Voce Communications: Agency Business Report 2009

CEO Richard Cline says the firm plans to forge stronger partnerships with agencies it works with in other markets in 2009. "It's going to be touch-and-go," he says about Voce's overall outlook for the year.

Outlook
CEO Richard Cline says the firm plans to forge stronger partnerships with agencies it works with in other markets in 2009. "It's going to be touch-and-go," he says about Voce's overall outlook for the year.

"You've got to assume there will be more downward pressure on budgets," Cline adds. In turn, the firm is looking for ways to do client work with more creativity, flexibility, and efficiency in 2009.

"I'd be conservative in our approach for the next three to four months," he says. A staffing priority for 2009 is to lessen the salary reductions that the agency implemented because of the economy.

Staff
Voce employs 38 full-time staff, up 40% from 2007. The agency had no turnover in 2008, nor any senior hires.

Regional performance

Voce experienced most growth in emerging markets Eastern Europe, Africa, and North Asia. No single region saw unilateral shrinking in PR investment, but the economy impacted many sectors. Four clients expanded their work across regions.

Practice areas
PR makes up 60% of revenue; social media 30%; and global integration 10%. Most clients tap into more than one area.

Accounts
Key wins included Dolby, eBay, Logitech, and VeriSign. Losses included recession-related cutbacks from Everyone.net, Aster Data Systems, and Green Hills Software. The entire client roster works on retainer.

Financial performance
Global revenues totaled $7,430,936, up 19.2% from last year. US revenues were $7,267,091, up 16.6% from last year. The firm experienced top- and bottom-line growth, accruing $1.6 million in top-line revenue – $500,000 was attributed to organic growth, $1.1 million to new business.

Key links
Principal: Richard Cline, CEO

Ownership: Independent

Offices: Two in US, San Francisco and Sunnyvale, CA

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