Integration, dinosaurs and Sir Martin


I’ve had the privilege – in most cases, and the misfortune in a few other cases – to have worked for both young and established agencies. But no matter if the agency was one of the good ones or one of the bad ones, I have always learnt something. At one agency I leant the true art of media relations; at another I leant how to apply advertising creativity to public relations functionality. With other agencies I picked up usable habits involving the introduction and management of brand architecture, whilst at another agency I was able to learn the mechanics of marketing strategy to produce the perfect consumer engagement campaign using every communication and creative process that incorporated the art of advertising, the science of marketing, and the skill of public relations to produce one truly ‘creative’ stunt.

I do think the line between advertising – with the exception of the media buying function – marketing and public relations is now so blurred only the traditionally focused professionals with their rose tinted glasses can see it! To the rest of us it’s having the knowhow, the ability and the understanding to combine all three services into one creative offering that will take the art and the science forward to deliver the end-game!

We are in a new era of communications where only the real creative’s – those who understand and can apply the art of online and offline communications channels can ultimately win. Those traditional based agencies who refuse to evolve will over time suffer the same end as the once powerful dinosaurs that roamed the earth – they just don’t know it yet!

I recently read an article in GQ magazine (August, page 138) about Sir Martin Sorrell and how although he is one of the most powerful men in modern times the media shows no interest in him. The article is a good read, but lacks the punch needed to do it and for that matter, Sir Martin, any justice; but then I’m a wannabe writer and blogger who’d love to write an article for GQ magazine…hint, hint;-?

The overall narrative of the article is how Sir Martin has established a worldwide dominance of the media industry – in a sense helping to shape the future. It also explores how he and the agencies that sit within WPP have an understanding for the old and the new communication channels that are available to everyone. The article also states how WPP has exploited emerging economies like India and China to further increase its global empire that is WPP.

Yes, there are pr focused agencies in the group and advertising focused agencies, but the one common denominator is that they have the ability to all work together and deliver on every client’s marketing, public relations, advertising and creative want and need – they, like all integrated agencies understand that communications is about delivery and not profession-based titles. Being able to deliver on a clients want and need is what maintains client relationships and ensures collective growth which in turn is a benefit for both the agency and the client.

I understand marketing – I spent three-and-a-half years studying it. I also understand public relations because I spent a further three years studying that too; I also understand business and have an appreciation for the future of communications, which is why I understand the importance of offering an integrated delivery that can, if needed, take elements from each profession and combine them to achieve the objective needed to maintain client relationships and long-term agency growth through a flexible and adaptable service offering. Where you can’t make a pound on pr then make it on marketing!

PR, marketing and advertising, it’s all the same; the difference is not picking one profession to try and accommodate a client’s need, it’s about understanding…being able to pick an element or elements from each professional and combine them to offer a solution – an integrated solution that meets a new level of consumer awareness, appreciation and ability in order to engage with them!

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