NEW YORK—Frank PR has scaled back its two-year-old US presence, shifting to a new model that it believes will assure greater long-term profitability.
The UK consumer PR firm, which launched in New York in July 2012, has shifted its US clients and staff to Enero sibling Hotwire. In the process, US managing director Ian Twinn, who arrived in early 2013, has departed the firm.
Frank still retains a company and office space in New York, which it is using to manage UK clients that require US support. The firm is working with a number of US PR firms, including the likes of Hotwire, Spong and Coyne, to service these requirements.
Frank PR CEO Graham Goodkind called the new offering, which has been in place since July of this year, a 'hub model'.
"I’m a commercial guy who looks at the bottom-line intensely and hates losing money," said Goodkind. "We were breaking even, we could have carried it on. I wanted to find a way where we could make money out of it.
"The problem anyone has is trying to build scale," he added. "It was hard for us to ever get that scale. This hub model gives us that ability to do it — we’re still involved, we have a presence and separate company there. And then we have links into lots of people and different teams — we’re not beholden to using Enero people and agencies."
The Hotwire shift involved Frank PR's two New York staffers and two clients: Withings and SquareTrade. Since then, Frank PR has begun working with other UK clients, including Fitbug, providing consulting and outsourcing US support to various firms in the market.
"The way to make money is to be a conduit rather than have soldiers on the beach," said Goodkind. "Be a facilitator rather than a conqueror. We are still very much committed to the US market."
Frank PR was one of a wave of UK firms that launched US operations in 2012, alongside Diffusion, John Doe and TVC Group. New York, in particular, is often viewed as a difficult market for UK consumer PR firms, following the earlier failures of Red Consultancy and Freud Communications.