Brazilian connection

LATE publicist par excellence Pete E. Teodoro made us handle bundled dynamite such as High Court Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee, the first Filipino multinational SGV and its erst-while spearhead Washington Sycip, the late Roy Navarro, and even a captain of the semi-conductors industry Vicente Chuidian.

That was back in the 1980s when PET’s roaring mouse of a firm had its back to the wall and was on the wane.

Ah, I miss the old man, that past when each working day nudged us to step, do hopscotch on a political mine field… and just blast off soaring.

PET was as old-fashioned as the Underwood typewriters with which we did our writing.

Sure, we fed on mono-graphs about advertising, crisis management and subliminal seduction that the firm got from its sources.

But PET would always have the last word. PR is all about performance records, performance reports—no spin, no glib-tongued hocus-pocus.

This wash of nostalgia came surging after, well, being told that leading global PR agency Weber Shandwick took firmer reins on one of the largest PR outfits in Brazil, S2 Publicom which takes on a new name, S2 Publicom Weber Shand-wick.

Been there—done that soft sell of icons, ideas, idiosyn-crasies and advocacies.

An outfit with worldwide reach now provides clients with, say, strategic communications insights and counsel in multiple sectors such as corpo-rate, consumer, technology and healthcare.

Long-standing clients for the Brazilian connection include McDonald’s, Petrobras, HTC and GOL Airlines.

Work posts in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro fit out 125 professionals with broad communi-cations and media relation expertise.

And, yes, specialists in crisis management and digital communications.

WS CEO Harris Diamond pointed up successful past collaborations with S2 Publicom as proof that the Brazilian agency is the right partner that could help WS support its multinational clients.

Together, they can continue to build a great business in what is clearly one of the world’s fastest growing economies.

“Brazil is one of the largest consumer markets in the world, and as it plans to host the FIFA World Cup 2014 and the 2016 Olympic Summer Games, we see great opportunities to build our presence in the market,” Diamond said.

Weber Shandwick (Philippines) president and CEO Atty. Mike Toledo points out the Brazilian acquisition embodies an important part of WS global growth plans, underline its strong presence with 174 offices in major media, business and government capitals around the world.

No false modesty here: WS has global reach with offices in 74 countries around the world.

“The firm’s success is built on its deep commitment to client service, our people, creativity, collaboration and harnessing the power of Advocates – engaging stakeholders in new and creative ways to build brands and reputation,” Toledo notes.

WS redefines solutions to P.R.oblems…“strategy and execution across practices such as consumer marketing, healthcare, technology, public affairs, financial services, corporate and crisis management.”

Its specialized services include digital/social media, advocacy advertising, market research, and corporate responsibility. So Toledo tells me.

In 2010, Weber Shandwick was named Global Agency of the Year by The Holmes Report for the second year in a row; an ‘Agency of the Decade’ by Ad-vertising Age, Large PR Agency of the Year by Bulldog Reporter, a Digital Firm of the Year by PR News, and Top Corporate Responsibility Advisory Firm by CR Magazine.

The firm has also won numerous ‘best place to work’ awards around the world.

Weber Shandwick is part of the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG).

Been there… but I could get lost just looking back in fondness, in memory of PET to whom I will raise an Oktoberfest anytime!

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