a his & hers weblog of worlds apart

The Pop-Up Farm Team

I recently wrote about the concept of an Agency Farm Team. The thinking behind a pop-up agency is not dissimilar:

Porter Novelli, a leading public relations agency, is popping up on the list with a short-term, pop-up agency inside its halls, staffed by younger employees who have spent the summer creating campaigns for clients with fledgling businesses to promote.

The entrepreneurial pop-up is named Jack & Bill, after Jack Porter and Bill Novelli, who joined forces in 1972 to found Porter Novelli, an agency now owned by the Omnicom Group with 100 offices in 60 countries.

Eight Porter Novelli account supervisors and account executives — average age, 26 — have been running Jack & Bill on behalf of five clients that are receiving free services…

…Jack & Bill and its clients found one another in a way that turned upside-down — or perhaps pop-up-side-down — the traditional pitching process for selecting a public relations agency. Typically a client calls in several agencies to compete for an account; in this case, the partners of Jack & Bill asked potential clients to audition to win the pop-up’s free services.

Full NYT Article via Murketing

What’s interesting about this idea is that Porter Novelli not only saw it as a way to develop emerging clients (as I had considered), but also to empower its emerging employees. It allows them to simultaneously showcase 1) their young talent, and 2) the firm’s digital skills – while experimenting in social media and drumming up some press of their own. The project was scheduled for completion after NY Fashion Week, but apparently Jack & Bill may now live on.

Are we on to something here?

4 comments on “The Pop-Up Farm Team

  1. JJJ
    September 17, 2008

    I’m re-thinking some earlier comments I had about this idea. If you can fund it, I think it works on so many levels. Not only do you motivate and cultivate young talent, but you also empower the power of free. This is being done all over the place when it comes to online consumer tools. So maybe agencies who embrace the ‘freemium’ philosophy in a B2B context are on to something. It’d be interesting to see if a VC would be willing to back that kind of model in a start-up agency.

  2. sean hazell
    October 24, 2008

    Accordingly, Seth explains why you should choose your employer and clients wisely.

  3. Diane
    October 27, 2008

    Good for people to know.

  4. Pingback: the Agency’s Farm Team « her Nature his Nurture

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This entry was posted on September 17, 2008 by in His Nurture Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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