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Burson Marsteller

Agency Owners: Does Size Really Matter?

David and GoliathI have been blessed in my career. I cut my teeth at an uber agency — second largest in the world, as a matter of fact. Working and growing there provided me with priceless experience. During that time, life changed and I became a daddy.

Okay, so I’m a big sap and that changed everything. I determined that 85 to 90 percent travel was not going to be a welcomed addition for fatherhood so I was honored to become part of a team a boutique agency, where I have been for the last five years. Needless to say, it was a good choice.

That said, size did matter.

Does it for clients, employees and the media as well? Here are a few things to consider when working with or hiring one sized agency over the other:

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Donald Baer to head Burson-Marsteller; Mark Penn to Microsoft

Donald A. Baer, who served as White House communications director under President Bill Clinton, has been named global chief executive officer of Burson-Marsteller. Baer joined the public-relations firm four years ago and has been serving as vice chairman and chief strategy officer. He succeeds Mark Penn in the top spot at B-M, which boasts 73 offices worldwide.

Meanwhile, Penn, who has been CEO of Burson-Marsteller since 2005, is set to join Microsoft as corporate vice president, strategic and special projects. He has served as an adviser to Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, and was also senior strategist for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

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Tommy Bahama Adds B-M to Its List of Firms

Tommy Bahama has chosen Burson-Marsteller as its international AOR, raising awareness for the company as it expands across Asia in 2012 and 2013. Stores are planned in Macau, Hong Kong, and Singapore, with an additional store/restaurant planned for Tokyo.

B-M regional MD Jackie Prince, based in Hong Kong, is leading the account in Asia. MD Danny Phan is a senior rep in Singapore. B-M has been beefing up its consumer roster recently.

Tommy Bahama has 96 locations in the U.S., but these are the first abroad. The company is working with DKC for the launch of its new New York location, which also includes a restaurant and a bar. And Los Angeles-based Orsi PR has been the company’s domestic AOR for14 years.

B-M Names Tech, Consumer Practice Execs

Sabrina Guttman (right) has been named Burson-Marsteller‘s U.S. technology practice chair. She joined the firm in August 2011 as deputy tech practice chair. She’s also the lead on the company’s SAP account.

Guttman went to B-M from Ruder Finn, where she spent a few short months as that firm’s tech and innovation practice leader. She had previously worked at B-M between 2005 and 2007.

The firm has also named Michelle Stevenson MD of the U.S. consumer and brand marketing practice. Her focus in the position will be on sponsorships, celebrity spokespeople, events, and overall brand building. She’ll also be leading the Saban Brands U.S., The San Diego Zoo, and Konami.

Stevenson was previously SVP and global co-chair of Fleishman-Hillard’s FH Entertainment practice where she led the North American communications for Tourism Australia. Her prior experience at The Lippin Group included work with the Emmy and People’s Choice awards. She’ll be based in Los Angeles.

B-M Launches Burson Campaigns

Maury Lane

Burson-Marsteller has launched Burson Campaigns, a corporate issues management division that will be based in Memphis, TN. Areas of expertise will include corporate reputation and business development.

The group will be led by Maury Lane, previously the director of issues, crisis, and public affairs comms at FedEx, which is also based in Memphis. He was also president and principal at Hill Country Communications, which specializes in PR for the hi-tech, telecom, and manufacturing areas, and public affairs.

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Lüfkens to Lead Burson-Marsteller’s Digital Team in EMEA

Matthias Lüfkens, head of the World Economic Forum‘s digital group since 2004, is joining Burson-Marsteller to lead its digital team in the EMEA region starting February 1, 2012.

Lüfkens will be based in Geneva and will oversee a team that handles digital efforts including comms strategy, online reputation, and mobile marketing across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

In addition to his work for the World Economic Forum, Lüfkens has worked with a number of Fortune 500 companies, writes a column for a business magazine, Bilan, and speaks at tech events.

B-M Appoints New Vice Chair and CEO

Patrick Ford

Burson-Marsteller has named Patrick Ford global vice chairman, client services and Dave DenHerder as U.S. CEO, both effective January 1. Ford’s is a newly-created role; he has been U.S. CEO since 2006. He’s been with the firm since 1989.

DenHerder has served as CEO of Direct Impact, B-M’s grassroots public affairs and corporate reputation firm since 2007. He joined the firm in 2005 and has led the Ford Motor Company account for WPP. Prior to joining the firm, he was a regional director for the Bush/Cheney 2004 campaign and worked with the former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao.

Nicole Cornish, president of Direct Impact, will assume the role vacated by DenHerder. Laura Hall, consumer and brand marketing MD, will take over the Ford account.

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B-M Offering the ‘Fan Experience’

Burson-Marsteller has added a new offering to its consumer and brand marketing practice: Fan Experience will help clients further capitalize on their sponsorship buys across sports, arts, entertainment, and culture.

The offering builds on a program the firm has been using over the past year. B-M worked with MetLife to announce MetLife Stadium, organizing events and other comms programs, which led to further work with the company throughout 2011. Jason Teitler, managing director, of the U.S. consumer and brand marketing practice, said in a statement that brands must now turn “fan affinity into brand affinity.”

B-M also recently added the Caring Consumer group to this consumer practice, which is meant to help clients talk about their CSR efforts.

B-M Launches ‘Caring Consumer’

Burson-Marsteller is getting all touchy-feely and what not. Today the firm launched Caring Consumer, a subgroup of the consumer and brand marketing practices that also incorporates experts from the CSR and corporate groups to bring notice of corporate good deeds to the consumers who care.

A big part of the new group is the Consumer Care Package, a tool that analyzes a company’s CSR efforts versus the landscape for those efforts to show how a brand can reach consumers and what the ROI of that comms program would be.

B-M Taking Majority Stake in a South African Firm

Robyn De Villiers

Burson-Marsteller is taking a majority stake in Arcay Communications, an award-winning South African firm headquartered in Johannesburg. Arcay has an affiliate presence in 50-plus countries across Africa. B-M and Arcay have had a relationship since 2007. The firm will now be known as Arcay Burson-Marsteller.

Robyn de Villiers founded Arcay more than 20 years ago, and will now serve as chairman and CEO of the newly-formed firm.

 

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