February 26, 2005

A bit like buses

You wait for weeks - months even - for a feature in PR Week on tech PR.

And then three come along all at once.

Retail software company goes with Smithfield

Smithfield has been hired by Anker, one of the largest providers of EPOS and 'Chip and PIN' solutions, to handle its financial calender work.

It replaces Abchurch which handled Anker's floatation on AIM in December 2004.

Let's not feel too sorry for Shine

While the team at Shine Communications may have lost out on the O2 pitch, I'm sure they are delighted to be able to drown their sorrows courtesy of new client Martell.

A roster of BPM clients for Spreckley?

PR Week reports that Spreckley has won Global 360, previously known as eiStream.

Perhaps it was impressed with the company's knowledge of the market. Spreckley already lists BPM company The Process Factory as a current client on its website.

Merry Christmas from Telewest's new agency

Ptarmigan, newly appointed by Telewest to handle regional consumer PR in the North West, South West and Yorkshire, seems a jolly agency. There's still a link to its 2004 Christmas card at the bottom of its home page - http://www.ptarmiganpr.co.uk/

O2 sticks with who it knows

In what PR Week terms a surprise appointment, O2 has appointed Cohn & Wolfe to handle its consumer PR in the UK.

Yet should it be that much of a surprise? Even though Glen Manoff, O2 head of comms, is quoted as saying: "C&W had to overcome our predilection going into the process for having separate consumer and business agencies", those in the know say that C&W is highly regarded by O2 for the work it's doing on the b2b and technology front (see the latest FT-IT for a half-page example of results).

Incumbent Jackie Cooper PR is the biggest loser. Shine, Weber Shandwick, Frank PR, Kazoo and Consolidated were also on the pitch list.

February 21, 2005

On the move at Ricoh

Richard Delay, the head of marketing at printer manufacturer Ricoh, has left to set up his own agency, Outsource Marketing.

Samsung hires Bite

Golin Harris has lost out in Samsung's review of its corporate and financial PR, ending a nine year relationship between the two companies.

Samsung's existing consumer agency Bite will now also be handling its corporate and financial PR.

February 18, 2005

Epson gets Frank with Kaizo

Printer giant Epson has ditched Kaizo as its consumer PR agency.

Frank PR has been hired to replace Kaizo in a pitch that also involved Shine Communications and Firefly. Frank has worked for Epson before; it handled consumer projects for the company in 2003 and 2004.

According to PR Week, Epson UK and international PR manager Rob Forbes said he wanted to educate consumers about the advances in printing images that Epson has made.

Kaizo is still retained by Epson to handle its European PR and UK public sector work.

February 14, 2005

Finsbury favourite for Vodafone?

According to The Observer, Finsbury is favourite to grab Vodafone's financial PR account which it estimates is worth around £350,000. Finsbury used to work with new comms director Simon Lewis when he was at Centrica.

The Observer discounts speculation that client conflict with Virgin Mobile could cause Finsbury a problem, arguing that the agency already works for retailer Philip Green as well as Sainsburys.

This seems flawed logic to me. After all, Philip Green and Sainsburys don't compete head-to-head. Virgin Mobile and Vodafone do.

February 12, 2005

Name your own salary

Great news for all b2b technology professionals - from account exec to account director. The glorious days of the dotcom salary boom are apparently back.

You can now "name your daily salary rate or permanent salary!" according to xchangeteam's ad in PR Week.

I know competition for people is tough out there at the moment but to make an offer like this...how desperate do you need to be?

Noiseworks wins Cybersource

Nosieworks has been hired by CyberSource to handle its UK media relations.

CyberSource provides security and anti-fraud solutions to companies who use online and telephone payment systems.

Why did Axicom and Check Point break up?

PR Week is reporting a difference of opinion on why Check Point Software decided to move its UK PR business from Axicom to Firefly.

Sources closes to Axicom say that it was because fees were reduced to £4000 a month for the UK brief.

Jes Breslaw, UK marketing manager at Check Point, says that it "wanted a new approach."

Reading between the lines, it sounds like we're just hearing two sides of the same story.

Win for Weber Shandwick

Weber Shandwick has won business from headset manufacturer Plantronics.

Weber Shandwick will be running a UK and European PR campaign to help the company as it expands in the wireless market.

Change of direction

Two former in-house IT PR folk have changed industry.

Nick Mason Pearson, formerly at Wanadoo and Ask Jeeves, is now working at the BFI (British Film Institute) as its interim head of press and public affairs.

Will Cameron has left LogicaCMG where he was corporate media relations manager. He is joining Inspace, the property support services company, as head of communications.

February 11, 2005

Energis hunts for agency

Telecoms operator Energis is looking for a PR agency to handle media and analyst relations.

According to PR Week, the account is worth between £75,000 - £100,000 in fees.

Although PR Week suggests the search has some way to go, PR manager Antonia Graham has said in the last couple of days that Energis is close to making a decision.

February 10, 2005

Vodafone reviews financial PR

Vodafone is holding a five way pitch for its financial PR account.

The company currently uses Tavistock which is believed to be re-pitching alongside Bell Pottinger, Financial Dynamics, Finsbury and Tulchan Communications.

The review shouldn't really come as any surprise. Vodafone has had both a new CEO and a new corporate affairs director start in the last 12 months.

Should it lose, Tavistock may not have to look too far for a possible replacement. Finsbury handles the financial PR for rival operator, Virgin Mobile.

February 09, 2005

Capita goes with FD

It looks like BPO provider Capita has decided it's time to try and improve its relationship with the City. 
 
Financial Dynamics is the lucky company and is now handling financial PR as well as investor and analyst relations.
 
Best know as the company that runs London's Congestion Charging scheme, Capita is facing increasing competition from the big IT services firms like IBM Global Services, EDS and CSC as they all move into the BPO space. 

February 08, 2005

Smithfield and Fuse win mobile phone business

Mobile phone antennae manufacturer Sarantel has hired two PR agencies as it gets ready to float on AIM in March.

Financial PR company Smithfield is handling media and analyst relations while Fuse PR will be tackling the trade media.

February 06, 2005

Phones4U founder hires Brazen

John Cauldwell has hired Brazen PR to help raise his personal profile. His previous contract with Lewis PR ended in September last year.

Brazen already handles the PR for several of Caudwell's companies including Phones4U, the biggest rival to Carphone Warehouse, and Homecall.

Spin and Fido get Broadband

The North West Regional Development Agency has hired Spin Media and Fido to publicise broadband services to businesses and residents in Cheshire. Its aim is to have 25 per cent of households and businesses signed up to brandband by August.

The two companies won a six way pitch to get the business.

UK Online internet centres up for pitch

A two year contract to run the PR for the government's 6000 UK Online internet centres is up for grabs.

The account is currently held by Geronimo PR which is re-pitching.

The pitch is being managed by Colin Middlemass, marketing and PR manager of Ufi - the body that runs UK Online. A decision is expected mid - late April.

More reshuffles at Inferno

With the news that it has taken on the whole of Microsoft's UK B2B account, there has been some shuffling of personnel at Inferno PR.

MD Grant Currie now becomes senior partner while Barry Leggetter, chairman of sister agency Bite, takes on the additional responsibility of being Inferno's managing partner.

The two guys who headed up August One's technology business - Mark Jackson and James Tutt - move over to Inferno as directors.

A leadership team well and truly bolstered.

Source: PR Week (who - good for them - have given IT PR a lot of space in this week's issue)

Lots of IT PR news this week

Thanks to PR Week for telling us that ISP UK Online has lured Kate Hobbs away from rival Wanadoo to become its PR manager. 
 
And for the news that Stuart Handley has left August One (where has was founder and joint md) to become MD of Hill & Knowlton's corporate communications practice. 

Hotwire adds Hood

Nothing to do with Thunderbirds.  Ian Hood, ex head of comms at Telewest, has joined Hotwire as senior partner. 
 
BTW, this is another PR agency that needs to update its website more often!  Its scrolling news release banner - presumably intended to highlight the latest, hottest announcements from the agency - is still running a story dated 6 February 2004 - happy anniversary ;-)
 
I'm thinking of setting up a separate blog just to highlight seriously out-of-date PR websites....

Inferno adds Microsoft to client list

Congratulations to Inferno who saw fantastic growth this week when Next Fifteen shuffled the entire Microsoft UK B2B account - and 20 staff - into it from August One.  
 
The re-positioning of August One as a consumer and B2B shop seems pretty logical when you look at the client list on its website and is very much in line with the way that the brand was launched in 1999. 
 
Interesting though that Microsoft - arguably the single biggest technology brand today - is happy for its PR to be handled by a tech PR shop and not by a more mainstream brand specialist.  Is specialisation about to swing back into favour?  Or is this just a one-off decision based on the people and organisations involved?

What's happened to Text 100?

From this week's PR press, it looks like Inferno PR is now being positioned as the tech-shop of Next Fifteen (proud parent to August One and Bite PR).

So, where does that leave the grand-daddy of the group, Text 100?

Recruitment problem?

Is one agency finding it a bit tough to recruit at the moment or is there a sudden burst of £50k pa, Account Director vacancies in the technology market this week?

JFL, PTH, Indigo Red and PR Moves are all recruiting for what seems to be the same job.

February 02, 2005

The cloud's the limit for Spreckley

Thanks to PR Week, we know that Spreckley Partners is going to be supporting Nimbus Systems in the consumer and trade media. 

Nimbus sells software that will allow you and me to pay for things using our mobile phones. 

According to PR Week, the plan is for Nimbus to piggy back on the publicity generated for Simpay, a mobile payment scheme that is owned by Vodafone, T-Mobile, Orange and Telefonica, which is launching this year.  Brands2Life do the PR for Simpay.