Rhode Island Seeks New Digital Agency

 9/27 What’s Happening at Finn Partners, DiGennaro Communications, Ketchum & Berk Communications Former NBC News Anchor John Seigenthaler Joins Finn Partners Seigenthaler worked at NBC News for much of his career as a special correspondent and the NBC Nightly News Weekend anchorman. Over the decade or more with NBC, he worked on many national and international stories including national conventions, U.S. presidential campaigns, natural disasters around the world and various terrorist attacks in New York, London, Paris, and the Middle East. He joins Finn Partners’ New York office as their Senior Counsel, working with clients and agency teams in reputation management, media direction and training, crisis communications, and video and social media strategy. Bob Osmond Steps into DiGennaro Communications as Executive VP DiGennaro, a New York-based strategic communications boutique PR firm founded by Samantha DiGennaro, brought Bob Osmond onto their staff as the client services EVP this week. Osmond will report to Ms. DiGennaro and has been hired to re-engineer integrated client offerings for the firm. The position is new and is part of their executive team. Osmond has worked in the industry for more than 20 years, directing P&G Gillette’s account recently as their SVP for Ketchum. He’s also worked at Cohn & Wolfe’s San Francisco office, and founded and led UpStart Communications (one of FleishmanHillard’s agencies). Ms. DiGennaro said: “Bob’s deep experience overseeing integrated marketing, thought leadership, and PR programs for some of the world’s best brands and agencies will help take DiGennaro’s client service and strategic client counsel to the next level.” Ketchum Creates New Break Through Advisory Board and Appoints 10 Members The new board was created to provoke, inspire, and challenge their companies with new ways of doing business. They will also advise regarding emerging tech, collaboration opportunities, latest trends, new content platforms, thought leadership, and products and services. The 10 initial members of the new board will report to the Chairman and CEO Rob Flaherty. Five men and five women have been appointed. These members are: Jon Chin (Singapore), Ben Foster (Chicago), Shawn Ghuman (Washington DC), Marc Levy (New York), Hayley McLaughlin (New York), Lauren Mundell (New York), Claudia Mutschlechner (Stuttgart), Rich Pacheco (New York), Asya Soskova (Moscow), and Adriana Toledo (Sao Paulo). Meatpacking Business Improvement District signs Berk Communications as AOR The not-for-profit organization, Meatpacking Business Improvement District (MBID), representing Manhattan’s meatpacking district neighborhood has signed New York-based Berk Communications and Marketing Group as their agency of record. Berk became part of MWWPR in 2015. Berk will consult with MBID about community programs, events, strategic partnerships, and work on their media relations and communication strategy. Berk specializes in lifestyle, travel and hospitality, and entertainment PR. New York’s PR Museum Appoints a New Board Member Maxim Behar, President of ICCO, was just appointed as an advisory board member to the PR Museum in New York City, a not-for-profit organization. This is the only PR Museum in the world and is located at the Newman Library on the CUNY Baruch College campus. Founder of the Museum, Shelly Spector, said: “Mr. Behar will be able to provide much-needed guidance, not only expanding the museum’s global presence but how we can best serve and represent the growing number of PR communities around the world.” Mr. Behar originally came from Bulgaria and his past experience includes being a partner at Hill+Knowlton Strategies. He founded M3 Communications Group, Inc., which he still leads, and as well as being President of ICCO since 2015; he is the Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Seychelles. Hillary’s “Nurse” Really a PR Expert from Rubenstein Communications Someone would have to live under a rock – in fact, several rocks, to be unaware of all the rumors and innuendos floating around about the health of Hillary Clinton. There have been lots of educated guessing about complications to a concussion she received a few years ago, or a neurological condition. The Clinton camp keeps denying or playing down health problems only to confess later to things being worse, but not terrible. The 9/11 memorial this last week started another volley of guesses about her health problems. The responses came fast. First it was explained as a reaction to the heat during the service, then it was dehydration, which Bill confirmed, saying she has fainted from dehydration problems over the years more than once, and then the explanation that she had previously been diagnosed with pneumonia came through. People still don’t know what to believe – or if any of the answers provided are worth believing, but then the next question was raised. That woman in the blue suit standing next to Hillary through the ceremony and near the curb after Hillary, her secret service band, and other aides left unexpectedly before the memorial ended, and waited for her motorcade to arrive. Was she a nurse for the Presidential candidate? Turns out – No. The woman in blue is none other than Christine Falvo, who worked previously for Hillary as an aide and was doing volunteer PR duty at the 9/11 event. Falvo currently works at Rubenstein Communications as the Chief Operating Officer. Both Falvo and Clinton are Wellesley graduates, and before working at Rubenstein, Falvo worked for Hillary when she was a junior senator from 2001 through 2007, as well as at Foggy Bottom for six months advising Secretary Clinton after she became Secretary of State. Falvo is not one of Clinton’s regular PR staff, but who is giving her guidance on these matters? Is Clinton listening to what they say, or ignoring their advice? If they are telling her to just keep denying things until forced to be more open, they lack the skills for effective crisis communications. Make no mistake; her campaign is in the middle of several crises. In June one Fox News poll reported that 60% of Americans believe she’s a liar and is less honest than Trump. Who knows if that is true, but the public perception when it comes to a Presidential election is a major issue. With so many already believing she has issues with the truth, to not make full public disclosure about her health is an equally bad choice. Even if the worst rumors are true, letting speculation continue for weeks is causing much more havoc than if she ripped the band-aid off and honestly shared. Unaddressed, the wound festers and causes long-term damage to her aspirations as well as her credibility. Whatever the problems, just turn over the information and be done with it, stop hemming and hawing, releasing only bits and pieces. For those in business, if you face a PR crisis, learn this from the bad reaction she’s facing. Be transparent and move on from the problem or keep it in the shadows so people can keep digging and clawing at it to find what they want to know. What Is a Public Relations Consultant and How Can They Benefit Your Company Public relations consulting is widely known of in a general sense, but not many people know what these consultants do. However, a public relations consultant (PRC) has one of the most important jobs that any successful business can tell you about. If you own a business that requires a representative that relates to the public, then you know exactly how important they are. Some small business owners do this job themselves, but there are people specially trained to deal with the public in a professional manner. So what do these people do and how can they profit your business? In this article, we will discuss the job requirements of a PRC, and how they help businesses to grow. A company's major objective is to relate to the public in a positive, constructive way. Here is how hiring a professional PRC can benefit your company. What Is a Public Relations Consultant? The role of a PRC can vary according to what the job calls for. A PRC speaks to the public in a language they want to hear. They are public speakers, writers, and anything else that is required by the company in dealing with the public. When you hire a consultant, they become your company's voice. Whatever representing the company may entail, that is their job. If your company requires press releases, that is another thing they do. They are trained to know what the public needs to hear about your company. They may cost a little more than doing these things yourself would, but PRCs use research and a variety of tools to make sure you look good to the people. How a PRC Would Benefit Your Company These days, the world has access to a treasure trove of information by using the information superhighway that is the Internet.The internet can make you or break you. Anyone can access information and reviews about you, whether it be good reviews or bad. So it is important to know how to speak to the public. That is where a PRC comes in. Using the internet to your advantage, they put all the information at your fingertips. Research and spending large amounts of time on social media, they know what it will take to bring the potential customer your way. Social media is where 90% of your future customers are, and a good PRC knows where to find them. In conclusion, before you start to think you do not need one of these treasured professionals, ask yourself one thing. How many of your customers came from social media? Consider hiring a public relations consultant today. Not only will your client base grow, but you will know why. rhode-island-seeks-new-digital-agency

The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation is seeking a new digital agency to develop and design a new destination website for Rhode Island, replacing the current www.VisitRhodeIsland.com.

Services required are website redesign, website production, ongoing website support and search engine optimization.  They seek a firm  is able to develop a strategic approach to organizing content that inspires, informs and drives action. Additional services may include, strategic planning, content marketing strategy, persona development, and mobile first user experience development.

Tourism is an important driver of the Rhode Island economy, contributing $2.38 billion to its economy, supporting over 39,000 jobs and providing more than $1 billion in wages and salaries in 2013.

The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation is committed to growing the state’s tourism industry through:

  • Increasing traveler trips to Rhode Island
  • Increasing average traveler spend per trip
  • Increasing resident spend on tourism activities

The Commerce Corporation promotes Rhode Island in the domestic and international marketplaces leveraging multiple marketing and communications tactics, including but not limited to PR, advertising, social media, public engagement programs, group tours and sales outreach.

Commerce Corporation requires development of a unique website that can support integrated marketing campaigns that embody the incredible diversity of Rhode Island as a destination and meet the needs of each of our audiences outlined above.


Key objectives are to create a positive user experience making it simple for site visitors to find and share information, elevate the level of engagement, increase the level of repeat visits, drive signups for e-newsletters, drive downloads for free visitor’s guides and increase overall site traffic. Companies must demonstrate a proven history of strategic and effective travel and tourism- related website development. Companies must also have experience integrating best-of-breed technologies as part of a stack that will support online listening, audience development, email marketing, content management and site analytics.

Companies will be expected to work in collaboration with the Commerce Corporation’s internal team and its agency partners that provide PR, marketing, creative services, media planning and buying, social media and public engagement support on tourism efforts.

Proposal due by September 28th to:

Rhode Island Commerce Corporation

Attn: Website Design and Development RFP 315 Iron Horse Way, Suite 101

Providence, RI 02908

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