THIS WEEK’S BIG QUESTION: Is there an overlap between PR and management consultancy?

PR agency Spada has launched a management consultancy arm, Spada Consulting

PR agency Spada has launched a management consultancy arm, Spada


Gavin Ingham Brooke


’It’s been argued for a long time that a PR consultant should be on the

core team on major decisions. PR uncovers issues that are fundamental

business concerns, such as internal politics, but PR companies should

not turn themselves into ad hoc management consultancies and tackle


To resolve them it requires people with specific management


Alison Canning

First and 42nd

’The definitions of PR and management consultancy are changing all the

time, but in reality, the overlap is still very small - partly because

the companies who claim to be involved simply migrate their existing

business processes upstream or downstream; and partly because the skills

and experience required to operate effectively are different.’

Rufus Olins

Management Today

’The core skills of the businesses are very different - to be equally

expert at both would take a company of remarkable breadth. Management

consultants tend to focus on hard issues such as systems organisation

while PR organisations are more about soft issues such as how a company

perceives itself and is perceived. The danger is that instead of

complementing one another, the different disciplines compete against

each other.’

Ben Lucas


’There is a convergence occurring as they both become about quality of

analysis. It used to be management consultants dealing with the internal

architecture and PR dealing with external perceptions, but now the

realisation is that the same dynamics affect both. The boundaries are

becoming blurred. Understanding the perspectives of the different

disciplines is now just as important to giving top-level PR corporate


Roger Hood


’I think there is a slight overlap - management consultancies define the

requirements that go out to PR agencies to execute. You need a whole

range of people with a wide range of skills including supply chain,

manufacturing and marketing to be an effective market consultant. From

my experience, it is rare to work with a client that has only one

specific requirement. I think that shows that the two happily co-exist.’

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