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Internet Edition, September 12, 2001, Page 1


Dell Computer awarded its $2 million PR account to GCI Group in a pitch that included seven firms, according to Bob Feldman, CEO of the firm.

He described the win as a huge shot in the arm for the high-tech practice.

Jeff Hunt, who heads GCI Read Poland in Austin, and Diane Gleason, the firm's tech guru in Boulder, will lead the U.S. and Canadian part of the Dell account. They will be supported by GCI units in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas and Toronto.

Feldman said Hunt led the pitch. He credited the former Burson-Marsteller exec's corporate and branding experience as a big factor in landing the account.

GCI offices in Mexico City and Sao Paulo will support Dell's business in Latin America.

The eight-week review came down to GCI, WeberShandwick, Walt & Co. and a joint team of Waggener Edstrom and Shepardson Stern + Kaminsky.

Barry French, director of communications for Dell's Americas unit, said he was impressed with GCI's "creative thinking," its PR track record in the tech field and its "cost-effective client service model."

Dell's annual revenues top the $32 billion mark.


The March of Dimes picked Porter Novelli in a competitive pitch to handle its three-year "national mission" communications campaign, according to Stephanie Harwood, who is in charge of the group's communications and media relations.

PN's Washington, D.C., office was selected largely for its anti-tobacco work and extensive experience in dealing with health topics such as high blood pressure.

Debbie Lurie, senior VP at PN, and Colleen Ryan, account supervisor, will handle day-to-day management of the MoD work.

Ed Maibach, EVP and PN's worldwide director of social marketing, will also provide counsel.

Harwood would neither disclose the budget nor the names of the other firms that pitched the account.
She was VP-corp. comms. at PN from 1994-97.

Brodeur Worldwide will cut 60 staffers following IBM's decision to consolidate its account. The firm expects less income as a member of Omnicom's One Blue team which is being put together by sister company, Ketchum, to service IBM. Magnet Communications and Text 100 are IBM's other firms.


The consumer electronics and Internet services company SONICblue has consolidated its seven-figure PR account at The Bohle Co., after a review which included Porter Novelli and A&R Partners.

The three firms previously handled assignments for SONICblue, but the company wanted to centralize its PR at one firm, according to Heather Stanger, PR specialist for SONICblue.

"It was a natural decision to go with Bohle because we worked with them for quite a bit and were happy with their efforts," she told this NL.

SONICblue, which encompasses the Rio, Replay- TV, and Loewe brands, among others, unveiled a financial plan in June to return to profitability in early 2002 after a net first quarter loss of over $300M.

Sue Bohle, president and founder of Los Angeles-based TBC, said she will oversee the account.


Former president Bill Clinton has agreed to pitch Great Britain as a good vacation spot in a promotional pact with the British Tourist Authority.

The BTA will use the former President's picture on its website and in various brochures.

Clinton, who attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, is not getting paid for the pitch. His daughter Chelsea plans to do postgraduate work at Oxford.

The British Hospitality Assn. estimates the number of foreign visitors to the U.K. dropped 10 percent this year because of the foot and mouth epidemic.


BSMG Worldwide is helping client Bahamas Ministry of Tourism cope in the aftermath of a devastating fire that destroyed its Nassau headquarters and the Straw Market, a top tourist attraction, according to Alice Diaz, director of BSMG's travel and lifestyle practice. A vendor has been charged with arson.

"We are responding to media requests" about the fire that took more than eight hours to get under control, she told this NL.

The firm also is providing communications and technical support for the Ministry, which has tourism offices in New York, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and Aventura, Fla.

There were no reports of injury from the blaze though 300 guests at a hotel had to be evacuated.

Internet Edition, September 12, 2001, Page 2


Golin/Harris International picked up the seven-figure Sprint account in a competition that included eight PR firms. Burson-Marsteller was the incumbent.

G/HI will handle corporate, media relations, issues management, internal communications and government work.

Scott Farrell, G/HI's executive VP at its Chicago headquarters, leads the account of the long-distance phone company. He will be supported by G/HI staffers in New York and San Francisco.

Bill White, Sprint's VP-corporate comms., handled what he called a "rigorous review process."

He said G/HI's "creative strategic counsel, planning and support" are what separated the firm from the competition.

Sprint has revenues of more than $23 billion and employs 80,000 workers.


Publicis opened for business Sept. 5 in its new 120,000 sq. ft. headquarters located at New York's Herald Square opposite Macy's department store, which is the finishing point of the famous Thanksgiving Day parade. The space houses more than 350 staffers of Publicis Dialog, Publicis Advertising and Optimedia International.

Bob Bloom, CEO of Publicis in the United States, said the space was designed to "facilitate holistic thinking."

It features a "creative promenade" to showcase the work of its talent, and a "glass enclosed elliptical stairway" connecting Publicis' four floors of office space.

That stairway, according to Publicis* release, features a "transportive environment with its own music, lighting and specially commissioned kinetic sculpture to inspire creativity."

The canopy of the building carries the Publicis logo. It will fly the U.S., French, Publicis and Optimedia flags. The lobby will feature the latest Publicis campaigns.

Publicis will have a rooftop terrace equipped with lounge, game room, large screen TVs, kitchen, basketball court and showers.

Bryant Is In, Hasen Is Out at PD

Steve Bryant, Publicis Dialog's chief creative officer, has replaced Jeff Hasen as president of its Seattle office, which has 30 staffers.

PD president Andy Hopson says Bryant has been asked to beef up the office's "branded and commodity foods" businesses.

Bryant was responsible for publicity campaigns such as "world's longest salad bar" for Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing's 25th anniversary and PetsMart's Rover makeover.

PD will soon name another executive to assist Bryant in staff development and media relations.

Hasen, a veteran of Burson-Marsteller and Stoorza Ziegaus & Metzger, left PD to "pursue other interests."


Laszlo & Assocs. is doing PR for, a new group founded to "reduce gossip and verbal abuse that is behind so much pain" in U.S. society.

It wants millions of people to take a pledge, agreeing to "replace words that hurt with words that encourage, engage and enrich."

The group was spawned by the co-authors of the Words Can Heal Handbook --Irwin Katsof (an Orthodox rabbi in New York), Chaim Feld and Hilary Rich.

The handbook tells of the need to promote the value and practice of ethical speech to improve democracy and mutual respect.

The organization believes gossip and bullying contribute to problems in the country's schools.

It cites a National Education Assn. report that shows 160,000 children skip school each day because they are intimidated by their peers.

Harsh political attacks are another area that is on the group's radar. It plans ads in Roll Call, National Journal, The Hill and Congressional Quarterly promoting the need to tone down political rhetoric.

That has won the support of Sens. Tom Daschle, John McCain, Harry Reid and Sam Brownback, who have proposed a "Words Can Heal Day."

An all-star cast of Hollywood stars/artists (and frequent grist for gossip columnists) supports Tom Cruise, Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler, Rickie Martin, Quincy Jones, Florence Henderson and Rene Russo are among that group.

Jennifer Laszlo, who has been handling media for the group, says there will be a number of celebrity events for her client.

Her firm has done work for the American Cancer Society, American Assn. of School Administrators, American Israel Public Affairs Committee, American Medical Assn. and the Ford Foundation.


The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has added Fleishman-Hillard's Greer, Margolis, Mitchell, Burns & Assocs. unit and Shepardson Stern + Kaminsky to its PA line-up, according to Joe Cerrell, PA director of the charitable organization.

GMMB&A is to promote the Foundation's donations to libraries, educational institutions and groups in the Pacific Northwest. The Foundation, in August, gave $9.3 million to Chile to buy computers for its 368 libraries. It also donated $1.2 million to fund technical training for 830 principals and superintendents in Alabama, and $75,000 for a new Planned Parenthood facility in Walla Walla, Wash.

SS+K will join Grey Global Group's APCO Worldwide in promoting the Foundation's global health programs. A major initiative is the Foundation's creation of a $100 million fund to combat AIDS, which has taken the lives of 22 million people during the last decade.

The Gates Foundation, which is based in Seattle, has $23.5 billion in assets.

Internet Edition, September 12, 2001, Page 3


Lorry Lokey, founder and CEO of Business Wire, told Dan Fost, a columnist for The San Francisco Chronicle, that his company's profits will be "cut in half" in 2001 due to a decline in news releases sent out by its customers.

Despite the slump, Lokey told this NL that Business Wire's profits this year are "still well into the double digits percentage wise, which is why we will be giving all our staffers some $5 million in bonuses -about a month's pay. And we'll still have to pay far more corporate income taxes than that this year."

Lokey told Fost that BW, which he started in Oct. 1961, had its best year in 2000, when revenues totaled $150 million, and the company distributed more news releases than any of its competitors, coming out on top with 50.5% of the market.

This year has been a different story. During the first six months of 2000, BW sent 138,000 releases, but the number of news releases has dropped to 120,000 during the first six months of this year.

Lokey, who is 74, said he thinks about retiring, but enjoys himself too much. He said Cathy Baron Tamraz, who is executive VP, based in New York, runs the company, and will step in as CEO as soon as he says the word.

Lokey said the next step is to press forward with international expansion.

DISTRIBUTOR FINDS LOCAL NEWS NICHE, a web-based news release distributor, said several national companies have become clients of the company's HomeTowner News Program, which feeds local news to thousands of newspapers across the country about local residents.

The companies which have signed on with eNewsRelease are using the service to send stories about local events and employee promotions to targeted media outlets.

"We are fortunate to have found a niche, which fills both the newspapers' need for local news content and our clients' need to reach these hometown papers," said Jon Victor, who is CEO of the Norwalk, Conn.-based company.

"It is increasingly clear that local news sell newspapers," said Victor, who cites as an example a recent front page article in The Wall Street Journal about The Dunn (N.C.) Daily Record.

The Journal's article said the Daily Record's market penetration has grown 112% since being founded in 1950. The secret to the paper's success is it offers loads of down-home news that readers can't get anywhere else, the article said.

The Journal said scores of newspapers are coming to realize that local news sells newspapers and retains customers.

eNewsRelease was started in 1997 by Charles Stackhouse, and two partners, Elisabeth Stonehill and Max Oakes, as Campus Release Network.


Bulgari, the Italian jewelry company, paid British author Fay Weldon to write her new novel, entitled "The Bulgari Connection." Weldon was paid by Bulgari for a prominent place in the novel. The contract required her to mention Bulgari at least a dozen times.

Weldon, who at one time wrote ad copy for Ogilvy & Mather, made Bulgari jewelry the centerpiece of the novel, and Bulgari approved the manuscript without a change.

The 200-page novel, which was written in less than six months, is scheduled for distribution by Grove/Atlantic in the U.S. in November.

The idea for the sponsorship originated with Francesco Trapani, Bulgari's CEO. "When you take out an ad in a magazine, you only have a certain amount of space in which to speak," he told W, the fashion magazine. "That is why product placement -whether you're talking books, movies or Hollywood stars-is so important to us."

Books Are Next Wave

Michael Nyman, president of Bragman Nyman Cafarelli, a PR unit of Weber Shandwick Worldwide, believes books are part of the next wave of product placements.

Weldon's agent, Giles Gordon, said he would recommend product placements to other clients. Gordon said the current crop of "chick lit" novels and memoirs about the lives of young women offers potential for promoting vodka, cigarets, clothing and other brands.

Letty Pogrebin, president of the Authors Guild, said product placements erode readers' confidence in the authenticity of the narrative. She said it adds to the cynicism. "Does this character really drive a Ford or did Ford pay for this?"

Seagram Sponsored Novel

This is not the first time a company has commissioned someone to write a book. Last year, as a publicity stunt, Seagram sponsored a satiric novel that happened to involve Scotch.

Weldon is a well-known author who has written more than 20 literary novels, including a few best sellers.


The American College of Chest Physicians, headquartered in Northbrook, Ill., will release CHEST, the peer reviewed journal of the ACCP, the second Tuesday of every month starting Sept. 11.

"Setting an embargo date lets members and journalists know when to expect news about new treatment methods, technological innovations, and groundbreaking research," said Dr. Robert Johnson, president of ACCP.

The publication has more than 23,000 readers.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, September 12, 2001, Page 4


Following on the heels of its success in niche markets with, and, The Wall Street Journal has started

The new website, which is free, offers information for buying, selling, leasing, managing and investing in residential and commercial properties.

Content comes from editorial resources of the Journal and's editorial resources, which keep the site current with news, features and reports on important changes in the real estate market.

Tony Lee, who is editor-in-chief, said PR pros should send applicable information to Laura Lorber at [email protected].


Style 24/7, which went on sale Sept. 5, will publish three more biweekly issues before switching to a weekly schedule.

Brandusa Niro, the co-founder and editor-in- chief of website Fashion Wire Daily, is editor of the new fashion and celebrity magazine.

The 96-page premiere issue will be sold at supermarket checkouts and newsstands.

The launch is a joint venture that also involves FWD and MacAndrews & Forbes, which is Ron Perelman's investment company and a leading investor in the fashion news service.

Romanian-born Niro had been a PR professional before starting FWD about four years ago.


USA Today is dropping columns written by Larry King and Jeannie Williams. Both columns run in the "Life" section of the paper.

Steven Anderson, a spokesman for the paper, said the columns were dropped to make more space available for interviews with celebrities and articles focusing on celebrity fashion trends.

Anderson said there will also be a new feature called "Hot Spots" about restaurants, clubs and stores that attract a celebrity clientle.

PEOPLE _______________________

Matthew Church, former editor of Browser and Active magazines, is editor-in-chief of Illinois Now!, a new quarterly magazine published by the state's Bureau of Tourism.

The magazine, which debuts this month, will replace two existing IBOT publications: the Fairs & Festivals Guide and Weekend Adventure Guide.

Jorge Ramon, who joined Teen People in Oct. 1997 as its first fashion editor and most recently was senior fashion editor, was promoted to fashion director. He will oversee cover shoots, celebrity profiles and real teen fashion stories.

Sue Callaway, who left Fortune last year, was promoted to VP and general manager of Jaguar Cars North America.

Callaway, 37, whose Fortune byline was Sue Zesiger, worked six years for the magazine.

As a senior editor, she edited cover stories and special issues, and wrote auto industry stories and product reviews.

She joined Premier Automotive Group in Dec. 2000 as director of marketing.

Neal Conan was named acting host of "Talk of the Nation," until a permanent successor to Juan Williams is named.

Williams stepped down as host to become a senior correspondent for National Public Radio News, providing commentary on politics and other subjects for the Washington, D.C.-based network.

This Newsletter erroneously reported the program had been cancelled.

Bill Flanagan, a business reporter for KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, was named chief communications officer for a new joint venture dedicated to advancing economic and community development in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Flanagan, 46, will oversee a media partnership with KDKA-TV and the joint venture involving the weekly talk show, "The Sunday Business Page," which he co-produces and hosts.

The joint venture will assume production of the program as a platform for community building and discussion of economic development issues and opportunities in the 10-county region.

KDKA will provide TV airtime and production resources for the program.

John Concannon, who spent 35 years at Newsweek, and Hugh Mulligan, a former writer for The Associated Press, were honored at this year's Great Irish Fair in New York. Concannon was given the Thomas J. Cutie Memorial Award, and Mulligan received the Irish Bard Award.


Allan Sloan, who this year received The Gerald Loeb Lifetime Achievement Award, which is business journalism's highest honor, said the media's impact on the stock market is "far less than we in the media would like to think that it is."

In an interview with Linda O'Byron, who is executive editor of "Nightly Business Report," Sloan said the media can affect the stock market for only brief periods.

"If we take a fact that is not generally known, and we put it out there and change people's perceptions, we can affect an issue-or possibly a market. But in the end, we're sort of gnats riding on the elephant. And it's foolish to think otherwise," said Sloan, who is Newsweek's Wall Street editor.

Internet Edition, September 12, 2001, Page 7


Compaq Computer, which is one of Hill and Knowlton's biggest accounts, is merging with Hewlett-Packard in a stock deal valued at $25 billion when announced on Labor Day.

H-P has the upper hand in the merger, billed as a way to create the world's global technology leader.

Its shareholders will own 64 percent of the combined company. H-P chairman/CEO Carly Fiorina will helm the entity, while Compaq's chairman/CEO becomes No. 2. at the company with combined revenues of $87 billion.

The deal, if completed, is slated to close by the second half of next year. Wall Street has ripped the deal, driving the stocks of both H-P and Compaq southward. The transaction is now worth in the $18 billion range. The battering of H-P's stock has effectively wiped out the premium it had offered for Compaq. Wall Street wags are now calling the deal a "takeunder."

Neither Maureen Blanc, H&K's U.S. technology director, nor Michelle Clarke, deputy director, could be reached for comment about the number of staffers devoted to the Compaq account, which is handled out of H&K's Houston office.

Judy Radlinsky of H-P, identified her company's top PR firms as Applied Communications, Hoffman Agency, Weber Shandwick Worldwide and Golin/Harris International.


Haberman & Assocs., in Minneapolis, is handling publicity of Ameilia Earhart's Flight Across America.

The flight is being sponsored by Gregory Herrick, a vintage plane collector, who owns Historic Aviation, a 30-year-old St. Paul-based company, which was acquired by Sky Media in 1999.

Carlene Mendietta, a California dentist, will attempt to duplicate Earhart's 1928 solo transcontinental route to Los Angeles and back.

Earhart's flight recreation began on Sept. 6 at Westchester County Airport, in White Plains, N.Y., a few miles from the polo field at the Westchester Country Club, in Rye, N.Y., which Earhart had originally used as an airfield to begin her 5,500-mile journey on Aug. 30, 1928.

Mendietta will fly the same type of open-cockpit airplane and stop over in many of the same places as Earhart did on her historic flight to Los Angeles.

Two members of the PR firm will follow the flight to Los Angeles in a Cessna, which is loaded with spare parts and press kits.

When Earhart planned her trip, she hoped to avoid news media attention, but her sponsor, George Putnam, the publisher and author she would later marry, secretly promoted the trip, alerting the news media in each community Earhart approached.

This time Mendietta's progress will be posted on a website (


Volkswagen of America, Auburn Hills, Mich., has named Farmington Hills, Mich.-based Marx Layne & Co. its agency of record for corporate and product PR.

The selection of ML ends a search that began in Nov. 2000. VOA's PR was handled in house.

Steve Keyes, who is VOA's director of communications, said the firm's responsibilities-for both the Volkswagen and Audi brands-include strategic communications counsel, media relations support, event marketing promotions and regional PR throughout North America.

Michael Layne founded the agency in 1987. It has a professional staff of more than 50 people.


Egypt is using Van Scoyoc Assocs., a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm, to provide information about Congressional policies regarding U.S.-Middle Eastern relations.

Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has urged President Bush to take a more active role in finding a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"America is the only sponsor of the peace process," Mubarak said in a TV broadcast last month. "The situation requires America to take a stand. If the Americans hesitate, it is dangerous for the region, for our interests and even for the Israeli people," he said.

VSA's Mark Tavlarides is working on the Egyptian account.

He is a former director of legislative affairs at the National Security Council.

VSA's contract is signed with Afridi, Angell & Pelletreau, a law firm that has worked with Egypt since 1999.


Corporate PR pro Steve Miller is now head of GCI Group's technology practice, based in San Francisco.

Miller put in more than 20 years at Oracle, where he was VP-global marketing and business development for its education unit, and at Apple Computer.

Bob Pearson, president of GCI/The Americas, lauded Miller's extensive technology, marketing and sales experience when he predicted the executive would be an "indispensable asset" for the PR firm.

Miller, who also worked for BankAmerica and GTE Sprint, brings a worldly background to GCI.

He worked for Apple in Paris, consulted for Iceland's Oz Interactive, and was COO for Alchemedia, an Israeli start-up.

GCI, which does PR for Intel and AltaVista, is part of Grey Global Group.

Lisa McAllister, who was Michelin North America's corporate spokesperson, has joined Hill and Knowlton to head the Mazda North American Operations business. Mazda is a 27-year client of H&K.

Internet Edition, September 12, 2001, Page 8



United Business Media's bid to purchase Medialink (Aug. 29 NL) has put the spotlight on British financial reporting habits-which are off the wall, in our view.

These habits include emphasizing earnings before taxes, operating earnings, underlying earnings, continuing earnings, earnings before currency fluctuations, earnings before exceptionals and earnings before amortization. The real earnings are hard to find.

A degradation in U.S. earnings reports is also taking place. "Separating reality from fantasy in (U.S.) corporate earnings is harder than ever," wrote New York Times columnist Gretchen Morgenson Sept. 2.

She said investors now realize that "the momentous earnings reported by many companies in recent years may have included a lot of hype, embroidery and fluff." She noted the Commerce Dept. found after-tax profits of the S&P 500 grew 5% from 1995-2000 while the companies claimed a 9% growth. "Favorable accounting" for stock options and gains in pension plans made the difference, she said.

We found a new term in the UBM financial reports-"Headline profit." This means "profit before investment in online businesses, new ventures, exceptional items, amortization of intangible assets and taxation."

Louis Thompson, president of the National Investor Relations Institute, said he never heard of the term and hopes it doesn't reach the U.S. UBM said it didn't invent it and that it's used by companies to help analysts and not as a substitute for the usual key indicators.

UBM, formerly United News & Media, sold off $4.6 billion in assets including the Daily Star and Daily Express and major TV properties to become a mostly trade magazine, e-business and market research company.

Staff was cut from 13,459 to about 6,000.

PR Newswire appears to be UBM's best acquisition. Its profit margin in the first half of 2001 was 21.2 million British pounds on sales of 66.9 million pounds or 31.7% (although down from 34.9%). "Underlying profits," said UBM, were up 42%, helped by a staff reduction of about 150 of the total of 1,170.

About 65% of PRN's business is "regulatory in nature," notes UBM (companies are required to use PRN to meet disclosure rules).

CMP, the Manhasset, N.Y., trade book and e-commerce company that UBM purchased in 1999 for $920M (nearly double sales), is having its problems.

UBM CEO Clive Hollick had told the Wall Street Journal April 30, 1999 that CMPNet, UBM's online division, "is well placed to capture the explosive growth in online advertising." CMP's flagship publication, Information Week, was off 45% in ad pages to 910 for the second quarter, according to Adscope. Pages of all CMP publications were down 15% in the first half to 18,771. About 400 staffers were cut at CMP Media in the first half, according to one analyst report (CMP reported 1,775 employees to Advertising Age in July 1998). Members of the Leeds family that owned CMP since 1971 left immediately after the sale was agreed upon with UBM. They owned 68% of the stock, which was listed on NASDAQ. The family included founders Jerry and Lilo Leeds, parents of Michael Leeds, who became CEO, and Dan Leeds, another son.

Arthur Page, whose biography was carried in the Aug. 15 newsletter, believed that PR was "90% doing and only 10% talking about what was being done."

In other words, he was no great communicator. He had the Pollyanna view that a company could be run so perfectly, so in tune with the public interest, that it wouldn't have to explain itself.

Here's one of his quotes:

"Large enterprises can be run so intelligently in the public interest that the public will be satisfied and content with their services."

Many companies follow this PR philosophy today. They let their actions speak for themselves. They feel they*ll put out good products or services and run a tight ship financially and will need to say little, if anything, to the public.

Page was an elitist if ever there was one. A graduate of Harvard, he was a member of the Harvard Club, New York Yacht Club, Century Club in New York and St. James Club in London, among others.

He got his job as the first PR head of AT&T in 1927 partly because a Harvard classmate, Walter Gifford, was president of AT&T.

Page was an opponent of Franklin Roosevelt and his New Deal reforms, saying that "in a country where the opportunity to get rich is banned, the fate of the poor will be bad..."

He became the model for many PR executives. He saw PR's job as counseling top management and even becoming a member of it. That was where he was most comfortable.

He was also a member of The Wise Men, an elitist PR group founded by John Hill of Hill and Knowlton in 1937 that continues.

The dominant groups in corporate PR today are the 300-member Page Society and the 200-member PR Seminar. Both take members by invitation only and neither will provide their membership lists. Workiing press are barred from PR Seminar meetings.
--Jack O'Dwyer


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