Answering PR’s Wakeup Call: Remodeling Our Business Model

We often talk about how the job of public relations professionals has changed over the years. As the media landscape is constantly and rapidly evolving, the space for creative thinking has expanded. To stand out against the noise, we’re integrating new and exciting elements – digital and otherwise – into our PR programs.

Last week, Marketing Magazine’s Rebecca Harris offered an excellent profile of how some of the largest PR agencies in the world are keeping pace with this evolution. Expanded service offerings and corporate positioning changes dominated the list. We’re seeing agencies (including Felicity) diversifying into areas that transcend owned, purchased earned and social media for clients.

That the article repeatedly highlights the similar strategic shifts within each profiled organization isn’t a surprise – the list is almost entirely made up of global agencies, most of which are owned by holding companies. No matter what bells and whistles they add to their offerings, at the end of the day, these agencies are still operating with very large, traditional corporate infrastructures. And the bigger these ships, the harder they are to steer.

We feel there’s another important change worth adding to the points made in Harris’s article: one that is afoot within PR and also in other industries. And that is the concept of integration; what we refer to at Felicity as “inspiring communications”.

I founded Felicity on the basis of a question: Why does it have to be “us” and “them” when it comes to the companies and audiences we want to reach? What if we (media, marketers, bloggers and other subject matter experts such as health professionals or personal finance experts) could work together – side by side – to come up with the most effective way to communicate?

Felicity is “virtually” changing the rules and breaking the traditional agency mould. We’ve broken down those traditional agency walls by not having walls in the first place. No complex hierarchical structure, greatly reduced overhead costs and an increased emphasis on tailoring a seasoned, strategic team of individuals to the needs of each client. Most of the Felicity team has experience with one or more of the agencies on this list, so we know first-hand how much of a difference our approach has on the insights we are able to deliver to our clients, not to mention the quality, consistency and cohesion of our work.

This isn’t just about PR agencies changing their corporate brands, diversifying their offerings or taking on new types of client projects. This is a whole new, exciting, more flexible (and more rewarding) time to be a PR professional. It’s a time where marketing professionals can rethink the standard ‘old school’ agency model for how business is conducted and work gets done.

After all, doesn’t every marketer deserve an agency that’s literally able to reshape itself and bend over backwards (or sideways, or…) to deliver the best results?

Posted on: November 13th, 2013 by

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