Why your Marketing & PR strategy is a lifeline during a downturn
By Abby Simpson, Account Executive at Touchdown PR
No business is immune to a ‘rough patch’ and this is especially true during an economic downturn. But when layoffs, budget cuts and restructuring are rife, what can businesses use as a lifeline?
Marketing and Public Relations may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but during a business downturn they can serve as a life raft for businesses in need. In 2022, Gartner revealed that marketing budgets have now hit 9.5% of total company revenue – a significant increase from 6.4% last year. And, around 72% of marketing chiefs said the “importance of marketing” has grown in their companies over the last year. The reason for this? PR and marketing works – even through economic downturns.
Maintaining a presence during uncertain times ensures that a brand stays front and centre in a customer’s mind despite current events. No matter what is happening in the world, the core function of PR and marketing remains the same – brand awareness and brand promotion. During crises or downturns it’s more important than ever that brands maintain a positive image in the public eye. In these periods, there’s no clear winner in the digital media vs traditional media debate – focusing your efforts on both while experiencing a downturn will only serve to present you as the consistent, credible supplier to your customers, old and new. PR and marketing can’t solve a recession, but it can protect the most important thing a business has – reputation and customer loyalty.
The PR Promises
A well considered PR strategy and campaign should spread brand values and ethos.
By sincerely interacting with the issues that truly matter to a brand and their industry, a company can build trust as a well informed provider.
An experienced PR agency will be able to execute a targeted media campaign. By isolating the publications and media outlets relevant to their client, they are able to tap directly into the correct audience and customer base.
In addition to targeting the right people, PR agencies are able to produce high quality content that establishes their client as a thought leader in their industry.
By securing the right exposure or partnerships, PR agencies are able to transform a brand into a trusted and credible source.
3. Relationship Building
A key role of PR is relationship building. By interacting with customers in a unique way and telling their brand story over different channels through content marketing and press releases, businesses are able to build a sense of familiarity with their customers. From actively engaging with customers on social media to creating content that resonates with them, there are multiple ways PR can promote brand loyalty.
So… In a crisis, why is PR the first to go?
With all the demonstrable benefits of PR, why is it so often the first thing to be axed in an economic crisis?
When it comes to recessions, the motto is often “cut, cut, cut”. It’s all about stripping back, cutting costs and slimming down, with PR and marketing simply seen as non-essential to a business’s core function. And it’s true… to some extent. However, while cutting ties with your PR agency won’t stop you developing the next big innovation in your sector, it will significantly affect the impact it has.
Producing top of the line technology without a PR and marketing strategy is like trying to make an announcement in a crowd without a megaphone. You can shout all you want, but no one’s listening.
Creating impactful PR in a downturn
At Touchdown PR, we are dedicated to creating bespoke, impactful strategies for our clients, and we’ve got our own string of successful PR campaigns that we’re inspired by when it comes to crafting our tactics. When onboarding a new client, we thoroughly research both the brand and the sector. By gaining a deep understanding of our client’s unique offerings, competitors, and the industry challenges they face, we are able to tailor media lists and communicate in an in-depth and personable manner to build further trust, long term.
Click here for previous examples of our public relation strategies and case studies of the work Touchdown has done for our clients.
PR and marketing budgets are increasing, even after prolonged periods of downturn and with the recession looming. And, as we once again face uncertain times, businesses need to remember that slimming budgets during an economic downturn will only make it more challenging to build your brand presence back up again once we’ve returned to normality. The importance of PR and marketing remains consistent, even during economic downturns.