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Archives: July 2009

Interpublic Q2 Earnings: Profit Down More Than 70%

Interpublic Group reported Q2 earnings today, highlighted by a drop in profit of more than 70%. Revenue of $1.47 billion was down 19.7% compared to the same period last year. The results were worse than recent earnings reports from Omnicom Group and Publicis Groupe.

Advertising Age‘s Rupal Parekh cited CEO Michael Roth as stating the holding company’s PR agencies – Weber Shandwick and Golin Harris – were “weathering the storm well.” Indeed, Interpublic’s Constituency Management Group (CMG), which houses Golin and Weber, along with MWW Group and DeVries, reported a less drastic 24% decline in year-over-year revenues.

Larry Craig Opens Consulting Firm

Former Senator Larry Craig (R: ID) opened consulting firm New West Strategies with his former chief of staff Mike Ware. The two will focus on government relations for the energy sector.

No one can forget Craig’s “wide stance” defense in his public bathroom toe-tapping hookup arrest scandal. Craig, quite wisely won’t be relating in public at all in his new career. There’s no mention of PR or crisis communications on the New West site.

Since PRNewser was in beta at the time of the arrest, it’s worth re-posting Z Communications’ ad they placed in PRWeek, attempting to capitalize on the situation:


Agency Head Spreads Lies About Bottled Water


As part of his ongoing “Tappening” effort, Erico founder Eric Yaverbaum and ad exec Mark DiMassimo have launched Start A Lie, a simple site that lets you choose from a number of lies about bottled water and spread them through email, Facebook, Twitter or Digg.

The lies range from silly “bottled Water is made by forcing rabbits to drink until their spleens burst,” to slightly plausible if you’re scanning your Facebook feed page too quickly “Bottled water cures the common cold, but spreads herpes.”

Tappening is not a non profit, though Yaverbaum and DiMassimo pledge to pump all funds earned through merch sales back in to the ad and PR campaign. The budget is $535,000 according to MediaPost.

The two put out parallel “Obama Has a Drinking Problem,” “McCain Has a Drinking Problem” ads out last year.

Frank Shaw Leaves Waggener for Microsoft


Frank X. Shaw, Waggener Edstrom’s top exec on the Microsoft account announced his departure today–for Microsoft. He will be VP of Corporate Communications, starting at the end of August, according to his Glass House blog post this morning. He’ll report to Mich Mathews, senior VP for Microsoft’s Central Marketing Group

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is Waggener’s biggest account, and Shaw has been a part of it from the beginning dating back at least as far as the Windows XP launch of 2001. His total tenure at WE is 14 years.

WE’s statement is amicable, and announces that Shaw’s duties will be handled by Pam Edstrom herself in the interim.

Shaw replaces Simon Sproule, who was only in the position for five months. Sproule returns to the auto business by joining Renault-Nissan Alliance in Paris. He was at Nissan prior to Microsoft.

WE’s statement on Shaw’s departure is after the jump:

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Spin the Agencies of Record


[White Knight II from Virgin Galactic, a member company of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation via Gizmodo]

The account wins in this edition of Spin the Agencies of Record include the consortium who wants us to shoot us in to space, a student lending service, a personal finance site and social net, manufacturing equipment, and…HARO?

The Commercial Spaceflight federation blasts off with Makovsky as agency of record

Trylon SMR matches with peer-to-peer student loan provider People Capital

MMI assembles a PR plan for Allied Automation

Personal finance community site Geezeo’s AoR William Mills fits the PR budget

Propheta helps a Shankman out by repping HARO

AOL EVP of Comm. Earned $400,000+ in 2008


Silicon Alley Insider’s Nicholas Carlson browsed through AOL’s SEC filing and found the following: “In 2008, AOL EVP and communications boss Tricia Primrose earned a $428,333 salary to go with stock awards totaling $182,466.”

In related news today, AOL parent company Time Warner (TWX), which is currently going through the process of spinning off AOL a stand alone company, bought back a 5% stake that Google owned in AOL for $283 million. The buyback values AOL at about $5.7 billion.

When Will PR Retainers Bounce Back?

Despite debates over whether or not monthly retainer fees are the best billing option for PR agencies, they remain the standard of how agencies charge for their services.

Various industry executives have told PRNewser that some client retainers have gone down twenty to thirty percent, if not more over the last year and a half. Of course, this is anecdotal evidence, however one would be hard pressed to find an agency CEO who would claim that retainers have gone up.

The question is: when will they begin to bounce back, or, are they already bouncing back?

When Will PR Retainers Bounce Back To Pre-Recession Levels?(polls)

CNN’s Rick Sanchez Lets Loose on Fox News, Fox PR Responds


CNN anchor Rick Sanchez may be most well known (to media and tech geeks, at least) for being an avid Twitter user and incorporating social media into his program. This past weekend, Sanchez used Twitter to take aim at Fox News with the following Tweets:

if i didn’t believe in doing right thing, i’d be rich anchoring at fox news

do u know how much money i’d make if i’d sold out as hispanic and worked at fox news, r u kidding, one problem, looking in mirror

Mediaite’s Steve Krakauer pinged the Fox News PR department, who provided the following response:

Everyone knows that Rick is an industry joke, he shows that he’s a hack everyday. And he doesn’t have to worry about working at FOX because we only hire talent who have the ability to generate ratings.

Well then. We’re not interested in the media cat fight aspect of this story, but are interested in the PR ramifications. As Krakauer states, “Sanchez is known for attention-grabbing comments and actions. But in the Twitter world, these types of comments are only exacerbated by the complete lack of network oversight. It’s doubtful CNN would have cleared these statements, but on Twitter, an oversharer like Sanchez can let his uncensored thoughts get disseminated to the public, and picked up immediately…”

Survey: Women Bloggers Willing to Help; We’re Not All Mommies

Ketchum surveyed the attendees of the recent BlogHer conference to find out what makes them tick, what makes them upset, and why there’s still an opportunity for marketers and PR pros to play nice.

First and foremost, just because a woman blogs, it doesn’t make her a mommy blogger. The top takeaway–as is the case with all how-to-pitch-a-blogger piece–is know what it is you’re pitching.

The results found that 40% provided feedback collected on their blogs to marketers to help them understand women and mothers, while 53% said they would do so if asked.

About half said they heard from PR people once a week, while 30% are contacted daily. Ketchum lists the lessons of the study as:

Read their blogs and understand their areas of focus. Many women bloggers said they would like to hear about news and products that better match their specific interests.

Know where they live. A number of respondents said they receive pitches about products and events not available in their regions or even their countries.

They’re more than just their blog, they have other roles in addition to being a mom or a blogger, including jobs outside the home.

Don’t assume all women bloggers are mommy bloggers.

More after the jump:

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Mark Penn on WNYC; Microtrends, Healthcare, Maddow, and Madoff


Mark Penn, Burson-Marsteller CEO and former campaign advisor to Hillary Clinton was on WNYC’s Leonard Lopate Show at Noon to discuss his book Microtrends, now in paperback.

Lopate covers everything including the definition of a microtrend (something that reaches 1%, or 3 million people) and examples of products and ideas spreading this way–and how microtrends have changed since the financial downturn. I.E., the middle class is now empowered with information while the “elites” including Bernie Madoff’s clients are particularly susceptible to branding.

They also go over the fight with Rachel Maddow of MSNBC, Penn’s defense paraphrased as: don’t conflate the deeds of the clients with the firm itself.

Related: Hillary Clinton Finishes Paying Off Campaign Debt, Last Check Goes to Mark Penn

Burson Proves its Digital Chops with Two Forms of Proof