Talk about a career change!

Anthony Citrano’s Fashion Photography

Anthony Citrano and I worked together at Alexander Communications back in the late 90’s. He only stayed in California for a little while but we kept in touch.

He’s a guy who is completely dialed in to Boston-area tech. He was on the founding board of The Camden Conference, and had serious movers and shakers on his speed dial.

After he left ACI, he founded a startup, sold it, then helped start another PR firm that has gone on to tremendous sucess. So what does he do?

Follows his heart to start taking pictures for a living. If you need a seriously good fashion photographer in the 617, please look him up.

Best of luck Anthony.

Anyone else contemplated leaving PR for this kind of move?

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A little more on Edelman/A&R Acquisition

News

I wish Edelman and A&R the best with the acquisition. I just have to add that I am cautious in my optimism for its success. This is because I was involved in a similar acquisition in 1998.

I started my PR career as an intern with Alexander Communications, Inc. in 1996. At the time, the San Francisco office where I started had about 17 employees, and the Atlanta office had about 30. That was ACI at the time. The marquee client was Novell, and they had just landed two divisions of HP, the network server division and the new “Pavilion” consumer division. It was an amazing time to be involved with technology and the office was full of incredibly smart people including Pam Alexander, Holland Carney, Brian Johnson, and Amy Messenger.

The ‘middle management’ at the time was also very strong with Kim Hughes, now with Blueshirt, Hani Durzy, who now is with eBay and Mark Bingham as account supervisors.

By 1998, ACI had grown to almost 200 emloyees, revenues of $12 million, , a kick ass client roster, and several more offices, including Silicon Valley where I moved and our upstairs neighbor was Be, Denver and Boston. We were easily in the top 3, and many say ‘top 1’, tech boutique PR firms (anyone see any parallels here?). Technology was booming and the major interational firms wanted to be part of it so there was a buying frenzy. In the course of a few weeks, both ACI and our primary competitor, were both purchased by major international firms (again any parallels?) .

I can only speak for my experience at ACI, but for all of the posturing and talk of synergy and respect for the brand…….Ogilvy killed it. I was there until 2000, as were many others who hung around for bonuses, and then began the real industry-wide benefit of the consolidation that was taking place. Smart people with great backgrounds, that learned at the feet of an industry legend went out on their own.

Right now, I know of at least five firms led/founded by Alexander alums (not including Mark’s firm) including, The Usher Group (founded by Usher Lieberman), Fama-PR (co-founded by Anthony Citrano), Volume PR (founded by Elizabeth Robinson), Montgomery Pacific Group (founded by Ken Montgomery), and Morgan/Dorado (founded by me ;-).

And AlexanderOgilvy? Try and find a reference to it on the Ogilvy site these days. Amy Messenger is still there, but I’m not sure if any more of the original nearly 200 are.

I hope this works out for Edelman, I really do. But if it doesn’t, look for a boom in new technology PR firms in 2008.

Richard Edelman, Pam Pollace, and Bob Angus, I recommend that you contact some of the people above and see why they left.

But more importantly, maybe try Amy Messenger at Ogilvy, and see why she stayed.

Micro Persuasion: Edelman Acquires Valley Tech PR Giant A&R Partners

Micro Persuasion: Edelman Acquires Valley Tech PR Giant A&R Partners

Good move by Edelman. Beefs up the Silicon Valley office and tech-cred nationwide. Wonder how Microsoft feels now that Adobe and Mozilla are Edelman clients?

Also will allow Pam Pollace to stop being the acting GM of the SV office and start being the head of the worldwide tech practice that she was hired to be.

Area startups flock to VC event – Sacramento Business Journal:

Area startups flock to VC event – Sacramento Business Journal:

The VC event here in El Dorado Hills went really, really well, both from a business development perspective for Morgan/Dorado PR as well as for several of the presenting companies.

Sacramento’s entrepreneurial community and the associated ecosystem is really growing.

The quote of the day goes to Corley Phillips of American River Ventures, with “So whose lunch are you going to eat, and how are they going to react?” Asked to Jim Quilici, CEO of Radial Electronics.

Good luck to all of the companies that presented.

Stepping out from behind the curtain – the early days

Archive for Jan. 13-17, 2003

I’ve written several times about the need for PR folks to get comfortable “stepping out from behind the curtain,” and having their names out there.

At Apple, there were few ‘official spokespersons’ that is, people whose names were supposed to be in print. One of my roles was working with education market which embraced the blogosphere relatively early. When this post first went live, it had a bit more information about me and the back and forth of the emails with Steven Wood, the writer.

I, to put it mildly, freaked out, and asked him to pull all references to me. He toned them down but insisted on leaving my name in there. At the time, I was angry. I didn’t understand transparency yet.

Now, looking back, I understand that it helped both of us. Steven Wood by giving him a name at Apple that had provided him with credible information, and me by showing that Apple wanted to have accurate information out there that mattered to educators.