It’s been a strange year by any standards. Everything came to a head in October when we all thought the world was coming to an end!
It didn’t of course, but PR activity will need to change over the coming months as clients grapple with a new economic landscape. ‘Free lunches’ have long been out of the window. What the equivalent is, further down the scale of professional privation, is a question that’s had me scratching my head – but probably goes along the lines of abandoning all that stuff about strategic thinking, reputation management and everything else that distances PR from the (highly successful) Max Clifford school of publicity.
For 2009, we are where we are: in deep quagmires of a claggy consistency that won’t be helped by pompous pseudo-professionalism. This is the year(s?) when results are all that matter. With client budgets trimmed, it’s time for a tactical awakening.
Buzzwords’ response to all this is pretty much as it always has been ie. provide clients with a range of services from which they can pick and choose. That’s simply because the smaller, B2B clients prefer the more cautious ad hoc approach. I’m certainly not decrying the turnkey PR services offered by larger agencies. There’s a lot to be said for the integrated marketing approach – if you can afford it.
This year, increasing numbers of (even the bigger) companies will be looking at ‘bigger bangs for their buck’. To this end, Buzzwords will continue to offer traditional media relations programmes and online PR services together with specific offerings like article marketing, case study writing, newsletters (of course) – and even the odd annual report thrown in for good measure!
It’s all about flexibility and cost-effectiveness. In times of dearth, agencies and consultants have to respond with services which will help our clients’ clients respond positively which in turn will help to pay our own rents.
Here’s wishing you a Merry Christmas – and, most of all, a prosperous New Year!