PR and advertising firm Egg Strategy is the latest firm to make the move from Boulder to Denver to escape exorbitant rents and long commutes for employees who would rather live in (comparatively) affordable Denver. Egg, which also has offices in Chicago and New York, will relocate to the SugarCube Building at 15th & Blake. Said Egg Strategy President Matthew Singer:
“We’re going to where the growth is to make it easy to attract top talent and to put us in closer reach to the consumers at the heart of our human-centered process as well as the clients we serve.”
Put through the PR-to-English translator:
“Boulder is expensive as %$^#. Until we figure out how to AI our way out of having employees, it’s off the table. So, Denver.”
If you like what Denver has become over the past couple of decades – it regularly appears on lists such as Best Places to Live, Fastest Growing Economies, Best Cities for Millennials, Most Educated Workforces, Most Fit Cities, etc. – you owe a debt of gratitude to the MDEDC’s Tom Clark.
Part visionary and part hustler, Clark appeared in Politico’s recent article touting the impact of RTD’s light rail initiative as only he could:
The City and County of Denver’s Marketing Office has put its annual Marketing and Graphic Design contract out to bid (deadline is August 30, 2013.)
The RFP has been issued through the Rocky Mountain E-Procurement System. The formal bid number is RFP-MB-0798. To obtain more information about this bid, visit www.rockymountainbidsystem.com and click on “open bids” at the top of the screen. Vendor registration is free or vendors may elect to upgrade their vendor profile for an annual fee (a tutorial on how to register for the Rocky Mountain E-Procurement’s free registration is available here).
Congratulations to the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. CEO Tom Clark, who was named The Denver Post’s 2012 Business Person of the Year.
“Colorado’s biggest economic development deals of the year carry a common, if not glaringly noticeable, element. They benefited from the Tom Clark touch. … He has been a key player in virtually every major business relocation and expansion along the Front Range since landing a job with the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce in 1985.”
Traction Communications’ Kirsten Hamling has been sentenced to 90 days of jail/work release and 10 years of probation, and she also is required to pay $250,000 in restitution. Hamling was the founder of what turned out to be the fraudulent firefighter calendar charity Fired Up For Kids, and earlier this year she pleaded guilty to a felony charge of theft for stealing money raised for the burn unit at The Children’s Hospital.
Frankie Cervantes has launched Frankly Communications, a full-service digital engagement, marketing and PR consultancy firm. The firm works with a variety of B2B & B2C clients, including a well-known music label, an aerial imagery start-up and an IPTV Spanish-only programming company.
Traction Communications’ Kirsten Hamling, the founder of what turned out to be the fraudulent charity Fired Up For Kids, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of theft this morning for stealing money raised for the burn unit at The Children’s Hospital. CBS4 has the details.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has named Sarah Kurz as the city’s Director of Marketing. Kurz, who joins the city from SE2, replaces the dynamic and alliterative Steve Sander.
Denver-based lifestyle PR firm amali has rebranded as Go Ahead PR & Communications.
Development Counsellors International (DCI) has officially opened a Denver office along the Platte River in downtown Denver. The firm’s seven Denver-based employees previously shared office space at Pure Brand Communications or worked from home offices.
Ed Sealover at the Denver Business Journal has crunched the numbers on Pinnacol Assurance’s “pricey push to privatize,” and the big public relations winners in the effort are:
SE2 – $119,126 in fees
Artemis Communications – $77,725 in fees
Rockford Gray – $58,438 in fees
Galloway Group – $23,600 in fees
Of course, law firms billed nearly $1.5 million, so “big winners” is more of a relative term.
The University of Illinois at Chicago has ranked the nation’s 75 largest cities by the social media acumen of their city governments, and Denver ranks seventh:
1. New York
3. Virginia Beach, Va.
4. Portland, Ore.
5. San Francisco
6. Kansas City
8. Mesa, Ariz.
9. Louisville, Ky.
10. Long Beach, Calif.
10. Sacramento, Calif.
The high-end gambling ring that took down Denver Post sports columnist/reporter Jim Armstrong has claimed (partly) another victim: Steve Sander. Sander has resigned his seat on the Metro Denver Sports Commission board to “to prevent any misperceptions about the organization” that could arise from his name being linked to the gambling ring.
Sander also serves as director of strategic marketing for Denver, and a city spokeswoman told the Post that he will be allowed to complete the term of his contract that expires at the end of this year.
Former CIGNA communications chief turned activist/author Wendell Potter has been called everything from a public relations hero to a traitorous villain for his decision to walk away from the corporate world and testify before the U.S. Senate panel on health care reform.
His testimony on how the health care industry uses propaganda and lobbying efforts to maintain profits at the expense of patients sparked outrage among activists and health care providers alike. And the behind-the-scenes view he provides of the role of public relations in these debates has ignited passionate discussion in the public relations community.
Potter now is a Senior Fellow on Health Care for the Center for Media and Democracy, and he has followed up his initial testimony with a recently released book, Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans. He will be at the Tattered Cover on Colfax on Thursday, Jan. 20, at 7:30 p.m. to sign copies of the book.
If you are interested in an insider’s account of how public relations often is played at the highest and most sophisticated levels – and what impact that has on you, your career and your clients – you should attend.
[Disclosure: I am friends with Wendell Potter, and I worked closely with him when CIGNA was a client of mine at Weber Shandwick. However, my work (and Weber Shandwick’s work) with CIGNA did not include any of the industry policy, regulatory or lobbying efforts that he chronicles in his book.]
The Women’s Saving Club, started by Denver PR pros Tara Tongco Rojas and Kate Wilson Stabrawa, has been named one of 10 finalists across the country in the TIAA-CREF “Raise the Rate” contest. As part of the contest, the site can win up to $65,000 and a portion of the prize will benefit the Denver Women’s Bean Project. If you want to vote for the Women’s Saving Club, visit the “Raise the Rate” website. You can vote once a day every day until Dec. 9.
ExecConnect, a group of Denver leaders who work together to further the prosperity of the state of Colorado, is taking applications from community organizations and nonprofits seeking to enlist the help of the ExecConnect team. The ExecConnect team will begin working with the nonprofit it selects in early 2011. For the past year, ExecConnect’s project involved supporting and providing guidance for the launch of the Denver Bike Share, a nonprofit corporation that will operate to promote health, quality of life and preservation of the environment.
New York-based social media agency Onit Marketing has opened a branch office in Denver. Onit, which specializes in providing social media services to clients in the outdoor, adventure sports, natural products and eco industries, says it is expanding to Colorado to connect with the state’s community of outdoor and natural product companies and enthusiasts.
Get Ink Public Relations, a Miami-based agency representing hospitality and lifestyle clients, has opened a Denver office. The agency was founded by CU-Boulder grad Ellen Marchman, who previously worked in Mayor Wellington Webb’s administration.
Doyle Albee at Metzger has written a moving tribute to his mentor and our friend Joe Fuentes, who is in a tough, tough battle with cancer. Chances are that you know – and love – Joe. He is a Denver media and public relations institution, having worked at the Rocky Mountain News, Coors, StorageTek and Xcel Energy, among others, over the course of his career. Joe was part of my communications team at StorageTek, and I was lucky to have him. I had never seen someone who so effectively combined charm and tenacity (and occasionally sheer stubbornness) to accomplish almost anything he put his mind to.
I had lunch with Joe shortly before his diagnosis, and he talked proudly about his kids and grandkids, about weddings and births, and vacations he loved taking with his wife Chris. He may be a great public relations practitioner, but he is an even better family man. Life can be cruel, and that someone as good and caring as Joe has cancer is proof of that.
You can send Joe a card at 10605 Osceola Loop, Westminster, CO 80031.
Sort of, according to Forbes. The Denver Business Journal has the details.
Don Kirchoffner of Denver’s Don Kirchoffner & Associates has been diagnosed with cancer, and he is fighting it exactly like you would expect – head on. If you would like to send Don a message, you can do so through his Caring Bridge page: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/donkirchoffner.
A Denver parking enforcement vehicle, courtesy of the Rocky Mountain Independent.
Denver has been named the eighth-best city for new college graduates, although Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Cleveland all rank higher than Denver, so clearly the methodology is out of whack.
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.
Job well done, Denverites. Your ad-hoc public relations campaign has worked, and more people in the U.S. want to live in Denver than any other major city. Now cut it out. Traffic is bad enough, and the last thing we need are more non-natives* living here.
(*Non-natives are defined as people who moved to Denver after me.)
What do thrash metal bands and public relations agencies have in common? Nothing, really. But Mayor Hickenlooper and the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs want to make sure that all members of Denver’s “creative community” have access to the real estate they need to succeed, whether it is rehearsal studios or office suites. So, on Monday, Mayor Hickenlooper will introduce “The Creative Space Agent,” a free Web site that will help connect property owners with Denver’s creative community.
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.
Following the lead of cities such as New York and Los Angeles, the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau has changed its name to something more memorable: Visit Denver. “Our challenge was to find a 21st Century name that would be easy to remember and enunciate, be consistent with our brand, and have a call to the action,” said DMCVB/Visit Denver President Richard Scharf.
It is a sad day in Denver. Chief U.S. District Judge Edward W. Nottingham Jr. appears poised to resign his position in order to head off a judicial probe into his ethics, or lack thereof. Nottingham presided over many high-profile Colorado cases, including the trial of former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio. But he is best known as the judge who admitted he might have spent $3,000 over two days at the Diamond Cabaret but that he was “too drunk to remember much of it,” and for having his name allegedly appear on a list of clients for a high-end, Denver-based call girl syndicate.
It’s time to raise your rates … Denver’s economy is better than we thought.
The Denver Business Journal reports that former Colorado Homes & Lifestyles editor Alaina Gonzales is launching Modern in Denver, a “magazine devoted to modern art, design and architecture.”
Qwest’s Kate Varden Oravez, GBSM’s Steven “Steve” Silvers, and Forest City Stapleton’s Landri Taylor were among those named to the board of the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation.
It looks like Halo and Skittles will have competition for the attention of Colorado IT workers. Former Denver Newspaper Agency VP of IT Eric Wolferman is launching Rocky Mountain TechLine, a magazine that will “cover news from local and regional technology companies, profile tech experts, feature columns from local technology experts, and more.”
Grand Hyatt Denver Public Relations Director Maryann Yuthas gets her 15 minutes of fame. Ahhh, the glamorous life of a public relations executive.
PR Newser picks up yesterday’s Denver Post Q&A with PRSA chair Jeff Julin, and in a stroke of pure karma manages to spell reporter Steve Raabe’s name wrong.
Remember the good old days when parents would argue over whether their children would be raised Protestant or Catholic, or whether they would root for Michigan or Ohio State? Here’s a lovely 21st Century twist.
2007 turned out to be a decent year for the mega-agencies. IPG, the parent company of MWW and Weber Shandwick, reported a 6 percent increase in revenue in 2007, while WPP posted a 14 percent increase. Hopefully your agency saw similar increases in 2007, because 2008 could be an ugly year for us all if the economy doesn’t show some signs of life.
Amid all the talk of upstarts Denver Magazine and Denver Life, and the now-defunct Shine, 5280 is trying to remind Denverites who the 800-pound gorilla is by announcing its biggest press run ever. The mag will print 100,000 copies of its March issue (“Best Restaurants”) in anticipation of heavy newsstand sales.
PRimaDonna PR has landed several new clients, including Brand Juice, Grand Teton Lodge Company, Brazilets and Trio Interior Design. Public relations at Brand Juice, Brazilets and Trio previously was handled in-house, while Grand Teton formerly was represented by LeGrand Hart before dropping them and switching to PRimaDonna.
Let’s all shed some crocodile tears for Anti-Gym owner and notorious chubby-taunter (“No Chubbies”) Michael Karolchyk, whose gym in Cherry Creek North has shut down. His barrage of offensive and annoying television commercials weren’t enough to save his troubled enterprise. Now if he had only sunk some of that money into public relations instead of advertising …
Our apologies for making fun of Hub Cap Annie’s desire to transition into public relations — it turns out she’s much more qualified than we gave her credit for.
Miami/Boulder-based Crispin Porter + Bogusky has won the $300 million Microsoft advertising account, beating out Minneapolis-based Fallon.
Luxury real-estate and travel agency Voca PR has announced two new client wins: EcoBroker International and Maytag Mountain Ranch.
KCNC/Channel 4 finally confirmed that Karen Leigh will replace Molly Hughes as Jim Benemann’s co-anchor. Hughes will become a “special correspondent” for the station, presumably spending most of her time mailing audition tapes to TV stations across the country. Additionally, KCNC/Channel 4 announced it will begin broadcasting in High-Def starting April 21.
What does Dr. Seuss think about his book Horton Hears a Who being used by the anti-abortion group Colorado for Equal Rights to argue that life begins at conception? Well, not much. He’s been dead for 16 years.
Among those hiring this week: Frontier Airlines (didn’t they just lay off a bunch of marketing people?), Heedum Agency, Kaiser Permanente, NREL, Pure Brand, Colorado Restaurant Association, Brightstar Education Group, VisiTech, RNL and United Dominion Realty Trust.
The report is here. Guy Kawasaki offers some highlights here.
The shake-out from Sydney Ayers’ decision to leave her own firm to take the MD job at Arment Dietrich’s new Denver office appears to have started. Floor-care company BonaKemi USA has left Ayers PR after approximately eight months and selected LeGrand Hart as its agency. LeGrand Hart seems like a natural fit because it previously rep’ed Orange Glo, but curiously it appears based on its Web site that most of the team members who worked on the agency’s Orange Glo account have since left the firm.
Bill Husted has the scoop on one of the longer-running rumors in town: that Karen Leigh of Minneapolis’ WCCO-TV has been tapped to replace the irrepressible Molly Hughes as co-anchor at KCNC/Channel 4. Expect a mid-March start date.
Denver-based Philosophy Communication has landed the Monroe Pointe account to promote the luxury condominium development in Cherry Creek.
From selling hub caps on East Colfax to a career in public relations. That’s probably a lateral career move, right?
After all the speculation about tech giants Microsoft, Google and Yahoo, it turns out that a boring old oil company bought the former StorageTek campus. ConocoPhillips plans to use the site as a “global campus” and will make a major push in renewable energy.
Sure, life was tough for CU-Boulder spokesman Bronson Hilliard when Buffalo Chip decided to go gangsta, but let’s all take a moment to appreciate that we don’t have his job today. Among his current challenges:
- 10 CU fraternity pledges were arrested after trashing a Super 8 Motel in Estes Park.
- A staff editor at the CU Campus Press authored a column headlined “If It’s War the Asians Want … It’s War They’ll Get” stating that all Asians hate whites and that “it’s time we start hating them back.”
- The CU-Boulder campus has split over the selection of oil mogul Bruce Benson as the president of the CU System.
Sadly, the Gawker vs. Edelman catfight seems to be petering out. Gawker started the fireworks by accusing Edelman of telling new employees that as flacks “sometimes you just have to stand up there and lie.” That hardly seemed in the spirit of CEO Richard Edelman’s public comments on the importance of transparency, but Edelman also pimps Wal-Mart, so it’s hard to tell who is telling the truth.
The Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is honoring several Denver executives at its annual awards luncheon on March 7. Among them:
- Coors Brewing Co.’s Olga Garcia as Business Woman of the Year
- Solera Bank’s James Perez Foster as Business Man of the Year
- State Sen. Abel Tapia as Public Official of the Year
- Allstate’s Mimi Bell as the Chamber Advocate of the Year
Joanne Ostrow has the details of MGA Communications’ Side-Effect Bingo game.
So who is suffering most from the increasing trend of newspapers such as the Denver Post folding local business coverage into other sections? Readers interested in local business dynamics, of course. But Ad Age speculates that small, local public relations firms also will be harmed because “they may have trouble securing news coverage without them.”
Among those hiring this week: Dumb Friends League, Jeppesen, Reed Elsevier, Regis University, Republic Financial, Seagate Technology, Turner PR, LeGrand Hart and VisiTech.
The Denver Business Journal covers the activities that the “seasoned” Sharon Linhart and her downtown Denver task force have planned for the 1952 2008 Democratic National Convention in late August. Among them:
- An “original orchestral score is being composed and will be performed by an orchestra from Denver.”
- An event called Artocracy, “in which people will stand in a central spot downtown and read portions of the United States Constitution, Bill of Rights or Declaration of Independence.”
- A four-minute commemorative film “to show faces and places downtown.”
David Milstead at the Rocky has the latest Denver Newspaper Agency (DNA) numbers. Overall, it’s not good. Revenue for Q4 2007 dropped nearly 11 percent to $94.3 million. The DNA, attempting to put lipstick on the pig, points out that the 11 percent decline was less than the 12 percent decline the previous quarter.
Pete Coors has the public relations departments at both Coors and Miller working overtime to distance the companies from his claim that neither Denver nor Milwaukee will be considered for the headquarters of the soon-to-be MillerCoors. Reportedly, Dallas and Chicago are the frontrunners (deja vu of the United and Boeing searches for new headquarters), but both Denver and Milwaukee have vowed to fight for it.
The Denver memorial for Westword co-founder Sandy Widener, her husband and their daughter has been scheduled for Feb. 29 at 1 p.m. at the Buell Theatre.
Aldo Svaldi at the Denver Post covers the high-end Denver-area magazine battlefield.
Trudy Rowe has been appointed vice president and chief financial officer at PRACO, where she will manage the firm’s IT, operations, HR, legal and financial functions. Her previous experience includes Deloitte & Touch, Magellan Health Services and ValueOptions.
To date, the mass exodus from the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post has largely been limited to reporters, but the departures continue and now include titles such as Web developer. It’s bad enough to lose reporters to PR firms, but when you begin losing your staff to the likes of photobucket.com, it is clear that the challenges facing newspapers are unlike anything they’ve faced before.
104 West Partners has promoted Jennifer Dunlap Roane to vice president and hired MacLean Guthrie as account director. Guthrie is one of a string of people who has held the dreaded “Director of Corporate Communications” position at Quark recently.
Forbes has crunched the numbers and calculates that Denver is the fourth greediest city in the nation. A look at the formula, however, shows that “greedy” is more of a Forbes marketing gimmick than a realistic representation of the cities mentioned. To identify the “greediest” cities, Forbes calculated the number of Forbes 400 members per 100,000 residents. Denver landed behind San Jose, San Francisco and Seattle.
Colorado Rep. Larry Liston (R-Colorado Springs) apologizes for calling unwed teenage parents “sluts.”
ARCADIS VP of Corporate Communications Andrew Hudson has issued an RFP for public relations services. Details are here: pr-agency-rfp-finali.doc
Schenkein announced it has added the Colorado Ballet and the Colorado Nonprofit Association as clients.
Changes continue at the Denver Post, and they don’t portend good things for the paper’s business reporters and editors. The Post today confirmed that it will combine its weekday “Business” and “Denver & The West” sections due to a lack of advertising support for the business section.
Sydney Ayers has walked away from Ayers PR to take the Managing Director job at Arment Dietrich’s new Denver office. Ayers’ partner in her old firm, her father Rendall Ayers, will continue Ayers PR as its sole owner.
Denver Zoo PR Manager Tiffany Barnhart attempts to diplomatically explain that the point of a zoo is to allow people to see animals they wouldn’t otherwise run across in their backyards.
Among those hiring this week are VisiTech, Webolutions, Western Resource Advocates and Xcel.
Bruce Goldberg’s column in this week’s Denver Business Journal includes a list of the Top PR Gaffes from Story + Welch’s Jeremy Story. On the list are The Cartoon Network, Microsoft, J&J and Boulder’s own John Mackey. If you are not a subscriber, the list is on his blog here.
One of the great truths in Corporate America is that any memo from management that begins, “I know you are keenly aware that the economy is a major issue facing our country” is going to suck. And the good folks at Clear Channel Communications (CCC) — KOA, KHOW, KBPI, KRFX, KTCL, KBCO, KKZN and KFMD — are learning that lesson firsthand. CCC Market Manager Lee Larsen is softening the ground with employees now, so if you were planning to pitch any of your friendly local radio news anchors/producers, you’d better hurry. And then point them to The Jump.
Rupert Murdoch plots to move The Wall Street Journal from Lower Manhattan to a News Corp. building in Midtown.
Among those hiring this week are Crocs, Catapult, Arapahoe Library District, Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee, Passantino Andersen Communications, Western Resource Advocates and the Cleveland Clinic (yes, the one in Cleveland. No, we’re not sure why its being advertised here either.)
Having finally dumped its interminable “14 Days to Launch” banner, the VisiTech Web site has retreated and now is in week 2 of “Preparing to Launch.” And this is a tech agency?
And before you get smug, Pete Webb, we’ve noticed that you’ve been without a real Web site for a couple of months. Remember the good old days when companies created a new Web site and then pulled down the old one to replace it?
Crocs’ SolesUnited program, which recycles and distributes old Crocs in impoverished countries, will be featured on this week’s episode of Celebrity Apprentice (Thursday at 8 p.m. on NBC). The celebrities will create an awareness campaign for the company’s charity program. Because when your stock price has fallen 63 percent over the past three months, who better than Stephen Baldwin, Gene Simmons and Marilu Henner to develop the marketing strategy to turn things around.
If you have been dragging your feet on renewing your online subscription to the Wall Street Journal because Rupert Murdoch had been hinting that it might soon become free, prepare to be disappointed. Not only will it not be free, but the online subscription cost is expected to increase starting in March. Read the details at the WSJ (and note the irony that this article was free to the general public).
Great Education Colorado is launching a series of what it hopes will become viral videos to create awareness for the lack of funding for public education in our state. Among the facts they are highlighting: Colorado is well below the national average in student-teacher ratios and funding per pupil. Watch the first video and sign the petition to encourage greater funding here.
Fortune has released its annual rankings of the 100 Best Companies to Work For, and two Colorado-based companies — CH2M Hill and PCL Construction Enterprises — made the list.
More than 5,000 Coloradans filed for unemployment benefits due to mass layoffs last year, and approximately half of those received their pink slips in the fourth quarter. With those kind of numbers, you would think office rents would be stable or decline slightly. But rents in downtown Denver actually rose 26 percent in 2007, which represented the nation’s seventh largest jump.
Chipotle has dropped Boulder-based TDA as its lead advertising agency, replacing it with New York City-based DeVito/Verdi.
No one is tougher than PR pros, and here is your chance to prove it. NBC will be on the CU-Boulder campus on Feb. 2 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) auditioning contestants for the new American Gladiators.