Monday, January 29

Is "Flight 93" firing Ketchum?

Flight 93 National Memorial partners hired Ketchum two years ago to generate $30 million in private donations for the proposed landmark. Despite bringing retired Army Gen. Tommy Franks and former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge on as honorary national chairmen of the fund-raising campaign, the group's fundraising has not met some expectations.

This past Sunday, Kirk Swauger at The Tribune-Democrat reported:

Though officials have not outwardly derided Ketchum, there has been an undercurrent of dissatisfaction with the agency, which has raised $10 million in two years despite the national release of a Flight 93 movie, two cable television documentaries and the exposure that goes with them.
The Pittsburgh agency was paid a flat fee of $80,000. Now, just weeks before Ketchum’s contract is set to expire in February, the partners announced they have retained T.C. Benson study the ongoing fundraising efforts.

Benson will make suggestions after evaluating the partners' objectives, fundraising efforts and possible future opportunities.
A Ketchum representative, Jason Zajac, declined to speculate about whether his company will be retained when contacted by the Associated Press.

Similiar to the problems experienced at the World Trade Center site, the Flight 93 National Memorial finds itself behind on fundraising plans and facing larger than planned design costs. In September of 2005, the Flight 93 coalition unveiled plans for a memorial that was to cost between $30 million and $58 million to build.

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