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As we launch the first Reputation Online Top 100 PR Agencies guide this week, the results make for interesting reading.

Our goal was to gauge the size of industry, which we’ve made a solid start with. After all, it’s easy to estimate, but we wanted to work closely with agencies to produce accurate figures.

Although some (but not as many as I expected) said they couldn’t separate out their digital billings, it has proven to be a worthwhile task for many to look at how efficient their team is. I strongly believe that communications strategy should be integrated, but sometimes from a business perspective it’s valuable to consider how much time is spent on one activity versus another.

One of the most fascinating outcomes for me was the type of agencies that the PR community gave respect to. With such a renewed focus on measurement from all corners of late, you’d have thought those producing campaigns with serious ROI would have been included. But of the 49 different agencies nominated by our entrants, a whopping 22 were integrated ad agencies such as Wieden+Kennedy (which tops our list alongside We Are Social), AKQA, LBi, Poke and BBH. It seems that highly creative campaigns still turn people’s heads.

We’ve created the Top 100 guide with an open-door policy. We’ve ranked purely on digital fee income, which may not be a perfect measure but is an appropriate place to start. The important thing to remember is that shouting the loudest doesn’t equate to trust, and it doesn’t mean an agency will run a strong campaign with good results. Avoiding those that are all mouth and no trousers has never been a more appropriate warning label.

You’ll be able to view the guide online from Wednesday morning on Reputation Online and with this week’s edition of new media age.

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Published 27 June, 2011 by NMA Staff

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