"PR should punch above its weight in the mix," says WPP chief Sorrell

Sir Martin Sorrell has called for PR firms to throw off their inferiority complex and seize the opportunity to lead the new wave of integration.

Sir Martin Sorrell: "PR should punch above its weight"
Sir Martin Sorrell: "PR should punch above its weight"

In an exclusive interview with PRWeek, Sorrell said that with integration becoming more widespread, comms specialists could feel inferior in integrated groups.

He said: "It’s a bit like media management was a few years ago. The media independents were set up because they were fed up with being treated like second-class citizens by advertising businesses. PR now has an opportunity to do something about this."

Sorrell said that comms professionals had a unique skillset, which should not be overshadowed in integration. He said:  "I would argue that with the drivers of digital and data, PR should actually punch above its weight in the mix."

Comms specialists are at an advantage in the digital age, Sorrell believes. With social media having the power to ruin a reputation in the click of a button, good PR is in high demand.

He said: "Campaigns for all clients increasingly resemble political campaigns. Digital and social media make communication more challenging. This should put good PR at the centre of things."

He added that while advertising agencies may try to do social media and content-led campaigning, this was another area on which the comms business was strongest: "Ad agencies do say they can do this stuff, but they can’t."

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