Chris Savage tells PRs ‘this is our time’ to dominate the communications industry



PR can become the driving force in the communications industry it can win the land grab around data, content, mobile and social, the former COO of STW Communications Chris Savage has said.

In a talk at the PRIA National Conference in Hobart he also said he hoped the move towards more clients beefing up their in-house capabilities and become brand publishers would lead to a change in brand marketing functions within businesses.

“Clients are going to get very focused on building their in-house capabilities. Client organisations will become what I call brand publishing organisations,” said Savage.

“No longer will they need brand managers or product managers to work with a multitude of agencies,” he added.

“Increasingly they are going to need content specialists and digital specialists.

“If the PR industry keeps evolving and takes control and dominates the sweet spot of the industry around data, content, mobile and social which everyone is rushing to, if we start making that place ours and bringing our heritage of engagement, this is our time.

“If we keep doing that, there’s always going to be a place for specialised, very clever ideas-based agencies.”

Savage urged the PR audience to “remain paranoid” and push the industry, and themselves forward.

“Whatever you’ve done to get where you are in your career, well done, but realise that those skills are not going to carry you forward for 20 years. You have to become these words you’ll have heard. You have to be agile, you have to transform, you have to be up for change,” he said.

“Be paranoid, stay paranoid. Do not rest on your laurels. If it ain’t broke, fix it!”

Miranda Ward


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