SOURCE: LANE PR

December 17, 2008 13:14 ET

LANE PR Recommends Heating Up Marketing Efforts in a Cooling Economy

Portland Agency Provides Cost-Effective Public Relations Tactics for Businesses

PORTLAND, OR--(Marketwire - December 17, 2008) - Portland, Ore.-based public relations agency LANE PR has prepared recommendations for businesses looking to reevaluate marketing strategies as the National Bureau of Economic Research declares a recession.

"When the economy hits a rough patch, companies typically scale back on marketing efforts," said Wendy Lane, president and founder of LANE PR. "But while resources may be scarce, good ideas don't have to be. With creative thinking and careful planning, businesses can introduce cost-efficient marketing programs that preserve, and even strengthen, market presence in a downturn."

Lane believes public relations is a critical component of a strong marketing communications program, and establishing a clear, long-term strategy can carry an organization through all market cycles. Furthermore, dollar for dollar, public relations provides more value than advertising or other traditional marketing tools, stretching limited budgets.

Key strategies for maintaining marketing muscle without burning through resources:

  I.   Capture the Moment. Timing is everything. As your competitors rein
         in their marketing efforts, seize the opportunity to increase your
         company's stature. Announce company developments, whether they are
         new products, services, locations or staff. Create a buzz about
         existing products, using unique sampling or product demo events to
         showcase your competitive advantage.

  II.  Engage Your Customer Base. Your current customer base represents a
         powerful opportunity.  Engage this group and build stronger
         relationships. And consider how you can become an even stronger
         resource for them.  Establish a referral program, and be sure to
         recognize customers who send new business your way.

  III. Increase Your Presence Online. More and more customers are going
         online to gather information before making a decision to purchase.
         Start a blog to provide an insider's view of company activity, as
         well as perspectives on trends and news that may be useful to your
         customers. Create an online newsroom and keep it current. Or,
         consider an interactive social networking element to allow your
         customers to connect and share ideas.

  IV.  Reconnect with the Community. Communities enjoy witnessing the
         success of their local businesses. Think about how you can become
         more involved in the communities where you operate. Contact local
         non-profits and see if you can support them with product or
         service donations, or with a commitment to volunteer hours.
         Reaching out to your neighbors will emphasize how much you value
         their support.

  V.   Maintain Employee Communications. In all of your efforts, be mindful
         of your first line of brand ambassadors: your employees. Keeping
         employees updated and involved with company developments will get
         them excited about the business and more likely to share their
         positive experiences with others. Word of mouth remains a powerful
         tool, and open communication with employees can ensure their
         support both inside and outside the workplace.

"A challenging market environment is one of opportunity," said Lane. "With strategic thinking and a little ingenuity, marketing teams can build on existing tools and initiatives to create unparalleled experiences for their customers while enhancing market presence and profitability for their companies."

About LANE PR

LANE PR is an independent firm specializing in public relations-driven marketing strategies with offices in New York and Portland, Ore. Founded in 1990 by Wendy Lane, LANE PR provides integrated marketing communications and public relations for a host of industries, including technology, business, consumer and non-profit clients. The agency has won several awards during its 18 years, including the 2008 PRSA Bronze Anvil Award for outstanding public relations tactics and the 2008 Gold Bulldog Award for Excellence in Media Relations. For more information about LANE PR, visit www.lanepr.com.

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