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Archives: June 2009

PRSA CEO: “Now Is Not the Time to Hibernate. To Be Understood, You Have To Understand”


Speaking at a PRSA conference in Florida, PRSA chair and CEO Michael Cherenson stressed to attendees that now is not the time to “hibernate” when it comes to the new media landscape.

“There’s no doubt media has changed,” he said. “It’s gone from a passive form of news to active, but I don’t think traditional media is gone. This is just another tool.” Regarding social media, Cherenson said, “People are embracing this stuff because it’s cool…But they need to be doing it for strategic reasons.”

RELATED: PRNewser Interview: PRSA Chair Elect Michael Cherenson

Spin the Agencies of Record


Account wins in this edition of Spin the Agencies of Record include a product to help you kick smoking, a regional division of Susan G. Komen for the Cure (hence the iconic pink ribbon), a Linux software consultancy, and a sub sandwich franchise looking to take a bite out of the big guys:

CIGGX lights it up with the TransMedia Group as AoR. CIGGX is an herbal supplement to help smokers kick the habit.

Zimmerman beefs up Firehouse Subs’ franchise expansion as agency of record

The Linux Box consultancy opens up its possibilities with Feintuch Communications

Atomic advocates for the L.A. County affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world’s largest breast cancer advocacy organization. Work will include support for the Los Angeles evens Dine Out for the Cure, Fashion for the Cure, and of course, Race for the Cure.

Last but not least, Illinois-based Champion Media sets a Spin the Agencies record with thirteen client wins announced at once

Survey: 86% Feel Corporations Can Address Social Issues

Despite the flood of corporate scandals and mounting pressures of a recession which have both eroded trust in big business, an overwhelming percentage of consumers feel that for-profit businesses can address social issues according to the results of a poll released by Waggener Edstrom (WE) today. The 86% of consumers bumps a bit to 92% when the sample was only marketing and communications professionals.

The study was conducted with the help of polling shop RT Strategies as part of WE’s formalization of WE Social Innovation as one of its six practice areas.

WE’s SI practice is part of a move to council clients on the growing area of corporate social responsibility, or CSR. Along with social media, its a rare opportunity for revenue growth during the downturn. The study also found that 60 percent of consumers believe that businesses are in the best position to effect positive results on social issues, as opposed to governments (14 percent). Fifty-three percent were found more likely to purchase goods and services from companies that clearly demonstrated their commitments to social responsibility.

More insights can be found in WE’s press release.

Weber Shandwick, MS&L, Taylor & Ketchum Among First Cannes Lions PR Winners

[Case study video for Cummins Nitro's PR Lions Grand Prix and Direct Lions Grand Prix winning campaign]

The advertising industry this year finally let PR agencies into their annual festival/awards show/schmooze-fest that is the Cannes Lions.

Several American agencies won awards, including New York-based Taylor for their work with Guiness, Ketchum for work with Haagen-Dazs, MS&L for work with Proctor & Gamble and Weber Shandwick for their work with BPEX. View the complete list of PR Lions winners here. The top award, the PR Lions Grand Prix, went to Australian agency Cummins Nitro for their “Best Job in the World” campaign for Tourism Queensland.

Read AgencySpy’s initial round up of the festival here, and stay tuned for more updates.

The Ticker: All-Time Lows for Network News, Bad Damage Control, HuffPo New York…

Rahm Emanuel: A Master of Media Relations in the White House

[image cred]

One typically associates the role of White House media relations with the Press Secretary, and for this administration that man is Robert Gibbs. However, while Gibbs is sought after during his daily briefings and for on the record remarks, another prominent member of the administration, chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, is doing his fare share of media relations work, both on and off the record.

The Washington Post‘s Howard Kurtz writes: “Perhaps no White House chief of staff in modern history has worked the media as aggressively and relentlessly as Emanuel. Drawing on his long-standing relationships with journalists, Emanuel serves up on-the-record quotes, background spin and the sort of capital gossip that lubricates relationships. The former Chicago congressman also seeks their take on events and floats possible administration tactics.”

“A conversation with Rahm can be as little as 30 seconds…He calls, drops a few F-bombs, makes his point and hangs up,” CNN commentator Paul Begala told Kurtz. Said the NY TimesDavid Brooks, “With some people you just get the spin; he does go beyond that.”

For Immediate Release Fridays, Pizza The Hut Edition


[The Hut, via One Fast Buffalo]

For Immediate Release Fridays, PRNewser’s original weekly series of posts has fallen by the wayside latey. Its a look at the bad news uploaded late Fridays to minimize coverage.

So when I saw a press release uploaded 10 minutes to midnight assuring customers that Pizza Hut will in fact, not change its name to “The Hut” I did some digging. Like BigK, Dunkin’s new DD (double D, really?) and BK it’s not always clear to the consumer if the new names are an attempt to skew younger, or a full corporate name changes.

The Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM) chain may have bobbled a trade pitch, or the reporter misunderstood it, according to what I found on Google.

The name-change stories have been going on for a couple of weeks, culminating in a hilarious one from Consumerist to the delight of Star Wars fans everywhere (The Hut = The Hutt).

It appears the confusion stems from a Mediaweek story on June 7 about the use of The Hut for its marketing initiatives including in-store Hut TV.

Read more

Bite Loses a Chunk of Apple


Apple pulled all promotion, marketing, and PR duties in the U.K. in-house, ending a 14-year with its agency there, Bite PR.

The account diminished in size over the last few years and was worth $165,000 annually at the end (100,000 pounds, converted). The PRWeek UK story explains that Bite was in fact, named specifically for the Apple account in 1995 when it spun off from Next Fifteen sister agency Text 100.

Most interesting in this is a column by MacWorld UK Editor Karen Haslam, explaining that she was on the Apple account while she worked at Bite, in the heady days of the iPod and OS X launches. She reveals that Bite overserviced the account by 50%. Despite the AdAge bit that repping Apple is the easiest job in marketing, this reveals how hard firms will work to keep a marquee account.

If you’re not familiar with PR’s P&L game, this means that Bite spent a pound fifty in hourly work for every pound it earned in retainer–a worthwhile marketing expense if it brings in other accounts.

The Ticker: Sotomayor PR, Denton Talks Up Kurtz, Car Markets Ease Up With Media…

Golin Harris, Cohn & Wolfe and Porter Novelli Win Walmart Work


A little over two months ago PRNewser heard that Golin-Harris, Weber Shandwick, Cohn and Wolfe and Taylor were finalists for the Walmart PR business, which it was said would encompass multiple agencies.

Two out of the four names were right, as today news broke that Golin Harris, Cohn & Wolfe and Porter Novelli were each chosen for separate parts of the massive account. Advertising Age‘s Michael Bush broke the story.

Writes Bush:

The win is especially big for Porter Novelli, whose chairman, Helen Ostrowski, stepped down at the beginning of the year. The agency has been relatively quiet on the new-business front and in 2008 there were numerous reports of layoffs in addition to the loss of two significant accounts, Humana and the American Cancer Society, both of which it chose not to defend and were rumored to be seven-figure contracts.

None of Bush’s sources would speak to him on the record, which is not necessarily unusual with an account win of this size, as agencies and the end client are extremely careful with all communications. However it does lead us to guess that the selection process was finalized very recently, possibly today.