Edelman and Interpublic Group led PR industry growth in 2011, according to the first phase of the Holmes Report’s 2011 Global Rankings study.

The figures, again compiled in conjunction with accountant and RealWire CEO Adam Parker, compare the performance of the world’s biggest PR units: listed PR networks and privately-owned Edelman. For an analysis of 1H 2010 results, click here.

They demonstrate that Edelman grew its fee income by a remarkable 18 percent in 2010, to $529 million. Trailing some way behind, in terms of growth, was IPG’s CMG unit - which rebounded sharply to post a 10.2 percent upturn, reaching revenues of $1.15 billion. CMG houses numerous PR, branding and event management agencies, although it is estimated that Weber Shandwick and GolinHarris account for almost two-thirds of its revenues.

Omnicom and WPP posted modest rises of 5.2 and 3.7 percent, respectively. “The analysis suggests that Edelman has been forging ahead, apparently winning market share in both years," said Parker.

The performances of the two major UK players, meanwhile, impressed less. Chime Communications saw flat PR growth in 2010, albeit after comprehensively outperforming the market by surging nine percent in 2009.

Huntsworth Group's PR revenues declined by 2.2 per cent, after falling by almost nine percent in 2009. Huntsworth yesterday released a trading update revealing that the company has won £15m worth of new PR business since revealing its full-year results six weeks ago. Two wins revealed by the Holmes Report - DHL and the EU anti-smoking brief - have played a key role in this upturn, along with an expansion of its OMV account in Central Europe.

"As a direct result of the reorganisation of the Group, we are beginning to see real momentum throughout the Group as the number of global and international opportunities increase significantly,” said group CEO Peter Chadlington. “We are confident that we will meet management expectations for 2011 and believe that we are now on course for good organic growth in 2012.”

Next Fifteen is not included in the analysis as it reports on a different schedule.

PR vs Advertising

The figures also appear to debunk the oft-repeated suggestion that PR outperformed other marketing services over the last two years. According to Parker’s analysis, PR’s decline in 2009, and recovery in 2010, closely mirror overall trends across the listed marcoms groups as a whole.

The second phase of the Holmes Report’s 2011 Global Rankings will follow next month, ranking the 250 biggest PR firms in the world, and analysing overall global market size and growth during the year. To view the full Global Rankings 2010 report click here.