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Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter
Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter
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Internet Edition, June 1, 2005, Page 1

The St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Assn. has awarded its five-year $21 million “branding” and economic development campaign to Fleishman-Hillard. Kupper Parker Communications was the runner-up.

The “Greater St. Louis Inc.” initiative kicks off in the fall. It is based on information gleaned from Wilson Research Strategies (Washington, D.C.), which gauged the perception of St. Louis held by CEOs, venture capitalists and national media.

Richard Fleming, RCGA president, cited F-H’s media relations savvy, and its big picture understanding of St. Louis’ role in the U.S. economy among reasons for its selection. RCGA represents 40 percent of the employment base in the 16-county St. Louis area.
More than 30 firms received RFPs.

Ohio’s air quality authority has parted ways with long time firm Edward Howard & Co. and tapped Columbus-based Lesic and Camper Communications to handle its communications account.

EH&C had the account for almost 10 years and decided not to participate.

“We were very happy with Edward Howard’s work but Authority members decided it was time to ‘test the waters’ again through a competitive process,” Mark Shanahan, executive director of the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority, told O’Dwyer’s.

Four firms competed for the work, which involves newsletter production, media briefings, op-ed placements and other PR tasks. AQDA’s budget is about $150K a year for PR.

The AQDA helps businesses conform to pollution guidelines in Ohio, a state heavily dependent on coal power.

Lynn Brown, VP of corporate communications for Greyhound Lines, has moved over to Waste Management in that same title.

Brown was at Greyhound for five years after stints in the defense and aerospace sector at Raytheon and Texas Instruments. At Houston-based WM, she reports to Barry Caldwell, senior VP of government affairs and corporate communications.

Kimberly Plaskett, senior manager of corporate comms. for Greyhound, has taken over for Brown as director at the bus giant, which is owned by Laidlaw International and brought in Weber Shandwick for PR in January.

The U.S. Agency for International Development has cancelled plans to contract a firm to develop an integrated communications plan for its initiative to foster public-private alliances in its overseas work.

A solicitation issued on May 2 was cancelled a few days later for USAID, which pumps billions of U.S. dollars into projects around the world. Neither the contracting officer nor USAID’s PR staff would give a reason for the move when queried by O’Dwyer’s. The contracting officer said to “keep an eye out” for any change.

In addition to developing PR strategy, a firm was to implement a PR plan over a 12-24 month period with USAID staff. The work was to include identifying speaking and networking events and advise on media strategy.

USAID last month commissioned an advertising blitz to coincide with Laura Bush’s visit to the Middle East aimed at bolstering America's image among Palestinians. But The Jerusalem Post reported that none of the Palestinian entertainers or athletes approached by the agency would serve as “goodwill ambassador” for the campaign. An Israeli Arab soccer player was eventually used in the “From people to people” campaign.

Omnicom CEO John Wren, presiding over the annual meeting in Dallas May 24, answered two of 15 questions that were prepared for him by an O’Dwyer reporter.

However, the reporter, a freelancer hired for this specific project, was interrupted by an OMC staff member and had no further chance to ask questions because the meeting was adjourned.

The reporter held the proxy of the O’Dwyer Co., which owns 20 shares of stock of OMC. He gave his name to Wren and identified himself as a reporter for O’Dwyer before the start of the meeting.

Asked during the 18-minute meeting how Wren could justify a $4 million bonus on a $1 million salary in 2004 when the stock declined to $84.28 at year’s end

(continued on page 7)

Internet Edition, June 1, 2005, Page 2

Medtronic and outside PR counsel GCI Group won the “Best of the Best” awards in the “Big Apple” competition of the New York chapter of PRSA May 23 at the Rainbow Room, Rockefeller Plaza. The chapter awarded 31 Big Apples and 12 honorable mentions before an audience of 350. The event was helped by donations of $50,000 by sponsoring firms including PR service firms and PR firms.

Medtronic and GCI were singled out for a campaign to win Medicare payments for use of a $20,000 device that shocks irregular heart beats back to normal.

Preliminary approval of such payments has been given for use in 85% of affected patients.

Fleishman-Hillard picked off four Big Apples and an honorable mention while Burson-Marsteller, Ruder Finn and M Booth & Assocs. each won two Apples.

A complete list of winners and sponsors is on the chapter website,

Howard Rubenstein, who received the John Hill Award for lifetime leadership in PR, said PR is “a wonderful career where you can hold your head high” if you do “the right thing” rather than think of what is the “right thing to say.”

CBS-TV’s Mike Wallace spoke about his recent interview with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and said he told Putin to be a journalist when he leaves office.

Asked about the Newsweek/Koran imbroglio, he said the magazine should admit its mistake and “move on.” He urged cooperation with “60 Minutes,” on which he appears, if it should call a PR person.

Burson-Marsteller is helping Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo deal with the fallout from a spate of animal deaths since October. Three elephants, three monkeys, two gorillas and a camel have died during that period, and an ape had its arm amputated while reaching for food.

The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture has launched an investigation into whether the zoo has violated the Animal Welfare Act, and the American Zoo and Aquarium Assn. is conducting an audit of the zoo’s procedures. The Cook County state attorney’s office began its own investigation of the zoo after receiving a letter from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

More than 200 people staged a noisy protest at the zoo on May 15, demanding the resignation of zoo CEO Kevin Bell. Bell did offer to step down, but his resignation was rejected by zoo chairman Jay Proops pending the outcome of the probes.

Ruder Finn has been hired by Coudert Brothers, the international law firm founded in New York in 1853.

RF is to handle media relations, program development and in-house communications to build greater awareness on its client in the business sector.

Coudert has been in the news of late with reports of the May 18 defection of its eight London partners to rival Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe. Those defections follow the collapse of merger talks with Orrick.

The U.S. media have abdicated their role as government watchdogs by allowing official Washington to set the journalism agenda, said Bill Moyers at the National Conference for Media Reform on May 15. His speech has created quite a buzz on the Internet.

The former PBS correspondent faulted journalists for simply recounting what government officials say, rather than subjecting their actions to critical scrutiny. “Instead of acting as filters for readers and viewers, sifting the truth from the propaganda, reporters attentively transcribe both sides of the spin invariably failing to provide context, background or any sense of which claims hold up and which are misleading,” said Moyers.

He heaped particular scorn on Judith Miller of the New York Times for relying on official but unnamed sources to report that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. She “served essentially as the government stenographer.”

In Moyers’ view, “news is what people want to keep hidden and everything else is publicity.” Objective journalism, he said “means describing the object being reported on including the little fibs and fantasies as well as the Big Lie of the people in power.”

Moyers said journalists are operating in a tough environment as the radical right-wingers of the Bush Administration and its supporters use their “power and ideology to squelch and punish journalists” who tell stories that make them uncomfortable.

These people are “obsessed with control, using the government to threaten and intimidate.” They “squelch free speech in an effort to obliterate dissent and consolidate their orthodoxy into the official view of reality from which any deviation becomes unpatriotic heresy.”

About Kenneth Tomlinson, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting chairman who drove Moyers’ 'NOW' program off the air, Moyers said: “I always knew Nixon would be back.”

Tucker Eskew, who headed the White House’s global communications office to coordinate the “war on terror” message, is a founding partner of ViaNovo. He also served in London during the Afghanistan war as President Bush’s communications rep to U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Washington, D.C.-based ViaNovo offers management and communications consulting services to governments, companies and non-profit groups.

Eskew is joined by Matthew Dowd, chief campaign strategist for Bush-Cheney `04 in charge of media, message development, targeting and research.

owd also was senior advisor to the Republican National Committee and director of polling and media planning for the `00 Bush campaign.

On the Democratic side, ViaNovo—a name from the Latin root for new way or new path—counts Blaine Bull and James Taylor as founding partners. They both worked at Public Strategies Inc. and were aides to Texas Democrat and ex-Sen. Lloyd Bentsen.

Each of ViaNovo’s founding partners had been running his own firm.

Internet Edition, June 1, 2005, Page 3

The new “Business Day” section in the New York Times will focus on a separate theme each day:

—Monday features media and marketing, along with technology. It adds a new column by David Carr, a Times media writer, along with alternate-week columns on consumer behavior and blogs.
—On Tuesday, coverage of business travel, renamed “Itineraries,” includes a new column, “Sounding Off,” alternating with the “Frequent Flier”
—On Wednesday, commercial real estate coverage, renamed “Square Feet,” adds information on transactions and personalities in the industry.
—Thursday’s feature is “Circuits,” focusing on consumer technology, with David Pogue’s reviews.
—On Friday, “Street Scene” has new features and columns on Wall Street, spotlighting the players and strategies behind the news.
—Starting last month, the Saturday section was expanded with a column by Joseph Nocera and new features on personal business, including a Q&A, with an executive in the news; an investing column; alternating columns on consumer advice and executive style; and digests of business articles worth reading online and in magazines and journals.

Bailey Covers Chicago Biz

Jeff Bailey, formerly editor of Crain’s Chicago Business, from 2003 to 2005, is joining the New York Times’ Chicago bureau as a business news reporter.

Larry Ingrassia, business editor, said Bailey will cover “accounting, corporate financial shenanigans and related issues.”

Bailey will work out of the Chicago bureau after a brief stint, lasting a couple of months, in New York, Ingrassia said.

He starts on June 13.

Shortly after his $2.3 billion sale of Grey Goose Vodka, and less than three months after his acquisition of Travel Savvy Magazine, Sidney Frank has purchased Business Traveler Magazine.

Frank said the new focus of BT will be on “comprehensive and timely information that will make their busy lives more efficient and productive.” The magazine will continue to provide travel advice.

BT was owned for the past seven years by UK institutional investor Euromoney LLC, which was founded in 1988 by Perry Publications and has a circulation of 85,000.

BEST BUY BACKS FEATURE ON MSNBC.COM. has started a new interactive technology feature called “Digital Life,” which can be found within the site’s Tech & Science section.

The new subsection, which is exclusively sponsored by Best Buy, allows users to enter a digital representation of various living spaces in the home and discover the way technology has transformed each.

The new site will also include news and reviews for lifestyle technology related to living rooms, outdoor entertainment, kids and dorms, kitchens, home offices, holiday gift giving and beyond.

Columnist Michael Rogers will write special reports each month about different spaces where individuals use technology to entertain and inform.
Detailed product reviews will accompany the monthly reports.

Jonathan Adelstein, a member of the Federal Communications Commission, wants to start an investigation of experts who promote products on TV without disclosing payments from the manufacturers.

Such appearances violate the federal law against “payola,” according to Adelstein.

Sony, Apple, and Hewlett-Packard have positively discussed the firms’ products on NBC’s “Today” show, other network programs and during “satellite tours” of local TV stations (NL, April 27).

The FCC commissioners ordered broadcasters last month to disclose the origin of video news releases produced by the government or corporations.

New York Times Co. said it will cut 190 jobs, or about 2% of its work force, including reductions at the New York Times and Boston Globe.

Less than 25 of the cuts will come from the newsroom, where a voluntary reduction program is in place.

Paul Wilmont Communications, a N.Y.-based PR firm specializing in fashion, pays a $100 cash bonus to any staffer who gets a client mentioned in New York Magazine’s “Best Bets” section, edited by Rima Suqi.

E-mail is the dominant approach to communications with employess, according to Dallas/IABC’s latest Quick Poll, which shows 82% of respondents say e-mail is used the most for internal communications.

The Aker Ptrs., Washington, D.C., believes firms rely too much on e-mail for mobilizing constituents to contact their members of Congress.

“Today, congressional offices get hundreds of e-mails daily. There is little incentive to read them when the individual’s name is not recognized, every word is the same, and the person is not a constituent,” the firm has advised clients.

Medialink Worldwide and PR News have started the Legal PR Bulletin as an online publication featuring news, opinion pieces, and case studies.

135 million—The number of adult American women that Meredith Corp.’s titles will reach with the acquisition of Parents, Child, Fitness and Family Circle.

$43,015—The average base pay (not including bonuses) for senior reporters at daily newspapers, according to the Inland Press Assn.’s 2004 survey.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, June 1, 2005, Page 4

A study released by the Project for Excellence in Journalism found news organizations quote men more than twice as often as they quote women.

The 32-page study, which examined 16,800 stories reported by newspapers, TV news and news websites last year, found 76% of the stories quoted a man and 24% quoted a woman.

The findings shows reporters need to work harder to broaden their base of sources, according to Tom Rosentiel, director of PEJ, which is part of the Columbia Univ. graduate school of journalism.

The report also found 88% of newspaper stories quoted, directly or indirectly, a man, while 41% of stories quoted a woman. On TV, women were sources for 27% of network evening news stories and 19% of cable news stories.

Rosenstiel said maybe one reason why women consume news in lower numbers than men is they see less of themselves in the news.

CNN quoted the most women among cable news outlets. Female sources appeared in 21% of CNN stories, compared with 19% of Fox News stories and 15% of MSNBC stories.

Tech Confidential, a new bimonthly supplement to The Deal, is targeted at the innovation crowd.

Ed Paisley, who is managing editor of The Deal, is the editor of Tech Confidential and a website and a blog featuring postings by writers and reader comments.

The first issue, published May 20, emphasized a single story, driving home the magazine’s editorial mission, which is to explore how technology affects nearly every business decision and strategies that companies use to innovate around the globe.

The magazine is organized into five sections starting with “Strategic Takes,” offering insights into decisions made by executives and investors, followed by “Emerging Technologies,” presenting articles on the newest products and services, and “Industry Intelligence,” including features that weigh into converging technologies amid the search for IT efficiencies.

Towards the back of the magazine is a section of columns, ending with a page of statistics.

The Deal, which is a diversified media company, also publishes The Daily Deal, Corporate Dealmaker, Corporate Control Alert, and Bankruptcy Insider.

Investors in the privately held company, include majority owner U.S. Equity Ptrs., a private investment fund sponsored by Wassertstein & Co.., and Rustic Canyon Ventures in Southern Calif.

The Deal’s editorial offices are located in N.Y. at 105 Madison ave. 212/313-9275.

The American Marketing Assn., a 40,000-member organization, has an online radio talk show, produced by, located in San Diego, Calif.

The show, called “Marketing Matters Live!,” broadcasts live via the Internet every Wednesday from noon-1:00 p.m. (ET).

Marketing thought leaders are booked to discuss forward-thinking topics with co-hosts Tim Riesterer and David Kinard.

For more information or to listen to the show, log onto!

—The Go Daddy Group, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., parent company of, the leading registrar of domain names, has launched Radio Go Daddy.

The show broadcasts live every Wednesday night at 7 p.m. (PST)/ 10 p.m. (ET) via the Internet and over Sirius and XM Satellite Radio stations plus select AM stations.

Bob Parson, president/co-founder of Go Daddy, hosts the show, which broadcasts from a new studio located at the company’s Scottsdale headquarters.

Regular shows will feature live, uncensored and unedited podcast segments as well as guests.

Parson and David Lawrence, who hosts “The David Lawrence Show,” are co-producers of the new show, which can be found at

The Publicity Club of N.Y.’s next luncheon on June 8 will feature a panel of TV news producers, who book in-studio guests and story segments for early morning shows.

The panel consists of Kim Gerbasi, senior executive producer, WNBC-TV’s “Today in New York;” Andy Savas, producer, WABC-TV’s “Eyewitness News This Morning;” Byron Harmon, executive producer, WCBS 2’s “News This Morning,” and Adrienne Paxton, senior producer, WNYW-TV’s “Good Day New York.”

Members and non-members can preregister at

Dean Wright has joined Reuters as SVP/managing editor for consumer services, based in New York.
Wright joins Reuters from where he was editor-in-chief and managing editor for news.
He leads the editorial operations and programming for reaching consumers over digital media platforms.

Sam Sifton, previously deputy culture editor, was promoted to culture editor for the New York Times, replacing Jonatham Landman, who returns to assistant managing editor.

Ben Wood was promoted to associate publisher/editorial director at Vance Publishing Corp.’s produce group, which publishes The Packer newspaper in Lincolnshire, Ill.

Lance Jungmer, managing editor of The Packer, was promoted to editor, and Greg Johnson, formerly news editor of the paper, was upped to managing editor.

Ellen Cannon, a veteran of Time Inc., Bloomberg Financial, and Conde Nast, has joined the Palm Beach Media Group as editorial director of its 11 luxury lifestyle magazines, including the 53-year-old Palm Beach Illustrated.

Internet Edition, June 1, 2005, Page 7

WREN REBUF (cont'd from one)
from $87.10 at the beginning of the year, Wren replied: “Can I justify it? Certainly. The management team is not responsible for what the stock market does or does not do. We are responsible for the performance of the company vs. the rest of the industry.

“Omnicom outperformed at multiple levels the performance of the advertising and marketing services industry around the world.

“All of that was taken into consideration by the compensation committee in awarding the bonus.”
Wren also received $193,159 for “personal use of aircraft hours.” A new rule of the Securities & Exchange Commission requires company executives to report “personal use” of corporate aircraft.

A Wall Street Journal story May 25 said the SEC “crackdown” revealed that executives “are using the jets for vacation and leisure travel to a far greater extent than previously known.” Four executives had air travel usage worth more than $500,000 each.

Wren’s bonus in 2003 was $1 million. He owns 376,342 OMC shares worth $32 million and has options on 2,650,000 other shares at various prices. The value of his unexercised “in-the-money” options as of Dec. 31, 2004, totaled $53.3 million (exercisable) and $7.2M (unexercisable).

OMC is the largest ad/PR conglomerate with revenues of $9.7 billion in 2004 and $723M in net profits. Although OMC has posted a long string of quarter-to-quarter gains in sales and revenues, its stock is about 25 points below its all-time high of $107 on Dec. 17, 1999.

Insider sales totaling more than $25 million in 2004 hurt the stock’s credibility, Barron's said last year.

OMC owns two major PR firms that have been in the news lately. Its Ketchum unit is responsible for the contract under which broadcaster Armstrong Williams promised to pitch the No Child Left Behind Act on his and other shows.

OMC’s Fleishman-Hillard unit has been accused of overbilling the City of Los Angeles.

Asked if currently rising interest rates would present a challenge given the company’s $2.5 billion debt, Wren replied: “The company is properly leveraged as demonstrated by the slide Randy (CFO Randall Weisenburger) demonstrated and the company has more than adequate liquidity to meet its current and future needs.”

Reporter Was Interrupted

After the O’Dwyer reporter had put the second question to Wren, an unidentified woman approached him and told him to stop using a camera. The reporter said it wasn’t a camera, but a digital audio recorder that was being used to record the meeting.

At this point, someone moved that the meeting be adjourned. The motion was promptly seconded and the meeting was declared over. The reporter had no further chance to ask questions.

[The reporter’s name is not being used because he was given a limited assignment to pose questions at the OMC meeting and record the answers. This NL does not want the reporter to suffer any repercussions for being the only person to ask questions at the meeting of the world’s biggest advertising/PR conglomerate]

North Carolina’s Health and Wellness Trust Fund has suspended an 11-firm pitch for its $7.4M/year account for PR and advertising.

Eighty-five percent of the work was earmarked for teen anti-tobacco efforts and the state said it plans to divert the funds to a promised prescription drug plan for seniors.

The proposed account was a robust increase on the current budget of about $2.6M, work handled by Raleigh-based Capstrat, which was one of 10 other firm pitching for the account.

Alison McLaurin, director of marketing and public affairs for the Fund, told O’Dwyer’s that Capstrat will continue with its $2.6M work until the end of its contract in December. She said the RFP is being evaluated.

Under state rules, the contract had to be put through a competitive bidding process because the budget was increased.

Accusations of political favoritism surfaced during the RFP process earlier this year, but the governor’s office said the commitment to seniors must be met before other educational efforts are to be made.

David Caouette, who led media relations for AT&T Wireless through its $41 billion acquisition by Cingular Wireless, has left AT&T for a VP-corporate communications post at The Walt Disney Company.

Cingular’s main PR team is located in its headquarters of Atlanta, while Caouette has been based on the West Coast for AT&T and remains there with Burbank, Calif.-based Disney.

Caouette is a veteran of GE Capital from 1989-94, handling external communications for the bond insurer Financial Guaranty Insurance Company and began his career at UNUM Life Insurance as manager of employee communications.

At Disney, Caouette handles financial reporting, legislative and regulatory issues and corporate and executive communications. He reports to senior VP-CC Zenia Mucha.

The Supreme Court ruled May 23 that commodity ad/PR programs represent constitutionally protected forms of “government speech,” tossing aside complaints that the mandatory fees slapped on ranchers violates the First Amendment rights on those opposed to the “Beef: It’s What for Dinner” message.

Jim McAdams, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Assn., told Bloomberg the ruling is a victory for “all producers who want demand-building efforts in beef safety, nutrition and promotion continued.” The group’s promotion board spends nearly $20 million a year in the Leo Burnett-developed campaign that is funded by a $1 per-head assessment on ranchers.

The Livestock Marketing Assn. had opposed the mandatory beef checkoff because it “violates the free speech rights of those ranchers who object to being forced, as a condition of their choice of livelihood, to support speech with which they happen, for whatever reason, to disagree.”

Internet Edition, June 1, 2005 Page 8




The ad/PR holding companies (Omnicom, WPP, Interpublic, Publicis, Havas) took a pasting from the New York Times and Advertising Age.

Ad columnist Stuart Elliott, in a major feature on page one of the May 23 business section, said the Big 5 are facing “shrinking profit margins and sagging stock prices, leading to shakeout and a frenzied effort to cut prices.”

While the market was mostly up May 23, the ad stocks posted small losses throughout the day.

Elliott questioned whether the giant holding companies are “nimble enough” to halt the decline, a theme that was echoed in a debate on the holding companies conducted by Ad Age.

AA said ad veterans complain that the holding companies are “hampered by a crippling focus on quarterly profits and the whims of Wall Street.”

The holding company model is so complex it may have made them “too ponderous to respond quickly enough to sweeping change...” it added.

Elliott pointed out that “hip new rivals” are springing up with names like “180,” “Amalgamated,” “Mother” and “Taxi” that are “innovative” and “creatively focused.”

An AA poll found that 84% of respondents feel the Big 5 “have become too large to be effective.”

Comments on included:

“It’s about whose stock price is more important: the holding company’s or the client’s.”

“They talk about integration, but because line managers lack experience and motivation to collaborate, they operate as self-serving individuals.”

Account managers “must run an often mind-numbing gauntlet of bureaucratic tangles...”

“The current state of Big Advertising is a mirror image of the current state of Big Media. Both have become too distant to be sensitive to what their audiences has lost credibility; advertising has lost creativity. Both sacrifices were made at the altar of profitability.”

Among the few AA respondents who were not negative was one who cited the creativity in the Super Bowl ads and said the Big 5 “have been effective for shareholders.”

However, Elliott pointed out that Omnicom is down 8% from its 52-week high and 13.8% from its five-year high; WPP down 11.7% and 29.1% respectively and Interpublic, off 15.7% and 73%.

The situation is so embarrassing that the congloms have run from the press (page one).

OMC CEO John Wren took the annual meeting to Dallas where it found safe haven from Ad Age, AdWeek and even the Dallas Morning News. This NL was the only media daring to cover the OMC meeting.

Interpublic has no scheduled annual meeting at all, claiming its books are too fouled up. WPP, Publicis and Havas conduct their stockholder meetings in other countries, giving the bird to the U.S. press.

The ad and PR creatives are angry and we don’t blame them. They have watched accounting and business people take over their firms, stuff their pockets and run up a massive debt ($12B+).

Though OMC dipped $3 in 2004, Wren got a $4 million bonus. Shocking was the news that Wren got $193,159 worth of “personal use” out of company aircraft in 2004, a revelation forced by a new SEC rule.

The Wall Street Journal did a lede article May 25 on this corporate perk, noting that the reported “personal use of aircraft” totals may understate the actual cost by a factor of three since cost of aircraft, maintenance, crew, etc., are not counted.

PR Seminar, the annual gathering of blue-chip corporate PR execs, meets June 1-4 at the Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Fla., and a high turnover in its ranks is possible. Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas says 411 CEOs lost their jobs in the first four months of 2005, up 88% from 2004. PR heads usually exit with them. PRS needed a record 44 new members last year to fill its ranks.

It once only took in 7-8 “freshmen” yearly.

White House press corps boycotted a President Bush “press conference” May 23 featuring Bush and Afghanistan leader Karzai. Scribes say they’re only allowed two questions at these mini-conferences and are tired of being “props.” White House interns were used to fill up the room.

Sellers of PR firms are almost uniformly happy with the money they got but only 58% of buyers said their “financial expectations were generally met,” according to a survey of 30 people in selling firms and 20 acquiring firms by StevensGould Partners.

Former PRSA/New York board member Ken Kerrigan wrote in his blog May 19 that PRSA president Judith Phair’s remark to a Senate committee that “PR...has established a level of trust with the media and public” was a “ridiculous and foolhardy” statement.

“The only reason this bill (about video news releases) is before Congress is because the public and media don’t trust PR people,” said Kerrigan (inperspective2020 There was no immediate comment from Phair... the PRSA board has promised not to interfere in the 2005 nominating process, said Phair. In another reform, nominating ballots will be counted in the open, unlike last year, she also said. Governance reform committee proposals that are adopted by the board will be revealed but not the rest, she said... from the May 16 New Yorker: “A voice (on the phone) that might have been a child’s said something she couldn’t understand...a fashion, that baby telephone voice.”

We hear that “baby telephone voice” all the time from PR A/Es asking if we got that release.

How do they perfect that?!

– Jack O'Dwyer


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