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Mid-Year Letter from DLPR CEO & Chairman Richard Dukas

July 13, 2023

“So Richard, how’s business?”

That’s the question I often get when I meet with clients these days. The short answer: very good. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the unique set of challenges and economic uncertainty that have colored the first half of this year.

The past six months have only underscored the need for the financial sector to communicate in more effective and innovative ways. Responding to this need has brought significant successes and opportunities to DLPR, and given us a lot to look forward to for the rest of 2023. 

Financial institutions increasingly recognize the value of a strong and targeted communications strategy, and seek talented professionals who can help them not only withstand—but thrive—under challenging circumstances. In the first half of the year, DLPR continued to expand its client roster, capabilities and talent base and plan for what comes next.  

As we head into the second half of 2023, I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect and look forward—both on the broader communications industry and the state of our business. 

Perspectives on the Industry

First and foremost, in the current environment, it is vital that businesses articulate compelling, well-crafted messages and corporate narratives that address the informational needs of their audiences—clients, employees, investors, counter-parties, communities or regulators. 

A consolidated media environment and tighter newsroom deadlines have presented additional friction for companies vying to get their messages out through traditional media channels. Agencies need to be highly targeted in their efforts, present differentiated pitches, and offer credible spokespeople. They must also stay on top of the news cycle and its constant churn—meeting reporters and producers’ needs with speed, accuracy and professionalism. Reporters are also interested in building and nurturing relationships with sources through in-person meetings, or just over coffee or drinks—so making clients readily available is key.

Given the changing media landscape, it is equally critical to consider other strategic communications channels, including digital media, direct investor communications, earned and owned content, awards and industry recognitions, and other formats that increase visibility among target audiences. 

The First Half of the Year for DLPR

As for our business, here are the highlights:

  • Strength amid headwinds: In a year marked by economic volatility, our business and pipeline remain robust. Total revenue for the first half of 2023 (as defined by client fees) has grown compared to the same period last year. Given talk of recession and budget constraints across the board, this is an accomplishment that speaks to the strength of DLPR’s team and service offerings, as well as the need for strong communications initiatives in all market climates.
  • New client wins: DLPR added a diverse mix of companies and organizations to its client roster, including: a highly respected, publicly held investment bank; a prestigious European business school; multiple alternative asset and wealth management firms; several ETF providers; the corporate banking division of a Fortune 500 company; an investment manager with a focus on Asia; and a wealth advisory firm that caters to ultra-high-net-worth individuals.
  • Growing international focus: We are increasingly managing global PR and communications for several of our U.S.-based clients, while simultaneously helping firms domiciled overseas to enter and/or build their brands in the United States.
  • Awards and accolades: We are proud to have been recognized as a top firm by leading financial and PR industry groups and publications, including O’Dwyers, Hedgeweek and Private Equity Wire.
  • Integrated approach: The need for companies to differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace has never been greater. As such, while media relations remains a cornerstone of most campaigns, we continue to advise clients through a holistic lens, aligning our comprehensive suite of communications capabilities with their business goals: 
    • DLPR is increasingly focused on corporate narrative and message development to help firms solidify their brand identity and market position.
    • Helping clients navigate difficult market conditions and company-specific incidents has created further opportunities to deploy our crisis communications capabilities. We continue to coach executive spokespeople on handling delicate topics and protecting sensitive information while preserving reporter relationships.
    • At the start of the year, we strengthened our content practice by welcoming a senior hire from a bulge-bracket financial services firm who has extensive content strategy and development experience. 

Looking Forward and Staying Connected

We are optimistic about the road ahead for the PR and financial services industries, our clients, and our agency. While economic uncertainty will persist for the foreseeable future, what remains constant is the need for clear and focused communication in the face of any challenge or opportunity.

If you haven’t already, please sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on the latest DLPR news, thought leadership, media appearances and more. We encourage you to connect with us on LinkedIn and share your own views on the state of the industry.  Thank you.

Richard Dukas