2024 Technology Agencies of the Year, North America | PRovoke Media

2024 Technology PR Agencies of the Year

The 2024 North America PR Agencies of the Year are the result of an exhaustive research process involving more than 150 submissions and 50 meetings with the best PR firms across the US and Canada. 

Winners are unveiled at the North American SABRE Awards ceremony, taking place on 1 May at Cipriani Midtown. Tickets and tables are available here. Analysis of all winners and finalists across 13 categories can be accessed via the navigation menu to the right or here.

Separately, you can find the 2024 SABRE Awards North America finalists here.


Finalists

Axicom (WPP)

aoy-backstory-iconBackstory

In a year where the tech economy had its biggest downturn for more than a decade and specialist PR agencies were navigating very choppy waters, AxiCom and its team of self-proclaimed pirates, led by Americas president Lisa Sullivan in the US, won the sector’s biggest treasure: the coveted AMD account, previously held by Edelman. At a minimum of $7m in fees, it was the biggest global technology pitch for two years and a major proof point that the transformation of a small specialist agency into a global communications force for tech companies and brands with a tech story was complete. AxiCom’s mission is to combine technical expertise with data, insights, emotional intelligence and creativity to earn brands a place in business and culture, as well as helping its clients solve grand problems to advance business, people, and society. As well as expanding its creative, digital and content capabilities in 2023, the agency rolled out the Axis – a new way to pitch and think about clients and their goals. 

aoy-location-iconLocations

In the US, Axicom has offices in San Francisco, Austin and New York. It also has 120 employees in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. 

aoy-performance-iconPerformance

Under Americas president Lisa Sullivan, AxiCom’ US operation came into its own — playing a critical role in winning the coveted AMD account —  after lagging behind its European counterpart. After increasing revenue by 13% last year, it was a year of scale rather than growth for AxiCom, which still grew revenue by mid-single digits in 2023 across all its offices despite the challenging market. As well as winning the marquee AMD account after an eight-month pitch process, AxiCom picked up work from the likes of Lavazza, Talk Talk, Outbrain, Capgemini and Razer. These joined Sage, Orange, Kantar, OnePlus, Equinix, Whirlpool, Proofpoint, Juniper Networks, Experian and AWS on the agency’s client roster. 

aoy-people-iconPeople & Culture

In less than two years in the role, Americas president Lisa Sullivan has brought AxiCom’s North America operation up to par with its UK counterpart, playing a key role in the agency winning AMD’s lucrative global account —  the biggest tech pitch of the year —  unseating Edelman. Sullivan is supported by Brian Snyder, global president of digital, and senior VPs Jake Green and Mindy Nelson.  Last year the agency launched the AxiCom Culture Council, made up of employees across its global network to drive culture and DEI efforts, which include CultureAmp, global performance management platform to tackle bias using 360-degree feedback. The agency also has access to sister agency BCW’s Destination Diversity inclusion program. The agency extended the health and fitness benefit to general wellbeing. Axicom also reestablished AxiCom Management Team, offering growth, education and training opportunities across all levels on a quarterly basis, and invited experts to to host different management sessions, trainings and forums to continue education and strengthen skills. The agency also maintained Brake Day, a day for employees to focus on themselves in honor of former European CEO, Henry Brake, who died suddenly in 2020. 

aoy-leadership-iconThought Leadership & Work

AxiCom kicked off its work for AMD with a global storytelling campaign around the semiconductor giant’s ‘Advancing AI’ event, which led to 155 English language articles in 36 hours, including in the FT and Tech Radar. AMD's market cap jumped $20 billion in the aftermath. The team also set up a multi-country agency network for Sage – the agency’s big win of 2022 –  which was struggling with message and campaign activation consistency. Three weeks later, the eight agency teams had completed their first global campaign together. A year on, Sage continues to benefit from this global agency approach with established processes for sharing of information, briefing, campaign execution and measurement across earned and media relations both in the UK and in the US.

Maja Pawinska Sims Diana Marszalek

The Hoffman Agency (Independent)

aoy-backstory-iconBackstory

PRovoke Media’s 2023 Global Technology Agency of the Year, The Hoffman Agency is still very much a US firm despite making nearly twice as much money in Asia. The firm operates out of San Jose, California, where Lou Hoffman launched the company more than 30 years ago —  and still is the source of global business.  In that time, the firm has grown beyond its B2B technology roots to encompass consumer marketing and integrated communications, with a particularly strong bent towards startups and disruptors. 

aoy-location-iconLocations

Hoffman has offices in San Jose, California (HQ), Portland, Oregon and Boston as of 2023. 

aoy-performance-iconPerformance

Hoffman —  which has offices across Asia and Europe —  has been doubling down on its operation in the US, where most global remit decisions take place. While most tech agencies took hits last year due to volatility in the industry, Hoffman still grew its revenue 11%, accounting for $8.6 million of the agency’s $26.3 million in global revenue —  and that’s after eight startups eliminated their agency budgets and another two reduced them. Hoffman had a record Q4 on the new business front, and the year’s 16 new business wins added $3.4 million to its annual revenue. Diligent’s global remit, which previously belonged to Weber Shandwick, was among the year’s biggest wins. Georgia Tech’s engineering school also joined Hoffman’s client roster. New partners joined longtime clients including Nokia (11 years), Baidu (six years), City of Fremont (10 years), LAM Research (six years), Supermicro (six years) and TSMC (four years). Also in 2023, Hoffman  launched its Story Studio, putting content makers like writers, designers and freelancers under one umbrella.

aoy-people-iconPeople & Culture

Shortly into 2021, Hoffman made the wellbeing of its employees and workplace its No. 1 priority, leading to high retention rates. But when a September survey showed 23% of staff did not look forward to coming to work each day, Hoffman resolved the issue before it became damaging by restructuring its team so younger staff worked on no more than three accounts. The mood today is decidedly different. In the most recent employee survey, 86% of employees gave “I’m proud to be part of the agency” four or five stars on a five-star scale. Last year, Hoffman responded to staff feedback by adding $1,000 wellness and professional development stipends, extended parental leave, senior leaders “office hours,” and quarterly DEI training workshops. The firm also implemented salary transparency. By the close of 2023, 33% of staff (21 out of 64) represent the BIPOC community, up from 19% when the firm kicked off its DEI initiative in July 2020. Hoffman works with the California Community College system (70% of its 1.8 million students are BIPOC) to rally interest in a career in communications. The agency also runs an scholarship program for HBCU students. 

aoy-leadership-iconThought Leadership & Work

Our 2023 Global Technology Agency of the Year, Hoffman last year helped Lightship launch its all-electric travel trailer (and drive orders) without spending any money on paid media. Launching the campaign before SXSW instead of during it generated coverage by CNN, Motor Trend and the Verve, resulting in 702 preorders submitted on the Lightship website within 30 days of the launch, generating $87.7 million in booked revenue.  For Georgia Tech’s engineering school, Hoffman positioned the school against MIT and Caltech after extensive interviews with the campus community. The upshot: treating the school like a leading technology brand.

Diana Marszalek

Method Communications (Chime)

aoy-backstory-iconBackstory

PRovoke Media’s 2021 Technology Agency of the Year, Method has been challenging the Silicon Valley PR status quo for more than a decade. The firm is known as a go-to PR and marketing partner for high-growth challenger brands, as well as market leaders facing challenges of their own. Over two-thirds of its clients are billion-dollar brands and Method has notable experience with corporate financial transactions, including IPOs and SPACs. Since being acquired by Chime in 2018, Method is consistently the group’s top-performing firm.

aoy-location-iconLocations

Method has offices in Salt Lake City (HQ), San Francisco and New York.

aoy-performance-iconPerformance

Since being acquired by Chime in 2018, Method is consistently the group’s top-performing firm, registering $20 million in fee income in 2023. As tech firms reeled from volatility in the sector Method made gains last year; Analyst relations grew by more than 30%, and marketing content services grew by 5%. Method’s research team expanded to take on new types of projects, including more data analytics work and secondary research, growing the overall scope and offering. Client retention held steady at 70%, and the firm ended the year with more clients than it started with, with 25 new wins in Q4.New business came from Deel, Digital Ocean, Fortune, Genesys, Jasper and Oracle, which joined existing clients 1Password, BambooHR, Bloomberg, Commvault, Freshworks, Quicken and Synopsys. Last June, Method joined sister Chime agencies Harvard and Sling & Stone in launching the collective Outleap, which Method co-founder and CEO chairs. The firm also rolled out a concierge service program to ensure exceptional client service.

aoy-people-iconPeople & Culture

Founded by David Parkinson and Jacob Moon, Method is built around deep relationships and results-driven work. Central to the company culture is Method Matters More, an initiative that prioritizes employees with programs like Method from Anywhere, a no-questions-asked work from home policy. The program includes a professional development benefit with a $1,500 stipend for tuition, training, certifications and more, an annual wellness stipend, referral bonus awards, non-profit donation matches, pro-bono and low-bono work, and a climate change action with Method dedicated to becoming Net Zero. Being named #17 on Quartz’s list of Best Workplaces for Remote Workers was among 2023 achievements. The firm’s voluntary turnover rate remained below 10% for the second year in a row. Method’s targets include having a minimum of 20% BIPOC employees by 2025 and increasing POC on its leadership team to 20% by 2025. The firm expanded its applicant pool beyond tech to mitigate the sector’s historically homogeneous makeup. Method has a range of affinity groups and employee-led networks that facilitate an open platform to share perspectives. Each network is designed to educate & raise awareness, share resources, organize events and promote coordination across the agency’s global business.

aoy-leadership-iconThought Leadership & Work

Method’s work for Overstock.com continues to earn accolades, which in 2023 included the massive lift of supporting the company changing its name to Bed Bath & Beyond by buying the brand out of bankruptcy. Merging both brands’ customers could reap more than $1 billion in new revenue for Overstock. Once the deal was struck, Method rolled out a robust media relations program designed to quell the concerns of BB&B fans (like what would happen to those blue coupons) and help Overstock shed its reputation as a clearance center. The effort resulted in 245 broadcast hits and more than 400 articles, an increase in customer spending and stock prices going from $18 to $37.

Diana Marszalek

Mission North (Independent)

aoy-backstory-iconBackstory

Mission North was formally launched in 2020 when partners Tyler Perry and Bill Bourdon rebranded Bateman Group and took over the newly named shop as co-CEOs. Since then, Mission North has operated with a focus on helping its 50-plus mission-driving clients like Zoom and Recursion achieve their goals, from influencing the future of work to drug discovery, through impactful communications. 

aoy-location-iconLocations

Mission North has offices in Brooklyn and San Francisco.

aoy-performance-iconPerformance

Late last summer, Mission North had an impressively big win, when Zoom moved its business to the agency from a the much larger firm, Zeno. The video call platform was one of 22 new “mission-driven” clients that hired the agency in 2023 to tell “their important stories of innovation and transformation.” Others include Commonwealth Fusion Systems, LanzaTech, Mozilla Foundation, Portland General Electric and Rallybio, Mission North’s $23 million in revenue also came from existing clients like Betterment, Canva, Ginkgo Bioworks, Tenable and Upside Foods.

aoy-people-iconPeople & Culture

As a benefit corporation, Mission North is built around fostering good, which includes investing more than 2% of its profits and time to support nonprofits. Since launch in 2015, the firm has donated roughly $2 million in financial grants and pro bono services. Mission North prides itself on having a culture of “impact, innovation and curiosity” that draws and keeps top talent. Employee turnover in 2023 was 10%. Early last year, o-founder Tyler Perry launched an industrywide DEI program, Foster the Future, which calls on agencies to provide scholarships, stipends and paid internships to BICOP students interested in PR to participate in the educational component of the program. Mission North benchmarks its own progress around diversity & inclusion. Last year’s metrics showed 80% of employees feel like they belong and 90% feel connected to the agency’s mission, vision and values. An employee Advisory Group includes a diverse group of staffers who act as a sounding board on leadership decisions, guide program introduction and identify issues that warrant attention.

aoy-leadership-iconThought Leadership & Work

As a tech-focused firm, much of Mission North’s 2023 revolved around AI —  and what clients were going to do with it. While addressing its first charge —  making Canva seem accessible versus the likes of Adobe, Google and Microsoft— the agency also unveiled the company’s strategy of embracing AI as the largest tech development in design since the personal computer. The agency launched a campaign to diffuse trepidation around using AI that included storytelling and visual communications centered on humans, not technology. Mission North led more than 15 product launches, produced  research series examining AI's role in today’s visual workplace and elevated Canva executives as thought leaders via high-profile cover stories, op-eds and keynotes. The effort paid off. Canva today has more than 150 million users, 65 million of which joined in the last year.

Diana Marszalek

PAN Communications (Independent)

aoy-backstory-iconBackstory

Launched by Phil Nardone in 1995, PAN’s focus on integrated marketing has underpinned its continued innovation in a technology category that can sometimes appear overly enamoured with media relations — particularly as the firm has broadened its capabilities beyond B2B technology into such areas as digital health, fintech, and professional services. The focus remains on B2B brands, but PAN now brings deep storytelling capabilities that span the funnel and often result in the firm growing its mandates beyond earned media into marketing and brand purpose programs. And that mindset, which the firm dubs ‘We Move Ideas’, is applied as much internally as externally, resulting in a culture that has built a consistent ability to address challenges and capitalise on opportunities before they present themselves. 

aoy-location-iconLocations

PAN’s 165+ employees have the option to work remotely or in collaborative office hubs in Boston (HQ), San Francisco, New York, Orlando, and the firm’s UK and global base in London. 


aoy-performance-iconPerformance

Amid a highly challenging climate for tech companies, PAN’s fee income declined 10% in 2023 to around $28m. There was still $5m worth of new business across 29 clients, including Genpact as the firm’s $1m client, and other names such as Coder, ExtraHop, Korber, MIT Solve, Toloka AI, Bullhorn, Vercara and Venti. These companies join an existing client roster that features IDE Technologies, Quanteriz, Bazaarvoice, Flexential, Veeam, Booz Allen, Brightly and CivicPlus. Organic growth was driven largely by earned media, social media and content marketing, while the firm’s early adoption of AI has helped it land numerous clients in this space. 

aoy-people-iconPeople & Culture

Phil Nardone is supported by a leadership team that features CMO Mark Nardone, chief of integrated marketing and strategy Megan Kessler, PANtelligence head Lauren Kaufman, and Adam Novak. PAN’s commitment to DEI has seen a 18% increase in BIPOC representation among employees since 2021, now accounting for 20% of all staff and 30% of hires. The firm partners with multicultural firm Flowers Communications to evaluate DEI progress, supported by an ERG and various internal and external initiatives. In terms of workplace culture, PAN’s focus on is on belonging, education and communication, and includes a fully flexible working model, along with paid sabbaticals, longterm service bonuses, and generous parental leave. 

aoy-leadership-iconThought Leadership & Work

PAN’s focus on innovation is perhaps best exemplified by its early adoption of generative AI, which includes a popular annual report and thought leadership series developed by its AI taskforce. The firm is also gearing up to launch PANtelligence, an analytics platform that connects marketing with revenue impact for B2B audiences. Campaign highlights include SABRE-nominated work for Venti, Qualtrics and Jobber.

Arun Sudhaman