|Coyne PR in the News
MARKETWIRE • The Hall of Fame Online Magazine Showcasing the Winners of the 2011 Bulldog Digital/Social Awards for Excellence in Online COmmunications Has Been Published • 3.27.12
Coyne PR: Agency Business Report 2013
May 1, 2013
Principal: Tom Coyne, CEO
Offices: New York; Parsippany, NJ
With a 13% increase in overall revenue for 2012, year over year, and 60% of its growth coming from new business, Coyne had a good year with “terrific energy,” says CEO Tom Coyne.
New business last year included VTech, David's Bridal, United States Golf Association, Daytona International Speedway, The Natural Dentist, Chrysler, Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, ESPN, Harley-Davidson, and Heathrow Airport.
The agency was also named AOR for Skinnygirl Cocktails at the end of 2012, and is tasked with helping expand the company's global reach by developing and executing a PR program that will integrate with the brand's marketing plan for 2013.Coyne was also brought on as agency partner for UPS in December 2012 to work on its sustainability efforts.
In addition to new accounts, the firm saw 40% organic growth within existing clients such as Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
Losses in 2012 included Town Sports International, MSG Varsity, GFK, General Mills' MyBlogSpark, Harlem Globetrotters, Consumer Reports, WebMD, Naturalizer, and MedPlus. This past March, Alison Brod Public Relations replaced Coyne as US AOR for Burger King. Coyne did not repitch for the business.
In line with clients' increasing demand for community management, the firm handles online communities, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, for Mary Kay Cosmetics and Playmobil, among others.
A West Coast presence
One of Coyne's biggest goals for 2013 is expanding the firm's footprint to the West Coast with an office in California. Coyne says the location for the new office is “still open for discussion.” If it's in Los Angeles, the focus will fall on the entertainment lifestyle sector. If it's in San Francisco, it will lead with technology. He adds that the tech space is an area where the agency sees “a ton of great potential.”
Coyne is also in the process of bringing on a new director of nutrition to replace Meghan Flynn, who left for food and nutrition consulting company FoodMinds.
Internally, the agency put more effort than ever into its Coyne College program, which trains and retrains staffers and provides courses for people at all levels. “This is an industry where you have to make sure you're ahead of the curve,” adds Coyne.
UPS taps Coyne for CSR
February 11, 2013
ATLANTA: Coyne PR is working with UPS as agency partner for its sustainability efforts.
Coyne, which started working with UPS in December after a competitive review process, is handling PR for the company's corporate sustainability initiatives, including environmental and social issues.
The firm is assisting UPS with media relations, writing bylined articles, and outreach for launches such as new alternative fuel vehicles, said Lynnette McIntire, sustainability communications manager at UPS.
The contract is for one year.
Edelman was the account's incumbent. The agency continues to work on other parts of UPS' PR business, such as national media relations, McIntire said. An Edelman representative declined comment on the account change.
The RFP was part of a periodic agency review, she added. She declined to name the other firms that participated in the pitch or the account's budget.
“[Coyne] was very thoughtful and thorough, and they had excellent writers. They came very well recommended by one of our colleagues who had worked with them before,” McIntire said.
Coyne representatives deferred to UPS for comment.
Earlier this month, UPS rolled out a fleet of 100 fully electric vehicles in California. The company said it expects the trucks to lower carbon emissions and reduce fuel consumption by 126,000 gallons a year.
UPS was named one of the 50 best corporate citizens last year by Corporate Responsibility Magazine. It was also ranked No. 43 on Interbrand's list of best global green brands.
“We take pride in this area [of sustainability],” McIntire said.
Skinnygirl Cocktails taps Coyne as AOR
By Lindsay Stein
December 7, 2012
DEERFIELD, IL: Spirits company Beam has selected Coyne Public Relations as AOR for its Skinnygirl Cocktails brand, following an RFP.
The low-calorie, ready-to-serve cocktail, wine, and vodka collection chose Coyne because of its creativity, said Paula Erickson, VP of global communications and PR at Beam.
“They zig when other people zag,” she said, “and they seem really smart in how they're opportunistic from a PR standpoint.”
Prior to Coyne, Skinnygirl worked with Rogers & Cowan for two years. The contract with the Interpublic Group firm ended in July. Coyne has been tasked with helping the brand expand its global reach by developing and executing a PR program that will integrate with Skinnygirl's marketing plan for 2013, explained Erickson.
With a team of five staffers working on the account, Coyne will reach out to a variety of consumer lifestyle and trade media outlets, as well as bloggers, said Jennifer Kamienski, SVP at the agency and lead on the Skinnygirl account.
She added that Skinnygirl has a built-in fan base because of its founder Bethenny Frankel, who is a New York Times bestselling author, but Coyne will work to reach new consumers while still engaging its core audience.
Coyne will also work closely with Skinnygirl's other agency partners, including ad agency Walton Isaacson, media buying firm Starcom, content creation and social media company Liquid Thread, and digital agency iCrossing.
The holiday season is also a popular time for the brand, said Kamienski, so the firm will promote some fun drink recipes to Skinnygirl's target demographic of women aged 30 to 39 for the remainder of the year.
Earlier this week, Coyne worked with Skinnygirl to launch an initiative with non-profit organization Dress for Success, aimed at helping women succeed in their careers and everyday life. The brand, which kicked off the campaign with a $150,000 donation to the organization, has promised to donate $1 for every inspirational message posted on its Facebook page, up to $100,000.
Other Beam brands include Jim Beam bourbon, Maker's Mark bourbon, Sauza Tequila, Canadian Club whisky, Courvoisier cognac, Knob Creek bourbon, and Laphroaig Scotch whisky.
PR WEEK • Coyne provides pro bono support for charity auctionR • December 7, 2012
The Community FoodBank of New Jersey (CFBNJ) is the largest food bank in the state, responsible for providing food to nearly one million individuals who would otherwise go without. The organization's impact, however, is much more than a mere food distributor; rather, it is a savior that restores hope and dignity when times seem most desperate.
Coyne PR has been working with the CFBNJ since 2008 to help spread the word that there simply are too many neighbors, kids, friends, relatives, and acquaintances who are hungry and don't know from where their next meal is coming.
Following Superstorm Sandy, New Jerseyans who were already on hard times saw their situations grow even more dire. Many turned to the CFBNJ, which saw three times the need for help immediately following the storm. To ensure that no one in need was turned away, the CFBNJ sought a quick way to raise funds quickly.
First, the CFBNJ was presented with the opportunity to partner with online celebrity auction venue Charity Folks, and turned to Coyne PR for help to promote the venture. Coyne is providing all of its work pro bono.
Charity Folks auctions off celebrity experiences, with the proceeds going to select charities. The organization sought to feature the CFBNJ as its premier Sandy beneficiary, donating 100% of the proceeds to the FoodBank. Charity Folks secured tremendous experiences from A-listers looking to help out, including: dinner with Alec and Billy Baldwin, as well as three friends, at Nobu in New York City; lunch with Sarah Jessica Parker, Andy Cohen, and six friends at Blue Hill Restaurant in New York City; a private magic lesson with illusionist David Blaine; and the chance for Glenn Close to record your outgoing voice mail message.
Second, the FoodBank turned to Coyne to produce a PSA to be shown during the Food Network's “Thanksgiving Live 2012” show. Coyne's Studio C created a 30-second spot highlighting the great works of the CFBNJ and encouraging people to give to those in need.
The Charity Folks program is still in progress, and Coyne continues to garner media attention throughout the country. Best of all, bids for the celebrity experiences continue to climb – in addition to funds raised from the PSA – which means more funds for the CFBNJ and more food on the table for hungry individuals.
PR WEEK • Natural Dentist Mouth Rinse names Coyne PR as AOR • November 26, 2012
PARSIPPANY, NJ: The Natural Dentist Mouth Rinse has named Coyne Public Relations its AOR. The firm is tasked with communicating the therapeutic benefits of the product for chemotherapy patients who are experiencing mouth inflammation or sores. The mouth rinse contains aloe vera gel, which has been shown to reduce and soothe inflammation in the mouth. Coyne's work for the company will include digital asset creation, advocacy communications, and online and offline cancer community engagement initiatives.
NEW YORK TIMES • General Mills Adds Social Media to Product Pitch • July 19, 2012
By Stuart Elliot
General Mills, a marketer whose brand-building efforts date to the days when housewives listened to radio shows while vacuuming, is turning to social media like Pinterest to help bring out a new product.
The product, called Fiber One Chewy bars, is aimed at children, meaning that mothers are the target audience for the advertising campaign.
Although the campaign includes traditional elements like television commercials and newspaper coupon inserts, the social media aspects are indicative of how marketing giants like General Mills are turning to new ways to reach consumers as those consumers’ media consumption habits change.
For instance, Fiber One Chewy will sponsor a board on the Pinterest page of Hungry Girl, which began as an e-mail newsletter in 2004. About a million people now receive the newsletter each day, and there is also a Hungry Girl Web site.
General Mills had earlier turned to Hungry Girl to promote Fiber One products like cereal, yogurt and snack bars. This is “the first time Fiber One has done anything with Pinterest,” said Julia Travis, associate marketing manager for Fiber One at General Mills in Golden Valley, Minn.
“We know Pinterest is such a growing space, and wanted to test the waters,” she added, particularly because “food is one of the top Pinterest categories.”
The idea is to reach “moms who are pinning fun and creative snacking ideas on their Pinterest boards,” Ms. Travis said, and “re-pinning their ideas onto the Fiber One-sponsored board on the Hungry Girl Pinterest site,” which will be called Fiber One Chewy Snack Champs.
Those Pinterest users whose ideas are selected to appear on the board will receive a badge recognizing them as “Snack Champs.”
Lisa Lillien, creator of Hungry Girl, who is based in Woodland Hills, Calif., said the use of social media “is definitely on the rise” among her readers, citing examples like the Hungry Girl presences on Pinterest and Facebook .
“They feed each other,” Ms. Lillien said, as Facebook fans visit the Pinterest page and vice versa.
“I love to be wherever these women are,” she added.
Other aspects of the Fiber One Chewy campaign will include content on the Fiber One Facebook page, mom blogs, e-mail and banner ads on the Hungry Girl Web site. The creative agency for Fiber One is Saatchi & Saatchi in New York, part of the Publicis Groupe.
Among the other companies using Pinterest are Kraft Foods; L.L. Bean; Meredith, for magazines like Better Homes and Gardens; Sony Pictures, for the movie “Hope Springs”; the Time Inc. unit of Time Warner, for magazines like Real Simple; and Whole Foods Market.
PR WEEK • Red Robin picks Coyne as AOR, replacing Linhart • June 1, 2012
GREENWOOD VILLAGE, CO: Restaurant chain Red Robin Gourmet Burgers has selected Coyne PR as AOR after an RFP involving a dozen agencies.
Most of the 12 agencies the company reviewed “were around the same size and capability as Coyne,” and the final round came down to four firms, said Kevin Caulfield, senior director of communications at Red Robin. He declined to name the other finalists.
“Our goal is to help tell the Red Robin story of great quality food, a great environment, and take this story to places they haven't been,” said Tom Coyne, CEO of Coyne PR.
Linhart Public Relations, Red Robin's incumbent agency for more than 10 years, did not participate in the review, Caulfield added.
“Linhart Public Relations is proud of our long-standing relationship with Red Robin,” said Sharon Linhart, founder and managing partner of the agency. “It was gratifying to help build that brand since 1998. We wish them well as they continue their evolution.”
Caulfield said Red Robin's management team began the review because it recognized that the company needed to “elevate the brand profile and move it to a must-mentioned level of prominence within the casual dining and better-burger segments.”
“What we were looking for was a strategically proactive PR agency with the intellectual depth, the campaign track record, and major market connections that support our integrated brand-reenergizing efforts,” he said. ”
The restaurant chain's management team has seen many changes in the past two years. CEO Steve Carley joined the company in September 2010, and its CMO Denny Post came onboard nine months ago. CFO Stuart Brown joined the team last August.
Red Robin's first-quarter 2012 profit grew 21% year-over-year, although it said fewer customers visited its restaurants during the period.
While Coyne is also AOR for fast-food giant Burger King, Caulfield said the relationship poses no conflict for Red Robin.
“It was a plus in the sense that it demonstrates that they have restaurant and category experience,” he said. “That was something that we thought was certainly of some value.”
“With all of our clients, we are completely open and we discuss all of our category opportunities. We spoke to the team at Red Robin and at our other restaurant clients just to make sure everyone is aware,” said Coyne. “We are very excited moving forward, and there will be different teams working on both.”
Coyne's primary responsibilities will include developing a fully-integrated PR campaign, providing strategic counsel to the brand, handling media relations and PR efforts, and supporting Red Robin's internal social media team, said Caulfield.
He added that the agency will help Red Robin revamp the brand “without losing or alienating families that continue to be a significant portion” of its business.
Red Robin, which was founded in 1969, has 460 restaurants in more than 40 states in the US and Canada.
THE HOLMES REPORT • Christopher & Dana Reeves Foundation Selects Coyne • May 13, 2012
PARSIPPANY, NJ--Coyne Public Relations has been named agency of record for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. Coyne will support the Foundation’s brand-building initiatives, programs and services, and research efforts through public relations, media relations and strategic counsel.
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding research, and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy.
The account will be handled by Coyne’s health division, and will draw on expertise and counsel from the division's medical and science and advocacy and cause specialties. The agency currently serves several leading non-profit and advocacy organizations including Breastcancer.org, the world’s largest online breast cancer community; The Sanford Foundation and the Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation; and The Valerie Fund.
PR WEEK • Reeve Foundation taps Coyne as AOR • May 9, 2012
SHORT HILLS, NJ: The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, a nonprofit spinal cord injury research organization, has selected Coyne PR as its AOR.
The contract runs through the end of this year with an option to renew, said Maggie Goldberg, SVP of marketing and communications at the nonprofit.
She added that the organization went directly to Coyne and did not issue an RFP or conduct a review. Ketchum, the organization's most recent AOR, worked with the group for almost two years until their contract ended in 2010, Goldberg added. The group also worked with Turner Strategies last year on a research announcement. The Foundation also collaborated with MWW Group and Witeck-Combs Communications in the past, Goldberg said.
Coyne will help the Reeve Foundation “continue to build” its brand by reaching out to national media and influencers, she said.
“They are going to help spread awareness about our research program and help us with strategy in terms of disseminating our message throughout the general public,” Goldberg explained.
The Reeve Foundation, formerly the American Paralysis Association, was founded in 1995 by actor Christopher Reeve, who was paralyzed from a spinal cord injury during a horseback riding accident. Reeve's wife, Dana, took over her husband's role as chair of the board of directors after he passed away in 2004. The group is dedicated to research on paralysis.
Coyne will work to engage and influence the organization's target audience, which Goldberg said includes policymakers, major donors, patients, philanthropists, and venture capitalists.
She added that the agency will also focus on increasing recognition of the organization's “cutting edge research program.”
The group handles social media in-house, but Goldberg said Coyne may work on some social initiatives in the future.
“I need an agency that can handle everything from high-level strategy that will influence policymakers and philanthropists, but I also need a team that can help to advance our special events and fundraising initiatives,” she said.
THe Holmes Report • Waggener Edstrom, Text 100, rbb, Revive Win Best Workplace Honors • April 24, 2012
Best Large Agency to Work For: Waggener Edstrom Worldwide
The third largest independent in the US market, Waggener Edstrom has around 800 employees and has long prided itself on its ability to attract and retain top talent, having been named Best Large Agency to Work For in North America by this publication more times than any other firm. Says one survey respondent, “WE puts its employees first. Management and colleagues always have each other's backs, no matter what the circumstances are. WE also has a strong emphasis on creating your own work-life balance and the agency respects each individual's ‘place’ in life.” A recent addition to the team adds: “I have only been at the agency for a month and I am just blown away by the amount of time and energy that is invested in the employees here. Everyone sticks around forever because it is a truly great place to be. I am approached as a partner by not only my boss and team members but even people on other teams!”
The formula success includes a well-rounded approach to talent acquisition (including heavy social media usage); a paid internship program; robust benefits (a 401k with employer match, reimbursement for mobile and internet usage, AAA membership, even pet and nanny services); a professional development program that includes more than 250 trainings (employees completed 9,000 hours last year) and a Leadership Forum developing future leaders; a commitment to diversity including support for the Lagrant Foundation; and a corporate citizenship program that encourages employees to donate 16 hours volunteer time a year and gives back 1 percent of fee income to in pro bono work and donations.
Honorable mentions: GolinHarris, Edelman, Weber Shandwick, APCO
Best Midsize Agency to Work For: Text 100
Text 100 is a firm that has figured out how to balance the best characteristics of a truly global agency—interesting work for major clients and the opportunity to work in overseas markets and explore new cultures—with the benefits of a boutique: the absence of bureaucracy, a culture of collaboration, and individual empowerment. The firm is a role model when it comes to work-life balance (five weeks of vacation after one year, duvet days and floating holidays, health and domestic partner benefits, flexible work schedules and more). It offers 36 training sessions a year, along with a Career Navigator service that provides individual development plans. And it is committed to community service, supporting a wide range of causes, from Cradles to Crayons to the Gay Men’s Health Clinic. Multiple respondents cite a “work hard play hard culture, “ and one goes on to explain: “My favorite things about Text 100 are our open work environment, open communication, innovative and creative strategies and spirited digital culture.”
Honorable mentions: Allison & Partners, Jackson Spalding, Padilla Speer Beardsley, Coyne PR
Best Small Agency to Work For: rbb Public Relations
rbb's success is built on its employee-driven workplace. Founder Christine Barney explains: “We say, give people the freedom to create their own work plans and environments and clients will stay, more clients will come and everyone will make money.” If that sounds too simple to be true, consider the fact that the average tenure for both staff and clients remains an even 8.5 years. Every staff member, down to the bookkeeper, can determine his/her own work schedule, and choose the location where work will be done. And employees get to make other critical decisions too: each employee belongs to one of four operational groups: rbbWorks (operations), rbb U (professional development), rbb Extras (team building) and rbb News (firm marketing). Employees create the annual plans, budgets and staffing charts for each group and are responsible for achieving the goals they set. Then, they get a share in the profits just like the owners. “I have the freedom to choose when, where and how to do my work,” is one typical comment. “They trust me and treat me like an adult.”
Honorable mentions: Davies, 360 Public Relations CooperKatz & Company, Gagen MacDonald
Best Boutique Agency to Work For: Revive
One challenge for all firms with looking to build a strong culture is that strong cultures are by definition not for everyone, and those who don’t fit can quickly become disillusioned and disgruntled. Healthcare PR specialist Revive tackles that problem head-on by screening potential employees for the qualities it values: character, integrity, sense of humor, intelligence, healthcare industry knowledge, and more than anything a sense of dedication. “Working at Revive is really more than a job,” says founder Brandon Edwards, “so if people are looking for one of those, we want them to keep looking.” The work environment is flexible and tailored to individual needs, internal communication is unusually open, and many employees bring their kids and even their dogs to the office on occasion. Says one respondent: “As an agency we took the time to sit down and write out our cultural values. Now, it goes in to everything we do from client service to the way we interact with each other. By living those value every day—and holding each other to them—we're able to be the type of agency we want to be no matter how big we grow.”
Honorable mentions: GroundFloor Media, Group Gordon, Bateman Group, Trevellino/Keller
O'DWYER'S • Coyne Scoops Up Stanley Steemer • April 13, 2012
By Kevin McCauley
Coyne PR has picked up PR and social media programming duties for Stanley Steemer, the 65-year-old home and office cleaning service, in a pitch that included incumbent ad agency Young & Laramore and MSLGroup.
Brian King, VP-marketing at Dublin, Ohio-based SS, defines Coyne’s mission as establishing the company as the “industry leader through education, alignment and inspiration.”
The Jersey-based PR firm has home cleaning savvy gained from work for Brillo, Seventh Generation and Activelon Solutions.
Stanley Steemer has more than 300 locations and a reach that covers 95 percent of American homes and offices.
PR WEEK • Stanley Steemer names Coyne first PR AOR • April 12, 2012
DUBLIN, OH: Cleaning services company Stanley Steemer has named Coyne PR its first PR AOR after an RFP involving four agencies.
Stanley Steemer's incumbent advertising agency Young & Laramore, SBC Advertising, and MSLGroup also participated, said Brian King, VP of marketing at the company.
King added that the two advertising firms that pitched positioned themselves as “full-service agencies that can do social media and PR.” The company was looking for a firm to handle traditional PR and social media work.
“Even though our initial premise was to look at full-service agencies, we quickly realized that the PR ideas that came out of a PR firm were better,” said King.
He added that Stanley Steemer selected Coyne because the ideas it pitched “were the strongest of all the agencies.”
Since it was hired, Coyne has conducted consumer research for the company, identifying areas that Stanley Steemer should focus on, said King.
Coyne is pitching traditional outlets and mommy bloggers to build buzz for Stanley Steemer's busy spring and fall seasons, he added.
The agency is also working on cause marketing for Stanley Steemer, which recently signed on as a sponsor for Race for the Cure. Coyne will also promote the topics of “health and overall cleanliness” to consumers and the media.
Coyne has worked with a number of other cleaning industry clients in the past, such as Seventh Generation, Brillo, and Activeion Solution.
>MARKETWIRE • New York PRSA Announces Finalists for 2012 Big Apple Awards • April 5, 2012
Winners of the 25th Annual Awards Will Be Announced at Gala Reception on May 24th
NEW YORK, NY, Apr 05, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX)--The New York Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA-NY) today announced the finalists for the 25th Annual Big Apple Awards. As the toughest peer-judged awards in the industry, the Big Apple Awards recognize excellence in public relations in the tri-state area.
"The 25th annual Big Apple Awards brought an impressive caliber of entries that showcased more strategic use of social media, innovative applications of research and remarkable results," said Lea-Ann Germinder, APR, Fellow PRSA, 2012 Big Apple Chair and President, Germinder & Associates, Inc. "We are especially delighted that we have finalists in the new under $100,000 category, which truly reflects the nature of the public relations profession in New York. With budgets large and small, our practitioners excel at delivering results for the clients and organizations they serve."
Award winners and honorable mentions will be recognized during the awards ceremony on May 24th, 2012 at a new venue, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Overall winners for the Best Use of Research and Best of the Best will also be named at that time. Additionally, winners of the 2012 John W. Hill, Philip Dorf and President's Awards will be honored for their industry leadership and contributions to the practice of public relations.
The PRSA-NY is pleased to congratulate the 59 finalists in 36 categories:
A Plan Tailored for Success: Seigenthaler Public Relations Inc. for SVP Worldwide
Advancing the CFCareForward Scholarship Legacy: Ruder Finn, Inc. for Abbott
Affect Exposes Naked Security - IT Security Blog Established as Premier Industry News Source Garnering 1,067 Media Hits and Exceeding One Million Page Views Per Month: Affect for Sophos
Affect's New York Intern Project Contest Causes Social-Media Stir, Over 14,000 Vote for Their Favorite Intern: Affect
Affinia Hotels Launches Tender Loving Comfort (TLC): Quinn & Co. Public Relations for Affinia Hotels
All Day Sessions: Fuse for Gatorade
Applied Materials Shines a Light on Summer Solstice: Ketchum for Applied Materials
B + Q: 15 Degrees for Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens
Banfield Pet Hospital Reveals the State of Pet Health: Coyne Public Relations for Banfield Pet Hospital
Bridging the Educational Challenges of Tomorrow Through Entrepreneurship Education: MWW Group for Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship
Campari's "Year of the Negroni Campaign": Hanna Lee Communications for Campari
Communicating Value in the Absence of a Billable Hour Model: Coyne Public Relations for Pfizer Legal Alliance
Drops of Good: The Maxwell House Community Project: Hunter PR for Maxwell House
Fighting Breast Cancer with the Power of Storytelling: Euro RSCG Worldwide PR for Ford Motor Co.
Flight Plan for the Future: JetBlue Preserves Its Direct Relationship with Pilots: MWW Group for JetBlue Airways
From Cook Top to Countertop - Bringing Calphalon's Creations to Life: Carmichael Lynch Spong for Calphalon
H&R Block Dollars & Sense: What If Kids Had All The Money?: Carmichael Lynch Spong for H&R Block Dollars & Sense
IBM at 100: Focusing Its Place in the Past, Present, and Future: Ketchum for IBM
IBM at 100: Modernizing the Way the World Sees Big Blue: Ketchum for IBM
IBM Stages Largest Corporate Volunteer Event in History, Reaching Communities in 120 Countries: Ketchum for IBM
Immunizing Americans against Flu Complacency: A Media-Driven Public Health Program: Alembic Health Communications for The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
Inspiring a Generation of Beautiful Minds: Carmichael Lynch Spong for life'sDHA, an Ingredient Brand of Nutritional Lipids/DSM Nutritional Products
Jennie-O Creates Turkey Burger Converts One Switch at a Time: Carmichael Lynch Spong for Jennie-O Turkey Store
Jennifer Grey Empowers People with Pain to Become 'Communication Experts': Cooney Waters Group for Purdue Pharma LP
Kids Kicking Cancer Public Service Announcement Campaign and Breath Brake Smartphone App Launch: Chamberlain Healthcare Public Relations for Kids Kicking Cancer
Launching a New Category in Vision Technology and Building a National Sales Network: Makovsky + Company for PixelOptics
Like Bissell, Love Pets: CRT/tanaka for Bissell Homecare, Inc
Marketing a New Nail Service to Consumers: RED PR for CND
MoMath Ramps Up the Rebirth of MoMath: MWW Group for Museum of Mathematics (MoMath)
Mott's Garden Blend Wins at the Kentucky Derby: Ketchum for Dr Pepper Snapple Group - Mott's
Mountain Dew Partners with ATVI's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 for Rank Up Your Game with Double XP Program: Ruder Finn, Inc. for Mountain Dew
NBC and News Corporation Sweep CES with Breakout Product Launch: Horn Group for NBC and News Corporation
Pepto-Bismol Throws a Feast for All: MSL New York for Procter & Gamble
Plan B One-Step Full Over-The-Counter Decision: Unprecedented Decision, Unprecedented Results: Communications Strategies Inc for Teva Women's Health
Putting SUPERVALU's Save-A-Lot Growth Story Into Meaningful Context: Carmichael Lynch Spong for SUPERVALU, Save-A-Lot
Raising FIT Kids: Coyne Public Relations for WebMD and Sanford Health
Reintroducing A Brand That Needs No Introduction: Carmichael Lynch Spong for MATADOR Beef Jerky
Rethinking the Business-to-Business Approach: Fleishman-Hillard for AT&T Business Solutions
Save-A-Lot Hits The Road To Show How To Fuel Your Family For Less: Carmichael Lynch Spong for Save-A-Lot
Seeding The Arts: The Fruitables School Music Mash-Up 3: Hunter Public Relations for Apple & Eve
Small Business Saturday: M Booth for American Express OPEN
The French Will Never Forget: Euro RSCG Worldwide PR for The French Will Never Forget
The Sigi: Wunderman
Turning the HIV Fight into a Movement: Ruder Finn, Inc. for Bristol-Myers Squibb
U by Kotex: Designing the Future of Feminine Care: Marina Maher Communications for Kimberly-Clark Corporation
Valvoline NextGen: Launching a "Green Motor Oil without Making Influencers See Red": Cohn & Wolfe for Valvoline
Vibrant Rioja Grand Tasting Series: CRT/tanaka for Consejo Regulador de la Denominacion de Origen Calificada Rioja
Viviscal: Ambassadors of the Story of Women and Hair Loss in the US: CRT/tanaka for Viviscal
We're Doin' It Live! Panasonic Breaks Down the Walls of CES and Brings the Excitement to Viewers Across the Globe with Live Interactive Broadcast: Cohn & Wolfe for Panasonic
Recognized as the most prestigious award for Public Relations in New York, the Big Apple Awards are an opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the great work and best practices of industry peers. Tickets for the May 24th reception are available now through May 17th and can be purchased online at www.prsany.org. For more information, please call PRSA-NY at 212-228-7228.
Sponsors for the 2012 Big Apple Awards include Platinum Sponsor DS Simon Productions, Gold Sponsors Germinder & Associates and Ketchum, Silver Sponsors Carmichael Lynch Spong, Edelman and PR Newswire, Bronze Sponsor CRT/tanaka and Hill+Knowlton Strategies, sponsor of the John W. Hill Award.
For information on sponsorships and great exposure at our elegant new venue, contact Big Apple Chair & Sponsorship Chair Lea-Ann Germinder, APR, Fellow PRSA, at firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Germinder & Associates, Inc., 212-367-2170 or the PRSA-NY Office, 212-228-7228, email@example.com
The Public Relations Society of America New York City Chapter (www.prsany.org) is one of the founding chapters of the PRSA, the world's largest professional organization for public relations practitioners. Founded in 1948, PRSA-NY is the third largest PRSA local chapter in the United States. The chapter serves the interests of public relations professionals working in business and industry, counseling firms, government, associations, hospitals, schools, professional services firms and nonprofit organizations. Chapter board and committee members are volunteer public relations professionals who work in the New York metropolitan area.
AMCP • Ad Campaign by Coyne PR • April 2, 2012
This is one ad campaign that not only catches your attention, but engages your imagination. Coyne Public Relations of Parsippany, New Jersey is a large agency with huge clients. This campaign tackled a very difficult assignment for any firm, promoting itself. Utilizing mesmerizing images and concise writing, the ads give readers a fanciful glimpse of Coyne’s creative capabilities.
>AMCP • Ad Campaign by Coyne PR • April 2, 2012
PARSIPPANY, NJ: Credit score company MyFICO has selected Coyne PR as AOR for its consumer division.
Coyne will focus on raising awareness of MyFICO and its offerings among consumers. To increase brand recognition, the agency will launch a campaign to create emotional connections with consumers.
Coyne will also support the launch of MyFICO's new website.
>MARKETWIRE • The Hall of Fame Online Magazine Showcasing the Winners of the 2011 Bulldog Digital/Social Awards for Excellence in Online COmmunications Has Been Published • March 27, 2012
OAKLAND, CA--(Marketwire - Mar 27, 2012) - More than 50 winners of the 2011 Digital/Social Awards for Excellence in Online Communications were summarized today in the Bulldog Digital Social Awards Hall of Fame magazine.
Winners were chosen exclusively by working journalists from hundreds of entries representing the very best strategic and tactical prowess that PR/corporate communications has to offer. Campaigns were judged by a team of working journalists, who assessed them on the basis of their ability to achieve extraordinary visibility and influence opinion, as well as on their creativity, command of media and technology, and tenacity.
This year's Grand Prize Best Use of Digital/Social for a Digital/Social Communications Campaign of the Year was awarded to Denison University, which also won Gold Digital/Social awards for Best Online Newsroom of the Year, Best Use of Digital/Social for Higher Education and a Silver award for Best Microsite or Specialized Website.
Bulldog Reporter publishes the Daily 'Dog online trade journal, the PR/communication industry's largest circulation publication, and is the industry's premier provider of professional development events and materials.
Here is a complete list of the 2011 Bulldog Digital/Social PR Awards Winners:
Best Use of Digital/Social for a Digital/Social Communications Campaign of the Year
Grand Prize Awarded to Denison University
Best Use of Digital/Social in an Arts/Culture/Entertainment Campaign
Awarded to Activate Sports & Entertainment
and New Jersey Devils for 'Mission Control'
Awarded to Euro RSCG Worldwide PR
Awarded to Rogers & Cowan
For Avon Voices
Best Use of Digital in a B@B Technology Campaign
Awarded to LEWIS PR
For Digital Drives Thought Leadership
Awarded to Bite Communications
For Royal Wedding Rings in Inaugural Coverage
Awarded to Brodeur Partners
For Corning's Day Made of Glass Goes Viral
Best Blog for an Agency/Consultancy
Awarded to Hellerman Baretz Communications
For Sound Bites Blog "Little Blog, Big Ideas"
Awarded to Marlo Marketing/Communications
For m.blog by marlo marketing/communications
Awarded to M Booth
For FWD Thinking Takes m Booth Forward Digitally
Best Blog (Company/Organization)
Awarded to Hellerman Baretz Communications
For Cutting through the Legal Blogosphere with Bracewell & Guiliani LLP's Basis Points Blog
Awarded to Princess Cruises
For 50 Essential Experiences: The Travel Bucket List Blog
Best Crisis Response
Awarded to Con Edison
For Response to hurricane Irene
Awared to Kaplow and Skype
For Skype & the Pre-Christmas Outage
Awarded to Navy Federal Credit Union
For Navy Federal Supports Military During Crisis
Digitally/Socially Engaged Brand of the Year
Awarded to Activate Sports & Entertainment and New Jersey Devils
For 'Mission Control'
Awarded to Mullen
For Century 21 Buys Virtual Real Estate
Awarded to Kaplow
For Baby Phat Builded Consumrer Base via SM
Digital/Social Communications Campaign of the Year
Awarded to French/West/Vaughan
For Next Blue by Wrangler
Best Use of Digital/Social for a Food/Beverages/Restaurant Campaign
Awarded to Weber Shandwick & MilkPEP
For Got Milk? Breakfast BlogHer Prgm
Awarded to Weber Shandwick & MilkPEP
For Modern Family Got Milk?
Awarded to General Mills/Coyne PR
For Honey Nut Cheerios 'America's Favorite Cereal'
Best Online Employee Communications
Awarded to MWW Group
For JetBlue's Flight Plan for the Future
Awarded to Pfizer
For Pfizer Connect, Educate & Listen
Best Organizational E-Newsletter, External
Awarded to Coyne PR
For Coyne PR Hotsheet
Awarded to M Booth
For "word" - M Booth's monthly Trend Letter
Awarded to Hunter PR
For Hunter Public Relations- The 511 Newsletter
Best Online Newsroom of the Year
Awarded to Denison University
Awarded to Cisco
For "The Newtork: Cisco's Technology News Site"
Best Use of Digital/Social for Cause/Advocacy/Corporate Social Responsibility
Awarded to Hunter Public Relations
For Apple & Eve Fruitables School Music Mash-Up
Awarded to AIDS Healthcare Foundation
For AHF Wins Members Project
Awarded to The Foundation for Eye Health Awareness and Webershandwick
For Make a Spectacle of Yourself
Best Use of Digital/Social for a Consumer Technology Campaign
Awarded to Euro RSCG Worldwide PR
For Sears Blue Blogger Crew-Consumer Electronic
Awarded to Padilla Speer Beardsley, Inc
For Memorex is Streaming Live!
Awarded to Richards Partners
For FRAM Blogger Junket.
Best Use of Digital/Social for Higher Education Marketing
Awarded to Denison University
Best Use of Digital/Social for a Health/Fitness/Medicine Campaign
Awarded to Waggener Edstrom
For Shire's Gaucher Disease Awareness Month
Awarded to Hager Sharp Inc.
For Best bones Forever! Let's Dance Contest
Awarded to The Foundation for Eye Health Awareness and Weber Shandwick
For Make a Spectacle of Yourself
Best Microsite or Specialized Website
Awarded to Ruder Finn/RFI Studios
For Mountain Dew Throwback Shack
Awarded to Denison University
Awarded to M Booth
For Ameda "I Breastfeed Because" Campaign
Best Use of Digital/Social in a Public Affairs/Awareness Campaign
Awarded to Euro RSCG Worldwide PR
For Campaign Money Watch
Awarded to Weber Shandwick
For Sharing the Army Strong Story
Awarded to Euro RSCG Worldwide PR
For The French Will Never Forget 9/11
Best Use of Search Engine Optimization in a Campaign
Awarded to LEWIS PR
For SEO Drives Competitive Positioning
Best Online/Social Media Community of the Year
Awarded M Booth
For Ameda "I Breastfeed Because" Campaign
Awarded to General Mills/Coyne Public Relations
For MGCheerios on Twitter
Awarded to French/West/Vaughan
For Wrangler Western
Best Social Network Messaging Strategy
Awarded to Allways Integrated Marketing
Best Use of Digital/Social for a Travel/Hospitality Campaign
Awarded to Princess Cruises
For 50 Essential Experiences:The Travel Bucket List Blog
Awarded to Weber Shandwick
For Omni Hotels & Resorts Family Travel Skype Media Tour
Best Use of Video in a Digital/Social Environment
Awarded to NVIDIA
For NVIDIA Tegra 3 Demo Turns to Video Gold
Awarded to Paine PR/Citizen Paine
For Power Those Who Protect Us
Awarded to Padilla Speer Breardsley, Inc
For Memorex is Streaming Live!
View bulldog Digital/Social Hall of Fame Magazine Online
Please note that awards were not given in categories or at category levels for which judges determined no qualified winner.
Jacques Gautreaux .P., C.O.O.
THE HOLMES REPORT • Ketchum, Weber Shandwick, and Edelman Top SABRE Nominations • March26, 2012
Global, North America
NEW YORK—Clients of Ketchum, Weber Shandwick and Edelman have each received 20 or more nominations for public relations campaigns conducted last year, as The Holmes Group announces the finalists in its 2012 SABRE Awards competition.
On the client side, Procter & Gamble and its various brands led the way with eight nominations for campaigns, followed by IBM (six), Ford and Unilever (five), Starbucks (four) and Intuit, McDonald’s, and Pfizer (three each).
Among agencies, Ketchum agencies led the way, with 24 Diamond and Gold finalists between them (including one shared with Freshworks, four of the firm’s Access Communications subsidiary, and one for Zocalo Group). There were 22 nominations for Weber Shandwick agencies (including two for Rogers & Cowan, two for Brazilian firm S2 Publicom, and one for Powell Tate), and 20 for Edelman (including three for its Matter sports and entertainment marketing unit).
Other firms reaching double figures in terms of nominations included GolinHarris (14); MSL Group (13, including two each for its PBJS and Schwartz MSL units); and Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide (11).
And there were multiple nominations for Citizen Relations (seven); Burson-Marsteller, Carmichael Lynch Spong, Fleishman-Hillard and its Canadian subsidiary High Road Communications, and Hill+Knowlton Strategies (six each); Zeno Group and Porter Novelli (five each); Euro RSCG Worldwide, Padilla Speer Beardsley and Qorvis (four); and Capstrat, Cohn & Wolfe, Coyne PR, Fast Horse, MWW Group, RF Binder, Ruder Finn, Shift Communications, WPP, and Chandler Chicco Companies (three each).
The winners of the Silver SABRE categories, which recognize content creation in all of its various firms and PR agency management, were also announced, with Weber Shandwick and Edelman receiving the most wins: four each (including one for Weber Shandwick’s Current division and one for Edelman’s ad agency Blue).
Other multiple winners in the Silver categories included Burson-Marsteller and GolinHarris (three each); and Carmichael Lynch Spong, Ketchum, M Booth & Associates, and Padilla Speer Beardsley (two each).
Winners of the Diamond and Gold SABRE awards will be announced at our annual dinner, which will take place at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York on May 8. Tickets and tables are now on sale, and order forms are available from Celeste Picco (firstname.lastname@example.org).
A complete list of Gold SABRE finalists can be found here,
A complete list of Silver SABRE winners and finalists can be found here
O'Dwyers • Public Relations Firms Database • March 5, 2012
Alphabetical Index | Graphical Index | Speciality Index
Coyne Public Relations
Coyne Public Relations
5 Wood Hollow Road, Parsippany, NJ 07054
New business inquiries: Dave Carter, sr. VP
Agency Statement: Coyne PR is one of the nation’s leading independent public relations agencies. The agency represents some of the world’s most well-known brands in a range of categories: Automotive, Beauty & Fashion, Entertainment, Food & Nutrition, Health Care, Pet, Retail, Sports, Technology, Travel, and Toy & Juvenile Products. We combine strategy and creativity to generate the best possible results for our clients – taking each and every client exactly where they want to be, and beyond.
Coyne PR has received more than 100 industry accolades in the last two years, including Midsize Agency of the Year from PRWeek and PR News, as well as Small Agency of the Year, Best Agency to Work For in America and Consumer Agency of the Year from The Holmes Report. These awards are a testament to the breadth and depth of our category experience, as well as a reinforcement of our agency philosophy, which is to provide best of class creativity, client service and results in an office environment that is ranked consistently among the best employers in the industry (93 percent employee retention rate).
Coyne PR specializes in media relations, brand building, product launches, events & promotions, corporate social responsibility, social media, corporate communications, digital creative and crisis management. The agency also boasts a full service, internal design and digital department specializing in digital strategy, social media, design, video production, mobile apps and more.
Why Coyne PR is where you want to be:
•We think of ideas most others don’t: We never present an idea to a client that we think any other firm could also think of. We set a very high bar for ourselves and hold ourselves to that standard on the development of every campaign and every pitch. Our clients often tell others that we think of ideas they don’t. As far as we’re concerned, there’s no better compliment.
•Customer service x 10: We do whatever it takes to get the job done and it shows in the relationships we have with our clients. We find that many clients join us because of our creativity, but stay for the level of customer service they receive and the relationships they build with our staff. Our “best team” approach enables us to pull expertise from all areas across the agency to work on any account. Most importantly, the direct contact for the client always remains in the senior leadership of the agency so that clients have immediate access to strategic counsel and direction.
•We simplify the complex: Working with pharmacy benefit managers, academic institutions, consumer watchdogs and launching a plethora of innovative products has made us experts at creating a simple message to help media and consumers understand a complex product or issue. This tactic often enables us to bring clients from branding to bonding with consumers, making their product or issue really resonate with their audiences.
Thomas F. Coyne, CEO; Rich Lukis, pres.; Brad Buyce, John Gogarty, exec. VPs; Dave Carter, Kelly Dencker, Tim Schramm, Tracy Shea, sr. VPs; Stacy Becker, Linda Bernstein Jasper, Dr. Norman Booth, Chris Brienza, Wayne Catan, Meghan Flynn, Joe Gargiulo, Jennifer Kamienski, Kevin Lamb, Brian Murphy, Sue Murphy, Geoffrey Phelps, Deborah Sierchio, Lisa Wolleon, VPs; Jill Kleiner, Lauren Mackiel Gory, Mike Salzillo, Janet Schiller, Min Tak, assist. VPs
1065 Avenue of the Americas, 28th flr., New York, NY, 10018
212/938-0166; fax: 212/938-0759
Banfield Pet Hospitals
Best Friends Pet Sanctuary
Community FoodBank of NJ
Del Monte Foods
Disney Parks and Resorts
GfK Custom Research North America
Hard Rock International
The Hershey Company
Hong Kong Tourism Board
The Johnson School at Cornell University
Medco Health Solutions
The Pet Deal
Sealed Air Corporation
ShopRite Partners in Caring
The Simon School at Rochester University
South African Tourism
Town Sports International
Toys “R” Us
University of Penn Medicine
O'Dwyers • New Accounts • February 28, 2012
By Greg Hazley
Coyne PR, Parsippany, N.J./Bilbary, Internet-based consumer e-book library and retail book store, as AOR for PR for launch and ongoing marketing efforts. The site offers 750K e-books for rental and purchase.
5W PR, New York/Gripevine.com, Social media company focused on consumer complaint-resolution management, as AOR, and rewarding student commitment, college preparatory program, for PR.
Gibbs & Soell, New York/Hafele America, high-end hardware products and services; HomeServe USA, an emergency home repair service, and Rexel, electrical supplies for integrated comms. For each company’s US division.
Laura Davidson PR, New York/Selman Marrakech, Morroccan luxury resort slated to open in May, for PR.
Bullfrog & Baum, New York/Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Chicago-based national restaurant group, for PR for several of the group’s chef partners.
Kundell Communications, New York/Homeric Tours, specialists in travel to Greece and the Mediterranean, including Cyprus, Turkey, Israel, Egypt and Morocco, for PR.
Camelot PR, New York /EpiladyUSA, epilator maker; SMART VENT, flood solution technology, and LED technologies, anti-aging therapy, for PR.
Raker Goldstein & Co., Old Tappan, N.J./Kidville, catering facility for events for young children which has opened a location in Englewood, N.J., for marketing communications.
Greenough, Boston/GT Advanced Technologies, technology, systems and materials for the solar and LED markets for an integrated marketing program including traditional and social media/marketing.
Warschawski, Baltimore/The Topps Company, for marketing comms. For the release of its 2012 season baseball cards, set for a June debut.
Buffalo Communications, Vienna, VA./GolfLogix, a golf app developer, for PR.
SOAR Communications, Salt Lake City, and What’s Up PR, Denver/Bergans of Norway, Sports apparel maker which has set up a subsidiary to serve the North American Market, and Road Warrior Sport, Sport trailer maker, as agencies of record for U.S. PR.
MSR Communications, San Francisco/Kinek, package delivery service with retail locations in grocery stores, pharmacies and other locales, as AOR for PR.
GolinHarris, San Francisco/Symmetricom, highly precise timekeeping technology, instruments and solutions; SDL, customer engagement management; Tier 3, enterprise cloud platform provider, and Cloverleaf Solar, start-up focused on developing commercial photovoltaic power generation systems on infill, remnant government owned properties.
Wonacott Communications, Los Angeles/Fuel, youth engagement firm, and Perfect World Entertainment, online games publisher, for PR.
COUNCIL OF PUBLIC RELATIONS FIRMS • Pro Bono: PR Firms Doing Good • February 21, 2012
Corporate responsibility is a hot topic among professional services firms, with much discussion recently around a particular form of corporate benevolence, the performance of pro bono work. The public relations industry has a long history of working pro bono to benefit the many communities in which it serves. According to a recent Council of PR Firms’ survey, more than 70% of Council members indicated that they were currently serving pro bono accounts, a number that increases dramatically when non-profit clients are also taken into account.
Member Case Studies
1. Boulder International Film Festival (Linhart PR)
2.Community Servings (Pan Communications)
3.CONFAR Youth Awareness Campaign (Weber Shandwick)
4.Progeria Research Foundation (SPECTRUM)
5.Community Food Bank of New Jersey (Coyne PR)
According to a recent report by consultancy Deloitte, “The best businesses concentrate on what they do best, and deliver leadership in society through the core activities of their business. Providing corporate expertise, insight and experience can prove to be far more valuable than simple cash donations.” Indeed, public relations offers tools and expertise of special import for many non-profits. Social media in particular has increased the power of non-profits, enabling them to compete with better-funded organizations for visibility and support.
In 2009, our members mobilized in impressive fashion for a special program called the “Council Gives Back.” Over the course of six months, dozens of our members conducted free workshops around the country, providing more than 400 non-profit organizations with instruction on how to use social media and various other digital platforms to cost-effectively communicate organizational messages and identify and engage constituents.
Expect pro bono efforts to continue to rise in strategic importance to firms.
Read more in the Firm Voice blog:“Getting Social, Doing Good, Driving Impact” by Andy Polansky, and “The Power of Pro Bono: Why More Firms are Doing Well and Doing Good”
Here are some links to work being done by Council of PR Firms members:
Cohn & Wolfe
Kwitten & Company
Padilla Speer Group
Ron Sachs Communications
>THE HOLMES REPORT • Coyne PR Picks Up BabyBjorn Account • February 07, 2012
PARSIPPANY, NJ—Coyne Public Relations has been selected by BabyBjörn, the Swedish infant products company, as its lead PR agency for the US market. Coyne was selected following a comprehensive RFP process.
Coyne will focus on advancing BabyBjörn’s position as a leader in the development of high quality and innovative products for infants and toddlers. The multi-tiered campaign will include building awareness with consumers, specifically moms, through traditional and social media channels along with developing and executing an educational and advocacy program that helps deliver BabyBjörn’s key messages to the consumer via the medical community.
The agency’s toy and juvenile products team, led by Brian and Sue Murphy, will be assisted by its healthcare team to help connect with the medical community. Other elements of the campaign will include event planning and execution and trade show support.
>NEW YORK TIMES • News From the Advertising History • September 20, 2011
Published: September 25, 2011
Bank of New York Mellon named Doremus, New York, part of the Omnicom Group, as its global agency of record. The assignment, with spending estimated at $10 million to $15 million, had been handled by the Concept Farm, New York.
Universal Music Group has consolidated its United States media account and awarded the assignment to MediaCom, part of the GroupM unit of WPP, which already handles media planning and buying for the company in Australia, Canada and Europe. Spending was estimated at $15 million to $20 million, which could be increased significantly next year. Among the labels involved are Decca, Def Jam, Geffen, Interscope, Island, Mercury, Motown and Verve. The media duties in the United States were previously divided among a number of smaller media agencies.
Burger King Corporation, Miami, owned by 3G Capital, chose Coyne Public Relations, Parsippany, N.J., to be its public relations agency of record in the United States. Spending for the assignment, which had been handled by Edelman, part of Daniel J. Edelman Inc., was not disclosed. Burger King has also recently changed agencies for assignments like creating ad campaigns and media services.
Carter Murray will join Y&R, New York, part of the Young & Rubicam Brands unit of WPP, at the end of next month as president and chief executive of Y&R Advertising North America. He succeeds Tom Sebok, who recently became president and chief executive of the Y&R New York office. Mr. Murray had been chief marketing officer and worldwide account director at Publicis Worldwide, Paris, part of the Publicis Groupe, where he worked on the important Nestlé account.
Sheri Roder, senior vice president and managing director for consumer insights at Horizon Media, New York, will head a new division, the Why Group, as chief. The division will be focused on research into consumer behavior to identify cultural and societal trends.
Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, Washington, issued new guidelines for marketing in digital realms, including social media, blogs, mobile communications and Web sites. Under the guidelines, which were developed jointly with the European Forum for Responsible Drinking, member companies need to establish “age gates” before communicating with consumers, remove user-generated content that is deemed inappropriate and clearly identify brand marketing when it may be considered as editorial content, as on blogs.
360 Public Relations, Boston, opened an office in New York, to be led by Rob Bratskeir, who is joining as executive vice president and general manager of 360 Public Relations New York. Mr. Bratskeir had most recently been a consultant and before that was executive vice president at Bratskeir & Company, New York.
Halo Effect, Boston, was opened by Tom Schneider, who is president, and David Abend, who is executive vice president for creative and strategy. Mr. Schneider has held senior posts at agencies like Alloy Media and Marketing and Target Marketing and Promotions. Mr. Abend joins Halo Effect from Digitas, Boston, part of the Publicis Groupe, where he had been vice president and group creative director.
Two women’s service magazines, Family Circle and Woman’s Day, are reducing their frequency to 12 issues a year from 15, effective with the January issues. The reduction aligns them with other magazines in the category like Good Housekeeping and Ladies’ Home Journal. Family Circle, which is owned by the Meredith Corporation, is raising its rate base — the circulation guaranteed to advertisers — to 4 million from 3.8 million. Woman’s Day, which was recently acquired by the Hearst Magazines unit of the Hearst Corporation, is reducing its rate base to 3.25 million from 3.8 million.
The United States Ski and Snowboarding Association, Park City, Utah, said that its longest-standing sponsor, Visa, had signed a seven-year extension of its sponsorship, which would now run through the Winter Olympics in 2018. Financial terms were not disclosed. Visa is a sponsor of the Olympic Games through 2020.
>PR WEEK • Burger King names Coyne AOR for US • September 20, 2011
MIAMI: Burger King has selected Coyne Public Relations as its AOR for PR in the US, following a competitive RFP process involving five agencies.
Burger King issued an RFI July 7 in search of a new agency to provide strategic communications leadership and boost business performance. Edelman, the company's AOR for about seven years, declined to participate in the review.
As the new AOR for Burger King, Coyne will build consumer awareness nationwide, promote products and initiatives, and provide counsel on corporate communications and nutrition efforts.
“We're excited to begin our collaboration with Coyne and believe that they have the right strategic insights and creativity to help move the Burger King brand forward,” said Miguel Piedra, VP of global communications at Burger King.
With a team of seven core people on the account, Coyne will be using various forms of outreach to connect with consumers, including both traditional and digital platforms, said Tom Coyne, CEO of the agency. The firm will also be helping manage Burger King's social media channels and will be working closely with the company's advertising agency, McGarryBowen.
“Throughout the pitch process after every meeting we had with the team from Burger King we became more and more excited about telling their story,” Coyne added. “Our goal, in partnership with Burger King, is to really tell the world about all the great offerings Burger King has for families, individuals, and consumers around the country.”
Coyne has already began working on initiatives and outreach efforts for Burger King for 2012, as well as the rest of 2011.
“There is a team of fantastic, smart marketing and public relations professionals at Burger King that we can't wait to collaborate with and really do great things with next year,” Coyne explained.
Before hiring Edelman as its AOR in 2005, Burger King selected Weber Shandwick as its first AOR in 2001.
>PR WEEK • Sport Roundtable: Knowing the score • September 01, 2011
Brands have more avenues than ever to align with sports and activate fans' passion. Various leaders in the sector joined Gideon Fidelzeid in New York for this Catalyst Public Relations-sponsored roundtable.
Gideon Fidelzeid (PRWeek): Everyone in this room is impacted by athletes who have had major image crises, to some degree – Michael Vick, Plaxico Burress, Lance Armstrong, LeBron James. How does this impact your work and, more specifically, how does social media magnify this scenario?
Paul Bamundo (Subway): This is something we're contemplating before we even choose somebody. We look at how many followers they have on Facebook, how many followers they have on Twitter. We write it into our deals that we expect this of the folks that we work with: we want them to be having social media messages on our behalf or engaging with us on whatever it might be.
Matt Bourne (Major League Baseball): At the league level, we're paying attention to all of our players who are on social media. Some of the clubs are less interested in having their guys out there because they're afraid some of them are going to make mistakes and say the wrong thing and get themselves or the club in a tough spot. But at the league level, we see that as a great opportunity to get the word out, to get fans to know more about the players.
Rob King (ESPN): One of the things everybody is dealing with is the reality that news gatherers can come in any shape or form. Some of the biggest stories that have broken in ways that athletes dislike have come as a result of somebody with a camera phone, somebody with a friend who has a camera phone, or somebody who received an image on a camera phone. From the editorial perspective, it's been a challenge for us. How do we remain an authority on authenticity in news coverage? How do we respect how the news cycles change?
These cycles move in ways we can't necessarily predict. Tiger Woods having a car accident in the middle of the night on Thanksgiving becomes something very different in three months.
In a Q & A with PRWeek managing editor Gideon Fidelzeid, Subway CMO Tony Pace discussed the chain's "Famous Fans" initiative, which signs on athletes as brand ambassadors, at the PRWeek/Catalyst breakfast session prior to the roundtable. Subway began the program in 2006 with Michael Strahan, star defensive end for the New York Giants at the time. "People can't get enough of their favorite athletes," he explained. "Famous Fans is a real marketing asset." Pace also described how he selects athletes, looking at geographic reach, on-field results, on-camera appeal, and their love of Subway sandwiches.
Fidelzeid (PRWeek): Let's say you have a really popular athlete, very successful on the field, but he or she is sort of a loose cannon when it comes to social media. You don't want to lose the partnership, but how much control can you have over an athlete's tweeting?
Bret Werner (Catalyst): You can't control every situation and things can occur along the way, but you can do more due diligence now than ever. You can understand how your athlete spokesperson is embraced and by who. What's the sentiment? You can test this in real time. While you can't prepare for every situation, the tools available now are deeper than ever.
David Higdon (NASCAR): At NASCAR, we pride ourselves on our athletes being authentic. That's one of the distinguishing characteristics of a NASCAR athlete. What we try to do in communications is emphasize to them that we're here to magnify the personality, not manufacture it. Social media provides us the ability to do that. Some people are comfortable with the camera and others are comfortable behind that kind of wall that Twitter provides. We steer them in the right direction because that's where their personalities can really be showcased.
Michael Sprague (Kia): As a brand it's up to us to make sure we know with who we're partnering. There are some surprises every so often where somebody does go down a path that you didn't expect. There are contractual clauses that can protect the brand. The athletes all have strong teams behind them advising them as well.
Tai Foster (Under Armour): You have to listen carefully before you overreact to a situation. What you see a lot of the times is… a pattern of athletes who may not have been on Twitter, scandal happens, and then a month later they have a Twitter handle because that's their opportunity to start controlling their message.
Bourne (MLB): At the league level and for the clubs, we're actively, especially during spring training, talking to the players about understanding social media. We're [educating] that what you put on a Twitter feed or on a Facebook page is the equivalent of standing in a press conference and saying the same thing. If you're going to be prepared to tweet something, you have to be prepared to say the same exact thing if you're in front of a room of 20 media.
Fidelzeid (PRWeek): Sports might be more 24/7 than any other sector. How has this 24/7 reality impacted your jobs?
Sprague (Kia): You have to be ready. You have to look at all of the different scenarios that could potentially happen. For us, we had a great experience when [Clippers' NBA star] Blake Griffin jumped over our car at the NBA slam dunk contest this past February. We knew going into it, “OK, he's going to jump over the car. We think it's going to be pretty cool.” We had no idea what the impact was going to be, but because we knew it was going to be good, we had lined up the producers to cut a spot really fast. We had it on air within 72 hours. We had a newspaper ad ready to go into USA Today. We had all of these things lined up and ready.
Werner (Catalyst): I look at 24/7 a bit differently. Of course it keeps you on your toes all the time, but how do you differentiate given that there's even more noise than ever? That's where smart marketers understand that sports fans ideally may want to be communicated post-game. They want forums to discuss in social media. We need to build platforms where you can get engaged 24/7. That's where location-based services are so applicable, too.
Higdon (NASCAR): You need to have your strategy in place. When someone comes out and says something outrageous and everybody gets up in a fury and there are tweets flying fast and furious, we have to be careful to step back and make sure that we're making the right decision based on our overall plan. Everybody here has had to suffer through that, where you get some pressure from executives asking, “What's our reaction? What are we going to say? Should we be saying this right away?” That's the toughest part of PR today.
Wayne Catan (Coyne): You must be real strategic. For the Dew Tour, [professional skateboarder] Paul Rodriguez was our spokesperson. For this, we're not going to go to the obvious media like a major national newspaper. We're going to look at where it can make an impact on a Saturday night and that might be with Transworld SKATEboarding. In fact, if we went to a traditional newspaper, that would have made the program “uncool” to the skateboarding community.
Fidelzeid (PRWeek): Has social media led to better product sales for brands who partner with sports entities?
Michael Fluck (Bridgestone): Tires are not a very exciting category for most people unless you're an enthusiast, so it's given us an opportunity with our sports relationships to really engage with people on an ongoing basis. To talk to NFL fans, NHL fans, all those relationships we have, so we're keeping our brand in front of people at a time when they may not be in the market for tires. It allows us to have a real dialogue even if it's not product-specific. It gives us an opportunity to just keep our brands top of mind with consumers.
Bamundo (Subway): The one that comes to mind immediately was the decision to have [spokesman] Jared Fogle run the ING New York City Marathon. What was essentially a PR idea became an entire focus of a promotional window. We established a partnership relationship with the New York Road Runners. We saw specifically within social media how that helped us in that promotional window. Our featured sandwich [during that time] was one of Jared's favorites, so the Subway Club was what we were featuring in the advertisement and creative that we specifically did around Jared's running the ING New York City Marathon.
You can't necessarily point to one thing in terms of the complete causation, but as far as correlation goes, between all the social activity that we had going on as well as the TV impact, that became our number-one selling sandwich for that window, so it absolutely did have a tangible impact for us.
Sprague (Kia): We see a direct correlation between our being the official automotive partner of the NBA and our sales. We went into the agreement four years ago when our brand had a very different perception than where it is today. We were basically a cheap and cheerful economy brand. Since then, we've launched seven new products in 24 months using the NBA as a platform to help us connect with those passionate fans of the NBA who see us with our 13 league team sponsorships. They see us in arenas, they see us on TV, they see us on ESPN.com. They're putting all the pieces together and saying, “If the NBA can partner with a brand like Kia, they must think pretty highly of Kia” and that's translating down. When they talk to our dealers and are asked, “How did you learn about this car?” We hear, “Oh, I saw it on the NBA.”
Bourne (MLB): The MLB Fan Cave has been a really unique activity. It serves as a content engine for social media. We have two super fans at a great location in downtown Manhattan watching every single game on television. We're bringing the players through, celebrities, musicians, entertainers. It's been great for media interest, but also the content that we're creating and developing is beyond just highlights and footage. It's connecting with a younger audience by distributing it through social media…our younger demographics are up across the board.
It's hard to make that exact correlation of the project, but we're really encouraged by seeing what's going on.
Foster (Under Armour): Every week, we see a tangible correlation between social media and products. We use our Facebook page to educate our fans on new products that we have, on new innovations that we're coming up with. There's a significant amount of traffic that goes from our Facebook page to our e-commerce page. It can be as simple as every week the Under Armour women's Facebook page is highlighting a new must-have product. It can track how many people went from the Facebook page to our e-commerce page and even to see who has purchased based on that.
More than just impressions and numbers, Under Armour is an emotional brand. Facebook and Twitter is our opportunity to understand the behaviors and trends of athletes and start speaking to them in a way that's relevant.
Werner (Catalyst): It's important that we evolve from number of fans and impressions. That's a metric; it's not the best metric. If we really want to evolve as marketers it's about engagement.
King (ESPN): Social media is an ongoing conversation; you can't turn it on or turn it off. The notion that we have talent that might be on a show at 6pm, but they're available to people all day long through tweets and through social media – that's a very powerful connection.
Mario Flores (Sportivo): From a Latino consumer and media perspective, it's really interesting, for example, when you follow different groups of people on Twitter and the conversations are taking place in English, Spanish, or Spanglish. That's an opportunity for brands to really tap into that passion. We were talking about soccer earlier. Look at the Rose Bowl, which was packed with 90,000 people [for the USA-Mexico Gold Cup final on June 25]. Eighty-five percent of them were Mexican fans.
Fidelzeid (PRWeek): What is social media's impact on other marketing disciplines?
Foster (Under Armour): As a fan, Twitter and Facebook enhances when I'm watching a game. It could be I follow one of the writers on ESPN.com and he's following the game and I want to see his insights. I communicate with my friends over Twitter when we're watching a game as opposed to calling them on the phone. From a brand standpoint, it allows us to participate in the conversation if one of our athletes is participating in the game or if we're having the Under Armour All-America game. It's an opportunity for us to talk about it on Twitter and then it's a call to action for people who follow us on Twitter to go turn the game on.
Catan (Coyne): Radio is also still very much alive. According to the Pew Research Center, 93% of Americans listened to AM/FM radio in 2010. We worked with ESPN for the FIFA World Cup. A lot of it was social media. We had to co-op the influencers in early. It was challenging to get player Mark Tyler and we had to get the community's buy-in, we had to get the fans' buy-in, and it's not easy. So a lot of it was social-media driven… and getting the blogs on our side early.
Higdon (NASCAR): The digital space is the best thing to ever happen to TV. It's made it a better product. It's gotten a younger demographic involved. I was talking to Rob [King] earlier. He has a young son who gravitated to sport not because of what he saw on television, but what he saw in gaming, which we haven't mentioned. That turned him into a NASCAR fan. So those media all ultimately come through and you can utilize that through your television broadcast.
Werner (Catalyst): The Catalyst sports survey that we did showed 58% of respondents watch more games on TV since they started using social media to follow sports, so that just validates everything that's been said here. While television is still the dominant medium, they're all integrated. As marketers we have to truly develop integrated marketing programs.
Flores (Sportivo): If you look at some of the programming Univision does – any time the Mexican National team plays, those are the top five viewing opportunities that fans are engaged in. From a US Latino consumer standpoint, I think television is still a really critical and crucial medium. Talking soccer-specific, television is still their primary source, followed by radio.
Bamundo (Subway): It's word of mouth. At the end of the day, that's what we all want as brands and as marketers is to get that word of mouth. Social media is just the really newest way of doing this.
Fidelzeid (PRWeek): Teams and leagues partner with brands in multimillion-dollar deals in various forms: stadium naming rights, as the official sponsor of a post-game show, anything you could imagine. What do you truly expect to get out of the sponsorship?
Fluck (Bridgestone): We obviously expect some level of return. The return that we were looking for early in our sports relationships is different than what we're looking for now. We were really looking at the top of the funnel to increase our awareness with a core audience of men 25 to 54. Sports made perfect sense. Fans are passionate and we want them to be passionate about our brand. Now we're looking farther down the funnel, because we're three, four years into most of our sports relationships. We're really looking at purchase. For us, that means partnering with retailers because we don't control the sale to the consumer.
Bamundo (Subway): It's important for us to get to the next level of messaging. So for the Pepsi Porch in Citi Field [home of baseball's New York Mets], we love that area, but we also love our $5 foot-long sign that's right there. It kind of hangs over the field a little, so there's a lot of conversation when a ball hits it or gets close to it. Whoever we're partnering with, whether it's with ESPN for the Subway Fresh-Take Hotline or it's the CBS Post-Game Show, we need to get that next level of messaging because generally people know Subway. They know our brand. Our latest numbers show it's 90-plus percent awareness of the $5 foot-long.
Catan (Coyne): We opened Red Bull Arena [home of Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls, located in Harrison, NJ]. Beautiful arena. It has a European feel, all oak. It's gorgeous. It's bringing soccer to new heights around here. So for Red Bull, the key audience is male Millennials, but now we're hitting the moms who are taking their sons. A lot of energy drinks are now targeting moms who are tired, so it's giving us an opportunity to hit a different audience.
Sprague (Kia): Everybody knows the Subway brand. Very few people know the Kia brand, so we use our relationship with the NBA to help build that awareness. It's not just as the official automotive partner of the NBA. As I mentioned, we have 13 individual team-level sponsorships, because we have to go deeper than just being a sponsor of the NBA. Consumers see right through that. Our dealers are able to engage with the 13 individual team sponsorships.
For example, they just built this beautiful new stadium in Orlando, FL [the Amway Center, home of the NBA's Magic]. There is a section branded Kia and we have a vehicle in the stadium. Our dealers are able to use that space to give tickets to consumers either for test drives or if they've made a purchase. It makes the consumer feel special. So we're continuing the relationship before, during, and after the sale.
Bourne (MLB): From the league perspective, there are three things that are important. One is reputation. Connecting with brands that have the right message and are in line with our brand is important to us. Baseball has the Americana, all-American traditional feel, so we partner with companies like General Motors and Bank of America. When we announced our partnership with Firestone we were able to get a big New York Times story focused on our long history together in terms of Firestone's connection to baseball and baseball's history.
Two is reach and getting into places that we normally aren't able to get into. When we partner with Bank of America and they run a baseball-themed promotion in all of their banks around the country, that's helpful for us. Or with Pepsi, they're in grocery stores around the country. When we're with Under Armour or a licensee and they're in sporting goods retail outlets across the country, that's reaching our fans and reaching potential fans in a way that we don't have the ability to do.
Then the third is connecting with fans. Everything we do is all about the fan experience. Our sponsors and licensees are able to provide sweepstakes, league promotions, and special activities that go above and beyond our capabilities.
Foster (Under Armour): For Under Armour, the three main things sponsorship speaks to is the authenticity of our brand, the mission of our brand, and then experience with athletes. From an authenticity perspective, Under Armour was literally born on the practice field of the University of Maryland, so we see the importance of having a presence on the grassroots level with athletes. An event like the ESPN Under Armour All-America High School Football Game is an opportunity for us to reflect that authenticity. It also gets our products, our innovation right into the hands of these kids that are going to be great athletes one day and a lot of the times are the influencers in their communities.
A lot of our sponsorships we're able to use as platforms to showcase the innovation in our products. One example is the NFL Combine where we introduced the E39 shirt. It allows you to read sort of the G-force and the heart rate of athletes. Nothing like this has been developed before. We put it on a lot of the players that were in the combine. It shows that we're thinking ahead and we're thinking about how to make athletes better.
Flores (Sportivo): When we look at sponsorships, or clients come to us and say, “We want to do some sports stuff,” one of the things we look at is the relevancy for our consumer. Obviously, we're very niche in what we do, so soccer always just kind of percolates to the top. Often time, though, that soccer scene is really oversaturated, so we take a look at what else is out there and what's relevant for the target market. For our consumers, grassroots is really key. It's the ability to go into the communities and do something not just as a one-off, but leave a legacy in those communities. That's really key for us. It's often not the sexiest thing to come in and refurbish a field or donate some soccer balls to a local league, but that leaves a lasting impact.
King (ESPN): From a content perspective there are a lot of things that we discuss. It gets down to fan experience. My fondest memory is going to RFK Stadium with my dad to see a Senators game on bat day and getting a bat. Now I've got a 7-year-old son. I see the way he experiences the world of sports. In our conversations about what seems appropriate in terms of branding, I try to bring that back to the conversation of how can we provide something that seems like a natural environment where the fans really seem to fit.
That's my point of view when you start talking about innovative things to try. So long as the sports calendar is respected and so long as the fan experience is respected, there is a sense of wonderment. Somebody walks into a stadium for the first time, somebody comes to our site, somebody discovers a piece of content. There's a sense of wonderment that you want to nourish. Sponsorship plays a big role in that.
Navigating labor disputes
Fidelzeid (PRWeek): Two of the four major sports leagues in the US are either involved in a work stoppage or have just resolved a significant labor dispute. Describe the impact such events have on your marketing efforts?
Sprague (Kia): We have known that [the NBA lockout] was coming for quite a while. It was just putting the plans in place. It will impact it because we do need to basically remove every NBA association, affiliation, co-branding, whatever you want to call it, out of our marketing platform – from our websites, from our dealers. Our dealers have a lot of stuff and they've got to remove it all because of this work stoppage.
We have other sports sponsorships. We're big into motorsports. We're into golf. At the regional level, our dealers are involved in baseball and hockey, so there's other ways that we'll continue to connect with that passionate sports enthusiast, but we hope this is going to come to a quick resolution.
Werner (Catalyst): If there is a work stoppage, the big issue for marketers is: where do all those TV eyeballs go? That creates opportunities for other sports leagues. It provides opportunities for the shopping mall. As marketers, we say, “How do we now touch these consumers because they might not be in front of the TV on Sunday afternoon?” Social media becomes a very powerful tool to interact with those consumers if a work stoppage happens.
Bourne (MLB): From the league standpoint, it's really important to communicate. Communicate with all your business partners just to let them know where everything stands, what situation we're in, what we're doing, and what our position is. Then it's up to the business partner to take the appropriate steps.
Bamundo (Subway): What about fantasy sports? That's something where the lead times are even longer. We've been involved with Fantasy Football for a long time. [In the case of a lockout], we have to make those decisions immediately as a brand. Are we going to be involved with that or are we going to spend those dollars elsewhere?
There's a trickle-down effect to these labor stoppages. It's disappointing on a number of different levels as a fan, but even from a brand perspective we're going to have to make some tough decisions. Hopefully, the leagues are thinking through some of that because some of those dollars are just not going to be there if and when they come back.
Fidelzeid (PRWeek): There are still so many untapped opportunities in the sports marketing and PR world. If you could specify one that you believe will be prevalent in the near future, what would it be?
King (ESPN): Far and away, mobile is the untapped opportunity coming toward us full bore. Location-based services will become more sophisticated, too. Most importantly, the metrics around the usage in this space will become more sophisticated and the advertising will adjust to the medium. From where we're sitting, mobile is the hub for social gaming.
Foster (Under Armour): I'm also looking at the iPad, tablets, and mobile devices. Some of the greatest minds in the world are thinking about the next great app for this. Apps allow you to really engage and entertain. I'm also looking at how people are coming up with apps that allow the user to personalize their experience. There could be something there with the development of more apps that are specific to sports and allow you to experience the content and the entertainment in the way that you want to do it.
Sprague (Kia): We see opportunity in connecting with people in arena. People are spending a lot of money to buy these seats. They want to be entertained, whether it's through mobile, video, or what's happening on the floor. People want to walk away knowing they got value out of their purchase decision.
What we're trying to figure out is how do we bring all of these things together in working with our partners at the league level and at the individual team level to really make sure that those consumers have a great experience, because then they're going to go talk about it through social media and through all of the other channels.
Flores (Sportivo): The Hispanic sports fan is an untapped opportunity. A lot of brands we talk to say they're thinking about it. If you look at various studies and sports-fan engagement surveys, you'll see that the Hispanic consumers are more fanatical fans versus the general market. I don't think it can be an afterthought or some incremental dollar that you might find here and there.
Bourne (MLB): The untapped opportunity is the creation of additional content engines. For the Fan Cave, we feel like we've tapped into a whole other opportunity to demonstrate the personalities of our players, to connect with fans and special interest groups through celebrities or musicians or comedians or people in different areas. We can use these content engines to deliver this content through social media to deepen the connection with our current fans and also build new fan bases.
>PR WEEK • Coyne PR tapped as AOR for two Playmates Toys brands • August 29, 2011
EL SEGUNDO, CA: Coyne PR was appointed by Playmates Toys as AOR for its Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Hearts for Hearts Girls brands.
An official RFP was not issued for the two accounts, said Gina Beebe, SVP of girls' marketing for Playmates Toys, adding that it was based on a recommendation from a former colleague.
The toymaker launched Hearts for Hearts Girls, a fashion doll line, this year. Meanwhile, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) is undergoing a new treatment to coincide with the upcoming 2012 relaunch of the iconic property with brand owner Nickelodeon. Beebe said the TMNT brand had not had a previous AOR to her knowledge.
"Coyne is very creative in their thinking and the way they approach things," said Beebe. "It's not just cookie cutter. It's also the fact they have a toy group even though they are part of a bigger agency. Their toy group is like working with a boutique."
The agency officially began working on the Hearts for Hearts Girls brand in May. Work for the TMNT brand begins October 1.
Coyne is currently working on a holiday initiative for Hearts for Hearts Girls, which includes traditional and social media outreach, as well as supporting the brand at industry events and trade shows, said Brian Murphy, VP and co-director of the agency's toy practice. PR efforts for TMNT remain in the planning stages.
Murphy said he initially met with Beebe and Karl Aaronian, SVP of boys' marketing for Playmates Toys, in February at Toy Fair.
"We just had a really great relationship right from the start," Murphy noted. "At that first meeting, we kind of just started brainstorming right there. They were very open to ideas and very much on board with a lot of the stuff we were thinking."
Hearts for Hearts Girls and TMNT join other similar Coyne clients such as Playmobil, Nuk, and Crayola.
Playmates Toys would not disclose budget.
>PR WEEK • Sanford Health hires Coyne for breast cancer initiative • July 25, 2011
PARSIPPANY, NJ: Coyne PR was selected by the Sanford Health Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sanford Health, to lead its new national breast cancer initiative.
Coyne's health practice will be supporting the initiative as AOR through its specialties, including health and wellness, medical and science, and cause and advocacy, said Kevin Lamb, VP of Coyne's health practice. The account will also be guided by the agency's digital practice Studio C.
"It's a really exciting program," Lamb said. "[Sanford Health hasn't] made public what the core of it is just yet. This is a program that's really going to blend Coyne's creative DNA with the health practice's medical and science expertise. The initiative is really rooted in so many areas of breast cancer research. It's always exciting to be on the front end of new thinking and new discovery."
Sanford Health joins other healthcare clients at Coyne, including Medco Health Solutions, Breastcancer.org, Atlantic Health Systems, and Quest Diagnostics. In the past, the agency has worked on breast cancer projects, such as Campbell's soup pink label campaign, and Hard Rock's Pinktober program.
Lamb referred comment related to the RFP process and budget to Sanford Health, which was not immediately available for comment.
Sanford Health is a rural, not-for-profit healthcare system that has a presence in 111 communities in eight states. It is headquartered in Fargo, ND, and Sioux Falls, SD. The company is also in the processing of building clinics in Belize and Ireland.
>PR WEEK • Coyne PR named AOR for Town Sports International • July 07, 2011
PARSIPPANY, NJ: Town Sports International, operator of New York, Boston, Washington, and Philadelphia Sports Clubs, has hired Coyne Public Relations as its AOR.
Coyne PR is responsible for positioning TSI, which operates 159 fitness clubs in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions, as a key resource on subjects such as exercise, health, fitness, and lifestyle. Account work will include traditional and social media activities. TSI's clubs serve approximately 510,000 members.
"When we were looking for a partner agency, Coyne PR stood out because of the similarities with our organization," said Lisa Hufcut, director of PR at TSI. "They are innovative, creative, dedicated, and strive to provide the best possible service to clients. These qualities make them a good fit for our company and we look forward to great things in the future with them."
Hufcut would not comment on budget or if an RFP had been issued.
Coyne PR most recently led a campaign tied to the Royal Wedding for TSI, which had launched a "Royal Wedding Dance Workout." The workout involved lessons on wedding dances ranging from disco and swing to the British waltz, quickstep, and the Agadoo — Britain's version of the Macarena.
Another program supported by Coyne PR that is currently underway focuses on the debut of a special lifetime discounted workout rate of $20/month for teachers. The promotion was kicked off through the "Simon Says Workout," targeting educators and students.
Lisa Wolleon, a VP at Coyne PR and lead on the TSI account, said the agency's work will be motivated by TSI's mission, which is to help others improve their lives through exercise.
"Our goal is to not only elevate the presence of the TSI brands in the media, but to ensure those of every fitness level are aware of what sets our clubs apart from the others — from its innovative fitness programs to well-trained staff to top quality facilities," she explained.
>PR WEEK • Hong Kong Tourism Board selects Coyne PR as AOR • June 09, 2011
PARSIPPANY, NJ: Coyne PR was hired as AOR for the Hong Kong Tourism Board, following a review.
The Hong Kong Tourism Board is launching new brand positioning to expand its presence as "Asia's World City" among key audiences. Coyne PR will also handle crisis management.
The account joins other Coyne PR travel and hospitality clients, such as Hard Rock International, Disney Parks and Resorts, and South African Tourism.
>THE HOLMES REPORT • Coyne PR To Promote Hong Kong Tourism in US • June 09, 2011
Global, North America
PARSIPPANY, NJ—Coyne PR has been named agency of record for Hong Kong Tourism Board following a competitive pitch. The account will be led by Coyne’s travel and hospitality team.
Hong Kong Tourism Board plans to implement a new brand positioning to maintain and grow its popularity with key target audiences, elevating Hong Kong as Asia’s World City. Coyne will build Hong Kong’s brand positioning as a sophisticated and cosmopolitan city that offers an adventure around every corner, ultimately making it an indispensible part of any Asian itinerary.
From an aggressive news bureau, immersive FAM trips, showcasing the city’s signature mega events and U.S.-based events, to leveraging celebrities and spokespeople for press interviews, Coyne PR will promote the kaleidoscope of culture and traditions that makes Hong Kong attractive as a holiday destination. The team will also handle crisis management for the Hong Kong Tourism Board.
>PR WEEK • Coyne PR To Promote Hong Kong Tourism in US • May 10, 2011
NEW YORK: Coyne PR was named AOR for South African Tourism to lead and implement an integrated marketing, and PR campaign promoting travel to the area.
The program will initially focus on education of Americans about South Africa's aesthetic, wildlife, and culture, as well as its adventure opportunities, eco-tourism, and conference facilities, to drive interest. The initiative will be supported through consumer and trade events, media tours, sponsorships, partnerships, and news bureau services.
South African Tourism joins Coyne PR's other travel and hospitality clients, including Disney Parks and Resorts, and Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos.
>PR WEEK •Agency Business Report: Coyne PR • May 01, 2011
Principles:Tom Coyne, CEO (pictured); Rich Lukis, president
Offices: Parsippany, NJ; New York
Headcount: 95, with 7% turnover
In 2010, consumer shop Coyne was well positioned to compete with the big shops for new business and talent. The firm moved its New York office to a bigger space and added senior-level staffers, many of whom came from large agencies. The agency is also moving its New Jersey office to a bigger facility within Parsippany.
“It allowed us to look inside what big agencies do right and, equally important, do wrong,” says CEO Tom Coyne.
Eye for talent
However, with the objective of holding on to that small-agency mindset, the firm continued to communicate its goal to “put people over profits,” an approach in line with its new tagline “Where you want to be.”
Senior hires, reflective of the firm's continued focus on digital and consumer, as well as its eye for growth in other sectors, include Brad Buyce, EVP of client strategy; Kelly Dencker, SVP and director of healthcare; and Tracy Shea, SVP of digital creative, among others.
Among practice groups, which it reorganized by industry in 2008, the firm experienced 50% growth in food and beverage supported by an increase in organic business and key wins such as Eggland's Best.
The pet practice grew 150% with the addition of Del Monte Pet Foods and Banfield Pet Hospital, while sports doubled with business from Turner Sports and Hershey's Track & Field Games.
Additional wins included Johnson & Johnson's Babycenter.com, Rodale, and Qualcomm. Accounts such as General Mills and Disney Parks were expanded. Losses included Solstice, Seventh Generation, and Benihana, an Asian restaurant brand the firm says was not a good fit.
Hires, new business, and people-centric strategy resulted in the firm issuing the biggest bonuses in its history, says Coyne, who touts a 15% profit margin and a 32% increase in revenue over 2009.
Lessons pay dividends
Having restructured a couple of years ago, Coyne says that the firm has better learned to streamline the business and assign work based on employee expertise.
In projecting double-digit growth for 2011, Coyne adds, “Profits were way up; retentions were up; overall it was a great year. The happiness factor for our agency went through the roof.”
PR WEEK • Is PR the second-most stressful occupation? • April 29, 2011
Recently a CareerCast survey named "public relations officer" the second-most stressful job of 2011, ranking the profession ahead of various other high-pressure occupations including photojournalist, newscaster, and EMT.
Between balancing deadlines, effectively advising strategy, building and maintaining media and client relationships, achieving results, working long hours, meeting client expectations--the stress that comes along with the highly multifaceted PR occupation makes sense.
Much of the pressure in PR is tied to the struggle to find a work-life balance while working with a 24/7 news cycle. The need to always be on call to deal with whatever situation or crisis comes along is daunting for many.
“With the 24/7 news cycle and conversation cycle, we never stop,” says John Forrest Ales, director of global brand PR at Hilton Hotels & Resorts. “We can't plan for everything. We can have the best plan ever but in actuality we only have a small portion of control over the day.”
Alison Brod, founder and president of Alison Brod Public Relations, agrees and says the profession often does not get enough credit for being as high-pressure and demanding as it actually is.
“Everyone wants a response immediately,” Brod says. “The demand for immediacy is so over the top right now”
As opposed to internal pressure, Brod says that the client is usually the greatest producer of stress for a PR professional. The constant possibility of something going wrong and the fact that many clients do not have a deep understanding of the media are among the reasons why the job can be so intense.
“Every morning can be a fresh nightmare,” Brod adds.
All levels of PR professionals involve different responsibilities and workloads, but stress does not seem to be confined to certain positions within an agency or corporation. Tom Coyne, president and CEO of Coyne Public Relations, says people at all levels are subject to time urgency and odd working hours, which are among the most frequent contributors to stress.
“As you grow in levels you kind of graduate to different types of stress,” he says.
But all things considered, is PR really more stressful than jobs in of the other fields, such as a stockbroker, an EMT, or even a doctor? The consensus among many PR professionals is that it is not, mainly because a passion for, and solid understanding of, the job can balance that stress and minimize its toll.
Dushka Zapata, EVP at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, understands that PR can be stressful, with its long hours and the constant possibility of new demands and challenges at any given time. But she also feels that as long as someone enjoys the job and has correct support in place to deal with challenges that arise, PR positions should not be particularly stressful compared to other careers.
“If you have the right team and a good knowledge of what you need to do, PR is very dynamic, varied, and exciting, she says. “I would not classify it as one of the most stressful jobs.”
Along those lines, Coyne likens the profession, with its ever-changing roles, responsibilities, and demands, to riding a rollercoaster.
“There are long climbs, steep drops, and thrilling twists, he says. “The best PR people learn to enjoy all parts of the ride.”
BELLEVILLE TIMES • Belleville man ears PR award • April 28, 2011
PRWeek, the nation's leading Public Relations industry trade publication, named Coyne Public Relations Account Executive Andrew Testa, of Belleville, Young Public Relations Professional of the Year.
Belleville resident Andrew Testa is 'honored' to be named Young Public Relations Professional of the Year.
"I am so honored to have been chosen by PRWeek as Young PR Professional of the Year. I am especially proud to win it for those who trusted me with our accounts, spent valuable time guiding me and coaching me, and accelerated my learning curve by putting me in the best positions to succeed, learn and grow," said Andrew Testa, Account Executive, Coyne Public Relations. "This is a highlight that will stay with me for a long time, and continue to motivate me to stay focused and do great work for my clients."
The judges were impressed by Andrew's work in both traditional and new media, the results he has generated for campaigns he works on and his collaboration with teams across the agency's practice areas. Andrew has also received his Accreditation in Public Relations this year, making him one of the youngest Public Relations professionals to do so.
A PRWeek Award is the highest accolade in the Public Relations industry, given each year to the best corporate, nonprofit, and agency teams, as well as to the campaigns that they produce. The Awards highlight the important work done by Public Relations professionals every day.
PR WEEK • Coyne boosts toy practice with two accounts • April 08, 2011
PARSIPPANY, NJ: Coyne Public Relations has added two AOR accounts to its toy and juvenile products division: Nuk USA and Playmobil USA.
For Nuk, the agency will aim to position the infant and baby-care company as a leader in developing products that promote healthy oral development, and continue to build awareness with moms through traditional and social media channels. The team has already begun developing an advocacy program to reach the consumer via the medical community, and it is planning an aggressive celebrity seeding effort.
Playmobil, Germany's largest toy manufacturer, asked the agency to increase awareness and understanding of the brand among its target audience of moms. The team will work to communicate a point of difference for the brand in the competitive landscape by emphasizing quality and play value. Tactics will include traditional media outreach, social media engagement, event planning and execution, trade show support, and consumer contest development and implementation.
THE SETONIAN • Hall alum named 2011 Young PR Professional • March 24, 2011
Seton Hall 2007 alum, Andrew Testa, was named PR Week's "Young PR Professional of the Year 2011" on March 10, according to a Coyne PR press release, where Testa is employed as an account executive.
"I am so honored to have been chosen by PRWeek as Young PR Professional of the Year. I am especially proud to win it for those who trusted me with our accounts, spent valuable time guiding me and coaching me, and accelerated my learning curve by putting me in the best positions to succeed, learn and grow," Testa said in the release.
According to Dr. Kathleen Rennie, senior faculty associate of communication, he is a frequent participant at special PRSSA events, communications roundtables, and career fairs. He has also lectured on media relations and social media for her.
According to the press release, a PR Week award "is the highest accolade in the PR industry."
THE DAILY RECORD • Morris People in Business • March 17, 2011
ANDREW TESTA, account executive at Coyne Public Relations in Parsippany, was named the industry's 2011 Young PR Professional of the Year at the 2011 PRWeek Awards in New York City.
PR WEEK • Can comms pros work on a flex-time schedule and still do their jobs well? • March 01, 2011
HR director, Coyne PR
Kim Duffy has spent 16-plus years in human resources, a few of those building HR departments for tech startups
PR is a 24-7 business and allowing for employee flexibility has proved to be advantageous to both the employee's quality of life and to the quality of the work they can deliver to clients.
With the help of today's business technology, we find that operations run seamlessly without any loss of client service when our employees are working on a flex basis. Coyne's "flexible work environment" program consists of telecommuting, a reduced work week, and/or flexible work hours. We instituted the program in 2010, particularly in response to three new mothers who were looking for a way to continue their careers with more flexibility.
We actually have several employees who take advantage of the program. Some work from home up to two days per week, others have a four-day work week, and some simply work flexible hours to be able to take care of personal needs, such as picking up their children from school.
The program was built on the premise of 100% flexibility and "results-only work." As long as the client is satisfied, the work is getting done, and the teams are meeting their objectives, why does it matter where or when someone is doing the work?
There are a number of reasons why it is successful. At the start of a flexible arrangement, we are honest with employees about performance expectations. We openly discuss how meetings, schedules, and workload will be coordinated across the team. Employees working remotely are aware of upcoming brainstorms or client and team meetings so they can adjust their schedule accordingly and not miss a beat. And when it comes to client communication, we are fully transparent about our employees' schedules, home-office flexibility, and, most importantly, our goal to continue providing outstanding levels of service to them.
In the end, your agency wants to be the best place to work with the best employees and the best clients. It's all about creating a place where professionals want to be.
James Grant PR
President, James Grant PR
Former VP of The Michael Russell Group and former West Coast publicity director or Orion Pictures
The concept of a flex-time schedule for what is essentially a service-oriented business is great in theory, but somewhat unrealistic in practice. Specifically, if you define a flex-time schedule as a four-day week - which clearly means that no work would be done on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday - it's simply not doable if you want to do the job well.
I do not know of any clients who would accept only having access to me four days a week. The clients I represent are extremely time-challenged. I frequently get e-mails and/or phone calls from clients after 10:30pm
Years ago, I was working on a movie for Miramax and Harvey Weinstein called me at 2am to ask why a star was not doing David Letterman's show. Clients these days expect answers quickly and there are a lot of people out there who will deliver if you don't.
There is no ebb and flow with client needs - only flow. It's a major reason why PR practitioners tend to feel more pressure than most other professionals.
In theory, I like the idea of flexible work hours, particularly for working mothers who have so much multitasking required on a daily basis. It could possibly work for support staff - although I would be reluctant to hire someone who is never available for a fifth workday if things are busy. Having a PR person who is unavailable for a client on a weekday means the client then has to build his or her work needs and schedule around that person.
There is some good news, however, about this particular trend - the workplace itself. In this era of telecommunications, Skype, and Internet, we can now be absolutely flexible where we choose to work. Clients no longer care whether you work at a chic corporate address or from home as long as you achieve the results they are looking for.
Whether a businessperson is working four days a week or seven, there will always be the bottom line, which is delivering the goods. Hopefully, that will not require giving up your Sunday. However, if it does, then so be it.
Staffers enthusiastic about their work environment will produce better results for clients. As such, a flex-time arrangement could work well, as long as the employee understands that client needs are of the most importance.
PR WEEK • Increased scrutiny gives food brands opportunity to educate • March 01, 20111
Nutrition-related news, such as the USDA's dietary guidelines, the Grocery Manufacturers Association's labeling initiative, and first lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move effort, has prompted several new food-related campaigns. And this "perfect storm" of heightened scrutiny among CPG food brands is inspiring marketers to tweak messaging and layer educational components onto existing efforts.
Campbell's, which has for years touted reduced sodium across its portfolio, is "building on a foundation" it laid down some time ago, says Juli Mandel Sloves, senior manager of nutrition and wellness communications at Campbell Soup Co.
"The fact that there's more going on in the external environment has caused us to have a more robust program this year," she says, adding that the company benchmarks its portfolio and how it's positioned in part based on what the government is recommending.
What consumers lack
This year, the government is recommending more fruits and vegetables. It's an area that's dominating food and beverage companies' messaging and PR programs. It's also one that's related both to new policy and brand action about what consumers are lacking.
Janet Helm, chief food and nutrition strategist at Weber Shandwick, says, "We're not just talking about the foods we're consuming too much of. We are also talking about where we're falling short."
In line with that notion are client efforts such as Milk's "Pour One More" campaign, which emphasizes that Americans need at least one more serving of low-fat milk a day, a statement supported by the dietary guidelines.
While promoting benefits related to what consumers lack, Campbell's is also building educational messages around its long-established positioning with salt reduction. The efforts, associated with its support of the Grocery Manufacturers Association's front-of-package labeling initiative, are tied to a goal to simplify packaging metrics for consumers.
Sloves adds that, this spring, when the consumer-facing elements of the dietary guidelines come out, Campbell's marketing team will execute additional education programs supported mainly by PR and social media.
"PR has a tremendous role to play, even more than advertising," notes Helm.
She says PR's rising role in providing details on product developments and guidelines relates to heightened interaction via social media, where consumers are increasingly finding health information and recipes.
ConAgra is another food company to have boosted its nutritional marketing efforts across brands as a result of research showing proven consumer interest in health.
It recently launched a Hunt's campaign that associated tomatoes with heart health, via a tomato symposium at the American Dietetic Association's Food and Nutrition Conference. The brand invited bloggers and noticed that, as a result, 100% of online posts associated the brand with heart health benefits.
"We wanted to broaden awareness of our studies in more of a consumer messaging way," says Regina DeMars, director of PR and social media at Hunt's.
It is also trying to communicate that popcorn is a whole grain, a fact largely unknown, she explains, and more evident than ever on its Orville Redenbacher's packaging and in the team's communications efforts.
DeMars adds Hunt's will use this whole grain positioning as it builds cross-category marketing campaigns around healthier snacking.
Whole grains also remain top of mind for CPG companies such as General Mills, which has long focused on that positioning and recently bought Google search ads for the searches "nutritional guidelines" and "dietary guidelines," linking to its microsite eatbetteramerica.com.
"Consumers are being encouraged from every angle to make positive changes to their diets," says Lisa Wolleon, VP at Coyne. "There are so many mixed messages."
As a result, she adds, the firm is looking to continue to simplify messages and educate consumers about foods they already eat that have whole grains, omega 3, vitamin D, and antioxidants.
Marketing efforts from bigger CPG companies that move the quickest and gain consumer confidence will come out on top, concludes Wolleon.
Dietary Guidelines-Select messages for consumers:
• Enjoy your food, but eat less
• Avoid consuming oversized portions
Foods to increase
• Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
• Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk
Food to reduce
• Compare sodium in foods such as soup, bread, and frozen meals and choose products with lower numbers
• Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
PR WEEK • Eggland's Best hires Coyne as its AOR • January 25, 2011
PARSIPPANY, NJ: Eggland's Best named Coyne PR its AOR, following a review that included four-year incumbent Weber Shandwick, confirmed CEO Charles Lanktree.
The company launched the “low-key review” this past October, involving Weber Shandwick, a couple of undisclosed agencies, and Coyne, which Lanktree said his team got to know via a program it had worked on with a Coyne client.
He said that for the past 14 years - even during the egg recall in August - sales have increased at an average of 14%.
“We want to continue to grow sales and inform people about Eggland's Best,” he said. “We thought, how can we continue to maximize [the story] and to look at refreshing things?”
He added that in July, the company brought on David Allen as its new director of marketing.
“I've hired a team and they felt that as we moved ahead, this might be a better alternative,” he said.
“I look forward to Coyne proving itself.”
The agency will work with the in-house team on all aspects of PR and social media to communicate a message about the product's taste and nutritional benefits. Current activities include working with registered dietitians, creating and participating in editor events, identifying spokespeople, and conducting various traditional and social media activities.
It is also currently developing a plan to raise awareness of the brand's ongoing support of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
“We're very excited to work with Eggland's Best,” said Coyne CEO Tom Coyne. “We think it really is a cornerstone of our food and nutritional work to show that we can help tell [consumers about] both the taste and scientific benefits of the brand.”
Weber Shandwick declined to comment.
PR WEEK • Banfield Pet Hospital taps Coyne • December 17, 2010
PARSIPPANY, NJ: Banfield Pet Hospital, which has 770 hospitals in various US neighborhoods, hired Coyne PR as its AOR, following a competitive review. The agency will focus on building awareness of the brand, as well as creating national awareness for the Banfield Charitable Trust, which develops charitable pet-related fundraisers and programs.
The agency account team will span the pet and healthcare divisions to develop PR plans targeting both consumers and industry experts.
ADVERTISING AGE • Content Creators: The Digital Revolution • November 29, 2011
In the not-so-distant past, the "content" a public relations firm produced for a client more likely meant a selection of press releases, executive bios, background pieces and photos--the typical assortment of items found in a media kit.
Today, when a public relations firm creates content, it might mean any of these things:
• A multimedia release hosted on a website created for the purpose, with links to all content--PDF's, e-mail contacts and photos and videos in high-definition format (produced recently by Ketchum for client Eastman Kodak Co.'s newest EasyShare cameras).
• A website created to aggregate and filter information for a tageted group of consumers or businesspeople--including some original material, such as blogs and videos, but also articles, photos and other information gathered from a variety of sources (see salespop.com created by LaunchSquad).
• A corporate twitter account where consumers can, in real time, post their service and billing problems--and the company can not only respond immediately but also listen in to consumer conversations, adjust practices and policies accordingly and use the channel to share importnat corporate information (created for and with Puget Sound Energy by Peppercorm).
• A blogger network set up for two-way communication on products and promotions (myblogspark, a network of 1,000 bloggers established by Coyne Public Relations for General Mills).
• Rich-media public service announcements online and on TV (such as the ones created by MSLGroup for Underwriters Laboratories).
As the expanding role of digital options changes where and how consumers and businesses recieve information, the need for content has increased geometrically. The possible options for delivering that content--websites, e-mails, online publications, mobile apps, Facebook pages, YouTube videos, tweets, blogs--also have increased dramatically.
Public Relations firms find themselves at the center of the content revolution. With a historic focus on two-way communication, public relations professionals innately understand many of these new, interactive content opportunities--and are rapidly enhancing their internal structures and their talent lineups to deliver the content clients seek.
Public relations will never be the same.
Public relations agencies such as Fleishman-Hillard now talk about creating content for four types of media:paid, earned, shared and owned. Public relations professional historically have focused on the media they earned through contacts at newspapers, magazines and TV stations, but have rapidly mastered the use of shared media and the development of owned media (such as proprietary websites).
"For public relations firms, storytelling in the old days meant press release, speeches, fact sheets and backgrounders," says Dave Wickenden, exec VP-managing director or digital integration for Fleishman-Hillard. "Today, it's storytelling on steriods. We consider ourselves content strategists."
The strategy, he says, starts with the creative priece and the medium--asking, for instance, whether the story should be told on mobile devices or on the web. Then the agency looks at possible production strategies--an app, a blog, a video presentation. Is there a content-discovery strategy to emply through search engines? Finally, there is stewardship=--continually monitoring the content to change, adapt and update it if necessary, to regularly sunset it and , finally, to report on it.
One ofthe complex elements is finding ways to utilize the vast amounts of content being created by consumers. "How do we leverage what consumers are creating form a content standpoint and work it into our campaigns?" asks Christian Alfonsi, executive director of strategic planning for Taylor Global.
He points to a 2009 campaign for Coca-Cola Co.'s Coke Zero that capitalized on sports fans' madness for the NCAA men's basketball tournament. Fans were encouraged to create and submit dan videos, which were featured on a specially created website (tastethemadess.com). for the campaign's finale, Coca-Cola and Taylor selected one fan video to incorporate into a regualr 30-second TV commercial.
For David Patton, VP at Waggener Edstrom, one of the key roles of public relations firms is what he calls "content alignment."
For every client, from the largest corporation to "the smallest restaurant on the corner, " as Mr. Patton says, the question must be: Is all your content aligned? For the corner restaurant, that means making sure mentions on free platforms such as Yelp, Goodle Maps and Big are as consisten in message as a proprietary website. "If you are smart, you will make sure that it all says the same thing--that the content is consistent and gets the key message out with links to the right places to follow up for more information, "he says. "That type of content management is a big part of the future."
He says another facet of managing content includes things that have nothing to do with creating content.
For instance, one focus at Waggener Edstrom is curation. "It is expensive and time-consuming to create a good story. But you don't always have to create the stuff yourself," Mr. Patton says. "You can curate things you think are valuable and important to your audience," pulling links and content together for websites, or blogs or other platforms.
"If I land a great story and people are very excited about that story, whether it's in The New York Times or on Facebook, I need to complete the deal: to know where people are going after that search," he says. "We need to be there, too. That involves smart cross-linking."
Another important dimension of content creation these days is continual monitoring of interactive media such as social media pages and Twitter accounts. Says Jackson Jeyanayagam, director or digital strategy for Taylor: "As one of our colleagues likes to say, what if an inappropriate content post happens at 4:59pm on a Friday? A negative comment or story can spin out of control so quickly. As a public relations firm, we need to ahve the right teamn in place with the right training, and make sure we are structured for 24/7 monitoring."
Some public relations firms have changed their internal structure to handle these complex new content needs.
Mr. Patton left The Wall Street Journal's online team to become editor in chief of Studio D, Waggener Edstrom's in-house content team of 21 writers, editors and web publishers. "This is a significanly sized in-house organization," he says. "It's almost a 24/7 newsroom that our staff calls on all the time for high speed editing and quick turnaround writing."
Fleishman-Hillard made news earlier this year when it hired Steve Hardwick as president of its U.S. eastern region, in charge of its New York office. Mr. Hardwick previously was president of Grey Group. His arrival signaled PR's seriousness about its mission to be integrated communications medium.
"Steve is the most dramatic example of changes in personel that we have made to accomodate the new reality of integrated communication," says Dave Senay, Fleishman-Hillard president-CEO. "He is platform-agnostic--someone who can communicate across diciplines and platforms."
Whether or not they are offically changing their structure, public replations firms today are looking for a new skill set as they hire employees--making a career in public relations an eye-opening option for a variety of communications professionals.
Jesse Odell, partner and cofounder of LaunchSquad, says: "We are hiring from a talent bucket we weren't thinking about before."
At New York's Peppercom, cofounder and Managing Partner Steve Cody says the sea change in the infrastructure of public relations firms involves hiring for positions including front-end designers, back-end coders and other digital specialists who are "deeply conversant with the dialog online." "It has become an interesting United Nations-type of work-place," Mr. Cody says.
Adds Tom Coyne, CEO of Coyne Public Relations: "We are, first and foremost, a group of PR professionals. But we ahve an entire video studio and videographers, website designers and other social and digital specialists who can handle the full digital strategy for a client. One of my teams has 15 people who just communicate in the social space.
Ultimately, great communications is all about the great idea, no matter where it comes from. But public relations firms have some built-in advantages in the digital world of two-way content.
"As a profession, public relations has always been great at conversation," Mr. Coyne says. 'Would you be interested?' In the world of digital now, in all our interactions, we are still saying, 'Are you interested?"
For Jum Tsokanos, president-the Americas at MSLGroup, public relations firms are great at today's types of content management because of their ability to have an "always-on conversation" with an audience:"One of the things that has emeerged in this discussion in that the two types of agencies are the public relations firms and the creatives, "he says. "Soon, everyone will be digital; there will no longer be digital specialists. But we need to be master storytellers. The winners will be those who can figure that out and adopt an approach that is bound-less by geography and by channel.