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Posts Tagged ‘PRSA’

Laer Weighs in on the Future of Public Relations

OC/PRSA future of PR panel

Panel poses with Laer's (center) scientific model to project the future of the industry... a smiley face

Today we take a break from the goings on with issues that matter to you – water, over-regulation, land use policy – and address the state of our industry, public relations.

A study was recently conducted by the Orange County chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (with a helping hand from Laer Pearce & Associates) that looked at the state of the PR industry in Orange County. Like all industries, PR has been hit by The Great Recession, and the survey’s findings confirmed it:

  • Decision-makers are relying more heavily on PR, which often happens during downturns as more expensive communications tools like advertising get cut
  • Still, budgets and staff for PR are being cut
  • Hiring is still a concern. Most are not planning on hiring new staff
  • Social media has had the highest increase in use, followed by Web site and email communications
  • Community relations and direct engagement is also on the rise
  • Advertising and printed collateral saw the greatest decline in use
  • PR Professionals are cautiously optimistic, with at least half forecasting moderate growth in 2010.

Laer is recognized as a thought-leader in the local PR community, so he was invited to speak on a panel to discuss these results and the future of PR. A few of his key points were:

“Don’t try to make the case that PR is necessary. That’s a losing proposition.  Instead, create a scope that fits the client’s specific needs and make a case for why it meets the client’s strategic objectives at a price that brings value.”

“Everything is getting faster and more complicated, so there will always be a need for good public relations professionals who can help sort through the clutter and help your message be heard and understood.”

The conclusion of the study and panel discussion was clear: PR pros need to do more with less. We actually find this very comforting, because that’s the way we’ve always done it. We pride ourselves on being good stewards of our clients’ resources, adding value through our knowledge of the industries we serve, our relationships within these sectors, and a history of completing campaigns on time and under budget. Recession or not, it’s been our model for nearly 28 years and we have no plans on changing!