SAN FRANCISCO: After churning through at least three agencies in nine months, San Francisco-based online marketplace SmartAge has taken its PR account in-house.
SAN FRANCISCO: After churning through at least three agencies in
nine months, San Francisco-based online marketplace SmartAge has taken
its PR account in-house.
Founded in 1998 by ex-Ziff-Davis publisher Bill Lohse, SmartAge was most
recently working on a rumored dollars 40,000 monthly retainer with
FitzGerald Communications’ San Fran office. However, since September
1999 the company has also retained Kansas City-based Ink and Rubenstein
Associates for various media relations and PR services. Sources close to
the companies involved hinted that the number of PR firms on the payroll
might have depleted a once-hefty marketing budget.
SmartAge PR director Julia Glenister, however, said the decision to go
in-house was more a matter of logistics and resource allocation than
cost-cutting. ’My senior public relations manager and I both have agency
backgrounds, so we are pretty well-versed in PR strategy and tactics,’
’It just made sense for us to beef up our internal staff from three to
four dedicated team members and operate from the corporate side.’
Glenister, who joined SmartAge in December after two years with Niehaus
Ryan Wong, added that the breadth of the company’s offerings - more than
40 products and services for small businesses - makes an in-house PR
arrangement ideal. ’It is an enormous advantage to be sitting next to
the engineering staff, product and partner marketing groups,’ she
FitzGerald, which had worked with SmartAge since December, is unlikely
to feel any pain over the loss of the business. The agency’s San
Francisco branch has picked up at least 10 new accounts worth about
dollars 2 million in annualized fee income within the past six months.
Recent additions include CrossWorlds Software, iMediation and