Denver PR Blog

Utah: Even the Denver Post Likes Our Skiing Better
February 28, 2009, 12:48 pm
Filed under: Denver Post, Layoffs

There is a fine line between being balanced and poking your advertisers in the eye. Given that Intrawest and Vail Resorts have both announced significant revenue declines and employee layoffs, I’m guessing they think this is the latter. Money quote:

“I started coming to Deer Valley in 1998,” says David Adamson. “I used to go to Colorado every year, but the snow in Utah is the best in the world, and the travel to and from L.A. is so easy.”

The End of the Rocky, In Their Own Words
February 27, 2009, 8:47 pm
Filed under: Layoffs, Rocky Mountain News

A tremendous behind-the-scenes look at how Scripps’ decision to close the Rocky Mountain News played out in the newsroom.

In Memoriam
February 27, 2009, 2:56 pm
Filed under: GBSM, GroundFloor Media, Layoffs, Metzger, Pure Brand, Rocky Mountain News, Webb PR

Among those offering their thoughts on the demise of the Rocky Mountain News are Metzger’s Lisa Greim (a former Rocky business reporter who offers a touching eulogy for the paper), Webb PR’s Pete Webb, GBSM’s Steve Silvers, GroundFloor’s Ramonna Tooley and Pure’s Larry Holdren.

MediaNews Now Owns Boulder Daily Camera, Others
February 27, 2009, 11:06 am
Filed under: Boulder Daily Camera, Denver Post, MediaNews Group

Part of the fallout of Scripps’ decision to shutter the Rocky Mountain News is that MediaNews will take full ownership of several Colorado newspapers, including the Boulder Daily Camera, the Colorado Daily and the Broomfield Enterprise. Alicia Wallace and Ryan Huff at the Boulder Daily Camera have the details.

Annual ‘State of PR’ Report Reflects Economy
February 27, 2009, 10:58 am
Filed under: Economic News, Public Relations

The Council of PR Firms released its annual “State of Public Relations Survey,” and the data is what you might expect:

  • Average 2008 agency growth was 4 percent, compared to 10 percent in 2007
  • 67 percent of agencies expect 2009 revenues to be down or flat
  • Social media and digital content creation are the areas agencies expect to grow the most

But, as PR Newswer points out, there is some surprising news as well:

  • 30 percent of agencies report they are currently hiring
  • 69 percent think the Obama administration will be good for the PR industry

The End
February 27, 2009, 7:57 am
Filed under: Layoffs, Rocky Mountain News

Two More Losses For Denver Television News
February 26, 2009, 8:02 pm
Filed under: KCNC, KUSA, Layoffs

9News anchor/reporter Ward Lucas has decided to leave the station, and will anchor his last broadcast this weekend. Also, CBS4 is outsourcing its helicopter operations and, as a result, pilot/personality Mike Silva is being let go. Joanne Ostrow at the Denver Post has the details on both.

The Denver Egotist Wants You to Get Back to Work
February 26, 2009, 6:36 pm
Filed under: Denver Egotist, Jobs, Layoffs

Apparently The Denver Egotist’s recent recruitment drive has netted it a bunch of softies, because the advertising-focused site that helps Denver suck less, daily, is going all public servicey by trying to find jobs for PR/advertising/marketing/creative types who have found themselves unemployed. The details are here. And if you know someone who has lost their job, pass the word.

Denver Post Announces Rocky Staffers it is Hiring
February 26, 2009, 1:49 pm
Filed under: Denver Post, Journalism Moves, Penny Parker, Rocky Mountain News

The Denver Post wasted no time announcing which Rocky staff members it would hire (and, yes, Penny Parker is on the list, but not as a gossip columnist.)

RIP, Rocky Mountain News
February 26, 2009, 12:37 pm
Filed under: Layoffs, Rocky Mountain News, Scripps

A profoundly sad day for Colorado – Friday will be the final edition of the Rocky Mountain News. Here’s the coverage:

•  Rocky Mountain News to close, publish final edition Friday
•  The Rocky tick-tock of the internal announcement
•  Scripps press release announcing the news
•  Video of the Scripps CEO announcing the news to staffers
•  Recession forced closure, Boehne says

•  Friday last day for the Rocky Mountain News 
•  Through the years: A gallery of the Rocky 
•  Q&A on the closure of the Rocky Mountain News 
•  Ritter: Newspaper’s closure ‘sad’
•  MediaNews statement on Rocky Mountain News

•  Rocky Mountain News to shut down Friday
•  Reaction to the Rocky shutdown 
•  Post to stand pat on ad rates despite Rocky closure
•  Denver Newspaper Agency renegotiating $150M loan 
•  Singleton, MediaNews seen as potential buyer for San Francisco daily

•  Friday’s Rocky Mountain News will be the last 

•  Rocky Mountain News to close after Friday edition

•  Rocky Mountain News newsroom Twitter account

•  Rocky will publish last paper Friday

Linhart, Volume Finalists for PR Week Awards
February 25, 2009, 3:32 pm
Filed under: Awards, Linhart, VolumePR

Congratulations to Linhart and Volume for being finalists in PR Week’s annual public relations awards. Volume is a finalist in the B2B Campaign of the Year category, and Linhart is a finalist in the Cause-related Campaign of the Year and Boutique PR Agency of the Year categories. Winners will be announced March 5.

Lame Penny Parker Sighting of the Month
February 25, 2009, 2:41 pm
Filed under: Penny Parker, Rocky Mountain News

“Boston Celtics players boarding their bus Monday at The Ritz-Carlton Denver on their way to face (and beat) the Nuggets.”

DNA, Unions Reach Tentative Agreement
February 25, 2009, 2:35 pm
Filed under: Denver Post, Economic News, Layoffs, Rocky Mountain News

David Milstead at the Rocky Mountain News reports that unions representing employees at the Denver Newspaper Agency have reached a tentative agreement on wage and benefit cuts that average 11.7 percent.  According to Milstead, “Today’s tentative agreement includes salary reductions averaging 7 percent, 10 unpaid days off for most workers, the suspension of the 401(k) match, cuts in sick days and mileage reimbursements, and increases in health and dental premiums.” Layoffs are still a possibility if the agreement doesn’t yield the $18 million in concessions the DNA was seeking.

The Race to the Bottom?
February 25, 2009, 11:01 am
Filed under: Economic News

This Post Is for Penny and Bill …
February 24, 2009, 6:23 pm
Filed under: Bill Husted, Penny Parker

… who should be preparing right now to make the same kind of move.

Will Hearst Shut the San Francisco Chronicle Down?
February 24, 2009, 5:40 pm
Filed under: Layoffs, Newspapers

The Heart-owned San Francisco Chronicle is the latest newspaper to be threatened with being sold or shutdown. Hearst has also threatened the Seattle Post-Intelligencer with the same fate.

The End of An Era
February 24, 2009, 1:26 pm
Filed under: Johnston Wells, PR Moves

After 37 years of building JohnstonWells into one of Denver’s largest and most successful public relations agencies, Gwin Johnson is stepping down from her role as CEO. Her successor will be her daughter, GG Johnston, who has been serving as the agency’s president and COO. Although Gwin will no longer be involved in the the day-to-day details of the agency, she “will continue to be active in the company as owner and Chairman of the Board.” The official JohnstonWells announcement is here.
February 23, 2009, 6:11 pm
Filed under: Economic News

Congratulations to the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp., whose $100,000 “Colorado Loves California” campaign to recruit West Coast companies to Denver has generated more than $2 million in advertising equivalency. If you see an influx of tan people driving Porsches, feel free to blame Annie Boeckman.

PRSA Gold Pick Award Deadline
February 23, 2009, 5:50 pm
Filed under: Awards, PRSA

The early entry deadline for the 2009 Colorado PRSA Gold Pick Awards is this Friday, February 27. Details are here.

Seth Godin on Genuine vs. Superficial Networking
February 23, 2009, 5:36 pm
Filed under: Social Media

Hodas Joins Vladimir Jones
February 23, 2009, 2:42 pm
Filed under: PR Moves, PRACO, Vladimir Jones

It looks like Vladimir Jones (formerly PRACO) is back on the public relations offensive. The agency scored some credibility points by naming former Frontier and Consumer Capital Partners spokesman Joe Hodas as senior vice president of public relations. Hodas is leading the agency’s integrated communications efforts and is based in its Denver office.

Carmichael Lynch Spong Lands New Client
February 23, 2009, 2:40 pm
Filed under: CLS, Wins

Carmichael Lynch Spong has landed Prestige Wine Group as a new client. The account will be led from the agency’s Denver office, and CLS will help PWG raise awareness of its line of affordable wines.

Denver PR Jobs
February 23, 2009, 11:36 am
Filed under: Andrew Hudson, Jobs

Among those hiring this week are Arrow Electronics, Bikes Belong, Commerce City, NREL, Pikes Peak Behavioral Health Group, Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine and SwissLog.

Sterling-Rice Group Hires Two
February 23, 2009, 11:31 am
Filed under: Jobs, PR Moves

The Sterling-Rice Group is using the recent Crispin Porter + Bogusky layoffs as a chance to pick up some talent. The brand strategy and marketing communications firm announced that it has hired Ken Slater as senior art director and Kate McQuail as senior copy writer. Both Slater and McQuail formerly were at CP+B.

CORRECTION: From SRG Executive Creative Director Steve Witt:

“While we certainly appreciate the mention, it needs to be noted that Ken and Kate came to SRG directly from CP+B, not as a result of any layoff. They were valued members of CP+B and are valued members of our team at SRG. They are two of the most dedicated, smart and creative talents out there and Sterling-Rice is thrilled to have them on board.

In this economic climate, we are certainly saddened to hear of any layoffs in our industry. A healthy advertising climate helps all of us as individuals and as a greater collective of agencies in the area.”

Metzger Relocates
February 23, 2009, 11:29 am
Filed under: Metzger

Boulder-based Metzger Associates has officially announced their relocation from the Historic Highland Building to a high-tech, modern office building in Flatiron Park. The move keeps the agency in Boulder and gives it “a lot more space to work with, plus lots of room for conferences and networking events.”

Voca PR Announces Three New Clients
February 21, 2009, 8:06 pm
Filed under: Voca PR, Wins

Voca PR has picked up Metro Brokers Inc., Equity Estates and the Davis Phinney Foundation as clients.

Denver Restaurant Week 2009
February 20, 2009, 4:53 pm
Filed under: Denver

Denver Restaurant Week 2009 begins tomorrow and runs through February 27 (or maybe March 6, depending on the Restaurant). Nearly 200 restaurants – ranging from ESPN Zone to Palace Arms – are offering multi-course dinners for the fixed price of $52.80 for two, or $26.40 for one (not including tax or gratuity). Click the link below to see participating restaurants and their menus.

Happy Anniversary
February 20, 2009, 9:04 am
Filed under: Public Relations

Happy sixth anniversary to Ryan May and his Minnesota Public Relations Blog, the site that gave me the inspiration for the equally cleverly named Denver Public Relations Blog.

CU-Denver Newspaper Cover Pits Student Body President Against Editor
February 19, 2009, 9:27 pm
Filed under: Newspapers

The University of Colorado–Denver student newspaper’s choice for the cover of its annual “sex issue” has the university’s student body president demanding an apology. Fox (of course) has the details.

Denver Post Interviewing Rocky Staffers
February 19, 2009, 1:16 pm
Filed under: Denver Post, Layoffs, Rocky Mountain News

Michael Roberts at Westword has multiple sources telling him that the Denver Post has begun the process of cherry-picking Rocky Mountain News talent.

Twitter Gangster
February 19, 2009, 1:15 pm
Filed under: Twitter


Scripps CEO: Before I Fire You, Let Me Cut Your Salary 3-5%
February 19, 2009, 1:10 pm
Filed under: Layoffs, Scripps

E.W. Scripps CEO Rich Boehne popped out of his hole this morning and saw his shadow, which means six more weeks of excruciating limbo for Rocky Mountain News employees. If I were Boehne, the first thing I would do, aside from using my bonus money to short Scripps stock, would be to hire David Milstead to calculate how much it would cost to shut down the Rocky, since apparently even 10 weeks after stating his intention to sell or shutter the paper he still has no idea how much it would cost to actually close it down. Ten weeks. Seriously. Oh, and Scripps employees nationwide will see pay cuts of 3-5 percent.

Google: Denver Public Relations
February 18, 2009, 8:30 pm
Filed under: Johnston Wells

Just a quick “Damn you!” to JohnstonWells, who for six months has been the only site sitting above me in the Google rankings for the term “Denver Public Relations.” It’s hard enough to fend off Absolutely PR’s Maggie Holben and her vast network of self-referring Web sites without JW just sitting there mocking me month after month. I can’t be certain, but I think Efrem is to blame. If you are keeping score, the rankings look like this:

1. JohnstonWells
2. Denver PR Blog
3. Ogilvy PR
4. Absolutely PR
5. Pushkin PR
6. GroundFloor Media
7. Kruzic Communications
8. LeGrand Hart
9. Absolutely PR
10. Denver Business Journal

Denver Post Lays Off Six, Including Managing Editor
February 18, 2009, 7:53 pm
Filed under: Denver Post, Layoffs

Citing budget cuts that forced his hand, Denver Post Editor Greg Moore announced the layoffs of six non-union employees: managing editor Gary Clark, political Web site editor Stephen Keating, assistant city editor Cynthia Pasquale, assistant design director Ingrid Muller, online director Mark Cardwell and systems editor Eric Strom. Michael Roberts at Westword has the details.

Bertha Lynn’s Job Safe, GM Says
February 18, 2009, 7:47 pm
Filed under: KMGH, Penny Parker

KMGH/Channel 7 General Manager Byron “I’m not related to Fred” Grandy says the Colorado Association of Black Journalists was a little quick to pull the trigger on its letter to members accusing the station of trying to dump veteran anchor Bertha Lynn. Grandy told the Rocky’s Penny Parker, “A phone call to me would have settled it quickly. (Bertha’s) under contract at KMGH. I’ve never talked about (specific terms of) a contract, and I’m not going to talk about specifics ever.”

Scripps May Disclose its Plan for the Rocky on Q4 Earnings Call
February 18, 2009, 3:09 pm
Filed under: Newspapers, Scripps

Late February is rapidly approaching, and still no word on the fate of the Rocky Mountain News. Your best next chance to hear any updates will be on Scripps’ Q4 2008 earnings call tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. MST. You can listen in by dialing 1-800-230-1074, but if you want to ask a question you will need to pretend to be someone such as Stephanie Clifford of the New York Times. If you miss the live call, you can listen to a replay starting at 9 a.m. MST at 1-800-475-6701.

Carmichael Lynch Spong Wins Calphalon Account
February 18, 2009, 2:31 pm
Filed under: CLS, Wins

Calphalon, the professional-quality cookware company, has selected Carmichael Lynch Spong as its public relations and advertising agency of record.  The account will be led out of CLS’s Denver office.

Free Ice Cream and Career Advice
February 17, 2009, 1:41 pm
Filed under: Events, Linhart

Linhart PR’s February “Inside Scoop” information session for those considering careers in PR will take place Wednesday, Feb.18, at 4 p.m. Reserve a space by emailing

Dovetail Announces New Client, Board Member
February 17, 2009, 1:35 pm
Filed under: Wins

Dovetail Solutions has landed EnviroTech Services as a client and added Lisa Hogan of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck to its board of directors.

Happy Valentines Day
February 14, 2009, 8:38 pm
Filed under: Johnston Wells

The folks at JohnstonWells – and many of the community leaders and members of non-profit organizations they work with – are feeling optimistic this Valentines Day.

CABJ Campaigns to Save Bertha Lynn’s Job
February 13, 2009, 8:02 pm
Filed under: KMGH, Layoffs

KMGH/Channel 7 anchor Bertha Lynn may be the next high-profile Denver television anchor to get the boot. Colorado Association of Black Journalists President (and 850 KOA executive producer) Amani Ali sent an urgent – and passionate – letter to members yesterday asking members to contact KMGH management because the station “is making a concerted effort to terminate the employment of Bertha Lynn” who “has excelled in spite of being taken off of the prime time anchor desk, moved around, and disrespected while being subjected to intolerable working conditions.” You can read the full letter here.

‘Get Connected’ Event to Focus on Delivering Bad News
February 12, 2009, 8:15 pm
Filed under: Events, GroundFloor Media

GroundFloor Media’s inaugural “Get Connected” panel discussion takes place on Wednesday, Feb. 18, and will focus on communicating difficult news to key audiences during challenging times. Panelists will include Gil Rudawsky, deputy metro business editor of the Rocky Mountain News; Lynn Kimbrough, communications director, Denver District Attorney’s Office; Ken Keymer, former president and CEO of VICORP Restaurants Inc. and former president of Noodles & Company; and Jim D. Leonard of Faegre & Benson. Email to get the details. Space is limited.

‘…And, Joaquin, I’m Sorry You Couldn’t Be Here Tonight’
February 12, 2009, 11:07 am
Filed under: Public Relations

We have a new candidate for this week’s “Most in Need of PR Help” award. Joining the list that includes Michael Phelps, Wells Fargo, Alex Rodriguez and Chris Brown is Joaquin Phoenix, who “appeared” on David Letterman’s show last night.

Will Scripps Try to Outlast MediaNews Group?
February 12, 2009, 9:23 am
Filed under: Denver Post, Layoffs, Rocky Mountain News

The most interesting predictions often are the ones that have a 2 percent chance of coming true. So in that spirit, let me offer this prediction: Scripps has analyzed the numbers and realized that it can outlast MediaNews Group if it is willing to suffer another tough six months. MediaNews Group will be forced to fold the Denver Post by summer, and the Rocky Mountain News will survive as the only major daily in Denver.

Will that prediction come true? Probably not. But if the economics of being the only newspaper in town work for MediaNews Group, they should also work for Scripps. And Scripps seems much better positioned financially to ride out a tough six months than MediaNews Group. We are just two days away from mid-February, which is a full month after Scripps initially implied a decision would be made about shutting down the Rocky, and there still has been no word on its fate.

DNA Seeks $35 Million in Union Concessions
February 12, 2009, 8:47 am
Filed under: Denver Post, Layoffs, Rocky Mountain News

It is hard to figure out which is in worse financial shape: the Denver Post, the Rocky Mountain News or the Denver Newspaper Agency. Post publisher MediaNews Group often seems to be teetering on the brink of missing its debt payments, the Rocky is almost certain to be shut down, and now Jeff Smith at the Rocky reports that the DNA needs to cut about $35 million through union concessions, roughly double what had been reported previously.

Level 3 Accidentally Posts a Profit
February 12, 2009, 8:32 am
Filed under: Economic News, Level 3

If, in your office pool, you had 23 straight quarters that Level 3 would post negative earnings, well, you are out of luck. After a mere 22 straight, Level 3 busted out of its slump to post a quarterly profit of $44 million. Telecom analysts think the gain came from spending cuts, but we think the CFO finally said screw it and just invested the entire marketing budget shorting financial stocks. Either way, Wall Street still wasn’t impressed. Level 3 shares dropped 15 percent on the profit news.

9News’ Wargin Emerges as a Winner in the Westword Catfight
February 12, 2009, 8:21 am
Filed under: KUSA, Westword

9News sports anchor Susie Wargin wins the public relations diplomacy award for her classy response to a rant that appeared in Westword media critic Michael Roberts’s blog that was written by Roberts’ 15-year-old daughter. Wargin has learned what too many CEOs have not yet – you are almost never sorry later on for having taken the high road.

NCAA Sponsor Coca-Cola’s Vitaminwater Could Get College Athletes Suspended
February 11, 2009, 9:29 pm
Filed under: PR Gaffes

Don’t expect to see Coca-Cola’s Vitaminwater replace Gatorade as the drink of choice among college athletes. The Brown (University) Daily Herald reports that six of its flavors – Power-C, Energy, B-relaxed, Rescue, Vital-T and Balance – contain banned substances or ingredients that trainers are not allowed to provide to collegiate athletes.

Catfight Alert, Twitter-style
February 11, 2009, 7:54 pm
Filed under: Twitter

Remember the old days when a spat between a reporter and PR or marketing person took place on the phone and only their friends and colleagues found out about it? Well, no longer.

(Hat tip to Sydney Ayers’ Twitter account)

Great Moments in Journalism XIII
February 11, 2009, 6:04 pm
Filed under: journalism

Meanwhile, Bob Kendrick, Steve Kelley, Ernie Bjorkman and Molly Hughes can’t find work as anchors.


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