PRaise for PR?

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Well, the PR industry in Canada is a-buzzin’ about social media. I think much of this buzz is rooted in the mesh conference held in Toronto as I’d inferenced back on May 16th.

Within my slice of the industry, David Jones recently joined Fleishman-Hillard and is touting the powers of social media to account staff. In conjunction with the iStudio team, which has specialized in online communications for the last seven years, we have been working to increase Fleishman-Hillard’s competitive advantage in the new media space.

Earlier this week, another agency in the Fleishman-Hillard family, High Road Communications, announced a new service offering called VOX focused on leveraging social media and integrating online PR into the mix. Kudos to them for getting this off the ground. Again, the iStudio team was an integral partner in helping the High Road – Microsoft team create and manage the Microsoft Home Ambassadors program.

David Jones and I were questioning whether this approach will help position High Road beyond its core client base. Do agencies really need to brand these services or should online PR and social media simply be something agencies provide to clients as part of the core service offering? I guess it is opportunistic. Until just a few months ago, many PR agencies included online initiatives as “additional considerations” while agencies like iStudio made a business of it. Today, it’s all coming together.

So where do clients turn? Do they go with their PR agency or their online partner? Some of the questions you need to ask yourself are:

  • Who gets the new media space?
  • Who understands my business?
  • Who has the best relationships with my audience?

At the end of the day, it’s all about the results. Work with those that are going to deliver and give your messages legs in the new networked world of communication.