Edition, May 3, 2000, Page 1
GETS $10M U.S. MINT JOB FROM GCI
Knowlton has won the $10 million U.S. Mint's PR/ad campaign
introducing the 50 state quarters, taking over the work
from GCI Group.
senior managing director at H&K, said the account must
be renewed on an annual basis.
campaign will target coin collectors and school children.
JOINS PRIMEDIA AS PR CHIEF
M. Murphy, 36, who has been VP-communications for ABC News,
has joined Primedia as VP/corporate communications, replacing
Ballabon, 37, who is currently executive VP of PA
for Primedia's Channel One Network, was named to the
additional position of VP, public policy.
PRO MAKES 'WORTH WATCHING' LIST
Alexander, president/CEO of Alexander Ogilvy PR, is the
only PR pro among the 50 high technology executives on Vanity
Fair's renamed list of "the eEstablishment."
list, which includes several top executives, including Richard
Belluzzo, group VP, Microsoft; Bob Davis, president/CEO,
Lycos, and Robert Pittman, president/CEO, AOL, appears in
VF's May issue.
one is better at talking up the influential insiders than
Alexander," said VF. "Her PR firm is like
the techie F.B.I.: it keeps detailed dossiers on the mind-sets
and habits of 25,000 journalists, stock analysts, and other
minions E-mail instant updates to the database about what's
said at 4,000 conferences and events a year (whether onstage
or behind the scenes)," the magazine said.
to the VF article, Alexander travels constantly and knows
TAKES PR POSITION AT UDV N.A.
Smith, 51, was appointed EVP/external affairs at Washington,
D.C.-based UDV North America.
Guinness Bass Import Co. are the spirits, wine, and beer
division of Diageo plc, whose key brands include Johnnie
Walker and J&B Scotch whiskies, Smirnoff vodka, Gordon
gin and Baileys cream liqueur.
to UDV from The Hawthorn Group, a D.C.-based PA firm which
he joined after leaving President Clinton's impeachment
has been COO of Hill and Knowlton, New York, and he was
VP/corp. affairs for Phillip Morris Cos., where he spent
nearly 17 years.
PR DOT-COM FIRM GOES ONLINE
was opened April 26 as a full-service online PR firm.
The Norwell, Mass.-based firm will conduct business with
clients via its interactive website, www.getpress.com.
agency will target small businesses in the U.S. with annual
revenue of $2 million to $400 million, and dot-com companies.
firm's website has a list of prices for various PR services.
which is staffed by 22 former journalists and PR pros, is
headed by Constance Hubbell, 38, founder/CEO of The Hubbell
Group, which she opened in 1995. Hubbell will continue
to operate independently of Getpress.
other founders and officers of Getpress are Robert Skelly,
former VP/assistant to the CEO at Raytheon, who is SVP/COO,
and Loretta Healy, who is SVP and corporate counsel.
New York Daily News is searching for a VP
of PR via Arnold Huberman Assocs. Other Huberman searches
are for CNN, Atlanta, for a VP of PR; Priceline.com, dir.,
media rels.; StarMedia, bi-lingual director of CC; BSMG,
SVP/EVP consumer technology, and Cone, Boston, consumer
Teller, executive managing director, promoted
to worldwide director, newly formed corporate practice,
Hill and Knowlton, Chicago. He will be responsible
for creating products, services and approaches to corporate
reputation management and the recruitment of senior corporate
professional teams in each H&K region.
Goodwin, senior VP, Porter Novelli, was
named executive VP for international PA/PR firm The Hawthorn
Group, Alexandria, Va. Previously he was VP and deputy
director of the healthcare practice at Powell Tate.
Edition, May 3, 2000, Page 2
PR PROS GET MORE RESPECT
publicists, who were once viewed by their studio bosses
as "party planners," have become increasingly
vital parts of the management staff, according to Variety.
fewer ads, how do you make up for that exposure in a multimedia
world?" one unidentified studio publicist asked.
is once again perceived as a more valuable part of moviemaking.
It's free space and it has the glow of being objective."
said the ideal candidate for a top corporate communications
position is someone who will "maintain inexhaustible
ability to spin, wheedle and cajole."
said the studios' top PR jobs offer a "fair chunk of
change," ranging from $300,000 to $500,000 and up,
plus perks such as generous bonus checks and stock options.
for a big paycheck, management sometimes expects the impossible,
the paper said in its April 17 report.
PR exec who was interviewed by a producer for a position,
said he expected to be in the top 10 of Premiere's Power
100 list every year.
a new Stamford, Conn.-based Internet web search company,
has chosen SiliconAlleyPR.com for an integrated ad/PR campaign.
The New York-based PR firm is a division of Sperling
TIMES VISITS FASHION PUBLICIST
Lambert is called the "grande dame of New York fashion
publicists" in a seven-page article and photo spread
of her 13-room apartment in "HomeDesign," the
part two section of The New York Times Magazine for April
headline: "Still Groovy After All These Years,"
Cathy Horyn, the Times fashion critic who wrote the article,
said the 96-year-old Lambert "still troops to the office,"
and still wears turbans and "midriffing camouflaging
tunic-and-pants 'uniform'" that the Hollywood couturier
Leon Paule makes up in fabrics she sends him.
of an advance man for the Ring- ling Brothers and Barnum
& Bailey Circus from Crawfordsville, Ind., Lambert came
to New York in 1925 with $100, and by the mid-30's was the
fashion industry's premier drumbeater, Horyn said.
organized the first New York press showings and ran the
International Best-Dressed List, over which she still presides,
said Horyn, who noted Lambert has promoted the careers of
"virtually everyone who has mattered in fashion, from
Mollie Parnis and Anne Klein to Norman Norell and Bill Blass."
was 39 and married to her second husband, Seymour Berkson,
who was publisher of The New York Journal-American, she
moved into an apartment on Fifth ave., with two fireplaces,
a suite of maids' rooms and a view of Central Park, and
there she has remained, comfortably cloistered, like "an
idol in its ark," said Horyn.
spokesman James Rubin is leaving his post in Washington,
D.C. He will move to London with his wife, CNN foreign
correspondent Christiane Amanpour. Former ambassador Richard
Boucher will succeed him.
In a New
York Times May 1 profile, Rubin "grappled with searing
scrutiny" when Madeleine Albright's Jewish heritage
was made known her first week as secretary of state.
said to have "recast the spokesman's post" in
an era of what he calls "an increasingly impatient
and adversarial American press."
PR PRO JOINS PUBLICATION
Ebner, a publicist for KCD, a New York-based PR firm that
specializes in fashion/beauty, is joining Details as fashion
will be relaunched in October as a men's fashion supplement
by Fairchild Publication's DNR, a trade newspaper for men's
apparel manufacturers and retailers.
Advertising has established the Grey Global
Group as the parent company of all of Grey's communications
properties, which include GCI Group and APCO Assocs.
services now represent more than 40% of the company's revenues.
PR pro, John P. Margaritis, who runs Research
Partners International, has purchased 10,000 shares of the
company's stock on the open market.
president/CEO of the Hawthorn Group and Ogilvy Adams &
Rinehartbecame president/CEO of RPI in December 1999,
trading in RPI stock was closed until year-end earnings
were released and posted on April 14.
operating companies, which are primarily engaged in investment
banking, institutional research, securities brokerage and
trading, reported a 67% increase in revenues over the prior
Edition, May 3, 2000, Page 3
MEDIA EXPERIMENT IN CONVERGENCE
General's new $30 million, 121,000-square-foot facility
in Tampa houses The Tampa Tribune, WFLA-TV and online news
first floor of the building is the TV studio space. The
TV and online newsrooms fill the second floor, and the newspaper's
newsroom is on the third floor.
who once filed stores just for TV or just for print, may
find themselves working on a TV story, writing a newspaper
article and producing an online version as well.
consumer reporter Steve Overton and health reporter Irene
Maher file weekly newspaper columns.
Tribune's religion reporter, Michele Beardon, files newspaper
stories on Wednesdays that also mention the story that she
will cover on TV.
days a week, The Tribune's business editor Vernie Kohn files
business briefs on WFLA's early-morning newscast.
convergence works in other areas, too. Newspaper photographers
will carry still and video cameras on assignments. Video
journalists are learning what newspaper photo editors look
for, since their pictures may be used in the paper, on TV,
online, or for all three.
the convergence of news staffs, WFLA managing editor Susan
DeFraties now has access to more than 100 Tribune reporters
for daily news assignments instead of the eight or nine
VIDEOS ANGER TRAVEL EDITOR
Greenberg, Los Angeles-based travel editor for NBC's "Today"
show, has advised publicists to stop submitting story ideas
with useless videos.
cannot, and we will not use: 1) bad sales and marketing
tapes; 2) tourist board promotion tapes; 3) fifth generation
VHS; 4) hi-8, and 5) slides," said Greenberg in an
E-mail that went to hundreds of travel publicists who get
his notices of upcoming segments he is doing on the Today
said he got a few pitches for a piece on great spring travel
deals for Sunday Today that were "notably worthy deals,
but the videos were unusable and in some cases absolutely
you don't have the appropriate, quality supporting B-roll
tape, don't pitch me," said Greenberg, who is also
chief travel correspondent for the Travel Channel.
Lawyer Media, New York, has launched a news
service that will expand the company's coverage of breaking
law and court case news and analysis to all 50 states.
company plans to launch the first two regional editions
of The National Law Journal later this year in Massachusetts
Lawyer Media News Service will use a N.Y.-based reporting
and editorial staff, news bureaus in Boston and Chicago
and a national correspondent network to develop daily reporting
of regional legal and law industry news.
Barrett is managing editor of ALMNS. 212/313-9142;
Watchers magazine will be relaunched by
Weight Watchers Publishing Group, New York.
May/June issue is due in three weeks.
magazine, targeted at adult women, will run articles on
health, fitness, food and nutrition, travel, women's psychology,
wellness, and lifestyle issues.
hopes to attract readers who are weight conscious and want
to lead active, fulfilling lives.
Galiardi is editor-in-chief; Geri Anne Fennessey, senior
editor, and Rebecca Adams, food editor.
Lexington ave., New York, NY 10017. 212/370-0644.
Biz Connection," produced in Worldwide
Corporate Network's Wall Street studios, is now airing daily
Mondays through Fridays at 1:30 p.m. (ET) at www.WCNbroadcast.com,
a website through which past programs can also be accessed.
expanded schedule of programming over the Internet supplements
an hour-long version of the program being heard weekly over
a network of AM and FM stations.
host Lou Cattaruzza, who is CEO of WCN, queries guests on
the secrets behind their success and gets them to share
their insights on money, management and marketing.
Strasser handles guest bookings for the program. He
prefers to get information and pitches by E-mail: [email protected].
Communications, a company started by John
Dianna, former president of Petersen Publishing, has started
Super Rod and Street Rod Builder.
K. Anderson is executive editor of Super Rod and Gerry Burger
is Street Rod Builder's executive editor.
company, which will be starting several new titles later
this year including Hot Compact & Imports (July), Family
& Performance boating (Aug.) and Chevy Rumble (Sept.),
is located at 12434 Prescilla rd., Camarillo, CA 93012.
Pet Business Magazine,
which was acquired by MacFadden Communications Group, is
being moved from Greensboro, N.C. to MacFadden's New York
headquarters at 233 Park ave. South, New York, NY 10003.
Today Magazine, which MacFadden also acquired, will remain
at its present location in Louisville, Ky.
Edition, May 3, 2000, Page 4
YORK AND METRO CHANNEL CONVERGE
York magazine is putting some of its editorial content on
the Internet through a "convergence" venture with
MetroChannel, which is owned by Cablevision's Rainbow Media
service will use content from each week's magazine, including
"Intelligencer," the "Cue" section,
"Critics," "Best Bets," "Smart
City," "Sales and Bargains," and "Gothan
York and MetroChannel will also collaborate on web and TV
extensions of several upcoming special issues, and cultural,
entertainment and lifestyle projects.
has 3.8 million subscriber homes in the New York market.
the business-news outlet, plans to build a new global headquarters
and studio in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., pending zoning approvals.
cable channel, which is now based in Fort Lee, N.J., provides
real-time coverage of the stock markets.
new facility would house www.CNBC.com.
Berg, who hosts the weekly "Money Talk"
radio show, and WABC have been sued by a New Jersey family.
family claims in papers filed in Bergen County Superior
Court that their 84-year-old mother lost $100,000 on a stock
investment recommended by Berg at a seminar, which she hosted.
is a new online resource for the disabled. The site
offers E-commerce, editorial content, classified ads, bulletin
boards, a news bureau on disability-related topics, a mentor
center and legislative updates.
site was founded by David Brenner, who said "nearly
half of the planet is touched by disability, yet this fragmented
consumer market has been underserved." www.halftheplanet.com.
Travels will begin publishing in October
as a bimonthly magazine for people who plan trips online.
magazine is a joint venture of Ziff Davis and Expedia.com.
Walther, former editor-in-chief of Departures magazine,
has been named editor of the new magazine, which will become
a monthly in fall 2001.
columnist Jeannette Walls has written a book, entitled,
"Dish: the Inside Story on the World of Gossip,"
in which she traces the history of gossip reporting back
Liz Smith said the book's "piece de resistance"
is a chapter about PR people, entitled "The Gatekeepers."
ATTRACTS OLDER SURFERS
from age 45 to 64 make up a larger share of online users
than 18 to 24-year-olds, according to a Media Metrix Web
45 to 64-year-olds also surf the Internet more than the
younger group, analysts found.
to 18 to 24-year-olds, they spend on average 6.3 more days
per month on the Internet, stay logged on 235.7 minutes
longer and view 178.7 more unique pages per month.
CZAR UP IN ARMS OVER WAR PROBE
Gen. Barry McCaffrey, the White House drug czar, has written
to news organizations to complain about an investigation
by Seymour Hersh, who is writing an article for The New
said Hersh, who won a Pulitzer Prize for exposing the 1968
My Lai massacre in Vietnam, is examining allegations that
the division, which he commanded, had committed war crimes
during the 1991 Gulf War.
making correspondence available to reporters, Howard Kurtz,
who covers media for The Washington Post, said McCaffrey
is "adopting the increasingly popular tactic of a news
subject trying to make the journalist the issue before he
delivers his findings."
said Hersh is conducting "defamatory" interviews
filled with "false allegations" and is doing so
out of "personal malice."
S. Carroll, 58, who was the editor of The
Baltimore Sun, was named editor of The Los Angeles Times,
replacing Michael Parks.
Hammell was named news director of ABC's
Washington, D.C., affiliate, WJLA-TV.
Mead, 60, who wrote the nationally syndicated
column, "Mead on Wine," died April 12.
R. Wieck, 72, a longtime reporter and Washington,
D.C., bureau chief for The Albuquerque Journal and columnist
for The New Republic, died April 20.
Edition, May 3, 2000, Page 7
SAYS SPOKESPUPPET DEFAMED
has sued a former writer for Conan O*Brien, the late night
TV talk show host.
whose PR firm is Catan Comms., Mine Hill, N.J., charges
Robert Smigel wrongly damaged its Sock Puppet with his routines
on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien."
which is also a dog handpuppet, is famous for insulting
Conan and his guests by showering them with compliments
then negating it all with his catch phrase: "...for
me to poop on!"
which sells pet products online, is demanding $20 million
in damages for defamation and trade libel, in a suit filed
in San Francisco.
CHALLENGES PR PRO'S STATEMENT
Made Golf Co. has challenged a statement made by an unidentified
PR pro for Callaway Golf Co. that robotic testing of golf
balls is flawed in a full page ad in several newspapers,
including USA Today.
which challenges Callaway's decision to stop using a robotic
golfing machine to test its new golf ball, cites an expert
witness who said robotic golfing machines have been shown
to provide "consistently reproducible golf swings.
This makes them particularly suitable for comparative testing."
it, an unnamed Callaway PR professional is quoted as saying:
"Robot testing of balls is flawed. 'You can dial in
any result you want. That's why we never use any comparative
body copy asks: "How do you explain this apparent duck
hook? While the rest of the industry sees robotic
testing as far and away the most valid method to test the
attributes of a golf ball, Callaway seems to differ. Which,
in itself, is fairly remarkable, given that just a couple
of years ago, they swore by it. Why the change of
mind? Maybe it's because they've just spent $170 million
coming up with a ballthe red Rule 35that when
tested by an independent firm following USGA guidelines,
came up nearly five yards shorter and produce markedly lower
8-iron spin rates that the Taylor Made InerGel Pro Distance
PR DIRECTORY IS PUBLISHED
Discover USA PR Directory has been published by the Travel
Industry Assn. of America.
lists all 54 U.S. state and territorial travel offices plus
Wash., D.C., and Puerto Rico.
lists 100+ convention and visitors bureaus and more than
100 travel attractions in the U.S. along with individuals
to call for information.
list, a journalist can contact the exact person who can
assist them with research, press kits, slides, photos and
press trips, according to Michael Pina, who is manager of
PR for TIA, Wash., D.C.
new TIA service is TravelNewsLink, which connects journalists
with 1,200+ U.S. travel industry PR professionals.
PUTS A GAG ON HER EMPLOYEES
who said "Free speech not only lives, it rocks,"
after a not guilty verdict was handed down February 1998
by a U.S. District Court jury in Amarillo, Tex., muzzles
her own employees.
of Texas cattle ranchers had sued Winfrey, claiming she
and a guest had "knowingly and falsely depicted American
beef as unsafe" in a segment called "Dangerous
Food" that aired April 16, 1996 on "The Oprah
come from a people who have struggled and died in order
to have a voice in this country and I refuse to be muzzled,"
said Winfrey as she left the courthouse.
work at Harpo Inc., the corporate parent of Winfrey's production
studio operation, all employees must sign a confidentiality
agreement that muzzles them for the rest of their lives.
covenant says employees are "obligated to keep confidential
and never disclose, use, misappropriate, or confirm or deny
the veracity of any statement or comment" concerning
the private life or business dealings of Winfrey or Harpo.
Coady, a former senior associate producer for Harpo, who
challenged the legality of the agreement in March 1998 when
she quit, described Harpo as "a company ruled by fear."
no sense of justice inside, which is so ironic in light
of the public image of someone who touts herself as an advocate
for business ethics and spirituality," said Coady,
who wanted to write a book about her experiences producing
episodes of Winfrey's talk show for 4.5 years.
NET UP LARGELY ON STOCK SALE
first quarter net rose 119% to $143.5 million largely on
the sale of four million shares of its Razorfish stock at
$35 March 14.
a web company, hit a high of $56 on Feb. 14 and is now around
$20 after sinking to a low of $18 in April. Omnicom had
a pre-tax gain of $110M on the stock sale. Excluding Razorfish,
first quarter net was up 22% to $79.9M and revenues were
up 20% to $1.379 billion.
earnings per share were up 22% to 45 cents.
PROFIT RISES, EXCEEDS ESTIMATES
Group of Cos. reported a 27% surge in first quarter operating
profits to $57.1M, handily beating Wall Street's expectations.
rose 20 percent to $1.1B, with a 27% increase in domestic
operations and a 13% increase in international operations.
Specialized marketing and communications services
for the first quarter of 2000 were 41% of total worldwide
revenue, compared to 36% in the first quarter of 1999.
20 cents a share vs. the 18 cents that was forecast by FirstCall/Thomson
Edition, May 3, 2000, Page 8
Institute of PR (U.K.) has published a booklet saying that
the Internet could be the "end of spin" but it's
not sure. The booklet's title, "The
Death of Spin?" is a question rather than a statement.
ambivalence is to be expected since its 6,000 members work
for companies, associations and PR firms that favor control
role, according to the booklet, is to help an employer decide
"what information it makes available where and whenno
organization should have total 100% commitment to transparency."
chaotic world of the Internet is a vast new problem for
controllers of information, notes the booklet.
PR people now have to monitor numerous websites including
chat rooms, message boards and especially their own Intranet
systems, since anything newsy on the Intranet soon ends
up on the Internet.
worrisome, says IPR, is the fact that an individual with
a good idea can stand a giant organization on its head:
"Individual opinions carry more weight...smaller interest
groups can present their cases as well as large groups..."
remain visible for years, says the 28-page booklet (£45
The argument that people will forget a negative item can't
be made anymore.
found plenty of negative items on the web in researching
NFO Worldwide when its executives stonewalled us after its
recent sale to Interpublic. The Yahoo NFO message
board had 136 messages dating back two years. The first
posting in May 1998 said, "This company is ripe for
buying," which turned out to be true.
messages discussed insider trading; problems with new products,
divisions and acquisitions; articles in the media, etc.
says that PR pros must watch and attempt to control the
information flow. Marketers, who have largely
taken control of PR via integrated marketing communications,
insist on message uniformity. For instance, the 1999 annual
report of Young & Rubicam says a brand is the "sum
total of all consumer touchpoints...brands are forged in
the mind." Interpublic says strategy and creativity
are important but consistency in expressing the concept
may well turn out to be the factor that "separates
the `players* from the rest."
the reaction at Interpublic when the following message was
posted on the IPG Yahoo message board April 24
following IPG's $675 million dollar acquisition of NFO,
which had $457M in sales in 1999:
company (NFO) is a total dogthe bottom is dropping
out of the custom research business as a lot of it can be
done for 1/10th the price over the web and barriers to entry
are low. Online panels are worthless. This is one where
the NFO execs pulled one over the IPG execs' eyes. The NFO
execs know this well as many of their acquisitions over
the past few years have totally tankedespecially after
the earn outs. And staff execs that are any good run away.
This last year's worth of results show the disintegration
is no IR or PR pro at IPG to rebut this negative assessment
of NFO. NFO plunged from $21 to $5.50 at one point
in 1998 and IPG lost a third of its value following announcement
of its deal to buy NFO.
boards are under heavy attack. Companies
usually refuse to make any rebuttals and we have heard IR
people call the boards "garbage dumps." Some offended
companies have sued to rip away the cloak of anonymity that
emboldens the authors of messages. In defense, some dissidents
use web connections at public libraries to block companies
from tracking them down. Free-wheeling websites like Yahoo's
are becoming rarer. In the U.K., it's much easier to sue
a web critic than it is in the U.S.
NFO message that intrigued us was this one: "What
other company can they acquire, destroy the culture, and
wonder why a mass exodus of employees occurs?"
have yet to research the numerous NFO acquisitions but we
do know of dozens of acquisitions of PR firms where the
culture was changed, executives and key staffers departed,
and the name of the firm was dropped.
firms that were open, easy-to-deal-with and press-oriented
as well as client-oriented became secretive, totally client-oriented
and almost impossible to deal with. Their PR programs
for themselves evaporated. Speeches, public appearances
by executives, and participation in professional groups
came to a halt. Their employees became fearful of press
contact. Instead of a single spokesperson, the firms adopted
the policy of having no spokesperson. In place of
PR programs and PR community leadership came extensive ad
campaigns. Some of the PR firms owned by Interpublic, Omnicom
and True North are now spending hundreds of times what they
used to in house ads including double-truck ads in the Wall
Street Journal (book rate: about $300K) and full pages in
the New York Times ($100K) often publicizing awards they
have won. The buying power of the ad agencies no doubt gets
the PR firms a lower rate.