PRWeek Awards - Large PR Agency of the Year



GolinHarris turned 50 in 2006. While that was an anniversary worthy of some considerable note, the agency chose to use the opportunity...



GolinHarris turned 50 in 2006. While that was an anniversary worthy of some considerable note, the agency chose to use the opportunity to look forward, not back. Judges praised this strategy, and noted that 2006 truly was Golin’s year.

In looking ahead, Golin ensured its year was a banner one in more than longevity. It took advantage of the spotlight and launched a number of thought-leader initiatives, including written material and a well-populated blog,, as well as backing this up with a number of structural changes. As part of this, Golin substantially overhauled its practice structure and brought in a number of branded offerings encompassing such areas as consumer segmentation, integrated media, activist issues management, and aging issues and opportunities. The areas are designed to be used in combinations by clients, rather than in siloes.

The firm’s dedication to client service can be seen in many guises. Of course, its best-known client relationship is with McDonald’s; the two companies have grown up together over the past half-century, marking one of the longest-standing PR-client relationships around.

But Golin is no one-trick pony. Current clients not only speak highly of the firm, but put their praise into actions. Texas Instruments, for one, awarded Golin its supplier of excellence award – the first time a PR firm has been the recipient of that honor.

As part of the Interpublic Group, Golin doesn’t submit financial information, though it does state a 13% year-on-year revenue rise from 2005 to 2006. Its role in the group is a growing one; among other areas its InsideEdge internal communications offering has been rolled out to other IPG agencies’ clients. Substantial proof of its place in the company came with the firm’s defining 2006 win: the Dow Chemical Company, a pitch involving several sister IPG firms that Golin led to victory.

Other new business wins that show the breadth of Golin’s capabilities include GlaxoSmithKline, Good Humor-Breyers, IKEA, Shire Pharmaceuticals, and TransUnion. Growth also came organically. For example, State Farm has grown by 62%, BP by 53%.

Golin rightly boasts that it is often cited as one of the best agencies to work at, and employee satisfaction surveys show continuous improvement over already impressive results. Employees testify to the passion instilled in them in particular by the agency’s forward-looking vision.

Judges were unanimous that all around, this was a highly impressive firm that had a year of which it could really be proud.

Honorable Mention

Manning Selvage & Lee

For Manning Selvage & Lee, 2006 was the first full year under new CEO Mark Hass, and the agency’s energy was palpable in its award entry. MS&L really underlined its strengths in the consumer sector with high-profile work for such clients as Philips, Procter & Gamble, and Heineken. In fact, its launch of Heineken Light prompted the agency’s appointment as AOR. But judges also felt that the scope of the firm’s work, and its global presence, felt more solid this year than ever. The facts bear this out. More than 50% of its work comes from its top 10 clients, and new offices in Brussels, Paris, and Tokyo broadened its footprint. Through hires, partnerships, and new branded offerings, MS&L ramped up its consumer research capabilities, and this is already apparent in a lot of the agency’s work. Competing in a space with the leading global agencies, judges felt that MS&L punches above its weight.

Finalists 2007

  • Edelman

  • GolinHarris

  • Manning Selvage & Lee

  • Porter Novelli

  • Weber Shandwick Worldwide

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