I recently read with interest in the Holmes Report that GCI Group, a member of WPP Group’s stable of public relations agencies, has been merged with WPP sib Cohn & Wolfe. While no one will actually come out and say it (surprising for the usually forthcoming PR crowd), the inference is that GCI Group will soon cease to exist as a brand.
I was a GCI Group staffer in 1991, assigned to the agency’s Irvine, CA office where I worked on-premises at client Toshiba America Information Systems. I wrote all of the press releases for the copier division and while it was far from glamorous, that’s where I learned to write (and where I learned to clear copier paper jams).
GCI Group started life as Grey Advertising’s PR division. The GCI Los Angeles office to which we reported shared a hallway with Grey. It was an odd relationship because I never spoke to anyone at Grey while I was there. I had always assumed that GCI stood for Grey Communications, Inc., but I was told, “it doesn’t stand for anything.” Well alright then.
I was happy to move on from GCI Group, but my days there were made fun by my wonderful colleagues Laurie Nalezny and the late great Chuck Ramsey. Chuck is the one who told me, “When you’re in PR, don’t let the fact that you don’t know what you’re talking about stop you from talking.”
R.I.P. GCI Group