For PR firms, tech has been the gift that keeps on giving—launching an app, direct-to-consumer site, or cryptocurrency exchange is so ferociously competitive that promotion matters more than ever. Here are our choices for 2018’s top firms in tech PR (including nine agencies that also earned a slot in this year’s PR Power 50).
Speaking of that, 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.
Finn Partners touts its tech practice as “the third largest in the world, and issues serious, in-depth reports on cybersecurity, tech-enabled travel, and more. Read more about Finn Partners—our No. 3 overall firm—in this year’s PR Power 50
DKC’s explosive growth story this year covers all the bases, with tech clients including Etsy, Skullcandy, Bloomberg, and Pinterest. And DKC’s Hangar Four digital and marketing unit has been producing video content and inventive, influential social influencer campaigns. Read more about DKC in this year’s PR Power 50
Tech and business clients propelled Sunshine Sachs this year (along with its usual raft of huge names in entertainment and cause). Agency-of-record relationships include Roku, Instacart, and Shutterfly, along with high-profile assignments from eBay, Facebook and returning client Microsoft. Read more about Sunshine Sachs in this year’s PR Power 50
Weber Shandwick’s over-the-top 2018 included new assignments for IBM, Novartis, Sony Electronics, Amgen, Columbia Sportswear, and many more. More than 40% of the firm’s growth globally was driven by digital, social and content innovation-focused work. Under CEO Andy Polansky, the firm’s on track for a blockbuster 2019. Read more about Weber Shandwick in this year’s PR Power 50
Along with its work for clients like Phillips and Bosch, Ketchum’s analytics team produced thoughtful and widely covered studies this year, including a much-talked-about survey that revealed mounting privacy concerns among digital natives. Read more about Ketchum in this year’s PR Power 50
While it’s stepping up to big corporate assignments, Matt Rizzetta’s firm is still favored by early adopters—and wields a powerful portfolio of service AI, biotech, blockchain, data, mobile, telecom, and software clients. Read more about N6a in this year’s PR Power 50
Tech’s been an area of deep focus for Makovsky from day one; along with brands like IBM and eBay, the firm’s worked on positioning clients like MetLife as tech innovators. As much a think tank as a PR firm, Makovsky also produces reputable reports on issues like the effect of AI on health care communications. Read more about Makovsky in this year’s PR Power 50
Microsoft, REI, HP, Sonos…and on and on. The world’s largest independent agency continues to reel in the big fish, though its approach is shifting with the times. Head honcho Richard Edelman believes every company should “go direct” with its customers; that means his 600-person creative team is building messages and platforms, not just media campaigns. Judging from client and audience reactions, it’s a smart way forward. Read more about Edelman in this year’s PR Power 50
Along with new clients like leading agencies Dentsu’s Merkle, McCann’s Momentum Worldwide, as well as global media company Future PLC, Guarnaccia acquired NYC/Tel Aviv-based tech PR firm Cutler PR and launched full a production studio out of her Kite Hill Experiences branch, which also produces NYC’s annual Communications Week. A tech PR presence in London, Kite Hill went even more global with Communications Week launches in Toronto and Hamburg, Germany. Read more about Kite Hill in this year’s PR Power 50
Big-agency refugees Greg Mondshein and Becky Honeyman basically had each other as company when they launched SourceCode in 2017. A year and change later, SourceCode’s got ten employees, revenue has quintupled, and it’s moved beyond wonky back-end tech clients (though it still services those) to consumer brands like Property Boys-backed Casaza, the Rachio sprinkler controller, and adtech leader Blis. Bonus: SourceCode works with bearish gay “dating” app Scruff.
When Sandra Fathi started working on blockchain, most of the world still thought it meant clunky jewelry. Her sixteen-year-old firm is now helping lead that much-ballyhooed sector into its adolescent phase. Expanding its usual b-to-b focus to consumer-facing clients, Affect won 19 new accounts this year, and revenue growth has topped 15%. Bitcoin’s forecast might still seem cloudy, but this firm’s outlook feels bright.
Let’s be transparent: Clarity’s closing a killer year, with the acquisition of veteran San Francisco tech pr firm DRS Media, hiring of Spark PR managing director Jay Kolbe, and a very successful focus on blockchain, crypto, and other emerging tech. Word-of-mouth marketing app Verve, retail tech leader Punchh, hologram-tech innovator HYPERVSN, and expense-management app Chrome River round out a brainy roster.
Huge has an, um, big advantage over other firms—it’s part of a gargantuan creative agency that makes interesting things instead of just promoting them. What does that mean? Designing a Pride float for client Lyft; future-focused thought-leadership campaigns that make white papers seem like cave drawings; and compelling employer-brand communications for clients like Walmart. In some ways, we’re categorizing Huge in this top tech firms list because the agency is, frankly, uncategorizable.
From its roots in fashion, all-female Brandstyle’s blossomed into a potent partner for digital startups—CEO Zoe Coady even launched a blockchain division in July. TokynX, “the world’s first regulated security token exchange”, is a new client, along with do-gooder apparel brand Love Your Melon, “shared mobility tech” leader Vulog, robotics startups Locus Robotics and HiRes Biosolutions, and botanicals brand Caldera + Lab.