Editor’s Note: The following clip contains excerpts from a column posted on the O’Dwyer PR blog on March 14, 2011. The full original article is available on the O’Dwyer PR site:


There’s very good news in PR these days — at least in the independent counseling end of the industry.

O’Dwyer PR reports that while only 15 of the 50 largest PR firms reporting their 2009 figures to O’Dwyer had gains, with only five up in double figures, the picture was dramatically reversed for 2010. Forty-one of the top 50 reporting firms were up in 2010 and 25 of them had double digit gains.

This is good news for PR and especially the independent counselors, O’Dwyer said on its blog. They are performing much better than the economy as a whole.
SM/Web Boost Revenues

PR is showing itself uniquely qualified to handle the blizzard of information and comment that is the web and social media.

O’Dwyer PR says it is the only publisher requiring tax and other documents to support PR firm fees and employee totals.

The 153 firms in the 2010 O’Dwyer ranking include firms that have representatives on IPR’s Board of Trustees.

Rankings Bring Business
O’Dwyer said that firms are in the O’Dwyer rankings because the rankings bring them business; prospective clients can trust the numbers. Besides the overall rankings, O’Dwyer provides rankings in 12 categories such as healthcare, tech, financial PR, etc.

Institute Has Special Duty

A special duty to disseminate the O’Dwyer rankings and accompanying story, in which 13 executives of major firms give the reasons for the gains, rests with the Institute for Public Relations, O’Dwyer said.

“Since IPR is dedicated to research and sharing it, we hope it will share the results of what is the biggest annual research project in PR—the canvassing of PR firms throughout the U.S. by the O’Dwyer Co., obtaining proofs of the size of PR firms so that prospective users can have reliable facts and figures about firms they may hire,” O’Dwyer wrote.

“Over the years,” according to the IPR website, “the Institute and its trustees have played a central role in elevating the entire field of PR and continue to sharpen the ways IPR fuels this rapidly evolving field.”

If it’s interested in “the entire field of PR,” that must include us, O’Dwyer wrote.

Co-chairs of IPR are Michael Fernandez of Cargill and Matthew Gonring of MP Gonring Associates.

O’Dwyer added: PR, like law, sports and many areas, has developed a number of well-defined, specialized practice areas.

Financial PR is much different from travel PR and tech PR is far different from entertainment/celebrity PR.

Ninety firms provided 2010 fee totals to the O’Dwyer rankings in healthcare, up from 80 for 2009. The firms publicly list their healthcare clients to back up these claims.

Eighty-five entered the tech/industrial category, up from 71 in 2009. Food/beverage rankings grew to 69 from 58.

All 12 categories except beauty/fashion, which dipped to 24 from 27, showed gains. Category rankings totaled 594 for 2010, a gain of 98.

Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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