Edition, December 13, 2000, Page 1
HITS LINKS WITH TAYLORMADE
Hill and Knowlton has added TaylorMade-adidas Golf as a
client, beating out Alan Taylor and Mastro Communications
for the No. 2 golf company behind Callaway.
The Gable Group was the incumbent, but did not re-pitch,
according to Zack Smith, TaylorMade's PR manager. He said
RFPs went out to about 50 agencies, and the list was whittled
down to ten firms.
H&K's job is to handle media relations and image branding.
Smith said TaylorMade wants to appeal to golfing's "pyramid
He said the goal is to play up the line's superior performance
to appeal to committed golfers with zero to four handicap.
John Eckel, H&K's sports group director, heads the account
from the firm's Irvine, Calif., office, which is near TaylorMade's
headquarters in Carlsbad.
TaylorMade has annual revenues of about $450 million, and
is part of the $6 billion adidas-Solomon A.G. combine.
H-P'S SENNETT MOVES TO OGILVY PR
Hewlett-Packard veteran Larry Sennett has joined<%0>
Ogilvy PR Worldwide as managing director of its global technology
practice, based in San Francisco.
Bob Seltzer, Ogilvy CEO, expects Sennett to provide high-tech
PR savvy to its non-tech Fortune 500 clients that
At H-P, Sennett was communications manager for its $15 billion
consumer business unit, responsible for product promotion,
media relations and issues management. He was previously
at Porter Novelli.
Ogilvy's high-tech group includes Nokia, Comdisco, Pitney
Bowes and Ford.com.
WOOD HEADS NRW's N.Y. PUSH
Saatchi & Saatchi/Rowland's Craig Wood has jumped to
Niehaus Ryan Wong as managing director of the high-tech
PR firm's New York office.
Wood, who has more than 30 years of PR experience, served
as COO of Saatchi's global business-to-business network.
He is "the kind of talent we need to expand our presence
throughout the East Coast," said Ed Niehaus, CEO of
the San Francisco-based firm.
BlueKite.com, Concur Technologies, EyeVelocity, Creative
Labs, Nordstrom.com and Netcentives are among its current
SHARP DROPS SHANDWICK FOR SC
Sharp Electronics, the U.S. sales and marketing subsidiary
of Japan's Sharp Corp., has named Stanton Crenshaw, New
York, to implement a corporate and product support PR program.
The account was previously handled for eight years by Dorf
& Stanton and then by Shandwick International, which
acquired D&S when it was headed by SC's Alex Stanton.
Prior to that, Gar Schmitt Assocs. had the Sharp account.
SC had handled one of Sharp's consumer electronic groups
for more than two years.
Bob Garbutt, VP-strategic marketing and communications division
at Sharp, which is based in Mah-wah, N.J., said SC's "size
and blend of strategy and e<%-2>xecutive skills, together
with our personal experience <%0>with the principals,
led us to make this decision."
HAAS, EX-GORE ADVISOR, JOINS MS&L
Larry Haas, a onetime spokesperson for Vice President Al
Gore, is joining Manning, Selvage & Lee as senior VP/director
of PA on Jan. 1.
Currently, he is PA director and special assistant to the
president at Yale University.
who will be stationed in Washington, D.C., is to handle
client legislative and regulatory issues.
That was the job once held by Joe Gleason, managing director
of MS&L's global practice, to whom Haas will report.
MS&L's global practice clients include American Medical
Assn., General Motors, Nestle USA, J.P. Morgan and Alliance
for Automobile Manufacturers.
HAS SERIOUS $$ PROBLEMS; CEO OUT
The International Assn. of Business Communicators has a
"serious cash flow situation" that has resulted
in a freeze on staff pay raises, travel and hiring; a delay
in payments owed to chapters; dropping outside PR counsel,
and delaying publication of the Dec./Jan. issue of Communication
World to Jan./Feb. "Payment terms" are being negotiated
IABC last month announced it will no longer print its 700-page
directory of members, which is now accessible to members
via its website.
President and CEO Elizabeth Allan, a 22-year veteran of
IABC, has resigned and has been replaced on an interim basis
by Louis C. Williams,
Edition, December 13, 2000, Page 2
REPORTEDLY KILLED MOVIE
Johnson & Johnson killed a cable TV movie on drug-tampering.
USA Network cancelled production of "Who Killed Sue
Snow?" on Nov. 22, five days before filming was to
start in Vancouver, reported The Los Angeles Times on Dec.
The movie was based on the 1986 deaths of two Seattle-area
residents who took cyanide-laced Excedrin, which is made
by Bristol-Myers Squibb.
The Times, citing anonymous sources involved in the project,
said J&J had threatened to pull all ads at the network
and would ask other drug companies to do the same.
J&J spokesman, John McKeegan, who is manager of corporate
communication, said the company complained about the movie
but he denied it threatened to pull ads.
McNeil Consumer Products, a J&J subsidiary which makes
Tylenol, was involved in two separate drug tampering cases
in the 1980s, both involving its Tylenol brand.
The Times sources said J&J wanted to avoid reminding
the public of seven Chicago-area deaths in 1982 from cyanide-tainted
Extra Strength Tylenol.
Bristol-Myers could not confirm whether the company had
raised concerns about the movie.
USA Network officials said the movie was stopped after J&J
argued the movie was irresponsible.
"USA Network said its advertisers agreed it would be
in the public's best interest to stop production of this
movie," said Ron Sato, a USA spokesman. He said the
project was killed over concerns it could lead to copy cat
TO DISSOLVE EMMI
Paul Holmes, editor-in-chief of Inside PR newsletter and
Reputation Management magazine, announced Dec. 6 that he
and business partner Kara T. Ingraham, publisher of the
two publications, are parting and that the parent company,
Editorial Media & Marketing International, "will
cease to exist."
Holmes, in an e-mail to advertisers, said that he and Ingraham
"were not able to come to a satisfactory agreement
as far as a buy-out is concerned." He said he feels
"incredibly liberated" because he will now embark
on a new venture, focusing on electronic publishing, the
Internet and consulting.
Holmes, president of EMMI, provided a home telephone number
in the e-mail.
Future of CIPRA Unclear
The future of the Creativity in PR Awards (CIPRA) was unclear.
Also unclear, he said, is the future of Reputation Management.
Holmes had asked agencies not to submit awards for the Dec.
11 early deadline. He said that "it is not clear whether
I will be able to acquire the rights to the CIPRA brand
during the liquidation process."
Holmes has been in business for ten years after being editor
of an earlier version of PR Week which folded.
GARCIA HEADS EDUCATION AT PRSSA
Geneen Garcia, with PRSA since 1991, has been promoted to
director of education of PR Student Society of America,
self-governing organization whose chapters at 220 colleges
are chartered by PRSA. About 6,500 students are members.
Garcia has a B.A. in Psychology from NYU.
Elaine Averick, director of education at PRSA and executive
director of PRSSA, is retiring after 20 years with the Society.
Averick "added an important leadership dimension to
the value of membership in PRSSA," said Ray Gaulke,
president and COO of PRSA.
Averick is the fifth most senior employee of PRSA. Other
staff veterans are Donald Scott, office services, 32 years;
Dorothy McGuinness, chapter operations, 30 years; Inez Smith,
member records, 24 years, and Jackie Gonsalves, computer
software, 21 years.
STUDIES DO NOT BELONG IN J SCHOOL
At one time, PR studies may have belonged in journalism
school, but not now, says Mort Kaplan, director of PR studies
at Columbia College, Chicago.
"It makes more sense to have PR in a department of
marketing communications as either a stand-alone or part
of the business school of a college or university,"
At Columbia College, PR is part of a department of marketing
communication. Kaplan said that allows students to pursue
their concentration in either marketing, advertising or
PR studies, while gaining valuable exposure to the other
this arrangement, the PR student must also take some core
courses in advertising and marketing, in addition to the
RETURN TO PR ROOTS
The shakeout in the dot-com business is a godsend for PR
firms, panelists told a PRSA/New York international committee
breakfast meeting last week.
PR created the initial buzz for the dot-com world more than
two years ago, noted James Glicker, "brand guru"
at Flooz.com. Dot-com start-ups, flushed with venture capital
cash, then shifted their money into advertising. Glicker
said VC firms, however, faced with mounting losses among
their investments, turned off the cash spigot.
That, to Glicker, means the days of "lavish spending"
for advertising are over, leaving PR as the cost-efficient
tool to generate awareness for dot-com companies. He said
established dot-com companies have always appreciated the
power of PR.
PR Helps Crack Overseas Markets
Renee Edelman, GM at PR21's New York office, said there
will be more Internet users overseas than in this country
by the end of year. She predicted more "cross-border"
PR campaigns for dot-com companies.
Ross Garon, COO at Blink.com, which helps surfers organize
and share their online bookmarks, said PR was the "most
important ingredient" in helping the company establish
a unit in Japan.
Edition, December 13, 2000, Page 3
YORK TIMES MAY GO ON TV
The producers of "The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer"
are in talks with The New York Times Co. to create an 11
p.m. news program on Public Broadcasting Service TV stations.
The two have considered a jointly produced news show for
years, and "it's as close now as it's ever been,"
said Rob Flynn, a spokesman for MacNeil-Lehrer Productions,
PBS affiliates WNET in New York and WETA in Washington,
D.C., also will be involved in production of the program,
which has a working title of "National Edition."
Michael Oreskes, who had been Washington, D.C., bureau chief
for The Times, was named assistant managing editor
and director of electronic news.
His successor will be Jill Abramson, 46, the paper's Washington
In his new job, Oreskes, also 46, will be based in New York,
where he will oversee electronic news, including TV ventures
and collaborations with the Times Co.'s online division,
New York Times Digital.
"We're plucking Mike, our hard-charging Washington
bureau chief, out of one of the daily journalist's best
jobs to fill this important new position," said Joseph
Lelyveld, who is executive editor of the newspaper.
"With the advent of broadband transmissions on the
Internet, there's an obvious value in having one person
constantly targeting our efforts in the converging spheres
of TV and web journalism."
N.Y. Times Digital operates Internet properties such as
NYTimes.com, Boston.com and newyorktoday.com.
WEEKLY TO COVER BOSTON LEGAL BEAT
American Lawyer Media is starting a new weekly newspaper
for the legal community in Boston and surrounding counties.
The Boston Law Tribune, edited by Claire Papanastasiou,
will make its debut on Jan. 8, and will reach more than
15,000 lawyers, judges, law students and legal professionals.
The new stand-alone paper will replace the Mass Report,
a separate regional section in ALM's National Law Journal,
which began publication in June.
The new paper's editorial offices will be based in Boston.
ALM, which is headquartered in New York, also publishes
the Connecticut Law Tribune and the Western Massachusetts
Law Tribune, which was started in June. It plans to
start a new Law Tribune in Rhode Island next year.
Powell, who joined Fortune in July from Newsweek,
was named Asia editor, based in a new bureau in Beijing.
The bureau will augment the magazine's already extensive
coverage of Asia by the Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo bureaus.
MONSTER.COM PROMOTES WEBSITE ON TV
Maynard, Mass., has launched a 30-minute TV program to show
both employers and job seekers how to use the website.
The infomercial, which made its debut Dec. 1 on The Learning
Channel, will air a minimum of 245 times during the month
of December on national cable networks and local network
The show provides instructions on how to navigate the site-from
starting a "My Monster" account to building a
resume to searching for jobs.
The show also has testimonials from successful job seekers
and employers who used Monster.com's resources, which include
11 million job seeker accounts, 6.5 million resumes, and
The website recorded more than 19.3 million unique visits
during the month of October, according to independent research.
The company was founded by TMP Worldwide, a New York-based
advertising agency network, which is the largest Yellow
Pages ad agency.
The Monster Show campaign, including production and media
placement, was developed by the Falls Church, Va.-based
Frederiksen Group, which specializes in direct response
marketing. The Weber Group handles PR for Monster.com.
Jim Higgins, previously business editor of The
Detroit News, was named Washington, D.C., bureau chief.
Don Nauss, who was covering the auto industry beat,
replaces Higgins as business editor.
Daniel Roth was promoted to senior editor of Fortune.
He will edit the e-corp features in the middle of the magazine
in addition to continuing to write his column "The
Mary McAleer Vizard was named travel editor of Reader's
Digest's New Choices magazine. She had been a columnist
for The New York Times real estate section and held various
editorial positions at Woman's Day, Vogue, and Time before
joining New Choices.
Don Froomkin, metro editor, was promoted to editor
of washingtonpost.com. He will manage the daily news operation
and oversee editorial project development, with a special
focus on improving newsroom technology. He will report to
executive editor Douglas B. Feaver and work closely
with deputy editor Jim Sheppard.
Etna M. Kelley, 104, who compiled The Business
Founding Date Directory in 1954, and was a writer of
many anniversary-related articles, died on Dec. 21, according
to Philip Murphy, who had consulted with her often in connection
with his work for Modern Talking Picture Service. Kelley
was honored by the Museum of American Financial History
in 1993 for her contributions to business history.
news continued on next page)
Edition, December 13, 2000, Page 4
RELEASE IS WORTHLESS, SAYS PR PRO
"In the cyber age, the press release is as valueless
as the Confederate bill, " says veteran New York PR
pro Malcolm Petrook, in the December issue of O'Dwyer's
PR Services Report.
"Sending a press release is proof-positive to the recipient
that it has not been prepared for him or her alone; immediately
denying a reporter the chance to scoop competitors,"
"Moreover, press releases require client clearance,
are often written by committee and rarely contain the selling
proposition or thrust needed to motivate a beat-specific
reporter," said Petrook, who practices what he preaches.
The only exception is when a client is publicly traded,
and must comply with the Securities and Exchange Commission
mandate that requires news releases for timely disclosure
on earnings, senior management changes or mergers and acquisitions.
Petrook believes voicemail, e-mail and even regular mail
are vehicles in which a publicist can express opinions,
make allusions or take a position that will clinch a story
but would never pass muster in a press release.
If a client cannot be discouraged from issuing a press release
to the national media, "you can still increase your
chances of winning ink by not sending anything to anyone
with whom you have not first spoken," said Petrook.
INNewYork, a new magazine from Primedia, is set to launch
in March 2001.
Bonnie Davidson, who is senior editor, said the upscale
monthly will cover all aspects of art, entertainment, shopping,
dining and nightlife for visitors to the city.
The magazine will be distributed in rooms and at concierge
desks at New York's luxury hotels.
"Each month we'll have listings, departments and features
on everything of interest to affluent travelers-theater,
dance, concerts, opera, galleries, museums, auction houses,
restaurants, nightclubs, sports and recreation, boutiques,
specialty and department stores, gift items, kids' activities,
and beauty (hair salons, day spas, etc.)," said Davidson.
She said the magazine will also feature a calendar of major
happenings that will take place in the upcoming months.
"As we gear up for our March launch, we're seeking
all appropriate press releases and materials," said
Trisha McMahon Drain is editor-in-chief.
As of Dec. 15, the magazine's address will be 711 Third
ave., 19th floor, New York, NY 10017. Davidson can be reached
BiZBash.com Idea Center, a soon-to-be-launched online
news and resource center for event and business entertaining
professionals, wants to get ideas and events. Features editor
Chad Kaydo says "Let us know what you are working on"
by sending an e-mail to him at [email protected].
Yahoo! Internet Life, a monthly lifestyle
magazine covering the Internet, will increase its rate base
from one million to 1.1 million effective with the January
2001 issue. The magazine was started in 1995 as a quarterly
with a rate base of 100,000.
Bloomberg Television said it doubled its U.S. distribution
in 2000. The 24-hour financial news network's total number
of cable and satellite subscribers increased from 5.7 million
to more than 11.1 million. The network, which reaches a
worldwide audience of 200 million people, is backed by Bloomberg
News, a news service with more than 1,000 reporters in 79
different bureaus around the world.
Crain's New York Business said Bloomberg, whose founder
Michael Bloomberg may run for mayor of New York in 2001,
is planning to start a general news service to cover New
York politics and city happenings.
Richard Rosen, a former editor at The New York Daily
News, will head up the new service.
Other reporters on the staff include Liz Willen, who previously
covered the education beat for Newsday and Glenn
Thrush, who had been a medical reporter at The New York
Observer and a former editor of Politics.com.
EXAMINER GETS NEWS FROM CBS SITE
a financial news website, is the primary business news provider
to the new San Francisco Examiner, which was relaunched
on Nov. 22 as a morning daily by its new owner and publisher,
This is the second newspaper alliance for MarketWatch. Last
September, the company became the primary business provider
to the Daily News Express, the commuter edition of
The New York Daily News.
MarketWatch CEO Larry Kramer and several of his key editors
used to work for the Examiner. Kramer was executive editor
of the paper from 1986 to 1991. Thom Calandra, who is editor-in-chief
of MarketWatch, was also an Examiner reporter and columnist.
Founded in 1997 and headquartered in San Francisco, MarketWatch
has facilities and bureaus in New York, Minneapolis, Washington,
D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Seattle, Detroit, Atlanta,
Dallas, Tokyo, Hong Kong and London.
The MarketWatch websites are the most popular Internet destinations
for business and financial news and information, according
to the latest data from Media Metrix.
Edition, December 13, 2000, Page 7
HAS SERIOUS $$ PROBLEMS (cont'd)
IABC chairman and head of his own Chicago firm.
Allan admitted that the "fundamental step" of
reconciling bank statements had not been done and that the
IABC on Oct. 19 learned it had an unexpected "shortfall
against plan of approximately $200,000."
"This happened on my watch and I accept that fact,"
Allan said in a letter to chapter presidents. She has been
president and CEO of IABC the past five years. She is taking
time off to travel with her husband and "re-invent
IABC chair Charles Pizzo said on Dec. 7 that "IABC
is now facing a serious cash flow situation which could
be perilous over the next several months if sharp action
is not taken."
The group is "negotiating payment terms with key suppliers,
contractors and vendors," Pizzo said. He noted that
IABC had never before interrupted payment of "rebate"
checks to its chapters.
The dues collected by national for the chapters are being
temporarily withheld for Oct./Nov., improving cash flow
to h.q. by $68,000.
Pizzo said the board believes these steps will see the group
through the next few months until revenue-generating activities
"begin to be felt."
E-Business Is Costly Venture
IABC in the past year or so has spent at least $1 million
on a new e-business called "TalkingBusinessNow."
It still needs about $400K to get it launched beyond the
Williams, whose firm just merged with DeFrancesco/Goodfriend,
said he will move to San Francisco and work for IABC for
"as long as it takes to get its act together."
He said a financial report is now being prepared by Deloitte
& Touche and that the cancellation of the printed yearbook
of members is one topic that will be revisited.
IABC lost $343,256 in the year ended Sept. 30, 1999 on income
of $4.8M. It lost $107,116 the previous year. Assets were
$519,150 in 1999. The group has 13,500 members but reported
a lower than usual renewal rate this spring.
PR Society of America, which has also been hit with financial
problems including a drop in renewals from 85% to around
70% or lower, skipped an issue of its 800-page membership
book. COO Ray Gaulke has been shifted to fund-raising duties
for the PRSA Foundation and a new COO is being sought. PRSA
ran into financial difficulties when it installed the high-end
iMIS software which is still not fully functioning after
two years. The computer snafu is cited as one reason for
low renewal rates.
SEES INFO GLUT
Counselor Robert Dilenschneider said new emphasis is needed
on "content and critical thinking" in order to
cope with the "glut of messages assaulting senior corporate
The messages "do not equal knowledge and knowledge
does not equal wisdom," he told a group of PR executives
in Atlanta Dec. 7.
Dilenschneider, who heads the PR firm in his name, said
information, to be useful, "has to be absorbed, classified,
analyzed, collated, appropriately applied, and then melded
into other relevant data and information."
All too often, he said, "we are simply being overloaded
with messages, many containing little, or no, relevant or
useful information." He referred to the Internet, e-mail,
voice mail, beepers, faxes, pagers and cell phones as carriers
of such messages.
The messages may be worthless but "demand our time
and attention, interrupt thinking, and often distract us
from vital tasks."
NY PARTY DREW 400
The first annual "New York Communicators Holiday Charity
Celebration," hosted by PRSA/NY and IABC/NY, with cooperation
from Women Executives in PR and the Black PR Society of
New York, drew nearly 400 PR people to the Float nightclub
Don Bates of Media Distribution Services, special events
chair of PRSA/NY, and Mary Ann Copp of Avon Products, programs
co-chair of IABC/NY, were co-chairs of the event, which
raised $20,000 from sponsors. Gold sponsors ($5,000) were
PR Newswire, PR Week, and Weinrich Advertising/Communications.
Other sponsors included Fleishman-Hillard, Burrelle's, Cohn
& Wolfe, Design Trust, DWJ TV, DS Simon Productions,
Goldman+Bell, Heyman Assocs., Ketchum, Makovsky & Co.,
MDS, Porter Novelli, G.S. Schwartz & Co., Marshall Consultants,
Video Monitoring Services and Anheuser-Busch.
DWJ TV donated a free eVNR setup and three months of hosting
(valued at $5,200). West Glen Communications, MDS, PR Newswire,
Avon and Seagram's also donated prizes.
PRSA/NY published its first "electronic newsletter"
which will be e-mailed each month to members by PR Newswire.
PRN will also offer the NL to 2,000 additional New York-area
The five-page letter lists officers, upcoming events and
has several articles. Bob Weintraub, 2001 chapter president,
said he has numerous plans to make PRSA/NY "more relevant
to the New York PR community of more than 10,000."
TO ADVISE TIME WARNER CEO
Linda Moran, who is senior VP of group and external relations
for Warner Music Group, was named special advisor to Time
Warner chairman/CEO Gerald Levin and president Richard Parsons.
At Warner Music Group, Moran's responsibilities include
industry and community relations, charitable contributions,
PA, events and special projects.
Janine Richardson, who is director of events and contributions
for Warner Music Group, will assume Moran's responsibilities,
reporting to corporate communications at Warner Music.
Edition, December 13, 2000, Page 8
stand on the continuing PR and court battle over the presidential
election is on the side of obtaining more information,
i.e., counting the votes that were missed by the machines.
Ballots that require holes to be punched in them produce
a much higher percentage of non-votes than ballots that
can be optically-scanned. Florida law as well as common
sense requires that all votes be hand-counted in a close
The Republicans from the beginning have insisted on machine-counting
only and have turned down Democratic proposals for state-wide
Last week's split decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court and
the Florida Supreme Court show that the justices have tied
themselves into logical knots in trying to interpret various
laws and jurisdictions. What's needed is a return to common
sense and ordinary principles of fair play.
The IABC (page one) is in a financial crisis brought
about by the high cost of technology. It's no mystery
as to where IABC's money went. It was consumed at the rate
of $1 million+ in creating an e-business that's supposed
to have all the bells and whistles once it's up and running.
Similarly, high-tech, high-powered salespeople saddled PRSA
with an expensive computer system and that doesn't work,
either. It may even have wrecked PRSA's normally high renewal
rate. These two groups need sophisticated leaders who are
a match for highly sophisticated salespeople spouting techno-babble
and charging prices that are on the moon.
IABC needs to make a full financial report to members
as soon as possible (and not the type of truncated report
that Deloitte & Touche and IABC tried to palm off on
members earlier this year). That report did not even mention
the $398,755 spent on web development and had a $548,000
expense category called "other." The governance
of IABC is out of whack. Its House of Delegates (like PRSA's
Assembly) gave up the power to set dues and has all but
ceased to exist. The 25-member board (far too big) appoints
its own nominating committee, meaning the officers are a
self-perpetuating clique. Too much power has been grabbed
by the staff which has now shown its ineptitude (it wasn't
even getting IABC's bank statements reconciled). The titles
of president and CEO should go back to the elected officers.
The same thing should happen at PRSA which is also in the
throes of a financial crisis (skipping a directory of members)
because of staff ineptitude. The word among association
executives apparently is take all the titles and power you
can in your association and reduce to advisors the officers
and bloated, ineffective board. Some board members like
this. It means they can hide behind the staff while collecting
glory and beefing up their resumes as "leaders"
of the field. IABC should publish its printed directory.
The new PRSA code authored by Seattle counselor Bob Frause
and others is a "sellout to marcom" (marketing
communications), says James Simon, SVP and chief communications
officer of Cardinal Health, Dublin, Ohio. He notes that
the code starts off by describing PR pros as "advocates
for those we represent" but at another point says PR
pros are supposed to advance "the free flow of accurate
and truthful information." Advocates are salespeople
and are not educators nor in the business of dispensing
information, he says. We would take any "information"
given by an admitted salesperson with a huge grain of salt.
Another indication that the new code reduces PR pros to
the status of salespeople is that it says nothing about
PR people having to make clients or employers available
for questioning by the press and/or public. Simon, a member
of PR Seminar and the Wisemen, was at KPMG as a partner
before joining the $25 billion Cardinal Health...PR pro
Burke Stinson agrees with author Richard Stengel (Brief
History of Flattery) that there is an epidemic of flattery
(12/6 NL). One example, says Stinson, is the glitzy press
kits that are sent to editors who only want the basic facts.
Such kits are aimed at "delighting the marketing department"
while ignoring the needs of "harried editors who are
on deadline," he says...speaking of expensive high-tech
pitch teams, we were recently offered two days of "consulting"
on our website by one of the big software companies for
$25,000. We do need plenty of advice and expertise to improve
the site but we don't have to pay $25K for it (which would
have just covered initial costs). Similarly, consultants
abound who will write a direct mail pitch letter for a publication
for $15K and up. But there are many other ways to get advice
on such a letter that are a lot cheaper...IABC, instead
of keeping its proposed e-business secret and contracting
out for hundreds of thousands of dollars, should have
advertised the proposed site in its own publications and
on its website. Members, many of them web and e-business
experts (isn't IABC made up of "business communicators?")
would have built the e-business for a fraction of what IABC
has spent. E-businesses, by the way, are afflicted with
a high rate of failure... PRSA, which is hemming and
hawing about improving its own website, should tap into
the expertise of its own members, saving the Society a bundle.
Because of the nature of the web, PRSA's website can be
redesigned and built from anywhere in the U.S. as long as
the builders have the underlying access codes to the elements
in the site.