Integrated PR consultancy Consolidated Communications has teamed up with
a media independent to make planning part of the package.
The Media Planning Operation, launched this week, will be offered to all
CC clients to ensure they get ‘the same level of planning expertise
they’d expect from their ad agency’.
The consultancy has paid Manning Gottlieb Media to assign one of its
staff full-time to work with CC clients.
‘Planning is becoming more and more important to public relations,’ said
CC managing director Alastair Gornall. This initiative ‘is designed to
ensure that we use some of the best planning brains in the country to
help us target media relations campaigns for our clients’, he said.
For the past year, Manning Gottlieb has worked with CC on its Virgin
Direct business. Previously CC had worked with CDP Media, though Gornall
described the relationship as sporadic. ‘They were buying media for us
with a little bit of planning,’ he said.
Gornall said the alliance with Manning Gottlieb would give CC more
‘leverage’ than he could get from an in-house planning department.
‘We are a medium-sized consultancy and couldn’t provide the same level
of service on our own,’ he said.
The move might be emulated by other PR firms said Gornall: ‘It’s
inevitable, this is going to be the big differentiator in the future.’
But Gornall said he was ‘still shocked by the unscientific approach’ of
many in the PR world.
Countrywide, among others, already incorporates media planning into its
work (PR Week, August 4).