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  • Client and Agency Engagement – Today’s Paradox

    Client and Agency Engagement – Today’s Paradox

    A recent telephone conversation with a friend, a senior communication professional, prompted this post. Do your own experiences as a participant in the communication profession, whether as a veteran or a newcomer, whether an agency or a client validate this paradox? A somewhat controversial one…
    It is a paradox emerging from today’s business reality and the situations it creates, range from hilarious to frustrating – depending on who you are, and where you are at that point.
    The booming economy, of the last few years and (some claim slowing down now) and the resultant demand for communication professionals by organizations has meant:

    1. Talent is in short supply, compared to demand.
    2. Corporates are often willing to dole out higher pay packets, in comparison to most agencies, leading many executives to prefer these, over an agency job, which is also considered more rigorous/ stressful by many.
    3. Most corporates, other than the larger ones, are not able to accommodate very senior talent, given the business need, ability to pay/ justify the payout, match the growth aspirations of these senior professionals and so on…
    4. Where the organization is indeed large, senior talent is busy on the big picture mandate and often have a team of mid-level and junior colleagues assisting.
    5. It is this layer that often engages with the team from the public relations agency on a day on day basis.

    Herein lies the paradox, or the situation.

    1. A more experienced team from the agency is engaging a relatively less experienced professional, the client interface.
    2. Senior involvement from the agency is ‘expected’ whereas senior involvement from the client maybe simply be ‘not being priority’ or not available in absence of said talent.

    On many occasions a relatively less experienced client will look to towards the agency leadership for learning and guidance, but on many times ego comes in and the resultant situation may look funny to a spectator, but not so to the agency team and leadership.

    1. The senior team from the agency is trying to explain the big picture to a relatively less experienced client, who is just not able see it .
    2. A less experienced client sharing a clumsy assignment brief with a much-much senior professional, defeating the very value of ‘distilled learning’ that experience brings with it.

    Net losers:

    1. The brand
    2. The relationship.

    Do share your thoughts and experiences.

    Disclaimer: Views of authors are personal and do not represent the views of Blogworks, or any of its clients.

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