Response Post: PR Agencies in 2014

This post by Alison Kenney captured my interest because as of right now, working in a PR agency isn’t what I want to do. Sure, working for an agency would have its perks, but I want to help build a company. I want my work fuel the growth of a successful company. Being in an agency would totally result in helping a company grow, however I want to see my work grow and develop as I’m with a company.

Alison Kenney’s post made some interesting points. She referenced Tom Foremski stating that PR agencies should get into the ad agency business. I completely agree with this. In today’s digital world, PR and advertising essentially go hand in hand. Companies seem evermore obsessed with groundbreaking ad campaigns and PR stunts. Due to the extensive use of the Internet and other digital media, some of these viral video ads that companies use to garner attention essentially are PR stunts. They will film or create a scenario that will garner a lot of publicity, and then use it as their advertisement.

Example one: type “Volvo” into YouTube. Before you’re even done typing, YouTube’s first drop-down suggestion is “Volvo Van Damme”

This video is a publicity stunt/advertisement hybrid. The video doesn’t boast product details like your traditional commercial. They used celebrity Claude van Damme’s balancing act to display the stability steering of Volvo trucks. Its videos like these that make Tom Foremski’s suggestion that PR firms should capitalize on the advertisement market, a viable suggestion.

The ad did two things. It went viral. It communicated the product’s abilities.

So if PR firms embrace advertisements as well, they can offer a client both advertising and public relations. Two birds with one stone. Everyone wins. The client only deals with one firm (PR & ad), and the firm gets paid for two services instead of just one.

In 2014 I think that good public relations will turn into advertising. Not directly, but in a transitional sense. The way to garner attention for your company is always transitioning from one thing to the next. Companies are realizing that interesting media sells a message/image/product more than a typical advertisement does. At the minimum, a captivating ad will make the company memorable. Memorable companies are talked about. Talking about a company is advertising.

From a music industry standpoint, most PR is done from within. Each band/artist/label/etc has its own PR department because company image/message/sound is what sells music. Music is sold because a band’s sound is trusted. To take my post full circle, this is the kind of PR I want to do. I want to create campaigns for a band/artist and make their name and image marketable and recognizable. I know that this dips into marketing, but that ties back to what I was saying earlier. PR is transitioning into a more encompassing role due to the digital world, and agencies will always be changing to adapt to the market.

PR Agencies in 2014, by Alison Kenney


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