2024 New Consultancies of the Year | PRovoke Media

2024 New Consultancies of the Year

The 2024 EMEA PR Consultancies of the Year are the result of an exhaustive research process involving more than 200 submissions and meetings with the best PR firms across the UK, Europe the Middle East and Africa. Analysis of each of the Winners and finalists across 20 geographic and specialist categories can be accessed via the navigation menu to the right or below. Winners are unveiled at the 2024 EMEA SABRE Awards, which take place in London on 17 April. Tickets and tables are available here.

You can find the 2024 SABRE Awards EMEA finalists here.

Finalists

Delphi (UK/Independent)

aoy-backstory-iconBackstory

Delphi was set up in May last year by three former Harvard leaders: Ellie Thompson, Louie St Claire, and Pete Marcus. Harvard chairman St Claire, planning and strategy lead Marcus and CEO Thompson all joined Harvard in 2011 when it was a £1.1m, 11-person technology PR agency, and grew it to a £10m marketing and PR agency with a team of more than 100. From a blank sheet of paper for their new venture, the highly knowledgeable, warm and empathetic trio have created a fresh proposition: building better tech businesses by helping clients harness communications as a competitive advantage, whether through transforming structures, updating their story, coaching leadership, or better responding to outside forces. The agency aims to provide the right answer through a 360-audit process, Town Square, which identifies needs, challenges and adjustments, and has nurtured industry partnerships to help deliver to clients, from pitching alongside Hope & Glory to running diversity courses with BME PR Pros.

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Delphi is based in the UK and has clients around the world, including in Southeast Asia and the US. 

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Launching a tech agency at the height of the biggest tech downturn in recent memory, amid layoffs and frozen VC funding, wasn’t ideal, but the team’s entrepreneurial hustle has paid off. From a humble £30,000 initial investment, Delphi generated revenue of over £300,000 in its first seven months, and is on track for £700,000 in its first calendar year. The agency picked up 10 clients in 2023, with the team’s work for each – reporting to the CEO or CMO in all cases – underlining the breadth of its services, from brand strategy, positioning and thought leadership, to ESG consultancy and creative communications. Delphi’s roster includes billion-dollar business payments company Bottomline; FTSE-250 automotive brand Inchcape; global cybersecurity unicorns Netskope and Arctic Wolf; global voice telecoms provider Wavecrest; augmented reality scale-up Zappar; fintech scale-up Floww; and secure customer engagement company Eckoh.

aoy-people-iconPeople & Culture

While the three founders still work across all elements of the business, Thompson focuses on client service, St Claire is responsible for growth and business development, and Marcus is focused on client strategy and planning. Rather than seeing culture as something to think about when the agency is bigger, the team embedded their values into the business from the start, ensuring the new dynamics of their enduring working relationship and friendship remain fresh and fun. They have hired an executive coach to cover areas such as conflict resolution, interpersonal communications, delivering feedback and aligning ambitions. The leaders are also committed to personal growth: Marcus is currently completing an MSc at Oxford in the Social Science of the Internet; Thompson is embarking on the Mark Ritson mini-MBA in marketing; and St Claire is working with a coach to hone Delphi’s own executive coaching proposition. The trio have also carried over their notable commitment to DEI from Harvard days, delivering an authentic leadership course for the 2023/24 cohort of the BME Pros XEC leadership programme, sponsoring the BME PR Pros awards, and providing pro-bono coaching for aspiring female comms leaders. They have also started the process of becoming a B Corp. 

aoy-leadership-iconThought Leadership & Work

Delphi launched with a piece of qualitative thought leadership research, ‘Comms as a Competitive Advantage’, which looked at the four reasons why the current comms model is under pressure, via in-depth interviews with 20 communications leaders. This was used to underpin Delphi’s proposition in early prospect meetings and as content for a series of Dine with Delphi events which connected the team with more than 60 prospects. Delphi Digest is a weekly newsletter on everything that matters in technology. The agency’s early work has already been transformational for clients: for payments company Bottomline, Delphi worked with the CEO and CMO to develop a new brand platform – ‘Better Payments, Bigger Results’ – and unifying messaging as the basis of all marketing and PR activity for next three years – the time horizon for a liquidity event. The team also helped Inchcape Asia’s board to convince a risk-averse UK plc to maintain investment in the region as it moves to electric vehicles, and for augmented reality innovator Zappar, Delphi launched accessible QR codes to introduce AI-assisted cooking for blind and low-vision shoppers, in conjunction with Unilever and the RNIB. 

Maja Pawinska Sims

The Flywheelers (UK/Independent) 

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A heavy flywheel builds momentum with each push, underpinning The Flywheelers’ approach to developing client brands. The new UK firm is underpinned by a unique subscription model, that gives high-growth tech clients the ability to customise their agency support across a combination of  PR, content marketing, and digital services. Led by Kate Baldwin, the Flywheelers focuses primarily on technology-based clients.

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The Flywheelers is based in the UK.

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In 2023, fee income rose substantially to to £604k, compared to £96k in 2022, while the agency doubled its workforce from 3 to 6 full-time PR professionals and added 21 new clients, including AeroCloud, Pathway, 13books Capital, RTP Global, and WeArisma. The Flywheelers also retained key clients like Tamr, QuMind, and Artificial Solutions. 

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The Flywheelers have shown a significant commitment to diversity and inclusion, with 22% of their team members in 2023 coming from a BAME background and 22% with learning difficulties, and a board that is 66% female. The agency's culture is further enhanced by hybrid working, and dedicated training, including for unconscious bias.  

aoy-leadership-iconThought Leadership & Work

Thought leadership activity includes the launch of sector and persona-focused campaigns that span such areas as cybersecurity and tech investment. The firm also launched a brand narrative consultancy service, helping to secure a series of successful client projects. 

Arun Sudhaman

The Heard (UK/Independent) 

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After a career at big PR firms, Roxy Kalha launched her own firm last year because she feared “PR has lost its way” by not listening to clients, losing sight of briefs and ignoring audiences along the way. So if there’s one thing that The Heard strives to do better than any other agency, it’s listening to brands as a means of delivering on-the-mark creative campaigns that resonate with consumers and meet client goals. The agency is so keen on that concept that onboarding new hires includes training to learn how to listen. The result: Heard beat its 2003 expectations by ending the year with £400,000 in revenue, six employees and clients including Breast Cancer Now, the UK’s largest breast cancer charity.

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The Heard operates in the UK.

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The Heard went from zero to £405,00 during its first year in business with double-digit profit in the bank and grew to a staff of six. Having topped its goals, the agency is forecasting £1million in revenue for 2024. The Heard won a global brand’s business in the UK and Sweden despite competition from a top-three networked agency. The firm’s pitch strike rate is 90%, enabling Heard to build a roster of clients including Our approach has already led us to win clients like W Hotels, Breast Cancer Now, Edinburgh Gin, Rudy’s Pizza, Gordon Ramsay Wines, Ellers Farm Distillery and Brixton Village, Brewgooder, Ancient + Brave collagen. The Heard’s latest work for Ellers Farm Distillery garnered 100+ coverage spots, reaching more than three million people.  

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Founder Roxy Kalha started The Heard after working as a Romans MD, tasked with creating an ambitious growth strategy and then delivering it to land double digit growth in 12 months. She took the agency from 20 people to 60 in 18 months, doubled profits and created and led the agency's DE&I policies and practices. She is supported by senior account director  Naomi Walsh, who came from Hunt & Gather PR where she led the Amazon press office as her key account.  Senior account manager Lily Nelson’s PR feats include a three-day townhouse takeover for Cointreau in London’s Soho before joining The Heard. Senior account executive Michaila Otoo joined from Hunt & Gather as well. Of Heard’s six full-time employees and four part-time, 30% are an ethnic minority, 10% identify as LGBTQI+ and 10% aren’t university educated. The team is 80% female, 20% male.

aoy-leadership-iconThought Leadership & Work

During its first year in business, Heard helped Breast Cancer Now, the UK’s largest breast cancer charity, overhaul its influencer, celebrity and community strategy. After extensive talks with the client teams, Heard built a singular cohesive strategy and created new frameworks for approaching, maintaining, tracking, assessing and growing relationships. The strategy recently rolled out across the organisation, this now serves as a blueprint for all engagement work at Breast Cancer Now, whether nano-influencers or celebrities. Other key work included supporting the launches of the W Budapest and Dutch Barn Orchard Vodka’s ‘Rediscover Vodka’ platform.

Diana Marszalek

The Tilton Consultancy (UK/Independent) 

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Founded by ex-in house and agency leader Jon Chandler, the Tilton Consultancy aims to provide strategic expertise to global leadership and corporate affairs teams across reputation, ESG and commercial goals. The firm has aimed to bring in senior-level counsel to support its efforts, and also derives 90% of its revenue from HQs outside the UK. 

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The Tilton Consultancy is based in the UK but also works across Germany, Finland, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, US, Spain, Poland, Azerbaijan, and UAE.

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Fee income more than doubled in 2023 to £1.3m, with headcount reaching the double figures.  
The agency's client portfolio includes major companies such as Unilever, UPM, Vestergaard, Virgin Money, and Celonis, with new additions such as The Coca-Cola Company, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, 2G Energy, People Plus, Unicef and Neqsol. 

aoy-people-iconPeople & Culture

In addition to Chandler, who previously led international in-house teams at Coca-Cola, British Airways and Caterpillar, key leaders include chief strategy officer Gauri Mahtani and global comms director Radha Ahlstrom-Vij. Accordingly, the firm’s leadership team is 2/3 South Asian and 2/3 female, reflecting a focus on working mothers and digital nomads, particularly those that are passionate about social and environmental change. 

aoy-leadership-iconThought Leadership & Work

The Tilton Consultancy aims to work with clients that are committed to transformational change in their industry, specifically in terms of UN SDG targets. The firm partners with Central St Martins’ innovation management team to explore sustainability strategies and engage its client community. The firm’s partnership with UPM embodies this approach — supporting the commercial paper business with its sustainability and commercial agenda, the UPM Biofuels operation and its new UPM Biochemicals venture, which included a partnership with Central St Martins to determine how brands and designers can immediately exit fossil-based materials. Other campaign highlights include Vestergaard's "Billion Nets, Billion Steps" campaign, shaping Virgin Money's proposition for "next gen banking," partnering with Unilever's food division for regenerative agriculture, and supporting Coca-Cola in Europe to advance its "World Without Waste" programme. 

Arun Sudhaman