Scisson Joins Stone & Ward as PR Director

by Lance Turner  on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2002 11:52 am  

Public relations veteran Brenda Scisson will join advertising, marketing and public relations firm Stone & Ward of Little Rock as director of public relations, agency president Millie Ward said Wednesday.

Ward also said that public relations director Bob Steel, who left his news director's post at KATV-TV, Channel 7, in August to join the agency, will take a new position as media consultant. In that job, he'll work with clients on how to effectively deal with the media, as well as train TV stations on how to improve newscasts.

Scisson, who for the past two-and-one-half years has been senior vice president and director of marketing and public relations at Metropolitan National Bank, will continue to provide PR counsel for the bank through her post at Stone & Ward, the agency said.

The changes take effect March 1.

Steel said hiring Scisson, a 30-year public relations veteran, was his idea.

"It's very rare that you get to hire your own boss," he said.

Growing Consultancy

Steel said he was busy with his public relations duties and trying to cultivate a media consultancy for television news stations. He said he has four out-of-market stations interested in the service, which would help TV stations improve talent and newscasts.

Steel went to Ward with the idea of expanding the consultancy, focusing on it and creating a new revenue stream for the agency, he said.

"And once she bought into it, I started working on Brenda, and so did [Ward], and we have made this happen," he said.

Having Scisson as director of public relations recreates the working relationship she and Steel shared at another Little Rock advertising agency, Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods. Steel worked there with Scisson for a year between new director posts at KARK-TV, Channel 4, and KATV.

Ward said Steel's new post will allow him to make better use of his broadcast talents.

"In his new position, he can better utilize his talents and help us grow more national, regional and statewide business in media relations, a field in which he is an expert," she said. "He will also have more time to devote to working the relationships he has with television executives throughout the country."

History in the Market

Scisson was senior vice president of public relations at CJRW for 21 years until leaving in February 1999. Scisson was agency partner Ron Robinson's hand-picked successor at the firm to be director of public relations.

In the wake of her departure, CJRW acquired the up-and-coming PR team of Stacy Pittman and Jonathan Portis, with Pittman taking Scisson's title as a senior vice president.

In June 1999, Scisson joined Metropolitan, the independent bank headed by Lunsford Bridges. Metropolitan has assets of about $650 million and employs more than 300. It operates 26 branches throughout central Arkansas.

Steel has more than 30 years of broadcasting experience. Before joining Stone & Ward, he had been news director at KATV since 1994, succeeding news director Jim Pitcock and keeping the station at No. 1 in the market. Before KATV, he spent a year in CJRW's public relations department after he resigned in 1993 as KARK's news director.

The state's second-largest advertising agency, Stone & Ward has annual capitalized billings of about $35 million. It serves clients throughout the United States, including Terminix and TCBY, and employs more than 50.



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