Art Stevens   
Art Stevens
Managing Partner
   Rich Jachetti
Senior Partner


ACQUIPEDIA


The Stevens Group has taken a slightly different tack with this website. We’ve taken a more thought leadership approach vs. the typical Who We Are/What We Do approach common to the lion’s share of professional service provider websites, particularly those of our competitors. We hope you will find this section of our website, which we’ve titled ACQUIPEDIA, filled with information that provides both agency buyers and sellers with much more depth and insight (aka: thought leadership) into the world of PR and digital marketing agency mergers & acquisitions than is available anywhere else on the cloud. We will continue to be adding similar content to this section regularly. We welcome you here now. And, we invite you back again and again should you have an interest in the subject matter.
When ‘Cold Feet Syndrome’ Puts an Agency Sale on Ice
 

When ‘Cold Feet Syndrome’ Puts an Agency Sale on Ice

With the winter season upon us, there’s perhaps no better time to examine the mysterious phenomenon of what we refer to as “Cold Feet Syndrome,” a sometimes puzzling set of circumstances that cause a surprising number of PR agency CEOs to back out of a previously-agreed-to sale of their firm...
12 Myths About PR Firms Being Acquired
 

12 Myths About PR Firms Being Acquired

Whether you’re actively considering the sale of your PR firm, or it’s just a vague idea that’s been percolating at the back of your mind for a while, it’s important to have realistic expectations before pursuing a deal in earnest. Because delusional beliefs about the acquisition process can occasionally preclude...
ADDING VALUE WITH IN-HOUSE DIGITAL CAPABILITIES
 

ADDING VALUE WITH IN-HOUSE DIGITAL CAPABILITIES

If you’re the CEO of a small-to-medium sized public relations firm, it’s very possible  that a good part of your thinking about the future growth of your agency focuses on formulating a strategy for the sale of your firm someday. That day may not come  this year, or in the...
Changing Role of the PR Firm CEO
 

Changing Role of the PR Firm CEO

Here we examine key issues facing CEOs as they strive to remain steady at the helms of their evolving practices. The Greek philosopher Heraclitus is often credited with penning the notion that nothing is permanent except change. In the last decade and a half, the public relations industry has undergone...
Selling Your PR Firm
 

Selling Your PR Firm

Here are 10 mistakes a seller should avoid at a first meeting with a buyer. 1. Don’t be late for the meeting. Allow time for bad traffic, subway/bus snafus and office building security clearance. 2. Don’t say you’re “considering” selling your firm but haven’t made up your mind. If you...
Combine PR Savvy with Biz Sense to Make Profits
 

Combine PR Savvy with Biz Sense to Make Profits

A good friend (I’ll call him Dave) owned a public relations agency for about 8 years and on the surface it appeared as if his agency was doing fine.  Or so I thought. One day he confided in me. “I love having my own business,” he said.  “But I can’t...
The First Meeting Between a PR Agency Seller and Buyer
 

The First Meeting Between a PR Agency Seller and Buyer

I had the good fortune of recently assembling and moderating a panel discussion on behalf of PRSA’s New York Chapter on the subject of “Why Should I Hire You?” The panel consisted of three agency CEOs: Edelman’s Richard Edelman, Finn Partners’ Peter Finn and Peppercomm’s Ed Moed. The panel focused...
What’s in a Name?
 

What’s in a Name?

Here’s a somewhat familiar story. The names here have been changed to prevent awkwardness. Rhett Butler Public Relations, a New York consumer product PR agency earning about $3 million in net fee revenues, was acquired by the Millard Fillmore Group headquartered in San Francisco. Fillmore is an agency on the...
Why a Buyer’s Vision Must Align With a Seller’s Vision
 

Why a Buyer’s Vision Must Align With a Seller’s Vision

In a number of articles I’ve written for PRSA over the years, one of the recurring themes is the importance of chemistry when reviewing the merits of combining two agencies. I don’t mean to sound naïve. On the contrary, it’s more than a decade of real-life experience in the PR...
The Stevens Group Sell Test
 

The Stevens Group Sell Test

If you’re thinking about selling your PR agency then here are ten important questions you should be asking yourself. 1. Have you made a list of reasons why you want to sell your firm? 2. Are you prepared to report to someone? 3. Do you have a realistic sense of the market value...
The personal wealth of PR agency owners
 

The personal wealth of PR agency owners

With the spate of agency acquisitions in recent years, you might think making a deal is easy. Far from it. As someone who has worked closely with more than a hundred public relations agencies during the past 10 years, I am privy to one of the best-kept secrets in the...
Debating the Future of Earnouts
 

Debating the Future of Earnouts

Ever since a farsighted PR or ad agency determined that an additional way to grow its business was to acquire other PR agencies, the manner in which most transactions are completed today hasn’t changed much since the ink dried on those precedent-setting M&A deals of yesteryear. Is that a good...
Are PR Agency Valuations Worth the Time and Money?
 

Are PR Agency Valuations Worth the Time and Money?

Let’s say you’re in the market for a new home. What do you do? You hire a broker to determine the current marketplace. You give the broker information such as where you’d like to live, what type of house you want, what amenities need to be within driving distance and...
What Selling Your PR Agency Can Do for You
 

What Selling Your PR Agency Can Do for You

As published in PRSA Public Relations Tactics By Art Stevens, APR, Fellow PRSA The most successful acquisition transactions that I’ve been involved with put a spring in the step of the principals of the PR agencies who have sold to larger buyers. It has less to do with extra money...
Considering PR Agency Profitability
 

Considering PR Agency Profitability

As published in PRSA Public Relations Tactics By Art Stevens, APR, Fellow PRSA Mergers and acquisitions are a constant fact of life for PR agencies. Have you thought about starting your own firm, and wondered about an exit strategy? Or do you manage your own agency and wonder what it...
You Can’t Always Sell When You Want
 

You Can’t Always Sell When You Want

As published in O’Dwyer’s Daily By Art Stevens, APR, Fellow PRSA To parallel the famous Rolling Stones song, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” PR firms may also not be able to sell when they want. During my ten years’ experience in consulting with PR agencies of various sizes...
A Look at Today’s Acquisition Landscape for PR Agencies
 

A Look at Today’s Acquisition Landscape for PR Agencies

As published in PRSA Public Relations Tactics By Art Stevens, APR, Fellow PRSA Mergers and acquisitions are a constant fact of life for PR agencies. Have you thought about starting your own firm, and wondered about an exit strategy? Or do you manage your own agency and wonder what it...
6 Tips to Keep Buyers Interested in Your PR Agency
 

6 Tips to Keep Buyers Interested in Your PR Agency

As published in PRSA Public Relations Tactics In this third installment of my yearlong series on selling your PR agency, I’m going to share a number of common mistakes that could cause a prospective buyer to walk away.  We already covered the need to run your agency like the true...
So You’re Managing a Successful PR Agency?
 

So You’re Managing a Successful PR Agency?

 As published in PRSA Public Relations Tactics In my first post on the subject “So You Own a PR Agency? Where Do You Go from There?” from Jan. 8, we covered the necessity of running a PR agency like a business, we focused on growth and profitability, and we raised...
So You Own a PR Agency? Where Do You Go from There?
 

So You Own a PR Agency? Where Do You Go from There?

As published in PRSA Public Relations Tactics Mergers and acquisitions are a constant fact of life for PR agencies. Have you thought about starting your own firm, and wondered about an exit strategy? Or do you manage your own agency and wonder what it would take to sell it? PRSA...

ACQUISPECTIVES

Do you remember the famous song Judy Garland sang in the movie “A Star is Born?” The song was “The PR Firm That Got Away.” If you as a buyer have identified a PR firm you’re genuinely interested in, don’t let it get away. You may not sing as well as Judy Garland but you have other means at your disposal to demonstrate to the acquisition candidate that your interest is deep and sincere.

Hey, PR agency owners: do you really need to hire that $100,000 a year account manager? I'll bet your present staff could handle the new business that just came in. See? I just saved you $100,000 which will go directly into your pocket. 

A common fault among many PR agency owners is that they have too many account people for the business they have. This reduces profitability and the amount of money agency owners can take out. The rationale? Account people are needed for the next wave of new business. Lesson to be learned:  tomorrow may not come that quickly. Plan for today and thrive.

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