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MWW CEO Kempner on Independent Agencies vs. Holding Companies

1007kempner-obamaWe’ve shared a good bit of news about New Jersey’s MWW recently, and we couldn’t pass this one up. A site called The Native Society, which publishes interviews with CEOs and other business world bigwigs, published an interview with the firm’s founder, president and CEO Michael Kempner yesterday in which he touches on what it takes to succeed in PR and, more compellingly, what differentiates independent agencies from those that belong to holding companies.

We’ve picked some choice quotes, because that’s what we do.

On qualities needed for the job:

“Emotional intelligence and unwavering curiosity are key traits for a PR professional. Every project is a learning experience and time spent with clients and influencers is always time well spent.

It is also important to understand that public relations is a lifestyle not just job. It’s about living in an always-on world, and having great confidence and a desire to be great every day.”

On why independent agencies are better than holding companies:

“We are…deeply committed to operating the agency as ‘one P&L’ – we act as one agency, across offices and practice groups, which helps to create a highly collaborative environment.  We do not judge or motivate by individual geography or practice financials, so there is no competition among our staff members.

In the holding company agency model, clients get the best of a P&L, not the entire agency.”

The first one reads a bit like a motivational quote that’s not up for debate. We would, however, love to hear more from readers about the independent vs. holding company issue. Does that independence empower such agencies to serve clients more effectively?

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