ICF SCMD: Agency Business Report 2013

ICF SCMD, the strategic communications and marketing division of ICF International, posted revenue growth of 5% to $42.8 million last year, despite a slowdown in government programs.

Principal: Kris Tremaine, SVP, head, ICF Strategic Communications and Marketing Division (SCMD)
Ownership: ICF International
Subsidiary agencies: Six, including Macro International, Z-Tech, Ironworks Consulting, and GHK Consulting
Offices: Fairfax, VA, and Rockville, MD
Revenue: $42,826,374
Headcount: Global: 260

ICF SCMD, the strategic communications and marketing division of ICF International, posted revenue growth of 5% to $42.8 million last year, despite a slowdown in government programs.

While the firm saw budget cuts from government agencies, business from the private sector is growing, particularly in the energy industry, says SVP and ICF SCMD head Kris Tremaine.

“We're an agency within a huge consulting firm, so we have all these things that supplement our work, whereas typically PR agencies have to outsource it,” she explains. “That's a huge advantage for us.”

Growth also came from the parent company's $100 million acquisition of interactive Web development firm Ironworks Consulting, which closed at the beginning of 2012. The deal has allowed ICF SCMD to integrate Ironworks' digital platforms and specialists with the agency.

Expansion into Europe and Asia
ICF International also acquired GHK Holdings last year, a management consulting firm operating in Europe and Asia. The transaction, which brought a larger presence overseas, has led to three new projects for ICF SCMD, reports Tremaine. Additionally, the purchase of energy analytics company Symbiotic Engineering provided new data and tools for the marcomms division's energy programs.

ICF SCMD's domestic energy practice won more than a dozen re-competes or new client engagements with electric and gas utilities, as well as regional and federal government projects, including Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, which included a multimillion-dollar communications budget. It once again won DTE Energy's Energy Star Lighting and Appliance and Home Performance accounts, adding DTE's 2013 appliance recycling program in December. Internationally, ICF SCMD began working with the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States to raise awareness about energy efficiency.

ICF SCMD also supported government agencies with emergency preparedness initiatives, such as assisting the New York State Department of Transportation with social media during Hurricane Sandy.

About 60% of ICF SCMD's work is governmental, with the remaining 40% focused on the private sector, “Our ultimate goal is to be about 50/50,” explains Tremaine.

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