FEBRUARY 7, 2013/SAN FRANCISCO and NEW YORK - EVC Group, Inc. today announced that John Carter, former Director at WCG, joined the award winning investor relations and integrated communications consulting firm. Carter will join as Principal, and will lead the expansion of the firm’s integrated communications practice.

Carter joins EVC Group from WCG, where he managed account teams for the agency’s consumer practice, including Hershey’s, Warner Bros. and Michaels. Carter focused on strategic social engagement and analytics, while also coordinating teams for content creation and digital execution. Prior to WCG, Carter led the consumer public relations team at SHIFT Communications, where he opened and ran the firm’s New York office.

“Our integrated communications team represents nearly 40% of our business and has successfully developed and executed programs for both major international enterprises as well as start-up ventures,” said Doug Sherk, Founder & CEO. “As the practice has evolved, we wanted to add a leader with experience developing new avenues for clients to reach their audience. John’s success at developing as well as executing social strategy, combined with his reputation for building strong teams, makes him the ideal fit to lead the firm into our next stage of growth.”

“For over a decade, EVC Group has provided senior counsel to an exceptional roster of loyal clients,” said Carter. “I’m excited to join Doug’s team, and will be focused on maintaining the outstanding level of client service the firm provides while exploring new opportunities to build on client successes.”

About EVC Group, Inc.

EVC Group is an investor relations and integrated communications practice providing strategic counsel and execution to businesses of all sizes needing to communicate their unique value to investors, customers and the consumer. The firm’s practice areas include biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, life sciences, financial & business services, and technology. Established in 2002, EVC Group is well regarded for its strategic thinking; seasoned, senior-level staff; frank counsel; deep relationships, and tangible results that have a measurable impact on its clients’ businesses. For the past two consecutive years, EVC Group has been awarded the PRSA Silver Anvil award for the category of Investor Relations for Companies with Sales Less than $500 Million. The firm maintains offices in San Francisco, New York City and Southern California.

2.07.13

Investor Relations, Public Relations

Patty Eisenhaur Joins EVC Group

EVC Group, Inc. announced that Patty Eisenhaur, former vice president of investor relations and corporate communications at Watson Pharmaceuticals, has teamed up with the award winning investor and integrated communications consulting firm EVC Group. Ms. Eisenhaur has assumed senior strategist responsibilities for the firm’s expanding pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry practice.

Ms. Eisenhaur brings 20 years of industry communications experience to EVC Group. She joined Watson Pharmaceuticals in 2001 and was appointed vice president in 2009. Prior to joining Watson, Ms. Eisenhaur held investor relations positions at ALZA Corporation and Arris Pharmaceuticals.

“Being able to attract Patty Eisenhaur to our practice is a major achievement for our firm,” said Douglas Sherk, Founder of CEO. “Patty is extremely well regarded within the sell side and buy-side investment community and her depth of experience and relationships will be extremely valuable to our existing and future healthcare industry clients. For the past two consecutive years, our team has had the unique distinction of winning awards for our investor relations programming on behalf of healthcare companies with sales under $500 million. Patty adds additional depth and experience to our team as well as the perspective of having been an on-staff corporate officer at well known companies. ”

“EVC Group is retained by an impressive roster of clients that is a natural fit to my background and I’ve already enjoyed adding value to client initiatives,” said Ms. Eisenhaur. “I have joined a firm with an exceptional pharmaceutical and biotech background, both in investor relations and public relations, and it’s a pleasure to be part of such a successful team.”

About EVC Group, Inc.

EVC Group is an investor relations and integrated communications practice providing strategic counsel and execution to businesses of all sizes needing to communicate their unique value to investors, customers and the consumer. The firm’s practice areas include biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, life sciences, financial & business services, and technology. Established in 2002, EVC Group is well regarded for its strategic thinking; seasoned, senior-level staff; frank counsel; deep relationships, and tangible results that have a measurable impact on its clients’ businesses. For the past two consecutive years, EVC Group has been awarded the PRSA Silver Anvil award for the category of Investor Relations for Companies with Sales Less than $500 Million. The firm maintains offices in San Francisco, New York City and Southern California. For more information about EVC Group, please visit http://www.evcgroup.com.

1.03.13

Public Relations

Amy Phillips Joins EVC Group

SEPTEMBER 28, 2012/SAN FRANCISCO and NEW YORK - EVC Group, Inc. today announced veteran public relations professional Amy Phillips has joined the firm as Vice President. Ms. Phillips brings more than 15 years of experience to the firm and is based in EVC’s New York office.

“Amy brings a diverse background to EVC Group,” said Christopher Gale, Executive Vice President of the firm. “She has a strong track record of generating tangible results for healthcare, technology and financial industry clients. In addition, her experience on the buy side of Wall Street and work in mergers and acquisitions enhances our firm’s client service capabilities.”

“EVC Group is retained by an impressive roster of clients that is a natural fit to my background and I am looking to add value immediately to client initiatives,” said Ms. Phillips. “I have joined a firm with a dedicated expertise in healthcare and technology, and that has helped clients win awards over the past two years. It’s great to be part of such a successful team.”

Amy started her career on Wall Street and then transferred those skills to communications for mergers and acquisitions as well as crisis communications at Abernathy, MacGregor, Frank. While living in Europe, she helped open the Dublin, Ireland office of Hill & Knowlton, where she worked with HP and technology clients. In addition, she led communications at Avid Technology and the financial PR practice at Arnold Worldwide where she counseled clients from PNC Financial to Ameritrade on executive transitions and crisis communications.

Immediately prior to joining EVC, Amy owned her own PR consulting business focusing on medical technology and healthcare. There she worked with clients in the ophthalmology, dermatology and plastic surgery spaces. Amy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and French from Westminster College.

About EVC Group, Inc.

EVC Group is an investor relations and public relations firm that provides strategic counsel and execution to businesses of all sizes that need to communicate their unique value to investors, customers and the consumer. With a special expertise in the service of medical device companies, EVC Group’s practice areas include biopharmaceuticals, life sciences, financial & business services, and technology. Established in 2002, EVC Group is well regarded for its strategic thinking; seasoned, senior-level staff; frank counsel; deep relationships, and tangible results that have a measurable impact on its clients’ businesses. The firm maintains offices in San Francisco, New York City and Southern California. For more information about EVC Group, please visit http://www.evcgroup.com.

10.01.12

Investor Relations, Public Relations

STAAR Surgical Wins Silver Anvil

With EVC Group, STAAR Surgical takes the PR industry’s highest honor for its 2011 investor relations program.

STAAR Surgical won the 2012 Silver Anvil in the category “Investor Relations, Companies with Revenue up to $500 Million.” EVC Group provides STAAR Surgical with investor relations counsel and execution, and has since 2004. Symbolizing the forging of public opinion, the Silver Anvil is the public relations profession’s highest honor. Conferred annually by the Public Relations Society of America, the Silver Anvil acknowledges the highest level of achivement and is the established icon of the “best of the best” public relations practices.

The winning program for STAAR Surgical resulted in new institutional shareholders, new and positive sell-side analyst and financial media coverage, as well as multiple invitations to present at leading healthcare investor conferences. Steve DiMattia, President of EVC Group, accepted the award on behalf of STAAR Surgical CEO Barry Caldwell at the 2012 Silver Anvil Awards Ceremony in New York City.

“STAAR is an extremely well run company that has generated superior returns for its shareholders in the past 18 months,” said Doug Sherk, Founder and CEO of EVC Group. “It has been our privilige to work with Barry and the STAAR team to develop and execute this award-winning program. STAAR and EVC Group are honored by PRSA’s recognition, which we believe validates a relationship approach to investor relations and a management team that believes in open and clear communication with its shareholders.”

The 2012 Silver Anvil is the second in a row for a program supported by EVC Group in this category. Questcor Pharmaceuticals also received the 2011 Silver Anvil for a program developed and executed in conjunction with EVC Group.

6.13.12

Investor Relations, Public Relations

Bob Jones Joins EVC Group

Robert P. (Bob) Jones joined EVC Group earlier this year as Senior Managing Director. Bob is an experienced investor relations and corporate communications executive with more than 30 years of capital markets and strategic communications experience. He is located in the firm’s New York office, where he leads its investor relations practice.

“EVC Group has earned a reputation for excellence in investor relations and corporate communications by providing clients with the highest level of strategic, senior-level counsel and program execution,” said Doug Sherk, CEO and founder of EVC Group. “Bob enhances our firm’s deep understanding of the capital markets and relationships with Wall Street, and has an exemplary track record of executing best practices for major public companies. Bob and I worked together for nearly a decade and it is great to be working with him again.”

Bob said, “EVC Group has an outstanding commitment to client service and excellent client retention. Long term client relationships result from the firm’s tangble results that enhance valuation, build market awareness and increase sales. I am excited to be working with Doug and the EVC Group team and look forward to contributing to the firm’s continued success.”

Bob was formerly Vice President, Investor Relations at Monster Worldwide, the leading global online recruitment website. In addition to his responsibilities as head of investor relatins he also lead for an interim period the Company’s media relations, internal communications and crisis communications activities. He joined Monster in late 2002.

Prior to joining Monstor, Bob served as Chief Executive Officer of Morgen-Walke Associates, the largest independent investor relations firm in the U.S. at that time of its sale in January 2000. He started his investor relations career in 1989 at Morgen-Walke and prior to being promoted to CEO in 2001, he was a Senior Managing Director responsible for the firm’s strategic direction and operations as well as its healthcare practice. Bob began his career at the American Stock Exhange where he held sales and marketing positions of increasing responsibility.

6.13.12

Investor Relations, Public Relations

Groupon and the “Quiet Period”

Business Insider is spilling ink over the timing of the resignation of Groupon’s PR Chief, Bradford Williams vis-a-vis an ill-advised communications strategy aimed at the company’s detractors. There is speculation that Williams resigned because CEO Andrew Mason would not behave with the decorum required of Groupon’s “quiet period,” the slug of time that passes between a company’s filing its intention to go public and the SEC’s declaration that the offering is effective. During that period, it is generally accepted that companies cannot say anything to the press, regardless of the circumstances.

For all this sturm und drang, in fact Groupon is not required to be completely silent during its “quiet period.” No company is. The SEC liberalized its rules re: quiet period communications in 2005, partly in response to interference with Google’s IPO caused by a Playboy article, and a less notorious New York Times article about Mark Benioff that delayed Saleforce.com’s IPO. The SEC forced Google and Salesforce to delay their IPOs due to alleged gun-jumping.

Per the SEC’s guidance, EVC Group believes that media relations during an IPO quiet period are appropriate and acceptable if certain guidelines are followed closely.  For example:

A company may give media interviews after it has filed an S-1 and stories about the company may be published.  During an interview, management must stick to the language that appears in the company’s prospectus, and not diverge from it.  This includes interviews on the first day of trading. (Recall VMware’s very successful IPO. The CEO and CFO gave interviews on its first day of trading, in print and on TV.) Management must not, of course, at any time, tell a reporter that he hopes readers will buy the stock, or say anything that could be construed as promoting the offering.

It is advisable to file with the SEC any story for which management was interviewed, and stuck to the prospectus.  It is imperative to file a story in which management appears with comments that are not included in the prospectus.

The company may issue press releases containing information not included in the prospectus if it is of a type that the company routinely made public before the S-1 filing, and therefore is consistent with past practice and not focused on the potential offering.

Exactly how a company manages press inquiries and prepares for interviews during the quiet period is somehwat more involved – and is best handled by a firm with experience in this area. EVC Group helped Diamonds Foods manage criticism of its public offering during its quiet period – and won an award for it.

Investor Relations

QCOR + EVC Win Silver Anvil!

Questcor Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: QCOR) won a 2011 Silver Anvil for the company’s investor relations campaign executed by EVC Group. Symbolizing the forging of public opinion, the Silver Anvil is the public relations professions’ highest honor. Conferred annually by the Public Relations Society of America, the Silver Anvil acknowledges the highest level of achievement and is the established icon of the “best of the best” public relations practices.

The winning program for Questcor resulted in dozens of new institutional shareholders, expanded sell-side analyst and financial media coverage, as well as multiple invitations to leading healthcare investor conferences. Don M. Bailey, Questcor’s President and Chief Executive Officer, accepted the award at the 2011 Silver Anvil Award Ceremony on June 9, 2011 in New York City.

“Questcor is an extremely well run company that has generated superior returns for its shareholders in the past 18 months,” said Doug Sherk, Founder and CEO of EVC Group. “It has been our privilege to develop and execute this award-winning program with Questcor. Questcor and EVC Group are honored by PRSA’s recognition, which we believe validates a relationship approach to investor relations and a management team that believes in open and clear communication with its shareholders.”

6.10.11

Investor Relations

A Russell Reprise

Every year in June, Russell Investments rebalances its family of indexes. This Friday, June 10, after 3:00 pm Pacific Time, Russell will announce the preliminary additions and deletions to all of its indexes. This begins a busy trading period as investors who benchmark against the Russell indexes begin to align their portfolios. The rebalance will be finalized later in June.

EVC Group will be monitoring for the preliminary updates this Friday for its clients. Companies that are identified in the preliminary stage can take advantage of the moment and attract the attention of new investors before the final rebalance is published. We recommend that companies who are added to any of the Russell indexes issue a press release before the market opens on Monday, June 13.

We’ve published on this subject before. Happy Rebalance Day!

6.09.11

Public Relations, Social Media

PatientsLikeMe, clinical trials and social networks

Amy Dockser Marcus of The Wall Street Journal (and others) reported today on a study on lithium and Lou Gehrig’s disease conducted through PatientsLikeMe.com, an online patient social network.

Readers will recall our post back in March on patient networks and the observations of Barcelona Tech University professor Mari Carmen Domingo. What we didn’t include then were Prof. Domingo’s comments on PatientsLikeMe.com and the generation of patient social networks like it.

In the July 2010 edition of Computer magazine professor Domingo wrote that PatientsLikeMe co-founder James Heywood saw how patients wanted to know more about how diseases and treatments would affect their everyday life, more than doctors could share effectively.

And as we noted, research is showing that patients in some cases trust peers more than their doctor, adding to the demand for online communities.

When EVC Group asked Professor Domingo in August how companies might find value for patients and customers through social networks, beyond sponsoring them and advertizing on them, one of the multiple areas she pointed to were trials like the one reported on today.

“Pharmaceutical companies can run clinical trials with patients willing to be volunteers,” Professor Domingo said then. “Tools that analyze the effects of treatments on their bodies such as blood levels, symptoms, side effects will be very useful for this purpose.”

PatientsLikeMe is not the only patient network that is building communities who can help advance innovation. CureTogether.com is another. Each must walk a delicate balance between privacy and advancing patient care, as well as the benefits of community.

PatientsLikeMe lets users know up front that the medical records they enter into the site will be visible to others – which is the point – and they point out that among those others are companies who can pay for access to aggregated data.

Domingo observed in her July article that the large numbers of patients participating in communities like this obviously do not see a threat to their privacy as much as a commons where they can share their own experience and metrics to benefit others, and themselves.

An initial draw to these communities is the everyday take on disease and treatment as Mr. Heywood observed.

“[A] contribution that is really hard to quantify is the psychological support such a platform provides to patients, who without it, would most certainly have been left to suffer in silence,” Professor Domingo said in August.

But after that comes the ability to marshal that information to start crunching real numbers that can guide treatment of hard-to-crack medical problems in new directions.

4.25.11

Public Relations, Social Media

Twitter? It’s Clearly Not for Everything

The report on corporate IT in today’s Wall Street Journal contains some smart examples of how companies are benefitting from social media and mobile technologies.

But this cautionary tale from The New York Times should remind social media novices and veterans alike that Twitter’s cachet should not make it the default channel for every conversation.

By the Times’ account, one company invited employees to Tweet suggestions for improving their workplace, then criticized an employee who suggested that the workplace would benefit from imporved relations between management and labor. The company told the employee that the response violated corporate policy against public statememts that could damage the company’s reputation.

So, in this case, management invited employees to comment on working conditions in a public forum, but was embarrassed the feedback it elicited. Frankly, this should have been anticipated. It is folly to expect nothing but comments about the quality of cafeteria snacks or jokes about nap rooms. This discussion should never have been hosted on Twitter.

As an interactive broadcast medium, Twitter is not for everything. As the Journal points out today, corporate users of social media platforms must be prepared for freewheeling discussion of their compnaies or products. Management can set guidelines for employees but cannot ultimate control user behavior. There are plenty of reasons why this is sometimes good. The example reported by the Times is not among them.

The lesson: No doubt, people like Twitter, it is cool and current and useful. That doesn’t mean that every corporate discussion will be cooler and more useful when hosted on Twitter. A company needs to think critically about how its uses Twitter and the other ubiquitious social meda platforms, and it should deploy more private forums for conversations that it wouldn’t want to appear in The New York Times.

The corporate social media policy is a good place to address this issue. Most policies that we’ve seen are written to limit employee behavior, or limit the employer’s liability for this behavior. It would be appropriate for a social media policy to also set guidelines for the company’s official communications on social media channels, identifying which are appropriate, and which are clearly not.

4.25.11

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