Ford Foundation looks to WSW to publicize report

NEW YORK: The Ford Foundation has selected Weber Shandwick

Worldwide to help it promote a report due out in September on the future

of the international financial system.

WSW executives hope to parlay the project work into an agency-of-record


Michael Holtzman, WSW's SVP of public affairs, said he sees winning the

project as a breakthrough for the PR industry.

'The Ford Foundation and other think tanks are starting to think

strategically about communications,' he said. 'That's a very good thing

not only for us but for the industry as a whole.'

Holtzman said he gained the business from contacts in international

affairs, but still had to pitch against other organizations. He plans to

dedicate five people in WSW's New York office to the work, which he said

carried an 'ample budget for a global PR initiative.'

The report, which took more than a year to prepare, was written by

former trade and financial officials from emerging markets, including

Chile and South Korea. Media relations will target national and regional

media in those areas, as well as international affairs trade

publications, and economic and financial affairs writers.

Thea Lurie, senior communications advisor for the Ford Foundation,

believes the 65-year-old philanthropic organization has never had an

agency of record, but has increasingly been working with agencies when

in-house personnel cannot answer specific communications needs.

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