Dukas Linden Public Relations made the number-seven spot in O’Dwyer’s financial PR rankings this year, showing ample growth from $4.5 million in 2014 to $5.2 million last year.

DLPR Chairman & CEO Richard Dukas said the agency is a strong believer in creating value and securing consistent and stellar media coverage for clients.

Richard DukasRichard Dukas

“We have extremely high client and employee retention. On the client side, our philosophy boils down to one word: results,” said Dukas. “Our strategy ensures that all of our clients receive constant and close attention from our senior management team.”

O'Dwyer's May '16 PR Firm Rankings MagazineThis article is featured in O'Dwyer's May '16 PR Firm Rankings Magazine

Dukas told O’Dwyer’s that DLPR in 2015 secured approximately 650 broadcast appearances for its clients, the majority of which were on CNBC, Bloomberg and Fox Business.

“In addition to having very strong relationships with print/online journalists at both the institutional and retail media, DLPR has a very strong broadcast booking operation, which is extremely important to institutional asset managers who generally shun social media as a tool to communicate with clients and prospects,’ Dukas said.

Dukas also said earned media, which provides critical third-party validation, will continue to grow in importance to asset management firms.

“From a branding perspective, nothing speaks louder than a positive story in one of the major investing publications or a stellar interview on one of the top financial networks,” Dukas said.

Dukas also noted that many financial firms and asset managers continue having difficulty communicating their value proposition and differentiating themselves from their competitors.

“We see this trend continuing to grow,” Dukas said, “which means more opportunities for PR firms to help their clients develop messages and narratives that will resonate with their audiences. These clients also will continue to need significant media and presentation coaching.”

The focus on business impact

Prosek Partners pulled in an impressive $16 million in 2015 and took the number-four position in O’Dwyer’s financial PR rankings. Partner Mark Kollar said the agency’s growth can be attributed to several factors.

Mark KollarMark Kollar

“First and foremost, no matter the client or assignment, we maintain a steady focus on business impact,” Kollar said.

Kollar explained that the company focuses on how their ideas, long-term plan or project have a bottom-line impact on business.

“Our pledge to deliver unexpected solutions — whether those solutions are applied to developing a long-term campaign, launching a financial product or closing a transaction — allows us to execute on a creative level through our design group or core PR tactics through traditional and non-traditional channels.”

Kollar said finance PR has become more sophisticated, and is now adopting a more marketing-discipline-approach to PR, with integration at the core, currently playing catch up, so to speak, with the consumer side of business.

“This will continue and become even more and more critical as technology changes the way we communicate and divisions are blurred between branding, advertising and media,” he said.

Firms hit multiple marketing channels

Gregory FCA has worked to continue to stay abreast of current trends and how they impact clients. This is why the agency made the top 10 list of O’Dwyer’s financial PR rankings in 2015, netting more than $4.6 million.

“In 2015, we saw some significant new client relationships develop as a result of this effort combined with the emphasis on staying heavily involved in the financial industry,” said Gregory FCA President of Financial Services Joe Anthony. “Our work in several key verticals — with ETF issuers, with institutional asset management firms, with RIAs, within insurance, and within FinTech — has positioned us to take advantage of some of the fastest growing segments of financial services.”

Joe AnthonyJoe Anthony

“Integrated communications and PR strategy is now the new normal,” Anthony said. “PR, marketing, sales, and distribution all have to work together to respond nimbly to market opportunities. Furthermore, the way information is consumed is far more fragmented than ever before — the nightly news is no longer the venue of record to recap the day’s events. Financial PR will continue to have to work in real time to make sure target audiences are aware of brands and their stories.”

“Our firm was definitely fortunate to have grown at the rate we did in 2015,” said Elizabeth Sosnow, Managing Partner of Bliss Integrated Communications.

Bliss ranked number-nine in O’Dwyer’s financial PR rankings, with more than $4.3 million finance-related net fees in 2015. Sosnow said one big driver of growth for the agency began several years ago, when it took a deliberate step in expanding its service model to include earned, owned, paid and shared media in the marketing mix.

“It was a bet that has paid off for us, as clients are increasingly looking for a partner that can develop and implement programs that deliver results through the individual channels and tie back up into the global brand promise,” Sosnow said.

Sonsow said clients want a partner that can be involved in every aspect of their marketing plan, not just one component.

“That element wasn’t so much a prerequisite to engagement in 2010, but it is becoming a high priority among clients that we are engaged with today,” Sonsow said. “We have leaned fully into that trend, and haven’t looked back. The FinTech revolution in finance is bringing new players into the market and prompting existing firms to evolve their offering, as well as their approach to marketing.”