The 10 Strengths of the Agency of the Future: Jason Baer


The ever excellent Jason Baer at the Convince & Convert blog has just posted a splendid piece on the 10 strengths of the agency of the future, based on a recent survey conducted by IT consultancy Sapient of over 200 chief marketing officers in the US. Jason’s analysis of the findings is spot on. And even though the survey was carried out in the US, there is no question that the same things are happening over here in the UK and Europe. I recommend reading Jason’s full post, but here are a few stand out items:

Clients are switching agencies based on digital marketing knowledge.

90 percent of respondents agree that it is becoming increasingly important that their agency uses ‘pull interactions’ such as social media and online communities rather than traditional ‘push’ campaigns.

An overwhelming 94 percent of respondents expressed interest in leveraging virtual communities (public and private) to understand more about their target audience.

92 percent of respondents said it was ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ important that agency employees use the technologies that they are recommending.

76 percent of respondents deemed understanding customer behaviour an ‘important/very important’ aspect of their agency’s online digital marketing and interactive advertising area of expertise.

77 percent of marketers surveyed ranked strategy/brain trust capabilities at the top of their agency wish list.

65 percent ranked analytics at the top of their agency wish list (for measurement).

These findings pretty much bear out what I’ve been saying for some time re: the changing nature of the online/digital PR/marketing sector. The demand for brain power rather than (inefficient) commodity services has never been greater.

What is your Twitter Grade?


Hubspot Internet Marketing – the people who brought you Website Grader and Press Release Grader - have recently unveiled Twitter Grader, designed, as they describe it, to “measure the relative power of a Twitter user.”

They continue: “Your grade is calculated using a combination of factors including:

* The number of followers you have
* The power of this network of followers
* The pace of your updates
* The completeness of your profile
* …a few others.”

For the record, I currently have a score of 66 (this means I score higher than 66 percent of the other user profiles that have been graded).

Clearly I need to up my Twitter game. A random selection of other notable Twitterers show much higher scores. Or perhaps I need to better understand what those “few other” factors are that contribute to higher grading.

Rory Cellan Jones – Tech Correspondent – BBC = 95

Chris Green – Editor IT Pro = 87

Stephen Waddington – MD – Rainier PR = 82

And in case you were wondering who ranks number one? Step forward top Twitterer, Barack Obama – where does he find the time?

The Flackenhack Awards are back for 2008! Adopt-a-hack?


After the roaring success of last year’s inaugural Flackenhack Awards, the world’s leading alternative event for the UK’s technology PR and media community is back = this time on Weds, October 29th, 2008 at The Village Underground, 54 Holywell Lane, Shoreditch, London EC2A 3PQ.

Promising to be “bigger and messier than last year”, the organisers say they’ve come up with a genius plan to get as many technology journalists to attend without them having to put their hands in their wallets ie members of the tech PR industry can buy a hack’s ticket for them on eBay.

Make your way to the Flackenhack 2008 Awards blog for more detail about the event. You can even help decide which hacks should have their tickets auctioned.

And adding to the social media frenzy around the event, there is also a Facebook group.

Tickets are now on sale here.

Go on. You know you want to. Last year’s event was a lot of fun and a refreshing change – here’s to making the 2008 event event better. (There you go TWL, will that do?)

How to test your media pitch with a tame journalist


I note that heavyweight UK business and consumer journalists Guy Clapperton, Sally Morris and Lori Miles have lauched a new PR training service called What The Press Wants.

As the name of the venture suggests, they ought to know better than most exactly what journalists are looking for. Among the various courses provided, I also noted that they are offering a “test your pitch” service to PRs.

In their own words: “About to launch an expensive, creative and high profile PR campaign? Why not give it a trial run in the privacy of your own building before rolling it out to an unforgiving audience? With full non-disclosure assurance, we can send a journalist with relevant senior experience into your office for a test run – to spot any glitches or highlight any positives you may have under-developed.”

I know this kind of thing has been tried before and I wish them all the best with it. However, I’ve always wondered who the real target customer for such a service would be – the client who has commissioned the PR campaign – or the PR company who has created the campaign? Perhaps it would be better to get the journalist involved at the campaign creation stage rather than spend time, money and effort building something only to find out it has as much chance of working as a chocolate fireguard.

88pc of UK internet searches are for branded terms


  • “According to Hitwise’s report Managing Your Brand Online, 88 per cent of UK internet searches for the 2,000 most popular search terms in May 2008 were for branded terms – up from 65 per cent in 2005.

    The 10 most popular searches were brand destinations, led by Facebook, Bebo, YouTube and MySpace. The report found that 8.7 per cent of searches for the top 100 online brands in the UK results in a visit to a website not operated by the brand owner.”

    Does this mean that generic search terms aren’t that valuable? No – but it shows that doing your homework on the type and kind of terms your audiences are using is effort well spent.

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