The health of consultancy firms in Portugal acts as a weather vane for the state of the industry across Europe.
A few years ago, I suggested in an article that the communication business in Portugal would undergo a significant change in the coming years. Today it is clear that change has come, but not exactly in the way I predicted.
Five years ago the industry was living through an uncharacteristic stage of development. Suddenly there were new consulting companies in the market, clients were investing in new areas and functions, the new web revolution was just beginning, and the major consulting firms were hiring intensively; even clients, traditionally suspicious of investing in anything other than immediately-demonstrable resources, were increasing their budgets and internal head count. The perception of the industry’s value was good. The CEOs of the most important Portuguese consulting firms had a seat at their clients’ board meetings, advising continually on strategic issues and stakeholders and having a significant impact on their clients’ course of action. Apparently, everyone was benefitting from this unexpected and stimulating boom.
Tales from the south
Antonio Marques-Mendes is adjunct professor at the ESCS (Escola Superior de Comunicação Social) in Lisbon, where he teaches bachelor and master courses in public affairs and strategic public relations. He is also owner and managing director of Prosperity Strategy Consultants. Among previous positions, he was vice president of public affairs at the Portuguese Rugby Federation and an external consultant at Pleon.