Google.com opts to build in-house, hires PR manager

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA: Casting aside outside firms in favor of building its own public relations team, Google.com has hired Hilary Chalmers as its new consumer PR manager.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA: Casting aside outside firms in favor of building its own public relations team, Google.com has hired Hilary Chalmers as its new consumer PR manager.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA: Casting aside outside firms in favor of building its own public relations team, Google.com has hired Hilary Chalmers as its new consumer PR manager.

Despite speculation earlier this year that Google was considering retaining an agency of record, the search destination site plans to fill several more new internal positions before the year is out.

Chalmers brings with her a solid track record in PR. Starting her career with a three-month stint at Ketchum, she went on to spend two years at Edelman and two more at Porter-Novelli, eventually moving up to manager of media relations.

With this new job marking a change in direction for Chalmers, she is delighted to be working in-house. 'I feel like I potentially own something,' she says. 'I have more of a personal stake in my work here. There's a real enthusiasm and passion that you don't have on the agency side.'

Google's VP of corporate communications, Cindy McCaffrey, said: 'We did look at a number of external firms, but for a variety of reasons, we decided to build internally.'

Two factors behind McCaffrey's decision were cost and quality. 'There's a lot of horror stories out there,' she said, citing a boom in demand for services and a shortage of older and more experienced PR staffers among many West Coast agencies. 'I've been working in the Valley for 12 years, and a lot of firms are very stretched right now.'

Chalmers will join McCaffrey's other high-profile hirings from earlier this year. In March, Bill Dixon was poached from financial Web site Motley Fool, where his position was media relations fool. Before then, he spent time on Capitol Hill working as a political campaigner for the Democrats (PRWeek, March 20). At the same time, McCaffrey promoted Kim Vogel from Google's marketing department to the position of PR manager, joining David Krane.



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