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The 2019 Latin American PR Agencies of the Year are the result of a research process involving submissions and meetings with the best PR firms across the region.
Approach Comunicacao (Independent)
PRovoke’s 2019 Agency of the Year, Approach Comunicacao closed out 2019 as a 161-person, $28 million BRL ($5.3 million) business serving more than 140 active clients. In the last 12 months, the firm added tiktok, Boticario, JBS, BRF and CCB to a roster whose key clients already included Pepsico, White Martins, Vale, Bradesco Seguros, Prudential, Rock in Rio, Roche and AccorHotels. All while Brazil remained in the throes of a years-long economic crisis, albeit showing signs of a slow recovery.
All of which is a testament to founder Elizabeth Garcia’s multifaceted ability to leverage new opportunities that emerge regardless of circumstances, which has led in Approach to grow into one of the country’s leading corporate communications and CSR agencies during its two decades in business. During the last 12 months, Approach has focused on cutting through the clutter misinformation populating platforms, to provide clear and valuable messaging on behalf of clients through standout creative content across channels. The firm grew its services in line with technology, producing, for example, 900 videos in 2019 — 80% more than in the previous year.
The digital team doubled to 40 people, as digital services now accounts for 30% of Approach’s business. Creating the Brazilian version of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development guide was among the year’s key work, as was boosting the Brazilian Dermatological Society’s reach to 4.4 million followers on social, and delivering content to 97% of the organization’s 6.300 doctors. — DM
Since its founding in 1980 by entrepreneur Francisco Soares Brandão, FSB Comunicações has made it a point of pride that the firm takes on the toughest, most high-profile assignments in the Brazilian market, such as the Platinum Award-winning work at our first ever Latin American SABRE awards for its work on behalf of the Brazilian Ministry of Sports and the 2014 World Cup as well as a host of public affairs and government-sponsored campaigns through the years—and a good deal of work in recent years protecting corporate reputations during that was known as Operação Lava-Jato (Operation Car-Wash), a country-wide crackdown on corruption. It’s an approach that has helped FSB grow to around $64 million in revenues, making it the highest-ranked Latin American firm on our global agency ranking, at number 36.
But heritage is only half the story: FSB has been modernizing and innovating too, making its first acquisition last year and integrating digital, content and consumer marketing, with new products including its Prigital concept, which puts solutions ahead of platforms and channels, and FSB.x, an index that measures the reputational risk for any brand on conversational universe of social media.
The firm’s major clients include Banco BTG Pactual, JBS, the Brazilian National Confederation of Industries, B3 (the Brazilian Stock Market), L'Oréal, Nestlé, Huawei, Oi, the Ministry of Health, and the City of Rio de Janeiro. There was new business from IFoods, Neoenergia, Soft Bank, Roku, United Health, Empiricus Research, Sotreq, and the Brazilian National Confederation of Commerce. A major highlight was the firm’s work for the Ministry of Health, “Saúde sem Fake News,” a campaign against fake news that began before the coronavirus pandemic, but gained extra resonance in recent months.—PH
Imagem Corporativa (Independent)
With offices in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasília and Recife, a team of more than 60 professionals, and fee income last year of $4 million (down slightly on the year before, resulting from difficult economic conditions and political upheaval in Brazil), Imagem Corporativa is not the largest independent in Brazil, but it is among the most respected. Founder and chief executive Ciro Dias Reis, a former journalist who founded the firm in 2001, has been relentlessly focused on two things that set his firm apart: first, on providing quality strategic advice, particularly in corporate and public affairs, but increasingly in digital and social media; and second, in developing both practices and a profile that is international as well as domestic, notably through the firm’s membership in the global network PROI.
Imagem Corporativa works with a prestigious roster of clients including Sanofi, SAP, Porto Seguro, XP Investimentos, ABB, Merck, Nissan, GPA, Casino and Marisa, with new business over the past 12 months from Giz, FGC, Ecolab, and Lengruber. In addition to expanding its portfolio of training offers, Imagem Corporativa also launched a new firm offering data, analytics and AI services to clients. High-profile assignments ranged from public affairs work for Booking.com to media relations for the world's largest investment event: Expert XP.—PH
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