The agency had one of its strongest new business months in March of 2008, CEO Steve Schwartz says. "The fastest-growing segment in our business last year was in healthcare," he says. "I think healthcare is more resistant to economic cycles."
The agency's newly launched renewable energy/green IT practice area "took off" in 2007, especially amid the public's interest in alternative fuels, Schwartz explains. With venture capital money continuing to be channeled into green companies, he expects this practice area to grow in 2008.
Schwartz also opened an office in Sweden that - like the US - is a market focused on innovation, he says. Even though tech dominates the firm's business, the agency is likely cushioned by its focus on winning new business, retaining a core senior-level staff, and seizing key opportunity areas.
Schwartz says the firm's 41% staff turnover is attributed to its strategy of hiring entry-level staffers and promoting mostly from within. But the drawback is that many young recruits may not be a good fit for the PR industry or the firm, he says.
Current headcount is 215, up 10.3 % over FY 2006, with a turnover rate of 41%. The agency hired one senior-level executive, Kathleen Shanahan, VP. There were no senior departures. The firm promoted three staff members to VP, and two were promoted from SVP to EVP.
Consumer, biotech and pharma, business software and technology, and healthcare IT performed most strongly. The business is about 66% tech, 33% healthcare. The firm added a renewable energy and green IT practice last year.
Key account wins included GE Healthcare, Molnlycke Healthcare, and Global Solar Energy. No major account losses.
Revenue increased 13.5%, with a global profit margin of 19.3%. US revenue was over $29 million, up 10.9% from 2006.
Principal: Steve Schwartz, CEO
Subsidiary agencies: Schwartz Communications AB, Schwartz Communications UK Ltd.
Offices: Two in US - New York, San Francisco; One globally - Sweden