Click here for the 2013 Asia-Pacific Consultancies of the Year

Editorial by Paul Holmes

While there have been signs of a slowdown in some of the world’s major developing economies over the past 12 months, growth of the public relations business in the Asia-Pacific region continues to outpace the rest of the world. 

But the real excitement is not continued double-digit increases in fee income, but the fact that the quality of work in major Asian markets is now matching – and in the best cases, surpassing – what we see in the major English-speaking markets and parts of western Europe. 

Not so very long ago, the vast majority of the work we saw in Asia was dominated by either special events or straightforward media relations and product publicity. But today, the range of work handled by PR agencies in Asia is considerably broader: corporate social responsibility, high-end corporate reputation work, financial communications around mergers and acquisitions, employee engagement. 

And of course, PR firms in Asia are competing with a wide range of agencies – advertising and digital – in the content creation business, while also taking the lead in social media, helping their clients engage with customers and other stakeholders and do what public relations has always done best— build relationships. 

The good news is that even if overall economic growth in the region does slow, there is still plenty of room for growth in the PR business—driven by broader mandates and higher value services. 

The firms profiled in this edition of The Holmes Report’s PR Consultancy Report Card understand that. They are among the leaders in expanding the industry’s role, enhancing its stature, and growing its size and profitability.”The need for good public relations has never been greater—corporate reputations are more challenged than ever in the social media age, and PR is playing an increasingly central role in brand-building as marketers recognize the need to truly engage with their consumers—and the firms in this volume are all well-positioned to benefit, whatever the broader economic context.