Cobra win completes hi-tech hi-five for H&K

CHICAGO: Cobra Electronics, a dollars 100 million-plus player in the consumer electronics industry, has tabbed Hill & Knowlton as its PR agency of record.

CHICAGO: Cobra Electronics, a dollars 100 million-plus player in the consumer electronics industry, has tabbed Hill & Knowlton as its PR agency of record.

CHICAGO: Cobra Electronics, a dollars 100 million-plus player in

the consumer electronics industry, has tabbed Hill & Knowlton as its PR

agency of record.



Cobra becomes the fifth major hi-tech win over the past three months for

the firm’s Chicago office.



’The fact that I have a consumer electronics background certainly helped

us win the business,’ said James Turano, managing director and head of

H&K’s technology practice. He added that previous work for Woods

Industries, an Indiana electronics accessory supplier, also

contributed.



Turano, formerly with CE industry mainstays Zenith Electronics and US

Robotics (now owned by 3Com) became head of the Chicago tech practice in

June. ’Our strategy has been to harvest whatever we can in the area and

to take advantage of our Blanc & Otus affiliation,’ he said.



Other recent tech wins for H&K’s Chicago office include thepavement.com,

a new site with job, housing, finance and apartment information for

20-somethings; Phoenix firm InfoImage, creator of corporate Web portals;

and the Systems Progress Group, a Chicago software deployment firm.



Turano would not discuss how much in new billings these accounts

represent, but said his nine-person tech practice boasts nearly dollars

1.5 million in fee income. Total income for the firm’s Chicago office

last year was around dollars 6.5 million.



H&K’s initial work with Cobra will center on preparations for January’s

Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where the company is planning to

introduce a number of new products. While the Financial Relations Board

will continue to handle Cobra’s IR work, H&K will manage most other

aspects of its PR business.



In pitching for hi-tech work, Turano has had to overcome the perception

that only West Coast PR agencies can handle tech-centric business. ’We

have to get out and prove to the companies here that there is a lot of

tech PR talent in Chicago,’ he said. ’There is still a bias that you

have to have a West Coast firm.’



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