The Truth About Agency Blogs, Even Ours

In the world of interactive marketing, the hubs of conversation are most definitely not agency blogs. For all of the talk about embracing web culture, understanding content creation, and taking the dive into social media, there is a gaping lack of collaboration and interaction between digital agencies. We're creative folks with our minds on big things. We understand the new economy, the new technology, and the precise future of advertising. We understand pretty much everything except how to take our critical lens off of our clients and off of media to reexamine ourselves.

The lack of interaction on agency blogs is appalling: no guest posts, rarely @replies on Twitter, and, not surprisingly, a lack of comments on posts. Most of the posts on agency blogs are vain attempts at gaining thought leadership. Of course, very little is actually gained. When a thousand arms reach for the pie in the sky, no one gets very much.

That isn't to say there isn't thought leadership to be gained, or that agencies shouldn't be trying to produce content that will impress clients. But what blogs do you go to when you want to read about interactive strategy? The chances are it isn't the blog of an interactive marketing agency. Out of the Ad Age Power 150 there are only 8 agency blogs, and most of those are in the bottom fifty. Isn't it odd to you that there are clients paying loads of cash to agencies that supposedly understand digital, and yet hardly any agency has been capable of producing a blog that people actually enjoy reading?

It may be that most of the great content affiliated with agencies isn't being produced on their blogs. While there are hardly any agency blogs doing well, there are some blogs authored by staff at agencies that are doing great. However, all of these blogs come with a notice that "my views are not necessarily those of my employer". Agencies feel safe when their staff go out and take risks for themselves and it pays off, but you'll rarely see the blog of the agency itself take risks.

Individuals don't create great blogs by silently hoping someone will drop by and read. They interact with other bloggers, they take risks, and they give more than they take. In order for agency blogs to improve, they'll have to do the same and start moving beyond the walls of their own domain.

Thanks for reading our blog. If you're interested in guest posting here or having us guest post at your blog just let us know. You can also find us on Twitter.

Written by Chris Allison on June 30, 2009

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Chris says:

Hey Rich,

Thanks for stopping by. I think you have a good point that some blogs serve as a window into the company, and that's a perfectly fine way to go with a corporate blog. Corporate blogs shouldn't look the same for everyone, but for a large group of agencies, they do look the same and they look ugly.

Hey guys,
One quick look at the roll on our blog site confirms your basic assertion that agency blogs are not hubs of conversation. I generally don't read agency blogs because they are generally boring.

So I hear what you're saying and don't disagree. My thinking is this: a blog or twitter feed or vimeo page or whatever has to be viewed in the context of the brand it represents.

For our purposes, we treat our sites as points-of-personality where our people can interact and where our prospects/clients can get a feel for the culture of our agency.

As such, we talk about the stuff that makes Red Square Agency what it is: our people, art, music, design, pop culture and anything else we find influential.

And we like to interact with others, be they agencies, job seekers, potential partners, brands. Anyone but Ashton Kutcher. We don't interact with him.

We treat the digital representation of our brand the very same way we treat it everywhere else, as a toy.

-rich

P.S. Note the lack of attempt at thought leadership.

Hey guys,
One quick look at the roll on our blog site confirms your basic assertion that agency blogs are not hubs of conversation. I generally don't read agency blogs because they are generally boring.

So I hear what you're saying and don't disagree. My thinking is this: a blog or twitter feed or vimeo page or whatever has to be viewed in the context of the brand it represents.

For our purposes, we treat our sites as points-of-personality where our people can interact and where our prospects/clients can get a feel for the culture of our agency.

As such, we talk about the stuff that makes Red Square Agency what it is: our people, art, music, design, pop culture and anything else we find influential.

And we like to interact with others, be they agencies, job seekers, potential partners, brands. Anyone but Ashton Kutcher. We don't interact with him.

We treat the digital representation of our brand the very same way we treat it everywhere else, as a toy.

-rich

P.S. Note the lack of attempt at thought leadership.

Written by
Chris Allison