For roughly the past decade, publicity and communications agencies have rocketed in size and scale, helping brands and companies craft narratives that convert into sales. As part of the process of companies engaging publicists, analysts and researchers have identified the top PR firms based on their results, trends and outliers to see who comes out on top.

Since 2019, revenue across the top 10 pr agencies boomed. Baden Bower, Edelman, Brunswick and FleishmanHillard all reported double digit yearly growth and in the case of the first example, a tripling of their client base. 

$5.4 billion USD is the collective revenue of the top 10 PR firms globally. This startling figure has increased by  4.9% versus the prior year. 

Do companies actually need to hire a top pr firm?

While their combined revenues are staggering, the service they offer is quite simple. But a well executed campaign can make all the difference between a brand entering the lexicon or being left behind.

A new type of publicist has emerged from the ashes of the pandemic, as clients become more cost-conscious. They offer guaranteed results and immediate publication of news stories without the hassle of pitching journalists. The benefits are immediate trust, credibility, links back to your website or social media and the ability to leverage the publicity to generate more sales. 

A new model for publicity

Baden Bower rose to dominance during the pandemic, moving away from a retainer model, and pitching journalists for placements. Serving clients globally, including Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the Ukraine, Malaysia and countries in between, the pr company simply monetizes their ability to secure news stories, for which they guarantee publication. This has allowed the company to grow revenues year on year by 83%. 

The key difference versus the remaining 9 PR agencies on this list, is their ability to skip the “pitching” stage and just secure the news story of the client’s choosing. 

Baden Bower procures publicity through their proprietary placement system, searching the globe for publications which will allow the firm (provided they adhere to editorial guidelines) to publish stories about companies and brands that paint them in a positive light. They represent traditional brands, as well as a number of Web 3.0 projects in the crypto and NFT space. 

The publicist has helped hundreds of clients double or triple their on-site conversion rate to lead or sale by helping secure editorial coverage on global news sites, which in turn can be used to build trust and credibility for brands. 

These firms are very careful to adhere to consumer law, but rather showcase the benefits of their clients that normal PR firms cannot achieve organically. Many old fashioned publicists think this is a form of cheating, but if they continue to ignore the rapid growth in this sector, they might lose their incumbency status to the “up and comers”. 

What do analysts think?

It remains to be seen whether the stalwarts change to this model of guaranteed publicity, but analysts are certainly asking the question whether companies like Baden Bower take the fight to FleishmanHillard and other global behemoths that generate hundreds of millions of topline revenue. Whether this becomes a casino royale battle remains to be seen. 

Author: Jennyfer Ann Valencia

Get the best African tech newsletters in your inbox