At this year’s IPRN Annual Meeting in Beijing, Jörg Pfannenberg, founder of JP│KOM, delivered useful insights into modern agency management. A major theme was how can mid-size, management-owned agencies create value for their stakeholders, while gaining a competitive edge, in a mature market such as Germany? This not only requires a clear vison, a digital first strategy and state-of-the-art management tools. Clear positioning as well as an attractive (employer) brand are needed to engage stakeholders, customers and employees.
Pfannenberg emphasized that Germany’s economic and social climate differs from other markets – even mature ones. Germany’s economy has been growing steadily in the last few years, and the country is a leader in worldwide exports and enjoys almost full employment.
Economic growth also influences the German PR agency market, which has been growing in total revenue and workforce numbers and made considerable progress in quality and professionalization in the past 10 years.
However, the boom results in challenges as well: many industries, PR being one of them, suffer from – as the Germans call it – Fachkräftemangel (shortage of skilled, specialized professionals). The result: an increasingly competitive landscape for recruiting and retaining talented employees, an outright “war for talents”. Good employees are hard to find and even harder to keep.
In this environment, with challenging economic, societal and political trends, agencies constantly have to ask themselves: What does it need to create value and succeed in competition?
To differentiate from competition, an agency needs a clear scope and mission, and of course a clearly defined area of expertise and a unique approach (methods and technology). For JP│KOM this guiding topic is change. Using a strategic approach and management tools, JP│KOM empowers customers – predominantly from B2B and healthcare industries – for the digital transformation.