PR News takes ‘cheap shot’ at the Shockers

scoreUPDATED — In a bid for more subscribers through a national e-mail blast on Wednesday, PR News touted its “expert opinions” on communications and crisis management, among other things, through what a Wichita State University spokesman calls a “cheap shot” at the Shockers.

The PR group now needs a little crisis management help of its own.

The e-mail, which was about how to “score big” in the business, has a subject line that says “Don’t be like Wichita State.”

“Really, that’s the approach you’re going to take to generate business?” asks WSU spokesman Joe Kleinsasser. “It’s just a marketing attempt gone awry. Is it the end of the world? No. But it’s unfortunate.”

His day began with a couple of e-mails from his counterparts at Wake Forest University and Princeton University alerting him to the slam against the school and its beloved Shockers.

“And, yes, I am unsubscribing from their distribution list,” one said after saying how much the slam annoyed him.

It’s a sentiment others locally and nationally are echoing.

“We think this approach is mean-spirited and beneath contempt,” wrote Barth Hague, WSU’s associate vice president for university relations and chief marketing officer, in an e-mail to PR News about playing on the Shockers’ “heartbreaking loss.”

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You don’t say

“I’ll feel much more comfortable during my presentation if only half the room applauds. I’m not used to everyone in the room approving of what I do.”

Bill Gardner of Gardner Design, speaking about lessons in redesign and rebranding at the Chamber’s Sunrise Scrambler on Wednesday

You don’t say

Wichita State’s #31, Ron Baker, scores career-high 31 points as Shockers go 31-0 on 3-1.”

Angie Elliott of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce, sharing with colleagues what headline she dreams of seeing in The Wichita Eagle on Sunday

You don’t say

“This B2B is A2Z. From Angry Birds at the Meritrust Credit Union booth to Zany décor (a leg lamp from the movie A Christmas Story) at the Green Biz Wichita display.”

– An e-mail quoting Angie Elliott of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce on the group’s 2013 business-to-business EXPOsure trade show

Peterson Publications no longer will produce Go Wichita’s visitors guide

WICHITA — Last year, Have You Heard? reported that Peterson Publications no longer would produce the Kansas Official Visitors Guide, much to the disappointment of the Topeka-based company’s president, Jeff Peterson.

Now, the company is no longer going to produce the Go Wichita visitors guide, but Peterson says that was his choice.

“We’re just reorganizing some of the things that we are doing here,” he says. “This was really strictly a business decision.”

Peterson says he hopes the convention and visitors bureau would hire a local company to do the work.

“With the Wichita guide, it really takes … going and seeing a lot of the smaller businesses there. We’re not right in Wichita, so it was quite a bit of travel for our sales manager.”

Peterson says it may have been different if the company still was producing the state guide.

Go Wichita has hired Arizona-based Madden Media, which also produces the state guide.

“They did excellent work with the state, so we included them in the opportunity to bid,” says Go Wichita spokesman James Williams.

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You don’t say

“I know you are all wondering if that beautiful new red car parked over there is a door prize. It’s not. It’s the speaker’s gift.”

Delta Dental of Kansas vice president of human resources Kara Hunt, speaking at the Chamber’s Sunrise Scrambler about a car that Davis-Moore had at the event

GLMV Architecture lays off about a dozen employees in second round of layoffs

WICHITA — For the second time in less than a year, GLMV Architecture has laid off employees.

In August, the cutbacks affected a half dozen employees. This time, it’s about a dozen. Some employees also will now be working reduced hours.

“Nobody saw this coming,” says one laid-off worker. “Everybody’s so shocked.”

Neither Chairman Bill Livingston nor CEO Jeff Van Sickle returned calls for comment.

Sources say that in some ways, the company seems to have had more work lately. The issue may be that some of GLMV’s clients have had difficult first quarters.

The layoffs affected GLMV’s Wichita, Kansas City and Houston offices.

In January 2010, Gossen Livingston merged with McCluggage Van Sickle and Perry. In 2012, GLMV moved into a prominent new home in the Douglas Design District at 1525 E. Douglas.

The Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce recently awarded GLMV the Keeper of the Plains award during its annual Honors Night for the firm’s work restoring the 30,000-square-foot 1930 building that originally was home to J. Arch Butts’ Packard dealership.

“If you have two of the longest firms in Wichita merge (and) they just won an award for a building, and now you’re laying off another round … it doesn’t add up,” one former employee says.

“That plus the last round is a pretty big hit.”

Michael Monteferrante named Envision CEO

WICHITA — The fixer is back.

Michael Monteferrante, the turnaround specialist who first came to Wichita in 2003 as CEO of Optima Bus, is returning as the new president and CEO of Envision.

“It’s a nonprofit, and we didn’t know if someone with as entrepreneurial spirit as Michael has would want to make the leap to the nonprofit world,” says Sam Williams, chairman of Envision’s board.

“This opportunity I’m looking at completely different than I have at previous opportunities of employment,” Monteferrante says. “I can’t be more excited than to take all the things I’ve learned over the years and apply it to a company that helps people.”

In addition to serving the blind and low-vision community through services and education, Envision is the second-largest employer of blind and low-vision people nationally. Envision Industries has a number of production and distribution divisions.

“I’ve always been extremely passionate about the mission of Envision,” Monteferrante says.

He still remembers his first tour of the Envision plant on Water Street years ago.

“I could not tell who was blind and who wasn’t, and I just said, ‘Wow. I want to be a part of this. This is one of the most inspirational plant tours I’ve had.’”

Monteferrante sees bigger things for Envision, though.

“While it has grown – it’s grown tremendously over the years – I believe that the boundaries of growth for the mission of Envision … are endless,” he says. “I’ve always felt that the mission at Envision could be more than a Wichita-based, Kansas-based situation.”

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Robert Gates to speak at chamber’s annual meeting on Nov. 12

UPDATED — Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is going to be this year’s speaker at the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting.

The meeting is at Century II on Nov. 12, which is when Veteran’s Day is observed. The chamber plans to honor members of the military from the area, including McConnell Air Force Base, at the event.

Gates, a Wichita native who has served under eight presidents, is likely to get a far friendlier reception in his hometown than another former defense secretary did.

The chamber invited Donald Rumsfeld to be its speaker in 2007 and then cancelled his appearance. That followed some criticism of his selection. The chamber never commented on why it cancelled or if ticket sales were slow.

This years tickets, which can be ordered here, range from $10 for general admission to $115 for dinner and reserved seating.

 

 

You don’t say

“For those of you who have read the book, thank you. For those of you who haven’t, there is ample inventory.”

— Former President George W. Bush, speaking at the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting Thursday about his book, “Decision Points