Principal: Michael Murphy, CEO
Offices:14 in the US, 70 globally
Revenue: Global: $133 million; US: less than $50 million
Headcount: Global: 950; North America: 250
Global expansion, including an increased US presence, marked 2010 for Grayling, which saw an 18.6% rise in global revenue over 2009, due in part to the acquisition of DC-based Dutko Worldwide in December 2009, says Grayling CEO Michael Murphy.
"In North America last year, we started to work together in joining up our government relations and PR assets," he adds. "We also won some very significant business, for example, [high-speed rail operator] SNCF."
Grayling also secured NewMarket Impressions, an egg freshness and traceability solutions provider, after last year's salmonella scare in the region, Murphy says.
Making mark in the US
Overall in the US, the firm saw growth in New York due to a resurgence in capital markets, in San Francisco because of improved trading conditions and market positioning, and in Los Angeles with a new office. Internationally, the agency reported growth in the Middle East as a result of strong trading against multinationals with regional headquarters and increased senior-level agency personnel in that area.
The firm has four key practices: PR, IR, government relations, and CSR and sustainability. In particular, Grayling's digital business, which spans all practices, grew. The firm also increased investments in PR and government relations, as well as the development of new products and services to differentiate itself in the industry.
New areas of improvement
Growth was also seen in non-traditional areas, including sales and marketing, content production, and online customer marketing. The least growth was seen in events, a typically strong area in the UK that slowed due to reduced public sector spending in the region.
Other client wins in 2010 included North American Insulation Manufacturers, RapidShare, NitroPDF Software, Switch, Kapsch, and Nabucco Gas Pipeline. Key account losses included Colt Telecom (pan-European), and Procter & Gamble (UK). Last year, Grayling expanded relationships with current clients such as Skype, increasing from three to 10 countries, as well as Chevron, Google, TNT, and Doro.
Besides the Los Angeles office, Grayling also opened one in Doha, Qatar. Among a number of hires, Fred Muir was appointed CEO of the Los Angeles office. The firm reported a staff turnover rate of 23%.