Edition, July 30, 2003, Page 1
PR21 DRIVES KIA MOTORS' PR
PR21 edged GCI Group,
Publicis Dialog, Douglas Cohn & Wolfe and incumbent
Pacific Communications in the race for the $750K Kia Motors
Kim Custer, PR director
at the Irvine, Calif.-based company, is looking to promote
Kia as more than just a maker of inexpensive autos. He said
the plan was to move beyond Kia's "reputation for value"
by stressing improvements made by the South Korean automaker
in quality and passenger safety.
PR21 is an Edelman PR
unit. Jerry Swerling (Malibu, Calif.) handled the Kia agency
WRIGHT SUCCEEDS CRITCHLOW
Jason Wright joins Merrill Lynch Sept. 3 as senior VP--communications
and public affairs. He succeeds Paul Critchlow (56), who
becomes counselor to chairman Stan O'Neal and vice chairman
of public markets responsible for drumming up business for
ML with state and local governments.
Wright, 42, had headed worldwide communications for Nabisco
Group Holdings and its predecessor company, RJR Nabisco
Holdings Corp. Previously, he was director of corporate
and financial communications at Aetna Inc. He was running
Geer Mountain Holdings, a consulting firm, before agreeing
to join ML.
Wright, co-chair of the Museum for African Art in New York,
will report to O'Neal.
SAUDI ARAMCO SPLITS WITH
Saudi Aramco has dropped Hill & Knowlton as its PR
firm after a four-month stint. The Saudi Arabia government-controlled
entity turned to the WPP Group unit in January to help devise
a communications strategy.
The scope of H&K's engagement was "indefinite,"
subject to termination by either party. H&K was to be
paid based on hourly rates. It is not clear how much the
world's biggest oil company paid H&K.
Saudi Aramco traces its roots to 1933 when Saudi Arabia
granted a drilling concession to Chevron. Mobil and Texaco
joined Chevron as owners until the Saudis bought them out
shareholders overwhelmingly approved the takeover by Martin
Sorrell's WPP Group on July 23. More than 99 percent of
them voted to support the deal. They are in line to receive
$17 million worth of WPP stock.
HOPSON LEAVES PD FOR B-M
Andy Hopson, president & COO of Publicis Dialog, has
joined Burson-Marsteller as CEO of its northeast region
and New York market leader. The 48-year-old executive called
B-M the "best of class." He said being part of
its management team is like "joining the New York Yankees."
B-M's statement praised Hopson as a "results-oriented,
roll-up-your sleeves executive."
Hopson helped launch PD following Publicis Groupe's acquisition
of his former shop EvansGroup PR. He also was VP-marketing
of the Seattle Development Council in the early `90s, and
is credited with creating a buzz about Seattle and the Pacific
Hopson has counseled Shell Oil, Weyerhaueser, Nestle, Hazelnut
Council and United Soybean Board. At PD, he was responsible
for offices in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas,
Seattle, Salt Lake City and Boise.
He will report to Chet Burchett, B-M USA pres.
BKSH & Assocs.,
which is Burson-Marsteller's lobbying unit, has formed Civitas
Group to help clients get homeland security accounts. The
venture is a partnership with Stonebridge International,
the firm headed by former Clinton White House National Security
Adviser Sandy Berger. BKSH chairman Charlie Black, who has
served as spokesperson for both Bush Administrations, co-chairs
CG with Berger. Michael Hershman, who was with the U.S.
Agency for International Development and senior staff investigator
during the Senate's Watergate hearings, is president.
NEW SPECS FOR BLUE CHIP PR
The old specs for the top PR job at a Fortune 500
company were white male with a solid PR and press background.
The new specs, according to a study of the biographies
of the 156 members at the 2003 PR Seminar, indicate a trend
towards hiring a woman, an African-American, or a person
with a political, corporate management, educational, human
resources or legal background with no experience as a reporter.
Twenty-four of the biographies of the new members show
no media experience. Eighteen of these are women. Five others
reported a media background-four men and one woman.
A political and/or government background seems to help.
(continued on page 7)
Edition, July 30, 2003, Page 2
VIA QORVIS, LASHES OUT
Communications is helping Saudi Arabia lash out at critics
who believe the "blanked-out" section of the Congressional
9/11 report exposes the Kingdom's involvement in the terror
attacks. The Bush Administration demanded that the 28-page
section dealing with the role played by Saudi Arabia and
other governments in 9/11 be omitted from the 900-page report.
pages are being used by some to malign our country and our
people," said a statement from Prince Bandar, Saudi
Ambassador to the U.S. "Rumors, innuendos and untruths
have become, when it comes to the Kingdom, the order of
the day," said the Qorvis-distributed release.
Coddle Saudi Arabia?
York Senator Chuck Schumer blasted the Administration for
its "strategy of coddling and cover-up" when it
comes to the Saudis. "We know there are terrorists
walking out in the open over there," he said in a statement.
Democrat criticized the Administration's "attempt to
conceal evidence that implicates the Saudi regime in a terrible
tragedy-a tragedy that claimed the lives of over 3,000 Americans
and put hundreds of thousands of troops in harm's way by
leading us into two wars."
CEO Michael Petruzzello could not be reached to answer a
question about whether Saudi Arabia would support declassifying
the blanked-out section. The Embassy did not return a call.
PR Worldwide, which represents the National Dialogue on
Cancer, has dropped British American Tobacco as a client
in Malaysia, according to The Cancer Letter of July
had signed a pledge that the firm would not work for tobacco
companies when it won the non-profit group's account last
October. The firm's Kuala Lumpur office, however, helped
BAT promote "social reporting," issuing press
releases about scholarships for children of tobacco farmers.
Dach, Edelman's vice chairman, terminated that project when
contacted by a reporter from TCL. "Our policy is that
we don't do work for tobacco companies," he told the
publication. Dach said the Malaysian BAT work slipped through
Edelman sent a July 23 letter to Peggy Conlon, president
of the Ad Council and head of the group's communications
committee, to say the Malaysia work was in violation of
company policy. He assured her the BAT connection was severed,
and that all fees earned from the account would be contributed
accepted Edelman's explanation, and praised Edelman's culture
as one that wants to do everything it can to improve the
health of the country.
affiliates in Moscow and Warsaw work for tobacco interests,
but Dach said the firm has no control over their policies.
& Cowan is doing damage control for Mel Gibson's controversial
movie, "The Passion," which has been criticized
as being anti-Semitic for holding the Jews rather than the
Romans responsible for the death of Jesus. R&C's Alan
Nierob represents Icon, the actor's production company,
responsible for the film which uses the ancient Aramaic
and Latin languages to tell its story.
maintains the film is strictly based on the Gospels of Matthew,
Mark, Luke and John, but Paula Fredriksen, a Boston University
religion scholar who reviewed the script, notes major inaccuracies
with The Passion in the current New Republic.
reviewed the script at the invitation of the Secretariat
for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the U.S. Conference
of Catholic Bishops and Anti-Defamation. Icon provided those
groups the script for the movie that may be released in
screenplay "presents neither a true rendition of the
Gospel stories nor an historical account of what could have
happened in Jerusalem, on Passover, when Pilate was prefect
and Caiaphas was high priest," wrote Fredriksen.
author notes that while "anti-Semitism is not the problem
in the U.S., she shudders to think what will happen when
the film is shown in Poland, Spain, France and Russia. "When
violence breaks out, Mel Gibson will have a much higher
authority than professors and bishops to answer to,"
is a unit of Weber Shandwick.
GOV. PATAKI'S PR STAFF DESERVES
PR pros on New York State Governor George Pataki's staff
deserve pay raises, according to a memo issued by Lisa Stoll,
his communications director. The memo was a "draft
proposal" that inadvertently was e-mailed to the media.
Pay hikes were recommended for Joe Conway, Pataki's $109K
a-year press secretary, Mollie Fullington, the $105K NYC
spokesperson, and Suzanne Morris, another spokesperson who
earns $80K. Stoll earns $155K, and received a $75K bonus
last fall for work on Pataki's re-election campaign.
The memo was sent as an attachment to a press release announcing
a press conference about affordable housing, according to
the report in the Daily News.
The state government has been wrestling with hard times.
It cut budgets 10 percent, implemented a hiring freeze,
and banned unnecessary travel for officials.
Stoll did not indicate what size pay raise she was looking
who co-directed "The Boys of 2nd Street Park,"
told The New Yorker that he decided to make the documentary
about his five basketball-playing boyhood friends from Brooklyn's
Brighton Beach because he found himself "very busy
and very frustrated" and needing to somehow assess
his own life after 20 years in PR.
Edition, July 30, 2003, Page 3
LAST REPORT FOR EWEEK
Taschek has written his last column for eWeek,
published by Ziff-Davis.
nearly 300 product reviews, 400 columns and thousands of
meetings over the last 11 years, it's time for me to call
it quits," said Taschek, who said he is taking a position
at a CRM vendor located in San Francisco.
one of the biggest changes he has noticed is that CEOs have
become less accessible.
1990, as an ordinary IT guy, I stood 15 feet from Bill Gates
in a room of 200 people at the FOSE computer show in Washington.
CEOs travel with entourages and bodyguards and live in fear
of users. These CEOs simply aren't allowed to live normal
lives or run normal businesses. They've become too important,
and they've lost touch," said Taschek, who can be reached
at [email protected].
WRITER RECALLS PRESS TRIP
Last July 8, David
Graves, a reporter for The London Daily Telegraph,
drowned while scuba-diving on a press trip to the Bahamas
that had been organized by the Bahamas Tourist Office and
the Dive Show, a trade show.
a senior feature writer for The London Daily Mirror,
who went on the trip, recalls the day and its aftermath
in an article that ran July 21 in The Guardian under
the headline "When a press trip goes wrong."
"Like hundreds of journalists every year, David and
I accepted the all-expenses-paid 'facility trip' in our
holiday time on the understanding we would write a travel
piece," said Ridley.
Ridley said the incident has raised a question mark over
the relationship between journalists and PR pros.
"It's relatively easy for a PR pro to handle the press
when a trip goes well. But when things go wrong tensions
can mount," said Ridley, who was criticized by a PR
pro for the BTO for providing details about Graves' death
to the Telegraph.
"I briefly told the executive what had happened and
was quoted in a report in the next day's paper," said
Ridley. "That call changed everything." She said
the BTO's PR person insisted that "I should not have
spoken to the Telegraph because the BTO wanted to
be the principal outlet of information, and 'What if your
information gets distorted in the paper?'"
"Looking back, I believe the whole episode could have
been handled better. I think the BTO was naive. It was obviously
a catastrophe for them.
After all, what could be worse than a national newspaper
journalist dying on a trip designed to showcase their island,"
who just turned 66, will retire as editor-in-chief of The
New York Daily News in March 2004, when his contract
Bob Reed, 49,
editor of Crain's Chicago Business, has resigned.
He had objected to increased coverage of lifestyles.
Managing editor Judith
Crown was appointed interim editor until recruiters
find a replacement for Reed at the weekly business paper.
has resigned as editor-in-chief of United Press International
to join National Interest, an international affairs
journal, in mid-August.
33, was promoted to editor of Us Weekly, replacing
who left to be the editorial director of American Media.
31, previously editor of Cosmo Girl, has moved to
Seventeen to replace Sabrina
Weill as editor.
Susan Schulz was
promoted to editor of CG.
has resigned as executive editor of The Village Voice.
Carla Spartos, senior editor, associate editor Laura
Sinagra, and staff writers C.
Carr and Leighton
Kerner have also departed from the weekly paper.
Lance Gould, a former
feature writer for The New York Daily News,
is editor-in-chief of Drill, which plans to start
publishing in October as a bimonthly magazine for people
who serve in the military.
Gould said Drill will be a humor-oriented adventure
title, designed as a lifestyle magazine for enlisted personnel
in the four U.S. branches of the military.
The publisher is John Brown Publishing, a British-based
custom magazine publisher that produces titles from companies
like Nike and Charles Schwab.
Drill will have a rate base of about 130,000.
Karol DeWulf Nickell,
editor-in-chief of Better Homes and Gardens, told
min that Meredith's flagship publication will be
centered around these four themes in 2004: 1. Get organized;
2. Eat Well; 3. Get Fit, and 4. Relax.
"There will be eight to 10 articles on each,"
Nickell told the newsletter. "They are popular subjects,
but other magazines typically specialize in one or two.
Our `all-in-one,' we believe, is unique."
This November and December BH&G's theme will be Thanksgiving/Christmas
a monthly magazine published by the U.S. State Department,
is now on sale in the Middle East.
The Arabic-language magazine, which is targeting young
people with a mix of features, celebrity profiles and music,
is designed to show a positive image of America and highlight
similarities between young people in the U.S. and the Middle
The articles will be written by Arab Americans in Washington,
D.C., and stringers in the Middle East.
news continued on next page)
Edition, July 30, 2003, Page 4
STUDY SHOWS AMERICANS CRAVE
Gossip news has become
an "obsession" for Americans, according to the
findings of Euro RSCG Worldwide's survey of 1,016 Americans
The agency's study shows
Americans love entertainment and they love gossip. "Put
the two together and you get Hollywood gossip, seen as an
obsession by 75% (and by 83% of those aged 18-24),"
the agency's study said.
The survey findings were
disclosed at a launch party for the new book "Buzz:
Harness the Power of Influence and Create Demand,"
authored by Marian Salzman, Ira Matathia, and Ann O'Reilly,
marketing executives at Euro RSCG.
Nearly half of those surveyed
(48%) think there is something wrong with gossip, and only
19% defend it as a natural form of communication, except
in New York, where residents are split on the statement:
one-third agree and one-third disagree.
Less than a third of the
sample (30%) disagree with the assertion that people can
salve their gossip guilt with the thought that without gossip,
some of the most important news stories would never emerge.
Over one-third (37%) of
the sample believe most gossip column content is planted
by the celebrities themselves.
Seventy-four percent of
the sample are especially interested in personal scandals.
When asked what type of gossip they most enjoy, the descriptor
"funny" came out on top, chosen by 44%.
Here are some of the other
key findings from the study:
1. People find local news
the most valuable part of the newspaper.
2. The "weather"
section rates as more valuable than classifieds, international
news, or business news.
3. Of the top five people
cited as trusted sources of news and information, four are
women: Barbara Walters, followed by Mike Wallace, Jane Pauley,
Oprah Winfrey, and Katie Couric.
4. Americans trust Oprah
Winfrey more than Larry King.
5. The Wall Street
Journal is the most trusted news brand overall, followed
by "60 Minutes."
MAGAZINES ARE PUT UP FOR
Early American Life, Keystone Sportsman,
and Motorcyles Retrospect will be sold to the highest
bidder by the trustee for bankrupt Celtic Moon Publishing,
the owner of the three magazines.
The Harrisburg, Pa.-based publisher filed a petition for
relief under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy code on June
18, 2003, with the Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District
Sealed bids must be delivered no later than Aug. 8 at 5
p.m., at the offices of Michael Fox International, 11425
Cronhill dr., Owings Mills, MD 21117.
The auctioneer is handling the sale for Leon Haller.
HOW TO BEAT THE PRESS
The Aker Partners, a Washington, D.C.-based PR firm, suggests
to clients that they start their own publications to tell
their story when the media won't.
"The media today want controversy. They want shock
and awe," the firm said. "But what if you can't
give that to them? What if you simply have a positive story
This was the challenge facing one of its clients, the oil
pipeline industry. "Oil pipelines are hands-down the
safest way to transport petroleum in America. They're safe.
They're cost effective. They're dependable. They're essential,"
the firm said. "Not exactly sensational fodder for
the six o'clock news."
Aker's solution was to suggest a monthly e-newsletter.
"Don't just use the media, become the media. Why be
at the mercy of a reporter and several editors to get your
story right?," the firm asks.
"One-to-one, interactive communications, where a client
speaks and an indiviudal responds, is the best way to influence
people," said Colburn Aker, managing partner.
"Today, this newsletter-In the Pipe-is widely
read and is enabling the industry to directly communicate
pipelines' benefits and their operator's commitment to safety.
"What's more, we even receive calls from reporters
and government officials asking for more information about
some of the articles they've been reading," Aker said.
The latest edition of the newsletter is available at www.enewsbuilder.net/aopl.
who writes a TV column for The Los Angeles Times,
is turned off by PR pitch letters that begin with "Dear
"We are not their colleagues," wrote Rosenberg
in his July 21 column. "We are not partners with them
in a crusade to glorify and promote the TV industry, any
more than it's the role of news media to embrace the White
House's efforts to deify the president."
Rosenberg said publicists and the press have an "adversarial
relationship predicated on conflicting agendas written in
stone: They polish, we dull."
was started by Judy Gordon, NBC's "Today"
show on-air style editor. The site features the latest trends
in fashion, lifestyle, celebrities, entertainment, travel,
electronics, beauty and food.
Information about "trends in the making" are
welcome from publicists.
E-mail information and jpeg (whenever possible) to Gordon
at [email protected].
CTA PR, Louisville,
Colo., said the best day for non public-owned companies
to issue a news release is Tuesday, followed by Wednesday
and then Thursday. "Stay away from Mondays," said
Edition, July 30, 2003, Page 7
NEW SPECS FOR BLUE CHIP SPOTS
(continued from page 1)
Three of the new members
worked for the Republican National Committee at one point
in their careers-Charles Greener of Fannie Mae; Ellen Robinson
of the Tennessee Valley Authority, and Chuck Hardwick of
Ertharin Cousin of Albertsons
was White House Liaison for the State Dept. during the Clinton
Administration and the Secretary of State's special advisor
for the Olympics.
Sally Susman of Estee
Lauder Cos. worked eight years on international trade issues
for the Commerce Dept. and U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce,
Science and Transportation.
Nancy Temple of Progress
Energy was chief of staff of North Carolina Governor Jim
Martin from 1989-93.
In 2000, there were 129
women in college for every 100 men in college vs. 123 women
for every 100 men in 1993, reports the New York Post.
Don Kirchoffner of Exelon
Corp. never worked in the media but rose to chief of media
relations for the Dept. of the Army, completing military
service with the rank of colonel.
Many of those in top PR
jobs went directly into the PR and related positions from
college. Several majored in political science. Lawyers and
former human resources executives are also among those in
top communications jobs.
Ginny Mackin of Wachovia
Corp. went directly into sales and PR at Bonwit Teller in
New York. She had majored in speech communications and philosophy
at Boston College.
A Few Know
The five new Seminarians
with media backgrounds are:
Susan Atteridge of TXU,
who was editor of a weekly newspaper chain, a reporter in
Latin America, and a university writing instructor before
becoming director of public information in the New Jersey
governor's press office; James Finn of Oracle, who was an
editorial assistant in the Washington Bureau of the Denver
Post; Mark Fredrickson, EMC Corp., who was a reporter
at the Beverly Times, Beverly, Mass., and a reporter,
editor and columnist at the Daily Times Chronicle,
Reading, Mass.; Robert Pattillo, TSX Group, who worked in
"television news and later, radio news and current
affairs before moving to the corporate sector," and
John Meyers, Alliance Capital Mgmt., who was a reporter
and copy editor for the New Haven Journal-Courier,
PRS had only five women members in 1970 (Leone Baxter, Denny
Griswold, Caroline Hood, Melva Chesrown and Sally Woodward).
The attendance list for
the 2003 meeting at Sea Island, Ga., shows 101 men and 55
women. In 1998, 33 of the 155 attendees were women.
Twelve of the 36 new recruits
in 1998 were women.
PRS in the 1970s and early
1980s only took in 10-15 new members each year.
Progress, a St. Louis-based group made up of the heads of
the region's largest corporations, is paying Jay Lawrence,
who is co-chairman of Fleishman-Hillard's corporate reputation
management unit, to play a behind-the-scenes role in the
city school reform effort.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch said the 54-year-old Lawrence,
who is a senior VP at F-H, was paid $80,000 for his services
to the school board.
paper said Lawrence, who has been at the school board's
side at every public appearance since the end of June, has
been coaching board members through an almost daily barrage
of criticism, setting up media interviews and offering tours
of the district's antiquated and much-maligned warehouse.
is also donating the equivalent of two full-time PR staffers
to the board for the next several weeks.
The paper said the St. Louis Public Schools already spends
$314,000 annually for PR. That includes the salary of a
director, a coordinator, a secretary and a student intern,
plus printing and other costs.
Patrick Mulcahy, CEO of the Energizer battery company, who
is chairman of the Civic Progress committee, said Lawrence
is being funded for a period of time.
P-D said Civic Progress and F-H have "long been twin
power brokers" in St. Louis. According to its latest
available tax filing, Civic Progress paid F-H $191,384 in
management fees in 2001.
told the P-D that members of Civic Progress are "frankly,
from a social standpoint, disgusted" at the state of
St. Louis public schools.
Civic Progress seized the opportunity for change by supporting
school board president Darnetta Clinkscale and her three
running mates who were elected in April.
companies who have donated to Civic Progress are Anheuser-Busch,
Emerson and Ameren Corp., giving at least $20,000 each.
PINCUS JOINS RUDER FINN
Veteran IR pro Ted Pincus,
who built the Financial Relations Board into a $37 million
business before selling to True North, is now a senior consultant
at Ruder Finn.
Richard Funess, president
of RF/Americas, lauded Pincus' extensive knowledge and contacts
in the financial communications business. He's confident
Pincus will prove to be an asset in RF's new business sales
efforts, and ironing out cross-selling opportunities.
Pincus resigned as CEO
of The Financial Relations Board/BSMG Worldwide in July
2001, and had been running his own firm. He is a leading
critic of the corporate communications sector. Pincus told
PRSA/Chicago on April 30 that the renewal of public confidence
in post-Enron Corporate America should begin by establishing
the nation's PR/IR pros as a corporate conscience.
FRB was acquired by BSMG
in 1999. BSMG was merged into Weber Shandwick in 2001.
Edition, July 30, 2003, Page 8
The high ratio
of new PR Seminar members who are women
and the backgrounds of all the new members signal a dramatic
change in the specs for heading a blue-chip PR dept. (most
now use the term "corporate communications").
old model was a white male who first had a career in major
news media. He may have worked his way up the corporate
PR ladder or have come in at the top, having built up a
close relationship with the CEO while reporting on the company.
latest appointments are more likely to be a woman with a
background not in media but in marketing, sales or a specific
industry, and an extensive record of community service.
companies are also making an effort to recruit African-American
and Hispanic PR pros.
positions may entail media relations but also many other
areas such as marketing, community relations, employee relations,
company foundation, international and, possibly, investor
more likely route to the top these days is through politics
and/or government service.
directly for the Republic National Committee helps. Democratic
service is useful as well as working for state senators
and writing books and articles is rarely mentioned. In previous
times, corporate PR heads such as Bert Hochman of Lever,
Kerryn King of Texaco and Ed Block of AT&T would regularly
give statesman-like speeches on PR topics.
CC heads are usually marketing-oriented. A case in point
is the shift of Seminarian Beth Comstock of General Electric
out of PR and into a new post as VP of marketing, heading
an "invigorated" marketing effort (July 23 NL).
gap is especially evident in college where only one or two
men may be in a PR class.
PR groups that
want to foster diversity should encourage more minority
males to enter college. There
are 166 African-American women in college for every 100
African-American men. Among all college students, there
are 129 women for every 100 men.
groups (which also accept males) are flourishing.
New York Women in Communications, which broke off from WICI
national in 1997, now has 1,000 members, up from less than
800 two years ago. Dues are $110. Boston Communicators,
the first to break away from WICI national, is celebrating
its ninth anniversary and has 275 members. Dues are $150.
PRSA/NY, formerly the largest in PRSA with 1,200+ members,
had 629 as of Dec. 31, 2002. Members pay $225 to national
plus $80 to the chapter. American Women in Communications,
Severna Park, Md., has 4,000-5,000 members.
We have asked
PRSA ethics chair Charles Wood, now in his own firm after
retiring from the Omaha World-Herald, to look into
what we feel are unfair and unethical practices related
to this year's nominating process.
has more than 120 people involved in ethics including nine
ethics board members, ethics officers in all 116 chapters,
plus a Fellows advisor and a "senior counselor"
(all of whom are listed on the PRSA website).
Code of Ethics (which replaced the Code of Professional
Standards in 2000), uses the terms "ethics," "ethically,"
and "ethical" 12 times in its initial column of
year's candidates, including Maria Russell who is running
for treasurer (leading almost certainly to president-elect)
against Art Stevens, emphasize PRSA's high ethics. Russell's
pitch says PRSA must "continue to represent the highest
standards of practice and ethics in PR." Russell, the
Fellows advisor to the ethics board, and Kathy Lewton, nominating
chair and senior counsel to the ethics board, should recuse
themselves from this case.
We're not sure
the ethics board will accept it as a case.
listened to us but made no commitment. The issue is that
insiders at PRSA, with their hands on the levers of publicity,
gave Russell a generous helping of it by putting her name
as "senior counselor" at the top of nine of the
27 boards and committees in the Blue Book. These
entities already have board advisors who are not mentioned.
says the top billing does make it look like the counselors
are "in charge" and they should have been listed
at the bottom or indicated by an asterisk. But is this fair
to other possible candidates? Russell was positioned as
one of the most active leaders in PRSA's history. PRSA high
office is often seen as a reward for service to the Society.
Her dossier already lists about 22 PRSA titles, committees,
both Russell and Stevens as candidates for any PRSA office
since they were on the 1999 board that not only rejected
the strategic planning committee's advice to decouple APR
from elective office, but announced it would fight any such
move as sending the "wrong message" about APR.
The subject didn't even get to the floor of the Assembly
that year. The 1999 board censored the $150K "spokesperson
credibility" study, censored the Fellows' study on
APR in the job marketplace, and twice advised staff and
officers not to talk to anyone from the O'Dwyer Co. partly
because we asked too many questions. We were never allowed
to face our accusers on other charges.
Tradition at PRSA has also been that once someone serves
on the board, he or she does not come back.
and Stevens violate this.
-- Jack O'Dwyer