02 Mar

Time to sound out your advisors – online or on leave?

Overall, marketing and PR agencies and professionals haven’t come to grips with the online world. Media and communications people believe that “online” and “digital” is about technology rather than media and simply haven’t got their nut around it. Why is this important? Because it takes time to learn. Marketing professionals who wait until their clients demand it from them before they do are in trouble.

head-in-sand-2.JPGThere are digital specialists of course. But try and find a PR agency that demonstrates an understanding of current online media. Try and find leading advertising agencies that demonstrate an understanding of online media not through words, but through their own presence and behaviour online.

Speak to them about online and they are likely to refer you to their “web guy” who “is really smart”” and gets all this “technical stuff” or “their specialist partner”. Just don’t ask me. Ask about social media and web 2.0 and it gets worse.

Greg Verdino is  is not shocked to read the result of a survey by TNS Media Intelligence/Cymfony that “agencies don’t get it”. Nor am I. (After all, even newspapers put anything to do with online media under their technology section, here in The Age and here in the “Tech&Web” section of The Times).

Why is this so? Everything they ever need to know is a mouse click away. All I can think of is that it is either laziness or arrogance.

If they had a poke around and took an interest, they would found that understanding and participating in online media is not about technology. It hasn’t been for quite a while. They would see that it is all about media and communications. Which, after all, is their world.

Joseph Jaffe thinks it is almost too easy to lay into agencies, but they are the external marketing advisors to most companies so I think it is warranted. Over to Joseph with a few tips to marketing professional regarding social media:

To help you in your quest, here are 3 pieces of advice:

  1. Stop being so damn arrogant and deluded to think you can do this yourselves. You can’t. This is all about humility.
  2. Stop trying to automate the whole process and solving your problems by a quick technology acquisition fix. You’re drowning in your own data and laziness. This is labor intensive.
  3. Stop trying to scale the whole process and replicate your old bad habits. This is about planting seeds and sticking around long enough to reap the rewards of care, consideration and hard work.

Clients deserve better. If you are a client, you deserve better. The people I am ranting at here are unlikely to read this of course, because it’s a blog. But if you are a client, expect more. There is no excuse for PR or marketing people not to have a solid grip on digital media. And I mean everyone, not a dedicated “Geek”. It is no longer something for tomorrow or for other people. Media and communications people should be leading the way.

(image source as far as I can track it: http://www.oneletterwords.com/weblog/)