Speculation and concerns surrounding an economic downturn are dominating conversations as the country and world brace for the impact of a recession. Enterprises and small and medium-sized businesses felt financial pressures last year, especially in the tech sector. Tech companies have taken preemptive measures, including large-scale layoffs and hiring freezes.

The onset of a recession is no longer a hot debate. More than 90% of U.S. CEOs anticipate an economic downturn this year, and two-thirds say it will not be “mild and short,” according to a KPMG survey. Bank of America has forecasted a downturn. And the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates at the most aggressive pace since the 1980s.

These predictions and responses have businesses looking for ways to adapt quickly and effectively. Tech companies are rethinking where the most impactful dollars are spent and are cutting back where the impact has diminished.

Dialing back on communications spending may seem like a budgetary option, but earned, owned and shared media are essential in recessionary times. Your public relations team will be at your side throughout hardships to develop innovative solutions that will generate high rewards.

Capitalize on the Environment

In challenging times, a hyper-deliberate and strategic communications plan will be the foundation for all other company operations. Adopting unorthodox processes in partnership with your public relations team is an underutilized option that often yields even greater results. 

When budgets are tight, it is even more important for organizations to lean on their PR teams for support. Earned media is often synonymous with PR because it involves relationship building, written and verbal communication and timeliness. When media is earned, it serves as a promotional tool without an extra charge in ad spend, saving your company capital while pressing marketing efforts forward.

Constant movement within the media landscape is vital. Your PR team will help your organization find ways to build upon trending commentary and news to optimize announcements and pitches for full impact. Trendjacking is a way for PR teams to insert your company into conversations surrounding trending topics, events or breaking news. This strategy organically places you in important conversations and ensures you remain top of mind regarding issues shaping the future of your industry.

A tailored approach to pitching often yields more creative content and impactful results during economic headwinds and gives PR teams the flexibility to craft unique messaging that amplifies your company and leads to Tier-1 placements.

Think Outside the Box

Strategically pitched publications are valuable, but coverage is not always guaranteed. When faced with challenges, a good PR team will pursue additional strategies that complement earned efforts. Now is the time to be responsive to new ideas that will add value to your communications plan.

  • Podcasts have taken every industry by storm. They are an effective way to increase brand visibility, reach a wide audience and share important information about your company. As a podcast guest, your company’s representative –– likely your CEO –– will gain credibility as a thought leader and the driving force behind your brand. This identification of expertise trickles down throughout the company as customers connect with the unique knowledge, skills and services your team provides. 
  • Another way to connect directly with your target audience is through social media. Even if your company operates primarily in the B2B space, social media offers a valuable and cost-effective way to reach customers. Platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Mastodon and Discord can boost demand generation and website traffic. Your PR team will advise whether more visually driven platforms like Instagram are appropriate for your specific vertical. 
  • With social media comes influencers. What seems like an unusual tactic for B2B technology companies can produce fast results with an exponential increase in audience reach. Influencer content can deliver an ROI that is 11x higher than traditional digital marketing tactics and build greater trust between your company and customers. Regarding platforms, marketers believe that Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram remain key channels for influencer marketing. 

Tech-Driven Solutions

Leading PR teams invest in platforms that enhance their current services. Look to agencies with technology investments in media databases, tracking capabilities and metric analyses. 

  • Databases shorten the process of pitching and reaching media connections and allow your news announcements and industry commentary to reach journalists faster. Treble recently adopted Podchaser, a podcast database that provides contact information, audience demographics and reach. PR teams with software can research and pitch relevant journalists at the speed of business. This means your company will have a timely and targeted reach in the conversations that matter most. 
  • With tracking capabilities, PR teams can monitor how media communications play out in real time. Email tracking, often with HubSpot, is commonly used to allow PR teams to review open and response rates of pitches and other important communications with media. Reporter targets can be optimized and quickly shifted when using tracking platforms alongside typical outreach efforts.
  • A perfectly crafted PR strategy can garner significant results, but results mean nothing without proper analysis. PR teams use specialized platforms, like Muck Rack, to pull necessary data and compare them with other available metrics. A careful examination of data shows how certain messaging, storylines and news are performing and how to reposition or repurpose past strategies for effective impact moving forward. 

By embracing creative and innovative PR strategies for the year ahead, your company can prepare for the coming economic storm. An offensive PR approach will allow your company to maintain a consistent, relevant presence.

There are many ways PR teams can construct an effective strategy for your business that don’t follow traditional means used in conventional times. Once a plan is determined, creative approaches and proactive messaging will carry your company through difficult economic times. Partnering with a forward-thinking PR agency will allow this process and your company to thrive during a recession.