SEATTLE: Boeing will know by the end of May how many of its 35
corporate PR people will move from Seattle to a downsized office in
The number of PR staffers offered positions at the new corporate
headquarters there has not been disclosed. John Dern, director of media
relations, said, 'All the people who are going to get offers have until
the end of the month to sign them.' But Dern, who is moving to Chicago,
expects the PR department to shrink. Boeing is cutting its corporate
staff from 1,000 to 500 positions when it moves.
The aircraft maker currently has no PR agency of record, and that will
not change when it moves to Chicago, said Dern. However, Boeing is
likely to take on a Chicago PR agency to handle the initial media crush
when the move occurs in September.
Boeing retained Edelman to set up its May 10 press conference announcing
the Chicago move, and the agency is a probable front runner for the
Edelman also helped Illinois attract Boeing.
Golin/Harris did pro bono work for the city of Chicago during the quest
and hopes to see more assignments as a result of that successful
Boeing received widespread coverage during its two-month search for a
new headquarters city, but Dern said the decision to publicly disclose
its intentions to move was not motivated by PR concerns. 'We were really
driven by the desire of the relocation team to collect a lot of specific
data,' he said. Trying to do that secretly would have inevitably led to
leaks and 'we would have lost control of the story,' he added.