Climbing to the Top of the PR Agency List

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You can find a handful of PR agencies in almost every major city in the United States, as well as around the world, that range from global agencies to local-run firms. With so many agencies and such a diverse set of professionals, what makes a certain firm stand out above others? Is it the organizational structure? Their clients? Their core values, practices and mission statements? When you think about PR agencies, both global and national, certain names rise to the top. Below are the top three PR agencies in the United States according to The Holmes Report’s ranking of the top PR agencies in the US for 2017.  In ascending order:

  1. FleishmanHillard.

FleishmanHillard prides themselves on both innovation and tradition. They focus on developing compelling strategies and ideas for the future, while still keeping a firm grasp on current trends and issues in order to ensure a balance of creativity and standard practice. This allows for a diverse and well-rounded agency that taps into many different issues, while exploring several avenues when attacking each project or client need.

FleishmanHillard’s success lies in the integration of communication among branches of expertise. Main sections include: brand marketing, consumer products and services, crisis management, media relations, financial and professional services, food, beverage and agribusiness, etc.

You can find some of the biggest brand names in the industry included in FleishmanHillard’s clientele. Some of these clients include: EA Sports, who produces the Madden NFL video game, Chevrolet, Levi Strauss & Co., AT&T, U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Barnes & Noble.

This quote can be found on the FleishmanHillard website – “Whatever your goals may be, let FleishmanHillard set the stage for the most transformative professional experience of your life.”

  1. Weber Shandwick.

Known for their prominent slogan, “Engaging Always,” Weber Shandwick consistently finds itself at the top of the list in terms of leading PR agencies for many reasons. Weber Shandwick takes small and innovative ideas and turns them into something big. They unfailingly focus on fresh, new ideas and spearheading communication. Whatever your interest, Weber has a place for you. Branches range from city to city and certain sections may be remote to only one or two agencies, such as Boston’s CultureTap team at Weber Shandwick but main sections of work include: business marketing, corporate, digital, financial services, crisis communications and issues management, health care, measurement and analytics and travel, lifestyle marketing, etc.

Weber Shandwick’s creativity and passion for culture can be seen on full display in their work with the famous brand, Barbie, in their “Evolve the Doll” case study. Weber Shandwick saw that the world was evolving and so was the way in which people view one another. So, Weber Shandwick partnered with Barbie to develop a new Fashionistas line that featured new body types and skin tones for Barbie dolls.

Weber Shandwick’s website displays the following – “We’re the kind of marketing company built for today. Because we didn’t start building yesterday.”

  1. Edelman.

Last but certainly not least, the top PR agency of the US according to this 2017 study goes to Edelman.

Edelman thrives on storytelling. Whether it’s reshaping or totally recreating, Edelman has the capacity and the drive to propel their clients in the right direction. They always strives to push the limits of the PR landscape and their clients. Edelman is all about striving for the top and then continuing after they’ve reached it.

Main practices at Edelman include: brand, business and social purpose, corporate, crisis and risk, digital and public affairs, etc. Edelman prides themselves on the integration of all practices to tap into the potential of every client, focusing on independent needs and strategies tailored to each client.

A prominent example of the work that Edelman does can be found in their partnership with Girl Rising in producing the #62MillionGirls initiative. The number of young girls worldwide that are still denied access to education has reached 62 million so Edelman helped launch the hashtag #62MillionGirls that flooded social media and became the #1 trend on Twitter. #62MillionGils featured stories and posts from people worldwide and even celebrities like Beyoncé and received extensive news coverage.

Edelman’s website explains exactly what they stand for – “Excellence, curiosity and courage are very much at the heart of who we are and drive our continued evolution as a firm.”

Public relations firms are everywhere you look and each one has something about it that makes it special — that helps it stand above its competitors. It’s important to know who you are and what you bring to the table as a PR professional and then find a company that aligns itself with your goals and aspirations. Whether it be a place like FleishmanHillard, Weber Shandwick, Edelman or any of the many other successful agencies in the US, it’s important to know what makes it successful and how you can add to that success.

Riley Nordquist is a senior at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, SD and is a member of PRSSA National’s Industry News & Current Events Subcommittee. Riley serves as the vice president of Strategy as well as firm director for his chapter of PRSSA.

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