There’s an interesting piece over on Holmes Report you should read – “The Resurgence Of PR Generalists?”
Our MD, Nick Clark, had some thoughts on it:
As is often the case, a trend quickly becomes fact and tends to get slightly blown out of proportion. That’s certainly the case with the shift away from generalists towards specialists in the PR industry. Of course there’s more diversification in the industry than ever and a rise in specialists, but you need generalists as they are the gatekeepers managing key ongoing client relationships, keeping clients happy and revenues stable – both particularly important during a period of potential transition.
The reality is that it’s really hard to predict what the future holds but one thing that the whole industry agrees on is that PR needs to continue to evolve. In order to do this we need different skills and this means investing in talent and potentially specialists from other disciplines – but you can’t throw away years of work building an agency just because someone says you need re-think your operating model.
PR agencies have traditionally been more agile than other creative agencies as we work in smaller teams and don’t outsource elements of the planning or creative process to separate teams. It’s important we don’t lose this agility in a more specialist world but there’s certainly things that we can learn from how other marketing agencies operate and tapping into deep specialism in certain areas can only improve our offering to clients.
Right now, we feel that we have the balance just right – we’re doing the most exciting work for clients that we’ve ever done and much of this is the brave new world of ‘content’. We have also created a number of specialist roles and will continue to do so but many of our clients still want traditional PR, meaning great media relations and reputation management. If you’re talking about specialisms, they are areas where the PR industry really holds its own and represent fundamental pillars on which everything else we do can be built on.