Edition, January 2, 2002, Page 1
B-M GETS $800K PHILIPPINES
TRADE PR JOB
The Philippines has awarded
Burson-Marsteller an $800,000 one-year contract to restore
investor confidence in the country that has been knocked
due to its own war on terror.
B-M, which has been advising
Saudi Arabia, says its job is to "enhance the sovereign
credit rating and strengthen perceptions of the international
business community that the Philippines is an attractive
location for foreign direct investment."
The program includes
media relations, spokesperson training and the development
of economic materials.
B-M's Richard Mintz,
chair of its U.S. PA practice, coordinates his shop's activities
with Ariel Abadilla, Philippines' Charge d'Affairs.
The Philippines has emerged
as a key U.S. ally following the Sept. 11 terror attacks
on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
The U.S. plans to dispatch
a fleet of military helicopters to the Philippines this
month for attacks on members of the Abu Sayyaf Muslim terror
group that has links to Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network.
Gloria Arroyo has been granted millions of dollars in American
support, and her country received rifles, mortars and military
trucks from the U.S. in late December.
SAP A.G., the fourth
largest software company in the world, also named B-M as
its PR agency.
After a transition period
of about two months, B-M will replace Waggener Edstrom,
Bellevue, Wash., which has been handling SAP America.
B-M's assignment started
Heidi Sinclair, who heads
B-M's technology practice in Los Angeles, was named global
client leader of the SAP account.
Sinclair, who has visited
SAP's headquarters in Walldorf, Germany, several times,
said it was a "really big win" for B-M, but she
could not reveal the size of the budget.
She said SAP, which currently
uses several PR firms, had decided to put all of its PR
AMANA NAMES CLS FOR PR
Maytag's Amana division
has named Carmichael Lynch Spong to do PR for its brand
of refrigerators and microwave oven products.
won after a shootout with several Midwest firms.
A separate review for
an ad agency continues.
NOONAN/RUSSO LEADS $1M PUSH
Connecticut is using
Noonan/Russo Communications to position it as a high-tech
"hot spot" in the league with California's Silicon
Valley and Massachusetts' Route 128.
"The campaign marks
our initial foray into the economic development area,"
Tony Russo said. The firm won the business after a "tough
pitch," he added.
The account, according
to Russo, bills in the $1 million range, and is handled
by Rene Connelly, VP.
Connecticut Gov. John
Rowland on Dec. 18 announced the campaign will focus on
the information technology and biotechnology sectors of
Officials say IT is the
fastest growing part of the state's economy, and note that
$3 billion is spent there annually for bioscience R&D.
The PR program will include
input from top executives with facilities in Connecticut,
such as Michael Fleisher, CEO of Gartner Inc, the IT research
firm that is based in Stamford.
It plans to play up the state's business-friendly government,
skilled workforce and strategic location between Boston
and New York.
MICHELIN ROLLS WITH EDELMAN
Edelman PR Worldwide has beat out Cohn & Wolfe and
Manning, Selvage & Lee for Michelin North America's
estimated $1 million PR account, Lynn Mann, PR manager for
Michelin, told this NL.
The France-based tire maker has used Edelman for past
Mann said Leslie Dach, vice chairman and GM of Edelman's
Washington, D.C., office, will oversee the account.
Michelin NA is based in Greenville, S.C. It employs 26,500
of the company's 128,000 work force.
U.S. Army has
added The Caraway Group and Walls Comms., both African American
firms based in Washington, D.C., to its roster to handle
PR for its "Army of One" campaign. Manning, Selvage
& Lee heads PR for the campaign for the Army's Recruiting
Haymarket, publisher of PR Week, pulled the
plug on Media Business after a two-year run. CEO
Michael Heseltine said Dec. 17 was MB's last issue. The
magazine had 14 staffers, and was "relaunched"
in October...E. James
White Comms., Herndon, Va., was tapped to handle
a $2 million ad/PR campaign to pitch the Shenandoah Valley
as a short trip, low-cost vacation spot on the East Coast.
Edition, January 2, 2002, Page 2
MAJOR RIFT HITS WORLD OF CPAs
The American Institute
of Certified Public Accountants is in a major rift with
some of the biggest state societies of CPAs, including those
in New York, California and Florida, over a proposed "global
credential" for CPAs.
The credential has the
title, "International Interdisciplinary Strategic Business
Professional" or IISBP. Results of a vote by 340,000
members of the AICPA on the issue will be announced Jan.
It would not replace
existing credentials like the CPA but would "complement
such credentials" and give CPAs the opportunity to
enhance their value to their clients and employers, says
Applicants would be subject
to "a rigorous qualification process" which would
"evaluate their ability to integrate knowledge from
multiple business disciplines and to apply this knowledge
to provide strategic business insight."
CPA organizations would
provide online learning opportunities and connect credential
holders to "a unique network of elite professionals
around the globe," says the Global Business Credential
The New York State Society
of CPAs is strongly against the new credential, saying there
is no provision in the AICPA charter for it to create a
separate credential. The new credential is unnecessary because
CPAs "are already providing numerous nontraditional
services to the public and have already gained market permission
to offer these services."
It says a new credential
will allow millions of non-CPAs to compete with CPAs in
offering non- attest services. It also says the debate is
"divisive" to the profession and will diminish
the public's perception of the breadth of services offered
CONVENTION CENTER NAMES TWO
The Washington Convention Center Authority has tapped
Porter Novelli and the Walker Marchant Group for a one-year,
$400,000 contract to promote the 2.3 million-square-foot
facility set to open in 2003. The contract has three optional
About 40 firms attended a "pre-proposal" conference
on Sept. 13, according to WCC PA director Tony Robinson.
GM/CEO of the WCC, Lewis Dawley, said in a statement that
the final selection included proposals from 19 firms and
presentations by seven finalists.
He noted the two firms' "deep roots in Washington"
as a deciding factor, along with their experience in hospitality
Robert Gould, senior partner/GM of PN's Washington, D.C.,
office, called the center "the newest monument in our
city of monuments."
The WCC Authority said the center could attract 2.5 million
visitors a year, and generate more than $1.4 billion a year
for the local economy.
WMG's team includes SVP Leslie Doggett, former deputy
undersecretary for tourism at the Dept. of Commerce and
director, tourism for New YorkCity.
WEBER SHANDWICK MAKES CUTS
Weber Shandwick cut more than 20 staffers in its Boston-area
technology practice last month. Jamie Parker, president
of the unit which includes Miller Shandwick and The Weber
Group, could not be reached for comment about the cuts.
Tony Sapienza, who was president of Miller/Shandwick Technologies,
left the firm in August.
Weber Shandwick, on Oct. 18, announced the formation of
a New England PR "powerhouse with 175 staffers and
$25 million in revenues" via the combination of BSMG
Worldwide and Weber Shandwick.
Micho Spring, who had headed BSMG/Boston, was named New
England chairman. Spring, the former deputy mayor of Boston,
promised the firm would grow by building on its heritage
in PA, technology and consumer marketing.
WALKER'S ATTORNEY BEGINS PR
James Brosnahan, the lawyer who is representing John Walker--the
American captured with the Taliban--and his family, is using
PR to blunt negative views of his client by recasting him
as a nice guy who was brainwashed to avoid a charge of treason.
Brosnahan has not consulted outside PR advice but Judy
Burgin, an attorney and marketing manager for Brosnahan's
firm, Morrison & Foerster, said she is helping to send
out press releases. She reports to Carl Whitaker, chief
Burgin says the firm has no plans to hire outside PR counsel.
Her role has raised some concern because she is the wife
of Dave Burgin, editor-in-chief of The San Francisco
Examiner, which has been calling Walker "the Frisco
Kid" and has been attacking Walker's family.
She was asked by The San Francisco Chronicle if
there was a conflict of interest, and if she played favorites
with her husband. "In fact, we never talk," she
told Chronicle reporter Rob Morse.
MONTEREY BAY SANCTUARY WANTS
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is
looking for help to promote the 10th anniversary of the
Monterey Bay Nat'l Marine Sanctuary.
The sanctuary is the nation's largest protected offshore
area. Consisting of 276 miles of shoreline and 5,322 square
miles of ocean, the MBNMS features North America's most
extensive kelp forest.
The PR job requires planning and hosting four "volunteer
appreciation" days and other events.
NOAA wants a media outreach campaign, as well as radio/TV
commercials. The contractor will also develop a quarterly
newsletter for public outreach.
The Commerce Dept. unit expects the winning vendor will
be headquartered near the Monterey, Calif., area.
The contract is worth about $100,000.
Responses are due Jan. 11. Randall Brown has details at
Edition, January 2, 2002, Page 3
EDITORS OFFER PLACEMENT TIPS
Schneider & Assocs., Boston, said the tragedies that
occurred on Sept. 11 have "clearly impacted the practice
"As counselors, it is our responsibility to recognize
the current economic and political climate and determine
how that affects what we propose to our clients," the
agency said in its December employee newsletter.
"Clearly, the world has changed and so has the editorial
policy at print, broadcast and Internet outlets," the
agency said. "We cannot expect editors to seriously
consider stories that seem irrelevant based on the gravity
of current events. S&A recognizes that it is our responsibility
to use good judgment. . . to provide appropriate news,"
the newsletter said.
At a recent Publicity Club of New England meeting, which
was organized by Sarah Whitmore, an A/E at S&A, a panel
of assignment managing editors from four Boston TV stations
offered some placement tips based on the changes that have
occurred in the newsroom since Sept. 11.
Their key points were:
-News stations are still looking for stories that are meaningful
and human-interest related.
-Companies that can connect what they are doing to the news
of the day will receive coverage (i.e. "Mailroom security
at major coporations").
-Because of the anthrax scare, newsrooms are no longer accepting
-Stories are taking longer to get placed as "hard news"
takes precedence. Persistence is key.
-Always pitch stories and people that can deliver quickly
-Be aware of the news of the day, be realistic, and be tasteful.
-Reporters want to illustrate how the news is impacting
consumers and business by using personal examples.
WALKER GETS A FREE PLUG
Bradman Nyman Cafarelli, a Los Angeles PR firm which handles
PR for S&S, a Diageo subsidiary, was involved in getting
a product placement for Johnnie Walker Blue scotch on a
recent segment of NBC's hit show "The West Wing."
Not only was the brand featured, but a key character endorsed
the product, which is unusual. The placement cost S&S
In the segment, Leo McGarry, who is President Bartlett's
chief of staff, muses, "Good scotch sits in a charcoal
barrel for 12 years. Very good scotch gets smoked for 29
years. Johnnie Walker Blue...is 60-year-old scotch."
S&S has gotten product placements on other top-rated
TV shows, including "The Sopranos" (Hennessy)
and "Friends" (Dom Perignon).
NBC recently announced it was lifting the ban on hard
The New York Post's
media reporter, Keith Kelly, told Patrick Phillips
that PR people can make his work easier by calling with
important news, not the newest associate editor.
"Call with news that has some intrigue or money angle
or some element of clash with the competition," says
Kelly, who confesses he is not trying to be "well liked;
I'm trying to break stories."
begun a year-long series on the challenges of being
young, black and female.
Editor-in-chief Diane Weathers said the series will deliver
"a hard look at the pressures many girls face and offer
an action plan complete with tips, strategies and resources
that can help us do a better job of giving them the support
For the first report, Linda Villarosa, a freelance health
reporter, moderated a panel of experts.
columnist, Timothy Noah, who writes "chatterbox,"
believes The Wall Street Journal's editorial page
is becoming a "kinder, gentler place" under Paul
Gigot, who replaced Robert Bartley as editorial page editor
Noah points to Gigot's Dec. 10 column in the Journal in
which he dismissed Tom DeLay as a candidate for House Majority
Leader, now held by Dick Armey, who is retiring.
Noah, who worked with Gigot in the Journal's Washington
bureau for six years, said Gigot, "though very conservative,
is a rigorous reporter whose analytic style is much more
judicious than Bartley's, which is to shoot first and ask
questions later, or possibly not ask them at all."
Eight more newspapers
have begun carrying The Wall Street Journal Sunday
personal finance news package. The WSJ-branded pages now
appear in the Sunday business sections of 53 papers with
a combined circulation of 9.4 million. Journal reporters
write the stories exclusively for the package, which is
transmitted to partner papers over the Internet.
expects about 50 employees to accept buyouts, may
fold "Plugged In," a weekly technology section.
Features in the Wednesday sectionwill appear in Tuesday's
"Health & Discovery" section.
has been put up for sale by Jim Lichtenstein, a former
Chicago TV executive, who created the site in 1999 as a
way for the news media to find information quickly.
AssignmentEditor.com became a subscription- only site
Lichtenstein said his hope is to find a company that can
turn AE into a free site again.
news continued on next page)
Edition, January 2, 2002, Page 4
ROACH NOW EDITOR OF MARTHA
Margaret Roach was promoted to editor-in-chief of Martha
Stewart Living Omnimedia, putting her in charge of all editorial
content for the company.
Roach, who will keep the title of executive VP, will oversee
editorial for all magazines including Martha Stewart
Living, Martha Stewart Weddings, Martha Stewart
Baby, Martha Stewart Kids and all special issue
magazines, all books; newspaper columns; radio shows and
all Internet properties including marthastewart.com.
Douglas Brenner, who is editor of MarthaStewart Living
magazine, will report to Roach, who for many years was the
magazine's gardening editor.
PR PROF WRITES MEDIA RELATIONS
Luce Online News (www.luceonline.com),
a website run by Luce clipping service, has added a column
on media relations.
The monthly column, which will also appear in Luce's Information
Bulletin, will be written by Mitchell Friedman, who teaches
PR classes at Golden Gate Univ., in San Francisco, and other
Friedman said his column will address challenges typically
faced by PR pros, such as what makes news; identifying interested
media; assessing how to communicate with media contacts;
and media follow up and interview techniques.
is leaving The New York Daily News, where he has
been a TV reviewer for several years.
52, was named editor of The Des Moines Register.
He has been news editor in Knight-Ridder's bureau in Washington,
D.C., since October.
stepped down last week as editorial page editor of The
editor of the Sunday "Arts & Leisure" section
in The New York Times, is giving up the position
to return to writing.
43, previously VP of investor relations for AOL Time Warner,
was named president of Time magazine, replacing E.
Bruce Hallett, who was appointed president of Sports
41, who runs VSA Communications Partners, which owns Phillips
Business Information, publisher of PR News, was named
co-chief executive of Veronis Suhler, a bank which acts
as an advisor in media acquisitions. The firm's name was
changed to Veronis Suhler Stevenson.
was named managing editor of The New York Times Syndicate.
70, who is retiring as head of United Feature Syndicate
and Newspaper Enterprise Assn., will join his wife Lucianne's
NEW JERSEY PR PROS GET PITCH
Anthony Birritteri, senior editor of New Jersey Business,
offered these examples of things PR pros should never say
when pitching news people:
-"I just faxed you a press release. When is it going
-"It's really great. It's a photo of someone donating
a giant check."
-"It's a passport photo taken 10 years ago, but really,
-"Besides talking with the president, also sitting
in on the meeting will be the senior VP, executive VP, VP,
senior manager, manager and janitor."
-"How much does it cost to get this press release in
Birritteri was one of a dozen news people who spoke at
the annual "Meet the Press" luncheon that was
held Dec. 12 at the Marriott Hotel in Somerset, N.J. The
meeting was co-sponsored by PRSA/N.J. and the Society of
Here are some more tips offered by the other panelists:
-Todd McDermott, WCBS-TV anchor, said stations are more
likely to consider covering something if publicists can
maximize the number of people who will be impacted by the
story and if it touches someone some way emotionally or
Publicists should make sure people recommended as sources
are prepared for an interview. He recalled an interview
with someone who replied to his first question: "Sorry,
don't speak much English."
-Marcus Solis, a reporter with WABC-TV in New Jersey,
said getting background information from publicists is appreciated.
-Rose Marie Arden, a field producer for CNN in New York,
said PR pros will find an easier sell on the weekend when
news tends to be slow. Since fewer news staffers are at
work, getting advance notice on weekend stories is helpful,
-Julie Busby, editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer's
New Jersey edition, gave these tips: Develop a list of reporters
and assignment editors, not top editors, to call; become
a source for good stories; make yourself credible; be accessible
by leaving phone numbers, and create efficient press kits.
HEALTH WEBSITES WIN ACCREDITATION
Thirteen e-health websites are the first to be accredited
by URAC, the Washington, D.C.-based health accreditation
The newly accredited sites include Adam, GHI, hayesonhealth,
hiaa, health-intl, veritasmedicine, laurushealth, webMD,
wellmed, intelihealth, hhni, healthwise and healthyroads.
URAC standards cover several issues including health content
editorial process, disclosure of financial relationships,
linking to other websites, privacy and security, and mechanisms
for consumer complaints.
Edition, January 2, 2002, Page 7
PRSA SEEKS FUNDS
FOR NEW APR TEST
Accreditation Board, representing PR Society of America
and eight other PR groups, is seeking donations of $50 or
$100 from the 4,200 PRSA APR members as part of a $300,000
fundraising drive in 2002.
had previously budgeted $240,000 to the UAB to create a
new exam to replace the current 38-year-old test, now is
only budgeting $30,000 to the "re-engineering"
of the exam.
The Society lost $1.1 million in 1999-2000 and is keeping
costs to a minimum.
headed by Douglas Coffey, VP of communications, United Defense,
Arlington, Va.., has sent a letter to the PRSA APR members
asking them to help the UAB reach its goal.
donate $100 or more will receive a commemorative APR lapel
pin. Coffey said the 25 members of the UAB are pledging
$2,000 each or $50,000 to the fund.
said that two forms of a UAPR exam are being considered,
"one for beginning professionals and one for senior
possibility is that the exam will be given throughout the
U.S. in commercial testing facilities that will offer it
all year long.
the exam is only given twice a year and at a limited number
of locations. Correcting the exam via the outside service
used by PRSA usually takes four months or more and has been
costing the Society upwards of $100,000 yearly.
change, said Coffey. One possibility is making most of the
test multiple-choice and machine correctable. Personal interviews
would still be required.
the re-engineering process include creation of a new exam
that would be "inclusive of other professional groups
and specializations," "global and adaptable to
other cultures and languages," and "flexible in
considering different levels of accreditation and different
complexities of practice."
May Pay to Take Test
members pay $385 to take the test. If they pass it, each
year they must pay PRSA $225 (or whatever the full dues
rate is) in order to be allowed to continue to use the APR
the approximately 8,000 members of the eight other groups
took the UAPR exam in 2000 and 31 passed it. In the spring
of 2001, 39 took the test and 24 passed it. In the fall
of 2001, 37 took the test and the results will be announced
in February 2002.
participating groups and their approximate membership totals
are: Agricultural Relations Council (230); Florida PR Assn.
(1,000); Maine PR Council (250); National School PR Assn.
(1,900); Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development
(3,700); Southern PR Federation (200+); Texas PR Assn. (325),
and Religious Communications Council (new to UAB and membership
total not available).
AD/PR NEED TO INTEGRATE, SAYS
Advertising doesn't know PR, and PR doesn't know advertising,
but their specialized resources need to be brought together,
according to Bruce Silverman, president/CEO of Interpublic's
Initiative Partners, the research division of the $11 billion
media buying giant, Initiative Media.
Silverman presented his view through "the media crystal
ball" Dec. 7 at RF Binder's offices, New York.
"You can't think about advertising,
PR and marketing in separate buckets anymore," he said.
In the coming years "some products will have to be
pitched in different ways to different people, [and] the
consumer expects an integrated experience." Silverman
added that large ad/PR agencies could be at a disadvantage
with such integration because it is harder for them to adapt
to changes rapidly.
vs. Quantity of Data
Silverman's views on the convergence of PR, advertising
and marketing suggest a future shift toward more qualitative
data when designing and measuring the impact of campaigns,
RF Binder's chief marketing officer, George Drucker, told
this NL. "We're going to have to see a significant
change in the measurement model companies are using,"
he said. "The emphasis will be on quality, more so
than quantity and mass, to focus on the individual in a
more personalized pitch.
"It is also essentially what PR has been doing for
the last 50 years," Drucker said.
CONNORS STAFFERS FORM FIRM
Twenty-one former West Coast employees of Connors Communications,
New York, have started their own firm by purchasing the
assets and assuming the responsibility for salaries, lease
obligations and other costs of offices in San Francisco
and Santa Monica, Calif.
Connie Connors, president and CEO of CC, said the new
firm, Allison & Partners, becomes an affiliate of CC
and that clients remain as the firm transitions.
Scott Allison, who was general manager of the S.F. office
of CC, said the firm will continue to do high-tech PR but
will diversify. An entertainment practice has been started
and projects have been received from The Disney Channel
and Sony Pictures.
Connors, whose firm has 35 employees in New York, said
it is doing well in technology and will continue to specialize
New clients include Cablevision and The Wall Street Journal
Charles Schueler, senior VP, media and community relations,
Cablevision, said the company went through "a rigorous
search process" in picking CC for "strategic counsel
and media relations" for several digital business units
including Optimum Online.
Steven Goldstein, VP, corp. comms., Dow Jones & Co.,
said, "Connors has a long and successful history of
working with media companies, both off and on-line and they
clearly understand our business objectives."
Edition, January 2, 2002, Page 8
hotly disputed proposal of the American Institute of CPAs
to establish a "global credential" for CPAs
and "other professionals" (page two), brings to
mind the four-year-old program of "Universal APR"
of PRSA and others.
Like the proposed "International
Interdisciplinary Strategic Business Professional,"
UAPR was supposed to win support from around the globe.
But, after four years,
not a single one of the 80 or so foreign PR groups has chosen
to take part in the PRSA-led effort. In fact, PR groups
in Canada and five other countries set up a "Global
Alliance" in 2000to recognize each other's accrediting
programs. Only eight U.S. PR groups opted to take part in
A chief argument against
the proposed IISBP designation is that there can be no such
thing as a "global professional business credential."
This same argument was used against universal APR.
PRSA is selling a 38-year-old
test that less than 2% of the PRSA eligibles take each time
it's given. Anyone taking the test who is not in PRSA must
pay PRSA $225 yearly in order to keep the APR designation
(after paying $385 to take the test).
It's no wonder that only
50 (.06%) of the nearly 8,000 members of the eight other
participating groups in UAPR took the exam in 2000.
The Universal Accreditation
Board is trying to raise $300,000 to revamp the test, focusing
on 12 "work categories" such as account planning,
project planning, strategic planning, press conference management,
etc., that are common to all areas of PR practice.
Associations such as
AICPA, PRSA and NIRI are expanding their "professional
development" activities as a way of building revenues
They are positioning
themselves as a form of graduate school for their members,
who are being cajoled into taking courses and passing exams
lest they fall behind their peers. One result is two classes
of members, one being better than the other.
In looking at some of
these PD offerings, we wonder if terms such as "specious"
and "sophistry" might apply to them.
For instance, the AICPA-supported
initiative would determine if applicants can "integrate
knowledge from multiple business disciplines and apply this
knowledge to provide strategic business insight." We
wonder if such an ability exists in the first place, and
in the second, whether it can be measured on a written exam?
NIRI's PD program is in the same vein. It recommends
no less than 23 areas of study in investor relations. It
has seminars, conferences and "executive education
programs" to help members pursue such topics as economics,
accounting, financial analysis, securities regulation, and
how global markets work. Academics spend a lifetime trying
to get a handle on even one of the above but NIRI members
are urged to study them all.
this pursuit has any relation to what PR and IR pros are
actually supposed to do is a question that can be
raised. PRSA has emphasized course study at a time when
PR's role as "corporate conscience" has all but
evaporated. NIRI members are up to their ears in seminars
and books while the nation's earnings reports have turned
into a "house of Babel" that has drawn media and
significant document "outed" in 2001 was the one-page
memo on press relations by Polk Laffoon IV, VP-corporate
relations, Knight-Ridder, (32 dailies with 8.5 million readers).
He captured three main
themes of modern corporate PR: (1) saying nothing often
makes "good sense"; (2) if you decide to talk,
do a full court press- "muster whatever facts and figures
can refute or blunt" any angle or "agenda"
that the reporter may have; (3) keep in mind that K-R is
"under no obligation to tell a reporter about our internal
business-remember that what is our business is just that."
This is exactly what
we run into in covering many stories. Subjects respond with
either a barrage of materials or clam up. The latter course
is taken if the subject feels it has no reasonable rebuttal
to the story angle (i.e., our recent stories on BellSouth
and its misleading Q3 earnings report; NIRI and its refusal
to make its directory available to reporters; Pfizer and
the charge by a doctor that about half of those on Lipitor
quit within a year or two because of the many side effects
third part of Laffoon's advice is most ironic in that it
comes from a newspaper chain, and a publicly held
one at that, whose thousands of reporters depend on story
subjects to give them opinions and facts, help them with
their stories, etc. Suppose they were all told "It's
none of your business what I think...my business is just
K-R was in the news because it had cut 2,100 staffers or
9.5% of the total in 2001 to boost profits. Its operating
profit margin, according to a June 18 Wall Street Journal
story, is 20%, far above the margins achieved by many of
its advertisers, who gripe about increases in ad rates in
spite of declining circulation. Wall Street loves the profit-conscious
policies of K-R, boosting its stock to an all-time high
of $64 (vs. $20 in 1995). The Laffoon name has been in the
news lately. Coley Laffoon, son of Polk, was married last
September to actress Anne Heche.