Edition, January 5, 2000, Page 1
TO ACQUIRE SELZ/SEABOLT
Publicis Dialog, the integrated communications unit of
French-owned Publicis, said it reached agreement to acquire
Selz/Seabolt Communications, Chicago, which billed $3.9
million in 1998 and employed 44 people.
Publicis said S/SC will add $4 million in fees to Publicis
Dialogs U.S. revenues, which now total $44M, including
$24M in PR.
Publicis acquired LobsenzStevens, New York, last October.
The firm had 1998 fees of $4.6M and employed 42 as
of Dec. 31, 1998.
Andy Hopson, president and COO of Publicis Dialog, said
S/SC will provide a strong PR partner for the Publicis and
Hal Riney ad agencies in Chicago.
Robert H. Bloom, chairman and CEO of Publicis in the U.S.,
said the firm will continue its "aggressive pursuit"
S/SC will assume the Publicis Dialog name. Paul Fullmer,
chairman of the acquired firm, will keep that title. Patricia
Pearson, president and COO, will head the Publicis Dialog
PR operation in Chicago as president and CEO, reporting
Said Fullmer: "Since 1928, our agency has had a strong
reputation for providing stellar client services and generating
results nationally. However, we needed additional
resources in a number of marketing areas to better serve
Clients include Sargento Foods, Ski-Doo, Square D, American
Society of Golf Course Architects, Blistex, Toro, Eastman
Chemical, McCain Foods, and the American Pop Corn Co. Employment
Jon Johnson, chairman/CEO of Publicis Dialog, negotiated
the agreement. The parent agency, based in Paris,
has billings of $6.5 billion.
ALLSTATE PICKS HILL AND
Hill and Knowlton, Chicago, won rights to handle PR for
Allstate. The account is worth more than $500,000.
H&K beat out finalists Ogilvy PR Worldwide and BSMG
Worldwide, along with incumbent Edelman PR Worldwide, which
had worked with Allstate for three years, according to Peter
DeBreceny, VP of corporate affairs at Allstate.
H&K will focus on internal communications as the company
utilizes a new business model. The Chicago office will be
assisted by WPP sister company Banner McBride, which specializes
in employee communications. The firm will work with Allstate
on an hourly rate, rather than a monthly retainer, which
was the case with Edelman.
FRANK LEAVES ABERNATHY
Joele Frank, vice chairman of Abernathy MacGregor Frank,
New York, IR and corporate PR firm, left the firm on Jan.
Frank, 50, did not reveal her plans. She joined the
firm in 1994 after being a managing director five years
at what is now Ogilvy PR Worldwide.
The firm will resume use of its previous nameThe
Abernathy MacGregor Group.
Y&R STOCK HITS $70
ON S&P LISTING
Young & Rubicam, which went public at $26.50 in the
spring of 1998, saw its stock reach $70 on the announcement
that it will replace General Instruments in the S&P
500 Index as of Jan. 5.
Motorola, which is also on the S&P list, is acquiring
GI on that day.
Y&R owns Burson-Marsteller, the largest PR firm, and
Cohn & Wolfe, a top 20 PR firm.
ANHEUSER-BUSCH IS TOP
IEG Inc., a Chicago-based sponsorship research and consulting
firm, reports Anheuser-Busch, which spent an estimated $170-$175
million in 1999, has replaced Philip Morris ($160-$165 million),
as the top corporate sponsor for the first time.
General Motors ($130M), Coca-Cola and Pepsi- Co (both $105M)
round out IEGs top five sponsors.
IEG estimates corporate sponsorship by North American companies
will increase by 14% to $8.7 billion in 2000.
Novant Health, a Winston-Salem and Charlotte, N.C.-based
healthcare organization, has named Fyock & Assocs.,
in Winston-Salem, for all PR, marketing research and advertising
for the next two years.
The agreement is extimated by the agency to be worth about
$7 million per year.
Communication, Palo Alto, reportedly has had merger
talks with Weber PR Worldwide but neither side would comment.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Cleveland, eliminated
the job of PR head Tim Moore and said it would look for
a PR firm this month. CEO Terry Stewart said a local/national
firm combination would probably be hired.
Lisa Egizii was promoted to communications manager.
Moore, at the Hall since 1994, said in a voice mail
he wanted to pursue other opportunities.
Edition, January 5, 2000, Page 2
FIRM PICKS 10 'WORST 99 PR GAFFES'
The winners of Fineman Assocs. PRs 10 "worst
PR gaffes" of 1999 are:
1. Rev. Jerry Falwell, for claiming that
Tinky Winky, a childrens character in the PBS "Teletubbies"
series, is a homosexual.
2. Exxon Corp., for lobbying and suing
to allow the Exxon Valdez, which spilled millions of gallons
of oil into Prince William Sound, to return to its original
3. Microsoft, for using PR overkill to
fend off the governments anti-trust suit and win public
4. Coca-Cola, for botching its European
5. Great West Casualty, for suing an 81-year-old
woman, who was accidently killed by a grain truck, whose
owner was insured by GWC.
6. A.M.A., for firing Dr. George Lundberg,
who was editor of The Journal of the American Medical Assn.,
after he published an article on oral sex.
7. Pat Robertson, for criticizing Scotlands
tolerance of homosexuals on his "700 Club" TV
show, which forced the Bank of Scotland to pull out of a
$3 billion telebanking deal with Robertson Financial Services.
8. Los Angeles Times management, for devoting
a Sunday magazine section to the new Staples Arena with
which it was sharing ad revenuewithout telling its
reporters or readers.
9. RealNetworks, for tracking the listening
habits of users without their consent.
10. Major League umpires, for quitting
and then changing their minds when the owners started hiring
minor league umps.
The San Francisco-based firms annual PR blunders
list is assembled as a reminder of how critical PR is to
businesses and organizations.
RECRUITER SEES BIG BUSINESS
Speaking at the San Francisco Academy, a school for senior
PR executives, executive recruiter Bill Heyman said corporations,
which have gained power and prestige in direct proportion
to the governments loss of it, may become the "objects
of contempt" in the next decade.
After enjoying years of rising public esteem, Heyman said
big business could be headed back to where John D. Rockefeller
was at the time he hired Ivy Lee.
"Once again, corporations may become objects of contempt
which could lead to waves of re-regulation, heavier taxation
and probably renewed opposition to free trade," said
"In terms of corporate communications, what this suggests
to me is that the focus on shareholder value is about to
change," he said.
He believes the dominant theme for the next decade will
be "demonstrating that capitalism is an essential component
in a just society."
The two constituencies who will now take priority will
be employees and the general public.
Heyman also discussed what he calls "the coming war
There are not enough educated motivated young people in
the pipeline to replace those who will be retiring, said
In the consulting business, he said companies want to know
how to attract and retain good people. And large corporations
have found out they have done themselves considerable harm.
"As companies go out to recruit the next generation
of talent, they are finding the best and brightest have
parents, aunts and uncles and neighbors who have been victims
of corporate downsizing. These kids are cynical about
the corporate world. Most would prefer to do something
Heyman listed some of the common characteristics that top
corporate communicators tend to share: high intellect, high
energy level, likability, self-confidence, and integrity.
SURVEY SHOWS Y2K COMMS.
Worldcom PR Group's survey of 51 senior PR firm executives
from across the U.S. found 69% of firms were to be "on
call" to their clients, but not at work, while six
percent of firms were to be at the office on New Years
Sixty-five percent of respondents said they would be armed
with cell phones, beepers or both so clients could reach
them if the need arose.
Twenty percent planned to be at home for the stroke of
2000available if there was a crisis, but not disrupting
Eighty percent of executives polled said clients had not
asked for services on New Years Eve.
Two firms said they had not been asked for support, but
would staff their offices anyway. Several clients across
industry sectors had also asked for support on the holiday
The client companies that asked for support on New Years
included a chemical plant, call center, bank, bankers assn.,
several hotels, a hospital, electric utility, general processing
unit for a power company, satellite telecom, environmental
services company, electronic security company, steel making/shipbuilding
company and a concert promoter.
trustee for Johnnie D. Johnson & Co., which filed
for chapter 7 bankruptcy August 3, 1998, has petitioned
the bankruptcy judge in New York to reduce the Unemployment
Insurance Divisions claim against the financial PR
firm in the amount of $30,772.35 to $17,000.
Kraut, who was manager of media relations for Hoechst
Marion Roussel, Bridgewater, N.J., is now director of global
communications for Aventis Pharma, Frankfurt, Germany.
The company was formed by combining HMR and Rhone-Poulenc
Rorer after the merger of Hoechst AG and Rhone-Poulenc SA
to create Aventis SA. Kraut will remain based in Bridgewater.
Edition, January 5, 2000, Page 3
SIMPLE HIRES FOUR STAFFERS
Redbook style director Rondi Coller was named fashion director
at Real Simple magazine. Hearst Special Publications
editor-in-chief Kelly Reardon-Tagore also joined the new
lifestyle magazine as home editor; Seventeen beauty editor
Jennifer Laing will be money editor, and cookbook author
Susan Quick was appointed food editor.
Real Simple is being launched by Time Inc.s People
Magazine Group in April 2000.
Jack Curry, previously managing editor of TV Guide,
joined USA Weekend as executive editor, replacing Amy Eisner.
David C. Breeder, 69, who was Washington, D.C.,
bureau chief for The Omaha World-Herald from 1985 until
he retired in 1998, died Dec. 7.
Joe Angio, 39, was promoted to editor of Time Out
New York magazine.
Deda Coben, special projects editor at Vogue, has
joined Harpers Bazaar as West Coast editor, based
in HBs Los Angeles office, beginning Jan. 10.
Jennifer Hung, formerly a publicist for Celine,
was named shopping fashion editor at Marie Claire.
Jill Melhado, who is the daughter of John B. Fairchild
(former chairman and editorial director of Fairchild Publications),
and Dina Clason are co-authors of "Where to Wear,"
a guide to shopping in New York.
Orage Quarles III was named publisher of The Raleigh
(N.C.) News & Observer, making him one of seven African
Americans who are publishers of mainstream daily newspapers
around the U.S.
Shelby Coffey III, who became president of CNNfn,
the financial news channel, is being paid about $700,000
a year to manage 370 news staffers, according to The New
York Daily News. Coffey had been EVP of ABC News.
Thomas Weidlich, previously managing editor of Direct
magazine, joined PR Week, replacing Susan Fry Bovet,
MOVED: The West Coast PR Newsletter,
which started publishing monthly in November, has moved
to 3625 E. Thousand Oaks blvd., #216, Westlake Village,
CA 91362. Darren Shuster is editor and publisher.
WCBS-TV TO ADD ANOTHER
HOUR OF NEWS
WCBS-TV, New York, will start a 4 p.m. local newscast in
The new program, which will replace the "Martin Short
Show," a syndicated entertainment show, will combine
local news with features like celebrity interviews, cooking
demonstrations and health and fitness segments.
Dana Tyler, a WCBS veteran, and Amanda Grove, who was a
business reporter for CNBC, will co-host the program.
The Martin Short Show will move to 1:30 a.m.
WCBS, which broadcasts as Channel Two in New York, currently
has five hours of daily news programming, starting with
a 4:40 a.m. newscast.
NYFWA TO ELECT NEW OFFICERS
Active and associate members of The New York Financial
Writers Assn. will vote Jan. 26 to elect new officers,
board members and representatives for 2000-01.
The elections will take place at the annual meeting at
the Marriott Marquis Hotel at 6:30 p.m.
Daniel Bases of Reuters, who is currently VP, is in line
to succeed Alan Gersten as president of NYFWA.
Gersten is a freelance writer, and also a reporter
In the separate election, associate members will choose
three new representatives to replace George Auerbach, a
retired PR consultant; Alan Goldsand, a publicist for MediaWrite
Communications, and Thomas Mariam of Cadwalader, Wickersham
The representatives serve as communicators between associate
members and the board.
NEWSWEEK BUYS BUDGET TRAVEL
Newsweek has acquired Budget Travel, a bimonthly magazine,
which was started in 1998 as a quarterly by Arthur Frommer.
Frommer will continue as editor-in-chief of the magazine,
which has a circulation of 350,000.
Also included in the sale are Frommers monthly newsletter,
a weekly syndicated newspaper column and a travel club.
MEDIA BRIEFS ____________________________
ABC is canceling Mondays "20/20"
LVHM Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA and Europe@Web,
which are controlled by Groupe Arnault of Paris, have invested
$122 million in Oxygen Media, a New York company, which
is starting a cable channel aimed at women next year. LVMH,
the luxury goods group, is best known for its perfumes and
College Television Network, a 24-hour, live satellite
network, will feature a series of interviews and profiles
with presidential candidates on a new program, called "Countdown
to Election 2000," which will air from Feb. to Oct.
The interviews will be conducted by 26-year-old Lisa Ling,
who is a co-host of ABC Daytimes program, "The
Museum Los Angeles Magazine is the newest addition
to the Museum group that also includes magazines in New
York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Chicago and South Florida.
The magazines provide listings of exhibitions, performances
and other msueum events as well as articles that help readers
plan trips to noteworthy exhibitions around the U.S.
Novom Marketinghas been hospitality and tourism marketing
counsel for the Museums Los Angeles. 310/788-0861.
news continued on next page)
Edition, January 5, 2000, Page 4
PROPOSES WIDER DISCLOSURE RULE
Louis Thompson, president of the National Investor Relations
Institute, told The Washington Post that the "fair
disclosure" rule proposed by the Securities and Exchange
Commission will push more companies to open up their conference
calls because it will "immunize them from selective
Thompson said a NIRI survey conducted last June showed
55% of the companies that hold analyst conference calls
allow individual investors to participate, compared with
29% a year earlier.
Thompson believes the number is now far higher.
The SEC measure offers three alternatives for disseminating
information to the publica news release, a public
filing with the SEC, or opening up conference calls to the
Thompson told the Post that he believes the major opposition
to opening conference calls to the public has come from
the securities industry because it makes reporters their
He said an analyst told a NIRI conference in Santa Monica
that she expected to be tipped in advance to important announcements;
that if she wasnt, she might drop coverage of their
Matthew Winkler, editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News, said
Bloombergs reporters ignore companies selective
Winkler, who spoke to 16 PR pros at the Wednesday PR Group
luncheon in New York, said when companies and analysts have
meetings, "we go to them, even if were not invited."
"Sometimes we get thrown out and thats okay.
We want to get thrown out. Then maybe those
companies will think twice about their disclosure policies."
PARADE ADDS MONTHLY TECH.
Parade magazine will introduce a new technology column,
called "Inside.com," in the Jan. 23 issue.
The monthly column will be written by Lamar Graham, who
is director of digital journalism at New York University.
The column will focus on consumer electronics, computer
hardware and software, and the Internet and will explore
and explain news and information about the Web and its technologies.
The column also will describe the latest in affordable,
practical and easy-to-use products as well as websites and
AUTHORS SHOULD PLANT PUBLICITY
Freelance book publicist Tracy Day, who offers some PR
tips in the fall issue of the Authors Guild Bulletin, said
authors should think about press coverage before they start
She says to "think about research, interviews and
other activitiesis there a story hidden somewhere?"
As an example, she cites an author who includes recipes
in her mysteries. "Capitalizing on her talent
in the kitchen she was able to attract the attention of
food editors who gave her more print coverage than book
reviewers," said Day.
Publicists should be paid a monthly retainer instead of
a placement or hourly fee. A retainer or project fee
gives "you a concrete idea of the expense involved,"
said Day, because the publicist will have calculated his/her
anticipated time commitment and reflect that in the fee.
Day said authors should ask prospective publicists for
a proposal/plan of activities and also whether a fee is
charged for this. "If the first publicist you
ask charges a fee for a proposal, keep looking," she
"Personal chemistry" really counts when choosing
a publicist, she added.
GOOD TIMING RESULTS IN
Strat@comm, a Washington, D.C.-based PR firm, orchestrated
a series of media placements for the American Highway Users
Alliances study that identified the countrys
worst highway bottlenecks.
The report was released just before Thanksgiving, one of
the busiest travel times of the year and a period usually
light in news content.
With "strategic advances to its well-placed media
contacts," Strat@comm said its team of story-placers
locked in coverage from many of the largest and most influential
media, including a front page "Cover Story" in
USA Todays Nov. 23 edition.
PLACEMENT TIPS ___________________________
London-based wine expert Oz Clarke will write and
provide wine reviews for WineToday.com. Italian
wine commentator Burton Anderson, who is a former editor
of The International Herald Tribune, will contribute wine
and food articles from his base in Tuscany.
WineToday.com is part of Times Company Digital, a subsidiary
of The New York Times Co.
The New York Times website www.nytime.com
has reached the 10 million registered users mark.
Times Company Digital also reported that for the month
of October, page views rose 35% at the Times on the Web,
59.5% at The Boston Globes website www.Boston.com
and 63.4% at New York Today www.nytoday.com.
Sessions or visits grew 60.6% at the Times on the Web,
53.6% at Boston.com and 134.8% at New York Today.
Kiplingers Personal Finance magazine has been
redesigned to feature sections on investing, managing and
Katie Leighton, a TV producer, is looking for a
"powerful company" to be the title sponsor of
a new baseball show in Philadelphia. The program will
be hosted by two former major leaguers.
215/952-5933; [email protected].
Edition, January 5, 2000, Page 7
IPRA, PCNY TELL FINANCIALS
The Council of PR Firms reported income of $539,910 for
the year ended Dec. 31, 1998 and expenses of $387,007. Net
assets were $152,903.
The income includes $326,361 in dues and $212,500 in seed
money. The tax return covers the period from August 1998
to to Dec. 31, 1998. The 1999 financial report is to be
released by April.
Dues are levied at the rate of .065% of U.S. fees to a
maximum of $50,000. Eight of the top ten firms, all of whom
are members, pay the maximum, which is reached at income
of $77 million.
The three Omnicom firms (Fleishman-Hillard, Ketchum and
Porter Novelli), each pays $50K dues. The next six firms
(1998 U.S. billings of about $300M) are liable for a total
of $195K in dues. Projected dues of the 14 biggest firms
for 1999 (counting U.S. fees only) are $595K.
CPRF counts fees for PR counseling; corporate and issue
ad fees and commissions, and profits from graphics, printing,
events, and video production. "Related" qualifying
services include research in support of PR programs and
website consulting, building and promotion. Activities and
income aside from PR counseling may add up to 49% of the
total. There are currently 112 member firms. Six members
were lost to mergers and one member, not in the top 50,
CPRF will again publish its own ranking of PR firms, asking
firms, including non-members, to count sources of income
as described above. CPAs do an "agreed upon procedure,"
attesting that the figures have been supplied by the firms
but also noting they express no opinion on the figures.
Account lists and names and titles of staffers are not sought
for the CPRF ranking.
Bergen Salary $200K
Jack Bergen, president, was paid $83,333 for the five-month
1998 period. His annual rate is $200,000 and is to remain
so, he said. Sarah Drennan was paid $50K but will receive
Smith Bucklin & Assocs., which helped set up the CPRF,
was paid $143,027 and consultant Nancy Sharp was paid $67,678.
Web development was $14,100 and local travel, $6,004. Other
travel costs were $11,570 and legal costs, $10,000.
Cash at Dec. 31, 1998 was $187,393.
CPAs Gould Eisele Crombie (formerly Gould and Co.) compiled
the report. GEC (the new name recognizes partners Sandra
Eisele and Michael Crombie) handles CPRF's ranking of PR
IPRA Repays Loans
The International PR Assn. said it has paid back the interest-free
loans that certain members made to it and now has the equivalent
of $200,000 in its treasury. Dai Nippon Printing Co. of
Tokyo is donating $100,000 to the IPRA's Golden World Awards
and general operating costs.
IPRA, which is being supervised without salary by Colin
Thompson, former head of the PR Consultants Assn. of the
U.K., had income of £90,281 in the eight months to May 31,
1999 vs. £224,355 pounds for the same 1998 period.
Office expenses were cut to £88,660 in the 1999 period
from £195,677. Loans as of May 31, 1999 totaled £163,127
and cash was $144,876, according to auditors Stapely Benfold.
The 750+ members were billed at the new dues of about $250
yearly on Sept. 1.
PCNY Grosses $45K, Nets $1,587
Publicity Club of New York took in $45,557 in 1999, including
$16,735 in dues and $28,570 in meetings, and spent $43,969.
Biggest costs were catering, $23,460, administration, $5,700,
and mailing, $5,394. Travel totaled $117. PCNY had $5,000
in a money market fund.
The Club ran into financial problems in the mid-1980's.
It reported 139 members as of June 30, 1987 but 44 were
"life members" who paid no dues. The life members
included all ex-presidents.
Thomas Kenney, who had been the paid administrator, reported
a high of 820 members in 1983. He later sued PCNY for $24K
in back pay.
'ACCREDITING' RAISES LEGAL
Groups that accredit, certify, or credential some of its
members or non-members encounter a host of legal issues,
the American Society of Assn. Executives was told Dec. 5-7
One is that the certifying group may find itself liable
when a client "suffers harm at the hands of a certified
professional," said Robert M. Portman, partner of Jenner
& Block, who presented a 21-page paper to the special
One example given was a suit against Hearst Corp. by a
consumer who claimed shoes did not live up to the Good Housekeeping
Seal of Approval.
"Where the certifying body expects patients, clients,
or customers to rely upon the certification, and the injured
party does just that in choosing to see a particular professional
or entity, or in buying one product over another, the reliance
and causation criteria may be met," said the paper
Must Offer to Non-members
Certification of non-members as well as members should
be offered, said Portman, who cited FTC antitrust policy
as well as advice "routinely" given by lawyers
Higher prices for the credentialing process may be charged
to non-members to reflect special costs, it was said.
Associations and their accrediting arms are "particularly
vulnerable to antitrust attack because they are considered
combinations of potential competitors," said Portman.
A desire to promote "a high quality professional service"
does not save a program from antitrust charges but will
be considered by a court, said he added.
Certification programs that don't have objective standards
or are implemented without fair procedures are more likely
to attract antitrust challenges, he said.
Edition, January 5, 2000, Page 8
"Beyond Spin" (described in 12/22/99 NL) three authors
advocate "corporate journalism" to replace the
current "closed, myopic and hyped communications"
that "most" companies inflict on their employees.
They want companies to soften their "dictatorial political
structures" and allow debate and criticism. Companies
claim a "culture of trust" but for many of them
"internal PR is simply a convenient cover for the same
old climate of fear," say the authors (two are ex-journalists).
They want internal PR pros to cover bad news as well as
good, use many sources for stories besides those in the
company, and give bylines to writers (encouraging accountability).
The authors argue that trying to con workers is futile
when they have access to local media, the Internet, e-mail,
faxes, pagers, voice mail, and the crowd around the water
Two of the authors worked at SGI (formerly Silicon Graphics).
Once a hot stock, SGIs "Sad Saga"
was told in a Business Week cover story in 1997. The
stock went from $45 to $10 currently. How SGI handled
PR is told in "Beyond Spin."
Corporate journalism is a laudable goal but its
one that PR started out with nearly 100 years ago. Ivy
Lee, in 1906, promised his firm would provide "prompt
and accurate information" about businesses and institutions
and that "any editor will be assisted most cheerfully
in verifying any statement of fact."
Today we find verifying facts about a company is often
an arduous task.
James Fetig, media head of Lockheed Martin, in remarks
that typify current corporate PR practice, said in 1998
that when a reporter calls, he asks himself six questions:
"Whats in it for my employer? Is this something
we need? Will this story affect us positively? How
prominent will we be in the story? Whom am I talking
to? What audience does the publication reach?"
As for "employee communications," some
consultants now refer to it as "change management,"
meaning any communications must have a purpose beyond the
truth or accuracy of the matter at hand.
Gary Grates, of GCI Boxenbaum Grates, which specializes
in employee communications, says the emphasis today is on
putting any information in context so that an employee understands
what the facts mean to the employee, company, customers,
etc. Corporate change (mergers, acquisitions, etc.)
is epidemic today, Grates noted. He is not in favor
of "change management" replacing employee communications.
One side effect of "Beyond Spin" is that
it further identifies the PR field with spin. We had,
in 1998, "The Father of Spin," a biography of
Edward Bernays, and "SpinHow to Turn the Power
of the Press to Your Advantage," by West Coast PR counselor
"Spin City," starring Michael J. Fox, is now
in its fourth year, an eon for a TV comedy.
In this series, almost everything and everyone is being
spun one way or another.
In the Dec. 21, 1999 episode, Fox tricks beautiful Heather
Locklear into coming to a party at his apartment. But
he cancels the party to be alone with her. When she
shows up with a date and wants to know where the party is,
he scrambles to create an instant party, calling on friends
near and far to hurry over.
Characters are ingenious at instantly making up false stories.
Fox puts out a bowl of Fruit Loops and croutons as
an appetizer saying its an appetizer created by his
mother"Frutons." But Locklear wants to know
why only two dinners are sitting on the table. He
dumps the two dinners into the bowl, saying it's part of
the party mix.
A Swedish diplomat is mistaken for a masseuse. The
diplomat (played by PRSA president Ray Gaulkes wife,
actress Sydney Anderson), is asked to massage the mayors
here for scenes from "Spin City."
Aside from the constant flow of false stories that are
created in "Spin City," another hallmark of
the show is its frenetic pace. Characters are in such
a rush ("spinning") or pretending to be in such
a rush that its hard to get a fix on them or nail
them down to the truth.
We encounter a similar kind of rush when PR pros
are called on subjects theyd rather not discuss. They
plead theyre about to go into a meeting, go out of
town, have another call to take, etc. They may even
interject their private livesa sick mother, a daughter
graduating from college, moving their homes, dont
feel well themselves, etc., as excuses for not having time.
We call it the "bums rush" school
of PR. But theres plenty of time if theyre
pitching a story.
Typical of corporate response today is the stance
of Black & Decker, $4.6B company based in Towson, Md.
B&D is being sued for $1.5M by a local PR firm
(12/22/99 NL) on charges the company raided its PR staff.
The trial was in its third week at the end of December.
B&D would not provide any legal papers nor any
comment on it. Barbara B. Lucas, SVP-PA and corporate
secretary, said B&D has no corporate PR although it
has corporate IR. B&D, she said, operates "like
a holding company." Any PR is at the divisional
level, she said.