Merger reduces Baker Tilly roster of local PR shops

Top ten accountancy firm Baker Tilly has rationalised its roster of local PR agencies following its merger earlier this year with HLB Kidsons.

The firm, which claims to have a 'healthy six-figure' PR budget, has appointed the Winchester-based Hallmark PR to provide support in the south of the country while two existing agencies have been kept on. Birmingham-based Hanley PR will have an increased role in the north of England and Countrywide Porter Novelli will continue its work in Scotland.

The three agencies will replace the more than half-a-dozen that the two firms used between them prior to merger. They will report to the firm's head of PR Karen Croft, who said the move reflected a desire to have a consistent message going out across the country and the increased importance of PR to professional services firms.

Croft said: 'Professional services firms might lag behind others in terms of their understanding of the importance of PR, but this is definitely changing.

'The reason is changes in the economy and business climate as well as the consolidation that has made things more competitive,' she added.

Baker Tilly has 32 regional offices and will be looking for the firms to provide PR input to local business and consumer press to highlight competencies of each local office.

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