Agency Watch: Edelman’s Fees of $604.7M Are 5X Next Firm

Richard Edelman, president and chief executive officer (left), stands with father Dan Edelman, founder and chairman, at the interactive touchscreen in Edelman’s New York office.

Edelman grew 15.9% to $604.7 million in net fees in 2011, which is five times as big as the next firm, according to the annual O’Dwyer rankings of PR firms. APCO Worldwide, with $120.7 million, is up 6.4%.

In third place was Waggener Edstrom, growing 3.5% to $115.8 million. WCG, a healthcare specialist firm, grew 29% to $47.5M.

The O’Dwyer rankings, compiled since 1970, require top pages of the latest corporate income tax return of the firms and a copy of the W-3 tax form that shows total payroll. Some firms also supply documents attested to by CPAs. Firms are not allowed to certify their own numbers and are also required to provide an account list.

Edelman led in 11 of the 12 specialty practices tracked by the rankings. Sports/leisure was led by Taylor Global, which had $10.3 million in fees in that category. A total of 465 specialty rankings were received. “PR has matured by developing specialized areas of practice just like law, medicine and other professions,” says publisher Jack O’Dwyer.

Thirteen of the top 25 independent PR firms grew in double figures, including six in the top 10; 24 of the top 50 registered double-digit gains. For more details about the O’Dwyer rankings, visit