PR21 cuts Chicago tech unit and staff

CHICAGO: PR21, once known almost exclusively for tech PR, has shut

down its Chicago tech practice, parting ways with GM Paul Battaglia in

the process.

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.

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