On the Middleberg + Associates Web site, there’s a section where chairman and CEO Don Middleberg reviews restaurants where he’s dined.
On the Middleberg + Associates Web site, there’s a section where
chairman and CEO Don Middleberg reviews restaurants where he’s
The listings have expanded significantly since we last checked in - no
surprise, as Middleberg has been wooed by potential suitors over lunch
and dinner non-stop for the past year. Up until recently, however, the
meetings only served to beef up his dining guide and the expense
accounts of other companies.
But it looks as if Middleberg has finally found an offer he can sink his
teeth into. With last week’s deal, Middleberg has joined the ranks of
the formerly independent technology firms, a growing fraternity that
recently added KVO Public Relations and Lois Paul & Partners to its
Sources say that Middleberg had all but signed a deal in early April,
but news of Incepta’s dollars 150 million acquisition of Sard Verbinnen
convinced Middleberg that he could get a lot more for his New York-based
agency, where PR income grew 119% last year to dollars 11.4 million. The
NASDAQ’s recent slide, while no doubt cooling the market for Internet
IPOs, has ironically bolstered the demand for savvy hi-tech PR counsel.
And few do it better than Middleberg.
It looks as if the firm’s strategy - eschewing risky Internet start-ups
in favor of established companies looking to take their business online
- has paid healthy dividends. The acquisition of Middleberg leaves only
Cunningham, FitzGerald and Schwartz Communications in play, and smart
money says at least one of those firms will fall this summer.
Blood-drive boycott could be fatal
When 200 or so blood-collection workers in Connecticut went on strike
last month, most figured that it was a mere pressure tactic. Each side
would eventually relax their demands, a contract would be reached and
the local Red Cross wouldn’t be forced to dip too deeply into its
6,500-unit reserves (the surplus amounted to about an 11-day
More than five weeks later, however, the strike has turned uglier than
could have been anticipated. In a move that defies logic, the AFL-CIO
took the unprecedented step of asking its 265,000 Connecticut members to
boycott blood drives until the labor dispute is resolved.
So in order to secure a better financial package for 200 phlebotomists,
nurses and lab workers, the AFL-CIO is attempting to hold an entire
region’s blood supply hostage? A tad shortsighted, perhaps?
What the AFL-CIO has learned since issuing the ultimatum is that the
public doesn’t take to threats involving its collective health too
The union didn’t just lose this particular PR battle, it created a
second one - one that will require overtime work to ensure that the
organization isn’t saddled with a reputation for being willing to
compromise the blood supply in order to achieve its financial ends.
Nobody is disputing that the blood-collection workers put in long hours
or that they have every right to strike for what they think they
But their misguided attempt to bleed a group like the Red Cross, which
has built up a Texas-size reservoir of good will over the years, will
likely haunt them long after this dispute is forgotten.