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Is the traditional public relations agency model dying as the recent Bulldog Reporter article below indicates? I honestly don’t know…
I do believe that my clients are better served by the professionals that I use, who like me work independent of the traditional agency. I too have a virtual agency where I bring in the best talent available to meet the needs of my clients. I do have more junior people that I work with, but by more junior, I am talking about folks that have 7 or more years of experience as compared to those who have 15, 20 or 30 that I otherwise use.

I like the model, we take care of our clients, providing counsel, research, writing and outreach that is simply not available when working with an agency that utilizes recent college graduates to perform some of the client services. One of the best things for the client is that when the client doesn’t need the staffing, I just let my contractor know that we are reducing the current need.
Let me give you some examples. A client might need over the course of a campaign:

  • Senior Writer
  • Junior Writer
  • Designer / Graphic Artist / Cartoonist
  • Website Developer
  • Social Media Coordinator
  • Media Specialist
  • Community Outreach Specialist
  • Researcher

These individuals all require a salary, office, benefits etc in a traditional agency, but for my clients, I choose the a-la-carte method. I only hire a cartoonist to design the holiday card, rather than have a generalist that might be pretty good at a lot. My cartoonist is a specialist and is great, but I only need him for 2 weeks a year. Likewise on the vast majority of the positions, the need comes and goes, so why carry the overhead.

I hope the businesses that are hiring public relations agencies realize that when you work with the agency it is often not the person that is selling you on the services that will be serving on the contract. When you are looking be sure to interview the team or look for the virtual agency that pulls together your team just for you.
Bull Dog Reporter

By Brian Murnahan

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