The only constant in the modern world of communications is change: the industry is evolving continually and everyone involved has to change with it.
That is an exciting prospect that makes the world of PR a dynamic environment to work in — but it can also be a little frightening.
Cannes is an excellent expression of this industry revolution presented in microcosm, and you can check out six of the most noteworthy winning campaigns from the Festival of Creativity in this issue.
Apart from the excellent work, this year’s festival was dominated by holding companies such as Publicis and WPP pushing back on a phenomenon they believe has spun out of control and isn’t achieving its original goals. Publicis made a massive statement by announcing mid-festival it was pulling out of all awards for the next 12 months. WPP halved the number of people it sent and issued a clear warning to organizers that they had to go beyond lip service in addressing the concerns of their biggest marketing services stakeholders.
That dissatisfaction can only have been compounded when industry analysts including Brian Wieser at Pivotal Research returned from Cannes and immediately downgraded the entire holding company agency sector. He cited the impact of transparency on agency fees, media fragmentation, slower client growth, and a fundamental change in traditional ad agencies.
These woes aren’t necessarily bad news for PR. The entire ad industry is moving in the direction of earned media, and the impact being made by the young guns on PRWeek’s 2017 40 Under 40 list will go a long way to shaping this future of marketing and comms.