Principals: Michael Kempner, founder and CEO (pictured); and Bret Werner, president
Offices: U.S.: 8; and one in London
Revenue: Global: $58 million; U.S.: $54 million
MWWPR recorded flat revenue of $58 million for 2016, but recorded a double-digit profit margin as the firm focused efforts on key practice areas under a new leadership structure.
A couple of years after a rapid acquisition period, CEO Michael Kempner reiterates last year’s statement that the shop is being more selective with its clients.
He also contends MWWPR "outgrew" many of the clients no longer on its roster. It no longer works with Bowlmor AMF, Christiana Care Health Services, and XYZprinting.
Focus on omnichannel accounts
"In almost every case they came to us when we were a smaller firm, and they would’ve been better with a smaller agency," Kempner explains.
MWWPR is interested in clients "looking for integrated omnichannel programs," he adds. In 2016, it won business in the U.S. with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Juice Press, DeVry Education Group, and Tom Tom. It also works with the Israel Ministry of Tourism in North America and supports Loot Crate in the U.S. and its 2017 U.K. launch. The agency also won the RetailMeNot account.
Asked why it didn’t follow through on plans to acquire more agencies in 2016, Kempner says he looked at many possibilities, but didn’t buy for the sake of opening in new locations.
In December, chief client officer Bret Werner took over Kempner’s duties as president after almost a year at the agency, sharing day-to-day management of the firm. MWWPR promoted chief of staff Gina Cherwin to EVP and chief people officer, and CFO William Starace had his responsibilities broadened.
MWWPR launched the newly formalized offering of HerVoice, which services female executives. It’s led by Carreen Winters, who was named chair of the reputation practice and head of strategy. Supporting that practice is former Democratic National Committee CEO Amy Dacey. In early 2017, she joined the firm as EVP, MD of issues management and public affairs, and MD of the Washington, DC, office.
Another offering MWWPR rolled out was StoryCore, which was "the secret sauce to its most successful campaigns," Kempner says. For 2017, the agency is going to focus on digital integration, content integration, and channel distribution. MWWPR’s independence allows the agency to freely collaborate between practices and skill sets, he adds.
"We’ve added significantly to our digital, social, creative, and paid media team," he explains. "We’re about to introduce a series of tech-driven crisis comms tools, and we have added to our corporate reputation and crisis practice, as well as public affairs."