PR LEAGUE TABLES: Helping to keep the team onside - Today, internal communication is a key part of corporate life and a growing area of business for PR agencies

Talking to the workers is becoming a more accepted role for PR agencies.

Talking to the workers is becoming a more accepted role for PR

agencies.



A year ago, some pounds 10m was being spent with league table entrants

on internal communications, with 54 agencies claiming to derive at least

some income from the activity. This year, the figure is pounds 15.5m,

and the number of companies making that particular boast has risen to

65.



Admittedly, it’s a bigger survey this time. Countrywide Porter Novelli

topped last year’s list with an income of pounds 1.53m. It has boosted

that by 28%, and still been pipped by Shandwick.



Moreover, an income of pounds 157,000 was sufficient last year to earn a

place in the top 15. This year you needed more than twice that figure to

qualify.



PR agencies have a valid claim to this market, but are not alone. Non-PR

companies active in the market include Smythe Dorward Lambert, the

Marketing Communications Agency, and the AVICom division of The Added

Value Company.



Bill Jones, chairman of Lexis, says it is an area of growing importance

that has been ignored by some mainstream PR companies. His own company

has a methodology called Insight, which is about addressing all

employees as a distinct audience.



Core competence



Alaric Mostyn heads Burson-Marsteller’s internal activity. He says it’s

the fastest growing part of B-M’s European business, moving from ’fringe

speciality’ to ’core offer’. His title changed from managing director,

internal communications, to MD of The Change Communications

Practice.



Mostyn says that clients need top-line growth. ’That requires stronger

corporate brands, which can only be delivered from within, by

employees.’



Key Communications is one of the three largest UK independents. It has

doubled its income from internal communications in the past year, thanks

to subsidiary, Culture Change.



’The company is not just involved in internal communications,’ insists

Key’s chairman Colin Kent. ’It takes in all the occasions when companies

face culture change because of mergers, acquisitions, redundancies, or

changes of direction at the top.’



Although there are signs of more money being invested, Kent claims that

companies should wake up to the disparity between what they spend on

recruitment and on keeping staff informed and happy.



Barkers PR gets a quarter of its income from internal relations

work.



Finally, it’s intriguing to note that internal comms are a significant

part of the work of two of the leading healthcare agencies, CPR

Worldwide and Shire Hall.





INTERNAL COMMUNICATION, TOP 15

Rank   Agency                                Total income       Internal

                                            1998 (pounds)  communication

                                                                (pounds)

1      Shandwick International                 25,843,000      2,067,000

2      Countrywide Porter Novelli              17,913,000      1,970,000

3      Burson-Marsteller                       17,917,000      1,792,000

4      Charles Barker/ BSMG Worldwide           9,627,000        866,000

5      CPR Worldwide                            2,079,000        728,000

6      Barkers PR (B’ham and Scotland)          2,224,000        601,000

7      Hill & Knowlton (UK)                    23,295,000        466,000

8      Key Communications                       4,919,000        443,000

9      The Shire Hall Group                     4,222,000        422,000

10     BRAHM Public Relations                   2,067,000        413,000

11     Beattie Media                            4,120,000        412,000

12     Grayling Group                           8,091,000        405,000

13     Ketchum (incl. Life)                     9,608,000        384,000

14     Lexis Public Relations                   2,721,000        381,000

15     GCI/APCO (incl. Focus Comms.)            7,422,000        371,000



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