The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, May 25, 2005, Page 1
N.J. ISSUES CLEAN ENERGY
Dept. of the Treasury has issued an RFP for the Garden States
Board of Public Utilities to handle that entitys $4.5M
a year marketing communications account.
work includes advertising, public relations and web production
for two years for the BPUs Office of Clean Energy
and its New Jersey Clean Energy Program, which promotes
the use of energy efficient and renewable energy technologies.
OCE says many New Jersey residents dont know about
education, technical assistance and financing help offered
through the state to homeowners, businesses and schools.
are being accepted through June 9, but a May 31 pre-bid
conference is mandatory for interested agencies. Ken Dietel
([email protected]) is contracting officer for
SENOR GOES TO GOOGLE.
Dan Senor, former top spokesman for the Coalition Provisional
Authority in Iraq and senior advisor to Paul Bremer there,
has joined Internet search dynamo Google as its VP of global
Senor was a legislative aide, press secretary and communications
director for former Sen. Spencer Abraham (R-Mich.), who
became Secretary of Energy.
Google brought in veteran Cisco spokesman Steve Langdon
last July to bolster its internal PR staff.
Cindy McCaffrey, Googles top marketing exec who built
its marketing and PR team, left the company at the end of
KEKST HANDLES MAYTAG
Kekst & Co. is handling the $1.1 billion takeover of
Maytag by a private investment group led by Ripplewood Holdings.
The group will also assume $975 million in debt.
The No. 3 U.S. appliance maker has blamed high-manufacturing
as costs one of the factors in its 80 percent decline in
first-quarter earnings to $7.7 million.
Ripplewood CEO Tim Collins says Maytag must be more global
in order to compete with General Electric and Whirlpool,
which manufacture many of their products overseas.
Maytag CEO Ralph Hake, who will remain in his post, has
told 1,300 workers at its Newton, Iowa, flagship plant that
their jobs are in jeopardy unless the company gets contract
givebacks. Maytag shut a Galesburg, Ill., refrigerator plant
last year, shifting production to Mexico.
H&K, B-M ADVISE
ON AIRLINE MERGER.
Hill & Knowlton is advising America West Holdings Corporation
as the No. 8 airline and an investor group move to buy Chapter
11 carrier U.S. Airways. Burson-Marsteller is working with
No. 7 carrier U.S. Airways.
The deal, financed with $1.5 billion in capital from several
sources, would create the No. 6 airline under the U.S. Airways
brand with 44,100 employees.
The new company would be based in America West's home city
of Tempe, Ariz. U.S. Airways, which posted a $282 million
first quarter loss, is based in Arlington, Va.
The carriers, which are moving to compete with the low-fare
airlines, said the combined company will have revenues of
over $10 billion (with $2 billion in cash) and be positioned
for profitability even with oil prices above $50 per barrel.
Sitrick & Co., Los Angeles, had advised U.S. Airways
through its Chapter 11 filing, initiated in 2002.
The merger is subject to the approval of the U.S. Bankruptcy
Court overseeing U.S. Airways' filing.
Both airlines would operate separately through a transition
period of two to three years.
Its the best of times and, in some cases, the
worst of times, said Harold Burson, the octogenarian
chairman and co-founder of WPP Groups Burson-Marsteller
who was part of the ODwyer Companys Greatest
Generation in PR event on May 17 at the Yale Club
in New York.
Burson said that at industry gatherings in previous years,
the PR industry would lament its fight for respect within
an organization. People would say, Management
doesnt appreciate us said Burson. I
dont think thats happening anymore.
Burson was among featured panelists including Al Golin,
chairman/co-founder of GolinHarris, Margery Kraus, founder/president/CEO,
APCO Worldwide, Daniel Edelman, founder/chairman Daniel
J. Edelman Inc., and David Finn, chairman/co-founder of
the Ruder Finn Group. A second panel included prominent
members of the PR services industry.
The panelists regaled the audience with stories of their
beginnings, some accidental, into the PR field and discussed
past, present and future issues in PR.
Edelman acknowledged recent controversies surrounding the
industry while calling on PR to fill the void left by the
diminishing importance of 30-second ad spots.
(continued on page
Edition, May 25, 2005, Page 2
ADL COMMENDS WAL-MART.
The Anti-Defamation League says it welcomes the prompt apology
of Wal-Mart over its use of Nazi imagery asking voters to
reject a proposed zoning rule law in Flagstaff.
The offending full-page ad ran in the May 8 Arizona
Daily Sun, showing a 1933 photo of Germans throwing
books on a pyre at Berlins Opernplatz.
The text read: Should we let government tell us what
we can read? Of course, not. So why should we allow local
government to limit where we shop?
The cited ballot proposal would restrict Wal-Mart from
expanding a local store to include a supermarket.
The ad copy said it was paid for by Protect Flagstaffs
Future major funding by Wal-Mart (Bentonville, Ark.).
Bill Straus, Arizona regional director of the ADL, received
a May 13 letter from Jay Allen, Wal-Marts senior VP-corporate
communications, in which he apologized for the inappropriate
photo and to anyone who was offended with this
image. Allen copied Abraham Foxman, national director
of the ADL.
The ADL issued a May 16 release that quoted Allens
letter, While we did not know of the photos
historical context until after the fact, there is still
no excuse for associating this photo with the upcoming election
on the proposed retail ordinance.
Allen promised that Wal-Mart has taken corrective
action to make sure this does not happen again.
The ADL, in its statement, commends Wal-Mart for quickly
recognizing that the use of Nazi imagery as part of
this campaign was inappropriate and insensitive, particularly
for Holocaust survivors and their families.
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union,
which is attempting to organize Wal-Mart, also throttled
the discounter. It highlighted the ad via a petition drive
demanding that company CEO Lee Scott apologize for the Nazi
ad and never use it again.
Hill & Knowlton and Fleishman-Hillard handle national
PR for Wal-Mart.
C&A TAPS SITRICK.
Collins & Aikman, the $4 billion auto parts supplier,
is using Sitrick & Co. to handle its Chapter 11 reorganization.
C&A made the May 17 bankruptcy filing to de-leverage
its balance sheet and restore profitability.
The Troy, Mich.-based company has been rattled by the declining
fortunes of the Big Three automakers. C&A expects to
operate with $15 million in daily liquidity, and faces a
$27 million June 30 interest payment.
C&A was also hit by this months resignation of
CEO David Stockman, who was President Reagans budget
director, and news of accounting problems that will delay
the release of its `04 financials.
C&As acting CEO Charles Becker has retained turnaround
firm Kroll Zolfo Cooper as its financial advisor, and has
installed KZCs John Boken as its chief restructuring
Sandi Sternberg in S&Cs New York office is handling
C&A. David Youngman is C&As director of corporate
BUDGET CUTS HELP NIRI.
Revenues of NIRI in 2004 were about even at $4.9 million
but a gain of $265,830 in net assets was recorded vs. a
loss of $156,395 in 2003 because of cuts in PR, chapter
and member development, the NIRI members directory,
and NIRI website.
Biggest cut of all came in PR and marketing, spending on
which fell to $11,182 from $123,143. This category cost
$93,657 in 2002 and $90,173 in 2001.
Membership declined 4% to 4,326. Dues were boosted from
$425 to $475 and web spending fell to $38,770 from $78,845.
Louis Thompson, president and CEO, said there were certain
non-recurring expenses in PR/marketing in 2003 that
were not in 2004.
This included a membership drive; the retainer for Doug
Parillo, outside PR counsel who retired; a special award
for Arthur Levitt presented at the IR Magazine awards dinner,
and an interview with 2003 chair Mark Aaron and Thompson
that aired over American Airlines and United Airlines for
a month each.
Catherine Mathis, VP-CC of the New York Times Co., joined
the board for a four-year term.
SCHRODERS BANKS ON BRUNSWICK.
Schroders, the U.K.-based financial giant with $205B in
assets, has hired London-headquartered Brunswick Group to
expand its recognition in the U.S.
Schroders Investment Management North America (New York)
has $28 billion in assets from clients, but is largely viewed
as an international equity-only specialist.
It has recently launched a bevy of new products, including
muni bond portfolios, and opened an office in Philadelphia.
Martin Luz, spokesperson for Schroders, would neither confirm
nor deny the Brunswick hire.
Steve Lipin, the former Wall Street Journal reporter who
heads BGs New York office, did not return a call for
Brunswick, most notably, worked for Martha Stewart during
her legal ordeal. It was replaced by Citigate Sard Verbinnen.
CHRISTMAS TIME AT EVINS.
Michael Christmas, who spent a decade at the high-end Nike
Communications firm in New York, has jumped ship for a senior
VP/managing director position at Evins Communications.
He had been responsible for some of Nikes iconic
luxury brands including Chateau Mouton Rothschild,
Rolls-Royce, TAG Heuer, Christian Dior Watches and Montblanc.
Evins counts Neiman Marcus, Baccarat, Architectural
Digest, Joseph Abboud, Vera Wang, Bath & Body Works
and JC Penney among its stable of clients.
Mathew Evins says his firms goal is building
affluent, aspirational and inspirational brand market share
by optimizing brand mind share.
Nina Kaminer, who graduated Amherst College with a degree
in classics, founded Nike in `84 to reinvent
classic brands to appeal to modern audiences.
Edition, May 25, 2005, Page 3
The New York Times, Barrons and the Wall
Street Journals European and Asian editions are
The Times is expanding its coverage of consumer gadgets,
blogs and venture capital, which are viewed as the hottest
topics in financial news, in its redesigned weekday Business
Day section that debuted May 16.
The Times is also widening its coverage of consumer technology,
the legal profession, Wall Street, personal consumer electronics,
and making space for more columns and features.
The revamped Saturday business section has added coverage
of finance and a new column by Joseph Nocera, who recently
joined the paper from Fortune magazine.
Barrons redesign, its first in 11 years, is based
on a year of research with readers and advertisers.
The new Barrons will continue to feature in-depth
articles that readers have relied on for more than 84 years,
but also will include The Bottom Line, a new
box at the bottom of each feature containing Barrons
outlook for the stock or stocks being written.
Other new features:
They Said What? Interviews with Wall
Streeters on a specific question relating to market and
policy issues facing the financial community.
Gadget of the Week Editors pick an electronic
device and provide a short review, and Barrons examines
how much it will help or hurt the financial performance
of the company that makes it.
The Trader Column now contains a chart
of the week showing whether the stock market is overvalued
Mutual Funds Week Front now contains
an added feature, Four Questions for the Fund Manager,
which conveys the managers investing strategy to readers.
Editions of the Wall Street Journal in Europe and Asia
are changing to a tabloid size, rather than a broadsheet.
DJ believes the tabloid format will provide advertisers
with a better way to reach readers, including new color
front page ads.
DJ plans to link the European and Asian editions more closely
with the online edition of the newspaper.
The changes are set for Oct. 17.
The move will result in the repositioning of a number of
new jobs from Europe and Asia to the U.S.
Raju Narisetti, currently managing editor of WSJ Europe,
will replace Frederick Kempe as editor. Kempe, who is also
associate publisher of WSJ Europe, is returning to New York
on Aug. 1, in the new position of assistant managing editor/international.
In Sept., Dow Jones plans to publish a weekend edition
of the Journal, adding more lifestyle coverage in areas
like travel, consumer electronics and luxury goods.
The paper will be delivered on Saturday mornings to all
U.S. subscribers. In Europe and Asia, weekend coverage will
appear in Friday editions.
USDA PAID WRITER FOR
Dave Smith, a freelance writer, was paid $9,375 in 2003
by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to research
and write articles for hunting and fishing magazines
describing the benefits of National Resources Conservation
Smiths contract came to light in response to Freedom
of Information Act requests by USA Today and other media.
The department posted the contract on its website, www.usda.gov.
Smith, a biologist, who currently works for the NRCS, wrote
three articles that were published last year in Outdoor
Oklahoma, published by that states Dept. of Wildlife
Conservation, and Washington-Oregon Game & Fish,
published by Primedia.
Neither publication revealed Smith as having been paid
by the government to write the articles, which focused on
how money from a 2002 agricultural subsidy bill had been
used to help preserve wetlands that hunting and fishing
enthusiasts use in Oklahoma and the Northwest.
Smith told Today that the magazines knew he was paid by
USDA, whose PR was handled by Widmeyer Comm., in Washington,
D.C., in 2003.
David Gagner, chief of staff at the conservation service,
said his agency has hired freelance writers because it gets
requests from publications for help in writing stories.
LANSNER TAKES OVER AS
Jonathan Lansner, business columnist for the Orange County
(Calif.) Register, is the new president of the Society of
American Business Editors and Writers, which has 3,400 members.
Dave Kansas, a veteran of Money and the Wall Street Journal,
was moved up to VP, and Gail DeGeorge, business editor of
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, becomes the new secretary-treasurer.
The three officers assumed their new jobs at the groups
42nd annual conference in Seattle.
Lansner succeeds Rex Seline, managing editor/news at the
Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, who completed his yearlong term
at the conference.
Carrie Paden is executive director of SABEW, which is headquartered
in Columbia, Mo. at the Univ. of Missouris school
of journalism. She can be reached at 573/882-8985.
SEEKS TOP EDITOR FOR WEB.
Frontline, the PBS documentary series produced
by WGBH-TV in Boston, is seeking a managing editor for its
website with a minimum of 10 years of editing and writing
The managing editor will be responsible for developing
and editing content for the site, produce companion sites
for select programs, and collaborate with editors and producers
on content, features and new initiatives.
Kirsti Potter can be contacted for additional information
by fax at 617/300-1001.
(Media news continued
on next page)
Edition, May 25, 2005, Page 4
DO REPORTERS READ E-MAIL
More than half (52%) of the 50 reporters, who responded
to a recent survey, said they look at some of the press
releases they get by e-mail.
Only 8% of the reporters said they actually open and read
between 90% to 100% of the releases, while the largest number
(26%) look at less than half of the releases they get.
The poll was conducted by Ben Silverman, who is director
of development and contributing editor for FindProfit.com.
He said all of the respondents are beat reporters at daily
papers, with circulations ranging from under 100,000 to
over 500,000. The reporters polled cover business, politics,
sports, local affairs, crime, travel, technology, and the
Twenty-two percent of the reporters said they get releases
via snail mail, but only 2% of the reporters said they read
Thirty-six percent get releases via fax, which are not
read by 64% of the respondents.
When releases arrived via an eFax number, 56% of the journalists
said they read them; 44% do not.
Silverman said faxing appears to be the best way to get
someone to read a press release.
Seventy percent of the journalists said they monitor press
release wires such as Business Wire and PR Newswire, and
76% find information contained in press releases on the
wire are useful.
Sixty-two percent feel the majority of press releases incorrectly
target their beat.
STARTUPS ADVISED TO
DITCH PR FIRMS.
Alarm:clock, an online magazine/blog, that covers technology
start-ups has advised startup entrepreneurs to fire their
PR firm because they would be better off doing the PR themselves,
and save a lot of money in the process.
Among their points at www.thealarmclock.com are:
Journalists prefer direct contact with the startup.
One thing bloggers love most is when startups run
blogs and eschew pap press releases.
The best start-ups do not use PR firms.
Sarah Lacy, who writes Deal Flow, a Business
Week online column, agreed that it makes more sense for
startups to hire someone in house instead of an outside
Yes, there are good PR folks and bad PR folks. But
the vast, vast majority of bad PR folks Ive run across
were from agencies, Lacy said in her May 10 column.
No matter what an agency says, a junior person will
be handling your account, said Lacy. While some juniors
are brilliant, there are also hundreds, who have not quite
mastered the check-the-reporters-name-berfore-you-call-them
trick, said Lacy, who answers to Stacy and Lucy, in
addition to her actual name, Sarah. And you know what?
Stacy and Lucy are much crankier when they call you back,
Lacy also said she could count on one hand the number of
PR firms who have figured out what blogs are and how to
include them in the media strategy.
HOY LAUNCHES NEW SECTIONS.
Hoy, a Spanish-language daily newspaper for Hispanics
in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, is introducing a new
daily Vida Hoy section, plus two news sections, Al Frente
and America Latina, and a daily finance/business page.
Vida Hoy, which was a Friday feature, is now included in
each daily edition of the paper, providing celebrity gossip
as well as local event and entertainment listings specific
to N.Y., Chicago and L.A.
Vida Hoy also features a daily lifestyle feature for Hispanics
that provides news, information and tips on technology,
family, youth and cultural and lifestyle trends produced
Al Frente, a five page section, will offer local, national
and world news of interest. America Latina, a three to four
page section, delivers news and information of interest
from the home nations of Hoys readers.
The new business page, Negoicios, will focus on consumer
and personal finance topics, and developments about the
buying power of Hispanics in the U.S. and their impact on
the U.S. economy.
The section will also have success stories of small Hispanic
businesses and business people.
Javier Aldape, who is Hoy editor, said a recent study of
more than 3,000 Hispanics in the three cities found family
and lifestyle information ranked among the top three topics
most wanted by readers of Hoy.
Alejandro Riera is Hoys national entertainment editor,
based in Chicago.
new online version will have a weekly column by Adam Hanft,
an ad/marketing pro who created the Flick Your Bic
The column, called The Sell, which debuted
on May 18, will look at the myriad of ways in which consumers
are sold everything from media and entertainment
properties, to political arguments and sports.
Hanft, who currently writes a monthly column for Inc. magazine,
is looking for ideas, pitches and suggestions for column
material. ([email protected])
Made in USA Magazine
will make its debut in time for Independence Day.
Publicists can find more information on the magazines
website at www.madeinusamag.com.
Julie Reiser, publisher and editor of the magazine, is
at [email protected]; 561/279-2855.
XM Satellite Radio
said it has exceeded four million subscribers.
The Ecomomist magazine
has launched Intelligent Life, a new annual magazine aimed
at decision-makers who want to be the first to know
about the latest trends and ideas that will help make them
healthier, wealthier, and smarter.
a CNBC talk show hosted by Tina Brown, goes off the air
after its last show on May 29.
Edition, May 25, 2005, Page 7
LEGENDS (cont'd from one)
cant have a meeting like this without realizing that
weve been hit, Edelman said in reference to
recent PR controversies in the media. He also called on
the industry to find common ground on VNRs.
noted recent advertising cuts by pharmaceutical companies
led to only slight sales drops, one of several signs that
indicates mass marketing is over.
future is PR as the center, Edelman said. Its
the holding company. Its not advertising. Its
not an adjunct.
execs differ on VNR controversy
another panel of PR service companies, Larry Mosowitz, CEO
of Medialink, and Doug Simon, president of D S Simon Productions,
laid out differing views of the video news release debate
that has flared in and out of the PR industry.
called recent coverage of VNRs a political football,
noting legislation and media focus has been on government
PR work. There is nothing new under the sun,
he said of the debate over VNRs.
said Sen. Robert Byrds amendment to require disclosure,
which was added and passed through Congress $82 billion
war supplemental earlier this month, essentially codified
disclosure rules Medialink drafted in 1989.
who testified before Congress on May 12 against proposed
legislation to foster more disclosure for VNRs, followed
Moskowitzs defense by warning: Change is being
thrust upon us that will affect a broad range of PR services,
not just government VNRs or even PR video in general.
cited interest from the FCC, Congress, the print media and
interest groups that have criticized PR in recent weeks
surprised some in the industry when he testified in support
of government involvement in the issue. The PR industry
needs to engage those who want to take down our industry
with arguments we can defend, he said. We have
to practice PR in a manner that would allow all of us to
be comfortable testifying about our business practices at
a government hearing and make that the minimum industry
encouraged PR pros and services executives to file a response
to the recent notice by the FCC, which is soliciting public
input via its website (http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/ ) and
mail through July.
Bates, managing director of Media Distribution Services,
echoing comments made earlier by Ruder Finn chairman David
Finn, called on PR to think more and to do better research
on its work.
are not going to want counsel from us if we cant keep
up with the lawyers and accountants, he said. Weve
got to be a lot smarter going in. So much needs to be done
with the intellectual side of the business.
who teaches at Columbia and ran his own PR firm after a
career at Sumner Rider & Assocs., also said he is appalled
at how shabbily the PR services industry is
treated, compared to the relationship with other satellite
industries and the main fields they serve.
Wengryn, president/CEO of Video Monitoring Services, noting
the global nature of news cycles and information in the
digital age, along with increased competition for airtime
and shareholders attentions, said reputation management
must be proactive for PR agencies and their corporate clients.
Waggoner, chairman/CEO of BurrellesLuce and chairman of
VMS, pointed to a May 16th op-ed in the Wall Street Journal
by ABC News president David Westin, which argues that the
news business is being cut into smaller and smaller pieces
out of convenience for the consumer and with the continuing
rise of technology. But he noted that BurrellesLuce
as does sister company VMS while moving toward digital
delivery of news clips, still embraces a human element,
or human touch as he called it, to its monitoring.
Weiner, president of the Delahaye monitoring unit of Bacons,
said recent ethical lapses could be blamed on a lack of
accountability or measurement in the field.
PR had measurable standards the way the accounting industry
has, we may not be seeing the ethical situations that have
arisen, he said.
said most PR execs dont invest in measurement and
research, creating a level of stasis because no one knows
how to take the lead. PR can deliver in a way advertisers
Finn said the practice
of PR really hasnt changed that much in
the last 45 years as he read from a book about PR he wrote
while in his 30s, which he said still applies to the field
Finn called on PR to own
up to its ethical responsibilities in the face of pressure
from clients or other forces. He called on PR pros to do
their homework, to come closer to the
kind of research a lawyer does when he takes on a case.
author John Naisbitt (Megatrends) in telling PR pros to
balance high-tech with high-touch. Golin quipped
about a colleague who was e-mailing and leaving voicemails
from an office 30 feet away.
On the recent PR controversies,
Golin warned: Were now becoming more of the
problem than the solution. But he said the industry
has to be careful not to overreact.
We cant listen
to the naysayers and we have to take some chances and keep
taking risks, he said. We need to focus on reading
the public mind, and not manipulating it.
Kraus discussed the growth
potential for PR overseas. The world is shifting East,
Kraus said, in reference to the region where she thinks
PR will show the most growth in coming years.
She said growth in the
Chinese market is obvious, but India could be second down
the road and other areas like Malaysia and Indonesia could
Asked how corporate social
responsibility can benefit a company and be quantified,
she said: Many companies overseas are raising the
standard of living in the areas in which they operate.
She also warned: There
are dangers now of not being a good citizen.
Internet Edition, May
25, 2005 Page 8
Generation in PR leaders (page one) expressed their
views on many topics May 17 and took questions from
The five PR figures have contributed hugely to PR. But
where are similar leaders who will replace them?
The fashion in the past 15-20 years, the same period in
which the ad conglomerates bought out 21 of the 25 largest
PR operations, is to have administrators as the heads of
these PR firm subsidiaries.
The administrators dont speak in public or if they
do, they dont supply texts to the press.
They dont present themselves for questioning at press
conferences or other public forums.
Their sole concern seems to be the bottom line.
Harold Burson said the obsession of companies with quarterly
results has led to shortsightedness.
The pressure on public companies is so great that even
a penny difference in predicted earnings can drop 10% off
a stock price, he noted.
Among the companies obsessed with profits are the five
ad/PR conglomerates that own hundreds of PR firms and have
$14 billion in debt plus hundreds of millions more owed
in payouts for acquired firms.
The New York Times feature Feb. 13 by Timothy OBrien
suggested that financial pressure from the holding companies
may be causing their PR firms to flirt with ethical violations
such as the contract Ketchum had with Armstrong Williams.
The five PR leaders
discussed the evolution of PR over the past five
Burson said that many PR pros operate at the highest levels
of organizations, helping companies to make decisions as
well as to communicate them.
Reporters dealing with PR pros also find dramatic changes
in the past several decades.
One of them is the increasing withdrawal of companies and
institutions from public discussion. For reporters, the
PR dept. has become the Dept. of No.
Here are some quotes corporate PR veterans gave us when
we asked them to characterize current attitudes corporate
PR has towards the press.
There is a new economy, new corporate culture and
new attitudes in the business world, they said.
Either you agree with me or you are my adversary.
If you write something I dont like, I
wont talk to you.
I dont have to talk to you...dont
have to engage in dialogue with you.
Well get third parties to speak for us
and tell the truth.
Journalists never get it right, and therefore
we wont work with them, show them where they might
be wrong, or even share facts with them.
We can hire a hardball PR firm to take on aggressive
reporters...you have to be able to fight back and give the
media a bloody nose.
Well hire some PR luminary who knows
everyone at the Wall Street Journal or whatever and get
the story killed.
admit there is widespread refusal to dialogue with
the press. Tim Cost, former chair of NIRI, told its national
conference several years ago: Corporate PR experiences
a press call as a drive-by shooting.
The four communications trade groups (PRSA, IABC, NIRI
and the American Assn. of Adv. Agencies) have highly restrictive
For instance, a month ago we asked Ron Berger, CEO of Euro
RSCG Worldwide and the elected chair of the 4As, to comment
on a study by two college professors that found there is
a short supply of ethical reasoning in the ad business (4/27
NL). The study is part of a book, The Moral Media,
by Lee Wilkins, Missouri School of Journalism, and Renita
Coleman, Louisiana State.
Wilkins and Coleman support their claims with all sorts
of scholarly citations.
They deserve a hearing from the 4As and not a snub. But
no reply has come back from Berger. Also not replying is
paid 4As president Burtch Drake and VP-PA Kipp Cheng, who
was formerly at AdWeek. They were provided with the section
of the book on advertising.
PR pros are spending
less and less time with reporters and more time with
advertising and marketing people, who are not known for
wanting to discuss client matters in the public prints.
Public broadcastings Bill Moyers, in a speech May
15 to the National Conference for Media Reform (freepress.net),
said the journalists life is has never been
harder than today because institutions fight back
fiercely when subjected to critical scrutiny.
Moyers said he came to believe that news is what people
want to keep hidden and everything else is publicity.
Much of the mainstream media, he feels, has been corrupted
by government and corporate interests and the big
fight today is to preserve the web from corporate
He said that whether he was looking into the Watergate
scandals or Bill Clintons fundraising scandals, he
realized that investigative journalism could not be
a collaboration between the journalist and the subject.
Moyers, who lost his NOW show on PBS in December
after CPB chair Kenneth Tomlinson accused it of having too
much of a liberal bent, urged journalists not to make any
accusations or allegations unless the conclusions
can be nailed to the post with confirming evidence.
He will return this summer in the new show, Wide Angle.
Moyers, blasting Tomlinson, accused him of being another
freepress.net is campaigning for the resignation of Tomlinson,
claiming he represents censorship of public broadcasting
by the Bush Administration.