February 25, 2006

PR Week rival to launch

A challenger to PR Week is being launched in the UK.

Called PR Business, it is the brainchild of Geoff Lace, who founded PR Week. He is editor in chief. The editor is Eirwen Oxley Green, a former Radio Times sub.

Lord Chadlington, founder of Shandwick and more recently Huntsworth, is also involved.

PR Business will launch in mid-March.

From Media Guardian (free registration required) via Antony Mayfield's Open

Tech boss becomes CEO of H&K UK

Sally Costerton has been appointed as UK chief executive at Hill & Knowlton.

She was previously head of technology in EMEA.

From PR Week

Tiscali puts PR up for grabs

Tiscali's UK PR account is for for pitch.

Judy Haskayne, PR and comms director, said to PR Week that: "We will reviewing everything: our consumer, trade, corporate and public affairs support."

Borkowski, responsible for the corporate and consumer briefs, is now working on a project basis. Firefly and LD Communications have both also worked for Tiscali over the past year, respectively handling B2B press relations and music projects.

Bite loses creative chief

James Warren, creative director at Bite PR and head of its interactive business, is leaving to join Weber Shandwick.

He will be leading a new web-relations division.

From PR Week (24 February 2006)

CORRECTION:

James Warren stopped working full-time for Bite in October 2005. Since then he has been working as a freelance for Bite UK in a number of different roles.

Greg Rooney is head of Bite' interactive business.

Again from PR Week (3 March 2006)

Sony Ericsson in hunt for new agency

Sony Ericsson is searching for an agency to promote its sponsorship of the Women's Tennis Association tour.

From PR Week

Sony Ericsson consolidates global PR

Brando has picked up more work from Sony Ericcson.

The agency will be strengthening the firm's global brand message and implementing more proactive media relations.

From PR Week

Pleon to be dumped by Infosys?

India's second largest software company, Infosys, is reviewing its UK PR account.

Incumbent Pleon has been in place for three years. Emma Richards, EMEA PR manager for Infosys, wouldn't say whether Pleon had been asked to re-pitch however she did confirm that it will continue to represent the company in France and Germany.

From PR Week

Live Nation hires agency for O2 festivals

Amazing Media has won a contract to promote this year's O2 Wireless Festivals in London and Leeds.

Event organiser Live Nation ran a three way pitch for the print and online PR contract. The losers were The Outside Organisation and LD Publicity

Scream Promotions handles broadcast PR. Cohn & Wolfe is looking after brand PR for O2.

From PR Week

Nokia loses community relations specialist

Veronica Scheubel has left Nokia to join APCO.

Scheubel is an associate manager in the European CSR strategy team.

At Nokia, she was senior management of community involvement.

From PR Week

PR Week feature on Wikipedia

PR runs a feature this week titled "Wikipedia: friend or foe on the net?"

In it, Adam Hill asks how PROs can use the online encyclopedia to their advantage.

February 18, 2006

Intel shakes up UK PR

As part of a global re-shuffle, Intel has handed its European PR to two WPP agencies, Burston-Marsteller and Hill & Knowlton.

B-M affiliate Mmd may also pick up some business in central and Eastern Europe.

The big losers appear to be incumbents Weber Shandwick, Fleishman-Hillard, Catalysis and Red.

From PR Week.

PR Week on press freebies

Another article in this week's issue sees PR Week asking if "PROs knowingly compromise editorial integrity"?

Among those quoted from the world of hi-tech PR are Ian O'Leary, corporate comms director of Seagate Technology; Stephanie McLeod, associate director at Samsung UK; and Grant Currie of Inferno.

PR Week feature on Google

Google is the subject of a feature in PR Week this issue. The magazine asks how Google can recapture its cool.

It features opinions from four organisations. H&K and B-M are the chosen PR agencies with The Times and Computing providing the media's perspective.

Portugal Telecom hires UK help

Portugal Telecom has hired Financial Dynamics to help defend it against a bid from Sonae.

From PR Week.

Northgate hands financial PR over

Maitland has won the financial PR for Northgate Information Solutions. It won the business after a four-way pitch against incumbent Brunswick as well as Financial Dynamics and Bell Pottinger.

PR Week reports that the account is worth £150,000.

Pleon win Commodore PR

Pleon has won a global PR contract for Commodore after a competitive pitch.

Commodore is best known for its iconic 1980s home computer, the Commodore 64.

From PR Week

Orange merges internal comms team

Orange has merged its two internal communications departments into a new group called Employee Communications and Engagement. Overall responsibility for this lies with Steve Aumayer, UK vice-president of business support.

The move happened a couple of months, about the same time that Orange's head of internal comms, Kate Haddon, resigned to go to Vodafone.

From PR Week

Vodafone hires new internal comms chief

Kate Haddon has joined Vodafone UK to head up its internal communications. She was previously at Orange.

Haddon replaces Annette Ware, who was promoted to head of UK brand entertainment and communications about 12 months ago. In the interim period, Vodafone had been using freelancer Sarah Hale.

From PR Week

February 11, 2006

Acquisition fever coming to the tech sector?

PR Week has some gems in its feature "The Valentine's Matchmaker" this week.

Aparently neither Chime (owner of Bell-Pottinger, Harvard and Insight) nor Huntsworth (owner of Citigate and Red) "will ignore a good opportunity in the increasingly attractive areas of public affairs, healthcare and technology." Lorna Tilbian of Numis Securities, house broker to both firms, is quoted as saying "If you can offer them a well-run agency with growth potential in these practices, they'll buy it."

Don Elgie, CEO of Creston (the owner of Nelson Bostock) is also "looking for consumer and tech practices to help him out of Nelson Bostock's conflicts."

And Hotwire was up for sale last year but is now off the market. It failed to find a buyer "partly, it is said, because co-founders Kristin Syltevik and Anthony Wilson, wanted to leave upon completion of a deal."

Lewis blog put in shade by traditional media

Hundreds of thousands of people watched the tragic adventure of the London whale on Sky News. The BBC news site had over a million page views that Friday.

Yet - with Lewis PR's whale watch blog pulling in 'just' 30,000 page views - Jon Silk, a senior creative manager there, feels able to claim in a letter to PR Week that "we showed how blogging can replace traditional media channels in events like these."

Nonsense. While 30,000 page views is a very very impressive readership (we'd settle for a tenth of that) it hardly justifies Silk's claim.

From Media Guardian:

"(The whale saga) was the top story on the BBC News website on Friday, attracting 1 million page impressions."

"On Friday, when Sky News went live to coverage of the drama from its SkyCopter from around 12.30pm, the channel had a peak audience of 174,000 viewers at 5pm, with 158,000 an hour earlier."

"The audience for Sky News' coverage of the whale's plight peaked at 365,000 viewers at 2.45pm on Saturday."

"(BBC) News 24's biggest audience on Saturday came at around 4pm, when 313,000 viewers were watching."

"Users (of the BBC News Player) made just over 315,000 requests for the BBC's whale round-up package and a further 207,000 requests for live coverage."

Bignell takes over at Motorola

Motorola has hired Chris Bignell as communications and public affairs manager for the UK and Ireland.

Bignell was previously UK PR and advertising manager at Toshiba Mobile. He replaces Patrick Hamilton who moved to Kodak last year.

From PR Week

New MD at Whiteoaks as founders step aside

James Kelliher has been appointed MD at Whiteoaks. He was previously client services director.

Founders Gill Craig and Bill Nichols have become joint chairs.

From PR Week.

Three agencies win at Google

Google has hired three PR agencies.

Cow gets some consumer work, Portland's been hired to handle corporate PR, and Octopus has won the B2B account.

PR Week also reports that more 'project-driven' appointments may be made in the future.

The appointments follow Rachel Whetsone's arrival as director of European communications and public affairs.

Firefly previously handled PR for Google but its work ended in November last year.

February 03, 2006

HP ditches H&K in European review

HP has taken two major pieces of pan-European business away from Hill & Knowlton.

B-M has picked up the PR for HP's Technology Solutions Group while Porter Novelli has won the Imaging and Printing Group account.

PR Week is reporting that together the two accounts were worth up to £2 million to H&K.

Marconi loses public affairs chief

Elizabeth Kanter, Marconi's VP of government affairs, is leaving the company following the sale of the bulk of its assets and its name to Ericsson.

From PR Week