NEW YORK: The top 100 hi-tech US PR firms raked in over pounds 250
million in 1998, according to a comprehensive study of the sector by PR
The survey reveals across-the-board growth, as agencies capitalised on
an unprecedented influx of venture capital and a voracious desire for
brand building among start-ups.
The pounds 311.75 million total fees represents 25 per cent of the PR
income generated by PR Week US’ overall top 200 firms.
’There has never been as much money around as there currently is,’ said
Miller/ Shandwick technology chairman Fred Hoar.
Waggener Edstrom, Microsoft’s corporate agency, easily topped the field,
with almost double the income of its nearest rival, while major global
powers such as Fleishman-Hillard, Porter Novelli and Shandwick vied for
spots in the top five.
Double-digit growth rates were the norm at most firms, but the most
impressive was shown by BSMG, which finished just outside the top ten at
12, up 87 per cent to pounds 9.9 million.
The growth is predicted to continue, in particular from e-commerce on
the business-to-business side.
Forrester Research projects that US inter-company trade of hard goods
on-line hit pounds 27 billion in 1998 and will surge to pounds 800
billion by 2003 - an annual growth rate of 90 per cent.
TOP 10 US HI-TECH PR FIRMS
Rank Agency 98 fee 97 fee percentage
income (pounds) income (pounds) increase
1 Waggener Edstrom 25,562,500 - -
2 Fleishman-Hillard 16,993,125 12,540,000 36
3 Brodeur Porter Novelli 16,672,845 - -
4 Shandwick Int. 15,979,139 - -
5 Copithorne &Bellows 14,727,302 12,414,529 19
6 Ketchum 14,375,000 9,875,000 46
7 Manning Selvage &Lee 14,256,875 10,963,125 30
8 Weber PR 13,992,975 11,954,062 16
9 Cunningham Comms 12,773,125 10,868,750 18
10 Edelman PR1 11,440,496 - -
1. Includes income from PR21.
Published by PR Week US.