LONDON: The most successful PR campaigns are driven by creativity and include both rich content and a seamless use of social media, according to a new analysis.

The 2013 Global Creative Index from The Holmes Report, which looks at PR trends, analysed entries and winners from more than 25 PR award programmes from around the world over a 12-month period. This year's report also indicates that, on a "pound-for-pound" basis, boutique agencies are the most effective.

According to the report, the results reinforced "the importance of a strong creative idea, supported by compelling content that spurs engagement". In addition, digital and social media were at the heart of the most creative campaigns "which enhanced brand awareness and ultimately bottom-line results".

Arun Sudhaman, managing editor of The Holmes Report, said that public relations was no longer "window dressing and shiny stunts" as "creative PR programmes, driven by big ideas, enable PR firms to generate relevant and measurable outcomes that translate into real business revenues for their clients".

The Gnome Experiment for Kern & Sohn, developed in conjunction with Ogilvy PR London, stood out as the top campaign, scoring twice as many points as the joint second campaigns, P&G's Olympic PR and a tourism campaign by the Latvian city of Ventspils.

Among the individual agency rankings, Ogilvy PR topped the overall Global Creative Index, with Ketchum in second and Weber Shandwick dropping to third place from first place last year.

But on a pound-for-pound ranking, which weighed agencies' scores according to their staff size, boutique PR agencies outperformed their network PR rivals in the creativity stakes, the report said.

UK firm Unity topped the table and dominated the rankings with two campaigns in the top 15, the Launch of Shwopping for M&S, a retailer, and R UV Ugly for Cancer Research UK, a charity.

In the US, Marina Maher Communications, responsible for P&G's Olympic PR campaign, ranked 5th, ahead of global networks such as Edelman and Weber Shandwick.

The pound per pound table also highlighted a thriving creative PR industry in Sweden, as Jung Relations ranked second overall, with award-winning campaigns for Blocket, Volvo and Absolut, while Prime came in at number four.

Data sourced from The Holmes report; additional content by Warc staff