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Posts Tagged ‘Weber Shandwick’

Survey Says Clients Trust Ad, Marketing Agencies Over PR Firms

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We don’t mean to be the bearer of bad news, but a recent survey of in-house marketers conducted by Marketing Week and Weber Shandwick tells us that, when asked to name a “primary strategic partner”, far more clients chose their ad and marketing agencies than their PR firms. Here’s a mixed-message quote:

“More than five times as many marketers say PR agencies are losing ground as say they are gaining ground on other specialisms. There is good news too for the discipline. Respondents agree that PR agencies take the lead on messaging and are a strategic partner, and that reputation management is crucial in a digital world.”

The news could be worse, though–and it is far worse for social media agencies.

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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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Spin the Agencies of Record

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APCO Worldwide and StrawberryFrog are collaborating to get people to stamp their passport to the sunny beaches of Albania. According to the news in Argophilia Travel News, the two firms will cooperate for “developing and deploying international ad and marketing campaigns geared to boost knowledge of Albania and the country.” BTW, if you were standing on the stiletto heel of Italy, look east, and there’s Albania nestled besides Greece. The Adriatic Sea is quite lovely this time of year.

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STUDY: Your Employees Probably Don’t Like You

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Don’t take it too personally, though: you’re definitely not the only one.

CreativeLive’s inaugural jobs report should probably serve as a wake-up call to your corporate clients. The basic conclusion: Americans aren’t happy at their jobs, and they don’t much care for their employers. The reason? They want to be more creative.

Some key numbers after the jump.

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STUDY: Employees May Be the Best Brand Advocates

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See, stock photos never lie

Who can best defend a brand’s reputation on social? According to a newly published Weber Shandwick study, the answer may come from within.

The study, conducted in collaboration with KRC Research (full PDF here), concerns trends in “employee activism”, or the ability of those within an organization to become its most prominent defenders.

An online survey of 2,300 employees in 15 different markets around the world found that:

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Roll Call: Weber Shandwick and Code and Theory

Weber Shandwick announced the appointment of industry veteran Leslie Capstraw as general manager, Weber Shandwick Los Angeles, effective immediately. Capstraw will be responsible for day-to-day leadership of the office. With more than 20 years of experience, Capstraw has served as a senior strategist to global clients and managed integrated campaigns across a diverse range of industries and well-known brands in multiple markets. Capstraw joins from Ogilvy Public Relations where she most recently served as executive vice president, group director for Brand, and head of the Los Angeles office, focusing primarily in consumer and consumer technology sectors. Her expertise in brand building, content strategy, issues management and strategic partnerships has earned several industry awards. (Release)

Code and Theory announced the appointment of Chris Bradley as group creative director in the Brand Design Group in New York. Bradley comes to the agency from R/GA, where he served as executive creative director on the MasterCard® account, driving campaigns such as #LoveThisCity and most recently, Priceless Surprises. Prior to R/GA, he served as ECD at Big Fuel, where he worked on brands including T-Mobile, Microsoft, and GM Brands including Chevy, Cadillac, Buick and GMC. From 1999 to 2005, Bradley was creative director on the Volkswagen account at Arnold Worldwide in Boston, and from 2006 to 2011 he worked in both the New York and San Francisco office of Ogilvy & Mather. (Release)

Making Diversity in PR a Reality: Ellen Walthour, Executive Director of the BrandLab

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We’ve posted a few times on diversity in PR in recent weeks, and so far the most interesting conversation we had on the topic was with Ellen Walthour, executive director of Twin Cities-based project the BrandLab.

Could you give us a little history of the BrandLab?

We’re pretty young; we started in 2007 and launched as a 501(c) in 2008, so we’re a standard nonprofit. In 2009 we really began tracking students. We have kids graduating from college this spring who went through the program, and while those numbers are small, they’re going to grow.

Each year we’ve grown in terms of both participants and partners. PR firms are also involved, particularly PadillaCRT and Weber Shandwick.

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Ukrainian Comms Pros Launch ‘Crisis Media Center’ as Russian Offensive Proceeds

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On a compelling but somber note, a volunteer team of professionals from at least ten different firms has banded together in the form of the Ukraine Crisis Media Center in order to distribute messages from leaders friendly with protest movement Maidan, which sees itself as the legitimate government of Ukraine. This move comes as Russia continues its campaign to forcibly separate the Crimea region from the rest of the country in the wake of deposed president Viktor Yanukovych’s retreat.

Last weekend we posted on the social media battle for legitimacy currently raging between Putin’s Russia and post-Yanukovych Ukraine—and that messaging conflict will only intensify both leading up to and following the scheduled March 16 secession vote.

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Roll Call: Weber Shandwick, Rubenstein PR and Nielsen

Weber Shandwick announced the appointment of Vanessa McDonald as senior vice president and national practice leader, Consumer and Technology, in the firm’s Toronto office. McDonald will be responsible for the growth and management of client business in Canada, contributing to the agency’s leadership across its Consumer and Technology practices. McDonald joins Weber Shandwick from NATIONAL Public Relations where she led the Marketing Communications Practice. Prior to this, she headed the London and San Francisco offices of Ballou PR, a Paris-based communications firm. She also held the position of associate director, Marketing at Capgemini, one of the world’s largest consulting firms. (Release)

Rubenstein Public Relations (RPR) announced that Megan Wilson has joined the agency as an associate vice president. Wilson brings several years of public relations experience managing consumer accounts in the fashion, fitness, restaurant, and wellness industries with a focus on event planning, media relations, strategic communications and new product launches. In her position as associate vice president, Wilson will develop and execute dynamic publicity campaigns for RPR’s clients. Wilson joins RPR from Krupp Kommunications, where she advanced from an account coordinator to the position of account executive and Media Specialist over the course of three years. (Release)

Nielsen announced the appointments of four senior marketing and communications leaders – Greg Daniel as chief digital marketing officer; Laura Nelson as chief communications officer; Saul Rosenberg as chief content officer; and Marcy Shinder as chief marketing officer. The appointments are effective immediately. Daniel will be responsible for developing and implementing innovative marketing and communication strategies across digital channels globally, including web, mobile and social. Nelson will be responsible for developing and sustaining an overarching messaging strategy that builds upon Nielsen’s legacy and highlights the innovations that drive the business forward. Rosenberg will leverage Nielsen’s proprietary assets to lead global conversations on issues of import to both the company and its clients, while creating valuable content that enhances Nielsen’s value proposition to internal and external stakeholders. Shinder will develop and lead the overall global marketing strategy and oversee Nielsen’s brand evolution, commercial go-to-market strategies, partnerships, and channel execution, including events, advertising and creative services. (Release)

Weber Shandwick, CPRF Vets Discuss Diversity in PR

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Earlier this month, PR veteran Mike Paul earned a bit of attention when he announced his plans to stage a hunger strike to protest a lack of diversity in the public relations world.

Since that story ran, we reached out to several contacts within the industry to get their takes on how we arrived at this point in the conversation—and where we should go from here.

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