Independently owned; revenue not supplied
Gloria Dittus, CEO
Number of offices: One, in Washington, DC
Staff numbers: 43
Senior hires: Steve Clawson, VP and managing director of the technology, telecommunications and broadcast practice, formerly VP of public relations for AT&T. Liz Weinmann , VP and managing director for the food, agriculture and nutrition policy practice, formerly at Golin Harris New York as EVP for consumer marketing.
Number of practice areas: Six - Technology and communications; food, agriculture, and nutrition; nonprofit; public policy; design; energy and the environment.
Which are new? In March 2004, Dittus launched a public policy practice aimed at nonprofits. Led by EVP Debra Cabral, the area will help these organizations enhance their role and influence in the public policy arena.
Which are part of the core strategy of the agency? All the practice areas make up the overall strategy of the firm with public affairs at the core. Dittus' design division is a complement to the other practice areas.
What areas were strong? Which were weak? The strongest practices were the agency's oldest - technology, food, and public affairs. The weakest were its two newer areas, energy and nonprofit.
Key account wins: Armed Services YMCA; Biotechnology Institute; Department of Energy; The Home Depot; IBM; Nortel Networks; PhRMA
Key account losses: Household, Rubber Manufacturers Association
What dormant clients started to spend again: Metamorphix; International Dairy Foods Association; International Paper
Proportion of clients on a retainer? 58%
Did revenues meet expectations? Says president and CEO Gloria Dittus: "Revenues did not grow in 2004, nor did we expect them to. Our growth in 2003 was above industry standards and we made a decision that in order to continue to provide the highest quality of service and meet our clients needs for global PR support, we needed to expand our senior-level talent to enhance our offering. As a result, the firm's costs went up. Also, many clients put their public affairs budgets and agendas on hold when they realized that little would be accomplished legislatively due to the focus on the November election and the war on terror."
Outlook: 2004 was an investment year for Dittus, which hired senior staff to head up three growing practice areas: energy and the environment; tech and communications; and food, nutrition, and agriculture. President and CEO Gloria Dittus says that despite a flat 2004, the investments will pay off in 2005 with 31.9% growth projected. Areas of interest for the firm include telecommunications reform, debates about obesity causes and solutions, the imbalance between domestic energy production and consumer energy consumption, broadband deployment, and Sarbanes-Oxley and its impact on