Coyne PR: Agency Business Report 2015

After a flat 2013, Coyne PR bounced back to post a revenue increase of 14.8%.

CEO Tom Coyne
CEO Tom Coyne

Principal: Tom Coyne, CEO
Ownership: Independent
Offices: New York; Parsippany, NJ; and Los Angeles
Revenue: $23,010,000
Headcount: 155

After a flat 2013, Coyne PR bounced back to post a revenue increase of 14.8%. New business accounted for 90% of 2014 revenue growth of $4 million, which offset decreasing existing client budgets and work that left the agency.

New clients included Columbia Business School, GE Water & Process Technologies, and TripAdvisor. The firm also began working with Novartis Global Oncology on digital and social strategy.

"Novartis was a very important win," says CEO Tom Coyne. "It was a significant non-PR win that shows our prowess in digital and social."

Coyne lost cosmetics brand Mary Kay and Big Heart Pet Brands, both of which it had served for nearly 10 years. The CEO attributes the losses to personnel changes at the companies.

Digital expertise
The agency continues to expand into services including digital, website builds, and application development. Its digital and social media services group grew revenue by 52% from 2013 to 2014. For example, since the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation brought on Coyne in 2012 for traditional PR work, the firm has developed Web properties, video content, and an integrated marketing campaign for the nonprofit.

Most recently, Coyne branched out into advertising. After hiring Rob Schnapp as creative director in late 2013, the agency has helped clients with print ads and 30-second TV spots.

"The first reason advertising was interesting to us is because we believe we can do it very well. In today’s world, earned media is important to any campaign," Coyne adds. "When you bring that sensibility to the advertising side of things, you’re building campaigns that are made to be shared. The second reason is clients are looking for it."

He notes that the firm has not competed against advertising agencies in a pitch, but its goal is to become "a fully integrated shop."

"We want someone to come here for a business-driving idea, and we’ll be able to provide the entire cycle for them," Coyne continues.

To reflect this change, the CEO says there is a rebrand in the agency’s future.

"It could be as simple as taking PR off the name," he says. "If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it, but we also don’t want to be confined by having PR in our name."

Digital strategy director Chris Cullmann, SVP Heather Krug, and VP Todd Forte left the firm. Coyne hired Lauren Yacker and Kate McShane as VPs. Luis Hernandez, a former MD at Burson-Marsteller, joined as SVP and chief digital officer.

"Where we are right now, I feel like it’s the start of the football season, when you have a great team that can win the Super Bowl," Coyne says. "If you let them play, good things can happen."

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