The Prolific North Top 50 PR Agencies 2013 compilation is the definitive list of the North’s leading PR agencies. Unlike most PR agency rankings which rely primarily on the agencies submitting information about the number of their fee earners or fee income, the Prolific North ranking is anchored on financial information taken from Companies House.
The initiative is published in association with theEword.
To go straight to the table, please scroll down the page.
(Update: 19/7/2013: Mere PR sold to BJL.)
Working together with Mustard Research, one of the UK’s leading independent research companies, and the financial reporting company fame BVD, we looked at the accounts of over 200 PR agencies which are either based in or have offices in the North.
These were ultimately whittled down to the 50 in this ranking.
We did not give agencies the option of being included or not.
In addition to the data we took from Companies House, we also asked agencies to submit information on their turnover and pre-tax profits/losses over the past two years, however, as none of the companies on the list – excluding agencies which are subsidiaries of international groupings – file full accounts (i.e. sales of more than £6.5m) we agreed not to publish the financial data which many prefer to keep private.
Inclusion – or not – in the ranking was also dictated by whether the agencies were primarily PR or otherwise. Hence some PR offerings, such as those from Amaze in Manchester or McCanns in Prestbury weren’t included because although they do also offer independent PR services, they are largely included in a marketing mix by their parent operations. So too is MC2 which advised us it is these days a marketing services rather PR agency with the the majority of its income derived from non PR activities.
Because the ranking is determined primarily by historical Companies House data, companies who have been through financial restructuring, such as Paver Smith, will find their ranking appears not to recognise their current turnover but assuming they continue to progress, over the next two to thee years as they submit figures to Companies House, their ranking is likely to improve markedly.
Whilst undertaking this research, we were often surprised by just how profitable some of the agencies are, making chunky six figure profits while often employing just a few staff and these agencies’ high profitability typically propelled them up the rankings. The Public Affairs Company of Leeds and Triangle of Manchester are two such examples. It seems that many of the medium-sized agencies prefer to keep full time staff to a minimum and employ more freelancers where possible.
And keep their overheads as tight as possible.
The figures also reflect the realities of the economic climate in that some of the largest agencies in the North, Kenyon Fraser and Acceleris to name just two, who have previously generated the majority of their income by servicing the public sector, are perhaps not as highly placed as some might have expected.
It is also interesting to note that although Weber Shandwick (part of the NYSE-quoted Interpublic group) sits atop the ranking, the majority of the leading agencies are controlled by owner/managers based in the North.
We are planning to hold a special invitation-only event to celebrate this initiative in the autumn and we are delighted that Barclays Bank in Manchester has agreed to host the informal event. More details will be announced in due course and theEword, who have supported this initiative, will be managing the event on our, Mustard’s and Barclays’ behalf.
In the meantime, Mustard and Prolific North would like to thank the 200 or so agencies who we have been liaising with over the past four months for their time and patience supplying us with information and data and responding to our questions where required.
The Prolific North Top 50 PR Agencies initiative will become an annual initiative and in future years, as our historical database grows, we will be able to track ever more detailed information about this dynamic sector of the North’s marketing and media community.
The Prolific North Top 50 PR Agencies 2013
|Rank||Company name||Offices in the North||Full time staff||Selection of clients|
|1||Weber Shandwick||Manchester||30||Aldi, Warburtons, Holiday Inn/Crowne Plaza, MBS, PZ Cussons, Pinsent Mason|
|2||Citypress||Manchester||47||British Gas, Brother, Gazprom Energy, Learndirect, Lloyds, Princes, Shearings|
|3||Tangerine||Manchester||52||AGA CookShop, Atkins, AkzoNobel, British Gypsum, Dulux Trade, E.on, Johnsons Cleaners, Peugeot UK|
|4||Brazen||Manchester||24||Magnet, Ronseal, Dr Oetker, Makro, Southern Comfort, Imperial Leather|
|5||Scott Partnership||Holmes Chapel||15||908 Devices, Sciformix, Microsaic Systems|
|6||Good Relations Regional||Macclesfield, Leeds, Liverpool||66||Camelot (National Lottery), Thwaites, Duchy of Lancaster, Co-operative Energy, Suttons|
|7||Barrett Dixon Bell (BDB)||Altrincham||27||ADM, DSM, Innospec, Milliken, Pentair, Tyco|
|8||Spinoza Kennedy Vesey Communications (SKV)||Manchester||16||Selfridges, Swinton Insurance, BDP, Government PS Framework, Apadmi|
|9||de Winter PR & Marketing||Chester||13||MBNA, Unilever, Adoption Matters and Grosvenor Shopping Centre|
|10||Peppermint Soda||Hale||22||Home Bargains, Sweet’N Low, Gateley, Muse Developments, Encore Pet Food|
|11||Pelican Public Relations||Oldham||15|
|12||Kenyon Fraser||Liverpool, Leeds||32||NHS, Merseytravel, The City of Liverpool College, Bruntwood, UHY Hacker Young|
|13||Beattie Communications Group||Leeds, Manchester||18||Specsavers, easyJet, Commercial Estates Group, Appliances Online, Land Securities|
|14||Triangle Public Relations||Manchester||6||CDL, CLS Care Services, Irwell Valley HA, Litchfield Group|
|15||Martin Tait Redheads PR||Newcastle upon Tyne||25||Red Driving School, Neilson, Olympic Airways|
|16||The Public Affairs Co||Leeds||4||Express Gifts, FirstGroup, National Federation of ALMOs, Smoothwall|
|17||Roland Dransfield||Manchester||8||Asda, Co-op, Hill Dickinson, Liverpool Community Health, GVA, Taylor Wimpey|
|18||Active Profile||Liverpool, Manchester||12||Chrysalis Fund, Regeneration Liverpool, IXIS|
|19||Context||Macclesfield||Tunstall, Roku, carrentals.co.uk, After Adoption|
|20||Mason Williams||Manchester||Peel, Henkel, Hasbro, Delphina Hotels|
|21||MTJ Associates||Leyland||AJ Barr, Encona, Jammie Dodgers, Holme Farm Dairies|
|22||MCG||Leeds||Damart, Vimto, Hempsons, Seven Arts, Weight Watchers|
|23||RMS||Altrincham||16||Hiscox, PHS Group plc, WestBridge Capital, Swizzels Matlow|
|24||JAM||Manchester||6||Argos for Business, Transform Cosmetic, Carl Kammerling, Carrot Insurance|
|25||Paver Smith & Co||Liverpool, Manchester||21||The National Lottery, M&S Simply Food, Morgan Sindall plc, Sci-Tech Daresbury|
|26||Label PR||Manchester||5||8 clients including Simply Be (JD Williams)|
|27||Quest||Harrogate||5||Deliciouslyorkshire, Bayford Group, AfPP|
|28||Finn Communications||Leeds||12||Quorn, Glenfiddich, Nestle, ghd|
|29||Freedman Brown Communications||Wigan||11||Tesco, Linder Myers, Blackburn College|
|30||Umpf||Leeds||7||Belling, bizzybee, GLORIOUS! Foods, Lec, Methven, Stoves, Park Inn by Radisson|
|31||Smoking Gun||Manchester||6||Red Bull, Kumho Tyres and Silentnight|
|32||Eldon Associates||Newcastle upon Tyne|
|33||Rumpus||Altrincham||8||Stephensons, The House Crowd, Environment Agency, Kingsland, Mr. Freeze|
|34||Freshfield Public Relations||Preston||15||Wigan & Leigh College, Marcus Worthington Group, ICare Group|
|35||Mere||Altrincham||Kitbag, Metrolink, Jones Homes|
|36||Profile Communication||Winsford||12||Halton Housing Trust, Mid Cheshire College, AKW Group|
|37||The Write Angle||Chorley||11||Marsden Rawsthorn, Choice Hotels, Eric Wright Group|
|38||Lexicon||Ilkley||Dorel, thebigword, Vickers, MoD|
|39||Hatch Communications||Leeds||8||Wensleydale Creamery, Rugby League World Cup, Thomas Cook, Crabbie’s|
|40||Admiral||Newcastle upon Tyne, Manchester||11||Newcastle University, NHS, Red Driving School|
|41||Judge & Howard||Manchester||EMS, Ainscough Crane Hire, The Translation People|
|42||The Bird Consultancy||Manchester||7||Betfred, World Snooker, The Point|
|43||Acceleris||Harrogate||14||Kier, Lombard, Nexus, Motorcycle News|
|44||Down at the Social||Manchester||4||SEA LIFE Manchester, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, Black Dog Ballroom Group|
|45||IPB Communications||Sale||11||Tesco, Renerco, Derwentside Homes|
|46||Cicada Communications||Harrogate||Clear Channel, Crest Nicholson, Windcrop|
|47||HatTrick||Manchester||Dulux Decorator Centres, Rochdale Council, Getthelabel.com|
|48||Beyond||Sheffield||Aquarium Claims, Oxley & Coward, Deafness Research|
|49||Cameron Wells Communications||Sale||PMI Health Group, Tom Tom, PH Creative|
|50||iseepr||Otley||Swivel, Search Laboratory, EMVCo, FIME|