Financial public relations firms, who elevated the honing of corporate messages to a highly profitable art form, are having to adapt their businesses and in some cases cut staff as the economic gloom intensifies.

With far fewer deals to publicize and lucrative “retainer” contracts under pressure, companies are cutting costs and are increasingly focusing on work thrown up by the crisis, such as capital-raising, restructuring and repairing tarnished images.”

So what exactly are they up to?

Some recent pr industry blogs and other web postings shine a light on some of the spinmeisters’ latest tactics.

Flacking firm Fishburn Hedges openly boasts about how a big capital-raising by a UK mortgage lender was kept off the front pages by presenting it as “a technical, esoteric story suitable for business sections”.

For former News of the World Editor Phil Hall, who advised former RBS boss Fred Goodwin on his parliamentary testimony a few weeks ago, there’s apparently no such thing as bad publicity.