Nine-month outlook on Romanian PR market

“Second and final quarter are the cornerstone in overall budget, due to many events and communication campaigns that are carried out in these intervals” said Andrei Bortun. In October-March interval, Millennium Communications is organizing annual events, such as Internetics or AdPrint, which explains the importance of these months for annual budget of the agency.

Final quarter is the most thriving one also for agencies that work based on long-term contracts, and the pay packages consist in monthly fees (not project-based pay packages), like in The Practice. “The final quarter is usually the “richest” because by yearend, we add new clients, thus most of the fees are cashed-in at yearend” Gabriela Lungu, managing partner with The Practice explained.

Leo Burnett’s PR agency posted 900,000 euros in first nine months this year, 25% upped than 2007’s annual turnover. According to Gabriela Lungu, two factors have led to this evolution of the turnover: 60% growth of clients’ portfolio, adding brands such as Strauss/Doncafe, World Vision, eJobs, Alcatel Lucent, Prigat, IIG, Hochland, and 25% broadening of service pool for old clients.

New clients stirred up Lowe PR’s turnover by 60%
in first nine months, compared to similar period of last year (in 2007, the agency earmarked 528,000 euros turnover). The agency, headed by Hortensia Nastase won the pitches organized by ABN Amro Bank, Unilever/Rexona, and Eli Elly, and activated new brand ranges for older clients (Walmark, Johnson&Johnson, Abbott).

According to Hortensia Nastase, second and fourth quarter are the busiest, but also the most profitable for all PR agencies. “Companies choose to carry out PR campaigns in transition seasons, spring and fall, while the winter season is exclusively for balance sheets wile summer –is assigned to final-quarter events planning,” Nastase added.

However, the rule is not applicable to all PR agencies,
said Laurentiu Nita, managing director at Free Communication. If an agency has in its portfolio several FMCG clients, the third quarter might be very busy. Free Communications posted EUR465, 000 euros turnover in first eight months this year, up 15% from similar interval of 2007.

In first nine months of the year, the agency enriched portfolio with new brands : Fresenius Nephrocare Romania, IpoteciDirect and FlyNova and focused more on organizing PR events.

Pleon Graffiti has also broadened service range by providing training courses for communication in conditions of crisis, and public affairs segment. By yearend, the agency will launch own instruments, based on the advisory provided from Pleon Europe, said Mircea Tomescu, managing director Pleon Graffiti. Development of service range and broadening clients portfolio – with Arval, Blue Air, European Commission, Eyemaxx, Erste Foundation, Novo Nordisk, Staer – will lift agency’s turnover up to 1.2 million euros by late this year.

Other agencies chose to discharge some of the services within their offer, namely First One Communication, which will no longer provide politic marketing services in terms with company’s shareholders, focusing exclusively on commercial PR.

According to Virgil Munteanu, managing director of the agency First One Communication’s turnover mounts to 620,000 euro, at late third quarter 2008.

Image agency posted a nine-months turnover of 550,000 euros, which beat 2007’s annual turnover. Accordign to Alexandru Paius, senior partner at Image, business growth was fuelled bu a boost in clients’ marketing budgets, but a better inside organization of the agency.

Translated and adapted by Camelia Oancea.

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