Agencies and in-house teams start to feel the pinch

Economic downturn - Staff reductions, budget cuts and special offers as comms world tightens its belt.

Evidence is mounting that both the agency world and in-house comms operations are being hit by the economic downturn.

Telecoms specialist Sonus PR has cut its UK PR staff by half. The firm has lost three members of staff, including co-founder Patrick Smith.

Remaining managing director Martin Smith, who has spent more than a year setting up Sonus' US business, said: 'We made a couple of UK redundancies based on budget cuts.' But he insisted that Smith had left by mutual agreement.

Property comms agency Think BDW is attempting to confront the hostile real estate market head-on by offering "buy one get one free" PR. The agency is offering one month free until the end of November, when clients sign up to a month's PR.

In-house comms teams are also feeling the strain. The British Beer & Pub Association has said goodbye to Ros Shiel, who was in charge of PR on its Beautiful Beer awards. The association plans to refocus PR spend on political issues.

Charities are also affected, with Cancer Research looking to save cash by cutting back on media monitoring and evaluation. The charity previously monitored all media mentions, but will now only measure its proactive campaigns.

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