PR firms, the social/digital line no longer exists.

An amazing thing has happened and to be honest with you it really has crept up on me.

But in thinking about things lately I suddenly realized that when we at THP meet with prospective clients they now EXPECT to talk not only about traditional public relations functions but also about all things digital and social.

This is a major change and the final stages of its evolution for me have been in a few recent meetings with business-to-business prospects. Traditionally "B-to-B" are the final holdouts when it comes to new communications tools and while they still don't see Facebook as their platform of choice (at least not yet), they EXPECT to discuss blogs, Twitter, mobile APPS, etc.  Until recently these were topics we'd be more likely to discuss with our "consumer" prospects and for them it took about a year or so before we saw that change.

The line isn't blurred, the line now officially doesn't exist.

For PR firms (especially ones with digital arms like ours) the digital/social conversation in a new business presentation is no longer saved for the "last slide" as a "and we can also do social media and apps," it now is very much part of the main conversation.

Not only that, it is expected.

For champions of social and digital it is great news.  It is also a bit challenging as we build more robust programs for folks who in some cases have limited budgets or manpower.

The big challenge for all of us will be how to "do it all" without sacrificing important elements along the way.  We will need to be smarter, work smarter and be better stewards of the clients strategy and dollars.

The bells and whistles "oh isn't that so cool" phase has officially ended.  It is time to really go to work.

Are we all ready?

Jon Newman

In 2002 Jon cofounded The Hodges Partnership and has helped to grow it into one of the country’s largest public relations firms (based on O’Dwyer’s annual rankings). Jon has taught communications as an adjunct professor at VCU, speaks regularly at conferences and meetings and blogs and tweets about public relations and marketing issues.

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