eel slap

Ad Agency

I’ve been reading Adam Singer’s blog the future buzz lately and one of his recent posts, Most Marketing And PR Agency Blogs Are Unreadable was a fairly stirring indictment of the state of ad agency and PR blogging.

While I think there’s a bit of blanket generalization in the post, for the most part, it’s right-on.

The post was directed squarely at agencies and PR blogs but it made us think about our own as well.

A few paragraphs in, Adam writes:

There is the old story of The Cobbler’s Children in business everyone has heard of – except in digital marketing I don’t buy it. Marketing consultancies (or even marketers) who don’t blog or have results behind their efforts says something about their competence. If they were that capable of doing it themselves (and really understood the benefits) they would be. This is one area that if you can’t get it right personally, there is no way you can help others.

While not a new argument, it’s important to hear again. And he goes further, with a point that should grab your attention (bold is mine):

. . .most agencies now do have blogs but they’re basically unreadable. This bothers me, and if you are client-side it should bother you too. It should bother you because nearly every marketing and PR agency (qualified or otherwise) has added blog/social media consulting to their list of services. And almost none of them have real success metrics from their own efforts.

As an agency principal or to anyone writing your agency blog, who are you blogging for?

Are you thinking about the client-side with every post you write? If not, ask yourself why you’re blogging at all, given the time you’re putting into it.

That’s not to say you can’t infuse your agency and individual personality into your blog, in our opinion you absolutely should, but always ask yourself why you’re blogging for the agency in the first place. Another good point Adam makes is in regards to agency hiring.

If you’re a modern marketing agency, your practice isn’t defined by your website, it’s defined by the ongoing story you’re telling to the world through the social web. As the most passionate team members become savvier and want to work with consultancies truly at the edge, your blog will make or break your hiring.

Adam created a follow-up post, Reader Question: Why Are Most Agency Blogs Unreadable? laying out the 10 reasons why he believes agency blogs are unreadable.

Go to the post to see fuller explanations of each reason, but use this as a guide to your blogging and consider each of these a wake-up call:

1. They don’t have opinions or take sides

2. Missing passion

3. Lack of personality

4. Content fails the “so what” test?

5. They aren’t consistent enough

6. They’re trying too hard

7. Lack of differentiation point

8. Fear of making enemies

9. Digital marketing strategy problems at the agency level

10. No effort at forging connections

I'm the VP of Sales at RSW/US. We specialize in working with services firms to help drive and close new business-if you need help with that, email me at What I actually do: drive sales efforts to bring ad agencies and services firms on board with RSW, create content around successful new business tactics and help drive RSW/US marketing objectives, including social media channels, blog content, webinars, video and speaking engagements. Dig it.