Once dismissed by the likes of Don Draper (“Mad Men”), public relations finally has gained that proverbial seat at the table with advertising and marketing. Increasingly, the seat is near the head of the table. This bodes well for the future of our profession.
New York Times ad columnist Stuart Elliott shed additional light on this trend in an article this week under the headline “Growing Appreciation for PR on Madison Avenue”. Elliott discussed MDC Partners’ recent acquisitions of New York PR shops Kwittken & Company and Sloane & Company as well as Allison & Partners in San Francisco.
“PR is taking on a higher strategic importance based on its unique role in amplifying a brand’s message in today’s digitally focused, social media world,” Lori Senecal, head of Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal, the MDC agency that acquired Kwittken.
Cross-discipline client work is expected to drive further acquisitions and consolidation as evidenced by Miami’s Rbb purchased Thorp & Company. In addition, Next Fifteen Communications bought Type3 and combined it with its own digital offering under the new name Beyond.
Other positive “future of PR” news comes from an AdAge report that indicates PR is recovering faster than marketing and ad disciplines thanks to the rapid growth of social media, which mostly is housed within PR agencies.
Now that PR is back on a growth trajectory, PR students and current practitioners should seek every opportunity possible to enhance their command of digital and social media. Despite the continued weak economy, PR appears to be positioning itself as a player that will be able to absorb a greater percentage of available talent than its marketing peers.