Opinion: From Our Readers - PR agencies must learn from ad shops

I was disappointed to hear Sir Martin Sorrell bemoaning the project nature of PR, but not surprised (News, 1 May).

Appointing on a project-only basis and changing agencies like the weather is testimony to an industry too often seen as a tactical executor rather than a strategic partner. It doesn't have to be that way.

Companies such as Ford, Sainsbury's, Volkswagen and Guinness keep ad agencies for decades. They get there by solid strategic thinking and a deep appreciation of how the client's brand should be communicated.

Until consumer PR delivers the same level of stewardship, we will be destined to work on a project-only basis. With more and more ad agencies opening PR shops, the threat of new entrants disrupting the market is high. To break the mould, PR businesses must invest in strategic planning as a core competency and bake it into the fee arrangements.

- Leo Rayman, strategic planning director, EMEA, Weber Shandwick.

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