Principal: Amy Binder, CEO and founder
Offices: New York and Boston
Revenue: $12.3 million
RF|Binder Partners’ revenue was down 6.4% last year, which CEO and founder Amy Binder attributes to the Malaysian government putting the Malaysia Kitchen Program in the US on hold. The agency has worked with the initiative to promote Malaysian restaurants overseas since 2010.
Despite the decline, Binder was pleased overall with 2013. She notes expansion of work with more than a quarter of existing clients, including Johnson & Johnson, Cargill, and McGraw-Hill Education, and eight wins from new clients, including Planet Fitness. Profit margin was 7%.
Social and digital work
"It was a very important year in terms of growth in social and digital work," she adds. "Consumer work represents 55% of our business, and we’re now doing social and digital work for 75% to 80% of those clients.B-to-b clients are also recognizing the importance of social and digital."
Work with Ace Insurance expanded to include PR for Ace North America. In 2014, the company assigned work on a new b-to-b social media effort. Existing clients such as CVS, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Talenti all increased digital and social work.
The firm’s financial services unit pulled in wins, including AOR for Legal and General Investment Management America and H2C. Project work grew into AOR relationships with Capital One and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board.
With clients increasingly asking for global help, Binder says finding the best local firm in a given international market is key.
The need for content creation for PESO channels is also on the rise.
"Because of digital, companies can really grow now without the huge budgets typically involved with paid media," she adds. "Storytelling is really growing brands, which gives PR firms a much bigger opportunity."
Early this year, RF|Binder was spun out of The Ruder Finn Group. Binder now has sole ownership of the firm, which she says gives her greater freedom to make strategic decisions about its future. Lauren Vincelli was brought on as senior MD, research and business intelligence. Executive MD Nancy Moss departed for client edX and executive MD Janine Savarese left in February 2014.
Plans for this year include expanding social and digital work and driving growth with clients, particularly in the financial services, education, and food and beverage sectors.