In changing the name of his fast-growing Baltimore-based public relations firm from Warschawski Public Relations to plain old Warschawski, founder David Warschawski seems to have been trying to prove the old adage that sometimes, less is more. The new name, Warschawski says, better reflects the broad and holistic view the firm has always taken of public relations and the reality that the firm handles marketing, branding and traditional PR work with equal aplomb. While theoretically public relations encompasses all of those things and more—a point Warschawski concedes—the fact is that the market tends to view PR much more narrowly, and the new name avoids the misperception that Warschawski’s focus is exclusively on media relations.
The firm also unveiled a new, proprietary approach to branding two years ago, one if calls BrandMaPR (pronounced brandmapper), which is designed to help companies create a differentiated and consistently resonant brand position in the marketplace, derived from the fundamental emotional experience a company wants its target audience to enjoy when interacting with its product or service at every touch point. Once that positioning is clear, the firm develops marketing programs that consistently reinforce and strengthen the brand position among its target audience, incorporating strong public relations campaigns that are a natural extension and complement to the marketing program.
Those changes helped to fuel continued growth at Warschawski in 2007, with revenues up by 20 percent—the firm has seen revenues grow by 118 percent—winning another Small Agency of the Year award (this one from PR News, hot on the heels of its 2006 recognition by The Holmes Report). Just as impressive as the growth, however, is the fact that the firm has achieved its without compromising its founding values. Warschawski describes his firm as a “vision oriented organization,” and that’s a theme that’s echoed throughout any discussion of the firm’s workplace environment. Each new employee attends a seminar to learn how a vision-oriented organization functions and the role vision plays in the firm’s day-to-day operations. And people are encouraged to learn how they can apply vision orientation in their personal lives. That’s one reason Warschawski has become a permanent fixture on our annual list of the Best Agencies to Work For.
New business over the past 12 months came from W.L. Gore & Associates, owners of the Gore-Tex and Windstropper brands; Chesapeake Utilities Corporation, a diversified utility company; Marble Slab Creamery and MaggieMoo’s Ice Cream & Treatery; United States Tennis Association’s Countrywide Classic; Eastern Shore Natural Gas Company; TrainingPro; and architectural firm hord|coplan|macht. The firm continues to work for major clients such as DeWalt/Black & Decker and The Athlete’s Foot. Further growth came from the expansion of the firm’s creative design services division, which works for a host of sports-related organizations and professional services firms, as well as for many of the firm’s largest PR and marketing clients.
Warschawski has won more than 175 awards in the past nine years, including 19 international MarCom Creative Awards for its work on behalf of its clients including The Athlete’s Foot, Gore-Tex, NexCen Brands, and United States Tennis Association’s Countrywide Classic. Other highlights of the past 12 months include the firm’s work for MaggieMoo’s, garnering celebrity attention around National Ice Cream Month by linking up with Super Saturday, a high-profile celebrity event benefiting the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation, which generated feature coverage in OK! Weekly, Star and Hamptons magazines; helping The Athlete’s Foot overhaul its brand, working against the backdrop of the Sporting Goods Manufacturing Association Spring Market in Las Vegas, and to put together a back-to-school campaign through In My Shoes, a competition that invited students to share what they hoped to accomplish in the coming year via written entries in-store, or online written or video submissions on You Tube.
In addition to Warschawski, who continues to serve as chief executive, the firm’s leadership team includes Amy Christopher, who has been with Warschawski for more than six years and was named president in 2006, and Susan Goodell, the former owner of her own event planning firm, as director of an in-house event planning operation. New additions to the team in 2007 included senior associates Sara Huber, formerly of Blattner Brunner; Natalie Sobolewski, from SCC Grossman Public Relations; and Andrea DiRuscio, formerly with Matter Communications
The firm has an affiliate agreement with international public relations network Euro RSCG through its relationship with Euro RSCG Magnet.