I was reading the press release issued yesterday by Ketchum Public Relations announcing their new service offering called Ketchum Personalized Media: "a global service that advises organizations to know how, why and when to integrate the growing roster of online and wireless media – from blogs and podcasts to mobile marketing – into their overall communications strategy," according to the announcement.
Ketchum joins the ranks of other PR agency groups who have jumped into the new-media space with such service offerings. These include CooperKatz (led by Steve Rubel), the eastwikkers collaborative workgroups service from Eastwick Communications, and MS&L Blogworks from Hass MS&L (the agency behind the General Motors blogs). There are quite a few others, too – see The New PR Wiki BizBlogConsutants listing.
I wish Ketchum well with their new service offering which I’m sure will bring them success. Hopefully their clients, too.
Yet I can’t help but wonder how much credibility, if not faith, you’d want to place in a PR agency which enters this area where:
- they don’t have a blog,
- none of the people named in the press release has a blog (none that I could find with a bit of Googling),
- there’s no RSS feed on their website,
- the new offering announced yesterday isn’t mentioned anywhere on the website apart from in the press release, and
- the offering appears to be a separate service, not integrated with PR.
Picking nits? you may ask. No, I don’t think so.
I do think that if I were a potential client, I’d want to know what hands-on experience they have to back up the talk in the press release about what the service comprises and their skillsets, and how it all fits into the overall PR services they offer. In conjunction with reviewing the CVs of all the people mentioned in the announcement and reading their blogs, and perhaps reading a paper on the Ketchum website called The Challenge of Blogs to Public Relations (undated but a thoughtful paper, in my view), I’d still want to know what hands-on experience they offer with new channels that demonstrates their understanding of them as integrated elements of a credible PR offering.
Anyone can say they can do something, and produce an impressive-looking list of people. But in this field of new-media communication, you’d better be able to walk your talk. Otherwise, the only word that comes to mind is ‘bandwagon.’
Ketchum, if I were you, I’d at least start a blog immediately.