Rayovac charges B-M with IR push

MADISON, WI: Rayovac, the country’s third largest battery maker, has hired Burson-Marsteller to handle what likely will be a mid-six-figure IR and media relations program.

MADISON, WI: Rayovac, the country’s third largest battery maker, has hired Burson-Marsteller to handle what likely will be a mid-six-figure IR and media relations program.

MADISON, WI: Rayovac, the country’s third largest battery maker,

has hired Burson-Marsteller to handle what likely will be a

mid-six-figure IR and media relations program.



The company has spent the last three years attempting to improve

earnings and its market position, yet its stock was dragged down earlier

this year by Wall Street concerns about consumer-goods companies.



’When you’re not a dot-com company, you struggle for analyst

recognition,’ said John Daggett, Rayovac’s director of marketing

services and corporate communications. The company has been working with

Young & Rubicam’s Chicago outpost on advertising since 1997. When it

came to PR, however, Rayovac did little more than ’kind of dabble with

it in the past,’ Daggett said.



Rayovac has seen its earnings grow roughly 33% annually over the past

three years and recently reported a 19% jump in its fiscal

second-quarter earnings. While the company has seen its share of the

general battery market grow 35% over the past three years and its share

of the alkaline battery market go up 47%, apparently Wall Street isn’t

getting the message: the company’s common stock has been trading in the

dollars 20-per-share range, near its 52-week low of 16 7/8.



According to Daggett, Rayovac picked Burson because the company wanted

to make sure that its messages are ’cohesive’ and that ’there is an

understanding of where we go from here.’ Having Y&R companies working on

both ads and PR should ensure an integrated approach to communications

for the company, he predicted.



Daggett is still finalizing budgets for Rayovac’s next fiscal year,

which begins in October, and declined to comment on the specific amount

of money that will be handed to Burson.



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