Welcome to PR Week’s 2010 Top 150 PR Consultancies Web Site
As the information on this site shows, evaluating the current health of the PR industry is a complex task.
The PRWeek annual league table is the most definitive and up-to-date barometer of UK PR spend. Compiling this report is a major undertaking and is hindered both by those firms which claim the 2002 Sarbanes Oxley Act ‘prevents’ them from revealing their annual fee income, and another tiny tranche that always opt for operational secrecy. Nevertheless, the vast majority of PR agencies are brave and transparent enough to volunteer their figures, which are also signed off by their company auditors.
We analyse the figures in conjunction with the UK trade body for PR firms – the PRCA – and Kingston Smith W1, a well-established management consultancy specialising in the PR and marcoms sector. What emerges is an industry that has weathered the storm of the past two years very well. The average performance of 2009 compared to 2008 is one of flat or mild growth. But within this trend, there is a complex pattern. Some agencies have grown significantly, some had a tough year. Some simply kept a firm hand on the tiller.
However, when one compares this with overall GDP decline – and the figures emerging from the advertising industry during 2009 – this should be viewed as a sector bucking the business trend.
To understand why, it is well worth reading the viewpoints of two agency bosses. Lord Chadlington runs the biggest group of PR agencies in the UK, while Matthew Freud is accepted as the most powerful PR operator. Both point to the increasingly pivotal role of comms advice at the highest echelons of public life, and to the way in which digital media have tipped the scale in PR’s favour within the mix of management disciplines.
Danny Rogers, editor, PRWeek