Clear (www.agencyclear.com), a media consulting agency, was opened by Andrew Graham and Jeremy Bridgman. The two previously worked in the New York office of Greentarget, a specialist B2B communications firm.
“We don’t have a specialty. We’re a generalist agency,” says Graham. “We think that a structural understanding of how today’s complex media environment works and knowledge of what motivates journalists and other influencers is more important than expertise in a narrow field. When making this decision, I looked at how some of the world’s best companies hire internally and chose to mimic that behavior. I found that expertise is far less important to these companies than the ability to connect disparate pieces of information, learn on the fly, and make sound decisions quickly.
“We offer an alternative fee model that, to my knowledge, no other agency offers. Here’s how I recently described it to New York Times contributor Darren Dahl: ‘Under this model, we reduce our base fees and set that amount aside in the risk pool,’” Graham says. “We then agree with the client on goals that can be quantitatively assessed as well as a multiple that will apply to the risk pool. If we miss our goals, no further fees are paid. If there’s a positive outcome, we receive the multiple of the fees we’d put at risk.”
The agency launched with one active client, a new technology platform that drives collaborative consumption. The firm is pursing new clients in industries they already know well, such as financial technology, law/legal services, consumer technology, and healthcare. “For whatever it’s worth, I also really, really want clients in digital currency (e.g., bitcoin) and medical marijuana because I think those two fields have a huge need for a firm like ours,: says Graham.
“Our work is grounded in one consistent belief: Every stakeholder group responds best to material that is clear, consistent, and memorable,” he adds. “We don’t “make” clients relevant. We get their best attributes in front of the right audiences so that they’re recognized as the good organizations that they are. This is an approach that works well now and will work more effectively than other approaches in the future, as the public relations field continues to grow and produce more and more noise.”