How this all came about in the first place

I wrote this originally for the intro page of my public relations agency’s website. It tells a bit about my background, but it also illustrates how a company and its CEO can be introduced and described in a reader-friendly fashion.

Bill Frederick’s communications career really started when he was still in high school, when the battery in Frank Mahoney’s Ford Falcon died early one Sunday morning.

Frank, the much-respected fire reporter for the Boston Globe, managed to jump-start his Ford, and drove it to Jack Doyle’s Esso Station on the other side of Arlington, Mass. Bill, who was 17 and working part-time as an auto mechanic, installed a new Atlas battery and hooked it up to the charger.

While they waited for the battery to charge, Bill pumped Frank for stories about newspapering. And he told Frank something he had never mentioned to anyone before – he wanted to be a newspaper reporter someday.

“Give me a call one of these days at the Globe,” Frank said as he drove away. “I may be able to get you a job as a copy boy.”

Frank made good on his promise, and Bill became the Globe’s only high school-aged copy boy. The romance of the newspaper city room was overwhelming, and the many fine Globe writers offered a daily workshop on lively writing that Bill draws upon every day, even now.

Bill went on from the Globe and moved upward quickly – at 21, he became assistant city editor of the Holyoke (Mass.) Transcript, managing a staff of eight people, all of them older than he was. At 22 he became Springfield, Mass. bureau manager for United Press International, and at 23 was named night editor for New England, directed the news report for morning newspapers and, again, managing a staff of people all older than himself.

bill backwards chair

Bill Frederick

After covering government and politics in Maine for several years, Bill was named press secretary to Sen. William D. Hathaway, D-Maine. He spent the next two years in Washington, DC and, upon Hathaway’s defeat by then-Rep. William S. Cohen, opened his first public relations business in Augusta, Maine’s capital city.

For the next few years Bill serviced clients in Maine, Massachusetts and Washington, DC, including Scott Paper Co., the Maine Secretary of State’s office, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC, and Digital Equipment Corp.

Bill did corporate and trade association PR and served another tour as bureau manager and Maine State Editor for UPI before he and his family relocated to Florida in 1993. He worked first as a business writer for the Tampa Bay Business Journal, covering commercial real estate, media and the business of sports before he was recruited to join Public Communications Inc., one of Tampa Bay’s oldest and most respected PR firms.

At PCI, Bill moved quickly from vice president to senior vice president to partner and corporate secretary, overseeing the accounts of a number of clients and pursuing new business.

Seeing an opportunity in a down economy, Bill left PCI amicably and, just after Labor Day of 2001, opened Bill Frederick Communictions Inc. Starting with just three clients, the company grew to 10 clients in the first six months of operation.

Bill attributes the firm’s success to three factors:

CREATIVE IDEAS: Ideas that work are what separates run-of-the-mill firms from great ones.

GREAT WRITING: Ideas don’t mean much if they can’t be clearly communicated. Unfortunately, clear and colorful writing is becoming a lost art. Bill’s writing, honed by years of demanding wire service work, sets Bill Frederick Communications apart from the PR mainstream.

VALUE: Clients want to see the bottom line. Too many agencies simply don’t deliver adequate value – the benefits do not fare well when compared to the expense. Bill Frederick Communications devotes its resources to the technology and people needed to do a great job, not to Class-A office space with original artwork in the lobby. That means superior work delivered at surprisingly low fees.

Bill Frederick Communications does not limit its practice to certain fields because difficult challenges and new horizons are just too tempting to pass up. But Bill does see great opportunities in the areas of public policy/politics; alternative energy/transportation; recreation/sports; health care/pharmaceuticals; and some technology sectors.

“What we really enjoy is the opportunity to solve problems through the use of creative and compelling communications,” Bill says. “Bring us a challenge – we’ll jump start it and make it purr like Frank Mahoney’s Ford.”

Bill Frederick is a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)

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