Perhaps you saw Richard Edelman’s post last week on five key points we need to remind clients about in a recession. It was an interesting piece on the value of PR in the current media environment. Much was said, some of which was on par (image: prosperity symbol by sharlini). Perhaps the best comment in the whole post was:
We need to ensure clients are equipped to convey PR’s ROI and credibility advantages over other communications disciplines.
Last recession, I was in a tech heavy firm, and though times were tough, walked out of it with a promotion and a significant increase in wages. Recessions often create opportunities for those who can navigate the troubled waters. Keys to success during this time:
1) A positive attitude no matter what. You cannot underestimate the importance of maintaining a we can attitude.
2) Redirecting business strategy to win away lower tier clients from the big agencies as well as stable industries sure to spend through the recession.
3)Finally, intrinsically tying our PR and marketing service to ROI.
Moving forward, PR and marketers have an opportunity to accelerate through the recession and differentiate themselves by focusing on ROI. Remember, companies are in business to generate revenue, and that’s the predominant reason why they hire us. If communicators focus on intangibles like "credibility" or "conversations" that cannot be tied directly to their clients’ or company’s bottom lines… Well, they put themselves at risk.
Yes, credibility is the primary benefit of PR services, and smart companies know this is necessary to survive and grow thorough a recession. But unfortunately some companies can’t see beyond three months into the future. Others simply have to make cuts. These less visionary or unfortunate players will focus solely on the bottom line.
Here are just a few of the ways that PR (note this does not say media relations) and social media services impact the bottom line:
- Social media campaigns engineered correctly provide significantly more qualified contacts than advertising at a much lower cost per contact. Strong social media firms are likely to grow during the recession.
- Speaking engagements also create direct relationships, as well as many lead opportunities.
- Events created for stakeholders can create outstanding value… and leads
- Both traditional media hits and social media — if targeted with precision — can inspire leads, speaking engagements, and the right kind of SEO
- White papers can turn into calls-to-action on the web site, in turn creating leads
Get creative. Stay positive. Inspire your strategy to position you to win, and impact your clients’ or company’s bottom line. And prosper through the recession.