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August 24, 2007

Comments

Charles

There may be a smaller pool of titles that journalists write for (and that PR companies interact with), but there is still a need for it – just a smaller market – the problem for tech PR companies is relying on this as their main product – you aren’t going to make your millions for all the reasons cited above.

The real problem is that PR companies are being disintermediated by stuff like blogs, especially those written by executives of companies. It's very hard to do the value-add process now, because so much more information is available directly.

That's the problem for journalism too: doing the value-add. I'd argue that because journalism adds context, which is quite a difficult element to generate, that it has the potential to keep itself in the value chain more easily than PR, which basically takes something - a person, an idea, a product, a brand - and tries to increase its value by making it more known in some way(s).

In a market where there's scarcity of access to the information or product (example: PR for Hollywood stars), the PR can still make a huge difference to the value of the product.

In a market where there's easy access to the information or product (example: publicly-traded companies which are obliged to tell you when the chief exec farts), it's a lot harder - and the *context* becomes more valuable.

I told Fullrunner some time - last year? - that I could see PR being turned into a lone person churning out press releases in a room and blogging madly and posting comments on blogs. Indeed, you haven't mentioned whether there's been a move to more but smaller PR firms.

Meanwhile - £40K on £4.5m? That's 1% profit! That's teeny.

Duncan Chapple

Andrew,

Thanks for this: it's amazing to see how few PR firms are wising up. Premium prices require premium service, and almost no-one is offering that. PR agencies, ofen, get more harried and anxious about churning out volume. Instead, they have to focus on developing client's feeling for where the real value is in the relationships with agencies -- and not on the most tangible and low-vale elements of the PR process.

Duncan.

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