2014 Platinum PR Awards: PR Firm of the Year (Billings Above $10M)

Co-Winner: MWW - Making MWW Matter More 

“Matter More” is the guiding philosophy of MWW. The East Rutherford, New Jersey-based agency is considered one of the nation’s top midsize PR firms, with a stable of clients including McDonald’s, Nikon and Verizon. This Matter More attitude has helped to define MWW’s approach to communications for nearly 30 years and, in 2013, sparked a 12% growth rate.

MWW brings that attitude to a multitude of practice areas, including consumer lifestyle marketing, digital/social media marketing, sustainability and visual branding. Whatever the discipline, MWW takes a bottom-up management approach with the goal of creating a more collaborative environment.

For instance, in 2013 MWW developed a integrated marketing strategy to engage media and consumers directly through a series of events, digital/social media and user-generated content to tell the story that the New Jersey shore was open for business following Superstorm Sandy. The results had one in four visitors surveyed citing the campaign as their inspiration for returning to the shore.

A collaborative approach delivered to its clients, MWW continues to spread its wings as an agency. In November 2013 the firm acquired Parys Communication in London, officially opening the doors to MWW UK. And with a keen eye on changing demographics, MWW also acquired Macias Media Group, which caters to the LGBT arena, leading to a national LGBT practice.

MWW’s Matter More, an official trademark, also helps to brand the PR agency when it comes to the competitive landscape. Last year, the agency published its Matter More Look Book, which gives customers and prospects insight into the agency’s culture, processes and areas of expertise.

Co-Winner: Weber Shandwick

Weber Shandwick, which is owned by Interpublic Group, has been a major player in the development of PR and marketing, and 2013 was no exception.

The numbers help to tell the story. The New York-based PR agency saw 10% revenue growth last year, 70% new business success rate and a whopping 96% retention rate among its top 50 clients.

New clients range from Getty Images to Lloyds Banking Group to Ubisoft. Whether for longstanding clients or companies that have just come aboard, Weber Shandwick brings a distinct PR style to the table.

Take the Milk Processor Education Program, in which Weber Shandwick promoted milk sales by telling the stories behind the famed Milk Mustache ads—yielding a 10% sales category increase.

Or the work the agency did on behalf of federal health exchanges, taking an integrated communications to help the exchanges pass enrollment goals after the disastrous launch of the Affordable Care Act.

But the agency can’t afford to rest on its laurels. In early 2013 it launched Mediaco, a content creation and distribution unit built to deliver a comprehensive approach to brand publishing.

Responding to an ever-changing media landscape, Weber in 2013 also rolled out FireBell, which stimulates real-world crises; GoLive, a live storytelling service and Engagement Index, which allows the agency to provide its clients better advice on how to build reputation, brands and campaigns.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Coyne Public Relations
  • Finn Partners
  • Makovsky - An Integrated Communications Power Player
  • Matter Communications - The Aura of Inevitability
  • Waggener Edstrom Communications