World Report 2015 Fast Movers | Holmes Report

US, UK Firms Dominate Fast Movers

By Aarti Shah

Rankings: Top 10 | Top 250 | Fast Movers | Holding Groups/Networks
Analysis: Growth | Gender | CEO View

Research: OptimismOpportunities | Challenges

For the second consecutive year, firms from the US and UK had the strongest showing on the global fast movers ranking. Even so, two agencies from Russia took the top spot: Motiv Communications grew a staggering 491% to $13.8m and Sobytie Communications boomed 210% to $10.1m.

Among the UK-based firms, Hope & Glory made its debut on the global list growing 87% to nearly $4m. Meanwhile, Newgate made its third consecutive appearance with remarkable growth — especially considering its size: 81% to $21.5m. Firstlight PR and Manifest London rounded out the UK showing — each with around 57% growth putting them just over $2m.

Interestingly, most of the US firms on the global fast movers ranking have a West Coast bent. Healthcare firm ReviveHealth grew nearly 66% to $8.8m (the firm is headquartered in Nashville but maintains operations just north of Los Angeles). The rest of the US are all San Francisco-based — riding a tech wave that has been especially kind to the PR industry. Reputation powerhouse Singer Associates grew 62% to nearly $11m; tech agencies BOCA expanded 57% to $3.3m and Bateman Group jumped 52% to $6.7m.

Because rapid growth tends to favor boutiques, for the first time this year, the Holmes Report isolated those agencies over $30m. In this category, China-based Blue Focus flew to the top with 45% growth to $179.2m, followed by Russia-based Mikhailov & Partners that grew 39% to $32.1m. The remainder of the top 10 were UK and US-based firms reinforcing that — in most cases — when it comes to growing beyond a certain point, the mature markets are where the opportunities still lie.

Breaking it down by region, the UK firms that made the cut tended to be of the new wave of PR that’s big idea driven with more digital and content leanings (Hope & Glory, Manifest London, M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment, W Communications, Four Communications, Seven Hills, TVC Group and We Are Social); the remaining consultancies (Newgate and firstlight PR) sit in the reputation and issues arena.

When looking closer at the US, the technology and West Coast tilt becomes more pronounced. Among the top 10, seven are either based on the West Coast or primarily technology firms (Singer Associates, BOCA Communications, Bateman Group, InkHouse, Konnect PR, Highwire and ROI Communications). While Silicon Valley’s good fortune has meant overflowing pipelines for PR, more recently the sky-high valuations and relatively easy money have some PR firms bracing for an inevitable correction. But for now, West Coast PR firms are riding the wave. The others on the list are the healthcare darling Revive Health, corporate reputation shop Levick and Ken Luce’s LDWW.

In Asia-Pac, Blue Focus landed on top with its 45% growth, followed by South Korea-based Prain Global at 41% reaching to nearly $28m. Among the boutiques, the list had a few heavyhitters: the India-based Adfactors (16% to $19.1m), Japan-based PRAP (8% to $40m) and Vector (8% to $67m). Meanwhile, all of the top 10 fast movers in Europe saw double-digit growth — or more — with two firms based in Russia growing more than 100%. 

Rankings: Top 10 | Top 250 | Fast Movers | Holding Groups/Networks
Analysis: Growth | Gender | CEO View
Research: OptimismOpportunities | Challenges

World Report 2015 Fast Movers

Above $30M

AgencyHQGrowth (Constant Currency)Fee Income 2014 ($)
BlueFocus (BlueDigital)China45.3%179,214,216
Mikhailov & PartnersRussia39.4%32,119,953
Lewis PRUK34.7%61,700,000
Global Strategy GroupUSA29.5%32,378,000
We Are SocialUK29.1%49,000,000
Blue RubiconUK26.7%34,000,000
Finn PartnersUSA19.0%52,796,000
Ruder Finn, Inc.USA16.8%73,891,000


AgencyHQGrowth (Constant Currency)Fee Income 2014 ($)
Motiv Communication
Sobytie CommunicationsRussia209.8%10,135,060
Newgate CommunicationsUK81.2%21,548,516
Singer AssociatesUSA61.7%10,766,223
firstlight Public RelationsUK57.3%2,294,760
BOCA CommunicationsUSA57.0%3,319,894
Manifest LondonUK56.9%2,202,720
Bateman Group


AgencyGrowth (Constant Currency)Fee Income 2014 ($)
Newgate Communications81.2%21,548,516
firstlight Public Relations57.3%2,294,760
Manifest London56.9%2,202,720
M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment45.8%10,920,000
W Communications44.8%5,265,000
Four Communications Group plc37.4%27,096,088
Seven Hills33.8%5,029,569
TVC Group32.3%13,416,000
We Are Social29.1%49,000,000


AgencyGrowth (Constant Currency)Fee Income 2014 ($)
Singer Associates61.7%10,766,223
BOCA Communications57.0%3,319,894
Bateman Group52.3%6,700,000
Levick Strategic Communications40.4%17,231,616
Konnect Public Relations 37.9%3,229,239
ROI Communication35.7%13,001,553


AgencyGrowth (Constant Currency)Fee Income 2014 ($)
BlueFocus (BlueDigital)
Prain Global40.7%27,996,389
Rice Communications Pte Ltd30.9%1,967,151
Avian Media Pvt. Ltd20.2%2,970,000
Adfactors PR16.3%19,100,000
Fortune PR12.9%2,555,920
Creative Crest10.0%5,185,000
PRAP Japan, Inc.8.1%40,000,000
Vector Inc.8.1%67,000,000


AgencyGrowth (Constant Currency)Fee Income 2014 ($)
Motiv Communication 491.3%13,827,375
Sobytie Communications 209.8%10,135,060
Iteo Consulting42.9%2,420,000
Oliver Schrott Kommunikation30.5%24,006,400
Trigger Oslo26.5%4,448,354
De Issuemakers BV21.8%2,300,228
Llorente & Cuenca18.4%29,538,874