Pulse of the Profession

Friday Five: Message to PR Pros – Accept Change and New Technology!

Practitioners at public relations agencies certainly have their hands full, from the number of clients they represent, to competing for the limited space within social and traditional media. The obligation of keeping clients happy and the pressure to perform in a constantly evolving industry means public relations professionals are always alert and ready for the next challenge, new technology and latest trend that will launch their careers to the next level. With limited time and an abundance of responsibilities, how should public relations professionals balance work responsibilities and the desire for continuing education to learn the latest and greatest public relations tool?

In this week’s PRSA “Friday Five” post — an analysis of the week’s biggest public relations and business news and commentary — we look at new products on the market designed to make agency life less cumbersome and what tools public relations professionals need to succeed in this industry. We also look at some of the touch decisions agencies have to make when it comes to social media, new business, and competing strategically within social networks.

Can GraphEffect Bring Order to Agency-Client Chaos? (Digiday)

Up until recently, clients and agencies have relied on conference calls and in-person meetings as standard ways to communicate account updates. GraphEffect, a new online collaboration tool built specifically for marketers, is looking to build upon traditional routes of communication between agencies and clients. Recently the company rolled out a social network for marketers in an attempt to connect a client to the agencies involved in promoting via social media. GraphEffect has already attracted some big name clients including American Express, Walmart, and GE. Securing various media placements sometimes includes a number of different specialty agencies in different locations. Instead of having to deal with an assortment of schedules and time zones, GraphEffect offers a space that eliminates this headache while still allowing a social media campaign to get off the ground successfully.

Agencies Don’t Pin Pinterest (MediaPost)

Because of copyright issues, Pinterest took longer than expected to hit the communication industry. Even today “only seven percent of advertising and marketing executives said their firms are using the visual social network for business purposes and 44% have no interest in adopting Pinterest.” It also seems that communications professionals at larger agencies are more likely to use Pinterest than those at smaller agencies. These findings came as a result of “500 phone interviews with 375 marketing executives randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees, and 125 ad executives from agencies with 20 or more.” While Pinterest seems to be a fan favorite among personal users, hitting 23 million monthly visitors as of July, adoption among agencies continues to be slow.

Once You’ve Signed Big Clients, Should You Still Take on Small Ones? (Advertising Age)

For agencies that are used to managing big clients like Bank of America, Toyota, or even Louis Vuitton, it is often difficult for management to decide if it is worth taking on a small client. When a small client requests the agency’s services there are pros and cons associated to taking on this business. Ad Age contributor Scott Mellin, CEO of Factory Design Labs, explains that small clients can be a “colossal distraction or resources and dilute an agency’s client portfolio to the point where the agency looks non-strategic.” On the other hand, Mellin explains that there are also “fewer boundaries” compared to those presented with a larger client. Mellin’s company accepts business with a small account about 20 percent of the time. Here are a few of the questions agencies must answer before deciding on whether to take on a small account:

  • Would we be a consumer of this brand?
  • Does the brand reflect the agency’s core values?
  • Does the brand fit with current clients — complementary and non-competitive?

What a PR Pro Needs to Succeed: Digital Skills (PR Daily)

In an interview with Deirdre Breakenridge, CEO of Pure Performance, Mark Ragan asked, “How do I succeed in my job?” As the public relations industry changes and we adapt to new technologies and social platforms, I’m sure there are a number of us asking the same question. Breakenridge responded by urging PR professions to develop “skills so that you can use new technologies and platforms and tool and resources.” Each of these items mentioned in her response are leading the evolution of the public relations profession. PR Daily features the full interview with Breakenridge here.

Report: Ketchum, Edelman Among Most Effective Global PR Agencies On Facebook (AllFacebook)

What agencies deliver the best results in regard to creating a powerful, effective, and engaging social media presence for their clients? According to the latest scorecard of social media effectiveness from Sociagility, Edelman and Ketchum are the top powerhouses leading the social space. These results come after 25 of the world’s top PR networks were evaluated on their social media performance across a social media landscape, including the Web, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. For a full scope of agency rankings, check out the scoreboard courtesy of Sociagility.

Nicole Castro is the public relations associate at the Public Relations Society of America.

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