Acquisitions showcase industry race to digital

Porter Novelli's purchase of technology and social media PR agency Voce Communications is a shot across the bow to the PR world that right now it's an all-out race to digital.

Porter Novelli's purchase of technology and social media PR agency Voce Communications is a shot across the bow to the PR world that right now it's an all-out race to digital.

Survey after survey indicates that marketers and brands plan on spending more money on digital and social media PR efforts in place of more traditional PR efforts in the years and months to come, even if the return on investment for such mediums remains unclear.

Late last year, LEWIS PR bought the Silicon Valley-based social media agency Page One PR for an undisclosed amount.

Clients across the land are demanding digital PR skills, so agencies must deliver the goods. If they don't have a strong digital or social media PR offering, agencies must quickly recruit such skills, pony up the cash and buy a shop that does, or partner with one.

This is not to say Porter Novelli didn't have digital or social media chops before the purchase. It's just a reminder that right now the conversation in PR is all about social media and digital, and no agency can seemingly have a glut of these skills and services on hand.

It's much more likely that large to mid-size agencies are looking to acquire a tech and social media specialist agency more than any other specialization or skill.

This will not be the last such acquisition of a tech and social media specialist agency this year. If an agency is on the market to buy, it would behoove them to not diddle-daddle, lest a competitor snaps up the goods.

What's at stake is business, no more and no less.

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