Consolidation through mergers and acquisitions is inevitable - and is likely to lead to improved service levels for clients and more satisfaction for suppliers of outsourced PR services.
So says Edward Carter, managing director of Birmingham-based Quantum, which joined the national group Freshwater UK, earlier this year.
"I am not critical of smaller independents but I believe that we are seeing a gradual change in the market for PR services" he says.
"The fact is that larger clients are looking for PR consultancies with a spread both in terms of geography and, more importantly, specialist skills to meet their needs".
According to Mr Carter, this happened years ago in the accounting and legal services markets and he says that there is no reason why the trend will not continue in the PR business.
"As long as the management style is right, blending entrepreneurial flair with strong financial controls, and as long as the focus on client service continues and strengthens, such moves will be good news for all concerned," says Mr Carter.
Quantum itself owed its own roots to a merger of two consultancies in 1997. One of these businesses was until then owned by Mr Carter and the other by Anne Parry, who then became deputy managing director of Quantum.
In May, the directors concluded the latest deal, which sees the two directors continuing in a similar position with Freshwater UK, with executive responsibility for the Midlands firm.
Mr Carter explains the rationale for the link up, saying: "We wanted a deal which would leave us with the responsibility of continuing to run the business with additional backing.
" This is how it has worked out. We have brought new expertise into the group, in financial PR for example, while the deal has given us additional support from our colleagues around the country.
"Our membership of the group is also enabling us to participate in tenders for national clients where a Midlands contribution is a key factor.
"For us, the link with Freshwater opens up many doors, strengthening our Midlands operation and creating a platform for future growth.
"We expect to play a full part in attracting more nationally sourced work to Birmingham.
"The Midlands PR scene can only benefit from this kind of consolidation."
One specific area that the larger grouping supports is industry specialisation, which Mr Carter says is an important factor for clients.
"It is a fact that, while there are many excellent PR firms in the market, there are also some shortfalls in service and, regrettably, some scepticism on the part of clients as a result," he says.
"The ability to demonstrate industry specialisation and understanding, and a track record of success in specific sectors, is an important feature in offering the opportunity to overcome this and to offer the real prospects of a service which adds real value to a clients ' businesses.
"It is only through the larger grouping that it is possible to do this across a broad spectrum of market sectors."
One factor which influenced the Quantum directors in joining Freshwater was the plan which the Cardiff-based group has for the future.
Chief executive Steve Howell, once a BBC news reporter in Wales and the driving force behind Freshwater UK, says: "We are building the business rapidly to a point where we can go for a flotation on the Alternative Investment Market (Aim).
"We saw an opportunity for a group built by developing a network of likeminded consultancies."