Just in case you’ve been wondering, here are some of the things happening in PR this week..
Sloane & Company lending PR aid to ITC $11.3 Billion Deal
ITC Holdings Corp, a publicly traded electronic transmissions company was recently acquired by Fortis Inc., a Canadian company. Whenever there’s a merger of significance, it is helpful and advisable to have a PR firm on board specializing in mergers and acquisitions. Sloane & Company fits that bill perfectly. ITC brought their much sought after transmission lines to the deal. With this acquisition, Fortis will become one of the top 15 utility companies in North America.
Whit Clay, the managing director for Sloane, aided ITC in the transaction and with their help, ITC received a 33% premium on their November 27, 2015, share price – receiving $22.57 per share. The deal also included a payout of $6.9 billion in stock and cash and the remaining amount from the $11.3 billion deal is covered by debt, to be paid at some point in the future.
Sloane & Company is headquartered in New York City and was founded by Elliot Sloane in 1998. The company specializes in investor relations, corporate and financial PR, issues management and crisis communications, public affairs, and transaction support. Before starting his own agency, he worked for Edelman, Ruder Finn, and other companies. Some of the other clients they’ve represented include TIVO, Panera Bread, Walgreens, Liberty Media Corporation, and IMAX Corporation.
John Clinton, of Edelman, named as a PR Cannes Lions Jury President
The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity all of the Jury Presidents on February 16th, including Clinton and the 17 other Jury Presidents. These 18 will meet in Cannes in June along with 400 jurors to decide on honorees and recipients. The festival happens June 18-25 and awards will be received in a series of six different ceremonies. There are usually 40,000+ submissions and awards are given in 23 different categories.
According to Edelman.com, Philip Thomas, CEO, Lions Festivals, commented, “It’s not easy to win a Lion. On average our juries will award just 3 percent of more than 40,000 entries. They’re looking for unique work that is creatively exceptional and challenges the norm. What we look for in our presidents is people that have been in this 3 percent time and time again – it’s a significant responsibility leading a Cannes Lions jury, and we’re incredibly proud to have such a powerful mix of individuals who know what creative excellence looks like, because they have it in abundance themselves.”
John Clinton will specifically be in charge of PR Lions: as Chair. He is based in the Canada office and serves as Edelman’s North American Head of Creativity and Content. Before coming to work for Edelman, he worked in five cities in 14 jobs – over 20 years – all of those while in the employ of J. Walter Thompson Worldwide.
Iconic Dallas Landmark, Statler Hotel, continues AOR – Berk Communications
MWWPR’s luxury lifestyle, travel, entertainment and sports division – Berk Communications and Marketing Group announced that Statler Hotel and Residences has continued their contract as agency of record. Statler is going through a redevelopment of the property to the estimated tune of $175 million. The 19-story building was originally opened in 1956, and the property is adjacent to a music venue closed in 2001, but scheduled to reopen later this year. The venue hosted such greats as Frank Sinatra, Tina Turner, and Elvis Presley.
Frank Zaccanelli, Managing Partner of The Statler, said, “We expect Berk’s well-rounded approach to PR across hospitality, lifestyle, and celebrity verticals will drive the successful relaunch of the iconic Statler Hotel and music venue in downtown Dallas, With its unique history and charisma, the property will play a big role in the revitalization of downtown.”
Regan Communications may be waving goodbye to another College
Only about a week ago, Suffolk University said goodbye to working with Regan Communications Group. The next school possibly saying sayonara is UMass Building Authority, the two education facilities at one point shared a common trustee, Robert K. Sheridan, also a close friend of George Regan.
Since 2011 UMass has been paying a $10,000 monthly retainer to Regan – making a total payout from them of $557,295. The current contract ends on June 30, and UMass officials say they plan to end the contract at that point and bring more services in-house in cost-saving initiatives though Regan officials reportedly have not been notified officially.
“Our executive director, working closely with the board, believes that communications is another area that can be handled by existing staff within the university, thereby eliminating cost to UMass,” Philip Johnston, Authority chairman, said in a prepared statement. UMass has made it clear these are not reflective of the job done by the PR firm, but cost-cutting methods since their budget was decreased by more than $10 million for the year.
Regan Communications offers a full-service PR experience along with marketing and advertising – the agency owns three advertising firms. They also offer crisis communications, media training, special event management, website development, business networking, social media, sponsorship activation, government relations, and in-house video production. UMass invoices show the agency created a few videos highlighting their campus.
Regan opened in 1984, and their headquarters are in Boston, but they also have offices in New York City, Washington DC, Providence, Hartford, New London, Cape Cod, Charleston, and Jupiter FL.
Brett Pulley, long-time journalist, now with Weber Shandwick
Weber Shandwick named Mr. Pulley their new EVP and managing director for corporate content and media strategy earlier in February. Pulley had a long and distinguished career in journalism, working for publications such as the Times Union, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. He worked as an editor for Forbes, a writer for Bloomberg News and many of the NY dot.com entities. He also served formerly as the Dean of Hampton University’s Scripps Howard School of Journalism.
Last year he left journalism behind and joined Burson-Marsteller in an advisory capacity. Now he’s upped his game going all-in to PR with the title and everything. And somewhere in his spare time, Pulley wrote a book about BET founder Robert Johnson, “The Billion Dollar BET.”
Weber Shandwick is an Interpublic Group company and one of the top PR firms in the world. They have 70+ offices globally and pull in about $500 million in annual revenue. They were formed in 2001 by the merger of three separate entities and have since acquired other companies to expand their reach. Their headquarters are in New York City, and some of their clients include Simple and the United Nations Foundation.