Joke: An elderly businessman is hit by a car
and is being comforted by a paramedic, who asks him if he’s comfortable. “Comfortable?”
the businessman shrugs philosophically. “No. But I get by…”

That kind of sums up life in the
PR/marketing business as we reach mid-year. One quarter of respondents to my
recent survey said “business is rebounding nicely” with only 13 percent saying
they’re still in the dumps. But a full 50% responded with “other” responses
ranging from “cautiously optimistic” to “still functioning, thankfully” to “very
modest” or “small” rebound.

Twice as many (12%) said their
clients are more likely to keep PR/marketing writing projects in-house to hold
down costs than to outsource such work because their internal staffs are burned
out. But the biggest category was, again “other” with respondents saying their
clients are still “outsourcing when it makes sense” to “outsourcing to smaller
agencies” or “Doubling up on Prozac.” (Hey, I’ll tell the jokes here.)

I also asked readers what they
thought about “content marketing” (the use of white papers, case studies and
social media to engage and sell to prospects.) A full third agreed it was “an
incredibly valuable service I hope to offer my clients. But nearly half (49%
asked “What’s content marketing?” One (maybe the one who doubled up on Prozac)
said it was “Just like the source of the best milk – content cows” and another admitted
it was an “incredibly vague buzzword I bulls**hit about constantly.”

Finally, I asked about the
biggest challenges PR and marketing facing. One in four said getting new
clients, narrowly outnumbered by those who said “Keeping up with changes in the
PR/marketing industry” The biggest category, yet again, was “other.” Two respondents
said their biggest challenge is hiring good capable staff (either for now or
the next upturn), with others mentioning “managing smaller budgets” or – ouch –
“getting paid at all.”

All this tracks pretty well with
my own experience, which is that there‘s a big upturn in queries for new
projects, but more delay – and price negotiations – before closing deals. I for
one am ready, willing and able to work with you and your clients to reach your
PR/marketing goals on budget, and to help you build out your content marketing
strategy. As always, feel free to call or email to brainstorm.

Author: Bob Scheier
Visit Bob's Website - Email Bob
I'm a veteran IT trade press reporter and editor with a passion for clear writing that explains how technology can help businesses. To learn more about my content marketing services, email bob@scheierassociates.com or call me at 508 725-7258.

Filed under: PR/Marketing Trends

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