. The Transom .

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

An argument for generalist firms

I recently went through a new business pitch with a company looking for successful creation and execution of a communications strategy. We went through our song and dance and showcased some successful campaigns with companies in very similar, but not identical industries. They raved about the case studies, saying it's what they were looking for. It went very well and I'm anxious to hear back from them soon. However, just near the end of the meeting, a gentleman sitting across from me raised the following concern.

"My only fear is that you don't have recent experience with the inner circle of our industry."

OK, normally that's a valid concern if you're looking to hire a plumber. You don't ask a veterinarian to come in and give you a bid on replacing your sink. In our case with this company, the work is nearly identical, just in a different industry. I equate it to replacing a sink in a house vs. replacing a sink in a hotel room. Not much difference and a competent plumber should be able to handle both assignments well.

A point I raised was that he made so many congratulatory remarks over our case study examples. When we started with those companies, we didn't have experience with the 'inner circle' in those industries. And yet the results turned out extremely well. In addition, they had been with a specialty 'inner circle' agency for 8 years, and now they were looking elsewhere because results weren't there. Why couldn't we deliver the same results for his company that we had delivered for the case study companies?

The answer: We can! With few exceptions, most of our work is based on the successful execution of a sound strategy. It's no longer about how well you know the assignment editor at XYZ or that you used to work with the writer at ABC magazine. Those relationships will help get you in the door, but they don't mean crap if you can't deliver the goods. The media wants, and needs, smart stories. Companies need agencies that can help them tell their story in a way that's going to drive business results. That's what we do. Period.

There is a place for niche specialty firms. However, in this particular case, it was proven that that approach wasn't working. Maybe it's time to try something new.


  • HI

    I am trying to establish the effect of blogging on company's communications with their customers/stakeholders.
    I.e. does the fact that it facilitates two-way communication
    fundamentally alter the dialogue process?
    I am doing the research as part of my dissertation for my course MA

    Communications Management. It would help me greatly if you were to answer the short questionnaire below and send it to

    Let me know if you require any additional information.

    Kind regards, Rachel

    Rachel Crutchley
    Student ID 9901912

    Questionnaire on corporate blogging – please return to r.crutchley@londonmet.ac.uk Many thanks

    Corporate blogging is a relatively new addition to the communications mix. In what ways do you think its evolution has affected corporations relationship with their customers/stakeholders?

    In your view what role does corporate blogging play in the communications mix of organisations?

    In your view what is the appropriate level of blogging in a company e.g. who (what level) should blog? How frequently?

    What arrangements/safeguards (if any) are in place to manage your corporate blog? E.g. are comments censored before they are made live on the site?

    Do you have, or have to adhere to any kind of corporate code when blogging?

    Could you briefly outline how you feel blogs add or should add to the functionality of a company's communication with its customers/stakeholders?

    In your view as blogging becomes more widespread how can we ensure corporate blogs are effective and useful?

    Please comment on the future of blogging and communications and anything else you feel relevant?

    Please pass this questionnaire on to anyone else in your company that also blogs on the company blog.

    Many thanks

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sunday, August 19, 2007 12:42:00 PM  

  • Wow.

    Maybe she should learn how to "e-mail" a question in her MA course.

    Just a thought...

    By Anonymous Student ID 69, at Tuesday, August 21, 2007 3:24:00 PM  

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