Qorvis Communications: Agency Business Report 2008

Managing partner Michael Petruzzello says one of Qorvis' biggest 2007 initiatives was its expansion into advertising.

Outlook
Managing partner Michael Petruzzello says one of Qorvis' biggest 2007 initiatives was its expansion into advertising. This helped it win the Virginia Lottery account, and is also being used as part of a recruitment program for the US National Guard and for its work with Sun Microsystems.

"[We]continued to work on some of the bigger public-policy programs. One of
the highlights [was] the Save Net Radio campaign," he adds. "It was one of the
first uses of massive Internet technology to generate grassroots support. In less than
six days, we generated more than 1 million phone calls to the Hill."

This year, Qorvis will continue to build its business in integrated communications - the firm will soon be launching a national PR, marketing, and advertising campaign for an undisclosed client - as well as expanding into the traditionally bureaucratic, and therefore challenging, field of government contracting.

In addition, Qorvis will seek more business in government relations or lobbying. Petruzzello notes that Qorvis' practice of operating under retainer means "our business models would fit snugly."

"We'll be looking at [this] toward the end of the year, as things get clearer" with a new Congress and the next Presidential administration, he explains.

Staff

Qorvis currently has 86 staffers, up one from 2006. Reported turnover was 5%; it was 7% the year before. Senior hires consisted of MD John Moore, previously with FM Strategic Communications; senior counselor Rick Silipigni, previously with Red Zebra Broadcasting; senior director Laura Baldwin, formerly of Cybertrust; and director Jessica Ferko, formerly of Spectrum Science Communications. MDs Dean Acosta, Eric Alvarez, and Quin Hillyer - all of whom joined in 2006 - and art director Ludwig Jablonski left the firm.

Regional performance

Overseas clients account for about 20% of its business, about the same as 2006. Saudi Arabia is a longtime, major client, generating millions of dollars a year in revenue.

Practice areas

Qorvis does not assign clients to individual practice areas, but does include among its areas of expertise public affairs, grassroots outreach, research, government and investor relations, advertising, and more.

Accounts

Account wins in 2007 included the Virginia Lottery, Cisco, and the government of Cyprus. The firm did not detail account losses. About 85% of clients are on retainer.

Financial performance

Revenue totaled about $30.5 million, up 27% from 2006. Qorvis declined to provide its profit margin, describing it as the "industry standard," and says it experienced both top- and bottom-line growth. Half of the growth was organic, the firm noted, and half was new business won.


Key facts
Principal:
Michael Petruzzello, managing partner

Ownership: Independent

Offices:
Two - McLean, VA, and Washington, DC

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