There are thousands of PR firms in New York City, but there are only 50 slots on our annual PR Power List. To salute even more of the great work we’ve seen this year, here’s our honor roll of the most influential firms in the food and spirits industry. Agencies on previous honor rolls have graduated to the PR Power 50, so watch this space.
Ilana Alperstein and Eva Karagiorgis have a knack for reeling in intriguing clients, from the teeny (Oakland’s Homeroom Mac & Cheese, Republic of Booza) to titanic (Accorhotels, Momofuku properties). When we informally polled food journalists about fave PR firms, Mona kept coming out on top.
The foodie’s food-PR firm, Sue Chan’s 11-person outfit handles a cooler-than-thou roster of venues (Cafe Kitsune, Opening Ceremony, Daily Provisions), talent (Camille Becerra, Sean Brock, Julia Sherman) and products/purveyors/advocates (Impossible Foods, RAW WINE).
Wagstaff’s a big presence in travel and lifestyle—it just won the coveted Seaport District assignment—and a heavyweight in food and spirits; clients like Chicago’s Oriole, D.C.’s Centrolina and San Francisco’s Saison all earned James Beard Award noms, and liquor brands like Svol Aquavit, Gin Mare, Heavensake and Marques de Caceres joined a long roster in 2019.
This 22-year-old London firm laid down roots in NYC last year, and it’s already making a splash, with clients like Time Out Market, The William Vale hotel, luxe-wellness retreat The Well, Cafe Clover, Chef Manu Buffara’s Ella, Scarpetta and a menu of design and hospitality clients managed between here and the UK. Cara Chapman, late of NJF, heads up operations stateside.
Now part of Ketchum, the agency has expanded far beyond its roots in spirits and luxury to knock it out of the park for brands like Cheetos, Clorox and Booking.com; for the latter, H&S’ World’s Biggest Sandcastle promo became a massive media moment. But the firm’s biggest home run this year may have been Bacardi’s insanely viral promo single, featuring Major Lazer and Brazilian pop star Anitta, which generated nearly 650 million impressions.