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.