Recession, depression, economic crisis … whatever the term, pundits have been sounding the alarm over a looming downturn in the U.S. economy, which has started to reverberate through corporate America. And when potential profits are at stake, many organizations begin to tighten their belts. When it comes to weathering an economic storm, public relations – and its ability to maintain and grow an organization’s relationships with its most important audiences – is one line item that’s worth investing in long term. Why?
1. Turbulent Times Call for Change Management
Whether facing potential layoffs or delays in product availability, when seeking a positive outcome to unexpected change, communication is essential. PR experts can develop messages and strategies that organizations can lean on to soften the harsh realities of an economic downturn and preserve goodwill.
2. Avoid Being Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Sometimes, winning the game is just about showing up. Lack of external communications during a downturn can lead audiences to overlook a company or brand or — worse yet —assume a company is out of business or has less stability. Conversely, continually communicating with your key stakeholders reminds them of your value and stability and can help drive incremental growth in a less cluttered market.
3. Getting a Jump on Competitors
As budgets shrinks, competitors may struggle to stay top-of-mind among consumers, but companies that continue to invest in public relations can use this time to strengthen relationships with key audiences and customers, when competitors may go dark – an investment in future market share. And there’s data to prove it!
4. Maximize Impact Efficiently
Compared to some of its costlier counterparts, public relations is known for its nimbleness and cost efficiency. Rather than eliminating budgets, PR experts can assist in evaluating the mix of marketing dollars for increased efficiency – allowing organizations to continue to show up for audiences, while being mindful of the bottom line. For instance, perhaps a down market is a good time to turn down the dial on paid channels, while amping up owned and social.
5. In Difficult Times, Trust is Essential
Maintaining trust among stakeholders is arguably one of the best investments a company can make during an economic downturn. Targeted public relations campaigns can reduce stakeholders’ anxiety and concern and build the trust necessary to weather difficult times.
In short, organizations are wise to evaluate their investments when faced with economic uncertainty, but a reduction in PR investment could jeopardize market share, positive brand perceptions and long-term growth. Considering an investment in PR in 2023? Let’s talk.