EDITORIAL: 2003 will show corp PR's viability

News that Weber Shandwick is disbanding its UK corporate practice will shock rival corporate PROs. If the world's biggest PR firm finds scant enough evidence of a corporate revival to justify a dedicated corporate unit, how must smaller or weaker firms in that space be baring up?

Badly, is the answer, but perhaps not uniformly so. There are specific reasons why corporations eschew the corporate offer of global networks - budget scrutiny has seen in-house resources rise at the expense of outsourced contracts, while the finessed offer of financial PR firms creates a rival pressure from a different direction.

2003 will show whether WS is right to doubt the viability of corporate PR per se, or whether this is an experience unique to WS.

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