2018 Best PR Agencies to Work For | Holmes Report
Charting the future of public relations
About & FAQs

About/FAQ | NORTH AMERICA 2018Boutique | Small | Midsize | Large | Summary
EMEA 2018: UK | EMEA | Network 


The Holmes Report's recently updated Best Agencies to Work For feature focuses more on employee engagement and provide participating firms with diagnostic tools that map their results to the industry — including insights on what, specifically, drives employee engagement and retention among their workforce. (For more information on obtaining the diagnostic tools, contact us.)

Like previous years, the Best Agencies to Work For are determined by a comprehensive survey of agency employees at more than 50 agencies throughout North America. 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. The 2018 North American Best Agency to Work For top winners (those ranked first in their category) will receive their awards at the SABRE Awards dinner on  May 1 in New York.  

For more information about the methodology and diagnostic tools, check out our FAQs, below.

Who handled the research?
The Holmes Report has contracted with Rockland Dutton Research & Consulting to run Best Agency to Work For.  This new firm includes David Rockland who retired last year from leading Ketchum's research and analytics practice, and Sarah Dutton, the former head of surveys and polls for CBSNews who also ran the CBS/NYTimes poll. Staff who worked for David at Ketchum also assist with the analysis.  All agency data is kept confidential by virtue of fully encrypted data files. 

How were agencies qualified and categorized?
First, agencies were divided into four size groups:

·    Boutique (70 employees or less)
·    Small (71-120 employees)
·    Mid-size (121-200 employees)
·    Large (201 employees or more)

How were the “Best Agencies to Work for” determined?
The score is based on first determining what makes for a great place to work, and then ranking agencies on those exact characteristics. Here are the specific steps that were done for each size group of agencies:

1) Each respondent’s engagement score was determined as the average of six specific engagement questions:

a. Pride to work for specific agency

b. Intent to stay

c. Recommend as a place to work in communications

d. Recommend as a place to build a career

e. Understand how their role contributes to overall success

f.   Speak positively about it to others.

2) The cause and effect relationship between key agency attributes (e.g. management, client service, diversity, culture, work/life balance, work quality, talent management, communication, professional development, compensation and ethics) and the engagement score was then quantified.

3)     More precisely, within each attribute area are 4-8 specific characteristics. Next, the specific characteristics that most drive engagement across the attribute areas were determined. As a result, within the attribute of “management” for example, the characteristics “my agency is respected within the industry” and “I have confidence in the quality of senior management at my agency” were identified as two specific drivers. Similarly, within the “culture” attribute, “this is a fun place to work” is a driving characteristic.

4)     To ensure adequate comparability, the winner of “Best Agency to Work For 2017” was the best aggregate score of all the drivers of best places to work within each agency size group (i.e. boutique, small, mid-sized and large).

Can I Order A Specific Analysis for My Agency?
Yes, contact David Rockland at [email protected] for more information. Participating agencies can order individual scorecards and reports. Here's what it will you can glean from the reports:  

1) Knowing how your agency compares to the industry as a whole, and agencies of a similar size, when it comes to the key factors that drive employee engagement.

2) More recognition of being a great place to work means, that can be used to make recruiting and retention of top talent easier. The report, of course, also contains good metrics to communicate to current and prospective clients so they know how well the agency treats its employees and how likely their core teams are to remain available to their accounts versus leave for another opportunity.

3) The report can serve as either a standalone employee survey of the agency, or validation of existing such surveys an agency might already do, all at a fraction of the cost of running one's own survey. 

4) The report also includes:
a) Over 50 agency descriptors documenting strengths and weaknesses including a comprehensive breakdown of the key factors that make up employee engagement
b) Specific recommendations on how to improve recruitment and retention
c) Knowing to which agencies your staff might move if they left
d) A focus on the roles of management, empowerment, culture, diversity, communication, professional development, compensation and benefits, in driving engagement among employees of your agency.  Each of these areas have 4-6 specific metrics and characteristics

We are currently accepting submissions for the Best Agencies to Work For in Asia-Pacific. Firms can email [email protected] to receive a user name and password for the employee survey (with “A-P Best Agencies to Work For” in the subject line).

NORTH AMERICA 2018:
Boutique | Small | Midsize | Large | About/FAQ  | Summary
EMEA 2018: UK | EMEA | Network