I've been in Boston this week meeting PR agencies and service companies in the Massachusetts area.
It's great to escape from the New York bubble and speak to people operating in different regional and discipline-specific markets. PRWeek is determined to be a brand for the whole of the industry, not just the big metropolitan enclaves, as corporate America is a many-faceted diamond and its extent reaches into most nooks and crannies of the country.
But, actually, I have found more issues facing PR professionals here that are common to everyone than different. How do agencies hire and retain good people? What can they do to continue to persuade clients of the value of PR and communications? How can the industry work together to promote itself while retaining a competitive marketplace with unique service points for each provider? What are the respective roles of the marketing services networks and the individual agencies within them? And how can independents punch their weight in a brutally competitive business environment.
Ultimately, however, a common truth emerges. Success in PR results from understanding your clients' business and communications needs and coming up with strategic solutions that produce real results to the bottom line. I can confirm there are many excellent agencies and good people in the Boston area doing just that – and long may it continue.