Orb Communications Group

Orb Communications Group merged the businesses of Torque PR and Automotive PR in 2012, bringing together the consumer and b2b expertise of two agencies under one roof.

Marco Ferrari: Director of Orb Communications Group
Marco Ferrari: Director of Orb Communications Group

Fee income: £2,327,000 Growth: 82% Staff: 15 Position in Top 150: 77

Marco Ferrari remains the MD of Automotive PR, while Phil Hale has stayed the MD of Torque PR, and both are directors of the Orb Group.

It has been a challenging year for both agencies in terms of overseeing steady day-to-day growth while merging the two businesses. Ferrari admits the office move was an 'extremely painful' exercise, though positive overall, but both say the venture has been hugely profitable for both companies.

Ferrari adds that Automotive's growth has come from big wins, such as Chinese car manufacturer BYD, while existing clients such as Bosch have grown organically. In addition, former clients such as Tata Steel have come back to the business after 'weathering the recession and deciding it is time to re-engage with stakeholders', he says.

Hale says Torque PR has been able to win bigger and more challenging project work from existing clients due to its expanded resources, pointing to Jaguar Land Rover and RM Auctions, the North America-based classic-car auctioneer, as examples.

As a result of the merger, Orb has now created a non-automotive business called Orb PR, which the company is hoping to grow throughout 2013, building on its current client base, which spans the construction, defence, refrigeration and power generation sectors.

2012 at a glance

Three best campaigns: Torque PR: Jaguar Nurburgring Experience, a global programme that took 100 of the international media to Jaguar's testing centre at the German race circuit; the launch of Cummins' Euro 6 engine range into the European bus and truck market; Automotive PR: the EV Drivetrain to raise awareness of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders' progress in electric vehicle technology

Significant hires: Matt Sanger from What Car? as a senior account manager at Automotive PR, while Torque PR took on Sarah Brautigam as events director

Predicted fee income for 2013: 'On track' for growth of ten per cent

Plans for the year ahead: To continue the agencies' strong growth and allow a period of 'bedding down' following the group's expansion

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