Viewpoint: Industry Veteran speaks out

'In the 40 years I was with Burson-Marsteller we were very rarely hurt by a recession. In reality we often did quite well. I was also in charge of Marsteller, our ad business, and they sometimes suffered. But clients who cut advertising dramatically nearly always increased PR activities to compensate. In some cases when they reduced adverts to specific audiences, or for specific products, their only promotion was PR.

Also, in reality there is a great need for corporate PR to let key markets, including the financial community, know you are weathering the storm effectively during the recession.

This is the case at any time when a client is facing problems; the real key is for the consultancy to be creative in coming up with approaches.

We found most clients were willing to listen, act and provide the necessary funding. It often strengthened our overall relationship with them as well.'

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