CHICAGO: Two agencies were scrambling to do damage control this week after a local newspaper broke the embargo on a story of a new skyscraper that is being billed as the country?s tallest.
Chicago-based Developer the Fordham Company and noted Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava are behind the project.
The architect?s US PR firm, New York-based Kreisberg Group, had arranged embargoed looks at the new building?s plans to The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the Chicago Sun-Times.
The four were to run stories last Wednesday, the day of a press conference in Chicago with Calatrava and representatives from Fordham.
But when Fordham?s PR firm, Chicago-based Taylor Johnson, put out a media advisory last Monday to announce the press conference, one of the papers decided to break the embargo. Kreisberg notified the others so they could have the story the same day.
?This [media advisory] was not supposed to go out; our PR firm screwed up,? said Lynn Jackson, a Fordham company spokesperson who would not give her title.
As a result of the early coverage, ?a lot of these stories were wrong? in describing Fordham?s planned 2,000-foot-tall Fordham Spire, she said.
Fordham also was not happy that some stories included unflattering quotes about its project from Donald Trump, who is building his own Chicago skyscraper several blocks away.
Taylor Johnson put out the media advisory at the direction of Kreisberg, said Peter Olesker, a Taylor Johnson EVP. ?We physically sent out the release but we were not running the show,? he said.
Stuart Klawans, a Kreisberg VP, said he approved sending out the media advisory.
?I remain baffled as to why anyone would want to do what they did? and break the embargo, he said. Klawans would not disclose which publication said it would break the embargo.
The agencies had to scramble to get information about the project to broadcast media. Calatrava was flying from Europe to Chicago Tuesday when the print stories appeared, and wasn?t available for media interviews that day.
?We are now doing our best to accommodate TV and radio,? Klawans said.