If you look for a dictionary definition of an ‘agency’, you will find it described as: a business or organisation established to provide a particular service, typically one that involves organising transactions between two other parties.
That’s the theory. An organisation that organises. Not exactly something to set the world on fire.
The reality is that most agencies tend to be Jacks and Jills of all trades, masters and mistresses of none.
This is not a good thing.
Agencies should ‘provide a particular service’. They should specialise. They should not try and do everything.
If you run, own, work for, or use (i.e. employ the services of) an agency, this specialism can be extremely useful. It helps focus what you are selling and buying. It makes finding and appointing people – and clients – more straightforward. It means you know when to say yes – and no. It defines what you are (meant to be) best at.
And an agency doesn’t need to look, feel and behave in a particular way. Four-metre high murals, inspiring quotes on the wall, meeting rooms with ridiculous and / or obscure names, a fridge full of trendy bottled mineral water and a receptionist with attitude are not pre-requisites; they’re what agency bosses think an agency should look and be like. And in a bid to be different, to break the mould, they all end up looking the same.
Perhaps their energies should go into what makes them different – not similar?
Thankfully, the truth – ok, the experience – is that agencies come in all shapes and sizes. Some are relentlessly traditional and retro, others cutting edge and unconventional. And some don’t call themselves an ‘agency’ at all; they’re consultancies, they sit at the intersection of this and that, they’re social, they influence the influencers.
And some, like GingerPR, are virtual.
Being virtual is not everyone’s cup of tea. But it is ours.
Being virtual means having a team of experienced consultants which has worked together for many years, taking advantage of technology to deliver campaigns.
There are some glaring advantages to us (the agency) and to our clients. Everyone is focused. They enjoy what they are doing and they only do what they enjoy. Specialists can specialise and experienced consultants can use their experience in an appropriate and relevant way. This is great news for clients who are buying specialists with specialisms; they pay for what they get and they get what they pay for.
But if clients want generalists, sitting in offices with exposed brickwork and oversized angle poise lamps, a virtual agency is almost certainly not right for them.