Shawn Amos has stepped down from his role as chief content officer at FleishmanHillard -- in order to create content, something he found very difficult to accomplish at a large agency.
"I was doing a lot of pitching, thinking, team-building and operational stuff, which is all super exciting and intellectually challenging, but I wanted to create stuff," said Mr. Amos. "I missed doing that."
Mr. Amos' new venture, Put Together Media, will handle all production in-house, allowing the shop to quickly churn content out on behalf of clients. The Los Angeles-based agency is already working with BMW, Instagram and law firm Loeb & Loeb, and has five full-time staffers, including former Director of Production for Viacom's MTV Entertainment Networks Nick Alexander.
"Large agencies are wedged into this infrastructure and cost structure, and there's not the lack of talent or desire, but they are hand-strung to this business model with big overheads, and big machines are hard to turn at a moment's notice," said Mr. Amos.
He added that "on paper you'd think [content creation] is a perfect play for PR" due to its storytelling nature, but a lot of the large PR agencies have old school business and corporate structures that slow them down. That being said, Mr. Amos, who sold Amos Content Group (later branded Freshwire) to Omnicom in 2012, believes PR can ultimately win the content development war if it becomes more aggressive and learn to work differently. Omnicom's FleishmanHillard took control of Freshwire about two years ago.
Representatives from Fleishman were not immediately available for comment regarding Mr. Amos' departure.
Despite the fact that he sold his last shop, Mr. Amos said he has "no conscious plan to scale and sell." Instead, he said he wants to work with "the next gen batch of videographers and designers who know how to tell stories on social platforms first and foremost."
Mr. Amos, son of William Morris talent agent and cookie tycoon Wally "Famous" Amos, said he believes creativity must be "baked into the culture" of agencies because sometimes the environment "is a bit inhospitable to creatives."
"Creativity shouldn't just be reserved for client work; it should be infused in daily life," he added. "There's a high burnout rate for sure and you risk becoming stale, partly because of pace and lack of time, and one of the cures to burnouts is to find ways to feed your creative spirit."
Prior to joining the marketing world in 2007, Mr. Amos was a record producer, executive and recording artist. One of his creative outlets outside of work is performing as blues singer and songwriter The Reverend Shawn Amos.