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Internet Edition, October 11, 2000, Page 1


Connecticut's Office of Tourism has issued an RFP for the tourism account to replace O'Neal & Prelle, a Hartford-based ad/PR agency, which went out of business.

The budget is about $400,000+ for 21 months.

In the RFP, firms are instructed to build the publicity campaign around Governor John Rowland's wife, Patricia. Bidders are to put Patricia and John Rowland in spring/summer TV commercials and to invite her to appear at New York and Philadelphia media luncheons and events.


Paul Johnson, Fleishman-Hillard's top exec in Washington, D.C., advised White House drug czar General Barry McCaffrey about how to deal with a New Yorker article that criticized his conduct during the Gulf War.

F-H handles PR for White House Office of National Drug Control Policy's youth outreach campaign. McCaffrey heads ONDCP.

Johnson said McCaffrey called him about the article, and he gave the General some "down and dirty basics" on how to deal with the media as a personal favor. He spent 3-4 hours on the matter.

Johnson was interviewed by General Accounting Office investigators about the McCaffrey matter.

The GAO is looking into whether ONDCP's ad agency Ogilvy & Mather overbilled the government $14 million. An ONDCP staffer vigorously defended O&M during Congressional hearings last week.

William Fasig, who was mng. dir., global technology practice at Burson-Marsteller/S.F., until he joined Compaq Computer, Houston, in August as VP-CC, suddenly left the company. A spokesperson said Fasig left to pursue other interests and that he and his family will return to California.

Compaq had searched about two years for a VP-CC, using several different recruiters.

Phillips Business Information, Potomac, Md., which publishes PR News and other newsletters, has been acquired by the private equity arm of merchant bank Veronis, Suhler & Assocs., New York.

Tom Phillips will keep his title of vice chairman of PBI's board. His NLs and online services had $350 million in revenue last year.


GCI Group has won the $1 million+ StorageTek PR account, beating Fleishman-Hillard, Alexander Ogilvy and Edelman PR Worldwide for the business.

Bob Feldman, CEO of GCI, called StorageTek a "highly coveted" piece of business.

GCI will service the account from its Boulder, Colo., office that opens Nov. 1, headed by Bob Berger. StorageTek is based in nearby Louisville, Colo.


Rogers & Cowan has picked up Publishing Clearing House's website account, which could be worth up to $400,000 for the mainly entertainment PR company.

Ruder Finn and others pitched the business.

Matt Losordo, R&C's executive VP in New York, heads the business. The PR work includes media relations and positioning for

Tom Tardio, co-chairman, hopes the win will lead to other consumer goods and services clients. The firm works for Nabisco, Kraft and's parent.


APCO Worldwide has created Citizens for Better Medicare for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Assn. to make sure drug companies don't get hammered by healthcare reform.

The group leases space in APCO's Washington, D.C., headquarters. It's headed by Tim Ryan, who was PhRMA's ad director.

APCO, reported the Oct. 5 New York Times, set up another "grassroots" group for the drug industry called the Coalition for Equal Access to Medicines.

That group helped kill a Clinton Admin. proposal to restrict Medicaid coverage for some medicines.

Betty Hudson, a onetime SVP-CC at NBC, has joined National Geographic Society as SVP-communications, a new post. Her job is to extend NGS's reach into "every available media platform," according to John Fahey, NGS president. Most recently, Hudson was SVP-CC at iVillage, the struggling website aimed at women...Betty Eagan-DuBose and Eric Grodziski have joined Lois Paul & Partners, a Fleishman-Hillard unit, as SVPs. Eagan-DuBose will head LP&P's Austin office, while Grodziski will manage the Lotus Development business from LP&P's Burlington, Mass., headquarters.

Internet Edition, October 11, 2000, Page 2


Financial PR pro Ted Pincus has offered an "insurance" plan to make sure publicly owned companies comply with the SEC's new full disclosure rules (Reg FD), which will go into effect at the end of this month.

The centerpiece for his plan is an "investment profile" that sets forth management's vision, goals, growth plans and expectations of the company.

Pincus said the profile should be an eight to 16-page factual objective "model research report" such as an expert investment analyst would write. "Essentially, it's top management sharing with everyone its aspirations and expectations-instead of sharing that message only in the privacy of a briefing for that single analyst," said Pincus, who is chairman of Financial Relations Board/BSMG.

Under Reg FD, private briefings will be prohibited unless the material information covered has already been broadly disseminated through a "published briefing" in the form of an updated profile, Pincus said.

To be successful, the profile must be updated as frequently as necessary, perhaps more than quarterly, said Pincus. "But that's a small price to pay for an insurance policy that enables any qualified spokesman of a company to carry on a normal dialogue with the street, confident that he's following an official script that's already on public record," he said.

The second part of his plan is what he calls "proactive pursuit of preview interviews" to disseminate information about the company.

"Too often, trends develop and the corporate outlook must be fine-tuned, and this can't wait for a regular quarterly announcement. While this need can be covered by the conventional press release, it will generally gain far wider exposure and understanding if an in-depth discussion is held with one of the three full-disclosure media recognized by the SEC- Dow Jones, Reuters and Bloomberg," said Pincus.

He said an exclusive, detailed preview interview with any one of these achieves broad visibility while still abiding by the rules and spirit of Reg FD.


The futures of Ford and Firestone are being determined by the way they deal with the massive Firestone tire recall and reports of deaths caused by failed tires, according to Virgil Scudder, president of Virgil Scudder & Assocs., a media consulting firm.

In a speech Sept. 28 to the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York, Scudder said the futures of these two companies hinge on the ability of their top executives to convince the public that they make safe products, that they have behaved responsibly, and they will take every possible step to protect the safety of the public.

Scudder informed the group that the chief executives of both companies face an uphill battle.

He noted Bridgestone/Firestone has lost 45 percent of its share value as a result of this crisis. "We are seeing a new era of instantaneous news coverage in every corner of the world, an era in which quick, open communications can make the difference in whether a company can survive a crisis," said Scudder, who was a newscaster for WCTC radio in New Brunswick, N.J., before starting his media training company 40 years ago.

Buck Stops With CEO

The CEO of a company or the president of a country must take immediate charge in an emergency, Scudder said. He said Russian President Vladimir Putin finally realized he needed to take charge after the country's submarine disaster, leading to his appearance on CNN's "Larry King Live."

"In a crisis, the buck stops with the top officer of a corporation or president of a country." That's the front line of the crisis, and the CEO's No. 1 job is to respond immediately to the public's demand for an explanation and a resolution. "Technology has changed the pace," said Scudder. "The media and the public demand instant responses."

Scudder said the media also expect a company to make key executives available for interviews; be open and candid and tell the truth "as you know it," and prove that your company has acted responsibly and ethically over time.

Since the Ford/Firestone crisis, Japanese companies have been taking a closer look at the handling of PR, The New York Times recently reported.


Omnicom, whose shares have been weak lately, having been as high as $107, were down to $71 at mid-day Oct. 6 following OMC's announcement that it would seek permission from the SEC to sell, "on occasion," up to $450 million in common and preferred stock, depositary shares, debt securities and warrants.

Interpublic, whose stock is also near its 52-week low, registered a $500M shelf filing with the SEC in August. Such filings are permitted to seasoned, large companies.
OMC had previously registered a $300 million shelf offering.

The company said it would use the funds for "general corporate purposes which may include debt repayment, investments, its subsidiaries and acquisitions." noted on Sept. 27 that OMC had "sunk below historical support at $80 on rumors and speculation."

Hurting the stock, said Optioninvestor, are the merger talks with True North. TN and Omnicom units have the DaimlerChrysler ad account but the carmaker has said it will no longer split the billion-dollar account and one or the other will get it.

"OMC is moving steadily downward amid the acquisition scuttlebutt," said Optioninvestor. A decision on the ad account is expected shortly. A merger decision is also expected soon.

OMC did not return a phone call by this NL.

Internet Edition, October 11, 2000, Page 3


The New York Times Magazine, which is in its fifth consecutive year of growth in ad pages (over 800 pages since 1995), will launch “Style & Entertaining,” its first new Part 2 in 14 years.

Edited by William Norwich, it will fuse food, fashion and decor, report with wit and intelligence, and introduce readers to fascinating characters. One hundred ad pages have already been sold.

Editorially, the Sunday magazine is generating national discussions on everything from race to the gender wars to reality TV. The stories are written by a pool of contributors, including Michael Lewis, James Bennet, Lisa Belkin, Jack Hitt, Andrew Sullivan, Lynn Hirschberg, and ethicist Randy Cohen.

“The magazine is a chronicle of the way we live now,” said Adam Moss, who is its editor. “That includes big public news events, but also the more intimate news of our private lives— our family lives, work lives, values, sense of style and identity.

“We tell our writers and photographers to go out, find the most revealing stories of our time and make them live in our pages. To tell us stories, tell us who we are,” he said.

Moss was recently named one of the top 10 magazine editors by Columbia Journalism Review.


General Motors and, a website for African-Americans, have formed a three-year alliance. Under the agreement, will create sections, including:
—"Centerpiece," a multi-media look at timely and compelling news topics for African-Americans.
—A GM-sponsored area, “GM Spotlight on Excellence,” which will show African-Americans leading the way in their professions and the community.
—"Sports Channel," providing updates on sports and lifestyle at historically black colleges and universities, as well as other sporting figures and events of special interest to African-Americans.

In addition, GM will sponsor “Auto Corner,” a channel within devoted to auto owners and enthusiasts., which was started in 1997, is a subsidiary of Tribune Interactive, a network of local and national websites.


Here are the sources media use to plan a trip or vacation (multiple answers allowed), from a survey by the Travel Industry Assn. of America:

Newspaper travel sections, 28%; Internet sites, 21%; (tie) Travel show on TV/cable, 21%; Motor club magazines, 18%; Consumer lifestyle magazines, 17%; News magazines, 12%; (tie) Consumer travel magazines, 12%; (tie) Membership publication, 12%; Travel guidebook, 11%; Airline magazines, 10%, and (tie) Travel trade or business publication, 10%.


Susie Gharib, “Nightly Business Report’s” New York-based co-anchor, said Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan tops her list of most-wanted interview guests.

Gharib said Greenspan, who used to be an NBR commentator, “flat refuses to give interviews—to anyone.”

For a recent special series called “Inside the Fed,” Gharib interviewed one governor and two Federal Reserve presidents, who rarely talked to the press.

As for corporate people, Gharib said she still has not been able to make a breakthrough at IBM, where she would “love to interview” Lou Gerstner.

The NBR anchor is returning to her hometown of Cleveland, this month for one-on-one reports with local business leaders.

Gharib started her career in journalism as a reporter with The Cleveland Plain Dealer.

MEDIA BRIEFS ______________________________ will be relaunched this fall as a fashion news portal. The company was acquired this summer by after the company ran out of money.

The new will rely on “style-scouts” to spot new clothes and trends. It won’t sell or hold inventory this time.

Anyone who completes a personal quiz on the website is eligible to become Miss Boo’s eyes and ears in the fashion world and post their findings on the site.

The MediZine Guidebook, a quarterly magazine, which is distributed at the pharmacy counter and to doctors’ offices, has expanded its distribution channels.

Upon release of its fall 2000 issue, Bindley Western, Keystone/Medicine Chest Pharmacies, Family-meds and Lewis Drugs will make the magazine available to its customers.

The magazine, with an audience of more than 8.9 million readers, claims to be the largest consumer health magazine in the U.S.

Welcome magazine, a visitors guide for Orange County tourists, has been upgraded to four-color, glossy publication, and expanded into Los Angeles by covering area attractions, restaurants and hotels.

It also has a new website,

Orange County, which attracts 38 million tourists a year, is on the brink of having a tourist boom when Disney opens its $1.4 million new theme park, California Adventure.

Welcome, which is published six times a year, is available in hotel lobbies and sidewalk news racks. It has an average verifiable circulation of 35,000.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, October 11, 2000, Page 4


Producers of top-rated morning TV shows told a Publicity Club of New York lunch Oct. 4 that PR pros need to improve the way they pitch stories.

Although opinions on the means of delivering a pitch among the producers differed, all speakers agreed that PR people should be familiar with the show they are targeting, and keep their pitches honest and brief.

“You must know the show,” said Will Surratt, executive producer of “The WB 11 Morning News.” “Deliver something that works for me, and I’ll deliver the same.”

Surratt said his show normally books two weeks in advance, and PR people should contact the show’s booker, Rene Harrison, with pitches. He said a PR person must be able to answer, “Why would the viewer want to see this on the show?”

Carol Story of the “The Early Show,” CBS-TV, agreed, saying she needs to get more information for her viewers than a representative gets in PR value. She urged PR people to be honest: “Don’t pitch and hide the real reason you want your person on the show. Be forthcoming. Tell me, ‘Here’s what I need,
here’s what you’ll get.’”

Story said pitches which would not air within two weeks should be sent by mail; faxes should be for more urgent ideas, and when sending E-mail, always sign your name. She said Friday is the worst day of the week to contact her, saying, “If you need
an answer on Friday, the answer is ‘no.’”

She concluded her remarks by asking PR pros to “take ‘no’ graciously,” which leaves the door open for future pitches.

Likes Pitches of One Minute

Kim Bondy, executive producer of “Weekend Today,” NBC-TV, said PR pros should keep voice mail pitches to less than one minute. “News people have a short attention span,” she said. She likened PR people to used car salesmen: “Just tell me how much the car costs.”

Bondy said the best time to speak with her is Wednesday or Thursday afternoons, and also urged PR people to be honest. She said pretending to know her or trying to book a guest that is already booked with the competition are among her dislikes.

Matthew Singerman, senior producer of “Fox & Friends,” Fox News Channel, said his show wants to do more than “the five-minute interview,” and does not mind having guests who are booked on other shows. He said F&F looks for segments on politics and political books, as well as segments that “teach the audience.”

Singerman said he prefers telephone calls and does not like E-mails.

Sue Carswell, producer for “Good Morning America,” ABC-TV, said a one-paragraph E-mail “is the only way that works.” She said the show gets about 100 ideas each week, but looks for segments on new gadgets, human interest, science, new websites and video diaries of interesting people.

Nearly 200 PR pros and PCNY members heard the producers’ advice on delivering pitches for morning television.

“You guys have a lot to offer,” Story said to the PR pros. “Just work on how you present it.”

MEDIA BRIEFS ____________________________

Realm Magazine is celebrating its second anniversary as a national magazine.

The quarterly, which bills itself as “the magazine about life and work in your twenties,” was started by a small group of young entrepreneurs out of a small office in Burnaby, B.C..

Realm deals with everything from the new rules of what to wear to work, to running a business from a college dorm room, to taking an enterprise public.

Featured in the fall number are articles about the art of business storytelling; planning a post-secondary education; the 24/7 lifestyle; how to franchise your business; charity raves, and careers in Canada’s fashion industry.

The magazine is published in English and French, and has a total qualified circulation of 222,378.

Heather Skdt is handling inquiries at 604/412-4133.

Civilization’s October/November number, which is on newsstands, is its final issue. Worth Media is trying to sell the 274,000 subscriber’s list to Smithsonian magazine.

PEOPLE __________________________________

Dee Nolan, previously editor of You, a women’s magazine published weekly with the Sunday edition of The London Mail, was named editor for the UK edition of In Style, which will launch in 2001.

Michael Serrill, formerly with, has joined Business Week as senior editor international to oversee Asia coverage and international finance.

Lamar Graham, who had been Parade’s technology editor and “Inside” columnist, was named managing editor, effective Jan. 1. He will succeed Larry Smith, who will retire after nearly 20 years in the position to resume his career as a novelist.

Graham will continue as associate professor of journalism at New York University, where he is director of digital journalism, and will also continue to write the Inside column for Parade.

Joe Lockhart, 41, who took over as Presidential press secretary two years ago, has resigned to take a job in the private sector. Jake Siewert, previously deputy press secretary, was named to replace Lockhart.

Maggie Buckley, previously with Harper's Bazaar, has replaced Tom Piechura as entertainment editor and celebrity booker at Talk magazine. Piechura is resuming his PR career with Sony.

Internet Edition, October 11, 2000, Page 7


PR Society of America, in choosing the iMIS membership records and accounting software package, has picked one of the most "powerful" programs of its type and obviously does not have the staff to handle it, said CPAs who work with associations.

The fact that it is taking well over two years to get the system fully in operation, with no firm operating date yet in sight, is proof enough of the problems, the CPAs told O'Dwyer's.

They said several different types of simple, off-the-shelf software that sell for as little as $400 might have been the best way to go.

PRSA, according to the 1999 audit, paid $430,313 for computer hardware and software in 1999. This does not include staff time spent buying and trying to learn how to use the equipment. iMIS alone cost about $200,000, PRSA has said.

Accountants told this newsletter that PRSA, given the level of expertise of its staff, should have purchased different programs for different tasks such as bookkeeping, chapter relations, conference registration, member records and other tasks.

Some of the programs sell for a few hundred dollars and can be used for groups with 20,000 or so members, they said.

One CPA said he could have put in a system at PRSA that the staff would be comfortable with for about $30,000. "It would have been much cheaper and much easier to use," he said.

Parts of iMIS in Use, Says PRSA

PRSA said that parts of the iMIS system are in use but not the part that allows chapters to interface with headquarters. A big problem, said PRSA, is that the initial conversion of data from its previous system to the new system was not done correctly and completely.

The system, when completely installed at PRSA, will allow the Society to keep track of who buys what and to tailor future marketing campaigns to the proper audiences.

Treasurer Joann Killeen, in her Sept. 21 letter to leaders, said iMIS is to blame for the Society having inadequate financial information.

Said the letter: "The computer conversion and rollout of the iMIS system in June 1999 has been more complicated than anticipated. As a result we found ourselves faced with poor membership data and inadequate financial information."

Computer Firm Addressed Assembly

Lee Hornstein of Development Technologies, Farmingdale, N.J., spoke for about 20 minutes to the 1998 PRSA Assembly in Boston, outlining how the new computer system would work.

He said one obvious benefit to members would be that they would be able to change their own address records so that they would always be up to date. This would also save staff time, he noted.

Hornstein stressed that the program would be "integrated," meaning that accounting, conference and seminar registration, chapter relations, and other record-keeping functions would all be coordinated by a single system.

Dorothy McGuinness, head of membership development at PRSA, said there are "bugs" in the system and that a test involving chapters is not scheduled until January. There is hope, but no guarantee that the system will work then, she added. McGuinness said there had been executive turnover at DT but some members of PRSA pointed out that the Society has had no chief administrative officer since Ellen Gerber left in June 1999. They also point out that CFO Joseph Cussick left suddenly in June 2000, before a new CFO had been hired and before an ongoing audit had been completed.

CPAs said the chief administrator of a group and the CFO are the most important figures in getting a new accounting and record-keeping program to work.


The nine PRSA national board members supporting treasurer Joann Killeen against official candidate Art Stevens for chair-elect of the Society have exercised "bad judgment," said Mary Lynn Cusick, of the 2000 nominating committee.

"We spent a great deal of time deliberating the pros and cons of the candidates," said Cusick.

She said the nominating committee, which met the weekend of July 21-22 in Chicago, had the audited report in hand and knew all about the financial condition of the Society.

The 20-member committee, which had been expanded in recent years to include representatives from the sections, fellows, and past presidents, knew about the lower renewal rate and the $435,000 loss, she said.

However, board member Thomas Bartikoski said the nominating committee did not know the extent of the financial problems at headquarters at that point because they were only learned later by the board. "The nominating committee knew there was a problem but not the specifics of it for the current operating year," said Bartikoski.

He also said the nominating committee did not know the extent of Killeen's efforts to change the financial reporting practices at h.q. While nine board members are openly supporting Killeen, believing she has shown more interest in PRSA over the years as well as financial expertise, none has come out in favor of Stevens, Bartikoski noted.

Bartikoski, in a Sept. 26 letter to members of the nominating committee, said that Killeen, at the time the nominating committee met, was "still facing an uphill and confusing battle for accurate information and reliable numbers. Worse yet, we now see in the trade press what may have been whispered at the time...that somehow the delays in completion of the 1999 audit suggest she was not effective in her role."

Bartikoski said his support of Killeen should not be taken as "diminishing" the work of the nominating committee.

Internet Edition, October 11, 2000, Page 8

PR employers who complain that their recent hires can’t write should read Beer and Circus, or “How Big-Time College Sports Is Crippling Undergraduate Education.”

About 40% of college grads take no courses in English or American literature and nearly 31% have never taken a math course. More than 56% can’t calculate the change from $3 after buying a bowl of soup for 60 cents and a sandwich for $1.95. Many cannot read and understand a simple set of directions.

Beer and Circus, by English professor Murray Sperber of Indiana University, contends that college kids are being fed a junk diet of alcohol, spectator sports and partying.

We could add that the school year has shrunk from 210 days to about 160 and that all sorts of other shortcuts are foisted on the unsuspecting students, whose families may be paying $20,000 and up per year for college.

Large numbers of students are majoring in “communications” or offshoots of this subject area and many of them gravitate to PR.

Coincidentally, a poll in Newsweek Oct. 9 found that 20% of college grads responding said alcohol played “a large role” in their college experiences and that 27% said that, in retrospect, “I probably drank too much.” Another 36% said they drank but not often.

We mentioned the book to several in PR we happened to talk to this week, including a recruiter, a professor of PR and the head of a medium-sized PR firm.

The recruiter said employers are having a hard time coping with the “culture” college grads have picked up in the previous four years.

Not only can the grads not write, but they rebel against dressing “corporate” and are very possessive of “their” time, meaning anything after 5 p.m., said the recruiter.

The professor of PR said he customarily asks his classes how many in the room have read a newspaper that day and the usual response is one or two people.

We said why not tell the students to visit the O’Dwyer and other websites in the PR field, which are free and full of all sorts of PR information?

He said the odds of the students going out of their way to access additional classroom materials were so low as to be laughable. He said he wouldn’t waste his breath telling them about the sites.

The PR firm president said his problem is getting employees to socialize with the press and/or clients. The staffers are office-ound too much and need incentives to “make human contact,” he said.

CPAs who work for associations said the obvious conclusion to be reached about PRSA’s computer adventures is that the Society got in “over its head.” The two-year break-in period is far too long for a group with only 16,000 to 20,000 members and 40 people using the system, they said. The iMIS and other big systems can handle databases of millions of people and their purchasing, payment, and lifestyle habits, they said.

A program that allows members to update their own records is worth only $5,000 a year, one CPA noted. We provided a basic description of PRSA’s needs to a number of CPAs (16,000-20,000 members; 40 staffers; printing members’ book from records; tracking buying patterns; letting members change records; chapter relations; billing, etc., and obtained rough quotes. One said the cost should probably be $20,000 to $40,000 for the software and initial staff training and $12,000 a year for maintenance, and updating. PRSA in the past few years has spent $999,437 on “computer equipment” alone.

A tremendous ruckus is now going on among the PRSA leadership. It turns out that the 16 other directors on the national board besides Art Stevens are all against him and favor Joann Killeen for chair-elect.

Nine signed petitions in favor of Killeen but it’s been pointed out to us several times that none of the other directors has come forward in support of Stevens. The feeling is that Killeen has shown far more motivation for the job than Stevens. There is also the feeling that Stevens is closely allied with COO Ray Gaulke and this does not please the pro-Killeen faction. They feel PRSA h.q. hugely misled the board this spring about the renewal situation and the rest of the finances. Officers are claiming they did not know of the renewal problem and other financial facts until August, refuting the statement by nomination chair Mary Lynn Cusick that leaders knew such things in July before the nominations were made. Cusick says the nominations were made with full knowledge of the financial situation.

The Blue Book of members, publication of which is being pushed into the next fiscal year to polish the books, costs about $70,000 net after ad revenues to print and mail. The iMIS system is being blamed for botching up the job of compiling records


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