PR Firm Weber Shandwick Cuts Staff at Local Office by 6%

The PR firm’s local office made the cuts because revenue projections are “modestly less” than it previously anticipated.

The Bloomington office of PR firm Weber Shandwick on Tuesday eliminated nine jobs, or about 6 percent of its staff.

Sara Gavin, president of the company’s local office, confirmed the job reductions in a Tuesday phone interview with Twin Cities Business. She said that, prior to the cuts, the office employed 149.

The cuts were not isolated to a particular department or job type, but were rather an effect of “staff consolidation across the office,” she said. The firm made the “thoughtful, difficult decision” because its revenue projections are “modestly less than we had anticipated for the year,” she added.

Although Weber Shandwick’s local office performs the majority of its work for private-business clients, Gavin said that its business serving government clients has been negatively affected by sequestration, the $85 billion in across-the-board federal budget cuts that took effect March 1.

The firm has no plans for more layoffs: “There is no plan for additional action,” Gavin said. “The intent was to balance the business and move forward, and I’m very confident in this office.”

The cuts were specific to the Twin Cities and do not reflect a larger trend across the company’s other locations, according to Gavin, who said that the Minneapolis office has not made a “meaningful staff reduction” since 2001.

Weber Shandwick is Minnesota's largest PR firm based on net fee income, which totaled an estimated $26 million for its most recently completed fiscal year as of August 2012.