2006 Agency Excellence Survey: Weber Shandwick

CEO: Harris Diamond

CEO: Harris Diamond

Number of clients rating: 74

Sector specialties most used: Corporate, consumer, public affairs

Top-scoring attributes against average: Works within budget; offers truly outstanding client service; responds to your needs and requests in a timely manner

Bottom-scoring attributes against average: Has high quality staff; helps you understand and develop programs within the new-media environment; provides actionable research to inform campaign strategy and execution

Overall satisfaction: 99

Clients hail the firm's "truly outstanding" service and responsiveness to their needs.

Most clients said they used WS' media relations capability. "That's the core of what we do," says CEO Harris Diamond. "Sometimes, you wonder if people have gotten a little away from that."

Another area in which the firm hopes to continue to distinguish itself in clients' minds is in the development and evolution of intellectual capital. "If you keep developing that through training and making sure your people know the strengths they can tap into, you'll always be a trusted partner," says Diamond.

Among the firm's lower scoring attributes was its new-media capabilities, an area it has made significant strides to bolster.

Interviews for the Agency Excellence Survey were conducted via computer-assisted Web interviewing [CAWI] methodology. Respondents were recruited from several sources, including, but not limited to, the ERI Panel, PRWeek Contact list, and PRWeek's subscriber list. (Databases were supplied to Millward Brown for the sole purpose of conducting the research.)

The ERI Panel has more than 1 million business pros across the US and Canada, and is made up of opinion leaders, decision-makers, and purchase influencers for companies and organizations. Qualified members are invited to complete an in-depth business-relevant profiling survey that indicates their work roles, responsibilities, job-related interests, and more.

All respondents were PR clients involved in agency selection and management. A total of 600 people were interviewed between April 18 and June 27, 2006.

Modeling of results: Agencies were ranked on two dimensions, high importance and differentiating, which were derived from the stated vs. derived importance analysis. Statements that were high in both stated and derived importance are seen as high importance, while those that are high in derived importance, but lower in stated importance are considered differentiating.

Each agency's attribute scores were weighted according to the proportion of current clients in their dataset to ensure a comparable impact of current clients for each firm. The structure of the model was designed by Millward Brown, with analysis done by a Millward Brown analyst.

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