Build to Sell

A Bill of Rights for PR Firms

By Matthew Schwartz

Overservicing among PR firms doesn’t simply mean working for nothing. It’s a lot more costly. That’s because when your firm starts to expand client services—without being adequately compensated—it has a negative effect on the rest of the operation. Indeed, the repercussions for overservicing can make a bad situation considerably worse. Perhaps more so any other …read more

Valuing Your PR Firm ‘As If’ It Were Your Home

By Rick Gould CPA, J.D.

Your home has been good to you. You have invested a chunk of money into sprucing it up throughout the years and the work has paid off nicely. You are ready to sell. As you brace for a sale you remember that tiny crack in the wall near your bedroom and some chips scattering the …read more

Making Sense of Your Balance Sheet

By Rick Gould CPA, J.D.

For many PR firm owners and C-suite executives it’s often considered the management equivalent of getting root canal: Reading their balance sheet. While a growing number of PR firm owners have gotten more comfortable with reading their balance sheet, there’s still a lot to be desired in terms of owners having a solid grasp for …read more

G+P Part-Time CFO Division Looks to Fill Void in PR

By Rick Gould CPA, J.D.

The positive reaction in the marketplace to our new Part Time CFO division has exceeded our expectations—and it’s little wonder. Gould+Partners launched the division because we see a huge void in the marketplace among PR firm owners to hire a CFO and get a better grip on their financial operations. Checklist for CFO Effectiveness and …read more

The Dramatically Changing PR Economy

By Matthew Schwartz

The financial onus on PR agency owners is growing like a weed. In an increasingly post-digital age, PR agency owners and C-suite executives face a dramatically changing business environment. These days the biggest challenges for agency owners and C-suite execs include whether to “build or buy,” and how to reinforce their firms financially. Those were …read more

The Plague of Overservicing

By Matthew Schwartz

Most business sectors suffer from overservicing—or working for nothing—but probably not nearly as bad as the public relations profession. Overservicing is a chronic PR problem, of course, and cost the industry precious revenue. Despite their best intentions PR firms of all sizes fail to push back when clients or prospects try to squeeze more work …read more

Benchmarking Report Shows Firm Profitability Declining 

By Rick Gould CPA, J.D.

We’ve just released our latest industry benchmarking study, and the overall results aren’t very pretty. Most troubling: The industry’s overall profitability keeps falling, down to 15.3 percent in 2015, compared with 16.2 percent in 2014 and 15.8 percent in 2013. It was 18.8 percent in 2012. The results are based on 106 firms reporting their …read more

3 Tips for Building Digital PR Agency

By Matthew Schwartz

When it comes to describing their digital media capabilities, many PR agency owners and managers are cocktail-party compliant. They talk about using Facebook or Twitter in their campaigns, content marketing or new blogs. Does that make the agencies digital? “They’re not truly digital in the best sense of the term,” said Don Bates, senior counselor, …read more

Why Break-up Fees Should Be the Norm in PR

By Rick Gould CPA, J.D.

A “break-up fee” is common on Wall Street if a seller or buyer backs out of a deal after considerable transaction costs and due diligence has been incurred. But for PR M&A deals gone awry? Not so much. A recent case in point regarding the breakup fee: Marriott’s potential acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts …read more

PR Agencies Through the Looking Glass

By Jennifer Casani

Similar to the nonsensical literary theme found in the 1871 sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the direction of the current economic landscape is quite distorted. It is only after completing Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass that the reader can make sense of the varied themes and plot devices. Unfortunately, people working in the …read more