Edition, February 26, 2003, Page 1
HOME DEPOT LOOKS FOR PR DUO
Home Depot plans to hire
a firm for corporate PR and a marketing communications agency
by mid-March, David Sandor, director of PR, told this NL.
He heard pitches from five shops last week. They will augment
the work of various regional PR firms used by the Atlanta-based
retailer, said Sandor, a founding member of Interpublic's
Powell Tate unit.
He declined to name the
shops pitching the business.
Jerry Swerling, a Los
Angeles-based management consultant handling the search,
said the budget for the work is "very substantial."
The review began a couple of months ago with nine PR firms.
HD's PR roster has included
Edelman PR Worldwide, Fleishman-Hillard, Ketchum, The MWW
Group, Schenkein and GCI Group. The company earned $3B on
$45B in sales during its latest nine-month period.
COMCAST TIES UP MICROSOFT'S
Microsoft's Kerry Knott will become VP-federal affairs
at Comcast Corp., the nation's biggest cable company, on
At Microsoft, Knott was responsible for broadband, intellectual
property rights, immigration and privacy issues. He also
managed the software giant's political action committee,
and handled outreach to think tanks. Prior to Microsoft,
Knott was chief of staff to former House Majority Leader
Comcast has 21.4 million subscribers following the completion
of ATT Broadband acquisition in November. It also has ownership
stakes in QVC, E! Entertainment Television, The Golf Channel
KLORES DEFENDS SPEARS
Britney Spears is relying on New York counselor Dan Klores
to shoot down a report in Star magazine that she
snorted coke at a Miami nightclub, and asked a friend to
check her nose before going back to a VIP lounge. Star
bills itself as the magazine with "behind-the scenes"
celebrity news and the "dishiest gossip."
"The only one who's guilty of doing cocaine has to
be the source of this story," Klores told New York
News gossip columnists George Rush and Joanna Molloy.
Spears wants a retraction from Star, and is huddling
The magazine stands by its story. Klores, via a spokesperson,
said he has nothing to add about the Spears matter when
contacted by this NL.
RF GOES TO THE HOMELAND'S
Ruder Finn designed the Dept. of Homeland Security's www.ready.gov
website and brochure that provides tips on how to prepare
against a biological, radiation or nuclear attack, Scott
Schneider, director of the firm's interactive group, told
"We worked with the Ad Council on its Smokey the Bear
campaign," and AC staffers recommended us for the Homeland
Security work," said Schneider.
The AC hopes to line up $50 million in space for the "Get
Ready Now" ad spots.
Schneider said RF also has worked for the Sloan Foundation,
which contributed $1.5 million to fund the campaign. The
RF exec had spoken from Cincinnati, where he was attending
Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge's press conference
kicking off the public service drive last week.
Schneider said RF's goal was to compile information for
the campaign that was as "clear and accurate"as
possible and could be easily understood by all Americans.
Weber Shandwick's Powell Tate also is promoting the ad campaign.
Sister Interpublic shop, The Martin Agency, produced the
ZACKS ZAPS IPG's STOCK
Zacks Investment Research
has placed Interpublic on its ''stocks to sell now"
list because it says the slump in advertising has been a
hard pill for the ad/PR conglomerate to swallow.
notes that IPG's earnings estimates for this year and next
have been lowered during the past three months, and that
its shares traded at a 10-year low earlier this month.
"These have been
tough times for the world's second-largest advertising group,
but it should see much better days in a more cooperative
environment," says Zacks.
Alcoa joins IPG on the
"stocks to sell list." Since 1980, members of
the list have underperformed the SP 500 index by 89.8 percent,
Interpublic would only
fetch about ten cents on the dollar of its long-term assets
if it were to go bankrupt, says Deutsche Bank Securities.
Goodwill of $3.3B (74% of assets) would be worth "zero."
But it says banks remain
"optimistic" about IPG (assuming it sells NFO
on page 7)
Edition, February 26, 2003, Page 2
PT PUSHES FOR AIRLINE LABOR
Powell Tate has been retained by an airline industry-backed
group to help end lengthy labor negotiations by establishing
legislation in a national push to reform existing legislation
in favor of arbitration hearings.
Communities for Economic Strength Through Aviation was
assembled last year with primary backing from the Air Transport
Association, the beleaguered industry's main trade group.
CESTA is in the midst of a national media blitz calling
for the reform of The Railway Labor Act of 1926, which originally
set up railroad workers' right to unionize and has come
to apply to the airline industry. That law paves the way
for cooling-off periods and what the group says is a drawn-out
process that favors labor and costs the airlines millions.
CESTA, which bills itself as "broad-based and non-partisan"
group, says it is calling on Congress to modernize that
act and find a way to resolve contract disputes "fairly
quickly and amicably," without slowdowns or strikes.
It has not formally backed any legislation but advocates
an arbitration system similar to one proposed by Sen. John
McCain (R-Ariz.) last year.
The group has tapped former New York Congresswoman and
former head of Ketchum's Washington Group unit Susan Molinari
to head the effort. Vin Weber and Vic Fazio, managing partners
at Omnicom'sClark & Weinstock, are also involved in
The AFL-CIO and the Air Line Pilots Assn. have blasted
ALPA has released a policy statement stating: "Led
by American, FedEx and Delta, the industry has mounted a
campaign to enact legislation that would impose 'baseball
style' arbitration in airline negotiations, thereby replacing
a delicately balanced labor law system with one that tilts
heavily in management's favor."
FOGELMAN-BEYER EXITS H&K
Alisa Fogelman-Beyer has stepped down as head of Hill &
Knowlton's Washington, D.C., office after a 10-month stint.
At 36, she was the youngest executive to lead the D.C. office,
when she succeeded acting head Tom Hoog last April.
Fogelman-Beyer had sold her ProMarc Agency to H&K the
previous April. She was named head of H&K's corporate
and technology group. Fogelman-Beyer is packing it in at
H&K so she can spend more time with her family.
That family theme ran through a glowing feature of another
former H&K D.C. head, Torie Clarke, in a New York
Post piece earlier this month.
Clarke is now Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's spokesperson.
The 43-year-old "striking six-foot blonde" juggles
her job with being a mom of three," wrote Deborah Orin.
Another Clark (Paul) has been named acting manager of H&K/D.C.
TERRORISTS, GOV'T USE MEDIA
The 24/7 media are allowing terrorists achieve their goals,
Hafez Al Mirazi, bureau chief of the Al-Jazeera satellite
TV network, told the National Press Club on Feb. 12. The
media spotlight also helps governments attain their goals,
he added. "The [U.S.] Government is not giving or volunteering
information from the Pentagon just for the sake of it,"
he said. The purpose is to intimidate Iraq, said the journalist
at the PRSA International Committee event.
Al Mirazi noted how terrorists tap into whatever is perceived
as breaking news and then play on it. "If CNN or Fox
or others are not going to have breaking news flashing on
their screens if Palestinians are killed, but only if Israelis
are killed, then they [terrorists] will go out and kill
an Israeli," said Al Mirazi.
Al Mirazi said his network is careful not to be exploited
by its coverage of terrorists like Osama bin Laden. He noted
how Al-Jazeera edited out four minutes of a bin Laden tape
aired last November because it had instructions to his followers
to target specific U.S. installations. "This had no
place in what we put out," said Al Mirazi.
Jerrold Post, director of the Political Psychology Program
at George Washington University, stressed the symbiotic
relationship between terrorism and the media. "If a
terrorist act occurs, and it isn't reported, is it a terrorist
act?" asked Post.
Al Mirazi agreed with Post saying, "You are not terrorizing
the dead, you are terrorizing those who are living and witnessing
what's going on."
Post feels Osama bin Laden is a master of the media. He
attributes bin Laden's most recent tape release as a ploy
to take some of the focus from Saddam.
"The main thrust of the recent tape is to show that
he [bin Laden] is the baddest," said Post.
QORVIS GIVES GALLAGHER GROUP
The Gallagher Group has inked a $300K one-year pact to
provide Qorvis Communications public policy advice, assistance
in writing briefing papers and conduct meetings with Congressional
and White House staff members on behalf of Saudi Arabia.
Jamie Gallagher's firm was getting $10K a month under a
previous six-month agreement inked with Michael Petruzzello's
QC's $2.4M one-year pact with the Kingdom was signed on
Nov. 14, `01. A new pact is being finalized, said a Qorvis
Gallagher, 39, is a former senior policy analyst for the
Republican Study Group in the House. He served as director
of Congressional Affairs at the Defense Base Closure and
Realignment Commission (`91-93) and as legislative director
for Sen. Judd Gregg. Gallagher set up his firm in Jan. 2000,
leaving a VP post at Boland & Madigan. Petruzzello was
CEO of Shandwick International.
Both executives testified in December before Rep. Dan Burton's
Committee on Government Reform panel probing reports of
Saudi men kidnapping their children to the Kingdom.
Edition, February 26, 2003, Page 3
PAT SAJAK'S BOOKER
News Channel has signed Pat Sajak, the "Wheel
of Fortune" host, to lead a "celebrity- and newsmaker-driven
talk show" on Sundays, starting in the spring.
The new program,
dubbed "Pat Sajak Weekend," will air at 9 p.m.
on both coasts.
who is the talent booker, wants publicists to make their
clients available for interviews on the program.
format is one hour with one or two guests per show in a
one-on-one format providing your talent with a venue for
quality conversation," said Gorenstein, who is based
in New York at 1211 Avenue of the Americas, 17th floor.
He said taping
will be conducted out of the Fox studios in New York, Los
Angeles and Washington, D.C., "giving us an opportunity
to catch up with our guests wherever they may be."
can be provided as well as hair and make-up, said Gorenstein,
who also asked publicists to update their mailing lists
so he is "aware of your client's activities."
He can be
reached by phone at 212/301-5339; fax: 301-5250.
MOTOR TREND SHIFTS
TO LIVE BROADCASTS
Trend Radio has a new host, Bob Long, and a new call-in
audience participation format for the weekend automotive
which airs two hours on Saturdays and on Sundays on most
affiliates, is currently airing on 95 stations, with an
estimated cumulative audience of 750,000 each week.
Long is a
veteran of more than 20 years in the radio business, and
also served as national spokesperson for the Sears Diehard
Security Battery from 2000-02.
offers live interviews with Motor Trend magazine's
editors, automotive personalities, and car company representatives.
TECH WRITERS TO CO-PRODUCE
Walt Mossberg and
Kara Swisher, who are technology columnists for The
Wall Street Journal, are co-producing an executive conference
on the impact of digital technology, hosted by the newspaper.
The event, which is called "D: All Things Digital,"
will take place at the Four Seasons Aviara Resort, in Carlsbad,
Calif., on May 27-29. Early bird tickets are selling for
$2,495, rising to $2,995 after March 28. Attendance will
be limited to about 300.
The two columnists will conduct a day-long series of "unscripted
Wall Street Journal-style interviews" with technology
and Internet leaders, including Bill Gates, Microsoft; Steve
Jobs, Apple; Steve Case, AOL/Time Warner; Barry Diller,
USA Interactive and Vivendi Universal Entertainment; Meg
Whitman, eBay, and Terry Semel, Yahoo!
They also will present a technology demonstration, featuring
first looks at a handful of cutting edge digital products
"We're presenting the best people, leaders with real
information to impart, not a stock to tout," said Swisher,
who writes the Journal's "Boom Town" column.
The Journal is currently looking to sign up corporate
sponsors for the meeting. Initial sponsors are Adobe, Kyocera
and Hewlett-Packard. Gabrielle Shamsey is handling sponsorship
inquiries at 212/ 597-6126.
Details about the conference are available at phone: 866/416-DWSJ.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch
is starting a new "quirky, gossipy personality-driven"
column in April, according to Kathy Best, assistant managing
editor for metro news.
49, a P-D reporter with 25 years' experience, will author
the column, which will appear on Tuesdays, Thursdays and
Fridays each week on page 2 of the "Metro" section.
Peterson's column will focus on local people, society,
entertainment, and gossip.
will make its debut as a new alternative monthly
magazine in Cleveland on March 3.
who wrote for the now-defunct Cleveland Free Times,
is editor and publisher.
The FT was closed down three months ago by its New York-based
parent company, Village Voice Media, after a deal was made
with the Phoenix-based New Times to discontinue operations
in Cleveland if NT closed its Los Angeles paper.
is a new bimonthly magazine for private pilots. It
will target the luxury lifestyle market, which includes
those who take an average of 35 to 40 general aviation trips
per year, lasting more than five days.
Sean Fulton, editor of the magazine, said it will focus
on products and services that make general aviation travel
enjoyable. Target circulation will be 100,000 paid and qualified
Fulton can be reached at the magazine's editorial offices
located at 14 Vanderventer ave., Port Washington, NY 11050.
516/767-3325 ext. 203.
Caroline Wilbert was
recently assigned to cover the local media beat at
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Besides her reports for the newspaper, she also handles
the daily "CNN Insider" on J-C's website.
Wilbert had been covering technology companies, the hospitality
industry and the Georgia economy.
She can be reached at 404/526-5332.
Tom Scowden has joined
CNN's "Larry King Live" as senior producer.
news continued on next page)
Edition, February 26, 2003, Page 4
AJC REFUSES TO CUT COVERAGE
who is the ombudsman for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
said the paper will continue its "aggressive coverage"
of the Augusta National Golf Club's refusal to admit women
"As long as the protests are planned, as long as the
issue continues to show up in other arenas-on Capitol Hill
or in the business community, or in the talk among players
on the PGA tour this spring- we'll cover it," said
King was responding to an op-ed piece by Jim McCarthy,
a media consultant to ANGC, who accused the paper of overkill
and for using its news columns to conduct a campaign to
get the club to change its rules (NL, 2/19/3).
"It is a frequent question-when does reporting on
a controversial issue cease to be real news and cross the
line into creating news or becoming advocacy? Not surprisingly,
the question almost always comes from those at the center
of the controversy." said King.
"We should never let public opinion be the sole barometer
for deciding what is news and what isn't," said King,
who believes the story is far from over.
TIGHT-LIPPED CEO 'DODGES
Bill Wrigley Jr.,
who is CEO of Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., won't talk to Fortune.
Staff writer Julia Boorstin said the 39-year-old CEO has
rejected interview requests because, "as his PR rep
insists, he's too busy tending his three young children
and running the chewing-gum enterprise his great-grandfather
One thing is clear, he "isn't dodging the press because
he's floundering in his job," said Boorstin, who points
out the company's stock has risen 18% since his ascent to
CEO in March, 1999.
SHIFT WILL CEASE PUBLICATION
a ten-year-old Canadian magazine, is suspending publication
after the March 2003 issue. It had targeted the twentysomething
demographic with coverage of technology, youth culture and
Multi-Vision Publishing, which acquired the magazine out
of bankruptcy two years ago, cited "uncertainty"
in the economy, especially the technology ad sector, as
the reason for the shut down.
Neil Morton, editor-in-chief, said his staff was shocked
by the announcement.
HOLLYWOOD IS COMMUNICATIONS
Hollywood has replaced
New York as the "communications capital of the
world," according to Gail Becker, EVP/general manager
of the Los Angeles office of Edelman PR Worldwide.
"We live in a world where even Washington and London
are taking their policy cues from what they saw on `The
West Wing' last night," said Becker.
"Even one of our very own Washington policy influentials,
Mike Deaver, has just signed a deal for a major new series
with HBO," she said.
Deaver is Edelman's vice chairman-international and former
Reagan White House deputy chief of staff.
PUBLICITY CASE GOES ON TRIAL
Lawyers for Hello!,
a London-based celebrity magazine which was sued
by actors Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas for publishing
pictures of their wedding, say the couple forfeited any
right to privacy by actively seeking publicity for the event.
"The deliberate seeking of publicity destroys confidentiality
in respect of personal information for which publicity is
sought," the attorneys for Hello! argued in
defense papers released at the trial in London's High Court.
The couple is suing Hello! for printing unauthorized
photos three days before rival magazine OK! was able
to publish photos from the same event- and which it had
paid $1.6 million for the exclusive rights to.
The fact that OK!
also had permission to run the photos in syndication in
another 20 magazines supports their argument, the defense
The actors had signed an exclusive $1.65 million deal with
OK! to take the official wedding photos.
USN&WR TO SEGREGATE COVERAGE
U.S. News &
will divide the magazine into two parts if the U.S.
goes to war with Iraq to give advertisers an option to be
with non-war news.
Bill Holiber, publisher, told Media Industry Newsletter
that the front-of-the-book will be allocated to coverage
of the war. Then inside, USN&WR will print a second
cover and a second table of contents to showcase and separate
the "News You Can Use" and other non-war features.
AUTHOR SEEKS IDEAS FOR BOOK
Author Jennifer Caton
is seeking ideas and advice from executives and celebrities
on activities they do with their children that their children
love to do.
Caton will give recognition to submitters of ideas used
in the book, which will be targeted at busy parents to help
give them proven ideas on activities they can do with their
children to promote quality time.
She would like to get the information via e-mail at [email protected]
or by phone at 205/790-2358.
has stepped down as news director of WOIO-TV and
WUAB-TV in Cleveland to take a job at the Fox affiliate
in Las Vegas.
Paul Friedman, 57,
managing editor for news coverage at ABC-TV, in New
York, is giving up the job to become a part-time consultant
to the network.
Edition, February 26, 2003, Page 7
DEUTSCHE ANALYZES IPG DEBT
(Continued from page 1)
DBS, in a 12-page analysis
of IPG's debt dated Feb. 21, says banks continue to view
the debt as being of "investment grade" (not "junk").
Commenting on IPG's Feb.
10 announcement that it had successfully amended its two
main bank loan agreements totaling $875 million and had
received a new $500M interim line of credit, DBS noted the
banks did not seek collateral.
"We view this to
be a very telling and optimistic data point," said
DBS, adding: "We infer that the banks view IPG to be/remain
However, DBS feels that
selling NFO for $550M+ is vital to solving IPG's "liquidity
DBS did an analysis of
what would happen if IPG were to go bankrupt. It says the
net recovery rate on long-term assets would be about 10%.
Recovery rate on senior
unsecured debt of $2.02B could be between 17% and 22% (depending
on whether certain other liabilities have a claim).
Goodwill valued at $3.36
billion (74% of total long-term ssets) would be worth zero
because "the businesses are no longer a going concern."
"Other intangible assets" of $93M would have zero
An asset recovery of 15%
is estimated for land and buildings ($166M), furniture and
equipment ($1.13 billion) and leasehold improvements ($520M)
less accumulated depreciation for a total of $845M in fixed
assets. Recovery of $272M is estimated.
The "riskiest point
on the horizon" for IPG debtwise, DBS says, is the
$587M in zero bonds that investors could "put"
back to the company (demand their money) this December.
This would place "the entire IPG capital structure
at risk," says DBS.
OPTION EXERCISE DRAWS CRITICS
exercise of options on 23,800 shares of Omnicom by OMC CEO
John Wren and 25,000 shares by BBDO CEO Allen Rosenshine
have cost the company $2.5 million say critics.
exercised 23,800 options at $10.015 a share on Jan. 21 when
OMC stock was priced at $61.26.
Rosenshine exercised 25,000 options at the same price on
the same day.
two OMC executives thus paid $488,732 for stock that was
on the Yahoo! bulletin board said the option exercise had
cost OMC about $2.5 million at a time when it could ill
either had to go out in the open market and purchase 48,800
shares at $61.26 each or float additional shares, thus diluting
the value of all the shares.
cost of fulfilling options has attracted much attention
lately with some companies now deciding to treat them as
a corporate expense.
hard to determine the value of an option on the day that
it is given but not on the day that it is exercised. The
company granting the options must make up the difference
one way or another.
has options on at least 3.5 million shares of OMC. He was
given options on two million shares at $79.50 each in 2001.
owns outright 208,712 shares worth about $11.4 million at
the current price of around $55.
reached a high of $107 two years ago.
were outstanding options on 123,800 OMC shares at $10 as
of Dec. 31, 2001 but they were due to expire in one year.
The holders of the options are not identified. Options on
280,361 shares at an average price of $12.13 had a two-year
shelf life at that point.
options as of that date were 340,000 shares at $12.94 (three-year
life); 360,000 at $19.72 (four-year life) and 739,500 at
$24.28 (five-year life).
OMC options totaled 17,748,823 as of Dec. 31, 2001.
the end of 2001, there were 182.8 million OMC shares outstanding
and 190.2M counting options that could be exercised.
E-mails requesting comments on the option exercises were
sent to Wren; CFO Randall Weisenberger, and Pat Sloan, who
handles PR for OMC. Replies have not been received.
CORDIANT TO UNLOAD FINANCIAL
is expected to sell its Financial Dynamics, one of London's
top IR firms, to a management team led by CEO Charles Watson.
He was responsible for July's restructuring of Cor- diant's
IR units under the FD International brand.
That's when Morgen-Walke
Assocs. - which Cordiant acquired in the $420 million July
2000 pick-up of Lighthouse International - became known
as FD Morgen-Walke.
Cordiant, in April, took
a $224 million writeoff for Lighthouse. Cordiant's stock
trades in the $2 range.
C&W REVAMPS NYC BOARD
Clark & Weinstock
is part of a "team of corporate consultants and policy
wonks" that is "secretly overhauling" the
New York City Dept. of Education, according to the New
York Daily News. The Omnicom unit will receive a share
of the $4 million kitty comprised of private grants made
to revamp the 1.1 million pupil system under the "Children
C&W managing directors
Daniel Cruise and Ellen Moskowitz are consultants advising
Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, a veteran of the Justice
Cruise worked in the
Clinton White House as assistant press secretary for foreign
affairs and director of PA for the National Security Council.
He also served in the Commerce Dept. handling trade issues
concerning steel and genetically modified foods.
Moskowitz served as a
corporate lawyer for more than a decade. She also was a
press aide to Senator Lloyd Bentsen's and Geraldine Ferraro's
The News reports that
staffers at the Board of Ed fear the consultants will function
as a "hit squad,"deciding "who goes in a
cold-blooded reorganization."They expect more than
2,000 jobs will be axed as Klein and Mayor Michael Bloomberg
are "getting ready to spring it on out-of-the-loop
Edition, February 26, 2003, Page 8
option exercise by Omnicom's CEO John Wren (page 7) has
resulted in some grousing by OMC investors on the
Yahoo! bulletin board.
They say it looks bad
for him to be costing OMC $1.2 million when so many investors
have suffered in OMC's slide from $107 to the $50's and
the company is on credit watch.
There was an argument
on Yahoo! over whether the option exercise (referred to
as a "money grab") cost OMC any money.
Some investors thought
that OMC could just take some house stock bought at an earlier
time and fill the order that way, thus costing OMC nothing.
Figuring the cost of options
has been a hot topic in the media in recent months. But
that only refers to placing a value on options at the time
that they're given. Once they're exercised, there's no mystery
about the cost to the company.
OMC, presented with the
options by Wren, either had to buy the shares in the open
market at $61.26 so that Wren could exercise his options
at $10, or add 23,800 shares to the total outstanding. Either
way the cost was the same to OMC.
bad PR of this situation is that on June 13, 2002,
one day after the Wall Street Journal exposé
that dropped OMC from the $80's to the $60's, Wren, in a
grandstanding PR move to show confidence in the firm, purchased
20,000 shares at the full price of $55.10. These were bought
in the "non open market," from whom we don't know.
It could have been another OMC executive.
Why didn't he exercise
his $10 options at that point? Because it would have looked
bad. But six months later he's back in the market when nobody's
particularly paying attention exercising the $10 options
and costing OMC $1.2M. The average cost of his 43,800 additional
shares (he previously owned 208,712 outright) is around
$30. OMC executives hold options on 1.8 million other OMC
shares at prices of $24 and lower. If all were exercised
it would cost OMC $70M+. No comment could be obtained from
Wren or Patricia Sloan, PR aide.
New Yorkers complained they were blocked from the Feb. 15
rally against the invasion of Iraq that was held
on the East Side.
Police estimated the crowd
at 100,000 but organizers said it was closer to 500,000
and that many thousands were barred from reaching the rally
by police barricades.
The city had denied the
protesters a marching permit.
One theory is that GOP
Mayor Bloomberg wanted to keep the total of participants
as low as possible.
Hudson, founder of the Newsletter Assn. of America
(now the NL & Electronic Publishers Assn.), will be
90 on Feb. 27.
Also the founder in 1955
of PR Quarterly and Hudson's Washington News Media
Contacts, he still works at home in his office in Rhinebeck,
N.Y. He "does not feel 90" nor pay any attention
to his age. "Those are only numbers," he says.
He still belongs to PRSA , becoming a fellow this year.
Hudson once headed Ruder Finn's D.C. office.
have spoken to three groups of PR students in recent weeks-at
Columbia University, Florida International Univ. in Ft.
Lauderdale, and to students of Southern Methodist University
who visited our offices.
Our message was that students
should be prepared to start their own businesses because
of the high healthcare and other costs that employers are
facing (running close to 30% of salary and including $12,000+
HMO costs for married workers).
by taking courses and engaging in activities that give a
clear indication of interests such as financial, beauty/fashion,
travel, healthcare, sports, food, etc., we advised.
We also advised joining
local business, social, charitable, political and religious
groups, perhaps as publicity chairs, as a means of broadening
contacts, particularly with CEOs and their spouses.
About 90% of the students
are starting 80% of new firms, says Grow Yourself Rich,
quoting the Dept. of Commerce. Author Jay North ([email protected])
says women often don't realize they have to spend one-half
of their time promoting their firms. North, a 30-year PR/marketing
veteran, advises plenty of PR and salesmanship.
Students should consider
bartering their services for restaurant meals, food, clothing,
Omnicom owns a controlling
interest in one of the biggest barter firms, ICON Int'l
of Stamford, Conn.
The firm's website (icon-intl.com)
says it "helped legitimize the corporate barter industry."
ICON says it pays more for excess inventory than companies
can get from liquidators or closeout dealers. Interpublic
says it has no investments in barter firms.
Warren Buffett may have bailed out of Omnicom. A
September 2002 SEC filing showed he owned 500,000 shares
but the Feb. 14, 2003 filing does not list any OMC stock.
Reuters said the SEC lets
Buffett withhold info on some trades because of the impact
his decisions might have.
built itself into a $2 billion business by having
a great product and via publicity including word-of-mouth,
says a piece in forbes.com
by Penelope Patsuris. "Not a dime was spent on ads"
of the week was the half-billion+ loss at Reuters and
its plans to drop another 3,000 employees, cutting staff
to 13,000 by 2005 (it was once 19,000).
Info available free on
the web and Bloomberg terminals are giving Reuters a big
Bloomberg reporters are complaining about ten-hour
workdays and "other pressures."