Let’s face it, the public relations industry is as about as competitive as it comes, isn’t it? And what is the one asset that a PR 360 firm has to have in order to get its fair share of the market? Talent, human talent. You can have the slickest technology in town but without the sickest people, you’re doomed to mediocrity. So it’s not surprising that PR 360 firms focus on finding, and keeping, the best talent in town. From an employee perspective, here’s a list of the best public relations companies to work for according to the PR industry publication The Holmes Report.

Best of the Best Carter Ryley Thomas

For starters, this agency has a corporate culture that focuses on respect for the individual, a balanced life between work and home, shared responsibility and a “We work” mentality making workplace relationships that are the envy of the industry. And then there’s the fact that this company is one of the very few that is entirely employee-owned. That’s right, everyone from the founder to the clerks are owners and no one owner can have more than a 17% share of the stock. When you’re working for your own business you can do remarkable things.

Number 2 The Horn Group

This agency takes a more traditional approach to keep employees with what Working Woman cited as “eye-bulging benefits” including paid health, dental, life, and long term disability insurance. They also culture an environment of respect, innovation, and professional development.

Number 3 Citigate Cunningham

Like vacations? This PR firm offers 3 weeks paid vacation in the first year and a six week paid sabbatical after four. Schedules are designed around the employee and include telecommuting. They can also offer a four day 10 hour work week. The facility has a gym, emergency child care space and a kitchen full of free snacks and sodas.

Number 4 Fitzgerald Communications

Training and professional development are what distinguish this PR firm from the rest. Entry-level employees are put through a “boot camp” where they are introduced to every facet of the company and have a chance to mingle with C-Level personnel. For their seasoned employees, they have a mentoring program that won accolades from Inc Magazine

Number 5 Cone

Cone, noted as one of the big-ideas PR firms places heavy emphasis on training as well investing 120 hours of training per employee per year. Tuition reimbursement programs are available as well. Couple that solid foundation in industry knowledge with liberal benefits, bonuses and 3 ½ weeks of vacation in the first year and you can see why their retention rate is so high.

Number 6 Fleishman-Hillard

One of the biggies in the industry with sales over $100 million, Fleishman-Hillard is rated highly by employees for its professional development, adherence to ethics and its 360-degree feedback program. Being as large as it makes it more difficult to be as flexible as the smaller niche agencies but F-H tries.

Number 7 PepperCom

Pretty straight forward here with big money and big benefits. Employees do rank the company highly for professional development, particularly their unique PepperCom State University. An unusual perk is the weekly visits by a nurse to take blood pressure readings and administer flu shots.

So if you are considering a move into this field, or you are ready to abandon ship at a different agency you might want to consider investigating these best public relations companies.