Poll results: Don’t restrict blogging skills to a separate practice

Over sixty percent of you feel that blogging, podcasting and vcasting skills should not be locked up in an ivory tower within an agency. It’s important for all PR consultants to have an understanding of these channels in their PR toolkit.

In fact, many felt that having a ‘blogging practice’ (which I’m using as a loose term to incorporate all these social media channels) is far too restrictive. John Wagner says it’s like having a ‘press release’ practice, and I agree.

Interestingly though, almost forty percent felt there is an opportunity for a separate practice within agencies to handle these channels. Some, like Joseph Thomley’s firm, have set up branded practices to evangelize social media internally and externally. It’ll be interesting to see how these practices develop or whether they’ll be reintegrated back into the mother firm, as happened with web design practices in the 90s.

Either way, it seems clear that these technologies are changing the way PR firms work with clients, and the services they offer those clients.

  • It’s really a two part answer. Of course blogging should be integral to the consultancy, it is another channel to consider. You’re foolish to over-emphasise it but equally foolish to ignore it.
    That said there are currently marketing advantages in having or appearing to have a separate practice. At least for us as a small consultancy it gets us noticed where we wouldn’t be otherwise.

  • I think you hit the nail on the head, Morgan, when you said that these technologies are changing the way we conduct business day-to-day and having been at my agency for a mere three years now, it’s interesting to see the shift in thinking among my colleagues, clients and prospects.
    With five practices areas to support – Consumer, Healthcare, Travel and Lifestyle, Technology, and CorpComm – I firmly believe having a go-to guy/gal within each group, someone who really gets social media and how it can be used to meet the needs of their clients and the audiences they serve, would be a good thing.

  • Stuart – good point. Over here there are some agencies who are turning up the volume on their ‘blog skills’ as a way to differentiate. That will work in the short term as you say, until it’s viewed as a standard requirement.
    Robert – agreed, naturally there will be ‘go-to’ people who are more experienced and interested in social media techniques within each practice and within each agency. Just as there are people who are better at event organization, AR and speaker pitching. But I think it’s the job of those people to dissemninate those skills far and wide across their teams.