NEW YORK—The Red Consultancy, one of the most respected consumer public relations firms in the U.K., is opening its first U.S. office in New York. Red is a subsidiary of Incepta Group, which also owns financial communications specialists Citigate Dewe Rogerson and Citigate Sard Verbinnen and tech firm Citigate Cunningham.
Mirella Cameran, who has worked with Red in London since 1996, working on accounts including Johnson & Johnson’s consumer and healthcare brands and Amazon.co.uk, will be relocating to the U.S. to lead the New York office as managing director.
Says Cameran, “Our objective is to combine the best of UK creative excellence with senior US expertise in American media and culture.” One impetus for the move was the fact that 52 percent of the firm’s U.K. clients are based in the U.S., including companies such as Amazon, J&J, McDonald’s, Network Associates, and Wyeth.
Red USA will offer the same multi-specialist approach as Red in London, which provides consumer, corporate and business-to-business PR to companies in industry sectors ranging from technology and financial services to healthcare, consumer and retail.
Cameran says the firm’s research confirms that the business climate in the U.S. is still “difficult,” but says, “We have grown in the U.K. in this difficult market because we have changed our product and adapted to the environment. We focus on the quality of the work and how we evaluate it. Our philosophy is: if it moves, measure it. We measure against sales and share price and we believe there’s an appetite for that here.”
The firm employs a proprietary software-based measurement methodology called Red Heat that begins with media monitoring but also offers more advanced message measurement.
Cameran is also hopeful that the company can find synergies with other Incepta PR companies, and says some opportunities have also materialized.
The firm’s early focus will be on recruiting senior professionals with New York market experience. Cameran says she will be “the only Brit” in the U.S. operation—an important role since she will help transplant Red’s culture and methodology to the U.S. market—and that “we are close to hiring a senior person with New York agency experience.”
Initial clients will include Global Risk Srategies and Reed Elsevier, but the firm is already talking to many of its U.K. clients, but she expects the firm to grow at a measured pace. While it is best known for working with blue-chip brands in the U.K., budget will not be the primary consideration when it comes to new business development in this market.
“We know we need to build our reputation here,” says Cameran. “We need to delight clients with our results. That can come from small budget clients that will enable us to do good PR or it can come from multinationals that want to stand out and cut through.”