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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When Celebrities Carry the Message

Social media channels melded with celebrity endorsements present a wealth of opportunities for PR firms to get their clients’ messages out more effectively and grow their audiences. But careful what you wish for. The need for speed online could put PR firms in a compromising position when it comes to how they comply with Federal…
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What’s Fueling ‘Radical’ Change in PR?  

In the annals of the PR profession, it wasn’t that long ago—say, five or ten years—that PR firms competed with other PR firms for mergers and acquisitions. It was a fairly limited market, but also fairly easy to predict. But that was then and this is now. “The PR market is changing radically,” said Rick…
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Staying Profitable in the New Economy

Should PR firms remain independent and grow organically? Should PR firms remain independent and grow via acquisition? Or, is the firm in growth gridlock, where getting to the next level is proving problematic? In that case, some firms choose to put themselves in play altogether and sell. These are just a few of the key…
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Window Shopping: What PR Buyers Want From Sellers

Sure, there are plenty of PR agency owners who prefer to roll right along, making their numbers, growing their clientele and expanding their services organically, without ever making acquisitions or putting themselves in play. But what if they ran their firm as if they were going to buy it? The question was tackled during a…
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Executive Retention: How ‘Phantom Equity’ Plans Might Materialize

Staff retention is a nettlesome problem for boutique and mid-size PR firms. However, it’s even more challenging to hold onto the second tier of management, or the folks near the top who are going to run the firm once a sale is complete and the original owners have cashed out. How to retain top talent…
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