New competitive landscape
Lisa explains that the PR industry has changed and continues to change over time.
“What keeps me here, drives me forward, is that as the industry evolves we continue to evolve our offering,” she says. “I’ve seen consolidation and convergence over the years – industry consolidation in PR and from a convergence standpoint, clients look for the best idea, regardless of where it comes from.”
There’s increasing competition among PR, creative and digital media agencies and it’s about finding your sweet spot. Richard Edelman has identified an opportunity to be an integrated marketing firm, with storytelling – the firm’s heritage – and social at the core. “This notion comes to light when you consider all the changes in media, consumer habits, information and content. We’ve started hiring people with special skills we can offer to clients.”
She sees the advantages of operating as a leading, independent firm and loves that not every decision is driven by the bottom line. The independent nature of the firm is a virtue. Lisa believes clients see it that way too.
“Our independent nature gives us the opportunity to take measured risks, experiment and develop the intellectual property that we have – like the Trust Barometer, Edelman’s flagship IP that explores trust amongst various types of institutions,” she tells us. “I think other agencies have fewer opportunities to take risks than we do. We’re very fortunate to have that ability.”
Edelman’s attracted many talented people to its experimental environment.
“From a senior leadership standpoint, there are definitely people who’ve come to us from other environments, who’ve commented on the exceptional creative freedom we promote. Employees also value the fact that we are not solely financially driven – we invest where we see value. We certainly have targets but don’t evaluate exclusively on that basis.”
Lisa sees opportunity in the consolidation, convergence and evolution of the PR industry into a more integrated marketing approach. “As PR changes, it becomes less distinguishable from its counterparts. Professionals must think ahead and craft a new identity for the future.”