Given the current focus on content, it really isn't all that surprising that public relations agencies are morphing into full-blown marketing agencies. After all, public relations agencies were always
the masters of manipulation when it came to the written journalistic word.
The CEO of Zeno Group, Barby Siegel, says her previously PR-focused agency has become "an integrated
communications agency born from PR. We have cracked the code in terms of the kind of agency we are and the kind of work we want to do. Now that does not mean we all look the same all over the world,
but it means we are all focused on integrated communications born from PR. In terms of Edelman, we’ve also cracked the code as a sister agency that is not better or worse, but different. We have
our own culture and fill a niche in the marketplace."
And on the creative aspects of her changed agency, she adds
: "To come up with a big creative idea is brave, but to then say we are not going to go ahead with
that idea because it’s not going to sell more phones or tablets, bottles of juice or whatever is even braver. Our guiding light every day is the fearless pursuit of the unexpected, but it is not
creativity for the sake of it."
None of this, of course, is surprising. While the "big idea" is still central to the success of any good marketing program, where that big idea plays out
-- increasingly in native advertising, social media and other forms of written content rather than TV commercials -- has always been the strong suit of a PR agency versus an ad agency. Given this,
it's only logical that PR agencies lay down a bigger footprint