Every year we survey employees from some of the biggest and best public relations agencies across the EMEA region to identify the Best Consultancies to Work For. This year, more than 4,400 employees from 65 firms provided feedback on their their workplaces. The winners—Edelman, Hotwire, Shine and Hering Schuppener—will receive their trophies at our annual SABRE Awards dinner, to be held in Barcelona on May 30.

Tickets for the dinner can be purchased using these forms.

Best Pan-European Consultancy to Work For: Edelman

The one independent among the giant, full-service multinationals, Edelman has really figured out how to leverage its uniquely entrepreneurial culture as a source of competitive advantage—several respondents emphasize the “family business” aspect of the agency. The firm has really stepped up its commitment to professional development in recent years: 68 percent of its people across the region have been trained in the firm’s public engagement methodology, and 62 percent have participated in social and digital “black belt” training. The firm is even applying its digital and content creation expertise internally, “gamifying” much of its training with apps and other tools. Another new initiative has focused on developing next generation leaders: 50 have been identified from across the region and given responsibility as part of an extended executive committee. There’s more emphasis on cross-cultural training and interoffice transfers too.

Highly commended: Weber Shandwick, APCO, Ogilvy Public Relations, Cohn & Wolfe

Best Regional Specialist Consultancy to Work For: Hotwire

Hotwire has a strong culture, with a commitment to teamwork complemented by a focus on creating superb long-term career opportunities. The former is exemplified by a new global mobility programme that facilitates transfers between international offices to encourage the entire agency to work as a single team and by Bootcamp, which brings the global team together for an conference, a major of activities and a big party. Work-life balance is another priority, with flexible hours and generous holiday allowances. Says one respondent: “I have been here a long time and I am constantly challenged and given new opportunities. I know how hard the senior management team works to provide those opportunities for everyone here. It's great working with people who really care about what they are doing.”

Highly commended: Johnson King, Text 100, Lewis PR, Waggener Edstrom

Best UK Consultancy to Work For: Shine Communications

Shine’s founding mission statement, “when we let our light Shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same,” is taken from Nelson Mandela’s inaugural address in 1994 and is reflected in a culture that allows all employees to make a contribution. The firm’s business plan is developed to meet the promotion, pay rise and structure aspirations of staff, which means that everyone knows they are working not just for the prosperity of the business but to further their own careers. In 2012, as in every year since the agency's inception, management paid out 25 percent of profits to staff, as well as delivering an unusually flexible package of perks. “I am genuinely happy to go into work every single day,” says one respondent. Adds another: “By far the best agency I've worked at. Everyone is totally committed to each other and committed to the best work, because of the sense of teamwork.”

Highly commended: Pegasus, Cirkle, Tangerine PR, salt

Best Continental EMEA Consultancy to Work For: Hering Schuppener

The high-end public relations consulting firms, particularly those focused on the corporate and financial realm, tend to score high marks for the challenging nature of the work and the freedom they give Aemployees to make their own decisions, but do less well when employees are asked about collegiality and work-life balance. Germany’s Hering Schuppener, winning our Best Continental Consultancy to Work For honor for the fourth time, is an exception: the firm attracts ambitious, hard-working consultants but is remarkably free of politics and ego. It focuses on hard work and client service but provides a good work-life balance. Says one respondent: “Hering Schuppener has what it needs to deal with highly ambitious people as well as with people trying to balance job and family life.”

Highly commended: TRACCCS, Farner, All Channels Communications, Inforpress