2006 Agency Excellence Survey: Edelman

CEO: Richard Edelman

CEO: Richard Edelman

Number of clients rating: 95

Sector specialties most used: Corporate, consumer, healthcare

Top-scoring attributes against average: Works within the budget; has low staff turnover rates; responds to your needs and requests in a timely manner

Bottom-scoring attributes against average: Helps you understand and develop programs within the new-media environment; demonstrates a measurable ROI; generates accurate work

Overall satisfaction: 101

Edelman's name came up constantly in the open-ended questions, not least in asking which agencies respondents had heard positive things about. Edelman US president and CEO Pam Talbot attributes the positive notices to the firm's ongoing focus on innovation.

"I think people look at us as a company that understands and is grappling with the changes in the marketplace that matter," she says.

Respondents hailed the firm's ability to work within a budget and keep staff turnover rates low. While the agency got lower marks in helping clients deploy new technologies, this result flies in the face of widely praised work in that area. As Talbot notes, "Several of these technologies have only come into widespread use in the past year."


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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