Communication Strategy 3.0: Agencies depend more than ever on talent

Let me suggest you read Scott Goodson’s How Agencies, Clients can Effect Future Change on and then come back.

We live in fast times. Consider this short excerpt of my media diet of the last seven days, educational, informative and entertaining at times, stories from Dave Winer to Conan, from Facebook to planning, from productivity to Egypt, from innovation to innovation, from Branson to Steve Gillmor, from a CEO speaking honestly to blowing it a day later, to books – the list is endless. These come via trusted sources on twitter, via (what seems to me, a newly finetuned algorhythm on) techmeme that spews out stories of high variety and through accident. Information comes in waves, gigantic waves.

At the same time, the “modern professional communication train” is moving at an equally fast pace and it is difficult for many people to keep up. Facebook is becoming so mainstream in Germany that you can hardly see a news report where it’s not mentioned in any way, and this is not restricted to Egypt. Consequently, we are living in one giant connect-the-dots-landscape with indefinite possibilites for getting “the story” out, positioning and advertising a product/client. However, since everything is new, nobody seems to know what works, so the first (and safe) answer to every briefing is “let’s do a Facebook page and a YouTube channel”. Yikes.

The underlying problem of course is that very few agencies have the talent available to connect the dots for the client. Coming back to Goodson’s article, the kind of talent that creates ideas with value. Needed are people who continue to extend themselves, not looking for the easy answers but questioning the “obvious” status quo. People who

  • have the patience to read articles longer than three paragraphs
  • filter what thought leaders are saying and have the ability to identify the nuggets
  • don’t just repeat what Robert Scoble is saying but try services and apps themselves to be able to come to their own judgement
  • have a very broad spectrum of interest not just listed on their resume but actually have a live outside of being a Social Media Expert
  • continue to educate themselves and let serendipity come to them

The agency that manages to attract talent fitting the bill will have a competitive advantage,  not in the future, but already today. The time to open up is now.