Edition, Dec. 3, 2003, Page 1
EDELMAN NAMES MERRILL
AS FIN'L CHIEF.
Edelman PR Worldwide
has recruited Andrew Merrill, a managing director at The
Abernathy MacGregor Group, as executive VP and global managing
director of its finance group, which includes clients such
as Swiss Re, Deutsche Bank, Adidas and Chicago Mercantile
Exchange. He replaces Hollis Rafkin-Sax, who left last month
to become vice chairman of Financial Dynamics U.S. operations.
at AMG, counseled ImClone Systems (crisis PR for alleged
insider trading allegations), Vivendi s merger with Seagram,
Alcatel s takeover talk with Lucent Technologies, Warnaco
s Chapter XI filing and Global Marine s merger with Santa
Fe International. He also worked at Sard Verbinnen, UBS
Warburg and Bank of New York.
welcoming Merrill, Richard Edelman, CEO of the firm, said
he is proud of the firm s distinction "as the only
large firm with a world-class financial practice."
Merrill will take the financial practice to "the next
level," he said.
firm's financial team includes Richard Mahony, deputy GM,
and executive VPs Bill McBride and Jeff Zilka.
B-M WINS NEW DRUG WORK
Pfizer has named Burson-Marsteller to handle global PR for
a new drug called Pregabalin, which will be used to treat
epilepsy and other brain disorders.
The drug is under review by the FDA for use in the U.S.
and by the EMEA for use in Europe.
B-M won the "whole enchilada" against Edelman
PR Worldwide. GCI Group, Chandler Chicco and Hill &
Knowlton bid for the U.S. business. H&K also competed
for the international segment of the drug account.
It was confirmed by a B-M spokesman that the agency has
laid off several staffers.
The spokesman would not reveal exactly how many staffers
or the names of the laid off staffers, but said the firm
had also hired several new staffers in the high tech and
healthcare practice areas, resulting in 13 fewer staffers
The agency has about 1,600 employees.
John McCamman is stepping
down as chief of staff to Rep. George Radanovich (R-Calif.)
to join Fleishman-Hillard's Washington, D.C., office in
January as senior VP for government relations.
CASTALDI LEAVES H&K/NY
FOR COLUMBIA U.
Marilyn Castaldi, who became general manager of Hill &
Knowlton s New York office last year, is starting `04 as
chief communications officer for Columbia University Medical
Center, a new post. Heyman Assocs. placed Castaldi.
"I got a great offer," she told this NL, and
the post "lets me get involved with the real business
of PR, which is counseling and problem-solving." The
Columbia job also allows Castaldi to go "full-circle."
She was PR director for the University of Pennsylvania early
in her career.
Castaldi began her agency life at H&K in 1982, where
she worked in Los Angeles and New York over a two-year period.
She eventually headed both Burson-Marsteller and Fleishman-Hillard's
healthcare practices, and did corporate stints at Johnson
& Johnson and Avon Products.
APCO SEEKS $$$ FOR INDONESIA.
APCO Worldwide is pitching the importance of Indonesia as
a "front-line state in the war on terrorism,"
and a fledgling democracy that doesn't get the attention
that it deserves from Washington.
The Grey Global Group unit is delivering that pitch on
behalf of the National Bureau of Asian Research in Seattle.
It released a "Report by the National Commission on
U.S.-Indonesian Relations" in October calling for a
revamp of ties.
Indonesia, with its population of 230 million, is the world
s largest Muslim state. The country faces a serious threat
from radical Islamists as evidenced by terror attacks on
a resort in Bali (202 dead) and the bombing of the Marriott
Hotel in downtown Jakarta that killed 14 people.
The Report states that a "failure of democracy there
would hurt not only Indonesians. It would reinforce the
stereotype that a Muslim-majority nation cannot manage a
Sarah Hull, who was senior VP for global PA at Monsanto,
has joined Syngenta as head of corporate communications
and PA. She will be based in the Washington, D.C., office
of the Basel, Switzerland- headquartered agribusiness. Hull
has worked for Robinson, Lake, Lerer and Montgomery in D.C.,
and for Fleishman-Hillard in Kansas City.
Heyman Assocs. did the search.
Edition, Dec. 3, 2003, Page 2
CONDIT BAILS OUT OF
Boeing CEO Phil Condit (62) resigned Dec. 1 in the wake
over the ethics flap that led to the firings of executive
VP and CFO Mike Sears and VP/missile defense systems deputy
general manager Darleen Druyun on Nov. 24.
Boeing s board determined then that Sears offered Druyun
a job while she was employed at the Pentagon and in position
to dole out contracts to the aerospace giant.
Condit, at that time, said Boeing "must and will live
by the highest standards of ethical conduct in every aspect
of its business."
The company informed the Air Force about the firings, and
pledged cooperation with the Pentagon s investigation into
Republican Senators John McCain (Ariz.) and Pete Fitzgerald
(Ill.) sent a letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
on Nov. 28, asking him to reconsider the Pentagon's plan
to purchase $17 billion in aerial tankers from Boeing following
the dismissals of the two executives for unethical conduct.
Boeing issued a statement Dec. 1 saying the board has accepted
Condit s resignation after deciding that "a new structure
for leadership of the company is needed."
Boeing's statement does not mention the ethics scandal.
It named 62-year-old Lewis Platt, former CEO and board
member at Hewlett-Packard, as non-executive chairman. Harry
Stonecipher, who retired from Boeing in `02, has returned
as president and CEO.
John Dern and Larry McCracken are handling press inquiries
at Boeing s headquarters in Chicago. Dave Dohnalek, Paul
Kinscherff and Bob Kurtz are dealing with IR matters.
WPP HELPS OUT INTERPUBLIC.
Gabe Rozsa, who handles energy, environmental and infrastructure
issues at BKSH & Assocs., is "providing extra help"
on the lobbying front to Rhoads/ Weber Shandwick.
He told this NL that he "knows some people" at
R/WS, and is helping them out. That work has led BKSHthe
lobbying wing of WPP Group's Burson-Marstellerto register
Interpublic s R/WS as a client with the Secretary of the
Rozsa would not say what work he has been doing for R/WS.
The filing has Rozsa dealing with a "Dept. of Energy
science laboratory issue."
The lobbyist is well-connected in Republican circles. He
joined BKSH this summer from his post as environmental counsel
for Republican staff of the House Science Committee and
staff director of its Energy Subcommittee. Earlier he was
counsel to GOP members of the House Public Works and Transportation
Rozsa also worked as lobbyist at Cassidy & Associates,
which is owned by Interpublic.
MACY'S GETS SNAGGED
IN GAY UNION FLAP.
Macy s is distancing itself from a Nov. 26 New York Times
op-ed piece supporting gay marriage penned by an actor who
appeared in its annual Thanksgiving Day parade.
The company set up a complaint line to field comments from
the public regarding the now controversial story.
Harvey Fierstein, an actor in the Broadway musical "Hairspray,"
wrote in the Times that his role as Mrs. Claus in the parade
makes him half of a same-sex couple with Santa Claus. He
goes on to wonder "But what if Santa really was gay?
Could there be another Mr. Claus? Would those grinches who,
as we speak, are fashioning legislation to deny marriage
to gay and lesbian Americans, make an exception for the
jolly old soul?"
Fierstein invokes Rev. Mychal Judge, the gay fire department
chaplain killed on Sept. 11, and said the Bush Administration
spends billions spreading freedom abroad while it devises
legislation to deny equal rights at home.
Macy's issued a statement distancing the retailer from
Fierstein s piece and saying he was incorrect in saying
he would play Mrs. Claus. "The Parade has never and
will never be a platform for political and social issues
and opinions," it read. Fierstein did not play Mrs.
Claus in the parade, but appeared as his character, Mrs.
Edna Turnblad, in "Hairspray."
STRATEGY XXI COUNSELS
The People s Republic of China turned to Strategy XXI Group
this summer as the country re-opened its tourism sector
following the SARS outbreak.
Harriet Mouchly-Weiss, the seasoned crisis PR expert, was
called in to map out a "Post SARS Promotional Campaign,"
according to her firm's letter of agreement with the China
National Tourist Office. She has 30+ years of PR experience,
and is a former international president of GCI Group and
chairman of Ruder Finn & Rotman International Partners.
The U.S. is the No. 4 source of visitors to China.
It sent 1.2 million people there in `02, trailing Russia
(1.3M), South Korea (2.1M) and Japan (2.9M).
New York-based Strategy XXI received a $25,000 fee for
three months of work for the Chinese.
EIDSON, EX-H&K CEO,
GETS NYT PLUG.
Thomas Eidson, who is executive VP and director of corporate
affairs at Fidelity Investments in Boston, got a big write
up in The New York Times on Nov. 25 for his string
of Wild West novels.
Eidson, 59, who is working on his fifth novel, told reporter
Pam Belluck that he writes each morning before work and
after he leaves the office.
He started his first novel, "St. Agnes Stand,"
in 1993 in the airport in Sydney, Australia, and wrote it
in three months in airports and during nights and weekends
while he was working for Hill and Knowlton, where he eventually
became chairman/CEO. He joined Fidelity in 1998.
Edition, Dec. 3, 2003, Page 3
JACKO BYPASSES MEDIA
Michael Jackson established a website so he could bypass
the news media to deliver his side of the story in his child-molestation
case, according to Doug Dowie, senior VP and general manager
of Fleishman-Hillard s Los Angeles office.
Dowie told The Associated Press the website allows Jackson
to communicate with those people interested without the
message being filtered by the media. "If he wants to
put out an 800-word press release, you can read all 800
words," said Dowie.
Jackson said in a statement that the site would serve as
a source for "official communications on my case."
The site also contains links to earlier statements by the
entertainer s spokesman Stuart Backerman, which were made
on Jackson s behalf after authorities raided the singer's
Neverland Ranch and before and after the entertainer surrendered
on a warrant alleging lewd or lascivious acts with a child
PEDDLE FREE BOOKS.
Some of the guests at the New York Financial Writers Assn.'s
"Financial Follies" event on Nov. 21 have been
enriching themselves by selling two top selling business
books, which they got as gifts, to The Strand Book Store
in New York.
The books "Bull!" by Maggie Mahar, and
"Who Says Elephants Can t Fly," by Louis Gerstner,
former head of IBM were given as dinner table favors
by Harper Collins publicity department to guests at the
annual black tie event.
Sources said many of the sellers were disappointed because
the Strand was paying just $8 for both books which have
jacket prices of $18 and $28, respectively.
WHY IS PR IMPORTANT,
Ben Silverman, who is publisher of soon-to-be relaunched
DotcomScoop.com and business news columnist for The New
York Post, has invited readers to write an essay in
1,000 words or less on why PR is important and e-mail it
to him with the subject line, "PR Essay."
"I want PR people to tell the world, in their own
words, what it is they do, why it needs to be done and how
important it is."
His e-mail address is [email protected].
The Indiana Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists
in Indianapolis concluded its three-part media series for
PR practitioners Dec. 2 with a program on convergence in
One of the speakers was Jason Fenwick, who is executive
producer of "Inside Indiana Business."
Joe Boyce, a retired editor from The Wall Street Journal
and current chapter president, said the one-hour business
and technology show, which was launched in May 2000, is
a model for converged news providing TV, radio, web and
e-mail reports around the state.
Boyce said the series was designed to help PR pros learn
how to pitch news packages to media outlets that take convergence
Dow Jones has reached a tentative contract settlement with
its principal union, the Independent Assn. of Publishers
The agreement with IAPE covers about 1,600 employees in
news, ad sales, information technology, production and administrative
The contract, which must be ratified by IAPE's membership,
provides a $1,000 lump sum bonus payment in December to
2,500 non-IAPE employees, which would bring the total number
of employees eligible for the bonus to about 4,100.
The total cost of this bonus, including associated fringe
benefits, is about $5 million.
MOVING: Time Out New
York moved Dec. 1 to 475 10th ave., 12th flr., New York,
NY 10018. Phone: 646/432-3000; fax: 432-3010; www.timeoutny.com.
Alexandra Mitchell-Manon, who handles PR for the magazine,
can be reached at 646/432-3083.
was named beauty director for Prevention magazine.
She can be reached at 212/573-0325, or [email protected].
was recently named health editor at MSNBC.com, which has
more than 15 million unique users per month.
Weaver is based at One MSNBC pl., Secaucus, NJ 07043; 201/583-5020;
has replaced Marsha Goldsmith as news editor of JAMA, The
Journal of the American Medical Assn. She can be contacted
at 312/464-2444; [email protected].
a former senior editor at New York Magazine, who
covered the ad business, has written a book about "unforgettable"
Super Bowl TV commercials for Bloomberg Press, called "The
Super Bowl of Advertising." It sells for $29.95.
has joined the "Paula Zahn Now" show on CNN as
senior line producer. 212/714-8000; [email protected].
43, formerly editor-in-chief of Style.com, has joined CondeNet,
the online affiliate of Conde Nast Publications, as editorial
31, deputy editor, was promoted to executive editor at CosmoGirl!magazine.
previously at Us Weekly, was hired as Glamour magazine's
new articles editor, doing features, pop culture and relationship
was named editor-in-chief of Travel Agent magazine,
published by Advanstar Communications Inc.
McDonald, 42, was previously associate publisher/editorial
director of the Travel Agent Magazine Custom Publishing
a former reporter and columnist at The Dallas Morning
News, was named executive editor of the A.M. Journal
Express, which made its debut as a daily newspaper in
the Dallas market on Nov. 12.
news continued on next page)
Edition, Dec. 3, 2003, Page 4
TURKEY EATERS READ
Turkey eaters are more likely to read the health section
of the newspaper than the rest of the population, according
to a study conducted by Porter Novelli Research Group in
PN said the research shows people who eat turkey at least
once a week are more likely to say they enjoy learning about
health issues, to read the health section of the newspapers,
and to belong to a health club.
The study also found turkey eaters are more likely to say
the way they look is extremely important to them.
Deanne Weber, who is head of the PN Research Group in Washington,
D.C., said the survey reveals "how turkey eaters perceive
themselvesthey buck the conventional wisdon that turkey
is something associated with conservative, conventional
behaviors, but in reality, turkey eaters are trendsetters."
Kathryn Kahler Vose, director of PN s Washington health
and social marketing group, said the information will be
used to aim messages more precisely.
CRUDELE: NYSE TO HOLD
John Crudele, financial columnist for The New York Post,
reports the New York Stock Exchange is planning to hold
its annual Christmas party for reporters.
"Dick Grasso left behind enough cash for a partybut
just barely," said Crudele, who stopped going to the
"by invitation-only" shindig because the NYSE
s PR department, headed by Bob Zito, made him feel like
he should write only positive things about Grasso and the
CNBC SHIFTS AWAY
FROM BUSINESS NEWS.
CNBC will replace its "Business Center" program
early next year with a new comedy show hosted by Dennis
Miller, as the cable network makes a shift away from hard
news business shows.
Anchors Ron Insana and Sue Herera, who co-host BC, will
get new shows. Insana will anchor a new show at 2 p.m.,
while Herera will join anchor Bill Griffeth on "Power
"Kudlow & Cramer" will be switched to 5 p.m.
Earlier this year, CNN remodeled "Lou Dobbs Moneyline,"
broadening the show s range of coverage and changing the
name to "Lou Dobbs Tonight."
Elisabeth Hasselback was picked from more than 2,000 wannabes
to be a new co-host of "The View," a morning TV
talk show on ABC.
The 26-year-old Hasselback, who was a contestant on "Survivor:
The Australian Outback," will replace Lisa Ling. She
will join Barbara Walters, Joy Behar, Star Jones and Meredith
Vieira, who are the other co-hosts of the show, which is
in its seventh season.
Hasselback, who is married to Washington Redskins quarterback
Tim Hasselback, is "somewhat<%0> more conservative
than the rest of us," according to Vieira.
ABC MAY START LOCAL
ABC is close to starting its own all-news cable channel.
The Disney-owned network is reported to be in advanced discussions
with some of its key affiliate stations about starting a
digital local 24-hour news channel.
Each market it would be in would feature local news, according
to TV Week.
AD REPORTERS TO BRIEF
Theresa Howard, who recently took over the ad/marketing
beat for USA Today, will make a rare public appearance
at the Publicity Club of New York s luncheon on Dec. 16
at the 3 West Club.
Howard, who does not like to get phone calls or e-mails
from publicists, was invited to join three other ad and
marketing beat journalists on a panel.
The other panelists are: Jonah Bloom, executive editor,
Advertising Age; Stuart Elliott, ad columnist for
The New York Times, and Brian Steinberg, who is the
new ad columnist for The Wall Street Journal.
SCHILLING TO N.Y.
AS EW'S EXEC. EDITOR.
Mary Kay Schilling, who was previously Los Angeles bureau
chief for Entertainment Weekly, has been transferred
to New York as the magazine's executive editor.
Ben Svetkey, a senior editor, has assumed most of Schilling
s former duties.
INT'L HERALD TRIBUNE.
Alison Smale, deputy foreign editor of The New York Times,
was named managing editor of The International Herald Tribune.
Smale, 48, will start her new job Jan. 19. She will report
to Walter Wells, 59, who becomes executive editor at the
Paris-based paper on Jan. 19.
TOP COURT WON T TACKLE LIBEL CASE.
The U.S. Supreme Court refused Nov. 3 to block a lawsuit
over Consumer Reports critical safety reports about
the Suzuki Samurai.
The refusal to review the case is seen as a defeat for
news organizations that wanted the court to clarify protections
for journalists who warn about dangers from products.
The magazine, published by Consumers Union, had labeled
the Samurai unacceptable in 1998 because of potential rollovers.
Sun-Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale, and WFTL-AM have teamed
up to start a 24-hour news/talk program.
A daily one-hour news/talk program is planned to be broadcast
live from the Sun-Sentinel's newsroom. In addition, plans
call for nightly, overnight and weekend newscasts on WFTL
to be produced and anchored live by members of the Sun-Sentinel
s news team.
Edition, Dec. 3, 2003, Page 7
A new national group, aimed at "PR pros interested
in developing their communications skills and tapping a
center of online PR resources," has been founded by
Tyson Heyn, former senior manager of corporate communications,
Seagate Technology, Scotts Valley, Calif.
Heyn said he started work
on the "League of American Communications Professionals"
in mid-2001. It now offers a variety of instructional materials
and conducts an awards competition each quarter.
Membership costs $119
yearly and there is no initiation fee. Website is www.lacp.com.
Members receive a membership
certificate, membership card and access to reference services.
Subscribers to LACP s
free monthly web newsletter share best practices, receive
tools and tips, reports on trends and can attend forums
that discuss industry issues.
LACP also has a web newsletter
for members only.
Heyn said he plans to
have a board of directors that will elect officers of the
Members have access to 20+ "templates" that help
them with such things as press release writing and calculating
the advertising equivalencies of media placements.
LACP says it "encourages
excellence in the practice of communications...quality communications
is the best brand differentiator available to an organization."
The goal of LACP, says
its literature, is to "help facilitate discussion of
best-in-class practices in communications and recognize
those who demonstrate exemplary communications behaviors."
The group s online "PR
Scope" lets PR people list themselves as subject matter
experts so that editors may contact them.
Written evaluations of
PR materials are provided for "around $500."
are judged in a winter competition (Feb. 13, 2004 deadline);
annual reports in the spring (May 14 deadline); communications
materials in the summer (Sept. 17), and publicity campaigns
in the fall (Nov. 12).
A recent addition to LACP
s products is a "2003 PR Salary Guide" tracking
pay in 300 regions in the U.S. by various titles.
AT NYWICI EVENT.
Cathleen Black, president of Hearst Magazines, called New
York Women in Communications "an unbelievably serious
place where women come together and share victories and
Black addressed the Third Annual Gratitude Breakfast of
the NYWICI Foundation which raised funds to provide scholarships
for four women.
Attendees paid $150 for
themselves and a friend.
Total attendance was more
They were encouraged to
stand up and talk about the person they brought with them
to the breakfast at the Pierre hotel.
Gayle King, editor-at-large,
O, The Oprah Magazine, noted how fitting it was that
the theme of the current O magazine is "excellence."
She described Black as "The First Lady of American
Mary Lou Quinlan, president
of Just Ask a Woman, brought Diane Perlmutter, CEO of Gilda
s Club, describing her as a longtime friend and mentor who
has inspired her throughout her life.
Donna Hanover brought
Julia Down of Spencer Stuart executive search firm, saying
Down should be thanked for helping to place more than 100
women on corporate boards.
TAKE ON STARBUCKS.
Interpublic s Sawyer Miller and Futurebrand units are leading
a multi-million-dollar push for Colombian coffee growers
to open their own coffee shops, a move aimed at taking market
share and profits from companies like Starbucks.
A global oversupply has
push down coffee prices and Colombian growers only earn
about a penny on a $2 or $3 latte at Starbucks. The Colombian
Coffee Federation, the trade group for 560,000 Colombian
growers, hopes its members will earn up to five cents a
cup through profit and ownership stakes in the coffee shops,
which will be named after the commodity s icon, Juan Valdez,
and rolled out at a cost of $20 million. Profits will also
be used to build infrastructure in Colombia s coffee-growing
WARNER MUSIC DEAL.
Robinson Lerer & Montgomery is handling media for the
$2.8 billion takeover of Time Warner's Warner Music Group
by an investment group that is fronted by Edgar Bronfman
Jr., the former CEO of Seagram Co. He was responsible for
piloting that liquor company into the entertainment business
via the $5.7B MCA and $10.4B Polygram deals. Bronfman unloaded
Seagram to Vivendi Universal in 2000 and became its vice
chairman. VU nearly collapsed under a pile of debt.
RL&M s Lauren Hurvitz
is the investor group rep in the U.S., while Euro RSCG C&O
handles overseas reporters. RL&M is owned by WPP Group.
NEWS ABOUT CHOCOLATE.
The Chocolate Manufacturers Assn., Vienna, Va., is looking
to hire a VP-PA. The individual will keep association members,
such as M&M/Mars, Hershey, Nestle and ADM Cocoa, updated
on developments in Washington, and keep the public updated
about chocolate s place in a balanced diet.
CMA's website (candyusa.org)
has a nutrition and health section that gives the "good
news about chocolate." It also dispels "myths"
connected with eating this "small indulgence,"
such as: candy eating promotes cavities, and chocolate or
sugar consumption makes children hyperactive.
Though many describe their
desire to eat chocolate as a craving, the CMA believes that
ultimately chocolate is eaten "because it tastes good."
Edition, Dec. 3, 2003, Page 8
New York Times think piece from Baghdad last month
described the friction that has developed between
the press and military in Iraq in recent days.
This has replaced the
short-lived period of "good feeling" when the
"embeds" were reporting the rapid advance of U.S.
troops into Iraq.
"I have come to hate
the media," an aide to occupation head Paul Bremer
was quoted as saying.
NYT writer Raymond Bonner
concluded that things went well until the deaths of U.S.
soldiers due to guerrilla actions began to mount.
Then the military got
touchy about giving any facts at all to reporters because
some of them might become "bad news."
Details of attacks that
may have been thwarted, casualties of bombings, Iraqi subcontractors
working for U.S. companies, etc., are hard to come by, complained
Bonner. Information officers seem "determined to withhold
information," he wrote.
We can see the wisdom
of that for military or any other purveyors of information.
The most innocent facts, even those that appear highly positive,
can turn out to be negative in some future context. For
instance, PRSA proudly announced that it spent four years
and $250,000 revamping its accreditation test. But we can't
find anyone who has actually taken the new test. It has
been available since July 1 five months. The $250K
and four years will become negatives if the test proves
No one from New York has
taken it although two members are "interested."
Both the Los Angeles and Chicago chapters recently reported
no takers. Those involved in the new APR process say it's
much more complicated than it used to be.
Formerly, applicants paid
the fee, took the test and went through an oral interview.
Now, applicants must first submit "materials"
proving they have the required 5-7 years of experience in
the field. Then they face an interview with three APRs who
will determine whether they can even take the multiple-choice
test. No doubt the weak economy and $275 cost of the test
are also factors. A new factor is that PRSA is emphasizing
specialized skills development via its healthcare, technology,
financial, etc., sections. This makes the generalized skills
tested in the APR exam seem less relevant. APR board chair
Nancy Wood has not released any statistics on those taking
the new exam. Previously, the APR board provided pass/fail
numbers at six-month intervals (after the tests were given).
The new test is available throughout the year at Prometric
The new League of American
Communications Professionals (page 7) is an online PR society
that will satisfy the needs of many working PR pros.
For one thing, it uses
the term "communications" which has much more
acceptance in corporate quarters than "PR." Only
two of the 38 new corporate members this year of PR Seminar
use the term "PR" in their titles. LACP Founder
Tyson Heyn (an APR member of PRSA), says a board of directors
will be created who will elect officers. Aim of the group
is to encourage and reward "quality communications."
Amen, we say
news media, in some ways, have made life more difficult
for PR pros. Reporters e-mail their web stories to
subjects for instant critiquing and correcting. Subjects
can no longer complain a few days later about something
being "inaccurate." If they make this charge after
reading the web story, they have to say immediately what
has a problem with Merriam-Webster, which put the word "McJob"
in its Collegiate Dictionary, defining it as a "low-paying
job that requires little skill and provides little opportunity
for advancement." M-W said it based its entry on the
use of the term in publications for 17 years. McDonald's
said more than 1,000 owners of McDonald's restaurants started
out behind the counter. Trademarks sometime become generic
terms to the dismay of their creators. But this can also
be taken as flattery
seminar of the International Section of PRSA at the U.N.
Dec. 4-5 (11/26 NL) should inveigh against the corruption
of language for political purposes. This will not be easy.
The most controversial session on "telling the truth"
at the Arthur Page conference Sept. 14-16 in San Diego tackled
the subject of whether certain combatants should be called
David Schlesinger, EVP
and editor of Reuters America, said it's the media s job
to report actions and not label them as terrorism or whatever.
Reuters is well known
for avoiding that word.
Schlesinger caught more
flak on this from attendees who said "terrorism"
is a factual descriptor of some actions
next big scandal in the mutual fund industry will be the
12B1 fees collected from investors that are legally
meant for "marketing and PR" but are not used
for that purpose, said a New York financial PR pro. Involved
are tens of millions of dollars, he said
"Financial Follies" of the New York Financial
Writers Assn. drew about 1,000 people or the same as 2002
in spite of the recession. The bad year was 2001
(870) and the best year was 2000 (1,250). Burson-Marsteller,
which had 11 tables in 2002 after taking eight in 2001,
cut back to three tables (at $3,000 each). Bloomberg was
No. 1 with four tables while Citigate Sard Verbinnen had
three. Among those with two were Weber Shandwick; Brunswick
Group; Manning, Selvage & Lee, and Kekst and Co. Dick
Grasso, late of the NYSE, came in for heavy ribbing to the
tune of the "Money Song" from "Cabaret"
sung by Leonard Sloane ("money made Dick Grasso run").