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Importance of PR during a recession?

High Inflation, unemployment, layoffs, a bear market, recession. These are some of the words that are making the headlines now-a days. During such a situation when the going gets tough, most companies cut out on their marketing and PR budget. But in these situations, the time old proverb stands correct: out of sight, out of mind and it is especially true in today’s competitive business environment. Rather than an expenditure, companies should look at their PR spends as an investment during the lean period and take it as an advantage. Utilizing earned media during a recession and putting in strategic yet consistent PR efforts ensures that the company continues to be in the minds of customers and stakeholders and helps build the brand awareness even more once the economy bounces back. Cutting budgets leaves an organization at a long-term disadvantage which is more often than not, irreparable.  

Instead of cutting on budgets, one should adjust their strategy. When other companies are trying to stay away from the media attention and spotlight it is a great chance to create a customized plan of action that is better suitable to handle a recession like situation. During tough times, trust becomes even more crucial to maintain and PR is the best way to nurture the trust.

PR is also the most cost-effective medium of marketing and since it primarily deals in earned media it delivers more bang on bucks. Times like a recession can help in cultivating relationships with publications and journalists as they are looking for stories but with brands trying to stay away from the limelight it can be a great time to create a unique advantage and earn media coverage. It is also a great opportunity for company spokesperson to build thought leadership and create a positioning as a subject matter expert in one’s industry.

Ultimately, it is imperative to stay on course and think for the long term of the company. It may look unnecessary to continue spending while most competitors tighten their budgets, but ensuring that the company moves forward through consisting brand building is the key.

Since nobody knows whether a downturn will stay for a few days, months or even years, the companies that keep their relationship alive with their key customers go on to gain the maximum momentum. It is a unique opportunity to craft the brand narrative in the minds of the larger audience and in a way that reflects ones company values.

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