While national newspapers filled their end of year issues with gleeful accounts of the downward spiral of technology stocks and in particular dot.coms, this issue of PRWeek reveals a promising start to the year for PROs in this sector. Technology accounts have recently changed hands, including the leviathans of Hewlett-Packard and 3Com.
In days gone by, a turndown in stock value would have spurred a trimming down of any below-the-line activities - PR being the first to suffer.
But at a time of crisis in this sector, these companies are recognising and reviewing the crucial role that PR has to play in their recovery.
Even IBM, which has reduced Ogilvy's workload, is investing in its in-house capability and still retains over 40 agencies across EMEA.
PRWeek's CEO survey 2000 revealed that 90 per cent of dot.coms believed PR was to become more important to their companies over the next five years. A current survey of technology companies on the NASDAQ or techMARK would probably produce a similar response.
The PR industry is certainly in good shape to take up such a challenge.
Last year fee income growth slowed on the previous year as the Top 150 consultancies cleared their books of non-profitable clients to take on more tech work. And with agencies such as Burson-Marsteller continuing to make a heavy investment in technology-literate staff, there is a real opportunity for PR to benefit from the current climate of uncertainty.