Edition, May 19, 2004, Page 1
MARSTON WORKS ON
PRISON ABUSE ISSUE.
the Arlington, Va.-based contractor providing interrogators
and intelligence gathering services in Iraq, has hired New
York PR firm Robert Marston and Assocs., as the company
responds to the ongoing prison abuse scandal.
Horton, senior director at Marston, acknowledged the firm's
work for CACI, but declined to discuss it further. "I
can confirm that they re on our client list but can t say
he told O Dwyer's .
issued a two-page statement May 9 to say that its employees
are under the command of U.S. Army personnel and are cooperating
in an ongoing investigation regarding prison abuse in Iraq.
"The numerous allegations, speculations, rumors, interpretations
and partial reports, and editorial opinions appearing in
the media make the task challenging," said CACI's CEO,
Brown, senior VP of PR for the company, has not returned
a call regarding Marston's work.
PR TO F-H.
Fleishman-Hillard has picked up India's Tata Consultancy
Services, which bills itself as the No. 1 business process
The infotech company's website boasts of "state-of-the-art
and aesthetically designed" offshore delivery centers
in Calcutta, Bangalore, Delhi, Bombay, Chennai and New Jersey.
Clients include Hewlett-Packard, Lucent Technologies, Citigroup,
Morgan Stanley, Prudential Insurance and Compaq.
Fifteen firms responded to TCS' RFP for a PR campaign to
boost its international image.
DHILLON DROPS H&K
Neil Dhillon, who headed Hill & Knowlton's PA practice,
has joined Financial Dynamics Washington, D.C., office in
the same capacity. He joins Stan Collender, the Fleishman-Hillard
pro who recently set up the office for the U.K.-headquartered
Dhillon, prior to H&K, was deputy assistant secretary
for gov t affairs at the Dept. of Transportation, and an
aide to three House DemocratsCalifornia's Robert Matsui,
Maryland's Beverly Byron and Ohio's Tom Luken.
FD boasts of more than 300 staffers, and U.S. offices in
New York, Boston, and San Francisco.
Declan Kelly is CEO of FD-U.S.
AIR FRANCE FLIES TO
Air France has selected Ruder Finn as its agency of record
in a competitive pitch that included multinational PR firms,
such as Fleishman-Hillard.
"The goal is to build awareness of Air France as one
of the world's leading airlines," Arlene Flowers, senior
VP at RF, told O Dwyer's . She noted that the Paris-based
carrierin the aftermath of this month's takeover of
Holland's KLMis third biggest airline following United
TAYLOR TOILS FOR PERELMAN.
Christine Taylor, global director of corporate communications
for Bloomberg L.P. for eight years, has left for a senior
VP post at financier Ron Perelman's MacAndrews and Forbes
Taylor, as head of corporate communications, oversees communications
strategy and press relations for the conglomerate, which
owns companies like Revlon and Allied Security.
She told O Dwyer's she takes over from John Conroy, who
is shifting roles within the company.
WS DEVOURS CKE FRANCHISES.
CKE Restaurants has tapped Weber Shandwick for its Carl's
Jr. and Hardee's fast food brands after hearing from several
Manning Selvage & Lee handled the account for several
years, but the company had been without a firm of record
for the last few years, according to Christie Cooney, corporate
communications manager for Santa Barbara, Calif.-based CKE.
WS is charged with handling PR and marketing for the company's
1,006 Carl's Jr. and 2,121 Hardee's locations.
NO MORE SBC TITLES
FOR F-H STAFFERS.
Fleishman-Hillard, responding to criticism that reporters
and others might be misled by staffers who also carry titles
at client SBC Comms., has dropped such titles for the eight
F-H employees who had them.
F-H executive Ed Presberg, one of the F-H staffers working
full time at SBC, said that the corporate titles "were
useful within the client's organization," but were
San Francisco Chronicle columnist David Lazarus
had touched off an ethical debate May 5 when he wrote he
was surprised to find out that SBC VP-CC Marc Bien was an
Edition, May 19, 2004, Page 2
BKSH TUNES INTO RADIO
BKSH & Assocs., Burson-Marsteller's lobbying wing, is
representing Radio Sedaye Iran (Radio Voice of Iran), the
Beverly Hills-based network that advocates regime change
That work comes in the aftermath of BKSH doing PR for the
Iraqi National Congress and its head Ahmad Chalabi, who
was groomed by the Pentagon as a successor to Saddam Hussein,
in the years leading up to last year's invasion of Iraq.
BKSH managing director Riva Levinson, the key contact on
the INC business, leads the Iranian radio account. She is
assisted by director Jeffrey Weiss.
He's a Republican operative who served as senior advisor
to the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia. Weiss
also worked in the Bush/Cheney Transition Office, handling
former Senator John Ashcroft's successful nomination for
RSI programs 24 hours a day in Farsi and English.
Recent items on the `Net include a report charging Iranian
clerics with meddling in the internal affairs of Iraq. Another
warns of an impending Israeli air raid on Iranian nuclear
facilities. RSI admits an attack would "raise an enormous
stink in the Moslem world," but feels "the danger
of Islamic radicals in Iran getting nuclear weapons is too
great to ignore." RSI also offers talk shows.
Both the BBC and Financial Times reported in December
on RSI's close ties with conservative groups in the U.S.
CHIQUITA IS MUM ON
Chiquita Brands International is using outside PR counsel
to plot its media strategy in the aftermath of news that
it paid "protection money" to Colombian terror
groups, Michael Mitchell, a spokesman for the banana giant,
told O Dwyer's .
Mitchell, however, would not disclose the name of the firm
feeling "it might prefer to keep a low profile."
The firm had used The Dilenschneider Group, the New York-based
crisis firm headed by former Hill & Knowlton CEO Bob
Dilenschneider, in the past. A spokesperson at TDG said
Chiquita is "no longer a client."
Bratskeir & Co., also in New York, counts Chiquita
as a client. CEO Stan Bratskeir has not been reached for
a question about whether B&C is involved in the Colombian
Chiquita, in releasing its financials on May 10, announced
that its Banadex subsidiary unit was "forced to make
protection payments to certain groups" that have been
designated by the U.S. Justice Dept. as terrorist organizations.
It did so to "protect its employees from the risks
to their safety if the payments were not made."
CBI voluntarily informed the Justice Dept. last April about
the payments, and the company has been cooperating in the
Feds subsequent probe.
Banadex has banana operations in areas under the command
of the far-right United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia,
which has killed thousands of people over the past years.
The company's stock price slid five percent to $16.25 following
the payment disclosure. It now trades at $15.99 near its
$13.44 52-week low. The high for the past year was $24.40.
A United Nations official, Jan Egeland, on May 11 said
Colombia's ongoing drug wars have created the "biggest
humanitarian catastrophe of the Western Hemisphere."
DIEBOLD GETS PR HELP
Edward Howard & Co. is bolstering PR efforts for Diebold's
embattled election machines unit in the parent company's
home state of Ohio.
The firm's work complements national PR support provided
to Diebold Election Systems by Public Strategies, according
to Wayne Hill, president of Cleveland-based EH&C.
DES formerly Global Election Systems, before Diebold
bought it is based in McKinney, Tex. The company
has run into problems in several states over its machines,
notably California and Maryland, as states scramble to update
their systems in the wake of the 2000 debacle in Florida
and a sweeping election law passed last year.
But Ohio Gov. Bob Taft okayed their use in 31 counties
this year, and in all 88 counties by 2006. The machines
would also be required to produce paper receipts for each
vote by 2006.
Diebold, which has been based in Canton since 1872 and
has grown into a national powerhouse making vaults and ATMs,
has become the poster child for critics of electronic voting.
Security, proof of votes cast and software bugs are among
the concerns of Diebold's detractors, who protested at the
parent company's annual meeting this year. A gaffe by Diebold's
CEO, Wally O Dell, made things worse for the company when
he wrote in a fund-raising letter for the Ohio Republican
Party that he was committed to "helping Ohio deliver
its electoral votes" for President Bush in November.
Cleveland-based Dix & Eaton continues to handle PR
and advertising for parent Diebold.
Charles Alfaro has been named VP-corporate communications
at Cadbury Schweppes confectionery and beverage group. He
is stationed at Parsippany, N.J.
Alfaro had been executive director of corporate and business
communications at Hoffmann-La Roche in Nutley, N.J. Earlier
in his career, he wrote for New York Yankees publications.
Besides product publicity, Alfaro will handle financial
PR and issues management for brands including Dr Pepper,
7 Up, Snapple, and Dentyne.
Andraea Dawson-Shepherd is director of corporate communications
at CS headquarters in London.
Edition, May 19, 2004, Page 3
BARBIERI JOINS AP
AS NYC NEWS EDITOR.
Richard Barbieri, editor-in-chief of Legal Times
in Washington, D.C., was named The Associated Press news
editor for New York City.
His appointment was announced by Jocelyn Noveck, New York
City chief of bureau.
Barbieri, 41, who has been editor of LT since 1999, will
succeed William Sweeney, who resigned.
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR.
Fran Dauth has succeeded Richard Aregood, who is retiring,
as editorial page editor of The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger.
Kevin Whitmer, who has been assistant managing editor for
sports and business, was named to succeed Dauth as managing
editor for enterprise.
Deborah Jerome-Cohen, editor of the "Perspective"
section, was appointed deputy editorial editor, replacing
Tom Moran, who will write a new column about New Jersey
government and politics.
HEALY JOINS N.Y. POST
AS FASHION ED.
Orla Healy, of The Sunday Independent, was named
fashion editor of The New York Post, reports Faye
Penn, who is the Post's features editor.
Healy replaces Libby Callaway, who left to become editor
of The Nashville Tennessean's "Living"
Healy got her start in fashion journalism in 1989 as an
assistant to Vogue editor Anna Wintour. She left after 18
months to join The New York Daily News, where she
stayed for 10 years before going to In Style in 2000 as
THE KNOT HIRES AMODIO
AS EXEC EDITOR.
Rose Amodio has joined The Knot as executive editor of the
wedding resource, including its website, TheKnot.com.
Amodio, who was deputy features editor at Marie Claire
magazine, will oversee the staff of TheKnot.com, The Knot
Weddings national bridal magazine, and The Knot regional
wedding magazines, according to Carley Roney, editor-in-chief.
Amodio is planning an October wedding herself.
The Knot, whose content is also syndicated through Scripps
Howard News Service, is based in New York. 212/219-8555.
BALTIMORE SUN APPOINTS
Paul Moore, who was named public editor of The Baltimore
Sun, said he will address these specific issues in his
The perception that editorial page opinions have
infiltrated the news pages.
The conditions under which stories are reported,
written and edited.
How stories are chosen for the front page.
How headlines are written and how they affect readers.
The use and misuse of unidentified sources.
The perception that newspapers always emphasize the
"negative" over the "positive."
What constitutes "fair and balanced" reporting.
Moore, who has been The Sun's front page editor since 1996,
said he also will improve the paper's system for publishing
corrections and clarifications.
He is at 410/332-6364; [email protected].
FOOD & WINE REPORTER.
Bill Daley, previously a restaurant reviewer at The Hartford
(Conn.) Courant, was named chief food and wine reporter
for The Chicago Tribune, filling the position vacated
by William Rice, who retired in Dec. 2003.
Daley will cover chefs and food personalities, cooking
techniques and trends.
His new wine column will make its debut in the June 16
"Good Eating" section.
Leah Eskin, a columnist for The Chicago Tribune Magazine,
made her debut as the magazine's food columnist on May 9.
Her weekly column, which is called "Home on the Range,"
will take a personal approach to food writing, covering
such topics as cooking for a new mom, the illicit pleasures
of the midnight snack, and how (not) to host a dinner party.
a reporter for The New York Observer, is joining
the "Weekend" section of The Wall Street Journal
on June 1.
previously food editor, was promoted to editor of Diabetic
Cooking magazine in Lincolnwood, Ill.
was named editorial director of KidsHealth.org.
who is assistant managing editor/enterprise, was named to
replace Steven Erlanger
as cultural editor of The
New York Times when he becomes Jerusalem bureau chief
a financial newscaster at CNBC, is leaving the "Squawk
Box" news team, and will no longer report from the
floor of the New York Stock Exchange. She is getting an
expanded role at CNBC and NBC News.
a freelance entertainment reporter, has joined New
York Magazine as cultural editor.
Amy Goldwasser, also a freelance writer, will join
on June 1 as features editor, replacing Jeremy
Gerard, who left.
a tax, finance and economics specialist and writer, has
joined the editorial board of The
New York Times.
(Media news continued on next page)
Edition, May 19, 2004, Page 4
DRINKING REPORT IRKS
Brazil threatened to cancel the journalism visa of Larry
Rohter, a reporter for The New York Times, for writing
an article that said President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
had a drinking problem.
Rohter, who is married to a Brazilian, was told to leave
the country. Two days later, the order was rescinded.
Brazil's justice of ministry said Rohter's article, which
was published in the May 8 Sunday edition, "offended
the honor of the president."
Rohter wrote that Silva's drinking had become a national
concern, and summarized a series of rumors that have long
circulated in Brazil.
NEW WEEKLY PUBLISHES
ONLY FAKE NEWS.
All of the stories in The Rhinebeck Beagle, a new
weekly paper, are fake. Only the names and places mentioned
in the reports are real.
The 8 by 10-inch size paper was started by Paul Swift,
who is the editor/publisher of The Newsletter on Newsletters,
and a resident of the Hudson River village, which has a
population of around 2,500.
"Published Periodically and Parodically by the Cold
Nose Press," the illustrated publication, which is
printed on yellow paper, sells for $1 on newsstands.
"It's possibly the only newsletter sold on newsstands,
and in just two days it drew in enough money to cover all
expenses," Swift told this NL.
"It's proven very popular," said Swift. "People
have asked me to autograph their copies. Some have offered
me money not to be in the newsletter, others to be in it."
The first issue had a lead story about a local church's
placement of a bench for use by the homeless and the arrest
of two village zoning officers.
Where International, publishers of Where Magazine network
of visitor publications, plans to start versions of its
upscale, in-room hotel publication, The Essential,
in Boston, Paris, Phoenix/Scottsdale and Seattle this year.
The editorial content, which complements the monthly Where
magazines, focuses on the best arts, culture and shopping
in each of the cities where it is available.
First published in Vancouver in 1987, The Essential is
targeted at affluent travelers. With the addition of the
new cities and the established Chicago, London, New Orleans,
New York, Vancouver and Washington, D.C., editions, the
combined circulation for the 10 markets is expected to reach
430,000 and distribution is expected to reach 235 hotels.
Each edition has its own editor.
Publicists may submit inquiries to Marq Devilliers, who
is the overall editorial director. Devilliers is based in
Where International's headquarters office in Los Angeles.
LowCarbiz, a weekly online
newsletter that covers the low-carb industry, published
the first issue of LowCarbiz Magazine in April.
More than 600 low-carb products were introduced last year,
according to USA Today.
The new magazine is published in Denver by Dean Rotbart's
TJFR Group, which has published a newsletter about financial
journalism since 1987.
LowCarbiz, which will be published three times in 2004,
and quarterly in 2005, is aimed at 8,000 retail buyers,
executives and business owners with a financial stake in
the low-carb industry. Each issue will have feature articles,
profiles, news updates and "how-to" columns. Frequent
topics include: shifting consumer tastes and habits; medical
and scientific updates; industry trends; regulatory issues;
innovation; best practics and a regular low-carb/controlled-carb
The upcoming summer issue will have a special report on
the top 10 low-carb cities in the U.S.
Olivia Mayer is editor and co-publisher of the magazine,
which is located at 2020 Arapahoe st., Denver, CO 80205.
303/296-1200; fax: 296-0059.
John Carroll, executive edtior of The Los Angeles Times,
said some media outlets, namely Fox News Channel, are misleading
the public with their news coverage and commentaries.
Carroll cited Fox News Bill O'Reilly, host of "The
Factor," as the leader of a new pack of "pseudo-journalists,"
who cover news in an unethical and deceptive manner to attract
viewers. In a speech delivered May 3 at the Univ. of Oregon's
School of Journalism and Communications, Carroll cited two
specific examples to expose the trend, according to a report
in The Oregon Daily Emerald.
One example was a study showing 80% of Fox News Channel's
viewers believed at least one of the following misconceptions:
That weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq;
that a connection between al-Qaeda and Iraq had been found,
or that the war in Iraq was widely supported around the
He said the number was 57% lower for those who got news
primarily from public news broadcasting.
Carroll believes the reason Fox-like pseudo-journalists,
such as O Reilly, Alan Colmes and John Hannity, are tops
in the weekly Nielsen Media Research ratings is because
today's viewers and readers are so angry about one thing
or another that the adversarial system of media works to
draw them in to the circus.
Results of a new national
online survey show gays and bisexuals use the Internet
more for access to political news than heterosexuals (16%
Witeck-Combs Comms., a PR firm that specializes in the
GLBT market, sponsored the study, which was conducted online
by Harris Interactive. A total of 3,698 adults responded
to the survey; 231 of them self-identified as being homosexual.
Edition, May 19, 2004, Page 7
NIXES SBC TITLES (continued)
Lazarus said he had only known Bien by his corporate title
for years. The columnist wrote he thought this was a violation
of the code of ethics of the Council of PR Firms, of which
F-H is a member.
Shelley Spector, president
of the North American Assn. of Independent PR Agencies,
said agency people should never have corporate titles.
She said agencies have
to maintain their "neutrality and objectivity"
in order to provide the best counsel to their clients. "Either
you re the agency or the client...you can t be both."
NAIPRA, founded in 2001, has 300 members in the U.S., Europe,
New Zealand and Australia (www.naipra.org).
PRSA, the Council of PR
Firms and the Arthur Page Society said PR pros must be honest
in their dealings with the press and public but did not
rule out agency people having corporate titles.
The Counselors Academy
of PRSA, headed by Michael Herman, president of Epley Assocs.,
Raleigh, N.C., concurred with the statement put out by David
Rickey, ethics board chair and SVP of AmSouth Bank, Birmingham,
Ala. It said corporate and agency ties have to be revealed
but whether an agency person can also have a corporate title
was up to the company and agency.
There was no immediate
comment from the new Independent Practitioners Alliance
of PRSA, headed by Paige McMahon, Bethesda, Md.
Louis Thompson, CEO of
the National Investor Relations Institute, said he knew
of no counselor members with corporate titles and NIRI standards
appear to rule out such a practice.
Society Calls for Honesty
Thomas Martin, president
of Page, said its principles dictate that communications
While not ruling out a
corporate title for an agency PR person, he said this must
be told at all timeson business cards, badges, press
releases, phone calls, interviews, etc. Martin is SVP and
director of corp. relations, ITT Industries, White Plains,
Several PR counselors,
speaking on the condition of anonymity, blasted corporate
titles for agency staff.
"You re supposed to tell the truth about yourself,"
said one counselor. "It demeans my profession which
serves as a bridge between the client and the media. Our
job is to ensure that communications between client and
press are truthful."
Another said that if the
agency is too identified with the client, and "actually
becomes the client," there is no "honest broker"
for a reporter to turn to when the client refuses to talk
to the press.
Had Execs at Clients
Carl Byoir & Assocs.,
for many years No. 2 to Hill and Knowlton, and which was
purchased by H&K in 1987, often had staffers at the
client. But former executives said they were "counselors-in-residence"
and did not have corporate titles.
Monsanto in 1987 shifted
almost all of its PR to H&K offices in a pioneering
move. But the experiment only lasted two years. Those involved
said the deal was "bad for both sides." H&K
staffers had no corporate titles.
The CPRF said its code
calls on members to exhibit the "highest level of professionalism"
in dealing with audiences. Errors have to be corrected promptly
and sources of communications revealed, says its code.
Lou Capozzi, CEO of Manning,
Selvage & Lee, is chair of the CPRF and Kathy Cripps
The CPRF said it "recognizes that the increased outsourcing
of services by companies impacts the PR consultancy business"
and that it will study this.
DUES TO PUBS.
PRSA's 2003 audit halts its longtime practice of "allocating"
about $1 million in dues income ($49 per member) to Tactics
and Strategist. The practice allowed PRSA to "break
even" on the publications.
The audit, by Sobel &
Co., Livingston, N.J., shows $4.2 million in dues and fees
(vs. the $3.1M that was in the 2002 report).
Income for T&S is
put at $519,251 (vs. $1.4M in 2002). The loss for T&S
2003 is $909,313.
The liabilities section
of the balance sheet shows $379,817 in "deferred dues,
initiation fees and other," representing mostly the
portion allocated towards T&S that is not yet earned,
and $584,929 in "unearned income," representing
dues paid in advance of members anniversary dates. The total
This allows the Society
to claim that it has "unrestricted net assets"
of $2.05M. Most groups, including those of lawyers, doctors
and accountants, defer about six months of dues because
they have not been earned by providing services to members.
If PRSA deferred dues
income in this manner, it would add about $1.2M to its unearned
income amount, subtracting this from net assets.
Dues are often deferred
if substantial services are received, they re for a defined
period, and only certain people can join an organization.
"Dues" for a group like the Red Cross can be booked
immediately since anyone can join and no services are expected.
Up from 2002
PRSA revenues were $9.36M
for 2003 vs. $9.26M for 2002, providing a net of $303,731.
PRSA will pay rent of
$366,133 in 2004 for its new 22,000 sq. ft. offices at 33
Maiden lane. The rent in 2005 and thereafter will be a minimum
of $439,360 yearly for a total of $6.5M over the 13-year
Rent on 14,500 sq. ft.
at 33 Irving pl. is $269,500 for 2004 and $44,917 for 2005
(to Feb. 28, 2005).
Total rental expense for
2003 was $324,313.
PRSA, which is moving to 33 Maiden Lane as of June 14, has
yet to sublet 33 Irving pl.
Relocation costs were
$117,488 during 2003 and included lease termination fees,
project management costs and legal fees.
Edition, May 19, 2004 Page 8
The removal of SBC
titles from Fleishman-Hillard staffers (page one)
is a good development.
But the fact that there was such a practice tells a lot
about the current state of agency PR.
PR firms in recent years have moved closer to an ad agency
type of relationship with clients.
Client/ad agency goals are about as identical as things
can get. Unbridled enthusiasm for client goals coupled with
strict confidentiality define the ad agency business.
The business is tight-lipped and insular. The Big Five
ad conglomerates (WPP, Omnicom, Interpublic, Havas, Publicis)
virtually never hold press conferences. There is no one
at any of these units who will sit down with a reporter
to discuss their finances.
Purchase of about 50 PR operations, including almost all
of the major ones, by the Big Five has accelerated the trend
for PR firms to behave like ad agencies.
PR counselors once
saw themselves as the "bridge" between
client and press, representing both interests.
This became even more important to reporters as the term
"PR" all but disappeared from corporations and
along with it the corporate press relations function.
PR people at many companies decided it was too dangerous
to deal with the press and off-loaded this function to the
The breezy corporate PR type who would chat with reporters
almost without limit disappeared.
In place of this type came the corporate VP with a title
such as VP of Global Strategic Communications and Marketing
Strategy. Getting through to this personage was like running
the gauntlet that faces air travelers these days. Reporters
who lost their "friend at court" at companies
are now experiencing the same thing with PR firms.
PR's retreat from dealing with its one natural audience,
the press, has been costly in terms of PR jobs. Many corporate
PR depts. (now almost universally called "communications")
are a small fraction of what they used to be if they exist
Job loss has also
been heavy in the counseling industry.
While the 50 PR units of the ad congloms no longer reveal
any statistics, the 2004 Blue Book of members of
PRSA gives some indication.
Weber Shandwick, which claimed the No. 1 spot with nearly
3,000 employees in 2001, had 110 members of PRSA that year
but only has 39 now.
Parent Interpublic has said that overall employment plunged
to 43,000 from 62,000.
Burson-Marsteller had 27 employees who were PRSA members
in 2001 and 20 in 2004: Fleishman-Hillard, 70/47; Ketchum,
79/22; Porter Novelli, 64/32; Brodeur, 7/1; Hill & Knowlton,
52/33; Manning, Selvage & Lee, 28/22; GCI, 21/7, and
We don t think Sarbanes-Oxley forbids firms from giving
The four OMC units (F-H, Ketchum, PN and Brodeur) had 220
PRSA members in 2001 and 102 members in 2004. OMC is carrying
$5.88 billion in goodwill on its books, up from $4.85B a
year earlier, and says in its 2003 annual report that there
has been "no impairment" in its investments.
How OMC's goodwill went up about $1B when it only spent
$472M for acquisitions is a mystery. Its total debt rose
to $2.59B. Longterm debt rose 33% to $2.33B. OMC's revenues
for 2003 were $8.6B. The company's annual meeting seems
to have left New York for good. It was in Los Angeles last
year and will be in Atlanta this year on Tuesday, May 25.
An indication that
PR has distaste for its own name is the recent release
from Public Relations Society of America in which "communications"
is favored as the term for what Los Angeles city departments
need (vs. "public relations").
PRSA president Del Galloway, commenting after L.A. Mayor
James Hahn put a stop to all outside PR contracts, says
that ending "communications programs that help educate,
inform and assist citizens is no more sensible than ending
all city contracts with advertising, law or accounting firms."
Most companies and thousands of government bodies and nonprofit
groups work with "PR agencies" to create "communications
programs," he further said. "Communications programs"
and "communications efforts" are mentioned six
times in the release where "PR" would do just
as well were it not for PR's apparent bad reputation.
Retreating from the term causes lots of problems. PRSA
should be leading the fight to restore luster to it. The
first step would be starting a PR department at PRSA itself
staffed by five or more PR veterans, setting an example
The inability of PR
organizations to get involved in judging a specific
ethical situation was apparent in the question about F-H
employees having titles at client SBC. Refusing to address
the rightness or wrongness of this were the Council of PR
Firms, PRSA and its ethics board and Counselors Academy,
and the Arthur Page Society. The only unequivocal statement
came out of the North American Assn. of Independent PR Agencies...
PRSA is again not deferring enough dues income (page 7).
Its only out is that it will not under any circumstances
return any funds paid as dues. Otherwise it meets all the
requirements for deferring about half its dues income.