Contact O'Dwyer's : 271 Madison Ave., #600, New York, NY 10016; Tel: 212/679-2471; Fax: 212/683-2750
ODWYERPR.COM > Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter return to main page

Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter
Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter
The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Subscribe today


Jack O'Dwyer's NL logo
Internet Edition, May 11, 2005, Page 1

Lenovo Group, the Chinese company that purchased IBM’s PC division, has awarded its PR account to high-tech specialist Text 100.

The PR firm will promote Lenovo’s ThinkPad notebooks, ThinkCentre desktops and ThinkVision monitors in the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. Those products chalk up a combined $13 billion in annual revenues.

Text 100, which already had that assignment for IBM, will direct the campaign from its New York office, with support from its Beijing and Paris units.

Lenovo is worldwide technology equipment sponsor for the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games and the 2008 Games in Beijing.

Former Attorney General John Ashcroft has opened the Ashcroft Group to advise countries on how to beef up law enforcement capabilities and best combat terror.

The ex-AG counts the passing of the Patriot Act, and the fact that there has not been a post-9/11 terror strike on the U.S. as his twin legacies.

Juleanna Glover Weiss, who was at Clark & Weinstock since `02 after serving as Vice President Dick Cheney’s Press Secretary, has joined Ashcroft.

While at C&W, Weiss helped the Iraqi Governing Council’s U.S. rep on “messaging” and planned overall strategies for meetings with Administration officials, members of Congress/staffers and reporters.

Weiss, prior to Cheney, handled media for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani during his aborted run for the Senate against Hillary Clinton, and was a senior policy advisor to then-Senator Ashcroft.

Ashcroft’s firm will also advise U.S. companies on homeland security and governance issues.

Paul Oestreicher, who has led healthcare practices for Edelman and most recently DeVries PR, has moved on to Hill & Knowlton to head its U.S. health and pharmaceuticals practice.

Paul McDade, who headed the health practice worldwide at H&K, has left the firm.

Oestreicher was managing director at DeVries and formerly GM of Edelman’s health unit in Chicago. He began his career working on pharma and medical projects at Wyeth Laboratories and went on to Hoffman-La Roche, where he began to focus more on public policy and communications.

H&K said he has launched or repositioned 40 healthcare products in his career.

Huntsworth and Incepta are poised to complete their merger to create a $353M marcom giant as 83 percent of Incepta shares have voted to OK the deal.

The combine would put Incepta firms like Citigate and Chime Communications under the same roof as Huntsworth’s Grayling and Global Consulting group.

Noting significant consolidation in the marketing and communications sector in recent years, the two companies said a “greater critical mass and international presence will substantially improve the group’s ability attract and retain” large clients and personnel.

Boards for the two companies said merger talks have been in the works for the last year. The companies confirmed the talks publicly in February.

The combined entity is set to have a market cap of about $353 million across 125 offices in 23 countries.

Huntsworth CEO Peter Chadlington becomes executive chairman of the board, with Richard Nichols of Incepta slated to retain his chief executive title and oversee day-to-day management. Chadlington has agreed to stay with the company until 2008.

The Iraq War supplemental spending bill slated to be approved by Congress includes a measure to require government video news releases to be clearly identified for at least one year.

Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W. Va.) placed the measure in an $82 billion spending bill requiring federal government VNRs to include a written or audible notice of their source.

The measure last week won approval from a key House-Senate conference committee clearing the way for final Congressional approval.

“Congress is poised to endorse Senator Robert C. Byrd’s call for an end to White House propaganda foisted on the American people,” Byrd’s office said in a May 4 statement. “It is simply not right for Administration departments and agencies to try to snooker the American people, producing propaganda and passing it off as legitimate news,” said the Senator.

Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) are moving to make Byrd’s measure permanent.

The 2005 O’Dwyer’s Directory of PR Firms, the 35th annual edition, is at the printer and will be distributed in late May... the Senate hearings on gov’t VNRs have been re-scheduled for May 12. The event will be webcast. Co-Chairmen Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) will lead the panel.

Internet Edition, May 11, 2005, Page 2

The U.S. Forest Service is evaluating 100 of its 700-person public affairs staff and considering a move to hire outside PR firms to handle communications work.

The federal agency said it is conducting a study “to assess the best way to increase the cost-effectiveness and organizational efficiency of Forest Service communications.” The study is part of the controversial “competitive sourcing” model being pushed by the White House to cut costs government-wide by considering outsourcing work to the private sector.

The move has drawn the ire of the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, a group of federal workers which is warning that PR pros are just the tip of the chopping block. “Civil servants are under a legal obligation to tell the public the truth while PR firms specialize in shading it,” said a statement from the group, which is pointing to the recent controversies over Ketchum/Armstrong Williams and video news releases to question the outsourcing move. “Outsourcing the public information function risks putting a premium on spin at the expense of candor.”

The Forest Service’s PA staff includes PR pros, editors, graphic designers and A/V specialists. In a letter to the federal workers’ union, the National Federation of Federal Employees, the United States Department of Agriculture, which oversees the Forest Service, said the study underway may also recommend maintaining the current situation.

The sourcing study is slated to be completed by June 30 and the Forest Service is urging employees to participate.

Even Iron Mountain makes mistakes, according to the Boston-based data storage company that blames “human error” for the loss of computer tapes carrying the personal information of 600,000 current and ex-Time Warner staffers.

The Wall Street Journal (May 3) said the tapes lost by IM in March represent the “vulnerability of data-handling procedures.” The loss of “another trove of personal data”—coming on the heels of security breakdowns at BankAmerica, Choicepoint and Right Ventures—“highlights the concern about the increasing value to criminals of illegally obtained personal information in the digital age,” reported the WSJ.

Melissa Burman, IM’s PR person, did not return a call from O’Dwyer’s asking about fall-out from the latest security breach.

The company admits to the loss of computer data from four corporate customers this year, but stresses its 99.999 percent “reliability rate.”

In an April 21 statement, IM said: “While four losses is not a large number in comparison to an annual rate of five million transportation events, any loss is important to customers and to Iron Mountain.” It quotes CEO Richard Reese: “But even Iron Mountain is not immune from human error.”

The U.S. Secret Service is investigating the TW data matter. The company says it has no info that the lost data is being misused.

Vic Kamber, who shuttered his Washington, D.C., firm in late January, is serving as president of Carmen Group Communications.

He established The Kamber Group in `80 to serve labor unions, environmental groups and Democrats. As evidenced by its plummeting fee income, the TKG was hammered by the Republican takeover of Congress and the White House.

At its `98 peak, TKG was the nation’s No. 25 PR firm with fees of $12.2 million and 82 staffers, according to the O’Dwyer rankings. Ranking with O’Dwyer’s in `02, TKG reported fees of $7.3 million and 67 staffers.

The firm decided not to rank in `04, but claimed 50 employees. It provided a client list that included Airbus, Center for Marine Conservation, Defenders of Wildlife, First Union Bank, International Longshoreman’s Assn., Laborers’ International Union of North America, National Parks and Conservation Assn., Sheet Metal Workers International Assn., Freddie Mac Foundation, Nature Conservatory, Phi Beta Kappa Society, Dept. of Labor and Dept. of Education.

Kamber did not return a call for comment.

CGC is the PR/marketing unit of the Carmen Group, a Republican lobbying firm that is headed by David Carmen.

Prior to establishing CG in `85, Carmen was a speechwriter and co-director of opposition research at the Republican National Committee.

He was communications director for Citizens for America, a pro-President Reagan grassroots group, and advisor to Presidents Bush.

Gerald Carmen, father of David, is the firm’s vice chairman and former Ambassador to the United Nations and chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party.

Robinson Lerer & Montgomery is handling PR for Cone Mills Corp., the financially troubled, century-old North Carolina textile company that has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The company’s assets were sold to New York financier Wilbur Ross last year for $90M. Ross has combined the assets with Burlington Industries to form International Textile Group, marking the end of the CM name, a fixture of N.C. manufacturing since the turn of the century and a top maker of cotton denim.

“Cone Mills no longer exists,” RLM’s Nyssa Tussing told the Associated Press last week.

CM successfully petitioned the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware to bring RL&M on board at the outset of its filing in the fall of ’03.

The domestic textile industry has been especially battered this year as eased trade restrictions on China have resulted in a tide of textile imports to the U.S.

The Commerce Dept. reported a 63 percent rise in first-quarter textile and apparel imports from China, leading to calls in Congress to restore curbs on Chinese goods.

The European Union also has been hit with a wave of Chinese textile imports. There have been similar "protectionist" demands in the EU.

Internet Edition, May 4, 2005, Page 3

Business Week is starting a media column in June and an online component related to the column that will appear on

Jon Fine, who was previously with Advertising Age, where he covered the magazine and newspaper businesses, will write the weekly column.

Fine will work with senior writer Tom Lowry, based in New York, and Los Angeles bureau chief Ronald Grover.

Steve Adler, editor-in-chief of BW, said the new media column will “reflect the changes and challenges in media, marketing and advertising.”
Fine recently wed Laurel Touby, who is founder of Media Bistro, an online site that covers media news.

More’s editor-in-chief Peggy Northrop said Mary Lou Quinlan, who heads her own women’s consultancy called Just Ask a Woman, which is also the title of her first book, will write a monthly advice column for the magazine.

Her column, “Quinlan & Answers,” will debut in the Sept. 2005 issue and will address work/life issues facing women in mid-career.

More, published 10 times a year by Meredith Corp., is a lifestyle magazine for women in their 40s and 50s. The magazine has a circulation of 1,100,000, reaching a readership of 4.4 million.

Elaine Liner, a theater critic for The Dallas Observer, said a publicist for a new Broadway musical told her that “only critics who could ‘promise positive coverage’ would be allowed opening night comp seats.”

Liner, a former media critic for The Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Toledo Blade who lectures at Southern Methodist Univ., said in a letter to Jim Romenesko at Poynter online that “one of the old givens of PR was coverage can’t be controlled, only encouraged and facilitated. But more and more PR folk that I encounter as a theater critic have adopted new rules for dealing with us first-nighters.”

She bought her own $125 ticket to the show. “Turns out I liked the show. But as I read other `positive coverage,’ I wondered if it was honest criticism or just quid pro quo,” said Liner, who did not reveal the name of either the publicist or the show.

John Gorenfeld also posted a letter to Romenesko’s website in which he accuses PR firms of playing editor with bloggers.

“The PR group behind the new Enron film is under the impression it’s the assignment editor for the blog world,” said Gorenfeld, who got an e-mail from the firm reminding him that “your review of the film needs to be posted this week or next (before April 21).”

Better Nutrition, which delivers 350,000 copies monthly to health food and natural grocery stores, has 2,982,000 readers, according to a new study conducted by The Natural Marketing Institute.

Active Interest Media, which publishes BN, said the data from the study, which they commissioned, shows BN’s readership is significantly higher than every other in-store magazine competitor. A full 86% of the magazine is read by well-educated women who actively manage their health and well-being, said Susan Tauster, group publisher for AIM’s Healthy Living Group.

BN covers news and research on natural and organic foods, holistic healing, dietary supplements, herbs and vitamins, natural beauty, fitness, pets and other topics.

The Chicago Tribune is enhancing its entertainment coverage by adding a new weekly section.

“Thursday’s At Play,” which debuted May 5, offers best bets for dining and leisure activities.
At Play highlights include: Shopping—The best deals on clothes, gadgets, etc.; Metromix—A two-week look ahead-plan for this weekend and next; Dining—In addition to restaurant reviews, the expanded page will feature “Cheap Eats” and chef’s picks in “Chef’s Corner; Go!—Ideas for weekend getaways, day spas and more.

James Warren is managing editor/features., an online lifestyle magazine, can use news features from publicists on travel and leisure, lifestyle and health issues.

BoomerCafe, is now in its sixth year, according to David Henderson, co-founder/publisher.

Henderson, who does not want to get news releases, said publicists should check the site’s submission guidelines available from the Home page.

E-mail features to [email protected].

TechNet Magazine, produced by Microsoft Corp. and CMP Media, went on newsstands this week.

Joshua Trupin is executive editor of the San Francisco-based magazine, which is targeted at Microsoft IT professionals.

Following the spring issue, Microsoft and CMP are planning to publish TechNet on a bimonthly schedule starting in Oct. 2005.

The Deal, a business and financial news weekly published by The Deal LLC, has been redesigned.

The weekly has shifted its columns to the front of the book, followed by feature stories designated under the headings of corporation, bankruptcy and private equity.

The redesign also features a new editorial feature, “Deal Life,” a lifestyle-oriented column.

Bianchi PR, Troy, Mich., and its client, PPG Industries, were given the first place award for Excellence in Consumer Media Relations by the Automotive PR Council.

Stern + Assocs., Cranford, N.J., won a McKinsey Award for a Harvard Business Review article on behalf of client, The Concours Group.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, May 4, 2005, Page 4

Myrna Blyth, the former editor of Ladies’ Home Journal and other women’s magazines, said publicists are staging photo shoots of their celebrity clients for the paparazzi agencies.

Reportedly, Us Weekly paid about $500,000 for some candid beach photos of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

“Occasionally, what looks like a casual caught-on-the-sly paparazzi picture is, in reality, a carefully staged moment organized by a publicist to get the greatest possible attention for his client,” Blyth wrote in her May 4 media column in The New York Sun.

She said the market for such photos is no longer limited to the celebrity weeklies as many women’s magazines are filling their pages with pictures of celebrities, dressed in designer fashion at “red carpet” events like award shows and openings.

The “hottest of the paparazzi agencies,” she said, are Splash News, Bauer-Griffin, X17—all headquartered in Los Angeles—along with Big Picture, the London-based agency that triggered a fierce bidding war last week between Us and People, In Touch and Star for the package of Pitt and Jolie photos.

Peter Howe, a former photo editor at The New York Times Magazine, and the author of the soon to be released book, “Paparazzi and Our Obsession With Celebrity,” told Blyth that the money for celebrity photos is getting bigger and bigger. “I don’t doubt there will be a million-dollar set of photos in the future,” he said.

The most wanted star of the moment is Britney Spears. Spears, who is pregnant, is chased by “at least 20 guys in cars every time she goes out for a drive,” said Kevin Mazuer, one of the owners of Wireimage.

“When tracking the most wanted, least cooperative celebs, photographers are frequently as relentless as bounty hunters,” said Blyth, who pointed out one veteran photographer, Phil Ramey, once rented a submarine in order to shoot photos of Princess Diana on an isolated island.

“Many of his peers combine computer technology and tracking devices with top grade intelligence provided by dozens of highly remunerated tipsters,” she said.

Tamara Conniff, Billboard’s new co-executive editor, who helped redesign the 111-year-old paper, is the daughter of the late musician Ray Conniff, who arranged such hits as “Memories Are Made of This,” “Lara’s Theme,” and “Love Me With All Your Heart” in the 1950s/1960s.

Erin Zammett, an associate editor at Glamour, is author of the just-published “My (So-Called) Normal Life Now,” (Overlook Duckworth), about her cancer triumph.

Chris Madden, whose new home decorating magazine At Home with Chris Madden, went on sale May 2, began to devote full time to her “hobby” in 1979 after being fired as a publicist for Simon & Schuster, according to min (Media Industry Newsletter).

Ted Moncreiff has succeeded Klara Glowczewska as executive editor of Conde Nast Traveler. Glowczewska was recently promoted to editor-in-chief of CNT. Jon Buckmeyer, CNT’s communications director since 1999, has joined Ketchum.

Christine Halvorson, a former journalist, is authoring five blogs for Stonyfield Farm, including Strong Women Daily News and The Bovine Bugle. The Londonderry, N.H.-based company is 85%-owned by France’s Groupe Danone, the yogurt company.

Chip Barr, former exec. editor of reviews and testing for PC World, has joined Tendo Comms. in San Francisco as its first SVP of editorial.

CITIZEN-JOURNALISM SITE DEBUTS IN VA. made its official debut on May 3 as a citizen-driven news website for residents of two Virginia suburbs.

The site, which will use mostly stories contributed by residents of McLean and Reston, is heavily interactive, with requests and pleas for users to comment on articles and submit content.

Co-founders Mark Potts and Susan DeFife want to go national with micro-local sites around the U.S.

In the immediate wake of a company’s “bad news” announcement, a survey by Broadgate Consultants found the media and sell-side analysts are not the primary influencers of institutional investors’ trading decisions, but rather the company itself.

Not one of the 45 respondents, representing a range of institutional investors including mutual funds, insurance companies and investment advisors, chose the media or brokerage firm analysts as a “very influential” source of information when making trading decisions after a company’s adverse news announcement, according to the New York-based financial PR firm.

Instead, the most-often cited “very influential” information sources were company contacts (64%); a company’s competitors (24%); and the decision-maker’s network of other buy-side professionals (16%).

An overwhelming 78% of survey respondents said blogs and chat rooms were “not at all influential.”

When asked to rate specific media outlets, those cited by respondents are either “very” or “somewhat” influential were: industry trade publications (69%); newswire services (64%); daily newspapers (47%); and broadcast financial news (39%).

60—The number of cities where billionaire Philip Anschutz has trademarked Examiner, the name of his new tabloid-size, daily newspaper, which is currently published in San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

2,000—The number of foreign media outlets based in Washington, D.C., which are stored in Aker Partners’ media database.

Internet Edition, May 11, 2005, Page 7

“A blog is for a company that wants to be real, human and truthful,” Elizabeth Spiers, editor-in-chief of, told Business Wire New York’s conference on blogging.

As an example of a “good” company blog, Spiers cited a blog by five Microsoft developers that operates independently of the company PR dept. Address is

Blogs are increasingly driving the mainstream media, according to Spiers. She said companies cannot have a “passive relationship” with a blog.

Rick Bruner, research director of DoubleClick, said blogs can be judged by the number of links into the blog, how often the blog is cited by other blogs, and how big is its impact in traditional media.

Connie Connors, president and CEO of Connors Communications, who moderated the event, the first of several planned by BW throughout the U.S., told the 150 participants that they would “leave the room scared and energized.”

Pete Cipollone, director of product management, text mining and visualization of Factiva, said mainstream media are trailing blogs in news coverage.

McDonald’s, he noted, started paying attention to obesity about a year after this was a popular topic in blogs.

Steve Rubel, VP of client services, CooperKatz & Co., said, “Blogging is a open window on a company.”

The PR challenge, he said, is that companies have evangelists singing their praises and vigilantes noting flaws in the company and/or its products.

Ed von Kloberg, the flamboyant cape-wearing D.C. lobbyist who took pride in representing despots and dictators, leapt to his death from a castle in Rome on May 1. He was 63.

A State Dept. official in Rome ruled the death a suicide. Von Kloberg had cancer, diabetes and had suffered a heart attack in `02 on a flight from the Ivory Coast to Paris in which had five trucks of luggage, according to the Washington Post.

Von Kloberg took on clients such as Saddam Hussein, Mobutu Sese Seko (head of the former Zaire) and Nicolae Ceausescu before he met his fate in front of a Romanian firing squad.

Von Kloberg had repped Hussein while the Iraqi was at war with Iran, and gassing the Kurds. He noted that Hussein was a U.S. ally at that time.

The lobbyist told O’Dwyer’s in `95, that he worked for the junta in Guatemala to “balance” the PR campaign launched by Jennifer Harbury, whose husband had “disappeared” in that Central American nation.

When asked why he represented the dregs of the Earth, von Kloberg would say “shame is for sissies,” adding that everybody has the right to be heard in D.C.

Open communication, he believed, was a way to spur political reform.

Most recently, von Kloberg was on a mission to restore monarchies as a first step in building democratic institutions.

360 Advantage, the GOP public affairs unit set up last month by WPP units Burson-Marsteller and Quinn Gillespie & Assocs., has developed a campaign for The Weekly Standard that broke last week slamming TV news as biased to the left and promoting the conservative magazine.

The TV ads are the first for 360 Advantage, which is led by Bush/Cheney communications strategists Russ Schriefer and Stuart Stevens.

Burson-Marsteller, which is promoting the campaign, told O’Dwyer’s the ads are scheduled to run on Fox News Channel and other spots are in the works.

The first ad, “Newscaster,” shows a young TV news reporter in New York interviewing a TV news exec who expresses a preference for the The Weekly Standard and says, “Our newsroom is always serving up news with a liberal twist, day in and day out.”

The exec then runs away when he realizes his comments are being taped and the young reporter laments the magazine is “what Washington is reading, even if they don’t always admit it.”

The second spot, “Tourist,” has the same reporter in Washington interviewing Standard-loving tourists from Kansas City in front of the Capitol. The reporter notes The New York Times reported that the magazine is closely read in the Bush White House.

Julie Cram, director for B-M in D.C. and former deputy comms. director for Bush-Cheney 2004, told O’Dwyer’s 360 Advantage is a bipartisan shop and will work on both sides of the aisle. She said the ads are a tongue-in-cheek marketing campaign for the Standard.

Miami-based Wragg & Casas PR has been tapped by the drug industry’s top lobbying group for a PR effort to kill momentum for legislation allowing prescription drugs to be imported into the U.S.

The firm was brought in by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America as the group on May 4 unveiled a survey by Rudy Giuliani’s consulting firm that plays up safety and security concerns over drug importation.

Diana Sierra, an A/E for W&C, told O’Dwyer’s the firm’s work for the Partnership for Safe Medicines, a pharmaceutical industry group, led to the assignment for PhRMA, a backer of the PSM.

It is W&C’s first assignment for PhRMA. She echoed Giuliani’s and drug industry concerns that bringing in non-FDA-approved medicine isn’t safe.

In the Giuliani & Partners report, the ex-New York mayor said the risks of importing drugs from outside the U.S. “far outweigh any alleged benefits.” PhRMA funded the report.

Proponents of drug importation point to skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs which they say are driven in part by exuberant marketing budgets.

Billy Tauzin, the former Republican Congressman who took the reins of PhRMA last year, said Giuliani’s report underscored the dangers of importing drugs.

In other PhRMA news, Edelman will continue to run state campaigns for PhRMA following a consolidation of several firms.

Internet Edition, May 11, 2005 Page 8




The New Yorker is angry that Matthew Cooper of Time and Judith Miller of the New York Times, face possible prison terms in the outing of Valerie Plame as a CIA agent while conservative columnist Robert Novak, who actually named Plame in his column, faces no charges.

Cooper named Plame on Time’s website while Miller did research but didn’t write a story.

New Yorker’s Hendrik Hertzberg considers the investigation “a perfectly legitimate one” that is aimed at persons in the Bush Administration for “misusing the press.”

Usually, says Hertzberg, threats against the D.C. press have come from the Bush Administration “which is notoriously secretive, manipulative and vindictive to journalists who fail to bend the knee.”

The New Yorker is left-leaning (it supported John Kerry for president and opposed the invasion of Iraq) so its statement about President Bush’s press policies must be taken with a grain of salt.

However, the Administration does set the tone of press relations for many business and trade associations so its policies cannot be ignored.

D.C. reporters have been beefing for some time about these policies.

Presidential press conferences are a rarity, for one thing.

Seven D.C. bureau chiefs have now complained about the off-the-record “background briefings” that Administration officials are giving in which no one can be quoted. Reporters feel inability to quote an individual hurts the credibility of their stories.

They also don’t like Bush’s visits to hand-picked audiences in various cities as part of a campaign to promote changes in Social Security.

Another sore spot is the Secret Service revelation that supposed White House reporter “Jeff Gannon” (whose real name is James Guckert) entered the White House 196 times during the past two years including 38 times when there was no press event.

Guckert is accused of giving “softball” questions during White House press briefings.

The press can be seen as pro-Democratic and anti-Bush but the same press was just as critical about Bill Clinton when he was president. Travelgate, Whitewater, Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky and other negative topics about Clinton were fully covered. The issue is whether presidential press policies are fair to the press and public.

We’re glad to see that PR Society of America on Feb. 22 condemned the Appeals Court ruling that Matthew Cooper and Judith Miller can be jailed. A federal shield law for reporters has been proposed and we hope PRSA will support this. Only three Republicans are publicly for it because of GOP “hostility” to the media, says columnist Novak. PRSA, meanwhile, should examine its own press policies. Its last face-to-face press conference was in 1993 at the national conference in Orlando.

PRSA, in a move to get more members to come out for national leadership posts, will have a special teleconference for candidates May 19 at 4 p.m. Only 10 members showed up for seven posts last year. The 17-member PRSA board is now the same as the Foundation board. PRSA can’t find enough people for a separate board.

Less than 50 PRSA leaders took part in each of two teleconferences last week out of an invited field of about 600 (110 chapter presidents and presidents-elect, Assembly delegates, etc.). The calls lasted 45 minutes instead of an hour as planned because there were virtually no questions from callers.

It is disingenuous now for national leadership, which has done it what it can to block competition for the top posts, to plead for candidates. Candidates must have yards of PRSA activities because that is what counts rather than being leaders in the PR world.

The few leaders calling in heard a rosy view of PRSA’s finances, which are helped by the fact that PRSA “books” all dues immediately as if fully earned (which they’re not). They also heard hope for the new APR test, even though seven of the ten member groups sent no applications in Q1 of 2005.

Hope was expressed for the PRSA Foundation, which has done little in its 16 years ($174,131 in revenues in 2003). It was wrongly founded in 1989 when the “independent” PRSA Institute showed independence and broke away.

PRSA, which keeps the press at bay, continues as a house of secrets. No bids on printing or other jobs are publicly advertised; expense accounts of leaders and staff are secret; a full accounting of the costs of the move downtown has never been made, etc.

Membership was 19,569 as of April 30, 2004, exactly what it was Dec. 31, 1998, six years earlier. It was 20,236 on April 30, 2005, a gain of 3.4%. This is not bad in a difficult period for the PR field and especially since PRSA hiked dues $50 to $225.

The Donald Trump speech that the PRSA conference heard last Oct. 24 in New York is now being given across the nation to those who pay $499 each.

Some 46,000 people did this May 1 including 15,000 who heard him in person at the Los Angeles Convention Center, reported New York Post columnist Cindy Adams May 3.

In the speech, laced with blunt terms that shocked some in the PRSA audience, The Donald urges businesspeople to be paranoid...hire the best people but watch them; get even by “hitting those suckers (enemies) back 15 times harder”; keep up the momentum; the harder you work, the luckier you get; Wall Streeters are scum,” etc. Trump was to speak 45 minutes but stayed two hours for Q&A. The audiences ate up the blunt language from the reality TV star.

– Jack O'Dwyer


Copyright © 1998-2020 J.R. O'Dwyer Company, Inc.
271 Madison Ave., #600, New York, NY 10016; Tel: 212/679-2471