THIS WEEK’S BIG QUESTION: Which sectors will cut back on PR during a recession?

Speculation is mounting that the recesssion in the Far East and Russiawill spread

Speculation is mounting that the recesssion in the Far East and

Russiawill spread

Neil Kendle

Fusion Communications

’PR for luxuries are hit in a recession, but the healthcare industry is

not really affected. The pharmaceutical industry, however, does have

financial constraints of its own, and there are signs that the big

spenders in PR are, at best, keeping their budgets the same. In

pharmaceuticals, the ground rules are changing all the time, and as PR

is more flexible than other areas of promotion, those consultancies that

are adaptable will continue to attract those budgets.’

Nicholas Taylor

Harvard PR

’The property sector will feel the pinch first. For when companies

cannot afford to build, they do not buy materials from their


However, in the last recession those companies who were loyal to their

customers and kept up their sales incentive and hospitality activities

were well positioned to take advantage of emergence from the


Vicky Mann

Vicky Mann and Associates

’Judging by the last recession, trade and industrial PR will be chopped

very quickly, then brands and consumer PR. The last sectors to be

affected will be areas like pharmaceuticals and finance, because these

require specialist knowledge which is hard to come by and critical to

hold on to. However, PR as a whole does tend to hold its own in a


Christopher Broadbent

Barclay Stratton

’PR will grow even if there is a recession. Some sectors may suffer, but

these will be industry-specific. PR blipped in the last recession but,

compared to other sectors, it did not do badly. This time round, with

advances in professionalism, PR ought to prove itself even more

recession-proof than before. It is the single most cost-effective way of

holding on to your market.’

Alison Munro

Munro and Forster Communications

’We seem to be talking ourselves into a slowdown, but will there be a

real recession? If so, people will start by cutting down on big

spending, which will mean a downturn for the motor industry, property

and the more expensive luxuries. The last recession seemed to affect all

PR sectors except the basics like food, IT and health. The Millennium

bug should ensure that IT stays buoyant next time round, too.’

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