360 Public Relations: Agency Business Report 2014

For 360 Public Relations, last year was about expanding into new areas while redoubling efforts in successful practices.

Principal: Laura Tomasetti, CEO
Ownership: Independent
Offices: Boston; New York; Washington, DC; and San Francisco
Revenue: $6,175,000
Headcount: 38

For 360 Public Relations, last year was about expanding into new areas while redoubling efforts in successful practices. The agency saw its revenue rise 30% with strong growth in the natural and organic products market – what CEO Laura Tomasetti calls the "better for you" brands.

New business accounted for 30% of the firm’s growth with three notable wins that doubled the size of its healthy living practice: Late July, a family owned manufacturer of natural snacks; WellPet, a natural pet food company; and Yasso, a frozen treats brand. It also won Blue Chair Bay Rum – the brand launched by singer Kenny Chesney – and Cree Lighting in its home practice, which was launched in the consumer market last fall. The firm’s profit margin was 12.8%, lower than past years due to a strategic investment in expanded space and related infrastructure.

Office and global expansion
The firm moved its Boston and New York offices into larger spaces in 2013. In February 2014, the agency opened an outpost in Washington, DC, followed by an office in San Francisco. Tomasetti says the Boston and New York locations have implemented a no-door policy, which helps fosters creativity and allows for more collaboration across different departments.

To expand into global markets, 360 joined independent network PROI Worldwide.

"This allows us to take campaigns in the US market and expand our reach in places such as South Africa," says Tomasetti.

The firm added 20% to headcount, which included key non-traditional hires. Lifestyle blogger and consultant Melanie Feehan joined as its influencer program manager to lead brand ambassador programs. 360 retained all staff at the director level and above, with turnover coming in at 12%.

This year, the firm will focus on reaching and engaging digital consumers and also expanding its measurement tool set. Having access to how customers behave online is critical for clients, adds Tomasetti.

To integrate the agency’s digital services, the firm announced 360 Crowd, a new digital brand.

While Tomasetti sees the PR industry as healthy, she plans to ensure the company remains nimble as budget constraints can result in shorter planning cycles.

"That is the advantage of a boutique agency. It doesn’t take much to spring into action," she says. 

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