The letter on this page from Sun Microsystems' worldwide PR director, Karen Kahn, reacting to our analysis of the company's dynamic bidding process, is a welcome part of the dialogue over an important industry issue.
Whether one agrees with the naysayers or with the company over the issue of the value of online auctions as part of agency searches, it is important to try and understand the nuances of all perspectives.
Generally, what we will find when reporting on sensitive issues - such as firm searches, budgets, and measurement - that impact both in-house and agency professionals and teams, is that clients can be reluctant to speak out. Conversely, clients within other marketing disciplines seem more than willing to talk not only about what decisions they have made regarding agencies, but how and why they arrived at those choices.
Their reluctance to speak to this in a PR context is somewhat mystifying. In-house professionals frequently complain to me that agencies are insensitive to the demands of the corporate environment in which they operate. But at the point where the agency interacts with the organization, the more clarity about expectations and needs offered the better.
Whether through trade titles or industry associations, in-house communicators should strive to find ways to create more educated agencies, even as firms strive to educate clients.