Top accountancy firm KPMG Peat Marwick is poised to hire one or more PR
firms to run an estimated six-figure PR programme strengthening the
identity of its management consultancy arm in the UK.
KPMG Consulting PR manager Mark Allatt has seen pitches from six
agencies since the summer and plans to make an appointment before
Christmas for a contract lasting two or three years.
Agencies are vying for two pieces of business: a corporate account to
boost the KPMG Consulting brand and an ‘issues-based’ campaign
highlighting the company’s knowledge in specialist areas like IT.
Whether KPMG appoints one or two agencies will depend on its decision to
spilt the business or merge it into one campaign.
The company will terminate its four-year relationship with Tenet Public
Relations, which handles IT public relations and some PR strategy, at
the end of the year
Allatt said he was not looking for a ‘straight IT specialist’ for the
new PR programme.
‘We want an agency that has some knowledge of IT but the technology part
we handle for organisations is high level strategy, not bits and bytes.’
He said ‘sophisticated public relations’ was needed to convey the
‘knowledge, understanding and expertise’ of KPMG’s consultants to the
‘It is difficult for professional services to explain what they do,’ he
‘We are aiming to convey our knowledge by highlighting particular issues
such as mergers, looking at the problems faced and showing how the
company’s expertise can solve them.’
Allatt also wants the winning agency to help turn round the media’s
negative image of management consultants. ‘The press don’t like
consultants. You only have to look at recent stories of the Government’s
use of consultants to see that,’ he said. ‘There is a misunderstanding
of how we add value.’
Allatt said rivals like Coopers and Lybrand and Touche Ross were
stepping up marketing activity resulting in an ‘intensely competitive’
atmosphere in the management consultancy industry.