PR WEEK AWARDS 2001: Business - PR Agency of the Year 2001 Sponsored by Medialink.

WINNER 2001

Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide

It was a year of celebration for Ogilvy PR, and not just because it marked the 20th anniversary of the business. Under the ambitious tutelage of CEO Bob Seltzer, US revenues rose 44% and global revenues were up 34%, capping a three-year run in which the agency has tripled in size, making it one of the fastest-growing and highest-margin PR agencies.

Nor was this a matter of just attaching acquisitions. Organic growth was in the mid 30s, and with dollars 50 million of new accounts, it was Ogilvy's best year ever for new business. New clients included Avis, Astra Zeneca, Johnson&Johnson, Kimberly Clark, Pitney Bowes, Rockwell, Merrill Lynch and more.

Of course, acquisitions played their part. But new units BWR, an dollars 8 million entertainment firm, and Feinstein Kean, a dollars 9 million healthcare and biotech firm - like Alexander Ogilvy in 1998 - are growing significantly faster as integrated units than they were as independents. New Ogilvy offices in Bucharest, Colombo (Sri Lanka), Dusseldorf (Germany), Frankfurt, Hyderabad (India), Istanbul, and Sydney also opened for business in 2000.

Ogilvy has achieved success because it does good work. Strong in hi-tech, healthcare and consumer marketing, Ogilvy has developed the ability to work effectively across practices and multiple offices, typified by complex assignments for BP (winner of two PRWeek awards for Ogilvy tonight) and WebMD. Client products included programs for Brand Bonding, e-Brands, healthcare initiatives and Silicon Valley Impact.

Ogilvy also stepped up its HR efforts, introducing new programs (for alumni, relocation and transfers, and college recruitment), a new Intranet, 360-degree employee reviews, and an 'Ogilvy 50' group of second-tier leaders.

HONORABLE MENTION

Fleishman-Hillard International

It was another historic year for Fleishman-Hillard. After overtaking Burson-Marsteller to become the No. 1 agency in the US with a 32% growth spurt in 1999, the St Louis-based firm rocketed to over dollars 300 million in revenue in 2000, a more than 40% growth. And 30% of this was organic.

An acquisition strategy focused on hi-tech saw the addition of three specialty firms to create a dollars 100 million hi-tech superpractice. And operations in London, Tokyo, Mexico City, Madrid and Puerto Rico were all expanded.

Already boasting a reputation as the best employer in the business, Fleishman added new training programs and expanded employee benefits, including an employee stock purchase plan.

Winner 2000: Brodeur Worldwide, which posted more than 30% growth and dollars 40 million in fee revenues for 1999

The Award

Open to US-based firms, this category's nominees are judged on the basis of financial and client list growth, client retention, and PR innovation and creativity.

Finalists 2001

- Fleishman-Hillard International

- Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide

- BSMG Worldwide

- Manning, Selvage & Lee

- FitzGerald Communications

MEDIALINK

Every day, we work with PR professionals to provide the most effective production, notification, distribution and tracking systems for TV, radio, print, photography and the Internet. As a tribute to the stellar agencies and savvy professionals with whom we partner, we are proud to sponsor the PR Agency of the Year Award.

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