Ask the PR Pro: My budget was reduced. Should I put my PR program on hiatus?

Despite good planning, sometimes budgets get adjusted midyear or a company loses a significant customer. If this happens, marketers look to trim back programs and public relations often is the first on the chopping block.

Before putting your PR program on hiatus, consider the following:

  • Reporters will notice. If your regular PR efforts come to a halt, reporters are bound to notice a sudden lack of outreach. Be prepared for a reporter to ask what’s going on.
  • Reporters may lose trust in you. This is especially true if you have regular column writing and blogging assignments that you no longer can fulfill. When it’s time to rev up your PR program again, those opportunities may no longer be open to you.
  • It may take a few months to get the program running again. Once you decide to start up your PR program, allow two to three months to get back on the radar with reporters. For example, a three-month hiatus actually is a five- to six-month hiatus in terms of results and coverage. If you rely on PR to generate sales leads, factor this additional time into your marketing plans.

If you must trim back, consider reducing PR instead of completely eliminating it. This will allow your agency to keep commitments and maintain a reduced effort, resulting in no real downtime and a smaller impact on your business.

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