TOP 50: HI-TECH PR: IT comes under global spotlight - As large corporations adopt global electronic communications as the norm, the IT sector is booming. Robert Gray investigates

With Text 100 and Brodeur A Plus heading the hi-tech table, as they have for several years, one might be forgiven for thinking that it’s business as usual. Yet the consistent presence of these two names in the top spots masks a series of major changes to the industry in which they specialise and to the two consultancies themselves.

With Text 100 and Brodeur A Plus heading the hi-tech table, as they

have for several years, one might be forgiven for thinking that it’s

business as usual. Yet the consistent presence of these two names in the

top spots masks a series of major changes to the industry in which they

specialise and to the two consultancies themselves.



It has been well documented that a process of globalisation is at work

in the way corporations conduct business and by extension their

communications.



Nowhere is this process more advanced than in the IT sector. The rapid

growth and dynamism of many of the companies, coupled with the nature of

technology (which is often used to provide the infrastructure for

international communications), have been among the factors that have

persuaded an increasing number of hi-tech companies to pursue a global

strategy.



’It’s quite clear the big theme is the globalisation of technology

PR,’says Brodeur A Plus director Jonathan Simnett. ’IBM blazed the trail

and showed how it could work. And all the other big players are falling

into line.’ Kristin Syltevik, managing director of Miller Shandwick

Technologies agrees.



She says: ’The trend has been towards global programmes since companies

tend to have departments in different key markets. It’s a global

industry and companies do not want local, small agencies.’



An intriguing example of this IT globalisation was software giant

Oracle’s announcement in January that it had selected Avalanche PR as

its global public relations firm to operate in 55 countries. At a

stroke, Oracle’s 30-odd PR agencies around the world were swept away

with the exception of certain markets, including the UK. It is worth

noting that Avalanche is a joint venture company, specially created to

work on the Oracle business.



It consists of three PR consultancies: independent hi-tech specialist

Cunningham Communication, and WPP-owned businesses Hill and Knowlton and

Ogilvy PR.



Given that clients are now actively taking steps to ensure greater

message consistency on a worldwide basis - a need that has become ever

more pressing as the internet, a medium which transcends national

borders, develops further - the larger hi-tech agencies are having to

offer global support in one way or another.



It was with this situation in mind that A Plus sold up to Omnicom last

autumn. The deal meant that the consultancy could link with Omnicom’s

other hi-tech PR agencies to become the world’s largest technology PR

group. It also gave A Plus access to capital which allowed it to speed

up the process of opening new offices. Moreover, Omnicom will be able to

bankroll Brodeur A Plus when it wishes to buy agencies in its affiliate

network.



Brodeur A Plus and Text 100 have remodelled their management structures,

partly in response to the changes in the ways clients wish to work. Both

consultancies are also in the middle of feverish overseas expansion

programmes.



Text 100, for example, already has four offices in the US and is

considering opening a fifth in either Los Angeles or Houston. ’Our US

presence has been hugely beneficial because so many of the major IT

companies have their headquarters there,’ says Text 100 UK managing

director Katie Kemp.



The bigmoney that can be generated by global assignments has sharpened

the interest of some of the larger generalist agencies in the hi-tech

sector. Of these, the performance of Hill and Knowlton and Edelman

catches the eye. The former boosted hi-tech fee income from pounds 2.3

million to over pounds 2.6 million while the latter saw a huge rise from

below pounds 700,000 to over pounds 2.3 million.



Probably the biggest problem currently facing hi-tech PR agencies is a

dearth of experienced staff. The continuing growth of the industry,

together with the need for employees with technical knowledge - as well

as a panoply of other skills - has caused salaries to be bumped up as

agencies have been aggressively trying to recruit suitable staff to

service their business.



Lewis Communications managing director Chris Lewis laments the ’shortage

of good, trained staff’ and complains about the amount of poaching going

on. This view is endorsed by Firefly director Mark Mellor who says

’headhunting is rife’. Sue Rizzello, group director for Edelman

technology, agrees: ’Staffing is tough if you are selective and have to

raise the bar for performance.’



Agencies are having to be a little creative in attracting staff, not

just offering juicy financial packages but clear career development

opportunities.



Some are even looking beyond the IT PR sector for talent. And more

resources are being put into graduate recruitment and training.



The vibrancy among technology clients and agencies at present is being

mirrored in the specialist media. While the monthly magazine market has

long been packed to the gills with a huge range of carefully segmented

titles, there have for many years been only two dominant news weeklies:

VNU’s Computing and Reed’s Computer Weekly.



However, two significant launches this year may shake up the status quo:

CMP Media’s Information Week and Ziff-Davis’ IT Week.



Still on the subject of hi-tech media relations, Lewis detects a move

away from ’client-based stories’ to third party testimonial from

journalists, analysts and business users of an IT product or service.

’When a client comes to you and says ’I’ve got the latest version of

this software’, that isn’t enough on its own,’ says Lewis. ’You need to

get the client’s customers to say why they are using it. Journalists are

looking at who is using a product, why they are using it and what

problems they are solving with it.’



Text’s Kemp says that clients in the future will be looking for far more

than just a media relations service from hi-tech agencies. ’The emphasis

will move from media relations to true public relations, where you’re

actually helping clients talk directly to customers,’ she says.



To validate this proposition, Kemp cites her own client Microsoft. Three

years ago, Text’s work on this account was 99 per cent media

relations.



Now the ratio is 60 per cent media work to 40 per cent other kinds of

public relations and Kemp sees the proportion of media relations falling

a touch further in the future.



There will, she continues, be more of a need for strategic advice such

as we have seen in other sectors. ’We’re doing more consultancy-only

projects,’ says Grant Butler Coomber director Jill Coomber. ’PR is

getting more credibility,’ she adds. The fact that Text, GBC and others

have set up public affairs capabilities is also indicative of the

broadening requirements of technology clients. As technology becomes a

more integral part of everyday life, more Government decisions will

impinge upon it. Education, training and regulation are fertile areas

for communications with Government and policy shapers.



’Information technology is becoming mainstream,’ adds Kemp. ’It has

almost reached the point where it’s affecting everybody’s lives.’



The internet is, of course, one of the prime reasons why this is

happening.’The internet has helped blur the boundaries between telecom,

IT and entertainment,’ says Firefly’s Mellor. ’These areas are

overlapping now.’



Out of this confluence has come the need for technology agencies to

offer a broader array of expertise than was required of them in the

past. The term consumer-tech has been much bandied about in the past

couple of years, but there can be little doubt that the ability to talk

to consumers has become part and parcel of the technology PR

repertoire.



That is not to say, however, that client expectations of technical

facility has waned. Quite the contrary. Clients still expect hi-tech PR

consultants to understand the technological and business issues related

to their products or services, it is just that they expect access to an

enhanced range of communications skills as well. Certainly hi-tech

agencies are expected to be competent at online PR. But there is some

uncertainty as to exactly what this constitutes. Cynics have pointed out

that an agency could lay claim to doing online PR simply by persuading

clients to put their web addresses on printed corporate material.



For the more advanced, online PR means activities such as getting

clients exposure in relevant internet news groups, using tactical banner

advertising and forging alliances with other interested parties on the

net, either for strategical reasons or as a means of driving traffic to

a client’s web site.



But despite the fact that the web has been nothing short of

revolutionary in its effects, it has not, as of yet, made many people

much money. Only a comparatively few electronic commerce sites (where

products are actually sold on the internet) have really taken off - and

most of these are based in the US. The web’s great success hitherto has

been as an information source rather than a direct sales channel.



The ramifications of this are that those companies specialising in

building web sites, although attractive in terms of giving balance to

agencies client lists, are seldom in a position to spend heavily on

PR.



’I defy any agency to say they are making good money out of web

developers,’ says Noiseworks managing director Nick Hayes. ’They look

good on the client list but they just don’t make enough money themselves

to pay for decent marketing.’



As EMC Euro PR managing director Richard Price confirms, the IT

sub-sectors from which most of the growth is coming are software,

telecommunications and specialist services such as recruitment - where

for certain skills (such as expertise in helping companies limit their

exposure to the potentially ruinous Millennium Bug) there is a shortage

of top notch staff and pay levels have rocketed.



The general buoyancy in the economy as a whole and in the IT industry in

particular, has encouraged a lot of start-up activity. Venture

capitalists have been eager to invest and many of these new companies

have been very switched on when it comes to marketing. Indeed, many of

them are beating a path to the hi-tech agencies’ doors. ’They want PR

because they’ve seen what companies such as Netscape have been able to

achieve through public relations,’ says Kemp.



But start-ups, even in a buoyant sector, are a risky proposition. There

is always the danger that they will go under and the consultancy will be

left with bad debt. Text 100 has been the victim of this unwelcome

scenario on two recent occasions.



Another trend, although by no means one specific to the technology

sector, is that agencies are spending more time working cheek by jowl

with clients.



Firefly’s Mellor makes the point that his consultants are spending a

greater proportion of their time working inside clients’ offices than

ever before.



This is probably linked to the demand for more strategic consultancy

activity.



TOP HI-TECH CONSULTANCIES: 1-50

Rank    Company      UK hi-tech       %    Total UK  Staff   Agency

97 96                    income   over-  fee income          type

                          1997,     all       1997,

                         pounds  income      pounds

1  1    Text 100      6,182,486     100   6,182,486    113   Hi-tech

2  2    Brodeur       3,974,048      97   4,096,957     67   Bus-to-bus,

        A Plus                                               consumer,

                                                             hi-tech

3  4    Firefly       3,144,687      95   3,310,197     60   Full

        Communic-                                            service

        ations

4  5    Harvard PR    2,717,820      63   4,314,000     55   Full

                                                             service

5  6    Hill and      2,625,420      14  18,753,000    243   Full

        Knowlton                                             service

6  3    Shandwick     2,538,400      10  25,384,000    382   Full

        UK                                                   service

7  8    Weber PR      2,500,122      24  10,417,177    148   Full

        Worldwide                                            service

8  7    The Argyll    2,363,862      87   2,717,083     52   Bus-to-bus,

        Consult-                                             corporate,

        ancies                                               hi-tech

9  24   Edelman PR    2,352,009      33   7,127,300     65   Full

        Worldwide                                            service

10 11   AD            1,497,264     100   1,497,264     20   Hi-tech

        Communic-

        ations

11 9    Ogilvy PR     1,480,700      85   1,742,000     24   Full

        Worldwide                                            service

12 14   Noiseworks    1,364,300     100   1,364,300     22   Hi-tech

13 12   Strategic     1,348,681     100   1,348,681     18   Hi-tech

        Alliance

        Intern-

        ational

14 19   Lewis         1,342,666     100   1,342,666     23   Hi-tech

        Communic-

        ations*

15 17   Grant         1,309,075      77   1,700,097     34   Full

        Butler                                               service

        Coomber

16 18   DPA           1,215,648     100   1,215,648     18   Hi-tech

        Corporate

        Comms

17 15   Profile PR    1,200,800     100   1,200,800     22   Hi-tech

18 16   Charles       1,094,536      16   6,840,850     79   Full

        Barker                                               service

        BSMG

19 13   Scope         1,077,960      19   5,673,476     84   Full

        Ketchum                                              service

        Comms

20 22   Berkeley      1,072,280     100   1,072,280     22   Hi-tech

        PR

21 -    Insight         980,000      70   1,400,000     23   Full

        Marketing                                            service

        Comms

22 26   Bite            937,510      90   1,041,678     15   Full

        Communic-                                            service

        ations

23 23   Roger           936,605     100     936,605     11   Hi-tech

        Staton

        Associates

24 20   Keene           864,704      59   1,465,600     22   Full

        Communic-                                            service

        ations

25 34   Banner PR       809,084     100     809,084     11   Hi-tech

26 31   Companycare     776,834      67   1,159,454     24   Full

        Communic-                                            service

        ations

27 27   Icas PR         757,437      36   2,103,991     41   Full

                                                             service

28 25   The             742,655      11   6,940,700    105   Full

        Grayling                                             service

        Group

29 28   Spec            724,061     100     724,061     16   Hi-tech

        Communic-

        ations

30 33   Portfolio       715,641      77     929,404     18   Full

        Communic-                                            service

        ations

31 36   Manning,        710,220      19   3,738,000     48   Full

        Selvage                                              service

        and Lee

32 37   Words etc       657,984      95     692,615     13   Full

                                                             service

33 38   Systems         638,815      62   1,030,347     16   Full

        Publicity                                            service

34 30   Insight         634,632     100     634,632     19   Hi-tech

        Group

35 29   Herald          629,641      53   1,188,001     20   Full

        Communic-                                            service

        ations

36 48   MacLaurin       627,091      23   2,702,979     37   Full

        Group                                                service

37 43   EMC Euro        590,134      65     907,898     17   Bus-to-bus,

        PR                                                   consumer,

                                                             hi-tech

38 46   BourneRiver     586,506     100     586,506     18   Hi-tech

        PR

39 39   Fleishman-      580,612      26   2,233,124     25   Full

        Hillard UK                                           service

40 32   The             542,859      30   1,809,530     32   Bus-to-bus,

        Reputation                                           corporate,

        Managers                                             hi-tech

41 35   Johnson         541,782     100     541,782     11   Hi-tech

        King

42 44   Technical       495,359     100     495,359     14   Hi-tech

        Publicity

43 -    Key             426,301      10   4,263,012     58   Full

        Communic-                                            service

        ations

44 49   Kinross         399,892      47     850,835     19   Full

        and                                                  service

        Render

45 -    Nelson          384,368      40     960,920     19   Consumer,

        Bostock                                              bus-to-bus,

        Communic-                                            hi-tech

        ations

46 -    The             380,039      75     506,718     11   Full

        Whiteoaks                                            service

        Consultancy

47 -    Stewart-Muir    325,926      96     339,506      8   Full

        Communic-                                            service

        ations

48 -    Marbles         319,179      48     664,957     13   Full

                                                             service

49 -    Red             313,523      13   2,411,719     55   Full

        Consultancy                                          service

50 -    Catalyst        309,583      89     347,846      7   Bus-to-bus,

        Communic-                                            hi-tech

        ations

        Int.



All figures relate to the year ended 31 December 1997, except Johnson

King which relates to April 1996 to April 1997.



Fee income = PR fees + mark-up.



Only agencies where hi-tech accounts for 10 per cent or more of UK fee

income are included.



All figures are certified by an auditor except those marked *.



Text 100 and Brodeur A Plus introduce ’business units’ to encourage

entrepreneurial spirit



1 Text 100

pounds 6,182,486



Top of the table, Text 100 has increased its lead over its nearest

challenger with a surge of just over pounds 1 million in fee income to

almost pounds 6.2 million.



This excellent performance came at a propitious time for Text, which

floated four per cent of its equity on the OFEX market last spring and

saw its share price more than double from the opening 30p by the year

end.



According to UK managing director Katie Kemp there was more pan-European

and international work than ever before, examples of which include new

business from design software company Visio across Europe, South Africa

and Australia and a global remit for BT’s network integration arm

Syncordia.



Text has pursued a full-blooded expansion programme overseas so as not

to miss out on the globalisation of communications. It is planning a

fifth US office, recently started its second German office (Hamburg),

second Indian office (Bangalore) and broke into Italy and Australia last

year.



It opened its second UK office - in Scotland - and plans several more

regional operations. There was an internal restructuring into ’business

units’ to allow staff to be ’more entrepreneurial’. Four full-time human

resources staff have been hired to good effect; staff retention - once a

bit of a problem at Text - has risen from 74 to 87 per cent.



2 Brodeur A Plus

pounds 3,974,048



’This was the year that we really started acting as a global business,’

says A Plus director Jonathan Simnett and it is hard to take issue with

that. Although UK fee income only edged up a fraction this is forgivable

in circumstances which has seen much of the business focus directed at

international growth. The acquisition by Omnicom brought A Plus into the

Brodeur Worldwide fold which now boasts dollars US50 million in fees

generated by 23 offices. Recent additions to this network are

subsidiaries in Australia and Singapore and the acquisition of erstwhile

A Plus affiliate Schoep and Van der Toorn in the Netherlands. Following

the sale the consultancy reorganised its management to take the business

on to what Simnett describes as the ’next stage’ of its development.

Seven ’business groups’ have been created, each with their own profit

and loss responsibility.



New clients include telecoms company Nortel and Siemens Nixdorf, for

whose subsidiary Pyramid Technology, the consultancy had already been

working.



A Plus is among the first 10 companies of any kind to receive Investors

in People accreditation for a second time. Its design unit, which

produces collateral material and web design for clients such as IBM and

AMP is also doing well, with a turnover of about pounds 1 million.



3 Firefly Communications

pounds 3,144,687



Firefly, one of the top 20 fastest growing agencies, saw 33 per cent

growth last year, split evenly between new and existing clients.



Director Mark Mellor says: ’We did a lot of internet and telecoms

related work. Consumer work grew 68 per cent and now accounts for 20 per

cent of business, plus we hired new skills. But the biggest challenge

was recruitment, we cannot find people with the right skills.’



The agency also launched a new service, FireProof, a four stage

evaluation service. ’Many clients are beginning to adopt one or several

levels, measuring messages against target audiences, no longer just

placing value on coverage,’ says Mellor.



Client wins included satellite and cable television channel Fox Kids

Network; internet service provider Which? Online; the telecoms and new

media division of Deloitte and Touche; corporate work for Cable and

Wireless Mobile; BT Data and Information Services; internet software

company Autonomy; Canadian telecoms group Mitel and internet browser

Netscape.



Firefly resigned its account with CD-ROM company Notting Hill Electronic

Publishing and IT recruitment company CRT Group.



6 Shandwick UK

pounds 2,538,400



Following changes to Shandwick UK last year, some hi-tech revenue

belonging to other groups, such as corporate hi-tech, has been taken out

of Shandwick’s overall hi-tech results, making a year-on-year comparison

impossible.



Speaking for Shandwick UK, Kristin Syltevik, managing director of Miller

Shandwick Technologies, says: ’The trend has been towards global

programmes since companies tend to have departments in different key

markets. It’s a global industry and companies do not want local, small

agencies but ones which can work for them wherever they are.’



Wins included a global programme targeting high end users for storage

and disk array company Ciprico; a UK launch for internet provider ANS

Communications Europe; a roll out programme in Europe for enterprise

software company System Software Associates and a European co-ordination

programme for scanner and digital camera firm Agfa DTP.



’We are starting to develop hi-tech tools such as Global Collaborator

for international programmes. This is an intranet service enabling

clients and agencies to access and share the latest press information

and forward features activities. If there is a global press

announcement, we can co-ordinate which country invites which journalists

so that there is no overlap,’ says Syltevik.



9 Edelman PR Worldwide

pounds 2,352,009



Hi-tech fee income doubled last year and accounted for 33 per cent of

Edelman’s total income. Sue Rizzello, group director for technology

says: ’We are seeing a turnaround from UK-based, technology-centred PR

to high level strategic counsel and corporate reputation management,

which sits well alongside our convergence focus. There has been huge

growth in the new media area and internet technology. Convergence

technologies are now the great opportunity.’



Edelman has worked with Ericsson for over a year and won a number of new

divisions including Infocoms and Public Networks which broadened its

telecoms base.



The agency also won radio communications company Simoco - indicating the

trend towards convergence. Rizzello says: ’It’s led by technology but

shared with public affairs. We have also carried out a government

affairs project for the new digital standard, TETRA in which Simoco is

involved.’ Edelman also won one of India’s largest software companies

Infosys Technologies.



Accounts which fell by the wayside include Hughes Olivetti Telecom;

colour software company Pantone; DSC Communications and Hayes

Microcomputer.



10 AD Communications

pounds 1,497,264



Surrey-based AD Communications (ADC) saw fee income grow by 30 per cent

in its niche market of graphic arts, publishing and visual

communications.



The agency has 35 clients in digital printing and finishing, magazine,

newspaper, internet publishing and multimedia.



Initially a UK-focused agency, ADC has developed into a pan-European

business.



Managing director Richard Allen says: ’International campaigns are a

significant factor of our business, particularly pan-European work.

There has been a revolution in digital printing with mergers and

acquisitions in the industry. There are fewer companies and larger

players, with a huge trend towards pan-European campaigns.’



Wins last year included BT’s joint venture launch of a worldwide

intranet service; The Apple Publishing Alliance, a UK-wide team of Apple

accredited resellers, and exhibition IBEX 98, which is the world’s

largest English speaking international printing show.



12 Noiseworks

pounds 1,364,300



With only 24 staff, Noiseworks is hardly in the business behemoth

category.



But in 1997, this comparatively small agency took on a full-time

recruiter.



It was, says managing director Nick Hayes, ’the best move we made last

year’ - such is the difficulty hi-tech agencies are having recruiting

first-rate consultants.



As Noiseworks’ fee income has risen from under pounds 1.1 million to

over pounds 1.36 million, it has clearly needed to find staff of

sufficient calibre to make such growth sustainable.



Last September, Noiseworks opened a Paris office run by Valerie Davaine

Le Lay. There are also plans to open a second string UK agency, called

Diversion, to specialise in start-ups and other hi-tech companies with

’potential’.



Growth in business has been recorded from existing clients Lotus

Development and Hewlett-Packard. New business has come from the likes of

Bay Networks and Entranet, an e-commerce specialist, which has built web

sites for clients such as Eagle Star.



Noiseworks has introduced web-based reporting, whereby clients can

receive on-line account activity reports that are updated automatically

by the consultancy’s own computer system. Hayes describes this as an

’astonishing crowd-pleaser.’



14 Lewis Communications

pounds 1,342,666



Having monitored Text 100’s successful flotation on OFEX last year,

Lewis managing director Chris Lewis says he intends to float about 15

per cent of his consultancy on the same market later this year as a way

to raise capital for expansion. ’We think there are a lot of investors

interested in this sector,’ says Lewis. ’It’s losing its volatile

tag.’



Lewis has noticed the way the wind is blowing in hi-tech PR and is

bolstering its overseas capabilities. A Munich office, run by Andres

Wittermann, opened last July and the hunt is currently on for someone to

run the existing French operation. There is already a presence in San

Diego, while a Singapore office is under consideration.



New wins in the UK helped propel Lewis up the league table. Among the

wins were IBM distribution arm Bytech, a pan-European communications

audit for ICL and work for Sun Microsystems on a programme to convince

its resellers of the importance of PR.



15 Grant Butler Coomber

pounds 1,309,075



A 39 per cent increase in hi-tech fee income to pounds 1.3 million was

sufficient to lift Grant Butler Coomber two places up the league table.

Wins included a ’global remit’ through the consultancy’s affiliate

network for IT management consultancy James Martin and Co, a UK and

European brief for networking tools company BEA Systems and

consumer-tech work promoting Packard Bell’s multimedia PCs. There was

also corporate and product work for Global One, the joint venture

between Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom and Sprint.



During the year, GBC has strengthened its senior management, promoting

associate director Melissa Geddes to the full board and elevating senior

account directors Sophie Spyropoulos and Mandy Hassall to associate

director level. A public affairs arm has been set up under Cathy

Connan.



Director Jill Coomber thinks consumer-tech and web-based e-commerce will

be among future areas of growth for the consultancy. ’Clients are

starting to look a lot more seriously at putting more of their business

on the web,’ she says.



Coomber adds that there is a strong trend towards requests for greater

evaluation among technology clients. ’But clients could still do with

putting more budget into audience perception measurement.’



21 Insight Marketing Communications

pounds 980,000



This is Insight’s first inclusion in the hi-tech league table. The

agency has grown quietly since it was set up by managing director Chris

Warham almost eight years ago.



Warham, who formerly worked in-house at Hewlett-Packard, has built his

business by referrals rather than proactively courting potential

clients.



The strategy appears to have worked rather well, with Insight now lying

just outside the hi-tech top 20 and employing 28 staff split between its

head office in Macclesfield, Cheshire and a second office in

Bracknell.



Clients include computer manufacturer Dell, business intelligence

software Cognos, human resources and accounting software PeopleSoft and

Hewlett-Packard, for which Insight has a ’European strategic role’ for

non-PC products. New business includes Siemens Network Systems and

document management company FileNet.



Warham considers relationships with IT analysts, whose views on products

often carry a huge amount of weight with corporate purchasers, as

’vastly important’.



Technology clients, concludes Warham, are increasingly expecting

consultancies to use IT to provide them with an up-to-date picture of

the situation on their accounts. ’We see clients who are very driven by

online reporting, the PR extranet to use technospeak.’



32 Words etc

pounds 657,984



’Last year we differentiated our offer from competitors by focusing more

on an issues-based approach and this year our focus is to break into

telecommunications and develop multi-media clients,’ says June Dawson,

director of software specialist Words etc.



The strategy has paid off so far with fee income up 54 per cent. The

agency, formed in 1991, has 13 full-time consultants specialising in

strategic, business media relations, market intelligence and event

management.



During the year Words etc won and lost internet browser company

Netscape.



The agency declined to repitch and the account went to Firefly. Wins

included World Insurance Network, which provides an electronic

marketplace for the insurance industry; computer information security

company Axent Technologies; network integrator Workplace Technologies

and internet security company iD2 Technologies. It lost its account with

dataware housing company Information Advantage and also lost OSI, which

provides consultancy IT advice to the utility sector.



Dawson says: ’We are developing our market intelligence business through

our system Feature Factory, which enables consultants and clients to

track issues of direct import to their business so that we can be

proactive in responding to developments in the market place.’



35 Herald Communications

pounds 629,641



High end software specialist, Herald Communications (formerly Mathieu

Thomas/ Herald) saw a 15 per cent rise in fee income with hi-tech

contributing 53 per cent to group income.



Kate Messenger, head of the hi-tech division says: ’We are trying to

keep ourselves specialised, building a good reputation, but at the same

time keeping broad based enough to continue growing our client base

without conflicts.’



While Herald’s consumer division looked after best selling computer game

Tomb Raider for Eidos, the hi-tech division won its video-editing and

compression business. Herald also won US web marketing tools company CMG

Information Services; generated case studies across Europe for the

network server division of Hewlett-Packard; worked for US supply chain

software company i2 Technologies and US customer interaction software

company Onyx. The agency lost networking hardware company Ascend

Communications.



37 EMC Euro PR

pounds 590,134



Wimbledon-based EMC Euro PR has seen the focus of its business shift

considerably since it began life in the mid-1980s. Then the bulk of its

work was for large systems such as mainframes, today its areas of

strength lie in work for consultants, telecom companies and vendors of

smaller equipment. EMC has grown its business from Arthur D Little, a

management consultancy which specialises in technology among other

areas. Having a client such as this, says EMC managing director Richard

Price, has helped in the advice and support it has been able to offer

vendor clients in the technology sector.



Clients on EMC’s books include Bell Atlantic, for which it handles a

European corporate brief; FLAG (the Fibreoptic Link Around the Globe);

3i-backed mobile products company Business on the Move and the Mobile

Data Association.



Among EMC’s more recent wins is Kewill Systems, which owns companies

including a specialist in retail technology. EMC also launched

WorldCom/Cable and Wireless joint venture Gemini. The acquisition 18

months ago of consumer healthcare specialist Fulcrum has brought welcome

consumer communications skills on board. ’The need for consumer PR is

much more evident than a decade ago when I first started,’ says Price.



Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

Hit or Miss? UKIP responds to Times story about Nigel Farage expenses

Hit or Miss? UKIP responds to Times story about Nigel Farage expenses

UKIP and its leader Nigel Farage came out fighting over a story in The Times yesterday that he is facing an investigation over £60,000 of "missing" European Union funds.

Ebay appoints Launch PR and Exposure for UK consumer work

Ebay appoints Launch PR and Exposure for UK consumer work

Online retailer eBay has appointed Launch PR and Exposure to its roster of agencies for UK consumer work.

Skyscanner selects Mischief for UK PR task

Skyscanner selects Mischief for UK PR task

Flight search company Skyscanner has brought in Mischief PR to oversee its UK communications as part of a Europe-wide round of agency appointments.