This isn’t my first recession rodeo. The current “significant economic downturn” is my third. And maybe the third time really is the charm. In past slowdowns, we watched as clients gutted PR budgets, cut editorial pages and brought 98 percent of their outsourced work back in house. The word brutal comes to mind.

But this time is different. I’d like to think we’re weathering this storm better because I’m a smarter business person and because we’ve “arrived” as a trusted source in good times and bad. And a there is some truth to both. But no matter how smart or valuable you are, if nobody wants to or can spend money on your service, it doesn’t matter. And for some reason, people are still spending on the stuff we do.

Yes, we’ve had some clients roll back their freelance assignments. And a couple have cut PR/promotional budgets to the quick. As a result, we’ve lost some business. But more often than not, our clients are “staying the course”.

These savvy folks know that keeping their names out there, and providing valuable information, still matters even when people aren’t spending like they used to. And they’re willing to pay for expert advice and well-crafted content to make that happen. Since our goal with every project is to drive results that support organizational goals, our clients consider us a valuable resource in revenue generation. So they figure out how to keep us around. It’s good business, good for business and a good feeling in these uncertain times.

So if you’re looking for a content provider or PR strategists who are just as interested in growing your business as you are, drop me a line.

In the meantime, here are a few good reads that support my belief that now is *not* the time to go dark:

From Gladys Edmunds' Entrepreneurial Tightrope column USA Today, Think twice before slashing your PR budget:
“…Executives know that without that consistent visibility the company would eventually become just another restaurant chain. If reducing your budget is necessary for the life of your business, that's understandable. However, you must continue to be as visible to the public as possible. Sometimes when we are short on money we have to make good use of creativity.” Click here to read the entire article.

From Daniel Tisch’s Financial Post artice, Now is the right time to be bold:
“In challenging times, executives divide into three categories: the uncertain, the timid and the bold. The timid pare back marketing budgets to cut costs. The uncertain succumb to paralysis, using today's environment as a reason to postpone critical decisions. The bold see their competitors' timidity and uncertainty as an opportunity to grab market share. Being bold need not mean spending a lot of money, or taking excessive risks. Smart marketers look for "bang for the buck." They choose strategies that are nimble and scalable, and use channels to market that are high in creativity, high in credibility, and yet modest in cost.” Click here to read the entire article.

Even our own design guru
Russ is in the debate. He takes the contrarian view in an Event Solutions magazine article, How to increase your value without lowering your prices:

“Flexibility on fees now means more business later. I charge what I need, and little or nothing above that. In return, I provide exemplary service, even for clients who can’t necessarily pay what my standard rates are. Why? Because they need the work done, I can do it, and because being willing to compromise occasionally has provided exceptional dividends.” Click here to read the entire article.