Consulting firms with the best PR and online reputation

04 November 2019 4 min. read

For consulting firms anywhere in the world, receiving media attention is an important ambition. On the one hand to demonstrate expertise towards clients and the market, and on the other hand to help build a branding and reputation.

New analysis by in collaboration with Coosto, a provider of social media management tolling, has tracked all PR and online mentions gained by consulting firms in the Netherlands across a one-year period (1 July 2018 and 1 July 2019). The activities of 70 large and medium-sized consultancy firms were taken under scrutiny.

The analysis reveals a number of interesting and striking results. Looking at the volume of media mentions – spanning national and regional media, online channels and social media – then it is by no means surprising that the Big Five (the Big Four plus Accenture) lead the way. With more than 27,000 messages (this number excludes publications and messages posted on a firm’s own website), the PR and marketing team of Deloitte can call itself the Netherlands’ most active crew. 

Consulting firms with the best PR and online reputation

EY follows hot on Deloitte’s heels with more than 26,000 articles, while third-placed Accenture and fourth-placed KPMG all managed to gain more than 20,000 articles on their studies, projects or people. PwC, which rounds out the top five, enjoyed around 16,000 articles in Dutch media. 

Listed in the rest of the top 10 are several well-known names in the consulting landscape. The large American strategic consultancies McKinsey & Company and Boston Consulting Group rank sixth and tenth, with IT consultancies Atos and Capgemini placing in between. Dutch management consulting firm Berenschot managed to achieve 5,113 articles in the period studied. 

Largest impact

However, a different view on media mentions, focusing on reach and impact, returns significantly different results. Clear is that when McKinsey speaks, journalists in national and local media take it seriously. The strategy consulting firm managed to build a reach of 779 million people, twice as much as KPMG, with half as many articles. On average, its media reach stands at 71,000 per article, making it the top ranked consulting firm by PR effectiveness. 

It is mainly the strategic consultancies than dominate the ranking in terms of PR effectiveness. Arthur D. Little (the oldest consultancy firm in the world) and Roland Berger complete the top three, while Bain & Company and Boston Consulting Group secure a position in the top 10. Rivals A.T. Kearney and Strategy& score proportionally higher in this ranking compared to the volume dimensions. Although these firms are more selective in what they release externally, when they go to market, they enjoy a higher uptake.

Consultancy firms with the best PR and online reputation - Media reachBig Four firms KPMG, Deloitte and EY rank between positions 10 and 20, while PwC ranks 33rd. Interestingly, their smaller mid-tier rivals Mazars and Grant Thornton perform better in PR effectiveness, while BDO and Baker Tilly are not far behind. 

How firms make the media landscape and on which topics varies widely. Korn Ferry for instance receives most of its mention on talent and labour market topics, while Mercer receives a lot of attention on topics such as pensions and talent management. Accenture sees significant concentration around technology, digital transformation and innovation, while the accounting-heritage groups lean heavily on finance-related topics.

Consulting firms that punch above their weight include Roland Berger, Bain & Company, Dutch consulting firms IG&H and Stratix, and UK-origin PA Consulting Group. With relatively little financial resources in the Netherlands, they managed to gain higher than average attention in the media landscape.