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Year in Review: Agency Trends

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This year was all about digital, digital, digital. Agencies big and small expanded, re-branded, and staffed up to meet client demand, while also performing triage on their traditional business. A number agencies made deep staff cuts, while some closed altogether. Journalists fled crumbling mastheads to join the PR world. Flat became the new growth for those reporting earnings.

Here are a few posts remembering the year that was in public relations agency trends…

Firms create and name their digital divisions:

Levine opens LCO 2.0, Morris + King opens SeisMK; Ogilvy PR calls theirs 360° Digital Influence.

Big hires, mostly in digital:

David Patton leaves WSJ for WagEd’s Studio D; Stephanie Agresta gets a big bump at Porter Novelli; Chad Latz joins Cohn & Wolfe; Ogilvy adds several; Marian Salzman re-joins EuroRSCG; Cristina Lawrence leaves Fleishman Hillard for Razorfish; David Armano joins Edelman.

Digi-gurus leave their jobs to start their own consultancies, including:

“PR” Sarah Evans launches Sevans Strategy; “Key Influencer” James Andrews leaves Ketchum to start Everywhere; Chris Brown leaves “America’s Most Wanted” to run his firm full time.

Flat is the new up:

Richard Edelman predicts gloom at Davos; Omnicom, MDC (with up earnings), WPP all report revenue slips; Martin Sorrell already saying 2010 will be rough; The Council of PR Firms called it.

Firms and offices closed or shrank:

The mega-firm Enfatico, created to service Dell, has layoffs; Fleishman cuts deep in hometown Kansas City office; Taylor makes cuts; Catevo closes; LP&G closes office, goes virtual; Paul Wilmot exits L.A. after less than a year.

America’s Most Wanted New Media Editor Opens Digital Consultancy


Chris Brown, the managing editor for new media at Fox’s America’s Most Wanted will leave the show to focus on his digital consultancy full time beginning in January.

Brown started “Chris Brown TV” after leaving local San Francisco TV station KRON in 2003 and went permanent again with Fox three years ago. He’s juggled his freelance work since, consulting to large PR firms Porter Novelli and APCO Worldwide, and on digital strategy for the Washington Times, UPI and the Abundant Forrests Alliance. “There’s so much exciting work going on in PR and public affairs, it seems like the right time to make it a full-time occupation,” Brown told PRNewser over email.

Brown’s six person team at Fox ushered AMW from a middle America favorite on the dial, to an integrated media property with a social presence. both draws advertisers and helps the relentless John Walsh root out the bad guys.

AMW traffic is big among TV show sites, losing only to Dancing with the Stars during November sweeps, ahead of NCIS, The Office, Survivor, and Heroes, Brown said. The online effort serendipitously coincided with the explosion of social networks, and has led to the capture of more than 100 people, including fugitives in Mexico, India and Israel, since he joined in 2007.