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Posts Tagged ‘StevensGouldPincus’

PR Industry Growing Despite Weak Economy

Encouraging news on a dreary Monday in New York City: the American PR industry is doing quite well, thanks. According to a study released by management consulting firm StevensGouldPincus, our business is expanding at a healthy rate even as the larger economy struggles to return to pre-recession levels for all but the richest Americans. Seems like more and more businesses are itching to discover what, exactly, public relations is all about.

Details:

  • The industry at large grew at 8.2% in 2o12
  • Operating profit grew from 18.2% to 18.8% despite billing rates remaining the same
  • Edelman was excluded from the study because the firm’s results skewed averages
  • The fastest growth occurred in the Southwest, Southeast and Northern California, proving that you don’t need to live in New York or L.A. to make it big in PR

These findings confirm the latest Holmes Report ”World PR report“, which found the industry to be growing 8% globally.

Some caveats:

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PR Agency Profitability Reaches 18.6 Percent in 2011

Annual benchmarking research conducted by M&A consultancy StevensGouldPincus finds that PR agencies reported 18.6 percent profitability in 2011. The numbers are an improvement from the prior year (15.6 percent) and a big leap from 13.9 percent profitability reported in 2009, the time in which the economic meltdown was wreaking havoc.

A total of 105 firms from across the revenue size spectrum — from less than $3 million to more than $25 million — in the U.S. and Canada were included in the survey.

The research also found that average monthly minimum fees were up, from $8,385 last year to $9,867. Firms between $10 million and $25 million in revenue were a little lower ($9,291) and those above $25 million were much higher ($15,340).

Overhead also dropped three percent to 25.5 percent, and staff turnover averaged 22.5 percent, a small drop from the previous year.

PR Vet Ted Pincus Dies

Ted Pincus, PR vet and Chicago Sun-Times columnist, has died at the age of 78. Pincus suffered from multiple myeloma, a cancer afflicting the plasma cells in the bone marrow.

Pincus was founder of the Financial Relations Board, which he sold for $40 million in 2000 to True North Communications. He went on to become a managing partner at StevensGouldPincus, the M&A consultancy for the PR and ad industries. He has also served as a consultant for Weber Shandwick and Ruder Finn, a vice chairman at SMG, and other firms.

A memorial service was held for him today. He is survived by his sister, five children (including his son Mark, founder of Zynga), and 12 grandchildren.

[via Chicago Sun-Times, PRWeek]

SGP Poll: Biggest Reason for PR Firm Use of Social Media is Corporate Brand Building

StevensGouldPincus, the PR and ad agency M&A specialty with the side gig in benchmarking studies, has conducted a new digital flash poll finding that “corporate brand building” is the biggest reason that PR firms are using social media.

More than three-quarters of respondents (77.5 percent) said that building a client’s brand is the top reason they’re using social media. Next was talking with customers (58.8 percent), followed by enhancing reputation (46.1 percent). Less than a third (30.4 percent) said they were using it for media relations and a mere 8.8 percent said they were using it to fix a crisis situation. SGP polled 102 people at U.S. agencies.

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Study: Billing Rates Are Up, Productivity Not So Much

StevensGouldPincus, the merger and management consulting firm targeting the PR industry, has conducted another benchmark study, finding that billing rates are up, but productivity is not.

The average rate for a CEO is $513 per hour at agencies with revenues at $25 million or more; $291 for those as smaller agencies. VPs average $261 with those in Washington D.C. charging $306 per hour. Sports and entertainment, IR, and public affairs are the areas on the high end of rates.

However, SVPs are only billing about 63 percent of a theoretical 1,700 possible hours and some account managers are billing only 70 percent of their hours.

One hundred and four PR agencies from across the country responded to the poll. Is this the case at your firm?

Research: PR Firm Profitability Back at 2008 Levels

Findings from the Best Practices Benchmarking Survey, conducted annually by StevensGouldPincus,  found that U.S. PR firm profitability in 2010 surged back to 2008 levels.

The 104 PR firm respondents reported 15.6 percent profitability, the same figure reported in 2008. In 2009, the response showed profitability was at 13.5 percent of revenue, a four-year low.

The figure was brought down by the profitability of firms with net revenues totaling less than $3 million.

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Small Firms Make Recession-Related Adjustments

Everyone was hard hit by the economic recession. In 2009, 64 percent of PR firms  saw declining revenues, according to StevensGouldPincus (SGP). However, for small firms, the recession posed a unique set of challenges.

“How do you compete with a company with global offices that is charging the same thing we charge?” Hodge Schindler Integrated Communications‘ Sally Hodge told Reuters. According to the article, she still goes without pay some weeks to make ends meet.

Art Stevens from SGP says a lot of firms have seen revenue losses over the past couple of years. But the story ends on an upbeat note, with studies showing optimism in the industry and another small firm, Utopia Communications, seeing new avenues for business.

PRNewser Poll: Do Clickthroughs Determine Influence?

Last week, we asked whether social media will overtake traditional media as a primary PR tool.  The numbers are in, and nearly 58 percent of respondents were on the fence, saying “maybe” this will happen.

As we noted in that post, Art Stevens, managing partner at StevensGouldPincus, is convinced this will happen in the next two years. About 19 percent of poll takers  agreed, with slightly more than 5 percent saying it has already happened.

Besides the PRNewser poll, there has been considerable buzz around a couple of items focused on social media popularity versus influence. Vocus partnered with Brian Solis for a study about what determines influence and whether there’s a difference between influence and popularity. Mashable also posted a story on the subject, taking the Kim Kardashian angle. Read more

PRNewser Poll: Will Social Media Overtake Traditional Media as a Primary Tool?

Last week, PRNewser asked how often you meet with your clients and other contacts in-person. Nearly 41 percent of respondents said “Hardly ever.  Most of my work can be conducted in the office, on the phone, or via e-mail.” Surprised? Probably not.

Stats from the The Travel Leaders Group show that about 63 percent of travel firm owners, managers, and agents are seeing an increase in business travel bookings as of August 30, compared to one year ago. But nearly 61 percent of travel managers say that spending hasn’t reached the 2008 levels. And certainly, technology has become a less expensive, less time consuming way to keep in touch.

Still, nearly 35 percent of respondents said that they set aside time each month to meet with contacts. Only 18 percent said they’re meeting with people in-person often. Six percent said they never meet with contacts.

This week’s PRNewser Poll, focused on social media, after the jump. Read more