CHICAGO: PR21, once known almost exclusively for tech PR, has shut
down its Chicago tech practice, parting ways with GM Paul Battaglia in
Battaglia, with more than 20 years' experience at Motorola, Edelman,
Hill & Knowlton, and Golin/Harris, is well known in Chicago.
Battaglia, along with three PR21 co-founders - Blair Ciecko, Christy
Frederick, and Mark Smith - are launching a new PR agency, StrongForce
Group. The new firm is currently soliciting tech business in the area
from "valued friends, former and potential clients, and partners."
Battaglia was a founding officer of PR21 in early 1998. Prior to that,
he oversaw Edelman's global tech practice as SVP.
Ten account staff and two support staff have been cut from the Chicago
office, said Bob Hubbell, PR21's new CEO. "Tech remains an important
component of PR21, but we refocused geographically," Hub-bell said. "The
Midwest can't support a full tech practice."
PR21's Chicago office will now be co-managed by Bridget Brennan, head of
the consumer practice, William Black, head of competitive intelligence,
and CFO Bob Taylor.