TRA ADVISOR

WHY A MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS FIRM?
Putting Things in Perspective

by Tom Rankin, APR
President, Thomas Rankin Associates

A good communications firm can offer you a number of advantages in addition to professional skill and creative talents. Experience is one: while the firm will never match your own technical and product knowledge, rarely can your personnel match the breadth of marketing experience found in a seasoned communications firm. Where most marketing professionals have focused on a specific range of products within a limited number of markets, communications firms have typically worked on hundreds of products across a broad range of markets. This allows them to 'cross-pollinate' ideas, and makes them more likely to pick up on emerging trends.

Agencies are also different from their clients: their organization is different, their culture is different, and their mind-set is different. This gives them an invaluable sense of objectivity and perspective. They do not live or die by the introduction of your product. They do not, as the saying goes, view the world from inside your box. They see it from the outside, and can more easily put it in perspective. Because of that, they are often more likely to hear what your customers actually say. That makes them worth listening to.

Then there's the matter of priority. In many companies, communication chores tend to settle to the bottom of the heap. There are too many other pressing matters to be dealt with, too many fires. Too often, that brochure or news release does not get written, the editor's call is not returned. But an agency's business is communication: copy and editor calls are their priorities. Bottom line, if the agency doesn't get things done, they're done.

Finally, of course, there is that little matter of skill and creativity. Do not underrate it. There are plenty of brilliant engineers in the world who can't write home to mother, and heads of multi-national corporations who wouldn't know a press check from a pixel. "Render unto Caesar," as the saying goes, and leave the agency's creative alone!


©2004 Thomas Rankin Associates


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Recent Articles by Tom Rankin

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(and help sell your products).

PR and Propaganda: on the Ethics of Truth

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