Levick Strategic Communications: Agency Business Report 2010

Client losses in 2009 positioned the firm for a new business push, explains CEO Richard Levick.

Principal: Richard Levick, president and CEO
Ownership: Independent
Office: Washington, DC

Staff
Current headcount is 41, unchanged over 2008. David Whitmore joined as COO. Steve Ellis, SVP, left the firm.

Practice areas
Include crisis and litigation and corporate and public affairs. Levick's new digital and social media shop experienced the most growth in the second half of 2009.

Accounts
The firm lost retainer clients American International Group (AIG), ING, and the United Arab Emirates, causing a decline in organic revenue from 2008. It added Arbitron and Bob Evans Farms, among others. Of its clients, 45% are on retainer.

Financial performance
Revenue was $9,143,087, an 8.8% decrease from 2008. Profit margin was 9%.

Analysis
Client losses in 2009 positioned the firm for a new business push, explains CEO Richard Levick. New business accounted for 77% of annual revenue, while 23% was organic.

"It was a challenging economy," says Levick. "When you see the loss as natural evolutions of very large clients, you're able to replace the revenue with other clients, but it's still just shy of being flat."

Despite the loss, Levick says public affairs will continue to be top of mind.

In 2009, the agency rebranded its Bulletproof Blog to be a standalone Web property, providing thought leadership and visibility on the Hill, through interviews with high-profile figures.

This year, Levick says the agency has already picked up several public affairs clients, and is in negotiations with a number of countries.

Additionally, the firm will continue to build out its digital offering, specifically in the area of crisis.

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