Nothing in the ICCO's World Report 2010 is surprising including that "As interest in the exploitation of digital channels grows, public relations consultancies are increasingly positioning themselves as experts in the field, especially when it comes to managing an organisation's reputation online." (The ICCO is the umbrella organization for communications agency trade associations in 28 countries)
But here's a tip: If you are thinking of expanding your agency business internationally, forget Sweden where most consultants find that "companies perfer to mee their digital needs entirely in-house or via specialist sub-contractors". Instead head for Norway where "communication via new technologies is the domain of external providers, and 100% of consultancies offer these services". Demand and supply are growing.
The opportunities are in Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, India, and Turkey where communications consultancies are apparently slower to add social web expertise to their range of services.
Since we have so many social web experts in North America, maybe some should think of setting up shop in these under-served countries.