Monday, 2 May 2011

PR agencies that 'don't do digital' will be in trouble, warn experts

Following a recent survey by the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA), which showed that 28% of PR agencies don't have a formal digital strategy in place, Punch Communications, advises these agencies to sort this out, or risk being left behind.

Also, out of the 124 agency managing directors and chief executives that undertook the survey, 6% deemed the question of a digital strategy irrelevant. (EDITOR: Why?) Not only is this a worrying statistic for these public relations companies’ futures, it suggests their clients aren't receiving a service that reflects the changing face of media relations and online communications.

A PR agency that hasn't adopted a digital approach or, perhaps more importantly, isn't offering services associated with the web/Internet to clients, may rapidly find themselves out of touch with growing digital trends and approaches and it would be a big task for such firms to catch up with the times.

An agency that keeps its finger on the pulse has a greater chance of keeping abreast of the constant online transformations within social media, mobile web and search engines. This also means clients of these agencies can enjoy greater consultancy and benefits, resulting in longer lasting working relationships.

Punch Communications has understood the importance of having a digital strategy for many years. It has adapted gradually over time to bring clients a unique and integrated print and digital PR, social media and search engine optimisation offering.

The success of Punch’s three sided service can be observed in the expansion of the Midlands-based company, which has grown three fold during the past two years. This is a clear indication that businesses are searching for a PR agency that fully understands the digital world and how the various channels work together in one strategy.

Keredy Stott, senior account manager with Punch Communications said: “The digital world moves at a rapid pace and is arguably where the future of PR lies. PR companies that do not embrace online communications, whether with bloggers or via social networks, could find themselves lacking clients over the coming years as the industry continues to shift.

“The individuals that work for these PR agencies will also suffer in the long term and may find themselves under trained. The PRCA’s survey found that the average proportion of training budget spent on digital fluency training was just 30 per cent, which does not reflect the true need in the field.”

For more information about Punch Communications and the integrated services it offers, please visit or call 01858 411 600.

(EDITOR: I have worked with Punch over the years with several of their clients for print-based publications and Punch is a key player in digital and non-digital PR.)

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