Profitable year positions Ruder Finn for growth

Ruder Finn's Chicago office has emerged from the doldrums and is set for growth, the agency's executives claimed this week.

Ruder Finn's Chicago office has emerged from the doldrums and is set for growth, the agency's executives claimed this week.

Managing director Howard Solomon admitted Chicago has not been a happy hunting ground for RF. As one Chicago PR pro said 'it's such a revolving door, I don't know anyone who's stayed there.'

However, RF went from money loser to profit center in 1998, said Solomon.

Revenues were in the neighborhood of $2 million and are expected to jump 25% in 1999. The agency is also set to announce a major piece of healthcare business with a Midwest Fortune 100 company.

Solomon believes RF has stabilized staffing, bringing in an RF New York healthcare specialist, hiring away someone from Golin/Harris last year.

Staffing is expected to grow from 18 to 25 people in 1999.

In August, after a general manager left to start his own firm, Solomon thought he would lose two key accounts: McHugh Software and Standard Register.

But RF held onto the business, expanding its work with McHugh globally.

Solomon is now planning an April 1 move into more high profile office space to demonstrate RF's commitment to the Chicago market.

The long-term goal for RF's Chicago office is to rank in the top ten in the Windy City. At least one industry list puts RF at 23 in Chicago but Solomon believes the agency is on track.

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