In a year when many struggled with economic uncertainty, Leeds-based Ptarmigan dug deep and put in place a highly prudent financial management process while investing in their staff and the future.
As a result Ptarmigan achieved fee income growth of 23 per cent in 2001.
Moreover, in the first five months of 2002, fee income increased by 16 per cent over the same period last year, delivering a gratifying hike of 81 per cent in pre-tax profits.
In an emergency board meeting last October, the agency pruned unnecessary overheads and invested 25 per cent of this sum into increasing staff development, motivation and retention.
This decision has funded all 41 staff becoming members of the IPR and an employee training and development scheme, 'Ptarmigan Flightpath', accredited by Leeds Metropolitan University as a component of the IPR Continuous Development Programme.
As a medium-sized firm, the Yorkshire agency boasts a mix of local, national and international blue-chip clients, including The Football Association, Britannia Building Society and telecoms provider O2.
Since last August, this portfolio has expanded with eight new accounts, including npower, BUPA, plus Nestle's Quality Street, Polo Smoothies and Lion Bar brands.
Despite the recent loss of Morrisons Supermarkets, client retention is good, with the Green Flag Group a client of some 12 years, since the agency was set up. During this period the firm has also emerged as one of the country's leading sports sponsorship specialists.
Always campaign-focused, the agency has successfully sold its clients the concept of PR taking the lead role within the marketing mix. To this end, it has remained an independent, forging strategic alliances with other marketing services providers.
In the summer of 2001, the consultancy established a research and planning department and shortly after, launched its proprietary campaign evaluation model, 3D.
COMMENDED - Band & Brown Communications
Independent consultancy Band & Brown enjoyed fee income growth of 26 per cent in 2001 and welcomed a host of new clients, including British Gas, The Post Office, Eagle Star and Egg. Consumer income was boosted by the successful integration of the recently acquired Larkspur into the business and in August 2001, the agency gained Investors in People accreditation. Despite the economic downturn, the agency's online offering iJack has prospered, while its tech division picked up Logica's global PR remit.