PR 2.0, social media marketing, or whatever name you call it is supposed to be primarily the domain of PR agencies. If you are a CEO of an organisation and wants to add the social media mix into your overall PR and marketing plan, you are likely to approach your corporate communications or your PR agency. Right? I don’t think so. And I’m not the only one talking about it. Here is Jeremy Pepper writing about how PR can lose the social media to the advertising folks because the latter have the ability to make things look more sexier.
He also wrote that when websites came into the scene years back, the PR folks ignored it and what is primarily a communications tool went to the marketing hands and today they use it mainly to sell products.
Out here in India it is mostly of this second reason that the PR industry is today seemingly losing the social media to the advertising industry. Most PR agency folks do not care less about the social media or are too busy selling stories to the newspaper and TV folks.
Ad agencies are taking advantage of this and some who are already looking at ad accounts of various MNCs are contemplating introducing social media marketing practices as part of their online advertising campaigns. These may include building applications, creating micro sites, blogs, and monitoring the blogosphere. Take the case of Quasar, a digital media solutions provider that is starting an online reputation program encompassing online ad campaigns, website and application development, and social media marketing. Read the news at Alootechie.
Another development is that certain PR professionals who are adept in the new media are opening their own specialised agencies, creating a whole new industry altogether. Take the case of Blogworks, a social marketing consultancy headed by a PR veteran, that has been instrumental in developing some good online properties.
Which are the PR agencies standing up now? We have heard about the supposedly famous 360 degree campaign of Corporate Voice Weber Shandwick some time back that was carried in a national daily and on national TV. But is that all? The supposedly big technology PR firms of India like Text 100 and 20:20 Media are quiet, instead of taking the lead in familiarising the industry of this development that has taken place in their specialised domain.
So while we all are busy selling stories to the newspapers and TV and boast of a fast growing Rs. 165 crore industry, other folks will come and quietly take over what could ever be the biggest growth opportunity of the industry.