Eric Mower + Associates: Agency Business Report 2013

Eric Mower + Associates saw its 2012 revenue growth rate pick up the pace compared to 2011.

Principal: Eric Mower, chairman and CEO; Greg Loh, managing partner for PR and public affairs
Ownership: Independent 
Offices: Seven in the US
Revenue: $11,907,483
Headcount: 63 in PR practice, 250 overall

Eric Mower + Associates (EMA) saw its 2012 revenue growth rate pick up the pace compared to 2011. The Syracuse, NY-based company reported 18% organic revenue growth for last year, compared with nearly 11% in the prior year. While it does not release profit margins, the firm says they "have improved moderately." EMA cited expanding relationships with previous clients as the driver for most of its growth, noting that many have tapped into the shop's integrated services since the beginning of 2012.

"We continue to see good growth driven by integration. Our PR and public affairs group is part of a fully integrated firm of 250 people spread across EMA's seven offices," says Greg Loh, managing partner for PR and public affairs at the firm. "Because we are part of an integrated firm - where a lot of other PR firms are trying to go - we can expand services [for clients] and drive integration. That's a powerful source of growth for us."

EMA reported that its b-to-b marketing PR group showed the most significant growth last year, spurred by its creation of content-driven campaigns across digital and traditional channels. Its Albany, NY-based public affairs practice saw flat revenue last year, which the agency attributed to the presidential election dampening the environment for other public affairs campaigns.

"A reason why we have had success is that clients discern that, culturally, we don't see PR as a stepchild of advertising, but something of necessary equal standing," says chairman and CEO Eric Mower.

Its notable wins included Chuy's Restaurant, IBM-Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions, Breyer's Toppings, Preferred Mutual Insurance, and White Castle's concept restaurant, Laughing Noodle. The agency lost KI's account when the furniture manufacturer decided to take PR work in-house.

EMA has also seen growth driven by specialty practices created in the past two years for contractors and the construction sector and a group began last year targeting new moms.

"Both of those sectors are places where we have a lot of experience servicing clients who are focusing on reaching those markets," says Loh, adding that the company is launching or developing specialties for the sustainable energy, healthcare, and financial services markets.

EMA has seven offices, all in the Eastern Standard time zone. The newest office is in Cincinnati after EMA combined with Strata-G Communications in 2011. Aside from its Syracuse headquarters, the agency also has offices in Albany, Rochester, and Buffalo, NY; Atlanta, and Charlotte, NC. The firm noted "fairly consistent organic growth" across the Midwest, Northeast, and Southeast regions.

In terms of personnel, EMA reported 8% US staff turnover in 2012. Dave Bulger, senior partner and director of EMA Insight, left the agency last year. John Leibrick was named interim leader of EMA Insight. Liz Adkins joined as group director in Cincinnati.

EMA moved its public affairs practice to a new downtown Albany office in a move that it says reaffirms the importance of the group.

The agency debuted initiatives to improve the careers of its employees in 2012 and the first half of 2013. It launched EMA Connect, a mentoring program covering career and skills mentoring, with topics ranging from career development to tactical and strategic initiatives. The firm also created INTERNation, a blog designed for interns that discusses the agency's culture and approach.

This profile was updated on June 26 to correct the number of employees working at Eric Mower + Associates. It has 63 staffers in the PR practice and 250 overall. 

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