New Middleberg Unit Offers Short-Term Project Help
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New Middleberg Unit Offers Short-Term Project Help

At Middleberg Euro RSCG, a new initiative aims to help companies large and small give an immediate boost to their positioning, and visibility, without entering into an agency-of-record relationship.

Paul Holmes

NEW YORK, December 7—With the recession taking a bite out of marketing budgets, many clients are looking for programming that produces short-term bottom-line results rather than long-term image-building, and several PR firms have responded with special offering designed to achieve quick results. At Middleberg Euro RSCG, a new initiative aims to help companies large and small give an immediate boost to their positioning, visibility, and reputation-management initiatives without entering into an agency-of-record relationship.
 
Middleberg Strategic Services will be headed by Curtis Hougland, an agency principal and corporate positioning and messaging specialist, and Matthew Rose, an agency director and corporate communications and crisis preparedness specialist. It will have a staff of six.
 
Says Hougland, “In this economic environment there is a great sense of urgency. The pace of economic, cultural, and technological change is so fast there’s a greater need than ever to be very targeted with limited resources and to show quick results.”
 
Services will include corporate positioning and message development, executive speaker placement, industry analyst meeting preparation and scheduling, and crisis plan development and training. Projects will typically span six to 10 weeks.
 
“We developed this new division to meet the needs of the marketplace,” says Don Middleberg, agency chairman and CEO. “Recently, large Fortune 1,000 organizations have asked us to work on specific assignments without having to commit to a long-term agency relationship. On the other end of the spectrum, smaller companies and start-ups are looking to conduct communications programming in the most cost-effective manner possible.
 
“Typically, they are not yet prepared to commit nor do they have the budgets for a sustained and highly aggressive communications effort. Yet, both have critical strategic communications initiatives and the need to implement them.  To address those needs, we are packaging a number of our core proficiencies and offering them on a quick-turn project basis.”
 
Rose says the initiative is designed to appeal particularly to those companies—large and small—that have taken public relations in house for budgetary reasons, but find they don’t have either the time or the specific expertise to handle project activities. “They don’t want an agency of record, but they would love to find a firm that can come in on a project basis, get things set up, and then walk away.”
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