Winner: Carmichael Lynch Spong
Doug Spong, founder of Carmichael Lynch Spong, often reminds his staff of 200+ that the sun never sets on “Spong Nation.” Even in a tough economy, the Minneapolis-based PR firm (with offices in New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Denver) reached a number of milestones in 2009, including adding $1.5 million worth of new business and being named a leader in corporate social responsibility.
On the eve of its 20th anniversary, CLS has achieved impressive consistency over the years, with an 18% compounded annual growth rate, regular inclusion on best places to work lists and an impressive list of blue-chip clients. The agency focuses on three practice areas: brand marketing for top U.S. brands; corporate reputation for mid- to large-cap public companies; and B2B initiatives for category leading organizations. Prominent clients within these areas include American Standard, Cargill, Martek Biosciences, Sherwin-Williams and Therma-Tru, among others.
Last year the CLS distinguished itself as an environmental leader among agencies nationwide. A CLS Green Team has helped establish recycling programs and environmentally friendly work spaces. Its Midwest agency was the first to move to 100% wind-sourced power.
Makovsky + Company:
The NYC-based agency credits its 29 client wins and 80% retention rate in 2009 in large part to a number of employee programs that promote workplace values.
Its new Message in Motion strategy integrated all the agency’s service offerings with target audience needs, resulting in more compelling content for clients and more business for Peppercom.
The agency had more than 100 new client wins in 2009 and into 2010, including BMW, Volkswagen of America and Pfizer.
The agency launched Qorvis Fellowship program in 2009, which encourages employees to take academic courses that will further their communications careers.