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Adventures in Public Relations: KB Network News, Hall Co. Merge, Brace for 'Blogging'

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Karine Bakhoum and Steven Hall will merge their respective companies, KB Network News and The Hall Company into KBHall Creative Group. The move, announced to top clients yesterday (confidential to KB/Hall clients: if you didn't get the news yesterday, you're what's referred to internally as, "tier two") and via press release today, pools the resources of Jeffrey Chodorow's PR machine with that of Steven Hall, architect of all of the most shameless public relations stunts of our time. "With the industry changing the way it is—we have chefs getting deals to open restaurants all over the country and the world, places like Dubai, London, and Tokyo—it's time to build a better mouse trap," explains Bakhoum, Hall's former and, let's be honest, new boss.

The official press release on the matter is here, but the better announcement is the aforementioned one from yesterday:

I am very excited to let you know that KB Network News has formed a strategic alliance with The Hall Company, an international public relations and licensing firm, to form a vibrant new agency, KBHall Creative Group!

This merger will double the size of our current company and bring together over 25 years combined of industry experience and expertise. KBHall Creative Group will be comprised of four divisions that will focus on public relations, concept development, cross marketing initiatives, licensing and creative news generation for restaurants, chefs, and lifestyle and hospitality brands.

With offices in New York City, San Francisco and Tokyo, we are now able to offer greater branding and promotional capabilities that have become crucial to our ever evolving industry, ultimately adding increased value for our clients overall.

In response to the evolution of today’s media landscape and the rising influence of electronic media such as blogging, KBHall Creative Group recognizes the importance of broadening publicity campaigns to include word of mouth activity, celebrity endorsement and mutually beneficial brand partnerships in order to make an impact on your key target audience.

This merger will create many exciting new opportunities that leverage The Hall Company’s current client portfolio, such as involvement in the Chocolate Show for example, but your day-to-day team and general processes will remain unchanged.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions and we look forward to a long and successful future!

Please save the date Monday June 30th as we are planning a big bash to celebrate this collaboration, which we are keeping “hush hush” until that day, and appreciate your help in not leaking this to bloggers or press members until then.

I hope you are as excited about this as we are as we see this as a very positive and strategic expansion designed to benefit you and the service we provide you with.

I look forward to seeing you on June 30th.

Most Fondly,
Karine Bakhoum

Said party will be thrown by El Chod at his new rooftop lounge at the Empire Hotel. The merger is effective July 1 and the combined company will operate out of KB's current offices at 501 Madison Ave. "We're moving uptown," Hall beamed this morning. "We'll have to start dressing a little better."
· KB Network News and The Hall Company form KBHall Creative Group [KBHall; .doc]

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