Their skills versus your needs…
In my previous blog post I talked about the difference between Online publicity and Online PR. I argued it had to do with the difference between making noise and building relationships.
Of course both can help to drive business. The same goes for advertising. Some need it, some don’t. Some need a little, some need a lot. It really depends on your business objectives and the product or service you are selling.
Choosing an online agency to help you meet your business objectives can be quite a difficult task. First, there are simply so many agencies offering so many different disciplines all claiming to be online ‘experts’. Second, on the web the lines between marketing and PR have blurred.
This raises the question: ‘what does the ultimate online agency look like?’ According to my colleague Steve Seager the capabilities of the ultimate online agency are:
- PR Skills: the ability to build meaningful relationships with highly targeted communities
- Marketing skills: hands-on experience with goal driven objectives and metrics in driving people through decision cycles
- SEO: expertise in creating sustainable, cumulative, white hat SEO
- Social media: expertise in the social media landscape to find the right online channels
- Creativity & Journalism: expertise in creating fresh, imaginative content.
These are all great recommendations, especially when Steve notes:
a) Be sceptical!
b) Put your needs over their capabilities
I would only add that articulating your business problem well is most of the battle. Being as specific as possible on what you need to achieve will give you insights into the specific skills you need from the agency. Don’t believe the hype and enjoy your search!