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Archives: October 2009

Resources Connection Inc. Acquiring LA PR Firm Sitrick And Company

LA-based agency Sitrick And Company is being acquired by consulting firm Resources Connection Inc., reports The Wall Street Journal. Sitrick is known for their crisis work, including “the Archdiocese of Los Angeles during a sexual-abuse lawsuit and Paris Hilton following her release from a brief jail stint,” says the Journal‘s Michael Corkery.

Resources Connection Inc. believes the deal will make them even more appealing to companies facing restructuring or bankruptcy, by having PR services in house.

Ogilvy PR Wins Six Government Contracts, Including $1.8m HHS Account


The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded a three year, $1.8 million contract to Ogilvy PR Worldwide for work around healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), PRWeek reports.

The account is one of six new government contract wins announced by Ogilvy on October 23rd, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

“Although we have worked with many of these agencies in the past, these new awards help expand the depth and breadth of our offerings to various federal agencies,” said Robert Mathias, managing director of Ogilvy Washington in a statement.

Ketchum CEO on United Airlines RFP: ‘They’ve Cast an Amazingly Wide Net’


Ketchum CEO and Senior Partner Ray Kotcher was among the many agency CEOs working the room at today’s Council of PR Firms’ event in New York. We asked him if the agency was in on the United Airlines RFP. “Everyone in this room should be in on that,” he replied, and noted that United had “cast an amazingly wide net.”

Kotcher said that despite the tough times, the agency is coming off “one of our best new business years in history,” although he did acknowledge that many clients have had to cut budgets. “Client retention is critical,” he said, a sentiment echoed by many PR executives over the last year.

Restoring Confidence and Trust Top Issues at Council of PR Firms Forum

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Rob Flaherty, President and Senior Partner, Ketchum delivered the opening remarks at today’s sold out Critical Issues Forum, hosted by the Council of PR Firms. The theme of this year’s event was, “Aftershock: Restoring Confidence and Trust in 2010,” and Flaherty pointed out that 80 years ago today was Black Tuesday, which led to the stock market crash of 1929.

“Statistics on drop in trust are incredible, like nothing we’ve seen our career,” said Flaherty. “Are we willing to anticipate stakeholder expectations and push companies to change? Are we willing to step up to the plate and shape corporate character, not just words?” he asked.

Following Flaherty’s remarks was a panel discussion that got contentious at a few points, mostly between James Wiggins, Executive Director, Corporate Communications, Morgan Stanley and Susie Gharib, Anchor and Senior Strategic Advisor, Night Business Report.

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Interview: Courtney Barnes, Co-Author, Digital Strategies for Powerful Corporate Communications

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“They can’t not participate,” says Courtney Barnes when it comes to companies and social media. Barnes, former editor of PR News and now Vice President and Director of MH Group Communications is the co-author of Digital Strategies for Powerful Corporate Communications (McGraw-Hill, August 2009), alongside Paul Argenti, Professor of Management and Corporate Communication at Tuck at Dartmouth.

PRNewser caught up with Barnes this week to talk about why many large brands have changed their tune when it comes to social media, if PR will be able to grab a larger piece of the pie when it comes to digital and what stories stick out in terms of the executives she’s spoke with over the last year.

A lot of books have been written about digital communications, social media and PR. What makes this one different?

This one is really targeting senior management in terms of how not only they can, but how they need to leverage social media to advance their brand’s reputation and bottom line.

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APCO CEO Margery Kraus Named 2010 Chair of the Council of Public Relations Firms


The Council of PR Firms announced this morning that APCO CEO Margery Kraus will serve as 2010 Chair of the industry trade group, following Ketchum CEO Ray Kotcher‘s run. The release was issued at the same time the Council meets for its annual high-end Critical Issues Forum.

The PR Council lists exactly a hundred member firms on its website ranging from boutiques with under ten employees to megafirms like Ogilvy, Porter Novelli and Weber Shandwick.

The executive officers joining Kraus are Andy Polansky (Weber Shandwick) as Chair-Elect, Jens Bang (Cone) as Treasurer, Otis Wragg (Wragg & Casas Public Relations) as secretary, and Kotcher as immediate past chair.

The Council also elected new board members Christine Barney (rbb Public Relations), Donna Imperato (Cohn & Wolfe), Jennifer Prosek (CJP Communications), Dave Senay (Fleishman-Hillard), Laura Tomasetti (360 Public Relations) and Melissa Waggener Zorkin (Waggener Edstrom Worldwide).

Wall Street Journal Closes Boston Bureau, Lays Off Nine

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At 11:26 AM this morning, Wall Street Journal Editor Robert Thomson sent an email notifying staff that the Boston bureau will close, and nine reporters will lose their jobs. Two minutes later it was blasted to an undisclosed list of media reporters.

Coverage mutual fund companies headquartered there (including behemoth Fidelity and others) will be picked up by Money & Investing in New York. The large swath that is the education beat will also be picked up by reporters in New York.

Full text of the memo is after the jump:

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Did Robert Gibbs Broker Peace with Fox News?

Our FishbowlDC colleagues were first to break the news that White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs reached out to Fox News SVP Michael Clemente, apparently to broker a peace agreement. Gibbs hosted Clemente at the White House for a very quick meeting yesterday morning.

Mediaite, Politico and others have confirmed the meeting, and that Clemente brought word back to the D.C. bureau. The over-under on the ceasefire is a week at best.

Related: Fox News, White House Back and Forth Continues to Make Headlines

White House’s Anita Dunn on CNN: We Will Push Back

The 36,000 Page RFP Submission? It Exists, Says WPP’s Sorrell


There are many gripes agencies have with the RFP process. One of the main ones being that they take up so much non-billable time. WPP CEO Martin Sorrell wishes agencies would get paid for their submissions, but knows it’s just not going to happen.

“The RFP [request for proposal] process is still a long process and it’s all for free. WPP has participated in a pitch for a piece of work recently invoicing four major groups all for [no cost to the prospect] and in one global pitch recently we delivered a 36,000 page document,” he said at a recent PR conference in London.

The Ticker: Fox v Obama; Cali rail PR; Sam Zell’s gloom & doom…