« Return to List
Posted on 02.04.2010
The rise of PR
Behind every dark cloud there’s a silver lining… or so the old saying goes.
According to a recent Economist article, PR firms are reaping the benefit of corporate America’s woes. As auto executives caught heat for their private jets and bankers endured criticism over everything from inflated bonuses to H1N1 shots, PR firms increased their billings by nearly 3 percent in 2009. A remarkable achievement considering that spending on advertising contracted by 11 percent over the previous two years.
So what gives? While it’s true the recession put a bullseye on the backs of some industries – increasing PR’s clout in the executive suite – this alone can’t account for the industry’s growth. Some say growing interest in social media has given the industry a boost. While this may be true, I don’t believe this is the sole driver either.
Could it be that corporate America is realizing what many in the industry have known for years: that PR is effective in good times and bad? In times of trouble, a sound public relations strategy can calm angry customers and reassure worried employees. In times of growth, good PR can raise a company’s profile and generate much-needed buzz. When business is booming, PR can strengthen customer relationships and engender loyalty. Throughout it all, public relations can build, sustain – and even repair – trust in a brand.
If you look at it this way, some might say PR is recession proof. And, in my humble opinion, if it’s not … it should be!