2017 Best PR Agencies to Work For | Holmes Report
About & FAQs

Boutique | Small | Midsize | Large | About/FAQ

EMEA 2017
Continental/Middle East/Africa | UK | Networks | About/FAQ

This year, the Holmes Report updated our annual Best Agencies to Work For feature to focus more on employee engagement and to provide participating firms with diagnostic tools that map their results to the industry — including insights on what, specifically, drives employee engagement and retention among their workforce. (For more information on obtaining the diagnostic tools, contact us.)

Like previous years, the Best Agencies to Work For are determined by a comprehensive survey of agency employees at more than 50 agencies throughout North America. The process solicits employee views on a wide range of issues ranging from the integrity of senior management to the quality of professional development, from empowerment and risk-taking to compensation.

Being selected as a Best Agency to Work For by the Holmes Report is considered the ultimate benchmark of PR firm culture and workplace performance, in an industry whose primary asset remains its people. The 2017 North American Best Agency to Work For top winners (those ranked first in their category) will receive their awards at the SABRE Awards dinner on  May 2 in New York.  

For more information about the methodology and diagnostic tools, check out our FAQs, below.

Who handled the research?
Ketchum Global Research & Analytics (KGRA) was hired to do the survey and analysis. Since KGRA is the research arm of one of the participating agencies, not only were all employee responses kept confidential, but at no point did KGRA researchers know which data set corresponded to which agency. Participating agencies were provided a uniquely coded survey link to send to their employees. Until today, only the senior team at the Holmes Report knows which link corresponds to which agency. KGRA staff who worked on the survey don’t even know which link corresponded to their own company.

How were agencies qualified and categorized?
First, agencies were divided into four size groups:
·    Boutique (80 employees or less)
·    Small (81-139 employees)
·    Mid-size (140-249 employees)
·    Large (250 employees or more)

The study was conducted in several regions; the United States, the United Kingdom and continental Europe. To ensure reliable results, only agencies with a response rate of 50% or higher, or with at least 100 respondents were included. In the United States, 51 agencies qualified; in the United Kingdom, 14 agencies qualified; in continental Europe, 11 agencies qualified.

How were the “Best Agencies to Work for” determined?
The score is based on first determining what makes for a great place to work, and then ranking agencies on those exact characteristics. Here are the specific steps that were done for each size group of agencies:

1) Each respondent’s engagement score was determined as the average of six specific engagement questions:

a. Pride to work for specific agency

b. Intent to stay

c. Recommend as a place to work in communications

d. Recommend as a place to build a career

e. Understand how their role contributes to overall success

f.   Speak positively about it to others.

2) The cause and effect relationship between key agency attributes (e.g. management, client service, diversity, culture, work/life balance, work quality, talent management, communication, professional development, compensation and ethics) and the engagement score was then quantified.

3)     More precisely, within each attribute area are 4-8 specific characteristics. Next, the specific characteristics that most drive engagement across the attribute areas were determined. As a result, within the attribute of “management” for example, the characteristics “my agency is respected within the industry” and “I have confidence in the quality of senior management at my agency” were identified as two specific drivers. Similarly, within the “culture” attribute, “this is a fun place to work” is a driving characteristic.

4)     To ensure adequate comparability, the winner of “Best Agency to Work For 2017” was the best aggregate score of all the drivers of best places to work within each agency size group (i.e. boutique, small, mid-sized and large).

What if I Want the Specific Analysis for My Agency?
KGRA produced a 40-50 page report on employee engagement in the PR industry that will provide an industry perspective on engagement as well as key agency attributes including management, client service, diversity, culture, work/life balance, work quality, talent management, communication, professional development, compensation and ethics. The full report will be available in May 2017.

Starting May 2017, agencies can order individual scorecards and reports. The Holmes Report’s Aarti Shah will notify KGRA for which link a report or scorecard is needed, but KGRA will not know for whom the results are being produced. The scorecard and/or reports will then be distributed to each agency directly via the Holmes Report. All results are only reported for subgroups of over five employees.

We are currently accepting submissions for the Best Agencies to Work For in Asia-Pacific. Firms can email [email protected] to receive a user name and password for the employee survey (with “A-P Best Agencies to Work For” in the subject line).

Boutique | Small | Midsize | Large | About/FAQ

EMEA 2017
Continental/Middle East/Africa | UK |