Various publications attempt to measure and rank the largest public relations firms. Over the years, PR Week and O’Dwyer’s have done a nice job of collecting financial information from agencies that choose to voluntarily provide it. Yet this provides only a partial view. A number of notable firms choose not to make their financials publicly available. As private companies, they are under no obligation to do so.
How can we measure the complete picture better? We turned to LinkedIn for an answer.
As the PR industry becomes increasingly active in the digital space, most employees have chosen to put their profiles on LinkedIn and most agencies maintain a company page on the business-oriented social network. That company page includes a number of employees automatically generated by LinkedIn. Although it does not have a 1-to-1 relationship with actual agency head counts, it should provide an indication of relative size.
What follows is a list of the public relations agencies with the most employees on LinkedIn as of early September 2013. Please see the note at the end of this article regarding methodology. If you believe your firm should be listed, but isn’t, please let us know.
|8||Ogilvy PR Worldwide||1776|
|10||Waggener Edstrom Worldwide||1159|
|13||Cohn & Wolfe||772|
|20||FTI Consulting Strategic Communications||292|
|30||5W Public Relations||213|
|33||Marina Maher Communications||199|
|38||Rogers & Cowan||180|
|41||The Glover Park Group||175|
|43||Padilla Speer Beardsley||166|
|45||Gibbs & Soell||154|
|48||Chandler Chicco Agency||136|
|49||Bragman Nyman Cafarelli||131|
|50||Dewey Square Group||118|
|53||The OutCast Agency||117|
|56||Regan Communications Group||112|
|57||Mitchell Communications Group||111|
|58||Lois Paul & Partners||109|
|60||M+R Strategic Services||108|
|69||Sard Verbinnen & Co.||101|
|71||BWR Public Relations||98|
|72||RF | Binder Partners||96|
|73||S&S Public Relations||94|
|74||Global Strategy Group||93|
|83||The Abernathy MacGregor Group||78|
|84||Tractenberg & Co.||78|
|90||McNeely Pigott & Fox||73|
|91||Davies Murphy Group||71|
|95||French | West | Vaughn||67|
|98||Home Front Communications||64|
This list includes companies that placed themselves under the Public Relations and Communications category of LinkedIn and claimed to have at least 51 employees. To qualify, agencies needed to have a company page with at least 100 followers. Numbers of employees are shown on each company’s LinkedIn page and are calculated automatically by LinkedIn. We did not independently count employee profiles to verify the LinkedIn number, and the LinkedIn generated number may fluctuate slightly each time the company page is loaded in the browser. However, we checked the numbers at least twice using different accounts a week apart to ensure there were not dramatic differences. If an agency has subsidiaries, LinkedIn may or may not count them as part of the parent. Similarly, it is possible that LinkedIn improperly counts employees of similarly named companies. Finally, some employees may create profiles and fail to note when they leave an agency, while others will choose not to have a profile at all.
Data is current as of early September 2013. If you believe your agency should be listed or if any of the information above does not appear to be accurate, please let us know.