Report finds line between advertising and PR agencies blurring

SAN FRANCISCO: Even though most PR agencies use social media for their clients, the industry has been slow to embrace new technology, and now faces competition from other communications agencies, according to a report by the Council of Public Relations Firms.

SAN FRANCISCO: Even though most PR agencies use social media for their clients, the industry has been slow to embrace new technology, and now faces competition from other communications agencies, according to a report by the Council of Public Relations Firms.

The majority of the 55 agencies surveyed, all Council members, said they have competed with advertising and interactive agencies for social media campaigns, and occasionally, even for traditional PR functions.

"It's created a crisis of identity for the PR agency because a lot of PR consultants have not really prepared themselves to speak intelligently and persuasively to their clients about why PR agencies should be getting this kind of work," said Giovanni Rodriguez, co-founder of the newly launched Hubbub agency, and co-author of the study. The PR industry - not advertising - typically runs campaigns for social influence, he added.

Established agencies must also contend with new agencies that have already integrated traditional PR and social media services, the report states. Additionally, the report principals suggested agencies must run campaigns with more transparency, and accept less control over messaging. The study also recommends agencies expand their recruiting efforts into fields like songwriting, videography, and research.

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