MWW opens new PR audit practice

CHICAGO: With the recession causing clients to rethink every dollar

they spend, the concept of offering communications audits is catching on

among PR firms.



The MWW Group has begun offering a public affairs and communications

audit service, and has signed two clients: Validata, a market research

firm, and the American Society of Hand Therapists. The new MWW service

is being directed from its Chicago office, but is available

nationally.



The audits offer to rate the effectiveness of various public affairs and

communications programs.



Larry Zoeller, an SVP and GM for MWW in Chicago, and John Digles, an

assistant VP, are heading up the new audit service.



Also in Chicago, new firm Benchmark Collaborative is offering

communications auditing based on a web platform. The firm and the new

service are the brainchild of Brian Connolly, a former star of the

Chicago tech PR scene who previously worked for Ogilvy PR and Ruder

Finn.



Connolly has grouped seven senior PR people who will serve as his

auditors, benchmarking company communications efforts against industry

standards, and providing results on a website clients can access.



"The downturn has focused intense scrutiny with regard to communications

spending," Connolly said. "Unless you have proof points, you're not in

the game."



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