[Video] P.R. agencies have to stop behaving like P.R. agencies …
Jessica Hubbard, Deputy Editor; 18 August 2015
In today’s fast-moving and digitally driven business environment, many PR agencies are struggling to remain relevant. “Essentially, we believe that the [PR] agency of the future is an agency that understands content,” says Joanna Oosthuizen, MD of Ogilvy P.R.. “Content is not just a press release – it’s visual. It’s things like videos and it’s really creative – and for us that is really the future of where we are going as a PR agency.”
Behaving Like a Newsroom
“Content has really changed the way that we behave as PR professionals – we are finding that we need to be more nimble and creating content that is more exciting,” she says. “We need to be looking at ways and means in which we can behave more like a newsroom – so that we’re developing content for our clients that is tied to the news agenda. This makes our clients more newsworthy – and there is way more interest in what we have to say…”
She points out that about two years ago, Ogilvy launched the Content Factory in Johannesburg, which is a team of designers, videographers and creatives that come up with, and develop, content.
The idea, she maintains, is to produce content that is of good quality but that is not costly.
“We have the same offering in Cape Town with the Content Studio, and something similar in Durban,” says Oosthuizen. “We are seeing that the dynamics of PR are really not around the written form only.”
Why Being Part of an Advertising Agency helps…
“Being part [of an advertising agency] does give us an advantage because the future of communications and marketing is really an integrated solution,” she says. “It’s working as one team to solve the client’s problem – the problem is at the centre of what we do.”
She adds that fast turnaround [of content] is really the key to success for PR agencies going forward.
“We also need to be keeping our ears to the ground and picking up the key themes that we need to be talking to – to grab people’s attention and get brands into the right places and spaces.”
With regards to working with Marketers in this new landscape, she says it’s very much about developing a partnership based on trust.
“The bigger clients are realising that they need to be geared to work more quickly with us, because that’s where the magic is.”