Aren't you a little bummed out about the Publicis/Omnicom deal?
I "get" the importance of "Big Data," which is touted by Maurice Levy and John Wren as one of the reasons for the "merger of equals."
Big Data is why Walmart stocks up on pop tarts -- specifically strawberry flavored -- as hurricanes approach. It's why the New York Times has a front-page piece today about "predictive search," featuring an app that tells you to leave your house early for a meeting because of traffic snarls. That info is delivered automatically without the app user requesting it.
Pretty cool stuff.
However, a Big Data emphasis is a soul-crushing experience for "old-fashioned" PR people who think the profession is based on creativity, trust and relationships.
Big Data crunches PR down to numbers. PR is reduced to a "transactional" or algorithm-driven business. There's nothing wrong with that. Time marches on. And so does the pressure on PR people to stress the need for clients to value the experience, creativity, intelligence, strategy and execution involved in putting together a winning campaign. Failure to do so will increase the trend of the commoditization of PR, which is already the bottom rung on the ladder of some marketing gurus.
David Jones, CEO of Publicis rival Havas had the best quip over the deal to forge the world's largest holding company. He called it an "industrial merger in the digital era." That's an apt description.
In the merger announcement, Wren and Levy cited "future scalability and internal synergies of the combined company are expected to generate efficiencies of $500M."
In industrial parlance, that means shutting down duplicative factories and warehouse. In communications, that is code for layoffs and office closures.
Good luck to all my friends at Publicis/Omnicom PR units of MSLGroup, FleishmanHillard, Kreab Gavin Anderson, Porter Novelli, Cone Communications, Ketchum, Marina Maher Communications, Kekst and Chlopak, Leonard Schechter & Assocs.
Some of you may launch your own shop to stress hands-on client management and creativity to successfully compete against the Publicis Omnicom colossus.