On the Point

POP! Public Relations was recently interviewed by O'Dwyer's to give its views and 2004 predictions for the state of public relations and the state of editorial.

It was an interesting interview, and gave me some time to give my views on the state of the industry, and what POP! Public Relations believes 2004 will bring to the industry. The article should be coming out this week, but I wanted to go into my theories a bit, and talk about my views.

What I first talked about was that 2004 is going to be the age of the small and medium sized agency, as compared to the larger agencies. Part of my reasoning is that many of the large firms concentrated so much on media relations, that they ignored the public relations generalist - quick , guess which one I fancy myself to be - that is able to pitch media, write and do strategy and tactics. With the large agencies slowly becoming media pitching machines, and clients wanting strategy and tactics to better target media, the smaller agencies would be able to provide what the larger agencies no longer could.

I went into what I call the "Arnold Effect."

During his gubernatorial campaign, Governor Arnold reached out to local papers, and undertook a grass roots campaign, which could be applied to any public relations campaign. Small to medium sized firms are better suited to local, grass roots campaigns, as they are more apt to look at the larger picture and realize that it's not just about the large hits, but about messaging and wider range of the public. Hence, they work with the smaller, local media.

With the Arnold Effect, it was more about the local paper than the regional paper. And, smaller firms have the experience with both the national dailies, as well as the grass roots experience with the smaller dailies.

Another benefit with the smaller and medium-sized firm is that it's impossible for junior people to hide their phone phobias. Once again, as it has been noted before, the era of the phone is back – or never really left.

Smaller firms have the flexibility, and smaller support staff, to be able to provide the same quality as large firms, but at a more cost-conscious pricing structure. With lower overhead and possible willingness to bill less per hour, plus usually the same tools as the large conglomerates, the smaller and medium-sized firms can provide the same public relations as the larger firms.

A fitting title for pontificating from QTip and A Tribe Called Quest's Check the Rhime, as it's always on point, tip.