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Posts Tagged ‘Burson-Marsteller’

Time to Leave Your Agency? PR Vets Discuss the Challenges and Rewards of Going Solo

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We hope you didn’t miss our piece on breaking into fashion PR last week, but we have to confess that we left some of the most interesting parts out.

Beyond the great stories about graduating from crazy internships to working for designers and brands, we saw a trend emerging: two of the three industry veterans we spoke to went from jobs at major firms to running the show as independent consultants—and the third started her own agency.

Laura Hall’s resume reads like a PR “who’s who”: she’s worked for Burson-Marsteller, MSL Group, FleishmannHillard, Hill+Knowlton Strategies and Weber Shandwick.

Impressed yet? So are we.

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Burson-Marsteller Founder Says PR Needs to Regain Its ‘Moral Purpose’

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You may have already noticed the headline of this PR Week interview with Harold Burson, the Burson-Marsteller founder universally known as one of the industry’s “godfathers.”

Of course you should read the whole thing, but we’ll throw out a couple of teasers.

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The New York Times Has Your Burson-Marsteller Rebranding Covered

Oh hi.

NYT advertising guru Stuart Elliott has seen the new Burson-Marsteller, and we can’t quite tell whether he’s impressed or not.

From the new tagline “Being More” to a revamped website and an inaugural series of “conversations” on disparate topics led by relevant “thought leaders”, Burson-Marsteller has undergone a fairly extensive re-branding to celebrate its 60th anniversary. The point of the shift as we read it is to emphasize the flexibility of the agency’s offerings. Some key quotes from its statement of purpose:

Being More means being more confident in our ability to communicate with more people, in more places, with bigger ideas, through constantly changing communications channels and with more impact.

One of the most exciting aspects of the times in which we live and work is that no one owns this model, because there are no boundaries.

Old distinctions between categories of paid, owned and earned media are fast becoming outmoded.

In other words: whatever you need done, we can do it—with an emphasis on content creation.

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Spin the Agencies of Record

I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered. – soccer legend George Best

JMPR Public Relations announced today that it has been appointed as the agency of record for Lou La Vie, the noted luxury and exotic vehicle rental company serving the Miami and South Florida markets. JMPR will be responsible for overseeing media outreach to expand awareness of the company on a national and international level.

Electricity is really just organized lightning. – George Carlin

PR Week reports that Sony Electronics has selected Burson-Marsteller as the AOR for all of its US electronics business. The firm, which has served as AOR for Sony’s mobile business for several years, was chosen from a group of four firms involved in a final round review. Sony has recently reduced its account budget and reportedly changed its goals, but representatives did not provide further detail to PR Week at this date.

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Spin the Agencies of Record

Because who needed that first ‘E’ anyway…

Xplore Technologies Corp., manufacturer of the world’s “most powerful, longest-lasting and rugged tablet in the market” (whatever that means), selected multiservice communications agency Waggener Edstrom Worldwide (WE) to build and share the Xplore story with key audiences. These groups include the utilities and telecommunications, oil and gas, warehousing and distribution and military markets.

Isn’t do-it-yourself air conditioning called a fan?

Following a successful initial introduction by JMPR Public Relations in 2012, IDQ Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of automotive aftermarket air conditioning products, announced that it has once again retained JMPR as agency of record for the do-it-yourself (DIY) air conditioning brand, A/C Pro. Wait, what?

IDQ introduced A/C Pro in the spring of 2012 following more than two years of research and development. The product’s purpose? Eliminating barriers for the DIY-er who wants to perform his own automotive A/C repairs–and potentially saving drivers hundreds of dollars on expenses.

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Shocker: PR Firm Writes Kim Kardashian’s Tweets

Kim Kardashian Millions of MilkshakesIn what just might be the most obvious revelation of the year, leading PR firm Burson-Marsteller has confessed to writing promotional tweets on behalf of a certain Kim Kardashian, who happens to be the spokesperson for client/frozen dessert chain Millions of Milkshakes (insert terrible joke here).

This client case study doesn’t tell us too much that we didn’t already know, but it does offer some interesting details about the ways in which top firms create “maximum ‘noise’” for promo campaigns via strategic, “exclusive” media leaks and traditional Islamic greetings tweeted to fans in Dubai (we also love the fact that Kim’s promotional appearance at a new MoM branch in Bahrain attracted “100 Shiite Muslim protesters with anti-Kim signs who had to be teargassed by local authorities”).

Hey, we all know that the lives of reality TV celebrities are heavily choreographed affairs, but the degree of media manipulation in this case still surprises us—and we’re a little depressed by the fact that 400 journalists and bloggers attended the campaign’s biggest press conference.

Go ahead and call us naive. We can take it.

PR News: New Bloomberg CCO, Weber Shandwick Partnership

BloombergToday Bloomberg L.P. announced that PR and communications veteran Jason Schechter will join the company as chief communications officer. Schechter was formerly chairman of U.S. corporate practice at top PR firm Burson-Marsteller.

According to head of government relations and corporate communications Kevin Sheekey, Bloomberg is “re-imagining the way we communicate with our clients and stakeholders” and expanding its influence into new media markets– and the company sees Schechter and his communications experience as a key factor in this shift.

At Burson-Marsteller, Schechter provided strategic communications counsel to leading companies across diverse industries including financial services, technology, media, and professional services, while directing a team of nearly 80 communications professionals. He also worked with non-U.S. headquartered institutions looking to build global brands. Prior to his communications career, Schechter was an assistant press secretary in the Clinton White House, serving as an official spokesman to the President.

Schechter says that he looks forward to “working with the team to bring Bloomberg’s story of innovation and growth to the global marketplace.” (Release)

Today also brought news that McCormick & Company, Inc., a Fortune 1000 company specializing in spices, herbs and flavorings, has joined forces with leading global public relations firm Weber Shandwick after several years of productive partnership.

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Roll Call: Edelman, Burson-Marsteller, Ketchum, and More

Edelman has announced the launch of the Daniel J. Edelman China Group to oversee the expansion of its four service brands in China. Starting January 2013, the Daniel J. Edelman China Group will be comprised of four major lines of business: flagship agency Edelman, the newly created Edelman Digital, national firm Pegasus and sister agency Zeno Group, which is scheduled to open its first China office by the end of 2012.

The new group structure brings some staffing changes and executive appointments. Effective 1 January 2013: Steven Cao, current Pegasus president, is promoted to the new role of CEO, Daniel J. Edelman China Group. Kevin Wang and Tony Tao, Edelman’s managing directors in Beijing and Shanghai, will assume joint responsibility for the flagship agency’s China operations as co-presidents of Edelman China. Jeffrey Yu, Pegasus managing director, assumes complete responsibility of Pegasus China. John Kerr, recently appointed regional president for Zeno Group, will be responsible for assembling the Zeno China team. (Release)

Bob Pickard, Burson-Marsteller‘s Asia Pacific Chief Executive Officer, has tendered his resignation, and will be stepping down from his leadership role to pursue another opportunity to be announced in the coming months. His last day with the firm will be December 31st. In his place, Patrick Ford has been named interim Chair for Asia-Pacific. Ford has been with the firm for 23 years and is currently the firm’s Worldwide Chief Client Officer. He will continue in that role, focusing on driving growth among Burson-Marsteller’s largest clients in the Asia Pacific region as well as around the world. Ford served as the firm’s U.S. Chief Executive Officer for five years before becoming a Vice Chairman in 2012. He has been working from Hong Kong for the last several months. (Release)

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Komen Runs Big-Budget Damage Control Campaign

You may remember that Susan G. Komen — the company responsible for turning October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month) into a sea of pink– pulled funding from Planned Parenthood  back in February, resulting in a tidal wave of outrage. The hypocrisy of Komen, which urges women to be screened for cancer, pulling funding from an organization that provides access to cancer screenings and preventative education for underprivileged women proved too much for many to swallow. Komen eventually reversed its decision, but the move came too late for many former supporters.

As the company gears up for this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, many in the industry doubt whether the brand can recover its damaged image and retain corporate sponsorships. For that reason, this year’s campaign will focus on salvaging Komen’s credibility where past efforts leaned more toward educating women about screenings and inspiring others to join the fight by purchasing branded items and participating in sponsored races. So will it work?

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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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