2012 promises to be a good year for American PR firms despite failings in the economic forecast. Companies employed to improve other bsinesses’ visibility and image, public relations firms like APCO Worldwide, Waggener Edstrom, and Edelman may well be the barometer of hope many people are looking for.
Marketing budgets have always been tied to corporate profits, PR and marketing firms getting their fair share only when the need or feasibility is justified. At least this is the case for a great many firms, but where effort to increase business goes PR is often used to leverage recovery too. A report from companiesandmarkets.com tells this and other tales of what could be recovery news.
A disastrous economic outlook has ended in slow revenue growth in PR and marketing over the last 5 years. However, many companies seem to have shifted from traditional media toward more direct media engagements over the more recent months. Those PR firms engaged in social media and blogging, mobile media and podcasts, appear to be leveraging more business and more effectively. At least this is what the report seems to reflect. At the end of the tape, for those companies so engaged, industry revenue 6.4% in 2012. And while this may not be an economic indicator of a general recovery, it may be significant for a segment coming out of the abyss.
We have been harping on the need for players in the niche to “go digital” for years. Only now, at a time when efficiency and effectiveness matter most, does it appear industry wide, sound advice to ramp up blogging and SM efforts. If the report findings hold true only those companies that extend digital offerings will benefit performance wise. And as we have seen these last 5 years performance is the only budgetary variable most companies are looking at. The bottom line is, if you aren’t digital now, you have better get that-away.
No matter if your agency is focused on the general public, corporate relations, or as analysts, adaptation and flexibility are the prime movers in today’s dynamic communications world. For the small firm, it is essential to emulate Waggener Edstrom and others of the world’s leading practitioners. Many were behind the learning curve early on, but as this report indicates – we are now in a game of follow the leaders again.