The fact that the drop in profitability among PR agencies revealed
by this year’s PRCA benchmarking survey is linked to the industry’s
tendency to over-service will hardly surprise most practitioners. What
is significant is the fact that 16 per cent of members have apparently
resigned accounts because of client aggression towards staff. Both facts
point to a chronic lack of confidence in the industry. The answer may
not be as simple as that proposed this week by Trevor Beattie: to charge
more (page 11).
The fact that so many clients feel they can bully consultants and that
even more feel that they are entitled to consultancy services over and
above that which they have paid for, can only undermine the industry’s
claim to be a core business discipline. PR practitioners must have the
courage of their convictions.