PR Poised to Rebound Says Top Exec Recruiter

Dennis Spring, Spring AssociatesWhen Dennis Spring talks we listen. Why? a) he’s the only PR exec recruiter smart enough to advertise on PRBlogNews. b) he’s seen ‘em come and he’s seen ‘em go, recessions that is c)he was tough enough to play basketball at Sheepshead Bay H.S. in Bklyn.

Spring says he sees “renewed hiring activity” recently and he is “actively seeking candidates for financial communications, health care, non-profit and consumer positions starting at $80K annual.”

“The good news is that people who are getting hired during this slow recovery are commanding base salaries similar to what they had before being laid off,” Spring, President of Spring Associates, told PRBlogNews exclusively.

So, economic indicators are pointing up, Bernanke has declared the recession over, but PR always lags the economy by about a year, as Spring told PRBlogNews May, 2007.  Still, Spring’s outlook is considerably brighter than it was February 12, 2009, when we were in the depths of a grim economy. There are signs of improvement – cautious hiring in a variety of PR specialties.

“The searches we’re handling are highly specialized and narrowly focused on specific skill levels and industry knowledge. Social media skills are definitely needed today, more so for agency candidates,” says Spring.

Spring says that his firm regularly scans social media channels for A+ candidates, although a phone conversation and a face-to-face meeting are necessary to take full measure of the candidate.

Many candidates, especially the younger less experienced ones, tend to exhaust all of the social media venues for sometimes months before contacting us. I feel this is a mistake. We should be contacted first. Not only because we may have a brand new search with their name on it, but also because the candidate will now have another promoter and advocate in his/her corner. What’s wrong with that? – Dennis Spring

The Official PR Salary & Bonus Report is compiled from Spring Associates’ proprietary database of more than 21,000 credentialed corporate communications and agency public relations professionals nationwide. Founded in 1980, Spring Associates, based in New York, has emerged as the premiere public relations executive search consultancy through innovation, relevancy, and results.

Zenophon Abraham is Not a Shill for Chevron

Zenophon AbrahamBack in May I blogged about Chevron’s bare knuckle PR battle with the government and indigenous people of Ecuador. It was (may still be) an ugly PR battle. Chevron was buying bloggers in its bid to mold public opinion in fighting a “the largest environmental lawsuit in history,” potentially a $25-$35 billion judgement. 60 Minutes did an episode, Andrew Cuomo, New York’s over achieving Attorney General was filing suit – it’s politics, oil, pollution, big money, international intrigue. A juicy story. They’ll write books about this one. Excerpt from my blog post:

Smack in the middle is a blogger called Zennie62, who, ChevronToxico claims, is a paid shill for Chevron. ChevronToxico offers no proof and Zennie Abraham, the blogger, does not confirm or deny payments in his blog posts. He posts prodigiously about the case and seems to have a wealth of information that would only be available to an insider. His blog posts and YouTube videos rank high in Google searches on keywords Chevron, Texaco (acquired by Chevron), and Ecuador. 

A couple of weeks later Zennie wrote to inform me that he has denied being a shill for Chevron and nobody paid him for his vigorous defense of the American oil company over the evil, opportunistic Ecuadorian politicians. Hence, the headline, a belated acknowledgement.

Who is Zenophon Abraham? Hard to say. Where is Zenophon Abraham? Everywhere on the web, on the ground he’s firmly East Bay/Oakland based. He’s covering contentious city council meetings, he’s in the streets after riots, he’s at wine tastings, jostling with backpackers on BART.  Zennie describes himself as ”relentlessly unconventional.” Zennie is a social media addict who loves being in the middle of a story – and capturing it on video, audio and in words.

Check Zennie out on Facebook, with links to his many sites:

PR/Media Week in Review 09-27-2009

Clayton PattersonYeah Clayton’s big spread in The New York Times!  It was a joy to see Clayton Patterson on the front page of the Arts Section of The New York Times this week. I met Clayton back in the ’90′s when I did a story on him for New York Press and dubbed him ‘The Mayor of the Lower East Side.’  He introduced me to Daphne Hellman and a host of other interesting characters (Vali Myers in the Chelsea Hotel?) and some who were downright dangerous. Clayton has a remarkably neutral view on the world that does not differentiate between saints and sinners, gang bangers or Rabbis.

John Strausbaugh does a great job in capturing Clayton for the NYTimes piece. Clayton the obsessive archivist, the chronicler, the Weegee of his time. And theNYTimes does us all a public service by chronicling the photos from Clayton’s exhibition, along with Clayton’s exhaustive knowledge of history and culture of the lower east side. Clayton loves the street and all the people who walk on it.  That’s what makes his work so important.

I lost touch with Clayton over the years and we re-c0connected on Facebook a few months ago. He and Elsa have lived in the same cramped and sprawling walk-up on Essex Street forever.  

“I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was capturing the last of the wild, free, outlaw, Utopian, visionary spirit of the Lower East Side,” he said recently.

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Hyatt Hell - What the hell is Hyatt doing standing up to Governors, Unions, transportation workers, customers – basically telling them to go to hell, they’ll fire whoever they want, damn the brand or any loyal customer base? Did management possibly envision these actions would cost the company so dearly? Sometimes they best long-term offense is near-term acquiescence. Belligerence with the government, the media, your employees is not an effective PR strategy, unless you’re an oil company and you have unlimited funds to mitigate liabilities.

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I had a bit of a tussle this week with Joe Ciarallo at PRNewser. He maligned a struggling PR who bravely stood up to a bully reporter and I called him on it. See PR Newser Blames Victim in Mugging by Journo. Ciarello’s PR cred was offended, and he accused me of snide editorializing by…snide editorializing, which, I thought, was snide. We can go on but PRNewser is not significant enough to meddle about. In the height of Hyatt Hell (above) Ciarallo contacted a reporter who told him that Hyatt PR was not taking his calls. That was his story. Wow.

Hyatt PR Hell a Lesson in Open Media

Hyatt Hotels is making all the wrong moves in its PR disaster that is spreading across the country.

The Hyatt Regency Boston, the Hyatt Regency Cambridge, and the Hyatt Harborside fired 98 housekeepers on Aug. 31, replacing them with $8-an-hour employees from Hospitality Staffing Solutions. Many had been cleaning rooms at the chain’s hotels for more than 20 years and earned about $15 an hour.

The criticism unleashed at Hyatt Hotels has been unrelenting and merciless, fueled through social media channels.  The Consumerist, Executive Nomad, and the Harvard Business Review (Lessons From Hyatt: Simple Ways to Damage Your Brand)  have weighed in, along with national news outlets, since the story broke on Sept. 17. Facebook groups have cropped up to “Save the Hyatt 100.’ On Tuesday, Massachussetts Governor Deval Patrick threatened a government boycott of the hotel chain. Taxi drivers are boycotting Hyatt and the protests have spread to Chicago.

Hyatt originally stonewalled any inquiries into its actions. Lately they have become belligerent in fighting what they consider outside intrusions into their business affairs. Public relations cannot fix a company or right wrongs. In this case, top Hyatt executives who are calling the shots are doing deep damage to the brand and probably costing the company many millions over the pittance they are saving over the ’Hyatt 100.’ 

USA TODAY: Reader to Hyatt Hotels: “Shame on you” for outsourcing housekeepers

“I understand first-hand how difficult it is to manage through the current economic challenges without compounding the disruptions the times have caused,’’ Massachussetts Governor Deval Patrick wrote. “But surely there is some way to retain the jobs for your housekeeping staffs, as other hotels have done, and to work with them to help the company meet its current challenges, rather than tossing them out unceremoniously to fend for themselves while the people they trained take their jobs at barely livable wages.’’

Hyatt faces other challenges: Union workers stage sit-in to protest cuts to Hyatt’s health insurance coverage

LaFrances Rowell, 26, is taking chemotherapy for breast cancer and is supporting three children, ages 1, 2 and 7, but it was no question that she would join 194 other unionized hotel workers and their supporters in sitting in the street Thursday at the height of rush hour in front of the Park Hyatt hotel on North Michigan Avenue. The union workers are protesting Hyatt Corp.’s attempt to negotiate cuts in their health-insurance coverage. They also fear other hotels will follow Hyatt’s lead.

We’re #37 Rising to #1

Paul Hipp has a hit with a satirical musical healthcare commentary. Posted Spetember 9, 2009 he already has a 370,00 YouTube views. Great viral marketing - Paul has a new album out called ‘Blog of War.’

Paul Hipp, Blog of War