When I published the first part of the Social Public Relations research report last week I didn't anticipate the reaction and response it received. The research was based on a survey that dug into client satisfaction and desires for social PR campaigns. A handful of interesting takeaways from the response:
- Many agencies who did not make the list and those who fared negatively seemed surprised
- Some agencies aren't grokking that having a social network presence for their own brands does not necessarily dictate good social programs for clients
- Clients increasingly want social PR elements included in their traditional PR programs
- Many agencies -- those both on the negative and positive side of the spectrum -- are ready to take action to improve client satisfaction
- However, some agencies are hitting some walls with their clients in trying to do so
If this report showed anything, it's that the disconnect between agencies and clients is huge. From my conversations with some of these agencies after the fact, it was clear that many wanted more information in order to spring into some sort of action. From my questions with some internal decision-makers, they want more information on why exactly some agencies were rated at the top versus others that didn't make the report, and so on.
I've teamed with Nicole Jordan, with whom I've been talking for months about the current state of PR, to develop a second survey that, with hope, will provide a lot more insight and detailed answers for both agencies and clients. This survey will try to discover the strongest agencies -- and even consultants -- in terms of people training, business understanding and social media prowess, measured against the results of the first survey. The last one was designed for internal marketing folks. This one is designed for PR agency representatives.
The purpose? Now that agencies have a better idea of what clients are looking for it's time to show clients what the agencies are actually doing, which specific programs are being requested, how strong the breadth of the agencies are, and so forth.
Additional suggestions that came in circled around exploring social media beyond PR in an organization, such as support, internal communications, technology development, etc. To that I say, absolutely, but it's important to show both sides of this PR story and develop some action plans before closing it out and moving on to something more. While Nicole and I think the first report was helpful to some degree, we've only scratched the surface.
Take the Social PR Survey - Part II.
Read Nicole's take on why we're doing this survey -- and why agencies need not squirm.