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Public relations firms

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Public relations firms work for a wide range of clients - corporations, trade associations, governments and even some non-profit advocacy groups.

Some PR campaigns could genuinely be characterised as being in the broad public interest, such as campaigns against smoking or crisis communications aimed at minimising the impact of natural disasters.

However, as PR skills don't come cheap PR firms gravitate towards those with the deepest pockets which are generally corporations.

Some PR campaigns are designed to boost the public profile and sales of products. The most controversial however, are those aimed at shaping public opinion to defeat or delay government regulatory moves designed to protect the environment or public health and safety.

While corporations fuelled the growth of the industry in more recent times governments and political parties have come to rely on PR companies to sell controversial policies and win election campaigns.

While not all PR campaigns are manipulative and deceptive, many of the world's largest PR firms have been involved in disinformation campaigns.

Most public relations companies have staff or teams of people that specialise in particular skill areas - commonly referred to as practice areas - or groups that support a particular industry sector.

For a list of public relations professionals, see public relations professionals.

List of PR firms

In 2001, the largest PR firms by revenue were:

Most of the largest PR companies are owned by international conglomerates, in particular, the WPP Group, Omnicom, and the Interpublic Group. [link titlelink title]

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