Barkley Public Relations: Agency Business Report 2007

Changes in PR leadership roles and branding seem smooth, and the firm looks set to capitalize on cause practice momentum. Increased integration and the addition of social media practice should also encourage solid growth.

Changes in PR leadership roles and branding seem smooth, and the firm looks set to capitalize on cause practice momentum. Increased integration and the addition of social media practice should also encourage solid growth.

"Cause has really taken hold," Mike Swenson, president of Barkley, says. "Corporations understand the value. Nonprofits [know] they can develop [and take] their programs to corporations."

Principal: Mike Swenson, president
Ownership: 100% employee owned
Offices: One, in Kansas City, MO

Staff
Total staff fell to 18 from 22, with 18% turnover. Mike Swenson, PR practice president, became EVP for all of Barkley, which includes interactive, customer relationship management, events and sponsorships, and advertising. Jeff Risley, VP/social media analyst, took over day-to-day management of PR. VP Kelly Gage oversees the cause practice.

Structural changes
The firm changed its name (from Barkley Evergreen & Partners), office space, Web site, and logo. "We wanted to become much more integrated and bring all disciplines together," Swenson explains.

Regional performance
Swenson says things picked up all over the US, and the cause practice is "booming."

Practice areas
Social media was added to the roster, which includes cause branding, corporate communications, media relations, and crisis communications. Most clients are engaged in cause branding, corporate communications, and media relations. Crisis communications accounts tend to be represented on a project basis.

Accounts
Cause branding work came in for Family Violence Prevention Fund and March of Dimes. Other clients include Lee Jeans, R.H. Donnelley, and Breast Cancer 3-Day.

Financial performance
Revenue was up 3% to $3.34 million with 20.6% profit margin, which was up from 2005. Most of the growth was organic. "By the end of [2006], we were seeing the fruits of efforts in growing the cause practice," Swenson says. "That will really impact us in 2007 and beyond."

Agency's full questionnaire follows below:

Name of parent division/company independent Name of subsidiary companies
N/A

Has your ownership status changed in the past year?
No

Name of global CEO and US CEO
Mike Swenson
, president

What is your current headcount? How has your headcount changed since FY 2005?
18Barkley PR has four less staff members since FY 2005. The reduction was reflective of normal staff turnover and restructuring.

What was the percentage of staff turnover in 2006?
18%

Did you make any senior hires in 2006 (VP and higher)? Please state name, title (and unique responsibilities, if applicable), and previous company.
N/A

What senior staff have departed the firm? Please state name and previous title
Becky Loboda, VP, strategic development (retired from public relations career)

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

Have you made any acquisitions in the past year, or merged with another agency?
No

How many wholly owned offices do you have globally? Please list with agency names and cities under the following headings. Add majority-owned offices in parentheses.
North America
Headquartered in Kansas City, MO -- 100% employee owned

How many partly owned offices or affiliates do you operate globally? Please list agency names and cities under the following headings.

What offices opened in 2006 or early 2007?
None

What offices closed in 2006 or early 2007?
None

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

How many practice areas do you have?
Cause branding, corporate communications, media relations, crisis communications, social media

Which ones are new?
Social media

Of those, which ones are part of the core strategy of the agency?
All

Which practice areas have been phased out in the past year?
None

What practice areas showed the most growth? Please elucidate
Cause branding continues to be a premier area of expertise for Barkley PR, with clients such as Family Violence Prevention Fund joining a roster that already includes Lee Jeans, R.H. Donnelley and The Breast Cancer 3-Day.

Which practice areas showed the least growth? Please elucidate
None

What is the distribution of accounts across practice areas?
Cause branding, corporate communications and media relations are practices utilized by the majority of Barkley PR's clients. Crisis communications accounts tend to be represented on a project basis, with some need from AOR clients. As a newly established practice, social media will focus much of its account growth in 2007.

What key account wins did you have in 2006? If based outside the US, or are global, please state regions.
Family Violence Prevention Fund

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?
All of Barkley PR's clients are national in scope in terms of domestic markets. We do not have any international clients at this time.

What proportion of your clients are on a retainer? How has your headcount changed since FY 2005?
Barkley PR does not use classic retainers. We use fee for services. We establish a specific scope of work agreed to by the client and then create a budget that relates directly to it. All of our clients are on this model. No it has not changed the headcount.

What was your 2006 global (including US) revenue?
N/A

What was the % change over 2005 global revenue?
N/A

What was your global profit margin in 2006?
N/A

What was your 2006 US revenue?
$3,338,329

What was the % change over 2005 US revenue?
+3%

What was your US profit margin in 2006?
20.57%

Did you experience top-line or bottom-line growth in the past year, or both?
Both

How much of your growth was organic, and how much was due to new business won?
Barkley's growth was mostly contributed to by organic growth of current client relationships.

How did your performance, in terms of revenue and growth, meet expectations you had for the year?
Barkley PR's performance met expectations for last year. We continued to grow current client relationships, by providing a full-depth of services. Additionally, we further expanded our cause branding practice by adding client Family Violence Prevention Fund.

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