The in-house clients have spoken.
They have told us who they think are the leading financial and corporate PR agencies, and explained their rationale. And on 29 November, at the CorpComms Awards 2018, we announced the winners in both categories.
The results form part of a major piece of research, conducted by consultancy Message House, which is designed to find out the attributes that in-house communicators truly value in their agencies.
We wanted to know what they consider to be the most important factor when selecting an agency to work with. To ensure that agencies could not go undercover and skew the results, each respondent was individually verified to ensure they worked in-house.
Proactivity was the clear winner from our survey. Clients want their agencies to be proactive, but they also value their strategic counsel and the strength and depth of the team on the account.
Despite persistent grumbles about fees, it seems value for money is not an important consideration in their choice. They were also less concerned about the leadership of an agency or whether it is part of a wider network.
Unsurprisingly, our winners in both categories scored highly in all the most valued attributes. But proactivity, which was highly rated across the board, was not a leading attribute for any shortlisted agency. The conclusion from Message House is that, while an agency might not get much credit for proactivity, it is still vital and if it can be effectively displayed will accentuate other qualities.
We will share more findings in upcoming issues of CorpComms Magazine, and further insights into why each agency reached the shortlist. Almost 40 agencies were cited by the respondents.
This is the first time that we have run this survey, which we plan to run on an annual basis going forward. Not only will it be interesting to see how attitudes in the industry evolve, but also perceptions of agencies. Ultimately we would like to run agency rankings based on key attributes, rather than annual revenues, which offer little insight for potential clients.
This is just the start.
Financial PR agency of the year
Corporate PR agency of the year
Winner: Headland Consultancy