20 March 2007

Who do you think you are kidding Mr Lewis..?

Prepare yourselves...Lewis PR is on the march and coming to a town near you very soon...all under the command of a German, no less.

Where's Captain Mainwaring when you need him, eh?

What am I blathering on about? Well, in case you missed it, yesterday Lewis PR announced plans to double its global network of offices, adding another 20 over the next two years! It also said that it would be opening two Lewis Employee Development Centres (LEDAs) which will "‘hothouse’ new emerging talent, by providing intensive six-month training expertise." Sounds a bit like brainwashing to me.

The first of these will be based in Munich. Helloooooo......

And the whole expansion project will be directed by Andres Wittermann, VP of Lewis PR’s European region.

So let me get this straight...ambitious plans for global expansion...intensive training for young people...all run by a German fella...

Where's my tin hat?

But seriously, for a company that's opened 21 offices in the last 12 years or so, to open another 20 in two seems extraordinary. Might it be over stretching itself..? The announcement also claims that: "Investment in both the training centres and future offices over the next two years is expected to exceed $2million." Bloody right it'll exceed $2m!

Lewis does point to some impressive growth over the past year...27% in the US, 26% in APAC, 11% in Europe...though exactly what this means in terms of revenue (and, more importantly, profit) we're not sure. As you'll remember, Lewis declined to take part in last year's PRWeak League Tables as it wanted to focus on its international expansion. We assume the same excuse will do for the next couple of years too...

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

'LEDA' was probably the safest choice. The 'Lewis Youth' doesn't have the same ring to it...

Anonymous said...

Watch out for Moscow though...expansion plans always go a bit wrong once you get to the outskirts

Anonymous said...

'hothouse' new emerging talent?

You mean take some graduates, pay them nothing and charge them out at £200/day and call it 'work experience'?

Anonymous said...

true, but they've got a while to go before winter sets in

Anonymous said...

Hothouse...according to dictionary.com could mean:

a) of, pertaining to, or noting a plant grown in a hothouse, or so fragile as to be capable of being grown only in a hothouse.

b)overprotected, artificial, or unnaturally delicate

c) 1451, "bath house," from hot + house. In 17c. a euphemism for "brothel"

Interesting strategy :)

Seriously though, who is this announcement designed to attract? Clients who want to know that they are being staffed by good people who were cultivated in a hothouse, or prospective grads/employees who might want to be hothoused?

Me said...

As they say in the movies...
Be Afraid.. Be Very Afraid!

Andrzej Bania said...

Is this the same Lewis PR that I had to beg & beg & beg for an Antec power supply for a top web site to be able to do some testing on ?

After 5 days and multiple promises of "No problem - it will go out immediately" I finally spoke with a director and told them that if they could not service their client's most basic needs - then I would be happy to go down Tottenhamd Court Road - buy the PSU myself - and pay for it to be shipped to the journalist...

...but questioned whether that should be necessary - given that Lewis were probably presenting invoices for the same kind of service.

I offered them my courier service etc on each occassion - and was met with a 'warm, soft, cuddly blanket of promises' which seemed to evaporate once the phone went down.

I am sure that every company has good days and bad days...

...but 5 days of promises in a row did make it look like they were trying to set some kind of record.

That the journalist was also calling them several times a day did not help to make them look more competant.

We still laugh about this when swapping PR horror stories...

...I am just glad that I only ever needed one thing from them :~)