Porter Novelli: Agency Business Report 2011

Porter Novelli CEO Gary Stockman characterizes 2010 as a recovery year that also included new opportunities.

Porter Novelli: Agency Business Report 2011

Principal: Gary Stockman, CEO
Ownership: Omnicom
Offices: 27 wholly owned globally; 13 in the US
Revenue: Global: $100 million to $200 million; US: $100 million to $150 million

Porter Novelli CEO Gary Stockman characterizes 2010 as a recovery year that also included new opportunities.
"There was a twin effect of pulling out of the recession and seeing new opportunities, including significant growth in digital, social, and community management," he says.
Omnicom frowns on reporting specifics, but Stockman says expectations were met. The firm netted 50-plus clients, launched new offerings, and rebranded late in 2010.
Wins included Welch's, Hitachi, and Bayer. Strong organic growth came from clients such as Capital One, Procter & Gamble, McDonald's, and HP. SoyJoy and Bel Brands named Porter their digital AOR. About five clients, including Epocrates and Sony, were lost due to budget cuts or not repitching.
Recruiting talent with diverse backgrounds remains a priority. "A hallmark of success is an ability to bring disparate talents together to offer clients innovation," notes Stockman.
Senior-level losses included Stephanie Agresta, EVP, global director of digital and social media, director of brand marketing Lisa Rosenberg, and MDs in Austin and Chicago. Aaron DeLucia filled the role of SVP and MD in Austin. Ilene Smith joined as EVP and director of food and nutrition. Sonia Sroka was promoted to SVP, US Hispanic practice leader, a new role.
Health adjustments
The global health practice was realigned after growth slowed early last year. Changes included chief medical officer Dr. Barbara DeBuono assuming the added role of global director, health and social marketing, and Susan Hayes returning as partner. Debra Cabral joined as EVP in the public service division in DC. Cheryl Nigro came on as EVP and Shipra Singh was hired to lead healthcare for Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
Content management is a focal point for Porter and Stockman feels it's becoming increasingly so for the industry. Nick Charles joined last year as the agency's first director of content.
"The challenge is thinking not only about content generation, but content management," adds Stockman. "It's connecting the dots and managing an influence ecosystem using content as a critical component."
Presenting a new face
In November, the firm unveiled a new logo and website. The former had existed for 20-plus years. This coincided with the launch of business in Porter's Asia offices.
Stockman says clients want predictive analytics. New services include analytics tools "Social Catalytics" and "Real-time Reputation Management," led by a team of digital, social media, analytics, and crisis communications experts. He notes that social media has fundamentally changed crisis communications, and all plans must be retooled given risks and opportunities.
Early in 2011, tech capabilities expanded when Porter acquired Voce Communications. The two had partnered on accounts such as Yahoo, Hitachi, and Monster.

"Voce brings a significant Silicon Valley presence and a broadening of our capabilities across tech, including new services such as Web development," explains Stockman. "We offer an expanded footprint for clients and new growth opportunities for Voce."

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