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‘If you are going to rise you might as well shine’ - A word from the PRCA South West Chair Kelly Pepworth


Kelly Pepworth

PR has never been so valuable. I appreciate that many of you would say I am biased; that of course I would make such a bold statement working in the industry. But I truly believe PR’s star is rising and for very good reason.

With the Bank of England forecasting the country’s longest recession since records began, we will likely see the whole marketing industry come under pressure. Yet in times when budgets get questioned with many ATL campaigns squeezed it is often PR, its budget-conscious partner, that’s seen as an effective and resourceful route to brand awareness.

PR is also able to pivot and flex quickly unlike other channels in the marketing mix. With the news and cultural agenda not only shifting by the day but more often by the hour or even from minute to minute, PR teams are constantly alert to opportunities to respond to the media ensuring their businesses and clients are seamlessly part of the conversation. This was demonstrated time and time again over the past two-plus years during the pandemic, Brexit, war and multiple prime ministerial changes.

History also shows that during periods of economic pressure, PR has a vital role in strengthening trust. Building authentic relationships that are focused on a long-term commitment with an audience; providing them with invaluable insight, support and in empathy can ensure that brands are seen as the reassuring choice not only when things are tough but also once things recover.

And for those shedding their PR efforts, more fool them. Those who maximise PR can sit smugly and watch their share of voice grow as their competitors take a back seat possibly never to recover.

But why am I preaching to the converted? What’s the point on me telling you, PR professionals, about the value of PR? Because during periods of economic instability we can sometimes find ourselves with our back to the wall and it’s at this very point that we need to stand tall.

We witness every day the positive impact of what we do, the value it delivers to clients, businesses, our teams, and wider communities. Stand proud of PR in all its guises, shout from the rooftops on the power of what we can achieve for those businesses and organisations who commit to a channel that has evolved to become one of the most digitally savvy, agile, cost-effective, creative and resourceful in the marketing wheelhouse.

I like this quote by Seth Godin ‘People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.’ Remember we are the magic.