Edelman’s global revenue increased 12.8% last year in terms of constant currency growth to almost $1.1 billion.
In terms of actual growth, the firm’s revenue improved by 9.6% for the year in a performance that global CEO Richard Edelman called “pretty damn good.”
The 2022 earnings include the revenue of United Entertainment Group, data and intelligence shop Edelman DXI, financial boutique Edelman Smithfield and public affairs consultancy Edelman Global Advisory but not sister DJE Holdings agency Zeno Group.
Edelman’s U.S. revenue grew 13.8% to $703.4 million on both an actual and constant currency basis. Canada and EMEA saw lower growth at 7.2% and 11.9% to $34.2 million and $211.4 million, respectively, on a constant currency basis.
Within EMEA, the U.K. grew 16% and the Middle East grew 19% (on fixed currency).
APAC revenue increased by 4.8% on a constant currency basis to $104.5 million.
The biggest regional growth drivers in the U.S. were in Washington, DC (22%), Los Angeles (24%) and Chicago (14%). The fastest-growing in Asia were India (29%), Japan (23%) and Korea (19%).
Globally, the firm’s tech practice grew by 13.5%; health increased by 10%; digital was up 18%; Edelman Global Advisory grew 25%; and Edelman Smithfield grew 20%.
Edelman noted that in 2022, the firm’s top 100 clients saw 17% growth. Major campaigns the agency worked on last year included Dove’s #KeepTheGrey campaign, launched 48 hours after a female Canadian newscaster was terminated, reportedly in part due to her natural grey hair; and AstraZeneca’s Up the Antibodies campaign featuring Oscar winner Jeff Bridges that shined a light on the COVID-19 reality that immunocompromised Americans are facing. In Mexico, Edelman worked with KFC to launch Hunger Day, connecting Gen Z gamers with KFC’s purpose of fighting hunger in Minecraft.
Last year, Edelman partnered with Saudi Arabia to market the kingdom as a tourism and cultural destination. Edelman noted his firm’s work with the Saudi Ministry of Culture.
“Last week, I went around with the minister of culture and we visited six cultural institutions and one of them is now considering putting a school into Saudi,” he said. “So, that is the kind of engagement that I want to have because Saudi is on a continuum of change. That is the kind of work we want to be doing: engagement in the important issues and challenges of our time.”
In 2022, Edelman reached the threshold of 31% racially and ethnically diverse employees in the U.S. As of January 2023, 56.3% of the firm’s global leaders are women and 62% of its U.S. leaders are women.
“DE&I has been a defining part of our work,” said Edelman. “We have done 300-plus projects for clients since the murder of George Floyd, pushing them to action.”
The firm’s key new hires included: Warren Fernandez as Edelman Asia Pacific CEO; Soni Basi as chief people officer; Radina Russell as GM of Atlanta; Tom Robinson as CEO of Australia; Anita Valdes as U.S. head of DXI; and Everett Eissenstat as chair of North America and global trade lead at EGA
Key promotions included Kirsty Graham as global president of practices and sectors and global chair of health; Lex Suvanto to CEO of Edelman Smithfield; Jordan Rittenberry to GM of the Bay Area hub; Margot Edelman to deputy GM of New York; Jordan Atlas to U.S. chief creative officer; and Melle Hock to U.S. strategy lead.
Notable Edelman leavers over the last year include U.S. COO Jim O’Leary, who joined Weber Shandwick as CEO of North America; Russell Dubner, former global vice chairman and chair of the Edelman Trust Institute, who joined Boston Consulting Group as senior partner and its first global chief communications officer; and Dan Susong, Edelman’s former chair of the U.S. technology sector and Austin market leader, who is now chief communications officer of WPP’s Ford Motor Company account.
In the past month, Edelman was named PR AOR for White Claw and PR AOR for the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference. Assembly, an Edelman agency, also won digital and social work with LinkedIn.
In 2021, Edelman's global revenue increased 15.4% to $984.9 million in terms of constant currency growth.
“I started at Edelman when it was $6 million and 300 people, and now we are at 6,500 people and $1.1 billion in revenue,” said Edelman. “And we are doing work that is of such magnitude and importance. I like doing significant work and that is what we are here for.”
In the last pre-pandemic year of 2019, Edelman’s revenue grew by 2.1% to $892 million on an organic basis without taking into account the impact of currency fluctuations.