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Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter
Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter
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Internet Edition, June 8, 2005, Page 1

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has extended by five days the RFP period for a multi-million-dollar PR contract.

Firms had written to the federal agency requesting more time for the lengthy proposal demands. CMS has extended the proposal period to June 15.

Ogilvy PR Worldwide, Ketchum, GCI Group and Academy for Educational Development are incumbents for the work, which can range from $100K to $30M per year.

The current contracts expire in October for the PR firms (AED is up in Sept.), but the government can put in task orders for up to a year after a contract expires.

Citigate Cunningham has defended its $1M-plus Sybase account in a competition with Text 100, Bite and Access Communications.

CC has had the account for the past four years, and Sybase, a leader in the enterprise software category, held the pitch to look for fresh ideas.

Paul Bergevin, president of CC, which is part of Incepta Group, is eager to launch the “next phase” of his firm’s relationship with Sybase.

In announcing the win, Bergevin noted the rise of “participatory journalism requires smart communicators to go beyond traditional media outlets to tell their stories to the right participants.” He is ready to deliver Sybase’s “unwired enterprise vision” through nontraditional media channels.

BODOG.COM BETS ON PR., the online poker and sports betting firm that is headquartered in Costa Rica, is looking for a PR firm.

Susan Mainzer, who handles media relations for bodog, is circulating an RFP, and plans to meet with interested firms in New York on June 16-17.

She told O’Dwyer’s that bodog will consider “a variety of firms ranging from big multinationals to strong boutiques.”

The RFP asks for case histories about effective “zero to hero” campaigns in which a PR firm built a client with “almost no brand recognition in the mainstream market into a household name in three years,” and “PR stunts or major projects that you are especially proud of.” It requests information about dealing with the business, technology, sports, entertainment and young men’s media.

Mainzer can be reached at 866/892-3371.

Doug Dowie, who headed Fleishman-Hillard’s Los Angeles office during the firm’s billing scandal with the city, has been indicted on 15 counts of wire fraud and a single charge of conspiracy. The 57-year-old former Marine and 13-year veteran of F-H allegedly participated in a scheme to submit hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bogus bills to the Dept. of Water and Power.

John Stodder, a former SVP for F-H, was indicted on 11 counts in February and faces trial in August.

F-H moved to settle overbilling charges from the L.A. city attorney in April with a $4.5M payment and an apology. The firm cut ties with Stodder, Dowie and another staffer, Steve Getzug, who said he resigned from F-H in January for a SVP post with Hill & Knowlton.

Dowie sued F-H in late March saying the firm committed an “act of cowardice” by putting him first on paid administrative leave and later firing him. He says he was terminated in January so F-H could “scapegoat” him.

F-H has said Dowie’s charges have no merit and said the facts will show the former exec was treated “more than fairly.”

Richard Kline, senior partner for F-H/L.A., reiterated the firm’s regret for “any improper actions” and said F-H will continue to cooperate with authorities.

Karen Arnold, marketing communications manager for PSCU Financial Services, has become the first communications director for the Arthur W. Page Society, a group of PR and communications executives at many of the Fortune 500 companies.

Arnold, in a 15-year career, was a PR specialist for Danka Business Systems and served in production, employee relations and marketing posts at MTV, Showtime, Penguin Publishing and John Wiley & Sons Publishers. She is charged with managing media relations and providing editorial input for the Society’s journals, newsletters, annual reports, member communiqués and website, along with planning for the group’s events.

The Society has moved to 317 Madison ave., #2320, NY, NY 10017; 212/400-7959. It now sublets space to the Council of PR Firms.

Microsoft is looking to hire a marketing manager with a minimum of seven years of experience for its New York office. Collier Capital, which has $2.6 billion in assets under management, wants to hire a marketing communications manager to oversee PR and sponsorships. Rachel Schwartz, senior VP at RRDSearch, is handling both job hunts. She is at 203/544-2227.

Internet Edition, June 8, 2005, Page 2

Randa Fahmy Hudome, the former Associate Deputy Secretary of Energy in the current Bush White House, signed a one-year $750K contract with Libya on March 18. It went into effect on Jan. 1.

The pact apparently supersedes a $1.48 million (fees/expenses) one-year unsigned contract that Fahmy Hudome International filed with the Justice Dept. on July 16, 2004. That pact was supposed to go effect last July 1. It called for a $565K payment on July 1 and subsequent $302,500 quarterly payments.

FHI, however, did not receive any money from the Libyans during the second-half of `04, according to its six-month “supplemental statement” filed with the Justice Dept. for the period ended Jan. 31, `05. The firm does claim to have received compensation from the Libyans after the reporting period ended.

FHI’s new contract requires it to deal with the U.S. government, media and corporate sector to help develop “positive, long-term U.S. Libyan relations” during this “crucial period.”

Hudome signed the latest contract, but the name of the representative of the “Government of Libya” is neither legible, nor printed on the contract. She has not returned a phone call about who signed the contract.

Ruder Finn has edged Ketchum in the race for the low-six figure Sweet ‘N Low account of Cumberland Packing Corp., pitting it against sibling firm RF Binder Partners, promoter of Splenda.

Brooklyn-based Cumberland is under intense pressure from deep-pocketed McNeil Nutritionals’ Splenda product.

Sweet ‘N Low, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary year, controls 30.7 percent market volume share topping Splenda’s 26.2 percent. Splenda, however, was launched in the U.S. in `99.

Sweet ‘N Low will be handled by Bob Seltzer’s marketing practice.

Amy Binder, CEO of RF Binder, stressed there is no conflict with the two Ruder Finn Group entities having sugar substitute rivals. “We are totally independent and legally separate,” she told O’Dwyer’s.

Binder noted that RF Binder recently aced RF in the competition for the Wines of Germany account.

Financial Dynamics handled the June 3 announcement that L-3 Communications was acquiring Titan Corp. in a deal worth more than $2.6 billion.

Titan is a leading defense contractor and markets “command, control, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance” information technology for homeland security programs. More than 9,000 of its 12,000 employees have government security clearances.

Titan’s earlier plan to merge with Lockheed Martin fell apart following a federal investigation into foreign bribery. Titan settled with the government in March.

FD staffers Evan Goetz, Eric Boyriven and Olivia Pirovano handled the media with Cynthia Swain, VP-corporate communications at New York-based L-3.

The American Family Association is calling for a boycott of Ford Motor for its support of the “homosexual agenda,” and claims that more than 80,000 people have agreed not to buy Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo, Jaguar, Mazda, and Land Rover vehicles since it posted the site on May 30.

The Tupelo, Miss.-based group is upset with Ford’s sponsorship of “gay pride” parades, and agreement to contribute $1,000 to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation for each Jaguar or Land Rover purchased this year. The boycott site also includes photos of the London Mardi Gras, which Ford sponsored, but warns viewers that some of the pictures may be “offensive.”

Ford has responded to the boycott via a statement from Joe Laymon, group VP human resources and labor affairs. It states that Ford “values people – regardless of their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation and cultural or physical differences.”

AFA, on its website, denies that it “hates” homosexuals. “The same Holy Bible that calls us to reject sin, calls us to love our neighbor. It is that love that motivates us to expose the misrepresentation of the radical homosexual agenda and stop its spread though our culture,” says the group.

Rev. Donald Wildmon founded AFA, which has 2.3 million members, in ‘77.

The U.S. Supreme Court last week overturned the conviction of Arthur Andersen for destroying Enron Corp.-related documents before the energy company’s collapse.

Patrick Dorton, a spokesman for Andersen, said the ruling “represents an important step in removing an unjustified cloud over the professionalism and integrity of the people of Arthur Andersen.”

He runs Rational PR in Washington, and counts Anderson as a client. Dorton was Andersen’s PR staffer during the Enron episode.

In the unanimous opinion, justices said the 2002 conviction was improper because the jury instructions at trial were too vague and broad for jurors to determine correctly whether the firm obstructed justice.

The conviction of the Chicago-based firm forced it to surrender its accounting license and stop conducting public audits. Some 28,000 workers had to find other jobs.

Hayley Soffer, who was senior VP at Manning, Selvage & Lee, is now healthcare practice director at sister firm, Rowland Communications Worldwide.

She led the Roche Virology business, and helped launch hepatitis C and AIDS treatments. Soffer was in Porter Novelli’s health unit before joining MS&L.

Rowland’s health clients include Berlex, Johnson & Johnson, Merck and Dermik.

The firm’s CEO, Anne Moravick, had headed MS&L’s healthcare operation.

MS&L and Rowland are owned by Publicis Groupe.

Internet Edition, June 8, 2005, Page 3

Peter Himler, president of The Publicity Club of N.Y., who stepped down last month as chief media officer of Edelman PR, has joined the growing ranks of PR bloggers, which currently numbers about 200.

Himler’s blog is called The Flack and is at

Himler, who is currently serving his third term as president of PCNY, said his objective is to explain to lay people about what PR people do.

He selects stories that have run in media outlets and offers comments on how the company or individual in the story were negatively or positively impacted by the information. He also suggests PR solutions for ending the crisis.

While he admits “flack” is a pejorative description of PR pros, he defends its use on the grounds that blogs are supposed to be irreverent, fun, and opinionated.

He said about a dozen people a day have been looking at the site, which he updates on a daily basis. He has not been seeking publicity or direct links with other sites. “I want to operate under the radar for awhile,” said Himler, who continues to produce the blog and handle consulting assignments.

Advertising Age is beefing up its coverage of media and pop culture by assigning three new reporters to the beat.

Nat Ives, previously an assistant to New York Times ad columnist Stuart Elliott since 2001, has joined AA’s staff as a media reporter, covering the publishing industry and corporate media strategies. Ives is replacing Jon Fine, who is joining Business Week.

Simon Dumenco will become a contributing editor and pen a new weekly media column that will be introduced in print and online in late June. Dumenco is a contributing editor to Details and New York Magazine and most recently was the editor of Colors magazine.

Greg Lindsay, a former media editor for Women’s Wear Daily, will become a contributing editor focused primarily on the intersection of popular culture and marketing. Lindsay is a freelance writer and columnist for Business 2.0.

Scott Donaton, editor of AA and editorial director of, said: “The marketing and media industries are being rapidly transformed by digital technologies, consumer trends and pop culture influences. These writers each have unique voices that will offer insights into those changes.”

Jon Friedman, who writes a media column for MarketWatch, said his friend Keith Kelly, who covers the media beat for the New York Post, is the “media’s prince of the city.”

“Since I worked with Kelly at McGraw-Hill’s Electrical Marketing newsletter and became friends with him more than 20 years ago, I have marvelled at his ability to write tough stuff and yet remain well-liked by his sources,” writes Friedman, who said many PR folks who have cursed his scoops fell over themselves to send him gifts when he turned 50 last September.

Kelly said he his feeling the pinch for scoops from the web and blog rivals. “It’s getting tougher to call a story an `exclusive,’” he told Friedman.

Mark Jurkowitz, who covers media for the Boston Globe, is rejoining the Boston Phoenix as its media critic, replacing Dan Kennedy, who is going to Northeastern University.

Richard Schwartz, former editorial page editor for the New York Daily News, is leaving the paper to form a PR firm with Ken Frydman, who handled PR for the Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman.

George Solomon, who writes a Sunday sports column for the Washington Post, was appointed ESPN’s first-ever ombudsman.

He will critique decision-making, coverage and presentation for studio and event production, including SportsCenter, ESPN Radio and, occasionally, programming outside the news and information genre. His son Aaron produces “Around the Horn” for ESPN.

Chuck Conconi, 66, editor-at-large of Washingtonian magazine, is retiring in July to pursue other things. He handles the “Capital Comments” section.

Norman Pearlstine, 62, editor-in-chief of Time Inc., and Jane Boon, 37, an industrial engineer, were wed April 19. He split up with Nancy Friday, a best-selling author of books on sexuality.

1.2 million—The number of copies that Business Week sells each week in 140 countries.

33—The number of times Sylvestor Stallone’s picture appears in the first issue Sly, his new magazine for men over 40.

AARP Magazine’s West Coast editor Nancy Griffin is trying to get movie makers to consider plot lines with people over 50.

Steven Slon, editor of AARP, said a “critical part of her job is to fight the trend and get the message that `old is beautiful’ to Hollywood’s movers and shakers.”

Dow Jones will provide up to five international business articles a day from the Wall Street Journal to the Washington Post starting June 1 as part of a Post project to expand and redesign its business section.

Xinhua Finance, a Chinese-run financial services and media company, is acquiring a majority interest in EconWorld Media, which publishes a range of Chinese-language publications, 15 in Hong Kong and 10 in China.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, June 8, 2005, Page 4

Russia is starting an English-language news TV channel, Russia Today.

Dimitri Klimentov, who is New York bureau chief for the Russian Information Agency (RIA Novosti), told this NL that the 24-hour news channel will be broadcast in Russia, Europe, U.S., and several leading Asian countries.

He said the new satellite channel will offer reports on the important global events, reflect Russia’s position on key issues in world affairs, and inform the foreign audience about the variety of aspects of life in Russia.

To ensure balanced reporting a Public Council will be set up to establish and oversee the new channel’s editorial policy, Klimentov said.

The Council will be made up of well-known Russian and foreign public figures, journalists, artists, scientists and business people.

Klimentov said RIA Novosti is playing an active role in establishing RT. He can be reached at 914/525-6058.

A study of about 10,000 newspeople from daily newspapers, trade press, broadcast stations and national business media, found content is more important than the newswire service provider.

The news release distributors in the survey, which was conducted by Brodeur Worldwide, were Business Wire, Market Wire, PR Newswire, PR Web, US Newswire and PrimeZone. [Brodeur reps MarketWire.]

When asked do you care about which newswire service you receive your news from, 97% of the survey respondents said no.

Two other key findings from the study is 78% of the survey respondents do not favor one newswire service over another, and 73% of respondents said “no, not me” when asked if they monitored newswire websites for content.

Other results from the study show 41% of regional daily or weekly newspapers and 23% of regional broadcast stations use newswires for content, while 4% percent of national business media and 2% of national daily business papers do.

Only 27% proactively monitor websites of these newswire services content, but 54% of respondents are signed up to get e-mail content from these services.

Among the 54% who get e-mail (push) content from newswires more than 60% of the respondents indicated they read most or each of the e-mails they get from a newswire service.

Although most types of media use newswires, many would like some additional input in the story. “It is conceivable that there is an ‘added value’ process that certain types of media would like to see regardless of whether or not a newswire service distributes news to them,” the report said.

Bloomberg TV is the cable news source of company presidents, CEOs, and other top executive levels, according to MediaMark Research’s Spring 2005 Survey of American Consumers.

The survey shows Bloomberg TV reaches the highest proportion of affluent, educated and professionally successful audience in cable TV.

It was the only network to have an audience whose average household income exceeds $100,000.

The Internet is seen as the most trusted media source for consumers, outstripping offline media when consumers seek health information, according to a new study sponsored by Medical Broadcasting Co., an interactive marketing agency based in Philadelphia.

Southern Living’s associate travel writer Annette Thompson, who writes travel stories from 18 states, said cultural tourism is still hot, while history has the most limited current appeal.

Thompson told Jim Brams of ICD Media for his national media profile in PRSA/Ga. chapter’s semi-annual magazine, The PRactioner, that her primary responsibility is travel stories from Georgia.

“We are always working toward bringing in the under-45 reader,” she told Brams. “We’ve found that when our stories have a youthful, active appeal, we get all age-group readers together,” said Thompson.

She will respond to a pitch that “applies to a story/story idea that fits our needs.”

She prefers to get pitches by e-mail or regular mail. The magazine is located at 2100 Lakeshore dr., Birmingham, Ala. 35209.

205/445-6050; fax: 445-5910; e-mail: [email protected].

CE Lifestyles, a new monthly magazine based in Lincoln, Neb., is on track to reach 300,000 circulation months ahead of projections.

Katie Sommers, editor of CE Lifestyles, said the magazine runs stories that show women how consumer electronics products and services can enhance their lifestyles.

“We decided to go against the wave of magazines targeting ‘male geeks’ and deliver content to female consumers instead,” said Sommers, who is interested in getting smart, practical information about the latest digital products and technologies.

She can be pitched at 402/458-4546.

American Public Radio in Los Angeles has changed the name of its personal finance program “Sound Money” to “Marketplace Money,” and added new features.

The new show, which is hosted by Kai Ryssdai, will offer a weekly look at major topics affecting investing, saving, consumer choices and careers; a segment on the working lives of different professions, and a segment hosted by economics editor Chris Farrell where he sets the record straight on that week’s financial news.

Contact Connie Molby of APR at 651/290-1113 to get more information about the program.

Internet Edition, June 8, 2005, Page 7

Shirley & Banister Public Affairs helped promote and organize a June 2 rally on Capitol Hill that drew hundreds of people to support Rep. Tom DeLay, the Republican House Majority Leader who has taken a PR hit from ethics probes.

The event was a response to a quip on a recent episode of the NBC TV show “Law & Order,” during which a character investigating the shooting death of a federal judge remarked: “Maybe we should put out an APB for somebody in a Tom DeLay T-shirt.” The reference was to incendiary remarks DeLay made about the federal judiciary in the aftermath of the Terry Schiavo affair.

The Free Enterprise Fund, an S&B client which advocates limited government and “pro-growth” economic policies, made up 450 T-shirts embossed with DeLay’s picture and distributed them all at the Capitol Hill event within 10 minutes. The back of the shirt reads, “Who’s afraid of Dick Wolf?” a reference to L&O’s executive producer.

S&B drew FOX, CNN and Roll Call to the rally. Kevin McVicker, A/S for the Alexandria, Va.-based firm, said FEF has received many inquiries for the shirts and more will be produced next week. He passed along this statement from FEF VP Lawrence Hunter: “NBC has now joined a witch-hunt to discredit Tom DeLay and the agenda he represents that already includes partisan prosecutors and judges, dozens of liberal advocacy groups, and much of the news media.”

Peter Truell, a former business reporter at the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, was appointed Barclays Capital’s director and head of corporate communications, Americas, which is based in New York.

Truell will report to John Anderson, managing director and global head of corporate communications, who is based in London.

For the past five years, Truell has been with The Boston Consulting Group, where he was director of communications, responsible for media relations and marketing for financial services, and for internal communications.

Prior to that, he was at the Times, covering securities, banking and investment banking. He also spent 13 years at the Journal, where he was business and financial correspondent in London, N.Y., Washington, D.C., Brussels, Paris and Hong Kong.

Truell had been managing editor of The Economist Financial Report before joining the Journal.
Barclays Capital is the investment banking unit of Barclays Bank.

Glover Park Group has picked up a $300,000 contract from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office as Taiwan moves to step up its presence in the U.S.

GPG’s job is to build relationships with members of the media and policy makers to increase awareness of Taiwan’s priorities, especially its dealings with the People’s Republic of China.

PRSA took a “rent holiday” in 2004, thereby conserving $277,157 in cash. PRSA’s new landlord at 33 Maiden lane, the Federal Reserve, allowed this. The amount is to be paid in the future.

If it had paid the rent, PRSA’s cash balance would have dropped 23.5% to $851,131 from $1,113,315.

Cash was also preserved by having payables of $731,838 (vs. receivables of $258,200).
Investments declined 1.3% to $1,746,772.

Cost of the PRSA’s move downtown from midtown south was $277,985 in 2004 and $117,488 in 2003 for a total of $395,473.

PRSA, unable to sublet its space at 33 Irving, was to have paid rent on it until Feb. 28, 2005, but the landlord let PRSA out of the lease Jan. 3, 2005.

New York Conference Made $$

PRSA’s conference, held in New York, grossed $1.9 million and netted $580,284, both record amounts.

Average revenues of the five previous conferences was $1,168,771. Average profit was $131,852. PRSA will not have another conference in New York for at least ten years. Buoyed by the New York meeting and a 5% increase in dues to $4.4 million, revenues gained 17% to $10.9 million.

The financial report, released by PRSA president Judy Phair, said assets increased 11% to $4.3 million and unrestricted net assets grew 19% to $2.4M.

Rhoda Weiss, treasurer, directed questions to CFO John Colletti, a Certified Management Accountant. The 150,000 CMAs are not state-licensed like CPAs. The emphasis for CMAs is on accounting from management’s point of view.

PRSA Differs from Other Assns.

If the Society had a deferred dues account of the proportion that most associations have (six months of dues), the “increase in unrestricted net assets” would be -$1,497,490 instead of +$392,590, and the “excess of operating revenues over expenses” would be -$1,187,826 instead of +$702,172. Net assets at year end would be $553,722 instead of $2,443,722.

PRSA’s $310K deferred dues account – the portion of dues allocated to publications – could be about $2.2 million, or half of the $4.44M dues total. The DD account was $904,767 in 1991 when dues were $1.97M.

Having a DD equal to about one-half of dues would put PRSA in step with peer groups such as the Amer. Soc. of Assn. Execs. (and chapters); IABC, AICPA (and state CPA chapters), Amer. Medical Assn., and Amer. Bar Assn.

Late Payers Counted in Previous Year

PRSA members who didn’t pay dues by their anniversary dates, have their dues counted as paid in that year if they pay by Feb. 15 of the next year.

A motivation for paying the dues in the 45-day period at the beginning of the year is that members keep their listings in the Blue Book of members.

Up until 2001, membership dues were “recorded as revenue in the applicable membership period.”

There was no proviso for a payment made in one year being recorded in the previous year.

Auditor Sobel & Co., Livingston, N.J., said the financials are “fairly stated in all material respects...”

Internet Edition, June 8, 2005 Page 8




As noted on page 7, the PRSA annual conference in New York last October, with New York itself and Donald Trump as the draws, attracted a record 4,000 (including 1,500 students), grossed a record $1.9 million, and netted a record $580,284.

Why would PRSA meet anyplace else but the media, advertising/PR, financial, fashion, theatrical, etc., capital of the world?!

Because non-New York (or even anti-New York) interests run PRSA. The conference won’t come back to New York for about a dozen years.

This leaves an opening for some other group such as PRSA/New York or an offshoot to stage an annual fall conference and reap the big bucks that are there.

The PRSA conference now goes on the road where the record of the previous five years is an average gross of $1.1M and average net of $131K. Two conferences even lost money–Chicago in 2000 (-$195,802) and Anaheim in 1999 (-$43,406).

One reason profits are so thin out-of-town is that 25 or more PRSA h.q. staffers go to the conference for a week or so, costing a bundle in air fare, hotels, meals and other expenses. At one time only 4-5 staffers went. Local volunteers were used.

What is PRSA to do in 2005 when its conference will be in Miami and conference profit could be $400K less than in New York?

It now has to pay probably $100K more in rent and other “occupancy costs” yearly for a 50% jump in space for the same number of staffers. How long can it defer paying the rent, is one question?

There’s tens of thousands of PR and IR pros in New York – a huge market ready to be tapped.

Many industries, including the book industry that had its show in New York this past weekend, only meet here because that’s where the money is.

They’re not ruled by regional pride.

PRSA, whose 17-member board has no one from New York, has just given PRSA/New York and all PR pros in New York a kick in the teeth by setting up home for the next 12 years in downtown New York, an hour round trip away from the PR, press and advertising community it should be serving.

The $395K cost of moving downtown was a waste of money that was better spent elsewhere.

The $225 dues to a national group that is so jealous of New York that it would rather hurt itself than help New York, is a severe impediment to PRSA/NY growth. Once numbering 1,200+ members, PRSA/NY has slipped to 700 under the burden of neglect and hostility from national.

The PRSA audit just released (the figures are so old they practically have mold on them) shows the Society does not have a nickel it can truly call its own.

Cash (as of Dec. 31, 2004) was $1,128,288 and investments, $1,746,772, a total of $2,875,060.

But it owes $731,838 in payables and $277,157 for the rent it didn’t pay in 2004. It received $4.4 million in dues but should defer, in addition to $310K for publications, another $1,890,000 for services owed to members over their dues years.

That is what the other professional associations do – doctors, lawyers, CPAs, assn. people, etc.

The total of payables and income not yet earned is $2,898,995, or $23,935 more than cash/savings.

Our advice to the PRSA leaders who put out the rosy press release May 5 headlined “Audit confirms third consecutive year of financial growth” is “spin not thine own self.”

Our financial advisers, including CPAs and CFAs who help us analyze the much more complicated financials of Omnicom, Interpublic, WPP, etc., say that deferring $277,157 in rent is the smart thing to do since it conserves cash.

But why wasn’t this postponing of rent put in the May 5 release?

The PRSA code promises “the highest standards of accuracy and truth” in communicating!

Our advisers don’t like PRSA counting dues in the previous year when a lapsed member comes back during the Jan. 1-Feb. 15 period of the next year.

What most disturbs them is the “skimpy” $310,000 put aside as deferred income on dues of $4.4M. This is “cheesy, dime-store” accounting, they say.

PR and communications grads are hitting the job market and they’re in for a dose of reality.

We checked around with those who do the hiring at a variety of PR employers and asked what advice they would have for grads and interns.

Appearance and mannerisms count a lot, they said. This includes proper dress for the industry involved. What works in the entertainment industry will not be appropriate in a financial PR job.

Failure to have good office etiquette fells many a newcomer, employers say. This includes being considerate of all other staffers, avoiding calls from friends and relatives on company phones, helping others out wherever possible, etc.

As for hours of the job, these can run anywhere from 35 hours a week to 60 hours or more, say employers. The best guide, they say, is watch what other workers are doing.

Avoid going home while a supervisor is still working, is one tip.

Instead of leaving and saying, “Good night,” ask the supervisor what can be done to help him or her, said one employer.

Newcomers with complicated names who might have to make 50 or more calls to the press each day, each time spelling out their names, should tell employers they have a shorter, easy-to-spell and easy-to-pronounce name for business purposes.

Employers are not going to tell them this nor many other things. They’ll just say, “You’re a great worker but the budget is a little tight and we...”

– Jack O'Dwyer


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