Had to don the killer Louboutins and the plunging neckline this week when one of our less loyal clients brought his new social media agency in to see us. Fortunately, they were all about 15 years old and seemed to equate style with Millets, so it was one up to the P&F team on the fashion front. Our world is increasingly full of tedious ‘experts’ claiming that traditional media coverage is dead and the future is either paid-for or social and probably both. Rather like rats dashing from a shrinking field during harvest, any advertising and digital people who have avoided being clubbed to death on the economic margins of the agency world (do you like this simile?) are suddenly turning up to talk about content and why they know best about it.
This is rubbish, of course. Most digital agency geeks who we’ve had the joy of dealing with at Puff & Fluff couldn’t spell content, let alone craft it. And ad agency types (“many of whom still wear polo-neck sweaters”, notes Karoline (with a K) derisively) still think social PR means having a G&T with a journo at The Groucho.
Not that K is a paragon of positivity in the social space. “It’s just people talking to each other, isn’t it?”, she says, looking confused. Yes, we reply, but they should be talking about our food and drink brands. “Why on earth would real people want to talk about brands?” she counters, with the probing insight that could strip an emperor of his new clothes in an instant. Fortunately, most brand managers don’t understand this and continue to commission us to build engagement with people who don’t want to engage. Maybe that’s why it’s so expensive. “Which is excellent,” concludes Karoline, reverting to type.