Here are a few current PR news stories you might find interesting:
Boston looking to help BRA’s “difficult legacy” with strategist
The city’s powerful development and planning group, Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) have been facing negative results from two audits criticizing the BRA’s lack of organizational controls for health and financial areas. In addition, they’ve faced a leadership backlash in the planning department.
On March 15th, Mayor Martin J. Walsh promised to send a request for proposals to hire a “strategic advisor” to assist in development of brand strategy and the organization’s identity and include them with current reform efforts already made at BRA.
“While we have implemented significant change at the Boston Redevelopment Authority over the past two years, this is another opportunity to improve city government and take a hard look at an agency that has a difficult legacy to overcome. We are committed to transparency and accountability as we move forward, and creating a new identity for the Boston Redevelopment Authority will be an important symbol of change that underscores this progress,” Wash shared from a prepared statement.
After the audits were released, the agency addressed critical issues, and sought better community engagement, they’ve also hired a real estate director, a full-time planning director, and digitized the real estate portfolio.
The strategic advisor will help implement any strategies after defining the agency’s “organizational identity, how those values are communicated through its branding, and how to create opportunities for public feedback during the process,” the city said. The RFP is not yet available, but when it’s ready it will be available here.
Among the major Boston firms who may compete is Rasky Baerlein.
Forbes investigating ‘contributor’ asking PR company for £300 to write online profile
Forbes, is investigating a U.K. freelance journalist’s claim to be a contributor to its 1,800-strong digital network after offering to write a company profile from its PR agency for a £300 payment. He asked for “someone to fund my time” saying they were “only paid a very small sum by Forbes, which doesn’t stretch far.” The journalist remains unnamed by the agency.
The request was denied by the Gloucester/Manchester-based PR firm, Rich Leigh and Company. Then they posted the email on Twitter showing where the part where the freelancer said after payment they could present a “better, more in-depth article I think that tells the founder story in detail, explores the market and discusses current and future trends.”
The proposal for £30 an hour for 10 hours’ work payment would include 1-2 hours Skyping with founders, researching and writing the initial draft, allowing the PR firm to check facts, accuracy, and such before finally publishing on the Forbes website.
Forbes is investigating the situation, but “Under the terms and conditions of the contributor contract that Forbes has with each of its contributors, no contributor should be requesting or receiving funds from third parties to write on specific subjects.”
Forbes has about 1,000 freelance journalists contributing to the Forbes platform, as well as their full-time reporters. These freelance journalists are paid by how much traffic they bring to the site. Some earned more than $100,000 a year but typically most make about $10,000 according to previous statements by Forbes.
We have previously written about the Forbes Agency Council – not positively.
Publicis partners with Troyka Group to move into West Africa
Publicis Groupe announced an “equity partnership” with Troyka Group’s communications division creating a West African integrated marketing and communication service. Publicis will hold “a significant minority stake” in Troyka agencies The Thinkshop, The Quadrant Company, Hotsauce, Media Perspectives, All Seasons Media, and Insight Communications.
Publicis intends to launch the new network in Nigeria where Troyka agencies have six regional offices employing 300 people. The deal will rebrand Insight Communications as Publicis Insight and will trade as the Nigerian representative of Publicis Worldwide. Also The Quadrant Company, headquartered in Lagos, the Nigerian capital, will become Quadrant MSLGroup (MSLGroup is already a Publicis entity). The managing director, Bolaji Okusaga, will continue overseeing the new entity with 40 employees in Lagos offering specialist services in the region.
Ketchum hires Lisa Sullivan from WE To Lead US Tech
Lisa Sullivan head of the San Francisco office of WE PR leaves after five-plus years to take over the U.S. tech division in North America for Ketchum.
Sullivan will report to the head of global practices, Hilary McKean taking over some of the responsibilities of Susan Butenhoff, who moved to the CEO position at AccessEmanate. Butenhoff will continue in an advisory capacity and work with McKean and David Vindel, European tech head for Ketchum. Ketchum’s tech clients include IBM.