Opinion: From Our Readers - Payment by results is not the answer ..

I wish Ian Hood and Babel well (Letters, 12 March). I have no doubt that some consultancies and some clients make payment by results (PBR) work for them. But they are the distinct minority within our industry.

There are two reasons why - generally speaking - PBR is bad for the client and bad for the consultancy.

First, for PBR to be effective, it requires detailed, reliable evaluation of trackable outcomes against pre-agreed targets, and such detailed evaluation, sadly, remains the exception rather than the rule.

Second, in the absence of such evaluation, PBR throws the consultancy-client relationship back to little more than the thud of the press clippings pack. It encourages the pursuit of simple volume, at the expense of genuine results. If we want PR to take its place as a strategic professional service, rather than just a tactical tool, then PBR is most definitely not the paradigm we should be pursuing.

- Francis Ingham, Director-general, PRCA.

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