Editorial: The walls finally begin to crack

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.

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

consultancies.



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.



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