LinkedIn Hires New PR Firm

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LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD) hired  public relations firm Maloney & Fox for outreach and branding in the U.S., replacing its previous firm M. Cader PR.  LinkedIn has been carrying around the burden of what some analysts like CNN Money’s Kevin Kelleher perceive as an inflated stock price. Last May, at the time of its IPO, the stock reached about 122.  Since then, it has hit a low of 55.98 and closed Monday at 75.55.  That wild ride has been complicated by the realities that twice it put millions more shares out there and in February millions more can again be put out there.  

Yet, no one has a beef with the company’s lines of business, progress so far, and potential.  Typical of that kind of analysis is by Motley Fool analyst Brian Stoffel .  He points out that in just one of its three segments, Hiring Solutions, it gets revenue of $71 million, which accounts for 51 percent of the business and has grown 160 percent.  Increasingly Lindkein is also being embraced by both sellers and buyers of labor as the platform for social recruiting.  Its app “Apply with Linkedin” could become the standard way to present oneself for work.  

LinkedIn could reconfigure job search the way Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has retail.  Starting with books, Amazon brought together online almost an infinite number of selections with low prices. That combo package sucked away book lovers from brick and mortar purchases.   Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) turned advertising on its ear with its various kinds of bidding for classfied ads and their placement exactly in the right places on search.  Parts of that approach have been adopted by Facebook.  That's one reason the two dominate online advertising.

Obviously communications or, as it’s called, "telling LinkedIn’s story," can bring the stock price and what the operations of the company can offer investors closer together.  Without it, LinkedIn could simply be written off as just another one of those companies which was exuberantly grabbed up by investors during the IPO and then plunged to earth.  With that fall from a high stock price usually evaporates confidence in the viability of the very company.  Instances of that range from Groupon (NASDAQ: GRPN) to Demand Media (NYSE: DMD).

Of course, the real value of Internet companies is on everyone’s mind because of the coming IPO for Facebook.  Even among the most optimistic about Facebook’s model, there is the dread that it can’t make money. 


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