Principal: Sharon Linhart, founder and managing partner
Revenue: $4,599,067 US
Linhart Public Relations has turned a profit every year since its founding, and 2011 was no exception. After more than doubling its revenue in 2010, Linhart finished 2011 with revenues of $4,599,067, an 11% revenue increase over 2010.
The agency's core practice areas are consumer marketing, corporate communications, digital media, and employee engagement. The goal is to build the digital practice and increase clients in the natural, healthy, and organic food sector.
Despite losing Red Robin and Denver-based mortgage analysis firm Allonhill last year, Linhart more than gained back the business with account wins such as DineEquity, which franchises Applebee's and IHOP, natural gas company Alagasco, and organic and herbal tea company Celestial Seasonings. These brands join a loyal client base in which the agency “takes great pride,” according to founder and managing partner Sharon Linhart. The firm has worked with a third of its clients for more than five years, including Crocs, Chipotle, and Comcast.
“That's a real key to our success,” explains Linhart. Its client roster also includes Southwest Airlines, United Healthcare, and WhiteWave Foods, the parent company of brands including Silk soymilk and Horizon Organic milk.
A major part of Linhart's success stems from its team-focused culture. Staff members are informed monthly of the agency's financials and receive quarterly cash bonuses from 20 percent of the agency's net income. In 2011, Linhart invested $2,280 per full-time employee in its BrainPower program, which offers individualized training and support for each staff member.
In celebration of Linhart's 15th anniversary last year, the agency treated staff to a two-day mountain retreat. These unique perks allow the agency to attract and keep talent, exemplified by the staff increasing from 26 at the beginning of 2011 to its current headcount of 31. There were no senior staff changes.
Linhart also focuses on bettering the community through Linhart-to-Heart, its quarterly program through which employees support a local charity of choice with funds or time. Last year, Linhart donated $40,535 to local charities and organizations and provided an additional $60,515 in pro bono PR services.
Linhart's impressive client wins, strong creative work, and dedication to staff won the agency PRWeek's 2012 Boutique Agency of the Year award.