Study Says Consumer Spending "Sluggish" - JoTo PR Says Effective PR Campaigns Eliminate Bargain Shoppers, Increase Quality Customer Demographic Despite Slow Spending

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The Great Recession has caused cautious spending and increased consumer haggling, leaving businesses scrambling to pay the bills. But Clearwater-based JoTo PR says publicity and PR are the key to attracting high-quality results and clientele in a mending economy.


In business management, there are certain natural laws that you have to abide by, or organizations won’t expand; rather, they will contract. We apply these same principles in media relations management and publicity.

A slumping economy often signals cutbacks on excess spending and an emergence of “bargain shoppers.” For businesses, this can mean a decrease in sales and an increase in haggling—in September 2013, consumer spending, which accounts for 70% of U.S. economic activity, only rose 0.2%, despite a personal income increase of 0.5% (1). JoTo PR, a Tampa Bay PR firm specializing in technology-based management, says that the value of public relations flourishes in a mending economy when done correctly.

A Consumer Reports study conducted at the beginning of the Great Recession found that 66 percent of American consumers had haggled at least once in the preceding six months (2). Publicity is defined as the notice or attention given to someone or something by the media. As a majority of consumers rely on third-party endorsements when making a purchase decision (3), remaining in the media during a questionable economy is tantamount to success, according to JoTo CEO Karla Jo Helms. Through a strategic PR campaign that incorporates the tool of publicity, Helms maintains that businesses can effectively eliminate customers who are only looking for bargains, and can attract a better clientele and increase their bottom line.

Case in Point:

Cynthia Elliott, M.D., the board-certified owner of Skinspirations, contacted JoTo PR for help with increasing recognition of her facility as having the highest levels of expertise in the areas of facial dermal fillers and laser resurfacing in Tampa Bay. Dr. Elliott also wanted to boost her clientele who value expertise and are seeking to improve their appearance without the use of surgery. JoTo PR created a press release strategy for Skinspirations to pinpoint the facility’s correct target market to encourage business growth and public awareness.

The results: Skinspirations’ Publicity and PR campaign (1) decreased the number of discount shoppers, and (2) brought a better demographic of educated patients who are seeking the help of an expert in perfecting their appearance. With JoTo’s help, Skinspirations managed to build the credibility needed to begin reaching its target public.

“Working with JoTo PR helped us to target a segment of the Tampa Bay area that understands the huge difference that exists in experience and talent. We are now seeing an increase in clients who want to make a substantial investment in their appearance and are actively seeking an experienced practitioner.” ~ Dr. C. Elliott, Owner of Skinspirations

“Publicity speaks to your relationships with your target market and portrays to them your expertise,” said Helms. “In business management, there are certain natural laws that you have to abide by, or organizations won’t expand; rather, they will contract. We apply these same principles in media relations management and publicity.”

JoTo PR employs analytics as the defining factor of the success of a campaign—by following statistical analysis of which media stories create buzz, Helms says that the company can section off which messages are not working and only utilize what the media wants, with a 100-percent codified process to get results.

“As the economy continues to recover, the most important step for businesses is to keep a positive company image in the minds of the consumer. Leaving an illustrative concept of your company emblazoned in the thoughts of prospective clients and the community is what ensures a company’s continual growth,” Helms said.

JoTo PR represents businesses that are seeking higher credibility and consequently larger market shares generated from result-driven PR campaigns. The PR firm primarily represents clients in the healthcare, IT and finance industries, but has extended its clientele at times to include manufacturing and some general business companies.

For more information about JoTo PR, including the various services and free PR resources available from the Tampa Bay PR agency, visit

About JoTo PR:

Based in Clearwater, Florida, JoTo PR is an established Tampa Bay public relations agency founded by public relations veterans and innovators Karla Jo Helms and Diane D. Stein. The duo launched their PR firm in 2009 to meet a growing demand for new media expertise. JoTo is a hybrid PR agency, blending proven traditional approaches with the latest technology to deliver the best advantages of both worlds. JoTo’s holistic approach to business PR and marketing begins with strategic planning and leads to a fully integrated program that is designed to optimize communication, improve return on investment (ROI) and expand business opportunities. JoTo PR primarily serves the healthcare, finance and IT industries. For more information, visit JoTo PR online at

1. “U.S. Consumer Spending Tepid as Households Boost Savings.” N.p., 08 Nov. 2013. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.

2.Rosenwald, Michael. “In Tough Economic Times, Shoppers Take Haggling to New Heights.” The Washington Post, 31 Jan. 2010. Web. 08 Nov. 2013.

3.Mielach, David. “Why Word of Mouth Trumps Traditional Advertising.” Business News Daily, 13 Apr. 2012. Web. 18 Apr. 2013.

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Karla Jo Helms
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