PR Agencies are starting to hire account planners…

Richard Moss, EVP at Weber Shandwick, on their recent hire of DDB's Leo Rayman into the role of European Head of Planning:

The PR industry has transformed itself in recent years, by putting measurement at the heart of its agenda. Today insight is increasingly being adopted as the new agenda as clients provide increasingly complex challenges that require much deeper insights into the influences behind today’s customer behaviours. As a result we are commissioning research reports, buying into new consumer panels and uncovering new streams of data in a way that never happened before. And this of course is the issue. Does a fantastic publicity person, also have the necessary skills to sift through all of this data and identify what is relevant or not? Can a creative guru, always separate dreams from reality? Can the slick account man, say no?

Historically the PR industry hasn’t divided its roles in the same way as the ad industry. But as clients see the growing importance of advocacy within their marketing mix and recognise that PR is best equipped to deliver against their needs, things are changing. Every agency man knows that clients buy on trust and for the PR industry that trust is coming from demonstrating, consistently it’s ability to navigate client brands through an increasingly complex and cluttered world.

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  • Chris North

    In response to Richard Moss on Weber Shandwick’s recent hire of a Senior Planner, it is true that historically we haven’t defined roles precisely in the same way as Ad agencies, but you might note that back in 1991 three of the eight founding directors of Fishburn Hedges were originally from Ad Agency planning backgrounds and that planning is, and has always been, at the heart of Fishburn Hedges’ approach to communications. Its good to see this is now being embraced elsewhere in the industry.
    Chris North, Chairman FHD