The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, Sep. 7, 2005, Page 1
REVIEWS PR ACCOUNT.
Verisign, the Silicon Valley-based digital security and
e-commerce technology company, expects to complete a review
for its PR account within two weeks, according to Brian
O'Shaughnessy, director of corporate communications.
The company tapped Applied
Communications after its last review four years ago. Applied
was acquired by Next Fifteen Communications Group in a $2
million deal in 2003 and Applied was folded into Bite Communications,
which is the incumbent in the current Verisign review.
At the time, Verisign
was one of Applieds top four clients in a roster that
included Oracle, Hewlett-Packard and Veritas.
Weber Shandwick, Bite
and Hill & Knowlton are believed to be finalists from
an initial field of seven firms, according to sources familiar
with the review. O'Shaughnessy declined to comment on finalists.
Verisign, which had sales
of $1.1B last year, has undergone changes since its last
review and branched out through acquisitions into telecommunications,
Internet and data security, and e-commerce services from
its initial business of registering domain names.
L.A. EYES PR TO AID
Los Angeles wants to stem the shortage of nurses in the
4,000-square mile area of the city and surrounding county
and encourage people to enter the field via a media and
The county estimates there are 1,200 vacant nursing jobs
at its hospitals and healthcare facilities.
It wants to highlight incentives like training programs,
scholarship and tuition deferment programs and relocation
assistance as part of the overall effort to attract more
nurses and buck a national trend of professionals leaving
the stressful and demanding field.
The countys Department of Health Services expects
to award a three-year contract, with two option years and
an annual budget cap of $800K for research and implementation
of the PR campaign.
The work includes editorial placements, radio and TV talk
shows, press releases, PSAs and some advertising.
Firms must have a local office at the time a contract would
begin in Southern California, although not necessarily within
Los Angeles County.
Proposals are due Sept. 23. Maria Agosto of the L.A. County
Health Services Administration's contracts and grants division
is contract administrator for the solicitation process.
FIVE FIRMS PITCH EMBASSY
Embassy Suites has reserved a block of rooms at its South
Shady Grove Road unit in Memphis for executives of five
PR firms who will pitch the $500K-$1M account on Thursday
Invites went to Paul Wood (Ketchum), Rene Mack (Weber Shandwick),
Gail Moaney (Ruder Finn), Ronn Torossian (5W PR), and Cathleen
John Lee, VP marketing/communications, will preside over
the festivities. He has not been reached.
Embassy is offering rooms at $134 a night for the PR execs
and a hotel shuttle lift from the airport. The South Shady
Grove Road hotel is about 10 minutes from the chain's corporate
Embassy Suites, which has more than 175 properties, is
a unit of Hilton Hotels Corp. Fifteen PR firms are said
to have vied for the account.
CARRYON, R&C TO
BRING BACK NHL.
The National Hockey League, hobbled by a lengthy standoff
between players and ownership that canceled the 2004 season,
has finalized its marketing communications team ahead of
the leagues re-launch in September.
Tackling PR are Los Angeles-based firms CarryOn Communication
and Rogers & Cowan.
Bernadette Mansur, group VP for comms. for the NHL, told
ODwyers the league conducted an extensive agency
review and considered two tenets critical for PR: ability
to reach the entertainment sector and experience with non-traditional
outlets like weblogs and chat rooms.
The NHL plans to unveil the comprehensive advertising and
PR campaign on Sept. 21 that will run through the 2005-06
season. The regular season begins Oct. 5.
Mansur declined to provide a budget figure but called the
undertaking significant. She has a six-person PR staff in
New York after lockout-induced layoffs.
New York-based advertising agency Conductor and Omnicom's
PHD are handling ad-related duties.
CarryOn CEO Kevin Grangier sees the NHL as capable of bouncing
back from a year's worth of bad press with a solid outreach
effort: Make no bones about that, we are working with
a strong brand, he said.
R&C is charged with spearheading the leagues
entertainment PR push, Mansur said, including efforts to
get the NHL and players into Hollywood movies.
Interpublic has lost
Bank of America's $600M marcom account to Omnicom.
The shift is a blow to troubled IPG and saw its CEO Michael
Roth working to defend the account. Weber Shandwick, GolinHarris
and MWW Group are among IPG's PR units that have worked
Edition, Sep. 7, 2005, Page 2
WMS GUIDES PR FOR 9/11
Weber Merritt Strategies has emerged from an RFP process
to handle PR for the Pentagon Memorial Fund, the private
fundraising group aiming to build an $18M memorial to victims
of the 9/11 attacks adjacent to the Department of Defense
The non-profit, which has raised about $8M so far and was
started by families of the victims of the 9/11 attack on
the Pentagon, will receive exposure during the Pentagons
America Supports You Freedom Walk on Sept. 11.
That event has been criticized by anti-war activists and
sparked a minor controversy for the Washington Post after
the paper initially agreed to sponsor the event.
The Pentagon says the Walk is in part intended to raise
awareness of the Memorial Fund, while remembering the 9/11
attacks and renewing Americas commitment to
Jerry Mullens, senior VP at WMS, said the firm beat a handful
of finalists after twelve firms responded to an RFP for
the work. He said the assignment is not pro bono, but he
declined to discuss the budget.
WMS is promoting a live eBay auction beginning Sept. 6
that includes passes for the Indy 500 and lunch at Zola's
Restaurant with a former CIA and FBI director.
WMS is a unit of Omnicom's Clark & Weinstock.
BURNETT TO WEINSTEIN
Liza Burnett, a senior VP for Dan Klores Communications,
is slated to leave the firm to head PR for The Weinstein
Co., the New York-based film production company headed by
Miramax founders Bob and Harvey Weinstein.
Burnett, a six-year veteran of DKC and a key player in
its film PR unit, will join the Weinsteins on Sept. 12 and
head domestic publicity for the company and its Dimension
Miramax PR exec Dani Weinstein has been named senior VP
of publicity for TWC's film's slate and the company said
it expects to tap an executive to lead PR for the Dimension
unit's films very shortly.
Burnett, who is based in New York, praised her six years
with DKC and said she learned from the best
with founder Dan Klores.
Prior to DKC, she was marketing and PR manager for the
Tavern on the Green and Russian Tea Room, and earlier was
a publicist for Planet Hollywood. She began her career as
an assistant to the EVP of marketing at ABC.
Recent production and acquisition agreements for the Weinsteins
include Decameron, Young Hannibal
and Last Legion.
The Weinstein brothers split from Miramax and Disney in
a contentious breakup that officially ends Sept. 30, when
they relinquish the co-chair reins at Miramax.
Greg Dvorken, a corporate
PR exec for KPMG and Sony Electronics, has moved
on to head FitzGerald Communications' New York office as
senior VP/GM. Dvorken, who had been running his own shop,
Greg Dvorken Communications, in New Jersey, was director
of corporate PR for accounting giant KPMG at the outset
of its troubles with the U.S. government.
APCO ENTERS ISRAEL WITH
APCO Worldwide has turned to a former media advisor for
the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to head the
firm's foray into the Jewish State in Tel Aviv.
Gad Ben-Ari was a press secretary and advisor to Rabin
from 1992-1994. The prime minister, who was assassinated
by an Israeli extremist in 1995, tapped Ben-Ari for a post
with Israel's largest and oldest fundraising organization,
Keren Hayesod-United Israel Appeal. He eventually became
international director, his most recent post before APCO.
At APCO, Ben-Ari takes the title of managing director.
APCOs Tel Aviv outpost will key on Israel's high-tech
and science sectors with an eye on international expansion
and attracting foreign investments, according to APCO president/CEO
Margery Kraus. Ben-Ari singled out China and the Far East
as particular markets of interest to Israeli companies.
Brad Staples, who heads APCO's Europe, Middle East and
Africa operations, said the move into Israel is part of
a plan to consolidate the firms presence in the eastern
Mediterranean region while expanding across the rest of
the EMEA region. It is the firm's first office in the Middle
APCO marked its 20th year in 2004 with a management buyout
from Grey Global Group.
EURO RSCG MAGNET TAKES
Euro RSCG Magnet has taken over as Atkins Nutritionals
main PR firm.
The low-carb dynamo has been in a recent slump and filed
for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July, in part because
of waning interest in carb-cutting diets.
Magnets recently unveiled PopWorx marketing unit
is working with Atkins. That practice handles work including
viral marketing, gaming, blogosphere communications and
The firm said it is slated to take on two top secret
assignments for Atkins beginning early in September.
Atkins acquired Williams Whittle Rothstein PR in 2004 and
put president Richard Rothstein at the helm of corporate
communications for the company.
WWR had handled PR for Atkins for six years at that point
and Rothstein continues as VP/cc.
NASCAR ADDS N.Y. MEDIA
Lazaro Benitez, who managed media relations for New Yorks
2012 Olympic bid, has moved on to NASCAR's New York office
to head the auto racing titan's outreach to the media in
the Eastern region.
Benitez, as manager of East regional media outreach, reports
to Jim Hunter, VP of corporate communications for NASCAR,
which is short for National Association of Stock Car Auto
Hunter noted that Benitez gives NASCAR a full-time presence
in the largest media market.
At NYC2012, Benitez was a primary spokesman for the city's
push to host the Games, a bid which was eliminated in early
July after a stadium project fell apart. London eventually
edged Paris as the host city.
Benitez was previously a public affairs coordinator for
Edition, Sep. 7, 2005, Page 3
KATRINA PREEMPTS ALL
Media attention to Hurricane Katrina made it a whole lot
more difficult than usual for PR pros to get coverage.
Book publicist Susan Schwartzman said the hurricane has
preempted all the news media, and monopolized producers
time all over the country.
`If you dont have anyone from New Orleans,
I cant talk to you, she was told by National
Public Radio producers when she tried booking an author
for an interview.
Peter Himler, president of the Publicity Club of N.Y.,
said the fearsome lady not only consumed the Gulf,
the city of New Orleans, and the states of Alabama and Mississippi
for starters, but she consumed any space left in the countrys
news hole available for non-hurricane stories.
on the Weather
In PR, so much depends of the days weather,
said Himler, who sees an upside. KPMG is certainly
happy at the likely short-lived media attention its half-billion
dollar fine will receive, or how about Al Sharptons
many detractors who no doubt gloated at the submarining
of the Rev. Als best-laid publicity plan in Crawford,
Tex., said Himler.
News coverage, particularly on TV, has become a major part
of how huge events like Katrina are experienced.
Fox News had nearly 3.4 million viewers in prime time Monday
night, according to statistics from Nielsen Media Research.
About 2.6 million tuned in to CNN, while two million watched
the Weather Channel.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune, which was forced to shut
down, has begun appearing in paper-and-ink form again.
The paper is also posting updates on its website, as is
The Sun Herald in Gulfport, Miss. It is not known when people
would have the electricity to read the papers online.
The public is largely relying on battery-operated radios
to get news from a few radio stations that have resumed
broadcasting, such as KHEV-FM, Clear Channels Gospel
station in New Orleans, which is simulcasting coverage from
WWL-TV, Belos CBS affiliate in New Orleans, has managed
to stay on the air after moving its operations to Baton
Most of the other TV station owners have no idea when they
will be able to get local stations up and running over-the-air
because assessing the damage is near to impossible, according
Bloggers are mobilizing to provide much-needed information
and relief aid in the wake of Katrina, and a few on-the-scene
and remote bloggers are emerging as sources of information
in an area where electricity, Internet connections and telephone
communications were severely compromised.
The top Katrina-related news sources cited by bloggers,
according to Intelliseek, include: CNN.com, Yahoo! News,
MSNBC, Washington Post, BBC News, New York Times, Fox News,
USAToday.com, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and Miami Herald.
Several lesser-known but hurricane-specific blogs have
emerged since Katrina slammed ashore last weekend. On-the-scene
and remote blogs providing information about Katrina and
the relief effort include: Irish Trojan Blog by Brendan
Troy of South Bend, Ind.; Metroblogging New Orleans by nine
N.O.-area residents; Eyes on Katrina from the Biloxi Sun
Herald, and Ernie the Attorney blog written from Louisiana
State Univ. (See Katrina
on page 7)
a host and political news reporter at WCPN-FM in Cleveland
for the last five years, has joined Marketplace,
the money and business show from American Public Media.
Babin will run the Marketplace Innovations desk
from WUNC at the Univ. of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
38, was named deputy editor of the Wall Street Journal Europes
Personal Journal section, based in Brussels.
is stepping down as real estate editor of the New York Post
to write a syndicated column, which will be available at
Inman.com later this month.
who took over in Jan. 2004 as editor of the Boston Globes
Ideas section, is joining the New York Times
as a staff editor at the Sunday Book Review
who joined the Globe in March, 2004, will replace Schuessler.
previously a freelancer, was named deputy features editor
editor of Indianapolis Monthly, is joining O, the Oprah
Magazine, as features editor.
the education editor of the New York Times, was appointed
the papers next national editor, replacing Jim Roberts.
Tribune Media Services
will syndicate the Variety Entertainment News Service, which
will offer news stories, features, profiles, analysis, columns,
box office reports, photos and reviews to print and online
magazine and Wilhelmina Models has signed JC Penney as sponsor
of the first bridal cover model search. The grand prize
winner will appear on the cover of the Nov./Dec. 2006 issue
of Bridal Guide.
Stars & Stripes,
a daily newspaper for military people stationed overseas,
is starting a weekly U.S. edition for distribution by papers
located near military bases.
is cutting back publication of the print edition from 11
times a year to six, and making the Internet a more important
(Media news continued
on next page)
Edition, Sep. 7, 2005, Page 4
RUDER FINN TO WRITE
The publisher of Nature magazine has retained Ruder Finn
to provide content and design for 14 two-page features to
be published in the weekly magazine, which is read by 680,000
scientists, and in monthly research and review journals.
Kathy Bloomgarden, co-CEO of Ruder Finn and founder of
Ruder Finn HealthCare, said the firms editorial and
design groups are working together to provide visually
stimulating and balanced, informative pieces for Nature
Publishing Groups display advertising group.
The Product Focus section presents the latest
life science technology, with a balanced overview of specific
product areas each month.
Ruder Finn will support diverse topics in the life sciences,
such as, microscopy, cell counting and imaging, polymerase
chain reaction, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and scientific
The Product Focus section is a great way for researchers
to stay abreast of the latest technology and for manufacturers
to present their products and services to the public,
said John Michael, global head of NPG display advertising.
NPG is a division of Macmillan Publishers. Nature is NPGs
flagship title. Other publications include Nature Reviews
Cancer, Nature Medicine, Nature Clinical Practice Cardiovascular
Medicine, and a range of academic journals, including society-owned
NPG has offices in New York, London, San Francisco, Washington,
D.C., Boston, Tokyo, Paris, Munich and Basingstoke.
Burson-Marstellers recent survey ranked these as the
five Most Valued Podiums for CEOs and C-suite
MVPs for CEOs: (1) World Economic Forum; (2) Business Roundtable;
(3) Detroit Economic Club; (4) Fortune, and (5) Business
MVPs for C- Suite: World Economic Forum; (2) Forbes; (3)
The Economist; (4) Business Week, (5, tied) CERA Week; CIO
Magazine, and Fortune.
When asked how many invitations CEOs got in an average week
to speak at conferences, senior corporate communications
officers report an average of 3.4 CEO invitations per week
or 175 per year.
More than 600 responses were submitted.
new editor-in-chief Angela Burt-Murray is putting more emphasis
on coverage of fitness, relationships, personal finance
She is also exploring special newsstand issues that are
focused on health, beauty and hair.
& Honeymoons magazine is looking for pitches
on 1,000-word first-person honeymoon stories.
Annette Burden, editor-in-chief of the Carpinteria, Calif.-based
DW&H, which is a part of World Publications, based in
Winter Park, Fla., told Media Kitty, the online travel site
for journalists, that she is interested in mainstream locations
in the Caribbean, Hawaii, and Mexico but may consider other
destinations if the story elements are universal enough
(were service oriented).
Pitches and clips should be mailed to Burden at DW&H,
5267 Carpintera ave., Carpinteria, Calif. 93013. She can
be reached by phone at 805/745-7114; fax: 745-7102.
USA Today Live,
the TV arm of USA Today, will begin producing segments and
programs based on the papers editorial content.
The first program, which starts airing on HDNet in Oct.,
is Debate, featuring newsmakers and celebrities
who represent opposite sides of topics and engage in lively
discussion. Lauren Ashburn, managing editor and anchor for
USA Today Live, will host and moderate the panel, which
will have reporters and editors from USA Today.
Program topics include abortion, stem-cell research and
the death penalty. The topics will be chosen from the editorial
pages of USA Today.
Sea Island Magazine
will make its debut in Nov. 2005 with a quarterly schedule
for 2006 under the editorship of Jim Brosseau, who was senior
editor at Town & Country, as well as various posts at
Ladies Home Journal, USA Today, and Conde Nast Traveler.
Published by Redwood Custom Communications in Toronto,
the luxury lifestyle magazine will be placed in rooms at
the upscale Sea Island resort in Georgia, and mailed to
select Sea Island clientele.
CBS News is
starting its own blog, Public Eye, to discuss how news is
covered by the network.
Vaughn Ververs, formerly editor of The Hotline, a Washington,
D.C.-based political blog, who will write the reports, will
monitor other blogs, e-mails and viewer calls to report
on disputes over CBS News stories before they become big
He believes Public Eye will be an important step in helping
large news organizations mend damaged reputations. What
well try to do is pick out the things that we think
are important, that are legitimate, and shine a spotlight
on them, he told the Associated Press.
new network based in San Diego, is showing only programs
with positive content, and 10 minutes per hour of commercials
compared to as many as 17 minutes on other channels.
Robert Herring Sr., who owns the network, believes viewers
want to watch shows with positive family values.
TV today is bombarding the viewer with scandals,
husbands killing pregnant wives, the intimate details of
celebrities, and what is being described as emotional pornography,
said Herring, who is not a member of any organized religion,
or trying to further a political agenda, according to Dean
Harris, who handles PR for Herring Broadcasting, and can
be reached at 858/270-6900.
Edition, Sep. 7, 2005,
OF PR FIRMS
TACKLES MOM MARKETING.
Zeno Group, one of the first firms to start a practice focused
on marketing to women, is producing a second Marketing-to-Moms
Conference Sept. 20 in Chicago.
Brennan, who heads Zenos consumer unit and put together
its Speaking Female practice, is one of six panelists slated
for the event, including Jeff Davidoff, director of marketing
for Whirlpool and Brad Santeler, director of media services
for Kimberly Clark.
says its research found that women are responsible for 83
precent of all consumer purchases, a figure which tops 90
percent in some catergories like home furnishings and vacations.
conference will be open to the public at no charge and is
slated for the University of Chicago Gleacher Center from
7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Space can be reserved by contacting Jam
Stewart ([email protected]).
Bailey, author of newly released Trillion Dollar Moms, will
moderate the panel.
Sackman Chiu, a 17-year PR and marketing veteran from Florida,
has set up Berushka Media in Miami to cover what she sees
as a small niche in the PR market for clients that cant
pony up big bucks for press releases and marketing.
Our typical client
is the small to mid-size firm that is either not ready to
hire marketing staff or has marketing staff already too
over-burdened to generate publicity for their own recent
work, she said.
Berushka, which means
ladybug in Czech, has a pricing structure that
allows clients to log on to its website and purchase press
releases or marketing materials with a credit card. That
transaction is followed up by the firm with a phone call
and a meeting with the client.
York-based G.S. Schwartz & Co. has put together a program
to offer free PR counsel to small, local non-profits.
Firm president Jerry Schwartz
said the PRo Bono program will cater to groups that show
a clear need, lack of funds and agency staffs personal
involvement in a cause.
Schwartz said his firm
will provide staff time and cover out-of-pocket expenses
for three months per group for one organization at a time.
The first two non-profits
will be Angel Flight, a group of 1,200 volunteer pilots
focused on healthcare transportation, and New York SCORES,
a school development and literacy program for so-called
Michael A. Burns & Associates has relocated to
larger offices at 3333 Lee Parkway, #450, Dallas, TX. mbapr.com...
Troy, Mich., was named one of 60 Cool Places to Work
in Michigan by Crains Detroit Business and the Grand
Rapids Business Journal... SheaHedges Group has moved to
a larger space at 7900 Westpark Drive, #T410, McLean, Va.
22102. Phones are unchanged.
Chicco Agency, New York/Global Alliance
for TB Drug Development, non-profit drug developer, as agency
of record for PR to support a series of clinical trials
to begin this year. An international PR effort will be coordinated
through CCAs Washington, D.C., office.
Communications, New York/M3 Media, for
trade, business and consumer media relations for the newly
launched TV programming company focused on citizen journalism.
York/Bradley and Montgomery, ad
agency; Access Retail Entertainment, point of purchase advertising;
TestQuest, private education services; Oxford Media Corp.,
digital video technologies; iSkoot, Internet phone company,
and Stacy Blackman, business school admissions counselor.
PR, Huntington Station, N.Y./See me Sign, as agency
of record for PR for its Sign-a-Lot educational DVD series
teaching sign language to children without impaired hearing.
Group, East Rutherford, N.J./XanGo, dietary
supplement beverage maker, to spearhead a strategic communications
Advertising, Pittsburgh/CombineNet, software, as
agency of record for work including media relations, creative
design, advertising and e-businessstrategy.
Smith & Associates, Chicago/
BreastImplants411.com, plastic surgery educational
website, for PR.
PR Worldwide, Denver/Abacus, formerly
DoubleClick Data Solutions, to re-introduce the brand and
Media, Boulder, Colo./James Avery,
Texas-based jeweler, and Umbria, market research, for national
PR, Provo, Utah/Antenna Software; ASG;
Linux Networkx; MontaVista Software; RadioTime and VersionOne,
all as AOR for PR.
& Partners, Austin, Tex./Terax Energy, gas exploration
and production company focused on Texas, for public and
& Co., Santa Clara, Calif./Kerio Technologies,
messaging servers and firewalls, and Promise
Technologies, data storage technologies.
Los Angeles/MedCom USA, healthcare and financial transaction
technology, for PR. Edelmans New York and San Francisco
offices will assist.
& Associates, Los Angeles/The Los Angeles Auto
Show, as AOR for the event, which has changed its date from
early January to mid-November beginning in 2006. The Show
will actually be held twice in 06 with the 07
show held in December 06. The show was changed to
distance the event from the Detroit auto show and the holiday
Edition, Sep. 7, 2005, Page 6
NEWSWIRE IN WEBLOG DEAL.
U.S. Newswire and blogger Peter Daou are collaborating on
NewsUnfiltered, a weblog that will include content from
USNs public interest press release feed.
who saw his blog aggregator Daou Report acquired by Salon
earlier this year, said the blogosphere thrives on fresh,
unfiltered material that is in the pre-publication stage.
disseminates releases from polticians, PACs, associations
and other groups interested in public issues and politics.
The company is a unit of Medialink.
WANTS EVENT PLANNER.
The Pentagon is looking for a firm or event management company
to handle all aspects of its annual Worldwide Public Affairs
Symposium slated for March 5-11, 2006 in the Washington,
The Army expects 500 attendees
and needs registration, class assignment and scheduling
services, along with administrative and audio-visual support
for 30+ seminars. The contractor will handle all coordination
with a hotel and be responsible for all payments, along
with other services like setting up a website.
Hotel proposals are due
to Office of the Chief of Public Affairs by Sept. 30.
Maura Fitch of Army Public
Affairs is primary contact at [email protected].
in Livingston, N.J., will include Nielsen/NetRatings,
which are similar to print circulation figures, on all press
clippings retrieved from Internet sources.
The company notes that
some shops incorrectly use print circulation figures from
a websites accompanying publication, rather than Net-based
Shepard, VP at IR firm ROI Group Associates, has
joined Business Wire as a senior account manager in New
York. She was previously with KCSA Worldwide.
has opened a sales office in Reston, Va. The company,
which has filed to go public, said the new outpost in northern
Virginia will support its rapidly growing direct
Vocus has added the Virginia
Association of Realtors as a client for its PR software.
public database of media contacts, including phone
and e-mail, is at www.powermediabluebook.com.
The site is affiliated
with DatabaseWiki.com, which allows users to modify and
add information to listings.
EurekAlert! Seminar, Oct. 14, Communicating
Science & Health News Across the Media Spectrum,
8:00 a.m., National Press Club, Washington, D.C. Spectrum
Science Comms. is a sponsor of the event, which will offer
the opportunity to hear from reporters representing print,
online and broadcast outlets from the U.S. and abroad. Cost:
$35/EurekAlert! subscribers, $60/non-subscribers. Info:
Furey, scientific communications executive for Abbot
Laboratories and a former healthcare PR pro for Edelman,
to MWW Group, Chicago, as an A/S in the firms nutritional
and functional foods practice. MWW/Chicago has picked up
a PR account for RD Foods to handle PR for the company and
its cholesterol-lowering, high-fiber cookies. Creative services,
scientific research marketing and counsel are included.
Saleh, PR director for Fortune Promoseven-Weber Shandwick
based in Abu Dhabi, to 160over90, Philadelphia, as PR director
for the New York-based marcom firm. Saleh previously ran
Blush PR in New York focused on fashion and beauty clients.
Vallebuona, a veteran of the Associated Press, Clear
Channel Radio and Clay Marketing and PR, to Witeck-Combs
Communications, Washington, D.C. He was recently with KM
Wallestad, previously director of media relations
at the American Public Health Association and a senior A/E
for Fenton Communications, to Spitfire Strategies, Washington,
D.C., as director of strategic planning. Mary
Dwight, associate for policy consulting shop Heidepriem
and Mager, to Spitfire, Washington, D.C., as a VP. At H&M,
Dwight, a registered lobbyist, worked with Planned Parenthood
of New York City and the National Assn. of Juvenile and
Family Court Judges. She brings along the Juvenile Diabetes
Research Foundation as a client. Spitfire has also added
national manager of policy for the American Cancer Soc.,
also joins as a VP.
Hester, VP, Estey-Hoover Advertising and PR, to Koroberi,
Chapel Hill, N.C., as director of PR.
Byrd, president of Atlanta-based Hayslett
Group, to Wells Real Estate Funds, Atlanta, as VP of
Chamberlin, account director, Walt Disney
Parks & Resorts Yellow Shoes Creative Group, to
Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell, Orlando, Fla.,
as VP, group director for clients including Walt Disney
World Swan and Dolphin Resorts and the Mazatlan Hotel Assn.
Also, the firm has named Soozi Eichler, a marketing veteran
for Magic 107.7 FM and Billie Heller & Co., as an A/S.
writer for Caribbean Travel & Life, has joined as an
Hood, VP for GCI Groups Atlanta office, to
The Integer Group, Des Moines, Iowa, as VP, director of
PR. She was formerly senior counselor for Gibbs & Soell
PR. Integer is owned by Omnicom.
Schneider, former VP for Lesnik PR, to
GreenHouse, Chicago, as VP of PR. She has been an independent
PR consultant for the last 12 years for clients like Krafts
Boca Foods brand and CarMax. The hire marks the marketing
and advertising firms addition of a PR practice.
Krohmer, corporate communications manager, Nicor
Inc., to DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US LLP, as its first
U.S. director of internal communications, based in Chicago.
She was previously director of marketing and PR for the
Rockford Area Council of 100.
Edition, Sep. 7, 2005, Page 7
BAILS FROM AL-JAZEERA.
Al-Arabiya, the Arab-language satellite news network launched
in 2003 to compete with Al-Jazeera, has nabbed its competitor's
manager of communications and media relations, Jihad Ali
Dubai-based station announced the defection of Ballout,
who became director of comms., on Aug. 29.
who was educated in America, was formerly a reporter for
Iraq's state-run newspaper and a representative for Philip
Morris in the Middle East. He has been the media face of
the controversial Qatar-based Al-Jazeera network through
the Iraq invasion, often having to explain the networks
decision to air footage construed by critics to be anti-American
or beneficial to terrorist endeavors.
defended Al-Jazeera's exclusive airing of footage of American
POWs in Iraq in 2003, a move which led to a ban of the network
by the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ and strong criticism
by the U.S. government.
in a typical response about the network, told the BBC in
June 03: Al Jazeera did not create what's happening,
they are just reporting it.
has also taken its share of heat, especially in 03
when it aired an audio tape of Saddam Hussein before he
was captured. The interim Iraqi government, saying the tape
could incite insurgent violence, banned the network from
operating in Iraq until it agreed to follow the country's
laws. President Bush and Condoleezza Rice were interviewed
on Al-Arabiya to soften the impact of the Abu Ghraib prison
SPARS WITH RDW CHAIRMAN.
Terry Clarke, former head of Boston PR heavyweight Clarke
& Co., which hit hard times and went under last year,
has been fired by RDW Group which hired Clarke and
some of his staff in a move that has drawn bad blood
between him and RDW s chairman.
Clarke has filed suit
in Suffolk Superior Court for wrongful termination to the
tune of $750K, according to the Boston Globe. RDW chairman
Mike Doyle has countered that Clarke was fired for myriad
good reasons, including his dishonesty, charges Clarke
says are a fabrication, puzzling and slanderous,
according to Post columnist Steve Bailey.
Clarke & Co. staffed
33 PR professionals in 2001 with billings over $4M. But
in 02 the firm entered what Clarke called a period
of transition, when it merged with Jackson & Co.
and in 04 it went out of business.
RDW came along and hired
Clarke and 14 staffers last year, according to the Globe.
Clarke was handed a five-year contract with RDW in 2004.
Michigan Propane Gas Association is looking for outside
PR help to advise and coordinate its consumer education
and PR efforts promoting the gas, which powers everything
from school buses to heaters.
MPGAs funding, dependent
on state rebates doled out through the National PERC, has
soared from $60K in 1999 to $1M this year. The group wants
its PR counsel to work with the MPGA committee on a long-term
consumer education and marketing plan, research and to recommend
contractors for the work.
The ex-mayor of a destroyed City of New Orleans has called
for a relief effort of 9/11 proportions and
President Bush has named his father and former President
Clinton to lead fundraising efforts for the thousands of
victims of Hurricane Katrina, which has ravaged the Gulf
Coast of the U.S.
The Federal Emergency
Management Agency last week was looking for immediate help
from experienced public information officers in dealing
with the aftermath of the hurricane in both Washington,
D.C., and in the field in the Gulf region.
The need for PIOs was
filled late last week.
Former New Orleans Mayor
Marc Morial said on Sept. 1 that a relief effort of
9/11 proportions will be needed for the area to recover
from the natural disaster as hundreds, possibly thousands,
are feared dead and billions of dollars worth of damage
has been inflicted.
was what an employee of Atlanta-based broadcast PR company
KEF Media found on arrival in Biloxi, Miss., in the aftermath
of Hurricane Katrina.
Kevin Foley, president
of KEF, told ODwyers that the company had taken
several calls by TV news outlets requesting the services
of its satellite truck which is normally used for
satellite media tours on the East Coast to cover
KEF's Tom Reynolds went
to Biloxi for Fox News and operated the truck nonstop through
Tuesday until he ran out of gas [gas prices have soared
well above $5/gallon in the region]. He was able to refuel
in Montgomery, Ala., and was slated to return to New Orleans
last weekend to uplink Geraldo Riveras show on the
Fox network. Fox's Sunday coverage saw the news network's
highest viewer total over 2.3M of 2005.
Art Wiese, VP of corporate
comms. for Entergy in New Orleans, had this to say: This
is the crisis communications challenge of a lifetime
and that's said by someone who worked on the worldwide collapse
of oil prices in 1986, the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989,
the invasion of Kuwait and subsequent Persian Gulf War in
1990-91, various cancer scares involving gasoline in the
mid-1990s ... 9/11 and the attempt to force our New York
nuclear plants to close in 2001-4 and three previous hurricanes.
Charles Pizzo, former
chair of IABC and a PR consultant based in New Orleans,
said he and his family evacuated early. Both of his family's
homes have been lost and he reports it is impossible to
reach cell or land phone lines in the area. Pizzo has relocated
to a Fort Worth, Tex., hotel and is welcoming PR work (contact
info is at www.charlespizzo.com).
The Marketing Research
Assn., which was slated to hold its fall meeting in New
Orleans Nov. 2-4, was told by the Hyatt Regency Hotel that
it could not honor any group contracts in the Big Easy until
after Nov. 15. The MRA has moved the meeting to the Hyatt/Las
Vegas and set up a Researcher-to-Researcher relief assistance
message board (http://www.mra-net.org/rrBlog.cfm) which
has already drawn dozens of comments.
One satellite operations
manager told Foley he thinks his network has only begun
to tell the tragic story of the natural disaster.
Edition, Sep. 7,
2005 Page 8
The KPMG false tax
shelter case, which has thus far resulted in criminal charges
against eight partners (although not the firm itself,
which would probably be destroyed by such charges), is a
study in stonewalling and intransigence.
KPMG took on the federal government itself, refusing for
years to turn over documents as ordered and dodging questions
when summoned before Congress.
One senator, noted a New York Times story Aug. 28, got
fed up with evasiveanswers by a KPMG executive
and finally said, Try an honest answer.
Almost no one from KPMG would talk to the NYT on the record
for the story, which detailed the war KPMG conducted
against the government.
The accounting firm viewed itself as above reproach,
said criminal law professor Peter Henning of Wayne State
University Law School, one of the few people to be quoted
by name in the investigative piece.
It chose to fight, said the NYT article by
Lynnley Browning, fiercely resisting questions from
the IRS and Justice Dept. about its 10,000-employee
tax unit that in one case dodged $1.4 billion in taxes by
shifting funds from one entity to another.
Confusing the IRS with blinding complexity and making it
do a lot of extra work (hoping the federal workers wouldnt
do it) was the defense mechanism KPMG chose.
Among those not talking to the NYT was KPMG global director
of communications George Ledwith, who once was an executive
at the former Carl Byoir & Assocs.
He declined to respond to any questions, said
Whether Ledwith had anything to do with forming the stonewalling
strategy or whether he just went along with it cannot be
determined. In any case, he obviously did not quit the firm.
Despite the massive
stonewalling, in which KPMG ignored dozens of summonses
from the IRS (while other big firms like Ernst &
Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers settled tax evasion charges)
the firm was undone by anonymous informants
who outed the tax schemes to the IRS.
The NYT noted near the start of the story that KPMG was
not alone in trying to befuddle the federal
Nearly every big and midsize accounting firm created
`tax products that usually involved complex swap transactions
to create losses on paper...to secretly erase...taxable
income, said the story.
Not only is KPMG paying a $456 million settlement and suffering
a blow to its corporate image, its 1,524 partners must each
pay an average of $300,000 over the next six months because
the firm was self-insured. The partners average $600K in
The firm also faces many lawsuits from clients who used
the tax-dodging devices. The IRS wants some $2.5 billion
in lost taxes.
Media were on to the
tax avoidance schemes by the big CPA firms in the late 1990s
but the firms ignored the stories. It would have
been far cheaper and less painful if they had paid attention
to the media instead of waiting for government action.
Forbes, for instance, ran a cover story on the schemes
of Deloitte & Touche in early 1999 that included reproductions
of sales letters of D&T. The firm promised to relieve
companies of all or some of their tax burdens and in return
wanted a percentage of the savings.
CPAs told us it is highly unethical for a CPA firm to want
a cut of anything.
D&T at that time
was the CPA firm for PRSA. It either quit or was
fired in 2001. Sobel & Co., Livingston, N.J., took over
with the 2002 fiscal year.
Given the credibility crisis at both big and medium-sized
CPA firms, its odd that PRSA president Judith Phair
should cite Sobel and Deloitte & Touche as the moral
arbiter of what PRSA puts in its financial statements (Aug.
Phair said the two auditing firms approved of PRSA having
no deferred dues account whatsoever (except a small amount
for PRSAs two publications) and that therefore having
a minuscule DD account is acceptable. It may be acceptable
but its not the best or the right thing to do in PRSAs
case. PRSA in 1991 had $900K in DD but only $310K in 2004.
Treasurer and president-elect candidate Rhoda Weiss, in
a July 25 leader teleconference, told how PRSAs financials
compared to those of 42 other groups in a study by the American
Society of Assn. Executives. She did not describe the statistics
on deferred revenue which showed other groups
have an average of 15.3% of annual revenues in this category,
while PRSA only has 2.8% ($310K in deferred dues on income
Weiss mistakenly said PRSAs administrative expenses
are only 22% while those of other associations average 34%.
She cited the administrative average for trade associations
(34.6%) while the correct comparison was with individual
membership organizations (the next column over in the study),
where the average is 18.7%, which is lower than PRSAs
Sources say PRSA is shopping for a new CPA firm and will
end its relationship with Sobel after the 2005 audit. PRSA
said it is continuing with Sobel for the 2005 audit and
will not comment further.
Renita Coleman and
Lee Wilkins, journalism professors who studied the
ethical reasoning of ad people, have prepared
several ethical dilemmas for posting on odwyerpr.com
so that PR pros can test their ethical I.Q.s
in solving problems that have no easy solution and no clear
Conflicting goods are involved in the dilemmas
and respondents will have to chose courses of action that
may help one party while short-changing another party. Advertising
people, when given a series of ethical dilemmas, were found
to favor solutions that were financially favorable to themselves
or their clients.