According to PR Week, British Airways delivered both bad and good news on the PR front last week. The bad is principally for their incumbent agency Porter Novelli, which has lost the lion’s share of a client account reputedly worth more than £400,000 (ouch!).
However, the good news is that bellwether BA has shown that PR has come of age as a crucial business function in a tough environment, their spokesman telling the magazine:
“Our PR activity will not be reduced but will most likely increase. PR is just as important in a downturn as it is in the good times.”
Of course, BA has the option of being able to do this, with an in-house PR department that must rival many agencies for manpower. The message for organisations less well endowed than BA is that PR really counts, but you need to be sure that you are getting the best bang for your buck. Therefore, if you don’t have the luxury of high calibre PR expertise in-house, test the market to see whether your agency is truly price competitive.
What you don’t do is cut the marketing engines off and hope to glide to safety – because we know where that ends.