We are honored to announce that Walker Sands has been included on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies! This is the fifth year we’ve earned this honor, ranking #3043 in 2017. We’re one of 320 companies nationally that have made the list for five consecutive years and part of a small group of only six companies and one of two marketing agencies that can tote this accolade in Chicago.
When we first received this honor back in 2013 we felt like we were really humming along. Since then we’ve continued that impressive growth by expanding into new geographies and new service areas. We’ve added new faces to the team and a new office space to accommodate that growth. And we’ve done tremendous work for our clients – helping to bring awareness, credibility, and new leads to a number of growing B2B companies.
Our integrated approach to public relations has afforded us the privilege of making the Inc. 5000 list for five years in a row. By combining digital marketing and traditional PR strategies, teams come together to tackle business challenges and execute comprehensive campaigns that gain top tier placements, create digital narratives and move a wide range of audiences, all of which is illustrated in our #MakeTechHerStory campaign.
In addition to our integrated approach, our people are what power the award winning work and growth that enables us to stand out among others and make industry strides. We consistently aim to create an environment where our employees are able to do the best work of their careers at Walker Sands. Through company bonding at anticipated annual events, friendly office competitions and special interest groups, we believe we’ve been best able to cultivate an agency that works together to achieve growth and one that strives to approach each road bump and milestone with our three pillars, learn, support and do.
Another year on the list is a true testament to the vision we created for our company over 16 years ago. From day one, we’ve been a team, and we’ve all worked together to make this running recognition and continuous growth possible.
Congratulations to all of our friends and clients, CallRail, Strike Social, PointSource and Billtrust, who made the list this year. To learn more about our listing and those before check out our agency profile on Inc. here and the press release here.
We were honored to be recognized among Chicago’s best and brightest PR professionals at the PRSA Skyline Awards last night. PRSA nominated four Walker Sands campaigns from 2016, which included a mix of media relations, data driven content and integrated marketing. We were honored to take home four awards — two Skyline Awards and two Awards of Excellence.
We are so proud of our teams for working hard to gain recognition for some of our most exciting projects this year. At Walker Sands we are continuosly humbled by the opportunities we get to produce work for some of the smartest companies at the top of their industries.
Here’s a recap of some of the work we were recognized for last night:
CompTIA: Skyline Award
Our #MakeTechHerStory campaign for CompTIA, a nonprofit trade association for the IT industry, took home a Skyline Award. In 2016, Walker Sands approached CompTIA with an idea for an integrated awareness campaign that would unpack a nagging issue within the technology industry: why so few girls are pursuing careers in IT.
The campaign consisted of a complete rebrand of Rosie the Riveter, social awareness video, strategic media outreach and an interactive socially driven microsite. The campaign resulted in 130 media placements, including 25+ feature stories. The video was viewed a total of 35,000 times, with the Facebook Live! announcement of the campaign reaching 17,000+ viewers.
Label Insight: Skyline Award
The second Skyline Award of the night went to the Label Insight team for their work creating and promoting tandem data studies. Label Insight transforms product data into smart attributes for CPG brands and retailers.
The results of the campaign were remarkable, with more than 130 pieces of media coverage. Additionally, Label Insight brought a new concept to the market, “Transparency ROI,” that changed the industry conversation.
Grubhub: Award of Excellence
The Grubhub team was recognized with an Award of Excellence for their work developing comprehensive content, consisting of blog posts, whitepapers, SEO pages and downloadable resources to help bolster the B2B side of their business.
Through our content marketing program, Grubhub was able to achieve desired results and position themselves as a thought leader in the B2B side of the restaurant delivery space.
Manta: Award of Excellence
An Award of Excellence went to the manta team. Manta is an online resource dedicated to small business, offering educational courses, proprietary research and content, and personalized marketing services. Manta regularly surveys its small business members via on-site flash polls. During the 2016 election season, our teams identified an opportunity to turn these flash polls into a window into the minds of small business owners on topics related to the election.
Using the data derived from the poles, the manta team leveraged existing reporter relationships to ensure questions asked would garner coverage, despite the saturated nature of political news. The program resulted in 232 unique media placements and a twitter mention from then presidential candidate, Donald Trump.
We strive to bring the best of media and digital marketing under one integrated agency. Our curious and driven teams continuously think of how to leverage the ever-changing digital world, and every day, discover new ways to help businesses grow.
In an age of “alternative facts” and general distrust, the average consumer is more proactive and critical about their consumption, and so businesses must also think more deeply about how to ensure their trust and confidence. Particularly in the communications and digital marketing fields, where the emotional and personal are so central, a company cannot be vetted simply on the basis of their analytical prowess, but also on how they understand, relate to, and treat their clients.
In this environment, the importance of online reviews to the consumer’s buying decisions is steadily increasing. With the emergence of platforms like TripAdvisor, Glassdoor, and Yelp, ratings and reviews touches almost every aspect of life—from travels plans to college and job applications.
Clutch empowers businesses to holistically judge and ultimately select an ideal provider based on case studies, their market presence, the types of clients they’ve worked with and what they have to say about us.
To gain a top spot on the leaders matrix and list, clients were asked questions about the scope of projects, communication and our abilities to generate results.Here’s some of the diverse and useful insights our clients graciously shared on their experiences working with us:
“Their SEO expertise stands out. Their approach for the content you want to optimize on your site is very good.” – Vice President, Private Equity Firm
“They are always delivering on time or even earlier, which makes my job easy.” – Marketing Manager, Loyalty Program Company
“As soon as we give them a project…the end product is always really well done.” – Senior Digital Marketing Manager, Magnetic
While Walker Sands has been the recipient of many industry awards, Clutch reminds us that positive consumer feedback is the true testament to our success. We are incredibly grateful to be able to work with great clients who are so willing to make supportive claims of our agency. In addition to that, we must extend a huge thank you to our teams who go above and beyond to provide great services to bring positive reviews to fruition.
We’re a big fan of lists at Walker Sands. To-do lists, listicles, media lists — we love them all. But our favorite kind of list is one that celebrates our company culture, which is why we’re honored to rank among other outstanding companies on this year’s Inc. magazine Best Workplaces list!
Inc. selected just over 200 companies from the thousands that applied. Before consideration for this list, our employees were asked to describe why Walker Sands is such a great place to work. Beer fridges and in-office arcades weren’t the answers. Instead of vanity attractions, we cultivate our company culture around an inclusive and supportive atmosphere in the hopes of making all our employees feel valued and engaged. Based on the survey results, it looks like the approach is working!
Company culture is an integral part of what makes Walker Sands Walker Sands. We pride ourselves on a workplace that fosters community, and we are always looking for ways to further our company pillars of learn, support and do. We’ve created employee interest groups called Kaizens, Japanese for continuous improvement, that allow employees to share common interests and improve the agency through volunteering, diversity, celebrations and more. We also promote strong company culture through highly anticipated annual events like the Cubs’ game and city-wide scavenger hunt.
We want our employees to take pride in the work that they do and the company they do it for, and that all starts with a constant commitment to creating an agency worth writing home about. And this will never change, no matter how big we grow or where the next adventure takes us.
We couldn’t have earned this recognition without our supportive teams, and the thoughtfulness of each employee never ceases to amaze us. Out teams’ abilities to go above and beyond for not only our clients, but for each other, is a testament to why we consistently earn recognition from publications like Inc.
This morning we received exciting news: We are shortlisted as finalists for the Holmes Report’s 2017 North America Boutique PR Agencies of the Year award – one of the public relations industry’s most prestigious awards programs. The report credits our recognition to consistent double digit growth and expansion, all of which wouldn’t be possible without our supportive teams and amazing clients!
Since Walker Sands’ founding in 2001, we’ve witnessed immense growth and are incredibly humbled to see the accolades our agency has been able to achieve together. Last year we were finalist in the top Technology Agency category, and are privileged to be distinguished for two years running. You can read more about what qualified our agency for a spot on the Boutique Agency of the Year shortlist here.
Today’s news came hot on the heels of last week’s SABRE Awards North America Finalists announcement, in which were earned a spot on the Public Education category shortlist for our CompTIA Make Tech Her Story campaign. This honor is felt company wide today as this campaign was a full team effort, utilizing resources from our PR, demand gen, web/design and content teams.
The winners will be announced for both awards on May 2 at the awards ceremony in New York. We would like to extend a huge congratulations to the other finalists and wish our team the best of luck at the ceremony!