A year ago, PLMR was a ten-year-old, medium-sized public affairs agency that wasn’t quite able to break into work for blue-chip clients. Rather than plateauing, founder and CEO Kevin Craig and his team, including MD Elin de Zoete, launched a strategy of acquisition to take the business forward. They quickly found and bought two specialist agencies to bolster its capabilities in the key sectors of town planning (Snapdragon Consulting) and education (Mango Marketing).
A year later, the three firms form an integrated agency of 55 people, with fee income boosted 36% to £4.3m. PLMR is on track to be a £5m business this year and is now winning competitive pitches for the likes of utility giant Centrica, flagship London development Battersea Power Station, the world’s biggest recruitment form Adecco, eBay’s Gumtree online marketplace.
Snapdragon founder Rebekah Paczek came on board as MD of the new planning public affairs practice, and the firm also hired two senior advisers: Neil Carmichael, former chair of the Education Select Committee, and Joe Mitton, a former special advisor on business to Boris Johnson, who now heads up the agency’s Brexit Unit.
PLMR has a reputation for being a hard agency for recruiters to tempt staff away from, and has always had a philanthropic streak, donating 5% of profits to charity from day one. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given Craig’s background as a Labour councillor and parliamentary candidate, the agency also has a natural bent towards health and social care work, with clients including health, hygiene and household multinational Reckitt Benckiser (another 2017 win) and online GP service PushDoctor.