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Are the lines between ad agencies and pr firms really blurred?

I've heard a number of pr folks talk recently about the murky lines social creates between ad shops and pr firms, but to me, it seems pretty crystal clear. Ad agency personal are trained to speak to consumers, whether it be general advertising or direct response. It's about research, billions of dollars in research, human behavior, brand awareness, brand loyalty, competitive advantages, etc. and ultimately finding that unique insight that does much more than sell. It's about connecting with consumers based on that unique insight and then developing creative that inspires someone to consider a brand more than they would have without us. And that's called marketing. So what's social mean to agency folks? It's a crm platform that launches direct response of the 80s into the stratosphere. I don't buy the line that because social media is earned and not paid it earns pr firms rights to carry the social torch. But let's go easy on pr firms for a second. And let's just say the can carry on a consumer conversation on Facebook or tweats on Twitter. We'll give most firms that. But, what about creating provocative like-gates that entice people to like a page. Is that any different from enticing a consumer to pick up the phone, visit a website or make an online purchase? And what about Facebook application design and development? We're talking sophistication beyond any media to hit the planet since the printing press. I mean, we can create campaigns, launch them and engage with consumers all within a few hours of each other. That's marketing bliss! Yes, pr firms are certainly In a bind. Consumers are becoming more influential than any publication on the face of the planet. 500 million folks on Facebook each day folks. So pr firms are ultimately trying to save themselves. But if they are going to serve their client's well and develop a lasting model, they're going to need to build a different kind of recruitment department that knows what to look for in researchers, planners, media and creative talent. But hey, wait a second, isn't that what the core of an ad agency is?

John Perls



3 years, 3 months ago on Should Your PR Firm Be Your Social Business Advisor