Network PR to close, Twitter slip reveals

The Australian office of Network PR is to close its doors within the next couple of weeks.  

The Sydney agency – which focused on B2B and technology clients after dropping its consumer PR practice about two years ago – employed about 12 people at its height.

Managing director Grant Common, who is Network PR‘s sole shareholder, told Mumbrella: “We aren’t going to go on operating in our present form. We’ve mutually decided to go in separate directions.”

The other two senior member of staff at the agency are Lesley White and Geoff Hoddinott.

Common declined to elaborate on his own plans, but said arrangements had already been made for clients, and jobs had been found for most staff. He said: ‘In the last three or four weeks we’ve been looking to place the staff and we’ve found something for just about everyone.”

He added: “It will be a couple of months before I resurface in another guise”

The changes do not affect Network PR’s sister agency in New Zealand.

Common was critical of the way news of the agency’s end reached the public domain, after the principal of rival agency Porter Novelli’s Sydney technology practice Anthony Lowe revealed it on Twitter today after talking to a candidate.

Common said: “The sad thing is we’re trying to place a member of staff at another agency and what was said at a private meeting ended up being broadcast over Twitter.”

Lowe tweeted a message aimed at Zing PR’s Scott Rhodie, a former colleague: “Just heard that Network PR is closing its doors at the end of this month.”

But he failed to send it as a direct message so it was visible to his 359 followers, and from there it quickly spread despite him later deleting the original message.

Lowe’s tweet drew an angry reply from Network PR’s White who publically messaged Lowe:

“Last I looked job interview info was considered confidential! Suggest u check with yr superiors about Porter Novelli ethics.”

Lowe told Mumbrella that he had intended to private message Rhodie in the hope of helping find the person a job. He said: “It was a mistake. I apologise to the guys at Network.” He also apologised on his Twitter profile.


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