David Meerman Scott, author of “New Rules for Marketing & PR” (you’ve read it, right?) has a post at his blog Web Ink Now about the turf war raging on social media between Ad Agencies and PR Agencies.
Per usual, David makes some insightful observations and there’s a lot of excellent comments on the topic.
David’s conclusion is a good one:
“There is really only one question to ask your prospective social media agency. It doesn’t matter if they are your existing ad agency or PR agency or a potential new agency.
Ask the prospective agency to show the agency social media presence. Ask about such things as blogs, Twitter feeds, YouTube videos, Web site(s), Facebook profiles, ebooks, and any other stuff they have.
Make it an open-ended question. This is not to say that an agency needs to do everything. But they should be out there. Then ask them how those social media initiatives drive new business to the agency.
My theory is that if an agency can’t do it for themselves with success, how are they going to do it for clients?”
Any agency selling social media consulting should be walking the walk.
I believe social media works best from a PR perspective – mostly because PR agencies are used to dealing in storytelling and working in an earned media environment (in other words PR people have to persuade other people – influencers, journalists, analysts, bloggers, etc. to cover a story). This conversational approach works naturally in a social media setting.
Because at its base – social media is a conversation. A big ongoing one.
Ad Agencies just aren’t used to engaging, talking and participating while these skills are burned into the DNA of any good PR agency. Ad Agencies generally buy the space they need. That’s not to say that Ad Agencies don’t bring a creative element to the table or can’t learn the skills.
But what do you think? PR agency? Ad agency? Both? None?