Diana Marszalek 21 Oct 2018 // 8:56PM GMT
NEW YORK—Interpublic’s public relations revenue rose during the third quarter of 2018, the second consecutive positive quarter after ending a year-long streak of revenue declines.
Q3 revenues for the PR group rose by mid-single digits on an organic basis and on an as reported basis.
Although the gains are relatively modest, the results could signify a turnaround for the group, which reported low single digit gains on an organic basis in Q2. Those earnings came after a tough 2017 for the agencies — which include Weber Shandwick, Golin, DeVries, Rogers & Cowan and Current Marketing — and start of this year.
While Interpublic's PR firms have consistently outperformed the market in recent years, PR revenues from the group's CMG were down for the last three consecutive quarters of 2017 and the year as a whole amid the economic turbulence that gripped the marketing communications sector last year. That slump continued into the first quarter of 2018, during which revenue dipped on an organic basis but showed a slight uptick on a reported basis.
According to Weber Shandwick CEO Andy Polansky, Weber Shandwick's Q3 revenues mirrored those of the group, up on an organic and as reported basis by mid single digits, with the difference between the two figures due to fluctuations in foreign currency.
Polansky noted that the uptick in revenue reflects Weber Shandwick expanding the multi-dimensional work of it does for clients, running fully integrated data-driven campaigns using digital and traditional PR tactics.
"It's the kind of work we are delivering for clients overall that's fueling growth," he said.
Polansky also noted that during the three months ending September 30, Weber Shandwick saw double digital growth in a dozen markets including the UK, Indian, Japan, Canada and Mexico as well as several offices in the EU.