Twelve years ago, I would walk into an office for a new business meeting and be asked, “What is PR?” Now, people are asking me the same thing about social media.
In the past when budgets were available, there was more concentration on brand building, but in today's marketplace there is more concentration on sales. In fact, it's rare when a client solely looks to build brand awareness because everyone is looking to increase sales.
Most companies used to offer one or two services within PR. For two years, this system worked great but soon businesses began asking for numerous services so we had to transition into a full service agency in order to give clients the services they needed.
Realistically, it made sense for a client to ask for more services because dealing with one agency is not only easier to manage, but boutique agencies have always had the ability to be more conservative with budgets compared to a larger agency.
Think of it like this - would you buy a car if you knew you'd have to go to a different lot for features? The same applies to a PR agency. Become a one-stop shop, but continue to offer new technology so your current clients will see no need to take their business elsewhere.
We are now at the next transition and to move forward as a full service agency, we offer social media. This shouldn't come as a shock to any PR firm because a decade ago, companies took on event production, celebrity endorsements, and strategic partnerships, in addition to pitching media.
Social media is essential to how brands communicate with their customers and that's what I tell people in client meetings now.
Ari Goldstein is CEO of Goldstein Communications.