Coyne Public Relations: PRWeek Global Agency Business Report 2016

CEO Tom Coyne says the independent New York-based agency had a noteworthy year.

Tom Coyne, CEO, Coyne PR
Tom Coyne, CEO, Coyne PR

Principal: Tom Coyne, CEO
Offices: New York, Los Angeles, and Parsippany, New Jersey
Revenue: $27.3 million

Coyne PR picked up the pace in terms of revenue in 2015, posting a 19% gain for the full year to $27 million, compared to a 14.8% uptick in 2014.

CEO Tom Coyne said the independent agency, which is headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, and has offices in New York and Los Angeles, had a noteworthy year. And in the next two to three years the firm is considering opening offices in Chicago, San Francisco, or Boston.

"New business is at pre-recessionary levels. We are having some of our best years. I would say last year was our best," he explains. "Food is doing well, as is consumer health, and our travel accounts have grown." 

Consumer practice success
The consumer practice made up 52% of the company’s overall revenue in 2015, followed by digital and social media at 18%, and healthcare and B2B at 15% each. Existing clients made up 65% of revenue growth.

The firm was tapped as AOR for Timberland North America, which previously worked with Porter Novelli in the U.S. and AOR for Advil PM and Robitussin. For Motel 6, the firm won AOR status for PR, crisis communications, and social media. Account work was awarded for Perdue.

One notable loss was the Los Angeles Marathon, which parted ways with Coyne to work with Ketchum Sports and Entertainment in the early part of 2015. The agency did not open or close an office last year. However, it grew staff size from 155 in 2014 to 190 last year, while turnover rate for 2015 was 10%. Moreover, Coyne says the percentage of staffers who left for other PR firms was considerably lower.

Senior hires included VPs Ann Smith, Chris Vancheri, and VP and account director Matt Leung. VPs Lauren Yacker, who had been in the company’s Los Angeles office for a year, and Marie Baker left the firm. The latter went to Bayer. Rich Lukis was upped to COO, while John Gogarty was named president, and Linda Bernstein Jasper was made VP of social media.

"A big challenge for us is going to be maintaining our culture," Coyne explains. "We’ve built a good culture here. We’re keeping up the idea that we don’t want to be like everyone else."

Despite being one of the largest consumer-focused agencies left on the market, Coyne says he expects to stay independent for the foreseeable future.  

"We get our fair share of offers, but the way I look at it is you can either sell the chicken or live off the eggs," he says. "If I ever sell the place, I lose the ability to treat people the way I want to treat them."

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