MSL rejoins PR Council

The value of PR in 2020 has become “consistently clear,” said MSL US CEO Diana Littman (pictured).

MSL rejoins PR Council

NEW YORK: MSL is rejoining the PR Council, a year after stepping away from the industry organization. 

Citing the challenges of 2020, the value of PR as a discipline has become “consistently clear,” said MSL U.S. CEO Diana Littman, in an emailed statement. 

“We’ve been a core part of change making, creating and communicating alongside CEOs, marketers, employees, opinion influencers and other influentials alike, and I expect more for us, and from us, ahead. It is with this ambition that we’ve decided to rejoin the PR Council,” she explained.

PR Council president Kim Sample said the industry organization is “thrilled and looking forward to having the participation of [Littman] and her leadership team.” 

MSL made the decision to leave the industry group last December. At the time, Littman said the decision was made “from a financial standpoint in terms of where I want to put my resources and reinvest back into the agency during our growth journey.” 

“As I said previously for 2020, this decision would be reevaluated for 2021. I had talked to [Sample] throughout the year, and we’re back in and announcing and happy to let you know we’re back in,” Littman said on Thursday. “[Leaving] was not, as I said in the past, about the performance [of the agency]. It was a decision about where we were investing in the agency... and at the time, we needed to reinvest in the agency.”

The PR Council’s 2020 dues were $50,000 for a tier-one membership, which it asked of agencies earning $60-million-plus in annual revenue, according to its website. 

MSL earned $444.5 million in revenue in 2019, a 3% decline from the previous year, according to PRWeek’s Agency Business Report 2020.

Sample said the PR Council is not done tallying this year’s numbers, but she expects the overall count of agency members to have increased by “10% or 12%.” The only other large agency to leave the organization last year was Prosek Partners, which exited in June, Sample said. 

Prosek posted a 2019 revenue increase of 15% to $58.2 million, according to PRWeek’s Agency Business Report 2020. 

A Prosek representative could not be reached for comment. 

Satisfaction among council members has been rising, according to surveys the group has conducted. Polled this year, 77% of members said PR Council membership is a very good value and 20% said it’s a somewhat good value. In 2018, only 31% said a PR Council membership was a very good value and 56% described it as somewhat of a good value, according to numbers Sample provided.

“This has been a great year for the council,” she added. “There have been a lot of moments for us to deliver on. Everybody appreciated all information sharing around the closing of offices, keeping employees safe and working for home. Then there was the racial justice movement, another great opportunity for the council to shine. We’ve done a lot of work around DEI.”

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