2005 Agency Business Report: CKPR

Joel Curran, CEO

2004 revenue: $10,780,000

2003 revenue: $9,430,000

Up 13%

Number of offices: Five: Chicago, New York, Milwaukee, Orlando and Phoenix

Staff: Total headcount had a net gain of three, ending 2004 at 88.

Staff turnover: 12%

Senior hires: Hugh Williams, VP in Chicago, formerly VP, Weber-Shandwick/Chicago and London; Jill Shroeder, VP in Milwaukee, formerly director of worldwide communications, Oracle Software.

Senior departures: Jackie MacKay, VP/Orlando (returning to school for second degree; will freelance for CKPR)

What region is growing? Midwest, followed by Northeast

Number of practice areas: Three core practices - consumer, reputation management and b-to-b - containing 29 focus areas.

Which are new? CKPR is evolving its branding area from a core discipline to a practice area that threads through all of its PR businesses.

Which are part of the core strategy of the agency? Consumer and reputation management

Which have been phased out? Franchise marketing (a holdover from the 2003 Nichol & Co. acquisition)

Which areas were strong? Consumer is strongest, packaged with brand planning.

Distribution of accounts across practice areas: Consumer marketing: 74%

B-to-b: 13%; community relations: 4%; investor relations: 1%; corporate and issues advertising: 1%; crisis communications: 1%; employee: 1%; public affairs: 2%; social education: 1%

Key account wins: HBO Video; Visit Florida; Citrucel; Nicoderm; GNC; Comcast Cable corporate (employee relations)

Key account losses: US Cellular (consolidated); Comcast Cable corporate (project ended); Winn-Dixie.

Accounts expanded into new markets: University of Phoenix, added Southeast, Northwest, Las Vegas.

Proportion of clients on a retainer: 45% (some of those are on a combination of retainer for base work plus project/fees)

How did revenues meet expectations? CKPR set a modest goal for the year, planning to devote time and resources integrating the newly acquired New York operation. That office showed strong third and fourth quarters. The Chicago office recorded a strong year.

Outlook: Spinning off the PR department from Cramer Krasselt in 2001, CKPR's challenge was to create its own identity, while not sacrificing the resources it had at the ad agency. Revenue fell in the 2002 and 2003 rankings, but have climbed since. Now CKPR is carving out a consumer niche for itself, especially in packaged goods and tech/entertainment convergence, and SVP and managing director Joel Curran reports that its "strategy, amplified" positioning is resonating with clients. "We have more resources than other agencies in our weight class," Curran adds.

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