Edition, June 23, 2004, Page 1
H&K TAKES SHARE
OF HEALTH CAMPAIGN.
Hill & Knowlton,
teamed up with ad/PR shop Runyon Saltzman & Einhorn,
has won a $28 million, four-year contract with the California
Dept. of Health Services for its program to encourage adults
to eat fruits and vegetables.
the "California 5 a Day" program, the statewide
effort targets Golden state residents from pre-school through
adulthood. The agency began the RFP process in January,
whittling down the roster of contenders in April.
and RS&E edged two other finalists, according to Susan
Pennel of the DHS.
campaign's long-term goal is the prevention of diseases
like heart ailments, obesity and cancer, particularly in
minority and low-income people.
FRENCH TO TAKE
UNITED VP SPOT.
Barry French, VP of public affairs and international services
at Dell Computer Corp., is slated to take a VP of corporate
communications role at United Airlines in July, as the carrier
continues plugging along in its turnaround 18 months into
The federal government turned down United's request for
$1.6 billion in loan guarantees last week.
French is slated to join the Chicago-based airline in July,
reporting to Rosemary Moore, SVP of corporate and government
affairs United said French will handle all aspects of UA's
image and reputation, including internal and external comms.,
crisis management and creative services.
SHUSHAN JOINS MS&L.
Larry Shushan, who spent more than a decade in Chevron's
PR department and was The Gap's first VP-corporate communications,
has joined Manning, Selvage & Lee in San Francisco as
a senior VP.
He was responsible for Chevron's global communications
program connected with its acquisition of Texaco. Shushan
also tackled high-profile projects related to Chevron's
joint-venture in Kazakhstan and the impact of the Persian
Gulf War on its operations.
Brian Bieron, who was
a director at Clark & Weinstock, has joined eBay
as senior director of government affairs in its Washington,
The Omnicom unit recruited the 12-year Capitol Hill veteran
in `01 to handle Microsoft and AT&T.
Bieron will spearhead the eBay's campaign to prevent plans
to levy taxes on Internet sales.
Cassidy & Assocs., an Interpublic company, has been
hired by Spacecom, the Israel-based company that operates
the Amos 1 and Amos 2 satellites, for general PR duties
in Washington, D.C.
Spacecom is sitting pretty as demand for satellite transmission
to the Middle East has surged in the aftermath of the invasion
of Iraq. Its Amos 2 unit boasts of an extensive "footprint"
covering both the Middle East and the east coast of the
The company is negotiating with the Pentagon and private
sector companies to sell communications capacity on Amos
2, which is operating at 75 percent capacity.
Cassidy's Spacecom team includes John Boylan, a veteran
of Lockheed Martin and the National Imaging & Mapping
Agency; Amos Hochstein, who concentrated on Middle East
policy and high-tech export controls as a staffer of the
House International Relations Committee; Diane Rinaldo,
an ex-aide to Maine Republican Senator Olympic Snowe, and
Lee Ramseur, who worked at the Defense Advanced Research
JPMorgan Chase said
it has decided not to spend a projected $25,000 a month
on consumer banking PR via Manning, Selvage & Lee,
which continues to keep its other JPMorgan Chase business,
including private banking, parts of asset management, and
online trading (BrownCo).
Bank One, JPMorgan's merger partner, will handle consumer
PR in-house, JPMorgan said. Several agencies had pitched
the consumer account.
IABC, WILLIAMS SUED
BY EX-CEO ALLAN.
Former IABC president and CEO Elizabeth Allan is suing ex-IABC
chair Louis Williams and IABC itself on charges of breach
of contract, defamation and intentional infliction of emotional
Under an agreement, Allan is limiting damages sought from
Williams to $1 million.
Initial papers were filed on May 1, 2003 in California Superior
Court, San Francisco.
IABC's just-released audit for the 15-months to Dec. 31
revealed a "lawsuit" but gave no details. IABC
staffers refused to discuss the reference.
Court records showed a list of 77 filings totaling eight
pages, indicating an especially bitter dispute.
continues on page seven)
Edition, June 23, 2004, Page 2
SPARKS PR BATTLE.
A PR battle surrounding the June 25th release of Michael
Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" has taken shape with
firms working to portray the film as either enlightening
and witty, or overtly biased, partisan and even erroneous.
In one corner, Miramax, which owns the film, has formed
a partnership with distributors Lions Gate Films and IFC
Films to market Fahrenheit, called Fellowship Adventure
Group. That entity has hired Ken Sunshine Consultants for
PR, and marketing exec Matthew Cohen to produce all marketing
materials for the film.
Separately, Lions Gate has tapped MRC, a Los Angeles-based
firm headed by former Fox Searchlight PR exec Michele Robertson.
Her credits include campaigns backing "The Full Monty,"
"Boys Don t Cry" and "Traffic."
Sara Greenberg, VP at Lions Gate, told this NL MRC worked
with the film at the Cannes film festival (where it won
the Palme D Or, the event's top prize) and is now handling
publicity in the U.S.
On the flip side, Russo Marsh & Rogers is handling
PR for MoveAmericaForward.com's campaign asking movie theater
owners to shun the movie, a flick that it deems "anti-American."
The website blasts the movie as "nothing more than
a political campaign advertisement against the war on terrorism,
our troops and President Bush."
Down the road, Bender/Helper Impact reps Lions Gate's home
entertainment unit and would likely handle the eventual
DVD release, said a source.
TAYLOR TAPS SIGNORE.
Alan Taylor has named Tony Signore (40) CEO/managing partner
of the New York-based sports PR firm that bears his name.
The 67-year-old executive told O'Dwyer's that the management
transition has been in the making since 1998 when he named
six managing partners to run the business.
Taylor said his energy level is at "an all-time high,"
and he looks forward to providing strategic counseling to
clients, and drumming up new business with fellow co-chairman
Howard Dolgan, 47.
Signore called the transition "seamless."
He will continue as lead on Alan Taylor Communications
MasterCard business. ATC has conducted programs for MasterCard
in more than 60 countries.
Taylor said his firm has more than weathered the economic
downturn and the impact of 9/11. The firm recorded $8.6
million in `03 fee income, up from $3.8M in `98, the year
Taylor put his succession game plan in place. "We are
always hiring," he said.
ATC counts Nestle Purina PetCare, Gillette, General Mills,
JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft Xbox, Diageo and NASCAR as clients.
Taylor noted that ATC recently opened an office in Charlotte
for NASCAR because he felt it important to have a presence
in the "garage area."
MUSLIMS COUNTER 'ISLAMAPHOBIA.'
The Council on American-Islamic Relations has kicked off
a PSA campaign to spotlight the societal contributions of
U.S. Muslims in the wake of what the group sees as a rise
in "Islamophobic" stereotyping and incidents.
The new effort runs alongside a year-long advertising push
called "I am an American/I am a Muslim."
The Council attributes the surge in anti-Muslim harassment
and violence -- its annual report cited 1,019 incidents,
up 70 percent in 2003 -- to "ignorance" and unfamiliarity
with the American Muslim community.
Arizona, New York, California and New Jersey saw the largest
boosts in incidents, it said.
The PSA campaign, which was produced by West Glen Comms.,
New York, includes 30- and 60-second spots called "I
am an American Muslim," and features Muslims from various
ethnic backgrounds, including Hispanics, Europeans and African
A spokeswoman told O'Dwyer's the campaign was designed
within the Council and no outside PR advice was sought.
OGILVY VS. MULLEN
IN 'NET DATE FIGHT.
Ogilvy PR Worldwide is bolstering a PR offensive from online
dating service True, which has seen six of its staffers
subpoenaed by their ex-employer Match.com, the Net
dating sector heavyweight owned by Barry Diller's InterActiveCorp.
Diller's company has taken action to get depositions to
explore possible disclosure of trade secrets and breach
of contract charges from the six employees who bolted for
True, which was formerly known as TrueBeginnings.
True has been an Ogilvy client since 2003.
Match.com hired Mullen this month, its first U.S. firm
since 2001, after a competitive review.
True, responding to the subpoenas, has run full-page ads
in the June 15 Wall Street Journal and Dallas Morning
News. (Match.com is based in Dallas.) The ads, in the form
of a letter to Diller, feature a large, bold headline asking
"What is Barry Diller Afraid Of?" and charge the
media exec with bullying his ex-staffers, while pointing
out that one is pregnant.
The letter, signed by True CEO Herb Vest, notes that Diller
and InterActiveCorp have "billions of dollars"
while "their former employees are struggling to raise
families." It also swipes at Match.com for tolerating
"felons and married people" as members of its
site, while pointing out True screens its users.
Vest said his company "doesn t want or need any so-called
secrets that Match.com believes it has." He said
True has reviewed the employees agreements and believes
the company has not broken any rules by hiring them.
Paul Koeller, who
was VP-global business development in Halliburton's
energy services group, has been named VP-investor relations.
He succeeds Cedric Burgher, who is upped to treasurer.
Edition, June 23, 2004, Page 3
The media tend to emphasize the "threatening or frightening"
aspects when covering health news, according to David Ropeik,
who is director of risk communication at the Harvard Center
for Risk Analysis and a former reporter for WCVB-TV and
science columnist for The Boston Globe.
As an example, Ropeik cited an article in The Wall Street
Journal headlined "Scientific Data Offer No Proof
of Beef Safety," which ran several days after mad cow
disease was found in the U.S.
Ropeik said Antonio Regalado, the reporter, spent the first
17 paragraphs of his story reporting about hints that meat
from the diseased cows might be a risk for humans.
"Not until the 18th paragraph did he reveal that years
of studies, hundreds of them at the height of the mad cow
epidemic in the U.K., had overwhelmingly proved that the
meat from animals with mad cow disease poses no risk,"
said Ropeik in a report that he wrote for massINC.org.
"It was a classic example of how the news media handle
health stories," he said. "The threatening or
frightening aspects of stories get more emphasis within
"Stories about health risks sell," he said. "And
reporterswho aren t concerned with corporate profits
but are interested in their work getting the widest possible
audiencehighlight the aspects of their stories that
seem particularly frightening. So health coverage tends
to dramatize the risks of our behaviors."
As a result, the public are left poorly informed about
what is more dangerous and what is less, and poorly informed
about what we can and should do to improve one's health,
Trend-watching experts at Meredith Corp., publishers of
Better Homes and Gardens, Traditional Home, Ladies
Home Journal and Midwest Living magazines, believe
the low-carb craze has 1.5-4 years left in the public eye.
"We expect low-carb to move through with greater speed
than the low-fat trend," Diana McMillen, food editor
with Midwest Living, told food staffers at The Baton
Rouge (La.) Advocate.
In place of low-carb emphasis, Meredith editors expect
to see nutritionists talking about obesity and portion sizes,
Tommy Simmons, food editor for the Advocate, wrote.
is another trend to watch, according to trend watchers,
who say this behavorial style is different from "cocooning,"
which was isolated.
In "hiving," people are still living at home,
but they are including more people in their activities
friends, neighbors, family, which should have an impact
on the marketing of new food products.
GETS NEW FOCUS.
Amusement Business, a 109-year-old publication, which
was published weekly, was relaunched June 15 as an online
daily newspaper (amusementbusiness. com), and monthly print
The new website features spot news, while the monthly print
edition will offer more analysis of the industry and an
expanded editorial focus on the $60 billion out-of-home
In addition to its traditional coverage of theme parks
and attractions, carnivals and fairs, AB has expanded into
coverage of the concert and touring industries, sports,
public assembly facilities and theatrical exhibition, as
well as related fields such as themed restaurants, resorts
and hotels, the cruise industry, experiential marketing
and event sponsorship. AB will also include reviews of new
attractions and venues.
James Zoltak is editor of the Los Angeles-based publication,
which is published by VNU, Netherlands.
GREGERSON TO EDIT
Seasoned business editor John Gregerson has joined the monthly
Meat Marketing & Technology magazine in Chicago
as its new editor.
Gregerson, who assumes his duties on July 15, is replacing
former executive editor Daniel Yovich, who left to write
Gregerson, who was managing editor of three food industry
publications -- Food Processing, Wellness Foods
and Food Creation magazines -- will oversee MM&T's
editorial mission to provide in-depth reporting and analysis
of the $90 billion+ beef and pork processing industries
and the daily news operations of Meatingplace.com, an online
"If you have a
scoop, don t call Limbaugh's rep, Tony Knight of Sitrick
& Co.," The New York Post said in
its gossip page, "Page Six."
The item said a reporter got a tip that Marta and Rush
Limbaugh were quietly working out a divorce agreement and
called Sitrick, which is the broadcaster's PR firm, to check
After confirming its story, Knight said: "We will
put out a release," the paper reported.
Expert product endorsements
have a powerful impact on Hispanic mothers when selecting
brands for the family, according to "The U.S. Hispanic
Mom Market," a new report released by Packaged Facts,
a research publisher.
Of Hispanic mothers interviewed for the report, the top
three factors considered when choosing a brand include those
recommended by their doctor, those that spoke to them as
moms, and those that gave back to the community.
Ads for diapers and PSAs were most often cited by those
who could recall a message aimed at them specifically.
The New York Post
wants to know which magazine staffer sold out his
source for $10,000?
The paper said a recently married pop singer/ actress was
so furious when her private luncheon hit the glossies, she
had one of her people contact the writer and offer him the
money for his source.
"The writer collected the cash in a bag," the
NEW SOCCER MAG.
LINKED TO FASHION.
SEPP, a new soccer magazine, which just went on newsstands
in Europe, pegs fashion to the upcoming European Cup soccer
tournament in Portugal.
The magazine, which is named after German soccer legend
Sepp Herberger, is published by Markus Ebner, formerly fashion
director at Details magazine in New York, who also
publishes the Berlin-based style book Achtung.
If SEPP were published in the U.S., Women's Wear Daily
said Ebner's new magazine would probably be cross between
baseball's World Series and fashion.
Ebner believes soccer, especially in Europe, has a major
influence on fashion trends. "Just look at Calvin Klein
using Freddy Ljungberg (the Swedish midfielder) in his underwear
advertising," he told WWD, which noted Vanity Fair
is making David Beckham its cover boy this month.
SEPP also will be sold in the U.S. at bookstores and kiosks.
Ebner plans to publish the next SEPP in 2006, to coincide
with the World Cup in Germany.
(Media news continued
on next page)
Edition, June 23, 2004, Page 4
ESPN TO COVER
HOT DOG EATING CONTEST.
ESPN will televise this year's hot dog eating contest, elevating
the annual PR stunt -- which was started in 1916 by Nathan's
, a Coney Island hot dog vendor -- to the top ranks of athletic
"We have clearly passed the NHL in popularity,"
boasts Richard Shea, who is president of Shea Communications,
which has handled the contest since 1997 when his New York-based
PR firm got hot dog maker Nathan's Famous, as a client.
Shea is also president of the International Federation of
Competitive Eating, the governing body of stomach-centric
sports, and will be the host of this year's contest.
During the 70s and 80s, the contest was promoted by Max
Rosie, a Coney Island publicist, for whom Shea's brother
and partner, George, had worked.
The event has been expanded in recent years by Shea Comms.
with regional hot dog eating contests in other cities, including
Las Vegas and Tokyo. The finals are held on Coney Island
on the 4th of July.
The 12-minute contest will start at 12:39 p.m.
JOINS WASH. POST.
Suzanne D Amato, who was fashion news editor at Teen
Vogue, has been hired by The Washington Post
as deputy editor of "Sunday Source," a weekend
section covering lifestyle topics.
Her appointment was made official after she passed her
drug test, which is mandatory for all new hires at the Post,
according to Sandy Fernandez, who is editor of Sunday Source.
D'Amato replaces Debra Leithauser, who recently moved to
the Post's "TV Week" section as editor.
to Teen Vogue
Jennifer Barnett has joined Teen Vogue as managing
editor, a new position. She had previously held the same
position at Redbook.
Teen Vogue went monthly in February. No replacement for
D'Amato was named.
COASTAL LIVING STAFFERS
Two former staffers for Coastal Living magazine have
joined Better Homes & Gardens magazine.
Denise Gee was named senior editor of home design, and
Paige Porter becomes West Coast editor.
Jim Jelter, previously with Reuters for 20 years,
has joined CBS MarketWatch in San Francisco as industrials
editor, and Heather Wilson, a recent USC journalism
school graduate, was hired for a position on the real-time
Flash News Desk.
Anthony Lazarus and Jackie Cohen joined MarketWatch
as news editor and data editor, respectively.
Theresa Carey, who writes "The Electronics Investor"
column for Barron's, was named editor of the financial
industry section of EWeek.com. She will continue writing
Jennifer Owens, previously news editor, was promoted
to managing editor of Footwear News. Katie Abel moved
up to news editor.
Nicolai Ouroussoff, currently at The Los Angeles
Times, may be joining The New York Times to succeed
Herbert Muschamp as architecture critic.
Jane Berentson, who had been deputy editor of Inc.
was named executive editor of Real Simple.
Beckett Sports Collectibles magazine's June number
is its last issue.
Catalina Magazine, a national lifestyle magazine
for Latina women, headquartered in New York, kicked off
its second national "Essence of Latinas" tour on June 15
in New York.
Mental_Floss magazine co-founders and editors,
Will Pearson and Mangesh Hattikudur, along with Elizabeth
Hunt, have edited Mental_Floss Presents Condensed Knowledge(Harper
It offers tidbits, such as kudzu is quite tasty in salads,
and a "Drink Coke and eat popcorn" study of subliminal advertising
was actually a publicity stunt.
Sync magazine, a bimonthly lifestyle publication
for 30-year-old men who "want the fun, entertainment and
freedom that technology delivers," made its nationwide debut
on June 14.
According to publisher Robert Lee, Sync is designed exclusively
to take advantage of the growing sector called "Tech-Tainment,"
which is the convergence of consumer electronics, entertainment,
technology and communications.
Tony Romando, Sync editor-in-chief, said the goal of the
magazine is to build a "bridge between both stock brokers
and nerds and entertain them. Nothing gets guys running
their mouths faster than a nice, shiny gadget."
Sync's editorial content will include music, video games,
movies, celebrity interviews, cars, sports and the home
-- all seen through a technology filter. Info.: www.ziffdavis.com.
Steven Landsburg, professor of economics at Rochester Univ.,
who wrote the "Armchair Economist," believes in the power
of talk radio.
He said his book, which was published about four years
ago, got very little attention despite rave reviews in The
Wall Street Journal, Fortune and elsewhere.
So he hired Event Management Services, a Clearwater, Fla.-based
PR firm, which almost immediately got him booked on 25 radio
programs, mostly call-in shows and many on stations in major
Edition, June 23, 2004, Page 7
IABC, WILLIAMS SUED
Allan, who became
president and CEO of IABC in 1995 after working on staff for
17 years, resigned Jan. 15, 2001, after a financial disaster
hit the group.
IABC admitted losing about $1 million on an abortive website
IBM and Nine Dots were principal consultants on the site.
Member Shel Holtz, an internet specialist who worked on
TBN, was paid $83,330 for the first ten months of 2000.
His contract was suspended.
Williams, addressing the American Society of Assn. Executives
during its Aug. 17-20, 2002 annual meeting in Denver, said
IABC had been caught up in web mania ("it looked like the
Second Coming") and tried to create a website "that
in hindsight was foolish."
IABC in late 2000 announced a "serious cash flow situation"
that caused it to halt staff raises, reduce travel and hiring,
delay payments owed to chapters, drop outside PR counsel,
and delay publication of the December/January Communication
World, its magazine.
It permanently cancelled its annual members directory, WorldBook
which ran to 700+ pages.
Allan at that time said that the "fundamental step" of reconciling
bank statements had not been done and that IABC learned
on Oct. 19, 2000 that it had an unexpected "shortfall against
plan of approximately $200,000."
on my watch and I accept that fact," Allan had said in a
letter to chapter presidents upon resigning.
A resignation agreement signed by Allan and IABC promised
her two payments of $25,000 each and specified that neither
IABC nor any of its agents or officers were to "disparage"
Is a Key Element of Suit
chairman of L.C. Williams & Assocs., Chicago, had become
interim president of IABC in January 2001, staying for six
Allan, a member of ASAE
and a Certified Assn. Executive, is currently executive
director of the California Water Environment Assn., Oakland,
a group of 7,700 wastewater specialists.
The ASAE speech contained
several references to staff errors and omissions that allegedly
caused the financial problems although Williams at one point
said Allan "shouldn t have been the scapegoat because
she was not at fault in all this happening.
The buck stops with the
chief staff person and there is no question about that and
she said that to the members in her final letter but the
point was I didn t want to go after her."
The lengthy analysis of
the crisis at IABC contained several criticisms of staff
performance and said several employees had been fired. Faulted
were staff communications with the 25-member board and members.
"What I saw going on was the antithesis of good communications,"
Was Not Informed
"The board knew what
people wanted them to know," he said, adding: "They
didn t know everything. They didn t know about the problems.
They didn't know about
" (of revenues caused by a
reduction in membership).
"They (staff) didn
t tell them (directors) about the miscalculation, they just
sort of hid it in their reports
they tried to control
communications and in controlling communications they failed,"
"You can only control communications for just so long
and then it explodes."
Says Her Reputation Was Hurt
The suit charges that
remarks by Williams broke the separation agreement and were
"highly damaging to plaintiff's personal and professional
They implied, says the
suit, that Allan engaged in fiduciary and professional misconduct;
engaged in financial mismanagement or impropriety; was incompetent
in performing her duties; had been involved in, or orchestrated,
a 'cover-up,' and that she engaged in criminal conduct,
although it was `nothing that could be proven. "
Williams, says the complaint,
spoke "with the advance knowledge, authorization and
approval of IABC," which failed to exercise "reasonable
Williams remarks, the lawsuit says, were made with "malice,
in that hatred or ill will towards plaintiff motivated statements
and were the byproduct of a desire to harass and vex plaintiff."
Such statements caused
Allan to suffer "bodily injury, specifically emotional
distress, including grief, anxiety, humiliation, embarrassment,
mental anguish, and pain and suffering, as well as lost
present and future wages, salary and benefits, and a loss
of earning capacity
Depositions are now being
taken. Settlement conference is set for Oct. 19 and jury
trial Nov. 8.
BOARD CAN BACK
PRSA president Del Galloway says any member, including officers
and directors, can comment about candidates to the nominating
Last year, Galloway
and 2003 president Reed Byrum told board members they personally
would not express their views about candidates. Byrum said
this would "avoid conflicts in future governance."
However, both Byrum and Galloway did comment about candidates.
complained to the ethics board about alleged nomcom irregularities,
resulting in a request by the ethics board to the national
board for an investigation. The board refused and replaced
Chuck Wood and Vivian Hamilton, ethics chair and co-chair,
with David Rickey and Gary McCormick.
who headed a board committee that proposed nomcom reforms,
resigned in March after her group's reforms were rejected.
Deadline for candidate submissions is June 28. Candidates
will be posted on the PRSA website July 8. The nomcom meets
in Chicago Aug. 6-8.
Edition, June 23, 2004 Page 8
The lawsuit that
former IABC CEO Elizabeth Allan has lodged against IABC
(page one) puts the spotlight on PR's second biggest
The worst offense of IABC (as well as PRSA) is failure
to report financials and important news to members and boards
in a timely and candid fashion.
Association reporting standards are far behind those of
public companies. Companies report as early as a couple
of weeks after the close of a quarter or year. None of the
reports is audited.
Associations use the dog-eared excuse that they have to
wait months and months for the annual "audit."
Detailed quarterly reports are unheard of although needed
for groups like IABC and PRSA that have financial ups and
downs. Members and prospects have a right to know what's
For instance, IABC's 2003 report was pub-lished in May,
five months after yearend. PRSA's came out four months after
Oddly, PRSA leaders have recently lectured public companies
to be "open" and "transparent."
Both the IABC board (25 members) and PRSA board (17) are
too big. As board expert Nell Minow has observed, directors
tend to check half their I.Q.'s and all of their guts at
the door. The bigger the board, the dumber, is the rule.
The speech by ex-acting IABC president Lou Williams to
the ASAE said the board was uninformed: "The board knew
what people wanted them to know."
We heard the same about the PRSA board several years ago
when PRSA reported $1.1 million in deficits in two years.
Some directors claimed shock. A communications culture,
not an association culture, should dominate IABC and PRSA.
Members, of course, get the shortest shrift. How many
PRSA members knew that the staff and board were planning
to move h.q. downtown, making a $6 million, 13-year commitment?
Williams, taking over the top staff IABC job in early
2001, found an enraged membership. Chapters were told that
the money national collected for them was not available
and might never be. He answered 8,000 e-mails from the 13,000
members, a huge outpouring of concern and dismay. IABC got
250 members to buy lifetime memberships for $1,000 each,
raising $250K. Another $250K came from a bank loan.
Numerous questions remain. Who got the $1M that was lost
on TalkingBusinessNow, a preposterous scheme that was supposed
to be competitive with the major business news websites?
IBM, Nine Dots and member Shel Holtz were involved.
love big, ineffectual boards. Both IABC and PRSA have let
their staffs take too much power. They should never
have let any staffer take the title of president and especially
not the title of CEO. Allan had both of these as did former
PRSA staff head Ray Gaulke. PRSA has since (and for the
second time) taken back the title of president from the
of too much power at PRSA h.q. is that members are virtually
barred from working there. They can't see what goes
on in their own Society.
Savvy members would have prevented a lot of abuses, including
the 1999 purchase of the complicated iMIS computer system.
This $200,000 system took two years for PRSA to operate
when it should have taken six months. iMIS was partly to
blame for PRSA having inadequate financial information,
treasurer Joann Killeen said in a Sept. 21, 2000 letter
It also played a part in PRSA failing to publish its 2000
directory of members, because of data conversion glitches.
Computer hardware and software cost PRSA $430K in 1999 and
about $1M in a six-year period.
IABC and PRSA are
so immersed in their own<%0> problems that they fail
to exert industry leadership.
Williams, arriving at IABC in January 2001, found policies
that were "the antithesis of good communications," he said.
Reports to members were "highly sanitized," he noted, adding
that it was not then "a time for sanitized outreach, is
IABC, from this reporter's standpoint, is currently almost
airtight. Asked the nature of the lawsuit, the court or
docket number, it refused to say anything.
PRSA just took nearly a year to hire a new PR director.
The 17 directors ducked a possible press conference Jan.
30 (it would have been the first by a board since 1993),
when five reporters trooped to h.q. The reporters were not
allowed to question the directors, who have taken oaths
PR needs to pull
itself out from the defensive ditch into which it has fallen.
Deb Shriver's plea to Hearst execs not to talk to the press
NL) is advice that is epidemic in PR.
Media trainers, meanwhile, are among the few people in
PR urging clients to face reporters in on-camera interviews.
But the trainers recently got a black eye when the Columbia
Journalism Review accused some of thwarting interviewers
by telling subjects to give the same answer no matter what
the question; tell long stories that eat up time, and say
the issue is "too complex" if stuck for an answer.
We're wondering if the trainers can teach execs to reach
out to media before any issue arises. This is how PR used
to be practiced: pro-active rather than reactive. Execs
who form relationships with reporters will reap numerous
benefits as will the reporters, who are storehouses of background
info and news. An "embrace the media" campaign, extolling
the U.S. press and urging execs to form their own relationships
with reporters, is what's needed.