Client Service Can’t Be Dictated by Wall Street

WSJ.com – Interpublic to Unveil Revival Plan

Interpublic is talking about reshuffling the deck chairs again. Agency are creative places, they need to be able to be flexible to respond to client needs, changes in the market and changes in the types of clients they can best serve.

The type of long-term forecasting and steady returns that that Wall Street likes aren’t consistent with our business.

Agency roll-ups made a lot of money for a lot of people. I was even part of one when my first employer, Alexander Communications, was purchased by Ogilvy PR, a company wholly-owned by WPP. At the time they said they bough ACI due to the strength of its brand in technology, which they killed within two years.

Recently there have been a few agencies that have ‘gone private’ through employee purchases etc. I applaud this activity and think it is in the best interest of the industry overall to encourage more employee buyouts and the growth of other independent firms.

Disney gets Myspace for fictional character – Cinematical

Disney Creates Fake MySpace Profile

Does this sort of thing violate MySpace’s TOS, specifically “By using the Website and the Service, you represent and warrant that all registration information you submit is truthful and accurate and that you agree to maintain the accuracy of such information. “?

Is the credibility of a networking site compromised if they promote the fact that there are bogus profiles? MySpace ahs been incredibly successful as a vehicle for promoting products, artists etc. I think they would be better off if they stayed with building community and stayed away from promoting deception. This at first glance also seems to be in conflict with the values espoused by WOMMA.

Full disclosure, MySpace is an Edelman client, although I do not work on the business.

Wal-Mart Enlists Bloggers in P.R. Campaign – New York Times

Wal-Mart Enlists Bloggers in P.R. Campaign – New York Times

Yes it was the talk around the Edelman water coolers today, and yes thank you to the 38 people I know who sent me the article today.

Most of the analysis has been done, the thoughts have been blogged, and lots and lots of people have weighed in. Mike Manuel has a good take.

From my side, it shows the change taking place that was “nailed to the door of the Web” in the late 90’s. At Edelman we are at the forefront of that change along with many other forward looking PR firms.

We are working with our clients, including Wal-Mart, to help them engage in conversations with their customers and other audiences. Even more importantly we’re doing it ourselves.

The most interesting part of the article to me was the reporter’s decision to include information about the personal blogs of the Edelman employees working with Wal-Mart. I’ve written here in the past about the need for PR folks to be ready to step out from ‘behind the curtain.’ This article is not stepping in front of the curtain, it is having the curtain get put through a woodchipper like Steve Buscemi in Fargo.

Another angle of the article that struck a chord with me was the reporter’s remarks about the “resemblance of his postings to Mr. Manson’s, Mr. Pickrell said: “I probably cut and paste a little bit and I should not have,” adding that “I try to write my posting in my own words.” Related to this is the earlier portion of the article where the reporter calls attention to the fact that Mr. McAdams “worked from Wal-Mart’s links and that he did not disclose his contact with Mr. Manson.” How often does the NY Times state when it receives information from Edelman or other public relations professionals?

Lots of questions have been asked, and we welcome them.