Capstrat: Agency Business Report 2013

On the heels of a strong 2012, Capstrat kicked off 2013 with a bang when it was purchased by Ketchum in January.

Principal: Ken Eudy, cofounder and CEO
Ownership: Ketchum
Office: Raleigh, NC
Revenue: $10 million to $65 million 

On the heels of a strong 2012, Capstrat kicked off 2013 with a bang when it was purchased by Ketchum in January.

Capstrat's continued growth in helping clients go deeper into the digital space was a huge factor in the acquisition, explains cofounder and CEO Ken Eudy – a point amplified by Ketchum CEO Rob Flaherty. Beyond helping to manage social media channels, Capstrat also increased its development of original content.

“As consumers, we are bombarded with messages every day,” explains Eudy. “The question is: how do we go from just pushing messages out to engaging consumers? That is becoming increasingly important.”

According to Eudy, Capstrat exceeded 2012 revenue and profit goals, but the firm no longer discloses figures due to Sarbanes-Oxley restrictions. The majority of growth was organic and driven largely by increased revenue in healthcare, professional services, public affairs, creative services, and digital.

Key campaigns for Capstrat in 2012 included a paid media effort launched for Duke Energy and phase two of its Let's Talk Cost campaign for client Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. The focus of the effort was to emphasize that insurance companies are not the sole reason for increasing healthcare costs. The initiative used goats to portray doctors, insurers, hospitals, and more to show that scapegoating is not the answer.

Account win highlights last year were  MeadWestvaco, Cree Lighting, Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight, Biogen Idec, and VantageSouth Bank.

Benefits of the acquisition
Thus far, Eudy is happy with how Ketchum has worked to integrate the firm into its network. He feels the deal makes Capstrat more attractive to national and international clients.

“A prospective client would ask us how we could help them in Singapore or San Francisco, for example,” he says. “Ketchum is a great answer to that question.”

Capstrat has raised its training budget in recent years and last year the agency created its own customized leadership-training program. “Millennials are especially into the idea of developing their skill sets,” he explains. “If they are not learning from us, they'll leave and go somewhere else. We are acutely aware of that.” Staff turnover at the agency was 21%.

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