Expectations are always high for the world's top independent PR agency, and Edelman did not disappoint on its way to capturing this year's Large Agency honors.
US revenues rose 16%, surpassing the $300 million mark. Moreover, every office saw growth, led by San Francisco (51%), New York (32%), and Chicago (21%). Global revenues increased 15% as well.
Edelman exemplified how PR agencies are evolving beyond traditional PR tactics. For example, its ever-growing role as a content producer - with a formal Content unit - paid dividends for numerous clients. The firm prompted 1 million-plus women to take the "Go Red Heart CheckUp" by creating GoRedForWomen.org. For Ben & Jerry's, the firm developed "Moo Vision," the first markerless mobile augmented reality app.
"Incredibly innovative," lauded one judge. "Edelman continues to be at the forefront of the profession in terms of thought leadership and its diverse range of services for clients worldwide."
And that client list underscores the firm's simultaneous stability and growth. During the entry period, Edelman did not lose a top-50 client and secured more than 200 new accounts, including Bank of America, Best Buy, and Harley Davidson.
Expansion was also evident as the agency acquired and integrated a quartet of firms. Significa, a leading Brazilian brand; Texas-based CSR agency Vollmer, The Centre in Brussels; and leading Dutch health and food communications firm Hinfelaar PR all became part of the Edelman family.
For thought leadership, the Edelman Institute was established to advance the firm's intellectual property, including its 22-country Trust Barometer and its 11-country Health Engagement Study.
Richard Edelman (pictured with father and agency founder Dan) rated eighth on Forbes' April 2010 list of America's favorite bosses. This validates his firm's commitment to HR programs, with an impressive investment of 35% of earnings into staff bonus/incentive compensation and a social media training program that 1,104 US staffers have completed to date.
Honorable Mention: Ketchum
Already one of the world's top agencies, Ketchum's merger with Pleon greatly expanded its ability to service global clients, with 18 offices across Europe. Also, of Ketchum's top 25 clients, 76% are integrated into at least eight offices or specialties, as integration has "taken Ketchum to the next level globally," said a judge. This resulted in noteworthy campaigns for clients such as Dreyer's and Doritos. Among the numerous innovative products it unveiled, Ketchum launched Mindfire, an open innovation network to crowdsource ideas. An array of clients have already benefitted from the ideas and perspectives gleaned from this online community.
The Award Open to any firm whose current annual PR income (consisting of fees plus mark-up for disbursements) is $65 million or higher. The CEOs of each firm were required to certify in writing that the agency's annual PR income met those qualifications, as well as date of incorporation and number of employees. This award recognizes financial and client-list growth, client retention, and PR creativity and innovation.
Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide
Sponsor: WCG is a global communica- tions agency offering integrated creative, interactive and marketing communications services to the world's leading companies. Over 175 seasoned professionals, in six offices across the US and the UK, offer strategic direction and execution in branding, design, digital, interactive, social and traditional marketing, corporate and product PR, media, investor and advocacy relations, and grassroots direct-to-patient communications campaigns. The company was named North American Agency of the Year by The Holmes Report and was ranked #6 in PRWeek's 2010 Agency Rankings. For more information, please visit www.wcgworld.com.