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Posts Tagged ‘Andy Polansky’

Weber Shandwick CEO Says PR More Responsible for ‘Big Ideas’ on Strategy

Weber Shandwick CEO Andy PolanskyIn a new Adweek interview on the future of public relations, Weber Shandwick CEO Andy Polansky says that PR is increasingly “the steward of the strategy”. He believes that developments in digital/social media are the “biggest growth engines” for the industry at large and that they have increased the amount of power that firms hold when shaping messaging strategies for clients.

He makes some very strong statements about social media being “the core of everything we’re doing” and echoes Edelman‘s sentiments about an industry more directly involved in the creative process, saying that “Whoever retains the most creative thinkers will win market share.”

The topics covered in the interview are, in fact, similar to those Polansky addressed when we spoke to him after his promotion last November. In that post he also focused on the power that firms have gained through social media and the very “explosion of data” that has led some to create their own custom analytics tools. The Adweek quote that interests us most concerns the public’s perception that PR is all about “spin” when more firms are concerned with pushing and sharing a given client’s narrative through content and messaging than containing and minimizing the effects of its missteps.

These are familiar talking points to anyone who works in the industry, but we’re interested in specifics: in what ways have firms begun more aggressively managing media strategies for clients over the past few years?

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Interview with New Weber Shandwick CEO Andy Polansky

Andy Polansky, CEO Weber ShandwickLast week the Interpublic Group announced the promotion of PR firm Weber Shandwick‘s former president, Andy Polansky, to the position of CEO. Polanksy had served as president of Weber Shandwick since 2004; he replaced outgoing CEO Harris Diamond (who in turn became chairman and CEO of “ad agency network” McCann Worldgroup).

Polansky has worked for Shandwick and its predecessor firms in various capacities for approximately 30 years; he is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society who currently sits on the Board of Trustees for the Institute for Public Relations, and he has also served as chairman of the Council of PR Firms for the past two years.

On Friday we had the opportunity to get Polanksy’s thoughts on a changing PR industry; we’ve reprinted our exchange below.

Could you briefly describe the changes you’ve seen affecting Weber Shandwick and the PR industry at large during your time with the firm?

I’ve been with Weber Shandwick and its predecessor firms for nearly 30 years, so of course the change has been quite dramatic! Over the past few years we’ve seen significant shifts in how people consume and share information. We’ve also seen a heightened focus on the changing context of go-to-market approaches, with public policy and reputation considerations now playing a larger role in how organizations shape strategies. Public relations firms increasingly play a lead role in the fast-changing environment. It’s an exciting time to be in this business.

There seems to be a consensus around social media and the data/analytics explosion exerting a great influence on the PR industry of the future. What is your take on this subject?

Social media’s rise has transformed our industry, as companies focus on new ways to engage with their customers.  Whether you’re a B2B company, dealing with a reputational issue or crisis or launching a new consumer product, social media is front and center – a nexus for everything we consider now for any type of communications program. There has been an explosion of data available to formulate insights, to inform strategy, and to create pathways to breakthrough creative thinking.

How do you see the relationship between PR, marketing and advertising changing?

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Council of PR Firms Publishes an Advertorial To Target Marketers

This week, the Council of Public Relations Firms has published a “Branded Content” special in Ad Age titled ‘The PR Factor 2011,”  which you can also find online here.

According to the opening, authored by Council chairman and Weber Shandwick president Andy Polansky: “We created this special section to cue marketers in to how public relations is taking a more prominent place in integrated marketing campaigns and to take a look at what this means for the overall marketing services industry. It also highlights the variety of ways in which CMOs and brand managers can partner with PR firms to drive results.”

The section includes four articles such as one on trends predictions for 2012 and another on the steps PR is taking to meet the needs of the new marketing landscape.

But is it oxymoronic for a PR organization to run a “special advertising section” in an advertising trade publication to talk up PR?

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Council of PR Firms Announces the 2012 Board

Speaking of the Council of PR Firms, they’ve announced the 2012 board of directors for the organization. Weber Shandwick president Andy Polansky will serve another year as the chairman of the Council. Also re-elected are Porter Novelli’s Gary Stockman as chair-elect, Airfoil’s Janet Tyler as treasurer, and Laura Tomasetti from 360 Public Relations as secretary.

A number of CEOs and principals will also be joining them as directors: Christine Barney, rbb Public Relations; Amy Binder, RF Binder; Dave Senay, Fleishman-Hillard; Melissa Waggener Zorkin, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide; Sharon Linhart, Linhart Public Relations; Elise Mitchell, Mitchell Communications; Jennifer Prose, CJP Communications; Donna Imperato, Cohn & Wolfe; and Margery Kraus , APCO Worldwide.

Congrats to everyone!

Weber Shandwick/CPRF Chair Polansky Talks Digital, Measurement, and Firm Business

Among the current top priorities at the Council for Public Relations Firms (CPRF) is helping firms make a way through the world digital and social media, says Andy Polansky, president of Weber Shandwick and chairman of the organization.

Calling social media “a real growth driver for agencies,” Polansky said, “The budgets associated with public relations programs are seemingly getting larger. If you think about marketing spend from a historical perspective, there was a lot of money flowing to advertising and the various other disciplines. I think now there’s more of a jump-ball mentality; whoever brings the best ideas is going to win the day.” An October 27 event with guests Robert Gibbs, former Obama press secretary, and Mashable founder Pete Cashmore, will dig into these social media topics even further.

We had the chance to sit down with Polansky recently to discuss the industry issues that the Council is tackling, and business at his own firm. The Council’s members include more than 100 PR firms of all shapes and sizes. Talent and diversity was another important issue on CPRF list.

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Polansky Elected Council of PR Firms Board Chair

Weber Shandwick president Andy Polansky has been elected the 2011 chair of the Council of Public Relations Firms board of directors.  Other board officers include Capstrat CEO Ken Eudy as treasurer;  360 Public Relations MD Laura Tomasetti as secretary; and Margery Kraus, president and CEO of APCO Worldwide as immediate past chair of the Council.

APCO CEO Margery Kraus Named 2010 Chair of the Council of Public Relations Firms

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The Council of PR Firms announced this morning that APCO CEO Margery Kraus will serve as 2010 Chair of the industry trade group, following Ketchum CEO Ray Kotcher‘s run. The release was issued at the same time the Council meets for its annual high-end Critical Issues Forum.

The PR Council lists exactly a hundred member firms on its website ranging from boutiques with under ten employees to megafirms like Ogilvy, Porter Novelli and Weber Shandwick.

The executive officers joining Kraus are Andy Polansky (Weber Shandwick) as Chair-Elect, Jens Bang (Cone) as Treasurer, Otis Wragg (Wragg & Casas Public Relations) as secretary, and Kotcher as immediate past chair.

The Council also elected new board members Christine Barney (rbb Public Relations), Donna Imperato (Cohn & Wolfe), Jennifer Prosek (CJP Communications), Dave Senay (Fleishman-Hillard), Laura Tomasetti (360 Public Relations) and Melissa Waggener Zorkin (Waggener Edstrom Worldwide).