March 25, 2005

T-Mobile seeks UK head of PR

T-Mobile's UK business is looking for a head of PR.

Reporting directly to the MD, the head of PR will be a key spokesperson for the company and lead a team of PR specialists that have responsibility for community affairs as well as consumer and B2B PR.

Google seeks head of European PR

Google is looking for someone to head up its European PR. Candidates with "an 'inner geek' sensibility" are preferred.

The company "has an immediate need for an experienced PR professional to develop and implement our consumer, business, trade and influencer PR programmes in Europe. The Head of European PR will be a senior representative for Google in Europe and will lead Google’s growing European PR team, working closely with the European management team."

This appointment could herald the start of a new round of PR expansion at Google as the job includes expanding "PR campaigns and activities across Europe" and assisting "with recruiting PR personnel in new European markets."

March 24, 2005

How (not) to win friends and influence journalists

Drew B has a great story on AMD. It appears that a well known PR agency has been upsetting at least one ZDnet journalist by sending him an unsolicited audit questionnaire. Anyone who subscribes to the UK Press forum will know exactly what's transpired and who the guilty party is.

There's more at Drew's site:

New MD at Companycare

Semi-tech agency Companycare has hired Paul Maguire as its MD. Maguire was previously at QBO Bell Pottinger.

Ian McCann who founded Companycare is becoming chairman and CEO.

Cable & Wireless loses eight PR staff

PR Week is reporting that eight people have left the corporate communications department at Cable & Wireless.

Apparently head of media relations Peter Eustace has taken voluntary redundancy along with media relations manager Justin Griffiths, head of public affairs Elizabeth Truss, director of UK public affairs David McConnell and internal comms manager Amanda Broatch.

In addition, manager of foreign government liaison Angela Lovering-Moon has retired early and two PAs have taken voluntary redundancy.

New marketing chief at Fujitsu Siemens

Gary Fowle is taking over the top marketing job at Fujitsu Siemens. He replaces Nick Eades who left in February to join BT.

Fowle was previously commercial director with Computer 2000.

March 23, 2005

A bold claim by Porter Novelli?

Looking at its website, Porter Novelli claims to "retain the world’s leading technology brands as roster clients year after year."

So it lists them. Now, don't get me wrong. There are some great brands here - but I'm not sure that even in the IT market, more than three or four of these could be described as "world leading."

In the interests of fairness though, I'm going to list them so you can make your own minds up.
  • Amdocs
  • Analog Devices (ADI)
  • Ascential
  • Bluetooth
  • SIG
  • Concerto Software
  • Crucial Technology
  • eCopy
  • HP
  • Lightscribe
  • Novell
  • OATSystems
  • PeopleSoft


Cicero speaks out on Business Continuity

Cicero Consulting has been hired by the Business Continuity Institute to raise companies' awareness of security issues and the risks of terrorism. PR Week is reporting that the Institute looked at around 20 agencies before deciding.

The Institute is hoping that Cicero can help it meet senior politicians - both national and local - and civil servants.

Cicero is also to approach journalists position the Institute as the expert commentator on contingency planning.

The account was previously held by Porter Novelli (although until how recently isn't clear but it must have been a while ago since PR Week is calling it Country Porter Novelli, a name which I understand was dumped in May last year).

March 19, 2005

PR Week announces same news as a fortnight ago

Was there not much going on in the world of PR last week? Were the phones in Hammersmith particularly quiet?

These are two possible explanations for why PR Week has run another story announcing the appointment of Ross Cook as head of BT newsroom.

On Page 17 of this week's issue, there's a big piece on BT promoting Cook. BT's a big company. It employs a lot of PR people. It's a big story.

But hold on a second. On 4 March, PR Week ran a story about how "BT has given group media relations PRO Ross Cook its top day-to-day media relations role, with the title head of BT Newsroom."

And it's PR people who get accused of not knowing what's news.

Israeli tech firm hires financial PR agency

Holborn has been hired by Poly Information, an Israeli voice recognition software provider, to help it with its listing on AIM.

Inmarsat in search for agency

Inmarsat, the satellite communications company, is looking for agencies to support its European and US lobbying efforts.

March 18, 2005

Orange loses PR chief

Niamh Byrne, director for PR, sponsorship and events at Orange, has left the company.

PR Week's describing it as a "sudden exit" by "mutual agreement."

The company is looking for a replacement.

March 11, 2005

Qualcomm drops B-M

Liberty Marketing Communications has been appointed to handle the European b2b PR by Qualcomm, the wireless communications company. Incumbent B-M declined to repitch.

All change at Yahoo!

PR Week is reporting that the head of corporate communications at Yahoo Europe! is leaving. Sue Jackson is joining Discovery Networks Europe.

It also looks like Yahoo! could be about to hire a new PR agency to launch Yahoo! Muic, a streaming audio and video and online radio service currently branded as Launch.

March 09, 2005

IT services giant switches agency

IT services giant CSC has hired Beattie Communications to handle its UK PR.

CSC is keen to raise its profile in the national and business press.

It previously used Harvard PR who held the account for about three years and was widely acknowledged among IT press as having raised the profile of CSC considerably in the trade and tech titles.

March 07, 2005

Big shock in Sunday national

Yesterday's Sunday Times held a big surprise for just about everyone in the UK IT PR business.

Lewis was 76 in a list of the Top 100 Best Small Companies To Work For.

The agency must have moved on considerably - it was only a couple of years ago that a spokesman was quoted in PR Week as saying: "Lewis has got a reputation as a sweatshop - clients love that in a recession. The average working week here is 60 hours."

March 05, 2005

Old boys' network more important than results?

Who deserves the plaudits in Newbury for Vodafone's success in a recent survey measuring postive national press coverage?

CEO Arun Sarin took third place in Citigate Dewe Rogerson's CEO Brand Value Report. He was only beaten by Rod Eddington of BA and Justin King of Sainsbury's.

Given Simon Lewis just took over at the end of last year and his predecessor left several months earlier, you've got to ask who should take the credit for this performance.

It may have been someone else in-house, but if it turns out to be Tavistock, then Lewis might be asked why he's felt it necessary to bring in Finsbury to replace them.

Another case of the old boys' network being more important than actual results? Time will tell.

New apointments at BT

Ross Cook has been promoted to head of BT Newsroom, the most senior day-to-day media relations role in the company.

Tim O'Sullivan has been promoted to director of public affairs, following Sandy Walkington's departure to the Liberal Democrats.

Mantra loses out at search engine firm

Search engines firm Blinkx has ditched Mantra and is looking for a new agency to handle its consumer, trade and corporate PR.

Mantra handled the UK launch of Blinkx last year.

Sanyo chooses Lewis

Lewis has won a brief from Sanyo to promote its 3G mobile phones in the UK and France.

As well as run-of-the mill activities like product reviews, Lewis will also be involved in mobile operator relations.

I'd love to know what that really means - bet it's nothing like as impressive as it's been made to sound.

March 04, 2005

Martin Dawes chooses Lewis?

Rumours are out that Martin Dawes has selected Lewis as its new PR agency. The agency wasn't in the running originally but somehow snuck its way in at the last minute.

Symbian goes with Burson-Marsteller

Burson-Marsteller has won Symbian's gobal PR account. Incumbent Text 100 was not invited to re-pitch.

PR Week reports that the account's worth over £100,000 - and I would expect it to be a lot more given its worldwide nature.

It looks like Golin Harris came closest to beating B-M.

Gartner takes bite at PR

Industry analyst giant Gartner has appointed Bite Communications as its UK b2b PR agency after a six-way pitch.

Incumbent August.One - a sister company of Bite - didn't re-pitch but that makes sense now it's been re-positioned as a non-tech consumer and and b2b shop.

PR Week has the account being worth £150k.

The re-pitch was announced in January -

March 03, 2005

Virgin Mobile looking for new agency?

Is Virgin Mobile looking for a new financial PR agency now that Finsbury has been hired by Vodafone?

New UK MD at Text 100

Text 100 has appointed Nick Giles as its new MD for the UK and Ireland. Giles was previously with Manning Selvage & Lee as head of its corporate practice.

Kate Steele has been promoted to replace Giles at MS&L.

Vodafone confirms Finsbury rumours

Vodafone has confirmed press speculation and appointed Finsbury as its new financial and corporate PR agency, reports PR Week. Incumbent Tavistock will be retained but in a "radically downgraded operational role"

Comms director Simon Lewis used to work with Finsbury when he was at Centrica. The account is thought to be around £300,000 pa.