Edition, November 29, 2000, Page 1
TURNS ON HISPANIC TV NETWORK
Fleishman-Hillard has picked up the Hispanic TV Network
account in a competition that came down to Edelman PR Worldwide
Ash Huzenlaub, who reviewed 12 firms for HTVN, said F-H's
eagerness to represent the nation's No. 3 Spanish-language
network was a reason it won the business.
no question that Fleishman-Hillard wanted the account,"
he told this newsletter.
Huzenlaub cited F-H's extensive presence in Texas (its Dallas
and Houston offices generated $10.5 million in combined
1999 fees), as important for the Fort Worth-based broadcaster.
HTVN also chose F-H because it has a large number of Hispanics
on staff and a high retention rate. "We wanted a long-term
partner who understands Hispanic culture," said Huzenlaub.
The network, which trades on the NASDAQ, also liked F-H's
IR capability. F-H execs, noted Huzenlaub, have done IR
work for Dell Computer and Southwest Bell.
HTVN owns 25 stations in Texas (San Antonio, Corpus Christi,
El Paso), as well as Phoenix, Las Vegas, Reno, Los Angeles
and San Diego.
VENTURE TAPS APPLIED
Crosspoint Venture Partners, an early stage venture capital
firm, has named Applied Communications as its PR firm.
CVP, which opened in 1970, earned the No. 2 slot on Red
Herring magazine's list of 1999's best venture capital firms.
Alan Kelly, CEO of Applied, credits Crosspoint with understanding
the big role that communications plays in the high-tech
Crosspoint, last month, named Kelli Tejada as its first
communications partner. Tejada is a 15-year PR veteran who
has worked at Novell, Veritas Software and Niehaus Ryan
Rich Shapero, managing partner at Crosspoint, said VC firms
must "move beyond passive investment strategies to
include highly valuable management services" such as
PR to clients.
The company's partnership with Applied "extends this
philosophy to include top-flight PR counsel." Applied
will provide PR to selected Crosspoint clients, and become
a limited partner in its investment fund.
Crosspoint, which has a $2 billion investment base, has
bankrolled companies such as Juniper Networks, Covad Communications,
Ariba and Digital Island.
GM PRO LEVY TAKES CHARGE AT CHRYSLER
DaimlerChrysler CEO Juergen Schrempp has named Ken Levy,
a former executive director of international operations
and media relations for General Motors-Europe, as PR chief
at Chrysler Group.
He replaces Tony Cervone who quit the car maker in last
week's management shake-up.
Theodor Cunningham, executive VP/sales & marketing,
and Kathleen Oswald, chief administrative officer, also
Schrempp Says He's Sorry
Schrempp, Dieter Zetsche, Chrysler Group's new CEO, and
Wolfgang Bernhard, COO, visited the American unit's Auburn
Hills, Mich., headquarters last week to meet with more than
Schrempp apologized for remarks he recently made to the
He told FT he misled people when he called Daimler-Benz'
Chrysler takeover a "merger of equals."
Schrempp only said that to win support for the deal, according
to FT. He always planned to install his own management team.
Chrysler lost $521 million for the third-quarter. Wall Street
analysts say it could loose $2B next year.
Daimler-Benz acquired Chrysler for $36 billion in Nov. 1998.
Its stock hit its all-time high of $108 early 1999. DaimlerChrysler
traded at $37.90, a 52-week low on Nov. 22.
NOVELLI NAMES COPITHORNE PREZ
Porter Novelli has named David Copithorne president, a new
position. Copithorne was managing director of Porter Novelli's
Convergence Group, which was formed last January with the
merger of Copithorne & Bellows into PN's high-tech group.
Steve Jursa, a senior partner at PN, takes over the reins
at the Convergence Group.
Copithorne is the last of the four founding members of C&B
at PN. Bill Bellows left in 1998, San Francisco head Richard
Moore departed in March 2000 and Mel Webster exited in April.
Executive Committee Formed
CEO Bob Druckenmiller also announced the creation of an
eight-member executive committee at PN.
That includes Druckenmiller, Copithorne, Jursa, plus senior
partners Helen Ostrowski (Northeast/Midwest region head),
Chuck Greener (PA and Mid-Atlantic/Southeast region), Gary
Stockman (West), Jeff Herskowitz (COO) and Mike Gehb (CFO).
Edition, November 29, 2000, Page 2
PR NEEDED BY BUSH, GORE
George W. Bush appeared tentative in his brief address to
the nation last night, said several PR pros.
Some, however, thought he was just trying to be like "the
guy next door," contrasting himself with the stiff,
formal style of Al Gore.
Don Imus of "Imus in the Morning" told his listeners
that Bush "looked like he was on the way to the execution
chamber and was going to give himself the lethal injection."
However, Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, who
has been appearing with heavy makeup, looked much better,
"Someone took a hose to her," he said.
New York counselor Robert Dilenschneider thought that Bush
last night did not look "presidential."
Both Bush and Gore have had "bad PR" in recent
weeks, he said.
Dilenschneider said Bush can appear more forceful by immediately
naming top, non?partisan and even Democratic national figures
as his advisors such as former presidential candidate Bill
Bradley and historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
Seitel Sees Mistakes on Both Sides
Media trainer Ken Scudder of Virgil Scudder & Assocs.,
New York, media training firm, said Bush's delivery was
"very stiff for a person who usually does casual very
Bush's delivery was marred by his pattern of repeatedly
pausing after the same number of syllables, giving the speech
an over?rehearsed quality, said Scudder.
"He did not sound convincing and ironically sounded
much more like Gore" in this particular presentation,
said the media trainer. This was "more like a campaign
speech," he added.
Scudder believes that from a tactical point of view the
Bush team should welcome any vote recount as long as it's
Fraser Seitel, a PR consultant, believes Bush and Gore both
made big PR mistakes by letting their lawyers try to manipulate
the Court of Public Opinion.
"The old saw says that `A lawyer tells you what you
must do. A PR professional tells you what Myou should do.'
In the Florida election debacle, the lawyers have told us
what we must think," Seitel writes in the "Speaking
Out" column that appears in The Ragan Report.
"While each campaign used different types of people
in different locations as lead spokespersons, each proved
far more proficient than the attorneys in communicating
the candidate's post?election message," said Seitel,
who says he voted for Bush.
Seitel gives Karen Hughes, who was Bush's communication
director in Texas, an edge over William Daley, who was Gore's
chief Florida spokesman.
Daley was an "awful choice to don the mantle of `voter
fairness'" because he reminded people of his dad, who
was Mayor of Chicago for many years, said Seitel.
Hughes has come across as "informed, tough and confident,"
said Seitel, who is especially critical of attorney David
Boies, who was retained by Gore to replace Warren Christopher,
the former statesman.
"The ever-available, high-priced New York attorney
who defanged Microsoft is the archetypal know-it-all lawyer,"
The media also gave Bush higher PR marks. A Harris Interactive
Poll showed voters increasingly disgruntled with the Gore
strategy of demanding hand recounts in four heavily Democratic
Florida counties: 51 percent said Bush should be the next
president; only 40 percent said Gore should be.
Roger Ailes, a former political PR consultant who heads
Fox News, said Gore is risking the reputation of a sore
While Gore has micro?managed nearly every detail of his
post?election campaign, Bush has "seemed confident,
sometimes overconfident, but overly deferential to his advisors,
especially Dick Cheney, and James Baker," according
to Kenneth Walsh, a senior writer for U.S. News & World
David Gergen, editor?at?large at USN&WR, who is a former
political PR consultant to Presidents Ronald Reagan and
Bill Clinton, said both Gore and Bush each "struck
his opponents as nakedly self?serving" when they addressed
the nation last week.
Terry Golway, who writes for The New York Observer, said
Bush came across in a recent Newsweek cover story of both
candidates as an "engaging and very human character
who has John Kennedy's ironic detachment but none of his
Gore was painted in the same issue as "a conniving,
programmed, nasty creature of the modern era's meaningless
ACQUIRES SQUARE MILE
BSMG Worldwide has acquired Square Mile Holdings, a London?based
financial PR firm.
The firm is the No. 6 financial PR firm in the U.K., according
to rankings compiled by Hemmington Scott.
Square Mile handled 50 IPOs during the past year. SMH chairman
Tim Jackaman, and joint CEOs Susan Ellis and Paul Philpotts
will join BSMG Worldwide (U.K.) Holdings as directors.
Philpotts was president/Europe for Ogilvy PR Worldwide,
managing director/U.K. for Burson?Marsteller and director
BSMG via its Financial Relations Board unit ranked No. 2
in the financial communications/IR rankings with fees of
$42.7 million. Fleishman?Hillard was No. 1 at $65.1 million.
HOP TO GET AHEAD IN PR
Job-hopping is accepted and generally required to advance
in the PR field, according to nearly half the senior?level
PR executives in the U.S. participating in a recently completed
psychographic and value survey sponsored by Heyman Assocs.,
a New York-based search firm.
"Forty-five percent of the respondents anticipate changing
jobs to advance and increase compensation especially performance-based
Interestingly, respondents also will move to places that
are more user?friendly, supportive organization," said
William Heyman, CEO of the firm.
"It is distressing that such a large proportion of
senior PR executives view job?hopping almost as a necessity
to advance in their field," said Heyman.
"But to retain staff, the solution for most companies
may not be to automatically increase salary levels.
"More important to those we surveyed is having a comfortable
work environment or culture and having a boss they can respect
and trust," said Heyman.
"With respect to compensation, a performance?based
bonus, special bonus and options were considered especially
attractive to top communications professionals," he
'Five value clusters'
The study found senior PR professionals--based on how they
responded to a series of agree/disagree statements relating
to their personal goals, objectives and viewpoints--tended
to fall into five value clusters: "PR enthusiasts,"
"skeptics," "company?loyal," "slightly
insecure," and "self?assured."
PR enthusiasts comprise 23.5 percent of the total sample.
"More than any group of respondents, they were the
most energized about the communications field, both in its
current state and its prospects for the future," said
These individuals, in higher percentages than any other
group, also believe there is more job security in PR today
than in most other professions; feel positive about continuing
a career in PR; and view PR as the perfect field if diverse
job responsibilities are desired.
Nevertheless, 52.4 percent also believe moving from company
to company is important to advance their career and increase
Want performance?based bonuses
If they were to consider changing jobs, 99.1 percent said
receiving a performance?based bonus would be most important
"Normally, candidates target salary, stock options,
relocation packages and location of the job as priorities.
The overwhelming focus on a performance?based bonus was
a surprise, and should be a lesson to management,"
Meanwhile, "skeptics," constituting 26.3 percent
of the total sample, are those that tend to view the field
in very narrow terms and assess their organizations from
a generally negative perspective.
About 62.1 percent of skeptics also believe moving from
company to company is important to advance their careers,
and a performance?based bonus would be important to 95.3
percent of them.
About 13.9 percent of respondents fell into the "slightly
insecure" category, displaying signs of insecurity
and pessimism regarding their jobs, believing the loss of
a job or being derailed from the "fast track"
are real concerns in the workplace.
More than half of those respondents believe moving from
company to company is important to advance careers and increase
compensation. If they were to consider changing jobs, 98.3
percent, receiving a performance?based bonus would be most
important to them.
No need to move on
The "company-loyal" group, 18.9 percent, are highly
committed to their organizations and have done far less
job hopping in recent years than members of other groups.
Only 19.5 percent believe moving is important to advance
However, if they were to consider changing jobs, 95.8 percent
said receiving a performance?based bonus would be important
Those in the "self-assured" group, which was 17.4
percent of respondents, are highly satisfied with their
status in the field, and earn the highest salaries.
But, they have changed jobs more frequently than any other
group during the past 10 years, and appear to be the most
innovative, adventurous and carefree.
They are so self?assured and self?confident that only 30.3
percent believe moving from company to company now is important
to advance their careers, "somewhat surprising considering
they have been job hopping more than any other group,"
A performance-based bonus is important to 96.1 percent.
Culture is critical
Regardless of value cluster, 98.1 percent said a company's
culture and its work environment would be most important
to them if they were to consider changing jobs.
Similarly, 98 percent said the attitude and personality
of the manager to whom they would be reporting also would
The study was designed, and the data were analyzed by Walter
Lindenmann, Palmyra, Va., who recently retired from Ketchum,
after 12 years as its Director of Research.
DAILIES ARE STRUCK
The Seattle Times and The Seattle Post-Intelligencer
are continuing to publish despite a strike by hundreds of
members of The Newspaper Guild, who went on strike Nov.
21 over issues including wages, pensions and health benefits.
The two evening papers have separate newsrooms, but their
business and production functions are handled jointly by
The Times is owned by the family of the publisher, Frank
Blethen, which the P-I is owned by Hearst Corp.
The Times, which recently reported a daily circulation of
about 226,000, ceased afternoon publications eight months
ago. The P-I's circulation is 176,000, down about 15,000
below last year's level.
The walkout began in the predawn hours after Guild negotiators
rejected a $3.30 per-hour increase over a six-year contract.
Currently, the top minimum wage for a reporter with a minimum
of six years experience at The Times is $857.73 a week,
or $21.44 per hour.
Senior reporters, according to a survey provided by the
company, make $29.29 per hour.
At the San Jose Mercury News, which signed a new
contract this summer, the comparable top-minimum salary
for a reporter is $1,053.
Edition, November 29, 2000, Page 3
DO'S AND DON'TS FOR PITCHING MEDIA
"Put a headline on your pitch letter" was one
of 15 tips offered by producers at a "Meet the Health
& Medical Talk Show Producers" workshop sponsored
by Allhealth PR in cooperation with PRSA's Health Academy.
The 150 attendees heard pitching tips and "do's &
don'ts" from a panel of online, radio and TV talk show
producers, consisting of Julie Becker, producer of "HealthWeek";
Ira Dreyfuss, medical reporter, AP Radio; Murray Jacobson,
health unit producer, "News-hour with Jim Lehrer";
Sandra Pinkard, producer, "The Diane Rehm Show",
and Abigail Trafford, columnist, "Health Talk,"
The following 15 tips were offered:
Put a headline on your pitch letter.
2. Given the volume of pitch letters, you need to grab a
producer's attention in the first two sentences.
3. Pitches should answer the question: How does this improve
upon or complement what already exists?
4. During conferences, trade shows and annual meetings,
have spokespersons carry pagers and cell phones so they're
available on short notice.
5. Avoid hype. The credibility of your spokesperson is critical.
6. Pick spokespersons based on their ability to talk clearly
and passionately, not on their titles or seniority.
7. Don't try and hide the controversy surrounding an issue
or product. Controversy makes good TV.
8. Always know the show's format before making the pitch.
9. Avoid jargon. Medical spokespersons should talk as if
addressing a patient.
10. When pitching TV programs, find a way to illustrate
or provide visuals for your story.
11. Providing B-roll for TV stories can increase a producer's
interest in a story.
12. Be energetic. Don't be afraid to be animated.
13. Speak in personal terms. Use "I," not "we."
14. Spokespersons can make their messages more memorable
by using humor, anecdotes, and personal experiences.
15. Most producers prefer pitches via e-mail.
A complete listing of e-mail addresses for healthcare media
in Washington, D.C., and an audio tape of this workshop
are available from 301/948-1709; [email protected].
EDITORS ARE HIRED BY VOGUE
Eve MacSweeney, who has been freelancing since leaving Harper's
Bazaar last year, is joining Vogue on Dec. 18 as associate
editor. She will primarily write features for Vogue. Marina
Isola was named senior editor.
MacSweeney, who has freelanced as deputy editor of Women's
Fashion of the Times and was a consulting editor at
Women's Wear Daily, succeeds Robin Givhan, who has
rejoined The Washington Post.
Isola will oversee the "People Are Talking About"
pages. She had been a senior editor at Architectural
NAMED NAT'L AFFAIRS EDITOR
Thomas Watson was named national affairs editor of Newsweek.
He will be based in Washington, D.C., and is succeeding
Steve Strasser, who was named managing editor of Newsweek
Since April 1999, Watson has been enterprise editor at Talk
magazine, responsible for commissioning and editing political,
legal, business and investigative stories for the monthly.
He spent the previous 10 years at Legal Times, where
he was editor from Sept. 1998-March 1999.
Sally Koslow, who is editor of McCall's, has
been named corporate editor. She will see the magazine through
the March issue when Rosie's McCall's will be introduced
under a new editor.
Hunter, who wrote Beginnings, a best-selling
book about how famous people chose their professions, died
Nov. 6. Hunter was one of the first workshop teachers for
Ragan Communications, and a founder of the International
Assn. of Business Communicators. He wrote the chapter on
writing for IABC's book, Inside Organizational Communication.
Golden Behr and Gerald Boyd, the two editors who worked
on the "How Race Is Lived in America" series of
15 articles that ran recently in The New York Times,
were awarded the Anti-Defamation League's Norman Newhouse
Human Relations Communications Award. They received the
award at the 87th annual National Commission Meeting that
was held Nov. 14 in New York.
Discovery Communications, Bethesda, Md., has downsized its
Internet operation. About 40% of the 200 fulltime employees
have been dismissed as well as about 150 contract workers
who helped run the website.
The site, which focused on such things as pets and lifestyles,
will now feature more revenue-generating topics, such as
education, health and travel.
Michela English, president of Discovery.com and Discovery
president Judith McHale sent out e-mail messages Nov. 10
alerting company workers to the coming dismissals.
The company's web troubles surfaced in July, when executives
backed away from plans to take Discovery.com through an
initial public offering.
The company plans to concentrate more on its cable TV business,
which includes The Learning Channel, Animal Planet, the
Travel Channel and Discovery Health. The company also operates
160 retail stores.
news continued on next page)
Edition, November 29, 2000, Page 4
GETS PRIMETIME PLUG ON `ER.'
Abbott Laboratories, based in North Chicago, received a
free plug for its top-selling prescription drug on a recent
episode of "ER," a widely viewed TV program.
Actress Sally Field's guest character on the show, who has
a bipolar disorder, is being treated with Abbott's Depakote.
Field is playing the mother of a nurse on the Thursday night
Depakote is Abbott's top-selling pharmaceutical, generating
more than $700 million in annual sales. Neither Abbott nor
the show is paying for the mention of Depakote.
Jennifer Smoter, manager of pharmaceutical PA, said the
company was "surprised and happy" about the mention.
The National Manic Depressive Assn., based in Chicago, had
alerted Abbott about the placement.
BSMG Worldwide handles PR for the pharmaceutical unit. The
agency had nothing to do with the placement, Smoter said.
Manhattan Style made its publishing
debut on Nov. 21. The slick, oversized monthly magazine,
which is distributed at restaurants, spas and galleries,
will cover events, shopping, fashion, real estate and restaurants.
The Hollywood Reporter is offering an e-mail
edition for East Coast readers with late breaking news in
a full-color, condensed version of the Reporter's print
The digitally distributed edition, called The Hollywood
Reporter-East Coast edition, will include late breaking
West Coast stories delivered to users' PCs every morning
by way of Adobe Acrobat files.
Journal of Commerce, a weekly magazine with a daily
website, is moving to New Jersey.
The business publication, which stopped daily publication
last summer, is moving out of 2 World Trade Center to a
43,000-square-foot office at 33 Washington st. in Newark.
Cheaper rent was given as a reason for the relocation.
and Old-House Journal magazines have formed
a partnership with PBS' "Today's Classic Home,"
a TV show which had a viewership of more than 50 million
households in its first two seasons.
Each season focuses on one distinct style of architecture
with a project home constructed or renovated in that particular
style. Individual episodes highlight one specific aspect
of the home, incorporating three elements-history, construction,
and technological innovation.
Mitchell McDaniel is host and executive producer of the
RATES AUTO WEBSITES
A consumer study found the content and design of 41 automotive
websites can affect the image of the products.
The study, which was conducted by Automotive Marketing Consultants
and Troy, Mich.-based Eisbrenner PR, found 51% of the respondents
believe automotive websites trying to increase dealership
visits should improve overall design and layout.
A sample of 300 individuals were selected by Ameba Marketing,
the research firm, to participate in the "Best of the
Web" study. Each respondent had to be over 25 and have
Some 43% said automakers should make it easier to navigate
their sites, and improve ease of figuring out pricing and
The study ranked websites on the basis of product information,
pricing and purchasing information, site functionality,
and site effectiveness.
Overall, BMW was ranked as having the best website, followed
(in order) by Volvo, Toyota, Mercedes, Jaguar, Porsche,
Mercury, Volkswagen, Isuzu, Hyundai, Nissan, Cadillac, Mitsubishi,
Chevrolet, Pontiac, Lexus, Dodge, Jeep, Subaru, Buick, Acura,
Infiniti, Lincoln, Chrysler, Oldsmobile, Honda, Plymouth,
GMC, Audi, Ford, Daewoo, Land Rover, Kia, Mazda, Ferrari,
Suzuki, Saab, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Saturn, and Rolls
BMW's website also scored the highest in product information,
followed by Mercedes, Jaguar, Volvo and Mitsubishi. Saturn
Jaguar was rated as having the best website for pricing
and purchasing information, and Volvo's website design was
ranked first in site effectiveness.
TO TEACH AT COLUMBIA
Sylvia Nasar, 53, a former New York Times economics reporter,
will become the first John S. and James L. Knight Professor
of Business and Economics Reporting at Columbia University's
graduate school of journalism. Nasar worked at the Times
from 1991 to 1999.
Previously, she was a columnist for U.S. News & World
Report and a writer at Fortune magazine.
AVERAGE COST OF TV SPOTS SOARS
The average cost to produce national TV commercials in 1999
increased 16 percent for 30-second spots and 14 percent
regardless of length, according to the American Assn. of
Advertising Agencies' 1999 TV Production Cost Survey.
The increase was the largest ever in the 13-year history
of the annual report.
Prior to this year, the highest increase was the 12 percent
hike reported for 1991. In actual dollars, the 16 percent
increase represents $48,000-the difference between the national
thirty-second commercial average cost of $343,000 reported
in 1999 and $295,000 revealed in 1998.
Edition, November 29, 2000, Page 7
IPG DOWNGRADED BY MORGAN
Omnicom, Interpublic and in effect the entire ad agency
business got hit with a negative report by Morgan Stanley
Dean Witter last week.
The two agencies own PR firms with about $1 billion in fees
and that employ 8,000+.
OMC and IPG stock prices lost some ground initially but
The two stocks were downgraded from "strong buy"
to "outperform" in separate ten-page reports.
Morgan, which is worried about the economy, even fearing
a possible "hard landing," feels that U.S. ad
growth "will be bumpy over the next three quarters"
and international ad growth "appears likely to slow."
Marketing Services Are Preferred
It prefers "marketing services" (such as PR) to
"pure advertising" and notes that such services
make up about half of OMC's and IPG's revenues.
In the event of a "hard landing" (severe economic
decline) "no marketing stocks would be worth owning"
except for the long-term, it warns.
A hard landing "does not appear to be fully baked into
the stocks" (OMC and IPG), it says.
The Wall Street house likes the consolidation of Chrysler
at OMC but fears that other clients could be "pulling
a Chrysler" (consolidating accounts to cut fees).
Ad Slowdown Could Be "Infectious" to PR
It worries that an ad slowdown could be "infectious
to select marketing services, such as PR."
"Very dangerous" for ad agencies, it feels, is
the specter of media selling directly to companies, eliminating
ad agencies and their fees/commissions. AOL, Morgan notes,
claims it sold 90% of its advertising without the use of
[A similar trend can be seen in travel, where airlines have
cut commissions to travel agents from 10% to 5% and encourage
direct purchase of tickets by consumers via the Internet
and other means.]
OMC's ownership of dot-coms, once worth $1 billion+ and
which helped boost its stock before the collapse of many
dot-coms earlier this year, is now of "negligible value,"
says Morgan. IPG was less involved in dot-coms.
Rankings Could Hurt
"Slippage" in the agency rankings to be published
by AdWeek in May could hurt either shop, says the
report. This appears possible since WPP has acquired Y&R
(including Burson-Marsteller) and could pass both OMC and
IPG in the rankings.
Another worry is the Screen Actors Guild. A strike by advertising
actors ended in apparent victory for the union after 175
days and this could "embolden" the TV and film
actors and writers whose contracts are up in the summer
of 2001, says Morgan. Advertisers could prove more resistant
to price hikes, thus derailing U.S. ad forecasts for the
last quarter of 2001 and 2002, it concludes.
JOURNALISTS APOLOGIZE FOR STORY
The Society of Professional Journalists has settled a libel
suit against it by a Dallas TV anchor by admitting its story
on him was inaccurate, apologizing to the anchor, printing
two pages on the suit in Quill, its magazine, sending
corrections to those who received it, and paying his $17,884
Mike Snyder, news anchor at KXAS-TV, a 30-year reporter,
said he was surprised that the SPJ did not interview him
for the story, which attempted to recount his appearance
at a Republican women's picnic in 1994.
He was suspended without pay by the station for making the
appearance and had apologized for "presenting a perception
of partisanship." He said his official comments were
limited to thanking the organizers and introducing House
Majority Leader Richard Armey.
Called Snyder "Master of Ceremonies"
A case study on the incident in a 1997 SPJ handbook called
Doing Ethics in Journalism said Snyder "acted
as master of ceremonies during rallies for George Bush at
several campaign stops" and "often introduced
Bush as `the next governor of Texas.'" The study further
said that Snyder was a "volunteer" for Bush.
The SPJ and three authors (Jay Black, Bob Steele and Ralph
Barney) agreed in a full-page "settlement statement"
that the above assertions were false.
Other statements attributed to Snyder such as "he should
be allowed to do as he pleases during his off time,"
were actually said by people responding to a Fort Worth
Star Telegram poll on the picnic incident, says the
poll had showed that a majority of the readers believed
Snyder's suspension was not justified.
James Gray, executive director of the SPJ, said legal expenses
of the SPJ totaled $95,000 and that the group's libel insurance
covered all but $5,000.
He said the SPJ decided to settle rather than engage in
a lengthy legal battle. The agreement does not constitute
an admission of liability by any of the defendants, which
also includes the Poynter Institute, which distributed the
handbook. No further copies are to be distributed and corrective
statements are to be sent to colleges and individuals using
Snyder, who reported on the Gulf War, the fall of the Soviet
Union and other major stories and who has been honored for
investigative and documentary reporting by the Dallas Press
Club, said he answers his own phone and is readily available
to anyone trying to contact him. He has been at KXAS, an
NBC station, since 1980.
TO COUNSEL PRICELINE.COM
Priceline.com has hired Hill and Knowlton for communications
counsel. The company has received a ton of negative press,
which has contributed to the collapse of its stock price
to $2.53, off its $104 52-week high.
Edition, November 29, 2000, Page 8
combined holiday party Dec. 7 of PRSA/ NY, IABC/NY, Women
in PR and the Black PR Society is an historic event that
could lead to more cooperation among New York PR groups.
PRSA/NY, the biggest of the groups, has traditionally held
itself aloof from the others. National gives almost no support
to PRSA/NY even though New York is undoubtedly the richest
area for member growth. PRSA/NY moved out of PRSA h.q. years
ago because of this.
The accreditation test that has been supported to the tune
of $2 million in subsidies in the past ten years is shunned
here. Only two PRSA/NY members out of 850 non-APRs took
the September exam.
PRSA/NY efforts to "decouple" office-holding from
APR and make PRSA more democratic have been blocked for
years by non-New York PRSA leaders. They won't even let
the subject hit the floor of the Assembly. PRSA's intractability
on APR caused its educational foundation to walk in 1989.
The latest insult was the blitz against New Yorker Art Stevens,
the official candidate for chair-elect in 2001. A majority
of the board, ignoring its nominating committee, publicly
backed write-in candidate Joann Killeen of California.
emotions came to a head at the PRSA conference in Chicago
when Pat Jackson, who led the shift of power from New
York to the rest of the nation, had a confrontation with
Bob Weintraub, president-elect of PRSA/NY. This reporter
asked Jackson why he didn't support Stevens since Jackson
was on the nominating committee? Weintraub wandered by and
one remark about New York led to another. Jackson finally
said, "New York is irrelevant." This prompted
Weintraub to answer: "Would PRSA be relevant without
New York? Next year at this time I'll make you eat those
words." Weintraub said he also has been told by PRSA
leaders, when he mentions de-coupling, that PRSA is a professional
society, APR is the mark of professionalism, and anyone
who is not APR should get out of PRSA. Only 100 of PRSA/NY's
950 members are APR.
downgrading of Omnicom and Interpublic by Morgan Stanley
Dean Witter is required reading for the 15,000+ PR pros
who work for PR units of OMC, IPG and the other ad conglomerates.
Morgan, expressing doubts about the economy, says "ad
exposure will be bad exposure for the next three quarters."
It still likes OMC and IPG because "marketing services"
(including PR) make up 50% of their incomes. It feels such
services can be "better managed" in a downturn.
To us this means that under pressure, more advertisers will
turn to marketing as cheaper and more easily measured than
advertising. Also, the ad agencies own scores of PR and
ad brands that just invite consolidations and staff cuts.
The conglomerates have already done this to a number of
both types of brands. Worrisome to adland are media that
sell directly to companies (AOL).
says it now places "a negligible value" on Omnicom's
interactive holdings (Agency.com, Razorfish, etc.),
which were worth more than $1 billion at the "height
of the dot-com revelry" ($9 a share or nearly 10% of
OMC's capitalization). Lawrence Krakauer, chief tech officer
of Agency.com, filed on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 to sell 362,500
shares of ACOM for $3.78 million. But the weak market (ACOM
hit an all-time low of $5.50 in November, off from its high
of $98) only allowed him to sell 162,000. The ACOM website
does not mention these or other insider sales or purchases.
Why go to these and other websites when such key info is
missing? Razorfish has sunk as low as $2.94 (from $56.94).
Mike Snyder, who hit the Society of Professional Journalists
with its first libel suit in its 91-year history, says
he was astounded that journalistic principles were not being
applied in what should be the citadel of U.S. journalism.
SPJ, rather than fight the case, gave two pages in its Quill
magazine to an abject apology and a copy of the settlement.
SPJ is much smaller than it once was (dropping from 30,000
to 10,000). Draining the group are at least 63 other specialized
U.S. journalistic groups (science, jazz, environmental,
beer writers, etc.) which SPJ very helpfully lists on its
own website, even supplying links to their web sites. It's
a form of association hari-kari but seems unavoidable in
the Age of Information.
do not find associations to be models for their own industries.
Although "revenue recognition" is a big issue
in IR, the board of the National Investor Relations Institute
says members' dues of $425 a year are a "contribution"
(gift) to NIRI which are non-refundable and are used "solely
at the discretion of the board." This doesn't jibe
with the accounting rules we have, which say dues are an
"exchange transaction" in which members pay dues
and often expect a lot in return. A gift is something that
is given to the Red Cross or United Way where benefits to
the giver are negligible and duration of benefits is not
specified. NIRI has three serial publications, the monthly
IR Update, IR Quarterly and a yearbook of members. It "regularly"
publishes surveys on annual reports, technology, pay, etc.
It also has a resource guide of consultants and vendors,
and puts on an annual conference and 20+ seminars each year.
Jobs are listed in IR Update. Members expect to get their
questions answered by staff throughout the year. NIRI promises
its members quite a bit.