Best Places to Work 2012

Marina Maher Communications Is No. 11 on Ad Age's Best Places to Work List

PR Shop Shifts Emphasis to Creativity and Brings Out the Best in Staff With an Environment That Feels More Like Home Than Work

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If you join Marina Maher Communications, don't expect a title on your business card.

"In our 28-and-a-half years, we've never put titles on business cards," said Maree Prendergast, managing director-human resources and talent. "We always thought that limits people." In fact, its philosophy is "good ideas come from everywhere," said Marina Maher, founder of the PR agency recently acquired by Omnicom.

Its roster, including lifestyle brands Procter & Gamble, Kimberly-Clark and Novo Nordisk, is certainly desirable for young creative talent. The firm launched its Creative Catalyst Group to keep the work fresh and inspire creativity. It has a devoted team of 11 and touts a creative process, Eureka, for which it gathers consumer insights and then hosts "proprietary brainstorming" sessions to develop ideas for clients.

"In the past year we've placed a tremendous emphasis on creativity," said Ms. Maher.

This creative emphasis might send employees into unknown territory, but it's the d├ęcor -- complete with a roomy terrace -- and feeling of home that keeps them comfortable, said Ms. Maher. "When people go to work in a beautiful space that feels more residential than corporate, it brings out the best in them."

The shop relinquished independence with the sale to Omnicom, but it's using its global legs to grow its business and to offer employees cultural opportunities. The firm hopes to send an employee to London to work with a client for up to a year and another to Shanghai.

"The agency has done well and retained staff in good and tough times. Talent is a key differentiator," said Ms. Prendergast. "We keep people happy and engaged, and that 's most important."

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