There was a strangely fluffy story in the New York Times yesterday questioning whether PR is in a “downward spiral”.
A recent study by the USC Annenberg Strategic Communication and P.R. Center at the University of Southern California, involving 200 U.S. companies and other organizations, showed that they had reduced their P.R. budgets by more than 11 percent this year.
Public relations spending is relatively easy to cut quickly, executives say, because many companies employ their P.R. agencies on a project basis; advertising deals tend to be for longer terms.
As the center of economic gravity shifts from financial capitals to the political kind, the business of public relations is following. P.R. agencies benefit in two ways: Governments need outside help to communicate their new, larger role in the economy, as do lobbyists looking for a share of the action.
In other words, the business of spin — as one of its practitioners might put it — seems well-positioned for recovery.
Of course the irony is that its practitioners are probably the only ones who wouldn’t refer to it as spin.