By All Means, Let’s Make the Economy the New Whipping Boy

I just received my afternoon update from Crain’s Cleveland Business and see that:

RECESSION TAKES TOLL ON PR FIRMS
Well, thank you very much for that insightful story.
Of course, this is one of a thousand stories I’ve read since the start of the new year that blames the economy for every bad thing that is happening in the United States.  And two thoughts keep going through my head (which is two more than I can usually handle):
1.  Is the economy really that bad?
2.  Is there something else at play here?
According to that Crain’s story, “… the entire marketing/communications industry is reeling.”
Really?  Because I’m just not seeing it. Plus, whoever wrote this story did not bother to attribute that MASSIVE fact to any particular source.  Idiots.
So, maybe it is the economy that is forcing cutbacks and layoffs.  Or maybe some organizations are seeing the recession as a “get out of jail free” card (unload that unwanted human inventory while the loading zone is clear).  And maybe the media is adding fuel to the fire by not looking a little deeper into what’s really going on.
I can not speak for every industry in every market, but I can speak for my business in my industry.  And business is good.  We are working very hard and we are delivering exceptional value and we are quite busy.  We have not seen any clients (at least nothing out of the ordinary) cutting back on budgets and spending.
We are seeing a greater demand for accountability, but we like that.  Clients aren’t satisfied with confirmation of deliverables and results, they want analytics and metrics that testify to the return on their investment.  And we like that too.
And as I look around at my rather large circle of friends, I am not aware of anyone that has lost their job in the last year.  No blue collar workers and no office workers.  No young employees and no seasoned pros.
I am not saying that the whole thing is a scam.  Maybe all of my friends fall into the Outliers category.  I am simply pointing out that it seems like we ought to  be  just a little more careful. We shouldn’t be so quick to pull the trigger on blaming the economy for everything that isn’t quite right these days. 
Maybe there is more to the story. Maybe we’ve already turned the corner on this recession (which 9 months ago no one would admit we were in) and things are getting better.  Either way, I truly believe we need to look at the current economic situation as a wake up call to apply some elbow grease and put our noses to the grindstone and get busy.
Because all this talk about the recession is starting to scare the kids.  And I would think that having Al Gore telling the kids that the world is coming to a fast and furious end would be more than enough right now.  So what do you say?  Let’s ease up on the economy.
Jim Sweeney

Jim is a veteran of the agency industry and the founder of Sweeney. He is uncommonly passionate about the idea of creating and implementing insanely great marketing campaigns that achieve insanely great results. He pioneered the full-service, full-circle agency model and continues to forge new ideas in an ever-changing industry. And he is accessible to everyone about anything, seemingly all the time, serving as a mentor to all agency personnel and clients.