M&A Articles and Blogs

You’re Interested in Selling Your PR Firm. What Are Your Next Steps?

If you’ve owned a public relations firm for several years and have decided that it’s time to take that first step in your planned exit strategy of selling the firm, you may have questions regarding what your next steps will/should be. The next steps you should think through as you move to sell your PR…
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Post-Merger Integration Plan Critical for Long-Term Success

The PR transaction has closed. The buyer wires a multi-million-dollar transfer into the seller’s bank account. The staff members of both buyer and seller are notified. The press release announcing the deal has been distributed across the business wires online, sprinkled with quotes regarding a “win-win” for both firms, and, naturally, “new digital and marketing…
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Because of 4 a.m. – The Excellence of Kobe Bryant

This blog was posted by my friend & colleague, Dr. Aerial Ellis, regarding the tragic helicopter crash death of Kobe Bryant and his 13 year old daughter, Gianna. I believe Dr. Ellis sends a valuable message to all of us.- Rick Gould  Excellence is the result of a prosperous, well-lived and fulfilled life. The excellence…
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What PR Firms Can Learn From the WeWork Debacle

Several years ago, I was a guest speaker at two WeWork “Lunch & Learn” seminars, discussing mergers and acquisitions and strategic planning to a diverse group of businesses gathered at the office-sharing company. I was impressed with the WeWork model. It was a collaborative, fun environment, encouraging people to network and cross-refer business opportunities. The…
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PR Agency Valuations are Worth the Investment Now More than Ever

Some things never change. Almost five years ago there was chatter in the PR space that agency valuations are not worth the time and money.  At the time, I vigorously disputed the notion and explained in great detail why that’s a bad idea. Unfortunately, those comments by the same individual have reemerged, and I feel…
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3 Reasons Why PR Firms Should Hire a Financial Watchdog

The news that a former PR executive has been arrested and charged with defrauding his last two firms in excess of $2 million should serve as an alert for PR agency owners who want to get a better grip on their internal control & expense reimbursement practices and avoid becoming victims of employees who cross…
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Recession-Proofing Your Firm before Recession Strikes

Although no one at this moment knows for certain it will happen, the press is actively talking about the possibility of a large downturn in the economy over the next year or so. If it occurs, it will likely be a recession, which would have a major impact on the continued success of most public…
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Bigger is Better – But Not “Too Big”

We have been consistently advising PR Agencies to grow their top line for maximizing value, as long as they maintain bottom line consistency, targeting 20+ percent. But there is a footnote to this advice. Being “too big” may actually decrease the payback. The sweet spot for PR firms has been the $10-$25 million net revenue…
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PR AGENCIES REPORT 2018 PROFITABILITY AT 16.3 PERCENT; ACCORDING TO GOULD+PARTNERS ANNUAL SURVEY, DOWN FROM 18.0% A YEAR AGO

NEW YORK, NY, June 20, 2019—U.S. PR agency profitability was 16.3 percent of net revenues, according to PR professionals responding to the annual Benchmarking survey conducted by Gould+Partners. A total of 43 prominent best of class, quality firms were invited to participate. 41 firms participated, per Rick Gould, CPA, J.D., managing partner of the New York City-based…
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The Strategic Planning Process in Three Basic Steps

It is impossible to provide an all-encompassing example of how a firm should approach strategic planning. Ultimately, company executives need to reconcile the planning framework and their firm’s individual culture to make an effective plan that fits their situation.  Here are the three basic steps to get Strategic Planning started: Step one. Assess where you…
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Strategic Planning for a Successful M&A Transaction

In M&A, planning is required to ensure developing the most successful, valuable business possible. Although it is common for small- to medium-sized firms to overlook this function—especially those in PR and other creative services—I encourage you to avoid falling into this trap. Strategic planning involves conceptual, long-term, broad-based thinking. It is an attempt to define…
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