Top 18 boutique PR Firms that are winning big clients like Lancôme, Walmart and T-Mobile
While big firms and holding companies make headlines, smaller firms form the backbone of the public-relations business.
Boutique agencies can specialize in categories like travel, fashion, or technology or take a generalist approach with clients across segments.
For agency owners, staying small offers benefits like manageable overhead, personal involvement in client work, and ability to choose who to represent.
For clients, boutique firms pitch closer attention from senior leadership, more agile execution of campaigns, and lower fees than larger agencies.
And while the pandemic devastated the PR industry in general, lean and nimble operations helped many small firms through the turbulence.
Insider identified 18 top boutique PR firms across the US, based on their clients, influence, and impact. To choose the firms on this list, we spoke with journalists, clients, in-house PR pros, and owners of larger agencies who often work with boutique firms.
The PR industry’s professional associations do not have an official definition of “boutique” or a tally of smaller firms. We limited our selection to independent firms that are still led by their founders, have 25 or fewer employees, and up to $10 million in revenue.
Montieth Illingworth’s 13-year-old firm subverts the traditional structure of a global agency. With 20 full-time, multilingual staff on three continents, the firm works with clients everywhere from Brazil to Greece to Israel.
“We work on high-stakes stuff with high-value outcomes,” New York-based Illingworth told Insider. “If we’re really smart and can deliver, it doesn’t matter how small we are.”
The firm’s cross-border model lets the firm pitch media globally, said Illingworth, a onetime journalist. In February, Illingworth launched a new Hong Kong agency, Montieth SPRG, with Asia’s huge Strategic Public Relations Group.
While Montieth & Co.’s bread and butter is complex assignments in media relations and reputation management, its most recent client win came with a mission: VoteMama supports Democratic mothers who have young children and are running for office.
Read the full article in Insider here.