Ownership: Next Fifteen Communications Group
Offices: San Francisco, New York
Revenue: $18 million
Largely due to the diversification of The OutCast Agency's service offerings in the areas of social media, design, digital, and crisis management, revenue increased 20% from $15 million in 2010 to $18 million in 2011.
Much of the focus in these areas is related to the firm's continued effort to reshape itself following its name change in 2010 from OutCast Communications to The OutCast Agency. The switch reflects its move beyond offering strictly communications to increasing its portfolio to include more marketing and digitally focused services.
“We handle crises for clients all the time, so it's owning and highlighting that service more,” says CEO Alex Constantinople of OutCast's attention to crisis management.
US profit margin increased 25% over 2010. Growth was overwhelmingly organic at 91% versus 9% new business.
“We had strong growth from existing clients, which can be attributed to their budgets being increased, but also to an increase in our services,” explains Constantinople.
Headcount remained flat, while staff turnover was 23%. Caryn Marooney, cofounder of the firm, left in March 2011 to join Facebook, where she leads tech PR strategy. In May 2011, the agency promoted TJ Snyder, a partner who worked in San Francisco, to head the New York office.
The agency is working on bolstering the tech practice in the New York office by developing current client relationships and bringing in new business, potentially tech startup clients.
“The tech scene there is back,” explains Constantinople of the business opportunity that exists in New York.
Telling a good story
With storytelling and strategic communications acting as pillars central to the firm's offerings, Constantinople says the ability to tell stories through various channels is key and OutCast is committed to adding more digital and design services.
Constantinople, who was previously COO, stepped into the CEO role in May and has worked to emphasize the Next Fifteen firm's increased focus on offerings beyond traditional PR, as well as serving clients in the enterprise and consumer verticals.
Key account wins within these areas included Lytro, Nest Labs, Nike, and Zynga. Losses included Omniture, which was acquired by Adobe, and Bloom Energy.