The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, March 16, 2005, Page 1
SUN EYES PR CONSOLIDATION.
has begun a review to prune its roster of five PR and analyst
goal is to consolidate Suns PR and AR business down
to two agencies, Karen Klein, senior director of worldwide
PR for Sun, told ODwyers.
Suns PR spending has been about $10 million for the
last few years. It has about 30 in-house staffers.
PR Worldwide, Citigate Cunningham, Fleishman-Hillard, Bite
Comms. and Chen PR are on Suns current roster. Eastwick
Comms. has worked for the company in the past.
said the five incumbents and outside agencies are being
considered in the review.
Cunningham has handled a variety of work for Sun, including
corporate and international PR and analyst relations. That
relationship began in April 2001, when CC won part of Suns
last review over incumbent Burson-Marsteller for that $2
million piece of business.
Kelly of Foghound is working on the review.
SHIPLEY NAMED RF/D.C.
Ruder Finn has named Barbara Shipley, a Fleishman-Hillard
veteran, managing director of its Washington, D.C., office.
She replaces Craig Martin who exited about a month
ago on April 4.
Richard Funess, president of RF/Americas, calls the Shipley
hire one of the most significant appointments
that the No. 2 independent firm has made in D.C.
He expects to add more people to RF/D.C., which had $2.4M
in 04 net fees.
Shipley was creative director and deputy managing director
at F-H, which is part of Omnicom.
SITRICK GOES TO BAT
The Los Angeles Dodgers have retained Sitrick & Co.
to handle media and fan relations, and do PR for its owner
Frank McCourt, the Boston real estate developer.
McCourt purchased the Dodgers from Rupert Murdochs
News Corp. for $430 million in 04.
The New York Times, on March 8, noted that McCourt
does not own a reservoir of goodwill among the
fans after purging popular players.
The Dodgers are currently locked in a dogfight with the
Angels for bragging rights in the City of Angels.
Angels owner Arte Moreno recently changed his teams
name to Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in a bid
to create a stronger identity in the nations No. 2
Allan Mayer, who works on the Dodgers account with Kelly
Mullens at Sitrick, told ODwyers the firm will
not be involved in the PR battle with the Angels.
TELLER TO FINANCIAL
Harlan Teller, who was Hill & Knowltons chief
client officer and head of its corporate practice, has joined
Financial Dynamics as head of its Midwest operations/director
of reputation management services. He is based in FDs
new Chicago office.
The 25-year PR veteran has counseled United Airlines, Sears
and Kansas City Power & Light.
FD also has hired H&Ks Harlan Loeb and James Sloane.
Loeb was the firms litigation services asset group
director. He has represented Motorola, Hewlett-Packard,
Allstate and Mitsubishi. Sloane was in charge of H&Ks
corporate social responsibility unit.
Declan Kelly, CEO of FD/U.S., says the Midwest will play
a pivotal role in the firms growth.
LEXISNEXIS RELIES ON
LexisNexis Group, which is investigating how the names,
addresses and Social Security numbers of more than 32,000
people may have been stolen, is using Creative Response
Concepts to handle crisis control.
CRC is noted for work on behalf of the Swift Boat Veterans
for Truth, which ran the smear campaign against John Kerry.
Most recently, the Alexandria, Va.,-based firm signed on
to work for USA Next, the group that declared war on AARP
for the senior groups opposition to President Bushs
Social Security overhaul.
LexisNexis notified federal authorities about the data
theft, and is cooperating with Justice and Treasury Dept.
CRCs Sean McCabe is handling the account.
HUGHES HEADED FOR STATE
Karen Hughes, one of President Bush's most trusted advisors,
is slated to be nominated to the nation's top propaganda
Patricia Harrison is acting undersecretary of public diplomacy
and public affairs. She took over last June when Margaret
Tutwiler decided to take the top spokesman slot at the New
York Stock Exchange.
Tutwiler had succeeded ad woman Charlotte Beers, whose
efforts to boost America's image overseas were roundly criticized.
The nomination of a Bush confidant, such as Hughes, to
the public diplomacy post may signal that the Administration
will become more committed in its second term to improving
America's reputation, especially in the Middle East.
Hughes left her White House post because she preferred
raising her son in Texas rather than in D.C.
The Senate has to confirm Hughes, 48, to the post.
Edition, March 16, 2005, Page 2
GUIDE ANTHEM PUSH.
Zeno Group and Strat@comm are guiding PR for a three-year
campaign to re-teach Americans The Star
Amy Colton, VP at Zeno, told O'Dwyer's the campaign's goal,
in addition to teaching the national anthem, is to highlight
the importance of music education as budgets are slashed
at schools across the country.
Strat@comm approached the Jeep unit of DaimlerChrysler,
a longtime client, earlier this year about a national campaign
being planned by the National Assn. for Music Education.
Jody Tinson, account director for Strat@comm, a Fleishman-Hillard
unit, told ODwyers the firms D.C. office
pitched the campaign to Jeep, which signed on as national
Laura Bush is honorary chair of the project.
NAME, which has brought in Zeno to handle PR for the overall
campaign, launched a March 10 event with the U.S. Marines
and The Presidents Own Marine band, members
of Congress, school children involved in music programs
and country favorites the Oak Ridge Boys.
A recent Harris poll found 61 percent of Americans dont
know the words to the national anthem nearly 40 percent
didnt know the songs name but of those
that know it, 70 percent said they learned it in school
The national campaign is slated to run through 2007 with
appearances at sporting events, concerts, in addition to
community and school programs.
5W WORKS FOR FREE
The Lebanese-American Council for Democracy has retained
5W Public Relations (once again) to build support for President
Bushs call for Syria to withdraw its troops from Lebanon.
The Washington, D.C.-based organization was the driving
force behind the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty
Restoration Act that was signed into law by Bush in December
2003. 5W CEO Ronn Torossian told ODwyers that
his firm had worked with LACD on that effort.
The LACD, according to its website, blames the Syrian occupation
for triggering a mass emigration of Lebanons
best and brightest, an increased control of Lebanon by Islamic
fundamentalists and a shattered economy with a $30 billion
WINS ARIZONA LOTTERY.
The Arizona Lottery Commission has dropped 10-year incumbent
E.B. Lane Marketing Comms. and awarded a new two-year contract
for advertising and PR to Phoenix-based Riester~Robb following
an RFP process.
Eight firms, including Off Madison Avenue and the incumbent,
submitted proposals, a field which was narrowed down to
The new pact, estimated at more than $9M a year, is slated
to begin April 1, with three one-year options.
Katie Pushor, executive director for the Arizona Lottery,
said the panel concluded R~Rs proposal was the most
detailed service plan for the lotterys future.
IN RATING BUSINESS.
Gavin Anderson, who founded a corporate, financial and PA
firm in 1981 with much of its business abroad, selling it
to Omnicom in 1990 when it had 75 employees, left it at
the end of 2003 to start a new firm that would grade corporate
GovernanceMetrics International was described
in the March 6 business section of the New York Times.
Corporate governance practices of some companies are still
in the stone age, Times reporter Gretchen Morgenson
wrote in describing a conclusion drawn by researchers
The firm looked at 3,220 companies worldwide and gave only
34 the highest rating of 10.
Anderson said the 34, including 27 in the U.S., outperformed
the Standard & Poors 500-stock index by an average
of 11% in the 12 months to Feb. 28.
Potentially negative practices include related-party transactions
and companies with dual stocks that give more voting power
to insiders. Separating the chairman and CEO roles is seen
as a positive as are having financial experts on board auditing
committees and having director training.
U.S. companies had an average ranking of seven.
Biggest problem for U.S. companies was said to be high executive
pay. This accounted for 31% of the red flags given to U.S.
companies vs. 6% of red flags issued for European companies.
Anderson, who is CEO, said he had 25 good years
in PR and wanted to do something different.
His former PR firm employed 50 people in Asia at the time
he sold it to Omnicom. He said OMC had been a great
employer and he had stayed with the firm even though
his contract had run out in 1996.
An annual report of the company in 1996 reported $20 million
in fees with 51% coming from financial.
H&K REPS ALLBRITTON
IN RIGGS EXIT.
Hill & Knowlton has been brought in to handle PR for
the Allbritton family, which has run the embattled Riggs
National Corp. for over 20 years.
Robert Allbritton, son of Joe Allbritton, who took control
of Riggs in 1981, resigned as chairman and CEO of the Washington
banking company on March 7 after four years at the helm,
the last of which have seen its main subsidiary, Riggs Bank,
plead guilty for improper money laundering controls and
become the subject of a Justice Dept. inquiry. The laundering
charges stemmed from Riggs accounts for ex-Chilean dictator
Augusto Pinochet and oil accounts for Equatorial Guinea.
The bank paid $41 million in fines.
Sean Kevelighan, a director in H&Ks Washington,
D.C., office, told ODwyers the firm has been
quietly representing the Allbritton family for the last
few months, noting H&K did not put its name on Allbrittons
resignation statement issued on March 7.
Allbritton said he plans to focus on the family TV business,
Allbritton Comms. The family still owns 40 percent of Riggs
Riggs is now slated to be sold to PNC Financial Services
Group. Kekst & Co. is advising Riggs through the merger
Edition, March 16, 2005, Page 3
N.Y. TIMES MAKES
New York Times executive editor Bill Keller has killed
Circuits, the weekly stand alone technology
section. The last section will be published in the edition
of March 24.
Keller said much of the technology coverage will be merged
into the Business Day section and other sections
of the paper.
Plans are being studied to publish Circuits as a special
section on a regular basis.
Keller said a new mid-week cousin of Sunday Styles,
focused on fashion, fitness, beauty, smart shopping and
lifestyles, would start on April 14.
It will provide a more eye-pleasing runway for the
fashion coverage now tucked inside Tuesday Metro,
and absorb the On-Line Shopper feature from
Circuits. The section will include a number of engaging
and consumer-friendly new features, he said.
The Times will roll out a redesigned Business Day, Monday
through Saturday, on May 5, with new features and writers.
Keller said Bizday will remain, first and foremost,
an aggressive news section, but we will be adding space
to give each day a secondary focus, the way we have done
with media coverage in Monday Business.
On Thursday, he said the focus will be technology, and
Bizday will absorb the core content of Circuits, including
David Pogue, whose column will begin on the dress page.
On Saturday, the focus will be personal business, and we
will be beefing up and enlivening our coverage of media
and related business, such as marketing on Monday,
The Times also started two human-interest columns called
Ink and Lens, and adding a second
op-ed page to the paper.
The new columns joined Metropolitan Diary,
Public Lives, and Boldface Names
in the weekday Metro section, on March 8.
Ink is an illustrated vignette reported by the staff of
the Times. Lens features photos of unusual sights around
GETS NEW SECTION.
The National Enquirer is getting a womens section.
Paul Field, the papers new editor-in-chief, said the
new dedicated section will have stories about
health, diet, consumer, fashion, beauty, advice, recipes,
TV and movies.
He welcomes suggestions for the section, such as a great
human-interest diet story.
The editor said the larger news hole will also allow the
paper to run more crime news reports and scandal stories.
The Enquirer, which is published weekly by American Media,
is moving to New York from Boca Raton, Fla.
The N.Y. office will open on March 29.
PRESS RIGHTS AT STAKE
IN APPLE CASE.
A Superior Court judge in San Jose, Calif., has tentatively
ruled that three online publishers must disclose where they
got the confidential information for their articles about
In Dec. 2004, Apple sued unknown individuals, identified
in court documents as Does, who leaked specifications
about an upcoming music product to Jason OGrady, publisher
of OGradys Power Page; Monish Bhatia, publisher
of Mac News Network, and the editor of AppleInsider, who
is identified online and in court documents as Kasper Jade.
The online reporters have refused to cooperate, and attorneys
representing them argued that forcing them to divulge their
sources would create a chilling effect that
weakens the medias ability to report in the publics
George Riley, an attorney for Apple, has questioned whether
the website operators are truly journalists or merely people
who disseminated information.
If they refuse to tell Apple attorneys the names of their
sources, who are presumably employees of Apple, they could
be subject to criminal violations of the U.S. Trade Secrets
Act, and might not be protected by the laws that ordinarily
On Jan. 4, Apple sued a publisher of another website that
revealed so-called trade secrets about the $499 Mac mini
Defendants in the case include Harvard Univ. student Nicholas
Ciarelli, a reporter for The Harvard Crimson who
writes ThinkSecret under the pseudonym Nick DePlume, and
unnamed sources who tipped him off two weeks before Apple
officially introduced the mini on Jan. 11.
GET INCENTIVE PAY.
Gawker Media, a New York-based firm that has 10 blogs, is
testing a bonus system based on the traffic to their sites.
Lockhart Steele, managing editor of Gawker Media, told
a digital journalism class at New York Univ., taught by
I Want Media founder Patrick Phillips, that fulltime
freelance writers, who are paid a set rate of $2,500 a month,
can more than double their pay.
One of the things we do is to try to figure out what
is going to get us highly ranked on Google, said Steele.
of magazines currently published for the general public
in the U.S., according to Samir Husni, a journalism professor
at the Univ. of Mississippi.
of Internet users who read, post or maintain a blog or are
familiar with them, according to research by Gartner/G2,
a management consulting firm.
number of ad pages in Vogues March issue, making it
the largest March issue in the magazines 112-year
(Media news continued
on next page)
Edition, March 16, 2005, Page 4
LUXURY AUTO WEBSITE.
Forbes.com is starting a website geared to the luxury automotive
ForbesAutos.com will provide information about buying,
choosing, pricing, financing, and insuring luxury vehicles.
The site will also run reviews of near luxury, luxury and
Mary Butler, previously managing editor of cars.com, was
appointed editor of the new site, which will go live in
Forbes.com is headed by Jim Spanfeller, president and CEO.
The site covers business, technology, markets, personal
finance and lifestyle, with streaming video broadcasts several
times a day.
AUTO CLUB STARTS
NEW CUSTOM MAG.
Pace Communications, a custom publishing firm in Greensboro,
N.C., will publish a new travel and lifestyle magazine for
AAA members in eight Midwest states served by The Auto Club
The new magazine, called AAA Living, is slated to
be sent to approximately 2.5 million households. The organization
plans to begin publishing with the March/April edition.
It will contain content that is customized for each AAA
club territory whose members it serves. AAAL will replace
Michigan Living and Home & Away in ACGs eight-state,
six-club territory, which includes Chicago, Michigan, Minnesota/Iowa,
Nebraska, North Dakota and Wisconsin.
Kathy Harrison, who is publisher, is based in Burnsville,
Chief Supply Chain Officer,
a new quarterly magazine published by Helmers Publishing
in Peterborough, N.H., focuses on technology, business,
and career strategies vital to the success of the chief
supply chain officer, an executive level position responsible
for setting and directing strategies for supply chain innovations.
Each issue will feature three sectionsOperations,
Information Technology, and Managementthat will explain
emerging technologies, new business practices, and how to
manage their successful implementation.
Dave Andrews is publisher/editorial director of CSCO, and
Mark Reynolds is editor/electronic media. They can be reached
at dandrews@ helmers.com and [email protected]. 603/924-9631.
The Michelin Guide
New York City 2006 will go on sale for the first
time in Nov. 2005.
The new publication, which is Michelins first in
North America, will rate about 500 restaurants and 50 hotels
Michelin inspectors have finished conducting anonymous
visits to restaurants and hotels, and have begun making
pre-arranged full inspections of each establishment with
management to complete their findings for the guide.
Susan Magrino Agency launched the book.
Fabulous Floors magazine, which began publishing last year
as a quarterly, is dedicated solely to flooring fashion
as an interior design element.
The magazine features information about every flooring
type, whats new and how each can be used, from fashion
to day-to-day practicality, according Sonna Calandrino,
Our readers want useful information on fashion, decorating
and coordinating their own flooring project, help with the
shopping process, answers to questions they wish they could
ask the experts, how flooring brings a room to life and
where to find flooring fast, said Calandrino, who
can be contacted at Peachtree Communications, 226 Old Post
rd., Ghent, N.Y. 518/828-3200.
formerly publisher and editor of Fine Cooking magazine
in Connecticut, has joined The Oregonian in Portland,
Ore., as food editor.
was promoted to editor of The Chicago Sun-Times,
replacing Michael Cooke, who left the paper to become editor
of The New York Daily News in January.
formerly managing editor/news, was promoted to managing
editor of the Sun-Times.
Look magazine may
be revived by Time Inc. as a magazine for movie fans, especially
A test issue of the new Look will be sent to a small percentage
of Entertainment Weeks subscribers to judge reader
reaction before making a decision on whether to publish
on a regular basis.
Quick & Simple,
a weekly magazine devoid of celebrities, will make its debut
The new title from Hearst Magazines will cover lifestyle
topics like home, family, and fashion.
Susan Toepfer is editor-in-chief; Lisa Grace, managing editor,
and Cary Barbor and Beth Lipton, senior editors.
which focuses on all facets of the autism community, is
Evelyn Ain, a Hicksville, N.Y.-based autism advocate and
parent, started Long Island Spectrum and New York City Spectrum
in 2004 as a means to fill the void of information available
to families who have developmentally disabled children.
Ain is now offering a national edition, called United Spectrum,
which will publish six times a year, and cover a range of
topics pertaining to autism written by mental health and
Allison Gayne of HLD/Blankman PR is handling PR at 516/536-6811.
The Greater Fort Wayne
Business Weekly debuted on March 14 at in the 15-county
region surrounding Fort Wayne, edited by Rob Kaiser, a former
business reporter for The Chicago Tribune.
Edition, March 16, 2005, Page 7
PR UNITS OF
AGENCIES SHOW GROWTH.
Eleven of the 18
PR units of ad agencies that provided proof of income to
this website posted gains in `04 fee income of more than
100, by far the No. 1 on the list, reported a 16.1 percent
rise in income to $45.1 million.
performance was sparked by the addition of clients such
as Motorola, NEC Solutions America, and Cadence Design Systems.
Intel also boosted its spending at the high-tech firm.
was followed by Dorland PR (+70.3 percent to $10.6 million),
Crosby Marketing Communications (+41.9 percent to $5.8 million)
and Charleston/Orwig (+19.1 to $4.8 million).
specialist, GSW Worldwide, is a newcomer to the list. It
showed the biggest jump in fees (+221.1 percent to $1.4
Frederich, director of marketing and communications, credits
the late `03 hiring of healthcare pro John Deats as executive
VP for driving that upbeat performance.
& Brinker PR is another big gainer, benefiting from
the April `04 partnership forged between Stan Levenson and
told O'Dwyer's that he is excited about the firm's involvement
in the Dallas community and the initiative to re-energize
the Dallas Arts District. Zale Co. is another key
firms slipped in `04. They are Townsend (-20.3 percent),
HLB Communications (-18.3 percent), Marcus Thomas (-16.1
percent), Tattar Richards-DBC (-5.7 percent) and Vox Medica
Healthcare (-5.2 percent).
Rankings of PR Firms affiliated with ad agencies or holding
for complete table
BARS NEW YORKER.
New Yorkers, who
got short shrift from the 2004 PRSA nominating committee,
which nominated no New Yorkers, resulting in a 17-member
non-New York board, have come up short on the expanded 2005
of the 22 PRSA members on the 2005 nomcom is from New York,
further evidence of the recent strong anti-New York tide
that washed PRSA h.q. from "Lower Midtown South"
to the downtown financial
New York chapter, with more than 700 members,
is the biggest city-based chapter.
Capital, biggest chapter with more than 1,000 members, draws
from Virginia and Maryland as well as D.C. Georgia, the
second biggest with 900+ members, is statewide.
control of PRSA shifted from the large chapters to the smaller
ones in the 1970s and 1980s when the number of chapters
skyrocketed from 60 to more than 110. Some of the new chapters
had as few as ten members but these chapters had the voting
power of a chapter with 100 members.
Abuses Charged in 2003 and 2004
Following numerous complaints and demands for investigation
of both the 2003 nomcom and the 2004 nomcom, the PRSA board
added three more ex-officio members to the 19 on the nomcom.
are Arthur Abelman of Moses & Singer, PRSA's longtime
law firm; David Rickey, chair of the ethics board and chair
of the governance task force appointed by 2004 president
Del Galloway, and Dr. Mark Schilansky, podiatrist who was
parliamentarian for the 2004 Assembly.
veterans said Abelman and Rickey are there to help eliminate
complaints. The nomcom conducts almost all of its business
in teleconferences or via mailings. The members meet in
Chicago at O'Hare airport in August to make their final
decisions. Only officer candidates are required to go to
is almost no work to do except sit back and wait for candidates
to appear, said a former member.
the past, the only ex-officio member has been the immediate
past president, in this case, Galloway. Reed Byron, 2003
president, is nomcom chair.
members feel it's an abusive practice for members of a previous
nomcom to show up on the next nomcom while others feel this
gives the nomcom some consistency.
to the nomcom after having served in 2004 are Vivian Hamilton,
counselor from Eagle River, Alaska; Beth Mehlberth, VP of
Edward Howard & Co.; Monty Hagler, counselor from High
Point, N.C., and Gayle Pohl, associate professor, University
of Northern Iowa.
members of the 2005 nomcom are Pamela Miles and Paige McMahon,
counselors who are both former presidents of the National
Capital chapter; Joe Vecchione, 1994 PRSA president; Michael
Herman, 2004 chair, Counselors Academy; Scott Shirai; Stephen
Shivinsky; Laurel O'Brien; Jeffrey Douglas; Jeffrey Halik;
Dianne Smith; Rebecca Hart; Chad Perry; Dennis Gaschen,
and Irene Maslowski.
Internet Edition, March
16, 2005 Page 8
PoweR Girls show on MTV March 10 generated
buzz last week, touching off 19 e-mails to odwyerpr.com.
Some condemned the image of PR put forth as the young and
attractive PR girls dashed here and there, sometimes
overwhelmed by the details of a nightclub opening.
Others felt Lizzie is doing a good job of publicizing herself.
She is now a celebrity and wherever she goes, heads
turn, as one of her staffers said.
Clients will come in because she is a power in New York
able to deal with celebs since she herself is one. She could
be the female Howard Rubenstein.
The show was about staffers enjoying themselves in a hectic
atmosphere, which is much closer to what a newspaper city
room is like than the stiff, defensive atmosphere of many
corporate PR depts.
Reporters mostly describe their jobs as fun
because its satisfying to bring facts and possibly
deeper meanings to audiences. They like to mix with people
who are also enjoying themselves.
who wrote the Spinning Frenzy blast on
PR for the Feb. 13 New York Times, returned to work last
week after a two-week vacation and says he will continue
to write about the PR industry.
Coverage of PR by major media is needed and may help bring
about some reforms. We chided OBrien for taking off
two full weeks just after his story, leaving callers no
way to contact him. A PR pro who did this would be condemned.
OBrien had complained about not being able to reach
Ketchum and Omnicom execs. News does not take a vacation,
we told him. OBriens article referred slightingly
to the ODwyer Co. as a gadfly to the PR
industry, ignoring the vast databanks we make available
including three 600-page directories, newsletter, magazine
and four years of searchable stories on odwyerpr.com...
the NYT March 13 had another negative PR feature, this time
on the Bush Administrations alleged use of Prepackaged
TV News (VNRs) to propagandize the public without
full disclosure of the source... the
New York Post, describing the ODwyer PR firm
rankings in a top-of-the-page three-column story March 7,
called the ODwyer website/NL the bible of PR...
blast on PR no doubt touched off a secret ethics summit
at PRSA h.q. set for the morning of March 22. This
was not announced on the PRSA web nor via a press release
and it took a week for anyone at PRSA to confirm the meeting.
PRSA wont say what groups have been invited but did
say one PR pro attending is James Murphy of Accenture, chair
of the PR Coalition Summit in Madison, N.J.,
Jan. 14, 2003. Nineteen groups attended that meeting which
was open to the press. Scandals at Enron, Worldcom, Global
Crossing, etc., touched it off.
The press is not allowed
at the PRSA ethics summit but there will be a press
briefing in the afternoon.
A Business Ethics Summit April 21 will feature
Paul Steiger, ME, Wall Street Journal; Lawrence Ingrassia,
business editor, New York Times, and Matthew Winkler, Bloomberg.
It will be hosted by Business Ethics magazine at the Helmsley
The National Institute
on Media and the Family told the Word of Mouth Marketing
Assn. in a full page ad in AdWeek that the new WOMMA Ethics
Code Misses the Mark with Minors. It urged marketers
to protect kids recruited for stealth marketing campaigns.
Liberal critics want
to add George Will to the list of journalists on
the take. The $250K he got in February from the conservative
Bradley Foundation is far too much $$ for a journalist to
be taking from a group with a strong political agenda, they
said. Pulitzer Prize winners only get $10K, they noted.
PRSA president Judy
Phair, 2004 president Del Galloway, 1989 president
John Paluszek and COO Catherine Bolton went on a trip March
2-14 to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, a boondoggle partly
because there are only three PRSA members in all of Chinaone
each at Burson-Marsteller and Golin/Harris and one at China
Global PR Co.
PR pros who regularly go to China say their 10-day trips
cost $5,000-$6,000 ($9,000 just for the flight if its
first class via United and partner Air China). Good hotels
are $150-$200 a day and meals at least $30 a day.
Oddly, Prof. Carole Gorney of Lehigh University was already
in Beijing and met the PRSA foursome. She may spend a sabbatical
in China next year.
Gorney, a former national director, headed the five-person
Philadelphia Assembly delegation last October that unanimously
voted against decoupling APR from Assembly membership.
PRSA leaders are fighting any move to decouple the national
board this year. The trip was not announced in advance on
the PRSA website.
Phair sent the site at least two e-mails from China on
the visit. Previous boondoggle like this was the boards
four-day trip to London in 2000.
Travel/meals/hotels ballooned to a record $717K that year,
more than double rent.
If PRSA has $$ for
trips like this, why did it pinch pennies with the press
at its New York conference last year? It demanded that reporters
pay the full fees at any events involving food ($175 for
opening reception and $125 for awards lunch).
Since no reporter would pay, PRSA relented at the last
minute. Phair said PRSA will not try this again at the conference
IABC hired Amanda Vaughn as PR/marketing manager at $50K
but she quit after a couple of weeks, saying working for
an association was not a good fit.
She reported to VP/marketing Joseph Uglade rather than
president Julie Freeman, as did her predecessor.