Project vs. Retainer
Mike says he’s a project pusher and loves the flexibility projects bring to his workflow. As someone whose worked on both project and retainer bases (is that right?), I can say that I far prefer the latter.
It’s true that, done right, projects are a great way to work but I prefer the deeper client engagement that a retained client brings. My favourite ever account to work on, SAS UK, was a retained client with GolinHarris back in the UK. There was an established team with an extremely deep knowledge of the client, its business and its industry.
When I left, GH had had the account for more than seven years. As a result of knowing the client inside and out, we were lean, mean PR machine that generated some amazing coverage.
I realise that the closeness we all felt to the SAS account may have meant we lost a bit of perspective but I believe it was worth it.
I’m sure Mike would argue that PRs are rather like firemen. We both have the transferable skills to be parachuted into any situation and do a great job – it’s just that I, personally get more satisfaction from doing a *ahem* deeper dive into my clients’ business and industries.
As I don’t have much financial oversight over my clients, I can’t give an opinion of the savings generated by a retainer as opposed to say, having to submit a formal and possibly competitive proposal and presentation for every project…
Virtual Worlds. If not now, when?
Steve on the other hand is pushing virtual worlds. Seems as if he’s moved away from Second Life in particular and is now on virtual world’s in general.
I’ve always been a supporter of the potential of virtual worlds, especially given the, to quote Steve, “human need to fantasize and socialize”. However, I’ve also been a proponent of the potential of RSS – a much more basic technology that is struggling to reach the mainstream despite being bundled iin both Internet Explorer 7 and Outlook 2007 from software giant Microsoft.
If something as genuinely useful as RSS is getting the cold shoulder, what chance a virtual world that demands huge amounts of time and computing power and that will invariably be taken over by gambling and porn very early on?
*UPDATE* Just found this article from 2003 on The Sims and how child pornography and virtual child abuse proliferated this precursor to Second Life. Unfortunately it seems that before the potential can be realised, the pornographers, paedophiles and gamblers move in time after time.