Forty-seven PR firms, including 12 in the top 25 that grew in double figures, are in the "Leading Gainers" list of PR firms based on their 2010 revenues reported to this website.

WCG, San Francisco, healthcare specialist, led among the top 25 with a gain of 37.6% to $37,008,000. A close second is Coyne PR, Parsippany, N.J., growing 32% to $16,051,100.

Imre, Baltimore, led in the 26-50 segment with a jump of 33% to $7,698,000. Second was Beckerman, Hackensack, N.J., up 23% to $6,131,666.

Revive PR, Santa Barbara, healthcare specialist, was the fastest growing in the 51-100 category with a burst of 334%. Second was Morgan & Myers, up 68% to $3,866,266. Borders + Gratehouse, San Francisco, high tech specialist, led in the 101-150 category with a rise of 110% to $1,793,864.

Feintuch Communications, New York, grew 74% to $827,427.

The "Leading Gainers" does not include all 72 of the firms that had double figure gains in 2010. Ninety-seven of the ranked firms had gains of at least 5%.

We feel there is a correlation between growth and being in the O'Dwyer rankings.

PR firm income is the added work of dealing with the web including social media and the digitizing of information.

PR pros must not only deal with traditional media, which remain a force, but with a Tower of Babel of voices in blogland including some that are expert and influential. With traditional media in a weakened state, companies are creating their own media. Much of this work is falling to PR firms that have the arms, legs and expertise needed to cope with this new reality.

O'Dwyer Rankings Open Year-Round

To help clients shop for PR and wind up with legitimate firms, is opening its ranking process to PR firms throughout the year. [rankings form, PDF]

The current ranking of more than 150 firms will remain unchanged but there will be a section on the site beneath the list that will include firms that have satisfied the O'Dwyer ranking rules supporting fee and employee totals with income tax and W-3 forms and providing a current account list.

The entire counseling industry will benefit by having as large a database as possible of firms that have met these reporting requirements. The bigger the database, the more accurate a picture that can be painted as to how the PR counseling industry is faring.

An "O'Dwyer Seal" will be provided to firms that document their revenues and staff and provide a public account list.

Our experience is that seeking financial information from firms during the two-month window of Jan.-Feb. is not enough time for many firms to consider whether they will reveal their financial documents. Some firms contact us after the rankings are published and wonder why they're not in them. When they see that virtually all the major firms are in the rankings and almost all if them are doing well, they are apt to change their minds.

Opening the rankings throughout the year, while not changing the initial rankings, will give them time to think this through. We are glad to discuss this issue with any firm.

IPR Carries Rankings: Others Should Also

The Institute for PR, headed by president and CEO Bob Grupp, immediately saw the value of the 2010 PR firm statistics and posted the story and full table on its website, living up to its identification with PR research.

Still considering whether to do this is the PR Society of America. The rankings story should be on Tactics Online as well as in the printed Tactics and carried by the Foundation of the Society on its website.

Also considering whether to run the ranking story is the Council of PR Firms, whose chair is Andy Polansky, president of Weber Shandwick. Both PRSA and the Council have plenty of members that would benefit from the positive results being shown by PR firms.

PR firms with the most members in PRSA include Weber Shandwick with 77 members; Fleishman-Hillard, 46; Edelman, 39; Fahlgren Mortine, 34; Ketchum, 31; Padilla Speer Beardsley, 24; Porter-Novelli, 19; WCG, 12, and Ruder Finn, MWW Group, Coyne PR and Zeno Group, ten each. Total is 322.

There are 270 Society members in the 50 largest firms ranked by this website and 41 of them have members in the Society. Forty-seven of the 81 Council members that are independent are in the O'Dwyer rankings.

Leaders of the PR firms named above should put pressure on PRSA, its Foundation and the Council to spread the statistics compiled about PR firms by the O'Dwyer Co.

This is good news that benefits the entire counseling industry including its many thousands of employees.

Below is a table of the Leader Gainers from the top 25 firms in 2010. Full table of the leading gainers is here.
 Firms in the Top 25 Overall2010
Net Fees
Empl.% Fee
1.Atomic PR, San Francisco [listing]$11,112,250
2.WCG, San Francisco37,008,000179
3.Coyne PR, Parsippany, NJ [listing]16,051,10094
4.Zeno Group, New York [listing]12,468,75576
5.ICR, Norwalk, CT [listing]26,514,62187
6.Edelman, New York [listing]521,969,675 3,635
7.French/West/Vaughan, Raleigh13,597,66374+18.0
8.Hunter PR, New York [listing]12,005,67972+16.5
9.Cooney/Waters Group, NY [listing]14,088,673 47 +14.1
10.APCO Worldwide, Wash., DC [listing]113,400,000 566+13.1
11.Capstrat, Raleigh11,800,000 88+13.0
12.Padilla Speer Bearsley, Minneapolis17,074,827110+12.0