Edition, January 17, 2001, Page 1
SUES, IS SUED BY BREAKAWAY EXECS.
Cohn & Wolfe has sued its former Atlanta executives
who left to start the Titan Network charging them with "unfair
competition, misappropriation of trade secrets and other
Parent company, Young & Rubicam, filed a separate action
against Tony DeMartino, who had headed C&W's Atlanta
office, alleging that he breached provisions in his contract
mandating that he neither work for C&W clients nor hire
told this newsletter that he filed his own suit against
That action seeks to have the "alleged non-compete
contract declared overbroad" under Georgia law.
Neither he nor his lawyers have seen the C&W action,
so he could not comment on that suit.
Titan, he said, is going full steam ahead despite the legal
GROUP 'REBRANDS' CA
Computer Assocs. has picked The Weber Group as its PR firm
to help increase awareness of the $6 billion software giant's
"corporate rebranding" campaign.
Keith Lindenburg, executive VP and eastern region general
manager at Weber, handles the account.
He is a former director of corporate communications at IBM,
and GM/North and Latin America for then Brodeur Porter Novelli.
CA has just launched a $100 million ad campaign via Young
& Rubicam in 165 countries to position itself as marketing
the software that manages e-businesses.
The company, which is based in Islandia, N.Y., earned $161
million for the six-month period ended Sept. 30. Its stock
trades around $24. The 52-week range is $79.44 and $18.13.
& Decker's appeal of the $1 million award to PR
firm Image Dynamics, which was owned by Phyllis Brotman,
was heard on Jan. 8 in Baltimore's Court of Special Appeals.
A decision is expected within a few months...David Brain,
previously mng. dir., Burson-Marsteller's European marketing
unit, becomes CEO of BSMG Worldwide's U.K. unit at the end
of the month. At B-M, Brain worked on Unilever, Ford and
Jim Beam. He joins from eLogistics, where he handled IR
and marketing duties. BSMG/U.K. also promoted Pamela
Fieldhouse to deputy chief exec. She joined BSMG in
B-M's HUNT RETURNS TO TEXAS ROOTS
Jeff Hunt, who was Burson-Marsteller's Europe COO in London
and vice chairman/client services in New York, is now president/COO
of Read-Poland in Austin, Tex. He is to lead R-P's "southern
After a 16-year stint at B-M, which included head of its
Latin American region, Hunt said it was time for a change.
The Houston native jumped at the chance to return to his
Texas roots. He has known Julian Read, founder of R-P in
1951, for about 20 years. Read is a mover and shaker in
Texas politics, having advised former House Speaker Jim
Wright and Gov./Treasury Secretary and presidential candidate
Hunt expects big things for Texas with George Bush in the
White House, and a resurgent Mexico under its new leader,
HUDSON OPENS IN D.C., N.Y.
Potomac Hudson Group, a firm with connections to the incoming
Bush Administration, has just been opened by Lorine Card
and Valerie LoCascio.
Card is sister-in-law to Andy Card, who is President-elect
Bush's chief of staff.
She was director in MediaOne's Washington, D.C., office,
and held jobs at U S West and Continental Cablevision. She
also worked in the White House press office while Reagan
was in office.
LoCascio is a former director at Bozell Sawyer Miller Group,
where she handled campaigns for Motion Picture Assn. of
America, Fox Family Channel and Columbia Tri-Star Television.
PHG has offices in Washington and New York and specializes
in media, entertainment and telecommunications categories.
It counts Comcast, Lightningcast, and National Geographic
TV as charter clients.
FIRM HAS $200K KIDS PROJECT
Jackson, Jackson & Wagner, Exeter, N.H., is working
on a pilot program for Kids in a Drug-Free Society, which
asks parents to urge their children not to use drugs, alcohol
Work started last year and was worth around $60,000 or $10,000
a month, said Patrick Jackson, principal in the firm. Budget
for 2001 is reported to be about $145,000. He said his firm's
normal fee for such a program could be as much as three
times what it is charging KIDS.
(cont. page 7)
Edition, January 17, 2001, Page 2
TARGETS BURGER KING
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals launched
its boycott last week of Burger King, which it depicts as
PETA has established a murderking.com website to spell out
the various alleged atrocities among BK suppliers. Those
include farms that overcrowd hens, and starve chickens to
increase egg production. Other suppliers confine pregnant
and nursing pigs to stalls so small they cannot move.
PETA wants its 700,000 members to "adopt" a local
BK by distributing MK posters there and conducting noisy
"street theater" events there. The group promises
to provide support with media lists and sample press releases
to get local coverage.
Three Stages Removed From Slaughter
Rob Doughty, VP-PR and communications at BK, told this NL
that his company is "three stages removed from the
Nevertheless, he said BK is committed to the welfare of
animals. The company has set up an animal welfare advisory
council that will meet for the first time next month.
He noted that associations covering egg and meat producers
have new guidelines that will improve the treatment of animals.
Those rules have either just been announced or are in the
development stages, said Doughty.
wants BK to adopt the animal welfare guidelines that McDonald's
put into place last year.
That followed an 11-month PETA "McCruelty" and
"Unhappy Meal" campaign against the No. 1 fast-food
STEIGER KNOCKS INSURANCE PRESS
Paul Steiger, managing editor of The Wall Street Journal,
told a forum of insurance executives that the media has
not done an "acceptable job with the nuts and bolts
of your industry."
"In crises we do okay, whether they are hurricanes,
floods or managed care, but we need to do much better communicating
the industry's role in the economy and the products and
services it offers," Steiger told the Fifth Annual
Property/Casualty Insurance Joint Industry Forum, held Jan.
10 in New York.
Steiger said the insurance beat terrifies most reporters:
"They know it's important but are not sure what the
rules are. Your industry's products and services at some
level are simple, but in terms of details are complex and
abstract and hard to make interesting. The typical reporter
would much rather be covering the entertainment industry,"
TIGER' GETS PR BUZZ
New York publicists Peggy Siegel and Lizzie Grubman created
the "buzz" that has made Sony Pictures' "Crouching
Tiger, Hidden Dragon" an Academy Award contender, according
to The Wall Street Journal.
The paper credits their "grassroots stealth marketing"
campaign for propelling the Chinese-language martial arts
film-with largely unknown actors- from "art-house obscurity
to breakout film."
Tom Bernard, co-president of Sony Pictures, says he hired
Siegel because of her 20,000-name database of people in
the New York film and media community.
He told her to branch out by "inviting people to screenings
that you do not know."
Siegel arranged a screening in New York for on-air newscasters
that was hosted by NBC anchor Chuck Scarborough and attended
by NBC staffers Sue Simmons and Dan Abrams; CNN fashion
reporter Elsa Klensch and ABC's John Stossel.
Bernard wanted on-air personalities at the screenings because
he wanted them to feel they had "discovered" the
Siegel asked Joe Kernen, of CNBC's "Squawk Box,"
to host a screening for financial reporters.
All of Siegel efforts, however, did not pay off, according
to the Journal.
She sent tapes of Crouching Tiger to the New York Yankees,
hoping the team would play them on the plane during the
playoffs. That didn't happen.
Grubman, the daughter of music-industry lawyer Alan Grubman,
was hired by Sony because of her connections to the "hip-hop"
She arranged for rap group Wu-Tang Clan to host two screenings
of the film at Sony's headquarters in New York.
Chick-fil-A has moved its PR account to Atlanta-based 360
after 20 years with Cohn & Wolfe/Atlanta.
The move by the College Park, Ga.-based fast food chain,
which has been a key account for C&W, reunites it with
Bob Cohn, who founded C&W, and is now chairman of 360.
Jim Overstreet, another ex-C&W executive, is also now
Jim Johnston, a spokesman for Chick-fil-A, said the move
was unrelated to the present turmoil at C&W's Atlanta
HANDLES SATELLITE LAUNCH
Manning, Selvage & Lee is doing PR for New Skies Satellites,
the Dutch company that just completed its initial public
Emil Hill, VP at MS&L, says Don Hannaford, senior VP,
and Joe Gleason, head of the firm's corporate practice,
are working on the account with him.
The firm is to position NSS as the "premier global
satellite company" for transmission of voice, data,
video and Internet communications.
It also will pitch NSS as a model of economic stability
by playing up its solid cash flow and little debt. The company
earned $17.6 million on $66.8 million revenues for the three-month
period ended Sept. 30.
NSS raised more than $250 million via the stock, and got
its shares listed on the Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchanges.
Elizabeth Hess is VP-corporate comms. at NSS.
Edition, January 17, 2001, Page 3
COOK UP NEW TV SHOWS
A new TV cooking show based on Cook's Illustrated,
a bimonthly magazine, debuted Jan. 6.
"America's Test Kitchen," a 13-part PBS series,
features a cast of six editors, writers and staff chefs
from CI, which has 400,000 paid subscribers.
Christopher Kimball, who founded the magazine and has written
several cookbooks, including the new Dessert Bible
(Little, Brown), hosts the half-hour program. He starts
each episode by showing worst-case cooking scenarios.
Kimball hosts the program from the magazine's kitchen at
Boston Common Press in Brookline, Mass.
He demonstrates cooking techniques, and tests equipment
show also features food science segments and comparative
tastings and kitchen products.
Two top U.S. chefs launched weekly food shows in January
on the Food Network.
Wolfgang Puck reveals how he entertains Hollywood's elite
on "Wolfgang Puck," which premiered Jan. 12.
The half-hour show combines taped segments of Puck hobnobbing
with celebrities and cooking in a studio kitchen before
a small audience.
Mario Batali, host of the Food Network's "Molto Mario"
series, got another half-hour show, "Mario Eats Italy,"
starting Jan. 8.
Batali, a New York chef/restaurateur, will roam Italy with
actor Steve Rooney in search of each region's best food
and hot spots.
EN ESPANOL EXPANDS COVERAGE
Genevieve Fernandez was appointed entertainment editor of
People En Espanol. She had been chief of reporters.
In her new position, Fernandez will handle the magazine's
celebrity coverage, a staple of the publication's editorial
In the past several months, the publication has increased
coverage of both mainstream and Hispanic celebrities and
started fashion sections.
Alfredo Arango, who is based in Miami, was named entertainment
Daniela Torres, who is based in the magazine's Mexico City
office, has been assigned to cover Mexican entertainment
news and celebrities.
Donal Hernandez was promoted to chief of reporters, responsible
for the day-to-day supervision of editorial staff and stories
Ursula Caranza and Isis Artze are the newly appointed fashion
and beauty writers, reporting to Lucy Lara, who is fashion
and beauty editor.
Lohrer has resigned as editor of DNR, which was once
known as the Daily News Record.
Peg Tyre, who was a CNN correspondent, has joined
Newsweek to cover media and social trends.
BY GEORGE, IT'S OVER
Hachette Filipacchi will publish the final issue of George
magazine in March.
The political magazine, which lost between $8 million and
$10 million last year, was started in 1995 by John F. Kennedy
Hachette bought George in October 1999, about three months
after Kennedy was killed in a plane crash. Despite a gain
in circulation in the past year, ad pages were off, especially
in the magazine's two biggest ad categories, automotive
and opinion leaders (i.e., foundations).
George ran 691 ad pages in 1998; 485 ad pages in 1999 and
302 ad pages in 2000 (with two fewer issues), according
to Media Industry Newsletter.
Currently, its circulation rate base is 500,000, a 25% increase
in a little over a year.
NEWS EDITOR NAMED AT WSJ
Francine Pope Huff has succeeded Ann Podd as The Wall
Street Journal's spot news editor. Huff had been deputy
As previously reported, Podd was named national TV editor
of the Dow Jones/CNBC unit, overseeing daily and feature
news coverage for CNBC and other NBC outlets.
Huff can be reached at 212/416-3131.
Christina Ferrari, the founding editor of Teen
People, has resigned. Her successor has not been named.
Ferrari, who will remain at the magazine until next month,
plans to move to Europe.
Thomas was named editor of Conde Nast International's
World of Interior's. Thomas had been deputy to the
magazine's editor-in-chief and founder, Min Hogg,
who retired last month after 19 years of running the monthly
Laboz, previously accessories and home editor at Mademoiselle,
was appointed accessories editor at Real Simple.
Teen People, which kicked off the New Year
by releasing two individual February covers as part of its
annual Reader's Choice Awards, has expanded the "Trendspotting"
That section, which is designed to highlight the latest
teen lifestyle trends, will appear regularly with photos
of real teens and their picks for the latest hot styles,
likes and dislikes.
Isabel Gonzalez, who is editor of the section, said she
has access to more than 9,000 Teen People Trendspotters,
who correspond with her through polling, surveys, e-mail
dialogue and monthly meetings.
"These teens keep me in the loop about fashion, TV,
sports, movies, music and life in general," she said.
The Events Register 2001, a guide and clearinghouse
for major fund-raising charity galas and special events,
is accepting listing information for inclusion in the June
issue for events of June, July and August 2001.
ER is published three times a year (January, June and September).
Marilou S. Doyle is editor and publisher of ER.
She is based in Hastings on Hudson, N.Y., at P.O. Box 98,
news continued on next page)
Edition, January 17, 2001, Page 4
DAYBOOK EDITOR SETS NEWS AGENDA
The Associated Press's New York-based daybook editor, Tom
McElroy, helps set the news agenda for journalists.
Chris Hedges, a reporter for the New York Times,
said McElroy, who is 39, does it by putting together a schedule
of daily events in the city that often determines what gets
covered in New York and what does not.
"Groggy editors and reporters at newspapers and at
radio and TV stations check the daybook daily as they start
work," wrote Hedges Jan. 6. "And PR people, knowing
that it is the holy grail of city journalism, sit dog-faced
in their offices if their clients' events are not posted
on it," continued Hedges in his report.
"If an event is not listed on the AP daybook it is
not worth doing," said Edward Skyler, who handles PR
for Bloomberg, "But if we don't get on it, it is usually
our fault," Skylar told Hedges. "You need to follow
up. A fax is not enough. And following up is a lot better
than calling TV stations the next day and hearing them say,
`Sorry, it is not on the daybook.' Those words make your
heart sink," said Skylar.
All those who subscribe to the AP metro or broadcast wires,
including the Times, get the daybook.
Polly Kreisman, a reporter for WPIX-TV, told Hedges that
she covers one event a week for the daybook. "Things
get covered because they are on the daybook, but the events
may not warrant news coverage," said Kreisman. "It
is just easier. Reporters don't have to do as much work.
If you have to be on the air at 5, no matter what, a daybook
event is perfect."
COS. PUSH CELEBRITY MESSAGE
Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly turning to a tactic
that gets their drugs and the conditions they treat in the
news-paying celebrities to tell reporters about their own
struggles with illnesses, according to The Associated Press.
The campaign produces human interest stories that have raised
some concern about the further blurring of the old line
between news and commercial messages, reports Seth Sutel
of the AP.
The recent campaigns have aimed at the news sections of
newspapers and TV, where personalities like former gymnast
Bart Connor or former Olympic gold medalist skater Dorothy
Hamill speak favorably about products for arthritis and
Some of the celebrity appearances resemble public service
campaigns about common and treatable medical conditions,
such as high cholesterol, without referring to a specific
drug the company makes.
"In other cases, celebrities are hired to mention specific
drugs in the interview," Sutel said.
Celeste Torello, who is manager of corporate media relations
for Pfizer, told Sutel that the commercial relationship
between the company and their celebrity hires is "made
very clear to the journalists...It's really then up to the
journalists to decide how much of that relationship to mention."
Connor Was Paid
In one such campaign, Connor was paid to discuss how he
was treating his osteoarthritis with Celebrex, made by Pfizer
and G.D. Searle & Co.
Sutel said several news stories resulting from the campaign,
including articles in The New York Daily News and the AP
and an appearance on ABC-TV's "Good Morning America"
did not make clear that Connor was paid.
Merck & Co., in another campaign, paid former athletes
Bruce Jenner and Hamill to give interviews to news organizations
last fall to discuss Vioxx, an anti-inflammatory medicine
that they both use to treat arthritis.
Several newspapers and TV news shows did stories on one
or both of them.
Chris Fanelle, director of PA for the human health services
division of Merck, said several sports celebrities were
used in public education campaigns last year to raise awareness
of health issues.
Fanelle said the media interviews with the celebrities were
handled by Ogilvy PR Worldwide.
Other celebrities used in campaigns were coach Bill Parcells
and quarterback Joe Montana for a high cholesterol awareness
campaign; an osteoporosis campaign by actress Rita Moreno,
and a campaign, featuring seven current major league baseball
players who used Propecia, a hair growing drug, for a year.
Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Reeves was also used as an ad
and PR spokesperson for a new heart drug.
Norm Ostrove, an official at the Food and Drug Administration's
division of drug marketing, advertising and commercials,
said it has received no complaints about lack of disclosure
by celebrities working as spokespeople.
HERALD M.E. IS PROMOTED
Larry Olmstead, 43, who has been managing editor of The
Miami Herald for the last four years, was promoted to
assistant VP of news for Knight-Ridder, the parent company.
David Satterfield, who was the Herald's assistant managing
editor for business/new ventures, was named business editor
of the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, which is also
owned by K-R.
No replacements have been named for them.
NAMED TO WHITE HOUSE STAFF
Mary Matalin is giving up her job as a co-host of "Crossfire"
on CNN to begin her new duties to join the White House as
an assistant to the president and counselor to the VP in
the new Bush Administration. She will start Feb. 1. Her
duties include keeping the office of the VP coordinated
with the White House on matters of politics and communication.
Edition, January 17, 2001, Page 7
FIRM HAS KIDS PROJECT (cont'd from page 1)
KIDS started off as a program within the PRSA Foundation,
which in 1999 received a grant of $2.6 million from the
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for KIDS.
The Foundation was given $592,000 in July 1999 and the remaining
$1.8M is expected to be received and spent by June 2001.
Johnson funds will no longer be provided to KIDS via the
PRSA Foundation because KIDS has now set up its own 501(c)(3)
RFP went out in September 1999
Ron Sconyers, president and CEO of KIDS, said that an RFP
went out in September 1999 and that about four other firms
besides JJ&W submitted bids.
He said the PRSA Foundation board reviewed the proposals,
heard pitches from the firms, and picked JJ&W for the
pilot project involving five cities including Indianapolis,
Atlanta and Dallas.
Counselor Joseph Curley was president of the PRSA Foundation
in 1999; Jean Farinelli was president in 2000, and David
Grossman is 2001 president.
A description of the KIDS program is contained in a 17-page
white paper under the name of JJ&W.
The program is mostly aimed at the parents of children from
nine to 13 years old, or "tweenagers." Research
has shown that parents are still the "major influencers"
of children in this group, says the JJ&W program.
Training to Be Done in Workplace
Participation by employers will be sought since the PR effort
will be directed to parents in their workplaces.
Parents are used to undergoing training in the workplace,
it is stated. Partnerships will also be sought with many
of the 50 or so other anti-drug groups.
Help from local PRSA chapters will be sought with one goal
being to enlist as many volunteers as possible including
retireds, fellows and senior members. Each volunteer will
be given "small, concrete assignments" which will
help to avoid "burnout" and assure that the work
"Surprise" awards may be used to motivate the
volunteers. These can include free admissions to a science
museum or tickets for a family to attend an event.
Research will be done to see if parents are actually carrying
the anti-drug messages to their children but not whether
the children are obeying the messages.
The JJ&W paper said the KIDS initiative is a "case
study in the effective use of PR in the full sense of the
term because it involves strategic audience targeting, research,
communication, opinion leader networks, ambassadors, behavioral
training techniques and participative group activities-all
at the highest skill levels for PR practitioners."
Jackson Active in PRSA
Jackson was 1980 president of PRSA and has continued as
an active leader in it. He is almost always on the program
of PRSA national conferences and was on the 2000 nominating
Ray Gaulke, former president and COO of PRSA, is now working
full time on fundraising for the PRSA Foundation and KIDS.
Sconyers announced the KIDS board last June. Members, besides
himself and Gaulke, are counselor Farinelli; Stephen Pisinski
of The Montgomery Group; Louis Capozzi, Manning, Selvage
& Lee; David Drobis, Ketchum; Christopher Komisarjevsky,
Burson-Marsteller; Willard Nielsen, Johnson & Johnson,
and Michael O'Neill, American Express.
Catherine Bolton, acting president and COO of PRSA, said
the Society does not get involved in the activities of KIDS,
noting it is a separate corporation.
The PRSA Foundation had contributions of $110,715 in 1999
(not including the J&J restricted funds), up from $93,066.
END OF INTERNET-ONLY FIRMS SEEN
By the end of 2001, there will be no stand-alone Internet
businesses but only those that are connected with traditional
businesses, said New York magazine columnist Michael Wolff
in his Jan. 1 column.
Wolff, who described his own Internet company's demise in
Burn Rate, said "cottage industries" such as pornography
and literary websites may remain on the web.
He described downturns suffered in 2000 by the "Four
Horsemen of the Internet-Amazon, Yahoo, eBay and Priceline."
Yahoo lost 85% of its market capitalization and Amazon lost
He also expressed misgivings about the just approved, but
not yet implemented, acquisition of Time Warner by AOL,
saying TW stockholders would never have gone for the deal
at AOL's current price. Without the TW deal, AOL would probably
have lost 85% of its market cap, he said.
Some of those who hyped the "New Economy fantasies"
in the form of public companies will face SEC indictments,
according to Wolff.
A keen technological disappointment, according to the writer,
is the failure of the dot-com industry to produce the much-heralded
"broadband" upgrade in Internet transmission (providing,
among other things, TV-quality sound and pictures).
"Herculean" efforts are needed to get this function
up and running and then it's "too slow," he said.
"But the tech breakdown goes well beyond that,"
he added. "The whole web of technology-aided solutions
and services and salvation is a disappointment. We control
our deep frustration only because we've been brainwashed
to believe it will soon get better." This won't happen,
he said, if the stock market drops, tech companies fail,
and tech support becomes "even more difficult to get
on the phone."
The collapse of the dot-com world is providing "a certain
pleasure," he said, because they were "such unappealing
Edition, January 17, 2001, Page 8
York columnist Michael Wolff, who has spent years in the
dot-com arena including several as head of a dot-com firm,
predicts an end in 2001 to any such businesses unless they're
tied with traditional bricks-and-mortar firms (page 7).
Too much hype was generated for the field and the dot-coms
are currently failing to deliver on their biggest promise-broadband-says
Broadband (TV quality sound and video via computers) takes
a "Herculean" effort to get installed and then
doesn't work too well, he added. He feels the technical
problems are only going to get worse (especially for anyone
trying to get tech support on the phone).
Wolff's negative view about dot-comdom is far from the only
one appearing in the media.
Lisa Napoli, Internet correspondent for MSNBC, wrote in
the New York Times Dec. 25 that it is now reporters
who are calling up the dot-coms "to ask about all the
Previously, she noted, reporters were inundated with pitches
from e-businesses. Last fall she saved up one month's pitches
and e-mails and found there were 2,170 e-mails and enough
trinkets, books and gadgets to fill four "crates."
She tried, but couldn't keep track of, the huge number of
But the tide has now turned, she wrote, "as many high-tech
companies consolidate or just plain go out of business."
called three major dot-com firms for a rebuttal of the above
or at least an explanation of what is going on with broadband.
None of them had seen either article so we faxed both
to them. One firm said the Wolff article was "too inflammatory"
to merit a response. Another said there are lots of problems
with broadband and very few, if any, e-businesses can offer
it. The second firm promised to read the articles and craft
a response. That was a few days ago.
All three of these firms had people with "PR"
or "communications" in their titles but none had
seen the articles. Lots of negative stories are now appearing
about the dot-com field but we know of no articulate dot-com
spokespeople who can discuss what's happening or offer rebuttals
in an editorial format to some of the doom and gloom statements.
One big PR firm, an informed source told us, has lost 100
of its 120 high-tech clients.
The Council of PR Firms is again trying to hijack the PR
firm rankings. It's asking its members and even non-members
to submit fee income and employee totals only to it and
not to any PR publication. O'Dwyer Co. staffers calling
up the big ad agency-owned firms have been told that the
Council has asked the firms only to submit materials to
the Council. Such materials include no proofs of income
or employee totals and no account lists. The firms are allowed
to count ad commissions, research, website building and
many other activities. The CPRF, headed by Jack Bergen,
has become a rogue organization flying a false flag (it
should call itself the "Council of Integrated Marketing
Firms"). It is poisoning key statistics in the very
field that is dedicated to correct information.
is it so important that IR pros respond equally to the
press as well as to security analysts? Because pro-active
corporate PR has nearly disappeared. One piece of evidence
is the huge decline in corporate participation in PR Society
of America. The corporate section is barely alive, having
no officers or board for 2001 as of this writing. The section's
listing on the PRSA website provides no e-mail or website
address, as do many of the other sections. Only about 10%
or so of those at PRSA conferences are from corporations...proactive
PR is when the PR pro "protects" beat reporters
by sending them all the news of his or her company (calling
with important news), and follows all media mentions of
the company and its competitors and makes sure the beat
reporters have seen them...several readers have heatedly
objected to the quote of PRSA chair Kathy Lewton
in last week's NL to the effect that media relations is
the "last stage of a PR program." We have since
heard that Lewton is also in favor of ongoing media relations
and that she was only referring to formal programs rather
than day-to-day PR. Our respondents say that with them,
media relations is the first thing they do for clients.
They introduce the clients to their press contacts and work
on getting the clients established as the "leading
authorities" in their fields, available for quotes
and analysis when reporters need them. Speeches, letters-to-the
editor and op-ed articles are prepared further underscoring
the expertise (and good will) of the clients. This approach
is not only quicker and a lot cheaper than drawing up elaborate
programs and "strategies," but empowers the client
rather than the PR firm, said the press-oriented PR pros.
As for measurement of results, they say an educational article
or TV segment "is its own reward" and that clients
should save their money...the real culprit in the IABC
financial debacle is the 1999 board which voted to spend
$1.4 million on an e-business called "TalkingBusinessNow"
which an IABC publication later said would be "the
most comprehensive organizational communication resource
on the Net-or anywhere else." What?! Just for openers,
anyone who would put three words in a row like "comprehensive,"
"organizational," and "communication"
knows nothing about writing or communicating...many associations
are undergoing mergers these days, says an article in the
Dec. 2000 Executive Update.