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Reputation Online Top 100 PR Agencies 2011 7

TOP 100 OVERVIEW

DIGITAL PR HAS GROWN IN SUBSTANCE BUT IS STILL GROWING IN SIZE

he response to the launch of the first Reputation Online Top 100 PR Agencies guide was both encouraging and revealing. The aim of this guide is to benchmark the industry in terms of fee income, and evaluate its size. The list, comprising fullservice, digital specialists and social media agencies, is made up from 80 ranked agencies, 10 that couldnt give out financial data due to Sarbanes-Oxley, and 10 agencies we consider worth keeping an eye on. We specifically didnt put entry criteria in place, since reputation management and online PR have become so ingrained in many aspects of marketing. The lines have not only blurred, but customers have effectively torn them up and remodelled the marketing industry into something completely different. So for this Top 100, all agencies that perceive themselves to be offering online PR services have been eligible to enter. Youd be forgiven for expecting the guide to be jam-packed with boutique agencies. After all, theres a perception that such outfits retain and attract the kind of specialist talent required to service clients properly. But in fact, almost 90% of those included consider themselves to be full-service agencies. There are clear gaps in terms of vertical representation, in healthcare and finance largely, but our list is a strong reflection that many are integrating online activity into a broader service set. The last 20 of our 100 is divided between those restricted from providing us with figures and those to keep an eye on. To some extent, weve seen Sarbanes Oxley regulations skew our results and we dont feel that estimating fees is an appropriate way to include the bigger players in the guide. Weve listed the most prominent agencies affected by this, which have strong digital capabilities and case studies to boot, after those ranked by income. Weve flagged key clients and achievements from the bigger players, and included some of the agencies we believe are producing fantastic work that helps brands to grow online. Additionally, weve asked four experts to add some context to our findings and give their viewpoints based on our motives for compiling this guide, and some of its results. As for those agencies that didnt enter, the most common reason given was that they felt their billings were too small to accurately portray the quality of their work or that their fees just werent at a level they were happy to share. Although the barrier to entry is indeed lower than new media ages annual Top 100

Interactive Agencies guide, thats a 12-yearold table. Its important to remember that digital PR is still a young industry. As such, Kerryn Dinsdale, senior PR manager at Barclaycard, discusses its maturity or not, as the case may be on page 8. The other response to our guide from some (although not as many as expected) was that agencies didnt split billing into traditional versus digital. This was heartening because we believe that an integrated approach is the right one. Digital is, after all, just another way to talk to consumers. Phillip Sheldrake provides his viewpoint on page 9, talking about taking a more holistic approach to communications strategy, using his own experience across engineering, marketing, PR and technology as a base. This idea of learning from other disciplines also inspired our third contribution from Pete Goold, managing director of Punch Communications, who considers the changing role of what a PR agency is expected to be able to do for a brand. Additionally, it was interesting to see the varying approaches to staff that work on digital. A large portion of Reputation Onlines readership is technically savvy and approaches digital PR in a way thats usually ahead of the curve. Thats why some of the larger agencies in our guide were very clear about the fact that, although they might have a handful of specialists, the ability to work online was expected across the board. We have, however, asked every entrant to provide a definite headcount for those working on digital in the UK, which youll in the table on pages 10-11. The results of our questions about which agencies and individual PRs entrants most respected revealed fascinating and surprising results (see right). Of the 49 agencies nominated by entrants, 22 were integrated ad agencies, which included Wieden+ Kennedy (which tops our list alongside We Are Social), AKQA, BBH, LBi and Poke. This suggests that creative campaigns still catch the eye of PR professionals. The other type of agency thats noticeably respected by our Top 100 entrants is the social media agency. Of these, Immediate Future, NixonMcInnes and We Are Social all sit within our top five most respected. Hotwires digital arm, 33 Digital, fares well all round, with the agency group at number four in the Top 100, and its MD by far cited as the most respected industry figure.

In terms of individuals, Stephen Waddington, winner of last years peer-voted Greatest Contribution from an Individual award at the first Reputation Online Effectiveness Awards, came second. Mark Borokowski, a traditional PR man with 100% awareness of digital, according to those who suggested him, sits in third, with Staniforths Rob Brown and Hill & Knowltons Sally Costerton at fourth and fifth respectively. Browns involvement with the CIPR and Costertons work at the PRCA have inevitably raised their profiles, but as we all know, without the nous and credibility to match, respect isnt something that automatically goes hand in hand with having a big platform from which to speak. Costertons place as the only female in our top five most respected industry figures once again raises the issue that although the number of women in senior PR roles is widely accepted to be lower than men, women far outweigh men in PR as a general rule. This is something weve covered briefly on Reputation Online but will be looking at in more details over the coming months as we go back to our Top 100 entrants to create some research on gender split in PR. Of course, this is an issue for every industry. But for PR, where there are so many women in grassroots roles being expected to take on more digital work, theres a responsibility for those in senior roles to act as role models. Since shes not only PRCA chairman,but also CEO of Hill & Knowlton EMEA, we asked Costerton to discuss this in more detail on page 9. This is the first time weve created this Top 100 PR Agencies list, and were doing so with an open-door policy. Weve ranked purely based on digital fee income, and no, its not a perfect measure, but its an appropriate place to start. The important thing to remember is that shouting the loudest doesnt equate to trust, and it doesnt mean that an agency is going to run a strong campaign with good results. Avoiding those that are all mouth and no trousers has never been a more appropriate warning label. The inaugural Reputation Online Top 100 PR Agencies guide was created with the collaboration of the digital PR industry. Wed like to thank everyone who took part and look forward to watching the guide develop as an essential companion to new media ages Top 100 Interactive Agencies and Marketing Services Guide. b

MOST RESPECTED AGENCIES


1= 1= 3= 3= 5 6 7= 7= Wieden+Kennedy We Are Social NixonMcInnes Frank Immediate Future 33 Digital Dare LBi

MOST RESPECTED INDIVIDUALS


1 2 3 4 5 Drew Benvie, 33 Digital Stephen Waddington, Speed Mark Borokowski Rob Brown, Staniforth Sally Costerton, Hill & Knowlton

10 Top 100 PR Agencies 2011 Reputation Online

Reputation Online Top 100 PR Agencies 2011 11

TOP 100 AGENCIES BY UK INCOME


RANK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 AGENCY MHP Communications 1000heads Edelman Hotwire Group Way To Blue Four Communications Group CMW London Golley Slater Tempero We Are Social Lucid Online Fresh Networks Lexis Public Relations Nelson Bostock Group Grayling Exposure Promotions ITPR Haygarth Punch Communications Brands2Life Shine NixonMcInnes Speed Communications Lansons Communications Splendid Communications Revolver PR TVC Group Mi liberty Launch Group Shiny Red Franklin Rae Content and Motion Kaizo Focus PR Octopus Group Amaze Public Relations Brazen Ketchum Pleon Livity Atomic PR UK The Reptile Group Waggener Edstrom Worldwide Consolidated PR Manifest Communications Brass Eulogy Soak Digital Bottle PR Rabbit Ruder Finn UK Braben Cognition Communications Golin Harris International Champion Communications Band & Brown Group UK INCOME FROM DIGITAL 5,024,100 4,413,348 4,000,000 3,490,961 3,306,000 3,168,849 3,116,000 3,000,000 2,600,000 2,001,345 1,900,000 1,800,000 1,700,000 1,435,000 1,360,000 1,331,165 1,269,461 1,197,673 1,150,000 1,140,000 1,095,498 1,077,580 1,009,553 977,963 828,415 825,000 818,000 782,000 747,164 722,951 722,387 702,000 661,579 637,977 620,000 616,950 574,666 550,000 513,952 498,000 477,775 467,442 440,165 440,000 428,538 419,668 414,000 386,500 375,829 375,000 360,000 351,003 350,000 349,543 283,500 YEAR TO 12/10 12/10 04/11 06/10 12/09 12/10 02/10 03/11 05/10 12/10 03/11 12/10 07/10 03/10 12/10 12/10 12/10 12/09 03/11 03/10 12/10 03/10 01/10 03/10 12/10 10/10 06/10 01/10 06/10 12/10 08/10 04/09 12/10 12/10 12/10 12/10 12/10 12/10 04/11 12/10 03/11 12/10 02/10 06/10 07/10 03/10 12/10 12/10 12/10 12/10 12/10 09/10 12/10 12/10 09/09 UK DIGITAL STAFF 146 75 50 16 16 12 40 146 110 45 22 36 90 16 7 13 18 14 11 10 49 18 27 9 5 12 40 5 6 7 13 14 1 24 4 6 25 4 3 1 8 3 2 15 10 11 2 9 1 15 3 8 10 7 YEAR FOUNDED 2010 2000 1967 2000 1999 2001 1995 1957 2002 2008 2009 2008 1992 1987 1995 1993 1990 1999 2003 2000 1998 2000 2009 1989 2004 2009 1998 1998 2001 2007 2003 2009 1999 1991 2001 1993 2001 1989 2001 2009 1998 2001 1990 1999 1983 1996 2008 2003 2009 1990 1994 1998 1994 2009 1991 OWNER RANK The Engine Group independent independent Photon Group independent independent Media Square independent independent independent Lucid Group independent Next Fifteen Group Creston Huntsworth independent independent independent independent Fraser Scales Holdings independent independent Loewy Group independent independent independent ISIS Equity Partners (60%) independent independent The Red Consultancy independent independent Argyll Consultancies independent independent Hasgrove independent DAS independent Huntsworth independent independent independent independent independent independent independent independent independent independent independent independent Interpublic Group independent EDC 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73= 73= 75 76 77 78 79 80 AGENCY Red Dog Cherish PR Finn Communications Cow PR Thebluedoor Rostrum Communications Rave Communications Siren PR Carrot Lewis Communications Tangerine PR Renegade Media Paratus Communications Publicasity House PR Jargon PR iKontakt Ladbury PR Threepipe Admiral PR Salt Reality PR Propeller Group Fierce PR Stripe Communications UK INCOME FROM DIGITAL 273,730 261,995 245,000 240,000 237,485 225,000 215,000 201,650 200,000 197,000 196,352 164,795 135,000 131,745 130,000 125,000 122,800 120,000 120,000 110,000 98,000 80,000 75,000 48,000 42,000 YEAR TO 03/11 06/10 03/11 12/10 03/11 04/10 09/10 11/10 04/10 07/10 02/11 03/10 12/10 12/10 03/10 03/11 12/10 12/10 04/10 06/10 12/10 12/10 09/10 04/11 12/10

TOP 100 AGENCIES BY UK INCOME


UK DIGITAL STAFF 6 5 14 28 4 4 4 14 5 2 5 9 2 44 2 5 20 4 1 3 36 3 3 1 16 YEAR FOUNDED 2009 2003 2005 2000 2008 2003 2000 2001 2000 1995 2002 2001 2004 1978 1998 2008 2009 2009 2004 1999 2000 2002 1998 2009 2006 OWNER independent independent independent independent independent independent independent independent independent independent independent independent independent independent independent independent independent independent independent independent independent independent independent independent Cello Group

AGENCY

TOTAL UK STAFF

YEAR FOUNDED

OWNER

UNRANKED AGENCIES
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Axicom Burson-Marsteller Cohn & Wolfe Euro RSCG UK Fishburn Hedges Fleishman-Hillard Hill & Knowlton Staniforth Porter Novelli Weber Shandwick 42 100 60 240 130 230 20 75 1992 1967 1989 1998 1991 1987 1969 1978 1972 1974 WPP WPP WPP Havas AMVBBDO/Omnicom Omnicom WPP Omnicom Omnicom Interpublic Group

ONES TO WATCH
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3 Monkeys 33Seconds Beige London Diffusion EML Wildfire Immediate Future Lucre Social Meanwhile Saint@RKCR/Y&R Umpf 57 8 15 25 18 8 9 55 4 2003 2011 2011 2008 2011 2004 2010 2010 2007 2009 independent independent independent independent independent independent independent independent RKCR/Y&R independent