There’s a friend and former colleague of mine (let’s call him ‘Jon’) who I’ve spoken to often about the future of the PR agency, back when we were both at a very large PR firm. His take was this: computers and the Internet have taken away the grunt work of public relations — media kit stuffing, faxing, mailings, field trips to the library.
What clients want is experienced people you don’t have to train. They don’t have the budgets or patience for the big agency to be a training ground for young execs — they want top people day-to-day. I tend to agree.
The logical result is the network of independents — a diverse, virtual network of experienced independent communications professionals on call and willing to dive in together or separately to meet the clients’ needs.
What if at a PR firm, everyone was an influencer in some sort of niche.
I think this is another valuable reason all Marketers and PR people should have a blog.
My first thought was, well, that’s not a PR firm. My next thought that you’d really be blurring a lot of lines as an agency — between client and agency, personal and professional, honest opinion and taking sides for a fee.
But what if you were to create a network of ‘blogger consultants’ — experts in a range of specific fields — from, say, food marketing, to consumer marketing to high-tech to the utilities industry — who are willing and able to consult with clients on their communications issues? Would that magic line of credibility be blown if, even in a completely open and transparent way, these bloggers advocated for their clients — from providing listings and links to their press releases to periodically commenting on their news and issues — again, with no pretense or illusions that they aren’t a paying client? Or what if they just blogged about potential story ideas that they’d hope other bloggers and professional news people would pick up — kind of an open pitch?
What could the blogger consultant be able to do this and retain credibility in his or her field? More importantly, how much value would this be to clients? Is anyone doing this kind of thing already?
I put this out there and openly beg for comment — I’m kind of fascinated at the thought and curious to hear what others think?