BOSTON: Only OgilvyEarth and Cone can claim genuine expertise in sustainability communications, according to a survey of 18 agencies by business analyst Verdantix.
Jim Nail, principal analyst for Verdantix, told PRWeek: “Most of the firms take a backward-looking, fairly typical marcomms approach: What good are we doing now? What makes for an interesting story? Great, let's go out and tell that story.”
OgilvyEarth and Cone consistently create engaging sustainability platforms that help evolve a brand or company reputation, he said, adding that they also demonstrate a clear vision of sustainability and have strong relationships with outside sustainability experts.
The report found that four firms are on the verge of being leaders: Context America, Ketchum, Edelman and Cohn & Wolfe. The other evaluated firms are APCO Worldwide, Brodeur, Burson-Marsteller, Fleishman-Hillard, GolinHarris, Hill & Knowlton, Landor, MS&L, Ruder Finn, Saatchi & Saatchi S, Text 100 and Weber Shandwick.
The evaluations are based on interviews with agency executives, publicly available information and off-the-record interviews with 15 clients at firms with global revenues of over $2 billion.
The clients used PR firms most often for sustainability communications (66% of them, putting advertising firms a distant second at 33%). However, six of the 15 clients said they engaged specialist CSR or sustainability consultants to provide missing expertise.