Denver PR Blog

December PR Moves
December 31, 2007, 9:56 am
Filed under: PR Moves
  • Denver Public Schools Foundation named Natalie Wilkins communications director; Wilkins joins the DPSF from SafeHouse Denver.
  • Schenkein hired Sara Antonio as account director, promoted Bridget Ford and Sasha Harrell to senior account executives, and promoted Lana Jefferson Taussig, Abbey O’Neal and Melissa Miller to account executives;
  • Turner Public Relations hired Jordan Blakesley as publicist. Blakesley joins Turner from LeGrand Hart.
  • Fentress Architects hired Jennifer Ito to manage public relations and business development. Ito formerly was executive director of the Foothills Art Center.
  • Colorado State University appointed Michele McKinney to manage public relations in the Denver area. McKinney joins CSU from the University of Colorado, where she was director of communications and spokesperson for the CU System and the Office of the President.
  • The Heedum Agency hired Julie Dunn as a senior account manager. Dunn formerly was a Denver Post business reporter.

Fort Morgan Times Editor Steps Down after 41 Years
December 31, 2007, 9:30 am
Filed under: Journalism Moves
Fort Morgan Times editor Bill Spencer is retiring today after 41 years. Spencer’s grandfather bought the paper in 1907, and his father worked there for 71 years. Kevin Vaughn of the Rocky Mountain News profiles Spencer and chronicles his tenure.

100+ Layoffs at McClain Finlon?
December 29, 2007, 2:11 pm
Filed under: Layoffs, McClain Finlon

Denver ad shop McClain Finlon is rumored to have notified more than 100 of its 170 staffers last week that they will be terminated in February when the Qwest account officially ends. The number seems a little high given that AdWeek estimates that Qwest represented 30 percent of the agency’s business. 

Convention Bureau’s Scharf Named Businessperson of the Year
December 29, 2007, 12:10 pm
Filed under: Awards, Rocky Mountain News

The Rocky Mountain News has named Richard Scharf, head of the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, as its “Businessperson of the Year.” He gets the nod because of the “bureau’s performance with Scharf at the reins,” according to the Rocky. Among his successes: record numbers of conventions in Denver for three years running, successfully pushing for a lodging tax to double the bureau’s annual marketing budget to $15 million, and improvements to the bureau’s internal culture. 

The runners-up for the award were Mitch Ackerman of the Service Employees International Union’s Colorado Council, Tom Marisco of Marsico Funds, Charlie Monfort of the Colorado Rockies, and Auden Schendler of Aspen Skiing Co. 

No comment? Really?
December 28, 2007, 7:30 pm
Filed under: Weber Shandwick
Corporate America apparently has not learned what politicians have known for decades — that you can answer any tough question by ignoring it completely and instead answering the question you wish you had been asked. With that bit of knowledge, you would think the fabled “no comment” would gradually disappear entirely. But instead, it actually has increased.

Leslie Gaines-Ross of Weber Shandwick researched the number of times the phrase “the company declined to comment” appeared in media during the past 11 years. Surprisingly, it has doubled since 2000. Clearly, many companies do not understand that “no comment” is usually associated with presumptive guilt.

Miller Out as Colorado Daily Publisher
December 28, 2007, 3:44 pm
Filed under: Journalism Moves
Colorado Daily publisher (and former owner) Randy Miller is leaving the paper effective Monday. “After seven years, I think that I’ve accomplished most of the things that I want to do with the Daily,” Miller told the Boulder Daily Camera. His next challenge may be in Arizona, where he has just purchased the Tucson Explorer (circ. 50,000).

Why CP+B is different than your agency
December 27, 2007, 4:08 pm
Filed under: CP+B
Crispin Porter + Bogusky held its annual holiday party last week. The theme was “circus,” and quite a few employees got into the spirit of the party. Some of the photos can be found here here.

PRWeek Offers its ‘Book of Lists 2007′
December 27, 2007, 11:31 am
Filed under: PRWeek | Tags: ,

Among this year’s categories:

  • 10 people with the toughest jobs in communications
  • 10 testing events for crisis PR pros
  • 5 brands that soared and 5 that sunk
  • 10 staff moves that made the news
  • 5 agency Web sites that awed and 5 that annoyed
  • 10 product debuts we couldn’t miss
  • 5 terms we didn’t hear before ’07
  • 5 communicators we liked to hear and 5 we didn’t
  • 10 stunts that were Barnum worthy

Are budget cuts and layoffs coming to KDVR/Fox 31?
December 27, 2007, 9:03 am
Filed under: Layoffs | Tags: ,

News Corp.’s decision to sell eight of its Fox affiliates — including KDVR/Fox 31 in Denver – could result in cuts to the station’s management and news staff. Oak Hills Capital Partners acquired the eight stations to include in its Local TV LLC venture with the Tribune Co.  The venture will provide “shared services” for all the Local TV LLC stations, and “produce savings in management, technology and other overhead costs,” according to the Chicago TribuneRandy Michaels, who has been tapped to lead Local TV LLC, told Variety, “We are going to find new ways to operate smarter, cheaper and more efficiently.” 

SABRE Awards Deadline Jan. 22
December 26, 2007, 8:16 pm
Filed under: Awards | Tags: , ,

The deadline to enter the 2007 SABRE Awards is Jan. 22 (the entry form is here). Last year’s winners included MGA Communications for its campaign, “Avenue of Change: Launching the Inaugural Post-News Colorado Colfax Marathon.”

CP+B finalist for Microsoft consumer-advertising account
December 24, 2007, 9:01 am
Filed under: CP+B | Tags: , ,
Our friends in Boulder at Crispin Porter + Bogusky are finalists to handle Microsoft’s consumer-products account, which is valued at between $200-$300 million. CP+B is up against Fallon, with McCann Erickson and JWT having been eliminated. Microsoft is expected to make a decision in mid-February.

Westword co-founder killed in Wyoming car accident
December 23, 2007, 7:47 pm
Filed under: Obit, Westword | Tags: ,

Sad news – Westword co-founder and former Denver Post reporter Sandra Widener and her politically connected husband, John Parrwere killed in a Wyoming traffic accident this weekend.

McClain Finlon facing layoffs due to Qwest account loss
December 22, 2007, 1:08 am
Filed under: Layoffs, McClain Finlon | Tags: , , , ,

Jeff Smith at the Rocky Mountain News reports that Denver ad firm McClain Finlon is expected to layoff an undetermined number of staffers in February due to the loss of Qwest Communications’ consumer account. Chicago-based Draftfcb announced several weeks ago that it had won the Qwest account, which is reported to be worth $95 million annually. AdWeek estimates that Qwest represented 30 percent of McClain Finlon’s total business, so dozens of staffers could be affected.

PR stat of the week …
December 21, 2007, 8:45 am
Filed under: Aiello | Tags: ,

Wendy Aiello attends roughly 30 holiday parties each year.

Steve Sander named Denver marketing director
December 20, 2007, 8:21 pm
Filed under: PR Moves | Tags: , , ,

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper has appointed marketing veteran Steve Sander as the city’s new strategic marketing director. He will work on various initiatives related to economic development, tourism and the delivery of city services. Sander has more than 30 years experience at firms such as Sander Marketing, Sander/GBSM, Karsh & Hagen, and Barnhart Advertising.

True Spin Conference in Denver, Jan. 31-Feb. 1
December 20, 2007, 8:16 pm
Filed under: Events | Tags: ,

Denver is host to the True Spin Conference, which bills itself as bringing together “flacks from progressive advocacy groups around the country to exchange ideas and learn new and creative PR tactics.” The two-day conference takes place at the Curtis Hotel downtown, and presenters include Medea Benjamin, Code Pink; Rashad Robinson, GLAAD; Martin Kearns, Green Media Toolshed; and Lori Dorfman, Berkeley Media Studies Group.

Making “The Jump” from Journalism to PR
December 17, 2007, 8:39 pm
Filed under: Layoffs, Westword

Lynn Bronikowski, Mark Eddy, Anna Osborn, Ernest Gurule, Michelle Ames and Sharon Sherman are all Denver media types who successfully made the jump to public relations. They may have a lot more company from former colleagues at the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News. Westword reports on a group called “The Jump” that is helping journalists who fear continued downsizing make the move to PR. 

Wall Street Journal: ‘Paying for PR – But Only When it Works’
December 16, 2007, 7:44 pm
Filed under: Fees, WSJ | Tags: ,
The Wall Street Journal profiled Cynthia McKay of Castle Rock-based Le Gourmet Gift Basket in an article examining alternative pay structures and pay-for-performance pricing in the public relations industry. McKay turned to an independent PR practitioner who bills based on results after feeling “nickled and dimed” by a traditional agency.

Gifts to avoid if you are Sharon Linhart’s ‘Secret Santa’
December 15, 2007, 1:39 pm
Filed under: Events, Linhart | Tags:

No. 1 on the list: a Victoria’s Secret giftcard.

How to pitch Al Lewis …
December 14, 2007, 7:34 pm
Filed under: Denver Post, Pitches | Tags: , ,
Marketing Sherpa profiles Denver Post business columnist Al Lewis. Among Al’s quotes:
  • “I probably bite on about 2 percent of the pitches that come my way.”
  • “I like irony. I like controversy. … I like raging success and spectacular failures.”

Congrats to Colorado State
December 11, 2007, 7:59 pm
Filed under: Colorado State | Tags: ,

Colorado State won the 2007 PR Nonprofit Award for Media Relations at a ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The school was recognized for its campaign to gain increased coverage in Denver media. 

SAVVIS account to be lead by Ogilvy’s Denver, D.C. offices
December 4, 2007, 7:52 pm
Filed under: Ogilvy, Wins | Tags: ,
IT infrastructure company SAVVIS has selected Ogilvy PR’s Denver and Washington, D.C., offices to lead its account. SAVVIS’s CMO is James Whitemore, a Sun Microsystems veteran who worked with the Ogilvy’s Denver office when the agency represented Sun’s storage unit several years ago.

Linhart affiliates with Worldcom Public Relations Group
December 4, 2007, 7:19 pm
Filed under: Linhart | Tags: , ,
Linhart Public Relations has joined the Worldcom Public Relations Group, an international partnership of nearly 100 independent agencies around the globe. Linhart joins InterMountain Corporate Affairs as the only Denver-based agencies on the WPRG roster.

GroundFloor Media lands ‘Point B’ project
December 3, 2007, 1:11 am
Filed under: GroundFloor Media, Wins | Tags:

Seattle-based consulting firm Point B Solutions Group has selected GroundFloor Media to develop a national strategic public relations plan. No word on the value of the deal. 


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