In yet another sign of the increasingly intimate (one might say co-dependent) relationship between PR and marketing, two top firms formed partnerships with content creation/digital branding agencies this week.
On Tuesday, Hill + Knowlton Strategies announced its acquisition of Group SJR, a New York/LA-based company focused on attracting audiences and building brand loyalty via strategic insights, “audience curation” and—most importantly—the creation and management of custom content.
The following day, Booz & Company made its new partnership with international branding/advertising agency Leagas Delaney official. LD is a London-based agency specializing in services ranging from advertising creative to media buys.
In both cases, the partners aim to create a sort of super-firm by fusing two or more distinct agencies in order to more completely serve each client’s diverse content/distribution needs—like a digital Power Ranger.
H + K’s press release frames the move as a long-term effort to empower the firm to move “beyond traditional public relations and public affairs” by enhancing its “digital media and content development” capabilities. Booz’s announcement adopts a similar tone, hyping the new alliance’s ability to “help companies reimagine their brands and create breakthrough products.” Booz also stresses that its new team includes a management consultant as well as a group of digital resources and branding experts.
Principals at both agencies had comments on the larger trend.
From H + K American CEO Andy Weitz:
“With the strategic acquisition of Group JSR, we are responding to the changing needs of the marketplace. Every day the world’s leading companies and organizations turn to us to help them begin and extend meaningful conversations online, ones that are dynamic and creative. Group SJR’s creative approach to content curation and distribution complements our existing portfolio of tools.”
Leagas Chairman Tim Delaney writes:
“This combined model delivers to CEOs and CMOs the confidence that their vision for transforming their business can actually be realized because it understands the accelerated change that consumers’ digital demands create.
“This alliance is an absolute first in the way it brings together experts in management consultancy and leaders in communications advice in a single, integrated team. This combination of expertise isn’t available anywhere else in the world.”
This may be true—but you can expect quite a few more partnerships like these in the coming months as the industry evolves in keeping with clients’ needs.
What do we think of this trend?