Monday, March 2, 2009

Filling PR Needs in The Pothole Economy

Jeremiah Owyang’s posting on PR Firms in a Recession: A 2009 Forecast confirms what I have been suspecting as of late:  we have the entered the Pothole Economy.

It is indeed tough out there.  According to a USC School of Communication survey, PR budgets are down, and layoffs are up. 

What’s a Pothole Economy?

When times are flush, marketing and PR departments talk vision and spend money on corporate offsites.  When times are bad (the economy shrunk 6.2 percent in the last quarter of 2009), you focus on short-term needs. You look for inexpensive solutions. You fill in potholes not build whole new roads.

It’s ironic.  Now is the time when strategy is most needed and vision is at a premium, but we can ill afford deep thinkers.  People are hungry for information, but there are no budgets for training. And so the uninitiated use the recession as an excuse to ignore social media, but they do so at their own peril. 

I agree with Jeremiah: “If you’ve not developed social media skills by now in 2009, you are behind.”

Who will succeed in the Pothole Economy?  On the road to success, I am finding these days that it’s not the mapmakers or surveyors.  Rather it’s those who can actually do the grunt work.  In other words, strategists get in line.  It’s the people who can build blogs, optimize search and produce podcasts that are getting the jobs.  They are the ones who deliver immediate value.

And to management’s role in these challenging times, Jeremiah’s right; it needs “to quickly adjust to offer more outputs for clients than ever before.”

For those lacking the requisite skills, it’s time to grab a shovel and fill in some holes in your experience.  Use this time to expand your knowledge.  It will enable you to position yourself for better times and ultimately make yourself more valuable.

Let me get back to you.

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Posted by Dan Greenfield in 05:52:48 | Permalink | No Comments »