PR LEAGUE TABLES: Wider approach to staff relations - Internal comms specialists are losing out as more general PR agencies teach how branding begins at home

There’s a battle going on to catch the ear of the workers. The management theorists have woken up to the benefits of a motivated, informed workforce, illustrated in the marketing arena by the recognition that ’off-message’ staff can undermine a brand, especially in the service sectors.

There’s a battle going on to catch the ear of the workers. The

management theorists have woken up to the benefits of a motivated,

informed workforce, illustrated in the marketing arena by the

recognition that ’off-message’ staff can undermine a brand, especially

in the service sectors.



Traditionally, this has been the territory of specialist internal

communications consultants, such as The Marketing & Communications

Agency and Smythe Dorward Lambert, or brand consultancies such as the

Added Value Company.



But some of the leading PR networks have been taking a greater interest

in internal communications. And they’re tending to come at it from a

rather broader perspective. Corporate reputation is built on the

perceptions of a number of key audiences, including staff, government,

investors, suppliers and customers, and society at large.



Shandwick has invested heavily in this area, working with leading

business schools to develop the theory of reputation management.



At the end of March, it launched a new unit specialising in internal

communications and change management. ’Companies are recognising that

they cannot communicate the changes they are making externally if they

haven’t got their own people on board,’ says deputy chief executive

Michael Murphy.



Hill & Knowlton is also investing in internal communications, and has

brought in some specialist skills. Chairman David McLaren says there are

a number of entry points into the market, with some clients requesting

it as part of the development of their online operations, or as an

element in a wider communications programme.



Some credit is due also to Burson-Marsteller. Although it has not

provided a breakdown of its figures this year, and so isn’t featured in

the table, it was probably the first to establish a change management

and internal communications unit.



Colin Kent, chairman of Key Communications, a top 20 PR agency which

specialises more than most of its rivals on internal communications,

believes the pace is accelerating partly because of the growing number

of mergers and acquisitions taking place, which are often on an

international scale.



’The new CEO may want to communicate all his ideas, but it is not enough

to stand up and make a speech - you need a planned programme of

communications,’ he says.



’We’re also encouraging clients to take a leaf out of Ford’s book. Its

president is to e-mail 100,000 employees every week to keep them

informed on what’s happening in the market. It’s a wonderful way to get

people to think about their role in the company and how it relates to

the bigger picture.’



INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS - TOP 15

Rank  Agency                        Income 1999          Intermal

                                       (pounds)             Comms

1     Countrywide Porter Novelli     19,019,000         1,902,000

2     Shandwick International        25,924,000         1,555,000

3     Grayling Group                  8,794,000         1,495,000

4     Key Communications              6,061,000           909,000

5     Hill & Knowlton (UK)           25,707,000           720,000

6     GCI/APCO                       12,111,000           606,000

7     Barkers Public Relations        2,209,000           508,000

8     BSMG Worldwide (UK)             9,821,000           393,000

9     Brahm Public Relations          2,108,000           316,000

10    Fishburn Hedges                 7,803,000           312,000

11    Weber PR Worldwide              9,887,000           297,000

12=   The Shire Hall Group            5,903,000           295,000

12=   Beattie Media                   5,900,000           295,000

14    Cohn & Wolfe                    6,309,000           252,000

15    Richmond Towers                 4,310,000           216,000



Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer