Let’s face it: public relations is a perpetual, daily test of social, logical, ethical, political, and psychological finesse. But often we pass over a most valuable PR virtue – tenacity. And there are always changes in this industry.
Leyla Turkkan & Set To Run Is Back!
Set To Run Communications, the PR firm responsible for the smorgasbord of success evident in bands such as the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, David Bowie, Slayer, A Tribe Called Quest, and The Cure, is relaunching under the leadership of its founder, Leyla Turkkan. The company closed in 1992 when Turkkan accepted a significant role at Columbia Records. In subsequent years she held senior posts at Atlantic Records, Rush Communications, EMI subsidiary, BET, and her more recent founding of the PR firm The Catalyst Group.
“Music is a very big part of my life – it’s something I had to go back to,” said Leyla while explaining her return to the firm. “We started the first ‘new media’ department at a record label when I was with Atlantic, and obviously the business has figured out how to embrace and integrate it. Having so many platforms to work with is very exciting: It gives us the opportunity to build so many stories around artists. Creating narratives is really important, and now we have multiple ways to do it.”
Leyla’s first item of business for Set To Run is its former client Tribe Called Quest MC Q-Tip, with a new album set to run to press in 2016. More big names are coming in the following weeks.
In order to bring a maximally diverse team into the folds for Set To Run’s future adventures, Turkkan hired Jamie Roberts, veteran of Roadrunner and Universal Records, and Perry Serpa, a previous member of Nasty Little Man, not to mention Serpa’s own Good Cop PR. Set To Run’s staff is sure to see significant additions before this year’s end.
“I’m very focused on creating a team,” Turkkan commented. “You have to surround yourself with people who have different points of view and who know more than you do in different areas. The only way I could set this up was by bringing in such talented people, and we’ll be growing into areas beyond music: corporate, tech, and lifestyle.”
Back in the day, Set To Run was among the few PR firms working for hip-hop and rock artists. “We started the company with Public Enemy and Throwing Muses,” Turkkan reminisces. “They had almost nothing in common except that they were both fringe artists at the time. Eventually we moved into a big, open office, and I remember the B-52s and A Tribe Called Quest being in there at the same time. It was great to see how they interacted and checked out each others’ clothes and things like that – it was wonderful to watch that cross-pollination occur.”
When asked why she chose to stick to Set To Runs former name, she seemed to confirm the sentiment, saying; “I kept thinking of other names, and every time I went to someone with a suggestion, they’d say, ‘Why don’t you just call it Set To Run? It’s a strong brand and people have positive associations with it.’”
Rooster PR Tapped to Promote Foreign Airlines Association Membership
The UK’s premier networking association for foreign airline executives, Foreign Airlines Association (FAA), just tapped Rooster PR to popularize the firm’s membership holders. Rooster plans to implement a strategic travel trade campaign to give the firm a greater public profile through its spokespersons, with emphasis on spreading the word about FAA membership benefits, publicizing their brand redux, and celebrating their 70th anniversary next Fall.
FAA chairman Colin Stewart commented: “With the FAA undergoing a considerable refresh and facelift ahead of its 70th birthday next year, this is the perfect occasion to get a PR agency on board to help communicate our more up-to-date brand and mission.
“Rooster has already demonstrated understanding, insight and vision and with their help, we look forward to building upon our strong reputation in the industry in order to ensure non-UK airline representatives continue to have a voice in the UK.”
UK’s FAA is the longest establishment with such international reach, giving members a shot at networking with similar airline representatives, engage in talks about future deals, mutual expertise and logistical practice, and promote their own airline’s brand and quality.
Rooster PR is sure to help the FAA increase its membership population, and thus put its networking perks to work for its brand reputation. But what happens after PR excellence is established? Just like trust, it can be broken with one face-palm-worthy mistake:
Faux Pas: Country Music Star Jason Aldean Wears Blackface for Halloween
A picture posted on the website NashvilleGab.com features the country star Aldean wearing sunglasses, long dreadlocks, golden bling, and black make-up. His publicist, Tyne Parrish, argued Aldean was “dressed as rapper Lil Wayne for Halloween,” but refused explanation regarding obvious subtexts. Broken Bow Records, Aldean’s record label, also refused to comment.
Aldean, one of country music’s most popular performers regularly sells out stadiums. In 2014 he was named the top digital selling male country artist by Recording Industry Association of America. His most recent release, “Old Boots, New Dirt,” made platinum.
It seems unwise to take Aldean’s latest album title to heart. The longer a public figure takes to adapt, whether a corporate firm, edgy startup, or established rock star, the more at risk for damage one becomes. Without speculating on Aldean’s sense of morality or political correctness, one can see how old boots may not protect one’s PR legs in every context.
By contrast, let’s take a look at a professional who integrates every aspect of PR necessity – good business ethics, brand recognition, diversity in services and positive client reviews, and a head for the future of tech business – into a single, ambitious new project.
Dowling Launches New PR Debutante Hudson Cutler & Company
The Former president of FleishmanHillard Robert Dowling announced and launched a new technology-based marketing and communications agency this week. As CEO, Dowling has over twenty-five years of PR experience, in addition to his expertise with marketing, and working with megalithic brands such as Microsoft, American Express, Goldman Sachs, and many others.
Hudson Cutler & Co is headquartered in New York City, and offers diverse strategies for a wide register of services spanning management consulting, media, software and technology development, creative design and production, marketing and communications, and research and analytics.
“Our mission is to identify our clients’ most complex business and social challenges, apply great ideas, and then execute with the right blend of services. That typically puts technology at the center of our programs because we live in a world where most human interactions are technology-enabled,” Dowling explained in a public statement. “Traditional agencies, on the other hand, operate myopically. PR firms want to sell press releases, advertising agencies want to sell 30-second spots, experiential firms want to sell events, even when those don’t address the challenge at hand.”
While working with Fleishman Hillard Dowling oversaw the agency’s East Region bloc, including its sister brands Lois Paul & Partners, TogoRun, and HighRoad Communications.
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