Lest you think that the goings-on in the agency business in and around Idaho are unique, here’s a small world story that confirms the fact that the business we do does not happen independently of the rest of the industry:
I was listening to one of the many podcasts that I subscribe to, in this case Episode 34 of Across the Sound from Joseph Jaffe. In this particular show, I caught a piece contributed by Tac Anderson, with Blue Line Results, located here in the Treasure Valley. Tac railed on for a few minutes about the “old agency model” and how even local companies have been incredibly slow to adapt to changes in the industry. He also made note of a recent event put on by the Idaho chapter of the PRSA, in which a whopping six people showed up. Yes, you read that right, SIX.
Oh where to begin…
Let’s start with the PRSA event. Six people is just embarrassing. But the first question that comes to my mind is where was the advance information about this event. Personally, I never heard a word about it. And with an event sponsored by a chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, you’d think that they’d do a better job than most of getting the word out in the press / media. Apparently not. When I can read a story about the former Governor’s Press Secretary taking a job with a PR Agency, reported by the Associated Press of all people (I’ll leave the irony of that alone for now), but I hear nothing about an event that should, and most likely did, have relevance for the agency business in Idaho as a whole, something’s just wrong with that picture.
Now, as far as the “old agency model” of doing business, for those of you who’ve followed my previous posts, you know that I’m a strong proponent of adapting to the changes that are happening all around us. If you’re not changing right now, you’re going to find yourself so far behind that you’ll end up spending significantly more trying to recruit talented, and qualified employees away from other companies down the road. To Tac’s point of trying to help out their competitors, I’m right there with him — they’ve had their chance. While its true that changes in the agency business in Idaho tend to lag behind what’s happening nationally, now is the perfect time for agencies around here to catch up with the rest of the world. With very few exceptions, every shop in this state is a “boutique agency,” and as such should be able to adapt incredibly quickly to these changes. Why doesn’t it happen? More often than not I’d be willing to guess that too many shops are comfortable with the status quo.
So, here I am sitting at my computer in Idaho, writing about a podcast that originates from Connecticut, among other locations, that included a comment from another listener here in Idaho. We are most definitely not alone in this business.