Edition, June 5, 2002, Page 1
L.A. ARCHDIOCESE TURNS TO
SITRICK & CO.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese
of Los Angeles has hired Sitrick & Co. for PR because
"it was not doing so well in the press," according
to its newly hired attorney Michael Hennigan, who worked
with that firm on the Orange County backruptcy case.
Weber Shandwick had been
advising Cardinal Roger Mahony. More than 30 priests are
under investigation for alleged sexual misconduct with minors.
Sitrick has met a couple
of times with Mahony to "determine the facts."
His goal is to try to get perceptions of the Church to match
S&C has handled Enron,
Global Crossing, comedian Paula Poundstone after her child
endangerment case and actress Halle Berry following her
traffic accident. Sitrick is co-author of "Spin: How
to Turn the Power of the Press to Your Advantage."
QORVIS DOES PR FOR LEVY FAMILY
Qorvis Communications founding partner Judy Smith handled
media for Robert and Susan Levy, and dealt with the flood
of media calls in the aftermath of the discovery of the
body of their daughter, Chandra, in a remote section of
Washington, D.C.'s Rock Creek Park.
"The focus now is to help the family get its arms
around their grief and on the continued investigation,"
Smith said. Jonathan Arden, D.C.'s medical examiner, ruled
May 28 that the death of the missing Congressional intern
was a homicide. The Levy family held a memorial service
for Rep. Gary Condit's former intern last week.
Family attorney Billy Martin also does press for the Levys,
Smith told this NL. Martin is the Dyer Ellis & Joseph
lawyer who is responsible for hiring Qorvis, which is 15
percent owned by rival Patton Boggs, for overall media strategy.
Smith also did PR for Monica Lewinsky, following the Bill
Clinton sex scandal, and the Marion Berry cocaine case.
the former CEO of Henry J. Kaufman and partner at Earle
Palmer Brown, is now at Burson-Marsteller's Direct Impact
unit. Carberry is senior VP at DI, which is involved in
"third-party ally recruitment," grassroots media
campaigns, database management, list development and "high-end"
telephone outreach. The Business Roundtable, American Assn.
of Health Plans, U.S. Treasury and Wyeth are clients.
EDELMAN, B-M VIE FOR 9/11
Edelman PR Worldwide and WPP's Burson-Marsteller are finalists
for the $2 million account to revitalize downtown Manhattan.
The New York City Economic Development Corp. sent RFPs to
75 firms. The job is to provide information to businesses,
employees and residents of the area affected by the World
Trade Center terror attacks. The Corp. cited "experience
in the community" as one of the criterion in the selection
process. That led some bidders to believe the Corp. would
have favored a small or mid-sized downtown firm to handle
the business, rather than a multinational PR firm.
Congress, according to the lead story in the May 27 Crain's
New York Business, is probing whether small businesses
are getting "short shrift" when it comes to getting
9/11 disaster funds.
MERRILL LYNCH DOWNGRADES
Merrill Lynch has cut Omnicom from "strong buy"
to "buy," citing the $1.75 billion in convertible
bonds it issued that could dilute the stock; the issuance
of a "staggering" total of 5.7 million shares
for new stock options for employees (on top of 19 million
already out) and failure of OMC to identify its acquisitions.
The May 30 downgrading took about $3 off OMC's price.
The stock gained back a small part of this.
OMC purchased 39 companies in 2001 for $844 million after
spending $849M in 2000 on acquisitions and $748M in 1999.
It will not supply a list of these acquisitions, which
have been accounting for more than half of its recent revenue
growth (52% of 2001's growth and 60% of the growth in the
first quarter of 2002).
The ML analyst team, headed by first VP Lauren Fine and
VP Eve Glatt, was only able to track down about 20 of the
"Investors are constantly asking for the names of
those acquisitions," said the ML report.
Now Big Wall St. Value
Some analysts and brokers said that in this "post-Enron"
era, "transparency is a supreme value and companies
that don't provide it will be punished in the marketplace.
ML was just hit with a $100 million fine for being too
sanguine about stock issues and this may be a factor in
its "no-holds-barred" assessment of OMC.
ML does not expect OMC to return to its peak 35-45% premium
to the general market that it en-
(continued on page 7)
Edition, June 5, 2002, Page 2
BEERS GOES 'VIRTUAL REALITY'
The State Dept.'s propaganda
unit expects to develop a prototype for its "America
Room" within three months, undersecretary Charlotte
Beers said during a speech at the Center for Strategic and
International Studies in Washington, D.C.
Her goal is to present
a "virtual reality" of U.S. as a way to pitch
America's moral values "especially in the Middle East
where we have such a limited or nonexistent dialogue,"
she said. Beers envisions banks of electronic equipment
that will allow visitors to "listen to someone recite
the Declaration of Independence or hear a beautiful piece
of music." She has people from the Smithsonian Institution
and Hollywood working on various visuals that will show
scenes such as life in a small town in America. The former
ad woman wants to show those images in libraries, shopping
malls and universities.
'Winning Hearts and Minds'
The propaganda czar warned
against using the term "winning the hearts and minds"
of foreigners to describe her mission. Beers has a "more
modest and substantive goal," which she described as
creating a dialogue or engaging in a "productive debate
that allows anger and frustration and disagreements, but
not hate-hate that's used to justify the killing of innocents."
Beers also lauded the
recently formed Council of American Muslims for Understanding.
According to Beers, CAMU will "educate both Americans
and people outside the U.S. about the many important achievements
of Muslims in America and throughout history."
who is executive VP, corporate communications at AOL Time
Warner, is getting a new job in the company, which has gotten
negative news coverage and watched its stock price drop
over the last year. Lerer will work with COO Robert Pittman,
who was recently assigned to fix several problems at the
AOL unit where subscription growth is slowing and ad revenues
DAN KLORES HANDLES CF's POST-
Dan Klores Communications, New York, is handling media
calls surrounding Cantor Fitzgerald's controversial new
ad campaign, which features CF employees talking about Sept.
11 in an attempt to drum up business at the firm and its
CF lost 658 employees in the attacks on the World Trade
Center last year and had been criticized for cutting benefits
to the families of those victims in the days following the
Sept. 11 attacks. CF has since pledged 25 percent of its
profits over the next five years to those families.
Julie Horn, an account supervisor at DKC, said the firm
has received "quite a bit" of media inquiries
and requests for broadcast footage of the ads, which debuted
last week on CNBC, Fox and CNN. She said that DKC promoted
the campaign's launch by arranging an exclusive article
on the ads in USA Today.
The nine TV ads, put together by Bartle Bogle Hegarty,
New York, to promote eSpeed and CF's new website, feature
CF employees talking about their experiences during and
after the attacks. CF showed the ads to some families of
victims in advance.
FITZ-PEGADO REPS CAYMAN ISLANDS
Lauri Fitz-Pegado, the former Hill and Knowlton staffer
who promoted the story about armed Iraqi troops tossing
Kuwaiti babies out of their incubators-one of the biggest
PR stories of the `90s- is now handling PR for the Cayman
Islands Cultural Center in New York.
H&K, on behalf of the Citizens for a Free Kuwait front
group of exiled royals, produced a 15-year-old girl "Nayirah"
who testified that she saw Iraqi troops committing the atrocity
in a Kuwaiti hospital. She testified before the Congressional
Human Rights caucus in Oct. 1990 that Iraqis took 15 babies
from incubators, which they then stole, and left premature
infants "on the cold floor to die." H&K made
a VNR with Nayirah that was shown on "NBC Nightly News."
The story also was pitched to the United Nations Security
Council to build global support for war with Iraq.
Fitz-Pegado provided media coaching skills to Nayirah,
who as it turned out, was the daughter of Kuwait's Ambassador
to the U.S.
Fitz-Pegado, who began her PR career at Bob Gray's Gray
& Co., now leads the Livingston/Moffett Global Consultants
team that wants business and political leaders to visit
the CI Center. The firm is working on a pro-bono basis,
a deal arranged by former Congressman Bob Livingston and
McKeeva Bush, CI's Leader of Government Business.
AL FLEISHMAN DIES AT 96
Alfred Fleishman, who along with the late Robert Hillard
founded Fleishman-Hillard in 1946, died May 28. He was 96.
Hillard died in 2000.
Fleishman was a chief deputy circuit clerk for the city
of St. Louis when he developed a friendship with St.
Louis Star-Times reporter Bob Hillard prior to World
After a stint as chief information officer for the Air
Force Rehabilitation Division during the war, Fleishman
later invited Hillard to partner with him in starting a
PR firm in three rented rooms above a Woolworth's Five and
Dime store in St. Louis.
The two built up the firm on clients which included the
city's largest companies, Anheuser-Busch, Emerson Electric
and May Department Stores.
Fleishman retired in 1975 and wrote a column entitled
"Common Sense Communications" for the St. Louis
Business Journal until recently and authored three books.
He was a long time member of the Assembly of the Jewish
Agency in Israel and was involved with various Jewish causes
and minority affairs.
Fleishman is survived by a sister, two nephews and a niece.
Edition, June 5, 2002, Page 3
NEW MAG TO COVER
POLITICS AND PA
daughter of Kenneth O'Donnell, who was an advisor to the
late President Kennedy, is planning to start a monthly magazine
called Common Good.
Globe said O'Donnell needs to raise about $25 million
for the New York-based magazine, which will focus on political
life and public affairs. The first issue may make its debut
late this year.
a former editor of the now-defunct New York Herald Tribune,
will be executive editor of the magazine, which bears a
resemblance to John Kennedy Jr.'s George magazine,
which went out of business.
has contracted with Rubenstein Assocs., New York, to help
promote the magazine with pre-launch parties with the media,
political groups, and citizens.
SRAEEL NAMED EDITOR
OF U.S. BANKER
Holly Sraeel was named editor-in-chief of U.S. Banker
and Bank Technology News, which are published in
New York by Thomson Media.
She will oversee the editorial expansion, repositioning
and redesign of both publications, which continue to be
published as independent titles.
NEUHAUS JOINS FOLIO AS EDITOR
Cable Neuhaus was named editor-in-chief of Folio: Magazine,
a monthly publication for the magazine industry, published
He was previously at Time Inc. for more than 20 years,
where he was People magazine's bureau chief in several
cities, and then general editor of Entertainment Weekly,
where he has written a weekly column and edited the magazine's
coverage of digital media for the past two years.
Neuhaus, who starts June 17, will also oversee Folio:
First Day, a twice-weekly newsletter, and four associated
regional and national Folio conferences.
AP NAMES CARROLL EXECUTIVE
Kathleen Carroll, 46, who is the Washington, D.C., bureau
chief of Knight Ridder, will rejoin The Associated Press
on July 15 as its executive editor.
A former reporter and editor in four AP bureaus, Carroll
will replace and report to Jonathan Wolman, who was appointed
a SVP of the AP in February.
Carroll is married to Steve Twomey, a reporter for The
TIME SHUTS MEXICO CITY BUREAU
Time Inc. has closed its Mexico City news bureau. Bureau
chief Peter Katel, who covered Latin America, was laid off
along with some 15 other staffers in the bureau.
Miami, Fla., bureau chief Tim Padgett, now covers Latin
America in addition to other stringers.
HEALTHCARE VNR AND SMT USAGE
DS Simon Productions reports 88% of the 75 stations who
responded to its recent nationwide survey said they use
healthcare video news releases, and 50% said they use healthcare
satellite media tours.
The respondents in the survey included producers, medical
reporters, and morning show bookers, said Doug Simon.
Of the stations polled, 82% of TV stations are using the
same or more medical VNRs than a year ago, and 71% of TV
stations are airing the same or more health-focused SMTs
than a year ago, according to Simon.
Healthcare VNRs are most likely to air on evening newscasts,
as 42% of stations responded that is when they typically
For SMTs, 55% of interviews air live, with 35% airing
on morning newscasts, and 30% airing on midday newscasts.
Thirty-five percent of the stations edit the interviews
for other news programs.
In terms of what stations look for in a medical story,
68% of stations said having doctors and patients together
is important, and 52% reported that patients are more important
While celebrities can be effective, 47% of stations said
celebrities are not important when deciding whether to cover
a medical story.
Sixty-five percent want a local angle to the story.
It was reported in the May 29 NL that Patrice Tanaka
& Co. had organized a May 2000 press trip to the Sandals
and Beaches Resort in Negril, Jamaica. The firm's involvement
began after Claudia Kirschhoch, an assistant editor for
Frommer's travel guides, was reported missing on May 28,
former editor of The Hollywood Reporter, is joining the
"Calendar" section of The Los Angeles Times.
Karyl Scott was
named executive editor of CMP Media's Optimize magazine,
a monthly aimed at business technology executives.
formerly national political correspondent, was promoted
to Washington, D.C., editor of The New York Times.
a "Metro" section columnist, was moved to the
paper's D.C. bureau, and Charles
LeDuff, a reporter, was transferred to the Los Angeles
85, who was editor of Harper's Bazaar from 1958 to
1972, died May 25.
managing editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
will become editor on July 1, replacing Ron
Martin, who moves into a senior editor position at
Cox Enterprises, which owns the AJC. John
Walter, executive editor, is leaving the paper.
news continued on next page)
Edition, June 5, 2002, Page 4
'YOUTH FRIENDLY' NEWSPAPERS
An MTV Networks survey of 570 people ages 14 to 24 found
the stories important to young readers to be, in order,
about music, local news, current events, international news,
national news and politics.
Newspapers have a far different emphasis, according to
those polled, with politics of greatest importance, and
news about young people and music at the bottom of the list.
When young people do read a newspaper, they prefer a local
one, perceiving it as less biased toward their generation
and more understandable.
Betsy Franks, EVP for research and planning at MTV Networks,
a Viacom company that includes the youth-oriented cable
channel MTV, said teenagers and young adults should not
be seen as uninterested in the world.
Franks said newspapers can take steps to attract younger
readers by making papers more "youth friendly,"
eliminate what they perceive as bias, add more color &
pictures and more entertainment news.
Newspapers should "minimize the old, white dudes
on the front page," respondents said.
She also said papers need to overhaul their Internet sites.
Internet-savvy youngsters complain that newspaper sites
present everything at "the same visual volume."
Fifty-seven percent of those surveyed say newspapers are
important, but only 38 percent say they often read one.
Asked where they get most of their news, respondents picked
broadcast and cable TV.
GIVE TV PRODUCERS 'LEAD TIME.'
When pitching TV producers for an interview, it is important
to provide enough lead time, says Adam Bello, head of A.B.
"Lead time can be viewed as good manners in media
relations, demonstrating courtesy when courting TV producers,"
says Bello, who writes a column for eReleases.com.
"Notifying a local talk show a month before your
event, followed by a handful of telephone calls will be
an appreciated interaction," advises Bello.
Since coverage and format varies, Bello said determining
lead time for an interview is ultimately a judgment call,
aided by research on producer preferences.
"Assuming your proposal has merit, daily programs
featuring several guests may require weeks or months to
schedule," he said. "Producers of weekly news
magazines and special interest shows may set the season's
editorial calendar during the preceding summer, requiring
publicists to propose profile interviews at that time,"
"On the other hand, local news producers may need
roughly a week's notice, as decisions for coverage of events
and happenings is generally not made until that on-air date,"
former PR manager for PRSA, who is working for the LVM Group,
a New York-based PR firm headed by David Grant, is editor
of The LVM Letter, the firm's quarterly publication.
She also writes a restaurant review column, called "Out
To Lunch." Her comments and ratings are based on input
provided by staffers and friends who frequent the eateries.
She gave a favorable review ("six forks") to
Ulrika's, a Swedish restaurant located at 115 E. 60th st.,
in the Summer number.
"Six upright forks means all LVMers give the restaurant
a favorable review," said Peltier, who can be reached
at 212/751-2800; [email protected].
The New York Sun's
feature editor, Ellen Umansky, is looking for offbeat
leisure-oriented information and stories to fill the style,
travel, and health and fitness pages.
The Sun publishes health and fitness features on
Mondays; while Wednesdays are food and drink; Thursdays
are for style, and travel is featured in the Friday edition.
Umansky is especially interested in trend stories for
the health page, and pieces on travel destinations which
are within easy reach of New York are more likely to get
her attention than foreign ones.
There is also room for news about new store openings;
profiles on unusual New Yorkers with something specific
to say about the city, and trends that say something larger
about the culture.
She prefers to be pitched by e-mail. Her address is [email protected].
San Diego Soccer
Development Corp., which does business as Soccer
Development of America, will publish the first issue of
90:00 Minutes Soccer Magazine on June 1 to coincide with
the 2002 World Cup.
The magazine will be published by LiveWire Corporate Communications,
a custom publisher in Anaheim, Calif.
Bill Hodson, editor of 90:00 Minutes Soccer, can be reached
"B. Smith With
Style," a nationally syndicated, weekly half-hour
TV show hosted by Barbara Smith, will return for a sixth
season this fall.
The lifestyle program is slated to go on-location to Canada
for the first time, as well as 10 other North American cities.
Smith, who owns restaurants in New York, Washington, D.C.,
and Sag Harbor, N.Y., likes to hobnob with celebrities,
important designers, artists and chefs.
Dan Gasby is executive producer of the show, which is
distributed by Hearst Entertainment to stations in more
than 200 markets representing 90% of the U.S.
Edition, June 5, 2002, Page 7
(continued from page one)
the late 1990s.
growth" in advertising that took place in the late
1990's appears to be over, says ML, adding that there might
not be enough new business to feed "behemoths"
of the share price of OMC, said ML, came from the "froth"
of OMC's Internet stakes, which has dissipated.
addresses some of the "noise" around OMC caused
by its convertible issues, incentive plan and acquisitions.
the convertible issues ($850M in February of 2001 and $900M
in March 2002) are "beneficial to shareholders."
"reduce/delay cash interest payments, lower the overall
cost of financing in part due to tax benefits, and essentially
should be viewed as the issuance of equity (upon conversion)
at a price which is considerably higher than the current
stock price (theoretically over $200 a share)."
liquid yield option notes (LYONS) are a complicated form
of debt instrument that was created by ML.
are concerned that conversion would dilute the stock. If
all are converted, the total outstanding would rise by about
15.9 million shares to 203.7 million. The LYONS give owners
the right to convert them to shares worth $110.
"shouldn't worry as the appreciation on the stock would
have to be quite dramatic to make the security dilutive,"
numerous other aspects of the LYONs, a number of which are
explained in the ML report.
OMC's current debt is a record $2.9 billion.
Plan "Woos Young New Crew"
OMC is undergoing
many changes in management in a short period of time and
has issued 5.7 million shares in options and restricted
stock "to woo this new young crew and keep them interested
for the next six years," says ML. About 600 employees
would be eligible.
of 7.7M shares could be issued including up to 1.2M in "restricted"
stock (stock transferred regardless of its price).
were mostly issued in early October when the entire market
including OMC took a dive after 9/11. Average exercise price
is $66.84, says ML, adding it agrees the new managers need
incentives, "but the amount of shares issued seems
staggering to us, all at once." Options to buy 19.2
million shares remain outstanding. Another 2.2M in unvested
restricted shares are also outstanding.
boosted its base remuneration to outside directors from
$24,000 a year to $60,000, a jump of 150%. The company,
under pressure from Wall Street, switched to more outside
directors this year, dropping several OMC employees and
adding one new outside director, Robert C. Clark, 58, dean
of the Harvard Law School. The board now has 11 directors,
nine of them non-employees.
also get 250 shares after each annual meeting (worth about
$22,000 currently); $2,000 for attending a meeting; $1,000
for attending by phone, and $2,000 for attending a special
meeting by phone.
could top $100K, which would be well above the median director
pay of $66,018 for service companies in the $5-$9.9 billion
revenue range, according to a survey of 2001 director pay
scales by The Conference Board.
say that if pay to "independent" directors reaches
a certain level, stockholders can ask whether the directors
have become de facto employees, beholden to management.
U.S. BRANDS BOYCOTTED IN
Famous U.S. brands such as McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola
and Burger King are being boycotted by citizens of Saudi
Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and other Middle East countries to
protest U.S. policies in that area.
Walter Riker, assistant VP of media relations of McDonald's,
said the company is stressing the local ownership of its
restaurants in the Middle East.
They are locally owned and staffed and buy their supplies
from regional suppliers, he told this NL.
Graham Fuller, a consultant who went to a number of Middle
East countries for the U.S. State Dept., reported there
is a virtual boycott of U.S. fast food outlets in that area
of the world. "The places are empty," he said.
Fuller, formerly vice chairman, National Intelligence
Council of the CIA, said Americans have no idea of how the
Israel/Palestine conflict is playing in the Middle East
and urged Americans to use the Internet to access such media
He gave his findings to the U.S. Advisory Commission on
Public Diplomacy at its monthly meeting in Washington, D.C.,
He said Americans can't get "a full sense of the
realities in the Middle East from our media" and added,
"This is the greatest isolation by our media that I
have ever seen."
Middle East media stress the violence being experienced
by the Palestinians, he noted, re-running images of dead
children and destroyed buildings.
Has Many Outlets
McDonald's has 45 restaurants in Saudi Arabia, six in
Bahrain, and two in Egypt. It has more than 80 in Israel
"Yasser Arafat Potato Chips" are being sold
in Egypt in what the Associated Press called "the latest
display of intense anti-Israel sentiments." The bag
is green, red, black and white and has a picture of Arafat
with his checkered headdress.
Zamzam-Cola from Iran is being sold in Bahrain in place
of Coca-Cola. It takes its name from a spring in the Saudi
holy city of Mecca. There are also reports that U.S. prescription
drugs are being boycotted.
Edition, June 5, 2002, Page 8
Merrill Lynch has taken
Omnicom out to the woodshed and
given it a few whacks (page 1).
like many analysts, brokers, investors and reporters, is
fed up with the non-communicating ways of this "communications"
OMC refused to supply a list of its 39 acquisitions in 2001,
ML went out and scoured trade publications and others sources
(foraging among the 1,500 entities that make up OMC) in
order to find about 20 of the purchases.
execs, meanwhile, are sitting there with the complete list
in front of them including the amount of stock and cash
paid for each.
Oddly, Interpublic, which
is about the same size as OMC, reveals the financial details
of all its recent 200+ acquisitions in SEC filings. It just
won t provide the names of them. This is an indication of
how arbitrary SEC rules can be.
know what happens to some ad agency PR acquisitions. The
principals soon depart when the units can no longer afford
their salaries. The burnt-out husks are then discarded or
folded into something else. A new round of acquisitions
ML researchers have better things to do with their
time than chase after information
that is readily available and should be public. Out of simple
politeness, the OMC leaders should provide the data and
save everyone a lot of time and work. PR includes being
polite to outsiders. As is well known, the OMC brass has
no use for PR for itself (although it owns firms handling
$709 million in PR fees).
After all this unnecessary work (which failed to find about
half the acquisitions), ML analysts led by Lauren Fine undoubtedly
were in no great mood when it came to write up the stock.
In the background is the fact that ML has just paid a $100
million fine for being too upbeat about stocks. Its analysts
are not now about to pull punches.
OMC was called to task not
only for hiding most
of its acquisitions but for setting aside a "staggering"
amount of stock (5.73 million shares) for about 600 favored
staffers among its 57,000 employees.
of the options were issued right after 9/11 when OMC stock
sank from the high $80 s. The weighted average exercise
price is $66.84 (about $20 below the current price).
also notes that OMC is paying certain retirees up to half
of their annual salaries for up to ten years for consulting
and promising not to compete. The execs also get a share
of the profits.
addresses investor concern over the $1.75 billion in convertible
bonds that OMC has issued since February of 2001, bringing
short and longterm debt to a hefty $2.9 billion. The investors
are worried that these bonds will be converted to stock,
diluting earnings per share. If all are turned into stock,
the total outstanding would jump from 187 million shares
to 203M (+15.9M).
These zero-coupon bonds
(liquid yield option notes or LYONS), are an almost bizarre
creation of ML itself.
OMC doesn t have to pay investors interest on them but investors
have to pay taxes on the imputed or "phantom"
interest. Buyers are hoping that OMC s stock will rise above
$110. But the holders can force OMC to pay back the cash,
which could put OMC in a bind if other cash sources dry
up. The bonds can also be converted to stock if OMC s longterm
debt ratings slip significantly.
The departure of Linda
Burnett as chief administrative officer of PRSA in
less than a year is a signal for a blue ribbon committee
to take a look at h.q. Several board members should work
there to find out what s going on.
a career association administrator, worked under COO Catherine
Bolton, who headed a one-person PR unit at the Int l Copper
Assn. before joining PRSA as chief PR officer in 2000. She
then became PRSA president when Ray Gaulke departed but
lost the title when it was taken over by Joann Killeen.
Burnett was hired because someone with experience was needed
to handle the 48-person staff and $9 million budget.
An analysis of the staff
shows why PRSA does not exercise
leadership in a field that urgently needs it.
There is only one person in PR and one person on the PRSA
website. But there are 15 in "administration"
plus four in the executive suite; five in finance; seven
in publications and creative (Tactics and Strategist
lose about $1 million a year); three in the money-losing
PR Student Society of America (almost no PRSSA members ever
join PRSA), and five serving the sections. One person works
fulltime on APR, which attracts a few hundred applicants
other words, PRSA is a series of bureaucratic warrens and
pigeonholes. The staff has lavished on itself $1
million in computer equipment. But no amount of computers
will produce leadership speeches. Incoming president Reed
Byrum will face the same rigid setup as Killeen. The latest
victim of h.q. mindset is the PRSA website. It promises
"audited financials" but none are there; news
like the departure of Burnett is not carried; there is no
easy way for members to contact their representatives in
the Assembly; there is no Yahoo!-like bulletin board where
members can express opinions; many of the items on the site
offer products for sale or seminars to attend; the site
won t provide its WebTrends report showing unique visitors,
hits, etc.; the most valuable part of the site, the listings
of past Silver Anvil winners, is hard to find.
-- Jack O'Dwyer