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Posts Tagged ‘Weber Shandwick’

Will PR Really ‘Rule Native and Social?’

Today in No, We’re Not Tired of This Debate Yet news: Phil Johnson, CEO of PJA Advertising, wrote a story for AdWeek arguing that the whole “moving into creative” trend means that “savvy PR firms” can and should steal social media and native advertising opportunities away from their competitors in the ad and marketing fields — and that those other guys will need to imitate the PR model in order to keep up.

Johnson writes that “forward-thinking public-relations firms have been more adept than advertising agencies at grasping the strategic implications of content marketing”. In making this point he cites recent moves by Edelman and Weber Shandwick as well as Digital Influence Group, “a full-service digital marketing agency with social media at the core”, and Shift Communications, which has been bullish on social for some time.

He also thinks that PR firms have an inherent advantage because native advertising “is conceptually the same as placing press releases that look like independent journalism.” Hmm…

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SEC Issues New Social Media Rules for CEOs

Remember when the SEC threatened to put the smack down on Netflix CEO Reed Hastings for revealing in a Facebook post that his company had achieved a record one billion hours of video streamed in a single month? The organization claimed that he was revealing confidential business info in order to bump up his company’s stock prices, but they’re totally cool with it now.

The organization laid out some new guidelines for CEOs who want to be more active on social media (a course strongly recommended by Leslie-Gaines Ross of Weber Shandwick).

There’s nothing too crazy here — just a realization that the rules regarding business disclosures need to take a step into the 21st century.

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How Important Is Oreo-Style ‘Real-Time Marketing’ Now?

After the Oreo team’s big social media win dominated the post-Super Bowl buzz, a whole lot of people who had never used the phrase “real-time marketing” before started throwing it around like a hot potato.

The point is that pretty much any business whose description includes the words “firm” or “agency” now needs to claim that it has “real-time marketing capabilities” in order to win the interest of big-name clients. McCann Erickson, for example, named its new social media-only division “McCann Always On”. The “RTM” phrase doesn’t just apply to agencies that label themselves “ad” or “marketing”, either — PR wants to “own” social media too, remember?

The problem is that the whole phenomenon just isn’t that simple — and it’s not too terribly revolutionary either. Explaining that to clients, however, may be a bit of a challenge.

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Digital Agency Trends Are Way Ahead of Us

In case you missed it, last week we posted a series of stories on the new transition toward a PR business model with a far heavier focus on digital branding and content creation services.

First Weber Shandwick EVP Jason Wellcome discussed the firm’s decision to formally create and publicize a new digital content unit called Mediaco after nearly a decade of providing more explicitly content-focused services for clients. Then Edelman PR content strategist Steve Rubel told us about his firm’s plan to address clients’ changing demands by simply doing more of what they’ve been doing for years — integrating new creatives into the larger Edelman team rather than launching and promoting a new entity.

Their observations seemed to support our conclusion that the classic “Is it PR, marketing or advertising?” debate would only grow more intense in the months and years to come. We found this all quite fascinating, but some people who’ve worked in the industry longer than we have let us know that these revelations were not really news at all with a collective “meh.”

A new study completed by Second Wind, provider of resources across the interlocking communications disciplines, tells us that they are (of course) correct.

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Edelman’s Content Strategist Explains the New ‘Content Marketing’ Model

Steve RubelThis week we posted on Weber Shandwick‘s decision to publicize its new content-creation wing, Mediaco, and what that means for the future of PR. This morning we had the opportunity to speak with Steve Rubel, chief content strategist at Edelman PR, to go over how his firm is addressing this newest chapter in the ongoing “PR vs. marketing vs. advertising” debate.

How does the Weber Shandwick announcement relate to recent “creative” moves by Edelman?

There’s a lot of hype in the never-ending hunt for shiny objects in marketing, but the bigger picture here is that the economics of the industry have changed – demand side platforms (ad exchanges) have made advertising more efficient, which caused the price of CPM (cost per impression) and ads themselves to plummet. This is good for the industry but bad for publishers, because media outlets squeezed by tech developments can’t make the leap to other revenue streams like subscription, video, etc.

This has led to a greater willingness to open their platforms to branded/sponsored content, thereby empowering marketers to make good on their longtime desire tell their stories their own way on some of world’s largest websites (Ed. note: see The Washington Post). That is the big change here.

Some people say this is all old news. How do you respond to that point?

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Weber Shandwick EVP Talks Content Creation and the New PR Model

Yesterday we posted on Weber Shandwick‘s new unit Mediaco, which will focus on creating and distributing content for clients. Today we had the chance to talk to Jason Wellcome, the Weber digital EVP who will run the new unit, on exactly what his teams do — and what this development means for the PR industry.

Here’s the firm’s promo video:

In our conversation, Wellcome gave us a little more detail on the strategy and its implications:

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The Next Chapter in the ‘PR vs. Marketing vs. Advertising’ Debate Is Here

Obvious statement of the day: the debate over who “owns” content marketing, native/paid media and social will only heat up in the months and years to come as agencies fight (politely) for clients’ money. But the latest chapter in this timeless face-off appears to be unfolding in record time.

First comes news that big-name ad agency McCann Erickson will significantly expand upon a unit it founded last year to exclusively tackle social media projects. The unit, now called “McCann Always On” (get it?), will “[build] social media-centric marketing plans” rather than just managing clients’ pages and feeds in an attempt to back up the agency’s “sure, we can do that!” claims.

This announcement follows a telling New York Times article by advertising specialist Stuart Elliot, who reported that a growing number of ad/marketing copywriters have mastered the subtle art of “LOLspeak” as their agencies integrate more social content into client campaigns.

On the PR side, Weber Shandwick just announced its plans to expand upon the traditional definition of a PR firm by launching a new content-focused unit called MediaCo.

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Weber Shandwick CEO Says PR More Responsible for ‘Big Ideas’ on Strategy

Weber Shandwick CEO Andy PolanskyIn a new Adweek interview on the future of public relations, Weber Shandwick CEO Andy Polansky says that PR is increasingly “the steward of the strategy”. He believes that developments in digital/social media are the “biggest growth engines” for the industry at large and that they have increased the amount of power that firms hold when shaping messaging strategies for clients.

He makes some very strong statements about social media being “the core of everything we’re doing” and echoes Edelman‘s sentiments about an industry more directly involved in the creative process, saying that “Whoever retains the most creative thinkers will win market share.”

The topics covered in the interview are, in fact, similar to those Polansky addressed when we spoke to him after his promotion last November. In that post he also focused on the power that firms have gained through social media and the very “explosion of data” that has led some to create their own custom analytics tools. The Adweek quote that interests us most concerns the public’s perception that PR is all about “spin” when more firms are concerned with pushing and sharing a given client’s narrative through content and messaging than containing and minimizing the effects of its missteps.

These are familiar talking points to anyone who works in the industry, but we’re interested in specifics: in what ways have firms begun more aggressively managing media strategies for clients over the past few years?

Roll Call: Edelman, Weber Shandwick, Antenna Group and More

Edelman PR has named Julianna Richter chief operating officer for Edelman U.S. effective March 25. In this role, Richter, a 13-year veteran of Edelman, will have management and operational responsibility for the West Coast, Southeast and Southwest regions and establish a U.S.-wide knowledge management system. She will report to Mark Hass, president and CEO of Edelman U.S. Richter was previously head of the firm’s Global Client Relationship Management (GCRM) program, which will now be led by Lisa Sepulveda, also effective March 25. (Release)

Weber Shandwick promoted Tara Murphy to the new role of executive vice president for strategy in the New England region. Based in Boston, Murphy will continue leading the healthcare practice, and will also bring her expertise as a strategist to clients across industries. Additionally, Murphy is co-leading a Healthcare Reform Team to help clients navigate the dramatic changes that are reshaping healthcare. A seven-year veteran of Weber Shandwick, Murphy joined the firm with more than 15 years of experience in broadcast journalism and politics. She held a number of senior editorial positions at WBUR National Public Radio in Boston, including senior producer for the award-winning NPR talk show The Connection, and managing editor for the national news magazine Here and Now. (Release)

Antenna Group announced it has appointed Anna Cahill Leonard as president.

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CEOs Going Social: An Interview with Leslie Gaines-Ross of Weber Shandwick

How social is your CEO?

Weber Shandwick‘s recently released follow-up to its 2010 study “Socializing Your CEO: From (Un)social to Social” doesn’t contain many earth-shattering revelations or statistics that will inspire double takes. But its findings do provide evidence of a shift toward sociability among CEOs across the business spectrum that will only increase over the next few years.

Also: In the future, many of these executives will spend more time working with internal communications teams or third-party PR firms to maximize the impact of their social activities.

Some key conclusions:

  • 66% of consumers say their perceptions of CEOs affect their impressions of companies and the products these companies sell.
  • Overall usage of social networks among the CEOs of the world’s largest companies barely changed from 2010-12, going from 16% to 18%, but…
  • “Sociability” stats exploded: In 2010, only 38% of CEOs could be described as “social”. In 2012 that number was 66%.

What does this mean? We recently spoke to Leslie Gaines-Ross, chief reputational strategist at Weber Shandwick, to find out.

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