Edition, Dec. 1, 2004, Page 1
SC JOHNSON REVIEWS PR.
SC Johnson, the family-run
consumer products marketer, has begun a tight-lipped review
of its outside PR as the company begins life under new CEO
Semrau, VP of global PA & communication, called the
review "part of routine business practice" in
a statement supplied to O Dwyer s. "As a privately
held company, this evaluation process will remain confidential."
Senior PR manager Steve Peckham noted: "This is the
only information we will be sharing."
Shandwick is the main outside PR firm for SCJ which markets
household brands like Pledge, Ziploc and Saran. The account
is pegged in the mid-six-figure range.
William Perez resigned last month to take the top post at
Nike, paving the way for Johnson--who was chairman and rose
through the company s marketing ranks--to take the reins.
KOSMOS PICKS BKSH.
Burson-Marsteller s BKSH & Assocs. unit has signed on
as the Washington representative for Kosmos Energy, the
Dallas-based firm formed in `03 to drill for oil along the
coast of west Africa.
is backed by a $300 million investment by Wall Street players
Warburg Pincus and Blackstone Partners. The region holds
14 billion barrels of oil and "sizeable fields"
of up to 780M barrels, according to KE. The corporate strategy
is to establish ventures with countries from Morocco to
South Africa that have oil fields of at least 500M barrels.
BITE TAKES BITE OUT
OF BIG APPLE.
Bite Communications has recruited Waggener Edstrom s Jonathan
Gandal to open a New York City office for the San Francisco-based
a 17-year PR veteran, was senior VP at Wag Ed posted in
Stamford, Conn., and handling the MasterCard International
Gandal was at Brodeur Worldwide, where he headed the firm
s flagship IBM account. He also has counseled AMD, American
Lung Assn., Philips and Eastman Chemical.
is part of U.K.-headquartered Next Fifteen Communications
Group. Its blue-chip client roster includes Apple Computer,
Sun Microsystems, Iomega, Siebel Systems and Toshiba.
Tenderich is general manager of BC s North American operations.
RL&M SCHOOLS KLEIN
ON WAYS OF PR.
The New York City Dept. of Education, which once paid Clark
& Weinstock $33K a-month for PR duties, is now getting
pro bono help from Robinson Lerer & Montgomery.
part of Omnicom, had been organizing talking points and
writing speeches for Schools Chancellor Joe Klein, according
to The New York Times.
firm was axed after media reports surfaced that it was hired
without putting the contract up for bid.
Morello, a spokesperson for Klein, said the Board is using
RL&M because of its "corporate turnaround"
experience. The Young & Rubicam Brands unit has represented
Texaco, Pfizer, America Online and German media company
had headed Bertelsmann s U.S. operation prior to joining
the restructured school system as its first chancellor.
He was in charge of the Justice Dept. s antitrust unit before
joining the media combine with more than $20 billion in
s biggest splash at the education department was in luring
Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of President John Kennedy,
to do volunteer fund-raising for the public schools. She
recently announced plans to exit the Funds for New York
is headed by PR heavyweight Linda Robinson.
WPP/GREY DEAL HITS SNAG.
WPP Group filed incomplete documentation for its $1.3 billion
takeover of Grey Global Group, and must resubmit its merger
notification, EU regulators ruled Nov. 23. The Brussels-based
bureaucrats had been expected to okay the deal by Nov. 26.
new filing requirement makes it unlikely that WPP CEO Martin
Sorrell will meet his goal to wrap up the paperwork regarding
the Grey deal in January.
beat France's Havas and investment banker Hellman &
Friedman for Ed Meyer s ad/PR combine.
The PRSA board and
staff have thus far refused to obey a 159-98 vote by the
Oct. 23 Assembly directing that the individual votes on
decoupling APR from Assembly membership be revealed.
vote in favor of decoupling came after an hour of debate
and has made possible non-APR Assembly delegates for the
first time since 1973.
member Paul Wetzel and PRSA president Del Galloway engaged
in an extensive dialogue on action needed to record and
publish the individual votes on the motion.
than a dozen queries about the vote to PR director Janet
Troy and PR manager Cedric Bess of PRSA have resulted in
no information on it.
on Nov. 17 said COO Catherine Bolton would have some information
on it Nov. 22.
e-mails to PRSA h.q. Nov. 22 and 23 were unanswered by Troy
and Bess. The latter sent an e-mail to Jack O Dwyer, meant
for someone else, asking, "RE: decoupling vote. Can
I just e-mail (O'Dwyer) a smart remark to ps him off?
apologized on Nov. 29, saying PRSA's policy is to "treat
all members of the media with the same respect and my e-mail,
while intended for internal communications only, was inappropriate
... an unfortunate mistake." continued
Edition, Dec. 1, 2004, Page 2
WATTS ROLLS DICE
FOR CONN. INDIANS.
Former Oklahoma Republican Congressman J.C. Watts is representing
the Golden Hill Paugussetts, which has been fighting to
win designation as a tribe by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The GHP need federal approval so they can negotiate with
Connecticut officials to build a casino in Bridgeport.
The BIA rejected the tribe s application in June, and an
appeals board refused to reconsider the ruling in October.
A tribe spokesperson said the lobbying effort continues.
J.C. Watts Cos. received $40K in lobbying fees from the
GHP during the first-half of this year.
The firm also repped FM Policy Focus ($180K), National Assn.
of Insurance Commissioners ($100K), SBC Comms. ($80K), Robinson
Aviation ($80K), Oklahoma Heart Hospital ($60K), Bowl Championship
Series ($60K), Government of Senegal ($60K), Mississippi
Valley State University ($20K), Langston University ($20K)
and Texas College ($20K).
Xyant Technologies ($40K) and Luther Speight Co. (less
than $10K) terminated their accounts during the period.
Watts, 44, was a key ally of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
SOFT DRINK MAKERS
The National Soft Drink Assn. is now the American Beverage
Assn. to reflect the growth of nonalcoholic beverages in
the marketing mix.
Kathleen Dezio, of the ABA, told O'Dwyer s that most people
walking down the supermarket aisle don t know that soft
drink bottlers are providing the myriad of beverage choices.
For instance, single-serve bottled water sales increased
22 percent in `03, while sports drinks were up 18 percent.
Sales of traditional soft drinks have been hammered by consumer
concern over obesity and other health issues.
Coca-Cola CEO Neville Isdell told analysts on Nov. 11 that
the company planned to scale back the amount of annual sales
growth from six to three percent. Classic Coke sales are
down nearly six percent this year, while its health-oriented
Odwalla juice and Dasani water brands are up 18 percent
and seven percent, respectively.
The ABA uses GCI Group for PR matters.
BLACKWELL EXITS WHITE
Robert Blackwell, the White House s top advisor on Iraq,
has taken a lobbying post at Barbour Griffith & Rogers.
The 22-year member of the State Dept. s foreign service
was mentor to National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice,
when both served on the national security staff of President
Blackwell, a former U.S. Ambassador to India, was recently
involved in an alleged pushing incident in Kuwait. The woman,
whom Blackwell allegedly pushed, has not filed a complaint.
Blackwell denies that anything untoward happened.
NYC's FASHION SCENE.
Don t call 28-year-old golden-haired, bottled water scion
Lauren Davis a "publicist." The director of PR
for fashion house J. Mendel prefers to be called "a
young girl who is out and about and loves fashion and really
believes in her products."
Davis was profiled along with other Manhattan swells who
are "leveraging their network of rich friends into
a lucrative career of their own: seamlessly promoting both
charitable and commercial causes," in the Nov. 14 New
The weekly says Davis is part of a "new breed of socialite-cum-publicistssocialists?publicites?"
It includes "alpha women," such as Emilia Fanjul
Pfeifler, the daughter of sugar baron Jose (Pepe) Fanjul,
and honorary co-chair of the Young Collectors Night at the
Winter Antique Show, and Countess Vanessa von Bismarck,
the great-great granddaughter of "Iron Chancellor"
Otto von Bismarck in the bunch. Both ran their own PR firms.
Slightly lesser lights are Ashley Schiff, the polo-player
sister-in-law of Karenna Gore, who works for Rubenstein
Assocs., and Tinsley Mortimer, who is married to Standard
Oil heir Topper, and "until recently the list
girl at the hard-partying firm of Harrison and Shriftman."
Other PR "princesses" are Samantha Gregory, spokesperson
for leather-goods company Hogan; Allison Aston, daughter-in-law
of society plastic surgeon Sherrell and the flack for jewelry
designer Robert Lee Morris, and Alexandra Kimball, great-granddaughter
of former Brazilian dictator Getulio Vergas and VP-corporate
communications for Oscar de la Renta. Kimball, 31, prefers
to be called Oscar s ambassador, and said her job, in part,
consists of wearing the designer s clothes.
The Observer says veteran PR hands Peggy Siegal, Lizzie
Grubman s former partner, and Paul Wilmot believe the cross-pollination
of young society women and fashion PR makes perfect sense.
Siegal said these girls know fashion because they grew up
in wealthy homes and their mothers and grandmothers wore
the most beautiful clothes.
David Columbia, editor of newyorksocialdiary.com, applauds
the socialists for working at all when they could be living
off their trust funds. They could have turned out to be
drug-dealers or go-go dancers, Columbia joked to the Observer.
PEOPLE LIKE 'SEARS'
BETTER THAN 'KMART.'
Three-out-of-four Americans prefer the name "Sears"
over "Kmart," according to a survey of 1,050 people
conducted after the announcement that Kmart is taking over
Sixteen percent of respondents like the Kmart name better.
Rivkin & Assocs. commissioned the poll, which was done
by Opinion Research Corp.
Steve Rivkin, who runs the Glen Rock, N.J.-based marketing
communications firm, believes the survey shows that "Kmart
is a damaged brand, while the Sears name has vastly greater
Edition, Dec. 1, 2004, Page 3
WSJ's HUNT JUMPS
TO BLOOMBERG NEWS.
Barney Calame and Albert Hunt, who have each spent 39 years
at The Wall Street Journal, are leaving.
Hunt, the Journal s Washington, D.C.-based executive editor
and bureau chief, is joining Bloomberg News in January as
managing editor for government reporting. Hunt also wrote
a political column for the Journal.
Calame, who has been deputy managing editor since 1992,
is retiring this month. He started as a reporter for the
Journal in 1965 in New York.
Rich Jaroslovsky, who left the Journal to join Bloomberg
News as an editor-at-large, was named managing editor for
government and economy in the Americas at Bloomberg.
Jaroslovsky spent almost 30 years at the Journal as chief
White House reporter during the Reagan administration, political
editor and as the first managing editor of WSJ.com.
Rob Hertzberg, editor of Bloomberg News, recently left
to become editorial director for Thomson Media s Advisor
GET MOST COVERAGE.
Problems related to mergers and acquisitions are the most
frequently cited crises reported in major global publications,
according to Crisis Metric, Burson-Marsteller s new monthly
corporate crisis survey.
The average monthly results of CM s surveys from August
to October 2004 indicated that mergers and acquisitions
(40%) led the 13 types of corporate crises listed, regardless
Merger and acquisition crises were covered in the U.S.,
European and Asia-Pacific media more than twice as often
as bankruptcy/financial demise (17%).
The next most frequently mentioned crisis was union issues,
pensions or strikes (9%).
The least covered crises in the three-month period were
crises relating to terrorism/war-related problems (1%),
natural disasters (0%) and deaths (0%).
Julie Anne Quay
has joined V magazine as executive editor from Richard
Avedon's photo studio.
previously managing editor at now-defunct Lifetime
magazine, has replaced Kim
Cheney as managing editor at Marie Claire.
Cheney recently joined Redbook as managing editor.
who worked as editor-in-chief of Playboy Mexico,
was hired as chief editor of the Mexican edition of Penthouse.
Sarah Min, formerly
managing editor at Vibe, is now managing editor at
Woff, previously with Time Out New York, is
senior editor of Domino;
Lindsey Taylor, formerly at Martha Stewart
magazine, is garden editor, and Stacie
McCormick, formerly at Martha Stewart magazine, is
MANY UNHAPPY EDITORS.
Thirty-nine percent of the editors in the American Society
of Business Press Editor s 2004 survey are more satisfied
in their job now than they were two years ago, while 37%
said they are less satisfied, and 23% feel about the same.
Arcola Research in Montgomery Village, Md., conducted the
survey in May on ASBPE s website.
The total response was 606, a rate of 15.6%. More than
80% of the respondents were senior level and executive level
The editors, who are more satisfied now, cited a better
economy, flexible hours, more money, more responsibility
and editorial control, better understanding of the market
their magazine covers, more management support, new challenges
and better staff.
Editors who are dissatisfied said their reasons were frequency
cutbacks due to the economy, less print space due to fewer
ads, layoffs of expert colleagues, fewer dollars available
for freelancers, and more pressure to serve advertisers.
Mean salaries of editors increased 6.6% from last year
s $62,702 to $66,870 over all job titles.
ESPN s "OTL Nightly" show recently examined the
growing role and responsibility of athletes who endorse
One of those mentioned on the show was Gil Pagovich, the
director of celebrity relations at PTA Entertainment, who
maintains a 75-page list of sports personalities with medical
conditions, and who hopes to broker endorsement deals with
The average deal is anywhere from $250K-$350K and some
deals get close to $1 million, Pagovich told ESPN.
Sidney Wolfe, a spokesman for Public Citizen s Health Research
Group, believes it is a serious breach of ethics to put
your name on something that you are not fully informed about.
Dorothy Hamill, who endorsed Vioxx, which was recently pulled
from the market, was cited as an example.
"I wouldn t ever go so far as to say athletes are
blame-worthy for endorsing a drug that later turns out to
be unsafe, but they do share some level of responsibility,"
said Robert Kravitz, Univ. of California-Davis professor.
"The Black Press
Yearbook: Who's Who in Black Media," a directory
of minority news professionals in the U.S., has been published
by Diversity City Media, a PR firm based in Long Beach,
Calif, which also owns BlackNews.com, a distribution service
that sends news releases to more than 800 African-American
The directory, which sells for $80, can be ordered at 202/452-7450.
(Media news continued
on next page)
Edition, Dec. 1, 2004, Page 4
PR PROS DEAL
WITH MISTRUST OF MEDIA.
Ben Silverman, who writes a column for eReleases.com, called
PR Fuel, said the preliminary results of his reader survey
show media credibility does not matter much to PR pros.
"Yes, the media s credibility took a serious hit this
year, but it doesn t impact how PR pros are doing their
job," wrote Silverman, who said the survey results
are based on "a couple hundred responses."
Here are some of the responses to the media credibility
"I think the credibility of the media remains
low. But unfortunately, I think the credibility of PR pros
remains lower. It doesn t make much difference."
"I think the credibility of the media has come
into question, but not as much as the credibility of corporate
America, so it s all relative. There s been too much other
crap in the way, so media credibility isn t as big of an
issue as it should be."
"From my perspective it means that the facts
have to be crystal clear, and you have to find a way around
the media to reach audiences for some issues."
"Doesn t affect me personally any. I think I
ll do better if journalists want to make up news stories.
I can make up PR success stories and get a raise."
"I think the feeling the public is left with
is that the news is all partisan, that it s all biased,
that `news can t be trusted no matter who is delivering
Maybe most of us involved with PR, even peripherally like
me, already thought so and use that knowledge to the advantage
whenever possible. I don t think it makes the job harder
in that media bias has always been a factor."
Campaign Was Worst
An "overwhelming" number of respondents named
Sen. John Kerry s failed Presidential bid as the worst PR
campaign they saw this year, Silverman said.
Others getting a "prominent number of votes":
Fleishman-Hillard s scandal involving the Los Angeles Dept.
of Water and Power, the Abu Gharib prison scandal; the Merck/Vioxx
scandal; Dan Rather and CBS News for the Texas National
Guard memo debacle; bloggers for their use of questionableand
unattributedexit poll numbers; Janet Jackson/Justin
Timberlake/MTV/CBS/NFL for the Sugar Bowl "Breastacular";
Ashlee Simpson for her "Saturday Night Live" lip-synching
performance; Kobe Bryant; Michael Moore, and Howard Dean
s "I Have a Scream" speech.
President Bush got the most votes for having run the "best
PR campaign," while Oprah Winfrey got several votes
for her "free Pontiacs" as did Martha Stewart
for her public apology which softened her image.
Getting a "prominent number of votes" for having
"not best, but most effective" PR campaigns were:
the Republican National Committee s leafleting churches
with literature linking Bush and "moral values";
Wal-Mart for opening up to the media, and Halliburton for
never addressing the charges made against it.
FRIEDMAN JUICES UP
Steve Friedman, former head producer of NBC-TV s "Today"
show, is overhauling CNBC business news, starting with "Squawk
Box," its flagship morning show.
Ratings for the three-hour show, which features Mark Haines,
David Faber and Joe Kernan, have fallen 25% this year, according
to the New York Daily News.
The new "Squawk," which will debut on Dec. 6,
will have some new segments like "Media Inc.,"
and the "Squawk Index," which would track executives
ups and downs, according to the News.
Rebecca Quick, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal,
is joining the "Squawk" team on a permanent basis.
Friedman is expected to tackle CNBC s "Power Lunch"
next, the News said.
The changes to CNBC come as Fox News prepares to launch
its new Fox Business News channel next summer. FBN will
take direct aim at CNBC, which is the leader in the market
with an 0.1 rating.
CNN is shutting down its CNNfn channel this month.
who was just hired as product and technology editor for
Windows IT Pro magazine, based in Loveland, Colo.,
will oversee product review strategy and produce both comparative
and reviews of new products and technologies for the magazine.
WITP has a paid subscription base of 102,000, and is published
in 13 languages with an international reach into 160 countries.
Carheden, who is a former consultant and IT auditor for
Deloitte & Touche in San Jose, Calif., will test products,
write reviews, and investigate new products and technologies
to provide readers with information they need to make buying
He can be reached at 970/613-4928.
33, communications manager for the Irish Jesuits in Dublin,
was named editor of The Irish Catholic, the 116-year-old
formerly editorial director of Playboy, is joining
Rolling Stone as a deputy managing editor. He will share
the title with Will Dana, features editor, and Joe Levy,
previously PR director of Prada, has joined Elle
as the London.-based magazine's executive fashion editor
to work with publicists and handle long-term editorial projects.
has left American Media's headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla.,
where he was editorial director of the Globe, Sun,
National Examiner, and Weekly World News.
Edition, Dec. 1, 2004, Page 7
Assembly Delegates Don t Help con't
Requests for help on the Assembly vote by a New York-based
PRSA member to Tri-State district director Michael Cherenson
and the six Assembly delegates at-large have also brought
were sent to the six Assembly delegates at-large who are
supposed to represent the interests of members not affiliated
with a chapter. Their names are not in the Blue Book nor
on the PRSA website.
are counselor Les Goldberg of Santa Ana, Calif.; Rock Jenkins,
State Farm Insurance Cos., Bloomington, Ill.; counselor
Laura Link, Jacksonville, Fla.; Prof. Francis McDonald,
Hampton University, Hampton, Va.; Roy Reid, Consensus Comms.,
Orlando, Fla., and Susan Schumacher, Zoll Medical Corp.,
of Remarks on Decoupling Vote
PRSA Assembly tape Oct. 23, 2004:
Paul Wetzel of Boston: My name is Paul Wetzel of Boston
and I intend to move that the vote on this (decoupling)
bylaw be recorded and I would like you to tell me how to
go about doing that and when.
Schilansky, parliamentarian: So you want it recorded by
By name and individual, in the minutes.
What would happen is that as soon as the amendment is on
the floor, you can go to any mike and you can move that
when the vote is taken on the bylaw amendment that each
individual s name be recorded in the minutes. It doesn t
require a second and it s not debatable. If the majority
of delegates agrees with this, it will be so done.
How do I get to the floor?
Be recognized at a microphone.
Galloway: Paul, thank you and this was discussed in our
recent Assembly briefing.
was just pointed out to me while we do have the capabilities
electronically of capturing because when you signed for
your device this morningdevice 86 is Del Gallowaywe
can capture that information.
won't present it on the screen but we will chronicle it
and have it available for later.
If the motion is made that way it would be for the whole
bylaws. You may want it on individual amendments. The motion
can be made however you want it to be made on every vote
or on just the final vote. Whatever you desire and the Assembly
agrees to it should be done.
Thank you. Just to affirm what Dr. Schilansky mentioned.
This is our Assembly and we want it to be user friendly
so I thank you for walking us through that and being such
a helpful presence.
when the decoupling debate was to start, Wetzel gained a
microphone and Del said, "The chair recognizes Paul
If appropriate, I d like to make my motion.
Galloway: Yes, it s appropriate.
Then I move to make the vote on this bylaw amendment and
any votes taken on any proposal to amend this amendment
and the final vote to be recorded and published in the minutes.
motion was seconded and passed by electronic vote by a margin
of 159 to 98 or 62% in favor and 38% opposed.
TRAVEL PROMOTES VIA PR.
Gloria Bohan, 2004 recipient of the American Society of
Travel Agents "Travel Agent of the Year Award,"
says PR helped her build an agency from a one-person office
in Fredericksburg, Va., in 1972 to one with 1,000+ employees
and that handles $1 billion+ in travel purchases yearly.
Bohan accepted the award
Sept. 29 at the ASTA World Travel Congress in Hong Kong
attended by more than 2,000 ASTA members.
Bohan said her firm s
open door to the press has brought dozens of features in
the business and general press including a one-page photo
feature and story in USA Today.
"Our 200 offices
around the country are often called and visited by local
press including TV crews looking of stories on travel problems,
holiday traffic and so on," she said, adding, "It
is important to respond to press queries immediately."
Omega is the fifth largest
travel management firm, according to Business Travel News,
with $992M in value of ticket sales handled in 2003.
is No. 1 with $5.1 billion followed by Worldtravel Partners
with $5.0B. American Express and Navigant would be among
the top five but did not provide figures this year, possibly
because of Sarbanes-Oxley considerations.
for Huge Accounts
Omega accounts include
the U.S. Marines and U.S. Air Force and seven major Federal
government agencies, many blue chip companies, major universities
and major trade associations.
Besides publicizing the
firm whenever possible, Omega has emphasized customer and
employee relations. Employees wear a gold-plated pin that
says, "Attitude," to remind them to respond quickly
and cheerfully to customer needs. "The best advertising
or PR campaign is a satisfied customer," says Bohan.
Internet Edition, Dec.
1, 2004 Page 8
Omega Travel CEO Gloria
Bohan (page 7) has expressed a press policy that
is all too rare in these days of "single spokemanship."
Her policy is to have numerous company people who can talk
to the press and to have them respond to press calls "immediately."
Omega has about 200 offices throughout the U.S. and having
all press requests funneled through a single office would
But many companies with multiple offices and divisions
do have "single spokesperson" policies. In struggling
for press control they end up having little if anything
That is the way many of them want it. They'd rather have
nothing than take their chances in the free-for-all editorial
columns where anything may happen.
Bohan feels that press mentions have helped her company
to grow but she is by no means totally satisfied with reporters.
"Quite often they call with a particular angle in
mind and it s hard to budge them off what may be an inaccurate
story line," she says.
"They are determined to bolster a preconceived notion
that may not be correct," she adds.
Nevertheless, she feels that business reporters are in
need of "education" about many topics and it s
the job of line executives to take the time to teach them.
"They want to be educated and they re very grateful
for it," she added.
Numerous companies we ve encountered over the years have
the attitude that press calls can take up so much time of
executives that it s too costly to the company to deal with
So such executives should not complain when reporters take
the wrong tack. Executives, PR pros and reporters all have
a duty to make sure the public is adequately informed.
Speaking about unreturned
press calls, our e-mail and phone call to Jack Irvine
of Media House, Glasgow, Scotland, about PR pros
not returning calls was not returned.
We called the firm after U.K. web journalist Mike Magee
said PR has become depersonalized and there are few relationships
anymore between "journos" and "PRs."
He complained that PR pros don t talk to journalists and
don t return their calls.
Irvine was quoted in the i of Scotland saying this was nonsense
because PR depends heavily on personal relationships with
We called up Media House, one of the larger "strategic
communications consultancies" in Scotland, with offices
also in Edinburgh, London and New York. No one was available
to talk to us about the Irvine quote, nor did anyone return
our call, proving Magee s point.
The withdrawal of Duffey
Communications from the rankings of the Atlanta Business
Chronicle (Nov. 24 NL) is a loss for the PR counseling
industry, the Chronicle and Duffey.
The Duffey firm was never in the O'Dwyer rankings because
it declined to provide proofs such as top page of the latest
income tax return and the latest W-3 (total of W-2s which
is due to the IRS by Jan. 31 each year). Net fees of a PR
firm are usually about double the payroll.
Duffey, which took the No. 1 position in the unsubstantiated
rankings of the Chronicle each year, said it was at a "competitive
disadvantage" in revealing its numbers because so many
other firms were not (even though the Chronicle ranked 25
The Duffey move draws attention to an article in the December
Atlantic titled "The Confidentiality Fetish,"
which claims that lawyers are grabbing too much power by
demanding that nearly everything be confidential. This shifts
control of a situation away from CEOs, CFOs, boards of directors
and others and into the lap of the lawyers, says the article.
It says, "The bar s commitment to confidentiality
is not just an ideology; it is also a marketing strategy.
In the bar s competition with other professions, confidentiality
is often a more important advantage than legal experience."
Specifically mentioned is how lawyers have twisted the
Sarbanes-Oxley Act to their own ends.
"Although the reporting that SOX calls for is financial,
lawyers, rather than accountants, determine what is to be
disclosed," says the article by William H. Simon, Columbia
on the Assembly decoupling vote (page one) puts the
spotlight on PRSA s governance and particularly the parliamentarians
that PRSA leaders use to help run the Assembly meetings.
Although delegate Paul Wetzel went through a long dialogue
with the parliamentarian and PRSA president Del Galloway
to make sure the vote of individual delegates on decoupling
would be revealed, and the motion was passed, this has not
Parliamentarians told us that conference delegates often
employ their own advocate, a so-called "floor parliamentarian"
who will take their side.
"You can t depend on the chair s parliamentarian,"
they told us. Rules may or may not be enforced and it s
not the duty of the chair s parliamentarian to tell the
chair what to do, they said. In this case, we were told,
a floor parliamentarian would have directed that either
a standing roll call vote be taken or the Assembly could
have ordered the tabulation and printing of the votes by
the end of the Assembly. The delegates were using numbered