Among those hiring this week are Advantage Business Media, American Water Works Association, CaridianBCT, Kaiser Permanente (Colorado Springs) and CU-Denver.
Month: December 2008
12 Things I Need From a Communications Agency
“Engage in PR” compiles the list.
PBS’s Charlie Rose shows Corporate America (and countless media companies) that compassion and transparency can make you look stronger, not weaker.
SME: Is the Future of Advertising Public Relations?
The money quote:
“… online advertising is much less effective than online editorial coverage.”
SolaRover Selects Linhart
SolaRover, a provider of environmentally-friendly mobile power generation systems, has selected Linhart as its national agency of record. Linhart will “develop tailored marketing collateral and implement an ongoing media relations campaign to create a regular pulse of news and build credibility with key journalists.”
Top 10 Media Blunders of 2008
Politico offers its Top 10 Media Blunders of 2008.
NYT: ‘Between Obama and the Press’
The New York Times offers a 5,000-word piece on President-elect Barack Obama’s media relations strategy, and the man implementing them. For those with ADHD, PRNewser hits the highlights for you.
Denver PR Jobs
Among those hiring this holiday week are the City of Boulder’s Parks and Recreation Department, Exempla Lutheran Medical Center, the Space Foundation in Colorado Springs and Xcel Energy.
Social Media Experts Launch New Firm
PR pro Brian Solis, online journalist Tom Foresmski, blogger Neville Hobson and Social Media co-founder Chris Heuer have teamed up to form AdHocnium, “an ad-hoc agency that trains PR firms and clients to use new media.” PR Week has the details.
Finlon Among the 2009 Colorado Business Hall of Fame Inductees
It has been a rough year for Cathy Finlon, but at least 2009 will be starting off on a positive note: She’ll be inducted into the Colorado Business Hall of Fame in February with Bruce Benson, Sam Maynes, Jordon Perlmutter, Jack Vickers and the Loo family.
Singleton Sets Mid-January ‘Ultimatum’ for Union Concessions
Mid-January is shaping up to be a pivotal time in the history of Denver newspapers. Scripps will decide whether to shut down the Rocky Mountain News, and the Denver Newspaper Agency has issued an ultimatum to six unions to agree to $20 million in wage and benefit concessions by Jan. 16 or … (insert evil Dean Singleton laugh here)… “face even worse consequences.”
Study Examines Client Turnover at PR Agencies
Being a tech agency in the Southwest is the hardest PR gig going, according to a study of client turnover by StevensGouldPincus. Overall, client turnover was 22% in 2008, while technology firms experienced a 30% client turnover rate and Southwestern states averaged 33%. The full report is here.
Great Moments in Journalism X
‘The Poster Child for Everything Wrong with PR’
You know that little voice in your head that tells you to hit delete before you send that angry email? Lois Whitman doesn’t have one of those.
‘The Biggest Hypocrite Who Ever Drew Breath?’
Readers of the Denver PR Blog know that I am a fan of Westword’s Michael Roberts. His coverage and analysis of the Denver media scene is second to none, and the recent coverage of the Rocky Mountain News’ continuing near-death experience only solidified his position. So it was interesting to see a reader call out Roberts for not covering Westword’s financial situation the way he covers those of the Rocky and Denver Post.
Of course, what is lost on the reader is that part of what makes Roberts so effective at covering the Rocky and Post is that he is independent of them, a point he makes as well. Nevertheless, Roberts responds with an analysis of Westword’s situation, which concludes the both the paper and its parent company are … (drumroll please) … largely in good shape. But as much as I like Roberts, I’ll wait for David Milstead or Aldo Svaldi to write that before I believe it.
Is Penny Preparing for a Post-Rocky World?
I (and many others) have advocated for several years that print reporters should be laying the groundwork to go independent if necessary. Om Malik and Tom Foremski have proven that there is a marketplace for niche expertise, and, to her credit, Penny Parker seems to be preparing for just that kind of move. She has started promoting her “On The Town” blog heavily this week, and you can expect her to continue it as an independent effort should the Rocky shut down next month.
PR Stat of the Week
Peter Shankman’s HARO has roughly 40,000 subscribers, while PRNewswire’s ProfNet (which requires a paid subscription) has 14,000.
Dismissed Fox31 Morning Anchor Kelley Says He was Blindsided
Fox31 morning news anchor Steve Kelley says being laid off was “a shock … it’s like a death.” But, he adds, you can expect him to rebound and pursue other television and radio opportunities in Denver.
AP Reporters and Photographers Withhold Bylines in Protest
Things are heating up between the Associated Press and the News Media Guild, the union that represents 1,400 editorial, technology and support workers. AP journalists and photographers have begun withholding their bylines in protest of what they perceive as the company’s hard line in contract negotiations.
SHiFT Announces New Client
Longmont-based SHiFT has landed Emergenetics as a client.
Many of us who worked in Denver a decade ago remember the fight former Denver Post reporter Kerri Smith waged against obesity and cancer. Sadly, Kerri lost that struggle this weekend. She was 48. Mike McPhee at the Post has the details.
Denver PR Jobs
Among those hiring this week are Arrow Electronics, EnCana, Colorado Ready Mixed Concrete Association, GH Phipps, Construction Companies, National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), Pinnacol Assurance, TeleTech, The Wildlife Experience and Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association.
Staffers Start Web Site ‘I Want My Rocky’
In an effort to save the Rocky Mountain News, staffers have joined together to start the Web site I Want My Rocky, which encourages readers to write letters to the Scripps board, the DOJ, and Colorado’s Congressional delegation.
Pharmaceutical Giant Under Fire for Ghostwritten Articles
Another staple of public relations – the ghostwritten article – has come under fire after pharmaceutical giant Wyeth used ghostwriters to author medical journal articles that were favorable to Prempro, a female hormone replacement therapy.
Rocky Mountain News Staff Awards
The Rocky Mountain News announced the winners of its annual staff awards, just in time for the journalists to add them to their resumes:
- Best Reporter – Sara Burnett
- Best Writer – Kevin Vaughan
- Best Copy Editor – Scott Gilbert
- Best Artist – Charles Chamberlin
- Best Designer – Steve Miller
- Best Photographer – Ellen Jaskol
- Best Web Producer – Amy Burke
- Unsung Hero – Lizzy McCormick
- Best YourHub Journalist – Charmaine Robledo
- Best YourHub Assistant – Kristin Morin
- Best Newsroom Contributor – Kathy Potter
- Editor’s Award – Joe Mahoney
Is There a Chance Denver Could Become a Zero Newspaper Town?
A day after Moody’s downgraded MediaNews Group, citing its “substantial”risk of default, CEO Dean Singleton today asked unions representing the Denver Post and the Denver Newspaper Agency to “reopen their labor contracts immediately” in an effort to cut costs by $20 million. Jeff Smith at the Rocky Mountain News reported that Singleton would seek concessions of $2 million from the Post and $18 million from newspaper agency.
And that wasn’t the only bad news for MediaNews Group today. The Wall Street Journal reported that the MediaNews Group-owned Detroit News has joined the Gannett-owned Detroit Free Press in considering cutting home delivery of the papers to three days per week. The remaining four days would be available only via newsstands.
Moody’s Downgrades MediaNews Group
Moody’s downgraded MediaNews Group today, saying the owner of the Denver Post “faces a heightened risk of near-term default under the financial tests of its recently amended senior secured credit agreement as well as the refinancing risk posed by the December 2009 maturity of its revolving credit facility.” The Denver Business Journal has the details.
Google Releases Top Search Terms for 2008
Google has released its Top U.S. Search Terms for 2008, and it offers quite a glimpse into our collective psyche.
PR Week Salary Survey Underway
Click here to participate in PR Week’s annual salary survey. Results will be published in February.
Top PR Blunders of 2008
Fineman PR releases its annual list of the Top PR Blunders. Among the “winners” are AIG, John McCain, Nike, Mark Penn and Absolut.
CLS Wins PR News Nonprofit Award
Carmichael Lynch Spong has nabbed the Corporate/Nonprofit Partnership Award from PR News for its work with the Dunkin’ Brands Community Foundation. The campaign, which was led from CLS’s Denver office, helped address the growing problem of declining participation in volunteer fire departments.
At Least Sakic Isn’t a Two-Time Nominee Like Griese
How tough are hockey players? Slightly less tough than snowblowers, it turns out. It is bad enough for Avalanche star Joe Sakic that he is out for the next three months with broken fingers and tendon damage, but adding insult to injury (literally) is that he now qualifies as a Denver Post finalist for Dumbest Professional Athlete Injury. From the Post Web site:
Denver Post Poll – Stupid Jock Tricks
Joe Sakic’s freak snowblower accident Tuesday is the latest in a line of less-than-stellar injury stories from Denver professional athletes. Which story do you think is the dumbest?
- Dog trips Brian Griese: The Broncos QB Brian Griese sprained his left ankle when he said one of his dogs knocked him down the stairs at home, in 2002.
- Rockies Deer Meat: Shortstop Clint Barmes fell in his home in 2005 carrying a package of deer meat and broke his collarbone, causing him to miss three months.
- Brandon Marshall’s McDonald’s Bag: The Broncos WR said he was wrestling with family in the offseason when he slipped on a wrapper, fell and severed his right forearm.
- QB on Terrell Davis’ Driveway: While attending a party at Davis house in 2002, Griese trips on the driveway, is knocked out and suffers a black eye and chipped tooth.
- Larry Walker Fishing Trouble: The Rockies all-star right fielder separated his right shoulder after the 1996 season. He was fishing in Canada and fell down a hill.
- Mike Hampton’s Cheap Hotel Pillows: Former Rockies pitcher missed a start in 2001 because of a stiff neck, which he blamed on the pillows on his hotel bed.
Westword: ‘Andrew Hudson is Suddenly Very Popular’
Westword Editor Patty Calhoun profiles Andrew Hudson and his burgeoning career-counseling business.
A Rocky Goodbye?
Michael Roberts at Westword looks beyond all the posturing and spin and finds that the economy and Denver Post Publisher Dean Singleton are conspiring to kill the Rocky Mountain News.
Cactus Names COO
Times seem good for Cactus. The 40-person Denver advertising agency, which touts that it has doubled its revenue in the last two years and is approaching $20 million in client billings, has just named Michael Martelon COO. Martelon is a Denver native whose experience includes working with the Islands Of The Bahamas, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Caesars Entertainment and MacWorld Conference & Expo.
The Perfect Marriage of Subject and Medium
With all the reality TV shows peppering the airwaves these days, you knew it was only a matter of time before a PR agency became the backdrop for one. I always assumed that Lizzie Grubman would be the first reality PR star, but fashion PR guru Kelly Cutrone has instead won the honor. All of which leads me to wonder: Which Denver PR agency would make for the best reality show?
Webb Develops CDOT Web Site to Help Keep Revelers Safe
Webb PR and CDOT have created a Web site, Plan Before You Party, designed to help holiday revelers stay safe. According to Jim Licko at Webb, “The site includes maps of bars and restaurants that are handing out free $5 cab vouchers to their customers, places to park your car overnight (without getting a ticket or towed), discounted hotels (if you don’t want to go home at all) and a listing of RTD park and ride locations if public transit is your choice. There’s even a link to find out when and where a sobriety checkpoint might be coming to a neighborhood near you.”
Flying Tomato to Make Rocky Mountain News Bid?
As if the staff at the Rocky Mountain News hasn’t already suffered enough indignity, it appears their best chance at a white-knight buyer could be Shawn White Wolf, who is either a Montana entrepreneur or a gold-medal-winning snowboarder. Either way, Michael Roberts at Westword is less than impressed, and has decided to make his own bid.
NBC Axes Former 9News Sports Anchor Kevin Corke
And the hits just keep coming. Former 9News sports anchor Kevin Corke has been laid off from NBC’s Washington bureau where he served as the network’s Sunday White House reporter. Corke, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from CU-Boulder, left 9News for ESPN, and later joined NBC. Corke’s NBC colleagues Bob Faw and Jeannie Ohm also were let go.
Fox31 Drops Morning Anchor Steve Kelley as Economy Worsens
Fox31 weekday morning anchor Steve Kelley is the latest big-name, big-paycheck Denver news personality to be let go (see Ernie Bjorkman and Bob Kendrick). Kelley was a victim of the station’s “belt-tightening,” according to Joanne Ostrow at the Denver Post, and he will not be replaced. Kelley spent nearly two decades at KOA Radio (850 AM) before joining Fox in 2005.
Tribune Files for Bankruptcy; New York Times Mortgages its HQ
As expected, the Tribune Co. – owner of KWGN/Channel 2 – filed for bankruptcy. And the New York Times Co. announced it will borrow as much as $225 million – using its Manhattan flagship headquarters as collateral – to “to ease a potential cash flow squeeze as the company grapples with tighter credit and shrinking profits.”
Time: Top 10 of Everything of 2008
Time magazine is out with its annual 10 Best of Everything lists.
Denver PR Jobs
Among those hiring this week are the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, Colorado WINS, Effective UI, GH Phipps Construction, Pinnacol Assurance, Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Starz, Union Telephone, Affiliated Computer Services (Sandy, Utah) and PR Newswire (Albuquerque, NM).
CU Economists: The Worst is Still Ahead for Colorado
CU economists predict Colorado’s unemployment rate will rise to 6.5 percent next year – from the current 5.7 percent – as the state joins the rest of the nation in a recession.
Newspaper Roundup, Sponsored by Zoloft
While we have all been distracted locally by the Rocky Mountain News’ situation, here’s what has been going on outside of Denver during the past week:
- McClatchy has quietly put The Miami Herald up for sale as it struggles with debt and advertising losses
- Tribune Co. has retained bankruptcy advisers as it prepares for a potential bankruptcy filing
- Gannett confirmed its latest round of newspaper layoffs will affect 2,000 positions across all of the company’s 85 daily papers (including seven at the Fort Collins Coloradoan)
- The Minneapolis Star-Tribune announced it will eliminate 25 newsroom positions
- The Bakersfield Californian will lay off 25 as it tries “to balance its budget amid shrinking advertising revenue”
- Seattle Times cartoonist Eric Devericks is among 150 staffers being let go in the paper’s third-round of layoffs this year
- The Pensacola News Journal let 21 full-time and seven part-time employees go
- The Cleveland Plain Dealer has “laid off 27 newsroom employees because of the struggling economy”
- The Arizona Republic laid off 68 employees
- New York’s Newsday announced plans to cut 100 jobs, or about 5 percent of its workforce
- The Burlington Free Press laid off nine employees and eliminated five open positions
Again, that was the past week. In total, Ad Age estimates that the media industries “have shed more than 30,000 jobs in 2008. … That’s about 3.5% of the total media work force of 858,000. Since the bubble-inflated high-water mark in 2000, media has lost more than 200,000 jobs.” For those of us with journalism degrees and newspaper reporting/editing jobs on our resumes, the profound sadness we feel for the newspaper industry is almost indescribable.
WSJ Proposes Merger to Help ‘Financially Distressed’ MediaNews
Before Dean Singleton engages in too much scheudenfraude about the Rocky’s plight, he might want to read this weekend’s Wall Street Journal, which notes that MediaNews Group is among several publishers that “are carrying heavy loads of debt given their fast-shrinking revenues.” The WSJ’s solution for MediaNews: a merger with fellow troubled publishers Freedom Communications and Lee Enterprises.
Day Two Coverage – Rocky Mountain News
It is day two of the news that the Rocky Mountain News is for sale and will be shut down in January if no buyer is found. Among the coverage today:
- Rocky editor John Temple makes the case that support for the paper is strong enough to lure a buyer
- Rocky business reporter Roger Fillion offers a JOA primer
- Scripps CEO Rich Boehne says “it is not a foregone conclusion that the Rocky will be shut down”
- Rocky media critic Jason Salzman is optimistic a buyer can be found and that the paper will thrive with an online-only format
Vail Resorts Lays Off 50 as Advance Bookings Fall
Broomfield-based Vail Resorts will lay off 50 employees, eliminate 100 open positions, suspend its match of employees’ 401(k) contributions and defer merit pay increases as it deals with a significant drop in advance bookings. Joanne Kelley at the Rocky has the details.
Denver Post Business Reporter Moves to AP
Former Denver Post business reporter Kimberly Johnson has moved to Associated Press, where she is covering the auto industry.
Turner PR Expands Client Roster
Turner PR has landed several new accounts: Caribbean real estate developer Oil Nut Bay, Caribbean resort Biras Creek, premium men’s sportswear brand Howe, and beauty/healthcare company DGL Products.
Someone Check to See if Simmons is on Dean Singleton’s Payroll
In what might be the final nail in the coffin of the Rocky Mountain News, Denver Newspaper Guild’s Tracy Simmons tells the Denver Business Journal that the union’s contract with the Rocky would be binding on any new owner if the newspaper is sold.
“In the event of a successor or an assignee, [the contract] is binding,” Simmons said. “You get the employees, you get the contract. So our position is that absolutely, the contract goes with the employees.”
Fire Your P.R. Departments?
Fox News fails to understand that brilliant counsel is only helpful if a client follows it.
Experts: Rocky Buyer Unlikely
Coverage of the news that the Rocky Mountain News will be sold or shut down is significant today. Among the angles:
- Rocky editor John Temple assures readers the paper will operate normally for the “foreseeable future”
- Local flacks Sharon Linhart and Wendy Aiello share their opinions on the news
- Post publisher Dean Singleton makes it clear he doubts a buyer will appear in a memo to his employees
- Husband-and-wife Rocky reporters Roger Fillion and Joanne Kelley are among those pondering their fates
- A spokesman for billionaire Philip Anschutz says he “is not interested in this transaction but is monitoring it to see what happens.”
- Across the country, “more than 30 daily newspapers are for sale, and buyers are scarce.”
Entercom Names New Promotions Director for Alice 105.9
Entercom Denver has named Carrie Williams promotions director at radio station Alice 105.9. Williams formerly was with Regan Communications in Boston.
Rocky to be Sold or Shut Down by Mid-January
Things aren’t looking good on Colfax, if you believe the rumors (from very connected people). Word on the street is that Scripps continues to shop the Rocky Mountain News, and that it will shut it down if a buyer isn’t found by mid-January.
UPDATE: Mark Harden at the Denver Business Journal has the details.
Catfight Alert: Bill Husted vs. Penny Parker
Bill and Penny are taking thinly veiled journalistic swings at one another over whether Earls restaurant will move into the Cherry Creek North space formerly occupied by Ocean.
What Else Would You Be Doing at 5:15 a.m.?
Do you or your clients want a little face time on ‘Good Morning America’? Then head over to Union Station downtown tomorrow morning at 5:15 a.m., where Mayor Hickenlooper will unveil a Denver-themed holiday window display live on the morning show. Details are here.
Harden Named New Media Editor at the DBJ
Congratulations to the DBJ’s Mark Harden, who is transitioning to become the publication’s new media editor, effective Jan. 5. Mark will be responsible for expanding the Web site’s features, and his old “media and marketing” beat will be filled by a yet-to-be-hired reporter. Until then, keep pitching Mark.
‘And the Award for Worst Award Goes to …’
Guess which one of the following awards is legitimate real:
A. The Hearst Award for best left-handed news anchor
B. The Peabody Award for excellence in subtitle translations
C. The Emmy Award for outstanding promotional announcement
D. The Pulitzer Prize for headshot photography
Here’s the answer.
Denver PR Moves
- Darby Doll, formerly director of emerging media at JohnstonWells, has accepted a position as VP of Corporate, Technology and Digital at Ketchum’s Shanghai office.
- Metzger hired Bevo Beaven as vice president of client services. Beaven formerly was at CTA Public Relations.
- Catapult PR-IR promoted Christin Jeffers to junior account executive.
Denver PR Jobs
Among those hiring this week are the IRS, Poudre Valley REA (Fort Collins), Raytheon and RH Donnelly.
Niman Ranch Retains Linhart
Denver-based Niman Ranch has selected Linhart PR as its national public relations firm to create brand awareness of the company and its products through targeted media relations, community outreach and strategic communication programs.
Bjorkman the Face of Generational TV Change
The New York Times gives a shout-out to Denver’s own Ernie Bjorkman, in which he opines, “I don’t think we’re going to see the anchor people grow old with the audience anymore.”
PR Watch ‘Falsies’ Award Finalists
Today is the last day to vote on PR Watch’s “Falsies Awards,” given annually to “those responsible for polluting our information environment.” Among the nominees: the U.S. Department of Defense, Burson-Marsteller’s Mark Penn, Chevron and China.
Will the Post and News Join CNN’s Alternative to AP?
In October, the New York Times wrote about papers leaving the Associated Press because of its high price, and today the Times covers CNN’s attempt to cobble together an alternative to AP. Approximately 30 newspaper editors from across the country will visit Atlanta this week to hear the details, but there is no word on whether John Temple and Greg Moore will be two of them.