Edition, April 21, 2004, Page 1
B-M RUNS MOSCOW OLYMPICS
Moscow has selected
Burson-Marsteller and its affiliate, The Willard Group,
to handle its bid for the 2012 Olympic Games. The Russian
capital ranks as a dark horse contender to favorites Paris
(using Weber Shandwick) and London (Hill & Knowlton).
Olympic experience with the Seoul Games and work on the
upcoming `08 Games in Beijing helped seal the deal for the
WPP Group unit.
Willard, CEO of TWG, had served as head of B-M's Russia
and Ukraine operations before setting up his own firm more
than a decade ago.
duties include development of overall PR strategy, media
outreach to the national and regional Russian press and
media training for spokespeople at the Moscow 2012 Bid Committee.
N. IRELAND PROMO.
Invest Northern Ireland has awarded its $1.5 million budget
to CooperKatz & Co., INI's Larry Buchsbaum told O Dwyer's
. He said 22 firms submitted bids, representing a mix of
mid and large-sized firms from Boston, New York, Washington,
D.C., and Chicago.
executives met face-to-face with four firms, and CooperKatz
won the account because it was "creative and nimble,"
said Buchsbaum. "I also snuck around and got references
from CooperKatz clients,"
Cooper will head the account, and the work will aim to drum
up investments from companies involved in the technology,
biotech, financial services and call center industries.
WITH SIMPSONS VOICES.
The seven people who voice the dozens of characters on Fox's
"The Simpsons" have brought in Sitrick & Co.
as they strike to seek a share of the hit show's profits
and a huge salary boost.
is making the PR case for the actors who want salaries in
line with sitcom stars like Jerry Seinfeld and Kelsey Grammar.
has distributed a report put together by a financial analyst
which says Fox has earned from $2.5-$3 billion from the
animated show, based on syndication and advertising revenue
estimates. Fox has said those revenue estimates are overblown.
2005, the show would become TV's longest running sitcom,
replacing "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet."
IPG PAYS $41.1M
IN `03 BONUSES.
Interpublic shelled out $41.4 million in `03 bonuses for
top executives, according to an internal e-mail sent prior
to the release of the ad/PR conglom's proxy statement. The
executive windfall follows a year in which IPG's red ink
swelled to $451.7 million (compared to a year earlier $99.5
million profit) and employment dropped from 50,800 to 43,400.
David Bell also reported a 3.6 percent decline in his much
vaunted "organic growth" category during the past
New York Times broke the bonus story after it received a
copy of the e-mail. Philippe Krakowsky, IPG's spokesperson,
confirmed that the e-mail was genuine.
Christopher Coughlin issued a statement, noting that IPG
paid "minimal bonuses in `01, and none in `02."
He called the `03 payments "appropriate" as IPG
"made important strides in its turnaround efforts."
during IPG's conference call last month, vowed that IPG
would continue to take a "relentless look" at
overhead. Bell added that IPG was only in the first phase
of its 24 to 36-month turnaround, and stressed that much
more needs to be done to improve profit margins.
Edition, April 21, 2004, Page 2
L&N WINS MEXICAN
Empacadoras de Mango de Exportacion, the association of
packers and exporters of Mexican mangoes, has named Lewis
& Neale, a New York-based food PR firm, to handle a
$1.8 million campaign to promote mangoes in the U.S.
Anita Fial, president of L&N, said the firm bested
Porter Novelli and TNS Gallup, a Mexican agency, for the
"Our goal is to raise U.S. consumption of mangoes
from Mexico considerably above the current level of less
than two pounds per capita," said Fial. "To that
end, we will be conducting research, crafting brand positioning
and launching an integrated marketing programincluding
PR and advertising, in both Spanish and Englishto
drive trial and repeat purchase of this fruit."
NASCAR REVAMPS PR OPS.
NASCAR has realigned its PR department, shifting its top
corporate communications exec to a new post while adding
a Powell Tate veteran to bolster its in-house operation.
Jim Hunter, VP/CC and the professional stock car racing
league's main spokesman, has been moved to a new VP/CC slot
for regional and weekly racing. NASCAR, an acronym for National
Assn. of Stock Car Auto Racing, bills the move as an effort
to put more focus on its short-track racing.
The league has brought in Ramsey Poston from Powell Tate
as managing director to head consumer and corp. comms.,
reporting to Hunter. Poston, senior VP and management supervisor
at PT, which is Weber Shandwick's D.C. office, is charged
with handling PR in the sport's top 20 media markets and
assisting Hunter in managing NASCAR's communications department,
based in Daytona Beach, Fla.
OVAITT SUCCEEDS FELTON.
Frank Ovaitt has been elected president of the Institute
for PR research group, succeeding Jack Felton, who steps
down at the end of the year.
Ovaitt founded Crossover International in `95, after serving
as VP-corporate affairs at MCI; VP-international at AT&T
and editorial services director at Monsanto. His selection
caps a six-month search.
He will spend the balance of the year drawing up a strategic
plan for IPR. The group defines its goal as "improving
the professional practice of PR around the world and encouraging
academic and professional excellence in the field of PR."
Ovaitt serves as co-chair of the International PR Assn.'s
Campaign for Media Transparency.
VACCINE GROUP ISSUES
A consortium of public and private health groups has begun
to collect proposals for a global PR effort as they launch
a campaign to vaccinate 30 million children by 2006.
The public-private effort includes the Global Alliance
for Vaccines and Immunization and its fund-raising arm,
The Vaccine Fund, which are primarily backed by UNICEF,
the World Health Organization, World Bank and the Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation in particular
has given $750 million to seed the effort.
GAVI and the Fund issued an RFP earlier this month and
are currently collecting input from firms. The RFP covers
PR and media relations across Western Europe, North America,
Australia, New Zealand and Japan to bolster its in-house
staff, based in Switzerland with a presence in Washington,
Jean-Pierre Le Calvez, GAVI's top PR staffer who is overseeing
the review, told O Dwyer's the group has not used an outside
PR firm since its inception but has employed a public affairs
shop to help with media relations on occasion. He declined
to give a budget estimate until a vendor is identified and
the scope of the work is refined.
The work should spotlight the need for global vaccination
efforts, targeting corporate, government and NGO groups,
according to the RFP. PR should also raise the profile of
GAVI and the Fund, as well as their public and private backers.
Halliburton is using its website to help family members
and friends keep in touch with loved ones in the Middle
East. The Houston-based company has 24,000 employees and
subcontract workers involved in Iraq and Kuwait. Thirty-three
have been killed in the conflict.
A visitor to Halliburton's site can check on the status
of any Kellogg Brown & Root employee.
Halliburton promises to respond to any inquiry within 12
hours. The company also recommends sending a "note
of encouragement" to KB&R staffers. "Your
encouraging words are appreciated and will be sent to our
employees in the Middle East," it says.
Wendy Hall told O'Dwyer's that Halliburton launched the
service on April 12. "I do not have exact information
for you right now as we are focusing our efforts on our
missing employees in Iraq," she said.
Halliburton, which has more than $9 billion in Pentagon
contracts, wants to send more staffers to Iraq. It has 442
job openings there. The list includes security supervisors,
hazmat coordinators, paramedics, fuel handlers, diesel mechanics,
pest controllers and ice plant operators.
Halliburton needs 95 workers in Afghanistan, 66 in Kuwait
and 16 in Uzbekistan.
SEMEDO, ROBINSON JOIN
Barbara Semedo, who handled communications for the President's
Initiative on Race during the Clinton Admin., and Michael
Robsinson, a former PA staffer at the Securities and Exchange
Commission, have joined Levick Strategic Comms., Washington,
LSC is a litigation and crisis management firm that has
worked for nearly half of the nation's top 100 law firms.
Last year, it added Gene Grabowski, the top spokesperson
at the Grocery Manufacturers of America, to its line-up.
Edition, April 21, 2004, Page 3
FIND NEW SOURCES.
Business journalists are abandoning corporate executives
and other established sources of company news, according
to the results of Euro RSCG Magnet's annual media study.
The findings chronicle journalists growing distrust of
senior executives and other established sources for business
coverage and reveal a credibility crisis that spans all
of corporate America, not just those companies embroiled
Journalists are now more likely to be influenced by consumers
experiences with a company, the quality of that company's
products or its status as an industry innovator than by
the assessments and pronouncements of its CEO.
"This represents a significant shift from the way
reporters have been covering companies for the last two
decades and indicates that media will be making coverage
decisions and gauging business performance by a new set
of criteria in the years to come," the report said.
Steven Ross, associate professor at the Columbia Univ.
graduate school of journalism, who is the author of the
annual study, said results of this year's survey are based
on the responses from 1,875 journalists working at newspapers,
magazines and broadcast outlets nationwide.
Here is a recap of major findings:
Only 14% of respondents say they are very likely
to be informed by CEOs.
Respondents list product quality as the most important
attribute they consider when reporting on a company overall.
Respondents rank innovation as one of the top three
criteria for measuring a company's success.
Customer satisfaction ranks third in the attributes
more carefully examined by today's media, second only to
innovation and product quality.
SURVEY: TEENS DIP
The results of USA Weekend's 17th annual teen survey
show teenagers get news about young celebrities and athletes
by reading newspapers.
The survey, which found a majority of teenagers have a
newspaper delivered to their homes and at least see it,
shows teenagers are not entirely different from adults in
their approach to newspapers, according to Nicholas Lemann,
dean of Columbia Univ.'s graduate school of journalism,
who wrote an analysis of this year's survey of more than
65,000 teenagers for the magazine, which is published by
"They read instrumentally, looking for material that
is personally useful to them sections explicitly about teenagers
or high schools, movie listings, fashion stories or horoscopes,"
Girls turn to newspapers for entertainment news while the
sports section is high on the list of news for boys. "And
when something truly epochal happens, a Sept. 11 or a war
in Iraq, they often will fill in the news flash from TV
by reading the more complete account in the newspaper,"
"The best way to characterize their attitude is that
they believe in newspapers in theory and expect really to
read them one day, but in practice they dip in and out of
the more accessible sections," said Lemann.
LOCAL TV NEWS PLACEMENTS.
The Aker Partners, a Washington, D.C.-based PR firm, believes
local TV news will attract a larger share of the audience
as fewer people watch the networks or read publications
to get the latest news.
"Gauging news value and crafting messages for local
audiences is paramount," the firm said in its recent
"Today, people have just 19 hours a week for leisure,
and spend only a fraction of it reading newspapers or magazines,"
said the agency, which noted all the major mediaprint,
radio, network and cable TVare losing audiences.
Not all audiences are lostthey ve just gone elsewhere,
Aker said. News outlets are proliferating and fragmenting
the audiences. Online, ethnic and alternative media are
The agency said the rush to be first places greater emphasis
on news distribution, not news journalism. Direct-to-audience,
non-media communications are becoming more common and effective,
The firm also pointed out that as more information is communicated
online, visual communications will increasingly compete
with print, and news with video images will rule the day.
MARKETERS SEEK PLACEMENTS
A growing number of marketers want to persuade the nation's
print magazines to open the text of their editorial pages
to product placements, according to a report in Advertising
Age, April 12.
Jon Fine, who wrote the report, said many argue that product
placements in magazines would "violate the church-and-state
division between ads and editorial that, at least rhetorically,
lie at the heart of magazines time-honored pitch to marketers."
One of the leading proponents of product placements is
Matthew Spahn, director of media planning at Sears, Roebuck
& Co., who was quoted in the report as saying the "only
way we re going to be more successful is to get even more
creative and try to find ways to address this church-and-state"
issue of editorial vs. advertising in magazines.
Peter Arnett, 69,
former TV news correspondent for MSNBC, and Molly Walsh,
43, who works in PR for the Altria Group in Washington,
D.C., were married March 6. Arnett is living in Baghdad,
where he is writing a book on the last years of the Saddam
(Media news continued on next page)
Edition, April 21, 2004, Page 4
WSJ SCANDAL REPORTER
Newsweek editor Mark Whitaker said Charles Gasparino,
previously a reporter for The Wall Street Journal,
has been hired as a senior writer for the business section.
He joins Newsweek in May.
Gasparino, who has been at the Journal for the last nine
years, has consistently broken news on some of the biggest
financial scandals of recent years, including the fall of
Martha Stewart, Henry Blodget and Jack Grubman.
Whitaker said Gasparino is "one of the best reporters
in the field."
Gasparino was also the lead reporter in the first story
that detailed the enormous pay package awarded to former
NYSE chief Dick Grasso and wrote a series of stories about
underhanded practices in the mutual fund industry long before
they came under scrutiny. He is writing a book on Wall Street
entitled, "Blood on the Street," that will be
published later this year.
36, New York bureau chief for CBS MarketWatch and its top
markets reporter, died April 10 after a 17-month battle
former publicist for Paris Hilton, appears on the cover
of the new issue of Steppin' Out in lacy black panties
and bra. The magazine called her "Hollywood's sexiest
Nancy Griffin, previously deputy editor of Premiere
and a correspondent for Talk magazine, has joined
AARP The Magazine as west coast editor.
who was an assistant magazine editor at Lucky magazine,
was named managing editor of Child magazine.
Erik Meers was
appointed managing editor of Harper's Bazaar.
has joined Cosmopolitan as a deputy editor.
editor of Us Weekly, is taking a maternity leave
at the end of May. She is not expected back until late summer
or early fall.
Nicola McCarthy, who is editor-in-chief of OK! in
London, was brought in as executive editor to work with
Lori Majewski, who already holds that position.
previously a senior editor at Red Herring magazine,
is joining Light Reading's San Francisco office to
cover next-generation telecommunications services and equipment.
who was Rome bureau chief for The New York Times,
was named restaurant critic, and Eric Asimov, a columnist
on food and wine for the "Dining In, Dining Out"
section, was named chief wine critic. The new positions
are effective June 1.
TO GAY NEWLYWEDS.
New York-based Rainbow Enterprises is starting a new magazine,
called Rainbow Weddings, which will target gays and
lesbians who are making plans to get married.
The magazine will provide information to those involved
in planning their wedding as well as honeymoon destinations
plus features on same sex celebrity couples and practical
advice for newlyweds.
The magazine's founder Michael Weiskopf said he sees the
publication as "a sourcebook for wedding planners as
well as a unifying voice for the growing number of people
who are seeking equal rights with heterosexuals to the franchise
The magazine will also offer articles on alternative family
The first issue of RW will be published in December. Weiskopf
can be reached at 917/562-5650.
NEW SPORTS RADIO SHOW
IS ALL BUSINESS.
Brian Berger, a PR consultant, and Keith Forman, an event
management consultant, are co-hosting a new sports business
radio show in Portland, Ore.
The hour-long talk show, which made its debut on April
11 on KXL, is believed to be the first radio show in the
nation devoted entirely to the business end of sports.
NBA commissioner David Stern was the show's inaugural guest.
Forman said TV, PR, marketing, licensing and merchandising
have created the opportunity for the show.
Fizz ("Effervescent news for everyone")
is the name of a new quarterly newspaper published by Uplifting
Media in Brooklyn, N.Y., and edited by Jessica Wapner.
Wapner, who is managing editor at Millennium Medical Publishing,
which publishes a monthly medical journal, said her motive
for starting Fizz is for "there to be a newspaper/magazine
that would be dedicated to constructive works going on around
the world, with artful and intelligent writing."
The paper's mission is to combine news, trends, and culture
with soul-searching questions and viewpoints. She said the
content will range from articles about interesting etymologies
to interviews with well-known actors and artists.
Wapner, who will rely on several contributing writers for
stories, said "no fewer than six countries" are
represented by the authors who volunteered their time and
talent to write articles for the first issue.
Future issues of Fizz will include articles on care of
the elderly, sustainable living, education, and the arts,
The paper will be available free in local gathering places
in the New York area as well as by subscription.
Wapner welcomes story suggestions at 718/440-4641 or [email protected].
Jonathan Friedland was named group managing editor of Meximerica
Media, a new publishing group that is expected to start
Spanish-language newspapers in several Texas cities.
Friedland had been the Los Angeles bureau chief of The
Wall Street Journal and a former correspondent in
Buenos Aires and Mexico City.
Meximerica is led by Edward Schumacher, a former managing
editor of the Journal and a former correspondent in Madrid
and Buenos Aires for The New York Times.
Among the cities under consideration for the new paper
are Austin, Houston and San Antonio, to be followed by others
in the West and Southwest.
Edition, April 21, 2004, Page 7
AFTER BOARD VOTE.
Sherry Treco-Jones, who headed the governance task force
of PR Society of America, quit the board the day after it
voted 8-6 in a March teleconference to reject proposed reforms
of the nominating process.
There was no immediate
comment from PRSA president Del Galloway on this report.
term on the board was due to expire Dec. 31 this year. She
is only the second national director to quit mid-term. Dana
Hughes, at-large director based in Boston, quit in January
1990, citing pressure of his business. PRSA continues to
check its records for other possible resignations.
The board of ethics
and professional standards (BEPS) had asked the national
board last year to investigate a number of alleged abuses
in the 2003 nominating process including pushing back the
deadline date six days and allowing officers and board members
to comment on candidates.
The national board
rejected the request.
Reed Byrum, 2003 president, had told this NL on Oct. 21
by e-mail that he would take up the complaint at the 2003
Assembly. That did not happen.
her two committee members, Cheryl Procter-Rogers and Jeff
Julin, worked many hours on proposed nomcom reforms, sources
The Jan. 30-31 board meeting in New York discussed the proposals
at length, running over the scheduled time by an hour, sources
Since no decision
was made, a teleconference was scheduled for March.
Among the reforms
proposed was one requiring the nomcom, which was headed
by Kathy Lewton in 2003, to inform any candidates about
negative comments made about them and to give the candidates
the chance to rebut such comments.
Current rules are that candidates can ask to see comments
but ordinarily are not told about them.
Some 2003 candidates
claimed they were unfairly criticized by PRSA officers even
though Byrum had asked board members not to interfere with
the nominating process.
Help to Kill Proposal
Director Tom Vitelli
reportedly made the motion to block recommendations of the
Treco-Jones task force.
Voting against the
reforms, sources said, were Sue Bohle, Maria Russell, Michael
Cherenson and Anthony D'Angelo, all of whom joined the board
this year. Other negative votes were cast by Byrum, Rhoda
Weiss, Debbie Mason, and Judith Phair.
Galloway did not
vote because it was not a tie.
The 2004 list of committee chairs and co-chairs, published
earlier this year, showed that Treco-Jones was replaced
on the governance task force by Mason.
Voting for the changes
were Procter-Rogers, Treco-Jones, Julin, Rosanna Fiske,
Steven Lubetkin and James McCall.
Chuck Wood, 2003
chair of BEPS, and Vivian Hamilton, vice-chair, were not
appointed to the 2004 BEPS. All BEPS members except one
had signed a three-page letter detailing charges against
the 2003 nomcom and asking the board to investigate.
The BEPS signers
were Wood, Hamilton, James Lukaszewski, Karen Fraker, Thomas
Duke, Patricia Grey, Linda Cohen and James Frankowiak. Not
signing and no longer on BEPS was Ralph Kam of Hawaii.
BEPS gave up its
powers of investigation and enforcement several years ago
after former BEPS chair Bob Frause said the code was unenforceable.
He said objects of complaints would threaten legal action
and it was hard to tie wrongdoing to a PRSA member, who
would say other staffers were involved.
Members also refused
to cooperate in providing evidence, he said. A new code
Wood said he was
appointed as BEPS chair for one-year terms by 2002 president
Joanne Killeen and 2003 president Byrum and that he served
at the pleasure of the president and board.
When he was not
reappointed by Galloway, he said he neither resigned nor
was fired but simply was not reappointed.
However, the bylaws
say that there are nine members of BEPS who each serve three-year
One of the nine
is then appointed chair each year by the president or national
Some members say
the rules are clear that everyone on BEPS is there for at
least three years and the chair should not serve at the
whim of the president.
noted, the independence and integrity of BEPS would be compromised.
put out a statement that she resigned due to her "work
load." and that her experience on the board was "terrific"
and "very collegial." She has not responded to
requests for further comment.
Besides her own
firm, she has a partnership with Nancy Wood of Atlanta in
Agency ID, which helps clients to find PR firms or ad agencies.
REP' RANKS NEAR
BOTTOM IN POLL.
"Company PR representative" ranked next to the
bottom in a survey conducted in December 2003 and January
2004 by Edelman PR Worldwide.
WorldOne Research conducted
25-minute phone interviews with 400 people in the U.S.,
200 in China, and 150 in the U.K., France and Brazil.
as spokespersons were doctors and healthcare specialists,
"average" people, academics, nonprofit reps and
heads of state.
were company PR reps and entertainers and athletes.
The study tracked the
1999 study of PRSA and the Rockefeller Foundation that ranked
"PR specialist" 43rd on a list of 45 "believable
sources of information." At the top were Supreme Court
Justice, teacher, national expert and member of armed forces.
"Entertainers" were ranked 44th.
Results of the Edelman/WorldOne
1. Doctors, healthcare specialists; 2. Average person; 3.
Academics; 4. Nonprofit reps; 5. Heads of state; 6. Financial
analysts; 7. Bankers; 8. Religious leader; 9. Regular company
employee; 10. Authors; 11. Broadcasters; 12. CEO of company;
13. Lawyers; 14. Legislators; 15. Union reps; 16. Company
PR reps; 17. Entertainers, athletes.
Royal Dutch Shell has turned to The Brunswick Group to handle
its PR crisis, triggered by its massive overstatement of
Nigerian oil reserves. The Dutch/ British combine, in January,
chopped its proven oil/gas reserve level by 20 percent (3.9
billion barrels) from what had previously been reported.
It further pared the reserve level in March.
Shell's audit committee
hired Davis Polk & Wardell to probe its internal reporting
practices. The company's board of directors met last week
to discuss a draft version of the results of that probe.
Members of the audit committee, according to The Independent
are seeking advice from Brunswick on how to handle criticism
that may follow publication of the final report.
Edition, April 21, 2004 Page 8
The resignation of
Sherry Treco-Jones as a director of PRSA (page one) is the
latest chapter in what is becoming PRSA's "Watergate."
There are charges of undue influence on the nominating
process in 2003 and before that and strenuous efforts by
PRSA leaders to "cover up" the whole mess.
A committee headed by Jack Felton in 2000 sought to end
what critics felt was the undue influence of the late Patrick
Jackson, 1980 president, in picking board members and officers.
Felton, who was 1986-87 president, told the 2000 Assembly
that an "elite group" had taken control of the
Society, blocking others from exercising power.
He condemned the nine board members who that year publicly
supported Joann Killeen for president-elect vs. Art Stevens.
He said the bylaws and tradition of PRSA are that the board
is to be "separate from the nominating process and
the board is not to elect its own officers."
The immediate past president of the Society sits on the
nominating committee but has no vote, he pointed out. This
shows the "clear" intent is to keep the board
out of nominations and elections, he said.
A major complaint
against the 2003 nominating process is that 2003
president Reed Byrum and president-elect Del Galloway both
expressed strong opinions about candidates to the nomcom.
Some of the candidates felt they had been defamed.
Attempts to institute reforms and chastise the 2003 nomcom
for its misbehavior, including pushing the deadline back
six days, have now been blocked in an 8-6 board vote, showing
a deep split.
Significantly, the four new directors of PRSA, Sue Bohle,
Maria Russell, Michael Cherenson and Anthony D Angelo, all
voted against the reforms of the nominating process. They
behaved like good little soldiers.
Had Art Stevens, Jeff Seideman and Phil Ryan been on the
2004 board, these reforms would have passed. However, they
were kicked off one way or another by the 2003 nomcom and
(packing the 2004 board) are embarrassing not only
to PRSA but to the PR field.
PRSA veterans tell us the only hope, when the PRSA train
jumps the track, is the Past Presidents Council of PRSA.
We re hopeful.
While the governance task force didn t get too far with
the board, neither did the board of ethics and professional
Twice it asked the board to investigate alleged abuses
on the 2003 nominating committee and twice it was turned
The response of the board and president Del Galloway, who
makes the appointments with the approval of the board, was
to "pack" BEPS the same way the board had been
"packed" with new members who would see things
the way Galloway and 2003 president Reed Byrum see them.
Not invited back to BEPS was chairman Chuck Wood and vice
chair Vivian Hamilton. The board was then expanded from
nine to 11 as five new members were added: chair Dave Rickey,
vice chair Gary McCormick, Gabe Werba, Ray Durazo and Gail
With these five new members we doubt you will hear anything
more about 2003 nomcom abuses from BEPS. This body has been
reduced to sawdust. Whereas the normal committee appoints
its own chair, the PRSA president has that power over BEPS
and only appoints the chair one year at a time. The independence
of BEPS has been destroyed.
PRSA, challenging our
statement that Sherry Treco-Jones was the first director
to quit mid-term in PRSA's 57-year history, noted that Dana
Hughes resigned from the board in 1990. But Hughes, who
had been president of the Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Boston
chapters, was elected in late 1989 but quit in December
without ever attending a board meeting. Patrick Pollino
replaced him. The 1990-91 Public Relations Journal/PRSA
Register Issue shows Pollino as the director.
While PRSA fiddles
with internal politics, the PR field is burning.
A "Credibility of Spokespersons" poll by Edelman
PR Worldwide, discussed at the Arthur Page meeting April
1, found that "company PR representative" was
next to the bottom in credibility (story on page 7).
The only spokespeople with less credibility are athletes
and entertainers, according to the poll of 750 people including
400 in the U.S.
At the top were doctors and healthcare specialists, average
people, academics and nonprofit reps.
The results track with the $150,000 PRSA/Rockefeller study
of "believable sources of information. It was published
in 1999 after four years of research by professors at Columbia,
Duke and other universities.
"PR specialist" ranked 43rd in believability
out of 45 categories of spokespeople. At the top were Supreme
Court Justice, teacher, national expert, member of armed
forces, local business owner and "ordinary citizen."
PRSA, disappointed with the results, especially the high
showing of news media reps, refused to publish the table
in Tactics or Strategist. Tactics had a brief story on it
that failed to report the low standing of PR pros.
The PR industry is being hurt by the failure of its trade
association to conduct a "PR for PR" program.