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Internet Edition, November 29, 2000, Page 1


Fleishman-Hillard has picked up the Hispanic TV Network account in a competition that came down to Edelman PR Worldwide and Burson-Marsteller.

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.

"There's 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.


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 sector.

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 Wong.

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.


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 departed Chrysler.

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 400 managers.

Schrempp apologized for remarks he recently made to the Financial Times.

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.


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).

Internet Edition, November 29, 2000, Page 2


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, said Imus.

"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 well."

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 done fairly.

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," said Seitel.

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 loser.

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 Report.

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 intellectual curiosity."

Gore was painted in the same issue as "a conniving, programmed, nasty creature of the modern era's meaningless partisanship."


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 at Shandwick.

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.


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 pay.

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 said.

'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 Heyman.

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 compensation.

Want performance?based bonuses

If they were to consider changing jobs, 99.1 percent said receiving a performance?based bonus would be most important to them.

"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," said Heyman.

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 their careers.

However, if they were to consider changing jobs, 95.8 percent said receiving a performance?based bonus would be important to them.

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," Heyman said.

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 be important.

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.


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.

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.

Internet Edition, November 29, 2000, Page 3


"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:
1. 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].


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 Digest.


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 International.

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.

PEOPLE ___________________________________

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.

Tom 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.

Soma 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 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 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.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, November 29, 2000, Page 4


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 NBC drama.

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.

MEDIA BRIEFS ___________________________

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 edition.

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.

The 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.

Remodeling 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 show.


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 Internet access.

Some 43% said automakers should make it easier to navigate their sites, and improve ease of figuring out pricing and financing.

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 Royce.

BMW's website also scored the highest in product information, followed by Mercedes, Jaguar, Volvo and Mitsubishi. Saturn ranked last.

Jaguar was rated as having the best website for pricing and purchasing information, and Volvo's website design was ranked first in site effectiveness.


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.


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.

Internet Edition, November 29, 2000, Page 7


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 recovered.

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 agencies.

[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.


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 legal bill.

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 statement.

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 it.

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.

H&K TO COUNSEL 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.

Internet Edition, November 29, 2000, Page 8


The 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.

Boiling 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.

The 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).

Morgan says it now places "a negligible value" on Omnicom's interactive holdings (, 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, 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.

We 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.


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