Is public relations a recession-proof industry?

The author says that amid economic uncertainty, PR budgets are likely to hold steady or even grow.

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These days, even as the swooning markets erode consumer spending, there’s potent optimism that PR budgets will remain intact—and possibly even grow. The proof comes down to 10 years of ups and downs and, through it all, an expanding, almost recession-resistant PR industry.

In a frank conversation with PR Daily, WCG Chairman Jim Weiss said that he started his company 10 years ago, as a one-person shop. Since then, there have been numerous market slides, the Sept. 11 attacks, and political changes.

Still, Weiss grew his San Francisco-based firm to one of the largest companies in the sector. This year alone, the company’s business is up 30 percent and it has 250 employees. Even the big boys—who count a who’s who of corporate America among their clientele—are expanding. Independent PR giant Edelman logged global revenue of $575.1 million in the 2010-11 fiscal year, up 18 percent year-over-year from $487.2 million, according to reports.

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