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Weber Shandwick

Consumers Push Technology PR Past ‘Techno Speak’

Where technology was once only for geeks, now digital gadgets are for everyone, from small children keeping busy at the supermarket to grandparents Skyping their grandkids. We had a chance to talk with Bradford Williams, president of Weber Shandwick‘s North American tech practice, and Heidi Sinclair, president of the firm’s global technology practice, while they’re visiting New York, and they were squarely focused on this intersection between even the highest of technologies and the consumer.

“It’s a reversal of the tide of where technology comes from,” said Williams. “Previously, it came from big business. Now, the most dominant technology is coming from the consumer area, like the iPhone and the iPad.”

For example, when mobile first caught on 30 years ago, it was a business tool. Today, of course, it’s for everyone.

“RFPs that we’ve seen from the last month or two seem hi-tech, but when you dig in, they have apps or some other little piece where the company has to talk to consumers,” said Sinclair, who referenced the “consumerization of IT.”

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Citrix Online Services Chooses Weber Shandwick

Citrix has selected Weber Shandwick as the AOR for the company’s online services division in the U.S. This division includes the GoTo set of cloud services, like GoToMeeting and GoToMyPC. The branding behind these sorts of remote tools is a “flexible work movement” that Citrix calls “workshifting.” Citrix has an entire blog dedicated to the topic and how it benefits companies.

This account will be handled out of Weber Shandwick’s northern California office.

Lewis PR works with Citrix in international markets and, according to a firm spokesperson, will not be impacted by this new hire. The firm has never worked with Citrix in the U.S.

We also reported in 2010 that Atomic PR was working on the Citrix account, with the firm handling the company’s GoTo tools. Atomic told us via email that they no longer work with Citrix Online or use the company’s tools. *

*This last sentence is an update to the story.

Weber Shandwick Promotes Three in Digital

Weber Shandwick has promoted three executives in its digital practice. Chris Vary is now EVP of digital program innovation, Patrick Chaupham has been named SVP of digital operations, and Colin Moffat has been appointed SVP of digital content strategy.

The changes come at a time of even more change in this area of the firm, including the addition of Jim Paul as executive creative director, Matt Dickman as EVP of social business innovation, and Vanessa Muir Johnson as SVP of digital.

In the release announcing the changes, Weber also touts some of the digital practice’s recent work, including the social media launch of Simple Skincare last month, the centennial campaign for L.L. Bean, and the firm’s relationship with Mattel, which includes digital and crisis work.

Weber Shandwick Working with UN Foundation’s Sustainable Energy Program

The United Nations Foundation, which connects businesses and others with the UN’s work, has chosen Weber Shandwick to help with the organization’s “Sustainable Energy for All” campaign, focused on energy’s uses for global development and poverty reduction.

The firm was chosen after a competitive search. Weber’s Social Impact division, based in D.C., will lead the effort, which will include media relations and strategy work.

Sustainable energy is a top priority for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during his second five-year term. Goals include doubling the rate of energy efficiency improvement by 2030.

Study: Build Strong Brands for Products and Their Parent Companies

Weber Shandwick has released the results of “The Company Behind the Brand: In Reputation We Trust,” a study finding that 70 percent of consumers won’t buy into a brand if they don’t like the parent company. Among senior execs, 87 percent said that having a strong brand for the parent company is as important as having a strong product brand.

A couple of stats that jumped out at us as well: 56 percent of respondents said they do research on companies that make products they buy; and 56 percent said they “hesitate” to purchase a product if they can’t tell which company makes it.

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Weber Shandwick, H+K Strategies Headed to Court

Weber Shandwick has been granted a temporary restraining order against H+K Strategies, the firm’s COO Ken Luce, and its EVP Jody Venturoni. Weber filed court documents in Dallas alleging breach of contract by Luce and Venturoni and misappropriation of confidential info by the two execs and H+K.

Luce joined H+K about a year ago; Venturoni joined the firm last month. Both previously worked for Weber for more than a decade. There have been other moves from Weber to H+K in recent months as well, notes The Holmes Report. The court filing shows that Weber alerted Luce to an investigation in December 2011 and both he and H+K responded in writing.

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Weber Shandwick Partners With Liberty Mutual For Crisis Insurance

Weber Shandwick has teamed up with Liberty Mutual Insurance to become the go-to firm for crisis comms for that company’s customers, part of the insurer’s “commercial lead umbrella policy.”

With this new relationship in place, policyholders will have 72 hours to file a claim for $50,000 worth of crisis management services from the firm. Policyholders also have the option of purchasing additional coverage that would get them $250,000 worth of crisis management. That’s a mighty big crisis! We’ve asked the firm what exactly in included at the $50,000 level of service and we’ll come back with those details once we have them.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of this sort of partnership. Back in October, an AIG subsidiary, Chartis, announced a partnership with Burson-Marsteller and Porter Novelli to provide a “ReputationGuard” service. In that case, an annual premium of $10,000 would guarantee policyholders some crisis management service.

Weber Shandwick EVP Offers Three Tips for Good Storytelling

Last week, Weber Shandwick introduced a new “storytelling system” that will act as a framework for distributing content in the appropriate format to the right destinations. “Content Fusion” comes with its own website, white paper, and video to explain the method behind the madness.

It’s not just Weber that’s focused on the art of telling a good story. Lots of PR pros tell PRNewser that having a good story to tell and telling it well are a big part of their job.

We asked David Krejci, EVP of digital communications at Weber Shandwick, three questions via email about Content Fusion and the elements of a good story.

Check out the Q&A after the jump.

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Kellogg Chooses Weber Shandwick

Kellogg has chosen Weber Shandwick and its fellow IPG firm Current Lifestyle Marketing for services to its U.S. brands. The selection is part of a consolidation of the company’s PR work.

Kellogg, the makers of products like Pop-Tarts and Eggo, will continue to work with MSLGroup and Ketchum on projects. However, Hunter PR, which works with Keebler, Morningstar Farms, and Cheez-It will likely be impacted.

Weber has not worked with any of Kellogg’s brands before. Kellogg launched the search for a new firm about two months ago. Ketchum was the incumbent. Other incumbents are also said to have participated in the search.

[via Ad Age]

IPG Brazilian Acquisition to Aid Weber and GH

Interpublic Group has acquired majority control of S2Publicom, a top Brazilian firm that was formed last year by the merger of two PR firms, S2 and Publicom. The firms have a 20-year history in the country.

S2Publicom was an affiliate of Weber Shandwick and GolinHarris, and will continue to aid with regional growth plans for those two firms.

S2Publicom will continue to be led by CEO José Luiz Schiavoni with the other founding partners, Luciana Gurgel and Aldo De Luca, remaining in their positions as senior strategists and counselors. S2Publicom specializes in media relations and media training, crisis comms, and digital work.

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