Egle Klekere: PR specialists are still paid less than the lawyers

Deep White is a Latvian PR agency that has been in the TOP 10 of Baltic agency ranking. Hando Sinisalu interviewed the founder and CEO of Deep White Egle Klekere in Riga.

Lets start with the history of Deep White.

We started as a PR department of a famous advertising agency Mooz. I was 23- year old journalist then and Eriks Stendzenieks was then the most influential Latvian advertising creative. We agreed that when the business grows, we will establish a separate company. Two years later the PR agency Deep White was born.

Later I bought the partner out and continued alone. Now we have been in the market for 16 years.

What is Deep White? The boundaries between advertising, PR and media agencies are blurring.

Our DNA is “creative PR”, so we are a creative communications agency that offers the client all communication support needed. Sometimes its just PR, but we also create advertising sometimes. But our biggest income comes from strategic PR.

We are open for cooperation and use the help of freelancers, we also cooperate with all major advertising and media agencies in the market. We do not see advertising and media agencies as competitors.

How much do you charge for your service?

Unfortunately, PR specialists are still paid less than the lawyers. However, the pricing model is similar – we sell our competence. The prices depend on the task, on the situation, speed, number of specialists involved, etc. It really depends. But if you need some specific numbers, I would say our hourly fees are in the range of 60 – 350 Euros.

What are your growth ambitions?

There are several limitations in our business – for example we cannot have more than one bank as a client. We need to avoid the conflict of interest.

We can grow by providing more valuable services for our clients. We have developed our competence in more strategic level – public affairs and sustainability, for instance.

Increasingly we have top management, C- level managers as our partners. Traditionally marketing comms is managed by marketing executives and CEOs are not involved.

Can you export your service?

PR is a relationships business and it is very hard to offer such service to our clients in foreign markets alone. That is why we need to involve local partners and in cooperation with them we can also offer service to our clients in markets outside Latvia. It is easier in specific industry sectors, like tech and IT. 

Paid content marketing is gaining popularity, will this be a threat to PR business?

Paid content is always less valuable than “real” content that is pitched to a journalist. But I also think that paid content has its role when done properly. Sometimes the timing is an issue, sometimes you need to include the links and the only way to solve this issue is to buy content marketing articles. I accept the fact that in order to survive, our national media needs additional sources of income. It is really important to have a strong national media. But content marketing should not be something hidden, full transparency is needed here.

You are a marketing agency, how do you market yourself?

We are not actively selling our services. Our main marketing tool is winning the awards. Being the “agency of the year” helps to get clients. We are the top-of-the-mind agency in Latvia and we are invited to all important pitches.

The bottleneck for the growth is to find a good talent. I have always been very cautious in overselling – we have to be sure we have enough resources to service a new client. Fortunately, our business model of working with several partners helps here. You cannot hire all the best people in the market, but you can still cooperate with them!

BalticBest 2023

You can find rules HERE. 

Submission deadline: 09.08.2023

Shortlist published: 18.08.2023

Live judging and awards announced: 23.08.2023