PR Spending Rises, Even in Recession

The respected Economist magazine reports that even in this horrible recession, corporate spending on public relations is on the rise.

“According to data from Veronis Suhler Stevenson (VSS), a private-equity firm, spending on public relations in America grew by more than 4% in 2008 and nearly 3% in 2009 to $3.7 billion,” the magazine writes. “That is remarkable when compared with other forms of marketing. Spending on advertising contracted by nearly 3% in 2008 and by 8% in the past year. PR’s position looks even rosier when word-of-mouth marketing, which includes services that PR firms often manage, such as outreach to bloggers, is included. Spending on such
things increased by more than 10% in 2009.”

Why the rise?

Part of the answer is that PR is so cost-effective, at a time when
everyone is carefully counting dollars. In healthcare, ad dollars have been shrinking because advertising is very costly and far less credible than media coverage and other awareness-building achievements generated by good PR. Moreover, the increasing need for businesses to be involved in social media — where PR shines in delivering the message — also drives investments.