Fahlgren Mortine: Agency Business Report 2015

Fahlgren Mortine's expertise in the travel sector, along with its early 2014 acquisition of boutique firm Turner PR, set the stage for some big wins.

CEO Neil Mortine
CEO Neil Mortine

Principal: Neil Mortine, CEO
Ownership: Independent
Offices: 15
Revenue: $18,616,471
Headcount: 104

Fahlgren Mortine’s expertise in the travel sector, along with its early 2014 acquisition of travel and lifestyle boutique firm Turner PR, set the stage for some big wins.

Wyoming’s Office of Tourism named Fahlgren Mortine its first PR AOR in October 2014 after a nationwide competitive agency review and 2015 kicked off with the Nevada Division of Tourism tapping the agency as its integrated marketing AOR, awarding it a $20 million, 29-month contract. In March 2014, the agency landed the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau.

"Wyoming was a great account to go into the New Year with," says agency CEO Neil Mortine.

The Columbus, Ohio-based agency’s roots run deep in tourism. It has been the PR incumbent on TourismOhio for 16 years. Travel and tourism was the top growth sector for the agency, increasing by 70.3% in 2014, followed by technology, which grew 11.2%. Education was also a solid performer.

Including acquisitions, revenue at the firm grew 37.6% from $13.5 million in 2013 to $18.6 million in 2014. Organic revenue growth was 10.4%.

"Having an integrated approach has helped us prosper and fueled our core growth. It’s hard to fulfill client expectations today without an integrated approach, as many agencies are finding out," he adds.

The firm’s work for Nevada runs the gamut including advertising, media buying, PR, and digital. Other 2014 wins included Ferro, a global supplier of technology-based performance materials; an assignment for international media relations for enterprise content management software developer Hyland; and social media, content development, and media relations work for Avery Dennison Label and Packaging Materials. The agency lost Balloon Time.

New office growth
The Turner acquisition gave Fahlgren offices in New York and Denver. The latter’s headcount stands at 18; New York 17. Its Boise office, a startup in 2013, has grown to five people to mostly service client Simplot, a $6 billion food and agribusiness company.

Mortine is looking to expand in the West by adding offices in Nevada or Wyoming.

The CEO cites work with the Savannah College of Art and Design and Nova Southeastern University as a fun highlight of the year that wound up being featured in a cover story for Time about the smallest living places. The agency handled social media, media relations, and microsite creation for the project that entailed, for example, one student living in a 135square-foot space in a parking garage.

In 2015, Mortine says there will be a focus on analytics with an emphasis on marketing automation and in-house systems and "how you communicate with systems used to track sales leads and build tools to reach prospects once in those systems," he adds. 

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