Edition, January 3, 2001, Page 1
HANDLES EDGEWATER CRISIS
PAN Communications helped Edgewater Technology deal with
its crisis triggered by the Dec. 26 shooting deaths of seven
fellow employees by Michael McDermott at its Wakefield,
Linda Miller, director and senior account manager at the
PR firm, was among PAN staffers dealing with the worldwide
PAN, which is in Andover, Mass., issued a statement from
Edgewater CEO Shirley Singleton, at 9:06 p.m. on the night
of the 11 a.m. massacre that expressed condolences to family
members of the victims.
It also took issue with reports that McDermott was the employee
most likely to go off the deep end, and that Edgewater faced
F-H ACQUIRES GREER, MARGOLIS
Fleishman-Hillard has acquired Greer, Margolis, Mitchell,
Burns & Assocs., the Washington, D.C.-based Democratic
PA firm with more than 100 staffers.
Paul Johnson, head of F-H's Washington office, said GMMB&A
will add political consulting and advertising to the PR
firm's product mix.
Frank Greer, who has advised President Clinton, as well
as South Africa's Nelson Mandela, said his firm and F-H
got to know each other because they both work for AARP.
He said access to F-H's global network was the key reason
for making the deal.
GMMB&A, which has offices in Los Angeles and Seattle,
counts United Auto Workers, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,
Johnson & Johnson, DaimlerChrysler, Cisco, People for
the American Way and Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids as clients.
H&K GOT $600K FROM BOO BEFORE FLOP
Hill and Knowlton received $600,000 from Boo.com before
the E-tailer of "urban chic" apparel became the
most spectacular flop in last year's dot-com crash.
H&K mainly set up lunches with fashion editors for Boo's
founders Ernest Malmsten and Kajsa Leander.
The E-tailer, which had 420 staffers at its peak, burned
through $185 million in 18 months before going out of business.
The New York Times on Dec. 13 called Boo's bankruptcy "the
end of the ultimate parable of the new economy run amok."
The company existed on "loads of hype, luxury living,
a penchant for partying and a seemingly unlimited expense
account," it added.
SUCCEEDS GAULKE AT PRSA
Catherine Bolton, 48, who joined PR Society of America in
July as chief PR officer, became acting president and COO
as of Jan. 1, succeeding Ray Gaulke, who is setting up his
Gaulke will also be working on raising funds for the PRSA
Foundation and Kids in a Drug Free Society (KIDS). He will
no longer be an employee of the Society although he had
four years to go on his contract (to Dec. 31, 2004). He
was paid $250,000 a year plus pension and medical benefits.
The original plan was to have Gaulke remain on as COO until
mid-2001. However, Gaulke said he realized continuing as
COO took too much time away from his fund-raising activities.
Steve Pisinski, who announced the changes during a telephone
press conference, said a new deal has been struck with Gaulke
but that it remains confidential.
PRSA was closed Dec. 22 until Jan. 2, 2001 to reward the
staff for its "exceptional work," the first such
closing in its history.
HIT OMC-BACKED RAZORFISH
class-actino stockholder suits charging improper insider
trading have hit Razorfish, a dot-com company with 1,800
employees and $270 milion in sales that was originally 32%
owned by Omnicom.
value of OMC's investment has gone from $785M as of Dec.
31, 1999 to less than $20M as the stock plummeted from $55
to less than $1.50.
sold some stock in the fourth quarter of 1999, cutting its
share below 20%. It then sold 4 million shares at $35 each
on March 14, 2000 for a profit of $110M. OMC is still the
biggest shareholder with 11.9 million shares or 12.8% of
the 98 million outstanding.
March 14 sales falls within the "class period"
of the lawsuits of Feb. 15 - Oct. 5, 2000.
has not been named in any of the suits but a plaintiffs'
lawyer said further filings are planned.
in a suit filed by Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach,
which describes itself as the largest specialist in class-action
stockholder suits, are RAZF, four executives and one ex-executive.
alleged that insiders sold 1.2M shares for $12.7M before
disclosing the "truth" about RAZF.
statements by RAZF executives in releases via PR Newswire
and Business Wire are cited as well as an interview on CNNfn.
(continued on page 7)
Edition, January 3, 2001, Page 2
RAPS WALL ST. SPIN MACHINE
The financial media is nothing more than an important cog
in the Wall Street promotional machine designed to separate
amateur investors from their money, according to ABC's John
In his "20/20'' segment that aired Dec. 22, Stossel
said viewers of CNBC and competitor programs dish out "financial
information and plenty of hype."
That hype encourages people to trade stocks only because
they thought they were getting dispassionate advice from
the guests on the various programs.
What viewers don't know, said Stossel, is that many of the
guests work for firms that do business with the stocks they
are promoting as sure things. "Sometimes, they hype
stocks only to make it easier to dump them on you,"
Suckering is part of the process
Jim Cramer, of Thestreet.com, told Stossel that during the
bull market there was an "incredible number of people
who went on TV, hyped stocks that their companies had brought
public just to bring in another big piece of change for
their brokerage house."
While Wall Street players know how the hype machine works,
Cramer feels amateur investors fall for the air of impartiality
that financial analysts present on TV.
Raps milk mustache hype
Stossel also took issue with the hype surrounding the milk
mustache and other ad campaigns.
Lee Weinblatt, who heads an ad research company, told Stossel
that while everyone raves about the milk mustache campaign
from the dairy board, milk sales keep going down.
"The main reason why girls don't drink milk is they
claim it's fattening. None of the ads address that issue,"
he said. The ads only run, according to Weinblatt, because
creatives in Hollywood and the ad business love the campaign.
"There isn't a celebrity who doesn't want to have a
milk mustache," he said.
The ads get attention but don't work, according to Weinblatt,
because the creative community "thinks they know what
the public wants without even speaking to the public."
MAY HAVE BEEN LAX WITH BOOKS
Ogilvy & Mather has turned to PricewaterhouseCoopers
to review its billing practices on work for the White House
Office of National Drug Policy.
Congressional critics, such as Rep. John Mica (R-FL), believe
O&M may have overcharged the government $15 million
for its anti-drug campaign.
O&M, in a statement distributed by Hill and Knowlton's
Washington, D.C., office, admits as a "first-time government
contractor" it may have failed to do the rigorous bookkeeping
required on federal contracts.
The firm's staffers met with Justice Dept. investigators
on Nov. 29.
O&M also has hired rear admiral Robert Ravitz, who was
a Navy PA official, to oversee work with the government.
Retired General Barry McCaffrey, who heads the drug office,
has called O&M's ad campaign the crown jewel of the
anti-drug drive. He is stepping down from his post on Jan.
F-H handles anti-drug site re-launch
Fleishman-Hillard has just re-launched a "comprehensive"
website (theantidrug.com) for the White House drug office
to give parents tips on how to help them keep their children
off drugs, says Ellen Besner, at F-H's Washington, D.C.,
The site also is meant to foster communication between parents
and kids about drugs.
Besner said the site was developed in conjunction with Oxygen
Media's momsonline site to reach the "modern woman."
Material will be updated frequently to keep the site fresh.
She said there are versions of the site in Spanish, Chinese,
Vietnamese, Korean and Cambodian to reflect today's multicultural
PITCHES HONG KONG FOR $500K
Edelman PR Worldwide is working to position Hong Kong as
a world class commercial center on par with New York and
London, according to a two-year promotion contract inked
with China's government.
The pitch is to reassure Americans that Hong Kong retains
a "high degree of autonomy" under Communist rule,
and there are "Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong."
"One country, two systems" is another PR line
for Hong Kong.
The contract with the Government of the Hong Kong Special
Administrative Region is worth $500,000 to Edelman.
Robert Rehr, GM of Edelman/D.C., directs the account. He
is assisted by Bret Walrath, SVP in New York, and Sydney
Bernier, sr. A/S in San Francisco.
Edelman vice chairmen Michael Deaver and Leslie Dach are
available on an as-needed basis.
SHANDWICK PUTS TEAM IN PLACE
Weber Shandwick Worldwide, which came to life on Jan. 1,
has named the executive team that will manage what it calls
PR's biggest firm.
Tom Tardio, who is Rogers & Cowan's CEO and head of
Shandwick America West, is CEO of R&C and WSW North
America. Bruce Rubin, who headed Weber RBB in Miami, assumes
the CEO/Latin America post. Martin Spurrier and Alison Clarke
divvy up Asia-Pacific responsibilities. Spurrier oversees
acquisitions and finance, while Clarke handles business
development. Lutz Meyer is CEO/Europe.
Shandwick's Jill Murphy gets the executive VP slot at McCann
WorldGroup Development, where she will coordinate activities
between the PR firm and ad agency. Weber's Jackie Lustig
becomes executive VP/marketing and business development
handling global branding initiatives.
As announced in September, Larry Weber is WSW's CEO, Scott
Meyer, its chairman, and Marijean Lauzier, president/COO.
Edition, January 3, 2001, Page 3
SPOT NEWS EDITOR STEPS DOWN
Ann Podd is leaving as spot news editor at The Wall Street
Journal. She was named national TV editor to oversee
daily and feature news coverage for CNBC and other NBC outlets.
She will work from the ninth floor Dow Jones/CNBC newsroom
at the Journal.
Podd started her new job on Jan. 2.
TO RUN HEARST'S NEWSPAPERS
Steven Swartz, who was editor-in-chief and president of
Smart Money magazine and its website (www.SmartMoney.com),
has been named executive VP of Hearst Newspapers.
Peter Finch, who is editor of SM, and senior VP/publisher
Christopher Lambiase will take over Swartz's positions at
Smart Money, which is jointly owned by Dow Jones and Hearst.
TV HIRES EXEC PRODUCER
Veteran news producer, Beatrice Myers, has joined Bloomberg
Television, New York, as executive producer of the North
American channel. She will direct its programming, staff
Myers had been a consultant at CNBC, and was the senior
producer for NBC's "The Today Show-Weekend Edition"
from 1992 to 1999.
She joined StockTalkLive.com in 1999 as senior VP for programming
and production, creating the site's radio and financial
news programs for live streaming over the Internet.
ELEVATED TO NEW MEDIA EDITOR
Kevin Hayes was appointed new media editor of The New
York Daily News. He will be responsible for editorial
content of nydailynews.com,
the soon-to-be-launched, newly designed website.
Hayes, 45, who has been with the paper since 1992, was recently
the deputy features editor for arts and entertainment.
REVIEW NAMES WEB EDITOR
Eric Bender has joined Technology Review magazine,
Cambridge, Mass., as editor of technologyreview.com. He
was formerly an executive editor of PC World magazine,
and played a role in the relaunch of pcworld.com, the magazine's
Kristy Robinson, previously with Hughes Supply, Orlando,
Fla., was named content manager for the website, and Alan
Leo, who was webmaster for MeetU.com, has joined as staff
Technology Review, which claims to be the world's oldest
technology magazine, was relaunched in 1998 as "MIT's
Magazine of Innovation." The magazine, whose circulation
has more than doubled, from 92,000 to 250,000, will publish
on a monthly basis starting this year (NL, 12/20/00).
ENTREPRENEUR PROTECTS ITS NAME
Sacramento, Calif.-based PR pro Scott Smith has changed
the name of his firm to BixStarz after a Los Angeles Federal
District Court ordered him in June to stop using the name
Judge Florence-Marie Cooper also ordered Smith to pay Entrepreneur
Media, the publisher of Entrepreneur magazine, damages
of $337,280 for using entrepreneur. Smith is appealing the
EM, which is located in Irvine, Calif., has sent cease-and-desist
letters to other companies.
Young Entrepreneur newsletter, based in Atlanta, changed
its named to Y&E rather than fight Entrepreneur Media,
and Asian Entrepreneur became Asian Enterprise after it
got a letter from EM.
John Liscio, 51, a former reporter for U.S. News
& World Report and Barron's, who started
a bond market newsletter in 1992, died Nov. 29.
Marshall was promoted to managing editor at WBBM-TV,
Chicago. He has been with the station for 20 years.
Sawyer, previously an account director with Campbell
& Co., a Michigan-based PR firm, has joined Automotive
Manufacturing & Production magazine, Plymouth, Mich.,
as executive editor.
Reed Elsevier has leased the entire building
at 360 Park ave., South, in midtown New York.
The 454,000 square foot building will house more than 1,000
employees at Cahners Business Information, Elsevier Science,
and Schnell Publishing.
The move is scheduled to start in the spring.
Stewart Living has moved to 601 W. 26 st., 9th flr.,
New York, NY 10001. 212/389-4000.
Industry Standard is shutting Grok, an entertainment
spinoff, after the February issue.
Week, a three-year-old San Francisco-based magazine,
has folded along with its website.
is eliminating 25 jobs in an effort to cut expenses.
The money-losing web news magazine went public for $10.50
a share on June 22, 1999. The share price has since fallen
Zuckerman, publisher of The New York Daily News
and editor-in-chief of U.S. News & World Report,
is giving part of his profit from the sale of Fast Company
to an educational trust fund he founded.
FC was sold to Grunar & Jahr USA Publishing for $360
million, with a bonus of up to $150 million, depending on
news continued on next page)
Edition, January 3, 2001, Page 4
MAG TO TARGET LATINO MARKET
Time Inc.'s Birmingham, Ala.-based Cooking Light
is starting a new lifestyle and health magazine for the
American-Hispanic market, called Gusto.
About 350,000 copies of the first two issues of the English-language
magazine will be sold on newsstands across the U.S. If successful,
Gusto will be published six times in 2002.
The premier issue is due out in April, followed by a holiday
issue in November.
"Gusto will showcase the Latin way to eat well, live
better, and look your very best," said Raquel Navarez-Rosado,
who is an ad rep in the magazine's New York offices at 100
She said Gusto will be no mere Spanish translation of Cooking
Light, but its own dedicated concept with a distinct editorial
Viviana Carballo, who is editor of Gusto, sees the magazine
as "the chance of a lifetime to do something of consequence
for mi gente."
Gusto will offer recipes that are accessible, authentic,
and bursting with bold flavors, she said.
The magazine will also cover "relationships, family,
beauty, health, our spiritual and emotional sides, and even
some exercise," said Carballo.
Gusto will be targeted to second and third generation Hispanics,
who are more affluent, educated and English speaking.
Carballo's articles appear regularly in The Miami Herald,
and its Spanish-language edition, El Nuevo Herald,
and other national publications. She earned a degree from
Cordon Bleu, the Paris cooking school.
She is also an Hispanic-market food consultant for such
companies as Nestle, Kraft, General Mills, Bacardi, Dial
and various California commodity boards.
Carballo, who is based in Miami, said Gusto's editorial
content will be provided by freelancers and Cooking Light's
staff. Her number is 305/347-4330.
SPENDING TO SLOW IN 2001
The IEG Sponsorship Report predicts sponsorship spending
in 2001 will see its slowest rate of expansion in four years,
experiencing single-digit growth for only the second time
since it began its annual projections 16 years ago.
IEG SR said the expected 9.6% increase in spending by North
American companies from $8.7 billion to slightly more than
$9.5 billion is "rosy compared with other marketing-industry
and economic indicators."
The newsletter said one of the reasons for the dip in sponsorship
spending is the "dot-coms that became not-coms"
over the past 12 months.
"A year ago, many Internet companies couldn't write
checks fast enough as they sought branding opportunities
that were supposed to lead them to profitability. Now many
that remain are having trouble paying for the pens,"
said the Chicago-based publication.
The annual forecast predicts a slight shift in allocation
of sponsorship spending across five major property categories.
Sports will increase its share one point to 69% of the $9.548
billion. Entertainment tours and attractions will still
attract 9%, while flat spending on festivals, fairs and
annual events will drop the category one point to 8%, joining
causes. The arts will again attract 6% on North American
spending, IEG SR said.
Projected dollar amounts for the categories are sports:
$6.51 billion, up 10% from $5.92 billion; entertainment
tours and attractions: $893 million, up 9.3%; festivals,
fairs and annual events: $777 million, up 5.1%; causes:
$769 million, up 9.9%, and arts: $599 million, up 9.3%.
The Atlantic Monthly has hired contributing
writer Benjamin Schwarz to expand the books section.
Schwarz, who has been a foreign-policy analyst at The Brookings
Institution and at the Rand Corp., and was the executive
editor of World Policy Journal, won the 1999 National
Book Critics Circle award for excellence in book criticism.
Schwarz said he will continue to "devote the same care
and attention to fiction and literary biographies. And we'll
also be giving readers thoughtful, clever, sometimes barbed,
culturally oriented criticism that speculates on the social
causes and contexts of literary phenomena-focusing on what
George Orwell, the master of such criticism, called `the
external conditions that make certain writers popular at
He said the reviews are "going to be fresher than those
in a quarterly, which too often are engaged in debates already
Schwarz, who will be senior editor, is moving from his home
near Los Angeles to Boston so he can be closer to The Atlantic's
editorial offices, which are located at 77 North Washington
has named A.J. Jacobs as senior editor to cover personal
finance and medical health topics. Jacobs was formerly with
magazine has hired Loren Feldman, formerly executive
editor of George magazine, as editor-in-chief.
Browser magazine was acquired by Redwood Custom
Communication, Toronto, for its client, Dell Computers,
Round Rock, Tex.
The magazine will be relaunched in March as a quarterly
with a circulation that is expected to reach 3.2 million
by the end of 2001.
Matthew Church is editor. 416/360-7339; fax: 640-6165.
Edition, January 3, 2001, Page 7
from page one)
One reason for RAZF's stock weakness was a Dec. 19 announcement
that there would be a pro forma net loss of 17-22 cents
in the last quarter when Wall Street had predicted a profit
of two cents a share.
The company said it is "confident that the situation
[lawsuit] will be resolved to our satisfaction." It
issued a press release Dec. 19 saying it has been named
by Coca-Cola to develop Coke's website in the Nordic region
and another one the next day saying it is working on a project
for Ford Motor Co.
The suit by Milberg Weiss contends that Wall Street-type
executives at i-Cube, the biggest of RAZF's 14 acquisitions,
did not get along with the "flamboyant" types
at RAZF. i-Cube, with sales of $57M and 435 employees, was
acquired for $547M in stock on Nov. 2, 1999.
CFO Laurence C. Begley, who had been CFO of i-Cube, resigned
Feb. 15, 2000, three months after the acquisition, and president
Michael Pehl, who had been chairman and CFO of i-Cube, resigned
The suit says that the "abrupt resignations placed
the company under enormous pressure to convince the investment
community that the company's operations remained stable
and earnings growth prospects were still strong."
Although releases said Begley and Pehl resigned for "family"
reasons, the real reason was differing management styles,
says the suit.
Part of the suit is a passage in the September 2000Wired
magazine describing RAZF co-founders Craig Kanarick, co-chairman,
and Jeffrey Dachis, co-chairman, who are both 33, as "flamboyant"
In contrast, says the suit, Pehl and Begley were "well-known
corporate insiders, who were highly regarded by the financial
community and widely respected for their business acumen
and organizational skills, largely due to their success
in operating i-Cube."
Press Releases Cited
Cited in the action are releases sent via Business Wire
on April 25, May 23, June 28, and June 30 that talked about
RAZF having "successfully integrated" its 14 acquisitions;
that it had "global capabilities," and that it
was "hitting on all cylinders."
Also cited was this statement by Dachis on CNNfn on July
26, 2000: "We don't typically make forward looking
statements, but in general our outlook in business is extremely
robust. We continue to believe that we can meet or exceed
analyst expectations. And we think that the stock should
perform over the long term, along with the forms of the
company right now which I believe is excellent."
Such statements were "materially false," says
the Milberg Weiss suit, because the company had problems
controlling costs and integrating its acquisitions, and
had "far more employees than it could possibly utilize"
and there were "conflicts" between Pehl and Dachis
A copy of the 43-page lawsuit in read-only format is on
The truth about the company began to emerge, says the suit,
on Oct. 5, 2000 when RAZF issued a release warning that
revenue and earnings in the third quarter ended Sept. 30
would fall "far short of defendants' previous projections."
Besides Dachis and Kanarick, also named in the Milberg Weiss
suit are Jean-Philippe Maheu, 36, COO, and John J. Roberts,
33, CFO. Class action lawsuits charging improper inside
trading were also lodged by Cauley & Geller; Bernstein
Liebhard & Lifshitz; Scott & Scott, and Shiffrin
Five research services downgraded RAZF on Dec. 13. ING Barings
changed its advice from "strong buy" to "hold"
and J.P. Morgan went from "buy" to "long-term
SEES WPP UNITS AS TRIBES
Martin Sorrell, chairman of the WPP Group, said being the
largest ad agency company does "not necessarily"
make the company better.
In an interview with The New York Times, Sorrell
said the "benefits of scale, the problems of scale,
are exactly the issues our clients worry about..."
To overcome these problems, Sorrell said "the way we
organize our parent company is on a tribal basis, so WPP
is not one homogenous, elephantine company. It's a group
of a hundred or so tribes."
Sorrell said the group is seeking to "capitalize on
the benefits of scale, with the heart, mind, soul and energy
of a small company."
He told the Times his goal is not to be the biggest. "That's
a mistake, a misconception. If it's said what will be my
epitaph, it would be: 'The person who initiated the growth
of the best advertising and marketing services company in
"It's very easy to be the biggest," said Sorrell.
"It's very easy to do the deals, spend the money. But
it's very difficult to make it all work on a qualitative
basis. I don't think size is the issue.
"The real issue is how you make sure all the talent
and resources we have work effectively together."
Sorrell said WPP's businesses are not advertising, media
services management, PR, PA, etc.
"I think we're in the talent business, trying to assemble
talent and resources to help clients solve problems and
achieve opportunities," he said.
He gets nervous when people start talking about WPP as a
brand because "I think WPP's health depends on the
health and strength of the individual tribes, not WPP."
"When I put up slide No. 7 in our presentation to prospective
clients, listing our brands, no one can compete with that,"
he said. "You have access to WPP through the tribe
that works with the client."
Larry Dobrow, who spent two years at PR Week
before leaving in August, is one of three new staffers in
the corporate practice of WPP's Ogilvy PR Worldwide, New
York. He will work on the BP and MasterCard business. Other
new members are Janice Starace, who was at A.B. Isacson
Assocs., and Josh Lefkowitz, who was with TSI Comms.
Edition, January 3, 2001, Page 8
is a review of Steve Pisinski's leadership of PRSA in 2000.
year started off good with the first board meeting voting
to end the year-long boycott against this newsletter passed
by the previous board.
Pisinski led the axing of CFO Joe Cussick in mid-year and
the removal of Ray Gaulke as president and COO late in the
He brought back the exhibit hall to the national conference
after five years and got PRSA finally to acknowledge that
it should have a substantial deferred dues account. He set
up an open, staffed press room at the national conference.
He hired Catherine Bolton to head PR and much more info
is now coming from PRSA.
While Pisinski showed resolve in some areas, he was AWOL
Last year was the worst ever for the Society in terms of
its finances. It was unable or unwilling to produce the
main tangible benefit of membership- the 800-page Blue
Book of members. Members got almost no financial information
in the first half. Renewals, perhaps as a result of this,
dropped to 69% in June and 66% in July, a dangerously low
Pisinski appointed a committee to study the nominating process
early in the year but it dragged its feet and did nothing
to prevent the most rancorous nominations in PRSA's history.
Joann Killeen, the treasurer who presided over PRSA's disastrous
finances and told the members almost nothing about them,
nevertheless defeated New York's Art Stevens for chair-elect.
APRs Showed Raw Power
The election of Killeen showed the raw power of the APR
fanatics at PRSA. She is a former APR chair with unbridled
enthusiasm for APR.
Pisinski was powerless against this bloc (maybe he's a member
of it). It spent $359,000 on APR in 2000 but virtually nothing
on PRSA's website. Pisinski was silent when nine members
of the board interfered with the nominating process and
backed Killeen, violating both the spirit and letter of
Pisinski headed a committee in 1999 that urged that decoupling
APR from office-holding be put on the Assembly agenda. It
didn't happen. He failed again in 2000 to get this topic
on the Assembly floor.
Probably the worst thing that happened under Pisinski was
the erasure, after 50 years, of PRSA's code. The new Bob
Frause code positions PR pros as salespeople flogging for
clients rather than acting as educators and information
specialists. They're advocates for clients, not the public
Pisinski continued the policy of resort destinations for
board meetings, even going to London, a meeting skipped
by a record five directors (who no doubt felt pangs of guilt).
The editor of PR Tactics was not invited so members learned
little about it.
Pisinski showed no leadership in the general PR community.
He made no speeches on the issues of the day such as marketing's
dominance of PR. Relations with PRSA/New York hit a new
low with Stevens being crushed by the APRs. PRSA continued
to make weak feints in the direction of international, ignoring,
because of politics, the 10,000+ member prospects in New
Nothing was done about chucking one of PRSA's two money-losing,
20,000-circulation publications. Financial reports continued
to state the two make money. With IABC also in a financial
bind, 2001 could be the year when PRSA and IABC merge.
One offshoot of marketing's domination of PR is that
PR pros are constantly hounded to produce numerical
proofs of PR's efficacy. A PR pro cannot say, "We put
out all these truthful facts about the company which increased
the public's understanding of us...we showed we're good
eggs with nothing to hide...we were helpful when the press
and public called because it's the right thing to do,"
etc. Now the PR pros have to rack their brains (and waste
their time and energy) trying to find some impact on sales,
store traffic, stock price, bottom line, web hits, etc.,
for accomplishments such as an op ed piece in the Washington
Post or a mention in Time mag...with PRSA
showing almost no leadership in ethics, a corporate
group has sprung up to fill this vacuum. The Ethics Officer
Assn., said the Oct. 19 New York Times, has grown from 12
members in 1992 to 706. It is based in Belmont, Mass. Among
those quoted are Martin Taylor, VP for corporate services,
Institute for Global Ethics, Camden, Me., and Gale Andrews,
VP of ethics and business conduct at Boeing. A 1999 DePaul
University study found that companies with public ethics
statements did better financially than those without them...Chris
Byron, as profiled in The Fortune Tellers by Howard
Kurtz, is an example of the new type of investigative
journalist. He writes for Bloomberg, MSNBC and The New
York Observer. He doesn't mind if top execs at big companies
are inaccessible. Unreturned phone calls only whet his appetite.
He works the web and especially SEC reports where a false
statement or even failure to state something can get a company
in lots of trouble. Though some view him as a "caustic
crank," he feels there are many investors who don't
remember the way some stocks plummeted in the 1960s and
1970s. He's there to warn them. Byron recently wrote at
length about a company that wouldn't answer his questions.
The company had demanded "something to read" from
him. "Here," he said at the end of the expose,