PR firms of all sizes are being encouraged to join the O'Dwyer rankings of PR firms which have been compiled since 1970.

"There is no better way to generate new business leads than to be an O'Dwyer ranked firm whose key financial data has been supported by tax documents including top pages of corporate income tax returns, W-3s showing total payroll, and attestations of total staff by CPAs," said publisher Jack O'Dwyer.

Deadline for submission of materials including account lists is Feb. 21, 2014. "We hope for earlier submissions," said O'Dwyer, who noted that 2012 corporate income tax documents can be used since the corporate deadline for filing 2013 is not until March 15. The 2013 corporate tax documents can be sent later, he said.

The rankings provide "third party endorsement" of key financial information about a firm, noted O'Dwyer. "This is the bedrock principle of PR."

Complying with the ranking rules establishes the fact that the firm is a PR firm with the financial characteristics of a PR firm and is not principally an advertising agency doing PR on the side. The explosion of social media has created both opportunities and problems for ciients and PR firms, which are accustomed to interactivity with the press and public, are best suited to handle this new environment, he said.

Firms gain year-long visibility with a ranking. No ad campaign can provide such prominance day-in and day-out, worldwide, he added.

Two exclusives make the O'Dwyer rankings and listings more powerful than ever. As of this year, O'Dwyer's Directory of PR Firms wil be the only printed directory of PR firms. O'Dwyer's is also the only publisher that ranks firms by specialties, a break-out it has been doing since 1992. Rankings are provided in 12 specialties--agriculture, beauty/fashion, entertainment/cultural, environment/public affairs, financial, food/beverages, home furnishings, healthcare, professional services, sports/leisure, technology and travel/hospitality.

Medium and smaller firms that join the rankings gain visibility and stature by associating their brands with the biggest names in the industry, said O'Dwyer. Virtually all of the major independents have been O'Dwyer ranked firms for decades, he said, and have shown dramatic growth over the years. The firms are in the rankings because they generate leads, he said.

Firms improve their Google standing because Google gives high marks to firms that are mentioned on active websites.

Recruitment of talent is aided because qualified grads and experienced PR pros want to join firms that are recognized nationally and internationally. is accessed in more than 140 countries.