Public Affairs: Cicero expands offering

Financial specialist establishes digital and media arms.

Cicero Consulting is looking to take on the public affairs industry's top players by morphing into a full-service agency.

The financial sector specialist is establishing new media relations and digital arms to expand its client base and the services it can offer to existing clients.

Mike Robb, who joined Cicero early in 2011, has been appointed head of media relations, with Chris Jackson, who has been with the company since 2007, becoming head of digital.

The launch of the two businesses follows Cicero securing two new clients and making a couple of appointments.

The agency has won media and digital work with Novantas, a global financial services professional services firm that focuses on the banking sector, and Tomorrow's People, a welfare to work organisation.

Robb and Jackson will be supported by two appointments. Cameron Penny has been recruited from Ranelagh International as senior associate, while Ross Gill joins the media team as an associate, from the office of MP David Lammy.

Cicero director and chief corporate counsel Iain Anderson said that, following expansion into Washington, Singapore and Brussels, the move marked the next evolution of the business.

'It has become clear that clients in our sector want more than the traditional corporate PR consultancies can offer,' he said.

Anderson added that about £250,000 had been invested in the new business areas to support the five-strong team.

Several agencies with a traditional public affairs background, including Portland, TLG and Hanover, have expanded their service offering. Although Cicero regards its diversification as a way in which it can take on its contemporaries, it is retaining its financial sector specialism.

'Our financial specialism has been a really powerful message through the downturn because people are buying specialisms at a time when budgets are under pressure,' said Anderson.

The agency, which employs 50 people across its four offices, claimed growth of more than 40 per cent last year. It has pledged to double group-wide revenues over the next two years, partly driven by the media and digital arms.

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