Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

IPO Watch: Facebook Hiring Brunswick to Help With Comms for Expected Public Offering

It’s 2012 and it’s time for a brand news obsession for me besides the mishegas of Yahoo — and the winner is: Facebook’s upcoming IPO.

Thus, I shall endeavor to scoop all deets great and small about the social networking site’s moving on up to a deluxe public company in the Wall Street sky, which is expected in the spring of this year.

From bankers battling for purchase to who’s selling what to the delightful back and forth with regulators to Google’s lobbing the inevitable screaming meanies at its rival during Facebook’s quiet period, this is going to be a good one.

And CEO and Co-founder Mark Zuckerberg — and his hoodie — are back in the brightest of spotlights!

Speaking of the need for PR, one of the unsung but critical parts of any company’s public offering process is the hiring of an outside communications firm to handle the deluge of media, rumors and other breathless attention Facebook is sure to get.

It’s a highly specific job, given the reporters a company will be dealing with — in this case, sharp-elbowed Wall Street reporters — are usually different than the ones the Silicon Valley start-up has mostly dealt with (the geeks!).

And the expected winner of that thankless job is likely to go to the Brunswick Group, which describes itself as an “international corporate communications partnership that helps businesses and other organizations address critical communications challenges.”

In other words: Will be putting out the endless wildfires sure to rage around tech’s hottest IPO since Google.

Brunswick is among a small group of high-powered strategic communications firms that compete for such high-profile IPO jobs, as well as mergers and acquisitions and other corporate battling.

Others include Sard Verbinnen & Co. (it has worked for Groupon board and Alibaba Group); Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher (it has toiled for Hewlett-Packard) and Kekst and Company (now cat-wrangling the Yahoo drama).

It’s probably not a surprise that Brunswick won the deal, since it has worked with Facebook in the past, including on its controversial private offering with Goldman Sachs a year ago.

No surprise, everyone declined comment.

Thus, let the Hunger, oops, PR games begin!

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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google