Social media and technology, combined with a bad economy, caused several prominent “big agencies” in Indianapolis to Schenkein*, according to the Indianapolis Star. That’d be a lesson to Denver’s mega-agencies, if we had any.
(*Schenk•ein – [shangk-en] – verb – To quickly and unexpectedly shut down your business despite outward appearances that you are doing fine.)
Former Schenkein principal and co-owner Leanna Clark has joined the University of Colorado Denver as special assistant to the chancellor for community engagement. Mark Harden at the Denver Business Journal has the details.
Bob Schenkein, who founded and later sold now defunct Schenkein Public Relations, has joined Colorado Public Radio as vice president of marketing. Schenkein is promising to improve classical music’s fuddy-duddy image in Colorado, and cited his multi-colored bow-tie as proof that he’s the man for the job.
Former Schenkein principal and co-owner Leanna Clark has joined Denver-based IMA Financial Group as Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications & Executive Director of the IMA Foundation. While at IMA Financial Group, Clark will continue her work with the non-profit Project C.U.R.E., helping it take groups of community and business leaders to developing nations where it delivers medical supplies and equipment.
I removed Schenkein from the “Denver Agencies” list and its Tracked Changes blog from the “Blogs Worth Reading” list today. Schenkein was a blue-chip name in Denver, and a lot of great public relations people passed through its doors over the years. Here’s hoping that those who were with it at the end find other positions quickly.
It has been a tough year for venerable marketing firms in Denver. First, advertising agency McClain Finlon shut its doors in August, and now Schenkein principal Christin Crampton Day announced that the long-time PR agency will shut its doors at the end of this month. Crampton Day cited the flagging economy for the move, which will affect 10 employees and follows former principal Leanna Clark’s departure last month. The Denver Business Journal has the early details.
Following a tough year that saw Schenkein reduce its headcount by nearly one-third, principal and co-owner Leanna Clark announced she will be leaving the firm in January. She plans to devote more time to her philanthropic endeavors, while still remaining an advisor to the firm. The DBJ called Clark one of Denver’s “communications leaders” and noted that Schenkein has “represented many of Denver’s top companies and nonprofit groups as well as national firms.”
The Denver Post quotes Schenkein’s Leanna Clark in an article about the impact that raising the FDIC insurance caps would have on small businesses.
Mark Harden at the Denver Business Journal talks to various public relations executives in town about the rumors of a Post/News consolidation, and quotes perspectives from Schenkein’s Leanna Clark, Story + Welch’s Jeremy Story, GBSM’s Steven Silvers, Linhart’s Paul Raab and Cutter Communications’ Lisa Cutter.
The fallout from Schenkein’s recent layoff continues. In addition to promoting Barb Jones to SVP, Schenkein has promoted Brandy Radey to VP, Meredith Stevens to SAE, and Zack Littlefield to AE.
Schenkein has promoted VP Barb Jones to SVP. She will be responsible for business development as well as client account teams.
Schenkein has added Project Angel Heart as a client. The non-profit prepares and delivers meals to people with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.
The general economic malaise that has affected other cities’ PR agencies is beginning to affect some of Denver’s consumer-focused agencies. Several agencies have seen their staffs dwindle by as much as 50 percent, and word today is that Schenkein let six staffers go this week, which represents approximately 30 percent of its employee base.
Said Schenkein’s Leanna Clark, “We had some client losses late last year, and while we’ve brought in several new pieces of business in 08, they’ve not offset those losses. This, combined with the current economic outlook, has led us to reduce staff accordingly in order to realign our expectations and goals for the year.”
We expect that you will see a number of other Denver agencies shrink over the coming months, whether through formal layoffs or simply attrition. We give credit to Schenkein for being generous with its severance packages, though. Clark noted that “our top priority in this was to ensure we were treating all our staff, both those we’ve had to let go as well those who continue with us, with the utmost honesty, respect and dignity.”
Schenkein is hosting an Intern Reunion on Tuesday, June 24, at 5:30 p.m. at the Wynkoop Brewery.
The Denver Post covers Schenkein’s campaign to create awareness for Denver’s new preschool program. The first key message should probably be, “Hey parents, sign your annoying preschool kids up and you won’t have to have them at your house all day.”
The bad news? We didn’t make Time’s list of the Top 25 Blogs. The good news? We didn’t make the magazine’s Five Most Overrated Blogs either. (Hat tip: Elaine Ellis at Tracked Changes).
The amount of lip service public relations agencies give to new media, social media, Web 2.0, etc., is stunning. It seems you can’t sit through a pitch these days without listening to agencies explain how “critical it is to connect directly — and unfiltered — with your target audiences.”
So we thought it might be interesting to examine how many Denver PR agencies practice what they preach even at the most basic levels. What we found surprised us. Of the 32 agencies we checked, only seven had blogs, and even those seven had great disparities in how often posts appeared and how easy it was to find their blogs. So here is the honor roll:
- Pure Brand — 45 posts to its blog since January 1. We found this blog to be the most varied and interesting, with a lot of quick hits on a number of PR and advertising issues.
- Schenkein — 25 posts since January 1. The Schenkein blog disappeared for a while, but was resuscitated by Elaine Ellis at the end of January. Since then, it has made a strong showing.
- Story + Welch — 21 posts since January 1. We found this to be the smartest blog, with a lot of analysis about business issues (not just PR issues). But mixed in with those lengthier pieces are some amusing quick hits.
- Metzger — 19 posts since January 1. Originally, we missed Metzger’s blog because it isn’t linked from the agency’s Web site (or if it is, we still haven’t found it), but fortunately a reader emailed us the URL.
- GBSM — 8 posts since January 1. For GBSM, we counted Steven Silver’s Scatterbox blog, which offers an array of opinions on topics that interest Silvers ranging from elder care to HBO’s Inside the NFL. Our only complaint is how infrequently he posts.
- JohnstonWells — 6 posts since January 1. A mix of JW and industry news, it is not uncommon for the blog to go almost a month without a new post.
- GroundFloor Media — 3 posts since January 1. The GFM blog offers updates (albeit sparingly) on interesting firm and client projects.
Steven Silvers/GBSM had already found his way into our blogroll, but we will be adding the blogs from Pure Brand, Schenkein, Story + Welch and Metzger because of their commitment to blogging frequently on interesting topics.
NOTE: Post updated 3/9/2008 @ 1:04 p.m.
PR Week looks at the roles the host cities will play for the Democratic and Republican national conventions, and gives a shout out to Linhart and Schenkein for their roles in Denver’s preparations.
Schenkein announced it has added the Colorado Ballet and the Colorado Nonprofit Association as clients.
PR Week has the details of Schenkein’s viral video campaign for Stapleton. A sample: