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The 2021 LatAm PR Consultancies of the Year are the result of an exhaustive research process involving numerous submissions and meetings with the best PR firms across the region.
Consultancy of the Year winners were announced and honoured at the 2021 LatAm SABRE Awards, which took place on 28 September. Analysis of all Finalists and Winners can be accessed via the navigation menu or below:
Zimat is distinguished from its competitors in Mexico both by its size—it is one of the top two firms in the market, and the only indigenous firm in the top five—and by its approach: Zimat is one of only a handful of Latin American firms that doesn’t compete on price, having established itself as a strategic advisor capable of charging a premium for the senior counsel it provides to both corporate and public sector clients.
Zimat is based in Mexico, with owned offices in Mexico City and Monterrey—the latter a new addition in 2021. The firm operates throughout Latin America and the US via a network of independent partner agencies.
Zimat does not discuss revenue numbers, although it is widely regarded as the market leader among indigenous Mexican agencies and is certainly capable of competing head-to-head with any of the global players who have established themselves in the market over the past decade or so. The firm’s most prominent clients include Grupo Jumex, Mary Kay, Tequila Centenario, BHP, GNP Seguros, T-Systems, México, San Pablo Farmacia, and América Móvil. A strong new business year brought in additional clients, including Roche, Adularia, Maison Kayser, Grupo BAL, HotGo, Infra, Panda Express, Sputnik V, MG Motors, and Consejo Mexicano Vitivinícola.
Andrea Castro, a former chief of staff for the public opinion and image office of President Vicente Fox, has more than 20 years’ experience designing and deploying institutional communication strategies for private companies and public institutions, and is regarded as an expert in reputation management, corporate social responsibility, crisis communications and public affairs. Crisis and public affairs support is provided by Jaime Ramírez, a former journalist, while another ex-reporter, Araceli Muñoz has a broad communications strategy and crisis comms background. The biggest new hire of the past 12 months is Luis Arturo García, a veteran of the research industry who worked at Ipsos for more than a decade and was also with Nielsen.
On the thought leadership front, Zimat’s intelligence hub, The Analysis Unit, provided useful, timely information on developments related to the Covid crisis, while the firm’s research unit partnered with with The RepTrak Company to analyze the impact of the pandemic on the reputation of private companies in Mexico. The firm also supported the Communications Council on a vital campaign to educate Mexicans about the proper use of facemasks, in the face of disinformation and misunderstanding. The firm also partnered with Innovec, which promotes scientific learning among young people, to generate content that took advantage of a newfound interest in science. Beyond the realm of Covid, meanwhile, the firm supported T-Systems, an IT global company and part of Deutsche Telekom, as it celebrated its 25th anniversary in the Mexican market.
— Paul Holmes
Another, formerly Another Company, remains under the watch of its co-owners, CEO Jaspar Eyear and president Rodrigo Peñafiel, who in 17 years have seen Another permeate Latin America with operations in 18 countries from Peru and Argentina to Guatemala and Costa Rica.
Another has operations throughout Latin America including Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Panama, Peru, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.
In 16 years, Anther’s co-owners, CEO Jaspar Eyears and President Rodrigo Peñafiel, have grown the firm into an $8.4 million business, which, thanks to continued growth, has more than 240 employees throughout 18 countries. The firm recently expanded its footprint into Ecuador, Brazil, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Bolivia and Uruguay, while continuing long-established operations in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Panama and Argentina. That regional infrastructure, coupled with Another’s expertise in consumer, tech, pharma, tourism and corporate comms, resulted in Another adding 40 new brands to its client portfolio in 2020, adding to a list that already includes an impressive collection of multinationals.
Another ramped up its efforts around promoting DE&I over the last 12 months through action and education. Two of the firm’s senior leaders were cited as role models as part of their inclusion among 41 top LatinX LGBT executives. Internally, Another’s Culture Bite includes studying and addressing issues related to workplace culture, diversity and inclusion. The firm expanded its expertise with a spate of new hires as well. Digital & creative VP Agustín Tejera, general manager Martin Fernandez and Brazil leader Laura Arteaga join existing leaders including business VP Pablo Silva and regional general manager Xóchitl Bonilla.
A leader in Latin American influencer marketing, Another doubled down on the discipline in 2020 by using new technology to run its influencer network — a move that enabled the firm to pick up advertising in addition to marketing business. The agency changed its operating mindset in 2020, putting its focus on anticipating the negative ramifications Covid could have on clients, and subsequently rethinking strategies, structure, and services to help them through the crisis. Hallmark work hit on issues from the importance of cleaning house during Covid to stomping out smoking.
— Diana Marszalek
Now in its 28th year, Porter Novelli Mexico remains under the watch of two of its founders — managing director Sandra Kleinburg and LatAm president Karen Ovseyevitz — who have built the agency’s reputation based on consistently strong client work. Part of Porter Novelli’s sprawling Latin America network, the Mexico offices serves as a hub for a host of the firm’s regional clients.
Porter Novelli Mexico operates from its Mexico City headquarters.
Even while grappling with the disruption of Covid, Porter Novelli grew in 2020 by both landing new business and increasing the work it does for existing clients, including an impressive list of multinationals. The year saw the firm adding Clorox, Cosnova, Herdez, VTEX, HMD, ProColombia and Chubb to its client roster, and expanding its relationships with the likes of P&G, Mars, Kellogg’s, Aruba and Equinix among them. In 2020, revenue rose 16.4% to $8.5 million. Client services are handled by PN Mexico’s more than 130 employees.
Porter Novelli Mexico has a history of championing its employees’ wellbeing, meaning it went into 2020 with the likes of work-from-home policies and DE&I initiatives, laying the groundwork for the amplified efforts necessitated by Covid. Leaders boosted internal communications via biweekly updates and new social channels. New wellness programs offered yoga, meditation, therapy, parent support groups, and monthly training focused on inspiration. The firm’s attention to culture earned it recognition in 2020 from a range of organizations: The Human Rights Campaign recognized the firm for its LGBTQ workplace inclusion for the third consecutive year; Mamá Godín, a working mothers’ organization, named it one of the best workplaces for moms; And Empresas Verdes (Green Companies) ranked Porter Novelli among the 21 most inclusive companies in Mexico. The agency’s #Asi Somos Aqui (This is How we are Here) initiative, a multi-faceted effort to build a culture that is diverse, inclusive, and just, is in its 5th year.
Porter Novelli responded to the biggest issues of 2020 with new offerings and thought leadership to help clients navigate the tumultuous year. The firm formalized and amplified its offerings around DE&I with the launch of its Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Advisory Services, a full-serve offering to help companies fully integrate JEDI into their organizations. Research focused on topics from cancel culture and Covid to the relevance of TikTok in Mexico. The agency also led a regional event around the US presidential elections featuring a former White House director. 2020’s hallmark work includes work for California Almonds driving almond consumption in Mexico; driving pet adoption in Mexico with support of Pedigree’s Dogs On Zoom campaign; and boosting awareness of hunger and food waste for Kellogg’s World Food Day.
— Diana Marszalek
In the short six years since Weber Shandwick Mexico opened its doors with a five-person team, the firm has established itself as 100-person operation able offer clients the integrated, multidimensional capabilities for which Weber Shandwick is known.
Weber Shandwick operates from its Mexico City headquarters.
Weber Shandwick Mexico offers clients the integrated, multidimensional capabilities befitting an agency of Weber Shandwick’s size, with 100-people serving key clients including ExxonMobil, Novartis, Liverpool, Nintendo, Honeywell, HBO, Grupo Herdez, DirecTV Go and Ericsson. The firm grew 13% in 2020, thanks in part to new business from Mercado Libre, OPPO, Walmart, Hershey's, Nespresso, Docusign and Crehana. With a fast-growing healthcare practice, the Mexico office is partnering with Weber Shandwick’s worldwide offices to offer global and local expertise in reputation building, internal comms, patient advocacy and influencer marketing.
With the Mexico office on an upward trajectory, IPG’s PR group earlier this year tapped Amanda Berenstein, then Mexico managing director, to oversee all the company’s agencies in Mexico (Weber, Golin and Current Global) as Mexico CEO and LatAm regional client leader. Executive VP Johanna Palacio has succeeded Berenstein in the MD role. Berenstein’s attention to business is equaled by her attention to staff, which, amid Covid, included offering physical and mental health benefits, yoga and art classes and providing home equipment. The office also provides career development and bonus. The Mexico office earned the recognition as Best Place to Work for LGBTQ by Human Rights Campaign Equidad MX two years in a row. By the end of this year, all employees will complete training in prevention of discrimination and promotion of inclusion; All of practice leaders are undergoing training on how to conduct un-biased interviews.
Despite Covid’s disruption on business, Weber Shandwick Mexico has retained every client on its roster the Mexico City roster, a testament to its services and client relations. The year saw the lunch of United Minds, a global management consultancy which, in Latin America, focuses on internal communications and helping human resources departments navigate the complexities of health, vaccination and new work protocols. Additionally, the office offered more than 15 webinars to 700 clients and more than 20 reports and newsletters on changing behaviors due to Covid 19 and trends to help clients navigate the new media and business landscape. The year’s showcase work included ExxonMobil’s online workshops for mechanics whose businesses were hurt by the pandemic.
— Diana Marszalek
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