Fishburn Hedges has brought in an online guru from MRM Worldwide to set up a new digital marketing agency.
Mobbie Nazir, head of planning at MRM Worldwide, will join Fishburn Hedges later this month to establish the venture.
The digital agency will be formally launched at the beginning of next year and will be led by Nazir and Chris Reed, head of the social media and digital team at the agency.
Nazir, a self-described 'veteran of online space', said brands need to be more pro-active in their interaction with the consumers online. 'There are conversations about brands online that are happening all the time that brands are not involved in,' said Nazir.
She added that while PR agencies have the expertise to influence and communicate with stakeholders, they do not have the technical skills to engage with digital media.
Nazir said the new digital marketing agency would benefit from the digital background of Fishburn Hedges to 'create and manage online conversations'.
Neil Hedges, Fishburn Hedges chairman, said the current economic slowdown did not discourage the agency from founding the digital business, as Fishburn Hedges itself was founded in the 1991 recession.
'If you can start a business in a downturn and get it going when the upturn starts, then it is in a great position,' said Hedges. He envisaged more agencies investing in digital over the coming months.
Three Monkeys recently created its own digital agency (PRWeek, 3 October) and Dal-jit Bhurji's Diffusion PR (PRWeek, 4 April) is blurring the boundaries between PR and digital.