The rapidly-growing but still chaotic Russian public relations business has spawned several competing rankings, but it’s difficult to know whose numbers to trust. Many consultancies include revenues from other disciplines (including media buying) in their PR revenues or generate the bulk of their income from a handful of public sector accounts. But the absence of reliable formal metrics notwithstanding, 10-year-old PRP is almost certainly one of the top three public relations firms in the market in terms of revenues, with 150 consultants and PR specialists in Russia and a recently re-launched Ukrainian office and 30 retainer clients, 80 percent of them multinationals. The firm the Russian affiliate of Weber Shandwick, and part of ADV, Russia’s largest communications holding company, which itself enjoys a partnership with Weber Shandwick parent Interpublic.
PRP Group offers expertise in PR consulting, strategic media relations, information monitoring and intelligence, and special events, and works across practices including corporate reputation, consumer branding, technology and business-to-business. Founder Andrew Sveshnikoff was previously a financial journalist with Finansovye Isvestia, a joint venture between The Financial Times and Izvestia. His senior leadership team includes president Nataliya Popovych, who trained in the U.S. with Weber Shandwick; Tatiana Galkova, head of the corporate practice and former PR Director for the Soros Foundation in Russia; Irina Hartmann, head of business development; Irina Kolotiy, head of public affairs , former head of PR for the Tax Ministry; head of technology Andrey Andreev, who joined the firm earlier this year; and head of the FMCG practice Narine Kaprielyan.
The past 12 months have seen growth of around 30 percent, with new business coming in the FMCG, financial services and technology sectors. New clients included global companies and brands such as Master Card, Microsoft, Exxon Mobile, Toscana Promozione, Alcoa, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi-Aventis, Molson Coors and Universal Pictures. They join a client list that includes Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Goodyear, and Nestlé. High-profile work included providing PR support for Alcoa’s entry into the Russian market through a pair of acquisitions; media outreach for Molson Coors during its entry into the competitive Russian beer market; and business-to-business communication for Toscana Promozione aimed at introducing the region to Russian customers.
Maya Koval, marketing manager for Siemens Mobile, says PRP is staffed by “professional, competent, creatively-thinking specialists with good knowledge of market,” while Microsoft PR director for Russia and the CIS, Kira Kiryukhina, adds: “Working on Russian media market is both exiting and challenging…. PRP Group’s skilful and creative approach assisted greatly in building relations between Microsoft and media based on clear understanding of company’s goals and needs.” Inna Selivanova, marketing manager for Goodyear Russia has this to add: “The PR services provided by PRP are of the highest international standard and play a significant role in augmenting and enhancing Goodyear’s marketing effort both in terms of corporate image as well as individual products.”