2014 Platinum PR Awards: PR Firm of the Year Small (Billings Below $10M)

Winner: Henson Consulting - Rises to Top Chicago Boutique Agency

Henson Consulting gives as good as it gets. Last year, the Chicago-based PR agency developed a video—tongue-firmly-tucked-in-cheek—for local favorite Giordano’s Pizza. The video, which was created in response to Jon Stewart’s “rant” against deep-dish pizza, has so far garnered more than 62,000 views.

Creating a snappy (and popular) video was just one notable achievement for Henson in 2013. The agency, which started in founder Kathleen Henson’s basement in January 2001, generated $2.7 million last year while the staff size grew by a third, to 24 employees. It also won (or was nominated for) several communications awards, including a MarCom Gold Award recognizing an event that the agency produced on behalf of Kool-Aid.

While Henson Consulting is a small-sized PR firm the agency continues to attract some of the biggest brand names, and 2013 was no exception, with Food Network Magazine, Maxwell House and KOHLER Chocolates coming aboard.

These brands and other clients seek out Henson’s expertise in consumer relations, corporate reputation, entertainment and digital media, among other disciplines.

But, in keeping with broader economic trends, clients also appreciate that—due to Henson’s size—they won’t get bogged down by a bureaucracy nor suffer the proverbial “bait and witch,” when junior-level staffers work on the campaign after the top executives win the account.

Clients also like the sense of camaraderie that Henson cultivates both internally and externally, and, perhaps more important, that the agency keeps overhead to a minimum. This means Henson can offer significantly lower rates than larger agencies, enabling clients to maximize their budgets and get the biggest bank for their buck.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Affect
  • InkHouse
  • North Strategic
  • RockOrange