AKRON, OH: Sometimes it pays to speak up, as Robert Zajac, president of Highland Public Relations, found out recently.
Zajac was miffed when he read that the Akron City Council was talking about hiring a PR firm from Cleveland, Greer Consulting. Rather than sit quietly, Zajac wrote a letter that appeared in the local newspaper, the Akron Beacon Journal. That February day, he received a phone call from the VP of the council.
Zajac went on to convince the council that his local firm could do more for it than an interloper from Cleveland. Last month, Highland got the job, worth a maximum of $45,000 a year. It is already saving the council about $17,000 a year by having its newsletter done as an insert to the Beacon Journal rather than as a free-standing publication, Zajac said. His firm is also handling media training and media relations for the council.
"The lesson is: Until the contract is signed on the dotted line, there's always the chance to do something better," Zajac said.