Forget Digital Agencies. Screw PR Companies. The Case For A Social Media AOR.

By SuperSpy 

Joesph Jaffe, President and Chief Interruptor of crayon, has a lot of thoughts about who should be crafting social media campaigns for brands. His commentary is worth opening up to the floor considering it includes a few sticky-wickets. Jaffee thinks that it shouldn’t be a digital agency nor a PR firm who crafts and maintains the social media campaign for an agency. Why? Read the entire piece here, but in short:

“Digital agencies today are stuck somewhere between scalability hell (tasked with automating and compartmentalizing the lowly impression) and storytelling schlock (replicating obtuse and detached hyperbole in an advertising-unfriendly environment). It’s a world governed by performance-based pricing and ad networks on the one side and pre-roll advertising and clunky Web builds on the other. Exactly where and when did the digital space earn the stripes and credentials to tackle the high roads of authenticity, transparency or peer-to-peer collaboration (just to name a few of conversational marketing’s core tenets)?”


Those are fightin’ words, Mr. Jaffee. And why not a PR company?

“The PR business is really no better and no worse than the digital one when it comes to social credentials. With its claim of being champions of “earned media,” it tacked the word “relations” onto blogger, lumped it together with “media relations” and “journalist relations,” and somehow went unchallenged. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying PR shouldn’t be at the table. I’m just questioning how “relations” between corporations and journalists equate with real people hanging out with other real people.”

Wait, so what are you saying?

“Just to be clear, I’m not saying every digital and/or every PR agency is ill-equipped to deliver against “social.” What I am suggesting, however, is there’s an acute and fundamental flaw in equating “social” with “digital” or “social” with “earned media.”

Right okay, so what’s the solution?

In this scenario, there’s a definite and defined role for an “integrator” – an independent third party (internal or external) that is the generalist to the physical, digital and virtual specialist verticals, with less interest in ensuring success in any one world than in simply ensuring your success, period. Having said this, it may also turn out that there is no such thing as a social AOR.

Hmmm…. anyone want to chime in on this theory of a social AOR? Of the Jaffee’s idea that digital agencies can’t hack social media? Again, please do read his entire editorial before letting it rip.

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