SAN FRANCISCO: Looking to gain credibility as it expands its North American operations, Text 100 has brought former Xerox PR chief John Rasor on board.
A 31-year veteran of Xerox, Rasor most recently was director of worldwide strategic public relations, a post based in Rochester, NY. He will now serve as a non-executive member of the board and act as senior consultant with Text 100's North American business.
Rasor will report to CEO Tim Dyson. 'He brings some good gray hairs to the mix,' said Ryan Donovan, GM/San Francisco.
During his tenure at Xerox, Rasor spearheaded the company's first pan-European PR campaign, for which he brought in Text 100. 'At the time (the early 1990s) we were not registering a broad brand message, and we needed people who understood the European media and hi-tech,' he said. 'We were looking for energy, and a non-conventional approach.' Rasor also oversaw PR programs in Western Europe, Brazil, the US, and Canada.
Director of corporate PR Jeff Simek will replace Rasor at Xerox. 'Everything was in place, and it was just a good deal (to leave Xerox) at the time,' said Rasor. 'I'm one of the few people I know who has never had a boring day at work.'
Text 100 now handles Xerox's corporate account in Europe, as well as its Grenoble research center. In the US, the firm handles Xerox's legendary Palo Alto Research Center (PARC).
Rasor's appointment is part of a larger plan to beef up the hi-tech firm's US presence. Dyson plans to open two US offices this year (PRWeek, 2/22).
Possible locations include New York, Austin, Atlanta, San Diego, and Los Angeles. The firm set up shop in Rochester, Boston, and San Francisco in 1997, and has grown rapidly across the globe in the past two years.
Rasor said he will also handle professional development programs for Text 100's staff, and he recently pitched his first piece of business in years. 'I wrote the presentation the day before, but then I said, 'If I don't know this stuff after 33 years, I'll never know it.' So I threw away my notes and made the presentation.'
Rasor, who will remain based in Rochester, joins Ian Taylor, a British member of parliament and the first outside advisor appointed to the Text 100 Group board.