On Sunday, buried in a New York Times story about a decline in advertising of luxury goods was a bit of good news for public relations practitioners.
This was the first sentence of paragraph 28 in the online version of For Luxury Brands, Less Money to Spend on Ads, by Stephanie Clifford:
“Though luxury brands are reducing advertising, many continue – quietly – to spend on client dinners and launch parties, which they view as directly affecting sales.”
Don’t get me wrong, I certainly don’t welcome news of a drop in advertising spending. I lament the stress this puts on the revenue streams of newspapers and magazines, and on our colleagues in the advertising field. But the spending on launch parties – which are believed to directly affect sales – does underscore the belief of business in the effectiveness of public relations.
A general feeling that PR will hold its own in this economy was conveyed in today’s PR Week article, In-house PR execs pull back, maintain budgets for 2009, by Chris Daniel. I got that same sense when I attended BDI’s Convergence Conference earlier this month. A number of the in-house PR attendees said that while the organization’s marketing budget for 2009 has been reduced, the PR budget will be funded at the same level as this year.