Good business in a bad economy

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Charleston's economy has people thinking outside of the box. In years past, when business hummed at breakneck speeds, local organizations, firms and start-ups turned profits and grew. But now things have stalled, and people are bringing a different approach to doing business.

The Post and Courier ran an article on Saturday about Colleen Troy, owner of a local public-relations firm. Unlike some of her colleagues, Troy’s firm turned a profit in 2008. Her secret: reaching out the Charleston community.

Troy’s firm, Touchpoint Communications, sent an email to her contacts in the marketing world about a concept she calls Brand-Aide. Brand-Aide tries to pair companies in need of marketing with PR groups in need of clients. The idea was received with interest.

From the article:

The glut of unemployed marketing and public relations professionals stems from the challenges their clients faced last year.

"The worst thing anybody does in an economic time like this is cut the marketing, and that's often the first thing they do," Troy said.

Marketing today means more than an advertisement in a publication or a few seconds of airtime. The target audience for many businesses ignores traditional media and instead turns to social networking and news Web sites to stay informed.

"It used to be challenging enough to figure out which day to advertise," Troy said. "Now it's: 'How much Web? How much Facebook or Twitter? And ... somebody just said something bad about me in the blogosphere.'"

I agree with Troy and support organic and innovative marketing techniques. Trying times call for creative measures, after all. It sounds obvious, but in a time when so much energy is spent talking about numbers and money, one of the most profitable business moves is simply working with what you have and the people around you.

Visit the Post and Courier to read the entire article.

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