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Posts Tagged ‘Edelman’

Culture: How Smaller Agencies Keep Up With the Joneses

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Can your agency say this?  Few even try, so it seems.

It is no secret that the industry of public relations is run by the “biggies” (e.g., Burson-Marsteller, Edelman, Ketchum, Weber Shandwick, FleishmanHillard, GolinHarris). Because of their global reach and U.S. presence, many prospective clients see them as the benchmark of service, ability, and results. As a former “Burson person” and a “Big PR” alum, I can attest to the fact that they all earn it.

It was at a biggie where I cut my teeth, spread my wings, and cracked my shell into smithereens. That said, to compete with said biggies in their trek for global PR domination, the “boutiques” have looked into other areas to draw the attention of top prospects: availability, flexibility, tangibility. It was at the “not-so-biggies” where I learned everything else.

So, what’s the rub? The silver bullet these smaller, scalable agencies are using to compete is culture. 

Is that all it takes?

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7 Experts Weigh in on the PR/Wikipedia Agreement

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This week brought news of what could be an historic agreement between top PR firms and the editorial community behind one of the world’s most-used, most contentious sources of information: Wikipedia.

The announcement, which primarily concerned ethical issues regarding firms’ relationships with the editors responsible for their clients’ pages, could have very real implications on the entire industry. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales himself wrote, “A great opportunity is upon us.

We spoke to several experts, three of whom were directly involved in the project, to get their perspectives.

First a bit of history via Phil Gomes, SVP of Edelman Digital, who got the ball rolling.

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10 Top Firms Promise Not to ‘Sockpuppet’ Clients’ Wikipedia Pages

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One of the PR industry’s longstanding ethical debates appears closer to a resolution: the matter of Wikipedia “sockpuppets“. Today, several of the industry’s top players released a statement promising not to bend the rules of the public database to their own clients’ benefit.

Last year, Wikipedia took a public stand against the practice of hiring administrators to revamp clients’ profiles; it even went so far as to call out Wiki-PR, a firm specializing in the practice, by name. The firms involved in today’s announcement, however, want the organization to know that PR and public content databases can be friends.

The list and the statement after the jump.

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Edelman Acquires Swedish Agency, Doubles Down on Creative

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As further confirmation of the firms-entering-creative-territory trend, today Edelman announced plans to beef up its European content creation operations by acquiring the Stockholm-based agency Deportivo.

The purpose of this move, via the press release itself, is to develop a “a creative centre of excellence” in order to better serve Edelman’s European clients.

So what does the move mean?

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Roll Call: Edelman, DDC Advocacy and High10 Media

Edelman has named Wayne Hickey general manager of Edelman San Francisco, effective July 1. Hickey is a six-year Edelman veteran with more than 20 years of experience in communications and politics, with a focus on consumer technology, gaming and entertainment. In his new role, Hickey will oversee all operations, client service and overall business direction and growth for Edelman San Francisco. Hickey most recently served as the founder and managing director of Assembly, which converged teams at Edelman to lead U.S.-based public relations, digital, social, measurement and creative on behalf of Microsoft. In addition, he served as Edelman’s global client relationship manager for Microsoft for more than three years where he drove continued expansion into social, retail, analytics and paid advertising. Hickey succeeds interim general manager Kristine Boyden, who will transition to a new role as COO of the Western Region, starting July 1. Boyden is a 13-year Edelman veteran who has held several leadership roles during her tenure at the firm including global client relationship manager for HP, leader of the U.S. CRM program and Bay Area GM for operations and integration where she was the lead architect for the integration of our Bay Area operations. In this newly created role, she will lead initiatives that advance the company’s mission. (Release)

DDC Advocacy (DDCA) welcomes Jessica Kahanek as its new deputy digital director. Kahanek, a tested Capitol Hill communications veteran, will help guide digital messaging and engagement efforts to deliver online victories for DDCA’s rapidly expanding client base. Kahanek, a Texas native, comes to DDCA with more than five years of experience managing digital and traditional communications for members of Congress, congressional committees and congressional campaigns. She served most recently as the communications director for Representative Jim Costa (D-CA) and has a background in new media from the office of Representative Gene Green (D-TX). (Release)

High10 Media announced the hiring of Fay Sliger as vice president. Sliger, who comes to High10 Media from VICE Media where she was a senior member of the company’s communications team, starts immediately. Before joining High10 Media, Sliger was a senior member of VICE Media’s communications department where she developed and executed strategies, and oversaw media relations, for the company’s corporate announcements, digital content, films and events. Sliger also led global communications efforts related to campaigns and partnerships developed by VICE’s in-house creative agency. Prior to VICE, Sliger was a senior account director at New York-based communications firm Sunshine Sachs. (Release)

Roll Call: Edelman, OCG PR, Public Relations Global Network, and More

Edelman has announced new leadership positions in the firm’s Chicago office, naming Kevin Cook as Chicago’s first chief operating officer and Una Pipic as the new chief of staff, effective immediately. Cook and Pipic will report to Jay Porter, president, Edelman Chicago. The addition of these positions is part of maintaining the momentum and continued evolution of the Chicago office. Cook joined Edelman in 1996 and has served as the managing director of Chicago’s Corporate Affairs practice since 2008, and Pipic joined Edelman in 2013 as senior vice president of the new business and marketing team. (Release)

OCG PR has added new, strategic leadership in public engagement, public relations and creative services. The agency has appointed Amanda L. Ray to senior vice president, public relations; Cynthia Northrop White to senior vice president, public engagement and Michel Ansara to creative director. Ray now leads the strategy and overall execution of the firm’s corporate communications, media relations, social media and integrated marketing communications campaigns. Over the past 20 years, she has brought award-winning PR programs to life for companies and organizations like AT&T, Cell Phones for Soldiers, The Women’s Museum and TXU Energy, among others. Northrop White now directs strategy and overall execution for the agency’s public engagement practice. A former Denton County Commissioner, she brings years of experience connecting and educating stakeholders and municipal leaders around public sector developments. Prior to joining OCG, she was the head of the Public Information Office for TxDOT’s Dallas District. Ansara now oversees all creative strategy and execution for the firm’s design and video production. A native of Johannesburg, South Africa, he brings more than 10 years of experience designing and developing print, digital and video assets and augmented reality engagement to OCG. (Release)

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Edelman Names New York President

CohanFollowing the promotion of Russell Dubner to President/CEO of its U.S. operations, Edelman has named his successor: Jen Cohan.

Cohan will be president of Edelman New York effective July 1; she currently serves as global chair of the firm’s consumer marketing practice, and in her new role she will report directly to Dubner.

In the release, Dubner writes:

“Jennifer is a seasoned business leader and marketer who has deep experience working with both consumer and corporate brands…Jen’s skills will serve the office well as she charts new ways to bring even greater value to our clients’ business.”

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Edelman Names New U.S. President/CEO

EdelmanToday Edelman announced that Russell Dubner–who currently holds the position of president, Edelman New York–will be the next head and CEO of the firm’s entire U.S. operation.

Effective June 1st, Dubner will oversee Edelman’s fourteen U.S. offices after running the New York office for six years and managing its 800 employees. He replaces the departing Mark Haas, who “more than doubled” the size of the firm’s China operations before returning to New York in 2012.

Dubner has been deeply involved in various internal Edelman initiatives for some time, contributing to the firm’s Participation Platform, thought leadership methodology and Master Narrative approach to corporate communications.

In addition to his new title and responsibilities, Dubner’s promotion also earns him a spot on Edelman’s Executive Committee.

Dubner will report to global COO Matthew Harrington; the fact that he joined the firm as an entry-level account exec in 1992 should provide some encouragement for the optimistic among us.

Edelman Scores #3 Spot on ‘Top 50 CEOs’ List

We’re not exactly sure which qualities make a chief executive a favorite among employees, but Richard Edelman has them: he’s the only communications chief to appear on Glassdoor’s new 2014 list of the world’s highest rated CEOs, topped by Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn.

In fact, no PR leaders appeared on last year’s list, which featured Mark Zuckerberg in the first position.

We can’t say we’re terribly surprised given the industry’s reputation for keeping things very close to its chest, but one may gain some insights from former and current employees’ reviews, which provided the data for the list. Here are Edelman’s (nice widget, BTW):


The reviews are almost universally positive, with a notable focus on company culture and career opportunities (hardly a surprise at the world’s biggest independent agency).
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Dottie Sandusky and John Zeigler Aren’t Helping to Repair Penn State’s Reputation

Just under a month ago, Yale School of Management senior associate dean Jerry Sonnenfeld published an op-ed in USA Today praising Penn State’s board for overcoming the Jerry Sandusky scandal by moving on rather than fighting.

A subsequent New Republic piece by Alec MacGillis criticized the op-ed, framing it as a summary of Penn State AOR Edelman’s (correct) damage control strategy rather than a statement of Sonnenfeld’s personal opinion. To outside observers, moving forward certainly feels like the right idea—but Matt Lauer and John Zeigler seem determined to make it harder for Penn State to do so.

While we don’t take great pleasure in today’s blanket coverage of Lauer’s interview with Dottie Sandusky, it is compellingly disturbing.

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