Clients will stay strong in face of economic instability

Last Thursday was an extraordinary day for the stock market and the US economy as the impact of President Obama and Speaker John Boehner's debt ceiling agreement and continuing crises in Europe reverberated around the financial community.

Last Thursday was an extraordinary day for the stock market and the US economy as the impact of President Obama and Speaker John Boehner's debt ceiling agreement and continuing crises in Europe reverberated around the financial community.

The Dow fell 512 points, more than any day since the start of December 2008 during the dark days of recession. Slightly more positive unemployment figures released this morning did little to ease a very volatile situation, although it would be interesting to know how much of this volatility is down to traders shorting the index rather than genuine concern about the long-term economic future.

Either way, as stated before in this blog, there are wider and larger macroeconomic issues at play that ultimately must have an impact on the PR economy, even if they haven't done so far.

I would imagine that marketers and communications leaders will return from their vacations at the end of August and revisit their budgets for Q4, which might lead to a reduction in retainers and a bit more reliance on project or campaign-specific work, which is easier to cut at short notice.

However, it is worth remembering that PR is dipping into marketing and digital budgets to which it has not previously had access, as well as building on its expertise in corporate reputation, which becomes even more important during tough times.

This is still a great year for our industry as PR demonstrates the value it can add across social media, content generation, corporate reputation, and aligning organizations' missions with their messages – now is not the time for clients to pull in the drawbridge on spending on the genuine business benefits that effective communications can deliver.

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