Can a PR Firm Not Be a “Best Place to Work”?

by Julie Hall

We often counsel clients on entering awards programs as a way to promote their successes through third-party validation.  It’s a great way for companies to receive recognition for their work and secure positive attention within their industry and among potential customers.

For many companies, there is no greater accolade than being recognized by its own employees as a great place to work.  Many regional and statewide business publications run annual programs that aim to showcase the best workplaces in their area.  Often, companies nominate themselves and the publication hosting the awards program polls employees to determine the final results.

Some PR firms in the Boston area are not happy with their local business paper, as its publisher has banned PR agencies from submitting their own companies for the annual best places to work awards.  The Boston Business Journal stated that “no one industry should dominate the category” and “the sheer number of submissions from PR firms” resulted in their decision to disqualify PR agencies from entering.

I think many agencies fall into the trap of not doing enough to promote themselves (after all, the cobbler’s children often have no shoes) as we focus on delivering the best results for our clients.  I commend any agency that takes steps to showcase its own successes, whether that’s entering their work for PR industry award programs or submitting themselves as a best place to work.  PR firms submit awards on behalf of many different companies, and I think the agencies themselves should have the opportunity to throw their names in the hat, as well.

What do you think?  Should PR firms be allowed to enter awards programs for themselves, or does it unfairly stack the cards against other companies that want to enter but may not have the same PR support?

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