Even before the credit crisis and gas prices hit $4 a gallon, consumer PR pros stepped up to the plate this year, in spite of decreasing budgets and increasing economic uncertainty.
Within the ever-expanding digital space, PR pros used 2008 to invest in platforms and innovations, in part because it's the future of the business, but also because it's a cost-effective channel to communicate with consumers.
The purpose was to deepen a connection with the consumer in a way that might not have been possible even two years ago. In part for this reason, PRWeek's consumer section has seen many back-to-basics strategies, further personalizing the relationship between brand and consumer, while clearing the way for greater transparency.
Companies have had to anticipate consumer concerns and questions online that are expected to be answered in real time. This development has changed the way in which PR pros must respond, as the line between educated online consumers and key media continues to blur.
Those stories showcasing the compelling synergy between consumers seeking feedback and communications professionals have been the most interesting, and should continue to be so in the upcoming year.