Everywhere I turn I seem to hear discussions about the poor economy and how unfortunate we are to graduate at a time when the economy is changing for the worse and good jobs are hard to come by. This concept is especially true while majoring in PR, in a field that many people and companies have yet to fully recognize. I kept those slightly disturbing thoughts in the back of my mind until I came across this article in PRWeek, Down economy is PR’s time to shine by Shannon Troughton, the VP of PR at WellPoint. Thoughton’s assertion is based on an article she read in the Economist that suggests marketing and communication budgets are the first ones to be eliminated. This can be both a postive and a negative if companies use PR correctly.
Troughton suggests that during the time of a poor economy, company image becomes significantly more important so that the company survives. Who would be better at maintaining a positive image of a company than a PR professional? They are trained skilled and are significantly cheaper than purchasing ad space on TV or in print media. She suggests that PR professionals can “offer inexpensive but valuable ways to promote products, initiates, and executives.” She includes blogging, press releases and editorials in her boasting of PR. That being said, a smart company is a company that will maintain a strong PR department so that the company can stay strong and survive economic hardships. Do you think that this will make companies notice how crucial PR can be for them and their image?
Is this the big break that the PR industry has been waiting for to prove their worth? Or should we stay in school and hope the economy gets better when we all have graduate degrees and communication budgets of companies are restored?