On the beat: technology/Bay Area

In 2007, tech PR embraced social media as a revolution. Through trial and error, the industry seemed more at ease with it. Today, it's rare to find a major company that hasn't used the space in some way.

In 2007, tech PR embraced social media as a revolution. Through trial and error, the industry seemed more at ease with it. Today, it's rare to find a major company that hasn't used the space in some way.

The possibilities borne from social media led many to believe the tech sector was “recession-proof.” There was an optimistic rhetoric from many agencies: a slowdown was hitting their competitors, but not them. Inevitably, though, the reality of economic uncertainty crept its way to the West Coast.

When I wrote my first Bay Area layoff story, there was disappointment. The seemingly boundless growth of last year had been tempered.

When Wall Street imploded, it eliminated any doubt that leaner times were ahead. Suddenly, I was witnessing firsthand the 2002 stories that I had heard about.

While the recession hasn't hit the industry like 2002 yet, its response isn't anything like then either. I've noticed PR people apply their passion for social media in more ways than ever. If clients want to spend less, social media is championed as the solution that will still get results.

The economic tumult will mean continued challenges in 2009, but even in a recession, Silicon Valley knows it's on the forefront of social media. It will be interesting to see if that does make it “recession-proof.”

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