Her question was: "Where are you?!! Listen... we had a Call to Action last week where we invited a number of you here to a critical debate about the future of our business. Not one showed up."
She concludes by saying: "Bottom line, the business has never been more pathetic and you are endorsing it with your silence. Used to be that once a year or so a major paper would variously satirize us; today, on Strumpette, there's something daily. Frankly, we cannot keep up.IT'S TIME FOR A CHANGE! Help us end the silence. Speak up now or forever hold you peace. We invite you to join us the concerned majority in an effort to reestablish the respected professional discipline of PR. No more obfuscation. We'd like each of you to stand up and show your support and especially your smarts.TELL US! What should we do and how do you personally plan to lead us there?"
I agree with some his conclusions, namely: "As corporate marketing budgets tighten, and internal communications staff is cut, and turned over to junior (read less expensive, more easily abused) people, it is inevitable that corporations will look to outsource more and more communications functions and projects to PR and advertising agencies and marketing firms. Giovanni Rodriguez terms it "a crisis of identity" for agencies. I would call it a crisis of quality for clients. The result is that many corporations have inadvertently chosen to do one-stop shopping for a cart full of generic, low-cost media."
However, I took the following comment with a pinch of salt: "Messaging, writing and media relations, along with analyst relations, are at the core of the universe of things that PR agencies do very well. Better than anyone in fact. It's why we exist. And clients who understand the importance of these three things, pursue them, commit to them, budget for them, and listen to counsel, get results."
Messaging, writing and media relations are things that PR agencies OUGHT to do very well - but as we've documented here ad nauseum, the general skill level in writing and media relations is on the decline. Is it all the nasty client's fault for cutting budgets? Which means that agency training budgets get cut and cheaper, less experienced labour has to be deployed? It is certainly a factor - but it can't all be the client's fault. Can it?