Principals: Grace Leong, CEO; Jason Winocour, partner (pictured)
Office: New York
Hunter Public Relations projected growth last year of 5% to 6%, but ended up seeing revenue increase by more than 20%.
Half of that growth came from landing new clients such as Smithfield, Post, and the Can Manufacturers Institute.
“By more closely integrating our strategic and insights department into the creative process, we strengthened our competitive pitches,” explains partner Jason Winocour. “It really helped step up our game as it relates to new business.”
The remainder of revenue growth came from existing clients tapping Hunter's specialized services. Hasbro, McIlhenny Company (the makers of Tabasco sauce), Gallo, 3M, and Diageo were among clients that leveraged the firm's recently created, five-person Hispanic strategies and solutions department.
“Hispanic marketing in 2012 was like what digital and social media was in 2009,” says Winocour. “One of the reasons: the presidential election really shone a light on the impact of the Hispanic voter. What flowed from that was attention to their consumer purchasing power.”
Other specialized services, including digital and social media and entertainment/celebrity endorsement also performed well. “All of these specialized services speak to the fact we are a full-service marketing communications firm,” asserts Winocour.Despite the growth, Hunter only increased staff count from 79 in 2011 to 82 last year. “We did a lot of hiring in 2011,” says Winocour, “and we were able to allocate staff resources across different clients.”
Still, he conceded that one of the firm's biggest challenges is finding talent, particularly at the SAE and account supervisor levels. “Agency life is challenging,” adds Winocour. “It is a matter of identifying people who are in the game for the long run and looking to embrace the challenge.”Areas of growth
In 2013, Hunter expects between 5% and 6% growth. Work has started this year on new accounts including Mondelez, formerly Kraft Foods, and PetArmor. The firm has also rehired Erin Hanson to lead its Zyrtec account and help grow its health and beauty department. Partner Claire Burke departed the firm last year.
Another growth area is measurement and reporting. “A lot of clients want more analytics around PR results,” he adds.