The Agency Excellence Survey 2007 (PRWeek, May 14) totally misses the boat with its complete disregard for small and midsize agencies.
Size shouldn't matter when gauging "excellence." The survey seems fairly comprehensive in scope and was conducted in conjunction with Millward Brown, a serious research player, but if you truly seek to determine "excellence" in the PR industry, you should audit the very best small, medium, and large agencies.
The truth is that large firms are ideal for some client needs (i.e. offices in multiple locations or those with a wide variety of services under one roof). However, clients are increasingly seeing far more benefit and ROI from small or midsize firms. In fact, many of our largest clients have come to us after a particularly distasteful experience with a large agency.
This is not even mentioning that most of the small and midsize agencies are run or managed by former large-agency types, so one could argue that the best of the best can be found in the small or midsize space.
Client service "excellence" is almost an oxymoron for large firms since most are owned by a holding company and are forced to put service and financial support of the holding company above client interest. Without the burden of answering to a holding company, the small and midsize agencies can focus solely on servicing the client and creating "excellence" in the PR industry.
Managing partner and cofounder