Sunday, November 16, 2008

PR Facing $10 billion plunge?

There is a hush about the impact of the Crunch on PR.

We have to face up to it.

Yes there are opportunities but if you take out a quarter of the revenue that supports any industry sector, it has an effect all round.

In February 2009, the number of advertising pages in print publications will be reduced. The pre-Christmas advertising will have gone and sales advertising will have vanished.

It is hard to guess by how much the decline will be but let’s be optimistic (as I think this week’s media reports have been) – print media ad spend will decline 50% across Europe in 2009.

When will the recovery come? April? June? September? Or, as media report in the UK has it, perhaps 2012 (http://xrl.in/12n8).

And if by then, the newspapers and magazines have not found a new way of engaging readers they will be dead or next to it?

While we are imagining this Armageddon, let’s call it 50% fewer editorial pages.
Perhaps 50% of PR activity is predicated on contributing to editorial pages.

As the blood spreads on the editorial carpets so too does it spread to the miltch cow 25% of the PR industry. That is 25% of Press Relations PR jobs, revenues, support and so forth.

In the UK this represents a loss of PR sector revenues amounting to about £0.3 billion (for the Global Alliance lets imagine perhaps $10 billion worldwide).

This is a big issue for the industry and its associations. We do need to start talking about it.