Horn: Agency Business Report 2012

Looking to modernize the look and feel of its brand, Horn dropped the word "Group" from its name and now refers to itself as Horn, a digital communications group.

Principal: Sabrina Horn, CEO
Ownership: Independent
Offices: San Francisco and New York
Revenues: US: $7.9 million
Headcount: 46

Looking to modernize the look and feel of its brand, Horn dropped the word “Group” from its name and now refers to itself as Horn, a digital communications group. A red dot was added to the agency's logo to symbolize its more holistic approach to communications.

Overall, the firm specializes in interactive, social media, and PR. Three-quarters of the agency's clients now utilize the firm for interactive work, an increase of more than 50% from the previous year.

This growing prevalence of interactive work has led to the firm hiring professionals outside of the PR practitioner set, including those with marketing and social experience and an understanding of branding and broader marketing concepts.

“In 2010 we did not have as many PR clients using interactive and we didn't have interactive hours baked into every PR engagement,” says Sabrina Horn, CEO.

The firm also redesigned its website to look less static. “Since we are pushing digital communications we needed to look a lot more digital ourselves,” adds Horn.

The firm's 2011 revenue was $7.9 million compared to $7.4 million the year prior. Throughout 2011 Horn achieved the most growth in New York within the digital media practice, which saw a 47% increase in revenue in 2011 over 2010. Practice area wins included NBC Universal, Scholastic, Gannett corporate, Demand Media, and The New York Times.

Working with clients in the digital media space, including online advertising companies, advertising networks, mobile advertising companies, online video companies, and publishing companies, is a newer focus area for the firm.

We have a lot of momentum coming off all the clients we have in the online advertising space in New York,” says Horn.

Other key growth areas for the firm are consumer Internet, enterprise software, software as a service, security, and storage.

Horn says a strong focus in the months ahead will be expanding the firm's international work for current clients, particularly larger companies that work with the firm's San Francisco office.

The CEO says the agency does not plan to establish an international office, but will support the work through the Oriella PR Network, an alliance of 16 communications agencies in 23 countries co-founded by Brands2Life and Horn in 2006.

One key hire to the firm was former Hill+Knowlton Strategies exec Tim O'Keeffe who joined as MD in June in San Francisco, replacing MD Linda Clarke.

“He brings tremendous amounts of new ideas and big-brand global experience to my executive team,” says Horn.

Partner Shannon Latta left Horn in August, but still helps run the Oriella international network in a consulting role and remains on the Horn advisory council.

Account losses for 2011 and into 2012 include Clarizen, Ooyala, and Auditude.

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