That’s all, Mrs. Imperato?
A recent interview by Donna Imperato, CEO of the newly created PR global brand BCW (the merging of former Burson Marsteller and Cone and Wolfe agencies, both owned by the WPP Group) on Corriere della Sera has urged some thoughts that I’d like to share.
We are in the business of media relations for far too long to ignore that, sometimes, a piece of news simply does not go in the full depth of the story. Nor are we so naïve to expect a CEO to tell the full story of her vision and strategies.
Nonetheless the three key messages Imperato launches in the interview needs, in my opinion, some comments and extra thoughts. She basically claims that: the new BCW group was created aiming at delivery integrated communications plans, that the market is living an era of aggregations which – this is the third point – will lead at the end of the day to the creation of new players which will no longer be differentiated on the basis of their business focus such as advertising, PR and digital.
My modest observations are that:
- Delivery of integrated offers is no longer a novelty in Italy since some national players in the market have been adopting this attitude exactly on the mainstream line of Mrs Imperato’s logic. Italy’s PR offer, in fact, is pretty integrated these days and services are quite sophisticated and differentiated
- As for the aggregation processes are concerned, they are the output of two factors one is operating from the clients’ side with analogous concentration dynamics that are leading, on the other side, the agencies’ one, to new organization schemes in order to deliver wider and more complex support; the point here is to reflect on the model of these aggregation processes.
- The final scenario where advertising PR and digital competencies will be unified into sort of cross media agencies, I believe will mostly depend on the future dynamics of the dis-mediation process now going on thanks to the explosion of social media and the web. The greater the expansion will be the wider the impact it will have on the way we intend and operate in advertising and PR. This is still a fully opened scenario and predictions are likely to be contradicted pretty easily.
Lastly, what I consider should be worth a deeper and more serious reflection is the real extent of the digital revolution, something PR industry sometimes gives the impression to be considering with less efforts and commitment then what should be deserved. Very few, in fact, seems to be aware of the real impacts this revolution will have on our business. On our side we are taking lot’s of time and energies to widely consider and analyse this issue and, surely, match the dilemma with new ready to market applications.