Are PR Agencies Redundant in 2009?: Mark Creaser

The focus of traditional PR still seems to be heavily on print and broadcast media, which are, as pointed out in the Social Media Today article, still the mediums with the biggest numbers. The article claimed that some 88% of newspaper reading time is in print and I’ve got no reason to doubt that figure.

How much do numbers matter though? Surely effective marketing is all about who’s in the audience, not how big it is?

The power of online is in the level of engagement. Done well, a brand’s online presence will have personality that’s much easier to convey on screen than in print. It’s much quicker (and cheaper) to build valuable relationships online; there are no print deadlines, no word limits, no editorial guidelines, no boundaries.

Where will this leave traditional PR? Nowhere fabulous, I suspect. PR probably is still partying like it’s 1999 right now, but it’s very nearly time for the music to stop. For many small and switched on businesses, the return they’ll get from engaging with the world through the web will be much higher than sticking with old-school PR.

Digital Agencies are already elbowing PR aside, and within a couple of years, a traditional PR agency will be fairly niche. Times change, and in 2010 people will want to feel increasingly engaged with the brands and people they choose to do business with.

In a world where your relationship with your customers and prospects is the single most important thing in your business, the arm’s length approach of using traditional PR will seem as outdated and as engaging as sending a fax.

Read the article that got me thinking here:

Posted via web from Andrew’s posterous

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