LAST CALL: Absent firms keep presence in Detroit

An old maxim says that location, location, location is key. Apparently that's not true in PR.

An old maxim says that location, location, location is key. Apparently that's not true in PR.

Detroit-based John Bailey & Associates (JBA) recently commissioned a survey of local media to see which firms were top of mind with Detroit reporters.

Among national firms, Hill & Knowlton ranked No. 1, Burson-Marsteller No. 2, and Fleishman-Hillard third. But H&K pulled out of Detroit several years ago. and while Burson has a presence there, Fleishman doesn't.

Gene Reineke, H&K US COO, said he'd been trying to garner more business in Michigan this year, which may account for his firm's top ranking in the Bailey survey. Dave Senay, who oversees the central region for Fleishman, was amused by the survey given his lack of a Detroit office, but quickly added that Fleishman does work with a number of auto industry clients.

John Bailey, head of JBA, was surprised the nationals ranked so high in name recognition. "The nationals don't understand the auto industry. We understand the Detroit marketplace and they don't, he sniffed.

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