AdAge: PR Had Done ‘Poor Job’ Laying Claim To ‘All Things Social and Digital’

In their 2010 forecast story, Advertising Age had this to say about public relations:

Earned media and two-way conversations have always been the specialty of PR shops. But many PR professionals will tell you that the industry as a whole has done a poor job of laying claim to being the authoritative voice on all things social and digital. The industry has stood by, similar to the way it did during the dot-com explosion, while media, direct, digital and creative shops have taken business that it should be handling. The evolution of the media ecosystem has brought fewer traditional outlets and contacts to pitch to and a tougher task in identifying the more influential new-media players. Looking ahead, most, if not all, PR shops need to put a more intense focus on navigating and understanding which outlets are having the most impact on consumer decisions and start staffing their agencies with the type of talent that understands these mediums.

It’s certainly a pointed assertion – and we can point to some examples where digital shops are doing work that could also have been done by PR firms. Think of the social-centric campaigns coming out of shops like Crispin, Porter & Bogusky, and smaller boutiques like Carrot Creative in New York.

Of course, the PR industry will continue to argue the other way around – that new media is helping them win business and take budgets away from ad agencies used to getting fat off big budget TV and other campaigns. What’s your take?