No area of the economy remains untouched by the current crisis, but
the picture emerging for private sector PR is complex. Many in corporate
and financial PR have been active with an increasing round of profit
warnings and announcements of cutbacks. What is less clear is the
outcome for the consumer sector.
As the Conference Board confirms a sharp reversal in US consumer
confidence, the UK appears to have weathered the first quarter rather
better than expected. There have, of course, been significant cutbacks
in consumer advertising during the past couple of weeks, and as
highlighted by this week's Big Question, consumer PROs now need to
perform a delicate balancing act.
It would be wrong to suggest that PR can benefit in any way from this
crisis, but PROs can make a contribution to clients' fortunes by acting
as barometers of public opinion. In this way, PROs can help to boost
consumer confidence at an individual level, while ensuring that any
consumer activity is upbeat but relevant and appropriate, without either
appearing mawkish or insensitive.