I was reading The Real Cost Of Pitching and a few things struck me. The mechanistic ‘PR as a commodity’ approach to pitching spoke of distrust:
- In the PR person making the decision, that they had to prove they were delivering value for money
- In the agencies, that it was based on an assumption that they were gouging their clients. It does happen, but not nearly as much as it used to. You just can’t get away with £10 photo prints that were originally sourced from Boots any more and I don’t think billable rates have matched price rises over the past decade. Whilst in-house, I was told by my boss that if the agency wasn’t over-servicing you weren’t doing your job properly. Which raises the question, who really has the most to fear from gouging
- In PR delivering transformational results that make a real business difference – hence treating it as a ‘tick-the-box’ activity. Which is probably true if you are looking for PR to ‘drive’ sales and operate in a rigid hub-and-spoke international management structure
So it was interesting to see that WARC reported on research were recommendations or ‘word-of-mouth’ drive agency decisions; we work in a schizophrenic industry – of deep relationships built on trust and mutual benefit and mutually unsatisfactory fractious contracts built on distrust. As relationships ossify with age, one can expect a ‘personality change’ to occur to even the strongest relationships.
This post is archived from my the blog that I used to write for PR Week.