EDITORIAL: The firms listed in the 2004 Agency Business Report rank highly just for their participation

Two hundred and three PR firms are listed in the agency rankings, which appear in this issue's 2004 Agency Business Report. This is PRWeek's first independent foray into the rankings space. The Council of Public Relations Firms, which was the magazine's former source of the data, decided not to collect revenue information from the industry at large.

Two hundred and three PR firms are listed in the agency rankings, which appear in this issue's 2004 Agency Business Report. This is PRWeek's first independent foray into the rankings space. The Council of Public Relations Firms, which was the magazine's former source of the data, decided not to collect revenue information from the industry at large.

The open and eager participation of such a large portion of the industry should give many of the holding-company agencies pause, especially if they are among those who defend the decision to restrict the release of this information. Far from believing such rankings are meaningless, given the absence of many of the largest firms, these firms have committed their performance - good and bad - to the record. In addition, but for a timing issue in the production of the rankings, Carmichael Lynch Spong, an Interpublic agency, would have been represented in the tables. The firm's revenues are found in the report cards of individual agencies and we are grateful for its participation in this process. We also collected estimated revenue data from Interpublic agencies The MWW Group and DeVries Public Relations, also found in the report cards. The efforts of these firms to tell their full stories and feed the industry's data pool are nothing short of admirable. It is worth reiterating that this whole issue speaks to the heart of the industry, where transparency is considered paramount for ethical companies. One holding-company CEO has argued that companies such as his make ample information available about their marketing operations and that not breaking out specific company revenues does not signal any lack of transparency. However, we maintain that any time a company stops supplying information it once made public that automatically creates a conflict with true transparency. We hope that in the near future we will once again be able to provide a full and detailed look at the performance of all agencies, of all types and sizes. Until then, we salute those who continue to help create a more thorough understanding of the PR industry's health. Kudos to Tyco for actively taking diversity lead In the interest of full disclosure, I serve on the board of the LaGrant Foundation, which appears in this week's issue in a news story about its partnership with Tyco on a $300,000 internship program (see story). The program aims to encourage more diversity in the PR, marketing, and advertising industries, which is also the mission of the LaGrant Foundation. Kim Hunter, president of the LaGrant Foundation, says this level of commitment is unprecedented in the organization's history, though it enjoys support from a number of entities, including PR firms and corporations. The ability of the PR profession to recruit and retain more smart people from diverse populations is a topic that provokes chatter in many industry congregations. However, that chatter doesn't translate into action often enough, particularly on the agency side. Just as Hill & Knowlton's sponsorship of PRWeek's Diversity Survey (December 1, 2003) was a tangible attempt to learn more about the demographics and trends in the industry, Tyco's program is exactly the practical step that is needed to help truly make a difference.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.