What does power mean in New York’s public-relations industry right now?
It’s not about size; many small players punch way above their weight, while giant firms rest on their considerable laurels. It’s not about money, either; some firms with modest revenues wield the kind of juice that multimillion-dollar billings can’t buy.
No, power is a you-know-it-when-you-see-it proposition. It’s about controlling access, guiding businesses that make New York great, and about what some wags call “omnichannel ubiquity”: knowing how to dominate media in all its modern forms. It’s also about ineffables like reputation and character, which some agencies just get.
Hence The Observer’s inaugural Power 50 List for Public Relations. While our rankings did account for agency size and revenue, we also considered the intangible mojo that an agency generates through its mix of people, clients, access, attitude, status and, of course, results. We looked for agencies with New York City DNA, which nixed heavy hitters like PMK and ID — both LA-born.
Since these lists usually start arguments rather than resolve them—especially when publicists are involved—let the debate begin.
With additional reporting by Órla Ryan
Images via Getty and Flickr (“WordPress” by Titanas, “Volcom” by Rollan Budi, “Levis” by Marco Papale, “3M” by Tom Inglis, “Hasbro” by Mike Fleming, “Aerosoles” by freakapotimus, “Sur la Table” by Scott Mindeaux, “CoverGirl” by Arienne McCracken, “Head & Shoulders” by Clive Darra, “TGI Fridays” by n8kowald, “Heineken” by viZZZual.com)