Consultancy of the year: GolinHarris

They say fortune favours the brave. For GolinHarris, this has proved to be the case. 

In 2011, it took the radical step of overhauling its agency model, migrating staff from being PR generalists into specialists within four key areas. Last year, it took home PRWeek’s International Consultancy of the Year award for its efforts. But the agency wanted to prove its vision was not just a one-hit wonder.

It continued to push industry boundaries by creating positions including a director of real-time marketing. It looked outside the industry for creative talent, hiring a team of comedy writers from the BBC’s Have I Got News For You to develop potential angles and ideas, an Acc­enture analyst and an art gallery owner.

In July 2012, it acquired health specialist Virgo Health, opened Virgo branded offices in New York and Singapore and won an international consumer health pitch for Coca-Cola. In 2012 its pitch win rate hit 81 per cent, adding 36 clients and projects inc­luding Cadbury, Dove, Virgin Media and Smirnoff. It also sec­ured 43 new projects from existing clients, with a client retention rate of 85 per cent.

All this led to the highest growth in the agency's history.

"The courage, insight and investment shown by GolinHarris to reinvent the agency model deserves to be acknowledged at the highest level"

Ruth Wyatt Brand editor, PRWeek

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The PRWeek Award winners 2013