H&K panel calls for digital outreach during a weak economy

Last night, a few PRWeek staffers attended a Hill & Knowlton panel discussion called "Marketing in a Downturn" at Soho House in New York. The...

Last night, a few PRWeek staffers attended a Hill & Knowlton panel discussion called "Marketing in a Downturn" at Soho House in New York. The agency invited more than a few clients from big consumer brands like Johnson & Johnson, Google, and Martha Stewart to listen to the talk about the changes in the marketplace.

Much of the conversation focused on digital outreach - something that PR pros have been pushing their clients to do more of, regardless of the economic situation. John Quelch, a WPP board member and senior associate dean at Harvard Business School, talked about the role of social media during times like this, noting that people want to stay close to friends and family.

MaryLee Sachs, chairman of H&K USA and the only PR professional on the panel, shared her view that PR is best positioned to handle the changes of a changing media landscape as well as marketing in an economic downturn because PR has always managed in "an uncontrolled environment."

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