:::renaissance chambara:::

Posts on quality, life, culture, the media, news & tech with a twist & a slice of Limey. I moved my blog to http://renaissancehambara.jp in December 2006, go there for the latest content.

Saturday, March 11, 2006


The PR Twilight Zone

I had lunch with the head of a large agency's technology practice and after we got over all the usual social chit-chat and gossip we got on to talking about the business. Generally PR people are glass half-full people, or as I prefer to say delusional. We got into talking about business and the conversation veered on to new business.

I expressed my surprise at the lack of PRs at events like Second Chance Tuesday trying to suck up to potential clients and secure new business, when she dropped this bombshell "I am not doing any more new business because I can't get any more account managers, any of the decent ones you speak to want to go in-house."

Without an economic boom we could see agencies resorting to dot.com strategies of interviewing prospective clients and hiking fees. The industry is also likely to attract the attention of charlatans, marketing services and professional services organisations keen to get a slice of the pie.

Senior mommy consultants are already taking up some of the slack in the Bay Area.

PR has hit a bit of a demographic wall, there is a scarcity of account managers out there.
What's behind the numbers?
  • Well pay hasn't budged in ten years or so by level, neither has client budgets.
  • In addition now there is more ways in which a marketer can spend their budget, online advertising in particular provides a particularly PowerPoint-friendly way of justifying marketing spend
  • Media is continually fragmenting, affecting the returns from PR and the industry image has suffered because of political shenanigans over the past decade.
  • Those account managers that are willing move from their current organisations wanting an in-house role indicates that they have been failed by agencies and the 'golden apple' of career progression to account director and beyond has left them cold.
I guess for agencies its wake-up and smell the coffee time:
  • Agency culture has failed to inspire the people that have come into the industry to make a career of it.
    • From my point-of-view most of the agencies that I see are more formal and less fun work environments for junior staff than when I started out
    • Agency culture have few differentiators
    • Many agencies are not located in areas that would be attractive to young hard working people. Often you would struggle to find a sandwich at lunch time or anywhere to go after work for a quick drink with colleagues.
  • Some money is going to have to be put on the table to sweeten the deal for them, but its going to have float the boats of all employees, not just account managers
  • The shortage of middle management cannot be solved by boosting junior staff before their time
  • The problem needs to be resolved by reexamining the manner in which they carry out their business
    • Working around having fewer middle managers to hold account relationships day-to-day
    • Providing an environment and working experience that people want to stay in
    • Find a way of increasing their value to clients so that they can get the additional money required to improve agency working conditions
  • The mistakes need to be corrected and we need to plan for a drought in quality senior management over the next five-to-ten years as maternity leave kicks in with a vengenance and these account managers move on up the career ladder
From an in-house point-of-view there is an opportunity for in-house teams to recruit the cream of agency talent and look at using agencies as grunts or strategists.

Labels: ,

Create Social Bookmark Links

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home


03/2004   04/2004   05/2004   06/2004   07/2004   08/2004   09/2004   10/2004   11/2004   12/2004   01/2005   02/2005   03/2005   04/2005   05/2005   06/2005   07/2005   08/2005   09/2005   10/2005   11/2005   12/2005   01/2006   02/2006   03/2006   04/2006   05/2006   06/2006   07/2006   08/2006   09/2006   10/2006   11/2006   12/2006  

Welcome, thanks for visiting and a bit about this blog (:::renaissance chambara::: all in lower case just like UNIX)
Got something to bitch about? Trying to legal the author or want to send scary fan mail? Click here for more details
Want to leave a comment? Feel free, but please take account of the guidelines
The blogroll (there's some missing that Bloglines can't read, if you're not in sort your feeds out)
Subscribe via RSS to :::: renaissance chambara ::::
The grooves that drive :::: renaissance chambara :::: (see what's on our iTunes)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 License.

Blogger rox nuffsaid.