Edition, August 20, 2003, Page 1
DoC REVIEWS TRAVEL PR EFFORTS
U.S. Dept. of Commerce, which has not run a tourism push
since 1995, is looking for a firm to lay the blueprint for
a future international PR campaign promoting the U.S. as
a travel destination.
DoC wants a firm to identify advertising/PR targets, methods
and products for each market which show the most promise
to attract travelers to the U.S. Those areas, as identified
by the DoC and tourism industry experts queried by the agency,
are Canada, Mexico, the U.K., Japan, Germany, France, and
possibly Brazil, Italy and South Korea, according to a copy
of the RFP.
RFP calls for striking a "balance" between promoting
the U.S. to international targeted markets and implementing
safety and security systems and procedures "in an atmosphere
of terrorist threats and necessary improved border security
is Helen Marano at 202/482-0140.
ALB GIVES $1.4M ACCOUNT TO
The American Lamb Board awarded its $1.4M two-year PR account
to Golin/Harris International, Daniel Borschke, executive
director of the Denver-based trade group, told O'Dwyer's.
He said Weber Shandwick was the incumbent, and one of five
firms considered by the ALB's board of directors.
G/HI was selected because of its food/culinary expertise.
The ALB, according to Borschke, was especially impressed
with G/HI's work on behalf of Florida Dept. of Citrus. Patti
Tobin, senior VP at G/HI, will head the account.
Borschke joined the ALB in June. He was CEO of the Dairy
Council of Wisconsin.
KETCHUM ENLISTS McCARTHY
Amy McCarthy, who handled Pfizer, Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals
and Novartis at Chandler Chicco Agency, is now senior VP
in Ketchum's healthcare group. She will work on Ketchum's
Lipitor, a Pfizer product, is the world's top-selling drug.
That cholesterol-lowering medication will soon be challenged
in the U.S. by AstraZeneca's Crestor, which is handled by
Edelman PR Worldwide. The Food & Drug Administration
approved the marketing of Crestor last week.
Prior to CCA, McCarthy worked at Burson-Marsteller, responsible
for Colgate-Palmolive, General Electric and American Greetings
IPG POSTS $13.5M LOSS
Interpublic CEO David Bell Aug. 12 declared the battered
ad/PR conglom is in the "early stages of a turnaround"
while announcing that IPG recorded a $13.5 million second-quarter
net loss on flat revenues of $1.5B. It had a $109M year
The latest results include a $105M restructuring charge
to cover severance payments and lease termination costs.
IPG has slashed its headcount to 44,500 from the 46,900
it employed at the end of last year. Bell warned that more
job cuts are in the works.
He said business conditions "remain difficult,"
especially in overseas markets. He did say U.S. clients
appear to be increasingly focused on investing in marketing
rather than cutting costs.
VERITAS HEARS PITCHES FOR
Software maker Veritas is in the midst of a multi-firm
review for its global PR account, according to VP of corporate
communications Marlena Fernandez. She said the company wants
one firm to handle the corporate work, but with global expertise.
Applied Comms. had the $1.5B company's account for 2.5 years
but has declined to take part in the review.
Other firms in the review include Fleishman-Hillard, Hill
& Knowlton (currently handles Canada), Bite Comms. (currently
U.K.), Edelman PR Worldwide, Waggener Edstrom's PR.com unit
and Eastwick Comms. A decision is expected in September.
KERRIGAN PROTESTS PRSA NOMCOM
Kenneth Kerrigan, acting PR director at Ernst & Young,
New York, protesting what he considers are irregularities
in the PRSA nominating process, is resigning from PRSA and
its New York chapter, where he is a board member. He will
continue to mentor one of the chapter members.
Kerrigan, a candidate for director for the Tri-State district,
said he was told Sunday, Aug. 10 that he had won the nomination.
Michael Cherenson, of the Cherenson Group, Livingston,
N.J., a candidate for the same position, said on the afternoon
of Aug. 11 that he had lost his run for the board but had
been named an at-large Assembly delegate.
However, the nominating committee learned on Aug. 11 that
while Kerrigan had been named an alternate delegate to the
2002 Assembly, he did not actually vote and was therefore
ineligible to join the
(continued on page 7)
Edition, August 20, 2003, Page 2
Knowlton is giving Vietnam a five percent discount on the
hourly rate of key executives overseeing the business, according
to its just-filed registration statement with the Justice
Dept. The discount is in recognition that H&K officials
will "allot more time on the account than the compensation
guaranteed by the contract," Jeff Trammell, senior
advisor to H&K, told O'Dwyer's. He admitted to not having
all the details of the discount program because the package
was put together by Vivian Lines, who heads H&K's Asia/Pacific
region from Singapore.
The PR firm
is guaranteed a maximum $1.308M during the one-year contract.
The monthly $109K retainer is one of the largest from a
foreign country on record at the Justice Dept.
discounted the $600 hourly rate of its former CEO Howard
Paster, who is now executive VP at its parent company, WPP
Group. Lines charges $285, rather than $300. Trammell, who
runs Trammell & Co., bills the Vietnamese $380 an-hour
rather than his usual $400 rate. Jason Eberstein, whom Trammell
called his "right hand man," discounts his $250
hourly rate to $212. He is expected to spend 45 percent
of his time working for Vietnam, according to the agreement.
Paster, in contrast, will devote 10 percent of his time
to the client. Trammell is to allocate 25 percent of his
time to the work.
into Commercial Projects
said H&K's job is to convert the "intrigue"
connected with Vietnam into investments. "Few people
recognize that Vietnam, with 80 million people, has one
of the largest populations in the world," he said.
The PR exec noted that oil and gas development is "pretty
much far along" in Vietnam, as well as the auto category.
Ford Motor, for instance, is building a plant there. U.S.
consumer firms (Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola) are
goal, said Trammell, is to become a member of the World
Trade Organization by 2005.
WAL-MART USES F-H TO CHECK
Wal-Mart, the retail giant which employs more Americans
than any other company, has turned to its longtime firm
Fleishman-Hillard to cope with a battered image in the wake
of enormous success.
F-H is looking at Wal-Mart's ties with its customers, employees,
communities and bankers. The firm provides regular updates
to the retailer's board of directors, which suggested the
The company, which commissioned F-H for the ongoing project
two years ago, is currently running an advertising campaign
via GSD&M to dispel sentiment that it pays low wages
and treats female employees unfairly, according to the New
York Times advertising column Aug. 14.
The paper said the PR effort "indicates concern at
Wal-Mart's highest levels about fallout from the company's
rapid growth and enormous economic influence."
ADL LASHES OUT AT GIBSON;
The Anti-Defamation League fears that Mel Gibson's movie,
"The Passion," will trigger "hatred, bigotry
and anti-Semitism," according to an Aug. 11 statement
issued by the group. The film "unambiguously portrays
Jewish authorities and the Jewish mob as the ones responsible
for the decision to crucify Jesus," said Abraham Foxman,
ADL's national director.
Rabbi Eugene Korn, director of Interfaith Affairs at the
90-year-old group, attended a preview of the flick in Houston.
He said the film raises the specter of "deicide"
or Jewish complicity in the death of Christ. The ADL said
the movie distorts the New Testament, and wrongly shows
the Jewish priests as controlling Pontius Pilate. It also
"relies on sinister medieval stereotypes, portraying
Jews as blood-thirsty, sadistic and money-hungry enemies
of God who lack compassion and humanity."
Foxman demands that Gibson change the film to make it "historically
accurate, theologically sound and free of any anti-Semitic
Gibson's spokesperson Alan Nierob, of Rogers & Cowan,
denies that the film is inspired by anti-Semitism. He told
the Associated Press that Gibson "vehemently opposes
anti-Semitism and the hatred of others."
Gibson made an unannounced visit to the annual convention
of the Knights of Columbus on Aug. 7, and showed scenes
of The Passion, which deals with the last 12 hours of Jesus
Christ's life. It received a rousing reception by the 2,000-member
audience in Washington, D.C.
Carl Anderson, who heads the 1.6M member Catholic group
and viewed the film in July, called The Passion a "powerful
depiction of Christ's crucifixion." He invited Gibson
to the meeting to make sure the movie "gets a fair
hearing." Anderson, who is Supreme Knight, believes
that hearing will "promote better tolerance and dialogue
among all religious faiths."
QORVIS HELPS REBUILDING OF
The Shaheen Business and Investment Group has hired Qorvis
Communications to boost the image of the Jordanian $500
million conglomerate in the U.S., according to Scott Warner,
director at the Patton Boggs affiliate. He said SBIG's key
selling point is its 200-member office in Baghdad.
SBIG is eager to match up with U.S. companies looking to
participate in the rebuilding of Iraq, Warner said. "Subcontracting
is the way to go," he added.
Amman-based SBIG has interests in telecommunications, manufacturing,
engineering and banking. The company is opening a Land Rover
plant in Jordan, which will add another 500 people to its
Warner said SBIG plans to open a Washington, D.C., office
Qorvis has a half dozen people working on the SBIG account,
which is headed by QC's CEO Michael Petruzzello.
Edition, August 20, 2003, Page 3
NPR SAYS MONEY
CAN'T BUY COVERAGE
Public Radio prides itself on having minimal contact between
the people who produce the programs and the companies and
foundations that wish to support NPR.
have never heard of an instance in the six years I have
been at NPR where a story was changed to suit an underwriter,"
said Jeffrey Dvorkin, who is NPR's ombudsman.
said NPR has established a "firewall," which means
that money cannot be given for specific news coverage, nor
can a foundation or corporation insist that the money be
used for specific stories or specific editorial perspectives.
Sponsors or "funders" may not speak with reporters
or producers to lobby them or pitch their points of view.
"Only the most senior members of news management may
chat with 'funders' so that both may have a clear but general
sense of what might be aired in the way of programs or reporting,"
many cases, the news department may feel that the offer
from a sponsor comes with too many unreasonable expectations
or strings attached, so the offer is declined, he said.
HUSNI OVERSEES NEW MAG FOR
Samir Husni, an Arab-American
professor of journalism at the University of Mississippi,
has been hired as a consulting editor of Hi, a new
apolitical lifestyle magazine published by the U.S. State
Department for Arabs ages 18 to 35.
The magazine, which is
part of the Bush Administration's initiatives to create
a more positive view of the U.S. in the Arab world, will
cost U.S. taxpayers about $4 million a year.
Husni, an expert on new
magazines, will work with Fadel Lamen, who is managing editor
of Hi. Lamen, an Arab-American, is employed by the Magazine
Group, a Washington, D.C.-based custom publisher, which
is producing Hi for the State Dept.
The first issue, which
came out in July, had a cover story on the experiences of
Arab students in American colleges and shorter articles
on Arab American actor Tony Shalhoub, singer Norah Jones,
and marriage counseling.
The second issue, now
arriving on Middle Eastern newsstands, has an article on
Sting, Lenny Kravitz and other Western pop stars who have
collaborated with Arab musicians, and feature stories about
Internet matchmaking, digital art and Hispanic life in the
U.S., plus a brief story on Adam Sandler's revelation of
what a bad student he was in high school.
The monthly magazine is
printed in a State Dept. publishing plant in the Philippines,
and flown to the Middle East, where it is sold on newsstands
for $2 a copy. Circulation is currently 50,000.
Each issue contains the
statement that it is published "on behalf of the foreign
media office of the U.S. State Dept."
MSNBC.COM EXPANDS ENTERTAINMENT
has started a new "Entertainment" section to take
the place of the "Living" section. The new section
includes coverage of TV, books, art, music, travel and entertainment
Denise Hazlick was named
entertainment editor, replacing Jan Herman, who had been
Gael Cooper was appointed to cover pop culture, TV, books
and the web, and Paige Newman, travel editor, will now also
MSNBC.com is also starting
"Test Pattern," a new weblog by Cooper. It will
cover everything from the "unreality of reality TV"
to bizarre celebrity websites.
Jeannette Walls, who has
covered entertainment news for MSNBC.com for six years,
will continue to write her gossip column, "Jeannette
Walls Delivers The Scoop."
Hazlick previously worked
as MSNBC.com's deputy sports editor; Cooper formerly was
at The Minneapolis Star Tribune, and Newman spent
the last three years an interactive producer at MSNBC.com,
which is based in Redmond, Wash.
SENIOR SURFERS LIKE GRAND
a weekly publication, is the most popular senior magazine
on the Internet, according to search engines such as Google
When the website was started
in 1995, there were approximately 600,000 older adults online.
Today, there are 22 million senior surfers, making it one
of the fastest growing demographic groups on the Internet,
according to Reece Halpern, editor and publisher of Grand
Times Publishing, El Cerrito, Calif.
"Seniors spend more
time online than the average Internet population and nearly
half of all senior surfers use the Internet to engage in
product research," said Halpern.
He believes the secret
to the website's success is that it offers a wide variety
of controversial, informative and entertaining articles.
Editorial content changes
weekly and is comprised of articles such as "How to
Keep Bambi Out of Your Garden," "What Dying People
Want," and "How to Book a Cruise on a Barge."
The site also has product
profiles, gift ideas for grandchildren and excerpts from
Grandtimes.com now offers free legal advice, live news feeds,
and free online games.
Although the website is
no longer using or reviewing freelance editorial, publicists
can pitch Halpern by calling him at 510/649-4019 or by e-mail,
The company's address is 403 Village dr., El Cerrito, CA
Abrahams, who was San Francisco bureau chief for
The Financial Times, is joining Waggener Edstrom.
news continued on next page)
Edition, August 20, 2003, Page 4
DILLER RAPS REPORT IN N.Y.
Diller, chairman/CEO of IAC/InterActive Corp., hit back
at The New York Times for two articles about his
company that ran in the "Money & Business"
section on Aug. 10.
The articles were written by Pulitzer Prize-winning business
reporter Gretchen Morgenson.
is unfortunate that newspapers-unlike public companies-appear
not to be bound by the material misstatement and omission
requirements of the federal securities laws," said
said Morgenson's articles regarding IAC/InterActive Corp.
"contain numerous inaccuracies, as well as some apparent
confusion regarding my statements to her in a conversation
we had on Aug. 3, 2003."
a world where markets react to headlines in newspapers,
reporters need to be more vigilant to ensure they print
accurate rather than misleading information," said
Diller, who cited a "few of the glaring inaccuracies"
in his letter which was distributed on Aug. 11 by Business
Times stands by Morgenson's story.
WRITER PAYS 'SCOUTS' FOR STORY
A freelance writer, who
claims to have had more than 200 articles published in mainstream
and niche/trade magazines, is seeking "scouts"
who can provide "highly compelling story ideas,"
which can be pitched to leading magazines.
"Ideally, you have
one or more ideas that would be irresistible to top entertainment
magazines, but lack the editorial relationships and/or pitching
skills (or writing experience) necessary to get your ideas
heard and assigned," said the unnamed writer in an
e-mail letter that appeared on craigslist.com.
The writer says he/she
will pay $500 per idea used (for feature articles), with
a draw on fees available to highly qualified candidates.
The writer is especially
interested in getting tips from individuals who have industry
contacts and will provide "scoops" on stories
that relate to current events and/or news not widely reported
"Stories with edge
to them are strongly preferred rather than just 'here's
a profile of so and so...'," said the writer. [email protected].
news anchor Jack Cafferty pleaded guilty in a May
14 hit-and-run accident in New York.
According to the criminal
complaint, the veteran newsman made an abrupt turn and hit
a bicyclist, knocking the 48-year-old man to the ground.
Cafferty, who was charged
with leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving,
and assault & harassment, was allowed to plead guilty
to a traffic violation: Operating a motor vehicle knowing
or having cause to know property damage had been caused.
He was sentenced to 70
hours of community service and a $250 fine. He also made
National Indian Gaming Assn. will offer sessions
with professional media trainers at its mid-year meeting
in Prior Lake, Minn.
NIGA has retained former
TV anchor Nancy Mathis with First Take Communications in
Washington, and publicist Laura Knapp of the firm Off Madison
Avenue in Tempe, Ariz., to help prepare people for press
interviews and appearances on TV.
Elizabeth Hill, a PR pro
based in the Washington, D.C., area, said one of the big
problems is that tribal leaders are reluctant to answer
press inquiries. "The tribes just don't call back,"
said Hill, a member of the Ojibwa tribe.
Carla Nicholas is NIGA's
Deutsch, chairman/CEO of Deutsch Inc., a New York-based
ad agency, has signed on as a regular commentator on CNBC.
the company that publishes Penthouse magazine, has
filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court
in New York.
Understanding Islam Foundation, Culver City, Calif.,
has published a book entitled "A Brief Illustrated
Guide to Understanding Islam."
Mikaal Waters, executive
director, said the book, which has been reviewed and edited
by many professors, is available at no charge to readers
of O'Dwyer's PR Daily. Requests should be sent to [email protected].
TORKELLS NAMED BUDGET TRAVEL
Erik Torkells was named
editor of Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel magazine.
Torkells was previously
at Fortune, where for the past four years he held
positions as a writer and senior editor in charge of the
magazine's lifestyle section. He has also spent four years
at Travel + Leisure as senior editor.
Arthur Frommer will contine
In 2003, BT increased
frequency from six to 10 issues per year.
NY TIMES PROMOTES TAUBMAN,
Philip Taubman, 55, who
joined The New York Times in 1979, was promoted to
chief of its Washington, D.C., bureau, replacing Jill Abramson,
who was named managing editor.
Taubman is married to
Felicity Barringer, a Times foreign-affairs writer.
Andrew Rosenthal, 47,
an assistant managing editor of the Times, was named the
paper's deputy editorial page editor. He will succeed Taubman
after Labor Day.
Andrew's father, A.M.
Rosenthal, was the top editor of the Times from 1969 until
70, is resigning as chairman/ editorial director of the
Columbia Journalism Review.
Edition, August 20, 2003, Page 7
KERRIGAN QUITTING PRSA
(continued from page 1)
board, which requires that a director be a "voting
participant" of an Assembly.
said he arrived in San Francisco in the afternoon last Nov.
16, the day of the Assembly meeting, because no one told
him he had to register before 8 a.m. on that day. He was
told he couldn't vote in the Assembly and therefore did
not attend it.
Bess, acting PR director of PRSA in place of Libby Roberge,
who gave birth to a baby girl on July 29, said delegates
cannot register after 8 a.m.
fact of his not voting in the Assembly came up previously
and he said nominating committee members including chair
Kathy Lewton had assured him this was just a technicality
that would not bar him from being a national director.
said, "The entire process of running for a national
board seat has been a great puzzlement and a huge disappointment."
raised this issue (voting in the Assembly) months ago and
was told to proceed," he continued. "I spent hours
preparing. To be told now that there is even the slightest
hint of my nomination being improper is an insult to my
integrity...this has been an enormous waste of my time (and
even my family's time this weekend) and it leaves me feeling
Lewton is saying the nominating process is "confidential"
and she cannot answer any questions about it, other sources
have said that the 20-member nominating committee had a
series of frenetic telephone meetings Monday in an effort
to rescue the Kerrigan candidacy.
solution, said to have been examined, was to blame certain
PRSA staffers for not telling Kerrigan that he had to be
there by 8 a.m. or failing to give him an electronic voting
device even if he arrived late.
said New York delegate Anne Warner arrived just before the
vote on decoupling at the Assembly at nearly 4 p.m. and
was given an electronic voting device by staffer Brady Leet.
Pulls Plug at 4 p.m.
sources say, learned of the efforts to save his nomination
and told the committee just before 4 p.m. on Aug. 11 that
he would have no part of it. One nominating committee member
broke down and cried at this news, sources said.
asked by this NL on Monday morning for a release on the
nominations, said it was being delayed until all 25 candidates
could be notified. This was taking the entire day, he said.
However, sources indicate the delay was due to the efforts
to save Kerrigan's candidacy.
as late as 4:21 on Monday, thought he had lost his bid for
the board nomination.
candidates say that certain PRSA officers took part in the
nominating process by sending e-mails about the candidates
in violation of a pledge officers had made in June not to
get involved in the nominating process. Reed Byrum, president,
had asked board members to make such a pledge in an e-mail,
CORPORATE CHANGE EXPERT JOINS
Shayon, a founder of Philadelphia-based HRN, has joined
Burson-Marsteller's New York office as managing director
in its corporate/financial practice. She was HRN's president/CEO.
"I've moved my company to Burson," Shayon told
32 years ago, HRN had counseled clients on how changing
social/political issues impact their external communications.
The firm collected information from a client's customers,
employees, opinion leaders, media, investment analysts,
government officials, suppliers and competitors, and identified
each group's expectations for excellence in both performance
and communication, according to its website.
Bennett, VP and senior analyst at HRN, and Kristin Rogers,
director of client services, join Shayon at B-M.
HRN had counseled blue-chips such as American Express, DuPont,
Kraft, Raytheon and Chase Manhattan.
SPINNING THE TUNES AT RADIO
The U.S. Broadcasting
Board of Governors is trying to figure out what Western
tunes young Arabs would like to hear on Radio Sawa. It has
issued an RFP to gauge the "musical tastes and preferences"
of Arabs aged 17-28 living in Cairo, Amman, Abu Dhabi and
The BBG's International
Broadcasting Bureau will provide musical excerpts, and the
winning contractor will poll audiences to "elicit listeners'
likes and dislikes, as well as the intensity of their preferences
to western music." The sampling is to be done in the
homes of listeners. The BBG wants the contractor to avoid
playing music to anyone with a strong dislike of the West.
Marlene Brooks (202/205-9664) is the contracting officer.
Radio Sawa can be heard
on FM radio stations in Baghdad, Amman, Manama, Djibouti,
Ramallah/Jerusalem/Bethlehem, Doha, Dubai, Erbil, Kuwait
City, and Sulimaniyah. Radio Farda broadcasts into Iran.
The IBB also runs the
Voice of America, Radio Free Europe (broadcasts in 28 languages),
Radio Free Asia (China, Cambodia, Burma, North Korea and
Vietnam), and Radio and TV Marti (Cuba).
AVERY DENNISON SIGNS ON WITH
Avery Dennison, the $4.2
billion consumer and industrial products company, has hired
Global Communicators for media and government relations
work, according to GC CEO Jim Harff. Word-of-mouth chatter
is what led Pasadena, Calif.-based AD to the Washington,
D.C., firm. Harff said he uses an informal panel of senior
PR people that he "has known for many years" to
scout out business opportunities. That network resulted
in the AD account.
Harff launched GC in 1997
in space rented from APCO Worldwide. GC is now a "strategic
partner" of APCO, which is part of Grey Global Group.
It has worked with APCO on accounts such as Bolivia.
AD markets office products,
chemicals, highway signs and labeling systems.
Edition, August 20, 2003, Page 8
Babbit, chief creative officer of Grey Advertising and its
GCI Group PR wing, says creative ad people are much needed
He told AdWeek
July 14 that many ad creatives will move into PR in the
next ten years.
been an evolution in PR from those who send press releases
to [those who] produce really creative programs for clients
that are publicity and promotionally oriented," he
Ries chimed in with, "If we ve had any criticism [with
PR], it s been the lack of creativity at the front end."
Grey as president and head of creative in 2002 from 360
Thinc in Atlanta and was also named creative head of GCI
comments have made already-insecure PR pros feel even more
watched the purchase of most big PR firms by the ad congloms
and the resulting downsizings and slide in PR fees (partly
due to the recession but also due to advertising s distaste
for PR, particularly the press relations part).
No one knows
the exact numbers of the slide because the congloms would
not let their 51 PR units give any figures this year, not
even employee totals, because they might not be GAAP and
might violate the strictures of Sarbanes-Oxley.
PR pros at
agencies have become as fearful of the press as the corporate
side. Former NIRI president Tim Cost correctly said, "Corporate
PR experiences a press call as a drive-by shooting."
have been removed from PR A/Es and they rightly fear that
any quote of theirs that winds up in the press could cost
them their jobs.
ask: how can you be creative when you dive under a desk
when the press calls?
s attitude toward the press is typified by Omnicom moving
its (five-minute) annual meeting to Los Angeles this year
to escape the press.
last report on PR was that it was down 18% in one quarter
of 2002. Then PR was lumped in with many other activities.
New CEO David Bell and PR head Philippe Krakowsky promised
us PR would be broken out again. IPG made a quarterly report
last week but PR remained submerged.
PR is a creative field
but in a different way from advertising. Ads work
hard even to get a fraction of a second of notice from a
consumer. PR deals with editorial time and space where readers
and viewers are already paying full attention. To influence
this audience, sources must provide plenty of facts and
be available to answer questions.
PR, a delicate
plant, is in danger of being crushed by advertising the
same way that investment banking nearly crushed sell-side
security analysis and consulting nearly crushed the big
is sell-side research that it might as well be abandoned
altogether, stock indexer Jack Bogle told the recent NIRI
conference (8/13 NL).
lawyers, CFOs and others demanding full control of "messages"
have made PR so dangerous that almost no one wants to do
it any more.
new head of a corporate PR dept. has no media background
but plenty of community activities and service to a political
party, preferably the GOP (7/30 NL on members of PR Seminar).
pressuring PR are investor relations specialists who chased
PR people away from anything financial and who helped
bring about the plague of pro forma earnings reports. Their
trade group, NIRI, worked hard to pass the Securities Litigation
Reform Act of 1995 that helped usher in the dot-com boom
because it became hard to sue hyped-up high-techs. NIRI
membership turnover is high because many in IR are just
"walk-throughs" to another job. PR is needed to
re-orient IR away from the Street and back to the general
public. IR, as researcher Lisa Shalett said (8/6 NL), helped
"bully" sell-side researchers into submission.
With so much work for
the PR field to do, so many enemies to fight, why
is its trade association, PRSA, so immersed in its internal
politics (page one)? It has nominated as treasurer Maria
Russell, whose candidacy is illegal under PRSA s bylaws
which say, "Directors may not succeed themselves as
directors." She was on the 1999 board and should not
be coming back. Kathy Lewton violated this rule and a 52-year
tradition by being elected chair in 1999 in an emergency
situation. Art Stevens, also on the 1999 board, violated
the rule by serving as secretary in 2003. But three wrongs
do not make a right... the
slate drawn up by the nominating committee leaves no one
from New York on the board although New York is the
biggest single city chapter. National Capital claims to
be No. 1 but its members come from two states, Virginia
and Maryland, besides D.C. Eleven of its 20 directors work
in Virginia. NCC is a hotbed of APR, which has virtually
no meaning in New York. Although claiming to be No. 1, NCC
provides no voice on national PRSA matters. Since PRSA/NY
is being treated so badly by national and New York s problems
are so different from most of the other chapters, New York
should split from national just like New York Women in Communications
did in 1997. NYWICI, with 1,000+ members, is growing, while
PRSA/NY, with 629, is in decline. The 629 pay national $141,525
in dues. Why?
-- Jack O'Dwyer