We’ve been doing this a long time – more than 30 years. We’ve always said we’re a generalist firm – we work across a variety of industries providing comprehensive public relations and marketing communications services.
And since we’ve been around since 1980, I’d say this has worked pretty well for us. But now “they” say we’re not relevant any more. That we need to carve out specialties to be successful.
“They” were several of the speakers I heard at this year’s Counselors Academy. Julia Hood of PRWeek touched on it during her talk about the evolving role of the corporate communications officer. Steve Cody alluded to it in his talk about how the smaller agencies can compete with the big firms.
Yes, it is much easier to market to a specific audience if you have a niche. But generalists (like us) have been able to make it through the ups and downs of a topsy-turvy economy by staying nimble and not tied to one industry.
I’m still curious. To those of you in the professional services business… doesn’t necessarily have to be communications, what do you think? Specialist or generalist?