PR Agency reveals The Truth about Social Media

(…i.e. “many PR agencies know nothing about social media”)

This miserable story of a crappy PR agency working for Nokia just came to light. I’d give it even odds whether the problem was one incompetent employee, or an overall incompetent agency.

Read the blog post (and the comments – after a hundred or so, the agency pops up to respond. Worth reading as an example of how *not* to respond when you screw-up your PR (and pretty funny to see a *PR* agency write something so weak)).

It might be TL;DR, so … here’s my ultra-quick summary, with wild interpretation and guesswork based on my limited insight into the murky world of agencies:

  1. Big client wants to “do” social media; holds pitch meetings with a variety of swanky agencies who present beautiful powerpoint slides claiming how incredibly smart and trendy they all are. No-one asks for proof of ability; the deal is closed on “OOH! SHINY!” or similar. Client selects the one it thinks best quality or best value (probably the latter).
  2. Agency (Mission) persuades blogger to run a half-marathon and promote their client (Nokia)
  3. Agency gets paid a substantial amount of money (much more than the cost of fulfilling promises to the blogger) for supporting Nokia’s aims to use “social media” in their campaigns
  4. Blogger works ass off for 4 months training to run 13 miles
  5. Agency is too lazy to do … any work whatsoever at all
  6. Agency shafts blogger. Reneges on promises of promotion and goods they’d offered as payment (this is probably illegal, apparently they don’t care)
  7. Blogger nearly misses said half-marathon due to agency miserable incompetence / laziness. Despite spending 4 months training for it.
  8. Blogger goes public with the sorry affair, whilst struggling to remain reasonable and forgiving (does pretty good job of it, IMHO)
  9. Agency gets screamed at by client and posts non-apologetic apology; hopes it’ll all blow-over

Make your own mind up…

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