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Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter
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Internet Edition, Dec. 22, 2004, Page 1

Chiron Corp., the biopharmaceutical company responsible for the loss of half the nation's flu vaccine supply, has hired Omnicom's Clark & Weinstock to handle policy and legislative matters.

U.K. regulators shut down Chiron's Liverpool plant in October after they found contaminated vaccines, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration completed its own probe the same month.

Chiron, which is based in Emeryville, Calif., announced Dec. 10 that it had received a "warning letter" from the FDA demanding more information about the work to correct the Liverpool facility. The company must respond by the end of the year.

Vic Fazio, the former Democratic Congressman, heads C&W's PA team. Other members include Ed Kutler, a former aide to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; Dirksen Lehman, who was President Bush II's special assistant for legislative affairs, and Sandi Stuart, who was Fazio's chief of staff.


Camille DeSantis, who this year was lauded as an industry rising star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Assn., has joined Edelman as executive VP-creative director. She was senior VP-group creative director at Corbett Accel Healthcare Group.

Nancy Turett, president/global director of Edelman's health unit, is eager to apply DeSantis brand building expertise to her roster of pharmaceutical, devices and provider clients. DeSantis also will work with Mark Deitch, global managing director of Edelman's bioscience communications operation.

Ogilvy, which picked up Pfizer's embattled Celebrex and Bextra pain medications last month, is still working on the account, according to Sherry Pudloski, co-managing director of the WPP Group unit's health and medical practice.

Pfizer CEO Henry McKinnell decided to yank consumer advertising and promotions for Celebrex.

The New York-based pharmaceutical giant spent $70 million for Celebrex ads during the first nine months of this year. The company says it is committed to Celebrex though a report released Dec. 16 linked high doses of Celebrex to greater heart attack risks.

Pudloski told O Dwyer's she could not talk in detail about Ogilvy's work for the Pfizer drugs.


Lou Williams and his firm, L.C. Williams & Associates, Chicago, will pay 60% of a "nominal" award of $18,345 given to former IABC COO Elizabeth Allan in her lawsuit against Williams and IABC.

IABC will pay the remainder, according to a jury verdict reached Dec. 15.

"I m gratified, I think the jury did a thorough job," said Williams.

IABC will pay 40% of the $18,345 award for failing to properly supervise Williams, whose speech to the American Society of Assn. Executives in 2002 caused "post speech trauma" to Allan. She had sought $10 million from Williams but agreed to limit this to $1 million after he agreed to accept court service in Chicago.

IABC is based in San Francisco and the case was heard by State Superior Court there.

The Williams presentation to ASAE had described the financial problems at IABC caused by its $1 million investment in the abortive website called "TalkingBusinessNow."

Allan is now president of the California Water Environment Assn. Her salary is $121,000, according to court documents.


Sprint and Nextel relied on counsel from two seasoned corporate PR firms for the announcement of their $35 billion "merger of equals" last week.

Kekst & Co. counseled Sprint and Citigate Sard Verbinnen advised Nextel for the deal, according to Sprint senior VP Bill White.

The merger, slated for completion in the second half of 2005, is seen more as Sprint (the distant No. 3 carrier to Cingular and Verizon) acquiring Nextel but it creates a $40 billion entity with 35 million customers that could be poised to compete on the level with the two cellular giants.

Internet Edition, Dec. 22, 2004, Page 2

Frank Ovaitt says he is "not trying to have any small thoughts" in his plan to put his own stamp on the Institute for Public Relations as he takes over the helm from Jack Felton, who headed the group for a decade.

The McLean, Va.-based counselor, who forged the Institute's five-year plan after interviewing the group's 30 trustees, described the goal of "focusing on the science beneath the art of PR" during an interview with O Dwyer's.

Ovaitt plans to steer the Institute beyond its "measurement and evaluation" orientation by probing categories, such as internal and international PR. "Research knows no international boundaries," he said.

Part of the Institute's program of "mainstreaming the body of knowledge," is to zero in on executives from PR firms.

The Institute debuts its "PR Leadership Forum" in Atlanta (Jan. 26-28). The PRLF is an outgrowth of the Institute's "PR Executive Forum" that "grooms" executives for top corporate positions. The PRLF is open to 30 executives from agency or Fortune 500 staffers who can pick up the $2,250 fee. They will hear presentations from luminaries, such as Burson-Marsteller's Harold Burson, Al Golin (GolinHarris), Tom Martin (ITT Industries), Margery Kraus (APCO Worldwide), Gary Grates (General Motors), Bill Nielsen (Johnson & Johnson), Kathy Cripps (Council of PR Firms) and Nancy Turett (Edelman). Ovaitt said the Council is funding the PRLF along with Arthur Page Society, which footed the tab for the EFs.

Ovaitt also wants professors to get "real-life" experiences. Summer internships for professors at PR firms are one of the items that Ovaitt wants to probe.

David Fenton is dubbed "media maestro of the left" and a "scare specialist" in the December issue of Capital Research Center's Organization Trends.
The article recounts the "greatest hits" chalked up by Fenton Communications, Washington, D.C., in its 22-year history, including the `89 warning that Alar-tainted apples trigger cancer program on behalf of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

FC also unveiled the legendary "What Would Jesus Drive" push for the Evangelical Environmental Network in `04, insinuating that driving gas-guzzling SUVs was downright un-Christian. Jason Vines, a transportation PR pro, rapped Fenton for a "track record of creating a crisis out of thin air."

Terrence Scanlon is president of CRC. He was VP-corporate relations at the right-wing Heritage Foundation, and chaired the Consumer Products Safety Commission in President Reagan's second term. Washington, D.C.-headquartered Crosby Vollmer International Communications is CRC's PR firm.

Fenton has not returned a call, though a staffer said the OT article "was passed around."

AgriProcessors Inc., a top kosher slaughterhouse and beef marketer in the U.S., is reaching out to its buyers and the media in the wake of a potentially damaging People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals campaign against its kosher slaughter practices. Parallel to that effort, a coalition of rabbis and certifying entities for the shehita – the kosher way of killing animals for food – has engaged a Brooklyn-based PR firm, Lubicom Marketing Consulting, to rebut PETA's efforts.

The animal rights group sent in an undercover staffer to work at AgriProcessors meat packing plant in Postville, Iowa, to secretly film the "sloppy" slaughter of cows, apparently under shehita oversight. PETA says that shehita slaughter, while guided by twice the oversight of normal meat processing, is still a cruel form of processing animals.

Menechem Lubinsky, president of Lubicom, told O'Dwyer's past campaigns likening cattle slaughter to a "bovine holocaust" and PETA criticizing Yasser Arafat for allegedly using a donkey to deliver a bomb in Israel, without condemning the bombing itself, show the group's "radical" agenda.

Lubinsky said he was not working for AgriProce ssors, but noted the work for the rabbis is definitely "alongside what they are saying."

Christina Ablaza, head of GirlPR, whose clients are mostly owners of nightclubs and bars, said the agency is "not the conventional PR firm."

Ablaza, 38, said the firm "only does social events" for their clients. The firm's website,, heralds the agency as a "one of a kind PR company for women by women."

"Having worked for a number of companies dealing with PR as well as marketing and coordinating events we found ourselves dealing with many sophisticated women who were seeking something different in regards to providing them informative info and creative options when it came to where they spent their social time," the website states.

Ablaza, who was reached at the firm's offices in Dix Hills, N.Y., said she had previously worked as a freelance publicist in Toronto for AT&T, and before that as a customer relations representative for the Bank of Montreal.

When she came to the U.S., she got a job with VIP Guest before opening GirlPR about three years ago.

Ablaza said the modus operandi is to e-mail invitations to a list of about 50,000 people when an event is planned at a client's club or lounge. She said only about 15% of the people on the list are men.

Her "GirlPR Team" consists of five women in their 20s and 30s, said Ablaza.

She can be reached at her office at 631/543-8069; cell: 631/455-6295 or by e-mail: VIPServices@

Internet Edition, Dec. 22, 2004, Page 3


Two publishers — Judith Regan and Kimberly Quinn — are linked to alleged illicit affairs with top political figures in the U.S. and the U.K.

Regan, who is publisher of Regan Books, has admitted to a year-long affair with former New York Police Dept. commissioner Bernard Kerik, who recently removed his name from consideration for the job of U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security.

Regan broke up with Kerik after she learned his wife was pregnant and he had been continuing an affair with a corrections officer that began 10 years ago, according to press reports.

The British press has been having a field day with its coverage of the three-year affair between Quinn, who is publisher of The Spectator magazine, and David Blunkett, 57, who just resigned as Prime Minister Tony Blair's Home Secretary.

Quinn, who previously was communications and marketing director for Conde Nast U.K., is originally from Los Angeles, and has written articles for The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, and Erotic Review. She became publishing director of The Spectator in 1996.

At the time of the affair, Quinn was married to Michael Fortier, an American investment banker whom she met when she was editing a trade magazine in the U.S.

While working as secretary to Helen Gurley Brown, the founder of Cosmopolitan, she met Stephen Quinn, who started GQ magazine for Conde Nast in the '80s. She and Stephen, 60, who is currently managing director of Britain's Vogue magazine, got married in late 2001.

Alan Murray, currently CNBC's Washington, D.C., bureau chief and co-anchor of "Capital Report" with Gloria Borger, is returning full-time to The Wall Street Journal Jan. 1 as an assistant managing editor.

He will write a new, twice-a-week column, starting in February, on business, economics and public policy while continuing as a regular contributor to CNBC, but now as a representative of the Journal.

His weekly "Political Capital" column at the WSJ was discontinued as of Dec. 14.

Before joining CNBC in Feb. 2002, Murray was the Journal's D.C. bureau chief for nearly a decade.
He will shift his base to New York from D.C.


Debbie Henley and Debby Krenek were promoted to managing editors of Newsday as part of a reorganization of the Long Island newspaper's newsroom.

Henley, 45, will oversee newsgathering by all departments, except the New York City desk, which will continue to report to New York editor Les Payne.

Krenek, 49, will supervise the news desks and aspects of content development while continuing to oversee Internet and multi-media activities and the photo and art departments.

Both Henley and Krenek will report to John Mancini, the paper's top editor.

Among those getting new jobs is Richard Galant, 54, who was named associate editor responsible for the investigations department and who will also write a weekly business column.

Lonnie Isabel and Steve Ruinsky were promoted to deputy managing editors. Isabel, 53, will direct the health and science department in addition to his current supervision of national, foreign and state coverage. Ruinsky, 50, who was handling sports, will add business and the "Part 2" features departments to his responsibilities.

In addition, four assistant managing editors were named: Genetta Adams for Part 2; Rick Green for business and technology; Sandy Keenan for Long Island, and Alex Martin for projects.

Phil Hill, a race car driver and automotive writer, and John Lamm, an automotive photographer and writer, were awarded the Dean Batchelor Award by the Motor Press Guild.

Paige Herman was named managing editor of New Beauty, a new consumer magazine about cosmetics.

Jay Fielden, who was articles editor at Vogue, was named editor of Men's Vogue, a spinoff of the fashion title.

Dan Gillmor, a longtime technology reporter and blogger at The San Jose Mercury News, has left the paper.

Shannon Feaster, previously a guest booker at CNN and head of the PR department at the Information Tech Industry Council, has opened Liberate Marketing & Communications, Washington, D.C.

Dana Wagner was named fashion editor at Bridal World magazine.

David Drickhammer, 35, previously editorial research director of Industry Week, was promoted to editor-in-chief of Material Handling Management magazine. Both magazines are published by Penton Media, Cleveland.


The New York Times has assigned Jacques Steinberg as its New York-based TV entertainment beat reporter.

Steinberg, who currently covers the newspaper publishing business, has also been covering the TV news beat for the past year, ever since Jim Rutenberg went on campaign coverage.

The Times is also expected to announce a successor for Bernie Weinraub, who is retiring in February as Hollywood entertainment beat reporter.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, Dec. 22, 2004, Page 4


American Desi will make its debut as a 24-hour English-language U.S. TV network for South Asians living in America in January.

The network, with studios in New Jersey and New York, will offer a full schedule of programs geared to the Desi experience and lifestyle, targeting all key Desi demographics and age groups, "Desi" is South Asian terminology that identifies those "from the homeland." There are more than 3.4 million Desi family members living in the U.S., with more than 20% of Desis of Indian descent having achieved millionaire status.

The new network will offer Desi-themed daily morning newscasts; cartoons; a lifestyle talk show for women; afternoon teen shows; a sports news and magazine show; nightly interview programs, and coverage of American Pro Cricket, the first professional cricket league in the U.S.

Rickie Gaffney was named SVP/programming. She joins American Desi from ABC, where she worked in both news and entertainment, notably serving as senior broadcast producer for "Good Morning America," among other roles.

More information is available on the network's website at

MTV Starts New Channels

MTV will start three new U.S. customized MTV channels specifically tailored to Indian-American, Chinese-American and Korean-American populations.

MTV Desi, serving audiences with roots in the Indian sub-continent living in the U.S., will be the first channel to debut. It will be followed by MTV China and MTV Korea in 2005, with additional channels to follow.

MTV Desi will feature the music and shows from MTV's international channels and original programming.

Nusrat Durrani was named general manager/SVP MTV World and will oversee these new offerings. He will be based in New York.

New Auto Mag for Asians

On Wheels Inc., which publishes automotive magazines that target African-Americans and Latinos, is starting Asians On Wheels.

The quarterly publication, based in Detroit, will target people of Asian descent, including women and car enthusiasts, according to AOW publisher Rebecca Yang. The magazine will offer a mix of articles, including personalities, health, travel, business, technology and industry trends.

Yang is projecting a readership of about 300,000.
The first issue of AOW will hit newsstands nationally March 2005.

More information can be found on the magazine's website at

Muslim TV Debuts

Bridges TV, which claims to be the first American Muslim TV network, made its debut on Dec. 17 in southeast Michigan on Comcast's cable system.

The subscription-based network, which primarily targets the eight million Muslims of North America, features English-language programs focused on celebrating the American Muslim lifestyle and culture.

Muzzammil Hassan, who started Bridges TV, can be reached at 716/308-6593.


Technology Review has been given a top-to-bottom makeover and increased its publishing frequency to 12 times per year, from 10.

Each issue of the Cambridge, Mass.-based magazine will have an additional 20 pages of editorial content, starting with the Jan. 2005 issue.

Jason Pontin, editor-in-chief of TR, which began life in 1899 as an MIT alumni magazine, has also introduced several new sections: "Briefcase," case studies on how organizations succeed or fail using new technologies; "Reviews," which addresses controversies created by new writings, products or events, and "Synopses," to describe recent, important technological innovations or scientific articles and explain why they matter.

"The big word in the title is `review, " Pontin said. "It's that degree of critical, skeptical assessment that makes us different from other magazines. We ask `Why does this matter? What is the impact? "
Many of the articles will be written by outside contributors, who are experts in their fields.

Thomson Media in New York will publish a new quarterly business intelligence magazine, Business Intelligence Review, in April 2005.

The magazine will be designed as a single source of information for non-technical managers engaged in business intelligence, focusing on the use of technology to make organizations more effective and responsive.

Jim Ericson, previously an editorial director and senior news editor at Line56 Media and managing editor at MSNBC, was hired as editor-in-chief of BIR.

Brian Cronin is handling PR inquiries about BIR at 212/803-8358. plans to significantly increase its editorial capabilities in 2005, including an expansion of its video output and the start of several new content areas and services.

Dan Bigman, 34, previously with the, where he spent six years, most recently as associate editor, and previously as business editor and producer, was hired as managing editor to oversee the day-to-day editorial operations of

Herald Media in Boston, which publishes The Boston Herald, has acquired Women's Business Boston from Vicki Donlan, who founded the 25,000 controlled circulation monthly paper in 1998. She will remain as publisher.

Miami Herald publisher Alberto Ibarguen believes daily newspapers will eventually come in two formats.

One edition will consist of in-depth articles for for older, more sophisticated readers, and costing about $2.00.

The other will be a tabloid-size free paper for those who want news in a lighter vein.

"My absolute belief is that the future of communicating information will get done electronically," said Ibrarguen, who spokes at a recent media conference in New York.

PC Magazine outranked six competitors in coverage of technology leaders — people who are buying tech products for business, according to a study, conducted by Mediamark Research.

The Fall 2004 MRI study, which measured PC Magazine and six other magazines including: PC World, Wired, Forbes, Business Week, Fortune and Computer Shopper, found PCM was the number one choice among professionals with IT job responsibilities, reaching 106,000 more readers versus closest competitor, PC World.

Internet Edition, Dec. 22, 2004, Page 7

by Jack O Dwyer

Nervous NIRI, its exchequer down to $4.73 million in cash/investments, boosted dues $50 to $475.

Meanwhile, Business Week's Oct. 3 cover story on "Fuzzy Numbers" said there is rampant "distorted and confusing" financial reporting by companies in spite of Sarbanes-Oxley. Don t these numbers mostly come from NIRI's 5,000 members?

"Bad News Burke," where are you? An AT&T PR exec hung up on us when we called about the cuts in its PR dept. The job was shifted to an outside PR firm. Former spokesman Burke Stinson would never have done that. He returned a call even though he now lives in Alberta Province, Canada.

Fear gripped not only PR pros but reporters. Teri Agins, Wall Street Journal fashion reporter, is afraid to write too many exposes because people might "stop talking" to her. Fashion people "can be very punitive," she said.

Liz Smith devoted her entire Nov. 28 column to railing about PR people who "block access" to celebrities, government and business execs. She says it's hard getting "even a simple question answered."

Travel writer Margie Goldsmith and PR counselor Al Vinikour were among those with similar complaints. "It's disgusting," said Vinikour, referring to the plague of unreturned calls. Phone snubs were rare in the past, he said.

Canadian reporters beefed to Porter Novelli and Canada Newswire that PR pros were not only blocking access to news sources but were treating them with a "contemptuous" and "condescending" attitude and that businesspeople were adopting a "superior, arrogant tone" to reporters.

PRSA staffer Cedric Bess, in reply to an e-mail by this reporter, in error sent us back an e-mail asking, "Can I just e-mail (O'Dwyer) a smart remark to p–s him off?" Who was supposed to get this e-mail is what we'd like to know.

Towers Perrin found that less than half of employees view company communications as credible and about 25% think they re dishonest.

Reuters cut 20 editorial jobs in London and New York while hiring 60 replacements in Bangalore, India. PR pros wondered if their field was next.

GCI Group in February hosted an "offshoring summit" in New York for Citigroup, Aetna Life, Nike and other big companies to talk about the impact of offshoring on corporate reputation, employee loyalty, etc., and "if there is a risk in waiting." It was closed to the press.

Eighteen Citigroup PA staffers treated themselves (at $300 each) to the "Financial Follies" of the New York Financial Writers' Assn. The two Citi tables were about the only ones sans press guests.

A "Credibility of Spokesperson" poll by Edelman PR Worldwide found "company PR representative" was next to the bottom.

WPP's Martin Sorrell and Edelman's Richard Edelman are about the only two people in ad/PR willing to be quoted., where Edelman expresses his views, is No. 5 on the Google ranking for ceo blog.

Sorrell said there are "too many people in the middle" in PR and noted that investment banks have "big producers at the top and then a lot of arms and legs, a lot of soldiers." Making PR "more efficient" is very important, he said. WPP owns B-M, H&K, Cohn & Wolfe, etc.

Omnicom CEO John Wren has given one interview since the WSJ knocked 40 points off OMC stock in June 2002. He shifted the annual meeting from N.Y. to L.A. in 2003 and to Atlanta in 2004 (to avoid the press, we think). OMC was $82 on Dec. 17. On the same date in 1999 it reached its high of $107.

Barron's called OMC "a beleaguered stock," saying sale of $24M of stock by Wren and other insiders didn t help.

Debt of about $14B for the five conglomerates (WPP, IPG, OMC, Publicis and Havas) could be a problem if interest rates rise from their historic lows.

Rob Levy, professional development head of PRSA who in February promised "master classes" for 400-500 at the October conference and three-hour "double sessions" with top speakers, was suddenly fired or quit in June.

Levy had boosted PD revenues 61% to $1.28M in the first half. Three others left PRSA–webmaster Robin Michaels, ad sales vet Anne Fetsch and Leighton Watson of finance. Was there a budget crunch caused by the $300K cost of COO Cathy Bolton and the move downtown?

The "old" PRSA board, just before the new board was nominated, gave Bolton a two-year contract. The old board, again unwilling to give up control, in December named a governance committee whose work would be in 2005.

Record 42 blue chip PR execs were needed to fill PR Seminar because of high turnover. No new agency people were accepted.

Finally, if democracy can come to Iraq, why can t it come to PRSA, allowing all members (not just the 20% who are APR) to seek office this year.

Internet Edition, Dec. 22, 2004 Page 8




The jury verdict in the defamation lawsuit by former IABC COO Liz Allan against Lou Williams and his firm (page one) is a victory for Williams and a defeat for Allan and IABC.

An indication of this is the minuscule amount ($18,345) that Allan was awarded by the jury, especially considering that she originally sought $10 million from Williams and an untold amount from IABC but no doubt millions.

As for Allan's claimed financial damages, the jury did not think much of this claim possibly because her current job is paying her $121,000. She got $50 in economic damages (her cost for the Williams tape at the ASAE). The jury did not buy her claims of "severe emotional distress."

It found that Williams "failed to use reasonable care to determine the truth or falsity" of such statements as "financial information was hidden in the reports," that "communication was controlled," that "decisions by the board were made with bad information," and that "staff misled and misinformed the IABC board and members."

However, in spite of that finding, the jury also answered "no" to the question of whether the statements "tend to injure Allan in her occupation."

The meaning of this case is the spotlight it throws on the dysfunctional governance of IABC. Many tens of thousands and possibly $100K+ has been spent by each of the three participants in this case and it will all be for nought unless IABC makes these papers public.

Members should know how the governance abuses cost the group $1 million+ for the abortive "TalkingBusinessNow" website. The group underwent severe financial strain. The same dysfunctional system remains in place—a board of directors whose members are scattered all over the world and that meets three times a year, giving staff too much power.

The full board was not told of the lawsuit until six months after it was lodged and the members only learned of it when this NL spotted the word "lawsuit" in the 2003 IABC audit released to us about six months after the end of the fiscal year. IABC staff refused to say what it was about or where it was entered. We had to do a search of court records.

Oddly, at the same time that IABC was keeping word of this suit from its members, IABC chair Dave Kistle was quoted in IABC's mag as saying that leaders communications with members must be "timely, two-way, frequent, open, trustworthy and credible."

The discussion of the lawsuit on the IABC website, once this NL told members about it, has drawn a record 861 views, double the next most popular topic (employee newsletters, 436 views). It shows that association members want the truth about their societies, even if it's negative.

Just as dysfunctional is the governance of PRSA—a large weak board from across the U.S. whose members see each other four times a year and who are dominated by a strong-willed staff whose members see each other every day. An inner clique of accredited members has blocked 80% of the other members from holding national office for 31 years. But with APR having been removed Oct. 23 as a requisite for Assembly membership, there is hope this year that the APR rule can also be removed from national board and officer posts as recommended by the 1999 planning committee headed by Steve Pisinski.

It is sad that Philadelphia, the birthplace of freedom and democracy in the U.S., is also the home of the one major PRSA chapter in the east that voted unanimously against decoupling APR from Assembly membership. The five-member delegation was headed by one of the chapter's most senior members, Carole Gorney, a PRSA Fellow and a professor at Lehigh University.

We just happen to be reading John Adams, the biography by David McCullough. It turns out that Philadelphia was the "bulwark of the opposition" to break away from England. Philadelphian John Dickinson wanted to negotiate with the Crown which infuriated Bostonian John Adams. Dickinson and others snubbed Adams as best they could, making him feel "like a man infected with leprosy."

The tide was running against Adams and other revolutionists until Tom Paine, "a down-at-the-heels English immigrant," penned "Common Sense" whose clear arguments for independence won over the masses.

Also by coincidence, Paul Wetzel of PRSA/Boston, was a leader in the fight to decouple the Assembly and the delegate who (although somehow placed in the back of the room when Boston was usually in the front) motioned that the decoupling vote of each delegate be made public. The Assembly passed this. But certain leaders fought against its release for a month and a half, saying that, technically, the minutes were not due until the next Assembly in October 2005 in Miami. But they caved in to demands of big chapters such as Georgia, New York and Chicago ... the result is a treasure of information that can be analyzed from many points of view. PRSA said, however, that the tabulation will not be printed in its monthly publication Tactics. Members are able to download it from the members-only area of the PRSA website. Apparently Tactics plans little if any analysis of the vote.

– Jack O'Dwyer


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