Not surprisingly, ad spending is likely to go down in the very near future. Of course it’s probably already happening and for those who do advertising as well as PR that is probably not a great thing. But if PR is your gig, then you shouldn’t be surprised when your clients come to you and ask for more in the way of media placement and other clever ways to promote their company.
With things so glum it’s easy to lose your creative spark. But looked at in another way, a more positive way, the tanking economy also gives us an opportunity to shine creatively. I’ve always thought creativity meant a lot more than what someone can write or create on a canvas. I happen to have a lot of respect for the person who is suddenly putting food on the table with one salary instead of two or with no salary. That’s creative. The point is we are all being asked to stretch and either we do so with a gloom and doom attitude or we embrace the challenge with an open mind. I say lose the gloom and doom, roll your proverbial sleeves up, and get to work.
A lot of people who are getting pink slips in this business would love to have more work than they can handle. And rolling up your sleeves probably hasn’t sounded so good in a long time. One of the silver linings here is that whatever we’re doing now to increase our value we’ll probably hold on to that new behavior for months and months to come and that’s not a bad thing. According to The Wall Street Journal, Fitch Ratings “cautioned that U.S. ad spending next year would drop between 6% and 9%, which is similar to what occurred after 9/11.
Even though this could mean more work for public relations people it also means that many advertising professionals who have been laid off are going to be trying to find work in promotion and publicity. So the bottom line here is expect to work harder and know that the competition for the work is growing, too. Sure, public relations might not be rocket science (a phrase I’ve never really liked much), but it offers all sorts of ways to be creative.