Initially, it was to have been handled by mid-June of last year. Or so we were told from on high at Leo Burnett's flagship Chicago office. We're talking, of course, about what has turned into a terribly protracted search for a new public relations representative to handle media relations at perhaps the most iconic of Chicago ad agencies -- a job that has not been permanently filled for a year now. But we hear from the very pleasant Steve Peckham -- the agency's interim PR chief who has been on loan to Burnett from the global PR shop Edelman since last spring -- that Burnett does indeed expect to have a permanent PR person selected sometime in January.
Why has it taken such a ridiculously long time to find someone? Well, the Burnett powers-that-be apparently decided to put the search on hold last summer while they focused on finding a new chief creative officer. When Susan Credle was hired in September, that job was filled. And with Credle's input, the search supposedly resumed for the new PR chief. So it goes in the up and down, on again and off and on again world of advertising these days.
The advertising business is not without its major challenges, and whoever finally winds up in the PR seat at Burnett hopefully will have some understanding of what those challenges are and how best to present Burnett to the world in light of them. For truth be told, Burnett has been hard hit by those challenges in recent years. And the agency needs all the help it can get in re-burnishing its once glowing image within the Chicago ad world and beyond.