19 June 2007

Lewis meltdown...updated...

So you'll have all read in last week's PRWeak that Lewis is having a bit of a meltdown at the moment, with four 'senior' staff leaving (OK, three senior and one account director from Octane which they threw in there to beef things up a bit).

You'll have also noticed this little line at the bottom of the story...

"At the same time Lewis is on the verge of hiring two associate directors (one leading sector journalist and a corporate specialist from a rival agency)."

We understand that the hack in question is Will Sturgeon, editor-at-large of silicon.com.

Can anyone confirm?

UPDATE: Indeed they can...Will himself has posted a comment giving the details.

37 comments:

Will Sturgeon said...

I should have known the PR industry grapevine would beat me to the punch.

I can indeed confirm I will be leaving silicon.com on 11 July, to join Lewis PR as associate director, head of media strategy from 23 July. I'm pretty confident I'm not joining a company in meltdown, but I will always applaud the use of a good eye-catching headline.

Likewise, I am leaving a publication which has continued to go from strength-to-strength in recent years and looks set to continue on an upwards trajectory with an outstanding team in place (expect some exciting news about new hires soon).

It hasn't been an easy decision but after a sometimes trying, often fun, always interesting seven years in this industry, these are certainly the best circumstances in which to be moving on.

Hopefully I'll get around to speaking to a lot of people over the coming weeks but thanks to everybody I've worked with over the past seven years – there are some outstanding in-house and agency PRs in this industry; many of whom I regard as good friends and hopefully they will remain so.

Also, I hope my friends and colleagues at silicon.com and across rival sites and mags won't turn their backs on me once I switch to the dark side ...at least one colleague has already asked if I'll have "a magic wallet" (are journos really that shallow?).

Anonymous said...

Good work TWL. You'll put PR Weak out of business if you carry on like this!

Anonymous said...

Best of luck Will! I've heard Lewis is a fantastic place to work and that it was never them that got Spin Bunny shut down...

Anonymous said...

Best of luck in your new post, Will.

It always warms the cockles of my heart when a respected journo leaves to join the PR world - especially in the light of that latest Charles Arthur rant, published recently by TWL.

Anonymous said...

"I've heard Lewis is a fantastic place to work" - This sarcastic right?!Eeeek! I don't think I've ever heard anything except the opposite!

....the world's leading.... said...

OK loyal readers...just a gentle reminder that we do (and will) moderate comments on this blog...

I've already had to reject a couple...

Anonymous said...

TWL, how can you say that you 'moderate posts' having published that pornographic novel for the BCS competition? Was the language used to describe Lewis that bad!

....the world's leading.... said...

Ahh, we'll rude as it might have been, our BCS story (yet to be completed, by the way) couldn't have in any way been deemed defamatory or libellous against an individual or organisation. The comments I've moderated could, I'm afraid.

Anonymous said...

What kind of comments were they that you had to delete them outright?

Anonymous said...

Whatever did happen to the Spin Bunny? Someone must know. That's a TWL story I would love to read.....

Anonymous said...

Nothing against lil' Willm but it cracks me up that anyone would employ an journalist as an associate director. Lewis despite all its detractor really does have som exellent AMs and ADs who are much more worthy of the title.

Anonymous said...

TWL might know what happened to spin bunny?

....the world's leading.... said...

Not really. Though we do know that the Bunny didn't seem to moderate comments very much (if at all); something which ultimately turned out to be an error of judgement, in our humblest of opinions.

nd said...

Anonymous @4:27 PM.
A little harsh on Will don't you think?

Is there any chance that you yourself are an AM/AD at Lewis who is having trouble moving up the career ladder? I hope for his sake that he doesn't end up working in your department!

Richard Millington said...

After spending some time in Kenya with Will, I can say with some confidence that Lewis PR have picked up a sturdy uphill cyclist.

....the world's leading.... said...

We would like to point out that "uphill cyclist" and "uphill gardener" are two entirely different things.

Anonymous said...

TWL, this paranoia and moderation and general reservedness of yours is starting to dumb the site down -com'on - freedom of speech n all that!

Anonymous said...

badum, and indeed, tish

....the world's leading.... said...

Anon - "TWL, this paranoia and moderation and general reservedness of yours is starting to dumb the site down -com'on - freedom of speech n all that!"

Surely that's a bit of an over-reaction? I've only decided not to publish two comments...and both would have almost certainly resulted in threats of legal action (and with some justification!).

Generally, as you know, we let stuff go but even we have to draw the line somewhere...

figgis said...

"Good work TWL. You'll put PR Weak out of business if you carry on like this!"

By following up a PR Week story? Not sure they'll be too worried about that...

TWL - maybe you should just publish a news blackout on all things Lewis, people do seem to have some very entrenched views on them. I'm sure that would work very well for everyone...

Anonymous said...

TWL is absolutely right that the site has to self-moderate. Otherwise we'll lose it, like we lost Spin Bunny and that is in no one's interest. That said, there are ways and means of posting in a way that cannot be construed as defamatory while still getting your point across.

Martin said...

Best of luck Will. Thanks for all your assistance over the years at Silicon. Twas always my fave place to visit in the old days - Sara, Polly and all the other foxy hacks always made it a fun stop on a press tour for an impressionable young exec! lol

Anonymous said...

There's not much point saying anything about Lewis, we all know the stories and we've all heard them from people who worked there. A strange career choice to say the least.

Anonymous said...

i dont know the stories - what are they?

Anonymous said...

suffice it to say they have a very good training programme but a culture that also often leaves good people bitter and desperate to leave. Perfect for other agencies to then pick up. Hurrah! Don't go changing now Lewis...

Anonymous said...

'TWL, this paranoia and moderation and general reservedness of yours is starting to dumb the site down -com'on - freedom of speech n all that!'

Are you going to pay the libel insurance premiums?

Anonymous said...

>>"i dont know the stories - what are they?"<<

apparently, they are all satanists...rituals and everything...

Anonymous said...

Never mind any potential defamatory or libelous comments, can we all please try and remember to spell LEWIS in uppercase (Will, shame on you for making this mortal mistake), please do try and think of poor Chris’ battered ego. I seem to remember when LEWIS appointed another journalist to the enviable ranks of Associate Director, Mark Streets (who promptly left to Join Vodafone). I wonder where Will will end up....

Anonymous said...

Will - don't do it! Joining L was the biggest regret of my career.

I won't say any more as this won't get published, but I plead with you to reconsider before it's too late!

I was advised against joining by other ex-staff, but saw it as a 'challenge'. Three months later I realised everything I'd been told was true.....

Anonymous said...

Mark StreetS? Don't you mean Street? or has he teamed up with Mike Skinner?

orlan said...

I shall prey for you Will.

....the world's leading.... said...

With that quality of spelling, I've got my hands together for you, too.

Anonymous said...

C'mon - surely Will's not quite that stupid. Lewis are the only mugs to give him a job at that level apparently 'just like that' but he'll probably bleed 'em dry and move swiftly on. It's a stepping stone, and good luck to him.

Or maybe I'm wrong and he'll stay there forever. Then more fool him.

Sean Fleming said...

My advice to Will, as a hack-turned-flack, would be to watch your back, learn as much as you can, and have an exit strategy.

I left The Reg to join a sizeable PR agency as an AD, back in 2000. There were some noses seriously out of joint. One person openly complained that I shouldn't be coming in over the heads of people who'd earned their PR stripes. That was just the one who was brave enough to say what was on their mind. Others just had the knives out for me from Day One and kept them out until I left on Day 365.

Anonymous said...

He'll fit right in - he's turned in to such a lovie anyway.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Will will be happy to spend his next six months going from one pitch to another with the words 'used to be the editor of silicon.com' plastered across every proposal and powerpoint. Easy life. Fantastic job satisfaction. It's a no brainer. Good on you. Oh, and of course, loads more pay.

Bez Berry said...

Are ADs and AMs mobilising in some form of bourgeoise revolution against the massed ranks of journalists entering PR? I think we should be told. As the publishing houses continue to 'rationalise' (and journalist pay remains shite) should we expect even more ex-pat journos in the PR industry?

As an ex-hack myself, I personally haven't seen any of the politics or back-stabbing mentioned in some of these posts. And I hope you don't either, Will. Good luck chap and I hope you really enjoy the move.