Everyone is in PR now, part IV

Tomorrow's Business

Will PR firms take advantage of the government money on offer and furlough staff in order to save cash?

I spoke to three flaks who run their own firms yesterday and the issue was on their minds.

One said he was working hard not to do so, because he thinks it sends all the wrong messages. And that the damaging effect on staff morale is not worth the money saved.

One conceded that he may well have to, if we stay like this for much longer.

A third said she definitely wouldn’t but felt that would leave her financially disadvantaged compared to rivals she was convinced are going furlough crazy.

All of them wondered this: how will clients react to their PR firm laying off staff (temporarily) in the midst of a crisis?

Will the clients think it’s fair enough in the circs, that they are doing the same and that since there is government money available, why not take it?

Or will they think it is rather poor form, and worry about ethics?

Most seriously: will they think that a crisis PR firm furloughing staff in the middle of a crisis suggests it was mis-managing its own business and can’t really be trusted to offer sound advice?

Finally, a question from me. And if you know the answer, do write in.

Will there be a public register of all firms, not just in PR, of who did and who did not furlough?

And if that register becomes a widely available document, as it should, will it influence the buying choices of consumers in the future?

You tell me.

** You can read episodes I, II, and III here, here and here. Take medical advice before binge reading. Have a good Easter.

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