2010 Platinum PR Awards: Firms of the Year (Small)

Winner: Lambert, Edwards & Associates

Founded 12 years ago as a public relations and investor relations agency, Lambert, Edwards & Associates has morphed into a full-service PR firm that knows the technical aspects of investor relations inside and out. The integrated approach has resonated with the marketplace, helping LE&A to serve clients in 20 states and five countries, and propelling record sales for 11 consecutive years. The LE&A’s acquisition last year of the communications firm John Bailey & Associates added 50% to 2009 revenue, on top of the agency’s 6% organic growth.
In 2009 LE&A implemented effective campaigns for a number of clients, including a cross-country RV tour for Zondervan, the world’s largest bible publisher; event PR for longtime client, the North American Auto Show; and the launch of “Movers for Moms” charitable campaign on behalf of moving company Two Men and a Truck, among other efforts.
LE&A President Jeff Lambert is a strong believer in fostering productive and happy employees. Team building initiatives abound, including weekend ski trips, an “LE&A Day of Fun,” and a four-day Survivor-themed trip to Cancun. It’s investment like this that contributed to less than 5% employee turnover in 2009.

Winner: Warschawski

Bolstering a client lineup that includes W.L. Gore, maker of Gore-Tex and the country of Norway, Warschawski added 14 new clients in 2009, including sports apparel maker New Balance and Verizon Wireless
That kind of external success helped continue a mandate of providing Warschawski employees with a nurturing and rewarding work environment. In 2009, all team members received raises between 8% and 15%, most were promoted and none were laid off due to the economy.
Agency founder David Warschawski believes in providing a “thrilling” work environment. Team members go on monthly half-day outings where they have taken a hip-hop class, played laser tag or participated in a murder mystery game. Those kinds of activities are also offered to the community—last year the team held a Bowl-A-Thon for the Boys and Girls Club.
Professional development is also a key component of the agency’s offerings. Warschawski University is held on a quarterly basis and covers topics identified by team members, while design and digital media experts send out tips on the latest trends and hot topics.
Honorable Mentions:
Adfero Group:
A strong mix of traditional and digital PR tactics helped power Adfero to a 78% new client win rate in 2009. With the National Press Club, the D.C.-based agency launched Get PR Smart professional development series for PR pros.
Alpaytac Inc.:
The agency engineered a highly successful launch of the Shark Team Mop for client Euro-Pro, which resulted in the company garnering 90% of the steam cleaning market.
The Conroy Martinez Group:
Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Conroy help spark longtime client Cirque du Soleil to record-breaking ticket sales across the state of Florida.
Henson Consulting:
In 2009, Chicago-based Henson Consulting launched a national consumer nutrition education and awareness campaign for the Western Pistachio Association that has drawn more than 80,000 page views to date.
Linhart Public Relations:
Denver-based Linhart PR last year invested more than $3,000 per employee for professional development.
Merritt Group:
The agency last year ramped up a Cleantech practice group, and expanded its portfolio of services to include marketing communications.
Schnake Turnbo Frank │ PR:

Schnake’s chairman and CEO Becky Frank is a big believer in community outreach for this Tulsa, Okla.-based agency, engineering programs for a variety of clients in the state and elsewhere.

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