Eighteen months after its acquisition by Omnicom-owned global public relations giant Ketchum, Access Communications maintains a strong, independent, entrepreneurial culture and continues to thrive under its own brand, which has become a byword for creativity and strategic thinking in the consumer technology space—although the firm has expanded its client portfolio to include companies from the consumer products, telecommunications, life sciences and e-commerce clients sectors.
Last year saw a recession-defying performance, with revenues up by more than 20 percent and new business from established companies like Sony, Toshiba, PayPal and Sprint and growing brands such as Digg, Beefeater Gin, California Closets and Leapfrog. They join an already-impressive list that includes Intuit (for work spanning corporate, small business, healthcare, and financial institutions communication), Sega, 2K Games and 2K Sports, Polycom, and Trend Micro.
The firm saw continued growth in the social media arena, following the 2008 launch of D3, a solution set designed to help companies craft and execute on a more targeted blog engagement strategy and that deploys the ABIE (Access Blog Influence Engine), a proprietary analytics tool built in-house that ranks blogs by influence within specific categories, enabling for more meaningful interaction. The latter product underwent a significant overhaul after Access established partnerships with Twitalyzer and PostRank.
The social media practice has been responsible for some of the firm’s most impressive work in 2009, ranging from customer interaction programs that have doubled the number of Toshiba followers on Twitter and Facebook to the introduction of Twitter Town Halls for Intuit to PayPal’s viral “Regift the Fruitcake” campaign on Facebook, which urged people to donate to charity during the holidays. More traditional work included successfully introducing Toshiba’s first netbook into the crowded and competitive U.S. market; managing the Love a Local Business campaign for Intuit as it sought to encourage the success of small local businesses around the country by offering cash grants and prizes to deserving companies; and hosting an exclusive media dinner for credit scoring company FICO, inviting top tier press to hear the results of recent FICO study findings that people are more likely to pay off their credit card debt than their mortgage.
Access has served as global agency of record for numerous clients and currently fills that role for PayPal. The Ketchum acquisition means Access now has the ability to draw on an international network of 50 offices and numerous affiliates.