Life's too short- particularly Account Managers
Hiring and retaining talented account managers remains a perennial issue for agencies, and PR Week is reflecting upon the issue having investigated the state of the market in 2009. While it is reassuring that the industry is not being complacent it cannot be coincidence that the issue is currently attracting so much comment.
With predictions of recession in Q1/2012, the City testing the bottle of the Chancellor and the Euro meltdown showing no sign of settlement there is likely to be a lot of attrition among brands in the early part of next year, and this is bound to feed through into communications channel and individual PR agencies needing to cut their overheads.
While we hope our new woes will not be an echo of the 2008/9 Recession there were some parts of the sector that came out of it in reasonable shape. For us at Paprika it led to an upturn in business as agencies realised that the way to weather the storm was not simply to cut swathes through their headcount but to work smarter and with more efficiency. Look at the ways you are leaking costs and manage your clients better.
What is interesting about the piece in PR Week (regarding shortages of good quality AM’s) is that none of the key skills highlighted by the Agency Heads mentions good financial management. Attributes such as ‘people skills’ and ‘chemistry’ are rightly identified, but its curious that Agencies don’t appear to expect sound financial acumen to be a prerequisite of better agency/client performance.
Perhaps business owners leave those attributes to the bean counters that work in the Finance dept, but maybe they are missing a trick if they only ever seek to recruit account management clones?
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