I kicked off a bit of a debate in the office today, which then moved on Twitter (as these things usually do!).
The motion is this:
Has the growth of digital rendered the current PR agency model broken?
PR practitioners, especially in agencies, need to be jacks-of-all-trades – strategic, creative, tactical, client-facing…
I’ve often wondered whether the current model is flawed and whether we should be looking at a set up similar to what you would find in adland, with client facing account people supported by creatives, planners and producers etc.
With PRs increasingly having to deal with multiple specialisms, from SEO and social to traditional media, bloggers and analysts, is it just too much to expect everyone to be proficient in everything? Do they even need to be?
I have no answers as yet, but I’m keen to get a bit of a debate going.
If you had to start an agency from scratch tomorrow, how would you structure it?
What do you think? Do you know PR agencies that have a slightly different model? Does it work? Can we all be specialists in everything in these days of media fragmentation?
UPDATE 2: There’s a small get together happening next week to discuss this further – find out more here
UPDATE 3: The PRCA have offered to host a (offline) debate about this in March. Ping me if you’re interested
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