Carve Another Niche

Is it better for PR agencies to focus on a select few practices or have a more diverse portfolio of multiple specialties? Amid the economic doldrums of the last several years, PR pros could make a good argument that less is more regarding professional services. But as the economy finally gets off its back, it seems that having diverse services is starting to be vogue (again).

A recent and exclusive study by Gould + Partners found 64 PR specialties now being offered to clients. Some of the traditional PR disciplines, such as media relations and crisis communications, lead the pack.

And while their share is minute, there is a bevy of new communication specialties that have started to emerge, ranging from content marketing to senior living. “It is too risky to only have one specialty,” said Rick Gould, managing partner of Gould + Partners. “We have seen how that can backfire with certain once-hot specialties, such as investor relations during the Great Recession and travel/tourism after the 9/11 attacks.”

Adding new specialties can sometimes be a Catch-22 because such investment will take time to flow to the top and/or bottom lines. But at the moment, there’s a groundswell for having diverse PR services.


This article originally appeared in the February 23, 2015 issue of PR News. Read more subscriber-only content by becoming a PR News subscriber today.