From a post on the “Behind the Spin” blog:
PR agencies currently fall into three distinct camps: consultancies that are embracing and actively creating the digital PR future by retooling their businesses; consultancies that believe digital calls for traditional techniques to be transposed to bloggers and via networks such as Twitter; and those that are standing still.
The post refers mainly to PR agencies in London, but I wonder if the same is true for PA/PR agencies operating in the Brussels bubble? I work for an agency that operates online and have never been at a traditional agency, so this is speculation on my part, but I’d say it sounds about right.
I suspect the “standing still” camp may be a little bigger in Brussels than London however, due to the nature of PA more than anything else. Most PA professionals have political backgrounds and are sector experts, not communicators. I’m not saying it’s a problem per se, except that their expertise is often not aligned with that of communicators, as some agencies don’t integrate especially well to the extent that they maintain a PA and comms hierarchy where the two disciplines are actually kept quite distinct rather than being two fully integrated parts of the same communications toolkit.
In addition, for Brussels (perhaps London as well) I’d add one more group to the three above: consultancies that want to embrace the web, understand its importance and what it can do, are tip-toeing, but are not fully committed because they struggle with how they would adapt their business model (I’ve heard this a few times.)
Like I said, this is largely speculation on my part. I might be wide off the mark, so I’d be curious to hear what other agency people have to say about this.