There is so much chatter about who should deliver social media for their clients. Pretty much every day I speak to agencies who are battling a landgrab and clients who are, well, frankly just confused.
Econsultancy's online PR Industry Benchmarking report completed at the end of last year demonstrated that clients are unsure where this part of their comms strategy sits within their agency roster (and internally, but that's another blog post).
51% of clients reported using a PR agency to deliver social media, while 29% used their search marketing agencies and 22% their web development agencies.
This debate shows no sign of being resolved any time soon. If anything the waters are becoming more muddied. Having worked as a freelancer with all three of these different types of agency, my honest response would be that PR agencies (or 'pure' social media agencies) are best placed to deliver social media engagement, they already inhabit a world of stories and conversations. They understand about connecting with influencers and developing ideas designed to initiate debate. They're also already plugged into the client with this remit.
BUT the biggest irony is that, while PR agencies might be the most natural people to deliver social (with a few great exceptions) they are currently the least well equipped to deal with it. Lots are catching up but an equal number are living in blissful ignorance.
Photo by Daniel Greene