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The Much-Anticipated "Great Recession of 2023" Is Coming. Here's How To Leverage PR During Economic Uncertainty Embrace the economic doom and gloom and make your brand shine during challenging times.

By Paul Fitzgerald

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The economic climate is, unfortunately, uncertain.

Many public relations and marketing firms are anxious about their futures in light of recession forecasts and claims made by experts that we are already formally in a recession.

Though many economists think we already are, the National Bureau of Economic Research, the body responsible for officially declaring when a recession happens in the United States, has not yet announced whether or not we are in a recession.

There is mounting evidence that suggests a shaky economic future. A recent poll conducted by Spendesk identified where companies were most likely to make cuts in response to the recession. The results are especially tough for anyone working in public relations, advertising and marketing — sectors of the digital media world that are widely expected to take a massive hit.

The months and years ahead will undoubtedly be trying for many business owners and entrepreneurs. However, public relations and branding are integral aspects of any crisis plan and should be prioritized no matter what.

Related: We Might Be Headed Toward a Recession, But a 'Bigger Catastrophe' Could Be on The Horizon

What's the point of PR, anyway?

PR shows that you are still standing, communicating and being active during a time when so many others aren't. It gives the public and consumers alike hope that you will be around when things improve. Keeping your brand out there through public relations is one of the most frugal, efficient and ingenious methods to do it in times of economic hardship. The PR-generated endorsement is a persistent and persuasive voice that stays with its target audience long after the initial PR campaign has ended.

The following are reasons to invest in public relations even in a down economy.

Related: Is Your Brand Ready for Public Relations and Press?

1. Build up your reputation and visibility in cyberspace

Public relations conducted online are the most effective methods for building rapport with the general public and consumers. Utilize social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and others to actively communicate with your audience rather than just posting infrequent updates. Start a blog to provide information, raise awareness or express your opinion on a topic of interest to your target audience.

Distribute electronic newsletters at regular intervals, detailing company happenings. Participate in online communities by joining discussion forums. Pose questions, set up challenges, or make up some games. These public relations strategies are feasible, even for small businesses and can assist boost their standing in the market. Maintaining frequent contact with clients and strengthening relationships without breaking the bank is possible. Get two birds with one stone, so the expression goes.

2. Utilize fewer resources effectively

Public relations allows for the exploration of a wide variety of campaign types, including, but not limited to, those that make use of several different digital platforms; brand journalism, for example, is the production of content that highlights the value of a company or organization from an alternative perspective, and so on. It is effective to increase communication, whether done digitally, through traditional or social media, or by simply getting to know one's community better.

A company can easily reach a broad and specific audience if public relations are correctly executed. Also, PR firms and businesses need to think outside the box. So, start hosting podcasts, video interviews and joint press releases for cross-branding purposes. When connecting with other brands, promotions go a long way.

Related: How to Boost Your Public Relations Strategy Without Breaking the Bank

3. Build rapport and brand credibility

Make sure people associate your brand with feelings of safety and confidence. Inspire passion in your intended audience. It's been proven that the most effective marketing messages establish genuine connections with the intended audience. In addition, being there as a resource and gaining trust shows a dedication to your audience over the long term, even if they can't financially back your brand. When people have faith in one another, they are less likely to have second thoughts once the situation has stabilized.

4. Discover more about your target market

Through public relations, you may learn how your target demographic is enduring the economic downturn so you can modify your strategy accordingly. You may learn a lot about your target audience from the data collected on the back end, such as summaries of the most popular pages, where your traffic is coming from, and which links are bringing people to your site. Even in the realm of social media, this is true. Remember that your audience is fluid and ever-changing; update your data collection and analysis accordingly.

Ultimately, what does this all imply?

Maintaining and growing your audience is essential during an economic crisis, and one of the most effective methods to do it is through public relations (PR). It helps cultivate positive public opinion and grow your clientele. Companies that have realized this are devoting a significant amount of their time and resources to ensuring they remain on top of their public relations tactics. As a result, they are enjoying even greater returns with improved outcomes.

Some benefits of using this strategy include increased customer loyalty, market share, product sales and a favorable perception among the general public. Public relations will help you stand out from the competition by allowing you to do so at a low cost while also boosting your productivity and efficiency.

There are many ways to promote your brand and stay on top, even during difficult economic times. But those who remain in the game and get creative are the ones who will prevail in the short term and long term.

Paul Fitzgerald

Founder and CEO, Salt & Pepper Media Inc.

Paul Fitzgerald is the CEO of Salt & Pepper Media. He is also a technology and business journalist in the U.S. and Canada. He is nearing completion of his PhD in communication sciences.

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