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I spotted a good post by PR Squared’s Todd Defren on the value of retaining a PR agency during an economic downturn.
Based on the principle that it is a wise move to invest in marketing activities during a recession, and picking up on some advice in Sequoia’s recent ‘RIP Good Times’ event, the post contains five key reasons why you need to be aggressive when it comes to your PR strategy.
Todd cites the Harvard Business Review:
“It is well documented that brands that increase (marketing) during a recession, when competitors are cutting back, can improve market share and return on investment at lower cost than during good economic times.”
Todd’s reasons for boosting - or certainly not slashing - your PR budget are as follows:
- Agency PR is more cost-effective than in-house PR.
- The PR firm is always listening and responding.
- A PR agency also grants access to the wickedly expensive media databases (Cision, Profnet, etc.).
- PR “feeds the beast” of SEO by ensuring your company’s content shows up in both Social Media and Mainstream Media channels.
- PR provides air-cover for the Sales team.
There is further explanation on Todd’s blog.
As ever, solid campaign planning is essential, as is visibility between your overall marketing (especially search marketing) efforts and your PR agency.
We’re still seeing a lot of dumb activity among PR ‘experts’ but find yourself a good one and they can be excellent value, and, like all of our favourite marketing channels, they should be able prove their worth (if they are wearing the right-sized measurement hat).