The economy is booming. No surprise then that the New York PR scene is booming as well. As our regional report shows (p23), the New York market was up 17% in 1999, and by all accounts, the growth is accelerating.
The economy is booming. No surprise then that the New York PR scene
is booming as well. As our regional report shows (p23), the New York
market was up 17% in 1999, and by all accounts, the growth is
But just how healthy is the core of the Big Apple? New York is the
international capital of PR, but if you look at the business that is
generated from New York, the percentage is actually falling: from 27% in
1998, it's down to 24.5%.
Of course, part of this falloff is explained by the fact that New York
is a saturated and mature center. Other markets are simply making up for
lost time. But two trends are emerging that might, in time, undermine
The first is the fact that so much of the growth is being fueled by the
Internet explosion, with all the inherent risks this involves. Where the
New York market was once a hodgepodge of marketing communications,
financial relations, healthcare and media/entertainment business, large-
and medium-size agencies without previous hi-tech experience are falling
over themselves to get in on the dot-com act.
The other factor is the staff shortage. Every market is talking about
the talent crunch, but none appears to feel it more than New York. Many
large agencies report that they are moving work to other regional
If the shortage worsens, it will not be long before regional outsiders
start sniffing for business.
It's called 'PR Play,' not 'PR Stunt'
The eagle-eyed among you might have noticed a new feature on page two of
PRWeek. It's called PR Play of the Week, and it is designed to call
attention to the previous week's sharpest short-term strategies and most
devious damage-control directors.
What's troubling, however, is that of the hundreds of pitches we've
received for this feature, only a handful have proposed highlighting the
more cerebral aspects of the profession. We've heard about dopey events
involving the world's largest rutabaga/pacifier/beach ball, about
supposedly high-impact Web site launches and about promotional tie-ins
involving B-list celebrities and coverage by the third-largest UHF
broadcaster in Des Moines.
But what we haven't heard about are the seminal and thoughtful
maneuverings that happen behind the scenes. It's all well and good if
b-roll footage of your event featuring an army of adorable, droopy-eyed
puppies gets picked up by a cornucopia of local TV outlets. Chances are
this will make your client emit a charmed 'Awww! Ain't that cute!'
But does this showcase the skills and value of the PR profession? When
compared to truly impactful PR plays - like New York Senate candidate
Rick Lazio's two-day transformation from pretender to contender - the
assorted events and promotions being passed off as the best of what PR
has to offer are almost embarrassing.
The bottom line? You do better work than this. Help us to celebrate
- Send submissions for PR Play of the Week to email@example.com