more-moneySince the first signs of a recession loomed in late 2007, the PR industry has been quick to point out reasons why companies should not cut their PR budgets. Apparently, those arguments fell on deaf ears as PR spending has dropped 11 percent.

Well, we are now deep into this recession and while some say we have reached, or are nearing, the bottom it is still pretty clear there is a long way to go before the economy fully corrects itself. Where does your PR budget stand during a transitionary period? Do you keep the status quo, cut back, or move forward? I think it is pretty obvious where I am going – push forward, full steam ahead!!!

In all seriousness, this is a time to start reinvesting. In speaking with many marketing directors, spending cuts are still in full swing. These guys are down, not quite out, but getting close. What’s more, they are leaving holes in the conversation all over the place. It’s time to take advantage of their silence and walk over them. Do you stop running your pattern because a defender fell down? No. You run, catch the football and try to score the winning touchdown. You wouldn’t even think of stopping, much less look back, so why are so many companies still in this wait-and-see mode? Wait too long and you’ll see your competition get up and go whizzing by.

Why is PR important now?
Opportunity: Your competition is likely not making near as much noise as they once did. This means there is a gap to fill. Go fill it. Speaking up when your competitors aren’t greatly increases your share of voice in your industry.

The Need for Content: Most conversations I have with reporters focus on the need for story ideas and content. The economy has been brutal on the media industry and they are being asked to take on the job roles of several people. Wearing so many different hats, they’re turning to their trusted sources for ideas and contributed pieces.

Information Hungry Customers: Buyers are scrutinizing every purchase decision, conducting as much research as possible, and PR helps disseminate information about your product or service, influences the influencers, and gets your brand noticed.

Secure Your Position: Timing is crucial in so many aspects of business. While it may not be the best time to launch an IPO, it is time to set the stage for thought leadership and industry awareness. When companies and consumers start buying again, do you want to be playing catch-up or already be in the limelight?