Gould+Partners Billing Rates/Utilization Report Cause for Concern

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,…
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How Should PR Firms Plan for the End Game?

(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…
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Agency M&A: Big Decision, Vital Questions

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

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…
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Making Sense of Your Balance Sheet

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…
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PR Predictions for 2017

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

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…
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PR in the Not-Too-Distant Future

For agency owners and C-suite executives for creative services firms, it’s the best of times and the worst of times (apologies to Mr. Dickens). PR executives from both the agency and client sides are optimistic about the industry’s future and believe that within the next five years they’ll be expected to deliver more strategic communications,…
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Employee Retention to Maximize the Value of Your Firm

Within the C-suite, every top executive has an invaluable role to play. The CEO is the visionary of the firm. The CFO manages the financial infrastructure while the COO (if the firm is big enough) manages the operations. But when you consider selling your firm and need to demonstrate maximum value and future profitability, it’s…
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The Dramatically Changing PR Economy

The financial onus on PR agency owners is growing like a weed. In an increasingly post-digital age, PR agency owners and C-suite executives face a dramatically changing business environment. These days the biggest challenges for agency owners and C-suite execs include whether to “build or buy,” and how to reinforce their firms financially. Those were…
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Benefits of Hiring Part-Time CFO 

I have this recurring conversation when I meet with agency owners. When I happen to ask if the firm might consider hiring a full-time CFO the answer, more often than not, is, “No, not affordable.” Agency owners tell me, of course, they see the value of bringing aboard a part-time CFO, but often cite prohibitively…
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Bracing for New Overtime Regs

Creative services firms could be in store for significant changes when it comes to how they compensate and pay their employees. Potential changes in salaries (and work responsibilities) stem from a new Department of Labor regulation that raises the white collar overtime exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The new rules, which apply to all…
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