Friday, May 20, 2005

PR Finds Its Own Level

Is it just me, or is business picking up? Feels like the pipeline is chock-full of good leads lately (thus the recent paucity of posts).

What's kind of strange about this newbiz activity is the classification of leads as either RICH or POOR. The VPs of Marketing that we are talking to either have plenty of PR budget (which, for SHIFT, is in the $12 - 20K range), or, like, $5K.

One company called me to say that they were currently using a Big Firm (it's a name you'd know, a WPP subsidiary), but, "we are not getting our money's worth, for our $6K budget."

First off, why-oh-why do these Big Firms even bother to take on such paltry retainers? Are they THAT greedy that they wouldn't want a boutique agency to thrive?

Here's the thing: if a client only has $6K per month to spend, that's a lot of money to that client. It is not a lot of money to a Big Firm.

Thus there is a disconnect between the expectations of the client and the capability & interest of the Big Firm. For the principals of the Big Firm to use their brand equity to lure-in a naive marketing exec is unconsionable.

"Work with us! For just $6K a month, you'll get the same team working on our MONSTER-SIZED account! Trust us, we're REALLY, REALLY interested in your company/technology/sector/whatever...we'll do a great job for you."

And then a year later, the poor marketing exec has little to show his/her CEO and has to explain how they pissed away their PR budget on the Big Firm, but, "may I have some more money, please?" It's silliness.

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