Racepoint Global: PRWeek Global Agency Business Report 2016

Racepoint Global has had a strong two-year run since the integration of its Digital Influence Group into PR operations, says president Peter Prodromou.

Peter Prodromou, president, Racepoint Global
Peter Prodromou, president, Racepoint Global

Principals: Peter Prodromou, president; and Larry Weber, chairman
Offices: Global: 8; U.S.: Boston; Detroit; San Francisco; and Washington, DC
Revenue: Global: $29,529,363; U.S.: $23,120,315

Racepoint Global has had a strong two-year run since the integration of its Digital Influence Group into PR operations, says president Peter Prodromou. Global revenue increased 8% and 13% in 2015 and 2014, respectively. Last year, bottom-line growth tripled.

"We brought in talent who understand the new brand of PR and can efficiently service global clients at a better margin," adds Prodromou. "It is PR focused on how people consume information, as opposed to how we want to sell it."

Huawei hired the firm to help it build awareness in the U.S. and Europe. The Chinese tech giant also named Racepoint global AOR for product launches.

The agency began working with Huawei via its Hong Kong office, but U.S. work is being done largely out of San Francisco, which resulted in it being the office with the most growth. New business was responsible for 80% of the uptick in billings.

Four clients departed the firm: RxGreen Solutions, Nielsen Catalina Solutions, Infraredx, and Genospace.

"Our net churn rates tend to be below industry average," says Prodromou. "We give big agency service, but we’re small enough that senior people get their hands on the account. We’ll make
sure we don’t lose that high touch as we grow because we could see more churn."

Thought leader in tech
Racepoint continues to position itself as a thought leader in technology, introducing InMedia, a research report on how leading global media titles cover technology as it relates to marketers.

"PR agencies have to increasingly look like business and strategy consulting firms, so we produced a piece of content to give clients market information they might not otherwise get," he adds.

Maggie Chang joined the San Francisco office as VP, account services. Talent acquisition and retention remains a key challenge, Prodromou adds — staff turnover was 33%. John Jowers, former VP, digital consumer practice, left in June to join Ogilvy PR.

"It’s tougher to find talent than clients these days," he says. "We’re always looking for people who understand PR and can integrate creative and paid media into it. But market forces in San Francisco and Hong Kong in particular make the price of talent very high. The ability to retain is harder because of opportunities to go to other places."

The three practices that showed the most growth in 2015 were technology, corporate, and healthcare. One of PRWeek’s Best Places to Work 2015 honorees, Racepoint continues to add opportunities for staff to expand expertise. It introduced Code/Talk, a workshop to teach clients how to code.

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