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We thank this year’s team of Bulldog Awards journalist judges for their hard work, discriminating taste and commitment to promoting excellence in media relations and publicity. FINAL JUDGES
Chris Elliot, Author, Journalist and Consumer Advocate, National Geographic Traveler Tom Hallman, Pulitzer Prize Winning Reporter, The Oregonian
Maria Stainer, Assistant Managing Editor/Continuous News Desk, The Washington Times
Kristin Bender, Reporter, Bay Area News Group
Steve Beale, Editor, Bulldog Reporter’s Inside Health Media Paul Rosynsky, Reporter, Bay Area News Group
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For more information about the Bulldog Reporter Stars of PR Awards, including entry deadlines, fees and submission requirements, please go to www.bulldogreporter.com.
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On the Cover: Grand Prize winner Communications Agency of the Year, Bateman Group and Grand Prize winner Communications Professional of the Year, Michael Kempner.
STARS OF PR AWARDS
FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT BY COMMUNICATIONS AGENCIES AND PROFESSIONALS
HALL OF FAME Summary of Winning Campaigns from the 2013 Bulldog Stars of PR Awards for Outstanding Achievment by Communications Agencies and Professionals Winners of the 2013 Bulldog Stars of PR Awards for Outstanding Achievement by Communications Agencies and Professionals enter a pantheon of exemplary communications practitioners, and their campaigns summarized in this edition of The Bulldog Awards Stars of PR Hall of Fame magazine. Winners were chosen exclusively by working journalists from hundreds of entries representing the very best strategic and tactical prowess that PR/corporate communications has to offer. Campaigns were judged by a team of working journalists, who assessed them on the basis of their ability to achieve extraordinary visibility and influence opinion, as well as on their creativity, command of media and technology, and tenacity.
We now present to you the 2013 Bulldog Reporter Stars of PR Winners
C O M M U N I C AT I O N S AG E N C Y O F T H E Y E A R
GRAND PRIZE Bateman Group If your PR agency didn’t grow revenues by one third this year, you might be doing something wrong. Luckily, the PR pros at Bateman Group are here to help. A 25-person firm headquartered in San Francisco, Bateman Group isn’t a traditional big-league player in the communications world, but its team of innovators and contentcreators has advanced the way we think about digital, mobile, tech and green PR—and they have 19 new clients and numerous Bulldog Awards to prove it. They’ve also gone bicoastal, establishing a new permanent office space in Brooklyn, and saw a 95 percent employee retention rate in 2012. Needless to say, Bateman Group is doing something very right. To find out how Bateman Group rapidly established itself as a burgeoning leader in PR and social media communications, we spoke with its CEO and founder, Fred Bateman. Below, he unveils Bateman Group’s latest tricks for showing hard-headed clients how to drive coverage and keeping employees smiling. He also discusses how he wins placement for products with no clout and why green PR isn’t as simple as it seems. Read on to discover how this small, boutique agency won Bulldog Reporter’s 2013 Communications Agency of the Year award—and how you can see your numbers skyrocket in just 12 months, too.
customer base or the industry at large. This extra bit of data can mean the difference between getting zero coverage on a product announcement and blowing the doors off expectations. The second most important cutting-edge strategy we use in content PR is to shift away from the “one off” press release to take more of a longer-term, campaign-based approach to our work. To do this, we look at every news announcement, product launch, whitepaper and breaking industry trend as an opportunity for our clients to advance a specific campaign theme, versus thinking of it as a one-off event. Each element should advance the corporate narrative or product storylines and move the whole campaign forward in some way and never be siloed or done in isolation. This is what we call our “total integrated approach.” One example from this year where we did this particularly well was for our client App Annie. Based in Beijing and San Francisco, App Annie benefits from being in the business of data—mobile app store analytics data, to be more specific. For the launch of their service for Google Play, we had a press release, compelling research data that played into the Google versus iOS wars and an infographic with a timely pop culture reference based on the Game
Much of Bateman Group’s success this year is due to savvy strategies for creating content—from traditional press materials to byline articles, e-books, infographics, studies and videos. What are you doing to stay on the cutting edge of content? Bateman Group’s approach to strategic communications can be summed up in three parts—it is 1) context aware; 2) data-driven; and 3) content-led. As part of our process on boarding new clients, we analyze the issues and trends most relevant to their customers, partners and prospects, which is where we get the context-aware element. The hardest Bateman Group is a digital communications agency founded in 2004 to make a bigger part, by far, is getting our clients to be more impact for a more select group of companies data-driven and to back up their claims with third-party proof. It’s no secret that research of Thrones television show—re-imagined as “Game of Phones”—to data drives coverage today more than anything else. We try to drive mass awareness and appeal to a broad audience of convince every client to issue some kind of a “state of the technology and design enthusiasts. The results netted us two industry” index report at least twice a year, if not every quarter, so Bulldog Awards for Excellence in Media Relations this year, so that they get in the habit of regularly gathering data from their own says it all!
2013 STARS OF PR HALL OF FAME
C O M M U N I CFAOT O I ODN & S ABGE EV NE C R YA GOEF T H E Y E A R You pride yourself on your senior-level staffing model. How does this model play out, and what successes have you seen with it? Our brand of strategic communications services is probably more defined by our senior-level staffing model than anything else. Companies are demanding, and not getting, more senior-level attention from their agencies, and this has been the case for the 10 years we’ve been in business. Back in 2004, Bateman Group was launched with a basic belief—keep the client list low, but personal attention and employee retention high. The benefits to the business have been enormous and far outweigh whatever we sacrifice in short-term profitability. First off, we’re able to make every client a reference, with just a handful of exceptions. Most times, you can call any current client on our roster without our knowledge and you will hear a positive endorsement. Finally, our average client relationship is 4.5 years—a number unheard of in our industry—and about 30 percent of our current clients are repeat clients. So I think the benefits are pretty apparent.
“mastered” is too strong a word. The key to good green PR is aligning your brand with a more altruistic mission, whether it’s the environment or any other social causes, and doing so authentically. As Tyler frequently points out, “greenwashing” is a reality as many companies jumped on the eco-band wagon as a marketing strategy, and both consumers and the media are wary of this type of effort.
What are the particular challenges to working in tech PR? The biggest challenge is it’s still hard to get media coverage—even for companies considered hot by Silicon Valley standards. We’re lucky in that we can pick and choose which brands we want to pursue for new business, and we are finally at the point where we only consider the number-one or -two leaders in a particular market—not the also-rans. But even for these companies with tremendous assets and pedigrees, it’s a constant struggle to secure meaningful coverage for them that moves the needle. What media relations best practices have you established over the years for working with journalists in the tech sector?
Bateman Group's new permanent office space in Brooklyn, New York As a result, communications strategies must be rooted in authenticity, meaning there is real action behind your public relations efforts, and that action can be measured or tracked. We advise our clients that if you are talking the talk, you must be walking the walk, and evaluate potential clients in the social good space with these parameters. [Click here for a case study on a Bateman Group-Recyclebank campaign] How does Bateman Group “go green” beyond its work for clients?
Our secret is persistence and the quality of the pitch itself, which we always write to appeal to journalistic instincts as opposed to aggravate them like most of our competitors.
Working in this space has raised our “eco-IQ” across the agency for sure, and we strive to employ environmentally conscious practices across our offices. Plastic and paper recycling is in both offices, and we compost in our San Francisco space. We try to purchase Energy Star appliances and employ energy-savings best practices such How have you mastered green PR? as turning off the lights, using power strips and shutting I asked Tyler Perry, my business down computers and televisions when not in use. A water partner, GM of our Brooklyn office and dispenser and extensive collection of glasses encourages the senior lead on Recyclebank, this Fred Bateman, CEO and founder of employees to ditch the water bottles, and we try to limit question. Her response was, and I Bateman Group printing usage. When we do print, it is on recycled paper. quote: “I wouldn’t say we’ve mastered One of the key messages that Recyclebank has taught us is green PR, but we’ve certainly learned some best practices for this that small, individual actions can have a big collective impact. type of communications.” I would tend to agree that we’re still evolving and learning in green PR as it’s still a very new field, so
2013 STARS OF PR HALL OF FAME
C O M M U N I C AT I O N S P RO F E S S I O N A L O F T H E Y E A R
GRAND PRIZE Michael Kempner MWW Think PR is all just charted territory? Think again. There are innumerable new frontiers on the communications landscape, and Michael Kempner—founder, chairman, president and CEO of MWW—is leading the way through unknown digital opportunities, unanswered CSR questions and unforeseen thought leadership in the industry. Winner of Bulldog Reporter’s Grand Prize for Communications Professional of the Year, Kempner has helmed his agency from the glory days of traditional media and the boom of Web 2.0 to today’s social frenzy—and has used the past year to saddle up for many more changes to come. “Matter more” is Kempner’s motto, and he puts the message to work when it comes to campaigns, clients, community service and the communications industry at large. An expert blogger and PR thought leader with over 25 years of experience, he is the guy you want to hear from on how to rise to the top in PR. Read on as he reveals the details of MWW’s latest breakthrough publishing program, his techniques for encouraging clients and staff to give back—and what Gandhi’s got to do with it. You started the first digital practice in 2005—before most other public relations firms caught on—and you’ve expanded significantly since then. How has digital communications changed since then? MWW had one of the first dedicated digital practices in the industry. It was called “new media” in those days, and it was seen as something distinct—not integrated into our overall programming. However, it quickly became clear to me that soon we wouldn’t have a separate practice—that digital would be what we do. We took what was a central part of the process and decentralized it and embedded digital and social experts into every account and every practice group. So, while we still have a digital center, the practitioners are embedded into each and every practice group and client team. They are close to the clients, understand the clients and are seen as something totally interwoven into the fabric of the program. Moreover, unlike most of the industry, we don’t operate in a series of geographic or practice area P&Ls, so there is no competition internally. Many traditional, larger firms may say they’re bringing the best of their agency to bear for their clients, but what they’re really bringing is the best of their P&L—because they don’t want to bring in other experts and reduce personal profit. At MWW, we only have
2013 STARS OF PR HALL OF FAME
one P&L for the entire company, so we truly do bring the best of our agency to bear and always think client-centric first and our own internal mechanism second. What innovative communications approaches are you and your firm engaged in right now? We have shifted dramatically from a focus on current media to earned, owned and paid content. Most of our programs have all three of those elements, and the owned piece is becoming larger and more critical. In fact, we are in the process of announcing a series of innovative programs around the owned concept: We are not only creating our own content on behalf of our clients and pushing it through core channels, but we are also creating our own channels—our own media properties, our own ability to get core messages out. We’re creating a digital publishing house on behalf of our programs, and it involves everything from creating the content—infographics or white papers, for example—to actually creating the media properties. You vastly expanded MWW’s research and insights practice this past year. What new tools make proving ROI easier, and how can PR implement these strategies? As more activity goes online, it is becoming easier to measure engagement and equally important is the ability to perform active listening through digital and social channels. You can really understand the conversation, and it helps you both frame the programs you create and understand in real time the value of those programs. You can also course-correct almost immediately as you
Michael Kempner, founder, chairman, president and CEO of MWW
C O M M U N I C AT I O N S P RO F E S S I O N A L O F T H E Y E A R consider how you are communicating to your key stakeholders, what the message is and which platform is best for a given campaign. Does social media primarily drive brand recognition or can it actually generate leads? It can absolutely be used for both, separately or at the same time. It all depends on what you’re using it for, whether your strategy is brand, consideration or purchase. They can happen at the same time or they can be used separately. There are so many tools and so many ways to go about this today, and if you understand the technology and what it can do, you have to the ability to enact all those different objectives and more. Corporate social responsibility has taken center stage at MWW— and in the industry. How have you made MWW a more responsible business? Even before “CSR” was a term, there was the idea of just doing good things, and it was always part of our corporate ethos. When I formed the company, it was just me in one room in Jersey City, N.J., and it was part of who MWW was. Now, I ask my employees to think about one thing every day: Is it the right thing to do? If they can say yes to that—for their clients, their company, their peers and their community— that’s what they should do. Many clients understand that citizenship is imperative. It’s no longer simply “a nice thing to do”—it is critical for their customers, their employees and their communities. It’s very much top of mind in many companies today, but there’s a wide gap between wanting to do something and doing it in a way that has impact. We help them bridge from the desire to the goal by helping them craft and create programs. How can PR work harder to give back? We spend a lot of time thinking about how we can make an impact in our own small way. Over the years, our programs have become more sophisticated and we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the activities we should be doing internally and externally as MWW— charitable works, philanthropic efforts and the work we do for our clients. One of the things that attracts people to MWW is that ethos: Many people want to work for a company that cares deeply about the communities it lives in. However, we don’t do it for employee recruitment—we do it because it’s the right thing to do.
You have leveraged your expertise to become an industry thought leader. What advice do you have for others looking to gain recognition and benefit the PR community? It has always concerned me that leaders in PR (who are arguably among the best communicators in the world and teach people how to communicate) don’t communicate themselves. PR people are so afraid to have an opinion because they might upset someone, so they tend to have no opinions. I’ve always believed that each of us has a responsibility in whatever we believe in, as long as you’re not preaching hate. We have an obligation as communicators and as leaders to, as Gandhi says, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world." We have an obligation to create the change we seek, from both a macro, societal view and in our own industry, with our employees and in our craft. I would encourage any and all leaders, in PR and beyond, to become social CEOs, to build a social platform and to talk about what matters to them and the stakeholders they would like to influence. What advice do you have for other PR pros looking to achieve the success and recognition you have? ● If it was easy, everyone would do it. “You need to find a legal and ethical way to rise above the pack, and that means working hard, working long and working smart, having a great attitude and being willing be learn. Putting in that extra effort is going to make you stand out from the crowd.” ● Seek quality over quantity. “One of the most important things you need to balance is growth versus profit. It’s not about getting bigger faster—it’s about creating and sustaining a great company over the long term.” ● ● Opportunity today is unlimited: Use it. “The ability to use technology means you can be in many places at one time, and you can multitask in a way I never could when I started out. You can have a voice as big as anyone in our industry; you can be a small firm and be as well-known and have as much share of voice as any of your larger competitors. You have the ability to use tech to drive brand, recognition and understanding of the quality of your work in a way that my peers when I started never had. Don’t be afraid. Take advantage of the tech around you and do great work, and you will have just as good of an opportunity as anybody to succeed.”
2013 STARS OF PR HALL OF FAME
BO U T I QU E AG E N C Y O F T H E Y E A R ( S P E C I A LT Y P R AC T I C E )
GOLD Bateman Group Bateman Group is an integrated public relations and social media communications firm founded in 2004 around a compelling vision—to make a bigger market impact for a smaller, more select group of companies. The ideal clients are companies, regardless of size, solving real problems in ground-breaking and disruptive ways that value content expertise, exceptional writing and guaranteed senior-level attention above all else. Headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Brooklyn, Bateman Group is distinctive through its approach to planning and measurement, ability to deliver excellent results, pursuit of client satisfaction and creative program execution. Practice areas include advertising and marketing; technology; enterprise and IT infrastructure; IT security; mobile/wireless; green tech/sustainability. Bateman Group has 25 employees in its two offices in San Francisco and Brooklyn, and it has maintained one the highest employee retention rates in the industry with turnover at less than five percent from inception to date. The agency stresses strong team orientation by working closely to deliver stellar work while empowering employees at all levels and investing in staff professional development. Team-building is extremely important to its business results, and events include volunteering and a management-led annual retreat to reset goals for the year and come together as a group. Base salaries at Bateman Group tend to be 10-15 percent higher than at competing firms, but its bonus opportunities and generous benefits packages also set the firm apart. One of the main differentiators between Bateman Group and similarly sized firms is its talent and account structure. The seniorlevel staffing model translates to teams being managed by two to three members of the senior management team. This senior-level attention is maintained throughout every client relationship—not just during the pitch or times of crisis. What’s more, the firm was built from the ground up as a content creation bureau—not just a media relations shop. Bateman Group delivers exceptional content consistently, and as a result, has one of the highest client retention rates in the nation: The average client relationship stands at five years. This year’s campaign highlights include “Game of Phones: Google Play Launch” for App Annie, which launched the mobile app store analytics company into the U.S. market and quadrupled revenue; “Share Responsibility for the Planet – Visualizing the Impact of Eco-Action,” a campaign for Recyclebank during Earth Month, which drove website traffic and average visit times to an all-time
2013 STARS OF PR HALL OF FAME
high; and widespread coverage via a financial communications campaign for Qualys, the leading cloud security company, for the company’s IPO. Notable achievements in the calendar year include revenue growth by 32 percent year-over-year, 19 new clients, 95 percent employee retention rate, a permanent office space in Brooklyn, 10 new fulltime employees, numerous industry awards and partnerships, pro bono work and other outstanding community relations initiatives.
S I LV E R Fuse Fuse is a youth marketing PR agency that specializes in helping brands connect to teens and young adults through sports, music, fashion, gaming and other youth culture interests. Fuse clients include Mountain Dew, HGTV, Starbucks Doubleshot, Gatorade, SPEED Network, ESPN, POOF-Slinky, Harvard Business School, Pepsi Food Service, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association, Amazon and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Fuse is also home to Fuse Source, a nationwide network of plugged-in teens and young adults that provides valuable insights into emerging youth culture trends, leisure activities and lifestyle identifiers. Available for feedback on campaigns, concepts and design, as well as for general insights, the Fuse Source network helps shape marketing decisions and provides an understanding of the ever-changing preferences and behaviors of teen and young adult consumers. Fuse employs a staff of youth marketing experts recruited from leading brands, agencies and universities. The agency's culture is creative and energetic and employs progressive benefits and practices that foster a positive and balanced working environment. In 2012, Fuse continued to build upon many key areas for employees. This includes a robust training and staff development program in which staff need to log hours of key training areas, reading key industry outlets, participating in both on and offsite training opportunities and are evaluated during their annual review. The agency also emphasizes a focus on community and charity work. Fuse employees are given 16 hours of paid time off to volunteer each year, and the company organizes at least one volunteer opportunity each month. In addition, for the second consecutive year, Fuse has provided a $25,000 grant in services to a non-profit. Fuse’s leaders have fostered a progressive workplace by encouraging an “open door policy” and lateral employee structure. Staff value rich health benefits, a laid-back, creative and dogfriendly workplace and perks that support a healthy work-life balance such as an on-site rec space featuring a skateboard ramp
B O U T I Q U E A G E N C Y FOOFO DT H&E YBEEAV RE R(ASGPEE C I A L T Y P R A C T I C E ) and basketball court, a season’s pass to Stowe Mountain Resort and winter “snow policy” that allows employees to get first tracks after a big snowfall. Staff also receive an annual fitness reimbursement, generous vacation time, comp days for weekend work, and paid time off for volunteering. This past year, Fuse exceeded new business and revenue expectations—with 45 percent of growth from new business from both current and new clients. In the past three years, Fuse has also been named to Vermont Business Magazine’s Best Places to Work in Vermont, included in Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work list and been named to Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 5000 list, PRWeek’s Top Agency List, Promo Magazine’s Top Agency List and Sports Business Journal’s Top 20 Agency List. Fuse has been the recipient of industry awards for event marketing campaigns, digital PR and PR leadership.
BRONZE Hellerman Baretz Communications In the past year, Hellerman Baretz Communications (HBC) has broadened its horizons both literally and figuratively. The firm was founded 10 years ago by PR professional John Hellerman and former attorney Spencer Baretz, who both recognized an opportunity to fill a hole in the market: Providing high-end communications counsel to the nation’s leading law firms. In 2012, their vision became more real than ever: HBC hired its 13th employee—a new high-water mark for the agency—moved into new offices in both New York City and Washington, DC, and stretched its geographic reach all the way to Los Angeles, California. In 2012-2013 (to present), HBC gained 15 new clients and increased revenues by 21 percent. This growth in territory and numbers has been necessary to service the increasing demands of clients in the legal space. Far more than a PR shop, HBC provides strategic counsel on communications campaigns of all types, each designed with clients’ business goals in mind. Staffed with numerous former journalists, former attorneys
2013 BULLDOG AWARDS HALL OF FAME
and communications experts, HBC has positioned itself as the most sophisticated provider of communication services to the legal industry. Achievements include client coverage in the NYT, Forbes, Huffington Post, AP, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News, National Law Journal, several local radio outlets and a live television interview. HBC also executed press outreach (including a press conference) and a social media campaign on behalf of a leading California plaintiffs’ firm. HBC helped a number of legal clients achieve significant industry honors, and for its numerous successes on behalf of its clients, HBC has earned several honors of its own, including Best Crisis Management Firm, Best Social Media Consultancy and Best Public Relations Firm in a nationwide survey of National Law Journal readers. HBC prides itself on creative, non-traditional thinking that leads to significant results. A prime example of that approach has been its involvement with the “Madison Avenue Insights” blog, which promotes the advertising and marketing practice at the Davis & Gilbert law firm. It is the latest in a string of standout blogs that HBC has conceived and executed for law firm clients. Over the last year, John Hellerman and Spencer Baretz continued to drive the conversations that are leading the legal PR field forward. Longtime proponents of the value of thought leadership for legal professionals, John and Spencer co-authored an influential article in the New York Law Journal titled “Thought Leadership: A Game to Share with Your Friends.” Since then, Hellerman and Baretz have been asked to make many presentations to various chapters of the Legal Marketing Association—the dominant trade group in the legal space. Hellerman and Baretz formed numerous partnerships within the legal marketing space—including partnerships with one of the nation’s leading LinkedIn instructors, a vendor of online analytical tools tailored to the legal profession and the influential Chambers directory. Moreover, in the last twelve months, HBC has been honored with requests that reflect the high degree of confidence that its clients and the legal community have in HBC.
CONSUMER AGENCY OF THE YEAR
GOLD JSH&A JSH&A is an award-winning lifestyle communications agency with a national reputation for multi-channel consumer marketing expertise. Founded by Jonni Hegenderfer in 1989 as a one-woman shop in her spare bedroom, the agency has since grown to 20 employees based in a vibrant office in Chicago. While JSH&A is considered a small firm by industry standards, its client roster consists of some of the best-known names in the world: The Hershey Company, Bosch Power Tools, ConAgra and Beam Inc. Known for its expertise in consumer products and service categories, JSH&A understands the importance of position and place in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace. The agency has built three synergistic practice areas to help clients bring that knowledge to life. The practice areas involve the factors that drive brand choice and brand loyalty, social media strategies and coaching clients on message development. JSH&A regards itself as a tight-knit family and celebrated a 90 percent employee retention rate in 2012. Unique to an agency of its size, JSH&A employs a full-time digital and social media director who supports the agency client team and educates clients on emerging trends and techniques with white papers and workshops. In addition to competitive salaries and benefits, JSH&A also uses an awards program to recognize outstanding work and hosts staff events. The agency also places a premium on professional development and requires staffers to participate in webinars, workshops and conferences designed to increase knowledge of trends, practices and issues. Each staffer is also required to serve on at least one agency committee, such as Social Media or Agency PR. JSH&A is a member of the IPREX global network of independent public relations agencies and routinely call on—and are called on by—partner agencies for in-market expertise, assistance and new business initiatives. JSH&A employees also routinely interact with PR programs at area universities and support causes that make an impact on its community. Each year, the agency matches employee donations to a charity of choice and sponsors staff involvement in volunteer activities. JSH&A developed and executed a wide variety of notable campaigns for clients in 2012. For The Hershey Company, the agency implemented the “Hop Down the Hershey’s Bunny Trail” campaign, in which the team enlisted a group of online influencers to raise awareness about Hershey’s East products and websites. To further position Beam Inc. as a passionate industry leader, JSH&A helped Casa Sauza host a series of tequila round tables in the US
2013 STARS OF PR HALL OF FAME
and Mexico. What’s more, JSH&A developed an annual media event for Bosch, performed food blogger and social media outreach for ConAgra and worked with Master Lock on a seamless visit from President Obama. JSH&A gained four new clients in 2012, including Manwich, Reddi Wip, Canadian Club and Staples and will continue to showcase its team’s creative and strategic thinking to maximize and grow established relationships with clients.
S I LV E R French/West/Vaughn French/West/Vaughan (FWV) celebrated its 15th anniversary with a record-setting year in which the agency increased PR fee billings by 29% and tripled net income. FWV increased its headcount by 20%, added nearly two dozen new clients to its roster and also opened its first West Coast office—building upon the headquarters office in Raleigh and satellite offices in NYC, Tampa and Austin, Texas. In addition, FWV placed stories about its domestic and international clients in virtually every major media outlet in the world in 2012. The agency’s client roster reads like a “who’s who” of market leaders, including Wrangler, Swiss energy giant ABB, Singaporebased Gemesis Diamond Company, Justin Boots, Melitta Coffee, Moe’s Southwest Grill, the Royal Bank of Canada, the United States Polo Association, the V Foundation Cancer for Cancer Research, the International Gemological Institute and Soccer.com. At the heart of all of FWV’s work for these clients are effective earned and social media strategies where the team treats journalists as partners and encourages consumers to become content creators and evangelists for its brands. From a nontraditional base in Raleigh, N.C., FWV has grown over the past 15 years to rank as one of the country’s 20 largest independently-held PR agencies and the largest south of Washington, D.C. 2012 was the best year in the agency’s history, from both a financial standpoint as well as via recognition from peers, with the agency winning more than 50 local, regional and national awards for PR work on behalf of clients, including being named first runner-up by the Holmes Report as its 2012 Small Agency of the Year. In a year in which the agency experienced almost zero account attrition, FWV pitched and won high-profile assignments from Hood River Distillers and its large portfolio of fast-growing spirits brands; SAS Institute, the world’s largest privately held software company; Teradata Corporation, a leading U.K. data analytics company; international defense and global stabilization contractor TigerSwan;
CONSUMER AGENCY OF THE YEAR Strata Solar; a celebrity from Disney; NFL superstars; an NBA athlete; the Wilmington/Cape Fear Convention and Visitors Bureau and its area Beaches; NBA star Glen “Big Baby” Davis; NC State University; and global soccer retailer Eurosport and its Soccer.com brand. Highlights of the year include FWV’s launch of an innovative fourweek contest to reach fashion-forward females on behalf of longtime client Wrangler that generated 45 million impressions toward its female target. FWV took to the streets of Philadelphia to bring German coffee purveyor Melitta’s “Butler” grassroots marketing campaign to life and increased sales 35 percent for the period. The agency also helped a British electronics company (Gear 4) own the airwaves with a much talked about Angry Birds Speaker launch, celebrated Tony Lama’s 100th Anniversary of selling cowboy boots and positioned Arian Foster as the “The Most Interesting Man in the NFL.” Finally, FWV helped Arena swimwear make a splash at the London Olympics, where numerous media outlets, including the L.A. Times and FoxSports.com named Arena as one brand that “won big in London.”
BRONZE DeVries Global DeVries is a 35-year-old New York-based company with nearly 200 employees, specializing in integrated communications in the consumer, lifestyle and better living space. Under its burgeoning global expansion, the company has created a worldwide network among six offices that provides a new level of service for its clients. The global expansion established offices in Asia and Europe, meanwhile drawing on talent from its headquarters. It is designed to service global brands, offering greater cross-market collaboration through a holistic international alliance. DeVries is comprised of passionate specialists with unparalleled expertise, and many of its brand assignments have spanned decades (with the average tenure of a DeVries client as nine years).
2013 BULLDOG AWARDS HALL OF FAME
The breadth of the agency’s expertise is focused on beauty, wellness, home, food and Beverage, fashion and lifestyle, and retail. In response to the rapidly evolving influencer landscape and the ubiquity of social media, as well as an ongoing client need for creative thought leadership and big ideas, DeVries created a Creative and Strategic Services team two years ago. Designed as a creative think-tank for the agency, the team has doubled in size over the past 18 months. The team pushes the boundaries of conventional PR thinking through an understanding of cultural trends, the social media space, ideas that resonate there and how they can be measured. They work hand-in-hand with account teams and have been an engine for the agency’s thought leadership— through participation on panels, drafting white papers and blog posts for prominent industry publications and refreshing the company’s social media presence. In a year of extraordinary transition and change with the launch of DeVries Global, the agency continued to nurture and expand existing relationships with clients such as Campbell Soup Company, Procter & Gamble and Tyson Foods. New clients include PepsiCo and Durex. DeVries represents a small list of clients and always puts client service, client relationships and organic growth first. The agency is committed to maintaining primarily dedicated teams on each piece of business. Very few people at DeVries work on any more than two accounts at a time, which enables staff to become more deeply immersed in client business. The business model also enables employee satisfaction—rated between 83 and 99 percent. DeVries was recognized for innovative ideas like “Downy Puts Mike in the Window for Clean Sheet Week,” “Tide ‘Loads of Hope’ Spreads to Help Haiti” and “Pantene Goes Back to the 80s,” all of which were sparked by insights and ideas from the creative services team. During the year, DeVries’s organic growth netted out at nearly 70 percent and experienced moderate top and bottom line growth. DeVries also expanded social media strategy and community management and a burgeoning U.S. Hispanic capability.
CRISIS AGENCY OF THE YEAR
GOLD Media & Communications Strategies Media & Communication Strategies, Inc. (MAC Strategies) is the communications catalyst that allows clients to fight and beat powerful individuals or massive institutions trying to steal rights and circumvent justice for self-serving agendas. Its efforts have helped repair reputations of clients who used MAC Strategies’ communications prowess and relationship skills to yank their lives and livelihoods back from the brink of failure. In general, MAC Strategies has provided crisis communications for complex, high profile cases with results that saved lives, began US government investigations, repaired reputations, and helped rebuild damaged businesses. In so doing, the agency has not only directly supported clients’ cases but also enhanced the brand of law firm clients and large multi-national corporations needing help with Corporate Social Responsibility. MAC has used communications tools involving congressional or local government lobbying, all levels of media relations and social media, and have produced the highest quality video production. MAC Strategies shows versatility across different industries to produce beneficial results for the client. It focuses in the areas of crisis communications, viral strategy, litigation public relations, and website/SEO advancement. Clients range from law firms to individuals needing reputation management, from very large multinational manufacturers to food supplement farmers and distributors, from professional services providers to Johns Hopkins hospitals, from aviation clients to wealth managers and authors. MAC Strategies has six full and part-time employees, strategic partners and vendors and yet has handled some of the most high profile cases this year. Other public relations professionals and agencies come to MAC for advisement after seeing such great results. For example, for client The Employment Law Group® law firm (TELG) in Washington DC, MAC Strategies provides a wide range of services, including media and government relations, case vetting, speaking opportunities and video production. MAC Strategies has also aided TELG in representing cases that have changed the way whistleblower law is written and begun US Army and US Senate investigations into contractor abuses in Afghanistan, pushing for improvements in whistleblower law, and advocating the role of whistleblowers at conferences and panels. In another standout campaign, MAC Strategies was hired by a California architectural firm, after the CEO of the firm was unfairly caught up in a San Diego DA’s investigation into pay-for-play dealings concerning public school officials in the state. The agency’s efforts resulted in a drastic increase of positive stories,
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better professional and employee relationships, negating legal liabilities, and actually a dramatic regrowth of business. MAC also created videos and positive stories about the client’s work that increased the credibility and numbers of testimonials on the client’s website. MAC Strategies shines a spotlight on big corporations defrauding the government, whistleblowers who risked their careers and lives to win justice for themselves and, in some cases, strike a blow for freedom, overcome massive government bureaucracy, and even journalistic sloth. Intrinsic in all client representation, whether for individuals or businesses, has been its commitment to those who hire MAC Strategies.
S I LV E R MWW When it comes to crisis communications, MWW believes that the best defense is a good offense, which is why the agency developed Crisis Action Protocol (CAP), a proprietary methodology that focuses on proactive crisis management and encompasses vulnerability assessment, crisis planning and management. CAP includes communications strategies that touch all corporate stakeholders, uses the media to a client’s advantage, and proactively manages the rumor mill. This approach merges MWW’s strengths in brand and reputation management, internal communications, investor relations, public affairs and authority positioning. MWW’s crisis communications practice was one of the first to use dark websites, blog strategies and technology-based plan maintenance in managing crises and has created other innovative training techniques, such as real-world simulation exercises and ambush media training. With more than 60 years of combined crisis experience, MWW’s crisis counselors have supported a wide variety of organizations across numerous industries within nearly every practice group, including incidents triggering business continuity issues, property damage and injuries, CEO transitions and departures, consumer safety concerns, public protests, federal and state investigations, IT security issues and data thefts, financial crises and negative media attention. MWW’s preparatory services include in-depth vulnerability assessments, crisis plan evaluation and development, marketplace intelligence, influencer targeting, spokesperson preparation and scenario-based response training. The agency’s leadership in digital crisis communications is particularly noteworthy. It includes creation and management of digital and social media tools to be leveraged in a crisis, as well as monitoring the online landscape during crises and managing connections with critical constituencies through
CRISIS AGENCY OF THE YEAR digital and social media channels. MWW’s wide-ranging crisis communications experience, coupled with its exceptional understanding of both traditional and digital crisis planning and response techniques, make it an ideal partner for any organization considering how best to respond when a crisis hits. With major crisis clients, MWW has implemented timeeffective strategies to ensure a positive outcome. It is important to have a voice in the industry. MWW’s blog “Return on Reputation” gives its executives a way to communicate with both industry professionals and the public and offer their opinions and insights on current company or industry crises. “Return on Reputation” highlights the latest crisis and
company reputation news. The discussion ranges from corporate issues to politics to pop culture and lifestyle. Led by Carreen Winters, EVP, Corporate Communications, with the collaboration of several MWW employees, the blog provides readers with an opinion and summary of different corporate communication events. Protecting clients’ reputations is a role MWW takes very seriously. As the landscape of communications has rapidly changed, the textbook rules of crisis management no longer apply. Ten years ago, conventional wisdom held that the first 24 hours of the crisis cycle were the most important. Now, the first 24 hours have collapsed into the first 60 seconds. It’s no longer sufficient to be reactive. Rather, crisis management is about staying ahead of the issues that can make or break a company.
D I G I TA L AG E N C Y O F T H E Y E A R
GOLD MWW MWW does not view this era of continuous evolution of the communications landscape to be a challenge. Rather, the agency sees it as a unique opportunity: The flux of technology and digital communication vehicles enables MWW to better demonstrate PR’s impact in helping brands and companies build and maintain trust and relevancy among core constituents. MWW’s award-winning digital media practice is recognized for building and executing industry-leading campaigns, as well as its strategic expertise in digital, social and emerging media. MWW offers its clients a powerhouse team of digital media experts in a variety of specialties, including social media and marketing strategists in various industry-specific markets, creative digital designers, media planners, programmers and analytics experts. Despite the current economic downturn, MWW’s digital team has quadrupled in size since 2011 in response to new business and organic growth. Most notable new client wins in the last 12 months include Frontier Airlines, Zumba Fitness, Discovery Bay Games, Inc, Usamp and Walgreen Co. The agency has also experienced increased business with long-time clients Hillshire Brands and Nikon, Inc. As digital continues to democratize media, the team recognizes the need for its clients to leverage the power of digital and social strategy, content creation, distribution and measurement. The fact that the consumer now outspends all brands drives MWW to engage clients’ audiences to become the ultimate programmers of their social networks.
2013 STARS OF PR HALL OF FAME
MWW’s digital marketing team has taken a thought leadership role within the industry by providing insights on the changing digital landscape. This includes the development and publication of white papers and appointments at industry conferences and events. In both 2012 and 2013, MWW partnered with Social Media Week (SMW) and hosted a series of events in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City and San Francisco designed to identify the messages and trends that will inspire action and maintain relevance. MWW leverages the power of digital and social strategy to help clients engage and lead the conversation. In our age of real-time, direct communication, in which brands are defined by online influencers, communities of enthusiasts and voices of detractors both on and offline, we create compelling stories driven by powerful distribution, user-friendly design and continuous measurement to optimize our client’s programs in order to best compete in real time. MWW helps clients to matter more and be relevant in the digital space by developing specialized digital programs that create conversation and drive engagement, delivering business results for products, services and brands. The agency’s campaigns have established best practices for the public relations industry and continue to define how to engage with online communities.
S I LV E R Waggener Edstrom With a deep understanding of the dynamics of influence and storytelling, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide (WE) considers digital influence to be a core part of its DNA. The agency creates memorable and measurable experiences to engage audiences from
D I G I TA L AG E N C Y O F T H E Y E A R discovery to action, generating real business results for clients. By crafting its own software products and services and securing top developers and analytical talent, WE builds strategy, relevance and genuine value into integrated communications plans that include the very important realm of digital. From in-house creative, ideation and experience design services to cutting-edge digital programs, WE continues to invest in the ideas, instruments and expertise that solve clients’ problems. Its in-house group of digital experts delivers a wide range of professional services including digital design, Web development, advertising, content creation, measurement, marketing and the latest in Web technology. WE has been successful, in no small part because of its ability to anticipate and adapt to the natural and dynamic evolution of the industry. The agency’s financial independence enables the team to grow intelligently and with purpose and to continue to invest in developing products and program. Notable achievements include opening offices in Bangalore, India, and Delhi, India, as well as a branch office in Switzerland, adding new global affiliates, building its client portfolio and exceeding its goal of donating 1 percent of its total fee income by contributing more than $1.4 million in probono work, donations and employee volunteer efforts. For employees, WE delivers an experience that spans beyond a specific client or team, connecting its people with where the agency is going and creating opportunities for them to directly impact the company’s future. WE offers options to help employees build their careers—through a global exchange program, a Leadership Forum and WE Influence Institute. Citizenship is a key priority for WE, and as such, WE is committed to developing and driving initiatives that engage employees and that apply company assets while supporting charitable organizations and communities where it can have an impact. The agency’s own corporate responsibility and sustainability focus influences how it operates in these communities and the kind of work its do. For example, WE recognized the value and opportunity to build the WE Social Innovation Practice, which helps clients analyze and address the ongoing challenges posed by economic and societal changes.
BRONZE LEWIS PR Despite last year’s economic downturn and business uncertainties for many agencies, LEWIS PR rose to the challenge, maintained its quality of client work and re-invested alongside its worldwide offices and staff. With the agency experiencing its 17th consecutive year of financial growth, LEWIS expanded its digital marketing branch, LEWIS Pulse, to six hub cities worldwide, offering comprehensive
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services in digital strategy, social media, search engine marketing and Web development. Highlights from the past year include ongoing social media work for vCloud team/VMworld 2012 and social media support for multiple McAfee groups—both of which involved enormous increases in followers, content-sharing and brand recognition via Twitter, Facebook and blog programs and event support. Over the past 12 months, LEWIS also added over 150 new clients worldwide. Recent wins and major LEWIS Pulse clients include Cisco, eBay, Microsoft Silicon Valley and Salesforce. LEWIS Pulse unifies LEWIS PR’s brand strategy, social media marketing, SEO, SEM, design, production and Web teams from around the world. The team’s digital experience spans across technology, consumer, financial services, healthcare, sports and automotive sectors. In 2013, the agency refined its list of digital services and capabilities to include design and production, SEO and SEM, branding consultation and social media marketing for events, among other services. Announced in March 2013, LEWIS Pulse now has best-practice hubs in Barcelona, Boston, Eindhoven, London, San Francisco and Singapore. These locations will coordinate with teams across all the agency’s offices to service clients globally. In addition, having already established a successful digital production unit in its Budapest office, LEWIS is actively hiring further digital resources in other emerging markets, including its newly opened Bangalore office. This strategy enables LEWIS to offer round-the-clock digital content creation and monitoring, cost-effectively. LEWIS currently employs 350 team members across its network of offices and plans to open 10 new offices within the next two years. LEWIS continues to expand its senior management team and is working on further acquisitions in the digital space. LEWIS Pulse has sponsored and supported several professional organizations and events within the PR industry and local community—including participation as the official social media partner for the 6th annual LAUNCH Festival, collaboration with the Social Media Club of San Francisco, and participation as the official social media partner for the Holmes Global Summit. 2012 also marked the global launch of LEWIS’ Kupambana initiative, a not-for-profit foundation created by LEWIS PR to champion the adoption of visual and creative arts in communications. The foundation seeks to identify new artists, concepts and ideas in graphics, video, photography, illustration, music and fine art. It will help train students as well as professionals and will produce insightful research into applied creativity in communications.
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and social media with or without their personal participation so the brand is never lost in the conversation.
Rogers & Cowan
For example, Rogers & Cowan’s relationship with Microsoft came to a pinnacle during the recent launch and roll out of their industrychanging game and entertainment device, Kinect for Xbox 360. The team created a brand ambassador strategy for Microsoft focused on creating personal and customized one-on-one relationships with talent that fit the Kinect for Xbox 360 brand. As a result, the agency successfully created relationships and introduced Kinect to influencers in the film, television, music and sports industries, including David Beckham, Ryan Phillippe, Zachary Levi, Christina Hendricks, Rita Wilson, Ashley Tisdale, Michael Cera and Kelly Rowland.
At Rogers & Cowan, the world of entertainment includes launching new cable TV networks, managing publicity for high profile celebrities and recording artists, domestic and international outreach for leading films, film festivals and award shows and building a roster of Hollywood influencers as brand ambassadors. Rogers & Cowan offers many firsts, including the first PR agency to provide clients with the ability to place their branded products inside the powerful stories on the small and large screens and in the hands of celebrities. The firm is the first to provide technology brands a strategic communication platform as their products and services converge at the intersection of entertainment, technology and consumer marketing. In addition, Rogers & Cowan was the first to create a social media group within an entertainment-marketing agency to navigate entertainment and consumer clients through the rapidly evolving online and digital landscape with innovative counsel and measurable tactics. Rogers & Cowan bridges the worlds of entertainment and brands effectively, working on campaigns at the intersection of brands and entertainment. At times, clients hire the agency to executive their entertainment strategy and at times the firm boards on the entertainment side to manage celebrity campaigns tied to a brand. The team develops creative strategies to utilize the talent or property to secure and maximize media coverage via traditional
Rogers & Cowan has earned several high-profile accolades, including nomination in one of the PR industry’s top awards competitions, the Public Relations Society of America’s Silver Anvil Awards. The agency received recognition for its work on the inaugural 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge, a seven-day, 500-mile professional cycling race attracting more than one million spectators to the race and resulting in an estimated $80 million economic impact to the state of Colorado. Rogers & Cowan received SABRE, MarCom and Hermes awards for the strategic social media blueprint and campaign executed for the global launch of Avon Voices, an online talent search with celebrity judges. The agency also received Platinum and Gold MarCom and Hermes Awards for various magazine, television and online placements secured for clients.
FINANCIAL AGENCY OF THE YEAR
S I LV E R Lambert, Edwards & Associates Lambert, Edwards & Associates (LE&A) was founded in 1998 with a vision to become a leading national agency with cross-functional capabilities in public relations and investor relations. While many agencies specialize in one or the other, few have true expertise in the technical aspects of investor relations while providing a full range of PR services. This is best captured by LE&A’s mantra: “The PR firm that can read an income statement.” This blend of bottomline business knowledge and public relations expertise has created valuable differentiation that has resonated in the marketplace. LE&A is among the nation's top-15 investor relations firms, with clients across a variety of industries including automotive, consumer, retail, healthcare, industrial, business services and
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technology. LE&A is well-known among portfolio managers and professional investors and specializes in serving small- and midcap companies with strategic investor relations counsel and handson execution—ranging from press release writing and presentation development to investor targeting, analyst outreach, non-deal road shows, financial media relations and perception studies. LE&A has posted 13 years of growth and earned numerous industry awards. More than half of LE&A’s current client base is comprised of long-term clients, including publicly traded clients such as The Coast Distribution System (NYSE: CRV), Crawford and Company (NYSE: CRD.B) Drew Industries (NYSE: DW), International Automotive Components (IAC), Inventure Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ: SNAK), Mercantile Bank (NASDAQ: MBWM), Spartan Motors (NASDAQ:SPAR) and Wolverine Worldwide (NYSE:WWW). In 2012, LE&A implemented a variety of highly successful IR and financially driven campaigns. These encompassed projects ranging
FINANCIAL AGENCY OF THE YEAR from public company work to five major mergers and acquisitions, to the launch of one of the nation’s first equity crowd-funding platforms, RelayFund.com. LE&A is an unusual hybrid of professional expertise gained in the global agency, corporate and Wall Street arenas. The experience of team members combines deep financial communications background, hands-on practitioner experience, as well as large agency, investment banking and sell-side analyst experience. The team has been on the inside—running investor relations programs at major U.S. companies like Home Depot, Kmart and Spartan Motors—and has implemented integrated IR programs—working in sync with the C-suite, finance, marketing/PR and legal departments. In the past year, LE&A has added new IR clients, and this was supplemented by financial communications projects, crisis support and M&A work for new private equity clients. LE&A is deeply committed to the investor relations industry with direct engagement with the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI), the Detroit Chapter of NIRI and the Association of Corporate Growth (West Michigan). As part of the firm’s commitment to give
back to the region, the staff at LE&A has also provided both committee and board hours as well as more than $1 million in pro bono work over the last decade.
BRONZE Cognito Cognito is an international PR, digital and marketing agency that specializes in the financial services sector. From offices in London, New York, Los Angeles and Singapore, Cognito works with financial institutions, investment companies and system/data providers to implement programs that help them improve their business' profile, reputation, marketing and lead generation. Cognito's research and technology division Cognito Analytics, enables companies to plan and execute more informed business and communication strategies based on thorough industry information, research and analysis. Cognito Analytics provides a suite of cloud-based applications that cover both traditional and social media.
GLOBAL AGENCY OF THE YEAR
GOLD Havas PR When global advertising and communications services group Havas rebranded, the agencies in the global PR group became reinvigorated and coalesced for one commitment: Getting to the future first. Havas PR North America connects with clients, influencers and consumers through storytelling and shares a way of working, a common mindset and a strategic toolbox. The team has a relaunched website and a renewed energy as Havas PR worldwide. It is the ninth largest in global PR revenue, third most effective in social media, Financial Agency of the Year, No. 2 Healthcare PR Agency of the Year, second-most-awarded PR agency in the world at the Clios and among the most shortlisted networks at Cannes. The past year was good for the group—especially considering that the global economy remains challenged in Europe. Havas’s North American business strengthened in the second half of the year posting good growth, and performance was strong in Latin America and Asia Pacific. The momentum is also strong following the successful rebranding of Euro RSCG to Havas, and the company
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continues to see new business wins. Major wins around the world in the past year included Burger King (Russia), Coty Inc. (global), European Central Bank (France), Samsung (Poland), Siemans OSRAM (Germany), Staples (U.K.), Thomas Cook (U.K.), the United Nations Foundation (U.S. and global), Unilever Dove (Poland) and Yahoo 7 (Australia). Havas PR’s consumer, financial and corporate identity specialties have been instrumental in driving growth. The latter has continued to be a strong area, as the team has built a very strong relationship with Coty Inc. since becoming its PR agency of record for corporate communications in late 2011. Havas continues to work closely with the company as it gets closer to going public, successfully sees it through a CEO transition and embarks on a major corporate branding project. Havas PR has developed some very powerful initiatives for clients and its agencies. Highlights include 120M Books, a digital publishing venture, through which the company launched its annual trends report, as well as a winning bid to host a global youth leadership summit in Pittsburgh. For the Airfood project, Havas Worldwide Belgium mobilized French and German EU institutional officials, and Havas Worldwide Helsinki created a viral sensation with its “Monsters” PSA for Fragile Childhood, with more than 2
GLOBAL AGENCY OF THE YEAR million views on YouTube alone. Red Agency in Australia continues to shine in its support of the charitable Foodbank organization, helping end hunger down under, and Havas PR UK stopped a new national tax dead in its tracks for its client Greggs the Bakery. Finally, Cake Group heated up the London Olympics with the ultimate after-party for client vitaminwater and turned Volvo into the most popular luxury car on Pinterest. Marian Salzman, CEO of Havas PR North America, has been instrumental in the unification of the global PR practice and is chairing its steering committee, which includes the industry’s top leaders.
S I LV E R Waggener Edstrom Waggener Edstrom Worldwide (WE) gives innovation a voice using methods that focus on impact and measurement. WE starts conversations and powers digital engagement with an awardwinning combination of technological tools and human analytical expertise. A partner to and champion of international market leaders since 1983, WE is a steward of bold ideas and the brave people who bring them to life. The agency relishes the chance to step back and consider the people who will benefit in work, play or life from the stories it tells for clients. WE has been successful in no small part because of its ability to anticipate and adapt to the natural and dynamic evolution of our industry. The agency has continues to invest in developing products and programs that reinforce the importance of innovation and measurement. Notable achievements include expanding its global footprint by opening offices in Bangalore, India and Delhi, India, as well as a branch office in Switzerland. WE also acquired Patzer PR GmbH in Munich and made an equity investment in Shout Communications Korea. WE also added three new Global Alliance affiliates in Brazil, the Philippines and Miami. Building its client portfolio, WE added 140 new global clients—a more than 40 percent increase from 2011. Continuing to attract talent through traditional and social hiring practices—including an incredibly successful recruiting program—the team helped generate more than 225 new global, regular employee hires. WE also exceeded its goal of donating 1 percent of the total fee income by contributing more than $1.4 million in pro-bono work, donations and employee volunteer efforts. For employees, WE delivers an experience that spans beyond a specific client or team, connecting its people with where the agency
is going and creating opportunities for them to directly impact the company’s future. WE offers options to help employees build their careers—through a global exchange program, a Leadership Forum and WE Influence Institute. Citizenship is a key priority for WE, and as such, WE is committed to developing and driving initiatives that engage employees and that apply company assets while supporting charitable organizations and communities where it can have an impact. The agency’s own corporate responsibility and sustainability focus influences how it operates in these communities and the kind of work its do. For example, WE recognized the value and opportunity to build the WE Social Innovation Practice, which helps clients analyze and address the ongoing challenges posed by economic and societal changes.
BRONZE LEWIS PR LEWIS PR is a global PR and digital communications agency. In addition to traditional media and analyst relations, LEWIS specializes in social media, digital marketing and creative services. It works with companies to implement integrated communications programs on an international scale. LEWIS works with leading and emerging brands across multiple sectors, including automotive, consumer, government, healthcare, insurance, legal, non-profit, technology and telecom. LEWIS has 25 wholly owned offices across the US, EMEA and Asia Pacific, with regional headquarters in London, San Francisco and Singapore. LEWIS experienced its 17th consecutive year of global financial growth with record revenues. The agency’s international network continues expand with plans to grow its digital marketing branch, LEWIS Pulse, across the globe and to also open 10 new global offices over the next two years. Highlights from the past 12 months include a campaign to help build awareness and launch Ultimate Ears (UE), Logitech’s range of professional music accessories, to German consumers; a push for 2KSports to raise awareness for the release of NBA2K12 in Singapore; and a campaign to lead Splunk, an enterprise data platform specializing in the collection, indexing and analysis of machine data in real-time, through one of the most notably successful enterprise IPOs in 2012. Over the past year, LEWIS also added approximately 150 new clients to its roster and announced its global expansion plans to open 10 new offices within the next two years. Two new offices in Bangalore and Kuala Lumpur have already opened in 2013. The agency now has 25 wholly owned offices. The agency saw significant growth in Asia Pacific with record
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GLOBAL AGENCY OF THE YEAR regional revenues and celebrated 15 years of LEWIS Germany (retaining the status as the No. 1 German Tech agency). LEWIS also expanded its partner agency network, with a total of 28 partners and added capabilities in Brazil and Russia to complete its BRIC presence. Continuing its investment in digital communications, LEWIS completed the integration of LEWIS Pulse (formerly Page One PR), a new digital marketing and social media services branch and announced its expansion to six hub cities worldwide in March 2013. LEWIS Pulse focuses on delivering integrated Web marketing and content marketing campaigns. New services offered include
branding and strategy, design and production, Web development, social media marketing, search engine optimization and search engine marketing. The agency also created the Kupambana Foundation, a not-forprofit global initiative to bridge the creative and visual arts with the communications industry. It aims to foster creativity in PR, while also supporting the growth of emerging artists. The Foundation also funds the training of students and professionals in art and industry, produces research into applied creativity communications and partners with academic institutions across the globe.
G L O B A L AG E N C Y O F T H E Y E A R ( M U LT I N AT I O N A L P R AC T I C E )
markets globally—San Francisco; and in Brussels to support our growing public affairs and government relations business in Europe.
Ruder Finn also launched a new global specialty offering in health IT to help clients leverage emerging technologies and engage with stakeholders. In Health & Wellness, the agency further strengthened its client base with significant new business wins, as well as the global expansion of existing accounts.
As one of the largest independent global communications agencies—with approximately 500 people globally and over 190 professionals in the U.S.—Ruder Finn is uniquely positioned to provide clients with global perspective, insights and resources, yet small enough to bring the exceptional client service, creativity and innovation of a boutique agency. As one of the only communications agencies co-headquartered in New York and China, Ruder Finn brings a distinctive east-west perspective to global businesses. With an on-the-ground presence in Boston, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Basel, London, Brussels, Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Bangalore, Mumbai and New Delhi, Ruder Finn provides the handson experience of a local boutique agency. Over the last year, Ruder Finn has evaluated the industry and evolving needs of global clients. The agency has shifted focus to concentrate on big-picture assignments with large multinational corporations where it can add value with its strong focus on global strategy, creativity and quality. Meaningful engagements with major multinationals now represent 72 percent of Ruder Finn’s work, and 53 percent of its work is with $1 million+ clients. Ruder Finn has worked to expand in the regions that matter by combining international resources with localized experience, allowing it to make the largest impact on behalf of clients. This year, Ruder Finn opened three offices in key locations around the world: Ruder Finn continued expansion in India, with new offices in New Delhi and a new presence in Bangalore; on the West Coast, with the opening of an office in one of the fastest growing technology
2013 STARS OF PR HALL OF FAME
Over the last year, Ruder Finn has made several strategic hires to grow its expertise in building online platforms and mobile applications—work that many communications firms outsource. It has also earned countless industry awards and celebrated a strong employee engagement program.
S I LV E R Cohn & Wolfe On fire is the best way to describe Cohn & Wolfe. In the past twelve months, the agency expanded its global footprint with six new offices in Asia, retained all of its top 20 clients, added 50+ new brands to its roster, delivered bold campaigns that won 40 industry awards, solidified a marquee new leadership team and fostered a cohesive culture driven by the agency’s mantra: Dig Deeper. Imagine More. To top it off, PRWeek named Cohn & Wolfe its 2013 Large PR Agency of the Year and overall PR Agency of the Year. A large part of the agency’s success stemmed from its focus on strategic growth in Asia. Over the past two years, Cohn & Wolfe tripled its size in Greater China - acquiring two leading agencies (impactasia and XPR) and opening six new offices across the region: Jakarta, Mumbai, Delhi, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, while merging offices in both Beijing and Shanghai.
G L O B A L AG E N C Y O F T H E Y E A R ( M U LT I N AT I O N A L P R AC T I C E ) Cohn & Wolfe is driven by its mantra – Dig Deeper. Imagine More (DDIM). Each year the agency celebrates and reinvigorates its research-driven creative firepower at Dig Deeper. Imagine More. Day, a global employee think-tank session that supports different causes. Cohn & Wolfe’s first DDIM Day brought together 500+ employees in 18 offices to create an award-winning global campaign, plus a dozen local programs, driving awareness and funding for Project Kaisei’s ocean clean-up initiatives. Its second DDIM Day challenged employees to identify a local children’s charity and, for just $1,000, create a campaign that taps children’s imaginations in a way that impacts their lives and helps the organizations that support them It all comes down to a singular approach: Cohn & Wolfe’s purposedriven creativity is driven from the inside out. By empowering its employees to dig deeper to find hidden patterns and connections, the agency delivers unexpected, imaginative campaigns that are rooted in unique insights about brands and their audiences. This method has driven tremendous, measureable success for both its clients and the agency.
BRONZE Havas PR When global advertising and communications services group Havas rebranded, the agencies in the global PR group became reinvigorated and coalesced for one commitment: Getting to the future first. Havas PR North America connects with clients, influencers and consumers through storytelling and shares a way of working, a common mindset and a strategic toolbox. The team has a relaunched website and a renewed energy as Havas PR worldwide. It is the ninth largest in global PR revenue, third most effective in social media, Financial Agency of the Year, No. 2 Healthcare PR Agency of the Year, second-most-awarded PR agency in the world at the Clios and among the most shortlisted networks at Cannes. The past year was good for the group—especially considering that the global economy remains challenged in Europe. Havas’s North
2013 STARS OF PR HALL OF FAME
American business strengthened in the second half of the year posting good growth, and performance was strong in Latin America and Asia Pacific. The momentum is also strong following the successful rebranding of Euro RSCG to Havas, and the company continues to see new business wins. Major wins around the world in the past year included Burger King (Russia), Coty Inc. (global), European Central Bank (France), Samsung (Poland), Siemans OSRAM (Germany), Staples (U.K.), Thomas Cook (U.K.), the United Nations Foundation (U.S. and global), Unilever Dove (Poland) and Yahoo 7 (Australia). Havas PR’s consumer, financial and corporate identity specialties have been instrumental in driving growth. The latter has continued to be a strong area, as the team has built a very strong relationship with Coty Inc. since becoming its PR agency of record for corporate communications in late 2011. Havas continues to work closely with the company as it gets closer to going public, successfully sees it through a CEO transition and embarks on a major corporate branding project. Havas PR has developed some very powerful initiatives for clients and its agencies. Highlights include 120M Books, a digital publishing venture, through which the company launched its annual trends report, as well as a winning bid to host a global youth leadership summit in Pittsburgh. For the Airfood project, Havas Worldwide Belgium mobilized French and German EU institutional officials, and Havas Worldwide Helsinki created a viral sensation with its “Monsters” PSA for Fragile Childhood, with more than 2 million views on YouTube alone. Red Agency in Australia continues to shine in its support of the charitable Foodbank organization, helping end hunger down under, and Havas PR UK stopped a new national tax dead in its tracks for its client Greggs the Bakery. Finally, Cake Group heated up the London Olympics with the ultimate after-party for client vitaminwater and turned Volvo into the most popular luxury car on Pinterest. Marian Salzman, CEO of Havas PR North America, has been instrumental in the unification of the global PR practice and is chairing its steering committee, which includes the industry’s top leaders.
LARGE AGENCY OF THE YEAR – ABOVE $50,000,000
GOLD Hill & Knowlton Hill+Knowlton Strategies offers senior counsel, insightful research and strategic communications planning throughout the world. The firm has 90 offices in 52 countries, and its clients represent 46 of Interbrand's 2010 Top 100 Global Brands. Fifty percent of global Fortune 500 companies have chosen to work with the firm, and a relationship with WPP—one of the world's largest communications groups—gives it an unmatched worldwide presence. Hill+Knowlton Strategies prides itself on having an extremely global scope, giving employees the ability to work seamlessly across regions, time zones, languages and cultures. Additionally, the firm’s talent is unprecedented and offers some of the most impressive thought leadership in the industry. H+K has been in the idea business for over 85 years—longer than any of its competitors. Hill+Knowlton has made great strides in terms of recruiting new employees, establishing a strong foundation of training programs and emphasizing that talent should be promoted from within. H+K has also made it a priority to recruit people from outside the public relations industry—specifically, people from business and law schools and who have had a career in business. This allows H+K to foster a dynamic, creative culture in which insights are drawn from a variety of perspectives and backgrounds. The firm’s total global 2012 headcount is between 2000-2500 employees, and it has 13 practice areas: Corporate advisory, change and internal, crisis, marcomms, public affairs, digital, research, sports marketing and sponsorship, technology, energy, health and pharma, sustainability (U.S.) and media relations (U.S.). It was fitting that 2012 was the firm’s first full year as “Hill+Knowlton Strategies,” as the year contained several milestones that emphasized the strategic counselor role that H+K Strategies plays for an increasing number of clients. Such milestones include the integration of Dewey Square Group (DSG) into Hill+Knowlton Strategies family; Flight School, a crisis communications offering; and an elaborate expansion plan for Africa that will provide consultancy services to businesses across the continent. In addition, as an effort to focus on critical and emerging marketplaces, Hill+Knowlton Strategies elevated its China network to region status in early 2013. Hill+Knowlton Strategies fills the “fifth seat” for clients—by becoming a strategic partner, providing them with wise counsel and by helping them connect with the public in meaningful ways. The idea behind this is that when faced with significant decisions, companies traditionally turn to four advisors: Legal counsel, bankers, management consultants and accountants. Each of these
2013 BULLDOG AWARDS HALL OF FAME
advisors is trusted to review his or her area of expertise, but none factor the public and public trust, into their final analysis. H+K’s expertise about the public offers the opportunity to not only deliver excellent client service, but also to forge a path to grow and develop into new areas.
S I LV E R Cohn & Wolfe On fire is the best way to describe Cohn & Wolfe. In the past twelve months, the agency expanded its global footprint with six new offices in Asia, retained all of its top 20 clients, added 50+ new brands to its roster, delivered bold campaigns that won 40 industry awards, solidified a marquee new leadership team and fostered a cohesive culture driven by the agency’s mantra: Dig Deeper. Imagine More. To top it off, PRWeek named Cohn & Wolfe its 2013 Large PR Agency of the Year and overall PR Agency of the Year. A large part of the agency’s success stemmed from its focus on strategic growth in Asia. Over the past two years, Cohn & Wolfe tripled its size in Greater China - acquiring two leading agencies (impactasia and XPR) and opening six new offices across the region: Jakarta, Mumbai, Delhi, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, while merging offices in both Beijing and Shanghai. Cohn & Wolfe is driven by its mantra – Dig Deeper. Imagine More (DDIM). Each year the agency celebrates and reinvigorates its research-driven creative firepower at Dig Deeper. Imagine More. Day, a global employee think-tank session that supports different causes. Cohn & Wolfe’s first DDIM Day brought together 500+ employees in 18 offices to create an award-winning global campaign, plus a dozen local programs, driving awareness and funding for Project Kaisei’s ocean clean-up initiatives. Its second DDIM Day challenged employees to identify a local children’s charity and, for just $1,000, create a campaign that taps children’s imaginations in a way that impacts their lives and helps the organizations that support them It all comes down to a singular approach: Cohn & Wolfe’s purposedriven creativity is driven from the inside out. By empowering its employees to dig deeper to find hidden patterns and connections, the agency delivers unexpected, imaginative campaigns that are rooted in unique insights about brands and their audiences. This method has driven tremendous, measureable success for both its clients and the agency.
LARGE AGENCY OF THE YEAR – ABOVE $50,000,000
BRONZE Waggener Edstrom Waggener Edstrom Worldwide (WE) gives innovation a voice using methods that focus on impact and measurement. WE starts conversations and powers digital engagement with an awardwinning combination of technological tools and human analytical expertise. A partner to and champion of international market leaders since 1983, WE is a steward of bold ideas and the brave people who bring them to life. The agency relishes the chance to step back and consider the people who will benefit in work, play or life from the stories it tells for clients. WE has been successful, in no small part, because of its ability to anticipate and adapt to the natural and dynamic evolution of our industry. The agency has continues to invest in developing products and programs that reinforce the importance of innovation and measurement. Notable achievements include expanding its global footprint by opening offices in Bangalore, India and Delhi, India, as well as a branch office in Switzerland. WE also acquired Patzer PR GmbH in Munich and made an equity investment in Shout Communications Korea. WE also added three new Global Alliance affiliates in Brazil, the Philippines and Miami.
Building its client portfolio, WE added 140 new global clients—a more than 40 percent increase from 2011. Continuing to attract talent through traditional and social hiring practices—including an incredibly successful recruiting program—the team helped generate more than 225 new global, regular employee hires. WE also exceeded its goal of donating 1 percent of the total fee income by contributing more than $1.4 million in pro-bono work, donations and employee volunteer efforts. For employees, WE delivers an experience that spans beyond a specific client or team, connecting its people with where the agency is going and creating opportunities for them to directly impact the company’s future. WE offers options to help employees build their careers—through a global exchange program, a Leadership Forum and WE Influence Institute. Citizenship is a key priority for WE and, as such, WE is committed to developing and driving initiatives that engage employees and that apply company assets while supporting charitable organizations and communities where it can have an impact. The agency’s own corporate responsibility and sustainability focus influences how it operates in these communities and the kind of work it does. For example, WE recognized the value and opportunity to build the WE Social Innovation Practice, which helps clients analyze and address the ongoing challenges posed by economic and societal changes.
MIDSIZE AGENCY OF THE YEAR – UNDER $20,000,000
GOLD Fahlgren Mortine Fahlgren Mortine is a nationally competitive firm headquartered in the Midwest. Practice areas include corporate communications, media relations, marketing public relations, internal communications and public affairs. Its industry groups are automotive, consumer products and services, education, healthcare, industrial/manufacturing products and services, professional and financial services, technology and travel and economic development. Its established integrated offering stands above those of agencies that have only recently brought paid, earned, owned and shared disciplines together. Fahlgren Mortine operates under the philosophy that the best culture attracts the best people, and the best people attract the best clients. In the last year, Fahlgren Mortine introduced Ohioans to the “Nocturnivore,” completing a nationally award-winning integrated campaign to increase sales for the QSR; earned $12.1 million in estimated media value for TourismOhio; helped increase registrations with the Ohio Donor Registry by 32%; executed media
2013 STARS OF PR HALL OF FAME
relations to earn more than 7,600 articles and 8.4 billion impressions for Myrtle Beach; and earned more than 20 million impressions for ScottsMiracle-Gro’s GRO1000 initiative to build 1,000 gardens. Fahlgren Mortine’s public relations group serves more than 75 different accounts based in more than half the states from California to Connecticut. Account retention rate in 2012 was 94.4 percent. Last year, the firm won 49 new clients totaling roughly $2.6 million in revenue. Some of those include Nova Southeastern University, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Office of Tourism Ohio and West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. In addition, the firm’s pro bono and volunteer work impacts Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio, Mid-Ohio Foodbank, Pelotonia, The American Diabetes Association and The Buckeye Ranch, among others. Fahlgren Mortine has a staff of 49, based across 10 offices in five states and who thrive on succeeding in a very competitive environment. Beyond traditional benefits, the firm offers employees movie nights, miniature golf tournaments and an annual Groundhog’s Day breakfast. HR programs help attract and keep talent and preserve a healthy work-life balance through things like
MIDSIZE AGENCY OF THE YEAR – UNDER $20,000,000 unlimited personal time, a peer-to-peer-based recognition program, industry involvement and professional development programs. In all, Fahlgren Mortine only experienced a 9% employee turnover rate, and, in a recent survey of staff, 94% reported feeling loyal to their team or work group.
S I LV E R Makovsky + Co. Makovsky has decisively entered the ranks of one most visible, admired and successful public relations agencies of any size in the United States. It is often recognized as an outstanding agency and has garnered numerous industry awards for excellence, client campaigns and individual executives. This year, client retention was 80 percent, and 90 percent of clients rated the agency positively. Revenue growth also rose 10 percent to a record $13.5 million. Since its earliest years, Makovsky has committed to developing and sharing with clients and peers insight that fosters clear strategic thinking and sharp program action. The agency’s flagship white paper series, “Strategies,” provides a drumbeat of timely, practicefocused commentary on topics and trends of greatest interest to clients. Makovsky also regularly translates research findings and industry insights into in-person events and led more than a dozen seminars and panel discussions this year. Makovsky regularly sponsors proprietary research not simply as a marketing device, but as a means to guide client strategy and to move the needle on major public policy debates in our focus industries. Recent groundbreaking studies focused on the battered reputation of the financial services sector, the battle for power between CMOs and CCOs, the strength of “green” attitudes in the executive suite and a joint study with Stanford University on corporate Web design. This past year, Makovsky launched its new rebranding initiative, undertaken entirely by Makovsky's own digital branding group. As Makovsky continued to focus on integrating an ever-expanding list of services—from traditional public relations to digital and social media—it chose a more inclusive corporate descriptor: Integrated Communications. This focus on integrated communications— covering branding, websites, social media and digital communications – resulted in more than 50% of new clients retaining Makovsky for integrated programs in 2012. Ken Makovsky’s active leadership guides the firm, and he has received six individual honors, including the Grand Prize of “Communications Professional of the Year.” Ken is engaged in a variety of outside causes and is possibly the most visible and influential blogger in public relations today with his “My Three Cents” blog.
2013 BULLDOG AWARDS HALL OF FAME
Makovsky’s business strategy is captured in its value proposition, “the power of specialized thinking.” The agency was one of the first specialized “boutiques” and focuses today on a group of specialized high-growth industries—healthcare, financial services, branding, consulting and information technology—where it is recognized as a leader. It has grown at a rate of 188% over the past 8 years. The agency opened a new energy practice in Washington DC in 2012, and annualized revenues in that practice are already above $400,000. The firm also rests on the belief that transparency and openness in the workplace will translate into loyalty and success. Employee retention was 95 percent in 2012, well above industry norms.
BRONZE Eric Mower + Associates Eric Mower + Associates (EMA) is an $11.9-million public relations and public affairs agency operating within a digitally integrated marketing communications firm. EMA’s 50-person PR/PA team is well-balanced in both consumer and business-to-business PR and has specialized expertise in public affairs, crisis and reputation management, executive training and cause-related marketing. EMA also has extensive experience in developing and managing PR campaigns with strong social media and online strategies. In 2012, EMA’s PR and PA group saw an 18% increase in revenue. EMA credits most of its work to long-term accounts. In fact, the majority of its growth this past year came through expanded relationships with existing long-term clients. Among them are The Picotte Companies, KeyBank, Ford Dealers of Western New York, Legrand/Pass & Seymour and Nucor Steel. New clients this year include Breyers Toppings (Signature Brands) and Laughing Noodle (White Castle Concept Restaurant). EMA operates two specialty groups—Contractors and New Moms— that build on the agency’s key areas of expertise to offer more value to current clients, as well as position the agency for growth by attracting new prospects. EMA New Moms offers powerful retail strategies to help accelerate buying among first-time moms, and then develop and nurture relationships for years to come. EMA Contractors has been talking to contractors, shadowing them on jobsites and watching how they buy and use products in electrical, plumbing, HVAC and construction. Achievements in the industry include Hungry Pup Studios, a new express design studio for clients; a combination with Strata-G Communications in Cincinnati, Ohio; a partnership with Astute Technologies; and the Market Ready Award as part of The Startup Labs Program—the program’s first launch in the United States.
MIDSIZE AGENCY OF THE YEAR – UNDER $20,000,000 EMA’s unique perks and agency culture earned EMA widespread recognition in 2012. EMA seeks to hire diverse and skilled candidates in the public relations and public affairs field, and in the past year, the agency saw a 2% growth in staff. While not exponential, the number is particularly impressive, seeing as EMA’s turnover rate is one the lowest in the industry—around 7%. Many employees have also returned to the company.
EMA values its employees and strives to create a workplace in which employees thrive and grow. To recruit and retain employees, EMA provides traditional benefits and strives to go the extra mile with a number of unexpected perks, including social events, orientations, luncheons, visits with agency chairman, Eric Mower, robust mentoring and intern programs and volunteer opportunities.
MIDSIZE AGENCY OF THE YEAR – UNDER $50,000,000
GOLD MWW MWW is one of the nation’s top midsized public relations firms and one of the five largest independent global agencies. The past two years have seen tremendous growth and momentum for MWW, beginning with the management-led buy-out from the Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG), ten years after the original sale of MWW to IPG. The company’s independence has fueled significant growth by enabling it to look beyond profit centers to provide enhanced client service and offerings across a wide spectrum of practices. It’s also offered the freedom to act with the same entrepreneurial spirit that MWW was founded on by CEO Michael W. Kempner in 1986. MWW is defining a new approach to PR in a vastly altered media landscape—helping clients to be relevant, matter more and drive action among influencers, customers, key stakeholders and employees. Clients choose MWW, stay with the team and grow with it because MWW approaches clients’ business with the same passion as they do and with the same entrepreneurial spirit upon which this agency was built. MWW experienced 14 percent year over year growth and was named Midsize Agency of the Year by the Holmes Report, International Business Awards, PR News and the Bulldog Stars of PR Awards, as well as Top Places to Work in PR by PR News and Best Places to Work in New Jersey by NJBiz. 40 percent of MWW’s clients have been with the firm for more than five years (and several have remained with it since MWW’s founding). The mission is to create relevance for clients and make them “matter more” to their key stakeholders. The agency does this by providing them with the best in strategic, integrated communications counsel and effective, measurable implementation. MWW’s proprietary NetRelevance methodology is the first to measure impact, rather than just input, to understand
2013 STARS OF PR HALL OF FAME
how content and individuals drive the dialogue that ultimately contributes to purchase, recommendation or engagement. This year, MWW has taken great strides toward implementing a bottom-up management approach with the goal of creating a more collaborative environment and retaining good talent. Recently, MWW has also created an official MWW CSR Committee and instituted a day in which all employees participate in a day of service in their local communities. As a newly independent agency, MWW invested significantly in the growth of a number of practice areas with key new hires, which in turn helped contributed to significant growth in business wins. Highlights included the launch of a new corporate identity, expansion of digital practice and the growth of research and insights. MWW also launched a sustainable solutions practice, MWW Ventures and MWW Entertainment. In addition to the growth of these practice areas, MWW broke new ground by partnering with Social Media Week (SMW), a global event that connects people, content and conversation around emerging trends in social and mobile media.
S I LV E R DeVries Global DeVries is a 35-year-old New York-based company with nearly 200 employees, specializing in integrated communications in the consumer, lifestyle and better living space. Under its burgeoning global expansion, the company has created a worldwide network among six offices that provides a new level of service for its clients. The global expansion established offices in Asia and Europe, meanwhile drawing on talent from its headquarters. It is designed to service global brands, offering greater cross-market collaboration through a holistic international alliance. DeVries is comprised of passionate specialists with unparalleled expertise, and many of its brand assignments have spanned
MIDSIZE AGENCY OF THE YEAR – UNDER $50,000,000 decades (with the average tenure of a DeVries client as nine years). The breadth of the agency’s expertise is focused on beauty, wellness, home, food and beverage, fashion and lifestyle, and retail. In response to the rapidly evolving influencer landscape and the ubiquity of social media, as well as an ongoing client need for creative thought leadership and big ideas, DeVries created a Creative and Strategic Services team two years ago. Designed as a creative think-tank for the agency, the team has doubled in size over the past 18 months. The team pushes the boundaries of conventional PR thinking through an understanding of cultural trends, the social media space, ideas that resonate there and how they can be measured. They work hand-in-hand with account teams and have been an engine for the agency’s thought leadership— through participation on panels, drafting white papers and blog posts for prominent industry publications and refreshing the company’s social media presence. In a year of extraordinary transition and change with the launch of
DeVries Global, the agency continued to nurture and expand existing relationships with clients such as Campbell Soup Company, Procter & Gamble and Tyson Foods. New clients include PepsiCo and Durex. DeVries represents a small list of clients and always puts client service, client relationships and organic growth first. The agency is committed to maintaining primarily dedicated teams on each piece of business. Very few people at DeVries work on any more than two accounts at a time, which enables staff to become more deeply immersed in client business. The business model also enables employee satisfaction—rated between 83 and 99 percent. DeVries was recognized for innovative ideas like “Downy Puts Mike in the Window for Clean Sheet Week,” “Tide ‘Loads of Hope’ Spreads to Help Haiti” and “Pantene Goes Back to the 80s,” all of which were sparked by insights and ideas from the creative services team. During the year, DeVries’s organic growth netted out at nearly 70 percent and experienced moderate top and bottom line growth. DeVries also expanded social media strategy and community management and a burgeoning U.S. Hispanic capability.
NEW AGENCY OF THE YEAR
S I LV E R Ink Link Marketing, LLC Ink Link Marketing is demonstrating in its debut year to be a critical “link” to media, community partners, corporate partners and the public for its clients. Comprised of seasoned public relations professionals paired with young talent, Ink Link brings together experts from various fields to provide clients with expertise blended with fresh thinking. Ink Link took one of the nation’s largest steak-buffet restaurant companies from hiding from the media to basking in it. Buffets, Inc. was in the midst of its second bankruptcy filing when Ink Link was selected to represent them. Before Ink Link began representing Buffets, news of bankruptcy and store closures were all the headlines read, but Ink Link introduced new programs and helped generate feel-good news centered around community involvement to support the military, bringing families together at the dinner table, partnering with kid-friendly organizations like Scholastic Media, creating music promotions with popular country music artists, and bringing the focus back to the food and special times that the brand provides and guests have come to love and expect. As part of this turnaround, Ink Link assisted Buffets in aligning with a reputable national charity, the Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA). In addition to retainer services that include standard PR and promotions for external publicity, the agency was tapped to take
2013 BULLDOG AWARDS HALL OF FAME
the lead on the development of a board communication, as well as to design a premiere internal employee newsletter for Buffets. Aside from increased media and community exposure generated from the PR and marketing efforts, Buffets attributes a major company-wide success, in part, to initiatives from Ink Link Marketing. Buffets recently reported that its third quarter ending in April 2013 produced the most positive results that the company has experienced in seven years. Ink Link was named agency of record by Buffets, Inc. in the spring of 2012 and continues to serve as the company’s AOR today. Its brand portfolio includes Ryan’s, HomeTown Buffet, Country Buffet, Fire Mountain and Old Country Buffet. Ink Link has also been named agency of record for Primecard and has produced projects for numerous others in the restaurant and hospitality space. Ink Link offers pro bono services to non-profit organizations like Women In Distress and Zoo Miami. The firm provides on-site staffing to conduct research projects for its clients and has grown their services to include logistics and staffing for grand opening events. Any company in its first year experiences a period of building its business and client base, and Ink Link has grown its portfolio significantly since inception, starting with one client and now up to nearly half a dozen after just one year. The company forecasts doubling its revenue in yearover-year billings. Ink Link’s principal and founder, Kimberly Miller, is actively involved in the public relations industry as a current board
NEW AGENCY OF THE YEAR member of the PRSA’s Entertainment and Sports Sector and is also involved with a number of other professional and nonprofit/community organizations. Kim’s demonstrated leadership encourages her team to grow professionally and to be contributing members to their local communities.
Committed to creating future PR stars, Ink Link is grooming public relations specialists by offering employment opportunities to college students and recent grads. The company has developed a corps of dedicated specialists that span the globe and has already established a satellite presence in Los Angeles and Chicago.
SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR – UNDER $10,000,000
GOLD Vanguard People-focused, socially responsible communications—that’s what has driven the leadership and staff of Vanguard Communications of Falls Church, Inc. for more than 26 years. The D.C.-based, Hispanic woman-owned agency is a dynamic, energetic, full-service public relations firm where staff use their talents and powers for good. Campaigns built around boosting corporate bottom lines never have been and never will be in its portfolio. Instead, they choose to champion sustainable agriculture through Farm Aid, children’s mental health through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Earth-friendly practices through the District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility, among others. Vanguard’s most tenured accounts have been with the agency for almost two decades. Vanguard organizes to promote leadership and innovation among its 32-person team, which results in continued growth and a parade of new opportunities in all the issue areas they care about. Each staff member contributes his or her gifts to expanding the firm’s capacity in strategic planning and marketing, alliance building, multicultural outreach, integrated media, policy communications, online marketing, event management, branding, design and editorial, Web development and training and technical assistance. In July 2012, Vanguard released its inaugural Purple Paper report, “Evaluating Social Change,” developed in partnership with American and George Washington Universities, filled with advice about measurement to inform prospective clients, other communicators and its own staff. Account teams form based on both competencies and convictions, and many of them congeal around issues that are important to the staff’s personal community or professional interests—be they LGBT rights, graduation rates among youth of color or smoking cessation. 33 percent of Vanguard employees have worked there for more than 10 years. Vanguard recognizes its employees through three award programs and has incorporated wellness time into the workday. What’s more,
2013 STARS OF PR HALL OF FAME
nearly two dozen staff members volunteered at World Environment Day’s (WED) Fair & Expo, a project of the United Nations Environment Programme, in June, and 20 staff members gave up a vacation day to work from sunup to sundown at Farm Aid’s annual concert in September, where they managed every aspect of media relations. These and other community service and employee development programs abound. Vanguard is honored in the PR industry field—for who its team members are and for delivering for clients. Since 2000, Vanguard has collected close to 80 awards, and more than 40 since 2005.
BRONZE Matter Communications, Inc Matter Communications celebrated its 10-year anniversary on April 1, 2013. Located in the seaside community of Newburyport, MA—as opposed to a “big city” footprint in Boston or New York—the privately held company’s growth trajectory simply defies industry odds. In January, Matter announced 20 percent year-on-year growth and a 20 percent addition to staff in 2012, becoming one of the fastest-growing traditional/social media PR firms in the United States. The company did $7 million in revenue last year and expects another 20 percent bump in 2013—mostly through referrals. What’s more, 2012 was the fifth consecutive year of growth of nearly 20 percent, a remarkable accomplishment against the backdrop of a multi-year economic recession that saw many small PR firms lay off workers, slash benefits and, in some cases, draw the curtains on their businesses. Matter is going the other direction, significantly expanding its Newburyport office and launching an additional small office in Boston’s Innovation District. How does a small-town PR firm compete with multi-national conglomerates—and win more often than it loses to become the agency of record for clients like CVS, Lojack and Verizon Wireless of New England? In 2012, Matter attracted and hired the former managing director
SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR – UNDER $10,000,000 from SHIFT Communications in San Francisco, as well as SHIFT’s vice president of marketing. Leaders from the nations’ biggest and hottest PR agencies are throwing down with Matter because they see the opportunity to do daring things without being hamstrung by conglomerate overlords. The firm also boasts 97% employee retention and 95% client retention. In 2012, Matter took a chance and created its own in-house creative services team, in house. Named Studio-C, Matter’s stable of clients reap the benefits of top-flight video, infographics and collateral produced by folks who work hand-in-glove with dedicated PR teams. The agency also created a Precision group, aimed at clients with targeted needs. Both the creative group and Precision are growing faster than they can staff them. Matter earned the honor of “Best Place to Work” from Boston Business Journal, because its people are empowered to provide unvarnished counsel to clients, entrusted to “do the right thing” and
encouraged to pour themselves a beer from the always-on-tap keg at the end of a hard-fought day. Scott Signore is principal and CEO of Matter Communications, founded in 2003. Matter has grown from two clients and four employees to 60 employees and 55 clients today. In 2010, PRWeek named Scott one of the industry’s “40 Under 40.” In 2011, the Boston Business Journal named Matter a “Pacesetter” for growing more than 20% annually for five straight years. In 2012, the BBJ named Matter a “Best Place to Work.” Scott is dedicated to many not-for-profit causes. Through financial contributions, sponsorships and volunteerism, his generosity has benefitted Anna Jaques Hospital, Camp Sunshine, Feeding America, the Newburyport Education Foundation, and the Salvation Army. In addition, Scott holds a Board of Directors position at the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center and the Newburyport Youth Soccer Association.
SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR – UNDER $1,000,000
tight economy, and the agency’s revenues have seen 900 percent growth over the past five years. New clients include the BenchtopPRO, an affordable parts washer with cleaner that uses bioremediation to
AquaPR combines technologies, marketing and public relations to produce measurable results for clients. Team members have experience working with some of the world’s largest brands and building world-class technologies, and they bring that expertise to small and mid-size technology companies. The team leverages social media platforms as part of an integrated communications strategy that builds brands, influences public opinion and drives sales. By focusing its client base in technology, AquaPR has become a PR pioneer in using the next cutting-edge technology and software. The team sets up processes that leverage technology and allow flexibility for its team members.
clean tools as opposed to highly flammable and toxic solvents that create hazardous
AquaPR has been leveraging “the cloud,” mobile technology and special software for years. As users rely more heavily on reviews in forums, blogs and on special interest sites, they pitch those arenas, when appropriate, for reviews and monitor communication (transparently) to help clients deliver positioning and messaging to their target audiences.
The AquaPR agency strives to provide its team members with flexibility so they can enjoy a work-life balance. This balance may vary across team members but is structured to fit their individual needs. AquaPR team members have in-house company and agency experiences beyond media and public relations that include merchandise buyers, marketers, media buyers and product managers. Employee experience is enhanced by training and seminars, flexible healthcare and an internship program.
In addition to being an agency that can successfully service the blurring line between marketing and PR, the AquaPR team acts as the communications officer at numerous levels for companies including the CMO and Vice President of Public Relations. By being integrated into clients’ teams, they are able to initiate cost-effective and creative campaigns. As the industry has continued to change, AquaPR has also worked closely with its clients to understand the importance of content management. AquaPR’s revenues increased by 20 percent over last year in a very
2013 BULLDOG AWARDS HALL OF FAME
waste when used. Since launching the product in November 2012, the team has secured top-tier product coverage including Popular Mechanics and DIY Network.com. In terms of client retention, Wi-Ex has been a client for seven years, and this continued relationship is based on continuing to develop strategic and creative plans that result in media placements such as the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
S I LV E R Wireside Communications Wireside Communications is an independent public relations agency focused on high tech business-to-business
SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR – UNDER $1,000,000 communications. Wireside works with a limited number of national and international high tech businesses to maintain a high level of strategic and tactical results that closely align with clients’ business objectives. The mission of Wireside is to ensure clientbased public relations and marketing objectives are cost-effectively achieved. Qualitative and quantitative measurement is at the core of the agency’s campaigns and is designed to align investment with ROI.
2013 with further promotion of the agency via social media platforms, development of an awards program, weekly postings on company blog “Fireside,” news releases and feature stories about the agency.
As a full service agency, Wireside provides a portfolio of communications programs designed to effectively meet business goals including: Company positioning and messaging, strategic public relations planning, and tactical implementation, including social media. The agency’s events services encompass content development, sponsorship, marketing communications and public relations. Wireside is the only public relations agency in the United States with an award winning and dedicated (Internet Protocol version 6) IPv6 PR practice. The agency is headquartered in Richmond, Va. and maintains a satellite office in Dresden, Germany.
Wireside’s account retention rates speak to an agency model that values long term sustainability over short term gains. As a high end boutique agency, Wireside manages growth thoughtfully and consciously so as to not dilute the quality of work and client service for which the agency is known. The execution of the firm’s smart growth strategy showcases its dedication to quality and customer service in action.
In 2004, bootstrapping with her laptop and personal credit card without any savings or private, personal or institutional loans or investors, Joya Subudhi founded the company as Subudhi Consulting Group (SCG). Utilizing her contacts, relationships and reputation in the high tech PR industry, as well as her volunteer work on IPv6 technology, she quickly distinguished the agency as a leader in the field of high tech public relations. Today, Wireside is profitable, has no debt, and represents multinational Fortune Global 500 clients as well as universities and nonprofit organizations. In 2011, the agency initiated a full rebrand to reflect the evolution of its brand attributes and brand personality since its inception as Subudhi Consulting. In April 2012, the agency debuted its new brand at Ethernet Europe colocated with the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) in Munich, Germany. Wireside looks forward to continuing phase two of the rebrand in
2013 STARS OF PR HALL OF FAME
Differentiating itself from competitors of similar size, Wireside has since 2011 maintained a satellite office in Dresden, Germany to support high tech, cutting-edge German companies seeking to market their products and services in the United States.
Employee retention has also been steady since the agency’s inception and is reflected in numerous employees who have grown with the agency. The workplace culture at Wireside is reflective of the collaborative spirit of the agency—while the work is fast paced and challenging, the agency ethos is to be supportive and transparent. In addition to offering flexibility within the 9-to-5 framework, Wireside also has an agency dog – a black English Labrador named Ridley who comes in every day helping to reduce stress and promote a supportive atmosphere. Wireside is committed to job creation by funding and mentoring a new generation of business people to work in this specialty field. With this commitment in mind, Wireside founded a competitive internship program. Wireside also conducts PR campaigns to educate the IT industry on the importance of sustainability and energy efficiency, using the firm’s skills to improve society and doing pro-bono work for clients that benefits society and takes on pro-bono projects for non-profit organizations with green missions.
SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR – UNDER $3,000,000
GOLD Konnect Public Relations Konnect PR is a Los Angeles-based firm that specializes in creating custom campaigns that deliver unbeatable business results. The firm distinguishes itself by offering more than the traditional public relations agency: Each strategic PR plan is carefully tailored to generate visible ROI, align with the overall brand objectives and accommodate budget requirements. Konnect does not believe in a one-size-fits-all public relations strategy. Each client is treated as a unique entity. With more than 80 years of collective experience, Konnect’s ambitious, dedicated and enthusiastic professionals contribute a wealth of knowledge from a variety of industries. Speaking a combined eight languages and having previously practiced public relations for well-known brands like Cheerios, Got Milk, General Motors, Sunkist and many more, the agency utilizes diverse professional backgrounds, business insights and knowledge to provide a holistic approach to media relations efforts. Konnect PR has mastered media outreach for a large variety of consumer lifestyle products in the areas of food and beverage, baby and children franchise and fitness and wellness. In 2012, Konnect PR experienced a client retention rate of more than 96 percent with the majority of clients having been with the agency for more than two years. Konnect PR is a relationship-based company and rarely takes on project-based work in order to ensure that it keeps these relationships as a core focus. Creating a positive image in the public is crucial at all times, and the firm is dedicated to increasing brand exposure for those it serves on an ongoing basis. Longstanding clients include Rhythm Superfoods, Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, Sweet Leaf Tea and Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park. Konnect PR is known for both the quality and quantity of press secured for clients—in top-tier publications, as well as blogs, local media, specialty outlets and trade publications. Konnect PR acts as an in-house team for clients and provides reporting on key metrics on media trends, activity analysis, exposure, ad value equivalency and Web traffic alignment.
individuals working together for the betterment of the company, swift growth (like the kind Konnect PR experienced in 2012) would not be possible. A 90 percent employee retention rate reflects that strong teamwork and employee satisfaction is of the utmost importance. Konnect PR also engages a number of initiatives to keep employees motivated, including fun incentive plans, contests and daily motivational techniques. There is an open door policy across all levels of the organization, and cross-departmental work is not only encouraged—it’s expected. Each morning, the entire team gathers together for a meeting to continue the spirit of collaboration. Konnect PR grew more than 95 percent from 2011 to 2012. In this industry, growth is generally dependent on client revenue and number of employees—and both Konnect PR’s client roster and staff count more than doubled in 2012. This growth helped it to surpass the million-dollar mark in revenue, forge relationships with new clients and expand its office space. Konnect PR also added a social media department to deliver additional strategic insights to clients. That said, the majority of growth was a result of new business acquisitions—with more than 20 new clients, ranging from fledgling startups to major players in the industries it serves.
S I LV E R KYNE Founded in 2009, KYNE is a privately held strategic health communications agency headquartered in New York City. KYNE is in the business of solving unmet health needs and acting as a catalyst, driving issues towards meaningful progress by aligning the right partners and leading them to genuine solutions. Due to its experience in leading healthcare engagements with government foundations and agencies, biopharmaceutical companies and non-profit organizations, KYNE helps clients see all perspectives. The agency helps identify gaps in research, education and communication and works with both public and private organizations to create partnerships that help address such gaps.
The firm has developed a series of best practices to ensure quality press for all of clients. One-hundred percent of pitches are customized for each of our media contacts, and in 2012, Konnect PR placed multiple clients in “TODAY,” “Good Morning America,” The Wall Street Journal, InStyle, Redbook, Forbes, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and USA Today, among many others, resulting in 4,400 placements and more than 18 billion impressions.
From identifying and rallying the right influencers and developing robust multi-stakeholder campaigns, to providing ongoing media strategic communications support, KYNE has the skills to move issues forward. KYNE creates partnerships and related programs that achieve real change, leveraging its expertise to break down barriers. Whether that’s helping reduce tobacco use in US, helping reduce the number of preventable malaria deaths in Africa or contributing to patient- centered healthcare, KYNE has crafted programs and partnerships with the power to make a difference.
Without a team of bright, ambitious, agile and autodidactic
KYNE established its reputation as a public health advocate through
2013 BULLDOG AWARDS HALL OF FAME
SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR – UNDER $3,000,000 its leadership of key non- government organization and foundation engagements—particularly the United Against Malaria (UAM) campaign. KYNE’s NGO portfolio has since expanded to other areas addressing unmet need—including safe surgery in resourcelimited settings, Alzheimer’s disease and the improvement of health systems in the US. On the private sector side, KYNE represents clients who are developing strategic partnerships with a variety of stakeholders in areas including oncology, cardiovascular disease, lupus and hemophilia. KYNE has also helped foster and grow Pfizer’s relationship with the CDC and CDC Foundation. KYNE prides itself on being nimble and flexible—qualities that are reflected in the agency’s telecommuting and flex-work policy. The team coordinates schedules to optimize in-office time to meet client, internal and personal needs. This flexibility underscores the mutual respect of team members for one another, enhances staff engagement and promotes strong retention rates. KYNE values input at all levels, and all team members are involved at various stages in agency branding, strategic discussions regarding business growth and priorities, new team member hires and new office design. Open collaboration allows for teaching moments at all levels. KYNE recently launched KYNE GIVES, an internal CSR program, which encourages employees to give back to the community by participating in charity events, pro-bono work and by donating to charities selected by employees. Through KYNE GIVES, the team has participated in several charity events including GMHC’s annual Gala and The AIDS Walk. KYNE currently does pro-bono work for the Butterfly Mission, a nonprofit organization aiding families and children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in the New York Tri-State Area.
BRONZE Child's Play Communications Back in 1988, Child’s Play became the first agency to specifically target the mom market—now 38 million strong. At the time, this demographic was generally ignored by agencies and brands, and moms’ purchasing power was neither acknowledged nor pursued in a meaningful way. Child’s Play has focused on innovation from day one, and it has really made a name for itself through its first-to-market concepts in social media. Years ago, Child’s Play began launching proprietary programs such as the Team Mom network of mom review bloggers.
2013 STARS OF PR HALL OF FAME
For this, the agency has won a number of industry awards— including Bulldog Reporter’s PR Innovation of the Year and Social Media Innovator of the Year awards. Other Child’s Play social media programs include brand-specific blogger brunches, virtual focus groups, an in-house research group and a new content-creation program. The agency has launched other services to help companies reach moms beyond the social media space: Disney has taken advantage of the Child’s Play party service, in which the agency coordinates with moms to host brand-themed parties; The Insider Mom Network program enables companies like National Geographic Kids to sample products directly to new moms; and the agency pursued partnership programs for the first time, proactively bringing clients such as Reading Rainbow and the Wildlife Conservation Society together. Child’s Play has maintained its reputation for integrity while generating optimum results, whether through social or traditional media. Recent clients include Heinz, toy maker GUND, “Peppa Pig” animated television series, the Wildlife Conservation Society and Reading Rainbow. A highlight of the year: Reading Rainbow became the #1 educational app in the iTunes store within 48 hours of the launch and the #1 best grossing app by the end of the week. Child’s Play conducts ongoing research on the marketing and social trends that impact moms. The most recent effort is an indepth survey of what moms want for Mother’s Day 2013, which appeared in The Wall Street Journal. Based on its ongoing research, the agency writes a monthly post for Engage: Moms and also shares findings in its quarterly newsletter and blog. Company execs speak frequently at mom marketing conferences, and the agency has partnered with Bloganthropy.org, a blog that encourages philanthropy. The family-targeted agency focuses on a culture friendly to parents and makes hours reasonable for staff at all levels. The agency routinely hosts lunches and parties and recently expanded its after-hours adventures. To accommodate its growing staff, the agency moved to a bigger and brighter office space. In the past year, Child’s Play took on major brands and retained many of its past clients. The agency also went global, increased its staff by 20 percent and invested in developing expertise in new fields, including apps and mobile. In recent years, Child’s Play has nearly doubled revenues and, for the first time, hit the million mark in 2012.
SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR – UNDER $5,000,000
GOLD Bateman Group Bateman Group is an integrated public relations and social media communications firm founded in 2004 around a compelling vision— to make a bigger market impact for a smaller, more select group of companies. The ideal clients are companies, regardless of size, solving real problems in ground-breaking and disruptive ways that value content expertise, exceptional writing and guaranteed seniorlevel attention above all else. Headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Brooklyn, Bateman Group is distinctive through its approach to planning and measurement, ability to deliver excellent results, pursuit of client satisfaction and creative program execution. Practice areas include advertising and marketing, technology, enterprise and IT infrastructure, IT security, mobile/wireless and green tech/sustainability. Bateman Group has 25 employees in its two offices in San Francisco and Brooklyn, and it has maintained one the highest employee retention rates in the industry with turnover at less than five percent from inception to date. The agency stresses strong team orientation by working closely to deliver stellar work while empowering employees at all levels and investing in staff professional development. Team-building is extremely important to its business results, and events include volunteering and a management-led annual retreat to reset goals for the year and come together as a group. Base salaries at Bateman Group tend to be 10-15 percent higher than at competing firms, but its bonus opportunities and generous benefits packages also set the firm apart.
Action,” a campaign for Recyclebank during Earth Month, which drove website traffic and average visit times to an all-time high; and widespread coverage via a financial communications campaign for Qualys, the leading cloud security company, for the company’s IPO. Notable achievements in the calendar year include revenue growth by 32 percent year-over-year, 19 new clients, 95 percent employee retention rate, a permanent office space in Brooklyn, 10 new fulltime employees, numerous industry awards and partnerships, pro bono work and other outstanding community relations initiatives.
S I LV E R Groundfloor Staffed entirely by seasoned industry pros, GroundFloor Media (GFM) is an award-winning marketing, communcations and PR agency specializing in communications, digital and social media strategy and crisis communication and reputation management. Laura Love started the agency in her basement in 2001 and has since built it into one of the region’s most respected agencies, boasting a national client base, including BNSF Railway, Children’s Hospital Colorada, Level 3, Oskar Blues Brewery, Qdoba Mexican Grill and USA Swimming, among many others. Headquartered in Denver, with members located from coast to coast, GFM is staffed entirely by senior-level professionals. The overall team has an average of 16 years’ experience apiece. GFM doesn’t specialize in a particular niche industry, making it largely “recession-proof” and allowing it to work with clients from all industries who simply have good stories to tell. In addition, GFM is a member of the Public Relations Global Network.
What’s more, the firm was built from the ground up as a content creation bureau—not just a media relations shop. Bateman Group delivers exceptional content consistently, and as a result, has one of the highest client retention rates in the nation: The average client relationship stands at five years.
One of the most important aspects of GFM is its commitment to giving back. Since its inception, GFM has donated the equivalent of nearly 15 percent of annual revenues back to the community— through contributions, pro bono PR, reduced billing rates for nonprofit clients and staff time committed to community organizations. Team members are also encouraged to participate in social causes important to them and can volunteer or designate cash grants to nonprofits for which they volunteer. Love recently transitioned to the role of chief cultural officer and is spearheading the establishment of a company foundation focused on children and families, which will serve as a formalized extension of GFM’s community service.
This year’s campaign highlights include “Game of Phones: Google Play Launch” for App Annie, which launched the mobile app store analytics company into the U.S. market and quadrupled revenue; “Share Responsibility for the Planet – Visualizing the Impact of Eco-
Laura Love and new president Ramonna Robinson have built a culture based on celebrating accomplishments and encouraging camaraderie. Employee appreciation is an integral part of GFM’s culture, and a new agency Facebook group facilities team members’
One of the main differentiators between Bateman Group and similarly sized firms is its talent and account structure. The seniorlevel staffing model translates to teams being managed by two to three members of the senior management team. This senior-level attention is maintained throughout every client relationship—not just during the pitch or times of crisis.
2013 BULLDOG AWARDS HALL OF FAME
SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR – UNDER $5,000,000 kudos and congratulations to others. The company offers generous traditional benefits, as well as a flexible work environment, on-site workout room, a full-time team annual mountain trek and many other activities. GFM has experience steady growth overall throughout its 12 years in existence, and GFM has recently introduced a new digital and social media strategy service line, as well as expanded its crisis/reputation management service. At the same time, GFM has continued to maintain a very strong stable of strategic communications clients as well. At the end of 2012, 40 of GFM’s client base had been with the agency for three years or more. Going into 2013, 75 percent of its projected revenue for the year comes from returning clients. GFM’s innovative spirit and expansion of services have led to the introduction of a number of new products and services. These include a tool that allows GFM to customize training sessions that mimic online crises, a social-mapping exercise geared toward online brand managers overseeing multiple social channels, enhanced content optimization solutions and enhanced website development. GFM has also won numerous industry awards, Laura and Ramonna have both been previously named as finalists for the Denver Business Journal’s Outstanding Women in Business award.
BRONZE InkHouse InkHouse is an independent public relations and social content agency serving technology, consumer, energy, real estate and financial services organizations. Founded in 2007, InkHouse was an upstart agency with a unique point of view about social media and blogger relations, which gave the firm an edge in its earliest days. InkHouse believes the greatest results are generated through third-party coverage and self-published content. Thus, InkHouse built not only a strong media relations group but also a unique Content Bureau, which creates, proliferates and curates content that ignites meaningful conversations for clients with their top audiences. InkHouse initially made its name through work with startups and venture capital firms such as Spark Capital and Charles River Ventures. Offering inroads to the hottest startups, these firms are behind companies such as Twitter, Foursquare and Tumblr, and InkHouse’s work with their investors has parlayed into bigger companies for the agency’s client roster. Today, InkHouse works with some of the hottest startups in the country as well as Massachusetts’ largest tech companies, including Raytheon, GE and Nuance Communications.
2013 STARS OF PR HALL OF FAME
Despite the recession, the agency continued growing through the past few years by keeping a focus on the changing media landscape. The firm’s client wins have been critical, and during the past year—the agency’s best year yet—InkHouse served more than 40 accounts, winning 15 pieces of business—an increase of 39 percent during this period alone. The agency expanded its offerings into the real estate market. In all, revenues grew more than 40 percent. With new client wins come an expanded staff, and InkHouse now has a team of 43 dedicated communications professionals, 10 of whom were hired since January 2013, increasing headcount by one third. The agency expanded its office space this year and hired an in-house creative content manager and a graphic designer to add to its creative offerings—design and video services—and support its Content Bureau. The agency believes that success does not require 60-hour workweeks. Having been through the grind of working for large national agencies, InkHouse’s co-founders made a deliberate effort to create a culture of work/life balance and flexibility. InkHouse’s bi-weekly “Forced Office Fun” gatherings allow employees to relax, and in weekly staff meetings, the principals recognize an employee who has gone above and beyond. In addition, InkHouse fosters employee satisfaction and community service by encouraging the team to, among other things, volunteer at the Greater Boston Food Bank and attend industry events and workshops. The agency’s diverse client base offers employees the chance to view the PR and social content world across various company sizes and industries. InkHouse works with clients ranging from stealthy start-ups to some of the country’s most admired brands such as GE and Raytheon, as well as a number of top venture capital firms.
HONORABLE MENTION Hellerman Baretz Communications literally and figuratively. The firm was founded 10 years ago by PR professional John Hellerman and former attorney Spencer Baretz, who both recognized an opportunity to fill a hole in the market: Providing high-end communications counsel to the nation’s leading law firms. In 2012, their vision became more real than ever: HBC hired its 13th employee—a new high-water mark for the agency—moved into new offices in both New York City and Washington, DC, and stretched its geographic reach all the way to Los Angeles, California. In 2012-2013 (to present), HBC gained 15 new clients and increased revenues by 21 percent.
SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR – UNDER $5,000,000 This growth in territory and numbers has been necessary to service the increasing demands of clients in the legal space. Far more than a PR shop, HBC provides strategic counsel on communications campaigns of all types, each designed with clients’ business goals in mind. Staffed with numerous former journalists, former attorneys and communications experts, HBC has positioned itself as the most sophisticated provider of communication services to the legal industry. Achievements include client coverage in the NYT, Forbes, Huffington Post, AP, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News, National Law Journal, several local radio outlets and a live television interview. HBC also executed press outreach (including a press conference) and a social media campaign on behalf of a leading California plaintiffs’ firm. HBC helped a number of legal clients achieve significant industry honors, and for its numerous successes on behalf of its clients, HBC has earned several honors of its own, including Best Crisis Management Firm, Best Social Media Consultancy and Best Public Relations Firm in a nationwide survey of National Law Journal readers. HBC prides itself on creative, non-traditional thinking that leads to significant results. A prime example of that approach has been its
involvement with the “Madison Avenue Insights” blog, which promotes the advertising and marketing practice at the Davis & Gilbert law firm. It is the latest in a string of standout blogs that HBC has conceived and executed for law firm clients. Over the last year, John Hellerman and Spencer Baretz continued to drive the conversations that are leading the legal PR field forward. Longtime proponents of the value of thought leadership for legal professionals, John and Spencer co-authored an influential article in the New York Law Journal titled “Thought Leadership: A Game to Share with Your Friends.” Since then, Hellerman and Baretz have been asked to make many presentations to various chapters of the Legal Marketing Association—the dominant trade group in the legal space. Hellerman and Baretz formed numerous partnerships within the legal marketing space—including partnerships with one of the nation’s leading LinkedIn instructors, a vendor of online analytical tools tailored to the legal profession and the influential Chambers directory. Moreover, in the last twelve months, HBC has been honored with requests that reflect the high degree of confidence that its clients and the legal community have in HBC.
TECHNOLOGY AGENCY OF THE YEAR
GOLD Waggener Edstrom With a deep understanding of the dynamics of influence and storytelling, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide (WE) considers digital influence to be a core part of its DNA. The agency creates memorable and measurable experiences to engage audiences from discovery to action, generating real business results for clients. By crafting its own software products and services and securing top developers and analytical talent, WE builds strategy, relevance and genuine value into integrated communications plans that include the very important realm of digital. From in-house creative, ideation and experience design services to cutting-edge digital programs, WE continues to invest in the ideas, instruments and expertise that solve clients’ problems. Its in-house group of digital experts delivers a wide range of professional services including digital design, Web development, advertising, content creation, measurement, marketing and the latest in Web technology. WE has been successful, in no small part because of its ability to
2013 BULLDOG AWARDS HALL OF FAME
anticipate and adapt to the natural and dynamic evolution of the industry. The agency’s financial independence enables the team to grow intelligently and with purpose and to continue to invest in developing products and program. Notable achievements include opening offices in Bangalore, India, and Delhi, India, as well as a branch office in Switzerland, adding new global affiliates, building its client portfolio and exceeding its goal of donating 1 percent of its total fee income by contributing more than $1.4 million in probono work, donations and employee volunteer efforts. For employees, WE delivers an experience that spans beyond a specific client or team, connecting its people with where the agency is going and creating opportunities for them to directly impact the company’s future. WE offers options to help employees build their careers—through a global exchange program, a Leadership Forum and WE Influence Institute. Citizenship is a key priority for WE, and as such, WE is committed to developing and driving initiatives that engage employees and that apply company assets while supporting charitable organizations and communities where it can have an impact. The agency’s own corporate responsibility and sustainability focus influences how it operates in these communities and the kind of work its do. For example, WE recognized the value and
TECHNOLOGY AGENCY OF THE YEAR opportunity to build the WE Social Innovation Practice, which helps clients analyze and address the ongoing challenges posed by economic and societal changes.
S I LV E R Bateman Group Bateman Group is an integrated public relations and social media communications firm founded in 2004 around a compelling vision—to make a bigger market impact for a smaller, more select group of companies. The ideal clients are companies, regardless of size, solving real problems in ground-breaking and disruptive ways that value content expertise, exceptional writing and guaranteed senior-level attention above all else. Headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Brooklyn, Bateman Group is distinctive through its approach to planning and measurement, ability to deliver excellent results, pursuit of client satisfaction and creative program execution. Practice areas include advertising and marketing, technology, enterprise and IT infrastructure, IT security, mobile/wireless and green tech/sustainability. Bateman Group has 25 employees in its two offices in San Francisco and Brooklyn, and it has maintained one the highest employee retention rates in the industry with turnover at less than five percent from inception to date. The agency stresses strong team orientation by working closely to deliver stellar work while empowering employees at all levels and investing in staff professional development. Team-building is extremely important to its business results, and events include volunteering and a management-led annual retreat to reset goals for the year and come together as a group. Base salaries at Bateman Group tend to be 10-15 percent higher than at competing firms, but its bonus opportunities and generous benefits packages also set the firm apart. One of the main differentiators between Bateman Group and similarly sized firms is its talent and account structure. The seniorlevel staffing model translates to teams being managed by two to three members of the senior management team. This senior-level attention is maintained throughout every client relationship—not just during the pitch or times of crisis. What’s more, the firm was built from the ground up as a content creation bureau—not just a media relations shop. Bateman Group delivers exceptional content consistently, and as a result, has one of the highest client retention rates in the nation: The average client relationship stands at five years.
2013 STARS OF PR HALL OF FAME
This year’s campaign highlights include “Game of Phones: Google Play Launch” for App Annie, which launched the mobile app store analytics company into the U.S. market and quadrupled revenue, “Share Responsibility for the Planet – Visualizing the Impact of Eco-Action,” a campaign for Recyclebank during Earth Month, which drove website traffic and average visit times to an all-time high, and widespread coverage via a financial communications campaign for Qualys, the leading cloud security company, for the company’s IPO. Notable achievements in the calendar year include revenue growth by 32 percent year-over-year, 19 new clients, 95 percent employee retention rate, a permanent office space in Brooklyn, 10 new fulltime employees, numerous industry awards and partnerships, pro bono work and other outstanding community relations initiatives.
BRONZE Rainier Corporation In 2013, Rainier Communications celebrated its 20th year as a high-tech public relations agency, marking the milestone with the additions of new clients, employees and an expanded headquarters. Founded by engineer-turned-marketer Steve Schuster, Rainier has held true to its mission to be “technology’s most credible voice.” The agency’s success can be attributed in part to long-standing relationships with its clients and the media and a reputation for technological credibility, professionalism, creativity and high standards (for itself and its clients). Rainier has helped more than 200 clients worldwide garner real business results, including revenue growth, new funding and more than 45 mergers and acquisitions. The agency has also developed a strong business presence in the Israeli high-tech community and has introduced more than 50 startups from that nation to the U.S. market. Rainier’s PR expertise includes technologies such as embedded systems, digital advertising, semiconductors, telecommunications, storage, security, mobile/wireless, cleantech, software and applications. Over the past two decades, Steve has led Rainier as its visionary principal, navigating the agency through tectonic changes in the technology marketplace and multiple periods of economic disruption. Throughout, Steve has never lost sight of his vision to give technologies a highly strategic and credible voice in the marketplace. The result has been world-class PR campaigns for thousands of technologies, with Rainier helping companies transform their inventiveness into business successes. Steve’s philosophy has always been to hire individuals he respects with deep technological and PR knowledge, while striving to learn
TECHNOLOGY AGENCY OF THE YEAR from them as well. He is dedicated to building a team of individuals that can always deliver on the promise of Rainier’s mission, and he leads by example by setting high standards for his own work, and pushing himself and the agency to think big on behalf of its clients. Rainier once again expanded its team in recent months to support its growth, and the new employees join a staff known for its staying power: More than half of Rainier’s employees have been with the agency for more than 10 years. Earlier this year, the agency doubled its space in its Boston-area office to accommodate recent and expected expansion. Rainier’s exceptionally high rate of employee retention has also resulted in long-term client relationships. While the industry-average client/agency relationship
is approximately 18 months, Rainier has retained numerous clients for 5 or more years, and some for more than a decade. Rainier continues to serve as the most credible voice for companies launching technology products and services in new or emerging domains, in addition to more traditional technology fields. Likewise, Rainier’s expertise in social media comes from its early adoption of now commonplace channels and gives Rainier’s clients an additional competitive advantage. Some of the world’s leading technology companies—including global brand leaders— have turned to Rainier after failing to find what they were looking for in larger, better known agencies. This is because Rainier truly stands out from other technology PR agencies.
AGENCY PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR
GOLD Michael W. Kempner MWW When Michael W. Kempner, founder, president and chief executive officer of MWW first started his agency in 1986, he envisioned a business that would do more than just provide superior client service—it would make a difference in its communities, industry, and in some small way, the world. Every client program, employee initiative, and innovation for more than 25 years has been a manifestation of that vision, from MWW’s social media leadership to its commitment to the environment. As a result, MWW has become one of the largest and fastest growing firms worldwide, making it among the most sought-after agencies by clients across all categories. This vision is also what led Kempner to spearhead a managementled buy-out of MWW from the Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG) in December 2010. As the media and business landscape continued to rapidly change, what may have been obstacles for some, Kempner saw as an unrivaled opportunity to return the firm to its innovative and client-centric roots and the entrepreneurial spirit upon which MWW was founded. The buy-out occurred ten years following the original sale of MWW to IPG and returned the firm to its status as one of the largest independent public relations agencies in the world. Kempner is one of the few true entrepreneurs among large firms. While many CEOs have moved up the ranks to their current position in their firm, Kempner has been there since the very beginning
2013 STARS OF PR HALL OF FAME
when MWW had just one client, one office and one employee. He’s still as hands-on as ever, making the difference for MWW’s clients, agency growth, and staff. After the buy-out, the firm experienced an overall growth of 14% and was named Midsize Agency of the Year by the Holmes Report, International Business Awards, PR News and the Bulldog Stars of PR Awards and also named 2012 Top Places to Work in PR by PR News and 2013 Best Place to Work in NJ by NJBiz. It hasn’t always been an easy road. The public relations industry has faced a number of challenges over the last 25 years, including the rise of social media and the recent economic downturn. But no matter the challenge, Kempner has seen opportunity to transform an industry that has traditionally been slow to move. He started the first digital practice in 2005, before other public relations firms caught on. He has also championed MWW Ventures, which is a program aimed at trading public relations services for equity in start-ups poised to innovate the industry. Kempner doubled down on MWW’s digital practice in 2011, hiring more than 15 key digital strategists, analytic specialists and creative professionals to provide clients with the full spectrum of digital services, including mobile and social media. In addition to key hires, MWW has been able to provide insights on the changing digital landscape, including white papers on the impact of social media changes. MWW also partnered with Social Media Week (SMW), a global event that connects people, content and conversation around emerging trends in social and mobile media. From 2010-2013, MWW partnered with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), a non-profit organization that helps young people from low-income communities build skills and plan for
AGENCY PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR successful futures. MWW’s creative team provided the direction and vision to develop the branding and collateral materials for the 2013 “Dare to Dream” Annual Gala. MWW significantly expanded its research and insights practice, highlighted with the hire of vice president Doug O’Reilly, a top research talent with more than two decades of experience. Under O’Reilly’s guidance, MWW built new methodologies and tools that support all of MWW’s practice areas. O’Reilly also led the creation of NetRelevance, MWW’s proprietary methodology for measuring a brand’s trust and relevance among stakeholders. Kempner truly believes that at the heart of MWW’s success are its employees, the 207 communications professionals and support staff who together deliver award-winning communications counsel and programs on behalf of clients, and who collectively strive to minimize the firm’s environmental impact and enhance its contributions to the community. MWW has been named a “Top Place to Work in PR” by PR News four times in the past five years. CSR has been at the very heart of MWW’s core values since Kempner’s founding in 1986. To further MWW’s efforts, an official MWW CSR Committee was established, with representation from each office dedicated to finding and implementing new ways that MWW can make a difference and give back to its communities. Initiatives include CommunityWorks and Group Green. A frequent lecturer on a variety of public relations, management and marketing issues, Michael has authored numerous articles on marketing, financial transactions and crisis communications. Kempner’s years of experience in Public Relations and strategic communications have given him extensive insights into the industry and a viewpoint unique from that of many other industry professionals. Through his blog, “MWW Straight Talk,” Kempner is able to express his views and opinions on a diverse range of industry hot-topics, breaking news and MWW accomplishment. Michael also became a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, where he leads discussion on leadership, relevance and industry hot topics, among others. Kempner was recently honored as PR Weeks’ Public Relations Executive of the Year and by the Stevie International Business Awards as Communications Executive of the Year and International Communications Executive of the Year. Kempner was also awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by PR News for his two decades of contributions to the public relations industry and his leadership of MWW and was inducted into the Public Relations Hall of Fame in 2009.
2013 BULLDOG AWARDS HALL OF FAME
S I LV E R Melissa Waggener Zorkin Waggener Edstrom Worldwide Melissa Waggener Zorkin, founder and CEO of Waggener Edstrom Worldwide (WE), has built a career typified by her commitment to excellence, innovative thinking and making a difference in her community and the world. This commitment has resulted in nearly 30 years of success for WE. Associated with some of the greatest innovators of our time in technology, bioscience, social innovation and healthcare, her agency has helped tell the extraordinary stories of some of the world’s leading brands. Through her vision, WE has grown from a two-person operation into one of the world’s largest independent communications firms, with revenues greater than $118 million (2012), and more than 850 employees in more than 80 markets around the world, including Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and the U.S. Melissa is known for forging partnerships with the most innovative minds in business. From serving on the board of Mercy Corps to championing poverty reduction, technological advancement and education in Africa and beyond, Melissa demonstrates that forprofits can champion global social changes. By building social innovation—the intersection of good business and doing good—into WE’s foundation, Melissa sees to it that her company and her clients tackle some of the world’s biggest problems together. Melissa has also applied her passion toward making social innovation, a term she defines as “doing rather than talking,” a hallmark of the culture at WE. She often speaks in support of this effort and took the stage at TED University about the confluence of storytelling and increasing the impact of innovations. In addition, at TED 2013 she was selected to join one of the inaugural TED Challenges led by Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of the GAVI Alliance. Their goal is to help tackle the issue of tracking and tracing vaccines to reduce waste and get more vaccines into the hands of those who need them most around the world. Melissa leads WE’s agency-wide charitable efforts by personal example, serving on several nonprofit boards and actively supporting a multitude of philanthropic efforts aimed at battling poverty and oppression, including Mercy Corps, NetHope and the Half the Sky movement. In 2012, the agency joined a prestigious group of partners to support Lean In, a nonprofit organization founded by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg with the goal of providing women with the encouragement and support to achieve their goals. The broader message of empowerment is relevant to everyone, especially Melissa, who has been instrumental in practicing and advocating
AGENCY PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR this. In the workplace, she has sponsored the company’s Leadership Forum program since 2008, a program designed to develop the future leaders of the company. And in Ethiopia, Melissa implemented a four-year program, the “Empowering Ethiopian Women and Girls for Peaceful Change project,” in partnership with Mercy Corps and the Batonga Foundation, to aid approximately 450 underprivileged but entrepreneurial girls, women and their families. WE gives back to the local global community through several citizenship programs initiated by Melissa, contributing more than 1 percent of our gross revenue to support the communities in which we live and work, and offering our employees up to 16 hours to contribute to causes about which they are passionate. In 2012, the agency exceeded its goal and contributed more than $1.4 million in pro-bono work, donations and employee volunteer efforts. Melissa also recently donated more than $25,000 to help aid with relief of the famine crisis in Africa and has been recognized by the Adakum Educational Foundation for her efforts in helping build a library and computer lab at the L&A Memorial Academy in Accra, Ghana. Under Melissa’s guidance, WE also supports The LAGRANT Foundation, an organization that provides ethnic minority college students who aspire to become communications professionals with scholarships, career workshops, professional development, mentoring and internships. WE also hosts regular programming events for the organization. In addition to financial support and the commitment of time and expertise by WE leaders, the agency has been fortunate to welcome LAGRANT scholars to the WE family in both full- time and internship positions over the past few years. Melissa also seeks to enrich and strengthen the communications profession, and is honored to be a member of the Arthur W. Page Society. In the fall of 2004, the Council of Public Relations Firms— the national trade association for the U.S. public relations industry— named Melissa as a board member among representatives of other leading PR companies.
BRONZE Ken Makovsky Makovsky + Co. Like few in the business today, Ken Makovsky combines qualities of both hands-on agency entrepreneur and respected industry leader. He has built and actively manages one of the most visible, admired and successful public relations agencies in the United States, honored last year as Mid-Size PR Agency of the Year. At a time of transformation in the communications field, Ken has
2013 BULLDOG AWARDS HALL OF FAME
provided insight and vision through his seven-year-running blog “My Three Cents.” This widely acclaimed blog truly transcends the realm public relations, cited last year by Chief Executive Magazine as one of the top 10 must-read blogs by CEOs. Ken’s management style has been described by the words “decency” and “integrity.” Not surprisingly, last year he received the Grand Prize as Communications Professional of the Year. Ken Makovsky enjoys the reputation today as one of the premier strategic and operational leaders in the public relations industry. He received the 2012 Gold SABRE for Outstanding Individual Achievement, one of the industry’s highest awards. This is one of six individual honors bestowed upon Ken in the past two years, including the Grand Prize of “Communications Professional of the Year” cited above. Over the past eight years, Ken has driven the agency’s revenue growth by 188%. In the past year, revenues rose 10%. The agency achieved 80% of its forecast goals, winning more than $6 million in new business—including prestigious new assignments from Merck, Mercedes, Sprint and Cisco. In 2012, Makovsky closed nearly one out of every three sales leads. In other words, every time a prospect made contact with the agency, there was a greater than 30% chance they would ultimately become a client. It’s an extraordinary success ratio likely unsurpassed in the industry. Among other achievements, Makovsky’s client retention was 80%, striking in a still unsettled economy, and more than 90% of the agency’s clients rated the agency “good” to “exceptional” in six metrics that define success, including overall performance, value for budget and creativity. Staff retention was 95%, well above industry averages. In 1979, a young public relations executive secured a hard-fought bridgehead in the hyper-competitive New York agency marketplace, worked relentlessly since then to create what has become a consensus Agency of the Year. Ken is recognized today not as a narrowly focused, “just-do-it” entrepreneur, but as a pioneer of agency management practice, a champion of higher education and human rights, and a model of personal “decency and integrity” in the words of Paul Holmes. Ken is a leader in a variety of human rights, higher education and economic development causes, in addition to industry associations. These include: Washington University Arts & Sciences National Council and founder of the “Minnie Makovsky Scholarship in Music”; Columbia Journalism School’s First Amendment Breakfast Series; Syracuse University Newhouse School of Communications Advisory Committee for Independent Study Degree; Arthur W. Page Society - Advisory Panel; Institute for Public Relations – CoChairman of the Board; Council of Public Relations Firms - Board of Directors; Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce - Board
AGENCY PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR Member; The American Jewish Committee - Chapter Association Task Force and National Board of Governors. The firm’s consistent recognition as a “Best Place to Work” agency has much to do with the community service ethic Ken has established within the firm. Causes Makovsky supported during 2011 include: National Wear Red Day, Skip Lunch Fight Hunger,
MillionTreesNYC, Yorkville Common Pantry, New York Blood Center, New York Cares, Toys for Tots, Children’s Aid Turkey Drive, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Scleroderma Foundation, American Heart Association, March of Dimes, City Harvest, Arthritis Foundation and the Christian Children’s Fund.
C O R P O R AT E C O M M U N I C AT I O N S P RO F E S S I O N A L O F T H E Y E A R
S I LV E R Jenny Moede Waggener Edstrom Jenny Moede, president, North America region, oversees Waggener Edstrom Worldwide’s (WE) five specialty practices in North America, including brand strategy and marketing, healthcare, public affairs, technology and social innovation. Jenny also manages the agency’s Digital Influence and Insights division, which includes the Insight & Analytics and Content teams. Jenny serves on the Agency Action Board, the senior executive advisory team responsible for guiding agency strategy. Before joining WE in 1994, Jenny worked in Washington, D.C., at Edelman, providing media relations and public affairs support to clients nationwide. With more than 20 years of experience, Jenny has represented companies and nonprofit organizations at all stages of business development. Jenny started her career at WE on the Microsoft corporate team, developing proactive campaigns and programs in the accessibility, kids and learning, and community philanthropy spaces. Jenny’s many notable achievements include: Founding of WE’s Healthcare Practice in 2001, showcasing her entrepreneurial spirit and building it into a thriving business focused on innovative companies in the life sciences, including the biopharmaceutical, medical device, genomics and health IT sectors; increasing yearover-year revenue by 18 percent and pre-rent profit by nearly 45 percent across six practices in her first year as executive vice president of WE’s North America region; experiencing an annual growth rate of 30 percent for the Healthcare Practice through a healthy combination of new business and organic growth; developing and launching Microsoft’s “Able to Work” initiative in the ’90s to connect technology accessibility with a workforce outcome. She was also promoted to president, North America, in 2012 and named 2012 PR Professional of the Year: Agency by PR News and
2013 STARS OF PR HALL OF FAME
was recently named one of 25 recipients of the Portland Business Journal’s Women of Influence Orchid Award. She earned the PRWeek Healthcare Campaign of the Year award, Silver Bulldog Award and SABRE Award for a media relations campaign on behalf of AVI BioPharma in 2004. Finally, she received both a Totem Award and a Silver Anvil Award of Excellence from the PRSA. A fabulous mentor, problem-solver, decision-maker and an observer of patterns, Jenny is the driving force behind WE’s North America team. She represents nearly two decades of experimentation, growth and diversification at the agency. What began as an idea to establish a healthcare practice has evolved into the management of a group of successful businesses that work with clients in healthcare, energy, telecomm, aerospace, technology, sustainability and other sectors. Jenny runs these businesses with a few simple goals: Match the right people with the right jobs; empower them to unleash their creative, strategic selves to grow the client portfolio; create durable, efficient processes that promote quality service without burden; engage leaders in a clear business vision; and foster collaboration that allows for scale in both capability and volume. She does this in partnership with the practice leads and a group of communications professionals who live and work across the country. Most important, people love working with Jenny. She inspires, is a fabulous mentor, and takes a “roll up your sleeves and get it done” approach. Jenny is a “glass half full” person who absolutely embodies what the agency stands for: She is respectful, well-respected, passionate, honest, authentic and committed to turning innovation into impact. Jenny participated in the Arthur W. Page Society’s first Future Leaders Experience. She also mentors young professionals entering the workforce and engages with her Carleton College alumni network. She also spent time in the classroom reading and teaching science when her children were younger. She is a voracious reader who pays close attention to scientific research and theory in the healthcare and environmental fields.
D I G I TA L C O M M U N I C AT I O N S P RO F E S S I O N A L O F T H E Y E A R
GOLD Chad Latz Cohn & Wolfe In the past eight years, the public relations field has become increasingly intertwined with digital and social media tactics. Many brands cannot imagine rolling out a new product, program or tagline without a firm digital strategy in place. As this evolution occurs, knowledgeable and trusted digital leadership has become a key part of agency life. At Cohn & Wolfe, Chad Latz has flawlessly brought the agency to the forefront of digital thinking—integrating online tactics into every client campaign and ensuring that all Cohn & Wolfe employees, regardless of practice, have a firm understanding of constantly evolving digital tools. As President and Global Digital Practice Head, Chad leads the strategic development and growth of the agency’s worldwide digital and social media practice. His responsibilities include cultivating client relationships, developing social media perspectives, providing senior counsel to key clients, new business development and managing a global team of digital stars. He also launched the Digital & Creative Experiences Group, an employee team comprised of experts in graphic design, online user experience, video production, animation, infographics and more. The group’s work significantly expanded Cohn & Wolfe’s capabilities to create compelling content and brand experiences for our clients. Early on, Chad was committed to building digital knowledge, skills and capabilities within the entire agency—not just his team. In 2011, Chad launched an agency-wide ‘Digital Intelligence Series’, boasting a mandatory 30-course curriculum to train all global employees and established a dedicated portal for 24/7 on-demand
2013 BULLDOG AWARDS HALL OF FAME
access for questions. To keep the leadership team at the forefront of digital concepts and platforms, the series also features ‘Train the Trainers’ sessions—where employees outside the Digital practice can contribute their own knowledge of emerging trends. Chad hosts bi-weekly Global Practice meetings with the Digital Leadership Team to ensure that everyone is on track for continued acceleration. He also hosts Global Digital Summits, flying in the global Digital Leadership Team to discuss innovations within the practice, as well as in the industry as a whole. Critical to Chad’s success has been his focus on talent. In the past two years, he has added more than 10 digital leaders, including Gabrielle Lovering, Head of Digital and Social Media, UK; Mark Burr, EVP, West Coast Digital Leader; Brooke Hovey, EVP, Digital, North America; and Tony Lederer, SVP, Digital. These additions have been key growth drivers for the agency around the globe. With his abundance of knowledge on digital tactics and best practices, Chad has a strong presence in publications across the public relations industry. Chad has authored multiple blog posts for the PRWeek site, including a four post series last spring on the SXSW Interactive festival, and was featured in a PRWeek Master Class article on incorporating offline experiences into social media strategy. He’s contributed articles on industry trends and news, spanning from the rise of 3D printing to the passing of icon Steve Jobs, as well as contributing to Medical Marketing & Media on engaging patients and doctors online. In addition to his contributions in print, Chad has ensured that the Cohn & Wolfe Digital practice has a strong presence at industry events, such as Social Media Week in New York and Hong Kong. In 2013, Cohn & Wolfe partnered with client Bazaarvoice and parent company WPP to host a live stream event kicking off the 2013 SXSW conference.
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GOLD Erin Morrissey Konnect Public Relations
five months to complete and countless hours of work for Erin, collaborating with the editor from the New York Times. (In fact, Erin even helped the editor complete a separate story in order to create the time needed to write this piece.) The result was a full-page spread featuring Sky Zone. Many other placements resulted.
Erin Morrissey has the uncanny ability to develop a variety of airtight, relevant pitches for any and every client she serves, making her a favorite among her media contacts. Reputable editors, journalists and producers from the likes of Forbes, CNBC, USA Today, MSN, Fox News, U.S. News and World Report and Fortune not only respect Erin’s talent—they also look to her as a credible resource. She pours over the news daily, finding opportunities for her clients that most would miss.
Erin keeps the relationships she creates. She has worked with her contacts multiple times, which has resulted in a variety of stories for her clients. While booking a client in an A-list publication is quite a feat in and of itself, she has repeatedly booked multiple stories with the same publications due to the strength of her media relationships. For instance, Erin placed S.H.A.P.E.S. Brow Bar, Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park and Fatburger in Entrepreneur all with the same key contact at the publication.
Erin’s results speak for themselves. One of her clients, VivoPools, is a growing pool maintenance franchise. Even seasoned professionals might look at something as mundane as a pool care company and struggle to identify innovative ways to effectively position such an organization in front of the media. Erin, however sees beyond this. A voracious news hound, she refuses to ever pass an idea along to a member of the press unless it is absolutely relevant to his or her readership. For instance, when Erin saw gasoline prices begin to spike last August, she immediately made the connection to the fact that VivoPools is a mobile business with a fleet of vans servicing customers across the nation. She knew that Gary Strauss, a respected editor at USA Today would be interested to learn how mobile businesses are handling such price increases. The result was a placement for VivoPools on the front page. Erin has secured placements for VivoPools in many more outlets: Most recently, VivoPools was featured in Fortune.
Erin’s success not only stems from her creativity and intelligence, but also from her innate desire to help others. She genuinely wants to make her clients, colleagues and media contacts successful. This endearing quality is apparent to all who meet her, whether by email, phone, text or in person. She is just as eager to help one of her fellow publicists at Konnect PR pitch one of their accounts, as she is to work on her own. In fact, she is often brought in to advise her colleagues on other Konnect clients in terms of how best to position them in business outlets.
Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park, another one of Erin’s accounts, is a walled trampoline playing court franchise based in Los Angeles. Erin knew that it wouldn’t be easy to get the company into New York Times, but she also knew that it would do wonders for the growth of the company. As the Olympics inspired Americans across the nation, Erin leveraged the event by engaging a journalist at the Times, telling her that the Olympics are inspiring adults to spice up their workouts, trying new things like trampoline and gymnastics. While the editor was initially interested, Erin took the time to speak with other businesses and clients of these facilities to provide human interest appeal for the article. This piece took more than
2013 STARS OF PR HALL OF FAME
Regardless of the channel, if it has relevancy to the clients she serves, Erin is all over it. She immerses herself in current events and business news, reading, viewing and listening to everything she can get her hands on. Erin’s media relationships span over a variety of outlets - print, television and online. Because she is so involved and entrenched in the news, she serves as a valuable asset to her colleagues and clients. Babiators, a line of aviator-style sunglasses for babies and children, is a longstanding Konnect PR client. When discussing how to position the brand for business publicity, the team brought Erin into the discussion to contribute insight. She collaborated with the team to develop a strategic plan of attack, telling them what to pitch, how to pitch and, most importantly, who to pitch. Erin dedicates herself in everything she does, while remaining humble and genuine. Her integrity and character charm the media and her sincerity gains their trust. She is truly the definition of a media relations professional.
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S I LV E R Bill Bourdon Bateman Group Bill Bourdon, SVP and General Manager of Bateman Group’s San Francisco office and a partner in the firm, is the kind of exceptional PR professional capable of attracting clients, employees and industry influencers in equal measure. Throughout his career spanning almost two decades, Bill has inspired and led the teams behind many of Bateman Group’s award-winning campaigns. In addition to being a superior PR strategist, Bill’s people-focused management style has been most responsible for Bateman Group maintaining a 95 percent employee retention rate since the firm’s inception—something unheard of in the PR industry and especially in the hyper-competitive San Francisco/Silicon Valley market. In the last 12 months, Bill has driven an increase in Bateman Group’s revenue 32 percent. Bill has grown the firm’s headcount from 15 employees to 25 and has been an instrumental part of the firm’s expansion to Brooklyn, N.Y. Bill currently oversees Bateman Group’s marquee accounts and in addition, he was the main PR strategist behind the Qualys IPO. He serves as a mentor for Greenstart, a unique combination of venture capital firm and design studio for clean tech and green tech startups. In this capacity, Bill is the PR advisor for Greenstart’s high-profile network of experts in design, sustainability, business and venture capital who mentor the hand-chosen entrepreneurs in the program. Bill began his career in technology PR with legendary Neihaus Ryan Wong, where he was an account manager on the Netscape team, finding himself smack dab in the “browser wars” with Microsoft. Two years later, Bill moved to Blanc & Otus, where he played a key role on the firm’s security and enterprise software accounts. After Blanc & Otus, Bill accepted a position as an account director for boutique creative services agency, A Good Seed Production, where he conceptualized and produced high-end films and multi-million dollar experiential events for clients including Cisco Systems, Cadence and Sun Microsystems. After this, Bill was a co-founder and vice president of marketing for Zoup-ah!, a children’s entertainment startup where he directed all marketing and PR programs and led negotiations with U.S. broadcasters such as Disney, PBS and Discovery Channel. Bill has been able to blend his unique experiences throughout his varied career to provide clients with unparalleled expertise. Clients rely on Bill to drive strategy, tackle difficult communications challenges, forge and negotiate influential partnerships and overall, to meet their communications goals, whatever they may be. One of Bill’s core strengths as a communications professional is his ability
2013 BULLDOG AWARDS HALL OF FAME
to be a “connector”—at Bateman Group he has been able to draw on his past experience working in entertainment, creative services and marketing to assemble a diversified network of creative partners, including Emmy Award-winning film makers, cartoonists, infographic artists and brand and creative design agencies. He has also been responsible for driving the agency’s content-first approach to PR and influencer relations which has set the firm apart in the marketplace and attracted brands to the client roster. Bill is also a founding member of the local association of independently owned and operated boutique PR agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area. Bill has also taken an active role in leading industry discussion by helping drive an event series of panel discussions that includes expert commentary from leaders in the field. The most recent panel discussion that Bill moderated focused on a discussion on the role of communications for Venture Capital firms, which was attended by more than one hundred venture capitalists, marketing and communications professionals and members of the media. Outside of retained client work, Bill is very active as a board member and advisor to an internationally recognized nonprofit, WeOwnTV, a collaborative media project focused on teaching filmmaking techniques to a group of young Sierra Leonean excombatants and survivors of that country’s civil war and allowing them to share their experiences and creativity with the world. Bill has played a major role in the project’s ongoing fundraising and development. The highest commendation for Bill’s nomination is his leadership style. Bill is an incredible mentor to his teams. Bill’s approach to management is to be an active coach, helping to identify, nurture and motivate rock star talent at all levels. He is also an invaluable client counselor, blending his expertise from in-house roles and agency roles spanning multiple technology areas and target audiences to give recommendations that clients can trust.
BRONZE Hope Nicora Bhava Communications Hope Nicora’s mantra, “You have to treat the media as if they are a client,” is a key ingredient to her secret sauce of success with the press. Hope’s strong relationships and strategic prowess with business, technology and trade editors have landed Bhava clients in hundreds of publications ranging from the Wall Street Journal, CNBC Squawk Box, New York Times, Forbes, Fortune, to TechCrunch, GigaOm, PandoDaily, WIRED Magazine and InformationWeek. With
M E D I A R E L AT I O N S P RO F E S S I O N A L O F T H E Y E A R more than 12 years of experience in enterprise and consumer tech PR and AR, she has mastered the art of positioning and has launched companies from stealth, orchestrated successful product launches and managed ongoing PR/AR communications programs for companies ranging from startups to public enterprises, across multiple markets and disciplines. Hope has followed her passion for PR and media relations from inhouse to agency positions, leading her to Bhava Communications. As a member of the Bhava team since the agency’s early days, Hope has contributed significantly to building a strong, credible and highly soughtafter media relations program for Bhava, working closely with business press, analysts, bloggers and industry influencers to shape opinions and secure highimpact coverage in clients’ target publications. Additionally, Hope serves as a mentor to members of the Bhava team, helping them grow their media relations skills and relationships and finesse their client management skills. She has worked closely with agency founder, Elizabeth Zaborowska, to build a resultsdriven media relations powerhouse frequently sought after by the portfolio companies of Silicon Valley’s top-tier venture firms and growth-stage companies nationwide. With great personal integrity, Hope has a dogged commitment to making things happen, no matter what it takes, for her clients and for reporters. She deeply respects reporters and realizes they
deserve as much consideration as her clients, and passes this lesson on the Bhava’s team firsthand. She builds trust with every interaction and impresses the media with her willingness to be flexible and creative—and consistently deliver what they need. She has spent the last 12 years steeped in enterprise and B2B technology and can support clients across a wide range of domains. Her approach in all her interactions, whether with media, analysts, clients and teammates is founded in authenticity, directness and a passion for achieving the best that can be achieved. With her talent for creating a relationship of trust with reporters, analysts and other influencers, Hope secures a constant stream of quality coverage for her clients and, as a dedicated team player, empowers her teammates, as well. Some of Hope’s accomplishments from the past 12 months include the Cloudera 2012 Competitive Media Launch and Pure Storage August 2012 Product and Funding Launch. Hope helped to found the Capitol Hill Arts Center, also known as “CHAC,” a nonprofit performing and visual arts center for the Seattle community. She was a founding board member, oversaw production and rallied the community around the events. She has a passion for art and performance and brought her PR skills to center stage for CHAC, helping them put on “some of the most exciting theater in Seattle,” according to local reviews.
PR BLOGGER OF THE YEAR
GOLD Marian Salzman Havas PR North America Marian Salzman has a lot on her mind, and she tells it to audiences across many blogs—a list that currently includes CNBC.com, Forbes.com, the Huffington Post, us.havaspr.com, prosumer-report.com and mariansalzman.com, among others. One thing she thinks about a lot these days is branding, and for the past eight months Salzman has been sharing her views on her “Life Is a Brand” blog on Forbes.com’s CMO Network. “This is the Age of the Personal Brand,” says Salzman in one post. “Never before have people of all stripes had to—or wanted to— work so hard to sell their own unique service proposition.” Here is how Salzman, CEO of Havas PR North America (@havaspr), is working to sell her USP as a branding and PR professional online: Her main objective when blogging is creating conversational
2013 STARS OF PR HALL OF FAME
momentum—for consumers, brands, businesspeople, clients (current and prospective) and her industry. Another goal of the research, thoughts and analysis she conveys is to inform her work and @havaspr’s work for clients and agency initiatives; as one example, she cross-posts most of her Forbes.com columns on HavasPeaks.com, the site of the agency’s new CEO branding initiative that Salzman developed in 2012. For Salzman, blogging is a smart, strategic and favorite way to get conversations started—on trends and interests, both business and personal, and oftentimes blurred between the two. Salzman “blogged” before blogs existed. She has appeared as an expert on TV news programs and written print columns on a wide variety of subjects for two decades. So a natural evolution was becoming a blogger. Salzman often thinks in blog posts, and she seeks out the very best audiences online for her thought leadership. If she’s not pitching posts to CNBC, CNN and others, or writing on the agency blogs she established or on her longtime
PR BLOGGER OF THE YEAR Huffington Post outlet (three-plus years and running) or any number of regular industry blogging gigs she periodically accepts, she is inventing channels for her thinking. That’s what she did with Forbes.com’s CMO Network. Salzman publishes about a blog post a week, but the number rises at different times—especially at year-end, when her annual trends report debuts. She’ll riff on one idea for different audiences, too. She once blogged about football (does it have a future, given its correlation to brain injuries?) for the broad readership at HuffPost and spun it for the industry audience at Aol/Adweek’s Fuel the Future (what would a football-less future mean for marketing?), then for Stamford’s readers (many of whom might have a connection to local young people playing football). For the PR and corporate communications profession, one notable example of the past year is Salzman’s series of posts that appeared on various industry outlets after she returned from judging duties at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. With a head full of ideas about how PR professionals can reinvent the business, she opened a discussion along various themes, including that insights tools must be developed to go beyond the tactic to big, bold ideas that change the landscape and move the needle. On her most prolific outlet for 2012-13, Forbes.com, Salzman’s range of thinking is broad. She looks at the world through a personal branding lens, covering topics from what business cards say about you to the rebranding of Lance Armstrong, and placemaking and Hurricane Sandy to whistleblowers and celebrities. Also important: Leading by example for her staff, whose agency blogging won a gold from Bulldog Reporter’s Digital/Social PR Awards for Best Blog for an Agency/Consultancy in 2012. Salzman uses branding (personal and CEO) and other themes as a speaking topic, which increases visibility for the agency and helps inform its paid and pro bono work—and opens a conversation for people everywhere. Her posts also become marketing turf for @havaspr and its parent company, Havas, by promoting companywide initiatives.
S I LV E R Ken Makovsky Makovsky + Co. At a time of continuing transformation in the communications industry, Ken Makovsky’s “My Three Cents” stands as likely one of the most visible and influential blogs in the PR industry today. Disseminated in national media such as Forbes.com, Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s Business Exchange and Bulldog Reporter, “My Three
2013 BULLDOG AWARDS HALL OF FAME
Cents” is perhaps the only blog to attract significant and consistent readership beyond the public relations industry. It was cited by Chief Executive Magazine as one of the top10 mustread blogs by CEOs. Ken’s original, colorful and insightful analysis of all and sundry has raised awareness of the PR and communications implications of major national issues. “My Three Cents” is more than a soapbox for one man’s opinion. It serves a central role in Makovsky’s “power of specialized thinking” branding strategy. The agency’s success (this year nominated for 13 awards) is directly based on both the blog and the vision addressed by it. Since its launch in January 2006, “My Three Cents” has appeared consistently twice a week—a total over 500 individual commentaries on a range of social and business issues related to communication and reputation management. It does the heavy lifting in proving the depth of the agency’s specialized industry knowledge—which is a key part of its business strategy—as well as its reputation building in the age of digital communication. There are two strategic principles behind the blog: Thought leadership and the power of public relations. “My Three Cents” is now Makovsky’s primary thought leadership tool. It is based on Ken’s conviction that a successful mid-sized agency can’t be all things to all people; it must build specialized expertise in a few select industry niches (at Makovsky these include healthcare, branding, energy, financial and professional services, and technology). That strategy is captured in the company’s brand identifier “The Power of Specialized Thinking.” The energy and financial resources that Ken has put into “My Three Cents” confirms his belief in public relations—and its power as a business building tool equal to other tangible, financial investments. Ken has supported the blog both in good times and bad. Much of the power of “My Three Cents” lies in its originality and unpredictability of subject matter—approaching social and communications trends in an oblique and original fashion. This is part of the reason the blog has been able to transcend the boundaries of public relations. For example, over the past 12 months Ken has tackled Dove’s viral ad campaign, the SEC and social media, priority number one for CEO’s, sexism and the computer revolution, and Chinese social and business trends. Recognized prior to 2012 as perhaps one of the most visible and influential blogs in the PR industry, Ken Makovsky’s “My Three Cents” has now become one of the first blogs to transcend the world of public relations and move into the business mainstream. It is now featured regularly by Forbes and Bloomberg BusinessWeek.In 2012, “My Three Cents confirmed its position as the flagship of Makovsky’s thought leadership campaign, a powerful contributor to why the agency was recognized four times in 2012 as Agency of the Year.
PUBLICIST OF THE YEAR
GOLD Shelby Fox Konnect Public Relations As one of the first members of the Konnect PR team, Shelby Fox actively pursues press opportunities for a number of clients while impressively managing Konnect PR’s franchise division. Shelby’s ability to understand the needs of clients and create a strategic plan of action is unmatched. She is forward-thinking and proactive, often providing innovative solutions and results before the client even asks. What makes Shelby a great leader at Konnect PR is that she is a great publicist. While it may appear difficult to take on the roles of publicist and manager simultaneously, Shelby excels in this environment. From crisis communications to complex media pitches and coaching clients through major press opportunities, she leads by example by handling multiple initiatives seamlessly and without hesitation. Receiving two promotions since her start at Konnect PR three years ago, Shelby has put her natural leadership skills to work heading up the franchise division that serves ten client brands as well as the franchisees of each of these brands. Shelby is immersed in the world of franchising, making her a valuable asset to her team as well as her clients and media contacts. She understands the industry in a way that few do and utilizes her deep pool of knowledge to guide her team, helping them create innovative pitches, interesting opportunities and thought-provoking content for their clients nationally and locally. When dealing with franchisors and franchisees, there are always new location openings, development deals and transitions, and Shelby leads her team to properly multi-task and stay focused on results. With so many moving parts in each franchise client’s campaign, issues are bound to arise. Rather than just taking control and solving the problem, Shelby turns every moment into a coachable moment, guiding employees to discover solutions on their own by listening and creating an exchange of ideas. In today’s media landscape, a publicist must be flexible, confident, efficient and capable of utilizing whatever means necessary to get the job done. Shelby is a pro. She does not take “no” for an answer, always seeking new avenues for connecting with the media. Recently, she secured placements for several Konnect PR clients by engaging with members of the media via Twitter. Beyond the guidance she provides for her team directly, Shelby is involved in a variety of Konnect PR initiatives including marketing, recruiting and training. These initiatives fall outside the realm of her
2013 STARS OF PR HALL OF FAME
roles as both a publicist and a manager, yet she manages to flawlessly execute these special projects without allowing any of her other work to suffer. Her passion and enthusiasm for Konnect PR shines through as she continues to exceed expectations. Shelby has helped market Konnect PR by crafting and executing strategic plans for industry trade shows including theme development, onsite appointments, travel arrangements, team agendas and much more. From these well-executed trade shows, Konnect PR has garnered a number of prospective clients and can attribute the acquisition of at least five new clients as a direct result from these trade shows. Shelby has created press opportunities for Konnect PR in trade publications as well as national outlets. Additionally, she is responsible for introducing new clients to the firm. In a small but rapidly growing firm like Konnect PR, leaders are expected to be flexible, always willing to take on new tasks and experiences. Shelby has accommodated this growth and demonstrated her flexibility by actively recruiting and hiring top-tier talent for the organization. In addition to her responsibilities as a publicist and department leader, she also meets with a number of job candidates using her expertise and experience to make the best choices in hiring. As Konnect PR grew, Shelby wanted to ensure that the company did not lose its unique spirit and culture. She took it upon herself to propose and develop an ongoing team building initiative to facilitate interdepartmental relations. Shelby solely plans and executes every aspect of these events.
S I LV E R Lynn Gardner HISTORY The past year proved both incredibly challenging and hugely rewarding for HISTORY. The fruits of PR’s labor paid off as the overall strategies designed and employed for the company’s programming and network initiatives resulted in brand buzz, great coverage and maximum exposure—all beneficial to business goals. Over the past few years, HISTORY has successfully evolved from a middle-ranked purveyor of historical documentaries to a top-four rated factual entertainment powerhouse brand. The PR team helped grow audience delivery in all key demos, with the launches of “Hatfields & McCoys” and other new series, including HISTORY’s first hit drama series. The HISTORY PR team is an example of a small team of highly motivated publicists that does it all. By executing carefully planned
PUBLICIST OF THE YEAR tent-pole campaigns for big events, the team built momentum and massive brand exposure with media and outside influencers for reality, event specials and first scripted projects. Through adept multitasking, the PR team generated excellent coverage for the “Hatfields & McCoys”—from launch directly through the Emmys, including a hugely successfully Emmy party—all the while never losing support for weekly series premieres. ’s leadership approach gives her team a clear sense of mission while also helping each to develop personal potential. She has built a creative, passionate team that collaborates across departments of the company and with outside producers and companies. Lynn stresses independent critical thinking to build the strongest team in the business and create an environment that encourages communication, motivation, outspokenness, strong relationships and accountability for delivering positive outcomes. Lynn’s advice, insight and counsel are sought out by the entire HISTORY senior team. Lynn and her team serve all aspects of HISTORY internally and externally, ensuring consistency and open communication. Lynn’s team develops and manages HISTORY PR outreach for all departments and spearheads upfront communication for ad sales efforts. Lynn’s advice has led to major industry features, trade panels and speaking exposures for the network president, executive VP of programming and SVP of marketing, as well as countless industry trade stories. For executive
2013 BULLDOG AWARDS HALL OF FAME
expertise and industry promotion campaigns, Lynn develops all strategic communications, positioning, talking points and remarks designed to incorporate every aspect of the company. To promote HISTORY’s first dramatic mini-series Lynn devised a multi-month, three-tiered communications strategy, which included a broad star-driven TV premiere campaign through all phases of production, specialized pitches to niche targets, and an industry and trade campaign promoting HISTORY brand leadership. For every major tent-pole event for “The Bible,” “Vikings” and “Hatfields,” Lynn’s team created dual concurrent PR campaigns. These involve teasers, pre-premiere and premiere/review phases for major outlets and targeted editorial pitches for niche outlets. Lynn and her team have developed and executed creative corporate and trade communication strategies and overseen all programbased consumer press efforts, talent relations, awards strategy, conference planning and a portfolio of networks. From a media perspective, Lynn enhanced a diverse programming lineup and helped move HISTORY squarely into the entertainment arena as a major force in the industry. Lynn is indefatigable in her ongoing efforts to ensure that senior HISTORY leaders gain industry recognition for their expertise and achievements. Lynn’s personal achievements were recognized with her own promotion to Senior Vice President in the fall of 2012.
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