Tuesday, February 3, 2009

State of Public Relations in Boston

According to reports from the well-respected and still-in-business Boston Business Journal, the Bay State is experiencing a serious downsizing of its public relations forces.

As a PR person myself, I too have experienced a decline in overall revenues, and new business pitches have slowed a bit, yet I'm happy to report that business continues. The link to the story is below, but I'd ask my fellow PR folk whether or not this is a sign of the times, or finally, a burst of the technology bubble? I entered the PR industry not only in Silicon Valley, but when the technology revolution (read Steve Jobs/Apple and Steve Wozniak-Bill Gates/Microsoft) were just in their garage-based infancy. Since then, the tech industry has seen amazing strides tied closely with the proliferation of media and the unique exchange of information method people now leverage--i.e. podcasts, social media, and blogging to name a few.

With significant print publication declines in readership, subscriptions, and advertising dollars, it was almost inevitable that the marketing function too would feel a cutback. And, it has. Sadly, it is the marketing function that generates momentum for the sales process and simply put, brand establishment and management.

I therefore submit advice to all businesses--big and small--make room in your budget for marketing/PR. Without it, you may build it, but who will come if no one is aware that what you built is available for trial or purchase?