There seem to be so many different lists and rankings of public relations companies available. Some – like PR Week and O’Dwyers – require actual financial documentation and proof of claims. Others are considerably more subjective.
One of those lists, put out every year and usually released for July is published on the website of Prolific North out of the U.K. Many of the top PR firms in the northern U.K. also have offices serving clients and businesses in London.
Their latest list – released July 1, 2016 – is courtesy of an online publication and ranks the top public relations companies of Northern England. Northern England has an estimated population of 14 million people and includes cities such as Manchester, Leeds, Chester, Sheffield, York, Liverpool, and other locations that are not as well-known to the world at large.
This list ranking is called “The Prolific North Top 50 PR Agencies,” and incorporates certain financial information. In these rankings, independent agencies thrived, with four of the top five agencies being owned by individuals rather than corporations.
Here’s a little taste of the top Northern U.K. PR Firms with the top 10:
- Citypress. They are headquartered in Manchester with offices in Birmingham, London, and Edinburgh. They specialize in data and research, corporate communications, media strategy, digital and social media, design, copywriting, and program management. Some of their clients other than those on the list include Bank of Scotland, Pilkington, KMPG, Bargain Booze, and Wesleyan.
- Tangerine PR. Located in Castlefield with more than 60 employees, they specialize in creative campaigns, media relations, audience insight, media training, digital, crisis communications, strategy development, and evaluation. They were also the first non-London PR consultancy to be named “Outstanding PR Consultancy of the Year” by CIPR in their National Excellence Awards. Some of their largest clients include Reebok, Atkins, Royal Enfield, Jump Nation, Topcon, and Cafe/Hotel Football.
- Havas PR UK. Havas U.K. moved from the number 11 spot in 2015 to number 3 this year. They’re part of a global network (317 offices in 75 countries), but in England, their headquarters is in London with their Northern office in Manchester with 26 staff members. They also have an office in Edinburgh. Specialty areas include healthcare, food & drink, lifestyle, retail, automotive, leisure, engineering, and industrials. They offer clients the latest in engagement tools, monitoring, and analysis to increase engagement between clients and target audiences. Some of their clients include Danone, Eat Like a Champ, DFS, and Vivid Sydney.
- Weber Shandwick. Their U.K. headquarters is in London, with offices in Manchester, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and Belfast. They are a group of storytellers, conversation-starters, designers, writers, builders, and strategists. Weber Shandwick is a global company with offices all around the world. Their Manchester office’s page can be found at webershandwick.co.uk. Weber Shandwick’s top clients include BBC iPlayer, the 6 Tribes app, the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange, Amazon, and Ricoh.
- Finn Communications. Finn opened a London office in June 2016, but their Northern office remains in Leeds. Their expertise is in corporate crisis communications, consumer product PR, experiential events, and social media brand strategy. Richard Rawlins founded Finn in 2005. Some of their best-known clients are Nestle, Cadbury, Nouvelle Soft, Yorkshire Tea, FAB, and Honey Monster Cereal.
- Barrett Dixon Bell. They are a specialist B2B marketing communications agency with offices in Altrincham, Cheshire, and a branch in Singapore. The agency has been in business for nearly three decades. BDB provides integrated marketing campaigns, design, digital, strategic consultation, PR, and content. Clients include Pentair, Innospec, Castrol, Sylvan, Waters, SVZ, Amcor, and Synergy.
- Brazen PR. Brazen (a great name for a firm) has their office in Manchester. They also changed their website address this year. They offer PR, social media, digital distribution, paid-for channels, brand-rich media, events, and more. Their clients include Hilton, Corn Exchange, Kelloggs, DreamWorks, Jockey, Roomzzz, and Rentalcars.com.
- Beattie Communications Group. Beattie’s headquarters are in London while their offices in the North are in Manchester and Leads, but they have additional offices in Birmingham, Edinburgh, Essex, Falkirk, and Glasgow. The firm does PR and so much more, including digital and social media, content-direct-mobile marketing, video production, events, and media buying. They specialize in B2B and B2C in 12 sectors including crisis, education, aerospace and defense, fashion, professional services, retail, public affairs, and more. Their client roster includes Warburtons in Scotland, Cardonald College, Smiggle, Huggies, Royal York Hotel, and Marks & Spencer.
- Lucre. Lucre PR made a big jump in ranking from #21 on the 2015 list to #9 this year. They employ about 20 people. They have offices in London and Leeds specializing in travel and leisure, food and drink, tech and innovation, and home and lifestyle. Some of their clients include Kolson Export, Amway, Leger Holidays, St Remy, Bosch, and 106 Baker Street.
- Influential PR. They moved from being tied at #11 with Havas PR U.K. last year to their place in the top 10. Employing 21 staff members, Influential has offices in London, Liverpool, and Manchester. They focus on design, branding, PR, advertising, market insight, social media, and digital marketing. Some of their clients include Downing, Grant Thornton, City of Liverpool, RedX Pharma, NHS England, and The Beatles Story Liverpool.
Here’s the full list of the best London and Northern U.K. PR Companies from Prolific North:
The Prolific North Top 50 PR Agencies 2016
|Position 2016||Company name||Location||Head count||Agency’s selection of clients|
|1||Citypress||Manchester||70||Aldi, Coca Cola Enterprises, Lloyds Banking Group, Swinton Insurance, British Gas|
|2||Tangerine PR||Manchester||60||Peugeot UK, Pizza Hut, Sport Relief, Jewson, British Gypsum|
|3||Havas PR UK||Manchester||26||Kellogg’s, ASDA, Pets At Home, Greggs, Mecca Bingo|
|4||Weber Shandwick||Manchester||32||Alliance MBS, PZ Cussons, Sealed Air, Aldi, Avis|
|5||Finn Communications||Leeds||26||R&R Ice Cream, Cadbury’s ice creams, Yoomoo, ghd, Quorn, Morphy Richards, Taylors of Harrogate|
|6||Barrett Dixon Bell||Altrincham||30||DSM, tna, Tata, Tyco, M&I Materials|
|7||Brazen PR||Manchester||30||Wilko, Dr Oetker, Magnet, Merlin Entertainments, Molson Coors (Rekorderlig)|
|8||Beattie Communications Group||Leeds, Manchester||22||Specsavers, Commercial Estates Group, Biffa, Flybe, La Redoute|
|9||Lucre||Leeds||20||Kodak, jet2.com, WVR, Holiday Extras, Kohler Mira|
|10||Influential PR||Liverpool||21||Quilter Cheviot Asset Management, Morgan Sindall, Camelot UK Lotteries Limited, Liverpool Vision, International Festival of Business 2016, Grosvenor Liverpool Fund (Liverpool One)|
|11||Corporate Culture||Liverpool||23||The Co-op, FCC, Carlsberg, WRAP, WWF|
|12||Carousel PR||Manchester||18||Selfridges, MGA, Savills, Festival Number 6, Snowbombing|
|13||Peppermint Soda||Manchester||25||Home Bargains, Story Homes, Muse Developments, Farjo Hair Institute, James Cropper Plc|
|14||Mason Williams||Manchester||12||Accor, TOMY, Fruit Heroes, Holland’s, Athenaeum|
|15||Kenyon Fraser||Liverpool||37||Merseytravel, M&S, Bradford College, Aintree, Liverpool JMU|
|16||Scott Partnership||Holmes Chapel||13||Agilent Technologies, Crown BioScience, Sciformix, Allscripts Healthcare, Precision Polymer Engineering (Idex)|
|17||Smoking Gun||Manchester||18||Silentnight Group, Bright HR (Peninsula Business Services), Robert McBride, Nobia UK (Magnet Kitchens), Holt LLoyd International|
|18||Democracy||Manchester||18||Travis Perkins, CORGI HomePlan, Knowsley Safari, Halewood Wines & Spirits, TJ Hughes|
|19||MCG PR||Leeds||14||Vileda, Pink Lady, Tenderstem, Damart, TaxAssist Accountants, Costcutter Supermarkets Group|
|20||SKV PR||Manchester||14||Crown Commercial Services framework, Qualtrex, Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, BDP, Lowry Hotel|
|21||PR Agency One||Manchester||16||Gift Voucher Shop , Fletchers Solicitors, PushDoctor, YMCA, Appliances Direct|
|22||Intelligent Conversation||Manchester||11||Synectics plc, EMIS Group plc, United Utilities plc, Pharmacy2U, Brother Europe|
|23||DTW||Guisborough||13||The Law Society, Mersey Gateway Project, New Wear Crossing Project, Solicitor’s Regulation Authority, Working Links|
|24||Hatch Communications||Leeds||14||Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer, First Utility, NHS, Wensleydale Creamery, World Vision|
|25||Pelican Communications||Oldham||13||Apeal, NCC, FCC Environment, Markem Imaje and BFFF|
|26||Context Public Relations||Macclesfield||11||Check Point Software Technologies, Simoco Group, UserZoom, Algosec, Maginus Software Solutions|
|27||iseepr||Otley||11||GlobalPlatform, SIMalliance, EMVCo, NG Bailey IT Services|
|28||Roland Dransfield PR||Manchester||12||Hill Dickinson, Nuffield Health, Schroders, Bilfinger GVA, Royal London Asset Management|
|29||HR Media||Sheffield||13||Westfield Health, Stagecoach, B Braun, SIV, Redbrik Estate Agents|
|30||Hattrick PR||Manchester||10||Desso, PetSafe, Tarkett, Stirling Lloyd, REPIC|
|31||Label PR||Manchester||12||Mark Hill Hair (Boots UK), Fragrance Direct, Swimwear365 (FGH-UK), Curvissa (FGH-UK), Transform Cosmetic Surgery|
|32||Acceleris||Harrogate||11||Utilita Energy Ltd, Royal Alfred Seafarers, NFFO Ltd, Nexus Vehicle Management Ltd, Meridian Motor Group Ltd ( Vantage)|
|33||Plinkfizz||Newcastle- under-Lyme||10||The Trentham Estate, Waterworld, City Learning Trust, Peveril Homes, Bowcock & Pursaill Solicitors|
|34||RMS PR, Design & Marketing||Altrincham||16||Warburtons, Swizzels, Hiscox, Character World, Jerrold Holdings|
|35||Active Profile||Manchester and Liverpool||10||Energy Innovation Centre, Riello UPS, Pozzoni Architecture, Liverpool BID Company, Muse Developments|
|36||The Write Angle||Chorley||9||Festive Lights, Sika Liquid Plastics, Preston’s College, Champion Accountants, Eric Wright Group|
|37||de Winter PR & Marketing||Chester||12||Bank of America, Chester Grosvenor Shopping Centre, Aaron & Partners, Royal Crown Derby, Nuffield Health|
|38||Ramarketing & PR||Newcastle upon Tyne||8||Juniper Pharma Services (JPS), Vaulkhard, Onyx, Crafter’s Companion|
|39||Social Communications||Sale||12||Places for People Group, Lidl, United Living, Extra MSA Motorway Services, Devonshires|
|40||Prohibition PR||Leeds||8||Interflora, Savills, Silentnight Group, Thomson Reuters|
|41||JAMpr||Manchester||8||Argos for Business, Carl Kammerling International, Tuxedo Money Solutions, Money Advice Group, JST Jodie|
|42||Aberfield Communications||Leeds||8||Qhotels, Deloitte, First Direct, Northern Rail, NG Bailey|
|43||The Partners Group||York||7||Glassolutions, Eggborough Power Station, Nuffield Health, National Farm Attractions Network (NFAN), Dynamic Networks|
|44||Manc Frank||Manchester||7||Carole Nash, Icelolly, Lucozade, Ribena, Weetabix|
|45||Dragonfly Public Relations||Rotherham||n/a||NHS, Marshalls, Pland|
|46||Allott & Associates||Knares- borough||9||PHS Group, Ulma Packaging, Confederation of Paper Industries, Pickersgill-Kaye, Potter Logistics|
|47||MTJ Associates||Leyland||6||AG Barr, Burton’s Biscuits, Grace Foods; Kepak Convenience Foods; Sutcliffe Play|
|48||Umpf||Leeds||7||LivingSocial, Park Inn by Radisson, Virgin Trains East Coast, Visit Malta, YESSS Electrical|
|49||Brand8 PR||Leeds||6||Avant Homes, Gordons, Sanderson Weatherall, Lansinoh, TOMRA|
|50||The Karol Marketing Group||Newcastle upon Tyne||7||AMG Group, High Street Group, NAL Asset Management, Master Locksmiths Association|