What is your Business?

December 23, 2008

by Kim Taylor

Yesterday, one of Orlando’s journalists and Twitter elite pondered if the phrase “in this economy” was the new “after Sept. 11.” This troubled economy has left so many of us prefacing each not-so-happy statement with a way to explain why it’s so.

The question resonated with me as we look for ways for our business and those of our clients to come out on top when the economic dust settles.

Our industry, like others, is ever-evolving and attempting to respond to the new innovations such as those we see in the social media arena.

But, as much as it’s changing, it left me retreating to the fundamentals of what our business is at its core. What was the intent nearly 25 years ago of then partners Roger Pynn and Joe Curley when they left the comfort of corporate life to start their own business?

This is exactly the question famed economist Peter Drucker says every business needs to ask: What is our business? And, what should it be?

Knowing I’d get a plethora of answers, I thought it would be fascinating to see how our staff responded to these questions. Here’s a sample of their responses:

Q: What is our business?
A: “Public Relations,” “marketing,” “strategic communications advice and counsel,” “message management,” “creating awareness,” and “providing clients the tools to enhance relations with their internal and external audiences.”

I was delighted to see that each response – in its own way – spoke to our business objective:

To be an essential asset to clients seeking public relations, public affairs and marketing communications advice, counsel and program implementation; to provide stable employment to the staff of professionals that make that service possible; and, to make a reasonable profit from doing so.

So, if you’re looking for ways to innovate or survive in a down economy, how about first revisiting your business’s objectives and asking, “What is your business?”

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