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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Mar. 12, 2012 - Vol. 45 - No. 11 (download PDF version)

Page 8 Pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7


San Francisco's WCG has established W2O Group holding company to retain the nimbleness and entrepreneurial drive of the fast-growing healthcare company, founder/CEO Jim Weiss told O’Dwyer’s.

PR veteran Bob Pearson, WCG's chief media & technology officer, becomes president of W20 Group. He joined WCG three years ago after stints as GCI Group (Americas president), Novartis (head of communications), and Dell (VP group corporate communications) and State of Texas Emerging Technology Fund (vice chairman).

Pearson, who has known Weiss for more than 20 years, told O'Dwyer's "we wanted to restructure early in our growth" to avoid development of a cumbersome corporate bureaucracy. Launched in 2001, WCG chalked up $47.7M in fees last year, making it sixth largest independent firm.

Weiss said the new structure increases management opportunities for staffers, which he considers a major priority.

He noted that Jennifer Gottlieb, WCG's biopharma practice leader, helms a new entity called Twist, which is positioned as an agile "forward-thinking independent communications firm."

Twist joins W2O Ventures in the new set-up. It's the "incubational arm" of the organization and is focused on local search/analytics, engagement platforms, mobility and augmented reality.

WCG, which has expanded from its healthcare core to sectors such as consumer goods, entertainment, automotive, aviation and technology, has offices in New York, Chicago, Washington, Austin, Los Angeles, and London.


Northern Illinois University, the 25,000-student research institution and state university, is conducting a competitive bid process for a strategic communications firm to advise the school on PR, crisis communications, promoting healthcare and research projects, and media training, among other endeavors.

The Dekalb-based school has released an RFP open through March 22 with plans to award a roughly $100K a year contract that could stretch five years with renewals. The work will support the university's in-house public affairs staff.

View the RFP at


Rowan University, the New Jersey public university of 10,000 which Gov. Chris Christie wants to merge with Rutgers University, is calling for qualifications from PR firms to assist the school with major communications efforts during the “time of transition.”

Christie’s plan is opposed by Rutgers officials but can be implemented by executive order or legislative action. Although based in New Jersey, the Philadelphia market is a key target for its PR, marketing and recruitment. Deadline is March 16. View the RFQ:


New Hampshire is reviewing its domestic tourism PR account with an RFP process through March 22.


The pact was last reviewed in 2008, when it was worth $110K a year. Leading Edge Marketing, a Newfield, N.H.-based firm led by a former Omni Hotels hotel PR pro, was the incumbent firm then.

Tourism is the No. 2 industry in the Granite State in terms of jobs support and out-of-state dollars pouring in. Recreation and business trips during 2010 hit $34M while direct spending reached $4B.

A two-year contract with one two-year option could take the pact through June 2016, according to the RFP released March 2.

View the RFP:


Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher represents Monster Worldwide as the online employment company announced last week the hiring of Bank of America's Merrill Lynch unit and Stone Key Partners as financial advisors related to its "review of strategic alternatives."

Monster CEO Sal Iannuzzi in January predicted first-quarter revenues would decline up to seven percent from last year's $253M mark. Earnings are projected to be flat.

He unveiled a $400M cost-cutting program to deal with "continuing global economic uncertainties." That program includes layoffs of 400 staffers, shutdown of offices and tighter expense controls. Monster stock trades at $8.31. Its 52-week range is $6.34, $18.47.

Andi Rose, managing director of JFWBK, handles Monster.


South Korea has renewed Singer Bonjean Strategies’ $200K contract through 2012 for political/media analysis, press roundtables, speeches, oped pieces and press releases.

SBS is the bipartisan shop of Phil Singer, former aide to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y) and senior advisor to Hillary Clinton’s presidential run, and Ron Bonjean, who was chief of staff for Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AR) and director of communications for former House Speaker Dennis Hassert (R-IL).

Roll Call once called Singer and Bonjean the “platonic version of Carville and Matalin.”

The government of South Korea, which added Finn Partners ($480K contract) and The Nickels Group ($200K) to its communications line-up this year, is fighting a bid to junk its freshly minted free trade agreement with the U.S.

The country dropped WPP’s Glover Park Group from the roster at the end of 2011 after spending $300K for the year there.

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