There are many things companies can do in tough economic times.  As all professional communicators know, integrated1marketing and PR budgets are usually early targets for cuts.

Many company leaders see times like this as an opportunity to increase their share of voice in the market.  How do they do that?

One way is to ensure that your marketing efforts are integrated – that your voice in the market place is coordinated, multiplied and leveraged, that every dollar you spend is spent wisely.

Use this time to clarify your organization’s key messages.  Make sure you have clarity and consensus on what differentiates you from your competition. 

Next, be certain these clear and concise messages are shared consistently in all of your communications.  Since many company’s marketing and strategic outreach efforts are Web-based, this can all be accomplished in very affordable ways.

Use this time to start a company e-newsletter.  Online readers expect brevity and bullet points.  Develop it as an aggregator of company and industry information rather than substantial original content; you’ll save staff time (money) and expand your reach.

Publish original content (news releases, issue papers, etc.) to your own Web site and distribute it to key audiences you already have in your database.  Link these folks back to other content in your Web site to drive up your search rankings.

Start a company blog.  Make it professional and put a blog code of conduct in place for your company.

Adding sight, sound and motion to a Web site increases traffic and drives people deepr into and holds people longer on your site.  Take all those videos you have related to your company and its products or services make them accessible on your Web site. 

Importantly, make sure all these new outlets share the same message in the same voice and that they do it consistently.

We’d be intertested in hearing any other marketing suggestions about how to make the best of these bad economic times.

Post by Nick Vehr – 3.3.09