Denver PR Blog


In Memoriam
November 2, 2018, 3:25 pm
Filed under: Public Relations

Gwin Johnston, the founder of JohnstonWells Public Relations, passed away Thursday. A University of Wyoming alumna, she founded her agency in Denver in 1971 and helped grow it be one of the largest and most respected in the Rocky Mountain Region.

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Thomas’ Departure from 9News Leaves Large Void
August 10, 2018, 8:57 am
Filed under: Public Relations

TaRhonda Thomas’ announcement that she is leaving 9News to move to Philadelphia is a significant blow to Denver on several levels. In addition to being one of the most talented and respected journalists in town, she also is the highest-profile African-American in local TV news. Michael Roberts at Westword reports:

Her departure will leave the Mile High City with no African-American anchors at present and just three black reporters at four stations, all of whom currently have significantly smaller on-air roles than she did. … (T)he remaining three are 9News’s Eddie Randle, a reporter hired in January 2017; CBS4’s Toni Mason, a reporter who came aboard last August; and Fox31/KWGN’s Shaul Turner, a onetime anchor now working in the outlet’s Problem Solvers unit. And in Thomas’s view, that’s a shame.

“We’re a large city,” she points out, “and Denver is one of the top twenty markets in the country. The African-American population isn’t that big here, but no matter how small a population it might be, seeing someone who looks like you on TV makes you feel like you can be the way they are. I remember meeting a little girl at a gala, and her mom said, ‘She’s so excited to meet you. Every time she sees you on TV, she stops and looks. Now she wants to be on TV, and she didn’t start talking about it until she saw you do it.’ “



9News Names Valadez News Director
June 28, 2018, 11:53 am
Filed under: Public Relations

9News parent company Tegna tends to be as incestuous as a European royal family, and it has again stayed within its own ranks to fill the open 9News News Director position. Eric Valadez, the Executive News Director at Tegna’s Dallas affiliate, has been named news director, replacing Christy Moreno who took the President/GM job at … wait for it … Tegna’s affiliate in Lousiville.



Netflix Axes CCO After Racial Slur
June 25, 2018, 10:03 am
Filed under: Public Relations

Netflix fired Chief Communications Officer Jonathan Friedland after he used the N-word in an office meeting. Emmy Stefansky at Vanity Fair reports:

(Netflix CEO Reed) Hastings explained that Friedland had first used the word in a meeting about sensitive words a few months ago, and that he had apologized to staffers who had approached him after the meeting. Just a few days after that, Friedland had used the word again while speaking to a group of black employees who were trying to speak to him about the first incident. Hastings said in his memo that he only recently learned about the second usage, and decided to terminate Friedland’s employment.

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Is There a Crisis Client You Wouldn’t Take?
June 3, 2018, 9:11 am
Filed under: Public Relations

Meet the $1,100-an-hour crisis communications expert who believes that – like legal counsel – everyone has a right to public relations representation. That morally agnostic approach has landed him a bevy of bold-name clients. From Abby Aguirre at The New York Times:

“(Michael Sitrick) represented Kelsey Grammer when the star was accused of having sex with his underage babysitter. He helped Christian Slater when the actor was arrested on charges of assaulting his girlfriend. … Mr. Sitrick was retained by Halle Berry when she was in a hit-and-run, Naomi Campbell when she was accused of assaulting her housekeeper, and Rush Limbaugh when he was arrested on prescription drug charges.”

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Foothills Urogynecology Selects Bawmann Group
May 18, 2018, 8:23 am
Filed under: Public Relations

The Bawmann Group has been named the agency of record for Foothills Urogynecology TBG will provide a wide range of marketing services to Foothills, which offers comprehensive, personalized women’s health and pelvic floor care in the Denver-Metro area.



Chris Arnold to Leave Chipotle
May 17, 2018, 8:08 am
Filed under: Public Relations

Chris Arnold joined Chipotle 15 years ago this month when the company was privately held and had fewer than 150 restaurants. In the intervening years, Chris helped position the company into a $12 billion publicly traded corporation that has more than 2,400 locations. Chris played offense with Chipotle’s “Food With Integrity” campaign, played defense with E.coli crisis communications challenges, and helped the company essentially redefine the quick-service restaurant (QSR) marketplace.

Chris has let friends know this week that he has made the decision to leave Chipotle on May 28, which is 15 years to the day he joined the company. Here’s wishing Chris the best of luck on whatever comes next.