Social & Emerging Media Practice – Where does it fit in the “Agency” structure?

By Nick Dimitrakiou

As marketers, brand managers, and ultimately “communicators”, we’re all trying to figure out the best ways to expose our messages through new social and emerging channels. However, as the landscape continues to evolve, Social & Emerging Media services are yet to find their home within most Agency Ecosystems, which begs the question… are we the new marketing pioneers of the future, or simply PR consultants 2.0?

Within many forums, Social & Emerging Media is looked at as a function of Public Relations; however there are equally as many who feel it should be housed under the Digital Marketing umbrella.

After spending time thinking about it, there are plenty of reasons that support either side, but clearly no definitive answer.

Put the technical differences aside, fundamentally, Social Media is very similar to traditional PR:

  • Connect with key publishers
  • Monitor mainstream media
  • Engage when appropriate

However, it’s those same technical differences that breed a different way of thinking for marketers:

  • Everyone is a publisher
  • Monitoring takes place on global stage
  • Outreach is built by establishing one-to-one relationships

In my opinion, the answer is clear – as the Marketing and Advertising industry shifts from Push Communication to Dialogue, I believe Social and Emerging Media channels are truly becoming more about creating and enhancing customer relationships vs. generating buzz, and therefore belong under Marketing services.

Where does/should Social & Emerging media fit in your corporate structure? Looking forward to everyone’s thoughts.


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