If you saw the January 14 posting by The Economist claiming that the PR industry is booming and, like me, you said “WHAT?”, then read on.
I read a few short synopsis of The Economist‘s article and was dumbfounded. About half of the people I know who are PR professionals were laid off this year, and now I’m hearing that, apparently, the industry is booming? Talk about PR spin.
Turns out that the full article is very interesting. And true. Here’s why:
- Increased need for PR firms from the “Uh-oh’s” in the corporate world (i.e. “undeserved bonuses, plunging share prices and government bail-outs, among other ills”)
- Increased demand for PR due to the recession
- Spending on PR grew by more than 4% in 2008 and nearly 3% in 2009 to $3.7 billion (comparatively, spending on advertising decreased by nearly 3% in 2008 and by 8% in 2009)
- WOM and social media have been a big boon; in fact, spending in these areas increased by more than 10% in 2009, and spending on them – particularly social media – will continue into perpetuity
- Services provided by PR and advertising firms are blending (which I have mentioned myself)
- The crushing impact on the journalist community has profited the PR industry, as PR professionals have some specialized knowledge to figure out new routes to gain the attention of the dwindling number of journalists
Very interesting article – it certainly changed my mind about the profession, and gave me some hope.