Principal: Marina Maher, CEO
Ownership: Omnicom, as part of its Diversified Agency Services division
Office: New York
Revenue: $10 million to $65 million
Headcount: More than 100
This year marks a big milestone for Marina Maher, as the eponymous agency she launched from her dining-room table will celebrate its 30th anniversary in July.
“I used to listen to ‘I Will Survive,'” she jokes. “Now it's ‘I'm Still Standing.'”
Maher is indeed still standing. Her firm, acquired by Omnicom in November 2011, has grown by specializing in helping clients build relationships with consumers, particularly women. Since joining Omnicom, Maher cannot reveal revenue and headcount, but she says performance exceeded expectations and there were 35 new hires.
Awards and further growth
“We continued our long track record of double-digit growth overall,” she adds. “Our health and well-being practice saw double-digit growth for the third year running. We won a record number of awards for client work, the agency, and our people.”
The Creative Catalyst Group, which was introduced in February 2012 to address clients' changing needs in the ever-evolving media environment, quickly expanded to include a shopper-marketing offering. Maher credits this with helping the agency land an AOR account for Stainmaster. An in-house video studio was built to further broaden the group's capabilities.
Jane Brody Koenke was hired as chief creative and inspiration officer, while Tom Kelly joined as SVP, strategy and insights.
Regarding the offering's growth, Maher notes increased client need and desire for PR to be involved in or lead “big idea” creation. “There's also increased opportunity with social and digital media,” she adds. “The Creative Catalyst Group is driving this, as well as insights, content generation, and media across all accounts.”
Integration with Omnicom is going well. With Ketchum, Marina Maher Communications expanded its relationship with longtime client Procter & Gamble, winning global AOR status for P&G's Olympics, Sustainability, and Everyday Effect accounts.
A regulatory setback dissolved work on a Genentech product, while a management change claimed work for Post Cereals.
“I'd love to see us stop calling ourselves ‘PR,'” says Maher, who insists agencies must work to make clients aware of their depth and breadth. “It's limiting. We're not in a box anymore. What we do today is all about communications.”