Edition, Oct. 6, 2004, Page 1
U.S. FORCE TAPS
PR FIRM FOR IRAQ.
The U.S.-led military
force in Iraq has awarded a $6M PR contract to Washington,
D.C.-based Iraqex, a year-old business clearinghouse company
formed specifically to provide a swath of services in the
was set up by Lincoln Alliance Corp., a D.C.-based business
"intelligence" company that handles services from
"political campaign intelligence" to commercial
real estate in Iraq.
Bailey, an executive at Iraqex/Lincoln, told O'Dwyer's his
company has established four off ices in Baghdad and an
additional operation in Basra.
said Iraqex began handling PR work for private entities
in sectors like manufacturing and finance within the country
last year and has established close ties with 300-400 members
of the Iraqi media.
company, which submitted a proposal of $5.5 million for
the first year of the sweeping PR and advertising contract,
beat five other firms. Its bid for the entire contract with
options was $17.67M, the second highest. Tops was $31.7M,
while the lowest was $5.4M.
contract is with the Multi National Corps-Iraq, or MNC-I,
based at Camp Victory in Baghdad.
COSSETTE ACQUIRES PAINEPR.
Cossette Communication Group has acquired an 80 percent
stake in PainePR, the Irvine, Calif.-based firm with billings
in the $9M range. The acquisition reflects the Quebec City-headquartered
marketing communications company's "U.S. growth strategy,"
according to CEO Claude Lessard.
David Paine counts "cultural compatibility" as
one of the reasons for cutting the deal. He also told O'Dwyer's
that PainePR will be CCG's "lead PR firm" in the
U.S. "Many of our blue-chip clients have been asking
for international representation, and Cossette provides
us with that capability," he said.
The deal, according to Paine, enables PainePR to move beyond
media relations and offer clients a full-plate of marketing
Paine's 50 staffers counsel Archer Daniels Midland, American
Suzuki Motor, Polaroid, Novartis, JP Morgan Chase, Dockers,
Procter & Gamble and Novartis.
CCG's purchase price is based on the financial performance
of Paine during the next four years. CCG, which has $127M
in billings and 1,400 employees, acquired U.K.-based Band
& Brown (85 staffers) in September and runs Optimum
PR in Canada.
FCB LANDS ANTI-DRUG
The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy has
awarded Foote, Cone & Belding its $150 million anti-drug
media account, which had been handled by Ogilvy & Mather.
O&M had been at the center of a financial scandal concerning
overbilling the drug office.
The firm, which was blasted in Congressional hearings,
agreed to pay the U.S. Government $1.8 million in `02 to
settle a civil suit under the False Claims Act. It paid
$700K in cash, and reduced charges on the contract by $1.1
million to reflect the overbilling.
The settlement covered labor invoices in '99 and 2000 that
were based on inaccurate timesheets submitted by employees.
The Justice Dept. blamed O&M management for not exercising
reasonable control to ensure that the billings for labor
were accurate. O&M contended that it misunderstood federal
FCB, an Interpublic unit, beat out J. Walter Thompson,
of WPP, for the anti-drug account.
APCO BECOMES NO. 4 INDY.
APCO Worldwide has completed its management buyout from
Grey Global Group, which is being acquired by WPP Group.
The transaction is completed almost a year to the day that
GGG decided to unload APCO to its management team.
Five-year-old merchant banker WindRiver Group helped arrange
financing for the management buyout.
With its 400 employees, APCO becomes the No. 4 independent
PR firm, trailing Edelman PR Worldwide, Ruder Finn and Waggener
FIVE BIG CHAPTERS
WANT A.M. DEBATE.
Presidents of the five biggest chapters of PR Society of
America favor putting the debate on decoupling APR from
Assembly membership in the morning of the Oct. 23 meeting
in New York.
PRSA president Del Galloway and other Society leaders have
scheduled three hours of speeches for the four-hour morning
Galloway, via PRSA PR staffers Janet Troy and Cedric Bess,
said he is considering the request. Galloway himself has
not been available for comment.
Some delegates also want Galloway to have the Assembly's
electronic voting devices to be programmed to collect name,
occupation, chapter, district and other information of each
delegate. He has not been available for comment on this
suggestion either. (continued on seven)
Edition, Oct. 6, 2004, Page 2
SAYS HELLO IRAQ.'
ConocoPhillips announced Sept. 29 that it plans to invest
$2 billion for a seven percent stake in Russian energy giant
The partners envision a joint-venture to ship Russian crude
and gas to the U.S. and other international markets.
ConocoPhillips also will take a 17.5 percent stake in Iraq's
West Qurna oil field. Former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein
granted that concession to Lukoil.
The interim Iraqi government said it will rule on the concession
contract after the January elections.
Kristi DesJarlis, a ConocoPhillips spokesperson, said she
wasn t aware of any other major U.S. oil companies operating
ConocoPhillips, which purchased its Lukoil shares from
the Russian government, says both the Kremlin and White
House heartily endorsed the deal as a way to further "bilateral
energy development between the two countries.
ConocoPhillips has the right to purchase up to a 20 percent
stake in Lukoil.
Jim Mulva, ConocoPhillips CEO, and Vagit Alekperov, Lukoil's
president, announced the deal during a Moscow press conference.
They met with analysts and investors at the St. Regis Hotel
in New York on Sept. 30. DesJarlis said Kekst & Co.
helped out with that session.
MWW MOVES IN
FOR L.A. CONTRACT.
MWW Group is slated to pick up where Fleishman-Hillard has
left off, handling PR for the Los Angeles Community College
District under a new, streamlined $250K contract.
The 77-year-old institution, which spans nine colleges
from the San Fernando Valley to the area's beach cities,
is undergoing a $2.2 billion publicly approved construction
effort that could run into the next decade. Under the two
propositions that okayed the effort, the LACCD is required
to educate the public on its progress.
Final approval on the MWW deal could come at the LACCD
board meeting Oct. 6. Harvey Englander heads MWW's PA efforts
on the West Coast.
F-H handled the work under a $400K contract before its
billings practices were brought into question by the city
over other contracts and the firm decided to not pursue
renewals on work with L.A.
The Los Angeles Daily News pointed out an audit by LACCD
found F-H's work to be acceptable and appropriately billed.
Kathy Vincent has left
Ruder Finn to head Chandler Chicco Cos. healthcare
business in its nine-month-old Los Angeles office. She also
put in stints at PResence/EURO RSCG and Ogilvy PR Worldwide.
The L.A. office counts Allergan/Inspire Pharmaceuticals
Elestat, a treatment for ocular allergies, and Allergan's
Prevage, an antioxidant skin creme, as its key healthcare
Julie Adrian leads the West Coast office.
Edition, Oct. 6, 2004, Page 3
Seven journalists, who write about food, have resigned from
a committee that acts as the governing board for the James
Beard Foundation's coveted restaurant chef awards in the
wake of a scandal.
Melanie Young, whose PR firm is paid by the foundation
to administer and publicize the annual awards, said the
departing journalists were upset over the current investigation
of the foundation's financial and operational issues.
The departing members were: David Shaw, a media and food
writer of The Los Angeles Times, who is chairman
of the panel; Susan Virbilia, the restaurant critic for
the L.A. Times; Nancy Leson, the restaurant critic for The
Seattle Times; Jerry Shriver, a correspondent for USA
Today; R.W. Apple, an associate editor of The New
York Times; Ed Levine, who contributes to the NYT, and
Ruth Reichl, editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine.
Hundreds of journalists serve as judges and on other committees
in five award categories, which include food journalism,
cookbooks, design, broadcast media, and chefs & restaurants.
Young said none of the judges, or members of the other
committees, have resigned. "I have gotten pledges of
support from many journalists," said Young, who told
a reporter: "We are desperate to get out the message
that the awards are not being questioned."
The foundation's chairman, George Sape, recently disclosed
an internal audit had found that the former board president,
Leonard Pickell, may have misused hundreds of thousands
of dollars in foundation money. Pickell, who resigned Sept.
9, denies the accusation.
The New York state attorney general's office is investigating
The foundation had earlier acknowledged that of the $4.7
million the foundation took in last year, only about $29,000
was spent on scholarships, a fraction of the amount that
many staff members and supporters thought was being allocated.
James Haggerty, whose firm, The PR Consulting Group, was
hired as the foundation's spokesman, said the awards program
remains solvent and is not in jeopardy.
TOBIN KEEPS PUBLICITY
FIRM ON TRACK.
Maury Tobin was 28 years old when he opened Tobin Communications,
a Washington, D.C.-area electronic PR service firm, on Sept.
It was a watershed time for Tobin, who had been laid off
from a radio media firm (now one of his main competitors)
and was finishing graduate school at American University.
By going it alone, Tobin recalls, he could ensure clients
that the messages and stories they pitched to the media
would address two key elementsnewsworthiness and positioning.
"I like to think of my PR philosophy as smart pitching,
sans the hefty hard sell," said Tobin, who created
"We Make It News" as the company's mantra.
Tobin believes radio is a "staple for many news consumers,"
especially commuters, who want an issue parsed and examined
beyond what TV delivers, and need to know what is happening
immediately in their local and regional communities.
Tobin is most adamant about avoiding "canned"
news. He and his staff offer radio journalists "live"
access to spokespeople and refuse to send out audio news
releases, which are prepackaged sound bites.
The Los Angeles Times
is reexamining its coverage of arts and culture.
Bret Israel, formerly editor of The Los Angeles Times
Magazine, was named to direct all arts and cultural
John Montorio, deputy managing editor, said Israel will
be directing a report "more intimately tied to the
news and more watchful for that hidden aesthetic of cultural
dimension embedded within major news events."
Arts editor Lisa Fung and her staff of critics, writers
and editors will report to Israel.
The Boston Globe, which
is owned by The New York Times Co., has started running
more consumer-friendly features in its Sunday business section.
Caleb Solomon, the Globe's assistant managing editor for
business, said the new Sunday business section will take
a new consumer approach that widens the definition of business
news, with features on cost of living, financial planning
decisions and small business.
The new section will also have features about celebrity
shoppers and tips on office etiquette, travel gadgets and
spending and saving wisely.
The New York Times is
expanding its arts section in an effort to focus on more
news-centered coverage of the arts.
Nine editors were named to manage criticism and news reporting
in architecture, art, books, classical music, dance, film,
pop culture, TV and theater.
The focus on specialty coverage areas will also be reflected
in the book review section, which will become more "magazine-like,"
the paper said.
Dow Jones Financial Information Services has launched
LBO Wire, a daily e-mail newsletter covering the buyout
market for executives of private-equity firms, and their
investors, bankers, lawyers and others in the industry.
Led by David Toll, managing editor of Private Equity at
DJFIS, LBO Wire is staffed by its own reporters, with contributions
from reporters at other DJ publications.
who was editor-in-chief of Santa Barbara Magazine,
has joined Distinction,
a new Los Angeles-based magazine that targets readers in
the wealthiest communities of Southern California.
previously a senior editor at Star magazine in New
York, will replace Palance as editor of SB, a bimonthly
was named editor-in-chief of Blender,
a music magazine published by Dennis Publishing USA, replacing
Pemberton was one of 15 officers and editors let go to
cut costs. Keith Blanchard,
director of programming and a former editor of Maxim,
also was dismissed.
The company also is shutting its West Coast operations
and moving some employees to New York.
who has been writing a gossip column for The Las Vegas
Sun, has joined Us Weekly
as the magazine's "Hott Stuff" columnist.
formerly beauty editor for Sephora.com, was named fashion
feature editor at Marie Claire.
(Media news continued
on next page)
Edition, Oct. 6, 2004, Page 4
BOOKERS AT NEW SHOWS
A sold out crowd of 180 publicists attended the Publicity
Club of New York's Sept. 24 luncheon to hear three newcomers
to the national TV talk show scene, and an old standby.
Marlaine Selip, who is senior producer for "The Jane
Pauley Show," urged publicists to stick to "real-life
personal stories" about people when pitching her producers.
Selip said Pauley loves to do real-person stories, especially
if there is "some meat to it." Martha Stewart,
who is going to prison on Oct. 8, is a perfect example of
the type of guest that Pauley wants to build a program around,
She said Pauley also is "very intrigued by the mind,
and what makes people tick. So great therapists are things
that we re always looking for."
"We can take events that are in the news and build
shows around them, so if you have people that apply, especially
people that have been through this kind of thing, let us
know," she said, stressing that politics is about the
only topic Pauley will not cover.
Jeane Willis, who is talent executive for "Life &
Style," a nationally syndicated afternoon talk show,
said publicists should "come to us with the ideas of
what you want, and how it's going to get done."
Willis said the show, which features a panel of women,
is "very into new and innovative projects, people and
places; so I look forward to hearing from you guys."
She said new products are in demand.
"We are doing everything from celebrities to lifestyle
issues to doctors to lawyers, just about everybody you could
throw at us we re getting to put on," said Willis,
who pointed out the show, which airs at 9 and 10 a.m. in
most of the top 15 cities, is taped before live audiences
on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays in New York.
"I really do believe that it is a place where some
non-traditional people can get on TV," said Willis.
Danza Is Tops in New York
Tommy Crudup, senior talent executive for "The Tony
Danza Show," said this new show, which airs live Mondays
through Fridays in New York on WABC at 10 a.m. following
"Regis and Kelly," is the top-watched program
in several cities, including New York, Philadelphia, Detroit
and San Francisco.
Each show features interviews with two celebrities and
"a lot of cooking. So anyone who has a chef or knows
a chef please send them our way," said Crudup, who
said Danza also likes "doing authors occasionally."
Has News and Features
Desiree Adib, a segment producer for the "Weekend
Edition of Good Morning America," which began airing
Saturdays and Sundays on Sept. 4, said the one-hour morning
show, is pegged to news items in the first 30 minutes and
feature-style stories in the second half-hour.
"Please don t pitch us stories that are too involved
because we only have a short amount of time for the segment,"
"We like smart, quick, easy to explain, very user-friendly
segments on a wide array of topics.
"We talk a lot about politics, entertainment, consumer
information, cutting-edge technology, the latest medical
study or medical innovation," she said.
Adib called attention to a signature segment on Sundays
called "A Weekend Window To...," which focuses
on a different "hot spot" in the U.S. every week.
"It's really an interesting and visual story or place
that we can profile. It's kind of like `travel and leisure
with a twist," she said.
Selip, Willis and Adib provided lists and e-mail addresses
of bookers to pitch. These lists were posted on PCNY's website
Ten Magazines in
Corona, Calif., said three of its consumer truck enthusiast
publications (Ford Truck World, Dodge Truck World,
and Chevy Truck World) will be sold on newsstands
nationally on a quarterly basis starting with the Dec. 7
numbers. The publications were previously available by subscription
Yoga Journal in Berkeley,
Calif., will test launch Yoga Journal's Balanced Living.
It debuted on newsstands Oct. 5, and will remain on sale
until the end of this year.
The second issue is scheduled to appear on newsstands in
the fall of 2005.
The new publication will cover subjects ranging from family
and home, to work and relationships, to physical and emotional
The new magazine will incorporate some yoga, but the content
will be broader. The premier issue has features on the home
of raw-food chef Rozanne Klein, how to do "nothing"
well, and how to use the science of Ayurveda to determine
one's stress type.
Kathryn Arnold, editorial director of YJ, which is published
seven times a year, said the new publication is for "those
who want sound, real-life solutions on how to live healthfully
in a stressful world."
The New York Dog, a new
magazine which went on sale nationwide last week, will have
a dog obituary column. The 108-page first issue has three
pages of eulogies to dogs that have died along with articles
on canine fashion, dog horoscopes and advice from a pet
The magazine will be published six times a year by Gatsby
Publishing in New York.
Edutopia is the title
of a new magazine that will cover new ideas in the education
James Daly, onetime editor of Business 2.0, Red
Herring, Wired and Forbes ASAP, is editor-in-chief
of the New York-based magazine, which was started by the
George Lucas Education Foundation.
Edition, Oct. 6, 2004, Page 7
CHAPTERS WANT CHANGE
(cont d from pg 1)
The five chapter presidents in favor of a morning debate
are Pamela Miles, National Capital; Jennifer Grizzle, Georgia;
Burt Wolder, New York; Cynthia Harding, Los Angeles, and
Steven Knipstein, Chicago.
They have let their wishes
be known to Galloway. Bess said the subject will be taken
up in the next delegate conference call Oct. 14.
Paul Wetzel, who motioned
for a morning debate at last year's Assembly which was defeated,
said the Assembly ended in "chaos" as debate was
closed off at 6 p.m. due to the weariness of the delegates.
He intends to make the
same motion this year if Galloway and the board do not set
an a.m. debate.
Galloway has indicated
to some that he would entertain a debate starting at 11
a.m. and continuing to 1 p.m. But some delegates said this
would be a burden on delegates who have been up since 6
a.m. that day. Assembly committee meetings start at 7 a.m.
and the Assembly itself starts at 8 a.m.
Wants 8 a.m. Debate
Miles said she favors
a start at 11 a.m.
Jennifer Dzwonar, president of the Hoosier chapter which
has 370 members and four delegates, said she favors a debate
on decoupling "early in the morning so there is plenty
of time for it." She was at last year's Assembly and
doesn t want it repeated.
Michael DeMent, president
of the Greater Kansas City chapter, said it should start
at the beginning of the Assembly.
"This issue, having
been brought up three years in a row, has shown itself to
be the most important issue facing the Society and should
be the first thing the Assembly considers," he said.
If it's not scheduled
first, he said, people will fly to New York Saturday morning
and arrive at the Assembly in the afternoon. This is not
fair to the delegates who have arrived the previous day
and who are attending the entire Assembly, he added.
DeMent also believes that
the electronic voting keypads used by Assembly delegates
should be programmed to register the name, chapter, district
and other information about the delegate using them.
PRSA has been using the
keypads for five years but does not keep track of information
about the individuals using them.
He believes that all votes
of the Assembly should be "tracked and recorded"
by individual name.
While he does not favor
decoupling APR from office-holding, he says it deserves
a full airing.
Wetzel said the bylaw
changes are the only action items before the Assembly and
that the Delegates should have ample time to consider them.
"I certainly hope
we have learned our lesson from last year when debate on
decoupling and other issues had to be cut off because it
was so late in the day ... the meeting ended in chaos,"
Edition, Oct. 6, 2004 Page 8
The first debate between
President Bush and candidate Kerry was won by Kerry
based on most opinion polls.
However, even Bush supporters who say that Kerry "won"
also say that it won t change their votes.
Both candidates delivered their "messages" undeterred
by anything the opponent said.
Such is the level of public debate in lots of areas these
days. Each side just digs in deeper no matter what "facts"
may be presented. Facts can be subjected to lots of dispute
leading to confusion and loss of interest by the public.
We're interested in
the fashions of public discourse including what techniques
The Bush/Kerry debates, the talk by Helen Thomas in New
York (page 7), the disbanding of the legendary AT&T
PR dept. (page 2), and the press policies of PRSA we re
encountering all say a lot about the current practice of
Thomas spent quite a bit of time moaning about the lack
of reporters access to democratic as well as Republican
presidents. She said both Kerry and Bush mostly duck the
press or limit questions. Even when the press gets a chance
to ask questions, she noted, it does little good.
"No matter what question" press secretary Ari
Fleischer was asked by the White House press corps, said
Thomas, "you got the same answer."
Any time reporters "ventured off the page" at
a daily press briefing, such as questioning the war, they
faced the charge of jeopardizing the troops, she said.
She quoted Federal Judge Damon Keith of Chicago as saying,
"Democracy dies behind closed doors." She also
said the "greatest sin of the Nazi era was the silence
of the German people."
The White House sets
the tone for a lot of corporate PR. The strategy
of WH press aides (and many corporate VPs of PR) is to limit
press access and keep reporters "on message."
Reporters who buck the trend are "demonized,"
said Thomas, who feels "90% of talk shows are conservative."
Many corporations follow the same policy and we think their
PR heads get or set such policies at groups like PR Seminar,
the annual private gathering of 200 blue chip corporate
For one thing, the "limited access/keep them on the
message" approach mostly works. George Bush is the
odds-on favorite to be re-elected president.
We wonder if this "duck-the-press" policy is
good for PR careerists. PR Seminar now needs more than 40
new members each year when it used to take in only six to
ten. Careers at the top of a corporate PR department are
becoming shorter than ever.
As an example, Connie
Weaver, who headed the dismantled PR and related
units of AT&T lasted only 22 months while previous PR
heads included Arthur Page (lasted 23 years); Paul Lund
and Edward Block (seven years each); Marilyn Laurie (11
years to 1997) and Richard Martin (5 to 2002).
AT&T PR, besides parts of it going to HR and marketing,
no longer reports to the CEO which it did since 1925.
AT&T used to have one of the friendliest and open corporate
PR units. We knew many of the PR heads personally and in
recent years had talked often and met with "Bad News"
Burke Stinson, so-called because he was the staffer who
responded when AT&T was involved in some controversy.
Stinson, who was widely quoted, was retired in 2001 and
we lost all contact with the company. Stinson opposed PR
reporting to marketing, the use of "marketing-speak,"
and the purchase of PR firms by ad agencies.
Illustrative of the "new" AT&T PR was how
we got treated when we called in mid-day Sept. 27 and asked
for someone in PR to discuss the changes. A memo had leaked
out and was in the press. No one would talk to us. One PR
exec simply hung up when we mentioned the subject. Weaver
would not come to the phone. Finally, at the end of the
day, an outside agency for AT&T called and helped us
with the story. AT&T PR helped the next day.
In less than three
weeks (Oct. 23), the supposed democratic legislative body
of PRSA, its Assembly, will have its one meeting
of the year.
It is far from representative of the members and one of
the reasons is the apathy of rank-and-file members. They
are told little about the inner workings of the Society
and are given little voice in them. The 110 chapter presidents,
for instance, were not brought in on the recent biggest
financial decision in the 57-year history of PRSAthe
signing of a $6 million, 13-year lease in downtown New York.
The disproportionate voting setup of the Assembly, in which
a chapter with ten members gets one full vote while it takes
100 members for one vote in the larger chapters, cheats
the majority of members. If the 90 votes against decoupling
APR from Assembly membership last year came from the 72
chapters with the least amount of members (150 or less including
about ten with 25 or fewer), it would have meant that delegates
representing about 5,000 members frustrated the will of
delegates representing the other 15,000.
Democracy thrives on information but PRSA did not collect
the names or chapters of those voting against democracy
when it could easily have done this.
As usual, many hours of speeches have been scheduled by
the leaders with a minimum of time for open Assembly discussion.