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Posts Tagged ‘The Holmes Report’

LEWIS PR Expands Into China with Firm Acquisition

LEWIS PR acquisition

From L to R: Chris Lewis, Claudia Choi, Euan Barty, Andy Oliver

San Francisco’s LEWIS PR is the latest firm to expand its operations into Eastern Asia by acquiring China’s EBA Communications.

The deal, which follows the firm’s acquisition of UK marketing agency Purestone, doubles its Asia-based staff and adds three new offices to its network for a total of 28; LEWIS’s APAC division now operates eight of those offices in locations from Bangalore to Singapore.

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Malaysia Airlines Turns to Ketchum in MH370 Crisis

malaysia-airlinesWhat’s the toughest PR assignment in the world right now? If you said “Malaysia Airlines” then you’re right.

Friday brought news that Ketchum, a firm hardly afraid to take on the most challenging accounts around, has signed with MAS to help navigate the ongoing crisis.

The Holmes Report notes that the airline hired Ketchum several days after flight MH370 first went missing but kept the news quiet for obvious reasons.

The most interesting comments in the story come from the former head of communications for Malaysia Air, who admits that the company could have been a bit more sensitive to the concerns of passengers’ family members and avoided problems like the many misleading headlines about the text sent to parents and relatives.

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Tesla Hires Former Nissan PR Chief to Lead Comms and Marketing Efforts

Tesla-Model-SAt the end of last week, Elon Musk‘s award-winning, famously combative electric car company Tesla Motors gave the world another sign that it’s very serious…about corporate communications.

According to this Ecomento headline, the company “poached” Simon Sproule, who previously headed communications for Renault-Nissan, for the VP of comms and marketing position.

Why make this move? Primarily because, in the words of InsideEVsJay Cole, Sproule helped Renault-Nissan become “the runaway leader when it comes to selling pure electric cars”. Also: Mr. Musk has always been the company’s most visible spokesperson. And while he may be a genius, he is not known as the world’s greatest media relations guy.

But this isn’t the only big PR move Tesla has made so far in 2014.

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PR Takes a Lead Role in #GivingTuesday

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Giving Tuesday, an event started last year to counter the “buy buy buy” message of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, was a resounding success that looks to be even bigger this year. The initial goal was to get 250 nonprofit organizations to participate in 2012, but the total quickly grew to ten times that number, and more than 5,000 have signed up for the 2013 event.

While the United Nations Trust and the 92nd Street YMCA claim credit for the idea’s origins, the PR industry has played a large role in making it work—especially this year.

As The Holmes Report noted last week, agencies including Weber Shandwick, Fleishman Hillard, Havas and more collaborated on both outreach and the development of related “digital toolkits” to ensure that this year’s event is expertly organized. The process benefits agencies, clients and the public at large, with some organizations reporting a 50% rise in donations.

The National Philanthropic Trust held several events in the Philadelphia area in order to help organizations make the most out of Giving Tuesday, and in this Harvard Business Review piece president and CEO Eileen Heisman encourages charities to develop their own creative innovations on the theme.

We planned to find some of our favorite Giving Tuesday efforts, but we were a little overwhelmed by the search results. Which campaigns stuck out to you, dear readers?

(Image via the Giving Tuesday Facebook page)

Conclusions from the 2013 ‘World PR Report’: Optimism Dips While Industry Grows

shutterstock_116557906The Holmes Report, always a reliable observer of PR’s worldwide pulse, had a big week. In addition to announcing the winners of its awards program naming the best agencies and campaigns around the globe, it also released its yearly “World PR Report” on “trends and attitudes” within the industry. Of course you should read it yourself, but here’s our best impression of a quick summary:

  • The most surprising conclusion is that, despite solid growth in the industry itself, executives on the whole seem to be a little less optimistic about PR’s future than they were a year ago: optimism levels were down from 7.7/10 to 7.5/10.
  • This dip was driven in large part by a loss of faith in Europe, where respondents have lost confidence in CEOs’ dedication to corporate reputation. (Can’t imagine this had anything to do with it…)
  • The divide is even clearer in emerging markets, where execs seem less interested in CSR and less confident in their ability to justify their clients’ expenditures. When asked whether they thought that clients were spending more on PR than marketing, Europeans gave answers ranking nearly a full point below those of their North American counterparts (5.36 to 6.25).

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Nestlé May Drop Some of Its Firms After Internal Review

OKToday The Holmes Report published a scoop indicating that Nestlé‘s American wing is conducting an internal review of the many firms it currently has on roster.

Of course this is a big deal because Nestlé is, in its own words, “the world’s leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness company”. It also happens to work with some of the most familiar names in PR. Holmes’ source did not offer any details beyond the expectation that Nestlé will retain a smaller number of firms in the coming year.

It’s worth noting that, despite contrary press releases about rising sales in North America, the company has undergone “several straight quarters of disappointment” and continues to lose market share while failing to keep pace with competitors in emerging markets like Asia and Africa. Its stock has also lost some value after a high point in April.

Nestlé is clearly looking to make some big changes; last week rumors spread that it might dump the Powerbar brand, which recently fell behind Clif Bar in the snack/nutrition supplement category for the first time.

It will be very interesting to see how dramatic this shift will be and how directly it will affect Nestlé’s PR and digital media strategies.

New Edelman Advisor: ‘PR Needs to Grow Up’

edelmanBack in March, Edelman advisor Steve Rubel told us that upcoming PR professionals need to “look at the bigger picture” and “orient [themselves] toward both creating and distributing content”. The firm’s newest tech advisor Burghardt Tenderich recently gave The Holmes Report a more direct version of that statement:

“PR needs to grow up and become real content creators.”

Edelman picked Tenderichwho is an Associate Professor/Associate Director of the Strategic Communication and Public Relations Center at USC Annenberg, to advise clients tech clients; his specialty will be “transmedia storytelling” campaigns like this one which include both paid and earned media across platforms.

The quote may seem obvious now, but remember that Edelman was a little late to the paid content game. The firm’s sponsored content partnership with Reuters on Twitter had a bit of a rocky reception, but we’ll be watching to see exactly how they put Tenderich and Rubel’s statements into action.

*Photo via Edelman Digital

M Booth Names Ketchum’s Bornstein CEO

Today New York-based firm M Booth announced that Ketchum‘s senior partner/director of global practices Dale Bornstein would replace founder Margi Booth as CEO.

Prior to this move, Booth had run the company for 25 years after founding it in 1984; her official title will now be chairman, but she plans to maintain a “hands on” approach.

Bornstein brings more than 27 years of experience at Ketchum to her new role. According to The Holmes Report, she was chosen in part for “her work in developing the firm’s Mindfire program for crowdsourcing ideas from college students”; she and Booth will both report to CEO Tim Dyson of Next 15 Communications, which acquired the firm in 2009.

Ms. Booth says:

After 25 years of running this company it’s important to get terrific leadership like Dale Bornstein to come help the company achieve its next level. We need fresh thinking in an ever-changing landscape. We want to expand globally and Dale is in a perfect position to do that.

Edelman Reboots Its Russian Operations

Edelman PR LogoWe’re fascinated by the very concept of public relations in a formerly closed society like the one now run by Russia’s Vladimir Putin. But the practice certainly does exist, and this weekend Edelman PR announced plans to continue the scheduled reboot of its Russian operations after facing some challenges that led the firm to liquidate its Russian acquisition Imageland.

In 2012 Edelman “ran into some problems” due to pushback from Russia’s Solidarity trade union, which encouraged laid off Imageland employees to form their own union and take legal action against the firm. That spat appears to have resolved itself; in an interview with The Holmes Report, Edelman Russia general manager Kerry Irwin confirms that the office’s staff will include several former Imageland executives who stuck around through a wave of departures.

Edelman represents brands like HP, Wrigley and Mars in Russia. The firm apparently does not plan to work directly with Putin’s government like Ketchum sometimes does, but the Kremlin could certainly use the help: Edelman’s own 2013 “Trust Barometer” study found that Russian citizens unsurprisingly report some of the world’s lowest rates of trust in their own government and media outlets. We’d suggest more Boyz II Men concerts as a good way to start winning the public back, because if there’s one thing pretty much everyone around the world can agree on, it’s the healing power of 90′s R&B.

Roll Call: B-M, Krupp Kommunications, Pivotal PR

Navy Reserve Rear Admiral Vic Beck (left) has been named MD of the U.S. public affairs practice at Burson-Marsteller. Beck has been in the Navy Reserve for 25 years and serves as vice chief of information for the U.S. Navy. He’ll be based in Washington D.C. and Boston reporting to the chair of the U.S. PA practice, Nate Tibbits. Beck also has 20 years of public affairs experience working with companies and government organizations.

Krupp Kommunications (K2) has launched a parenting division led by Beth Feldman, former VP of comms at CBS and the founder of RoleMommy.com. The parenting division has already won new business like Zarbee’s and will be working with existing clients like Gaiam and the book Bonding Over Beauty by Erika Katz.

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