PLMR ACQUIRES PROPERTY AND BUILT ENVIRONMENT AGENCY, SNAPDRAGON CONSULTING
PLMR, the Westminster and Edinburgh-based integrated communications agency, has strengthened its property and built environment public affairs offering by acquiring one of the UK’s most successful specialist planning communications consultancies, Snapdragon Consulting.
Snapdragon Consulting was founded in 2010 by Rebekah Paczek and counts Jaguar Land Rover, Tarmac and several leading housebuilders amongst its client roster. Rebekah’s career includes starting at planning specialists PPS as a Graduate Trainee, The Communications Group where she rose to Associate Director, Weber Shandwick as an Associate Director and then to PPS again as a Director. The Snapdragon Team are based across three offices in London, Cambridge and Birmingham and the London team will move over to PLMR’s headquarters in Westminster at the start of October 2017. The newly enlarged PLMR business will then operate out of London, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Birmingham.
PLMR Founder and CEO Kevin Craig said today:
“PLMR has watched and admired Rebekah and Snapdragon for several years. We have huge respect for their team of expert colleagues and what the business has achieved since its inception in 2010. Our coming together with Snapdragon offers exciting opportunities for clients and colleagues alike. We love how they do business, how they seek to win new business, their integrity and their energy levels. We see huge similarities in how Snapdragon and PLMR try to deliver value for clients and we are incredibly excited to announce today’s coming together.
“Built environment, planning and development communications have been a key practice area for PLMR since day one of operations in 2006. We have always had the ambition of taking our work in this area to an even higher level. As PLMR continues to grow, we are really excited about this coming together of two strong teams with a shared culture and ethos. In the early 2000s I chaired the Planning Committee on a major local authority for three years – I know the value of great communications in this area – Snapdragon do this brilliantly.
“Rebekah and her team have built a fantastic business. We are all looking forward to learning from them and enhancing what we can offer to our clients collectively.”
Today’s announcement is the latest phase of PLMR’s plan to supplement continued organic growth by boosting core practice areas through specialist acquisitions with the agency open to making suitable further purchases in future years. In addition to the Snapdragon acquisition, PLMR brought on board specialist education PR team, Mango Marketing, earlier this year too. PLMR’s other specialist areas include digital, food and retail, energy and sustainability, tech, transport and infrastructure, finance, health care and social care and are all areas in which PLMR could further build.
Snapdragon Consulting Founder, Rebekah Paczek said:
“PLMR’s ethos, reputation and its wide range of services, and its commitment to the Snapdragon team make this a fantastic move for Snapdragon and our clients. The excellent fit extends across the businesses, clients and staff and means it’s business as usual for my team and I – enabling us to continue to offer the same specialist service to our clients while also offering additional value and exciting new opportunities.”
“This announcement is particularly timely because in recent years Snapdragon has increasingly been moving beyond pure planning projects to offer a full suite of communications services to built environment clients including PR programmes, social media projects, and public affairs campaigns. Coming together with PLMR will see that happen even more as we move forward.
Notes to Editors
1. Founded in 2006, PLMR is a fully integrated communications agency with offices in London and Edinburgh. Its core offerings are public affairs, PR, crisis management, media training, digital, film and design, planning communications and campaigns.
2. Today’s announcement is the second such for PLMR following the successful acquisition of specialist Education comms agency Mango in April 2017. PLMR is actively exploring further growth in its existing specialisms, including digital, food and retail, energy and sustainability, tech, transport and infrastructure, finance, health care and social care.
3. Snapdragon Consulting has 11 staff and was founded in 2010. It opened in Cambridge in 2015, and Birmingham in 2017. It is known for expertise in understanding local and national government, planning policy and the development context. The Snapdragon team have decades of combined experience in urban development, strategic land, mixed use, commercial use and infrastructure schemes across the UK.
4. PLMR was ranked 90th in PR Week’s 2017 UK Consultancies report, as a top 10 public sector agency, a top 20 specialist healthcare agency and is shortlisted for Best Public Affairs Campaign in the 2017 PR Week Awards for its work on a campaign for CACHE to make the Government U-turn on a flagship qualifications policy which had caused a recruitment crisis in early years settings. PLMR was the most awarded agency at 2016’s Public Affairs Awards, and has won multiple previous awards for its work, including at PR Week, Public Affairs News, and the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. It is understood that the Snapdragon acquisition will take the PLMR business to annual revenues in excess of £5 million.
5. In 2015 PLMR instigated the creation of the Global Communications Alliance (GCA), a worldwide network of independently owned firms including in the US, Australia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, South Africa and Argentina.
6. In 2016/17 PLMR saw a growing roster of blue chip, corporate and public sector clients, including new work with Gumtree, SIG, NS&I – an Executive Agency of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, UCL Institute of Education, Ella’s Kitchen and the Royal Veterinary College. Over this past 24 months PLMR also strengthened its senior team, bringing on board former Boris Johnson adviser, Joe Mitton, Senior Account Director, Simon Darby from Westminster Advisers and most recently former Conservative MP and Chair of the Education Select Committee Neil Carmichael.
7. Five per cent of net profits from PLMR’s operations have been given to charitable causes since the company’s inception. This will continue.