Vladimir Jones has added Elitch Gardens, The University of Denver and Sizzler USA as clients. VJ will handle media planning and buying for Elitch Gardens; website development, campaign creation and event planning for DU; and branding for Sizzler.
James W. Hall, co-founder of the advertising, public relations and digital agency Vladimir Jones, has died at the age of 70. Hall founded the agency, originally named PRACO, with his wife Nechie in 1970. The firm is now run by the couple’s daughter, Meredith Vaughan, and employs 84 in Denver and Colorado Springs.
Vladimir Jones has beefed up its website, mobile and digital marketing capabilities through a strategic investment in Voltage Digital Advertising and Design. VJ and Voltage will remain separate entities, but work exclusively with each other and function as a single force when working on joint projects.
Vladimir Jones hired Sally Miles as its new Director of Creative Services. Miles has more than 20 years of experience in creative services after working with agencies in both the U.S. and U.K., “as well as insight gained as a contestant on two rounds of England’s ‘Wheel of Fortune’.” The agency also promoted Ryan Johnson to Creative Director, where he will oversee the day-to-day operations of the creative department.
Vladimir Jones has launched RIPOSTE, a full-service post-production house imbedded within the agency. RIPOSTE will give VJ clients access to more accessible and affordable film, video and interactive services.
Joe Hodas, EVP of Brand Communications at Vladimir Jones, has been named a partner. Hodas joined the agency in early 2009 and, according to VJ, “has been instrumental in advancing the agency’s integrated approach to brand communications, strategically incorporating emerging trends to address client goals, and infusing a new echelon of dry humor into the agency.”
#4. Vladimir Jones – 2009 gross revenues of $61,158,000
#59. Linhart PR – 2009 gross revenues of $3,315,000
#61. GroundFloor Media – 2009 gross revenues of $2,957,000
#100. Catapult PR-IR – 2009 gross revenues of $834,000
Integrated marketing, advertising, communications and insight agency Vladimir Jones added a number of clients representing more than $5.5 million in new billings. Among the new clients are Mercy Housing, Centura Health, Colorado Governor’s Energy Office, St. Julien Hotel & Spa, Bestway Disposal and The Kempe Foundation.
By Joe Hodas
Senior Vice President of Brand Communications
As I did my reading of last years predictions, I was reminded of the fact that I can’t say much about social media changing PR, or about the need for relationships, or about traditional media disappearing or about being open to changes and evolution. So, as I sit here, breathing in the smoldering fumes of a year that reminds me of that picture of a nuclear mushroom that flattens everything within sight in a matter of seconds, I scratch my head and wonder how I can possibly sound even remotely clever trying to predict what will happen next year. But, as I am never one to shy away from the opportunity to look like a buffoon, here goes:
First off, I predict that Bedpost will become the hottest new social media tool, replacing the trajectory set by Facebook and then Twitter. However, it will have a tragic and unexpected impact on new social media developments in that the losers who evaluate their “audience” by how many followers or “friends” they have, will suddenly feel exposed by this new tool and will be forced to reckon with the fact that somehow, some way, they must differentiate between relationships and marketing.
Employee communications will continue to lead the next wave of communication investment. More and more it seems that companies are forced (and I chose that word intentionally) to realize that their employees are their brand. Sounds cliché, but, the companies that will achieve marketing/communications success in the coming year(s) will invest in an inside out strategy. Once the employees are on board, understand the message and live/breathe the brand, all else will fall in place. Don’t get me wrong—there’s still a need to tell the story via traditional channels, but, that story wont resonate without employee buy in. And if there are any disconnects between the marketing and employees, it will show itself quickly and damagingly. In other predictions, I predict that I will create several new words in 2010, like damagingly or relationshippery.
Having misinterpreted the expression “any press is good press” the makers of the Zhu-Zhu pet, seeing all the coverage they received from the potential recall due to children licking the fake hamsters, decide to put out a line of edible hamster products. With the tag line, “you can play with them OR eat them” they figure they have all their bases covered until it is discovered that the tasty fur on the edible hamsters doesn’t pass FDA standards and the product is held responsible for the death of a dozen dogs.
The term “PR” will continue to be diluted and absorbed into broader nomenclature such as “communications” or “relationshippery”. It’s inevitable simply because our role as “PR practitioner” is changing so rapidly and our adaptation to those changes is pulling us in new and more non-traditional areas. If all you know how to do is create “messages” and pitch media, you might have a tough time of it. At the end of the day, we were always communicators, weren’t we?
Full disclosure—this is a veiled client plug. But I do think its true. . .This will be the year that “green” becomes more than a movement or a political opinion. Green will move into the consumer mainstream consciousness this year. We’ve already seen it in some of the most simplistic of ways, such as the “green” dishwashing detergent on the same shelf, at nearly the same price, as more “mainstream” detergent. But this year will take us to bigger and better heights. The average consumer will make an easy choice about CFLs vs. traditional bulbs; a simpler decision regarding which is the more energy efficient dishwasher to replace the old one that just broke; or how we can lower our energy bills with simple changes to our insulation or thermostats. I don’t know about you, but I already feel ridiculous about that draft in my house that I cant seem to get rid of. Seriously. I need to take care of that. Maybe in 2010.
Finally—I predict that all those companies that are trying to tap into the “less is more” and “back to basics” messaging because they think it’s so “strategic”, will suddenly realize that by doing so, they are actually reinforcing a message that negatively impacts their bottom line. In a total and complete panic over declining revenues, these same companies (probably in Q4 of next year), will launch massive campaigns to tell us all about the things we must have in order to make us feel fulfilled and happy. And in the reverse reaction, all of those who shunned material goods and commercialism will feel happy once again, understanding their place in the world, rather than feeling like they have to prove to everyone that they were always in the “less is more” camp.
Congratulations to Joe Hodas and the team at Vladimir Jones, who nabbed a $5 million contract to help educate Coloradans on ways to save energy. Cathy Proctor at the Denver Business Journal has the details.
- Metzger Associates picked up the Metropolitan Denver Affiliate of Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure as a client.
- Vladimir Jones landed a project with the Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) to handle marketing strategy, creative and media planning/buying to promote its Colorado ENERGY STAR New Homes Program.
Vladimir Jones has signed COMPA Ministries. VJ will help generate awareness of the non-profit organization serving the homeless, under-employed and at-risk in the Denver area. The part paid/part pro-bono scope of work is focused on positioning the organization to have greater fundraising potential in order to ultimately help more people in need.
Former PRACO/Vladimir Jones flacks Lisa Bachman and Barry Grossman have started their own Colorado Springs-based public relations agency. The Colorado Springs Gazette has the details.
It looks like Vladimir Jones (formerly PRACO) is back on the public relations offensive. The agency scored some credibility points by naming former Frontier and Consumer Capital Partners spokesman Joe Hodas as senior vice president of public relations. Hodas is leading the agency’s integrated communications efforts and is based in its Denver office.