Norwegian PR industry and social media

Summer is probably the worst possible time of the year for a newly graduate to get a job in Norway. I and my colleagues, who also have higher degrees in business studies, have experienced it on our own skin. And nothing is worse than involuntary, prolonged holidays.

For myself, I was hoping that gaining a master degree in PR (which is not available in Norway) and further specialising in a new and exciting area, such as social media relations, would give me a competitive edge on the job market. It still remains to be seen, but one thing is clear – it did not give me any advantage on Norwegian PR arena.

The first thing which I had to adjust my expectations to was that PR-agencies are not carrying the flag of social media (if they are carrying any flags in Norway at all). Its media and advertising agencies, which are most proactive in trying the digital approach to communicate with customers. Some of their attempts which I stumbled at surfing the Web are quite good, though some are still poor and unethical. However, they do deserve credit for innovation and dynamic thinking.

But the PR agencies, which have chosen to specialise in digital marketing, have gotten it all wrong. Social media is about socialising, networking and sharing. It is rulled by Mavens, who draw their influence from being ultra open to any valuable knowledge, and are willing to pass it on. It isn’t about arrogance and reservation. Social media is about opening doors, not shutting them. Maybe this is the reason for why PR industry is still to take off in Norway.


2 Responses to “Norwegian PR industry and social media”

  1. 1 Richard Bailey August 15, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    It’s easy to see why a corporation might be reserved about social media (loss of control, more to lose than to gain) but consultancies… I’m surprised. They should be ahead of the curve and developing new tools and techniques to offer their clients.

    Hardly a day goes by without me noticing the energy coming out of social media and tech PR specialists like Hotwire and Wolfstar (who are both recruiting, btw.) Perhaps you should come back to Britain?

  2. 2 Fredrik Johnsen October 1, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    While I agree that many of the PR agencies in Norway have missed the social media train, there are exceptions. GCI Communique, owned by Burson-Marsteller, was the first agency to specialize in digital and social media, and we have spent a great deal of time and resources to establish our online presence, most notably through (in Norwegian). In addition, Colt PR ( has also done a decent job.

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August 2008
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