In a new Adweek interview on the future of public relations, Weber Shandwick CEO Andy Polansky says that PR is increasingly “the steward of the strategy”. He believes that developments in digital/social media are the “biggest growth engines” for the industry at large and that they have increased the amount of power that firms hold when shaping messaging strategies for clients.
He makes some very strong statements about social media being “the core of everything we’re doing” and echoes Edelman‘s sentiments about an industry more directly involved in the creative process, saying that “Whoever retains the most creative thinkers will win market share.”
The topics covered in the interview are, in fact, similar to those Polansky addressed when we spoke to him after his promotion last November. In that post he also focused on the power that firms have gained through social media and the very “explosion of data” that has led some to create their own custom analytics tools. The Adweek quote that interests us most concerns the public’s perception that PR is all about “spin” when more firms are concerned with pushing and sharing a given client’s narrative through content and messaging than containing and minimizing the effects of its missteps.
These are familiar talking points to anyone who works in the industry, but we’re interested in specifics: in what ways have firms begun more aggressively managing media strategies for clients over the past few years?