LEADER: See the silver lining to some dark skies

Just before Christmas this column - headlined 'hold firm against the doom merchants' - urged positivity despite the negative indicators.

Danny Rogers, Editor, <em>PRWeek</em>
Danny Rogers, Editor, PRWeek

Now, in this Easter week, we find ourselves in a darker place. As far as we know the UK is not in recession, but there were some worrying developments this week; the biggest falls in Sterling, and the highest rate of business failure, since 1992.

And yet the bosses of the big UK PR agency groups - Chime, Huntsworth et al - remain steadfastly upbeat. Is this classic PR optimism, defying reality?

Lords Bell and Chadlington - respective principals of the two groups - are surely old and (metaphorically) ugly enough to dispense with such games.

Indeed, Chadlington sees it as a personal challenge to demonstrate the strength of public relations, and his group specifically, in a difficult market. Bell similarly is enjoying bucking the trend in the global financial markets. Neither group is heavily reliant on PR surrounding M&A activity, which helps.

But even City shops such as FD are not sounding gloomy. It could be that the comms industry is now so broadly based that when certain areas of business suffer, other opportunities present themselves. For example, while IPO fever grinds to a halt, consultancies can help clients restore confidence among nervous shareholders, suppliers and staff.

Instead, the biggest danger for the industry is a more intangible fear and indecisiveness. Headhunters are noticeably less bullish. One firm, PR Recruitment, is even offering full money-back guarantees if placed candidates do not work out within three months.

It is an attempt to persuade employers to make decisions that they would otherwise put off.

Indecision is worrying because the current credit crunch is clearly going to persist into 2009.

Yes, the mood may look darker today, but the message must be the same: keep moving confidently forward.

Email: danny.rogers@haymarket.com  

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

Department store John Lewis is to use its 150th anniversary this year to talk about its history, which "not enough people know about", according to director of communications Peter Cross.

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

The man who helped Barack Obama win the 2008 and 2012 US presidential elections is to work for Labour along with members of his team.

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Pay-TV giant Sky has added Fever PR to its agency line-up for a wide-ranging brief covering products and services.

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford has been sent home for Easter and will reconvene on Tuesday for further deliberations about its verdicts on 11 charges of indecent assault.

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

The Home Office has tasked Munro & Forster (M&F) with supporting its campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) as part of a wider retained brief.