Now Is Apparently the Time for PR to Take on Advertising


That’s according to Tom Foremski of ZDNET, who previously told us that Google doesn’t really want to kill all our press releases—it just wants to help us improve them.

His argument is that the PR industry has a “huge window of opportunity” in 2014 as the ad business splinters, traditional campaigns lose more of their power to convince and large-scale consolidation moves forward, further concentrating the talent pool and (arguably) smothering the creative urge beneath endless layers of bureaucracy.

Sounds familiar…

Foremski’s point of reference is Richard Edelman‘s “Show Up Differently” campaign; he cites the launch announcement post while stating his lack of confidence in the industry’s ability to “make headway against the ad agencies…by being creative and innovative” due to its perceived “risk-averse” nature.

The most frustrating part of the short piece is its lack of specific ways in which PR can “move against the ad agencies”. Do we not all agree that the “new kind of marketing communications company” mentioned by Edelman is one that does nearly everything but traditional broadcast-centric ad campaigns (sponsored, social, big data, etc.)? This conversation feels a bit circular.

Here’s our suggestion: point big-budget clients toward this study and suggest, in a constructive way, that the millions they might spend on a Super Bowl ad would probably be more valuable if invested in quality PR services.

At any rate, we seem to have more confidence in our industry’s competitive streak than Foremski does.