Edition, July 14, 2004, Page 1
Bob Zito, who was
chief spokesperson for former New York Stock Exchange chairman
Dick Grasso, joins Bristol-Myers Squibb July 21 as VP-corp.
resigned his post in the wake of the storm of controversy
connected to his $200 million compensation package.
Thain, who succeeded Grasso in January, has named ex-U.S.
propaganda chief Margaret Tutwiler as NYSE executive VP,
communications and government relations. She began July
joined the Big Board in `87 as its advertising and communications
director, but left three years later for a PR post at Sony
Corp. of America. He exited Sony as VP-communications in
' 94 to return
to the stock exchange.
also worked at CN Comms. and Hill & Knowlton, and was
earlier an assistant sports editor.
IPG NEARS FINISH LINE.
Interpublic Group of Cos. has agreed to pay $49 million
to the British Racing Drivers Club in a deal that allows
the ad/PR conglom to terminate its lease obligations at
the Silverstone auto racing track.
David Bell said the pact puts IPG in a position to exit
the motor sports arena by the end of 2004.
IPG, which has already paid BRDC $24.5 million, has the
right to opt out of the lease by Sept. 30 with payment of
referred to IPG's stake in the racing game as an "ill-fated
foray into venue ownership."
BRDC deal, said Bell's statement, "represents further
progress in our effort to turn around Interpublic."
TO BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE.
Larry Burton, who was VP-external affairs at BP America,
becomes executive director of the Business Roundtable on
Sept. 1. He succeeds Patricia Engman, who is retiring after
17 years at the association.
will be responsible for the group's overall public policy
efforts, and will coordinate the work of its task forces
dealing with issues such as corporate governance, international
trade, civil justice and homeland security. He joined BP
in `87 after serving on the staffs of Alaska Rep. Don Young
and Sen. Ted Stevens. BP has extensive holdings in that
Novelli handles PR for the Business Roundtable, an association
of more than 150 CEOs representing companies with a combined
$4 trillion in annual revenues and 10 million workers.
north central corporate affairs director, Home Box Office,
Rosemont, Ill., is opposing Maria Russell, PR professor
at Syracuse University, for president-elect of PRSA. Procter-Rogers
is a PRSA director and Russell is treasurer.
past three presidents-elect -- Judith Phair, Del Galloway
and Reed Byrum -- were unopposed.
Art Stevens, 2003 secretary who unsuccessfully ran for treasurer,
is seeking to be a director-at-large.
would be the only New Yorker on the board.
Julin, MGA Comms., Denver, and Tom Vitelli, Intermountain
Health Care, Salt Lake City, are running for secretary.
Rhoda Weiss, secretary, is unopposed for treasurer. Counselor
John Deveney, New Orleans, is unopposed for's .W. director.
McCormick, who replaced Sherry Treco-Jones in March, is
opposed for's .E. director by Randolph Baker, exec. director,
Shelby County Schools Found., Memphis. McCormick is also
running for at-large director. Other candidates for two
at-large director posts are counselors Mary Barber of Anchorage
and Dennis Gaschen of Orange, Calif., and Gerard Corbett,
of Hitachi America, Brisbane, Calif.
Kathleen Lewton, SVP/healthcare
at Hill & Knowlton since January, left to consult
from her home in Stamford, Conn. She is co-chair, 2004 PRSA
national conference in New York.
'SATISFIED' WITH PR.
A survey that drew replies from 321 Canadian journalists
found that about two-thirds are "satisfied" or
even happy with the work of PR pros.
But the survey, conducted May 11-21 by Porter Novelli Canada
and Canada NewsWire, found that about a third of the journalists
gave PR people "unsatisfactory" or even "failing"
grades on a number of counts. The replies came from e-mail
questionnaires that were sent to 3,400 journalists.
(Continued on page 7)
Edition, July 14, 2004, Page 2
IN EDELMAN, MAYA.
The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority has tapped
Edelman and Maya Comms. to improve its relations with its
customers and elected officials after the entity was found
to have withheld information regarding elevated levels of
lead in Washington, D.C., drinking water.
The $100K pact with Edelman's D.C. office runs through
September. The firm is to advise the Authority on communicating
technical issues surrounding its operations in the wake
of an Environmental Protection Agency report in June that
said the utility broke the law when it withheld test results
and public information regarding lead in the water. Thousands
of homes in the district were found to have elevated levels
of lead in 2003 WASA tests according to the EPA, which charged
WASA with sending out vague information to the public, or
in some cases, providing no information at all.
WASA has inked an agreement with the EPA to replace lead
lines, without fines or other penalties.
Jerry Johnson, GM for the Authority, said PR firms were
brought in for expert advice, rather than relying on a "cook
book" or "postage stamp" approach with regard
to communicating with the public.
Maya Comms. specializes in outreach to the Latino sector.
H&K LANDS 'IDEAL
Hill & Knowlton has named Rory Davenport, a veteran
of Fleishman-Hillard and Edelman PR Worldwide, senior VP
and director of its Washington, D.C., PA practice. Davenport
handled political and international PR at F-H, while he
focused on development of grassroots political campaigns
Gene Reineke, H&K COO/USA, praised Davenport's ability
to devise PA programs to enhance a company's bottom line.
Reineke, in a statement, said Davenport fits his concept
of the "ideal PA counselor."
Davenport, who replaces Neil Dhillon at H&K, has conducted
PR efforts in Russia, Pakistan, U.K., Germany, Canada, Finland
WEINMANN DINES AT DITTUS.
Liz Weinmann, a former executive VP-consumer marketing at
Golin Harris/International and group manager of Ketchum's
food practice, is now at Dittus Communications responsible
for its food, agriculture and nutrition policy practice.
She will handle issues management, PA and consumer education
initiatives for the likes of American Council for Fitness
and Nutrition, International Dairy Foods Assn., Pernod Ricard
USA and Swedish Match.
Gloria Dittus, in a statement, praised Weinmann's leadership
and strong analytical, strategic and operational skills.
Weinmann has counseled the American Frozen Food Institute,
National Yogurt Assn., Idaho Potato Commission, USDA-funded
Beef and Dairy Promotion Boards and the Peanut Advisory
Board in her 25-year career. She also worked at Creamer
HASTINGS TAKES ON NEXTEL.
The Hastings Group is helping emergency service workers
fight a proposal by Nextel Communications to gain access
to a high-band wireless spectrum as a fix for conflict issues
between firefighters and the company's wireless customers.
The "First Response Coalition," which held its
first press event last month with THG and whose financial
backers have not been identified, contends that a plan Nextel
has proposed to the Federal Communications Commission does
not solve certain issues plaguing emergency service communications
and amounts to Nextel gaining access to the new frequency
at a fraction of its cost.
Nextel public affairs officer Tim O'Regan told O'Dwyer's
his company's proposal was developed over two years in working
closely with the public safety community. "We believe
it is the most proactive solution to radio interference
at 800MHz," he said in reference to the frequency on
which Nextel and first responders are currently operating.
O'Regan noted Nextel's "Consensus Plan," as it
is commonly called, has earned the backing from emergency
service groups like the International Assn. of Fire Chiefs,
Nat l Sheriffs Assn., the Major City Chiefs Assn. and the
Assn. of Public Safety Communications Officials.
The company also reportedly has the backing of FCC chairman
Michael Powell, according to the trade publication RCR Wireless
The new coalition has proposed its own plan, which would
require the government to auction the 1.9 GHz spectrum which
Nextel wants to take over, a sale which the coalition says
could earn the government over $5 billion. The coalition
contends that Nextel's proposal has the company offering
$700 million to help with the transition for emergency service
workers communications, a fund whose administrator Nextel
would have veto power over.
SCHWARTZ PUTS RMI
IN PR SEARCH GAME
Rachel Schwartz, who has 20 years of PR and recruitment
experience, has joined Roberts Management International
as senior VP, and will launch its corporate comms., PR and
marketing search practice.
She spent the past decade at Arnold Huberman Assocs., developing
expertise in the PA, media, corporate, financial, consumer,
entertainment and lifestyle categories. Schwartz has worked
for clients such as Time Warner, the NBA Kraft and Office
Prior to Huberman, she was at Cohn & Wolfe, Rubenstein
Assocs. and Dan Klores Communications.
RMI bills itself as the premier retained executive search
firm serving the human capital management industry. Schwartz
can be reached at 203/544-2227.
denies that Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corp., was
the source for the July 6 New York Post "exclusive"
that John Kerry had chosen Dick Gephardt as his running
mate. A Post staffer leaked that tasty tidbit to the New
Edition, July 14, 2004, Page 3
USE GOOGLE NEWS
TO PITCH NEWS.
Google News is a great place for pitching news to the press,
according to Greg Jarboe, president/co-founder of SEO-PR,
which specializes in promoting websites.
Jarboe told webpronews.com the biggest challenge for PR
people is writing a press release that is "one of the
30 most relevant articles out of the three million in the
Google News index for a specific search term or phrase."
He said it is important to decide on a keyword phrase that
ties in to the product or service being promoted and that
people actually search for.
"Place this phrase into your press release headline
and repeat it around three times within the body of your
press release," said Jarboe, who also made these other
"Unless the proper name of your product or service
is already well-known, emphasize its generic description
rather than its name.
"Likewise, substitute keyword phrases for pronouns
like `it or `its to increase their overall frequency in
"Include a subhead, which in turn includes your
keyword phrase, if your release goes on for more than three
"Post your release at your own website on its
own page, linked from your home page, in addition to submitting
it to your favorite press release distribution service."
NAMES NEW EDITORS.
Richard Botto, publisher/CEO of Razor magazine, has
assumed the role of editor-in-chief, replacing Craig Knight,
Allison Young, previously managing editor, was promoted
to executive editor and creative director.
She is the former lifestyles editor at Oxygen Magazine.
Razor's main editorial offices will be moved from Toronto
to the company's headquarters in Scottsdale, Ariz., with
additional staff based at a new editorial bureau to be opened
ater this summer in New York.
Razor -- which was launched in Nov. 2000 as a magazine
for upwardly mobile, educated men in their 20s and 30s --
is published 10 times a year. Its current rate base is 210,000.
TO MAKE DEBUT IN SEPT.
Trump World is being restarted this September by
Donald Trump as a bimonthly vanity magazine for people who
want to live a luxurious way of life.
The magazine will also feature informaton about
"The Apprentice," a reality TV show hosted by
Trump, which returns in September for a second season.
Trump's syndicated radio program will also make its debut
this fall on 400 stations.
Michael Jacobson is editor/publisher of TW, which has been
tested twice with clients in Trump's hotels.
The Travel Industry
Assn. of America will hold next year's International
Pow Wow in New York on May 3-7.
More than 250 journalists from 45 countries usually attend
the annual show.
Cristyne Nicholas, president/CEO of NYC & Company,
which is the city's official tourism marketing organization,
said Pow Wow will allow New York City to "shine a spotlight"
on the new visitor services, cultural attractions, entertainment
and hotels to tour operators.
PR pro Eric Dezenhall's
new mystery novel, Shakedown Beach, which just went
on sale in bookstores, follows in the same vein as his previous
two novels -- Money Wanders and Jackie Disaster -- which
took aim at the politics of election spin, scandal and sex,
with Atlantic City as a backdrop.
His new book is about a New Jersey governor with more to
hide than tell. One of the main characters is Jonah Eastman,
a political strategist who "knows only one thing can
save the congenitally deceitful governor: A whopping heartfelt
lie," writes Dezenhall, a former White House communications
aide, who is president of Nichols-Dezenhall Comms. Management
Group in Washington, D.C.
BY FORMER EDITORS.
Keith Girard, former editor-in-chief of Billboard,
and Samantha Chang, a former senior editor in charge of
legal affairs for the magazine, have sued the parent company
VNU, the publication's publisher John Kilcullen, and executive
editor Ken Schalger, claiming harassment and defamation.
In the complaint, which was filed in New York Supreme Court,
Girard claims Kilcullen forced the staff to tailor coverage
to please advertisers. The suit also claims employees spread
false rumors of an affair between Girard and Chang, who
were dismissed by Billboard in late May. Girard and Chang
are seeking $30 million in damages.
The suit states Kilcullen routinely intervened in editorial
matters to ensure articles or cartoons did not irk Billboard
advertisersdespite telling Girard at the time of his
hiring in 2003 that he would have complete control over
the editorial side of the publication.
In a memo to Girard from Kilcullen, which is excerpted
in the complaint, Kilcullen said: "I want you to avoid
writing provocative headlines or employing photos and cartoons
that are not in the best interest of (Billboard Information
Group) ...I need to review and approve front cover headlines
and photos, cartoons and editorials." According to
the complaint, Kilcullen believed Girard went too far in
a story about Warner Music, which negatively affected relations
between Warner and Billboard.
(Media news continued
on next page)
Edition, July 14, 2004, Page 4
HOW TO GET COVERAGE
OF PRO BONO WORK.
The key to getting coverage of pro bono activities is to
use a more direct and personal approach to members of the
media instead of using a press release, according to Steven
Alschuler, president of Linden Alschuler & Kaplan, New
"The reporters, columnists, editors and TV and radio
producers who are interested in these stories usually are
different people than the ones who cover business or political
issues or breaking news stories," Alschuler said in
his column for State Bar News, a publication for
the New York State Bar Assn.
"Think about the activity you are involved in. Who
are you helping? Why is it important? How has it changed
or improved people's lives?," he advised the lawyers.
"Focus on the recipients of your assistance, the challenges
they have faced and why their story might be interesting
to the public," wrote Alschuler.
He also advised them to contact only those reporters or
columnists whom they have identified as interested in human-interest
"When you see the byline of a reporter who seems to
cover stories that are similar to the one you re involved
in, make a note of it," he said.
"Reporters are usually very accessible by phone or
e-mail and very receptive to hearing about interesting subjects."
He said clients should be told before approaching the media
with a story.
53, previously business editor for Scripps Treasure Coast
Newspapers, was named editor of The
Orlando Business Journal.
41, who was dean of faculty at the Poynter Institute in
St. Petersburg, Fla., was named managing editor of
The Tampa Tribune.
who covered the media and marketing beats for The Atlanta
Business Chronicle, has joined Adweek
as Southeast bureau chief.
who wrote a business column for The New York Post, has left
to become a contributing editor for FindProfit.com
as well as a publicist for the independent advisory service.
Edition, July 14, 2004, Page 7
SATISFIED WITH PR (cont'd
Asked to list mistakes by PR people, the respondents (141
reporters, 138 editors, 15 publishers and 27 producers)
blew off steam with 41 critical remarks which are printed
in the study. The biggest complaint was that PR pros block
access to news sources.
"Instead of training
executives to deal with the press, they (PR pros) allow
or encourage senior management to hide behind their corporate
spokespeople," said one editor.
Another complained about
PR people "blocking access to managers who really know
what they are talking about." Several talked of a "contemptuous
attitude" toward the press adopted by businesspeople
and PR people.
Said one: "Businesspeople
often adopt a superior, arrogant tone when dealing with
journalists. They don t seem to understand that we re more
likely to be sympathetic to someone who speaks to us respectfully
and returns calls promptly."
Another said "Businesspeople
treat the media with a fair bit of contempt" while
a third complained about "condescending attitudes,"
"evasive replies," and "showing frustration
and anger when confronted by a rude and aggressive reporter."
Give Good Marks
The journalists were asked
to grade the work of PR people and businesspeople on five
levels: A for exceptional, B for very good, C for satisfactory,
D for unsatisfactory and F for fail.
On the question of, "Overall,
how well do businesses meet the needs of journalists in
providing useful and accurate information?", the answers
were A, 1%; B, 13%; C, 54%; D, 28%, and F, 4%. The answers
indicate 68% of journalists are at least satisfied in this
On "How honest are
company spokespeople with the media?" the results were
A, 2%; B, 15%; C, 46%; D, 29%, and F, 8%.
Respondents said the overall
quality of press releases was satisfactory (44%) or good
(16%). Giving them a D were 28% while 12% gave them an F.
By an overwhelming margin
(87%), they say they prefer getting releases by e-mail with
23% preferring a link to the company website. Only 6% want
faxes, 3%, newswire delivery, 3%, mail, and 1%, phone. (The
survey was handled through e-mail.)
Nearly half (46%) say
businesses do not "respect their deadlines."
Mark Nusca, director of
editorial at PN/Canada, said, "The level of mistrust
between the media and Canadian businesses is high and something
we should be thinking more about." He was formerly
a journalist with the Globe and Mail and National
The survey contains 41
unattributed quotes from journalists who were asked for
"mistakes company spokespeople make most often in dealing
with the media."
Among them: "They
make the assumption that we are obligated to write about
them, cover their event, if they tell us about it."
"No sense of deadlines
of paper. No access to contacts identified on press releases.
No sense of what kind of stories the paper is interested
"Taking too long to return calls..."
"They don t know
the issues or they are very vague."
It seems many executives are under the assumption the reporter
is out to get them. In reality, most of us are only trying
to understand the story better and to cover all the angles."
"The worst thing
a company rep can do is to set up an adversarial relationship
with the media. Once this has been established, intentionally
or by accident, it is very hard to restore trust."
"Making it too difficult
to find contact information on company websites ... websites
are often not updated."
"Ignoring us, hoping
we ll go away."
The study is at: www.porternovelli.ca/survey/
REBUTS ALLAN CHARGES.
Assn. of Business Communicators has launched a multi-pronged
defense against the defamation, breach of contract and other
charges leveled against it and former interim president
Louis C. Williams by Elizabeth Allan, president and CEO
of the group from 1995-2001.
says Allan's own conduct was the "sole and proximate
cause" of the financial problems that beset the group;
that remarks in a speech by Williams about the problems
at IABC were "true"; that the statute of limitations
bars any action by Allan, and that Allan had waived her
rights to sue.
IABC has imposed an information blackout on the lawsuit,
which dates back to May 1, 2003. A third amended complaint
was filed by Allan June 24, 2004.
group has issued no press release on the suit and no discussion
of it has appeared on "MemberSpeak," the chat
room on the IABC website where members discuss any and all
Kistle, who is SVP of research and measurement at Padilla
Speer Beardsley, Minneapolis, and chair of IABC, was traveling
and could not be reached for this latest story on the suit.
Freeman, president/CEO of IABC, and Heidi Upton, PR manager,
said the group's law firm, Bragg & Dziesinski, has told
everyone connected with IABC not to say anything related
to the suit.
B&D filed the answer to the Allan suit on Jan. 21, 2004.
[Papers are just now being obtained because the first mention
of a "lawsuit" was in the IABC audit for 2003
that was distributed in June.]
The suit springs from a speech Williams gave to a session
of the American Society of Association Executives Aug. 20,
2002 in Denver on "Crisis Communications."
told how IABC had lost $1 million on a $5 million budget
in 2000 mostly because of a planned website called "TalkingBusinessNow"
that he called "foolish" and "a pipedream."
via her law firm of Collins, Toschi & Doyle, Oakland,
charged that IABC and anyone related to it promised not
to make any negative comments about her as part of her separation
agreement and that the Williams speech broke this agreement.
IABC failed to exercise "reasonable care" in supervising
Williams, her complaint says.
RULE HITS OMC.
Omnicom, General Motors and hundreds of other companies
face lower earnings per share because of tightened accounting
rules on so-called "zero bonds" (which pay no
OMC sold $2.3 billion
in contingent convertible (CoCo) bonds between February
2001 and June 2003.
The OMC bonds were a "pure
play" in that investors expected no interest but thought
that OMC's stock price would rise and they could convert
at a profit.
But OMC has now dipped
to the $70 level, which is 37 points below its high of $107
in late 2001. It has been in the $80's in recent months.
Lehman Brothers estimates
that counting the shares that back up the CoCo bonds could
take 11% off the per-share profit of OMC.
Analyst Dan Popowics of
Fifth Third Asset Mgmt. told Bloomberg that investors are
viewing the situation as "serious" although it
"really doesn t change the economics of the company."
Some analysts expressed
concern about the possibility of shareholders "putting"
(demanding their money back) some of the $892 million in
OMC CoCo bonds at the end of this month.
They estimate that OMC
will pay $5-$10 per bond as a "sweetener" to stop
OMC's debt is $2.61 billion
and it carries $5.9 billion in "goodwill" on its
books, representing the difference between the price paid
for acquisitions and the book value of those acquisitions.
The tightened rule has
been proposed by a task force of the Financial Accounting
Edition, July 14, 2004 Page 8
The Porter Novelli
survey of journalists opinions of PR (page
one) is an important one although flawed by the
10% response rate (321 out of 3,400).
PN researchers feel that the one-third rate of dissatisfaction
If one-third of patients were unhappy with their doctors
or one-third of clients were unhappy with their law firms
that would be quite a story.
The dissatisfaction rate among journalists could be even
higher since 90% didn t bother to reply. To validate its
survey, PN would have to get replies from 321 journalists
who did not respond.
What intrigued us was the journalists who beefed about being
blocked from interviewing CEOs and other news sources; being
treated with "contempt," and having their motives
impugned (journalists are out to "get us").
Journalists said businesspeople were "adopting a superior,
arrogant tone" with them.
The pompous, humorless, unyielding PR pro is a common type
in the U.S. This person may not know much about the subject
at hand but he or she has plenty of poweryou are never
going to get near their bosses or clients without their
PN and no doubt many others are concerned about this widening
gap between PR and the press.
We recommend that PR pros host three or four reporters from
different media at lunches where everything and anything
can be discussed. This was a common technique when PR pros
thought of themselves as a "bridge" between clients
and the press rather than as a barrier. It's an "ice-breaker"
(a simile the Canadians will appreciate).
The Allan vs. IABC
and Williams lawsuit (page 7)
gets curiouser and curiouser.
Ex-CEO Elizabeth Allan is suing not only IABC and Louis
Williams and his firm, but 20 as yet unnamed IABC staffers.
It's a big gamble because Allan would have to pay not only
her own legal costs if she loses, but those of IABC. She
might have to pay the costs of everyone she sues.
The culprit here is the "non-board" of IABC.
A study of IABC by the American Society of Assn. Executives
in 1980 found that the IABC board was a fiction. "The
true role of the board is delegated entirely to the executive
director with a provision for only general supervision,"
said ASAE, which called on the board to perform its role.
IABC gave the 87-page survey to members and the press.
It's obvious the "non-board" tradition continued
at IABC since Allan had the titles of president/CEO and
so does current paid staffer Julie Freeman.
One look at the current IABC board tells a lot.
Three of the 24 directors are in South Africa where IABC
has only 95 members. Three are in Virginia where it has
319 members. Six (25%) of the directors are from outside
North America although only about 10% of members are there.
Three (12%) are from Canada although about a quarter of
the 11,790 members are Canadian (2,831).
IABC directors listed on its website are only identified
by name and address. Who knows who they are? Most importantly,
none are from San Francisco where they could keep an eye
on h.q. The older, wiser American Assn. of Adv. Agencies
has ten directors in its hometown of New York.
The same holds true for PRSA. None of the current 17 directors
is from New York. The same ASAE team that visited
IABC (Carl Hauber, Wayne Campbell and Dallas Whaley) also
analyzed PRSA. But unlike IABC, PRSA wouldn t let anyone
but the board see it. Pat Jackson, 1980 president, knocked
the methodology and conclusions of the report.
No doubt it rapped PRSA for having a "virtual"
board just like IABC. Also, the ASAE knocked IABC's accreditation
program, saying most groups were against such programs because
they provided an "implied warranty" and could
make IABC "liable for the acts of those it certifies."
APR-worshiping PRSA did not want to hear this.
So PRSA snuffed the survey, a habit it has. In 1999 it snuffed
the Fellows survey showing virtually no interest among recruiters
in APR. In the same year it wouldn t print the $150K PRSA/Rockefeller
"credibility" survey showing PR pros near the
bottom but journalists near the top. Phil Lesly's 1992 study
for the "Task Force on the Stature of PR" was
deep-sixed because it doubted the value of APR. More recently
a 2002 survey of members attitudes wasn t published and
a study of the ethnicity of members was shelved. In the
same vein, members have yet to see pictures of their handsome
new h.q. on the PRSA website.
A blue-ribbon panel of senior members of IABC is need to
report who got the $1M that was spent on the abortive website.
Did IBM get most of it? IABC needs to restore its credibility
with members and non-members ... we're
glad to see Cheryl Procter-Rogers opposing Maria Russell
for PRSA president-elect. Russell was on the 1999 board
that censored the Fellows and Rockefeller studies mentioned
above. That same board boycotted this NL for entire 1999
on the ground that we were taking up too much staff time
asking questions (about the two studies and other matters).
Russell also got a boatload of publicity in the 2003 members
directory for being "senior counsel" to nine boards
and committees. That post has been eliminated, raising questions
of why it was created.