‘The Great Resignation is Over in PR’

Chris Daniels at PRWeek: “Employees have been calling the shots in the PR job market, as demand for talent escalated last year and maintained a furious pace. The all-out war to attract and keep talent led to double-digit pay raises, enhanced benefits packages, signing bonuses and staff dictating where and how they want to work. That was then. Now economic factors are turning the job market into one favoring employers. … According to industry recruiters, the PR job market is showing signs of, if not a downturn, at least the fear of one. 

“’Employment contracts are taking a little longer to get approved,’ notes Larry Brantley, president of executive search firm Chaloner. ‘Procurement and leadership are watching spending on new hires a lot more closely than last year. They are concerned a recession is around the corner, so organizations are being a lot more measured and cautious. They don’t want to hire too fast and have to make adjustments and downsize later.’” 

Avs Win Stanley Cup, Set New Record for Damaging It

The Colorado Avalanche could only post the second-highest post-season winning percentage (.800) on their way to winning the NHL championship last night, but they did set one new record: fastest team to damage the Stanley Cup. Phil Pritchard, the so-called “Keeper of the Cup” who works for the Hockey Hall of Fame, said the Avs managed to dent the trophy just five minutes after receiving it, which he said was “a new record.

Photo: Sportsnet

Who Had the Worst Week?

So, who won the week?

  • Tennis star Naomi Osaka has partnered with NBA star LeBron James to launch a media company that will create scripted and unscripted television series, documentaries, anime and branded content.
  • The Colorado Avalanche are one win away from clinching its third Stanley Cup championship. Meanwhile, the Colorado Mammoth defeated the Buffalo Bandits to win the National Lacrosse League championship.
  • Colorado State’s David Roddy was selected by the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the NBA draft.
  • Trumpet, a magnificently be-wrinkled and be-jowled bloodhound from Illinois,” won Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Who Had the Worst Week?

  • Denver Public Schools board member Tay Anderson has been accused of a lot of things by a lot of people – some legitimate, some not – but the latest is that school board President Xóchitl “Sochi” Gaytán is now accusing Anderson of intimidation and plotting a possible coup.
  • Denver was not selected by FIFA to host World Cup matches in 2026. An expert speculated that other cities’ willingness to offer city- and state-backed financial incentive packages when Denver’s bid had none likely hurt Denver’s chances.
  • Colorado kids are in crisis, according to a recent survey by the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment. The survey of middle- and high-school students found 40% experienced feelings of depression in the prior year, up from 35% since the last poll in 2019, and more than half of respondents said they experienced stress on a daily basis.
  • WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon has stepped down while the company’s board investigates whether he used $3 million in company money to cover up an alleged affair with a former employee.
  • Montana is reeling from devastating floods, and no one knows where its governor is.
  • Golfer Phil Mickelson recently played in his first Saudi-backed LIV golf tournament despite acknowledging that the Saudis are “scary sons of bitches” who killed Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. This week, he played in his first U.S. tournament since the comments, the U.S. Open, and shot an abysmal eight-over 78.
  • USA Today has removed 23 articles by journalist Gabriela Miranda that it said included “misattributed quotes and in some cases may have fabricated interviews and sources.

So, who won the week?

Profitability Survey Finds PR Firms Stage ‘Incredible Comeback’ Following the Pandemic

O’Dwyer’s: “Profitability was up last year for North American PR agencies, according to an annual industry survey conducted by PR merger and acquisition advisory firm Gould+Partners. Gould+Partners’ latest Benchmarking report, which analyzes key factors affecting PR firm profitability, found that North American PR agencies witnessed operating profits averaging 19.7 percent of net revenues (calculated as fee billings plus markups) in 2021, up from 18.2 percent in 2020 and a 2.3 percent increase from pre-COVID 2019’s 17.4 percent.

“ ‘19.7 percent average operating profit is an incredible comeback for the PR industry,’ Gould+Partners’ Managing Partner Rick Gould told O’Dwyer’s.”

“The survey’s findings discovered that profitability was especially high at the largest firms: PR agencies with revenues in excess of $25 million netted average operating profits of 21.3 percent in 2021—up from 20.2 percent in 2020—indicating both increased organic growth as well as growth via acquisition. Firms with between $10 million and $25 million in revenues netted 20.1 percent profitability last year, up from 17 percent in 2020. Firms accounting for between $3 million and $10 million in revenues netted profitability of 19.5 percent profitability, up from 18.1 percent, while the smallest firms—those with under $3 million in revenues—netted the smallest profitability, 15.8 percent, flat from 2020.”

In Memoriam

Brad Bawmann was a force of nature. Not like a tornado or a hurricane, but more like the tides – quiet, measured and calm, yet undeniably important and impactful. He built his firm, The Bawmann Group, into one of Denver’s most-respected, capturing a who’s who of clients, particularly in the healthcare and nonprofit industries.

But work was just a piece of Brad’s life. He was always concerned with issues bigger than himself, and that was demonstrated yet again when he traveled to Krakow, Poland, earlier this year to help refugees from Ukraine. And you couldn’t have drinks or lunch with him without seeing him beam with pride as he shared stories about his wife, Wendy, and his kids, Phoebe and Oliver.

Brad passed away unexpectedly this weekend from complications of pneumonia. He was 59.

‘Edelman Multicultural Practice Grows 68% in Less than Two Years’

Ewan Larkin at PRWeek: “Edelman’s multicultural practice has grown 68% since its launch in November 2020, executives at the firm said this week. Following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery two years ago, Edelman felt the need to formalize and accelerate its involvement in multicultural communications. The agency began by establishing a racial justice comms taskforce, then expanded by building a U.S. multicultural practice that operates across its sectors.” The practice is on track to amass $8.2 million in revenue by the end of the fiscal year.

Who Had the Worst Week?

So, who won the week?

‘Wells Fargo Announces Pause of Policy That Led to Fake Job Interviews’

Emily Flitter with The New York Times: “Wells Fargo is temporarily suspending a hiring policy that led some managers to conduct sham interviews of nonwhite and female candidates following a report by The New York Times highlighting the practice, the bank’s chief executive, Charles W. Scharf, told employees in a letter on Monday. Instituted in 2020, the bank’s ‘diverse slate’ policy stipulated that at least half the candidates interviewed for open positions paying $100,000 or more in annual salary needed to be ‘diverse’ — a catchall term for racial minorities, women and members of other disadvantaged groups.” …

“The Times reported (recently) that a former employee in the bank’s wealth management business had complained that he was being forced by his bosses to interview people for jobs that had already been promised to others, just to meet the ‘diverse slate’ requirement.”

Wells Fargo has a history of diversity issues. You may recall that in 2020, Scharf apologized after blaming the bank’s lack of diversity on “a very limited pool of Black talent to recruit from.”

Linhart Hires Two, Promotes One

Linhart Public Relations hired Mallory West as a senior account executive and Josh Gaydos as an account executive. West joins Linhart from Golin in Chicago and she will will handle local and national media relations, content development and digital marketing, along with other communications activities, for several clients including the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Graebel Companies; Know Labs; Safe Rx; and Spire Storage. Gaydos previously was Director of Principal Operations for the Jaime Harrison for U.S. Senate Campaign in South Carolina. He will support clients such as  Black Hills Energy, Graebel Companies and Transitional Energy.

Linhart also promoted Sari Winston to account executive. She will continue to support a variety of clients, including Chocolove and Safe Rx, with media relations, research, social media, digital marketing and graphic design services.

Scream Celebrates 25 Years

Congratulations to Laura Ledermann and the team at Denver’s Scream Agency, which is celebrating the agency’s 25th anniversary.

“Scream Agency could never have reached where we are today without our dedicated team and supportive clients who have helped us reach our goals and continue to push us to do better and be better,” says Ledermann, founder of Scream Agency. “It has been a privilege to work with a variety of brands to serve our communities and the planet through our core values.” 

Who Had the Worst Week?

  • Denver was named the nation’s 9th most-rat-infested city.
  • A lifeguard shortage means that five Denver city pools will not open this summer.
  • Colorado home values are inflated by 38.5% above the expected trend line, indicating that our housing market is the most overpriced it has been in three decades. For context, the housing bubble that burst in 2008 was only 20% above the expected trend line. Pop!
  • Denver landlords have no legal requirement to disclose lead pipes to their renters. Denver’s Department of Public Health & Environment requires landlords to inform renters about peeling or deteriorating lead paint, but not about lead pipes.
  • Southwest Airlines is suing the state of Colorado over the “Colorado Healthy Families and Workplace Act,” a move that could reduce sick leave benefits for all Coloradans. The Act establishes sick leave standards that are in conflict with what Southwest currently offers, and Southwest has already been fined more than $1 million for violations of the Act.
  • Two workers died when a coal pile collapsed at Xcel’s Comanche power plant in Pueblo.
  • Millions of miller moths will invade Colorado this month. If you find them irritating, you are “selfish” and lack “compassion,” according to CSU entomologist Maia Holmes.
  • Wild Animals 2, Humans 0: A woman was trampled by a moose in Breckenridge and a bison gored a woman in Yellowstone National Park.
  • Actress Amber Heard has been ordered to pay $10 million in damages for defaming actor Johnny Depp.
  • The U.N. says that a sand shortage is about to become a “global crisis.” You read that right: a global sand shortage.
  • Deranged-billionaire-genius-mad-scientist
  • Elon Musk has ordered Tesla employees to return to the office full-time immediately or face termination.
  • Swedish people were roasted this week after a Reddit post claimed that many refuse to feed guests. The post claimed that some Swedish families do not invite their children’s visiting friends to eat with them at mealtime, leaving them instead to play alone while the family eats.
  • ESPN basketball announcers Jeff Van Gundy and Mike Breen missed game one of the NBA Finals last night after testing positive for COVID-19.
  • JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon says that there is an economic “hurricane” on the horizon, caused in large part by shifting Federal Reserve policies and the war in Ukraine.

So, who won the week?

Acquisition of 9News Parent Company Would ‘Kill Journalism Jobs, Undermine Local News’

Jon Schleuss, the president of the largest union of journalists, is calling for the the Biden Administration to urge the FCC to reject an attempt by hedge funds Apollo Global Management and Standard General to acquire TEGNA, the parent company of 9News:

“I urge you to call on the Federal Communications Commission to block the takeover of TEGNA, one of the largest local broadcasting television station groups, by Wall Street mega-funds Apollo Global Management and Standard General. This proposed transaction would kill journalism jobs, undermine local news and raise prices for American families”

“Wall Street firms behind this transaction secured billions of dollars in financing by apparently planning to cut journalism jobs. In addition to forcing dedicated local reporters to take ‘the longest walk a parent has to make’ to tell their children that mom or dad lost their job, such brutal cuts also would undermine local news. With less local news, communities will suffer from lower voter participation, higher taxes, more corruption and increased partisanship.”

‘Why Fourteen Fox31/Channel 2 Stars Have Left the Stations Since Last Year’

Michael Roberts at Westword: “Denver TV stations have long experienced significant turnover, with reporters and anchors typically leaving one outlet in favor of another. But over the past year-plus, the pace of such departures has increased markedly, and many of those moving on have done so not to climb the broadcast-journalism ladder but to start over in entirely new careers. This phenomenon is epitomized by the action at affiliated stations Fox31 and KWGN/Channel 2.”