Principal: Laura Tomasetti, CEO
Offices: Boston; New York; Washington, DC; and San Francisco
Although 360 Public Relations’ revenue was lower than projected in the first half of 2014, a string of new client wins in the last six months of the year boosted its 2014 revenue by 6% to $6.5 million.
CEO Laura Tomasetti says the firm saw a substantially higher number of RFPs starting in Q3 and converted many of those in Q4. She also notes it is common in the consumer space for brands to shake up agency rosters in the second half of the year.
"Coming out of 2013, we grew 30%, but we were digesting a lot of growth in 2014," Tomasetti notes, adding that the firm’s profit margin was 19%, compared to 12.8% in 2013.
Expanding existing work
Fifty-four percent of the agency’s growth came from existing clients such as Braun Thermometers, Stonyfield, and Continental Mills. Client wins included Aeria Games, Liberty Mutual Insurance, LightLife, Walkers Shortbread, Education.com, and ShopAdvisor. The firm also won Juicy Juice earlier this year.
Disney Publishing cut ties with 360 PR, along with condiment maker Sir Kensington’s, which had to sever the relationship due to financial reasons. Ninety-five percent of clients are on retainer.
Creative services became more important to 360’s offering in the past 12 months, and Melanie Nayer was hired as VP of digital to advance those efforts, explains Tomasetti.
"The creative we’re turning out has really become the engine, not just the icing on the cake, that drives visual storytelling and consumer engagement for our clients," she adds. "That extends across digital channels, of course, but also through earned media and experiential events."
For instance, the Cree Great American Bulb Swap included a mobile tour amplified by social and earned media to promote a smart LED bulb and The Balance Project for Balance Bar encompassed an online video series, a microsite, social engagement, brand ambassador initiative, and earned media.
Experiential efforts continue this spring, when the firm sends out the Wellness Waggin’ to reach pet parents for WellPet, a natural pet food brand that joined 360’s roster in early 2014.
The firm also plans to add staffers to its Bay Area office, which opened last year. Sandra Yee, formerly with mobile game developer Flashman Studios, was named a VP in the region. Staff turnover was 15%.
"On-ground expertise in the Bay Area is important in terms of access to influencers and the trends emerging in that market," Tomasetti adds. "The staff is working closely with our Boston team to grow our roster of consumer tech and gaming clients."
Furthermore, she predicts double-digit growth for the agency in the year ahead.
"We now have the right staffing model and great clients," Tomasetti adds.