Adweek's Brian Morrissey looks at the continuing trend among digital (ad) shops in hiring PR veterans in an effort to corner both sides of the market, content creation and promotion/earned media. Previously content with allowing their creative to "sell" itself and go viral, many digital agencies are adding 'Earned Media' specialists who can drive traffic to client projects rather than wait for this magic to happen.
The fact still remains though, that the content they're creating for their clients must be worthy of sharing. Good content sells itself. If it's not worth sharing, no matter if there's a PR veteran pushing it, it won't resonate with audiences..
And, as this question of who "owns" social media, etc. rages on, it speaks volumes for how shallow and self-serving the dialogue has become. Let's be honest here. No one "owns" it. Whoever has the talent, experience, expertise and strategy/ideas, whether it's a person, team, PR or digital agency will be the one who leads the effort. And even then, collaboration is still necessary across disciplines, departments, etc.
Deep Focus CEO Ian Schafer offers a good closing argument in the article on the need for good PR people: "I'd have a hard time believing a digital production shop that builds Web sites would be good at massaging and managing relationships with bloggers." And, who are we to argue with that.