You wanna know why I haven’t been blogging much lately? It’s cuz I’ve been too busy thinking. Not working (well, barely). Not writing. Just reading, and thinking.
What do I want to be when I grow up? How do I want clients and prospects and employees to think about SHIFT Communications, 3 years from now? What can I contribute to The Conversation?
It’s been quite a while, in my opinion, since you’ve visited PR-Squared to get the most innovative thinking on Social Media How-To’s. Back in the good ol’ days, sure. Power hitter. Heck, did you know that this blog was once one of the Technorati Top 100 Blogs (#99 or so, but still)?!
That’s when everything was manageable.
Nowadays you’re better off visiting Mashable or Social Media Examiner if you want “26 Tips for Using Pinterest for Business.” (Disclosure: I am a SME Advisory Board Member.) I long ago relinquished any delusions that I could keep pace as a Social Media journalist. For that matter, I’ve been only a fair-to-middling “essayist” lately! Like I said, I’ve been too busy thinking.
Seems to me the marketing industry flux that Social Media hath wrought has been pushing “PR agencies” into two potential directions: “Upstream” and “Sidestream.”
Folks like Edelman and Ogilvy have decided that this is their latest/greatest shot at nabbing a permanent “seat at the table” in the Boardroom, and have opted to move Upstream: each rolled out Social Business Consulting efforts in recent months. For a fascinating discussion of these moves, Jay Baer’s post (and ensuing reader comments) on Edelman’s initiative is a must-read, as he asks:
“Do companies want incredibly serious business advice that impacts the core of their existence from their PR firm?”
Maybe. Certainly I know and genuinely respect guys like David Armano (Edelman) and John Bell (Ogilvy) when it comes to Social Thinking. Maybe the Chief Logistics Officer of a Just-In-Time Manufacturing Facility will, too.
I dunno. I do know that that’s not my game. This is the chart that keeps me up at night:
While I’d readily and eagerly pit our squad against anyone at any communications firm when it comes to Social Media Marketing, digital communications (and straight-up PR), I would not even drive to the meeting where we were expected to match wits with McKinsey business consultants. In my humble opinion, for our firm, that would represent an undisciplined pursuit of “more,” driven by a willful ignorance of our True North. We are super creative, social-savvy, strategic and thoughtful communicators. Period. Full stop.
So: we’re marching sidestream. What I’ve been pondering is what a “Social Media PR Agency” like ours can and should tackle to stay ahead of the competition. For some time now, we’ve been pitted against the Big Boys in major-league RFP pitching duels. Sometimes we win. Sometimes not. The goal is to win more than we lose; to do that into the far-flung future is going to require practical, profitable innovations in our thinking and services.
That’s what I’ve been thinking about. That’s what I’ve been testing. That’s why you haven’t heard much from me lately.
I’m still in beta.
Posted on: February 28, 2012 at 12:35 pm By Todd Defren