Public relations can be described as the
development and maintenance of good relationships with different publics.
In the article ‘The great debate: Is the
agency really broken?’ it discusses how the agency and client model are broken.
Two major factors being procurement takeover and the media and social
Procurement – less money coming in=less money
Business having less money to spend so they
care cutting cost by cutting out agencies.
Creating a new way of doing things which is made more appealing from the
scale of savings being made.
Less work means agencies having to make cuts.
The article refers to the author of Madison
Avenue Manslaughter who suggests that media and social media usage has meant
that information is more readily available than ever before “no one or
everybody is an expert”. Consumer behaviour is changing, with the likes of the
new consumer becoming more demanding and thanks to the Internet clients are
becoming better informed. They are no longer relying on the expertise of agencies;
they are able to conduct their own research before making decisions.
The main objective of an agency is to help
clients solve problems. They need to understand if there’s a problem they are
not solving for a client there will somebody else that can. In relation to the
new consumer clients are demanding a combination of traditional elements and an
enhanced skill set that includes web design and app building.
To provide the best expertise to their
clients, agencies need to invest in bringing in new talent with a range of
skills not just communication. In the article Patrick Van de Wille refers to
the PR industry being a “catch-all for misfits “with execs having different
backgrounds in different businesses but nowadays there is limited experience
and knowledge in the industry as everyone’s field of expertise is in the same
thing. There is no variety, which is limiting the industry when it comes to new
ways of thinking.
To survive in an online world PR can
incorporate their knowledge by combining with digital expertise across SEO, web
designing, e-marketing etc. Optimising their content and integrating their campaigns
they can deliver a better service, with better results and ROI. PR links from
influential third parties can significantly boost SEO by generating organic
When it comes to measuring and ROI Van de
Wille comments on it being ‘one of the biggest challenges when it comes to
communications’ and that PR are having to prove their worth “defending your
spend” which is proving difficult to justify to the financial side of a company
when there is no solid
Clients are constantly looking for simpler
solutions, rather than using a variety of different agencies to help with their
needs more clients are using a single agency, that houses multiple capabilities
in one location.
PR agencies are having to incorporate things
previously managed my marketing and design agencies. Coming up with concepts
and executing them.
PR needs to
be able to quantify so that they can qualify their work in order and demonstrate
an outcome. This can be achieved by working with marketing automation
and making sure content is owned.
as a one stop solution that delivers to more
of their needs. In the article Andy Pray, founder of Praytell comments on how
the agency model isn’t broken but he does recognise that is has “hundreds of
fractures” and “as an industry, we have to work together to more”.
Structure broken down to build an evolving team around the ever-changing
In order to remain profitable an agency team
has to remain flexible.
makes it difficult for agencies to prove their expertise to clients
Clients are less loyal and are more likely to
bypassing agencies when it comes to PR……driven by content and cost.
the agency world hasn’t quite caught up?
Social media and digital platforms trust is built on influence, WOM –
consumer conversations. As the force of social influence increases,
agencies will need to ensure that they are equipped to identify and
execute against trust and influence metrics. Furthermore, as this becomes a
standardised part of the marketing mix, agencies will be expected to
accurately measure its impact.
Read more at https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/current-agency-model-broken/1440598#QBPV1ATESiIZePH8.99
public relations should not be thought of as a linear process, but as a
continuous cycle. The cycle can be broadly split into three stages: the
planning stage, the purchasing stage and the performance stage. These
stages are not isolated: each is directly related to one another.
Client model broken?
Farmer – Companies hiring dozens of agencies
resulting in only a small percentage of voices being heard.
Opportunity for inventing and implementing a
new model. In order to be successful you have to able to respond and adapt to
the clients needs.
More competitions and less client money.
Creating pressure on agencies.
Clients industries and how they conduct
business is changing.
Although PR and advertising share the same
goals, in the past there was once a distinction between bought media and paid
competition for PR agencies has greatly
increased with the likes of advertising agencies hiring people with editorial
and social media skills. Rogers, D. (2014). Leader: The death of PR agencies – as we
know them. PR Week, 5.
PR practitioners use a variation of tools and
techniques that vary depending on the organisations and sectors, which makes it
difficult to define the job as a whole. (Theaker.A. 2016). The job role is
constantly growing to encompass other activities and functions.
In order to keep up they need to understand
the world now and redefine what they do.
By taking on a more integrated approach with
marketing for example agencies will find that they are able to offer a much
better service for their clients.