EDITORIAL COMMENT: Agency rankings bigger and better

With over 300 firms, the PRWeek Agency Rankings supplement (enclosed in this issue) is the largest, most definitive survey of its kind ever conducted - 50% larger than last year’s survey. That means we have found, tracked and gained insight from more than 100 PR firms that are new to the rankings.

With over 300 firms, the PRWeek Agency Rankings supplement (enclosed in this issue) is the largest, most definitive survey of its kind ever conducted - 50% larger than last year’s survey. That means we have found, tracked and gained insight from more than 100 PR firms that are new to the rankings.

With over 300 firms, the PRWeek Agency Rankings supplement

(enclosed in this issue) is the largest, most definitive survey of its

kind ever conducted - 50% larger than last year’s survey. That means we

have found, tracked and gained insight from more than 100 PR firms that

are new to the rankings.



In the supplement you will find an industry overview, a report on global

strategies among the top firms and an analysis of the mergers and

acquisitions that made 1999 an unprecedented year of consolidation.

There are also reports on the top 20 agencies, and a selection of

reports on 40 others.



We hope that whether you’re an agency, an employee or a client looking

for a new agency (or comparing notes on rival agencies), the information

will prove valuable. And it’s not restricted to this special supplement,

either. Throughout the year, PRWeek will provide breakout information,

reports and rankings on regional and specialist markets so you can get

the full picture. And coming soon, there will be further data and

analysis available on the new PRWeek Web site.





Does size matter?



Some argue that outside of the top 10, top 20 or top 50 (depending on

various opinions), results from smaller, regional and specialist

agencies are of no real value. Although nearly two-thirds of the

industry’s dollars 2.7 billion in fee income comes from the top 20

agencies, PRWeek does not agree with this big-agency focus - for three

reasons.



First, small, entrepreneurial businesses continue to play an important

role in the US economy. In a business where there is still no

replacement for individual creativity and great contacts, small- and

medium-size firms can challenge and compete very effectively against the

giants in the right circumstances and on the right accounts.



Our second reason is with an eye to the future. The roots of today’s big

firms are in small, cottage industry-based businesses. But the future is

not just about their development into multi-office practices with

complex matrix structures and elaborate multiple service offerings.

While entry into the big league has unquestionably become more

difficult, it is by no means impossible that the next big agency will

come from similarly humble roots. Indeed, the PRWeek Agency Rankings

supplement is full of examples of little businesses that have enjoyed

spectacular growth in recent years, and which may yet challenge the

current world order.



And finally, we think it’s important, as the leading PR trade

publication, that we track, monitor, measure and analyze the full gamut

of public relations firms. A small agency’s clients and staff are just

as important to each other as they are to a large, sprawling

multinational. And their story might be just as compelling - or, often,

more so.



Besides, all firms - big or small - contribute to the state of the PR

economy. All should be included. PRWeek has identified a further 5,000

agencies that have not submitted figures. Our next job is to persuade

more of them to join in order to create a truly definitive list.



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