PN opens doors in Raleigh

RALEIGH, NC: The Porter Novelli Convergence Group has opened a full-service office in Raleigh and announced three new tech clients there. The new office expects to record PR fees of dollars 500,000 this year.

RALEIGH, NC: The Porter Novelli Convergence Group has opened a full-service office in Raleigh and announced three new tech clients there. The new office expects to record PR fees of dollars 500,000 this year.

RALEIGH, NC: The Porter Novelli Convergence Group has opened a full-service office in Raleigh and announced three new tech clients there. The new office expects to record PR fees of dollars 500,000 this year.

Jon Bornstein, the account manager heading up the office, had been working in the area for about three years with Copithorne & Bellows, a firm that is now part of PN Convergence.

The new clients being handled by the office are MindLever.com, an application services provider; Pliant Systems, a carrier platform supplier; and Cronos Integrated Microsystems, a fiber optics product maker.

Bornstein, who had been telecommuting to PN's Boston office in recent days from his Raleigh base, has hired three additional PR people in Raleigh and expects his office to grow to six staffers by the end of this year.

He sees PR fees reaching dollars 1.5-2million in the next 18 months.

Raleigh is in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina, an area long known as a technology center. In recent years, some in PR have said it's lost its tech luster as other regions in the country developed more expansive technology business bases.

Bornstein said while the area may not have as much technology business as Silicon Valley or Boston, it is a growing tech region. 'There's a lot of companies down here and there's a lot going on,' he said. Porter Novelli had some local clients in the past that were handled from either Atlanta or Boston, he said. One local tech company, EMC Corp, will continue to be served from Boston with the new Raleigh office providing local support, Bornstein said.

Porter Novelli's main competitor for tech business in the area is Brodeur Worldwide. Local firm Richard French & Associates opened a new technology practice in the area earlier this year.

Porter Novelli Convergence was formed in January as the tech arm of Porter Novelli International Group, which is owned by Omnicom Group.

Aside from expanding geographically, Porter Novelli is also trying to boost business by offering clients a PR service that combines the services of its tech and health divisions. Based in Chicago, the 'healthcare convergence' group will solicit technology companies with healthcare-related products (See PRWeek, Sept 11).



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