Edition, April 11, 2001, Page 1
HIRED TO COUNTER WEB 'GLOOM'
Alexander Ogilvy's Washington, D.C., office will spearhead
PR efforts by The Association of Internet Professionals,
which plans a $10 million communications campaign to counter
media reports about the collapse of the dot-com sector.
Richard Graveley, corporate relations manager for the AIP,
said he considered the "usual suspects" while
conducting the search for a PR firm.
After reviewing two New York firms and another in D.C.,
Graveley decided AO was "best in the high-tech space."
Christian Pinkston heads the AIP account at AO. He expects
major input from Jamie Moeller, Ogilvy's managing director
AIP has 160 corporate members and 11,500 individual members.
Stephen Lawson, its CEO, explained the need for PR, saying
the media overlooks the "amazing breakthroughs,"
cost-savings and benefits that the Internet has brought
to the public.
AIP wants AO to help redirect the media from its current
focus on plummeting stock prices and mass layoffs in the
WSW'S COO, TO LEAVE
Marijean Lauzier, the No. 2 person at Interpublic's Weber
Shandwick Worldwide unit, is leaving the firm in six months
to pursue "entrepreneurial" opportunities.
Cathy Lugbauer, EVP-operations at Interpublic's Allied Communications
unit, becomes COO at WSW.
Larry Weber named Lauzier president & COO of WSW, when
he combined Weber Group and Shandwick to create a $300 million
colossus last September.
Lauzier, who also is CEO of Weber Group, joined the firm
in 1997, when Weber acquired her firm, Neva Group, a PR
firm for emerging high-tech companies.
Two Strategies, San Francisco, had $8.37 million in
high-tech net fee income for 2000, putting it #9 on O'Dwyer's
Ranking of Independent PR firms by specialty. DeVries,
New York, ranks No. 6 on the healthcare list with $2.32
million in fees...Steven Goldstein, 48, SVP for the
Insurance Information Institute, is joining Dow Jones &
Co. on April 30 as VP, CC. He will replace Richard Tofel,
who becomes assistant to the publisher of The Wall Street
Journal in December.
RF GROUP FORMED; BINDER TO SPIN-OFF
Ruder Finn CEO David Finn has created a holding company
to ensure a smooth succession plan, and help manage its
next-generation of growth.
"I'm going to be 80 years old," Finn told this
He becomes CEO of Ruder Finn Group, while daughter Dena
Merriam has been named vice chairman.
Finn's children Kathy Bloomgarden and Peter Finn have been
appointed co-CEOs of Ruder Finn Inc.
They are responsible for about 600 staffers and projected
2001 fees in the $85 million range.
Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Four Seasons
Hotels and Resorts, Target Stores and the United Nations
are among its clients.
Another Finn daughter, Amy Binder, becomes CEO of a new
entity called RF Binder Partners.
It begins life with more than 100 communications pros and
fees in the $15 million range.
That operation is to have its own separate headquarters
on Madison Ave., and will focus on "cutting edge"
communications strategies, said Finn.
Binder is joined by executive managing directors Robert
Ferris and Frank Walton. George Drucker has been named chief
RFBP also will have offices in Boston and Raleigh. Its charter
clients are Bank of America, Lexis-Nexis, Carter Wallace,
Hunter Douglas, McGraw-Hill, Computer Horizons and the Netherlands.
Bloomgarden, Peter Finn and Binder join David and Merriam
as members of the holding company's office of the chairman.
WANTS ANSWERS ON GRISWOLD
Art Stevens, CEO of Publicis Dialog/New York and last year's
official candidate for chair-elect of PRSA, said, "There
has obviously been some great wrong done to the late Denny
Griswold and her many friends. We demand answers."
Stevens backs the letter Women Executives in PR sent to
the Wilton Meadows nursing home, where Griswold lived five
years, and to the Connecticut Ombudsman program, which explored
alleged violations of Griswold's rights at Wilton Meadows.
The letter asked for an explanation of the circumstances
of Griswold's final years.
Martha Meng, lawyer for the home, said only mail, phone
calls and visitors approved by Susan Garrett, niece of Griswold,
got through to Griswold in her first nine months at the
home because the
on page 7)
Edition, April 11, 2001, Page 2
LISTS SEVEN BIG MERGER SINS
Fritz Kroeger, VP of A.T. Kearney, management consultants,
told the Arthur Page Society April 4 that 58% of all mergers
and acquisitions fail to reach stated goals such as higher
profits and stock prices.
fact," he said, "in a shockingly high number of
cases, mergers and acquisitions actually decrease those
The failure rates "make the U.S. divorce rate look
like the honeymoon suite at the Waldorf-Astoria," he
The only consistent winners in the 80% of the deals that
never created the value that managers and shareholders expected
"were the shareholders of the acquired company who
sold for more than the company was worth at the time,"
Kroeger said there have been 34,000 mergers and acquisitions
in the U.S. between 1997 and 2000 and that 9,602 took place
last year. The value of last year's deals was $1.4 trillion,
about equal to the $1.45 trillion value of mergers in 1999.
In its most recent study, Kearney looked at 230 acquiring
companies, checking the market values and performance before
and after the deals.
The firm then asked the leaders the reasons for the success
or failure of the deals.
Less than one-third of the 230 deals (worldwide) resulted
in higher profits. There was no change in 14% and 57% had
a decrease in profits. Three years after any merger, most
companies had shown a 10% drop in profits. About 60% of
all merging companies had a drop in stock prices at a time
when the market was up, Kroeger noted.
Record Bad for Top 50 Mergers
Kearney and the Chicago Tribune studied the 50 biggest
mergers in the U.S. between 1990 and 1999 and found 69%
lagged their industry average in total shareholder return
two years later. Only 31% did better than their industry
Kroeger said "seven deadly sins" afflict companies
in mergers including focusing on cost-cutting (closing plants
and reducing staff) instead of growth; failure to work hard
enough on staff coordination before the merger; waiting
too long after the merger to set up a leadership team, and
failure to deal with risk in an organized way. The other
three "sins" have to do with difficulty in merging
corporate cultures and setting a common "corporate
vision." Overcoming differences in corporate culture
was the greatest challenge for more than 70% of the mergers.
NBC CHIEF HIT FOR LOBBYING FOR GE
Robert Wright, president of NBC and vice chairman of parent
General Electric, has been criticized for lobbying against
a bill that endorses the dredging of the Hudson River in
upstate New York.
Wright met in early April with members of the City Council
of New York. He and others had two private meetings March
28, one with Councilman Gifford Miller, co-sponsor of the
bill, and another with John Banks, chief of staff for Council
speaker Peter Vallone.
is spending tens of millions on an ad/PR campaign fighting
the five-year cleanup proposed by the Federal Environmental
"This is a crystal clear conflict of interest and an
outrageous breach of propriety on behalf of GE and NBC,
said Democratic Congressman Maurice Hinchey, a supporter
of the dredging project.
Joan Gerhardt, GE spokeswoman, said Wright's views on the
matter have not influenced NBC's coverage of the story.
Since 1997, "NBC Nightly News," "The Today
Show," and CNBC have presented at least eight segments
on the dredging, said Gerhardt.
The City Council is to vote on the bill April 17 after a
period of public comment ends.
Bridgestone/Firestone began an ad campaign aimed at restoring
consumer confidence in its tires.
TV commercials and print ads feature CEO John Lampe, the
first non-Japanese to head the unit of the Tokyo-based company,
and race car drivers Mario and Michael Andretti.
The theme is "Making it Right," a reference to
the recall last August of 6.5 million tires linked to crashes
that killed at least 174 people and injured more than 700
in the U.S.
Firestone, which said the accidents may have been caused
by underinflated tires, will also give out tire gauges to
customers. Ketchum is B/F's PR firm.
WEBSITE HAS 1.6M HITS
The O'Dwyer website (www.odwyerpr.com) had 1,693,127 "hits"
in March, up from the previous high of 1,312,724 in January.
"Hits" measures images or stories on a page. The
site averages about eight images per page.
Page views (users clicking from one part of the site to
another) rose to 210,460 from the previous high of 167,595
in February. There were 67,663 visitor sessions, up from
51,849, and 19,198 unique visitors came to the site, up
from 15,838 in February.
The site, besides carrying breaking news throughout the
day, has the Dow-Jones and Nasdaq stock averages and the
prices of nine ad/PR stocks such as Omnicom, Interpublic
and WPP. About 430 PR firms have their logos, agency statements
and accounts listed on the site.
TOUGH TIMES IN PR: Morgen-Walke Assocs., New
York, slices 35 staffers to cope with downturn on "Wall
Street and Main Street," according to Terry Rooney,
a managing director at the financial communications firm.
The firm's top 15 execs agree to a 10 percent pay cut...Ogilvy
PR Worldwide eliminates another 24 staffers, this time
just in its New York office. The firm lopped off 70 high-tech
staffers in February...Burson-Marsteller cuts 20
due to losing the Sun Microsystems account. It reassigns
the other 40 people who worked on Sun.
Edition, April 11, 2001, Page 3
DROPS CAN LEAD TO PLACEMENTS
Berry Assocs. PR believes smaller drops, such as guest columns
and letters to the editor, are effective publicity tools
that can generate a tidal wave of placements.
The Cedar Knolls, N.J.-based PR firm, which was opened in
1972 by Robert Berry, said it's called "filling the
pipeline," and it's one important aspect of a good
PR strategy because guest columns allow a company to spout
off about a subject you know very well, with very little
editorial direction from anyone.
"Your company may not be launching its great new music
product for three more months, but your CEO can be out there
writing about the impact of the Napster ruling," said
Berry in the current issue of Berry Briefing.
Guest columns need to "really have an opinion,"
backed up with facts, figures and solid logic.
While guest columns need to be arranged with the editors
and are rarely published completely unsolicited, letters
to the editor is the "forum for unsolicited opinions,"
said Berry. "These few column inches are diamonds in
the rough," said the agency.
"Pick up any publication in which you would like to
be featured. Find an article on a topic that you know rather
well. Then, if possible, pick up something in the article
that you disagree with and put your two cents in,"
said the Berry Briefing.
"Better yet, explain why you feel the author missed
an opportunity to discuss another very important aspect
of the topic, then proceed to explain it yourself. The more
opinionated you are, the better. Just keep in mind, you
usually won't get more than a hundred words, so get to the
VETERAN ANCHOR RAPS TV NEWS COVERAGE
Larry Kane, veteran news anchor for KYW-TV's "Eyewitness
News" team in Philadelphia, said local stations have
crossed the line from "truth to tabloid" in the
hopes of boosting ratings.
Writing in The Philadelphia Inquirer on April 1,
Kane said the term "breaking news has become a joke
in Philadelphia TV. News has to be breaking at that moment
to really be breaking, but stations call almost any news
`breaking' to hook the audience-some of whom are getting
wise to the scam," said Kane, who believes the problem
is not so much the hype, but the misinformation and irresponsibility.
"It is one thing to overpromote and even frighten viewers
with alarming headlines. It is another to ignore the basic
responsibilities and ethical values of journalism,"
"In the quest to be first, news executives are often
first and wrong, or first and grievously unreliable. No
one station has the franchise on bogus reporting, although
some stations are so deep in the mire that they need hip-boots.
"All seven of the TV news operations in our community
make mistakes; I've made my share. But there is a stark
difference between making an honest mistake and going to
broadcast with information that is unchecked and unready,"
RADIO JOURNALISTS MOVE AROUND
The average TV newsperson moves to a different station every
three years and radio's counterpart stays in one only 2
1/2 years, according to a Univ. of Missouri-Columbia researcher.
Vernon Stone, MU professor emeritus of journalism, conducted
a mail survey of 2,195 news professionals at U.S. commercial
TV and radio stations and found the moving rates are linked
TV news staff in their twenties had been at the same station
a mean of two years, compared to five years for those in
their 30s and 10 years for those 40 or older.
Radio journalists in their 20s had typically worked at their
stations two years, compared to three years for ages 30
to 39 and six years for 40 and older.
In both radio and TV news, only about one in five was 40
Journalists who had never changed stations numbered 22%
in TV and 25% in radio newsrooms. A few had been at the
same station for 30 to 40 years.
Stone said broadcast journalists often move for career advancement
and expect to do so.
DJ RELAUNCHES BANKRUPTCY NEWSWIRE
Federal Filings Business News has been relaunched as the
Dow Jones Corporate Filings Alert.
The newswire, which covers everything from initial public
offerings to Chapter 7 liquidations, will open its first
news bureau in Wilmington, Del., to enhance its corporate
bankruptcy coverage. The identity of the bureau chief is
DJCFA will continue its principal mission of bringing subscribers
the "story behind the story" by analyzing Securities
and Exchange Commission documents and bankruptcy court filings,
said Jean Meacham, who is managing editor of DJCFA. She
said DJCFA's reports provide information and analysis beyond
news available in press releases.
The newswire also provides news on insider stock transactions,
detailed quarterly and annual reports and proxy statements
that disclose plans for share authorization increases as
well as executive compensation packages.
VanWinkle of LapTop Magazine and David Bernstein
of Contract Professional were winners of the fifth
annual Awards for Excellence in Technology Journalism, sponsored
by PR Society of America's technology section.
news continued on next page)
Edition, April 11, 2001, Page 4
BARS PRESS FROM LAUNCH PARTY
Reporters and photographers were not allowed inside at a
launch party for Rosie magazine that was held the
evening of April 2 in New York.
Newspeople who were sent to cover the party had to wait
behind a velvet rope outside the Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers,
according to The New York Times.
reporter for the Times quoted O'Donnell as saying the reason
was "because otherwise when you're in there and the
celebrities are in there, and the whole night people are
coming in with tape recorders and going, 'Can I just get
one thing?' And you never get to have a fun party 'cause
it's all about quotes, so we said we'd do all the press
outside and no press inside."
The reporter was able to find out from Fran Drescher, who
is on the cover of the premier May issue, that O'Donnell
uses a tape recorder when interviewing celebrities for Rosie.
MEDIA BUYS POWERFUL MEDIA
Brill Media Holdings LP, the publisher of Brill's Content,
is acquiring Powerful Media, the publisher of Inside.com
and Inside magazine.
One result of the deal will be combining Inside magazine
with Brill's Content, which will be renamed Inside Content.
Inside.com, which was started last spring as a free and
subscription site that offered information on the media
and entertainment business, will continue.
The new magazine will focus on the business of media instead
of emphasizing a watchdog role. The magazine will also cover
movies, TV and music.
Fourteen people at Brill's Content and about half of the
100-person staff at Powerful Media were let go following
the acquisition and closing of Inside magazine by Brill
The dismissals at Brill's include four staff writers, two
contract writers and all of the top editors except for David
Kuhn, Brill's editor-in-chief, and editor Eric Effron.
Richard Sirlos, who was editing Inside, was offered a new
job at the new Inside Content magazine, but Kim Masters,
a senior correspondent, and film editor Chris Petrikin in
the Los Angeles bureau of Inside were dismissed.
Michael Hirschorn, who was editor of Inside. com, and Kurt
Andersen, one of the founders, have signed two-year employment
agreements as vice chairmen of Brill Media.
FOX TOPS CNN DURING PRIMETIME
For the first time, Atlanta-based CNN was not the No. 1
news network in the primetime period for a full quarter.
Fox News Network, in New York, scored a 0.9 rating compared
with CNN's 0.7 for the Jan.-March quarter, according to
Nielsen Media Research figures analyzed by the networks.
Ratings measure the percentage of households with access
to a network that actually tune into it.
CNN, which is trying to infuse more personality into its
evening programming, attributes Fox's rise to "The
O'Reilly Factor," with Bill O'Reilly.
CNN's "Earth Matters," once billed as "the
world's only global environmental newsmagazine," has
Gersh Kuntzman, a reporter and columnist for The
New York Post, and Newsweek.com,
is author of a new book, entitled Hair! Mankind's Historic
Quest to End Baldness<D> (Random House).
Bryan Brumley, a technology writer based in London for
The Associated Press, was named bureau chief in Portland,
Ore., succeeding Elaine Hooker, who was named bureau
chief in Hartford, Conn.
Other AP promotions include Jennifer Yates to news
editor in New Jersey, based in the Trenton bureau, and Beth
Grace to chief of bureau for upstate New York, based
in the AP's Albany bureau.
Anthony Wilson-Smith was named editor of MacLean's
magazine, based in Toronto.
Richard Herzfeld, co-owner of TechComm Associates, a
Milwaukee-based PR firm, was named U.S. contributing editor
of International Sheet Metal Review, based in England.
The Los Angeles Times has started a new celebrity
column, written by Ann O'Neill and supported by reporters
Gina Ricalo and Louis Roug.
The column runs on Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday in the "Southern
California Living" section, which covers fashion, design,
and culture in California and beyond.
Called "City of Angles," O'Neill will cover the
Los Angeles social scene and celebrity culture.
"In our column, we'll talk to the celebrities, rather
than about them," said O'Neill. "We won't just
be on the red carpet asking starlets to name their favorite
lip liner. We'll also be digging through court files, and
other public records," said O'Neill, who had written
the celebrity lawsuit column for the newspaper.
The New York Daily News has extended its coverage
of Long Island beyond Sunday and Thursday.
The News currently allocates about four pages on Sundays
to coverage of Nassau and Suffolk counties and an additional
two pages on Thursdays.
Brian Harmon, who was named Long Island bureau chief, will
oversee coverage of news, features, politics and government,
crime, the courts, schools and education, plus he'll produce
columns about Long Island and Long Islanders.
Edition, April 11, 2001, Page 7
WANTS ANSWERS (cont'd)
nursing staff "misunderstood the effect of the power
of attorney that Susan held" (for Griswold).
Meng, a specialist in nursing home law at Murtha Culina,
Hartford, 100+ lawyer firm, said that after May of 1996,
when an ombudsman visited Griswold, she "did receive
mail, phone calls and visitors as she chose." If staffers
did not deliver phone messages to her they were not doing
the right thing, she added.
"There most certainly was no effort by the nursing
home to keep Ms. Sullivan (Griswold's married name) isolated,"
This NL, which called the home in April 1998, was told:
"The family has asked that no messages go through to
her without their approval." James Tolley, former VP-PA
for Chrysler and a member of Griswold's advisory board,
said he was told the same thing when he called the home
"at least a year" after Griswold's admittance
on Aug. 7, 1995.
Tolley said Griswold once showed him "boxes upon boxes"
of PR memorabilia in her townhouse that she wanted donated
to a museum of PR.
Sheila Kelley, a member of WEPR, said that the closest friend
of Griswold, the late Phyllis Berlowe, became "distraught"
when she was unable to reach Griswold by any means in the
Federal law requires the nursing home itself to "protect
and promote the rights of each resident" including
the right to mail, visitors and phone calls.
Wilton Meadows is owned by TransCon Builders of Cleveland,
which also owns the 217-bed Greenwich Woods Health Care
Center in Greenwich and the 153-bed Hamden (Conn.) Health
Peter Rzepka, chairman of TransCon, has not answered this
NL's phone calls to him.
Corbett Recalls Griswold's Wishes
William Corbett, Floral Park, N.Y., a member of Griswold's
advisory board and former president of the International
PR Assn., said Griswold asked him to help her find a prestigious
college for her case histories and other papers. Corbett
said she had rejected offers from several lesser schools.
He said his cards and letters to her in recent years were
never answered and he lost track of her.
At least three negotiations were held with PRSA leaders
about Griswold donating all or part of her New York townhouse
to PRSA. PR pro Norma Lee was present when officials of
the Metropolitan Museum of New York were assessing furniture
and art for possible donation to the Met.
Griswold was a substantial donor to the Met, entitling her
to dine at the exclusive Trustees' Dining Room, said Terry
Mayer, a longtime friend. She said Griswold often told her
of her desire to make contributions to the museum.
Townhouse Sold, Weston Property "Gifted"
Griswold's townhouse at 127 E. 80th st. was sold May 26,
1998 to Jean and Kimberly Putzer for $3.6 million. The deal
was made by Garrett using the power of attorney given her
Using the same power, Garrett on March 17, 1999 gave to
herself and her husband, Russell, 18.5 acres in Weston,
Conn., and buildings on the property owned by Griswold.
No money was involved in the transaction. Assessor's records
indicate the property's value could exceed $3 or $4 million.
Margot Grosvenor, stepdaughter of Griswold, who had been
married for 45 years to the late Langdon Sullivan, said
she does not know what happened to the Colonial furniture
and art items that were in the townhouse and Weston home.
Also unaccounted for are nearly 50 years of PR papers and
items that Griswold had accumulated. The Garretts have been
unreachable by this NL.
Caretaker Knew Susan Garrett
David Morris, who was vacant property manager of the Weston
property for 11 years until the mid-1990s, said that he
and Susan Garrett graduated from Great Neck, N.Y., high
school in 1957.
He said she was one of the "most beautiful girls in
the class" and had the nickname, "Mickey."
The yearbook notes she was in the "Radio Workshop,"
modern dance, a theatrical group, choral group, and a sports
He said that around 1995 Susan Garrett sent him a copy of
the power of attorney and said that henceforth she would
be in control of the property. His services were dropped
Morris heard Griswold was at Wilton Meadows and went to
visit her in early 1996 because he "got along famously"
with Griswold and her husband. "I loved them, they
were wonderful people," he said.
He explained to the desk he was the caretaker and just wanted
to see her for a short time. He found her eating lunch in
the dining room with a woman who had served as her nurse
in Griswold's Weston home.
Visitor Makes Griswold "Ecstatic"
"Denny was ecstatic to see me...she was in no way senile.
She said she didn't understand why no one was coming to
see her," said Morris. She seemed to hear all right
but wrote a note about her lack of visitors because other
patients were nearby, he said.
"The aide took me aside," he continued, "and
said, `She has no friends coming in here and Denny had a
lot of friends...Susan will not let anyone see her or talk
to her." Morris said that when he got home Russell
Garrett called to criticize him for making the visit and
told him to stay away from Griswold.
Morris said that when the Garretts initially came to Wilton
they rented a home and drove an older model Japanese car
with plates of some western state. They kept the plates
for a couple of years, he said.
Russell Garrett worked as a disk jockey for the KOOL late
night show of WKHL in Norwalk. An employee said he worked
"on and off" and was not currently with the station.
The employee said he believed Garrett had a record promotion
business on the West Coast.
Edition, April 11, 2001, Page 8
A.T. Kearney study describes the dark side of mergers-the
sad fact that 58% of them fail to reach stated goals such
as higher profits and stock prices.
The real winners, according to Kearney, are those who sell
their companies at inflated prices. The buyers are often
conglomerates playing to Wall Street's demands for overall
growth and ever-higher earnings per share. What's not so
obvious is growth in debt and the liability for managing
large numbers of companies founded by individualist entrepreneurs.
Failure to integrate different corporate cultures and an
almost knee-jerk move to trim staff and close plants are
two of the major "sins" committed by the merged
companies, says Kearney.
Almost no field has been more merger-prone than the ad/PR
field. Omnicom owns hundreds of big and small firms and
in one recent year owed half its growth to acquisitions.
Interpublic acquired 56 companies in 1999 (which it won't
identify) and added another 73 in 2000 (also unidentified).
IPG is currently making a mega-merger in acquiring True
Very little is heard from companies once they enter the
OMC or IPG orbits. Do they have the problems described in
the Kearney report? Most of what we hear is how rosy everything
is. Each year a new onslaught of acquired companies joins
the conglomerate, which puts out releases trumpeting increased
revenue and higher earnings.
Conglomerates often stress what their earnings would have
been without the "one-time" costs of their acquisitions
although making numerous acquisitions is their normal way
of doing business.
The tragic last years of Denny Griswold's life, in which
she was denied access to her many friends and admirers
(based on statements by these friends), continues as an
Martha Meng, lawyer for the Wilton Meadows nursing home
and its owner, TransCon Builders of Cleveland, has made
a remarkable admission, that Susan Garrett, niece of Griswold,
provided a list of "approved" people who could
visit, phone or write to Griswold for about the first nine
months of her stay at WM. The nursing home employees "misunderstood"
the power of attorney shown them by Garrett, said Meng.
was some "misunderstanding" when an estate worth
upwards of $10 million hung in the balance.
Meng says that mail, visitors and phone calls were allowed
after complaints were investigated in mid-1996 by the state
Long Term Care Ombudsman.
However, friends of Griswold complained to this NL that
they couldn't reach her in 1997-98. When we called the nursing
home, asking for Griswold, we were told, "The family
has asked that no messages go through to her without their
Griswold's intentions of leaving her papers to a college,
some of her antiques to the Met, a scholarship in her name
to PRSA and WEPR, and possibly her townhouse to PRSA were
heard by numerous PR people. These intentions have been
disregarded as far as we can determine.
Garrett has thus far erected a wall of silence about what
is happening to the estate of Griswold. Real estate records
and Probate Court actions, however, are public record.
The U.S. Postal Service told us it is concerned with
nursing homes, college dorms and other living places
where individuals do not have their own mail boxes. There
is the chance for someone to interfere with the sacred right
of a person in good mental health to get mail.
For $100,000 a year, Griswold, who was in sound mind, should
have had her own mail box and so should all residents of
We wonder how many "grandmas" are having their
mail from the Red Cross or other charity denied to them
because they once expressed the desire to leave something
to the charity.
"Great Wrong Has Been Done"-Stevens
Art Stevens, who should have been elected chair-elect of
PRSA (the national board improperly intervened in the election
process), said that a "great wrong" has been done
to Griswold and her friends.
The Long Term Care Ombudsman, created to protect the rights
of the elderly in nursing homes, failed in its duty in this
case. It should question under oath all staffers at Wilton
Meadows who told visitors, "The family has asked that
no messages go through to her (Griswold) without their approval."
Alice H. Hedt, director of the National Ombudsman Center,
said the nursing home itself is responsible for seeing that
residents get phone calls, mail and visitors. The "first
responsibility of a home is to the resident," she told
a patient's family ordered the home not to give the patient
food, the home would not obey that. By the same token, the
"food" needed by Griswold was contact with her
many friends and business associates.
PR pros who believe Griswold's rights were violated should
contact the Federal and Connecticut Ombudsman about this
case. Hedt is at NCCNHR, 1424 16th st., N.W., Washington,
DC 20036, and Teresa Cusano, Connecticut Ombudsman, is at
25 Sigourney st., Hartford, CT 06106.