Most Rated 2012: Grayling

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Grayling is one of the journalists' favourite PR agencies. Mary Whenman, Managing Director, Grayling Corporate & Financial and Billy Partridge, Director, Grayling Scotland explain their philosophy of media relations.

Most Rated: Billy Partridge, director, Grayling Scotland

Age and ownership: Owned by Huntsworth.

Size: £100m turnover.

Location: Nine UK offices and 70 offices globally in 40 countries across Europe, CEE, the US, the Middle East and Asia Pacific (research only applies to UK offices)

Specialism: Public relations, public affairs, investor relations and events management

Key accounts: Key corporate clients include Lloyds TSB, Accor Hotels, Economist Intelligence Unit, Northgate Public Services, DHL, Western Union, Kelly Services, Indesit Company, London City Airport and Nabucco gas pipeline

Most Rated Agencies snapshot: Among the top five agencies most rated overall by business journalists, Grayling is scored higher than some of the biggest names in corporate PR. Journalists rate Grayling people particularly highly for giving them background briefings.


How I see it - by md, corporate, Mary Whenman


What the journalists say


About the agency

"Individuals I speak to pitch appropriately and know the magazines I regularly write for. They often respond to Response Source requests I send out with good ideas for people I can interview for stories"

About Billy Partridge, Director, Grayling Scotland

"Very helpful."


Since Grayling was formed three years ago, we have gone from a standing start to being PR Week’s 4th Most Rated Agency for Corporate, an achievement which none of us could ever have imagined possible.

Our goal is to build a world class team.  Yet despite the increasing sophistication of reputation management, what still sits at the heart of what we do is telling corporate stories through media relations.  To have 870 business journalists tell us that the ‘quality of our briefings’  and our ‘accessibility’ is what they admire the most about Grayling’s corporate communications consultants  is testament to the focus we place on getting our storytelling right.  

Despite being a global agency, it is not all about London.  We have teams delivering corporate media relations across our network of UK offices with our Edinburgh office being rated particularly highly in the survey - proving you don’t have to sit in the City or the West End to deliver outstanding corporate communications.

Media-handling tips - by director Billy Partridge

I greatly admire the journalists I work with. It is not easy receiving hundreds of unsolicited calls and emails every day and still maintaining your dignity. The Leveson Inquiry has unfairly and disproportionately tarnished the collective - most journalists I meet are passionate about their newspaper, website or programme and strive to develop meaningful content to set their outlet apart. Those I know have unwavering personal pride in their profession - something sadly dented by both Leveson and a lack of investment from media owners.

I have always enjoyed pitting my wits against journalists. Once your story is out there, you enter a kind of tacit complicity with hacks - my word versus your healthy scepticism, but a cocktail that could benefit both parties. That said, I have never assumed a story will perform better thanks to a healthy relationship. No relationship is bigger than the story, and that is why we never push stories to journalists that lack news value. It will do you more harm than good, swaying that complicity in favour of scepticism, when all we really want is for someone to believe in what we have to say.

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