Large PR Agency of the Year 2016

Weber Shandwick's revenue growth, client acquisition and retention, innovation, company culture, and "game-changing work" helped solidify it as 2016's Large PR Agency of the Year.


Weber Shandwick

Weber Shandwick "stands out on all counts — culture, innovation, and results for clients," said one judge. "A truly outstanding team."

Other judges concurred, praising the agency’s "game-changing" work, impressive growth, and commitment to employees and diversity.

Worldwide revenue through August 2015 was up 13.8%, with 12.5% organic growth (without acquisitions). China, Korea, and Brazil grew more than 25%. Business also grew in 12 of 13 European markets, despite the tough macro-economic environment.

The agency won two out of three new-business pitches and retained 98% of its top-50 clients. Fifteen of its top-20 clients awarded new assignments.

Brand publishing offering Mediaco and digital and social media work accounted for 30% of revenue. Wins included digital and social AOR for companies such as GlaxoSmithKline and Holiday Inn. Clients including Fisher-Price and Abbott awarded the firm advertising AOR assignments. All told, paid TV and social media buys surpassed $300 million.

Client testimonials applauded the agency’s groundbreaking work; dedication; flawless, creative, and authentic execution; and its ability to deliver outstanding business results.

Total global staff grew 9% to 3,400; 20% of U.S. employees are multicultural and 71% are women; and 14 women hold senior global leadership positions.

Work highlights included the Our Wishes for Baby film, which drove 9 million views and 650 million impressions for Fisher-Price (both highs for the brand), and Novartis’ multiple sclerosis patient community Living Like You, which at submission time had 12,000-plus members and more than 60,000 social media engagements.   

The agency dubbed 2015 "the year of doing what’s important." Examples ranged from assignments with 150-plus clients involving work on all 17 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development goals to employee programs.

Honorable Mention

Cohn & Wolfe

Judges were highly impressed by Cohn & Wolfe’s client retention rate (100% of all top-50 clients), its strong growth, creativity, pro bono work, and culture. They also admired its commitment to diversity, including the fact that two-thirds of agency leaders are women. "C&W is creative, smart, strategic, and it makes a difference for its clients," one judge noted. Submission highlights included enhancement of mobile, paid media, and content development capabilities; embedding a propriety process that has increased collaboration and business results for clients; and new talent-development initiatives.

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