It goes without saying that 2020 has been perhaps the most tumultuous year in recent memory; Australian wildfires, a threat of nuclear war between the U.S. and Iran, a global pandemic – and that was only the first three months. Professionals from every industry have done their best to navigate their companies, partners, and clients through a near-daily whirlwind of socio-economic ups and downs, and few industries more so than the world of Public Relations.
Whether companies have pivoted beyond their classic business model, formed strategic partnerships, or simply allocated for a blitz of positive media coverage, hundreds of PR firms in the U.S. alone have remained hyper-focused on pushing their clients’ stories through the fog and noise of this past year’s perpetual news cycle.
Today, we’re going to look at five of the top PR firms in the U.S. who have not only remained dedicated to getting their clients’ stories out to the media but have done so in the face of the maelstrom that has been 2020. These firms are the ones who have gone beyond the “classic pitch” for media coverage and are ranked by a number of factors, including pricing, contract length, and measurable results.
#5: Blaze PR
Headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, Blaze is a PR firm focused on “lifestyle brands hungry for a piece of the market share”. Blaze wears their values on their sleeve, highlighting terms like “hungry”, “nimble” and “scrappy” directly on their website, and it looks to have paid off. At the bottom of their website, Blaze has over a dozen links referencing awards and titles they have either been nominated for or won, including the “PR Executive of the Year”, “Best Place to Work”, and four awards in the 2016 6th Annual PR Awards alone. Blaze also features dozens more in client success stories, providing transparency to their prowess in the PR world.
The reason we’ve placed Blaze PR at #5 on this list is largely due to pricing. According to reviews of the firm on clutch.com, Blaze requests a minimum project size of $10,000, while hourly rates are relatively average compared to other PR firms in the country.
Despite having a global presence in 30 countries and being a part of the massive international conglomerate Omnicron Group Inc., FleishmanHillard the PR firm was founded in St. Louis, MO in 1946. According to influencermarketinghub.com, as of last year, FleishmanHillard was “the fourth largest [PR] agency in the world” having brought in over $600M in PR fees in 2018 alone and was a global finalist in the 2019 Global PR Agencies of the Year award.
Unlike Blaze PR, which focuses primarily on public relations and social media marketing, FleishmanHillard offers their clients branding, web design, and digital strategy services alongside PR and marketing; however, their pricing structures and contract lengths are extremely similar, which is why we have listed FleishmanHillard as fourth on this list.
CSG is headquartered in Denver, CO and was founded in 2004. Although CSG is a self-proclaimed “strategic communications and marketing agency,” the majority of their offered services revolve heavily around the world of PR with a focus in content marketing. With a list of clients that include established and world-renowned Fortune 500 companies including Crayola, NASA, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CSG positions itself as a true partner to their clients with a slough of favorable results to reinforce their position in the industry.
Similar to our previous two entries on this list, CSG finds itself in third place – and not higher on our list – primarily due to pricing. Although their minimum project size is listed as half that of the prior two firms, their hourly rate is listed as double that of both Blaze and FleishmanHillard. Regardless, CSG has much to offer its clients as a comparably younger and smaller PR firm.
Regardless if you’re a veteran of the PR industry or fresh to it, 5W is a name you’re either already familiar with or soon will be. Founded in 2003 and headquartered in New York City, NY, 5W and its nearly 200-count team of PR professionals possess the capacity to tackle virtually any PR-related project. With dozens of case studies to showcase their firm’s prowess and resourcefulness – including studies with brands such as Sodastream and Sparkling ICE – it’s little surprise to see how 5W’s success has come to the award-winning firm.
While 5W’s minimum project and hourly pricing is comparable to the previous entries on this list, 5W isn’t hesitant to take on massive projects that can span the course of numerous years. It is this commitment to excellence that earns the award-winning firm the number two spot on our list.
#1: Otter PR
You wouldn’t normally think to pair the words “disruptor” and “public relations” when referring to a single company in the industry, but Otter PR is an exception in more ways than one. Despite being the youngest PR firm on this list – founded in March of 2020 – and the winner of the number one slot, Otter PR has not only solidified itself as a viable contender to even the most established firms in the industry, but has proven its worth to the market in only a few short months.
Otter PR sets itself aside from the competition almost exclusively from, not just its prices, but its pricing structure. Whereas most PR firms charge each client either per-hour or per-project, depending on contract terms, Otter PR offers its clients options based upon a monthly subscription. This means that whether you are looking to establish and build your brand by starting out with PR, double-down on PR for your established brand, or are already a household name looking for fresh media coverage, Otter PR’s pricing options of $2,000, $2,500 or $3,500 per-month is assured to find a match with your PR goals. Each option guarantees publications in world-renowned outlets such as Forbes and The New York Times, strategy consultation with their team of PR professionals, and dedicated publicists and writers to push your brand – and its story – into the media, resulting in real-time tangible results. Their pricing options also guarantee 500, 1,000, or 2,500 custom pitches for you and your brand every month to media and news outlets of your choosing based on the option you select.
The true value of Otter PR comes from the firm’s versatility. The entrepreneurial spirit behind the heart of the firm makes it unafraid to challenge the status quo. By offering clients the best bang for their buck, coupled with the firm’s sheer dedication to produce repeatable, high-quality and strategic PR for any brand or influencer, Otter PR has fought for its place at the top of this list.