Atomic PR: Agency Business Report 2010

Atomic began 2009 with client budget cuts, but revenue rose 30% in Q4 versus Q3.

Principal: Andy Getsey, CEO
Ownership: Independent
Offices: US: San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York; Europe: London and Munich, co-owned with Huntsworth Health

Staff
Headcount was 49 ending 2009, down from 55. It's now 58. Turnover was 4%, with no layoffs. In September, Atomic and Huntsworth Health entered a 50/50 joint venture to open offices in Europe and Asia. Sandeep Kalsi joined as MD of Atomic International.

Practice areas
Atomic is tech-focused, and its analytics platform drives all client strategy. Practice areas are: deep tech (30%), consumer tech/consumer electronics (30%), Web brands (30%) and non-tech b-to-b and nonprofits (10%). The latter two are new, and Atomic is hiring in those areas. Work with consumer brands grew, while all else held steady.

Accounts
Atomic has about 30 clients (95% on retain-er). Wins for 2009 included Intuit Personal Finance and Polaroid. Acquisition claimed "a few" accounts, such as Golden Gate Software. Coupons Inc. pulled PR in-house.

Financial performance
US revenue was $6,474,095, down from $7,198,953 in 2008. Global revenue was $6,546,095. Percentage net profit rose, but overall profit dropped.

Analysis
Atomic began 2009 with client budget cuts, but revenue rose 30% in Q4 versus Q3. CEO Andy Getsey is encouraged by some of the largest client budgets in the firm's history. The Huntsworth deal has helped it scale faster and provide expanded offerings. Getsey says Atomic is poised for "dramatic growth" in 2010 (forecast to exceed 35%). 

The 10-year-old firm is maturing, says Getsey. "Our differentiators are understood, our clients are strong referrers. Companies know our track record with startup, and they're looking for startup-style energy."

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