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Posts Tagged ‘Hill + Knowlton Strategies’

Kate Spade Will Pull Its ‘Kony’ Handbags

kate spade konyWe felt like the tweeters overreacted a bit to the Kate Spade bag that appears to read “I Love Kony” this week, but the brand apparently disagrees: today they announced plans to pull all the existing bags from stores.

Group SJR, the Hill + Knowlton Strategies company that represents the brand, issued the following statement:

This bag was designed as a celebration of kate spade new york, using the abbreviation of our name, kate (spade) new york. We regret the interpretation of this tote’s design and apologize for any misunderstanding. We take customer feedback seriously and are actively working to withdraw these items from our stores and wholesale partners.

It was an unfortunate incident, but this move appears to be the best way to tamp down the unintentional controversy. Worst of all, Joseph Kony is still alive and well despite Invisible Children‘s best guerrilla marketing efforts.

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H + K, Booz & Co. Grow Content Marketing Wings

In yet another sign of the increasingly intimate (one might say co-dependent) relationship between PR and marketing, two top firms formed partnerships with content creation/digital branding agencies this week.

On Tuesday, Hill + Knowlton Strategies announced its acquisition of Group SJR, a New York/LA-based company focused on attracting audiences and building brand loyalty via strategic insights, “audience curation” and—most importantly—the creation and management of custom content.

The following day, Booz & Company made its new partnership with international branding/advertising agency Leagas Delaney official. LD is a London-based agency specializing in services ranging from advertising creative to media buys.

In both cases, the partners aim to create a sort of super-firm by fusing two or more distinct agencies in order to more completely serve each client’s diverse content/distribution needs—like a digital Power Ranger.

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Roll Call: Edelman, Hill + Knowlton Strategies, Rubenstein Public Relations and More

Edelman PR announced the promotion of Steve Rubel to the position of chief content strategist. Rubel, who is a prominent blogger and guest columnist for Ad Age and other publications, previously served as executive vice president for global strategy and insights. His primary responsibility in this new role will be maximizing the value of clients’ content in all forms of media: earned, paid, owned and shared. He will report to Jackie Cooper, whose recent promotion to global chair of creative strategy marked a shift toward a more actively engaged PR model. Rubel’s inaugural blog post explores his thoughts on the art of content creation as a perpetual work in progress. (The New York Times)

Hill+Knowlton Strategies announced that Ron Eagle has been appointed senior vice president for entertainment and technology, effective Monday, Feb. 25, 2013. In this role, Eagle will be responsible for providing strategic counsel and oversight to H+K Strategies entertainment and technology clients, as well as building and strengthening client relationships throughout the Los Angeles market. He will report to Bill Coletti, general manager for Hill+Knowlton Strategies Los Angeles. Eagle has more than 17 years of experience and previously served as director of product publicity and PlayStation Network for Sony Computer Entertainment America (Release)

Rubenstein Public Relations added two new senior members to its team. This week Richard Rubenstein announced the addition of Aurora Kessler, who returns to the agency in the new role of managing director, and Ann Hinshaw, who will serve as vice president overseeing the firm’s entertainment division.

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Spin the Agencies of Record

An AOR with a Continental Shift:

Hill+Knowlton Strategies, a global public relations and communications firm, has announced an elaborate expansion plan for Africa that will provide consultancy services to businesses across the continent.

“Our expansion plan in Africa will offer our clients unmatched experience, wisdom and creativity in the high-growth markets within the region,” said Jack Martin, global chairman and CEO.

The Pan-African strategy includes the immediate establishment of Hill+Knowlton Strategies offices in four African markets — Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ghana — and the near-term formation of offices in Nigeria and South Africa. H+K will draw upon its global PR expertise and African professionals to offer its clients a broad range of services such as corporate communications, marketing communications, internal communications, sports marketing and sponsorship, digital communications, issues and crisis consultancy, and public affairs.

“A hotel is a temporary aquarium for people. That’s why I travel with a fishing pole, and erectile dysfunction medicine.” ― Jarod Kintz

Redpoint Marketing PR, Inc. welcomes 2013 with the addition of several new clients to its tourism and hospitality roster.

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Spin the Agencies of Record

Waste processing and recycling company Sun Bergeron has chosen Hill + Knowlton Strategies for corporate communications, media relations, research, community relations, and other marcomms work. H+K in Miami will lead the work with help from offices across the country.

Thermo Fisher Scientific has chosen Racepoint Group for global PR and social media work. Racepoint has also added six other health care clients to its roster including the UMass Memorial Medical Center and Jiff Inc, a health care social network.The agency has hired Nigel Smith, a health care PR pro with 20 years of experience, as SVP of the global health care practice to help with the new business. [via]

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H+K Strategies Working with Best Buy After CEO Resignation

A sharp-eyed tipster saw this story on the Bloomberg site in which a spokesperson from Hill + Knowlton Strategies, Claire Koeneman, the firm’s EVP and head of the financial comms practice, responded to questions about the abrupt resignation of Best Buy’s CEO Brian Dunn. Koeneman was named H+K’s financial practice lead back in June.

We contacted H+K about the story and while the agency confirmed that it is working with the troubled consumer electronics retailer following the CEO’s departure, it wouldn’t give any further detail.

When Dunn’s resignation was first announced, the company said it was due to the need for new leadership. However, now the media is reporting that there’s an investigation into his “personal conduct.”

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Roll Call: Walmart Exec Joins H+K, Groupon Exec Joins Weber, and More

George Shelton has been named SVP at Hill + Knowlton Strategies, leading the reputation management and corporate practice starting February 15. Shelton was previously senior director for insights, advocacy, and outreach for Walmart, a role focused on the company’s commercial goals and public policy programs. In this new role, he’ll be based in Austin and focused on CSR, messaging, reputation management, and media outreach.

Brad Williams, previously the global comms VP for Groupon, has joined Weber Shandwick as head of the North American technology practice. He’ll be based in Sunnyvale, CA and report to Heidi Sinclair, president of the global tech group. Williams also has experience working with eBay, Yahoo!, and VeriSign. He stepped down from his post at Groupon in August 2011.

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Former JPMorgan Chase Exec Joins H+K in D.C.

Howard Opinsky has been named EVP and GM of Hill + Knowlton Strategies in Washington D.C., starting March 1.

Opinsky was previously MD of global corporate communications at JPMorgan Chase & Company, handling public affairs related to legislative and regulatory issues and comms surrounding company performance and programs. He joined the financial company in January 2011. Prior to that, he was an EVP with Weber Shandwick’s D.C. division Powell Tate. He was there for a decade.

H+K Strategies Launches Corporate Advisory Group

Hill + Knowlton Strategies has launched the Corporate Advisory Group, a division focused on reputation and public risk at the highest levels of business. The group will be led by H+K’s global chairman and CEO Jack Martin and London-based global vice chair of the corporate practice, Andrew Laurence.

Just last week, the firm announced that it had launched a research division and merged with a firm in Russia, expanding its reach in the region. The firm is also dealing with a possible court case involving Weber Shandwick.

H+K Strategies, Kameleon Launch a Consultancy

Ben Parker

Hill + Knowlton Strategies and Kameleon, a “partnership and content specialist,” have formed Soho Partners, a consultancy focused on partnerships and sponsorships across sports, entertainment, causes, and sustainability. The new group will work with H+K Strategy clients along with new clients. The company opens with two new clients: Carling and Aviva. The firm will work on Aviva’s UK sponsorships and the company’s rugby tournament.

Ben Barker, previously with H+K Strategies, and Mark Webster formerly an MD at Mindshare, will lead the company.

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