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Internet Edition, Oct. 26, 2005, Page 1

The Port of Los Angeles’ public affairs unit is gathering proposals through the end of the month for a firm with a southern California office to develop an issues advertising plan and bolster PR efforts for the No. 1 container port in the United States.

The Port said it anticipates that the first year of the two-year base contract will consist mainly of consulting with its public affairs staff to develop a media strategy. There is also a single option year. Creative work, branding, web design, research, PR and media placements are among tasks for the $400K assignment. It is not tax supported, with revenue derived from shipping fees.

It wants to communicate current and future port security measures, environmental safety and economic impact and to strengthen its image with business and consumers in the region and across the U.S. and globe.

Julie Nagano, director of corporate communications ([email protected]), is overseeing the RFP process. Proposals are due Nov. 1. She told O’Dwyer’s the Port’s last agency was Praxis under a contract that expired in 2001. Advertising has been handled with internal resources in the interim and the Port does not currently have a PR firm under contract.

Rubenstein Assocs. is handling PR for Refco Inc., the giant commodities and futures brokerage that filed the fourth largest U.S. Chapter 11 proceeding on Oct. 18. Refco’s road to ruin began Oct. 10 with the announcement that its former CEO Phillip Bennett had hidden a $430M debt owed to Refco by a company that he controlled.

That bombshell led to an exodus of Refco customers, a 70 percent crash in its stock price and the suspension of Bennett.

To emphasis its commitment to transparency, Refco on Oct. 13 hired former Securities and Exchange Commission chief Arthur Levitt and ex-Comptroller of the Currency Eugene Ludwig as special advisors.

RA’s Marcia Horowitz and Rob Solomon handle the Refco business.

IMAX, which has more than 250 theaters in 35 countries, is looking for a corporate communications and media director. More than 800 million people have enjoyed the “ultimate movie experience” since IMAX premiered in 1970.

Rachel Schwartz of RRDSearch is leading the search. She is at 203/544-2227 and [email protected].

Interpublic co-chairman David Bell, 61, will not stand for re-election to the board during the Nov. 14 annual meeting.

He may either leave the firm (and his $1M year salary) or be terminated any time after Jan. 18, according to his revised contract. Following such a split, Bell would serve as a consultant to IPG for five years. He would receive a $750K fee, and be required to advise the company for 40 days a year.

McCann-Erickson CEO John Dooner, who earned $1.25M and a $1M bonus, also is not running for re-election as IPG trims its board size to eight members.

According to IPG’s proxy released Oct. 21, CEO Michael Roth received a 16 percent pay hike to $1.1M when he took over for Bell in January.

Nicholas Cyprus, senior VP/chief accounting officer, received a $1.83M “sign-on bonus” when he joined the firm from ATT. His salary is $483,400.

Former Leo Burnett COO Stephen Gatfield got a $750K sign-on bonus when he agreed to take the executive VP/global operations post. He earns $850K a-year.

Hurricane Wilma washed out the 2005 PRSA conference in Miami, creating huge losses not only for PRSA but 2,500+ registrants, speakers, exhibitors, and the Miami resort community.

It was the first time an annual conference has been cancelled. PRSA has to refund well over $1 million to registrants who were required to pay in advance.

Members can get back their $1,025 registration fees but students were told PRSA is holding their $275 fees for a re-scheduled conference.

Gripes were voiced about the phased cancellation of the meeting. Cancelled Thursday was the Assembly. Later in the day the students’ meeting and exhibit hall were cut, and then the Fellows’ dinner Saturday and their business meeting Sunday. After a morning of meetings Friday, the board at noon cancelled the conference.

Sources said discussions were heated as some directors argued for cancellation and others wanted to wait for more weather reports. A big concern was how much PRSA’s conference insurance might pay for the losses.

The delay in canceling angered members, speakers and exhibitors. Some had to cancel flights in advance to obtain credit.

All were fearful of not being able to leave Miami once they got there.

(continued on page 7)

Internet Edition, Oct. 26, 2005, Page 2

Propaganda czar Karen Hughes told Indonesian journalists that any American soldier responsible for the burning of Taliban corpses will be punished just like the prison guards at Abu Ghraib.

She made that statement following a video on Australian TV that allegedly showed U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan burning the corpses of two Taliban fighters. The soldiers reportedly used a bullhorn to provoke hidden Taliban fighters to come out and fight “like men.”

Hughes visited Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim state, and Malaysia as part of the State Dept. public diplomacy push. She participated in a roundtable discussion at the State Islamic University in Jakarta and inspected the “American Corner” (books, Internet connections) there. Hughes also toured Aceh, which was devastated by the tsunami.

Hughes reassured the Indonesians that torture, sexual humiliation and desecration of the dead are “abhorrent” and not in line with U.S. policies.

Muslim tradition requires the dead to the washed, wrapped in cloth and buried within a day.

The U.S. Central Command’s criminal investigations unit has launched a probe into the burning bodies matter that occurred in October.

California’s Dept. of Fish & Game is looking for a consultant or firm to handle PR work for the state’s Marine Life Protection Act Initiative, a revival of a stalled effort to conserve offshore habitats.

The MLPA, passed and signed into law in 1999, was put on hold in January of last year because of budgetary constraints.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger restarted the MLPA as the MLPA Initiative, a public-private effort aimed for a 2011 completion and focused on conserving designated “marine protected areas” along the Golden State’s central coast.

The push is aimed to curb the effects of coastal development, water pollution and other human activities having a negative effect on the state’s abundant saltwater ecosystems.

A PR firm selected will be charged with working under the DFG’s deputy director of communications and supervising information officer for media relations, events, government relations, counsel to DFG leadership and other communications efforts.

PR budget has been capped at $100K. Bids are due by Nov. 15 and Lenore Phelps ([email protected]) is contracting officer for the state.

Choicepoint, which mistakenly sold the private data of 145,000 people to con artists this year, has retained former Attorney General John Ashcroft’s firm as its Washington, D.C., lobbyist.

On its website, Choicepoint puts that 145,000 number in perspective, saying there have been 56.4M cases of identity theft in the U.S. in `05.

The company took a $6M second-quarter charge for legal expenses and professional fees related to the “fraudulent data access.”

A survey sent to beauty editors recently by DeVries PR on behalf of longtime client Pantene asked journalists which types of gifts they would prefer to receive among other questions about getting PR information.

Stephanie Smirnov, managing director of the beauty practice at the PR firm, told O’Dwyer’s the survey, since completed, was intended for long-lead beauty editors to find out how they wanted to receive information about 11-year DeVries client Pantene.

“This is an extremely time-starved group,” she said. “Our intent was to kind of walk away from a cookie-cutter approach and come up with a way to deliver six month’s worth of product news in a way that is completely personalized and customized to their needs.”

The survey raised eyebrows online when the popular Internet gossip weblog Gawker posted an image of a question listing gifts like iPods and car service vouchers and lamented “We’ve clearly been dealing with the wrong publicists.”

The blog also linked to the survey for beauty editors on the PR firm’s website, but the feature has since been removed.

Under the question “What type of gift would you like to receive?” reporters could choose from a gift certificate to an “upscale” retailer of their choosing, a certificate for a car service or cleaning service, fashion supplies, electronics like an iPod, or home/office accessories.

Asked about gift policies at media outlets, Smirnov said she does not believe the majority of long-lead editors have such policies.

“The gift option was something if they choose to select it, terrific. We deliberately did it as a menu of options so that for those writers who did actually have an internal policy about not accepting gifts they didn’t have to,” said Smirnov “We would never put together a program that would ask any of our editor colleagues to compromise their own ethics, obviously. We knew that by giving them the option, as opposed to just showing up on their doorstep with a gift, that they would self-select appropriately.”

The University of Connecticut is looking to hire a firm to raise the profile of its medical center.

The UConn Health Center, which includes its medical, dental and biomedical schools, a research institution and clinical services via John Dempsey Hospital, has issued an RFP for a firm to develop a strategic communications plan to enhance its reputation among the press, public, government, patients and donors.

The Health Center, set on 162 acres in Farmington and founded in 1961, has a 13-member staff which handles PR, marketing, media relations, web work and internal communications.

UConn plans a strategic communications program of at least two years and wants a firm to conduct all necessary research to develop that plan.

A subsequent agreement may be engaged to implement portions of the program, the school said.

Questions are due to purchasing agent Robert Murphy ([email protected]) by Oct. 31 with a proposal deadline set at Nov. 7.

Internet Edition, Oct. 26, 2005, Page 3

John Huey was formally named the sixth editor-in-chief of Time Inc. on Oct. 17, succeeding Norman Pearlstine who is stepping down on December 31.

Pearlstine, who held the post for eleven years, will concentrate on writing his recently announced book, “Off the Record: The Use and Misuse of Anonymous Sources.”

Huey, 57, had been editorial director at Time since ’01. He was responsible for Time, Sports Illustrated, People, Entertainment Weekly, Life, Fortune, Money and Business 2.0. Previously, he was managing editor of Fortune.

Huey, an Atlanta native, began his journalism career at the Atlanta Constitution. He joined the Wall Street Journal in Dallas, and launched its European edition from Brussels. He was the co-author of the’92 best-seller, “Sam Walton: Made in America,” an autobiography of the late Wal-Mart Stores founder.

Pearlstine, 63, who will remain a senior advisor at Time-Warner, received the American Society of Magazine Editors’ “lifetime achievement award” in ’04.

Kevin Brockman, senior VP-communications at Disney-ABC Television Group, has restructured the unit into six function lines.

Nicole Nichols, who was VP-media relations at ABC Family has been upped to senior VP, entertainment communications. She is to coordinate activities among ABC Entertainment, Touchstone TV, ABC Daytime, ABC Family and SOAPnet units.

Sharon Williams, who handled media relations for ABC TV Network, has been named senior VP, communications resources. Her reports include support units for the company’s cable entities and network (photography, editorial services, ratings publicity and talent relations.)

Patti McTeague, the media relations person for Disney-ABC Cable Networks Group, has been promoted to VP, kids communications. That includes Walt Disney TV Animation, ABC Kids, Disney Channel Worldwide, Toon Disney, JETIX and Playhouse Disney.

Jeff Schneider, VP at ABC News Communications, adds oversight for ABC News Radio, ABC News Now and ABC He continues to handle “Nightline,” “Primetime,” “World News Tonight” and “20/20.”

Julie Hoover, VP-corporate communications, will also oversee ABC Radio and ABC Owned Television Stations. That is in addition to her government/labor/affiliate relations, community outreach, sales and marketing research responsibilities.

Siobhan Kenny, VP, branded TV communications for Europe, Middle East and Africa, will now serve as acting head of international communications.

Cracked Magazine has re-launched to include original content updated five days a week. New features for the humor publication’s website include “celebrity blogs,” spoofs, web films and message boards.

The magazine has also brought in Jack O’Brien, production associate on ABC’s “PrimeTime Live,” as editor of the revamped website and associate editor for the print magazine. O’Brien was formerly editor of Georgetown’s humor mag, “The Georgetown Heckler.” The new editor expressed a desire to “cash in on this whole Internet fad before it’s too late.”

Maloney & Fox is handling PR for Cracked.


Debra Brandt, publisher of Western Interiors and Design, was named publisher of New York Home, which is published by Hour Media and debuted in May. Brandt was formerly publisher of Golf for Women and advertising director of Traditional Home. She earlier had stints at Wenner Media, The Heart Corp. and Fairchild Publications’ W Magazine.

Jason Kontos is editor-in-chief of NYH, which has published its second issue with a rate base of 100K.


Oil & Gas Journal has launched two e-newsletters – a daily covering the prior day’s market activity in the sector and a weekly focused on global oil and gas exploration.

O&GJ Update is delivered Monday through Friday and includes coverage of the prior trading day’s oil and gas prices and news events driving them, according to O&J publisher PennWell Corp.

The E&D Report is distributed weekly on Wednesdays covering exploration and development activity around the world.

O&G continues to publish its first e-newsletter, the weekly O&G Journal Online This Week. Circulation is 37K, according to the publisher.

Paid circulation of the 103-year-old print O&G Journal is 77,485.

BusinessWeek and Bulgaria-based publisher CASH Media Group have inked an agreement to publish a Bulgarian-language edition of BusinessWeek slated to begin in January 2006.

Editorial content will include work from the North American and international editions of BusinessWeek, along with local editorial produced by CASH reporters.

Living the Country Life magazine is slated to launch a 30-minute TV program on RFD-TV beginning Nov. 5. The show, which has the same title as the magazine, is scheduled to run four times a week on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays through April 2006, and targets rural homeowners. John Deere and Morton Buildings are sponsors of the show, which includes segments on outdoor living, gardening, tools and small machinery.

Betsy Freese, editor of the magazine ([email protected]) , hosts the show.

The network, available on satellite and some cable systems, claims to reach 28M households while the magazine reports a readership of 200K. Sister publication Successful Farming produces the show.
Both publications are owned by Meredith Corp.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, Oct. 26, 2005, Page 4

The American Society of Magazine Editors has released its revised guidelines, reiterating its stand against product placement, but permitting the practice of "crediting" products that editors have used to put in their stories.

The guidelines do not rule out product plugs in advertorials as long as the materials have been labeled "advertisement" or "promotion."

While the guidelines prohibit corporate sponsorship of "regular features," the new rules establish criteria for sponsoring special issues, extras/contests, and allow sponsorship of out-of-magazine events like awards shows and conferences.

Mark Whitaker, ASME president and editor of Newsweek, said the new guidelines are easier to follow, and highlight the "core principles that the difference between advertising and editorial content should be transparent to readers."

Knight Ridder, publisher of the San Jose Mercury News, has acquired Silicon Valley Community News, owner of eight weekly free newspapers in the area surrounding San Jose.

The collection of eight papers includes the Los Gatos Weekly-Times, Saratoga News, Cupertino Courier, Sunnyvale Sun, Campbell Reporter, Willow Glen Resident, Rose Garden Resident and Almaden Resident.

A legal newspaper, San Jose City Times, is also included with that bunch. The papers have a combined circulation of 157,000.

Greg Goff, KR's general manager/targeted publications, said the weeklies will give the company "saturation coverage" in the Valley.

David Cohen, publisher of the acquired company, will stay on at KR. He made the deal because KR's greater resources will enable SVCN to expand its commitment to community journalism.

Lorren Elkins, CEO of PowerOne Media and a 17-year veteran of the New York Times Co., has joined consumer-generated media portal as CEO.

Elkins is charged with accelerating development of the network, which aims “to pick up where a local newspaper leaves off.” The company, which has set a goal of covering 1,500 towns by 2006, hosts local sites which include news, commentary, community events and civic information, much of it generated by so-called citizen-journalists and edited by AmericanTowns staff.

Elkins, among several posts at the Times’ flagship paper and local newspaper division, developed recruitment strategies, online classified products, technical solutions, brand strategies, and marketing programs.

He left the Times in 1998 and worked at three start-ups – he was SVP of sales and operations for Unicast; SVP marketing and sales for CyBuy, and chief revenue officer for

He left PowerOne in May to spend more time with his family, according to that company.

Clarity Media Group, which is owned by Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz, plans to launch a free Baltimore Examiner daily newspaper to compete with the Baltimore Sun.

The Sun is owned by the troubled Chicago-headquartered Tribune Co., owner of the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and Newsday. The Tribune’s third-quarter net dove 80 percent to $24 million on a one percent dip in revenues to $1.4B.

CMG plans to match the Sun's daily circulation, which is in the 250,000 range. Michael Phelps, a veteran of Lee Enterprises and ex-publisher of the Quad-City Times, will be publisher of the BE.

CMG publishes Examiners in Washington and San Francisco. CMG has trademarked the "Examiner" name in 60 cities.

The Martial Arts Channel, a 24-hour cable network in development, has brought in Attleboro, Mass., PR firm CWR & Partners ahead of its early 2006 launch.
Veronica Welch, principal of four-year-old CWR, told O’Dwyer’s a cold call resulted in the new business. CWR will focus on TV/cable and health/fitness media to build national and global buzz for the network, known as MAC.

The firm is also charged with guiding PR for a national campaign slated to break in February 2006 that includes fitness, personal development and martial arts events across the U.S.

MAC will include original and acquired series, movies, news, documentaries and tournaments. The New Jersey-based network is owned by privately held Breakthrough Communications. Broadcast, production and live events operations are planned to be based in Las Vegas. Anthony Cort, a 14-year martial arts enthusiast, is founder and chairman of MAC.

MAC estimates 21.7 million Americans participate in martial arts and points out the growing popularity of disciplines like yoga and Tae Bo. Target audience for the network is men/18-49, women/18-49 and children under 18.

A successful matrimonial lawyer and author of the book “Fathers’ Rights” has announced plans to start a magazine tailored for divorced men.

Leving’s Divorce Magazine will be published by Jeffrey Leving and is initially available online at

Articles on parenting, financial and legal issues and travel, health and leisure are to be covered.

“Most men’s magazines sell the fantasy lifestyle that revolves around mountain-climbing, buying $1,000 suits and getting six-pack abs,” said Leving. “I wanted to create a magazine that talks about these things, but puts the focus on the more important things in their lives – namely their children.”

Leving said he started the magazine after seeing how little his clients knew about their post-divorce role as a single parent.

Internet Edition, Oct. 26, 2005, Page 5

French/West/Vaughan and JB Cumberland PR have called it quits on a 10-month alliance that bolstered Raleigh, N.C.-based FWV’s entry in New York last year.

Joanna Cumberland, president of her firm, said the dissolution of the partnership allows her firm to “better concentrate” on its clients and new business. Cumberland retains all clients and staff, she said.

FWV meanwhile has acquired a pair of boutique New York firms following the end of the merger with Cumberland. FWV plans to absorb 30-year-old New York lifestyle PR firm Jody Donohue Associates, along with BurtonLuch PR, a 20-year-old firm focused on the international luxury market.

Jody Donohue takes the title senior counsel to FWV, while Jacqueline Burton is a VP. Lauren Taylor manages FWV’s 15-person New York operation.

Rick French, president of FWV, said he is looking to expand the firm to London and Paris with New York as a launching pad.

With JDA, French adds Speedo Swimwear and fashion designer Jacqueline de Ribes to the firm’s client roster. From BurtonLuch, comes Indesit Company and Valsan, among others.

Gibbs & Soell PR has aligned with medical com firm KZE PharmAssociates to coordinate communications work at all stages of drug development and launch. Both firms are based in North Carolina.

G&S adds KZE’s technical, PhD-level medical and regulatory savvy. Patrice Ferriola, founding member of KZE, said the alliance ensures the firms can present drug trial information to the “right audience, at the right time” across all scientific, outreach and advocacy comms.

BRIEFS: The Frause Group, Seattle, has opened an office in Portland headed by former Cahill Consulting account manager David Rubin, who takes a senior A//E title. Bob Frause, president, said that for a firm to have a successful relationship with Portland business, “it can’t be done from Seattle.” Portland contact info: 3931 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, OR 97214. 503/467-4686... BCN Communications, Chicago, has a new website at Santa Monica-based Casey Sayre & Williams has been elected a partner of the IPREX network of independent PR firms. The 25-year-old firm continues to work with one of its first clients, Korn/Ferry Int’l... Salem, Ore.-based Randall-Dixon PR picked up a $52,500 assignment for the Medford School District to explain changes at the district’s schools and other issues, according to the Mail Tribune... GolinHarris is publicizing a U.S. Postal Service study of Generation X and Y’s mail habits. Over 85 percent of X and Y bring in their mail on the day it’s delivered, while 70 percent of X and 82 percent of Y sort through it immediately. While online shopping is popular among the groups, more than half said they keep print catalogs for an extended period of time and browse through them repeatedly. The role of mail remains very much distinct from e-mail marketing and the Internet, yet the two continue to work well together, according to GH.


Goodyear Tire & Rubber has narrowed its PR search to Manning Selvage & Lee, Coyne PR and Weber Shandwick.

The Akron-based company launched its search via Jones Lundin Beals in August. Arnold Worldwide, of France's Havas, had handled integrated communications for the $18B giant.

Goodyear is in the midst of a five-year restructuring program. CEO Robert Keegan plans to cut costs by $1B in '08 by increased outsourcing to Asia and slashing "high-cost" manufacturing plants by up to 12 percent.

New York Area

Rubenstein PR, New York/Nakheel, developer with $30B in Dubai real estate which has formed a venture with The Trump Organization; The Bracha Group, lux-ury realtor focused on Trump properties, for ongoing PR and AbTech Industries, clean water technology, as AOR for branding.

5W PR, New York/Zogo, wireless dating platform which allows users to connect while already "out on the town," as AOR for PR, including media relations, comms. counsel and marcom support.


Conover Tuttle Pace, Boston/Pop Warner Little
Scholars, national youth football and cheerleading organization, for strategic comms. and grassroots efforts.

Wheeler PR & Marketing, Andover, Mass./Atwells Restaurant Group, for PR to support its Spring House Hotel and Resort on Block Island, R.I.

Duffy & Shanley, Providence, R.I./Cosco Home and Office, for consumer product PR. Cosco is a unit of Dorel Juvenile Group USA.

Principor Communications, Washington, D.C./Bridge Avenue Partners, board and executive advisory firm; Computing Options Co., enterprise software, for a product launch and ongoing PR, and Disability Management Alternatives, for comms. counsel and PR.

Merritt Group, Reston, Va./Pointsec, security software, and Verint Systems, analyic software for communica-tions interception and video/business intelligence.


Hoffman York, Chicago/Flexi-Mat, pet bedding, as AOR for advertising and PR.

Wheatley & Timmons, Chicago/Brand-Sense Partners, brand licensing, for comms. support.

Hybrid Marketing, Cleveland/Kalahari Waterpark
Resort; Ursuline College Accelerated Program;
Cuyahoga Community College Performing Arts Dept.

Marx Layne & Co., Farmington Hills, Mich./Buddy's Restaurant & Pizzeria , Detroit eatery chain, as AOR.

Mountain West

Volume PR, Denver/DataMAX Software Group, for a national PR program for its automated data collection technology, and Digitech Systems, for a campaign in support of its document and content management svcs.


Walt & Co., Santa Clara, Calif./Leapfrog Ventures, early-stage venture capital firm, as AOR for PR.

Internet Edition, Oct. 26, 2005, Page 6

Seeming to heed the warning of PR industry executives, the Senate Commerce Committee on Oct. 20 approved a less stringent bill than originally proposed in May requiring so-called prepackaged news stories funded by the government to disclose their origins.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who co-wrote the initial bill with Sen. John Kerry, invoked the “Karen Ryan reporting” video news releases in criticizing what has been labeled “covert propaganda” put out by the federal government. “Under our bill Karen Ryan will have to simply reveal that she’s actually reporting for the United States government,” he said during the committee markup meeting.

The new legislation is based on an amendment attached to a spending bill earlier this year by Sen. Robert Byrd. That rider expired on Sept. 30.

PR industry executives testified before Congress in May, warning that the original “Truth in Broadcasting Act” went too far in requiring disclosure. That initial legislation would have empowered the FCC to design the means by which video packages are identified and the source of the video would have required to be running for the entire duration of the video.

Following passage of the distilled legislation, PR executives embraced the move.

“Clearly when they initially brought the legislation, they didn’t have a full understanding of our industry,” said Doug Simon, who testified before the Commerce Committee in May as president of broadcast PR company D S Simon Productions. “What they were looking to do was put draconian limitations on a narrow part of the PR video industry as it related to government. Myself and others felt violated by the first bill.”

Broadcast PR executives were weary of requirements for government-mandated logos or disclaimers. “It wasn’t about creating logos and government type that stations had to use,” said Simon. “It’s just making sure that if the government does it, the stations know it’s coming from the government.”

The new bill, which received bipartisan support in committee following changes to reflect the Byrd amendment, only requires the full disclosure when the VNR packages are aired in their entirety.

The Ketchum-Armstrong Williams imbroglio and subsequent critical reports from the General Accountability Office sparked the Democratic-backed legislation.

KnowNow, which makes integration software, has launched an instant notification service for RSS content that the company says elimnates the need for an RSS reader or aggregator.

The free service operates via toolbar or deskbar and is available for download at

KnowNow said the service is ideal for real estate, job postings and breaking news like natural disasters.

Business Wire has inked an agreement with Bacon’s Information parent The Observer Group to cover Scandinavia and the Baltic region.



Melissa Kelz, account director, IMS, to Euro RSCG
Magnet, New York, as VP in its health and human capital unit. She leads the firm's Stryker medical device account, a three-year client which is one of Magnet's largest pieces of business. Kelz earlier held posts at CIGNA HealthCare, Fleishman-Hillard and CorSolutions.

David Schemelia, a veteran of Burson-Marsteller, Dan Klores Comms. and Rubenstein Assocs., to HealthSTAR PR, New York, as VP, media director. Schemelia was a reporter for the Associated Press in Washington, D.C., and New York for ten years, with another decade of experience at various daily papers and United Press International.

Michael Hatcliffe, head of Ketchum's Midwest corpo-
rate practice and former Chicago director, to Ogilvy PR Worldwide, New York, as executive VP and head of Ogilvy's U.S. corporate practice. Todd Hansen, senior VP for Fleishman-Hillard/Chicago, joins Ogilvy as sen-ior VP/group director of its Chicago corporate practice.

Kristine McVicar, senior A/E, MWW Group, to R&J
PR, Bridgewater, N.J., as a senior account manager. McVicar, who worked on Nikon at MWW, handles Samsung Camera, Bogen Imaging and Hampshire Companies at R&J.

Kevin O'Neill, executive director of the American
Association of Political Consultants, to Grassroots Enterprise, Washington, D.C.

Stefanie Phillips, group supervisor and seven-year veteran of The Zimmerman Agency, to RFB
Communications Group, Tampa, Fla., as an A/S.

David Thalberg, senior VP of Ruder Finn's Planned
Television Arts, which he joined in 1987, to Susan
Magrino Agency, New York, in the new role of executive director. Thalberg oversees agency staff, operations and reports to president Allyn Magrino.

Christie Lowey, A/E, The Apple Organization, to rbb PR, Miami, as a senior A/E. The firm has also added A/Cs Sasha Dolgicer and Erin Newberg.

Julie Batliner, senior VP, Fleishman-Hillard/
Minneapolis, and John Tieszen, president/co-founder, Perspective Marketing Comms., to Carmichael Lynch Spong, Minneapolis, as partners. Batliner serves as chair of the firm's food and beverage unit. Tieszen works in CLS' consumer brand marketing practice.

Stacy Solovey-Hamilton, senior corporate comms. manager, Harrah's Entertainment, to Schadler Kramer Group PR, Las Vegas, as an A/S. She was formerly senior PR manager for Caesars Entertainment prior to its merger with Harrah's.

Frank Molina, director of education outreach,
MALDEF, to Valencia, Perez & Echeveste PR, South Pasadena, Calif., as a senior A/E for public affairs. He manages the firm's work for Southern California Edison and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. Previously, Molina was a staffer for Rep. Hilda Solis (D-Calif.).


Steven Knipstein to GM of Cushman/Amberg Communications' Chicago office.

Internet Edition, Oct. 26, 2005, Page 7

CONFERENCE CANCELLED (Continued from page 1)

Attendees told of a packed Miami International Airport from Wednesday on. Flights were scarce and some members had to pay hundreds of dollars extra to shift reservations.

The Fountainebleau resort, which had booked nearly 1,000 rooms for conference attendees, had 75 cancel on Thursday, 500 on Friday, and the rest on Saturday.

It has a total of 1,338 rooms. It invoked its no-penalty room cancellation policy early in the week in recognition of the approaching storm. Wilma initially was supposed to hit Miami Beach on Saturday. The hotel put its loss at $1.5 million in rooms, meals, etc.

Board Hoped for Partial Meeting

A Miami Herald headline Thursday said “PRSA cancels (Assembly) meeting for Saturday but plans to continue conference Sunday.”

PRSA e-mailed members Thursday (for which it later apologized) saying weather forecasts were for “plenty of warm Florida sunshine” and there was “still time to register” for the “premier PR event.”

Complaints were also heard about the refund policy–members had to write to PRSA and give a “specific reason” for not attending while student fees were not being refunded at all. They were to be applied to a conference “later in the school year.”

The 1,000 or so full registrants mostly paid at least $1,025 ($1.025 million) while the 1,000 or so students paid $275 each ($275,000).

No reservations were accepted without payment.

Phair, in a 20-minute interview with this NL Sept. 23, said about 500 partial registrations had come in and that about one-quarter of those at PRSA conferences were non-members. The non-member full conference rate was $1,325 and varied from $535 to $635 per day.

The loss from exhibitors could top $100,000 since the smallest booth was $2,000 and there are usually 40+ exhibitors, some with elaborate displays.

Phair on Sept. 23 said pre-conference sales were “going very well,” about on a par with San Francisco three years ago. She predicted 1,500 full and partial registrations for Miami.

Neither Phair nor PR staffer Cedric Bess could be reached by phone or e-mail last week.

Some wondered why PRSA was meeting in Florida at all in the middle of the hurricane season.

The loss in terms of PRSA employee hours, printed materials, preparations by speakers and panelists, exhibitor costs of shipping materials, etc., was incalculable but huge.

PRSA staffers spend a good part of the entire year on the conference, lining up the needed 150 or so speakers, workshop leaders and panelists; planning the meeting; arranging for printed materials; visiting the location; e-mails; correspondence, etc.

PRSA’s audit only measures staff time at the actual conference ($103,122 in 2004). Leadership sources say the true cost of staff time is well over $1 million. The conference, which attracts well under 10% of the 20,000 members, is a big money-loser if properly accounted for, they say.

Assembly Needed Before Dec. 15

PRSA bylaws mandate that the cancelled Assembly be held before Dec. 15. Reports are one will be scheduled in New York.

Several chapters had said they planned to disrupt the planned schedule of two hours of leader speeches at the start of the Assembly in order to begin debates immediately. Issues include whether the 972-page Source Book should be discontinued; whether the board’s executive committee should have its powers “codified”; whether board terms should be cut from three to two years; whether 20 rather than 10 members are needed for a new chapter, and whether the PR “Body of Knowledge” should be expunged.

Delegates said they also wanted a report from the board on the status of COO Catherine Bolton’s threatened defamation and libel suit against a staffer who criticized her in an e-mail last Oct. 18. PRSA is paying all costs for this legal action which reportedly are $60K or more. The case has not been settled. PRSA’s law firm went to court to obtain the name of the e-mailer from Time Warner Cable.

The Sunshine district of PRSA, comprising seven chapters in Florida, posted an e-mail on the PRSA website saying it wants the full board to be involved in all discussions and wants all references to the executive committee removed from the bylaws.

No Advance Planning for Vote Tally

Some delegates want an immediate printed record of Assembly votes to be made available to the entire Assembly. Parliamentarians said the electronic voting devices used by the Assembly the past five years are supposed to be used that way. State legislatures, they said, provide such immediate printed records so alliances can be determined. Phair has said no such reports will be made unless the Assembly first votes to request them.

Board members, regular members, students, Fellows, Assembly delegates, exhibitors and speakers started canceling their flights to Miami on Wednesday and Thursday as TV weather reports tracked Wilma’s approach to Florida. Tourist locations in Florida were described as “deserted” on Saturday by media.

Hotel Softens Cancellation Policy

The Fountainebleau early in the week canceled its policy that cancellations must be made 24 hours before the 3 p.m. check-in time. It said the one-day deposit required would be refunded no matter when PRSA or other guests canceled.

Members who arrived Thursday or Friday morning said they couldn’t find out if the conference was on or off. Hotel staffers didn’t know and no PRSA announcements were being made to hotel guests. Some members found out Friday afternoon when they went to the exhibit hall and saw exhibitors dismantling their booths.

People were checking into the hotel at this time not knowing the conference would not take place, said members. Uncertainty reigned Friday morning. The conference should have been canceled Wednesday before anyone headed to Florida, said several senior members. They noted that no one who went to Florida will be reimbursed for their round trip air tickets, meals, etc.

Internet Edition, Oct. 26, 2005 Page 8




The manner in which the PRSA board of directors cancelled the 2005 PRSA national conference in Miami Beach has caused a lot of static.

Main gripe is why did the board wait until Friday at noon to cancel when the impending impact of the storm on Miami Beach was obvious about four or five days earlier.

Early predictions were that the storm would hit Miami Beach on Saturday. But it slowed, even stopping at one point. Landfall was not expected until Monday.

PRSA’s website early in the week cast doubt on TV network predictions that the Beach was right in the path of the storm.

The Fountainebleau Resort, which said it lost about $1.5 million in business (for which there is no possible insurance), early in the week invoked its policy of allowing cancellations at any time without penalty because of the approaching storm.

Normally it requires 24-hours advance notice. However, PRSA remained unconvinced of the certainty of Wilma’s impact on Miami Beach.

“You’ve probably heard about Hurricane Wilma and may be concerned about its path and what it means for the conference,” said the PRSA website on Wednesday, Oct. 19.

“Depending on the accuracy of your local newscast, it could sound as if we have no worries at all for South Florida, or conversely, that we are down here laying sandbags,” it continued. “In truth, as with most situations, neither extreme is accurate.”

It then said “It is difficult to know until late Thursday or possibly Friday morning more accurate forecasting to tell IF (PRSA’s capitalization) South South Florida will be affected by this storm. There is a lot of speculation but no facts at this point yet. It is far too early to know what will happen...we need your continued support of the conference...(which) is an important part of our Society’s budget, allowing us to provide the many benefits our members expect, deserve and enjoy.”

The PRSSA (students’) conference was cancelled Thursday morning. An e-mail to students from Phair and Scott Iwata, national PRSSA president, urged students not to come to the Beach. Registrants also received the same e-mail.

However, regular members complained that there was a 19-hour gap in PRSA web postings from Wednesday at 3 p.m. to Thursday at noon.

The Wednesday posting said “We are moving full steam ahead with the conference!”

It appeared that PRSA board members, who said they would meet Wednesday night in Miami Beach on the topic, were about the only people unsure that Wilma would hit the Beach in one harmful form or another.

The board said it was concerned with the “safety” of registrants but the registrants themselves were more concerned with loss of time and money.

They were afraid of going to the Beach on Friday, Saturday or Sunday and being unable to come home on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday because of airport delays or actual shutdowns.

The annual conference in recent years has moved more into the weekend with the main event now scheduled on Sunday rather than Monday.

Many attendees can’t afford to lose more than a day of work.

The Tuesday, Oct. 25 sessions were devoted to associations and non-profits and conceivably could be skipped by business PR pros.

A number of directors, perhaps knowing or quite sure the conference would be cancelled, did not go to the Beach at all.

At least four names are being mentioned but a complete report from PRSA is being sought.

PRSA president Judith Phair, while available to the press before the conference, saying attendance would reach that of the San Francisco meeting in 2002, could not be reached all last week or during the weekend.

Sources said the directors were worried that PRSA’s insurer would not pay off unless the board made every effort to hold the meeting.

The sources noted that the Southern PR Federation at one time cancelled a meeting because of a threatened hurricane but the storm never hit the conference and the insurer wouldn’t pay.

Instructions to those demanding their PRSA fees back were that they had to cite a specific reason for not attending such as “flight was cancelled, the seminar you were planning to attend was cancelled, etc.” Student fees were being held by PRSA.

PRSA members continue to beef about the possible loss of their 972-page directory of members, services and other information.

James Wallace, retired director of government and media relations, Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta and a Fellow of PRSA, said in an open e-mail to president Judith Phair that he will quit if the directory is scotched.

He said it’s “terribly troublesome” to go through a four-step computer process to look up someone’s name, address, e-mail, etc.

“We get painfully little for our dues–two publications, directory and overpriced annual conference,” he added. He said PRSA could be committing “organizational suicide.”

The former Women in Communications, Inc. (WICI) published a 1993 directory listing nearly 12,000 professional and student members. It then stopped publishing the directory. WICI reported a minus equity of $54,460 in 1996 and was disbanded.

A successor organization, Association for Woman in Communications, was formed and is based in Severna Park, Md.

Members had complained that the directory was one of the main products of WICI and felt their $90 in dues entitled them to such a directory.

– Jack O'Dwyer


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