Is iStudio a PR Agency?

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In this week’s issue of Marketing Magazine (accessible to Marketing subscribers only), iStudio is featured in an article called “Click Communications”. The subheading is “PR agency iStudio spreads the message online”. This raises the question, is iStudio a PR agency?

To some the answer is, “Yes,” followed by a resounding “… finally!” For years, iStudio has paved the way for PR agencies online, establishing some of the best practices for corporate communication Web sites, B2B programs, e-newsletters and more recently blogs and podcasts. We are the early adopters of the PR world.

But are we a PR agency? How do our clients perceive us? I think if you asked some of them they’d say that we are a valued interactive, digital or Web partner. We help clients maximize their investment in their online presence and programs. Other clients think of us as an e-marketing agency because we specialize in innovative programs that generate online buzz and ultimately move product.

We can’t be everything though, can we? No. We are specialists. Most of our consultants come from the world of PR, corporate and employee communications. But we specialize in digital and online media. We are culturally adept when it comes to the Internet. This I would say is the biggest gap in the traditional PR world. When we look for new talent, Internet familiarity tops our list of qualifications.

Most clients enjoy their relationship with iStudio because we speak in their terms. Even though we use design and technology to produce our work, it makes sense to those who only care about whether or not it works.

So I guess when it comes down to it, today is one of those “finally” days. The industry gets it. PR isn’t just about publicity. It’s about managing relationships, disseminating messages and helping clients capitalize on timely opportunities. PR is all about being at the right place at the right time with the best message and most favourable exposure. And that really is what we do; we just do it online.

From my perspective, PR is the best marketing discipline suited to the online world, but that’s a blog topic for another day.