The State of Digital PR in the UK
PR Week continues to look into the current state of digital PR in the UK and it throws open some interesting findings.
For starters, only 64 agencies responded to the survey which may suggest that many agencies talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk when it comes to digital. Either that or they were too busy with their latest digital account to respond in time.
Cynicism aside, the ten best digital campaigns provided some useful case studies, but perhaps most tellingly highlight that whilst the campaigns contained a strong digital strand, many still incorporated traditional public relations tools such as media relations, copywriting, research etc. We are seeing quite traditional PR stuff, just executed in the digital world.
The report suggests that ‘specific departments may become redundant once all team members are trained in digital and able to use their judgement to decide the best medium for a particular campaign.’
Steve Loynes, head of B2B at The Reptile Group went further: ‘understanding the client and its marketplace is what leads to the best campaigns, not a specialism in a particular medium. All our consultants incorporate digital activity where it makes sense for the client.’
I feel Steve is wrong here – the digital world is evolving at such a remarkable rate it will pay to have a dedicated member of staff who is horizon watching for digital trends ready to report back and update colleagues.
It is easier said than done just to expect employees to keep up to date with the digital world, someone needs to be responsible for obtaining and transferring this knowledge.
I think in the medium term we will continue to see a dedicated digital expert at agencies. In my mind this is the most effective way to inform colleagues who can then build this knowledge into their account management.