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The 2022 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.
The world’s largest public relations firm, and the only independent, family-owned firm in the top tier, Edelman was founded in Chicago in 1952 and has grown to become a global powerhouse, best known for its work in the consumer realm, but with thriving corporate and public affairs practices and—in recent years—one of the most formidable digital and creative offerings in the business. Its Latin American operations, launched in 1994 and offer a full suite of services and picked up our regional Consultancy of the Year award last year.
Edelman was later to develop its reach in Latin America than some of its publicly-owned competitors, but has nevertheless built an impressive network that includes owned offices in Argentina, Brazil (São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro), Colombia, and Mexico (as well as its Miami office, which hubs some of its regional work) and affiliates in Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay and Central America.
Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, economic crisis and political uncertainties, Edelman’s Brazilian operation was one of its top performers in 2021, with revenues up by 40% to around $10.5 million. In addition to running multimarket client programs out of its Brazilian operations, Edelman has in-market expertise in data and intelligence, strategy and planning and creative and digital, allowing it to offer integrated campaigns to both corporate and consumer clients. The firm also launched its Global Advistoy offer in Brazil, offering a geopolitical perspective on public affairs to clients such as GSK, Meta/Facebook and Cabot.
A range of internal programs aimed at increasing health and wellness, professional development and mentoring, and diversity and inclusion have strengthened the firm’s relationship with employees, as did that fact that it was able to offer 36 promotions during the past 12 months when it came time to return to offices after the two-year lockdown, the firm allowed employees to make their own decisions, offering a range of flexible options. The firm now has 230 people in Brazil, led by general manager, Ana Julião, supported by vice-presidents Marcília Ursini (consumer) and Natalia Martinez (corporate) with new hires expanding the firm’s digital and creative capabilities.
Edelman’s flagship Trust Barometer research expanded to include Latin America several years ago, and 2021 saw seven separate reports that included data from the Brazilian market covering topics from climate change to activist employees to Covid-19 and the return to offices. High profile client work, meanwhile, included the award-winning WhattaHellmann’s campaign, engaging Millennials through a digital campaign positioning the product as the “real mayonnaise” to the Talking Inspires Life 2 initiative for pharma giant Janssen, which turned the patient journey into a 2D game to raise awareness of distinct types of depression. The firm also partnered with the Mexican office to help LinkedIn connect with employees throughout the pandemic.
— Paul Holmes
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. In addition to flagship agency FSB Comunicação, the group included two additional PR firms—Loures Consultoria and Giusti Comunicação—digital consultancy F5 Business Growth; research institute Instituto FSB Pesquisa; and digital news portal Bússola.
FSB employs close to 500 professionals across three Brazilian offices in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Brasília.
Growth of around 20% saw FSB close out last year with fee income in excess of $58 million, making it the 44th largest firm in our global rankings, and the largest firm headquartered in Latin America. Key clients include Banco BTG Pactual, JBS, Cosan, L’Oréal, Huawei, McKinsey, the National Confederation of Industries (CNI), Brazilian Institute of Oil & Gas (IBP), and the Government of the State of Rio de Janeiro Ministry of Infrastructre/ There was new business, meanwhile, from the Brazilian Association of Food Industries (Abia), Acelen, AON, CMOC, Cobasi, Coty, Fesa, Hotmart Hidrovias do Brasil, and Tegra.
With employees working from home last year, FSB invested heavily in online meetings, professional development, and employee well-being, and for 2022 the firm has established a diversity and inclusion plan, with specific budget and a working group focused on promoting greater diversity and inclusion in its agencies. The leadership team is among the strongest in the market, including Francisco Soares Brandão, founding partner;. Marcos Trindade, CEO; Alexandre Loures, founder of Loures Consultoria and partner at Grupo FSB; and partners Flavio Castro. Grabriela Wolthers.
FSB has long been known as a leader in corporate and public affairs and crisis management, but recent years have seen the expansion of its digital capabilities, with new offerings in 2021 including digital strategy consulting imder the F5 Business Growth banner. The firm also expanded its offer to expand ESG consulting. Bússola, a news portal in partnership with Exame magazine, serves as a platform for FSB to communicate about its work, the public relations business in general, and for discussion of issues related to business and society more broadly. As for client work, FSB partnered with Huawei on its first advertising campaign in Brazil, supported Roku on its sponsorship of the Brazilian soccer team, and worked with Minerva Foods to communicate the company’s ESG strategy.
— Paul Holmes
InPress was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1988, when two journalists — Kiki Moretti and Ivandel Godinho — launched the firm to raise the bar for storytelling while promoting public discourse on key issues. In the 34 years since (which included Porter Novelli buying a minority stake in the business in 2014) InPress has been in continual growth mode, evolving at last count into a 409-person, $31 million business with operations in four Brazilian cities. McDonald’s and Unilever are among the agency’s blue chip clients.
InPress Porter Novelli is based in Brazil with offices in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and Brasília.
InPress Porter Novelli has made a habit of growing year-after-year, and 2021 was no different. The agency registered $31.2 million in fee income last year — close to a 35% lift over 2020. InPress grew its team from 380 to 409 to serve new business from Henkel, CCR, BB Seguros, Cisco, Yara, AWS and| TV Globo, which joined existing clients like Claro, McDonald’s, Unilever, Fundação Renova and Roche. In response to today’s volatility, InPress over the last year put a greater emphasis on offering clients political, economic, and social analysis to inform decisions. The agency also adopted a new work model that pairs sector specialists and clients for communications services. Teams in areas like planning, creativity, data & analytics and digital provide support.
InPress launched its D&I program in early 2020, and since then has carried out an internal diversity census to get to know employees and outline DEI strategies and goals. Those include a series of initiatives — lectures, informational content and leadership training among them — addressing race and gender equity and the promoting health and well-being of employees. Currently, 69% of InPress workforce are women and 73% of of leadership positions are held by women; 20% of employees are Black. InPress, though, is actively trying to fast-track racial equity, and, in turn, has changed recruitment practices, which now include working with consultants on filling vacancies with diverse candidates. 25% of new hires must be Black. The firm has also launched a career acceleration program for Black employees already with the company.
InPress has taken a leadership role in breaking the stigma of addressing mental health in the workplace. The agency worked with the UN on launching the #Menteemfoco movement, an initiative created to support employees with mental illness and raise awareness of the issue. Other highlights include creating the EY Newswire to get the professional services’ experts in front of journalists.
A campaign for BioMarin on achondroplasia was designed to raise awareness of the condition and show what living with dwarfism is really like using a 360-degree virtual experience.
— Diana Marszalek
Pedro Cadina launched Vianews in 1985, creating a firm now active across Latin America. In 2016, Vianews became Hotwire’s official LatAm partner, facilitating the tech agency’s work throughout the region. The firm specializes in serving the technology, financial and telecom sectors with offerings in public relations, content marketing and digital marketing.
Vianews is based in São Paulo, Brazil and is also active in Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile.
Now in its 37th year, Vianews continues its upward trajectory, having registered a 20% rise in revenue (in Brazilian real) in 2021 over the previous year. That lift reflects a string of new business wins from Monkey Exchange, Vigor, Capterra, HCL, Synnex, Semantix, Arker, Social Digital Commerce, which join existing clients including Zoom, Meta (DOW, Softtek, Nextracker, Arqia, Telcomp, UM Telecom, ConnectoWay, and Banco ABC Brasil. The firm followed up by adding another three new clients at the start of 2022. Backed by a staff of 53 (up from roughly 45 in 2021), and serving about 20 clients a year, Vianews is actively hiring in the US with an eye on business in the States.
2021 saw Vianews doubling down on its commitment to promoting DEI, an effort formalized in 2020 with the creation of a committee that has monthly meetings, produces newsletters, hosts online events featuring speakers addressing issues like LGBTQ and racial equality, women’s empowerment and more. The firm simultaneously is developing policies designed to solidify it as a safe and inclusive workplace.Founder and CEO Pedro Cadina is still running the agency he launched in 37 years ago, with an executive team including COO Estela Bernardes, business development head Gabriel Perri, and digital head Juliana Frutuoso. The year’s major hires include PR head Julia Barroso and brand marketing coordinator Gabriele Pinho.
Vianews is a regional leader in technology, financial and telecom sectors, and rather than spread itself unsustainably thin, the agency focusses its offerings around three primary services: PR, content marketing and digital marketing. Which doesn’t mean the firm is staid. In 2021, Vianews launched a new offering focused on innovation and new projects, building on the new services
In social selling marketing, account-based marketing and outbound marketing the previous year.
The year’s hallmark work included the firm’s SABRE Award-winning B2B campaign for Fortics and tech sector campaign for McAfee.
— Diana Marszalek
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