Edition, August 9, 2000, Page 1
TOURISM TO F-H
The Mexican Tourism Board named Fleishman-Hillard, Miami,
to succeed Edelman PR Worldwide for a $3M PR program in
the U.S. and Canada. Also finalists were Cohn & Wolfe
and M. Silver Assocs.
Rissig Licha, EVP/managing director of F-H in Latin America,
said the firms gave their final pitches on videotape. Each
presentation lasted about 80 minutes, with 20 minutes for
a recap. F-H will work with KWE Assocs., New York, which
continues to work for the Mexico City Tourism Authority.
F-H handled tourism PR for Mexico in the early 1990s and
also currently works for the MCTA.
KWE will manage trade and consumer media relations in the
U.S. Formed in 1999, the Tourism Board is part of the Ministry
of Tourism, with autonomous management and participation
of regional governments and private sector entities.
Magazines named PMK PR for publicity for Harper's Bazaar
and Marie Claire magazines. Leslee Dart, head of PMK/New
York, will oversee the account. The appointment was made
by Hearst Magazines' president Cathleen Black. Dart said
25% of the account will be on events.
PMK, part of the McCann-Erickson WorldGroup (of Interpublic),
said PR has become "indispensable" in the magazine
world. PR plays the major role in creating buzz around a
magazine, said Women's Wear Daily's marketing/media
reporter Janet Ozzard.
hard-driving marketing tactics, which brought it a guilty
verdict in a Texas antitrust case in June, were described
in a full-page+ article in the Aug. 6 New York Times under
the headline: "How Coke Pushed Rivals Off the Shelf"...
Ruder Finn is suing Renata W. McGriff for an alleged
$123,000 in unpaid bills for PR for her website providing
New Year's Eve info. RF took the account after it was resigned
by Middleberg + Assocs. and Urge PR. More than 14 lawsuits
have been lodged... Palm, Inc., Santa Clara, Calif.,
hand held computers, to The Jeffrey Group, Miami, for PR
in Latin America. Also pitching were Burson-Marsteller and
Ketchum... Alfred Geduldig of Geduldig & Ferguson,
New York, named to Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission
by President Clinton. It is planning a memorial to Eisenhower.
SEC RULE EXEMPTS REPORTERS
The Securities & Exchange Commission, which is tightening
its rules to prohibit disclosure of important information
to handpicked investors and analysts, will exempt information
gathered by reporters.
Senior executives will not be punished for sharing information
with reporters and bond-rating agencies. Lower-level employees
will remain as free as they are to talk to people outside
The SEC will spell out who cannot receive material information
from corporate officials that is not available to the public.
The group will be limited to analysts, brokers, mutual fund
managers and other shareholders.
The Securities Industry Assn., trade group of the analysts,
believes the rule will have a chilling effect on communications.
Despite their opposition, the rule is expected to pass Aug.
YORK DIRECTORY OF PR PUBLISHED
O'Dwyer's New York PR Directory, the first directory
of its type since 1997, has been published with listings
on 800 New York area PR firms, 840 corporations, 220 trade
associations and 528 PR service firms.
It also has a ranking of the 50 largest PR firms, a ranking
of 82 firms in the New York area, and a list of 60 area
executive recruiters and PR employment agencies. The regional
directory is used by job seekers as well as companies seeking
PR. It is $50 from the O'Dwyer Co., 271 Madison ave.
CLAIMS DIP IN EARNINGS IS A RISE
Interpublic, in a headline and in a statement as part of
a release, claimed that its second quarter net rose 15%
to $171.9 million when the actual net declined 9% to $136.8M.
Neither statement noted the effect of $52.8M in charges
in the quarter. The true earnings figure is nowhere in the
four pages of text of the release, which is preceded by
a statement in italics that says: "(All discussions
exclude the impact of restructuring and other merger related
costs taken in the first six months of 2000...)" The
$136.8M figure appears as part of tables on the fifth page
of the release.
Some reports had IPG showing a gain in earnings but the
Wall Street Journal headlined: "IPG's Net Fell
by 9% in 2nd Quarter After Restructuring."
(continued on page 2)
Edition, August 9, 2000, Page 2
ISSUES FALSE EARNINGS (cont'd)
Bloomberg Leads with Rise; Ad Age Says Gain
A Bloomberg story led with the alleged gain and noted the
one-time charge in the tenth paragraph.
The third paragraph of a story on the Reuters wire (that
led with the supposed gain) noted the earnings "exclude
pre-tax charges of $52.8 million." Both wires are used
extensively by media.
The Advertising Age report July 31 said nothing about
the $52.8M charge or the real earnings.
It quoted IPG as saying "net income rose 15% to $171.9
million. Revenue was up 15% to $1.4 billion. Revenue from
domestic operations increased 20% and from international
operations was up 10%." The rest of the item told of
the "$900M" in net new business in the half and
reported that first half net was up 16% to $230M. Actual
first half net was $174.1M., a decline from the $198.7M
reported in 1999 (before counting any mergers).
IPG Went "Over the Line," Said Analysts
Analysts and CPAs told this NL that IPG had "gone over
the line" of acceptable statement of a one-time charge.
Such a charge should be in the same sentence as any hypothetical
earnings claim, they said. Busy reporters might not catch
the true earnings, which is what happened at Ad Age, they
noted. The Bloomberg story noted that IPG's stock has fallen
29% this year. The stock was $58 last December but has been
around $40 recently.
The IPG earnings report quoted Philip H. Geier Jr., chairman
and CEO, as the source of the information.
A bulletin board posting on Yahoo! Aug. 2 said: "More
sellers than buyers and no end in sight. Upgrades were so
they could cover their positions while the getting was good.
Where's the bottom on this one? 20% discount. I want to
pick up more but when?" Analyst James Dougherty of
Prudential Securities, who rates IPG "a strong buy,"
said, "It was a good quarter all the way around."
IPG was again said to be "attractive" by Alexia
Quadrani of Bear, Stearns & Co.
SLAPS F&P CLIENT OVER SCARE PR
Wall Street Journal assailed Fischer & Partners
and its client, Aspect Medical Systems, for using scare
PR tactics to promote a monitoring device said to reduce
the risk that patients may awaken from anesthesia during
paper cited doctors and anesthesiologists upset with the
aggressive marketing and PR tactics of the manufacturer
of the Bispectral Index Monitor.
Fischer, president of F&P, could not be reached for
comment. Jim Bardwil, a senior VP, said he could not comment
specifically on the PR strategy used to promote the BIS
monitor, but added: "We as an agency are very proud
of the work we've done for Aspect."
Company Backs Off Claim
Aspect denied ever promising that its device would prevent
"intraoperative awareness," but acknowledged that
the company was at first promoting the monitor as a means
of minimizing the risk of that happening. The company has
since backed off that claim.
controversy centers on Aspect's efforts to distribute a
"fact sheet" to reporters and hospitals describing
its monitor as a "solution" to the problem of
intraoperative awareness. Hospitals which purchase the BIS
monitor also receive a "template news release"
from Fischer, stating: "Now, with the BIS monitor...the
anesthetic provider can fine-tune the amount of anesthetic
a patient receives and assure that he or she remains in
a deep hypnotic state, unaware of any of the surgical proceedings."
Sheet Is Retracted
In an article appearing on the front page of its B section
Aug. 2, the WSJ noted that Aspect has since ordered
a halt to the distribution of the fact sheet. The company
now maintains that the BIS monitor provides a measure of
how awake a patient is, but acknowledged that there is no
scientific evidence that it reduces the potential for intraoperative
NAMES TWO PR DIRECTORS
Stuart Ross was named SVP/director of PR for FCB Worldwide,
and Gayle Taryn was appointed VP/director of PR for FCB
Both PR pros will be based at the agency's flagship office
in New York at 150 E. 42nd st.
who will direct media relations and oversee PR efforts of
the agency's 200 worldwide offices, will report to Brendan
Ryan, CEO, FCB Worldwide.
Taryn, who reports to Jeff Tarakajian, president/ CEO of
FCB N.Y., will develop and manage all of FCB New York's
Ross, 47, who spent 11 years at PepsiCo, had most recently
been VP/PR for Kroll Assocs., a corporate investigations
and business intelligence firm.
Taryn, 44, had been a part-time PR director for Gotham Inc.
and The Kaplan Thaler Group. She has been handling PR for
ad agencies and corporations.
FORMERLY WITH FORD, JOINS EDS
EDS, Plano, Tex.-based E-business and information technology
services company, has named Tom Mattia, former VP of PA
for Lincoln Mercury, to replace John Lacopo, who retired,
as head of global communications.
Mattia, who will report to Don Uzzi, SVP of global marketing,
communications and government affairs, had directed international
PA for Ford for the past five years.
DEATHS: Fred Rosen, 84, who ran his own PR
firm for many years, died June 18 at his home in Water Mill,
N.Y... Frank K. Long, 75, an independent PR consultant
as well as a senior counselor with Anne Klein & Assocs.,
Marlton, N.J., died July 30. He was a winner of the national
PRSA's Paul S. Lund Award for public service... Karl
Vollmer, 85, former copywriter for Needham Harper and
consultant to DDB Needham, who later ran his own PR firm
in Houston, Omega Assocs., died July 19.
Edition, August 9, 2000, Page 3
INSIDERS WEIGH ANCHORS
SWR Worldwide, Washington, D.C., kicked off the first in
a series of "reputation polls" by asking 197 senior
congressional and executive branch staffers, along with
PR executives and political reporters, to pick their most
respected journalists on TV.
SWR, an opinion research firm owned by Shandwick International,
revealed that Jim Lehrer, host of PBS' "Newshour"
beat out all the major network competition with 26% of the
respondents selecting him.
Tom Brokaw (NBC) was in a statistical tie with Lehrer with
23%, followed by Peter Jennings (ABC) with 16%, Brit Hume
(Fox) with 14%, and Dan Rather (CBS), who only got 10%.
It was not very close in the Sunday talk show classification
where NBC's Tim Russert crushed his competitors, with 44%
saying they most respected his "Meet the Press"
Cokie Roberts and Sam Donaldson were chosen by 20% of the
insiders for ABC's "This Week" program and Tony
Snow's "Fox News Sunday" was in third place with
10% of the respondents.
Chris Matthews' "Hard Ball" (MSNBC) came out on
top in the "political talk show" category with
15% of the respondents. The "McLaughlin Group"
was a close second with 12%, followed by CNN's "Crossfire"
Greg Schneiders, president, SWR, said the new RePoll survey
points out how the "`most watched' journalists are
not necessarily the ones insiders are listening to."
In the PA business, it is important to know who is influencing
Washington insiders, said Schneiders.
FINDS EXECS MORE AVAILABLE
Linda O'Byron, who is executive editor of "Nightly
Business Report," said one of the biggest changes in
business news since the launch of NBR in 1979 is CEO and
business leaders are now more available for TV interviews.
O'Byron, who has headed the editorial team at NBR for 21
years, believes the viewer's experience will be much more
interactive in the future, gathering whatever news he or
She said NBR will provide more information through its website
and through digital TV's datacasting.
"We already have a terrific website that has expanded
in just one year's time, going from attracting 350,000 page
views to over a million each month," said O'Byron,
who also believes NBR Enterprises will produce many more
business financial programs for TV.
Fred Guterl, formerly
with IBM, where he was in charge of Think magazine,
an internal publication, and other print and web projects,
has joined Newsweek International as senior editor.
Guterl will launch a new science and technology section
for Newsweek's three international editions, Atlantic, Asia
and Latin America.
Lindemeyer, editor of Victoria, is leaving
to open a jazz club, called The Jazz Bit, on 44th st. in
New York. Peggy Kennedy, who is at House Beautiful, is expected
to replace Lindemeyer, who has been editor since the magazine
Lombardi has resigned as editor of Twist, a<%-2>
magazine for teens, published by Bauer Publications.<%0>
33, formerly a reporter at The Wall Street Journal,
has joined Forbes.com as senior edi<%0>tor.
Trecker, a former editor of Inside Sports,
who started Kick! magazine in the late 1990s (which
is now the world's largest-circulation soccer publication),
will contribute a weekly column, feature and news stories
to SportsTicker, a Jersey City, N.J.-based supplier of real
time sports news and information service of ESPN.
an entertainment writer, has joined Sitrick and Co.'s Los
Angeles office. He had been covering the entertainment beat
for The Los Angeles Business Journal, and he used
to write a syndicated Hollywood column for The Los Angeles
Daily News. His wife, Mary Murphy, is a senior writer
at TV Guide, where he was a columnist and reporter.
PUBLISHER TO SHUN GAY SLANT
The publisher of American Health & Fitness, a
new magazine, will not slant its editorial coverage to appeal
to gay males.
In a letter to prospective advertisers, Robert Kennedy,
publisher of the soon-to-be-published magazine, said: "You've
probably noticed that many so-called men's fitness magazines
are directly geared to the gay voyeur, rather than concentrating
on giving scientific fitness training-nutrition advice.
"Whereas we do not want to ostracize the significant
gay market, AH&F will not be choosing subjects and models
principally for their `gay appeal.'"
Kennedy, who also publishes Muscle as well as women's
fitness magazine Oxygen, believes mainstream men's
fitness magazines target gays by featuring "wet-lipped
men on the cover" to boost newsstand sales.
Scott Seomin, a spokesman for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance
Against Defamation, said the implied message in Kennedy's
letter is that "all gay men fit a stereotype as sexual
voyeurs and advertisers should avoid appealing to our community."
"We believe this sets up gay men for discrimination
and tells the advertising community that we are somehow
second-class, below a demographically targeted heterosexual
community," said Seomin, who also disagrees with Kennedy's
claim that mainstream muscle and fitness titles cater to
(Media news continued on next page)
Edition, August 9, 2000, Page 4
AND OFFLINE NEWS ARE CONVERGING
Whether driven by the web or heralded by more traditional
media and broadcast outlets, today's news reaches the public
differently than just a few years ago, and it has become
increasingly difficult for PR professionals to navigate
the multiple media channels and to decipher how they are
connected, according to Luvon Robertson, senior VP, Fleishman-Hillard,
"For PR pros, the challenge is whether a story about
the latest medical discovery is best pitched to the source
at everyone's fingertips, the Internet, or to so-called
traditional media," said Robertson.
Robertson was moderator of the PRSA/N.Y. Chapter's July
26 "Meet the Media" panel discussion, which included
Steve Katz, the New York bureau chief of the Fox News Channel,
Marian Jones of Fox News.com, and Patricia Olsen, senior
producer of CBS Healthwatch.com. About 50 people attended
the meeting, which was held at F-H's office.
All three journalists agreed that when pitching a story
about the latest medical breakthroughs to the Internet,
PR pros need to consider the online outlet's broadcast/print
partners because cross-branding relationships are still
a work in progress.
Katz said, "You can't assume a story on Fox News Channel
will end up on Fox News.com, or that Fox News.com story
will end up on TV. Both have separate staff and agendas."
He also said the outlets share their story ideas and plans
with each other daily.
Jones cited the Concorde crash as an example of how the
two mediums work together. "While Fox News Channel
provided up-to-the-minute coverage of the breaking story,
Fox News.com provided a comprehensive written summary of
the events as they became known. The website also included
streaming video from the TV coverage," Jones said.
Both Katz and Jones said that if a pitch can pass the "five-minute
rule," they would consider doing a story. Meaning if
the idea is interesting enough to discuss for five minutes,
it probably is compelling enough to warrant coverage.
Katz and Jones are at [email protected] and [email protected].
Site Not as Fast as TV
Olsen said the CBS Healthwatch site is still working out
the kinks, and currently cannot turn around news as fast
as CBS TV can. The site is aiming to provide coverage of
all CBS TV health stories.
Olsen is responsible for coordinating online articles with
CBS TV news, and will be the producer of the CBS Healthwatch
TV show, currently in the works. Olsen also said the site
will undergo a complete redesign in about three months.
On CBS Healthwatch.com, Olsen said the "biggest hits
are on health and wellness, such as fitness or sexual health.
People tend to go for more upbeat, positive and health trend
The E-mail address is healthnews@mail. medscape.com; fax:
212/760-3141. If the news is very urgent, Olsen can be phoned
at 624-3758. Casey is editor of CBS Healthwatch at 624-3737.
HEALTH NAMES EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
David Zinczenko, 30, was named editor-in-chief of Men's
Health magazine, which is published by Rodale Press,
in Emmaus, Pa.
Zinczenko, who replaces Greg Gutfeld, who left, had been
editor of the magazine's foreign editions for the past two
years, based in Europe.
He plans to bring in "fresh voices, fresh points of
view," but will continue to focus on health, fitness,
sex and relationships, and personal finance.
LEAVES INSURANCE BEAT
Deborah Lohse (pron. "lows"), who has covered
the insurance beat for two years at The Wall Street Journal<D>,
in New York, will join The San Jose Mercury News<D>
on Aug. 7 as a marketing reporter.
Leslie Scism, who is the Journal's "Heard on the Street"
editor, is overseeing insurance coverage until Lohse's replacement
Scism, who had covered insurance news from 1994 to 1998
when Lohse took over the beat, can be called at 212/416-3223,
but she gave instructions for PR people to fax her information
Breaking news should be faxed to the spot news desk at 212/416-3299,
CLAIR NAMED EXEC EDITOR OF PARADE
Bonnie St. Clair, a senior editor, was promoted to executive
editor of Parade magazine.
Editor Lee Kravitz said St. Clair, who was overseeing the
magazine's automotive issue since 1996, will now assign
stories and maintain relationships with current contributors
and help attract new writers to the magazine.
The F.B.I. has been questioning a bartender at the Beaches
Negril hotel in Jamaica about the disappearance of Claudia
Kirschhoch, the editor for Frommer's travel guides
who has been missing for more than two months.
After failing a lie detector test, the bartender told the
F.B.I. the two had gone out on the night of May 26, but
he has denied any knowledge of her whereabouts.
Kirschhoch went to the Sandals Resorts on May 24 as part
of a press trip (NL, June 28).
Korologos, 67, Washington, D.C.-based PR pro,
and Ann McLaughlin,
58, President Reagan's labor secretary, plan to be married
in December. McLaughlin, chairman of the Aspen Institute,
recently divorced TV political talk show host John
Edition, August 9, 2000, Page 7
MANIFESTO HITS MARKETING
Traditional marketing and marketing communications (marcom)
come under heavy attack in a new book called The Cluetrain
Manifesto, which is a collection of essays that mostly
appeared first on the Internet (www.cluetrain.com).
According to Cluetrain (Perseus Publishing) the web is like
a giant water cooler where kindred spirits gather and compare
notes and "clues" they have obtained. "Spin
gets noticed and scorned," it says.
The web "restores the banter of the bazaar" and
"tears down power structures and senseless bureaucracies,"
says Wall Street Journal reporter Thomas Petzinger
Jr. in a foreword.
Preventing customers, employees and others from >talking
about an organization and its problems is like trying to
"sew a fishing net closed," says Cluetrain.
Companies are not conversing with their markets because
of "obsolete notions of command and control,"
says one of its 95 "theses."
Says another: "Companies make a religion of security,
but this is largely a red herring. Most are protecting less
against competitors than against their own market and workforce."
"Arrogant" Marketers Blasted
One essay covers the "arrogance" of marketing,
its mania for "positioning," and the contempt
some marketers have for their "target" audiences.
Quoted are the "five basic principles of the mind"
as provided by author Jack Trout in The New Positioning:
"1. Minds are limited; 2. Minds hate confusion; 3.
Minds are insecure; 4. Minds don't change; 5. Minds lose
"In short," says Cluetrain, "minds are so
pathetic that they desperately need help, even if it comes
in the form of an axe" (i.e., a giant ad/marketing
campaign that captures the minds of the masses).
Most company websites are no better than their brochures,
says Cluetrain. "Visitors have to click through screen
after screen of fatuous self-praise to find the few bits
of information they really want."
PR, Single Spokesperson Are Hit
"PR does not relate to the public. Companies are deeply
afraid of their markets," says another thesis.
The "single spokesperson" approach, in which only
PR can talk to the press, only IR can talk to the financial
markets, and only the CEO can talk to the Wall Street Journal<D>,
Employees and others related to the company are already
in the "market conversation" and there's no way
to "shut them up," contends Cluetrain. Companies
can't make employees deliver a corporate "message"
because "we're all superb at sniffing out the shills,"
it adds. "PR has a huge PR problem: people use it as
a synonym for BS."
Authors are Doc Searls, senior editor, Linux Journal;
David Weinberger, who has written for the New York Times
and is a commentator on National Public Radio; Christopher
Locke, writer for Forbes, Byte and Industry Standard,
and Rick Levine, web architect formerly at Sun Microsystems.
PRESIDENT DEFENDS FIRM'S WORK
David DePinto, president/CEO of Stoorza, Ziegaus & Metzger,
San Diego, said his firm has handled PR for the California
Insurance Education Project on an ethical basis.
DePinto denied published reports and rumors that the firm
had misspent PR funds for the project.
Aug. 1, the California Insurance Education Project, which
was administered by SZ&M, filed a request for voluntary
dissolution in consultation and cooperation with the Attorney
As a result, the state Attorney General, Bill Lockyer, has
ended his investigation, without finding any wrong doing
of SZ&M's management of CIEP.
CIEP was established as a charitable foundation by Chuck
Quackenbush, the state insurance commissioner, at the suggestion
of SZ&M, which was paid $50,000 to organize and recruit
board members to run the project, and $25,000 per month
to manage CIEP's activities.
After the petition was filed Aug. 2 in Sacramento County
Superior Court, Lockyer issued a statement, saying his office
had "concluded" its investigation into CIEP.
said: "I appreciated the responsible decision that
the CIEP has made to seek voluntary dissolution of its non-profit
"Over the last few weeks, the corporation has cooperated
with my office in our ongoing investigation into the Northridge
insurance settlements and related Department of Insurance
"Upon placing its remaining assets in the care of the
court, our civil investigation into CIEP will have concluded
and our concerns regarding the potential civil liability
of the corporation will have been addressed."
The foundation is one of many non-profit corporations created
by Quackenbush, using Northridge earthquake insurance company
penalties. Quackenbush, who is currently under investigation,
resigned in June.
The Los Angeles Times reported last April only a small percentage
of the foundation's $1.3 million was being spent on the
projects it was designed for. The Times said most of CIEP's
money was being spent on SZ&M, which "came up with
the idea and chose the foundation's board of directors."
IS JOE FRAZIER'S NEW SPOKESMAN
Mike Paul, president of MGP Sports PR, New York, has been
retained as the new spokesman for Joe Frazier, the former
heavyweight boxing champ.
Frazier's family and friends attended a press screening
of HBO's "Ali-Frazier 1: One National..Divisible"
in New York on Aug. 2.
Paul said Frazier will be pursuing business opportunities
around the world, including endorsements and other business
Bloomberg, who heads Bloomberg News, Princeton,
N.J., may run for mayor of New York. Bloomberg has registered
nearly 50 website domain names, such as "mikeformayor,"
"bloombergformayor," "mayormike," "yesformike,"
Edition, August 9, 2000, Page 8
"old marketing" and the "new marketing"
are contrasted in this issue.
The old marketing is Interpublic (page one) stating twice
in an earnings release that earnings for the second quarter
were up when they were down.
If a baseball team did what IPG did, here's how the release
"Yankees beat Red Sox 10-9; discussion below excludes
unearned runs by Red Sox."
We would only learn in the box score that the Yankees lost
Symptomatic of the old-style IPG command-and-control approach
is that there is no one to talk to at IPG about this release
or any topic, for that matter. The company has no IR or
PR person. No executive could be reached last week for a
conversation, although The Cluetrain Manifesto (page
7) says "markets are conversations." IPG has already
refused to identify any but a few of the 56 companies it
acquired last year. This compilation is needed if IPG's
sales and earnings are to be properly evaluated.
Marketers want broad "messages" to go out and
don't want to undergo detailed questioning. But this is
exactly what the web is about, says Cluetrain. One of its
principal theses is, "There are no secrets."
has a big problem. Its stock has flopped from $58 to $40
after acquiring for $675 million a collection of research
companies flying the banner of NFO Worldwide that one critic
labeled "a dog" because of lack of earnings and
heavy competition from companies using cheaper web research
IPG, besides baldly mis-stating its earnings, engages in
other communications ploys that show contempt for the marketplace.
It refers to "net new business" of $900 million
in the second quarter when this is really closer to $90M
on the basis of how it states revenues ($1.4 billion for
the first quarter). It provides no proof of the claimed
new business (lists of new accounts, dollar amounts, and
the same for accounts lost). Also, it does not provide a
balance sheet with its earnings, although most companies
do so. Get it yourself from the SEC, it says. Usually, IPG
and Omnicom file their balance sheets on the last possible
day which can be nearly two months after their earnings
are deeply afraid of their markets," says Cluetrain
and that is what is going on here. IPG and others are
afraid of the level of detail required for a conversation.
They're afraid of losing control. But another Cluetrain
thesis is this one: "Lack of open conversation kills
companies" (and associations, we might add).
Hyped figures also hurt PR rankings. The manic quest
of the ad conglomerates for ever-rising big numbers has
hurt the credibility of the PR counseling industry, where
13 of the 14 biggest PR firms are owned by the conglomerates
(IPG owns Weber, Shandwick, Golin/Harris, etc., with $400M+
The ad agency PR units have gotten together in the Council
of PR Firms and decided that "PR fees" can include
up to 49% in ad commissions; no documents such as income
tax returns and W-3s are required, and no confirming statements
are needed from outside CPAs. Happily, more than 150 PR
firms ignored the Council's cheesecloth rules (which it
urges on the entire counseling industry) and supplied the
easily available W-3 forms and top pages of their income
tax returns to PR publications.
$240,000 revamping of PRSA's accreditation test is focusing
on 12 "work categories" that are involved
in all types of PR such as account management, project planning,
strategic planning, media relations, press conference management,
community relations, etc. There would be no testing of skills
in subject areas such as high-tech, healthcare and financial.
Counting the projected new APR total of 230 PR pros in 2000,
a total of 2,320 APRs have been created in the nine years
since 1992 at a net cost of $1,897,427 or $817 for each
new one (beyond any fees paid by the APRs). A good question
is how many of these expensive APRs remain with the Society?
is that three, and not two, district directors of PRSA could
not be found by the nominating committee headed by Mary
Cusick. California counselor David Simon switched (illegally,
say critics) from "open" director to the Western
district director spot left vacant by Ralph Kam of Hawaii.
There are ten "district" directors and two "open"
directors. Carole Gorney and Michael Jackson have been nominated
as the two "open" directors, one of them replacing
Simon. There are also no directors so far from the Northeast
and North Pacific districts.
who have looked at the new audit of PRSA, which finally
recognizes a liability for future services, say that once
a discrepancy has been found, the entire amount should be
counted. PRSA is now taking $425,309 in deferred dues but
this should be about six months' dues or $1.65M, say the
CPAs. This would give PRSA a big loss in 1999 but would
help future reports, they say. The CPAs are also mystified
by the $993,437 in computer equipment claimed by the audit,
pointing out this is an "astounding" $25,000 in
computers for each of the 40 employees.