Bad Times or Good?

by Roger Pynn

After 25 years as an agency owner – and corporate and agency assignments before that dating back to 1974 – one thing sticks in my mind about down economies: they have great potential for public relations. In the end, there is no such thing as “agency pr,” only agencies doing work for corporate clients. It is all public relations, and today that is a broader field than ever before.

Recession after recession, I’ve seen companies trim ad expenses and turn to their public relations team because of the real and perceived ability to produce more focused, interactive, results-oriented and cost-effective communication that is far more likely to reach its target. We can aim.

Yes, Internet-based marketing will change some of that, but I believe only that which is tied to the ability to track far more than just clicks. And public relations people using the Internet will have to make efficient and ever-more-targeted decisions. The Internet is just another publication, unless public relations people seize it for the potential of user-generated content to engage those most likely to produce the results they want for their organization.

The real issue is whether you stay focused on your client and what keeps them awake at night.

Never before were the words of legendary archer Howard Hill – who successfully hunted even elephant with a bow and arrow – more true: “Unless you know your prey’s eating, sleeping and daily habits, unless you plan your hunt in great detail and follow your plan with precision, you’re not really hunting at all … you’re just walking in the woods.”

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