2017 Best PR Agencies to Work For, Asia-Pacific | Holmes Report
Charting the future of public relations
For the second year, the Holmes Report's Best Agencies to Work For research expands to Asia-Pacific, via a comprehensive survey of agency employees, at around 25 consultancies throughout the region.

The process solicits employee views on a wide range of issues ranging from the integrity of senior management to the quality of professional development, from empowerment and risk-taking to compensation.

Being selected as a Best Agency to Work For by the Holmes Report is considered the ultimate benchmark of PR firm culture and workplace performance, in an industry whose primary asset remains its people. This year, we partnered with Ketchum Global Research and Analytics for the data analysis. More on the methodology here

The three 2017 Asia-Pacific Best Agencies to Work For Winners will receive their awards at the 2017 Asia-Pacific SABRE Awards evening ceremony in Hong Kong on 14 September. Tickets are available here.


BEST ASIA-PACIFIC NETWORK TO WORK FOR: RUDER FINN

Ruder Finn debuts on this list in the top spot. The US-based independent has around 400 employees throughout Asia-Pacific. Among its most notable attributes is the firm’s training and career development program that includes initiatives like S.T.A.R — which stands for Strategic Training and Recognition – in addition to its customized Leadership Training module and the RF Academy that is intended to identify high-potential employees with a fast-track mentor program. There’s also the firm’s staff exchange program, a regional initiative to build and strengthen teamwork and culture across offices, which has resulted in an average of one exchange per month across Asia. 

Honorable mentions: APCO, Lewis, WE Communications, Zeno.

BEST NATIONAL AGENCY TO WORK FOR: SLING & STONE 

Last year’s specialist winner, once again, lands at the top of our list — reflective of its workplace that prioritizes talent as its best asset. In 2016, the independent firm invested heavily in its work environment with sit-stand desks, Herman Miller chairs and Macbook Airs with second screens for all, among other tech upgrades and with more coming this year.  

“Because we were experiencing rapid growth, we worked hard this year to make communication a hallmark of our agency,” said founder/CEO Vuki Vujasinovic. “We share the company strategy, direction, and planning, not just with leadership but with everyone. Every single team member has played a part in forming this strategy.”

Also in 2016, Sling & Stone overhauled its career development program. The agency now measures staff happiness weekly and conducts performance reviews on a quarterly basis in addition to regular all-staff check-ins. The firm also conducts regular market surveys to ensure staff are being paid top-of-the-market salaries and does end-of-the-year profit sharing. This is all in addition to frequent trainings for all staff. 

Honorable mentions: Avian Media (India), Maverick (Indonesia), SPAG Asia (India), Sunny Side Up (Japan).

BEST SPECIALIST AGENCY TO WORK FOR:  IN.FOM

When IN.FOM won Asia-Pacific Technology Consultancy of the Year for the second consecutive year in 2016, we called it “the vanguard of a new generation of Asian PR firms.” This forward-thinking approach is reflected in its culture too. Like many big agency veterans who launch their own firms, managing partners Wong Voal Voal and Mike Liew have eschewed scale and bureaucracy for an approach that prizes quality, longevity and talent management. This approach seems to be paying off, the firm’s trajectory is stunning. After launching in 2011, IN.FOM was already shortlisted among our APAC Agencies of the Year in 2012 and by 2015 it was named among our most creative firms around the world. And, of course, this year IN.FOM is again a contender for Tech Agency of the Year in the region.

Honorable mentions: Kommune, N2N, Rice Communications, Stellar.