The Growing Relevance of PR and Marketing
In the midst of a maze-like socio-economic picture in the UK, this article will focus on the growing importance of public relations and marketing strategy for clients and potential consultants. Whether you are tracking McKinsey’s digital marketing efforts or Edelman’s magic in financial communications, this rising phenomenon is becoming undeniably relevant.
PR and Marketing Consulting
Public relations consulting typically deals with an overarching goal of shaping and improving public image. From communicating the day-to-day agenda and dealing with critical press criticism of a corporation to managing an initiative or event for positive media coverage, PR consultants are experts at dictating the narrative . Although that does not nearly cover the extent of what PR specialists master, it is always important to remember that they thrive both in moments of relative corporate stability, where they take advantage of the positive broadcasting, and especially in scenarios of distress, where they flip the chronicle upside down to show the contrary side of the story . Marketing consulting traditionally involves fine-tuning the advertising and promotional segment to augment sales or enhance a given customer base . It involves an umbrella of services ranging from social media adjustments and strategy to search engine optimization and organic traffic tracking. An important divide is between those which have a central focus on digital strategy, now the norm rather than the outlier, and those that persist with more traditional marketing services .
Trends and Expectations
The current and expected trends for both PR and marketing consulting solidify the thesis that their importance carries considerable development. The calculated yearly revenue growth is somewhere in the range of 10-12% for public relations consulting and 4-5% in the marketing consulting space during the next 5 years . By 2026 we could be looking at an international PR space of roughly 150 billion dollars . These forecasts are strongly backed by the increasingly pressing need for media relations and digital marketing experts triggered by the pandemic and the resulting global economic downturn .
An even bigger question is whether marketing and PR firms need to ‘rebrand’ themselves to fit the digitally-dominant wave that is incoming. While they were generally ready for the progressive digitalization of their services pre-pandemic, the exponential acceleration of a dominant digitalized world perhaps needs to see them grow their skills and staff in the tech-savvy departments .
Hence, aspiring PR and marketing consultants, ask yourselves whether you will fine-tune your digital toolkit or you will rehearse your verbal and written eloquence above anything else.
Written by Iñigo Sancho, Chief Research Officer at KJC
 Benchmark International
 McKinsey & Company
 Boston Consulting Group