How startups should think about PR during a global economic slowdown

How startups should think about PR during a global economic slowdown

It is often seen that PR and Communication efforts are easily cut off or reduced by companies during economic recessions or downturns. While cost management remains a priority in uncertain times, understanding the inherent value PR offers your organization in the face of the public is fundamental. 

Looking at the global economy, WorldBank reports that global growth is expected to slump from 5.7 percent in 2021 to 2.9 percent in 2022 which is significantly lower than the initial 4.1 percent that was anticipated in January. The slump explains why businesses are reviewing their runway, cutting down on non-essential costs, enforcing hiring freezes among others. 

In relation to VC funding, investors continue to advise startups on the current state of the market, encouraging them to watch their unit economics and burn rate while focusing on gaining traction. This means that VCs are still investing despite the downturn. Quartz shared financial data reports that venture funds have already invested $88 billion in the first half of 2022, which is already equivalent to two-thirds of the previous year’s fundraising.

This is exactly why Public Relations should not be impacted. Laying a good foundation in the media and creating a favorable image takes time and dedication. It is imperative to know that sustaining the same requires even more effort – PR is a marathon not a sprint. During a global economic slowdown, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Have a solid communications strategy

Communication during a recession is vital as clients and investors alike are keeping an eye on the business. Ensuring that you have a consistent communications plan helps to keep stakeholders abreast on company’s updates.

Enrich PR efforts

More businesses are quiet during an economic slowdown, even your competitors, and that is exactly why you should not be. This is the time to enrich PR efforts, establish the management/founding team as thought leaders and experienced leaders in the industry, publish press releases of your funding rounds and product releases, revise pitching angles and continue to court media relations.

Leverage on milestones and growth efforts:

Through effective PR, it is advisable to leverage on milestones and growth efforts during a global recession. This way, your investors and stakeholders (existing and potential) can see your progress. For example, Eversend’s feature on Bloomberg revealed that it has grown 46-fold in 2021 to $232 million in transaction volume.

Showcase strong leadership

 It is a good idea for leadership to come forward with their opinion pieces from the challenges faced in current times to solutions and integrations that can help plot growth to the plans ahead. Being honest, communicating clearly and showcasing solid leadership is key

Conclusively, it is important that founders and startups think past the current situation and optimize for long-term success. Make that connection with the media and connect with your key audiences in the most effective way. Economic situations are constantly changing, maintaining PR efforts and communication strategy for startups remains an effective path to standing out from everyone else.

Afrae Tatari​

Social Media Manager

Afrae is a Digital Marketing Strategist and Social Media Specialist. She holds a bachelor's degree in International Trade and Management from Istanbul Sehir University in Turkey and is certified in Search Engine Optimization, Inbound Marketing, and Content Marketing.

Temi Faseyide

Account Associate

Temi is a creative storyteller who is adept at understanding and refining the business story in order to communicate effectively to the targeted audiences. She has over four years of experience working in communications and earned a Post Graduate Degree in Public Relations & Communications from the University of Lagos, Nigeria.

Camila Canney

Latin American Associate

Camila is a marketing specialist with experience in communication strategies, advertising campaigns, and brand positioning for companies across multiple industries. She has participated in the startup ecosystem in Colombia and collaborated in digital transformation projects.

Gustavo Orozco

Latin America Director

Gustavo has served as an advisor to several Colombian presidential candidates and international firms regarding public relations issues and brand positioning in media outlets. He is a frequent collaborator with Colombian news organizations

John Nikolaou

Director of Operations and Finance

John is the founder of natural resource research and advisory firm with experience operating in several African markets. He has previous experience in US energy sector and natural resource policy.
John holds a BA in Government and Natural Resource Management from Claremont McKenna College.

Wole Olayinka

Account Manager

Wole is an Account Manager at insiderPR. He has spent the last five years supporting communications and delivering engaging content for African businesses and entrepreneurs. His writings on technology in Africa have appeared in NextBillion, African Arguments, Business Day Nigeria, TechCabal, AllAfrica and Magnitt.
Wole holds a Bachelor of Laws from Olabisi Onabanjo University in Nigeria.

Become a Sponsor

Become a Speaker

Adjoa Kwakye

Account Manager

Adjoa has worked across different roles in the financial services sector in Ghana, including marketing, technology and customer service, developing a broad outlook on doing business in West Africa.
Adjoa holds a BSC in Management Information Systems from Ashesi University, and an MSC in International Business from Hult International Business School

Olga Balangala


Olga is an Associate at insiderPR. She has 8 years combined experience in events, TV/Film/Radio production, marketing and research across different industries. She is an award winner and Tropics Magazine Top 500 African-Doer. Olga holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Johannesburg majoring in Sociology, Strategic Communication and Information Management.

Nosike Nwigene

Digital Communications Manager

Nosike is a Communications and Digital marketing professional interested in media, Africa's tech ecosystem, innovation policy and the intersections. He has experience providing advisory and executing social media and content programs for over 25 tech ecosystem actors in emerging markets. Nosike holds a BSc in Industrial Chemistry from the University of Abuja.

Rebekah Clark


Rebekah is Director at insiderPR. Rebekah is a communications specialist with an international career which has seen her tell a wide-range of captivating stories to diverse audiences. Her mission is to support clients as they create positive and meaningful dialogue, whilst inspiring and informing audiences. Based in London, Rebekah works with Governments, NGOs, and brands, to deliver effective strategy, campaigns, purpose-driven activities, media, and events. She holds a BA Honours in Communication & Sociology from the University of Liverpool, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Thelma Obiakor

Account Manager

Thelma is an Account Manager at insiderPR. She is also a planning, research, and evaluation specialist, and much of her research explores innovative business models for inclusive growth through entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan africa. Thelma supports several international donor organisations, and government agencies in gathering evidence to inform decision making, and conducts rigorous results-based evaluations to measure the impact of their work. She is a Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa (CSEA). Thelma holds a BA in Economics from the University of British Columbia, and an Mphil in Development Studies from Cambridge University.

Eliot Pence


Eliot is the Executive Director of the US-Nigeria Council, advises investors on market entry & private expansion strategies in Africa. He has written extensively on doing business in frontier markets in the FT, New York Times, Reuters & CNN. He is a board member of the African Leadership Network, an Aspen Scholar, & CFR Term member.
Eliot holds an MA from Yale University.

We are always looking for experienced people, talented writers, journalist connections, etc.

We do not have any current open positions but don’t hesitate to contact us at if you want to get on our radar for future opportunities.

Aubrey Hruby


Aubrey is an advisor to Fortune 500 companies & investors doing business in Africa. She is a contributor to the Financial Times, NPR, & Axios and the award-winning author of ‘The Next Africa’. She also serves as a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, Council on Foreign Relations & a Milken Young Leader.
Aubrey holds an MBA from Wharton & MA from Georgetown.