firm profitability, found that PR agencies in 2020 saw, on average, profitability…
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