'Recession PR' is the new plan for hard-hit clients

Agencies in race to come up with tailored offerings to capitalise on the credit crunch

Rush: Governor Mervyn King arrives at Number 10 for crisis talks
Rush: Governor Mervyn King arrives at Number 10 for crisis talks

Agencies are rushing out ‘recession PR’ offerings as they look for ways to capitalise on the credit crunch.

In the week Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, rushed to Downing Street for talks on the financial crisis, it emerged that both Ogilvy UK and Brighter PR are developing initiatives.

Ogilvy UK is developing a package of offerings aimed at companies hit by the credit crunch. Meanwhile, Brighter Group is creating a credit-crunch PR solution called Brighter Lite for ‘overstretched in-house departments’.

Ogilvy UK EMEA MD Ash Coleman-Smith said: ‘Over the past four or five years, agencies have been thinking about reputation and CSR solutions. But as the global recession kicks in, it’s feasible that budgets for CSR programmes may fade away.

So we need to ask ourselves what’s the next market opportunity?’

Ogilvy’s package of crisis comms, change management and corporate comms will be offered to markets facing high levels of consolidation such as banking and finance, travel and online retail.

Brighter Lite is offering a menu of basic PR services from which clients can pick for a set fee, instead of hiring new staff or buying subscriptions to research and monitoring services.

Meanwhile, a top charity has cited the credit crunch as a reason for making its external director of affairs Stephen Bowen and campaigns director Andy James redundant.

‘We need to reduce overheads in light of the credit crunch. We will take whatever actions necessary to pre-empt any difficult issues,’ Scope told its members in an email this week.

One charity director warned of a growing trend: ‘People will blame the credit crunch for redundancies they probably should have made anyway. Don’t be fooled.’

Agency views

‘Clients need to know their agency is going to be rock solid and do things they can’t do themselves.’ 

Hill & Knowlton UK CEO
Sally Costerton

‘Sectors will go through big changes. There will be big management buy-outs, so change management goes much higher up the agenda.’

Ash Coleman-Smith


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