Editorial: A tactical decision over PR’s role

PA Consulting’s decision to surrender the ’implementational’ side of Hewlett Packard’s PR account after ten years should be sounding some warning bells among consultancies. PA decided to surrender the lucrative account due to difficulties marrying the tactical nature of part of the account with its management consultancy role. The pounds 500,000-plus consumer and trade business will now be put out to pitch, with PA hoping to handle only the strategic consultancy, presumably with the implementational side being farmed out to a ’traditional’ PR consultancy.

PA Consulting’s decision to surrender the ’implementational’ side

of Hewlett Packard’s PR account after ten years should be sounding some

warning bells among consultancies. PA decided to surrender the lucrative

account due to difficulties marrying the tactical nature of part of the

account with its management consultancy role. The pounds 500,000-plus

consumer and trade business will now be put out to pitch, with PA hoping

to handle only the strategic consultancy, presumably with the

implementational side being farmed out to a ’traditional’ PR

consultancy.



As this week’s Big Question highlights at least some on both sides of

the divide perceive an overlap between PR and management

consultancy.



What PROs need to ensure is that if PR activities are carved up, they

don’t lose the strategic input and wind up simply running the press

office.



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