Boeing's Seattle charm offensive plays out during Chicago HQ move

CHICAGO - Even as Boeing's corporate PR team settles into its new Chicago home, the company is keen to remind Seattle that it's still part of the community. The company made its home in Seattle for 85 years.

CHICAGO - Even as Boeing's corporate PR team settles into its new Chicago home, the company is keen to remind Seattle that it's still part of the community. The company made its home in Seattle for 85 years.

Boeing's three divisions outside of corporate - including the military

air unit in St. Louis, and the space and communications division in

Southern California - have also been given greater responsibility as

part of an overall reshuffle.

"Boeing made a significant grant to the University of Washington's

school of engineering," said John Dern, Boeing's director of media

relations.

Boeing is also continuing outreach to local media and a heavy internal

communications push with its 80,000 employees still living in the

Pacific Northwest.

Among other articles, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer ran an article on

the day the move was officially finalized, pointing out that founder

Bill Boeing had once moved the head office to New York.

The PR group in Seattle has also gained greater responsibility for

government relations and other functions that used to be focused on the

corporate side.

Seattle is the headquarters of the commercial airplanes unit and,

alongside the other two non-corporate divisions, has been given greater

autonomy as a result of a restructuring. Each division now has its own

CEO and president, and each PR office has more responsibility.

In Seattle, formerly the location of the corporate headquarters, the

local PR team has picked up many new challenges. "With the HQ gone from

Seattle, the business unit is now charged with maintaining stakeholder

relationships," Dern said.

The team at Boeing's new world headquarters includes Larry McCracken, VP

of PR, and Judith Muhlberg, VP of communications. Ken Mercer is manager

of PR in Chicago, where Dern is also based.

He said that most of the PR team chose to relocate with Boeing, with the

exception of a media relations manager who had a job offer from another

division of the company.

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