Edition, Feb. 2, 2005, Page 1
DOD SEEKS FOREIGN
The Pentagon wants
a PR firm to help monitor and analyze foreign media for
current and future operations in the so-called global war
U.S. Strategic Command, or STRATCOM, the Defense Department's
branch for strategic forces and missions like missile defense
and counter-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,
is looking to support its communications efforts.
Bret Ashworth, a STRATCOM spokesman, told O Dwyer's the
military hires firms like The Rendon Group for such assignments.
He forwarded along a request about current firms under contract.
which is based in Offutt Air Force Base, Omaha, Neb., anticipates
issuing an RFP for a five-year contract in the coming weeks
and has put out a request for sources to see which PR firms
can handle the work.
firm would also handle databasing of themes, patterns and
other information in foreign press, and production of web-based
products at the unclassified, "Secret" and "Top
Secret" levels. It is required to have experience with
non-English media, notably Arabic, Urdu and Pashtu-language
PEPPERCOM PITCHES TYCO.
Tyco International, which employs more than 260,000 people,
has hired Peppercom to handle its "growth PR and corporate
firm is to promote Tyco's business sectors (fire/security,
electronics, healthcare, engineered products/services and
plastics/adhesives), and line-up media placements/speaking
engagements for its execs.
former CEO Dennis Kozlowski and CFO Mark Swartz are currently
on trial in New York, charged with looting more than $150
million from the company and securities fraud.
ROWAN MARCHES TO ROWLAND.
Beth Rowan, who was national media director for the March
of Dimes, has joined Rowland Communications, which is part
of Publicis Groupe.
She is senior VP/director of advocacy and media relations.
Her role is to develop cause-related marketing initiatives
for Rowland's client roster.
Rowan had handled the MoD's "National Premature Awareness
Day," a venture among the American Academy of Pediatrics,
American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, CIGNA,
FedEx, Working Mother Media and Johnson & Johnson.
BUSH SAYS NO MORE
President Bush said on Jan. 26 there needs to be a "nice,
independent" relationship between his administration
and the press corps, after taking questions about the Ketchum-Armstrong
Williams affair at the White House.
The President told reporters the White House was not aware
of the Dept. of Education's deal with Williams through the
PR firm and said he had ordered government agencies not
to employ the tactic.
The President's remarks came as House Democrats commissioned
a report which said the current Administration spent $88
million on government-funded PR in 2004, a 128 percent increase
over 2000, according to the Associated Press.
KIRKPATRICK PLAYS BALL
Scott Kirkpatrick, who spent a dozen years at Kemper Lesnik
Communications in Chicago, is now senior VP and U.S. director
of Hill & Knowlton's sports marketing practice.
AT KLC, Kirkpatrick developed programs for the NCAA Basketball
Tournament, Frontier Communications, Monsanto and Seagram
He joins H&K from Draft Worldwide, where he counseled
Quaker Oats, R.J. Reynolds, Bank of America and Canon.
Kirkpatrick reports to Steve Singerman, director of U.S.
PRSA HAS 76 NEW APRs
IN 18 MONTHS.
The new accreditation process of PRSA has resulted in 76
new APRs for PRSA in its first 18 months. The last half
of 2004 produced 35 new PRSA APRs.
An average of 274 PRSA APRs yearly were created in the previous
ten years. Highest number was 411 in 2002, the last full
year of the previous exam.
Forty-one new APRs of PRSA were created in the first full
year of the new process, which was introduced on July 1,
Blake Lewis, PRSA member who chairs the board of the ten
groups sponsoring the APR exam, said that besides PRSA members
becoming APR, there were three new APRs from the Southern
PR Federation and two each from the Florida PR Assn. and
National School PR Assn. Total of new APRs for the last
half is 42.
contines on page seven)
Edition, Feb. 2, 2005, Page 2
Ogilvy PR Worldwide's Washington, D.C., office has won a
$7 million PR contract with the National Institute's of
Health to guide a five-year outreach campaign for stroke
education. The firm was defending the account in a re-bid
by the federal government.
Ogilvy has dedicated a staff of about 10 to the work, said
VP senior Christine Shreeve, who noted stroke is the No.
3 killer in the U.S.
The sweeping assignment two option years could put
the budget over $10M is aimed to enhance and build
on the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and
Stroke's ongoing campaign, "Know Stroke. Know the Signs.
Act in Time."
Among the tasks for Ogilvy are public and professional
outreach on warning signs of strokes, partnerships with
medical institutions, the entertainment industry and other
entities. TV and print PSA production, media relations and
training, web work and celebrity outreach are part of the
Two option years worth over $3M in total are part of the
contract with Ogilvy, to be awarded for a "superior
PN SMOKES OUT'
Porter Novelli has unveiled a "new era" of sponsorship
for NASCAR as client GlaxoSmithKline sponsors a racing car
with its anti-smoking brands.
The move comes two years after NASCAR and 33-year tobacco
company sponsor RJ Reynolds parted ways, ending one of the
most recognizable sponsorships in sports, the Winston Cup.
PN's New York office handles GSK's Nicorette (nicotine
gum), NicoDerm (patches) and Commit (lozenges) brands.
Nicorette will be associate sponsor of the Chip Gnassi
Racing Team's No. 41 Dodge car, which will be unveiled in
Atlanta in March at the Golden Corral 500 race. That coincides
with Nicorette's launch of a mint-flavored nicotine gum.
RJR and NASCAR split in 2003 after the cigarette maker
hit financial woes in Q4 of 2002.
Telecommunications company Nextel took over the Winston
sponsorship that year in a ten-year deal worth $700 million.
RATNER NETS BAUM.
Barry Baum has left Dan Klores Comms. for client Forest
City Ratner Cos., the real estate developer pushing to build
an arena in Brooklyn for the New Jersey Nets basketball
Baum, who takes the title VP of PR, will head communications
and work on government and public affairs efforts for the
proposed $2.5 billion Brooklyn Arena and Atlantic Yards,
a housing and commercial development. FCRC president and
CEO Bruce Ratner led an investment group that brought the
Nets for $300M last year.
DKC and Geto & deMily work on the project.
NEEDS TO BE FIXED.
America's public diplomacy is in crisis, a situation that
threatens to doom the "positive legacy of U.S. leadership
in WW II and the Cold War," according to a "white
paper" issued Jan. 25 by the Public Diplomacy Council.
The PDC raps U.S. public diplomacy as too scattershot,
and ridicules recent initiatives such as the creation of
Radio Sawa to beam American pop songs to the Middle East.
It calls for quadrupling the public diplomacy budget to
$4 billion, and boosting overseas staff by 300 percent.
Propaganda oversight would be housed within a new group,
U.S. Agency for Public Diplomacy, within the State Dept.
Its mission would be to handle civilian international information
The agency is to be "field-driven," rather than
For instance, the USAPD would have 1,800 foreign service
officers and 7,000 foreign national employees stationed
Headquarters, meanwhile, would have 1,500 staffers.
The paper notes that until 1999, public diplomacy was handled
by the U.S. Information Agency. That unit was absorbed into
the State Dept. in an administrative streamlining move.
"The unintended result, however, was to weaken strategic
communications as an effective, cohesive foreign policy
tool," according to the paper.
TITAN HARVESTS CHALLENGER.
AGCO Corp., the agricultural equipment combine, has awarded
a "high six-figure" advertising, PR and special
events account to The Titan Network.
Tony DeMartino, CEO of Atlanta-based Titan, said his firm
edged four others for AGCO's Challenger division business.
AGCO, which is based in Duluth, GA., acquired Challenger
from Caterpillar in `02.
Challenger markets a line of combines, mower-conditioners,
hay equipment and balers.
Titan's goal is to boost Challenger's brand recognition
in the agricultural market to that of which CAT (Caterpillar)
enjoys in the earth-moving/heavy equipment category.
Caterpillar builds the bulk of the engines and powertrains
that are used in Challenger products.
Challenger markets its products exclusively through the
Caterpillar dealer network.
New York Stock Exchange-listed AGCO had more than $4 billion
in `04 revenues.
Co. CEO Woody Wallace says his firm was not a finalist
in the pitch for the World Poker Tour account as reported
on Jan. 26. "We had been asked for advice on organizing
a conference call," he said.
Edition, Feb. 2, 2005, Page 3
WAL-MART's PR PLAY.
The head of the National Newspaper Assn., whose members
publish mostly small-town papers, has criticized Wal-Mart's
national PR campaign, which Hill and Knowlton is handling.
The campaign, which is designed to "set the record
straight about the facts about Wal-Mart," consists
of full-page ads in 100 major metro news- papers, but ignores
newspapers in places where Wal-Mart has many of its rural
and suburban stores.
Buffington wrote to H. Lee Scott, CEO of Wal-Mart, after
he got a call from Jack Newton of H&K's Atlanta office
advising him that Wal-Mart's representatives were "available
for interviews" about the campaign.
"As both a newspaper publisher and as a spokesman
for several thousand community newspapers in America, I
want to let you know that I, and many of my fellow publishers,
are insulted by this Wal-Mart PR effort," he told Scott.
Buffington said many NNA members want to know why community
newspapers are "good enough to help fend off your critics
with free PR, but we re not good enough for your paid ads."
N.Y. TIMES SELLS
PAID WEDDING ADS.
The New York Times is starting a new section, called
"Social Announcements," featuring paid
announcements of engagements, weddings, anniversaries or
The ads, which will cost $48 a line, will run in the "Sunday
Jyll Holzman, senior VP of advertising, said the new section
is "a guarantee that your big day" will be mentioned
in the Times.
The ads can also appear on the Times new online weddings
section that includes vendor listings and features from
TheKnot.com, such as a gift registry locator and a wedding
ARTICLES ARE TRUSTED
MORE THAN ADS.
Approximately nine of 10 people across all markets believe
information conveyed by articles or news stories more than
advertising, according to findings from The Edelman Trust
Barometer, a survey of 1,500 opinion leaders in eight key
The new study also found more than 80% of respondents overall
do not trust information unless they see or hear it from
"The trust void and democratization of information
compels corporations to fundamentally seek a new approach
"You can t buy trust by speaking at audiences through
advertising," said Richard Edelman, president/CEO,
"CEOs need to engage stakeholders in a very personalized
way, through local media and in a direct way via the Internet,
empowering employees while using credible third parties
as spokespeople," he said.
FOTOG DECRIES LACK OF
Celebrity photographer Brad Elterman's photo exhibition,
which just opened at the Don O Melveny Gallery in West Hollywood,
Calif., is called "Like it Was Yesterday".
"The show really underscores the access I had to stars,
musicians and actors," said Elterman, who believes
entertainment publicists have limited or prohibited access
to their clients in the last 10 or 20 years to create "very
generic poses and `photo ops ."
"The PR people have taken the fun out of the scene
and hampered the art," said Elterman, who has covered
the Oscars for 15 years.
MAG FOR HISPANIC
Meredith Corp. will begin publishing a bimonthly lifestyle
and shelter magazine, Siempre Mujer!, for Hispanic
women in fall 2005 with an initial rate base of 350,000.
Johanna Buchholtz-Torres will be editor-in-chief of SM!.
She is the former editor-in-chief of Ser Padres magazine,
a national parenting magazine.
TWO MORE COLUMNISTS
PAID BY GOV.
Maggie Gallagher, a marriage advocate and syndicated columnist,
said in her Jan. 26 column that she made a mistake in not
disclosing that she was paid $21,500 in 2002 to do research
and write brochures for the Dept. of Health and Human Services.
"If a scholar or expert gets paid to do some work
for the government, should he or she disclose that if he
writes a paper, essay or op-ed on the same or similar subject?"
she asked. "If this is the ethical standard, it is
an entirely new standard," said Gallagher, who now
believes she was wrong not to have disclosed her contract.
Another syndicated columist, Michael McManus, was outed
Jan. 28 by The New York Times for being paid $10,000
to work on marriage iniatives for the DHHS. The General
Accountability Office and the Depts. of Education and HHS
are now investigating the practice.
previously editor of Portland Monthly, is joining
Mother Jones as editor-in-chief.
formerly managing editor of Honey and a syndicated
columnist, was named managing editor of XXL, a music
75, who wrote more than 3,000 op-ed columns for The New
York Times, bid farewell to readers on Jan. 24.
Safire will take on the chairmanship of the Dana Alliance
for Brain Initiatives, and continue to write the "On
Language" column for the Times Sunday magazine.
(Media news continued
on next page)
Edition, Feb. 2, 2005, Page 4
NEW MAG TO TARGET
Sunset Publishing will publish a one-time shelter/lifestyle
magazine that will speak directly to the universe of 14
million young adults in the West.
Members of the "twentysomething" group generally
"have left their parent's household, but have not yet
started their own. They are experiencing a myriad of life
changes in a short period of timegraduating from college,
living on their own, entering the workforce, marriage,"
Living 101 will have articles on home design and landscaping,
food and entertaining, and regional travel in 13 Western
The articles will show how to do things like maximizing
small space, being a hostess, planting a window box, and
planning a quick, affordable getaway.
Katie Tamony, editor-in-chief of Sunset Magazine,
will oversee the content of the new title, which will appear
on newsstands in the summer.
Living 101 may publish regularly if it is successful in
its trial run.
FOOD MAG AIMED
AT SMALL HOUSEHOLDS.
The first issue of Cooking for 2 magazine, published
by Reiman Publications, went on newsstands last week.
Catherine Cassidy, editor-in-chief, said the magazine will
cater to the pared-down American household, such as empty
nesters, newlyweds, retirees, and singles. The U.S. Census
Bureau says there are 61.6 million households of just one
or two people, an increase of nearly 38% in the past decade.
Cooking for 2 is solely devoted to the preparation of small-scale
recipes that yield only a few servings. It will rely heavily
on reader recipes that have been tested by an in-house test
Kathy Pohl is executive editor of Cooking for 2, and Janaan
Cunningham, who heads the department that tests, selects
and places recipes in 10 of the company's magazine and cookbooks,
is food editor.
Reiman Publications is based in Greendale, Wisc.
TO DEBUT IN MAY.
The publisher of Premier Tourism Marketing in Downers
Grove, Ill., is starting a new magazine called Prep Traveler
to fill a void in the youth travel market.
The magazine will debut in May with a circulation of 26,000.
Jeff Gayduk, PTM publisher, said research, as well as feedback
from readers and advertisers, concluded that youth travel
publications today are general in nature and do not focus
on special interest youth groups.
Prep Traveler is targeted towards organizers and leaders
of student performance and athletic groups, which make up
the most lucrative market segments of youth group travel.
PTM is a publisher of trade journals, websites and e-newsletters
for the travel industry.
Gayduk can be reached at 630/964-1431, or e-mail: [email protected].
ADDS NEW COLUMNS.
Rabbi Marc Gellman will write a weekly column on Newsweek.com
called "The Spiritual State."
Deidre Depke, senior editor, said the column will offer
commentary on religion in American life and the role it
plays in politics, culture and communities, with emphasis
on how followers of different faiths can relate to one another.
It will appear on Wednesdays.
Gellman is the rabbi of the Beth Torah Synagogue in Melville,
N.Y. He and his friend Msgr. Tom Hartman host "The
God Squad," a cable TV talk show about faith and values.
Another new weekly column on Newsweek.com is "The
Oval" by senior White House correspondent Richard Wolffe
and correspondent Holly Bailey. The pair will provide a
behind-the-scenes look into the world's most powerful office.
MAG HAS NEW OWNER.
Business Ethics magazine, which focuses on ethics and corporate
social responsibility, was sold by Mavis Publications to
New Mountain Media, a New York-based distributor of content
Former owner and longtime editor Marjorie Kelly will remain
as editor of the magazine, which is published four times
a year with a total distribution of approximately 10,000
readers, while Michael Connor, 54, owner of NMM, will become
publisher and executive editor.
Connor, who worked at the Mag Rack division of Cablevision
Systems Corp. and was a journalist at ABC News and The Wall
Street Journal, prior to starting New Mountain in 2003,
plans to extend the BE brand into new businesses, including
conferences, seminars, newsletters, and the Internet.
The publisher will host the first Business Ethics Summit
on April 21 in New York, entitled "Corporate Scandals,
Corporate Responsibility and the Media: Who Should We Believe?,"
focusing on media coverage of ethics scandals and how the
perception of trust is created.
Connor believes there is "a surge in demand for information
and perspective on business ethics and corporate social
This growing demand is driven by several factors, including
increased government regulation (e.g., Sarbanes-Oxley Act)
and accompanying compliance issues; a growing sense in the
corporate community that ethical behavior has become a prerequisite
to effective stateholder relations, and new evidence that
responsible companies often carry lower risk and are better
positioned for long-term performance than less enlightened
"The Small Business Show," the only nationally
syndicated program that talks to entrepreneurs every weekday,
is celebrating its seventh anniversary.
The radio program is hosted by Jim Blasingame, who is president
and founder of the Small Business Network.
Blasingame has conducted over 1,000 live interviews annually
with is 400+ member Brain Trust, a group of small business
The show is sponsored by IBM, Office Depot, and Palo Alto
Software. The SBN website is www.jbsba.com.
previously with EE Times, has joined EDN magazine
as senior editor of the electronics design magazine.
Based in San Jose, Calif., he will oversee reporting, features
and news stories on a variety of topics, including design
automation. He will also cover local press events, functions,
and conferences in Silicon Valley.
John Dodge, editor-in-chief of EDN Worldwide, in Newton,
Mass., can be reached at 617/558-4404.
Tin House Magazine
is a new literary quarterly that features author interviews
and articles about underappreciated books, plus prose and
poetry, and excerpts of actual pages.
The name comes from the zinc-covered Victorian home, which
is the magazine's headquarters.
Win McCormick, publisher, has set out to showcase the works
of the best new writers in fiction and poetry from around
the world, including excerpts of actual pages.
A free issue is available upon request. The magazine is
located at 119 E. Grand ave., Escondido, Calif., 92025.
Edition, Feb. 2, 2005, Page 7
PRSA has 76 new APRs (con't.
In its first year, 49
new APRs were created for a total of 91 for the first 18
months of the new process, 76 being in PRSA.
Not applying to take the
exam ($385 for non-members of PRSA and $275 for PRSA members)
were anyone from the six other groupsAgricultural
Relations Council; Puerto Rico PR Assn.; Maine PR Council;
Religion Comms. Council; Society for Healthcare Strategy
and Texas PR Assn.
The new APR members of
PRSA created in previous years were 411 in 2002; 234 in
2001; 246 in 2000; 233 in 1999, and 268 in 1998. More than
300 yearly were created in the 1980s.
With a renewal rate of
about 70%, PRSA loses about 5,500 members yearly and adds
slightly more than that.
Twenty percent of members
In 2002, the last year
PRSA supplied such statistics, PRSA added 5,903 members
and lost 5,769.
of 113 Advanced Through RR
From July through December
2004, 113 candidates applied for the exam and took part
in the Readiness Review in which their work is examined.
Passing RR were 93; 65 took the exam, and 42 passed it (65%).
Lewis said the board was
pleased that the number taking and passing the exam has
increased and said efforts will continue to attract more
DUFFEY SELLS ATLANTA FIRM.
Lee Duffey, 45, founder of Duffey Communications, Atlanta,
once employing about 50 people but now about 20, has sold
the firm to Sherri Fallin, who becomes CEO; Nichole Taylor,
president, and Arlene Large, chief operating officer.
They have 20, 13 and 23
years of experience in PR and business, respectively.
"We look forward
to perpetuating the spirit of creativity and entrepreneurialism
that is synonymous with Duffey Communications," said
Duffey told associates
he will remain "of counsel" to the firm and that
he and his wife, Jenny, will spend time in their vacation
homes in Telluride, Colo., and Florida, as well as at their
home in Atlanta.
out of Chronicle Rankings
The Duffey firm withdrew
from the rankings of Atlanta PR firms by the Atlanta
Business Chronicle this year.
The paper pointed this
out, resulting in a letter to the editor from the firm saying
that it had been unfairly treated because the Chronicle
failed to print its reason for not providing statistics
(that many other firms including those owned by the big
conglomerates were not reporting figures).
Fight for PRSA Presidency
Duffey was treasurer of
PRSA in 1999 and in line to become president-elect like
But the nominating committee
picked Kathleen Lewton for president-elect, even though
she was not on the board, a break with tradition.
She had been on a previous
board. Duffey ran as a write-in candidate but lost to Lewton.
A major controversy swirled
around Duffey Communications from late 1997 to 2000.
The Exterior Insulation
and Finish Systems or EIFS industry accused the Duffey firm
of setting up front groups to malign EIFS, a layered form
of construction that could lead to water damage if not properly
installed. Homes in the South, with a short heating season,
were susceptible to such damage.
The EIFS Assn., a client
of Al Paul Lefton, Philadelphia, said the technique had
been used in tens of thousands of homes with few problems.
Press releases for the
Stucco Home Owners Coalition were sent out on Duffey Communications
stationery. The phone for SHOC was at Duffey and the group
had no officers or treasury.
A Duffey employee, asked
by the Chicago Tribune who was paying her to spread
negative remarks about EIFS, replied, "Basically, it's
everyone but EIFS manufacturers."
One client of the Duffey
firm was the Brick Marketing Council of Atlanta, whose members
included Boral, the largest brickmaker in the U.S. It had
purchased several Atlanta-area brickmakers.
Lee Duffey had refused to provide a complete list of his
clients. The PRSA code at the time only said that members
had to be "prepared" to reveal clients but did
not actually have to reveal them.
When Duffey was running
for president-elect, only three of the more than 40 members
of the Duffey firm were members of PRSADuffey himself,
Michael Neumeier, and Judith Webb.
The Board of Ethics and
Professional Standards of PRSA is thought to have investigated
the charges against the Duffey firm and Duffey employees
but PRSA normally does not reveal such investigations.
However, BEPS chairman
Robert Frause in 2000 said the PRSA code had become "a
joke" and "an embarrassment" to PRSA because
attempts to enforce it were met with threats of lawsuits
and refusals to cooperate. In some cases, he said, the actions
of a PR firm thought to be improper could not be traced
to a member of PRSA.
The new code says members
can be expelled if they are "sanctioned" by a
PRSA did move against
two members who were "sanctioned" by a government
agencyTheodore Pincus of Financial Relations Board
in 1972 and Anthony Franco, 1986 PRSA president.
Both had signed SEC consent
decrees and quit PRSA after the board started investigating
Internet Edition, Feb.
2, 2005 Page 8
tell whether a person is lying, according to the February
Reader's Digest. Police, reporters, jurors, security
analysts and others need to know how to read these expressions.
An emotion often appears on the face of someone before
the person feels it, says the article.
Narrowed eyes, red-faces, twitches, tics, etc., all "leak
concealed feelings," says psychologist Paul Ekman.
He teaches police to "pick up the fleeting facial micro-expressions"
that reveal feelings.
Ekman doesn t get into body language, which can also send
signals. What's the body language of people who won t even
let you see them?
Numerous PR and businesspeople
are evading the press these days.
This includes Ray Kotcher and Lorraine Thelian of Ketchum
(in the Armstrong Williams mess); 16 of the 17 PRSA board
members who ducked us when they were in New York Jan. 12-13,
and John Wren, the CEO of Omnicom (owner of Ketchum), who
has given one press interview in 2.5 years and bars the
press from OMC's quarterly teleconferences.
Wren, setting an example for the OMC PR firms that bill
nearly $1 billion, has taken the OMC annual meeting from
New York to Los Angeles (2003) and Atlanta (2004) and who
knows where this year?
Reporters, who once often met PR pros at press conferences,
company events or informal lunches, etc., now rarely see
them. Businesses, PR and many media have policies that impede
personal interaction (e.g., the New York Times "Code"
that discourages relations between its reporters and PR
scandal widened to include three more: Maggie Gallagher,
who didn t tell readers she took $21,500 from the Dept.
of Health & Human Services for "expert" advice
on marriage; religion columnist Michael McManus, who was
paid $10K by the same Dept., and Charles Krauthammer, who
consulted on President Bush's inaugural address and then
praised it. Democrats say government agencies spent $88
million on PR in 2004, up 128% from 2000. Four probes of
K/W are under way: Dept. of Education; FCC, GAO, and Congress
itself. Execs can t duck subpoenas.
While media figures
are being flayed in public, no one from Ketchum,
PRSA's most honored PR firm, has taken any blame. We were
disappointed that Frank Rich of the NYT wrote more than
a thousand words Jan. 16 on the scandal, mentioning Williams
by name 21 times but never once mentioning equal partner
Ketchum. An aide to Rich said there was no conscious avoidance
of Ketchum. The aide had never heard of Ketchum. The interest
was on Williams at the time, the aide said. We hope Rich
will return to this subject and treat Williams more fairly,
writing also about Ketchum's role.
The PRSA board could
expel both Kotcher and Thelian if it wanted to since
the firm they lead has been "sanctioned by a government
agency." The GAO said May 19, 2004 that the VNRs produced
for the Dept. of Health & Human Services by Home Front
Communications under contract to Ketchum broke federal law
by not identifying the source of the VNRs within the VNRs.
PRSA's record of criticizing
prominent members who get in hot water is poor.
One example is the EIFS/brick industry/Duffey Communications
incident described on page 7. The EIFS industry accused
the PR firm of setting up front groups supposedly operated
by home owners but secretly funded by the brick industry.
Staffers at Duffey answered the phone of one of the home
owners groups. Press coverage was extensive but neither
the national board nor ethics board ever said a word. PRSA
then rewrote its code and abolished any enforcement. Finding
someone at Duffey who was a PRSA member and also on the
account may have been hard since only three of 40+ Duffey
employees were members of PRSA (even though Lee Duffey at
the time was a national officer). Ketchum similarly now
has few PRSA members. Only 22 belong vs. 81 in 2001. The
firm in 2000 reported 1,299 employees. PRSA's code is only
enforced against members. Signing the contract with Williams
for Ketchum was Elizabeth McLean, senior partner in the
D.C. office and not a PRSA member.
The firm headed by
1991 PRSA president Joe Epley gained notoriety throughout
North Carolina that year when a lawsuit "outed"
500-pages of Epley reports. One item said 12-13 sites for
burial of radioactive wastes might be described as of interest
(when only 4-5 actually were) in order to "disperse"
the opposition. Outraged critics condemned the possibility
of such a tactic, even if was never used. PRSA ignored the
In another case, the Iran/Contra hearings showed former
PRSA national officers Kal Druck and Ken Clark were among
five PR pros giving advice on a fund-raising drive to CIA
head and Reagan cabinet member William Casey. Member Summer
Harrison criticized this and publicly asked PRSA to investigate.
When the board asked her for help, she gave them details
from published reports. The board exonerated the ex-officers
and censured Harrison twicefor talking to the press
about the case and not responding to a request for more
information. She lost her job in D.C., quit the Society
and moved to Hawaii.