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5 reasons why companies should keep investing in PR during a recession

By Marjorie Comer

An image of the stock market.As the economy changes, so does consumer spending, which in turn impacts most every company. Decreases in your customers’ spending can negatively impact your company’s bottom line and decrease the things your company can spend money on. In some ways, it can become a vicious circle.


When your income decreases, your company usually cuts the “extras” first. While you may need to decrease unnecessary expenses, you should look at how cutting expenses and services may impact your company overall.


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One of the first things some companies cut is marketing. But smart companies know this is not a wise decision. According to research by Analytic Partners, brands should instead lean into their public relations efforts, especially in the midst of a recession. Why?


  1. Out of sight, out of mind
    Companies that cut their marketing and PR budgets during a recession leave themselves at a long-term disadvantage. This is often because producing fewer PR efforts leave your brand out of sight, and out of mind from your customers. Remember, PR builds a brand, and advertising supports it.

    See also: Prioritizing PR over advertising with Laura Ries | On Top of PR videocast



  2. Adapt the strategy
    Instead of cutting your PR agency, you should adjust your strategy. Look to your PR firm for its knowledge and expertise to help you change your focus. This can be especially important because other companies may be leaving the spotlight and withdrawing their PR efforts. Now is the time to adjust your PR plan of action to better handle a recession.

  3. Lean in
    Stay the course and start thinking in the long-term for your company. It may hurt a little to continue spending money while everyone else tightens their belts, but ensuring your company continues moving forward means leaning into the recession. Think about when your company launched and how those founding executives kept pushing for success, and make the same effort.

  4. Branding
    Focus on branding your company and making it recognizable to your consumer base. A couple ways you can do this: Review your key messages and ensure your corporate communications team utilizes them, and review your social media channels and website to ensure they follow your brand guidelines. Sometimes we get entrenched in our work and our brand strays from the original plan – you can complete these small tasks to help ensure your customers recognize you and your company.

  5. Reporters
    In lean times, reporters still need sources for stories. It’s a great time to build relationships with journalists and be a resource for reporters. While other companies cut PR, you have a unique advantage and great opportunity to build relationships to earn media coverage for your company.

Companies that cut PR today, during a recession, may not see the impact initially, but it could hurt in the future, especially if the competition decides to lean in. Analytic Partners estimates that if a similarly sized rival company in the same category as you doubles its spending for marketing and PR, then your company could lose 15% of its business on average. Don’t be a statistic or a company lost in the shuffle – continue building your brand and company image.

Looking for additional insight? Download our guide 5 Mistakes Companies Make with Their PR (and How to Fix Them) to keep your mistakes to a minimum.


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Marjorie Comer.Clients love Marjorie’s work ethic, speed and diligence. She has worked with Axia Public Relations since October 2011. Marjorie graduated from Rockhurst University with a Bachelor of Arts in communication and loves to cheer for her hometown Kansas City Royals. Learn more about Marjorie.


Photo by energepic.com from Pexels

Topics: PR tips, investment

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