The pair came out top in a poll by Real IR magazine, being the only agencies about which the majority of IR directors either knew or had an opinion.
The survey found that more than 90 per cent of respondents had not heard of, or had no opinion on, most IR practices.
The IR arms of Capital MS&L, Publicis, Smithfield and Shared Value have ground to cover if they want to build greater awareness, according to the survey.
Capital MS&L received a favourable rating from seven out of the eight respondents that had heard of it.
But the news proved to be less positive for Publicis, Smithfield, Shared Value and Weber Shandwick, all of which posted less-than-favourable responses when IR directors were asked for their views.
‘Most agencies clearly need to do some PR,’ Real IR editor Scott Payton told PRWeek. ‘Many of the agencies are regarded highly among the IR directors that used them, but are not well known across the sector.’
Payton said this could reflect the number of clients that agencies want to take on: some are satisfied with few, rather than looking for more. But growth, he said, would require more effort on the agencies’ part.
Thomson Financial emerges as the model that other agencies might want to copy. Fifty-one of the 150 directors had a favourable view, compared with just 17 who had an unfavourable impression.
The report is due out on 3 July.