Riffing on Monday’s post re: the “creative destruction” of PR, on any given day I might tell you that “to stay relevant” the communications pro might need to acquire the skills of an advertising agency, an interactive shop, a production house, an SEO and analytics consultancy, etc.
And on an individual level, it’s hard to deny the rant of Paul Armstrong on “Why PR people are f%cked.“ Armstrong goes on to highlight the incredibly clever and effective video resume of London’s Graeme Anthony.
To do PR, must we turn into Mad Men?
And when I recently met with Lee Odden of TopRank Marketing, one of the leading lights in the Search Engine Optimization industry, he made a strong case that PR’s been missing the boat on SEO opportunities… Lee led me to ponder whether SEO — not creative — was the uncharted territory to which PR pros ought to mosey.
Looking at all this, arguably “to stay relevant,” our evolution must include everything from web development, video production, and art direction (owned media), to SEO, SEM and media planning (paid media) to enhanced targeting and influencer strategies, as well as event planning (earned media). Oh, and yes, measurement and analytics, too.
Here’s the problem. The answer to “how we evolve” can now take several branching paths. Each practitioner and agency must now pick a path (or two, or three, but not likely 6!) … and hope that they ultimately chose the right direction, and thrive.
Do you pick a niche and do it well, or do you attempt to master these many trades? If so, how many? If you are a corporate marketer, do you decide to seek a partner who blends these many skills, or do you opt for best-of-breed vendors? It used to be that the “comprehensive” approach lost out to best-of-breed: few ad agencies offered truly great PR, and the reverse situation was unheard of. But maybe “PR offering Advertising” is not so crazy an idea, anymore?
I left my crystal ball at home today. What do YOU see? How would you answer these questions? What have I left out??
Posted on: September 15, 2010 at 9:38 am By Todd Defren