Bravo Group grows into largest Pennsylvania PR firm

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From Central Penn Business Journal, click here to read the full article:

Chris Bravacos runs the largest public relations firm, by revenue, in the commonwealth — an operation that fills an eight-story building on North Second Street in downtown Harrisburg — yet he thinks of Bravo Group as something of a startup.

“The approach to communications is different today than it was five years ago,” he said. “We’ve hit the point where we’ve started over.”

For Bravo, that has meant a push into digital services and hiring a new team of content designers, writers and editors to boost the nearly 20-year-old company’s services, which include public outreach, government relations, media relations and advertising. Bravo works for companies in the energy and utility sectors, as well as in health care, financial services and nonprofits.

Bravacos traces the start of the new content group, known as the campaign creation team, to the 2012 presidential campaign and the rise of data analytics and social media outreach. Bravo began hiring team members in 2013, and the group now employs 16 people.

Bravo has 71 employees overall between its three Pennsylvania offices, with 23 new hires in the last year alone, including project managers and people who handle data analytics research, positions most PR firms never really needed before.

The future is in digital, Bravacos said. Larger communications firms need staff with digital skills to help clients reach audiences across a bevy of media channels, both traditional news outlets and social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

But that investment also leads to a higher price tag.

“It takes a lot to be successful and there are no shortcuts,” Bravacos said. There are more people involved at all levels.”

He believes Bravo’s push to be a single source for clients helped propel the firm to a 34 percent increase in revenue last year. O’Dwyer’s, an industry trade publication, ranked Bravo at No. 33 in the country with nearly $11.5 million in revenue. That was No. 1 for Pennsylvania. Bravo was not on the 2016 list.

Chris Bravacos created the firm that wins tough fights, pioneering the campaign-style approach to public purpose advocacy in Pennsylvania. Under his direction, Bravo Group has earned an unmatched reputation for delivering high-stakes victories on behalf of a client base rich in influential corporations and causes.