Artists being their own worst promoters may be a stereotype—but many stereotypes are true! Luckily, there are crackerjack firms that specialize in the arts, as well as in design, architecture and any other creative medium you can put on a pedestal. Below are our selection for 2018’s notable PR firms with an art and design specialty (you’ll find the top three in this year’s PR Power 50 as well). P.S. While Sharp Communications is a generalist firm, its longtime relationship with art fairs like TEFAF and clients like Kohler made it a natural for this category.
And definitely spend some time with the PR Power 50, our yearly effort (which takes, pretty much, the entire year to put together) honoring the 50 PR firms that we feel have made the biggest, most exciting moves over the course of 2018.
Benjamin Moore to Manhattan Mini-Storage. 1stDibs to Lyft. Prudential to Whole Foods. Rather than stick to categories, Jim Brodsky’s restlessly creative shop applies its chops to whatever clients it finds interesting—and those clients keep growing in size and scope. Sharp’s on this list largely because of its work for the European art fair TEFAF and a host of design clients. Read more about Sharp in this year’s PR Power 50
Art Basel trusts Sara Fitzmaurice with its PR, and cultural cred doesn’t get much better than that…unless you count clients like Gagosian and the Brooklyn Museum. Fitz also advises big brands like BMW, eBay, and HBO when they decide to dip a toe in the art world. Read more about Fitz & Co. in this year’s PR Power 50
Even as it grows, Christine Abbate’s client roster looks as well-edited as ever, with additions like Larson Juhl, Room & Board, and the Finnish Cultural Institute. A new wing of the firm represents talent in the interior design and architecture, and Abbate’s opened offices in Milan, Minneapolis, and Portland, Ore., where her clients have roots. Read more about Novità in this year’s PR Power 50
Sutton’s a far-reaching “cultural communications company” based in NYC, London, and Hong Kong, with big-name clients including National Gallery Singapore, Hauser & Wirth, and the Hirshhorn Museum, along with performing-arts companies, architects and fairs you might have heard about, like Art Basel. Founder Calum Sutton headed communications for Charles Saatchi and the Saatchi Gallery before launching the firm in 2007, and—bonus—SuttonPR.com’s also available in Chinese.
Big 2018 wins for Adam Abdalla’s firm include the heavyweight Matthew Marks Gallery, the Blanton Museum of Art’s permanent Ellsworth Kelly exhibit, and the FotoFocus biennial. In an especially pop moment, the agency also worked with artist collaborative FriendsWithYou on a modern art-inspired float for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
So you landed your client on a morning show, made them into a meme, or convinced a Kardashian to tweet them? Big deal. Head and Hand got theirs into a museum. Through savvy brokering, Katharina Plath’s multilingual luxury-design firm earned a place at the Cooper-Hewitt for client Dedar fabrics. Plath’s dream-loft client roster includes Euro-glitz brands like Gaggenau, Luceplan, and Roche Bobois; in 2018, the firm also snagged assignments for B&B Italia Group, Lenny Kravitz-designed 75 Kenmare, and gilded yacht-maker Azimut Benetti Group.
Resnicow has more museums on their roster than you’ll probably ever visit, including the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Barnes Foundation, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Frick Collection, the High Museum of Art, the Dia Art Foundation…see?
After 20 years in the business, Nadine Johnson’s name has become synonymous with cultural cachet. Along with the firm’s hotel and lifestyle clients, Miami’s 2018 Faena Festival, the N.Y. Antiquarian Book Fair, NYC’s Zaha Hadid Celebration, and an A-list of creators (Liza Lou, Nick Moss, Jessica Banks) came on board this year.