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November 21, 2007


Great comment, Drew. And a few of the commentators from last night are looking forward to nailing that elephant at an NMK event creating a really exciting-sounding 'mexican shootout'. PR vs. digital vs. ad agencies pitching for the same client (fictional but slightly real, in that they really buy stuff) and explaining why they should be the lead agency. Hope you're up for that because I'm really keen to make it happen.

I don't know yet whether we'll be allowed real guns. Am pursuing with legal.

Good points Drew. And interested to attend the seminar mentioned by Ian above.

It's past 1am and I'm knackered so apologies for this abrupt comment.

A few points:

* My own perception is that tech PR is on the ball with social media more than any other PR sector. I think the remaining PR sectors will face problems as far as digital is concerned.

* Marketers simply have bigger budgets. Bigger budgets equal more scope to be creative, experiment, hire talented developers/designers etc.

* Marketers have been dabbling in digital (online ads, affiliate marketing, SEO, SEM, etc) a lot longer than PR has. Marketers seem a lot more open to try new things also.

* PR is a stagnant industry. The majority of PR professionals still love dirty ink.

Hope you don't think I'm being argumentative for argument's sake, it's just these are some of the issues that I see the industry (that I've come to love in my limited time in it) facing.


I may be hopelessly optimistic, but I really do not see the "push" discipline digital or ad agencies really encroaching on us. My concern is the slow speed with which we are encoraching on them (or their budgets at least). PR is still the only discipline in marketing where we worry about relationship and influence (ie indirect communications). Ad guys (and most digital guys are ad guys with a macbook in my experience) just do not get this. Never have and I hope they never will. The question for us is what the hell are we doing to make it easier for the big budgets to be trusted with us. Twice in the last year for global brands we have come up with online strategy and creative only to have it handed to a global digital agency (who messed it up or watered it down) because we did not have big enough technical skills to do things like integration into marketing CRM databases. We are gonna fix this technical deficit by hook or by crook at Edelman and I hope others try to as well, because it's the PR guys who have the right approach and respect for the conversation and if we don't get it right, I really think no-one will.

Great points Drew - i quite agree. However, the other issue which was not really raised was the need to educate/cajole/encourage clients to think in a more joined up fashion as well. Fine if you are working with digital entrepreneurs that 'get it' but the majority of clients (tech included) are still stuck in their various marketing silos each with their own turf to defend. So the 'mexican shoot-out' needs to take place internally too.

Talking to Paull Young last week about a conference he was doing in (I think) Atlanta. The marketing guy who was speaking before was explaining to the attendees how to manipulate Wikipedia. Great.

Youngie said he came on afterwards and shot him down.

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