Principal: Jim Allman, chairman; Stephanie Smirnov, CEO (pictured)
Ownership: Interpublic Group (part of Constituency Management Group)
Offices: New York, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Singapore, London
Revenue: $10 million to $65 million
Headcount: Global: 190; US: 115
In 2012, DeVries made its leap overseas, opening offices in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Singapore, and London. The expanded agency network also renamed itself from DeVries Public Relations to DeVries Global.
“Increasingly, clients are looking for a global offering and through the work we do with Procter & Gamble, that was a very clear need,” explains Stephanie Smirnov, who was promoted from president to DeVries CEO last June, overseeing all North American operations.
Smirnov adds that the firm's first priority abroad is to solidify offerings with P&G, which it has been working with for nearly 30 years. Other tasks for global offices will focus on new business opportunities and trying to export clients back to the US.
As part of the expansion, the agency's London office was opened following a merger with sister IPG agency Slam PR, whose clients include Zippo, Tanqueray Gin, PepsiCo, Beats by Dr. Dre, and Durex.
In the US, DeVries picked up Tyson Foods in 2012 and the agency also retained its business with Pur Water Filtration, which was sold from P&G to Kaz USA, a subsidiary of Helen of Troy.
Other new accounts for the firm included luxury jeweler Chow Tai Fook in China and health supplement and food company Cerebos Asia-Pacific in Singapore. DeVries lost clients last year such as Abbott, Vicks, and DailyCandy in the US, and Gaymers, Propercorn, and Filofax in the UK.
One of the major focus areas for the firm in 2013 is building out its US Hispanic work, says Smirnov. In February, DeVries hired Lissette Rodriguez of The Axis Agency to serve as VP and head of the agency's US Hispanic practice. “I'm very excited to get that offering out there, starting with P&G,” Smirnov adds.
One notable departure for the firm in early 2013 was the exit of Tom Goodwin, director, new business development.
Expanding community management work is another target area. Smirnov says she wants the firm to enter RFPs that are “pure social media community management assignments” because she believes DeVries can compete against digital and social firms. While DeVries is not looking to expand to new locations, it will work on solidifying global operations, says Smirnov.