2019 Best PR Agencies to Work For, Asia-Pacific | Holmes Report

About/FAQ | North America | EMEA 

Best Agency to Work For is possibly the only predictive award the Holmes Report gives out. By this, we mean there’s a direct correlation between the agencies on this list and those that take home our biggest honor (often times at some point in the future) — Agency of the Year recognition. That’s, in part, because firms that take culture seriously tend to attract and retain smart and creative talent who, in turn, produce stellar work. It’s a simple formula but one that’s easily overlooked amid the breathless pace and tremendous pressures that are a seemingly inevitable reality of agency life. But this pace is exactly why agencies shouldn’t underestimate the power its culture has on the work its employees produce.

The firms recognized on the rankings include a few holding companies firms, but mostly independents. Some have generous benefits, others prioritize professional development or interesting work that keeps talent engaged. All participating firms can also obtain their own results mapped against either the industry or its competitive set. (For more information on this, see FAQ.)

Trophies for the top ranked agencies in each category are presented at the 2019 Asia-Pacific SABRE Awards in Singapore on 12 September. Tickets & tables are available here


#1 BCW (WPP) 

Quite remarkably, top honours goes to a network that is in the throes of a gargantuan merger, bringing together Burson-Marsteller with Cohn & Wolfe. That the firm surges to the top of the workplace rankings reflects how it has prioritized employee culture and communication as part of the merger process, an all-too-rare glimpse of how enlightened change management should work. Despite being the biggest firm on this list, BCW employees point to vastly improved collaboration and connections, along with a generous expansion of the agency's benefits programme, including marriage and parental leave. BCW has also stepped up diversity and inclusion initiatives and improved training and professional development. "BCW has best-in-class training and growth opportunities," said one staffer. "They invest in their people."
#2 Lewis 

#3 Archetype 

#4 Zeno Group 
(DJE Holdings) 

#5 The Hoffman Agency 


#1 Mutant Communications (SEA/Independent) 
The 25 Mutants based across the fast-growing firm's Singapore and Malaysian operations are a very happy bunch if our research is any guide, with the firm scoring particularly highly when staff were asked if they would recommend it as an employer. Mutant's staff also lauded the firm's trust in its people, and a cultural approach that includes industry-leading maternity leave and a range of training and mentorship schemes. Staff satisfaction and confidence in leadership also score high, along with a lack politics and a focus on clients that align with the firm's inclusive culture. "We all work hard, but we are rewarded well for it," said one employee. "Management are open and supportive."

#2 AKA Asia (Singapore/Independent) 

#3 Sling & Stone 

#4 Honner (Australia/Independent)

#5 SenateSHJ


#1 Spurwing Communications (Singapore/Independent) 
Healthcare boutique Spurwing takes top spot in what is probably the most competitive Best Agency to Work For category, with all finalists scoring well in excess of bigger rivals further up this page. Spurwing rated particularly highly on net promoter metrics and for its long-term retention, leadership culture and a collaborative workplace that appears devoid of office politics. The agency's focus on female leadership also struck a chord, as did its ability to incorporate diverse perspectives and personalities. "Daring, different, people-first," is how one staffer describes Spurwing's impressive workplace culture. 

#2 GCI Health (Singapore/WPP) 

#3 On Purpose (India/Independent)

#4 Racepoint (China/W2 Group)