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Agencies

The New York Times Probes Ketchum’s Relationship with Putin

Oh, You!!

New York Times media reporter Ravi Somaiya wrote what might have seemed like the most important PR story to break over the long weekend: a look into Ketchum‘s relationship with its most (in)famous client, Russian president Vladimir Putin.

What did the article itself reveal, though?

Not a whole lot.

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Roll Call: MWW and Grayson Emmett Partners

MWW  announced that Nicole Bott has joined the firm’s corporate communications practice as vice president. Bott, who will be based in the New York office, brings more than a decade of experience leading integrated account teams across media relations, content development, creative and digital disciplines for a variety of financial services and corporate communications clients. In her role at MWW, Bott will use her integrated project management and strategic media relations skills to help clients implement strategic communications campaigns.

Prior to joining MWW, Bott served as a senior manager, client relationships at Peppercomm, where she was responsible for providing strategic counsel and leading integrated account teams across the agency’s various service offerings. Her client work focused on leading the account teams for one of the Big Four, with a particular focus on the firm’s financial services practice and strategic growth markets business. While at Peppercomm, Bott also worked on a variety of corporate communications and crisis programs across a variety of industries, including professional services, financial services, technology, consumer and sports. Previously, she served as vice president at Linden Alschuler & Kaplan, Inc., where she specialized in generating high-profile media coverage in targeted national outlets for clients in professional services, transportation and real estate, among others. During her tenure at Linden Alschuler & Kaplan, Inc., Bott also served as a key member of the public relations team that advised on two acquisition announcements. (Release)

Keith Burton, who left his role at Golin to become a partner at Brunswick New York last year, announced that he will leave his position to start his own firm to be known as Grayson Emmett Partners. Burton officially left Brunswick in May but just announced the formation of his new firm to PR Week yesterday. GEP will focus on employee engagement for clients in the “banking and finance, manufacturing, and consumer products” industries. Burton told the magazine that he plans to continue consulting with Brunswick in the employee engagement space. (PR Week)

Spin the Agencies of Record

red lobster1

  • MWW will handle PR duties for Red Lobster, winning the account following the chain’s separation from parent company Darden. The company chose Publicis Kaplan Thaler as its new ad agency after announcing that split in July and picked MWW after a review (Edelman previously served as AOR). While the firm won’t handle social media, it will be responsible for corporate communications, executive visibility, issues management and brand positioning. As for why the company announced its new ad agency nearly two months before its new PR despite signing them at the same time, ask the guy above.

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Hill+Knowlton Hires New SF GM from the Tech World

H+K_Jodi BaumannWe think we might be witnessing a trend: Hill+Knowlton Strategies just announced the hiring of tech veteran Jodi Baumann to run both its San Francisco office and its global tech practice.

Baumann currently serves as senior director of global communications at NetApp, a Sunnydale storage/data company that just happened to appear on the Glassdoor list ranking the “top 25 American companies for culture and value” below Twitter, Edelman and others.

H+K Americas president/CEO Mike Coates gets right at Baumann’s appeal in the press release, writing, “she is so entrenched in both the technology space and the local San Francisco market.”

That’s the same reason that Ketchum acquired Access Communications in 2008 and named its president/CEO Susan Butenhoff to lead its own global tech practice last week.

It also reminded us of DKC PR’s decision to hire AdAge tech reporter/San Francisco bureau chief Cotton Delo as account supervisor back in June.

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Which 15 Firms Made the Inc. 5000 List?

Inc5000_starburst-580x255

First: a Happy Summer Friday to everyone.

We here at PRNewser don’t really like to facilitate competition among our friends and associates in the industry. And we don’t generally post on firms winning awards because, you know, that’s kind of your job.

You know what we do like, though? Lists. Everyone likes lists!

When it comes to businesses, a spot in the Inc. 5000 is like the “my kid is an honor student at X Middle School” bumper sticker you can put on your agency van to remind everyone that you’ve done a pretty good job as a parent. We get it — we once wrote those releases ourselves.

Since we’ve gotten a few emails about the newly released Inc. list for 2014, we figured we’d do a bit of reading and rank the firms that scored a spot in the (reverse) order in which they appear.

Not to encourage competition, remember…

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Spin the Agencies of Record

COLLEGE

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Brooklyn Firm Works for Free to Attract Top Talent

Praytell

Today Brooklyn-based boutique firm Praytell Strategies announced the launch of its Passion Project, in which the company will offer up to $30,000 in varied services to non-profit applicants each quarter.

Of course all agencies are familiar with the benefits of pro-bono work in terms of building on reputation, expanding client rosters and scoring a few media mentions.

The Praytell project, though, is unique in a few ways — first being that it was inspired by the work of the MAC AIDS Fund (a Praytell client).

We spoke to founder/CEO Andy Pray to find out more.

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Ketchum Shuffles Its Tech Leadership

ketchum_logoIn what looks like a strong pivot toward the tech sector, Ketchum orchestrated a game of musical chairs involving several top executives within its San Francisco-based Access Communications shop and its Global Technology Practice this week.

Partner Susan Butenhoff, who founded Access and served as both president and CEO there until this week, will now serve as director of the firm’s tech practice while retaining the title of chief at Access.

Matthew Afflixio, who worked under her as EVP/creative director, has been promoted to president.

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Cinnabon Doesn’t Need Advertising; Good Marketing and Branding Are Enough

Cinnabon-Reaches-1000th-Bakery-Milestone

Today’s conventional wisdom would suggest that aggressively expanding a brand solely focused on a singular sugary baked good is folly. Cinnabon isn’t quite the ill-fated Crumbs, despite some similarities, and President Kat Cole has been aiming high:

  • “We’re building the world’s greatest brand,” she told Nation’s Restaurant News.
  • “Eventually it will end up in the bucket with brands like Oreo and Hershey,” she told Forbes.

Indeed 2013 was a busy (and profitable) year for Cinnabon; the chain added 110 new locations, bringing its total now up to nearly 1,200 and saw $1 billion in retail product sales from all divisions worldwide, including franchising, consumer package goods and food-service licensed products.

It also spent only $33,000 in advertising.

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Spin the Agencies of Record

Hong Kong

  • Santa Monica firm Phelps will be social media marketing AOR for the U.S. wing of the Hong Kong Tourism Board, using the group’s social networks to promote “Asia’s World City” as an American travel destination.

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