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Posts Tagged ‘Ketchum’

17 Firms That the New York Observer ‘Top 50′ List Missed

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Ye Olde New York Observer is known to be a publication that’s relatively friendly to PR pros who aren’t named Mark Penn. One prominent executive regularly publishes op-eds in its pages!

In case you missed it, the paper revealed its list of The Big Apple’s Top 50 PR Firms yesterday. The feature was extensive; beyond the basic list it included a “9 people to watch” slideshow and other little profiles shedding a bit of light on the people who make this industry run.

For the record, everyone who made the list deserves a spot on it. The people of #1 pick Sunshine Sachs always invite us to their holiday parties.

Still, this being a list, it did fail to mention a few worthy firms…sort of like those SEO trick “top entertainment PR” posts that show up in our Google alerts every week.

Back in September, we thought of a few people off the top of our heads who didn’t make the Business Insider “top tech firms” list. Now let’s do the same for the Observer group.

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Greenpeace Leaks Edelman’s ‘Shoot the Messenger’ Strategy Docs

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“Spread doubt about your opponents” is a common strategy recommendation for clients guaranteed to stir up controversy, but that fact doesn’t diminish the effect of the internal Edelman documents that Greenpeace leaked to The New York Times and Canada’s CBC News yesterday.

For reference, Edelman represents TransCanada, one of the companies behind the pending political fistfight better known as the Keystone XL Pipeline. This story concerns a different project called Energy East, which would transform a natural gas pipeline into one equipped to carry more than a million gallons of crude oil across Canada each day. The project, if completed, would also allow for easier exports to the United States.

The docs essentially suggest that TransCanada should do the very same thing other political advocacy groups do: uncover unflattering information about its ideological opponents and leak it to friendly news outlets without placing its own name anywhere in subsequent reports.

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Journalist Reveals Ketchum’s Suggestions for Discrediting Him

Ecuador2In case you missed it, Bloomberg Businessweek published an intriguing story yesterday by veteran journalist Paul M. Barrett that ran with the headline “What It’s Like to Be Attacked by Putin’s Flack.

The “flack” in question is Ketchum — more specifically D.C.-based partner Kathy Jeavons, who “heads both the Ecuador and Russia accounts” for the firm.

For the record, Jeavons did not personally attack or even contact Barrett. But a source did forward him a talking points document that the firm wrote for Nathalie Cely, Ecuador’s ambassador to the United States. The doc included both well-stated observations about Ecuador’s history with Chevron and suggestions for casting doubt on the credibility of Law of the Jungle, Barrett’s upcoming book on the lawsuit that accuses the company of abusing its relationship with the people of Ecuador.

One such suggestion: use friendly media outlets to raise doubts about whether Barrett ever actually visited the country or met the individuals he interviewed for the book.

We spoke to Mr. Barrett today for more information.

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15 People Business Insider Left Off Its ‘Top 50 Tech PR’ List

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ICYMI, yesterday Business Insider posted another of its famous clickbait listicles (not that we would ever do anything like that, cough cough). This one was of particular interest to the people in PR.

It’s true that “The 50 Best Public Relations People in the Tech Industry in 2014” was — as one of our industry friends put it — “so arbitrary.” At the same time, it’s always good to see journalists highlighting the real, valuable work done by PR rather than denigrating the entire industry.

It was also nice to see friends of the site Ed Zitron of EZPR and Barbara Bates of Eastwick get some respect.

A couple of things we noticed: someone really likes working with Waggener Edstrom and Brew PR and there weren’t a whole lot of names on the list from the usual suspects. Check out the O’Dwyer’s top tech firms list and notice how many of them didn’t appear in the BI post.

After the jump, we listed some people — both abstract and specific — whose absence we noted.

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The New York Times Probes Ketchum’s Relationship with Putin

Oh, You!!

New York Times media reporter Ravi Somaiya wrote what might have seemed like the most important PR story to break over the long weekend: a look into Ketchum‘s relationship with its most (in)famous client, Russian president Vladimir Putin.

What did the article itself reveal, though?

Not a whole lot.

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Ketchum Shuffles Its Tech Leadership

ketchum_logoIn what looks like a strong pivot toward the tech sector, Ketchum orchestrated a game of musical chairs involving several top executives within its San Francisco-based Access Communications shop and its Global Technology Practice this week.

Partner Susan Butenhoff, who founded Access and served as both president and CEO there until this week, will now serve as director of the firm’s tech practice while retaining the title of chief at Access.

Matthew Afflixio, who worked under her as EVP/creative director, has been promoted to president.

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Malaysia Airlines Positions Itself for Rebranding

malaysia-airLast month we noted that Malaysia Airlines, troubled by two recent tragedies, may undergo a name change as part of a coming rebrand. Today we learned a bit more about the financial details behind this project.

The airline, which turned to Ketchum to help manage the disappearance of MH370 in March, will transform from a publicly-owned and traded company into a private entity. State-run investment fund Khazanah Nasional wants to buy out the shares of the company that it does not already own, de-listing it and proceeding with a major restructuring that will almost certainly involve a comprehensive rebranding.

MA was in a bad way long before either of the flights in question. The company lost money during each of the past three years and will most likely go through a downsizing in order to stay open. Restructuring plans may face considerable opposition from the labor union representing its nearly 20,000 employees, however; the group has demanded the resignation of the company’s current CEO and, while its leaders agree that restructuring is necessary, they also expect to play a large role in all related discussions.

No word on whether Ketchum will assist in the coming changes.

Roll Call: Ketchum, Peppercomm, Gibbs & Soell and DKC

Peppercomm promoted Maggie O’Neill to the role of managing director. O’Neill, a partner who has been with the firm for 13 years, joined as an account supervisor; she currently O’Neill leads the firm’s consumer business portfolio and established the firm’s experiential offerings including sponsorship activation, corporate meetings, product launches and consumer events.

Her account wins include MINI Cooper, TGI Fridays and Whirlpool, and she has won accolades including PR News People Awards; over the past year alone, she won a PRSA Silver Anvil, PR News Agency Elite and BizBash Event Style Award. She also played a key role in the firm’s acquisition of Janine Gordon Associates (JGA) and she oversaw the integration and development of lifestyle/nonprofit/consumer specialist team JGAPeppercomm.

Ed Moed, co-founder and CEO, writes, ”Maggie’s promotion reflects her uncanny ability to think outside-the-box and deliver creative programming for her clients that map back to their business goals. She’s been a critical part of Peppercomm’s continued growth and has served as a great sounding board for Steve Cody and me as co-founders.” (Release)

Ketchum appointed Lori Beecher, a TV producer with a career spanning Today, 60 Minutes and, most recently, the syndicated talk show Katie as executive vice president of media and content strategy, based in the firm’s New York headquarters. Beecher assumes the newly created role immediately.

Beecher will counsel some of the firm’s largest clients in North America on content-centric media strategy and executive visibility. She also will provide senior-level guidance for the development and management of highly visual content for brand and corporate storytelling. Beecher has been responsible for securing and producing some news interviews including Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Sandra Day O’Connor, baseball phenom Alex Rodriguez, former presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, President Bill Clinton, Sen. John and Elizabeth Edwards. (Release)

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Malaysia Airlines Responds with Caution to #MH17 Tragedy in Ukraine

malaysia-airlinesMalaysia Airlines has now made headlines twice in recent months for horrific tragedies.

The company’s reputation took an expected hit during the ongoing narrative regarding flight MH370. The bad news culminated with a story about a text message sent to family members of the missing, and that story was amplified by several slightly misleading media reports that drove the larger narrative.

The company signed with Ketchum several days after the flight went missing. Its response to this tragedy closely mirrors its all-media response to the MH370 disappearance–yet the newer story is also very different in several key ways.

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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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