This month marks the tenth anniversary of the 2008 Financial Crisis. Last week, Makovsky’s EVP of Financial and Professional Services, Doug Hesney, reflected on lessons we’ve learned over the past 10 years.

Hesney began by explaining some of the causes of the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression, including legislation deregulating the financial industry in the 1990s, reactions to the 2001 recession, the growth of the subprime mortgage market, and the bursting of the US housing bubble between 2006 and 2007.

More importantly, Hesney shared three key lessons every public relations professional should learn from the crisis–because realistically, the question is not if another economic crisis will ever strike again, but when.

When a crisis hits, it hits everyone

The crisis began in the financial sector, but its impacts reverberated across the economy and the world. Every professional should therefore seek to understand the core causes of the crisis and how our systems have changed in its wake. In this light, the ten-year anniversary should act as an opportunity to reflect and learn.

Consider how your clients might be affected

As developments in the markets and the economy play out in real-time, we must understand how our clients and our own businesses might be impacted. In a financial crisis in particular, investors seek to safeguard their assets; by knowing this, we can effectively partner with our asset management clients to get the right message out to their investors. We can serve all of our clients by constantly assessing the broader landscape of their industries and thinking critically about how they can best communicate around developing events.

Risk/Reward analysis should be at the center of every decision

Prior to the global financial crisis, people lost sight of risk or became convinced it didn’t exist. This exacerbated the underlying problems that led to the 2008 economic crisis. The crisis highlights the need for nonstop effective risk management–not only in finance, but also in every element of our businesses and our lives. Before we make decisions, we should consider the full range of possible outcomes and place risk at the center of our analysis.

As communications professionals, it’s important more important than ever that we maintain vigilance of the ever-changing political and economic changes on a local, national, and international levels so that we can proactively and effectively respond to future crises.

As you reflect on the tenth anniversary of the financial crisis, what lessons have you learned as a communications professional?

Tweet us your thoughts at @Makovsky and keep an eye on our News page for additional coverage on the 2008 financial crisis.


thought leadership

Gen Z vs. Millennials: On The Brink of a Gen Z World
Examining the Impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on Healthcare Communications


228 East 45th Street
New York, NY 10017


1101 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 450
Washington, DC 20036