Leading the pack: A look at past winners of Ragan’s Top Agencies Awards

The best and brightest from the agency world.

The best PR and comms agencies can package nearly any message to make it compelling. They also know how important it is for their employees to have a great workplace to call home. Being a great agency isn’t easy, but some of the best out there manage to make it look simple and smooth.

We’ve highlighted some of the first-place winners from 2022’s Ragan PR Daily list of the top agencies to take a closer look at their strategies and successes. Also, be sure to apply to this year’s Top Agencies Awards before the May 10 deadline.

Boutique Agency: Just Drive Media

The background: Some people think that creative and calculated thinking are separate. At Just Drive Media, the two are blended from the start to form the agency’s ethos.

Just Drive emphasizes data in everything it does. That’s enabled the firm to place clients in some of the top publications in the media world, including Bloomberg, Forbes and the Harvard Business Review.

One of the best examples of Just Drive’s ability to spin data into a story can be found in its work with LinkedIn. The Just Drive team built a report in Google Data Studio to bring the stories of LinkedIn’s internal comms team to life. The use of interactive filters and visualizations helped make pure data and numbers part of a compelling story.

The takeaway: Placing equal focus on the analytical and the creative can yield big results.

Midsize Agency: MikeWorldWide

The background: MikeWorldWide, like many of us, changed during the pandemic. Aside from a rebrand, the firm used the time to sharpen its focus on both client needs and employee culture. In 2021, the company saw 11% growth and worked with prominent new clients, including CVS, Spotify and Amazon Prime Video.

MikeWorldWide prides itself on its focus on both client and customer experience. That’s why despite the new business, firm turned down new clients from major companies to keep the sharp level of attentiveness that MikeWorldWide clients enjoy. Additionally, this helped employees avoid potential burnout and stay focused on current business.

For its employees, MikeWorldWide is an innovator. Some of the major cultural pluses that the company has initiated post-pandemic include seven all-agency mental health days per year, 12 weeks of leave for new parents and talk therapy for all employees and their family members. The pandemic and Great Resignation gave MWW a chance to evaluate what employees value and what builds great company culture. Safe to say, it’s been working, with the firm keeping retention high.

The takeaway: Tough times can help make you and your team stronger on the other side.

Technology Agency: Hotwire

The background: Hotwire’s philosophy centers on the belief that you can achieve anything with the right amount of ambition. With some of the world’s most innovative tech companies as clients, including Dell, IBM and Meta, Hotwire is always on the cutting edge of technology comms.

But while Hotwire makes a big difference in the business world, it also aims to leave a positive mark on society. Hotwire offers free services to some particularly impactful organizations and works with its Hotwire Ignite Possibility Program to support tech companies that support underserved communities.

In addition, Hotwire looks after comms people by helping them upskill. The company created Into Tech, a free, on-demand skill-building course for mid-to-senior marketing and communications professionals who show interest in a tech comms role. As demand for tech comms roles grew, Hotwire saw a way to help comms pros make the move to tech. Hotwire decided to be the first in the industry to create a free online training program that gives professionals the insight and skills needed to land a role in the tech world.

The takeaway: Ambition and innovation can help keep you ahead of the curve and impactful in ways that extend beyond your main mission.

Sean Devlin is an editor at Ragan Communications. In his spare time he enjoys Philly sports and hosting trivia.


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