Public Relations Saves The Day!

5 Dec

dollardress1The economy is in a bad place right now…yada yada yada. Don’t freak out and the market will bounce back…yada yada yada.

True, public relations practitioners need to be aware of these trying times but might we find diamonds in the rough? Brand perception means everything to companies right now because consumers are reluctant to buy. People are purchasing trustworthy brands and seeking out product information to make the best economic decisions. Public relations is the key to garnering this consumer trust.

Brand perception is the most important element to a company’s success rather than slashing prices. “I see a lot of people in my industry who are over-reacting. Stores that are over-discounting, designers who are creating collections for the price and what sells rather than to reflect who they are,” says Anna Wintour in New York Magazine’s The Cut.

Along with Abercrombie & Fitch, as mentioned in my previous post, Neiman Marcus is hanging on to their luxury-brand image and perceived value.

The Fashion Rag reports that luxury department store, Neiman Marcus, plans to open a new store in Bellevue, Washington, at The Bravern in March 2009 and a three-story store in the Macerich-owned Broadway Plaze in Walnut Creek, California.

I recently had a discussion on Twitter about Neiman Marcus’ behavior. Jordana Bruner, fashion blogger for Clutch22, explained that “their primary customers still spend $$ in spite of the recession. It’s similar with some other luxury brands.” Pierce Mattie Public Relations replied with, “It’s just interesting that when other brands are being cautious, they are going full throttle. Do they know something we don’t?” This is an interesting question to ask and I hope it will be answered in the near future.

I urge companies to keep pushing forward because their business is what drives our economy. Also, know that investing in public relations will build trust in a company’s brand perception to drive business.  Stay strong and remember that public relations will save the day!!!

How do you think brand perception affects business in a recession?


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5 Responses to “Public Relations Saves The Day!”

  1. prfx December 5, 2008 at 4:14 am #

    To me PR means image control. I think the whole green-washing (making your business look environmentally friendly through PR gimmick) is a perfect example how image control is more style than substance. Chevron for example is certainly not environmentally friendly but they are attempting to convince the public through PR and marketing that they are.
    I think that the general public is wising up to the PR model and will very slowly stop being suckers. I am of the opinion that the baby boomer generation is much more susceptible to being suckered by marketing and PR stunts. Millennials have been saturated with advertising their entire lives and are less likely to take mainstream media at face value. That being said there are many exceptions to that generalization (Kardashian types).
    I think you hit on a pivotal economic issue: the gap between rich and poor. The current economic climate is dramatically widening that gap. There are more and more people who are struggling to get by and those that are not are so completely self absorbed that they do not even notice. I would put most Neiman Marcus customers in the latter category.
    Ultimately one of two things will happen; either the gap between rich and poor will become so pronounced that the US economy will lose momentum and become a second world economy like Brazil or Mexico with a lot of people in relative poverty and a small proportion of wealthy or the gap will shrink and the US economy will recover and become like a Scandinavian economy with most people in the middle class. It all depends on public policy and corporate behavior from here out. Personally, I am skeptical in the short term because there are still way too many people that are self absorbed but I think that will change over the next few decades through the accountability that is brought on through the internet and reputation based information dissemination.
    Great topic and cool banner.

  2. sessary December 5, 2008 at 10:37 am #

    Your economy prediction is very interesting! We might just see the U.S. turn into a Scandinavian economy with this bail out.

    Happy to hear you like my post and banner!

    – Sarah

  3. Dan Keeney, APR December 5, 2008 at 7:29 pm #

    Sarah, Great post. I posted on my blog http://theprcounselor-blog.com/ about your take. I think we all need to cut those in the retail trenches right now some slack. It is a kill or be killed environment, so slash and burn pricing and promotion tactics will trump the well thought out marketing strategies until we start seeing some normalcy return.

  4. sessary December 6, 2008 at 3:06 pm #

    Thank you for posting my thoughts on your blog! I agree with you, Dan. It’s important to recognize the businesses slashing prices to keep afloat.

  5. Latterman September 6, 2009 at 8:35 pm #

    Hi, I find your article very interesting. I think this information you are providing is very useful, in fact I am writting a thesis about how public relations can help El Salvador’s corportations overcome the crisis using PR as the primary communication source, and how public image plays a very important role in today’s society when it comes to corporations. Thank you very much for sharing your points of view regarding this subject.

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