This week WPP announced head-turning financial results. With Sir Martin Sorrell firmly on the digital path, he stated that no media sector is safe from digital disruption and he has his eyes on 45% of the group's income coming from digitial in the near future. The results he announced this week were that profits are up 19% at WPP.
Digital disruption is what makes me tick. It has the PR industry trembling at the knees, because when it comes to real digital engagement, you cant just spend money in a different place and call it digital, like you can in advertising. This disruption is bringing in a need for new structures, new skills and new philosophies in PR businesses and in in-house teams. It's what drove me to set up Battenhall, change how I think an agency should look (see here), and hopefully do a great deal of disruption first hand.
But let's go back to the WPP results and read a little deeper into their digital disruption manifesto. It looks as if even they have not cracked it in the PR world. This Holmes Report article titled: "What's eating WPP's PR firms" shows that the PR results for WPP were disappointing with revenues and profits going down. This quote from Arun Sudhaman from The Holmes Report piece I think is spot on:
"...if one thing is clear, it is that PR firms, big or small, must innovate if they are to capitalise on the opportunities presented by the changing marketing landscape. And while that may not require them to become independent, it does suggest that they would benefit from acting more independently."
So where does that leave the PR industry and digital disrpution? If you ask me, still very few are getting it right, but even the biggest boys on the block are aiming in the right direction.