"You're just a sales person, I don't want to talk to you". In another role, I used to run two sales teams who sold media monitoring and analysis services to PR agencies and in-house teams. We supported the industry by sponsoring a number of events, such as the CIPR PRide awards. When one of my team went to speak in person to an office manager at a regionally-based small PR agency at one such event, that was how she greeted him.
The ignorance and idiocy of that comment is plain for anyone who has ever plied their trade for any agency, but particularly PR and communications agencies. *Everyone* is a sales person. At Hotwire, we include all levels of staff in pitches, because prospective clients want to know everyone who works on their account. But we've recently had members of our finance and IT teams be instrumental in winning pitches for us. In the case of the former, our CFO was a key point of contact for the prospective client procurement team for a six figure account.
Moreover, for a PR professional, you are almost always selling something to someone - whether it's pitching a story to a journalist, pushing a new and innovative idea to an existing client that may need some convincing, up-selling additional services to a client to help them achieve more or the prospective client presentation itself. It's all "selling".
The fact is, everyone at an agency needs to have a bit of "hunter" in them, and needs an appreciation of the noble art and skills of selling - active listening, presentation, persuasion, objection handling and negotiation. Having an understanding of this helps our people to be better a their jobs. But more importantly it helps our clients, because they know that we will proactively hunt out opportunities for them. And we aren't betting the farm on hiring just one type of person.
"In PR what we're doing is adjusting some of the leadership--typically you can take our people and you can see that we have hunters and farmers; sometimes we get too many farmers in a place," Wren said on the earnings call, according to a SeekingAlpha transcript.