Hi-tech independents hurt

San Francisco and Los Angeles: Niehaus Ryan Wong (NRW) and The Bohle Company, two of hi-tech PR's top-performing independents, both announced layoffs this week in the wake of a troubled tech market.

San Francisco and Los Angeles: Niehaus Ryan Wong (NRW) and The Bohle Company, two of hi-tech PR's top-performing independents, both announced layoffs this week in the wake of a troubled tech market.

San Francisco and Los Angeles: Niehaus Ryan Wong (NRW) and The Bohle Company, two of hi-tech PR's top-performing independents, both announced layoffs this week in the wake of a troubled tech market.

NRW, the San Francisco-area agency best known for the launch of Yahoo! and its work with other high-profile brands such as Pixar and The Motley Fool, has slashed 22 positions - 20% of its work force. According to Chairman Bill Ryan, the layoffs affect positions at all levels and in each of the firm's three offices.

After enjoying growth throughout the mid to late '90s, NRW hit a rough patch in 2000 with the loss of Yahoo!, reportedly a dollars 2 million account, to Fleishman-Hillard.

The firm was also hurt by the changes in the dot-com sector, as clients eMusic, eLoan, PlanetRx and The Motley Fool either lost funding, got acquired, closed up shop or brought PR in-house. Most recently, Nordstrom.com, which shifted its business to NRW from Connors Communications less than a year ago, took its PR in-house. While the agency brought in more than dollars 16 million in fee revenue for 2000 - 72% more than in 1999 - Ryan said fees are projected to increase less than 25% this year.

Meanwhile down the coast, The Bohle Company, LA's biggest independent hi-tech firm, has cut eight positions from the payroll, representing an eighth of the work force.

'We have a strong focus on emerging growth start-ups, and these clients are finding it impossible to raise their second-round funding, which has led to a cash crisis,' said CEO Sue Bohl.





Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.