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Our best agencies to work for survey results in recognition for APCO Worldwide, Finn Partners, 360 Public Relations and Revive.
Holmes Report 27 Apr 2013 // 11:00PM GMT
Every year we survey employees from some of the biggest and best public relations agencies in North America to identify our Best Agencies to Work For. This year, more than 5,000 employees from 60 agencies rated their workplaces. The winners will receive their trophies at our annual SABRE Awards dinner, which takes place in New York on May 7. (Tickets available here.)
Best Large Agency to Work For: APCO Worldwide
As one of only a couple of large agencies still led by its founder, APCO has a culture that clearly derives from the values of chief executive Margery Kraus (pictured). That means a commitment to diversity and inclusion—“not only does it enrich our work environment but it also helps us to provide smart, innovative solutions to our clients,” says the firm—and a longstanding commitment to employee development, with APCO University offering a wide range of courses taught by internal and external experts. There’s also a Global Employee Scholarship program that allows rising stars to spend two to four weeks in another one of APCO’s more than 30 offices around the world, and a robust commitment to philanthropy and volunteerism. One respondents likes “the idea that you really can make your own path to a career here. If you want something you can make it happen. Good ideas are entertained, encouraged, cultivated.” Another is enthused by “the entrepreneurial nature of the firm and encouragement I get from top-level managers to follow my interests.”
Honorable mentions: GolinHarris, Waggener Edstrom, Edelman, Weber Shandwick
Best Midsize Agency to Work For: Finn Partners
When Peter Finn took his 160-person firm out of Ruder Finn, he cited his interest in creating a distinctive workplace culture as a major factor in his decision. He said that the new firm would be run on a “true partnership” model, in which “every member of staff will be a partner.” It certainly appears that Finn Partners has delivered on that promise, earning top spot among midsize firms in this year’s survey thanks to employees who cite “the level of autonomy I get in managing and executing accounts” and “the collaboration and team environment, where everyone's input is valued.” Adds another enthusiastic respondent: “From the top down, we live Peter's vision of a true partnership every day - including how we interact with clients, vendors and each other. Because of that spirit of partnership, I feel valued, am empowered to make my team feel valued, and at the end of the day that shines through in our work and our client relationships.”
Honorable mentions: Mitchell Communications, Marina Maher Communications, Padilla Speer Beardsley, Coyne PR
Best Small Agency to Work For: 360 Public Relations
Every team member at 360 has a say in how the firm does business. New hires aren’t just assigned to account teams, they’re assigned to teams that drive how they work, learn, socialize, and market the business. The employee engagement team makes ongoing recommendations for activities that foster a collaborative work environment from monthly peer-level networking breakfasts to a new initiative focused on “strength-training” via one-to-one coaching, which culminated in a team-building exercise that saw junior team members training their more senior colleagues to make them better risk takers. In the words of one survey respondent: “We celebrate individual and team successes with sincere pride. There is an energy of excitement, positivity and encouragement throughout the office. This energy separates 360PR from other agencies where I've worked. It's motivating, nourishing, and absolutely contagious.”
Honorable mentions: Davies, rbb Public Relations, CooperKatz & Company, Biosector 2
Best Boutique Agency to Work For: ReviveHealth
Several factors contribute to Revive’s repeat performance as our Best Boutique Agency to Work For: an impressive commitment that devotes 1 percent of revenue to professional development, with personalized learning plans for every staff member; a completely transparent culture and workplace environment, with the culture and values developed by the staff and an annual culture survey conducted with the staff to find opportunities for improvement and causes for celebration; and compensation policies that support the culture and our values. Says one respondent to our survey: “The difference of Revive is that our cultural values are lived out daily among individuals, teams, and the company, which ultimately transcends to our client work. We're not afraid to address difficult issues head on and because of that, we've managed to keep the transparency, fun, and culture of Revive intact all while producing great client work.”
Honorable mentions: Group Gordon, GroundFloor Media, Zapwater Communications, RLF Communications
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