Thursday, May 19, 2011

Headhunter weighs in on Facebook smear campaign flap


Finger-wagging seemed to be the most popular reaction to the Burson-Marsteller Facebook v. Google front-page news from P.R. pros.

"Let me be clear: B-M's actions on behalf of Facebook were unethical and improper," said Keith Trivitt, associated director of P.R. at the Public Relations Association of America.

"You have sullied the profession," writes another on the Burson-Marsteller corporate Facebook page.

Derision was just narrowly the second most popular reaction. The B-M Facebook page also contained these two quotes:

"Whoopsie-daisy. Looks like you may need to hire a reputable P.R. firm to clean up this mess."

"Note that Burson-Marsteller staff pretend to be PR experts! I can't image worse PR than they have generated for their OWN company!"

But not all are taking that tone. Some are saying they are less naive about the realities of the industry.

“The reality is that if you’ve worked in a public affairs or corporate issues/reputation PR practice, then more than likely, you or one of your colleagues has participated in something similar at one time or another," wrote Aaron Perlut on Forbes' MarketShare blog.

“It's a joke. No, not that B-M undertook such a campaign (or how badly it was handled) but the hyperbole from the press that borders on Foghorn Leghorn declaring the 'shock, I say shock, of the PR game' that they are intimately involved,” wrote Jeremy Pepper on his blog.

From a headhunter perspective, this is just one example of why the P.R. business is endlessly fascinating, said Sandra Charet, president of Charet & Associates.

Charet agrees that Burson made definite ethical mistakes. She also points out that there is an entire spectrum of advanced public relations strategies that address how competing corporations operate. It's called “competitive intelligence,” an ethical aspect of public relations and corporate management strategy.

Press releases and events may be the comfort zone of P.R. services, but megacorporations often demand more extensive campaigns. Here is where professionals need to be prepared to draw the line and define what services they can ethically provide.

Another major issue in this snafu is that the B-M employees were journalists who had only recently transitioned to P.R. Their transition landed them right at the top of the food chain, where their lack of experience in public relations cost them and their employer.

They "should have known better," Charet said. "It's P.R. gets the rap for this story unfortunately."

Monday, May 16, 2011

Manager of Investor and Public Relations - Boston

Our client is a fifteen year old biopharmaceutical company that has been traded on the NASDAQ since 2000. 

The Manager of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications will help to develop and execute IR and corporate communications strategies that educate and update investors, media, employees and other communities about the company.

This Manager will develop press releases, conference call scripts, presentations for roadshows and help with creating other investor materials.  He/she will collaborate with marketing on communications strategies and will work with the outside PR agency ensuring a consistency of messages.

Other responsibilities include investor quarterly reports, updating content on the corporate website, responding to requests from investors and the media. 

This energetic and confident Manager should be great at developing relationships.  Poise and professionalism are important as this person will be dealing closely with C-Level executives on a daily basis.

We are looking for someone with from 5 to 8 years of investor relations and communications experience in a similar environment (doesn't have to be biotech), with demonstrated success in IR and PR. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sr Manager of IR and Corp Communications - Boston

Our client is a biopharmaceutical company in Boston is searching for a high energy Manager of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications who will help to develop and execute strategies directed toward investors, media, employees and other communities.

This Manager will develop press releases, conference call scripts, presentations for roadshows and other investor materials. He/she will collaborate with marketing on communications strategies, working with the outside PR agency to ensure consistency of messages.

Other tasks include:
  • managing the investor database
  • targeting prospective shareholders
  • handling logistics for conferences, webcasts and annual meetings
  • preparing quarterly investor reports
  • overseeing content on corporate website
  • developing important relationships externally with media contacts, investors and vendors as well as internally with company executives


The right person will have a real go-getter attitude and be a resourceful team player, smart, savvy, and a great communicator. They should be familiar with what is successful in working with a small company.

We are looking for someone with from 3 to 6 years of experience working in a similar environment, with demonstrated success in IR and PR. This is an excellent growth opportunity.

Contact Sandy@charet.com to find out more about this opportunity.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Manager/Director Communications - (Northeast)

This world leader in consumer products, which is based in Europe, has over 25,000 employees around the world. The company is looking for someone to lead Communications for North America, based in the north east.   This role has the prime responsibility of proactively supporting internal communications, community affairs and employer recognition, as well as some crisis communications and issue management.

Internal communications will include employee presentations, newsletters and other collateral materials that support business objectives.  Town hall meetings, senior leader briefings and employee events.  This communicator will help to identify issues and develop messages in collaboration with various business units here and abroad.  This person will serve as the key advisor to senior management on key employee communications issues. 

The head of NA communications will develop and lead the US awareness and reputation building strategy using social media, marketing and other resources throughout the company including traditional public relations to accomplish success in this area.

Other responsibilities include community affairs and the corporate giving program, intranet/ internet design and development, media training, acting as spokesperson regarding brand issues that may arise and non investor related corporate issues. 

We are looking for someone with at least 8 years experience, most of which has been with a Consumer Packaged Goods company. The right person has solid experience in employee communications, excellent written and verbal communications skills and a proven track record in consulting senior level executives on communication issues.  This person will be able to demonstrate that they have the ability to navigate smoothly within a global matrix organization, and is a great relationship manager, who has strong conviction about what is right and can get the support needed to get the job done.  


There is tremendous opportunity here for someone with those abilities.Proven skills in other areas such as power point, excel, budget management, etc. are also important.  We prefer to hire someone from a similar large, fast moving, international company.