Prosek – Best North American PR Firm
At New York-headquartered Prosek, the tag line is to “unbox communications” and deliver unique, unconventional strategies for financial firms. At the helm is Managing Partner and CEO Jennifer Prosek (pictured), who built Prosek from a small Connecticut PR company to an international communications consultancy with offices in London and a number of key partnerships with agencies in Asia and South America.
Over the years, Prosek has developed a wide range of financial communications strategies for firms ranging from Franklin Templeton to Aberdeen Asset Management. More recently, Prosek made a commitment to the hedge fund sector as managers started to care more about their reputation and managing their brands.
“We decided it was the ‘emerging market of marketing and communications’ and built a team dedicated to alternatives. We also built out an array of services to support PR, IR and marketing for funds. Our prediction ended up coming true, and we were ready for it,” says Prosek.
The days of using a PR firm solely for defensive purposes and helping hedge fund managers stay out of the spotlight are over. The industry has moved on and as Partner Russell Sherman points out, “it is not enough to just be reactive”. This is being driven by a 24-hour news environment, not to mention the rise in social media.
“Hedge funds are beginning to think about their brand, and their digital or ‘Google profile’ and are realising that if they don’t tell their story, someone else will. At Prosek, we are both brand protectors and brand builders, offering clients services across the marketing mix. The fact that we have in-house digital, creative and transaction services teams is a value-add to funds as well,” explains Sherman.
The JOBS Act is another driver that is contributing to managers’ growing awareness of branding as they look to raise and protect assets. According to Prosek, hedge funds have begun to recognise that the “log in or go away” websites no longer cut it anymore.
“We work with our clients in helping them effectively communicate what their brand stands for and what makes them unique, whether that is through fleshing out their website, assisting with marketing collateral development, securing speaking opportunities at conferences etc. Programmes are customised and designed to meet the needs and desires of each fund,” explains Prosek.
The Prosek team supports some of the largest funds in the world as well as start-ups and emerging managers. Sherman observes that whilst smaller funds are typically looking for more brand awareness, larger funds are more focused on brand protection.
“However, we haven’t met a fund yet that isn’t concerned with doing at least a little bit of each,” notes Sherman.
Law firms and prime brokers are starting to engage more with Prosek to help round out the advice and services they provide to their clients. The Prosek team is being invited to speak at hedge fund events to share their experiences on strategically building a fund’s brand and adopting best practices.
“The partnerships we’ve been building through these events have been, and should continue to be, fruitful. However, the most important thing is to do a good job for your clients. This is a small industry, and when you do a good job people tend to hear about it,” says Sherman.