PRWeek hosted its annual Consumer Roundtable, last Thursday, in Chicago, along with a panel discussion featuring Audrey Reed-Granger, director of PR and marketing, mass brand portfolio at Whirlpool; Jeff Davis, SVP and partner at Fleishman-Hillard; and Julian Green, senior media relations manager at MillerCoors, and moderated by PRWeek’s Erica Iacono. The panel event was sponsored by Fleishman-Hillard.
Iacono led discussion on the direction of integrated branding in the face of the rising costs of consumer goods, PR professionals’ increasing share of the marketing mix with the slashing of advertising budgets, and the shift in agencies having more strategic relationships with their clients.
The panelists raised several interesting points. Reed-Granger commented that business is down overall, and that she knows when advertising is being cut at her company, because her phone starts to ring. Green explained how Miller beer is thriving in the current soft economy due in part to the High Life Delivery Guy spokesman campaign. And, Davis’ assessed that PR professionals are continuing to work hard to provide steady service, despite the setbacks of the economy.