M&C Saatchi PR’s clear focus on their clients is demonstrated by their blended team approach: the right people with the right skills for each piece of work. Their clear and professional approach makes them trusted advisers and business consultants in addition to delivering PR solutions. They ask “what next?” for their clients and for the agency; ready for the future. Their focus on metrics and outcomes shone through and it was refreshing to hear about the future of the industry; that PR is so much more than just media coverage. They showed the incredible passion at the heart of the agency and are deserving winners.

Finalists:

  • Brands2Life
  • Cohn & Wolfe
  • Hotwire
  • Instinctif Partners

Entry:

Date of incorporation, number of employees – including executive / support staff – and annual fee income:

Incorporated: July 2010.

Staff: 120.

Annual fee income: £7.6M (2016).

 

Business objectives and analysis of performance against budget over the past three years:

Agency objective: A growing business with happy people, loyal clients and a great reputation.

Commercial objective: deliver 20% top and bottom line growth year on year.

2014:
Revenue: £4.2M Profit: £927k (YOY Revenue increase of 41% and Profit increase of 44%).

2015:
Revenue: £6.3M Profit: £1.2M (YOY Revenue increase of 51% and Profit increase of 34%).

2016:
Revenue: £7.6M Profit: £1.5M (YOY Revenue increase of 22% and Profit increase of 21%).

 

A brief overview of business / team strategy:

Our strategy is focussed on three areas: People, Product and Profit:

  • People: continue to attract, develop and retain the very best people in our industry
  • Product: to keep evolving our offer to meet the communication needs of modern brands
  • Profit: retain and grow our existing clients and win new ones.

Each of these strategic pillars has a measurable action plan.

 

A summary of commitment to CPD and professionalism:

The retention and growth of our people is a fundamental part of our business strategy. We invest more than £40k a year on training and development and we have also hired a talent manager who reports directly into the CEO.

There are three areas we focus on: Career plans, training and coaching.

Career plans:

Everyone in the agency has a career plan and a line manager. The career plan is based on 360 degree feedback and is developed in collaboration with the individual. As well as assessing the feedback, a set of career goals and objectives are agreed and set in January every year. There are monthly check-ins and a six month review to ensure that the individual is supported and progressing. This career planning has led, in a number of instances, to us creating brand new roles in the agency to accommodate the ambitions of our people. This programme led to 51 promotions across the business in 2016.

Training:

In 2016 we rolled out a new training programme, Intuition, the only one of its kind in the industry, that was created in partnership with the School of Communication Arts. This programme was developed to encourage and improve creativity and to help our people develop softer skills. Intuition includes sessions from guest speakers on subjects like ‘Finding Your Creative Flow’, ‘The Chimp Paradox’ and ‘Mindfulness’.

Intuition is supplemented with technical training from senior members of the M&C Saatchi PR team, leading figures from across the M&C Saatchi Group or the industry. These sessions cover strategy, influencer marketing, issues and crisis, client handling, finance and more. We also add training to the programme based on individual needs and encourage all members of the team to attend free events and training run by industry bodies and organisations.

Coaching:

One on one coaching is provided to the senior management team (CEO, MD, FD and four Heads Of) to help them transition into the role and continually develop. These coaches are selected individually based on the specific developmental needs of the person in question.

All of the training and coaching is linked to the career planning and progression.

 

A summary of recent outstanding achievements, including client list growth / retention:

In 2016 we retained over 90% of our clients and £7.5M of the 2017 revenue is forecast to come from the retention and growth of 2016 clients. Four of the agency’s five biggest clients: Currys PC World, EE, Peroni and Footlocker have been with the agency for five years or more.

In 2016, we successfully grew some of our key clients including moving from projects to retained status for Red Bull expanding the number of events and properties we work on, broadening our remit on Dixons Carphone unlocking new budgets for digital influencer work and extending beauty brand Nude by Nature across our European offices.

2016 was also a great year for new business. We won more than 25 new clients including The Financial Conduct Authority, EDF Energy, Bentley, Nissan, Alibaba, Made.com, The Financial Times, Ageas, Jacamo, Capcom (video game publisher for whom we launched Street Fighter and Resident Evil 7) and The Civil Aviation Authority.

We also launched Create in 2016, a new department that includes creatives, planners and designers. Their role is to promote and produce the best possible creative work from the agency. Working with all of the teams, ideas continue to come from every part of our agency. Campaigns developed with Create have already been shortlisted for a number of industry awards and most recently we won PR Week’s campaign of the month in January for our Resident Evil launch, an idea that was developed by Create.

 

A summary of a campaign you are particularly proud of, including details of the brief, objectives, strategy, tactics, outputs, outcomes and budget:

Objective:

Tasked with launching and driving registrations for Ageas’ new insurance brand, Back Me Up (BMU), M&C Saatchi PR needed to get millennials to engage with a topic they had no interest in.

Strategy:

The platform: Revolutionary Insurance.

  • Do what traditional insurers wouldn’t do
  • Say what traditional insurers wouldn’t say
  • Be seen where traditional insurers wouldn’t be seen.

Idea:

The UK’s first ever Stolen Goods Shop.

  • Stacked full of goods nicked from millennials, bought from auction houses specialising in police property disposal
  • Situated on Brick Lane; an area of high millennial footfall and London’s major pickpocketing and bike theft hotspot
  • Opened in November, when burglaries are at their highest annual peak
  • Teamed up with two influencers, internet celebrity Julius Dein and reformed burglar/TV star Richard Taylor to offer help, insight and advice
  • Staged an exclusive media preview
  • Open to public for four days
  • All profits went to charities nominated by target audience.

The opening was fully amplified to drive widespread coverage in news, lifestyle, digital and social media.

Results:

  • Stock sold out in 24 hours
  • £4,000 raised for charity
  • Over 3,000 visitors
  • 50 millennials queued at 8am on opening day
  • 170,000 views of Julius Dein’s Snapchat stories on launch night
  • 24 media attendees including BBC Click, Metro, Daily Telegraph, The Sun
  • 28 pieces of coverage
  • 52 million people reached
  • 80,000 website visitors, a 40% increase
  • More than 150 registrations.

Budget:

£55k (£10k fee, £45k costs).