For some years now PR consultancies have cast their eyes enviously
over management consultancies, often bemoaning the fees and seeming
gravitas afforded to this branch of consultancy.
At long last the industry seems to be taking action and securing itself
a slice of the cake. Following on from news last week that Interpublic
is to place its PR and management consultancy businesses under one
umbrella in order to exploit the synergies, comes the news that
Consolidated Communications (page 3) has extended its management
consultancy arm through acquisition.
At the same time, Lynn Shepherd has crossed the floor from PR at Yahoo!
to join PricewaterhouseCoopers’ new Strategic Management Communications
unit (page 1).
Both moves are indicative of a narrowing of the field of difference that
could have an enormous impact on the future of PR.
According to the PRCA, the PR industry’s income grew by 20 per cent last
year, as compared to 40 per cent growth shown by management
As William Stancer of Anderson Consulting pointed out at the PRCA
Conference 2000, an increasing marriage of the two disciplines could
lead to 60 per cent future growth for the PR industry.
He is definitely on the right track when he says that the industry is
selling itself short. The one thing that has held the industry back so
far has been a lack of talented new entries. If the decreasing chasm
between PR and management consultancy can attract senior talent, then
the industry may finally break into the boardroom.