Hill+Knowlton Strategies’ Middle East network boasted both impressive growth and a great working environment over the last year.
The agency won an average of $50,000 in new business every working day, with big name wins including UFC Fight Island Abu Dhabi, Wa’ed (Aramco Entrepreneurship Centre), AstraZeneca, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and Johnson & Johnson.
Success on the new business front was matched with organic growth, with half of the business’ increase in revenues coming thanks to expansion of existing clients. Among the standouts teams were its Energy + Industrials and Technology practices, with the former almost doubling revenue.
In a year that brought a whole new host of comms challenges, H+K expanded content hub The Studio from its UAE base into Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and also launched new behavioural science unit Smarter+.
It was this kind of fresh thinking that helped create standout campaigns, including working with Dolby to encourage movie goers back to the cinema after the easing of lockdown, resulting in an 83% month-on-month increase in visitor numbers over the summer period.
This success did not come at the cost of staff wellbeing, as the agency was named 5th Best Workplace in the UAE by Great Place to Work, and 11th Best Workplace for Women in the GCC region; a pair of achievements helped by H+K’s weekly parties, quizzes, gaming nights and cook-a-longs for the team.
“Congratulations to the team at H+K - clearly an agency in growth mode with strong results, strong focus on clients and mang impressive campaigns, and strong commitment to the team.”
In the face of the pandemic and its profound impact on key clients, the agency launched Project Reset. This led to a major adaption to remote client servicing, including digital upskilling of the team and shifting to support their working from home routines. Project Reset was a clear success; new business growth strong, clients rated ASDA’A BCW’s service highly, and 93% of its team said they were proud to work for the agency.