O'Dwyer's Rankings Seal

This year's rankings of the top PR firms by net fee income will feature a new restaurants category, bringing the total number of PR specialties tracked to 20.

Deadline to submit is Fri., Mar. 13. View Rankings Instructions (PDF).

Show your expertise in areas such as healthcare, technology, finance, greentech, professional services and purpose/CSR, to name a few of the 20 specialties we track. Only O’Dwyer’s does such rankings, which are usually at or near the top in Google searches for those specialties.

Rankings are also tabulated by 15 cities and regions, including New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington., D.C. Regional rankings showcase firms in the west, southeast and midwest.

A total of 144 firms took part in last year's rankings.

PR firms looking to reach out to prospects who visit O’Dwyer’s website every day to research outside PR counsel should consider joining this year’s rankings.

Ranking Rules

PR firms have distinctive financials—at least half of income is used for staff pay. Therefore, O’Dwyer’s requires the top page of the latest corporate income tax return and W-3 to verify legitimate PR firms rather than ad agencies or other types of businesses. The ranking measures counseling and media contact services, not advertising or production expenses.

"Even if the tax return is on a cash basis and financials on accrual, we like to see the return as an added check that a CPA has been used," publisher John O'Dwyer stressed.

Net fee income by location and specialties should have been accumulated all year, by month and presented to a CPA.

"The CPA firm should have minimal work to do, just a topside review. Our ranking instructions disclaim responsibility for the numbers by the CPA firm," O'Dwyer said.

Participating firms are instructed to consider PPP funds as a loan until they are forgiven and not factor the amount into retainer income.

Please contact John O’Dwyer at [email protected] if you have questions about the ranking requirements.