THE TOP 150 PR CONSULTANCIES 2001: Top 50 Outside London - More consultancies based outside London are recording fee-income growth of 25 per cent or more than did so last year. Technology and telecoms specialists fared particularly well

PR consultancies outside London are thriving. Technology and

telecoms specialists may have fared better than the rest, but a total of

26 consultancies recorded growth of 25 per cent or more - nine more than

did so last year.



By contrast, there was a slight fall in the number of these agencies

making it into the top 100. Last year's Top 150 table recorded 34

consultancies outside London falling within the top 100. This year, the

figure dropped to 29. The splitting out of the main brands' figures, and

entry of new consultancies into the table, will have affected the

position of non-London agencies too.



Last year's boom in the hi-tech and telecoms industries was an obvious

factor in the growth of these agencies. Unlike other sectors, hi-tech

clients are often based outside the capital, making them less

metrocentric when it comes to hiring. Among the big winners were Grant

Butler Coomber, Le Fevre Communications, Midnight Communications and

Brodeur Worldwide (UK).



Few can be surprised that Countrywide Porter Novelli has held on to the

title of leading agency outside London. The Banbury powerhouse recorded

a ten per cent increase in fee income - enough to finish fifth in the

Top 150 league table.



Runner-up was Medical Action Communications, but it was not an

outstanding growth year for the Surrey agency. After recording a 32 per

cent growth in fee income last year, the three per cent rise it recorded

this year is small in comparison. The agency fell seven places in the

Top 150 league table. Third was Harrison Cowley with a 17 per cent

increase in fee income.



Though this was six percentage points better than the previous year, it

was not enough to move the agency up the Top 150 league table.



Last year, seven agencies outside London saw their fee income fall. This

year, the figure was five. Fee income at Birmingham-based Barkers Public

Relations fell 36 per cent, sending the agency down 30 places in the Top

150. Insight Group experienced a dip in fee income of 29 per cent.



Midnight Communications in Brighton recorded a 135 per cent increase in

fee income this year, making it the 17th largest agency outside London.

In 1999, the agency grew 113 per cent.



Managing director Caraline Brown believes the decision to specialise in

internet PR six years ago has been a lucrative one. 'We have benefited

from the dot.com boom, but have been discerning about the companies we

work for,' she says. 'We never took shares in lieu of fees and only

worked with companies with their own marketing departments.'



New clients for the firm in 2000 included Adobe Systems, SDL

International and Affinity Holdings. Although the company has an office

in London, Brown believes there are advantages to the Brighton base. 'We

have lost only one person to another agency in six years,' she says.

'People want to stay with us, which is good for our clients.'



As well working hard for clients, Midnight has been busy raising its

profile and pocketing a number of awards, including a PRWeek award for

Best International Campaign.



At the start of the year, Brodeur Worldwide changed its name from

Brodeur A Plus. This year, its fee income rose 17 per cent, making it

the fourth largest agency outside London. Vice-chairman Jonathan Simnett

says the agency gained many new clients, including Cable & Wireless, US

mobile device manufacturer Research in Motion, and Ipsaris, a joint

venture between Marconi and British Waterways Board to provide a

fibre-optic infrastructure based on the canal system.



Simnett attributes the agency's success to the hi-tech boom and a change

of emphasis. 'We have started to change the nature of our business from

a hi-tech PR agency to an integrated marketing communications

consultancy,' he says. As part as this effort, Brodeur Bfor was launched

as a pilot to offer integrated services to clients.



Over in Manchester, Communique founder and director Paul Carroll says

that as a leading regional agency, it can attract the top staff. 'The

best people make a bee-line for us and the agency spends a lot of time

and resources on staff development and training,' he says. 'It's a

virtuous circle.'



Communique's fee income rose 38 per cent. Carroll credits this to the

maturity of business and the relationships he has forged with

clients.



He does not see location as a disadvantage, believing 'talent will out'

wherever it is. Indeed, Communique has an enviable list of blue-chip

clients.



Newcomers include Schwan's Europe, manufacturers of Chicago Town and

Freschetta pizza brands, and Fort James, makers of Nouvelle toilet

tissue.



Agencies outside London

Rnk Company Fee income (pounds)

2000 1999 % growth

1 Countrywide Porter 20,905,626 19,018,694 10

Novelli*

2 Medical Action 10,200,000 9,900,000 3

Communications

3 Harrison Cowley* 6,311,128 5,402,112 17

4 Brodeur Wldwide (UK)* 6,112,397 5,225,370 17

5 Grant Butler 3,602,455 2,879,253 25

Coomber Group*

6 Staniforth Comms* 2,910,909 2,505,200 16

7 Communique PR* 2,881,316 2,089,890 38

8 Le Fevre Comms 2,595,539 1,860,422 40

9 Cragie Taylor Int'l 2,580,732 2,389,567 8

10 Companycare Comms* 2,378,318 1,824,981 30

11 Brahm Public Relations 2,364,587 2,107,680 12

12 Golley Slater PR* 2,152,294 2,149,914 0

13 AD Communications* 2,043,909 1,601,434 28

14 Roger Staton Assoc* 1,913,466 1,340,751 43

15 Noiseworks 1,899,126 1,804,029 5

16 Strategic Alliance 1,728,142 1,506,635 15

17 Midnight Comms* 1,614,090 687,989 135

18 Sinclair Mason 1,563,073 1,518,076 3

19 Ptarmigan Consultants* 1,493,121 1,001,111 49

20 Oast Communications 1,470,686 1,137,436 29

21 Berkeley Public 1,429,107 1,385,938 3

Relations

22 Barkers Public 1,423,632 2,209,215 -36

Relations*

23 Lowe Fusion Healthcare 1,328,365 1,320,537 1

24 Quay West Comms 1,283,197 1,096,750 17

25 The Whiteoaks 1,279,819 856,357 49

Consultancy*

26 Northern Profile 1,163,400 899,370 29

27 Elizabeth Hindmarch* 1,128,618 1,138,456 -1

28 Myriad Public Relations 1,123,320 878,817 28

29 Eclat Marketing 1,114,652 715,799 56

30 Splash Communications 1,100,165 847,820 30

31 Warman & Bannister 1,081,000 1,032,000 5

Cambridge*

32 Charlton Communications 1,047,034 823,730 27

33 Vital 1,032,910 705,551 46

34 JBP Public Relations* 994,656 1,013,578 -2

35 EML 994,534 882,000 13

36 TTA Public Relations* 974,717 735,033 33

37 Marbles* 959,426 750,607 28

38 Gordon Bruce Associates 896,174 889,000 1

39 Mere Communications 871,959 622,865 40

40 Multimedia Public 871,528 510,159 71

Relations and Marketing

41 IMS Public Relations 868,748 607,347 43

42 Seal Public Relations 852,244 862,964 -1

43 Willoughby Public 851,000 777,000 10

Relations*

44 Wyatt International 834,578 779,827 7

45 Barrett Dixon Bell* 780,000 588,000 33

46 Proteus Public 779,470 579,709 34

Relations

47 The ITPR Group 744,839 363,918 105

48 DTW 726,489 449,525 62

49 Atlas Public Relations 684,324 501,998 36

50 Insight Group 615,851 864,000 -29

Rnk Company Turnover 2000 Staff Location

(pounds) 2000 1999

1 Countrywide Porter 26,215,056 264 267 Oxfordshire

Novelli*

2 Medical Action 15,764,724 72 108 Surrey

Communications

3 Harrison Cowley* 8,728,505 114 97 Various

4 Brodeur Wldwide (UK)* 7,897,368 83 84 Berks

5 Grant Butler 4,915,817 57 54 Surrey

Coomber Group*

6 Staniforth Comms* 4,413,583 46 44 Manchester

7 Communique PR* 3,666,863 36 29 Manchester

8 Le Fevre Comms 3,727,412 42 22 Oxford

9 Cragie Taylor Int'l 4,206,984 58 51 Surrey

10 Companycare Comms* 2,769,506 39 38 Reading

11 Brahm Public Relations 2,955,734 21 19 Leeds

12 Golley Slater PR* 3,034,436 44 40 Cardiff

13 AD Communications* 4,691,856 25 21 Surrey

14 Roger Staton Assoc* 2,414,704 19 14 Bucks

15 Noiseworks 2,103,979 32 28 Berks

16 Strategic Alliance 1,895,142 20 19 Bucks

17 Midnight Comms* 1,862,770 39 19 Brighton

18 Sinclair Mason 2,774,358 19 19 Leeds

19 Ptarmigan Consultants* 2,157,475 38 26 Leeds

20 Oast Communications 2,968,280 36 31 Kent

21 Berkeley Public 1,679,015 28 28 Berks

Relations

22 Barkers Public 2,132,127 27 41 Birmingham

Relations*

23 Lowe Fusion Healthcare 1,899,599 22 19 Surrey

24 Quay West Comms 1,745,226 20 20 Essex

25 The Whiteoaks 1,668,370 24 19 Surrey

Consultancy*

26 Northern Profile 1,247,105 36 30 Newcastle

27 Elizabeth Hindmarch* 2,433,722 30 25 Berks

28 Myriad Public Relations 1,558,833 21 23 Cambs

29 Eclat Marketing 1,114,652 15 11 Bucks

30 Splash Communications 1,449,549 17 17 Bath

31 Warman & Bannister 2,599,072 23 20 Cambridge

Cambridge*

32 Charlton Communications 1,357,899 27 24 Oxon

33 Vital 1,728,248 17 13 Leamington

Spa

34 JBP Public Relations* 1,107,291 20 20 Bristol

35 EML 1,013,223 22 21 Surrey

36 TTA Public Relations* 1,206,266 22 20 Sutton

37 Marbles* 1,199,095 18 14 Henley

38 Gordon Bruce Associates 1,223,410 15 13 Bucks

39 Mere Communications 1,614,234 19 ? Altrincham

40 Multimedia Public 1,642,989 16 12 Chepstow

Relations and Marketing

41 IMS Public Relations 951,414 18 14 Wiltshire

42 Seal Public Relations 1,661,486 24 21 Birmingham

43 Willoughby Public 1,545,000 28 26 Birmingham

Relations*

44 Wyatt International 3,016,447 10 14 Birmingham

45 Barrett Dixon Bell* 2,000,000 18 14 Altrincham

46 Proteus Public 1,122,293 13 9 Banbury

Relations

47 The ITPR Group 1,101,438 15 7 Surrey

48 DTW 1,639,520 26 18 Cleveland

49 Atlas Public Relations 1,052,790 15 12 Leeds

50 Insight Group 908,367 25 20 Berks



All figures relate to the year ended 31 December 2000. Fee income= PR

fees + mark-up *Denotes PRCA member



- Manchester-based Communique PR recorded 38 per cent growth, placing it

seventh. The agency has an impressive list of blue-chip clients, with

recent wins including Schwan's Europe and Fort James



- Number 17 agency Midnight Communications turned in 135 per cent

growth. This followed 113 per cent growth the year before. New clients

included Adobe Systems, SDL International and Affinity Holdings. The

agency also won a PRWeek award for Best International Campaign.



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