It seemed like a match made in heaven: the PR agreement between Norton and Edelman in Australia was only announced on August 18, 2011. But a week later, Friday, August 26, 2011, Symantec’s in house PR representative, Natalie Connor, announced the media that the deal was cancelled “with immediate effect.”
“On behalf of Norton’s PR team, I would like to inform you that Edelman will not be representing Symantec’s consumer business, Norton, in Australia with immediate effect.”
According to the email the issues were an unresolved commercial conflict of interest and timing, after which Norton and Symantec decided to continue its PR efforts in-house. The PR contact for Norton in Australia will be Natalie Connor.
Interestingly, not many publications deemed this announcement as newsworthy. Only Channel News Australia published a snippet of the email today, while Friday there were only a few local blogs with some short announcements.
But for the trained eye, this is big: Edelman PR is the world’s most powerful PR agency. Seeing them lose a contract with prestigious institution like Symantec after less than one week is at least puzzling. It is hard to “read between the lines” and even harder to ever get an answer from Edelman via email or any other way.
It is even more interesting to learn that Symantec will not be replacing Edelman with another PR agency, when this is the most logical step. Instead, they prefer full control of their PR, with no external party involved.