O'Dwyer's PR Firm Rankings Seal

O’Dwyer’s 2024 rankings of the top PR firms by net fee income based on 2023 data will feature a new separate ranking for agencies specializing in public affairs, which O’Dwyer’s defines as work done for a client to affect legislation on either the federal, state or local level.

Previously, public affairs fees was combined with the “environmental/sustainability” specialty ranking.

“We're answering the call of many firms interested in showcasing their increasing volume of public affairs counseling across multiple client sectors,” publisher John O’Dwyer said.

Show your expertise in areas such as healthcare, technology, finance, environmental, professional services and purpose/CSR, to name a few of the now 21 specialties tracked. 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 148 firms took part in last year's rankings.

Rankings 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," 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. Ranking instructions disclaim responsibility for the numbers by the CPA firm.

“PR firms looking to reach out to prospects who visit O’Dwyer’s website every day to research outside PR counsel should consider joining the rankings,” O’Dwyer said.

Deadline to submit is Mon., Mar. 11, 2024.

Rank Your Firm with O'Dwyer's -- Instructions (PDF)