PR Agencies No More?
In the beginning of every new year, the web gets filled with countless predictions and forecasts about the marketing and the media trends for the next twelve months. Check Trends 2013! But you don’t need to read all of them to find out one thing – we have entered in the mobile technology age. Today, tablet and smartphones devices are taking the place of traditional PCs and laptops. In addition, the Internet becomes more and more visual.
In 2012, it became quite obvious that PR agencies are having a hard time to compete in the sphere of social media measurement and communications. Now there are new figures on the chessboard which slowly replace PR agencies. That is because these new participants are willing to try out different digital strategies, data analytics tools and channels.
The large international companies have spent some money on creating special departments. These departments focus their work on consumer engagement and brand-building through the use of main social channels.
However, those who rely on PR agencies still offer paid editorial media placements as their main deliverable. Some PR companies are even including the phrase “media relations” in the name of their companies.
Now let’s take a look at the PR job description. Among the responsibilities listed in the description are developing PR strategies, product publicizing, press release writing, press correspondence, news blurs and article writing. All that shows the image of the profession.
One thing that is very important to the clients is the editorial coverage. They see PR as successful only when they appear in newspapers, magazines, TV or websites. However, today, people spend more time on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. There they receive news from their favourite papers and TVs or even follow the people who write them. As a result, the good old media placement is now not enough for brand building.
Nowadays, the ecosystem of the media is too short-lived. Even more serious reporting fails to stay popular for a longer time.
PR Agencies are Struggling
PR agencies do not have the financial ability and capacity to broaden their strategies. Most of them don’t use hybrid practices that combine PR, advertising and direct marketing. These agencies cannot afford to use popular digital media services that frontier media companies provide. They don’t have the funds to pay for digital advertising or they do not want to pay for it because they are still stuck in the past or want to keep the revenues entirely for themselves.
Moreover, PR agencies have a hard time using data for audience behaviour. Therefore, they can’t see if a message has achieved the wanted effect and result. In comparison, there are other big companies that have the financial power to apply tools for data measurement with which to illustrate client ROI.
But if you ask someone working in a PR agency about the clients’ wishes, you’d get the same answer. According to them, clients want to have a story in a popular news media. That is why not many agencies measure digital data like shares, click and likes.
Need for a Change
People in the PR field are 20% more than journalists. As a result, the use of earned media engagement as a main trigger of conversations is no longer certain. Different ways for building a digital footprint of the client should also be taken in consideration.
In terms of marketing shops and research which rely only on digital modes, we can say that they have placed more focus on the paid end of the marketing field. PR agencies need to open their eyes and see that marketing and digital ad shops are doing their best to create an earned list of communications offerings.
PR Agencies in 2013
In 2013, it will be important for agencies to offer the so-called “converged media workflow” approach in order to meet the communications needs of the client in today’s evolved media world.
The PR industry needs to do a lot of changes. Agencies need to start to use rank and file employees and partners who know how to place them on the digital media map.
If you run small or medium-sized company, you might be more successful marketing your business through social media channels than using the services of PR agencies, which are not that cheap in Dubai. In addition, PR agencies usually propose long term strategies, from 6 months onwards, because they relay on long-term clients. Large corporates still benefit from outsourcing marketing and media services to PR agencies, but in the digital era becomes more efficient even for them to hire their own new media specialists.