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Internet Edition, March 31, 2004, Page 1

The Dept. of Commerce has named Edelman PR Worldwide the lead contractor on its $6 million tourism account. Cathleen Johnson, leader of the Chicago-based firm's global tourism practice, spearheads the "Visit America Alliance," which consists of Edelman partners M&C Saatchi, London ad agency, and BVK, Milwaukee integrated marketing firm.

The Alliance is to focus on increasing the number of visitors to the U.S. by building the perception of America as an attractive tourism destination. The initial focus of the one-year contract is on the U.K. The program may be expanded to other nations.
The Sept. 11 terror attacks have crimped the U.S. tourism market. Spending by inbound travelers dropped from $102B in `00 to $87.8B in `02.

California has issued a $5 million RFP for ads and PR to increase recycling and opportunities to do so in the state. The state points out that recycling rates have declined since the 1990s – 73% in 1999, compared with 58% in ‘02 – and are not keeping pace with sales of beverages in recyclable containers.

For the PR portion of the work, the Golden State's Dept. of Conservation wants a firm with at least five years of social public policy issue experience, media relations savvy and special event planning. The department singled out a PR component that would attract businesses to set up programs for employees, customers and visitors, as well as general residents, with the department's help. The state has also planned for $100K to "augment and enhance" its website, which urges the purchase of recycled products and an "environmentally friendly" lifestyle.

The proposal process has begun, with April 16 being the final date for submissions and May 24 slated as the award date. The contract begins July 1 and runs through June 2005.

Dotty Diemer, a senior VP at Century City, Calif.-based Rogers & Assocs. is slated to take over as VP-PR for Mitsubishi North Amer., Cypress, Calif.

Diemer is a veteran of Honda, where she held its top PR spot and was the car maker's primary D.C. lobbyist. R&A has worked with Honda since 1998.

She will oversee corporate PR and community relations for Mitsubishi in the U.S. and Canada.

Fleishman-Hillard has acquired a majority stake in Strat@comm, making the Omnicom unit the leader in the automotive PA arena, according to Ron DeFore, a co-founder of the acquired company.

CEO John Graham, who celebrated his 30th anniversary at the helm of the St. Louis-based company on March 25, says Strat@comm will operate as an independent entity, and continue to be headed by co-founders DeFore, Jeff Conley and Diane Steed, a former administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

DeFore told O Dwyer's that he agreed to the deal because of F-H's culture and its policy of not meddling into the affairs of acquired firms. He said the deal gives F-H a presence in the Detroit market, while Strat@comm clients get access to F-H's global network.

DeFore said Strat@comm had a blockbuster `03 with fees up 40 percent over a down `02 year in which the firm posted fee income of $5 million. The firm has counseled Ford Motor, General Motors, DaimlerChrysler, SUV Owners of America, Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management, Nissan North America and Coalition for Vehicle Choice.

Strat@comm has 33 employees in Washington, D.C., and a dozen in Detroit under the management of John Casey. He is the son of Motor City PR legend, Jack Casey, who ran Casey Comms. Mgmt.

Hill & Knowlton, Bell Pottinger, GCI Group and Ketchum are pitching to represent London and its bid to wrestle the 2012 Olympic Games from favored city, Paris, which hired Weber Shandwick to oversee its bid.

The British press is abuzz with news that Barbara Cassani, the American who is heading London's effort, is embroiled in a fight with the Daily Telegraph, which ran an item in which she supposedly said that Prime Minister Tony Blair is "not that bright." She has denied that report, threatened legal action against the paper, and wrote a letter of apology to Blair. The Telegraph is one of the biggest cheerleaders for landing the Games.

Some British officials fret that Boston-born Cassani may undermine London's bid to win the Games since many countries in the International Olympic Committee are upset with U.S. policies in the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq.

Internet Edition, March 31, 2004, Page 2

St. Martin's Press has brought in Shirley & Banister Public Affairs to drum up conservative support for a new book accusing women's magazines of a liberal bend and constant focus on the "woes of womanhood."

Former Ladies Home Journal editor-in-chief, Myrna Blyth, penned the tome, Spin Sisters: How the Women of the Media Sell Unhappiness and Liberalism to the Women of America. In it she charges the $7 billion industry and a "Girls Club" of female media elites are exploiting female emotions and hawking a left-of-center, do-gooder agenda to their audience. She charges the heads of women's magazines are a lot more liberal than most women in America.

"The way media for women tries to attract and keep your attention is by selling the notion that you are perpetually frazzled, frumpy, fearful or failing," she writes.

Blyth, who headed LHJ from 1981 to 2002, also offers a confession in the book's foreword: "I confess, I confess that as an editor, I promoted ‘The Female Fear Factor for all it was worth and just like my colleagues used scary headlines, month after month, to attract readers."

Washington, D.C.-based's &B is charged with landing coverage among its national radio contacts, the majority of which are right-leaning. That work bolsters an overall PR effort by St. Martin's. The Washington Post played up the firm's savvy at landing radio coverage, earning a nod from Matt Drudge.


Piper Rudnick's $2 million PR contract with Spain has a termination clause that allows either party to call it quits after a 30-day written notification. That escape hatch has moved into the spotlight as Spain exits as a member of President Bush's "coalition of the willing" and aligns itself with the "axis of weasels"–France, Germany and Belgium.

PR's 20-month pact was forged with conservative Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, whose party was voted out of office on March 14 following the March 11 Madrid bombings.

Incoming Socialist Prime Minister-elect Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has vowed to pull Spain's 1,300 soldiers out of Iraq, unless the United Nations is given a mandate to oversee security there. Aznar, on March 22, criticized Zapatero for caving into the terrorists. The Socialist, however, made it plain that he favored yanking Spain from Iraq prior to the commuter train bombings.

A PR staffer told O Dwyer's that she did not think the firm has been contacted by the members of the incoming government. She said Lloyd Hand, the PR partner who oversees the Spanish business, is the only person who can officially comment on the contract. Hand, a former counselor to President Lyndon Johnson and sr. VP at TRW, could not be reached.


The American Financial Services Assn. has moved its PR and public affairs account from Fleishman-Hillard to Financial Dynamics, following two key executives that had made the switch from the Omnicom unit to independent FD.

AFSA is a trade association for financial services firms, like credit cards, mortgage or automotive firms, that lend to consumers and small businesses. It has been around since 1916. Lynne Strang, VP of comms., told this NL the association decided to move its account when VP Simon Keymer and managing director Stan Collender bolted F-H for FD.

Collender told this NL FD will focus on AFSA's work on predatory lending, an effort which is stretching out across 20-plus state capitals. Several states are trying to clamp down on that financing process, whereby higher-interest loans are offered to borrowers with poor credit. AFSA says it wants to stop "abusive" lending but has warned of overly restrictive measures on mortgage lending that can affect "legitimate" lenders offering credit to needy borrowers. Collender noted FD had to make a pitch presentation to retain the account.

FD has called the account its first major work for its new D.C. public affairs practice, which is headed by Collender.

Adelphia Communications, which hopes to emerge from Chapter 11 by the end of the year, has hired Card & Associates to help shape legislation regarding broadband, digital television transition and cable rate issues.

C&A is headed by Lorine Card, sister-in-law of Andy Card, President Bush's chief of staff. She also represents Comcast and National Cable and Telecommunications Assn.

Adelphia is the No. 5 cable operator with 5.4 million+ subscribers. While most recent news coverage of Adelphia deals with the fraud and conspiracy trial of its founder John Rigas and his two sons, the company has been mentioned as a takeover target.

Broadcasting and Cable reported that Cox, the No. 4 cable operator, is "carefully evaluating" how it can buy Adelphia or some of its systems—once the company emerges from Chapter 11.


The Jeffrey Group has picked up the six-figure Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications Latin America account, a business that was handled by Burson-Marsteller.

The Miami-based PR firm is to promote SE as a leader in the mobile phone and multimedia handheld communications market. The joint venture draws on Sony's consumer marketing expertise and Ericsson's cellular technology skills.

Jeff Sharlach, CEO of TJG, said Joel Perez, VP and managing director, will head the account. He is assisted by Jacqueline Kates.

Internet Edition, March 24, 2004, Page 3


Larry Moskowitz, president of Medialink, said every TV station in the U.S. uses video news releases in their newscasts.

"We determined prima facie and scientifically and electronically that every TV station in America has used and probably uses regularly this material from corporations and organizations that we provide as VNRs or B-roll or other terminology we may use," he told listeners of Bob Garfield's "On the Media" program that airs on WNYC-FM in New York.

While TV stations are lax about identifying the source of the footage, Moskowitz said "more unexpurgated, unedited and unredacted press information shows up in the average daily newspaper and in the average weekly newspaper probably by a five to one factor over the PR material that shows up on TV.

"So you might be going after the wrong goat here," he told Garfield, who moderated a discussion on the use of VNRs in the wake of the controversy over the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services use of a VNR to promote the new Medicare prescription drug program.

The other guests were: Doug Simon of DS Simon Productions; Deborah Potter, director of the The News Lab; Candace White, marketing professor at the Univ. of Tennessee and co-author of a 2001 study about VNRs, and John Stauber, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy.

Mum's the Word on VNRs

Garfield said news director don t like to talk about VNRs. "The few who returned our calls said they seldom use the free material," he said.

He began the discussion by playing the soundtrack from a PepsiCo Tropicana VNR created by Ketchum, which touts the health benefits of orange juice.

"Each year, thousands of such VNRs are distributed by corporations, government agencies, non-profit organizations and even members of Congress, who have discovered it's easier to manage the news when you actually produce it yourself," the moderator said.

"It is not news," said Stauber. "It is fake news."

Garfield said Stauber believes the use of VNRs amounts to a systematic deception of viewers both by the hidden interested parties behind them and by news organizations with impure motives themselves.

"If I m a TV news director, and I can fill most of the so-called seven or eight-minute news hole on a local TV news program with provided footage that I get for free, I can save tens of thousands of dollars or more," Stauber said.

Garfield pointed out not all VNRs run whole. "Most often they are mined for a clip of background footage here, an interview fragment there."

Potter, whose Washington, D.C.-based group is dedicated to quality local TV, said VNRs allow newsrooms to do less of their own work without fear of running out of material before the end of the hour.

"It's a concern, and it ought to be a concern, frankly, for viewers if much of the material that they re-starting to get on the news isn t news," she said.

Potter TV stations, who use VNRs, "need to tell where it came from." It makes a difference if the whaling video you re using came from Greenpeace or from the Coalition to Support Whaling," she said.

Simon said disclosure is the exception, not the rule. "From what we see, there is a very small percentage—perhaps less than 5%—that actually has identified what the source of the video is," said Simon.

White said their study found corporate videos were used the least, and the ones about health and safety were used the most.


Peter Bhatia, president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, asked Tommy Thompson, secretary of the Dept. of Health and Human Services, to stop using fake journalists in VNRs to publicize the new Medicare prescription benefit program.

Bhatia also said VNRs distributed to TV stations that do not identify the government as the source and end with a voice-over such as `In Washington, I m Karen Ryan reporting are outside the bounds of ethical behavior for HHS or any other government agency.

"It is fair, of course, for the government to communicate with citizens via press releases on video as well as print," Bhatia said in his March 18 letter to Thompson. "It is not ethical or appropriate, however, to employ people to pose as journalists, either on or off camera."

As head of the largest American organization of supervising newspaper editors, he said "It is the hope of our Society that you will agree with us and discontinue use of this misleading practice."

`Karen Ryan' runs Karen Ryan Group Comms. in Washington, D.C., which was hired by Home Front Communications to produce the VNR for HHS.


VNR-1 Communications, a full-service video production company based in Dallas/Ft. Worth, continues to find newsrooms at local TV stations want to get video news release notifications by fax.
"Over the past eight years, faxes have continued to dominate in newsrooms as a preferred source of information," said David Simons, VP at VNR-1.
"Since we began our surveys in 1996, faxes have been overwhelmingly preferred, showing that it is still simply the easiest way for newsrooms to know what is going on," said Simons.

The firm's latest survey of 100 newsrooms in the top 50 markets found 73% of the news managers and assignment editors (the `gatekeepers of local TV newsrooms) want to learn about VNRs through a fax.

The survey also found e-mail notifications are increasing in popularity.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, March 31, 2004, Page 4


The Boston office of Hill & Knowlton's Blanc & Otus unit is inviting eight reporters to meet eight business executives at a series of events for a casual exchange of information. Executives will have eight minutes to brief designated reporters on their latest development at their company.

The "Eight-Minute PR" events, which will be held at Vox Populi, a popular Boston haunt, are free to journalists, but will cost each executive $1,000.

Sharon Barclay, general manager of B&O, said the program was set up because it is "increasingly difficult for business executives to meet the right members of the media and to communicate their messages simply and succinctly. We believe, if a company can't tell its story in eight minutes, they either don t have a story or they desperately need our help."

Barclay said B&O will spend two hours with executives to help them craft a crisp, concise story.

Ted Lund was named managing editor of Sport Fishing, a magazine published by World Publications in Winter Park, Fla.

Doug Olander, editor-in-chief, said "Capt. Lund," who is an expert on salt water fishing, will write and edit several columns for the magazine, which is published nine times a year.

Lund has written for The Associated Press and The Miami Herald, and was a personal advisor on recreational fishing to the Sultan of Oman.

Crain's New York Business is publishing a "beat sheet" in every issue of the weekly paper.

Each listing provides the names of news staffers, title, e-mail address, and a description of their beat.

Time Inc. will publish four issues of Time Style & Design magazine in 2004 instead of two.

The first issue went on newsstands in February. It will be followed by issues in April, September, and November, according to editor-in-chief Kate Betts.

New York Magazine's new editor-in-chief Adam Moss is trying to build a bank of future feature articles. Moss, who replaced Caroline Miller last month, has required editors to submit at least 10 story ideas, according to Fashion Week Daily, which said Moss found very few feature stories in the works when he arrived.

David Bohrman, who took over as CNN's Washington, D.C., bureau chief in late January from Kathryn Kross, is setting up a "live reporting" desk staffed by two correspondents responsible for covering the day's news. He wants to free up reporters to work their beats and break more news.

Guests "expect gift bags" at an event, particularly reporters, says Alison Brod, whose PR firm handles 50 to 60 events a year for a range of clients including LVMH, the Gap, J.C. Penney and Escada.

Brod told BizBash Event Style Reporter "it is not enough to simply throw a cocktail party—there must be a theme and a takeaway of some sort."

Metro New York will make its debut in May.
Stefano Hatfield, who has written for Advertising Age and was AA's global editorial director, is editor of the giveaway paper. The paper is housed in Citicorp Center on Lexington ave. in Manhattan.

Metro International, the Swedish-based parent company, had postponed the start of the New York paper last year, when amNew York, a daily newspaper backed by Newsday's owner, The Tribune Co. in Chicago, began free distribution in Manhattan.
Metro New York will be distributed at transit stations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and parts of New Jersey.

Metro International, which just reported its first quarterly profit since becoming a publicly owned firm, claims it has 12.8 million readers worldwide, combining all its different 34 city editions.

TechTarget, an IT media and events company in Needham, Mass., has made sweeping changes in Information Security, a six-year-old monthly magazine.

Besides a new design there will be changes in the magazine's content, including new features and departments that focus on providing information that security managers can apply to their jobs.

A new regular feature will compare competing tools and technologies and their approaches to a security problem, using lab-test results.

Another new feature will examine products in an emerging category to give advice on what's new and why it matters, and how the products can help improve the management of enterprise security systems.

The magazine will have regular profiles of the technical innovators, business leaders, and government officials shaping the profession and the industry.

Andrew Biney, who is editor-in-chief, was named editorial director of IS, and Lawrence Walsh was promoted from managing editor to executive editor.

A new magazine for IT managers who work for the federal government will be published by Ziff Davis for CDW Government, a subsidiary of CDW Corp. The quarterly magazine is called Fed Tech.

Lee Copeland, a former technology reporter for The Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times and former senior editor at Computerworld, is Fed Tech's editor-in-chief, based in Washington, D.C.

The first issue was sent to 70,000 government IT decision makers, such as agency chief information officers and mid-level IT managers.


William Norwich is leaving The New York Times, where he is style & entertaining editor, to rejoin Vogue magazine as a contributing editor.

Norwich will write a first-person "social diary" 10 times a year for the "Talking Fashion" section as well as feature articles and an entertaining column several times a year.

Norwich said his diary will cover national and international affairs.

Norwich left Vogue to start the Style & Entertaining supplement for the Times in 2000 with Style editor Amy Spindler, who died recently.

Jamie Vance was named photo editor of Men's Fitness magazine.

Linda Massarella, previously a criminal justice reporter for The Associated Press, has joined In Touch Weekly as deputy West Coast editor.

Bob Edwards, host of the "Morning Edition" on National Public Radio for the past 25 years, will become a senior correspondent. His last day as host of the No. 1-rated morning radio show is April 30.

Sean Portnoy was promoted to senior associate editor at Computer Shopper magazine.

John Stoltenberg was named managing editor of AARP Magazine, and Nancy Graham was named deputy editor.

William Marimow, previously editor of The Baltimore Sun, is joining National Public Radio on May 2 as managing editor for NPR News in Washington, D.C. He will oversee national news coverage.

Andrew Gully is leaving The Boston Herald by June as managing editor. Gully's resignation follows last month's departure of editor Andrew Costello.

Jim Schachter, currently an editor of the "Business Day" section at The New York Times, was reassigned to the cultural department as a deputy editor. He begin his new job in April.

Lisa Gubernick, 48, who covered the entertainment industry for The Wall Street Journal and as the Hollywood correspondent for Forbes magazine, died March 16.

Karen Hepp, co-anchor of the "Weekend Today in New York" show on WNBC-TV, got engaged to Brian Sullivan, the principal of Sullivan and Co., a financial planning firm.

Joseph Ball, editor and founder of Advertising Communications Times, a monthly paper for ad/PR people in Philadelphia, is starting a paper called Old City News for those who live, work, shop and visit the "Old City" section of the city.

The monthly paper will focus on hard news, such as polic, fire, accident, incidents. Also covered will be events, people in the news, business and other information not found elsewhere.

Freelance reporter/writers are needed for the paper, which is located at 123 Chestnut st., suite 202, Philadelphia, Pa. 191106. Fax: 215/923-8358.

C-Span, a non-profit TV network created on by the cable industry in 1979, is watched "regularly"—at least once or twice a week—by 20% of the cable and satellite viewing audience (estimated by C-Span as 34.5 million people).

The national survey, which was conduced by Peter D. Hart Research Assocs., shows C-Span's viewing audience "looks like America" in demographics and geography. The survey found C-Span's audience continues to be politically active with 89% voting, 40% contacting public officials and 28% contributing to political campaigns.

Alex Berenson, author of "The Number: How to Drive for Quarterly Earnings Corrupted Wall Street and Corporate America," will deliver a lecture on April 1 as a guest of NYU's Leonard Stern school of business.
Registration is being handled online at or by calling 212/998-4040.

Ben Bradlee, retired executive editor of The Washington Post, said lying has become an acceptable element of official discourse, and reporters must be careful fact checkers of public statements. "I have become more and more convinced that the best journalists today are the best lie detectors," said Bradlee...

Carl Bernstein, the former Washington Post reporter who, along with Bob Woodward, uncovered the Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of President Nixon, believes much of today's news has deteriorated into gossip, sensationalism and manufacturered controversy.

Howell Raines said he felt on the day he became executive editor of The New York Times and on the day he drove away from W43rd st. for the last time that the Times "badly needs to raise the level of its journalism, and to do so quickly in order to survive and make the full transition to the digital age."

Internet Edition, March 31, 2004, Page 7

PR firm rankings by city/region

Internet Edition, March 24, 2004 Page 8



"If you re not indexed by Google, you pretty much don t exist," said a cover story on Google in the March 29 Newsweek. A business with a high page rank "can count on a thriving online trade," it adds.

Companies are hiring specialists to boost their Google rankings and this represents a ripe area for PR firms.

People go to websites for many of the same reasons they read top magazines and newspapers – there's plenty of good editorial content.

They re also going to websites to shop but even this involves information collection.

PR firms can help their clients to stuff their websites with plenty of relevant news and information and win a higher place in the Google rankings.

Specialist firms have all sorts of ways to "tweak" the Google system such as putting "marketing" and other buzz words in their names.

But Google says it is vigilant in stopping companies from "gaming" the system. It uses a hundred types of measuring tools.

The top five in Google under "public relations news" are; PR news by, which does a roundup from "thousands of sources";, which provides press release writing and distribution;, promising "free press release distribution," and the University of Southern Mississippi (marketing and PR news releases).

"Free" as usual, is a word that attracts attention.

The Council of PR Firms was in tenth position March 23 for its booklet called, "Standards for Conducting a PR Firm Search."

Unnecessarily costly hearing aids were blasted by the Wall Street Journal March 24 which said a $149 "sporting goods" device for hunters worked just as well as a $2,000 digital hearing aid. What's needed is PR to reposition these devices as anything but hearing aids which are classified as medical instruments by the FDA and protected by all sorts of laws. Specialists block purchase unless you submit to getting a custom ear mold and taking hearing tests.

These help run bills into the thousands of dollars. Most people just need simple amplification and a stock earplug like the one in a Sony Walkman.

Haverhills sells an excellent listening device that is also an AM-FM radio for about $50.

Melanie Husk, president of Husk Jennings Galloway + Robinson, which employs PRSA president Del Galloway, issued a statement
March 25 saying Galloway's life partner, Keith Francois, did not die of AIDS. His death was "sudden" and "unexpected," she said. Such a statement was needed because the odds are high that a gay male of 45 who dies is a victim of HIV or AIDS. HIV/AIDS in 1994 became the leading cause of death among all men aged 25-44, accounting for 23% of such deaths, says the Centers for Disease Control. The death rate among gays alone was much higher. Deaths due to HIV have been falling in recent years.

While searching without success for an obit on Francois in the Jacksonville, Fla., and Church Point, La., newspapers, we came across a curious fact. Almost no one who dies merits an obituary in the local paper. A death notice ad must be taken out at the high classified rate. Papers not only collect on the ads but escape having to write the obits. The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, on the day it carried the 52-line paid notice of Francois (at $4.68 a line), had 35 other paid death notices. It only carried two staff-written obits in that week. One was on a retired musician and former head of the local Shrine Temple, and the other was on a retired public official and former high school basketball star.

Carolyn Gilbert, who heads the International Assn. of Obituarists, Dallas (, said relatives commonly pay hundreds of dollars for a death notice if they want a public announcement. Some, who want pictures, pay thousands, she said. A fee is also collected by the funeral home for writing the notice.

Some papers now charge classified rates for weddings, engagements, and birth announcements.

The T-U and other papers usually post the death notice on their websites and allow friends and relations to provide messages of condolence without charge.

Dave Murray, writing in The Ragan Report March 1, expressed disappointment at the lack of cooperation he received when sending a query to Hewlett-Packard. HP staffers used to be so open they were "wonderful," he said. HP had the "storied tradition of a happy corporate culture called `The HP Way that generated lots of great employee communications programs," he wrote, adding, HP employees were "casual and confident." But with the arrival of CEO Carly Fiorina and the merger with Compaq, things have changed. Murray said he expects the "stiff" corporate treatment from such companies as Ford, IBM, Coke and Disney, adding "HP isn t the only organization that's become more buttoned up over the years"...

Keith Bradsher, former Detroit bureau chief, New York Times, who now heads the Hong Kong bureau, says in High and Mighty (about SUVs) that numerous auto writers have taken jobs with auto companies in recent years including five of the last seven AP auto writers (NL, 3/17). The auto industry definitely places ads in media that they perceive as providing a friendly or conducive environment for their products, he says. Reporters seldom raise questions on safety issues, according to Bradsher.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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