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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Oct. 11, 2011 - Vol. 44 - No. 39 (download PDF version)

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California pension giant CalPERS wants to create a “spring-fed pool” of agencies and vendors to provide services like public affairs, communications counsel, multimedia and video support.


The Sacramento-based fund’s office of public affairs has released an RFP open through Nov. 3 to tap a group of pre-qualified firms to work on an as-needed basis through June 30, 2016.

CalPERS, an acronym for the California Public Employees Retirement System, manages retirement benefits for 1.6M current and former state employees. It had $1.8B under management as of Aug. 31 and a portfolio value north of $200B.

Services covered in the RFP include media training, writing and editorial, marketing, research, crisis communications and multimedia/video.

Ogilvy PR Worldwide works with CalPERS, which conducted a PR review in 2009.

The RFP documents can be downloaded by registering at CalPERS’ online procurement portal:


Ogilvy PR Worldwide has picked up global agency of record duties for BMC Software, following a competitive RFP process, after handling PR duties out of Australia for the past seven years.

Incumbent Waggener Edstrom did not participate. The account previously billed in the low seven figures.

Ogilvy’s San Francisco office heads the work, which started Oct. 1 and covers worldwide corporate communications, thought leadership, media and analyst relations, product PR and social media across.

Kasey Holman, associate vice president of global communications for the business software provider, said raising visibility among C-suite executives and reaching digital influencers have taken on greater importance as the software company has evolved.

“Throughout the review process, we were quite impressed by the efficiency and competency of their global network and we know what kind of quality we can expect, since we have been working with their office in Sydney for the past seven years,” she said.

Luca Penati, Ogilvy’s global tech practice head, said BMC is “one of those clients that define a global practice.”

Houston-based BMC’s first quarter revenue rose nine percent to $502.4M, below expectations.


Brian Perkins, 57, is exiting the VP-corporate affairs post at Johnson & Johnson on Feb. 29, according to his memo to staff about ending a 31-year run at the drug company.


J&J has been rocked with various recalls that are expected to cost it more than $1B in lost revenues from brands such as Tylenol, Benedryl and Motrin, according to Ad Age.

Perkins first moved into the spotlight as brand manager of Tylenol during the 1982 poisoning crisis. He has served as present of McNeil Consumer Products, and group chairman of OTC Pharmaceuticals before taking his current slot.

J&J credits Perkins for being a “passionate advocate for great advertising, both conventional and digital” and for setting the “standard for the caliber of agencies” that work for the company.


Howard Bragman, who launched Bragman, Nyman, Cafarell and Fifteen Minutes PR, is now vice chairman of


Michael Fertik, the site’s founder and CEO, called Bragman the “hands-down, the brightest and most respected voice in the public relations industry.”

Bragman understands that “ is a necessary arsenal in the PR toolbox – the Internet puts every person and every business on a global stage and they must adapt,” according to his statement., is backed with venture funding from Bessemer Venture Partners, Kleiner Perkins, JAFCO, Floodgate and August Capital.

Bragman, who once worked in Burson-Marsteller’s Los Angeles office, sold BNC, now PMK*BNC, to Interpublic in 2000.

He launched Fifteen Minutes in 2005 and will continue as chairman of the 25-staffer independent firm. He turned over the CEO reins to Bill Harrison on Oct. 3.

Harrison, who manages corporate entertainment accounts and was president/COO, joined Bragman at 15M after serving as head of corporate communications for Paradigm Talent Agency. He is also a veteran of PMK/HBH.


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