Are we in a recession? Probably. Will we go into a depression? Maybe. If you’re in the majority who’s anxious about either prospect, you’re not prepared and you can’t recognize opportunity. You will suffer because of that.

I’m sure you’ve heard lots of talk about recession and depression lately. You’ve read about it in newspapers. You’ve gotten emails about it. It’s all around you.

My guess is that the vast majority of this talk is of the fearful variety. They’re telling you to hunker down for a long, ugly time in our economy. They’re telling you how people all around the country have lost everything they have. They’re telling you how to trim your lifestyle down to the bone in hopes of survival.

Sorry, I’m not jumping on that bandwagon to despair.

This is going to be one of the greatest opportunities in our lifetimes. All you have to do is learn how to recognize the opportunity, stand tall and have courage.

Let me point out one great area of opportunity in my field of expertise – publicity.

Whenever there’s an economic downturn, many business owners panic. They wring their hands, call for government intervention – and cut back on their marketing. They cut back on marketing because they claim they can’t afford it – sales are down, income is down, so marketing must be cut back.

That’s the formula for surefire disaster. My guess is that huge numbers of these business owners will close up shop and look for the “security” of a job.

But the smart business owners, the prepared business owners will see other businesses in their niche fail and not blink an eye. These are the business owners who were smart enough to learn how to get and use publicity. They know that few, if any, of their competitors bothered to learn anything about publicity. But they did.

Smart business owners may see a bit of a downturn in their revenue, so they boost up their publicity efforts. They know that reporters have no interest in press releases that simply promote a product or service. They know that reporters are looking for good information to pass along to their audiences. They know that it costs nothing to do local publicity campaigns. They know that it costs pocket change to do national publicity campaigns.

So as the waters of doom are rising for their competitors, smart, prepared business owners know that this is the best time to get and use publicity.

The former business owners who went under and now have jobs will look at the smart business owners who are not only surviving, but also thriving, wondering how they did it.

“Aw, they must have had some strong financial backing from somebody.”

“They must have connections I didn’t have.”

“There’s something funny going on with that business owner. How can he be doing so well went I went under in the same business.”

As a proud Eagle Scout, I know the “secret”, which, of course is no secret at all. The business owners who survived were prepared. They looked down the road and knew at some point the financial situation would take a downturn. It always does. And it always recovers.

I’ve been teaching publicity to people for over 20 years. When times are good, my students get lots of publicity and savor the rewards.

But when times are bad, I’m most proud of them because they shift gears, use their publicity skills and they prevail.

Times are rough. No doubt about it. And they’re going to get rougher. Probably a LOT rougher.

You can be tossed around by the waves of economic uncertainty, or you can steer your own ship through the storm and come out a whole lot better than you went in.

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  1. Alan Tutt Says:

    The economy is a great example of a community belief. When the community believes the economy is bad, they make decisions and take actions that naturally lead to a bad economy. Cutting back on marketing is one example, the less you market your business, the less business you have and the worse your own personal economy. When lots of folks do the same thing, it results in a slowdown for the economy of the whole community.

    One thing I tend to mention to people I talk to – there were some very smart people who not only did well in the Great Depression of the 1930s, but also got rich during that same time period – because they refused to believe in lack and limitation and chose to believe they could succeed. Of course, they also made wise decisions and made offers that people in bad circumstances would (and could) accept.

    When everyone else in your field is cutting back on marketing, that’s the PERFECT time to expand your marketing efforts, because your efforts will be much more effective without the competition.

    And with publicity, it’s easy to expand, because all it takes is some work to organize a few stories for reporters. Reporters want to get away from the bad news as much as anyone, as long as they have something else that will sell their papers or attract an audience to their stations.

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