On the beat: corporate/financial; PR services

This year has been particularly tumultuous for corporations, financial services companies, and even the average homeowner, creating a need for a more free exchange of information than many executives are accustomed to.

This year has been particularly tumultuous for corporations, financial services companies, and even the average homeowner, creating a need for a more free exchange of information than many executives are accustomed to.

I can't say that many companies or their firms have opened up and shared their deepest PR secrets with me. But in speaking to some of the communications pros in this area, there seems to be a certain acceptance that they must open up, at least a little.

Service companies have felt the landscape shift beneath their feet, too. In response, they have evolved to meet the needs of changing technologies and innovations. The explosion in Web video, for example, has been met with multimedia offerings, greater online monitoring, and measurement capabilities. Collaborations between service companies and PR firms are changing how organizations communicate with their stakeholders.

Nevertheless, change is difficult. Companies that produce VNRs are now grappling with the FCC's interpretation of how organizations should disclose this footage. And who says Reg FD means you must announce your earnings via a newswire? The Web's ubiquity means the SEC and public companies can consider online alternatives.

Working two beats that have relatively little common ground admittedly gave me pause in the beginning. However, the exclusivity of the two sectors and the tiny ways in which they overlap shine a light on the intricacies of the industry.

In addition to choosing entries for PRWeek's 2007 Book of Lists, PRWeek reporters provided individual overviews of a year within their beat. "On the beat" columns are also dispersed throughout the Best of Lists 2007 PDF.

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