Peel the Layers to Locate New Niches

It’s an occupational hazard for PR firm owners looking for an edge with clients and prospects: the commoditization of marketing communications. Killer creative is all well and good, but it’s not hard to find. In a hypercompetitive marketplace, clients not only want effective marketing campaigns with solid returns. They want PR firm owners to make…
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Kraus: 3 Tips for PR Firms That Want to Promote Women, Spur Diversity

When Margery Kraus founded APCO Worldwide in 1984, women didn’t predominate the PR sector—as they do these days—so there was little to no chatter throughout the industry about why it’s important to promote female PR execs to the C-suite. “I had to fight in a different way when I built my own firm because everybody…
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India PR Market Beginning to Bloom

The India PR market continues to draw interest among U.S. firms with an eye on future growth and global expansion. Late last year, for example, Dentsu Aegis Network bought India-based Perfect Relations for an undisclosed price, while WE Communications, is currently in acquisition talks with Indian PR consultancy Avian Media, according to the Holmes Report. At the same time,…
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Online Video: Take Your Best Shot

PR firm owners know the scene. They land a new account and sit down with the buyer(s) for an initial strategy session. After exchanging niceties PR firm owners reach into their portfolio and offer a package of services that would best align with the client’s goals and/or financial objectives. Assuming budget is available PR executives…
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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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Women, Leadership and PR

It’s a gap throughout PR field that could seriously damage the industry’s reputation if it doesn’t change its tune. And fast. We refer to the increasing number of women working throughout the PR profession—among both middle managers and senior account executives—but not necessary in the C-suite. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women hold…
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How to Integrate the Seller With the Buyer, Post-Sale

I am often asked why some mergers and/or acquisitions don’t go the way a buyer and/or seller originally thought. There are multiple reasons why a transaction may go awry, of course. For instance, the seller may have a different corporate philosophy from the buyer. Or there may be friction between the two sides regarding how…
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PR Firms as Parental Units

It never fails. When you chat with PR agency owners and C-suite executives about their firm’s culture it takes all of five minutes before they assure you that the biggest asset is “We’re like a family.” Fair enough, but we know all too well that some families are closer than others, particularly when it comes…
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Common Ground with Millennial PR Pros?

Oh, that pesky generation gap. It never fails to rear its complicated head. Take a recent survey revealing sharp differences between millennial communicators and the baby boomer/Gen X PR executives who manage them regarding a slew of workplace issues, including the willingness to take risks, grooming for management and leadership. The online survey, which was…
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The Holmes Report: Independent Shops Fueling PR M&A 

The trend of independent agencies dominating the M&A landscape picked up in 2016 right where it left off in 2015. For the second consecutive year independent PR agencies took up most of the M&A space, according to an annual analysis of PR industry deal activity by The Holmes Report. The report, which was released late last…
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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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A Rich and Varied Reading List

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve is the slowest time of the year. Offices close. Folks jaunt down to warmer climes for a few days off while others opt to lay low and go for a digital detox. But it’s a small window and, let’s face it, more and more folks use the…
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