The Cycle

PRWeek Awards - Small PR Agency of the Year


While DG&A entered its sixth year of existence with a number of quantitative goals, those successes hinged much on its qualitative goal: rebranding from David Grossman & Associates.

DG&A explained that the rebranding was symbolic of its transcendence from a boutique agency based on the founder to a growing firm with a cadre of expert communicators.

With its new name, the agency successfully increased revenues, retained clients, and expanded its services. As 2006 drew to a close, DG&A boasted a staff of 20 and expected revenues of $2.6 million, up from $1.9 million a year before.

The firm did more than just take stock in its sixth year; it changed the way it approached its business. DG&A, realizing that clients were asking its employees to wear multiple hats, expanded its service offerings and spun off two new practice areas: leadership communication and business consulting. Its major focus is still internal communications (70% of business), but leadership communication (20%) and business consulting (10%) had strong debuts.

“It truly seems to be evolving its offerings,” said one judge.

The agency had a banner year in 2006, adding Abbott Laboratories, Texas Instruments, and ACNielsen, as well as seven others, to its blue-chip-filled client roster that also includes McDonald’s, Baxter Healthcare, and Lockheed Martin. It managed a 100% retention of non-one-time clients, a huge criterion cited by judges, as well as an 87% overall retention rate. The company also added two top-level staffers.

Judges were also impressed by how its large clients looked to the firm to handle their critical leadership issues.

DG&A also acknowledged the importance of “taking care of its people who take care of its clients” by going out on group outings, matching staff donations to charities, and making pumpkin pies together for holiday presents for clients.

Any PR firm worth its salt tells clients about the importance of presentation: to the media, to partners, and to employees. So it’s no surprise that this winning agency received high marks for its PRWeek Awards submission. Judges were unanimously impressed with the way that DG&A conveyed itself and its work.

“It was a great presentation – to the point and covering all forms of PR,” one judge said. “Best supporting material; it feels very professional,” noted another.

Honorable Mention
Kwittken & Company

In only a year, Kwittken & Company has accumulated 18 staffers, 20 clients, and an expected $2.7 million in billings for 2006. Among those debut clients are HR global consultancy Towers Perrin, medical device manufacturer Stryker, some Thomas Learning businesses, American Eagle, and Uniqlo, Japan’s largest apparel retailer. One judge was impressed by the young firm’s client list, while another said, “Kwittken has the heft and professionalism of a much larger shop.” Aaron Kwittken was previously CEO of Euro RSCG Magnet. Two former Magnet employees, president Jason Schlossberg and MD Gabrielle Zucker Acevedo, help give the agency an experienced backbone. Among its goals, the firm listed “truly leveraging and navigating the complex media landscape” – a goal that, based on media results for clients, all judges agreed was reached.

Honorable Mention

Capstrat CEO Ken Eudy has said that his goal for the past couple of years has been for his Raleigh, NC-based agency to stay ahead of a quickly changing discipline of PR. While success in that respect is difficult to qualify, net revenue increases of 21% and profit increases of 20% show that Capstrat has indeed come a long way. New clients, many of which came from established client referrals, include Lenovo, GlaxoSmithKline, the North Carolina Department of Justice, and Siemens Medical Solutions. The agency also took great pride in its marketing efforts for a Post-It Note Elvis viral campaign, which earned Capstrat’s creative director Todd Coats an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman. “[Capstrat] has a unique approach to the changing nature of communications,” one judge noted.

Finalists 2007

  • Capstrat
  • DG&A
  • Kwittken & Company
  • Peppercom
  • Racepoint Group

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