Irish Times: PR Keeping up appearances

Shane Hegarty has a piece in this weekend’s Irish Times on the (potential) impact of the downturn on the PR business in Ireland.

You wouldn’t have thought it this week, however. The Government’s announcement that widespread cutbacks would include a halving of the PR, consultants and advertising budget was a sign that hard times may indeed be ahead. While details are still vague, the Government plans to save €21 million this year through the measure. It will trickle down to the high-profile firms which have specialised in State and semi-State work. Carr Communications is reported to earn €800,000 a year through such contracts, while they constitute about 10 per cent of Edelman’s business. Other companies which specialise in the area include Murray Consultants and Bracken PR.

This week, however, people within the industry were expressing no great panic either publicly or privately. It is clear that they are either determined to hold steady, or that they are talking themselves up in a way that only PR people can.

They argue that much of Government spending in big campaigns, such as the €12.5 million Change campaign dedicated to raising awareness on climate change, goes on advertising, making the media’s focus on PR alone somewhat skewed. The larger companies have diversified enough not to have to rely solely on the public contracts, while recruitment within the industry remains quite buoyant.

You can read the full story here.

2 thoughts on “Irish Times: PR Keeping up appearances

  1. I’ve been out of the loop a bit in recent weeks but God our Irish media are so lazy and trot out all the assumnptions about who gets what and the impact that it will have. Granted the procurement of PR services by the public sector in Ireland was particularly active in the last nine months or so but very few if any company in the market is banking on it and boring as it may seem, and far from ‘talking themselves up in a way that only PR people can’ those of us that are running business have been spreading the risk and cultivating elsewhere, and quite nicely despite all the doom and gloom.

  2. Padraig: I think this is part of the wider negative media cycle around the economy. We’re talking ourselves deeper and deeper into the mire rather than on focus on the way out. In fairness the Shane could you think of a worse assignment than having to ask PR people for their opinion :-)

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