Qorvis Communications: Agency Business Report 2007

Michael Petruzzello, Qorvis managing partner, says 2006 was a watershed year for Qorvis, which forged several AOR relationships with major companies such as United Technologies and Pratt & Whitney.

Michael Petruzzello, Qorvis managing partner, says 2006 was a watershed year for Qorvis, which forged several AOR relationships with major companies such as United Technologies and Pratt & Whitney.

He also notes the firm's move into advertising - with its Sparky's Garage acquisition in late 2006 - is paying off: Qorvis recently won an award to handle advertising, marketing, and PR for the Virginia Lottery.

"We hope the Lottery will be the first of many substantial advertising accounts," he says, citing a trend in communications work toward tighter integration of advertising, marketing, and PR campaigns. "We have a research team that we're looking to expand. We're also looking to enter the lobbying business this year, and we have a lot of discussions under way to build a government relations capability."

Petruzzello is proud of the agency's relatively low staff turnover rate, which last year was 7%. He attributes it to the firm's ability to offer bonuses and profit sharing, training programs that help people develop professionally, and its "open air" environment. "I don't think anyone wants to leave the firm to go somewhere where they must start filling in timesheets," he says.

Principal: Michael Petruzzello, managing partner
Ownership: Independent
Offices: McLean, VA, and Washington, DC

Staff
Qorvis currently has 85 staff, up 16% from 2005. Reported turnover was 7%. Senior hires include MDs Dean Acosta, former NASA press secretary; Eric Alvarez, ex-CBS-TV news reporter; Quinn Hillyer, former Mobile Register editorial writer; Stan Collender, previously with FD; and MD of marketing and business development J. David Harvey, formerly of WilmerHale. Exits include partner Michael Tucker and MDs Jim McGann and Rory Davenport. Don Goldberg, Rich Masters, and Su- san Murphy were all promoted to partner.

Structural changes
Qorvis acquired the four-person ad agency, Sparky's Garage, during the fourth quarter.

Regional performance
Overseas clients account for about 20% of the firm's business.

Practice areas
Qorvis does not assign clients to individual practice areas, but cites expertise in public affairs, grassroots outreach, research, government and investor relations, advertising, and more. The strongest growth in new accounts was seen in corporate communications and crisis management.

Accounts
Key 2006 wins included PhRMA, the Consumer Electronics Association, the Mortgage Bankers Association, the Financial Services Roundtable, Pratt & Whitney, United Technologies, and Halliburton.

Financial performance
Global revenue for 2006 totaled about $23.9 million, up 30.9% from 2005. The firm declined to state its profit margin, except to say it met the "industry standard," adding that it met its business goals for the year. About 80% of total growth was organic; the rest was due to new business.

Agency's full questionnaire follows below:

Name of parent division/company (enter both where applicable)
N/A

Name of subsidiary companies
N/A

Has your ownership status changed in the past year? If yes, please explain
N/A

Name of global CEO and US CEO (or most senior equivalent):
Michael Petruzzello, Managing Partner

What is your current headcount? How has your headcount changed since FY 2005?
85
Increased 16

What was the percentage of staff turnover in 2006?
7 %

Did you make any senior hires in 2006 (VP and higher)? Please state name, title (and unique responsibilities, if applicable), and previous company
Dean Acosta, Managing Director (NASA's press secretary and deputy assistant administrator for public affairs)
Eric Alvarez, Managing Director (Formerly a television news reporter for two CBS owned and operated stations on the West Coast, KPIX-TV in San Francisco and KOVR-TV in Sacramento)
Quin Hillyer, Managing Director (Served as an editorial writer for the Mobile Register and for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.)
Stan Collender, Managing Director and Federal Budget expert (Financial Dynamics)
J. David Harvey, Managing Director, marketing and business development (WilmerHale)
Kara Gerhardt Ross, Senior Director (ACS Government Solutions)
Racquelia "Rocky" Kilby, Director creative services (Porter Novelli Public Relations)
Kathleen Corcoran, Director (Volunteers of America)
Jarrett Bens, Director (Luntz Maslansky Strategic Research)
Ludwig Jablonski, Art Director (Gura & Associates)

What senior staff have departed the firm? Please state name and previous title
Michael Tucker
, Partner
Jim McGann, Managing Director
Rory Davenport, Managing Director

Please list any other senior management changes, including restructures and significant, senior-level promotions

Promoted to partner:
Don Goldberg
Rich Masters
Susan Murphy

Promoted to managing director:
Matt J. Lauer

Promoted to senior director:
Halah Al-Jubeir
Al Black
Jim Clouse
Elissa Dodge
Kristin Perkins
Seth Thomas Pietras
Jennifer Stoltz

Promoted to director:
Charissa Benjamin
Catherine Castro
Renate Geerlings
Layton Meng
Lauren Poplawski

Have you made any acquisitions in the past year, or merged with another agency?
Qorvis acquired a 4 person advertising agency formerly known as Sparky's Garage in the 4th quarter of 2006

How many wholly owned offices do you have globally?
No information given.

How many partly owned offices or affiliates do you operate globally?
No information given.

What offices opened in 2006 or early 2007? (State when)
N/A

What offices closed in 2006 or early 2007? (State when)
N/A

Which regions, US and globally, are growing, and why?
N/A

How many practice areas do you have? Please list.
N/A

Which ones are new?
N/A

Of those, which ones are part of the core strategy of the agency?
N/A

Which practice areas have been phased out in the past year?
N/A

What practice areas showed the most growth? Please elucidate.
N/A

Which practice areas showed the least growth? Please elucidate.
N/A

What is the distribution of accounts across practice areas?
N/A

What key account wins did you have in 2006? If based outside the US, or are global, please state regions.
PhRMA, the Consumer Electronics Association, the Mortgage Bankers Association, the Financial Services Roundtable, Pratt & Whitney, United Technologies, DynCorp and Halliburton

Of your 2006 wins, how many were across three or more countries?
N/A

What key accounts did you lose in 2006? If based outside the US, or are global, please state regions.
N/A

Did you expand any existing accounts into new domestic or international markets or sectors? Please elucidate.
N/A

What proportion of your clients are on a retainer? Has this changed over the past year?
85%
no

What was your 2006 global (including US) revenue?
23,900,000

What was the % change over 2005 global revenue
30.9%

What was your global profit margin in 2006?
Industry standard

What was your 2006 US revenue?
23,900,000

What was the % change over 2005 US revenue
30.9%

What was your US profit margin in 2006?
Industry Standard

Did you experience top-line or bottom-line growth in the past year, or both? Please elucidate.
Both increased over 2005

How much of your growth was organic, and how much was due to new business won?
80% organic 20% new business

How did your performance, in terms of revenue and growth, meet expectations you had for the year?
We met our budget goals

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