The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, Jan. 11, 2006, Page 1
North Carolinas Dept. of Commerce has issued a request
for proposal worth $750K for a marketing communications
campaign to promote the state as a good place to do business.
Commerce Secretary Jim
Fain wants a firm that can register placements in top publications
like the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times.
The states legislature
also approved a $1M budget to upgrade the Commerce Dept.s
website (nccommerce.com) to provide a more detailed listing
of vacant manufacturing sites in the Tarheel State.
N.C. ranks as the largest
manufacturing center in the southeast. It has four million
BERGMAN TO BEACON.
Janet Bergman, who was senior VP-corporate relations at
Sara Lee, has joined Beacon Advisors in Chicago.
As head of a 35-member staff, Bergman was in charge of
investor/media relations, financial communication, public
responsibility and civic affairs. In `89, Bergman, 46, became
the youngest person ever elected VP at Sara Lee.
Before joining the consumer products company, Bergman was
a securities analyst at Putnam Management in Boston.
Hud Englehart, Midwest managing partner at BA, said Bergman
adds a considerable dimension to our investor and
He has nearly 35 years of PR experience gained from running
Hill & Knowltons Midwest operation and stints
at Lockheed and Mellon Bank.
F-H BACKS VISA ROLL-OUTS.
Visa is working with its primary PR firm Fleishman-Hillard
on the companys first brand re-design in 30 years.
The credit card giant, which has issued 488 million cards,
began implementing a new logo and card design last week,
both of which will be featured in upcoming advertising.
In addition to the new look, F-H is also working on Visas
sponsorship of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy.
The firm helped Visa launch a weblog, The Journey,
aimed at Olympic athletes and fans.
Andy Lark, former VP of global communications for Sun Microsystems,
also advised on the blog project. Michael Rolnick, director
of sponsorships for Visa, writes the blog.
INTERNATIONAL COAL TAPS
Dix & Eaton is serving as media coordinator
for International Coal Group, the owner of the Sago Mine
in West Virginia in which a dozen miners lost their lives.
ICG, which is controlled by New York billionaire Wilbur
Ross, is launching an investigation of the tragedy along
with state and federal officials.
The company says it will no longer provide regularly
scheduled media briefings, but will announce findings
of the probe when appropriate. ICG has established a $2M
fund for the families of the lost miners, and is accepting
donations from others.
Ross issued a statement in which he said he personally
understands the trauma of the families since I lost
my own father when I was a teen-ager and my widowed mother
was left with three children, the youngest of whom was eight
ICG sold 21M shares of stock to the public last month at
$11 each. The shares peaked at $13.10 and now trade for
D&E has represented International Steel Group, which
was another Ross roll-up.
CEO Scott Chaikin could not be reached.
BLOOMBERG AIDE TO DKC.
Bill Cunningham, a top aide and former director of communications
for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has joined Dan Klores
Communications as an executive VP.
Cunningham, whose campaign savvy earned him a $300K bonus
from Bloomberg, will join DKCs murderers
row of politicos, according to president Sean Cassidy.
That team includes managing directors Matt Traub (former
chief of staff to Rep. Nita Lowey), Joe DePlasco (a veteran
of Mark Greens 2001 run for mayor of N.Y.), and former
New York State Democratic Party Chairman John Marino.
NEW PRSA PRES. AWAITS
Cheryl Procter-Rogers, 2006 president of PRSA, told this
NL she will wait for member initiatives on such issues as
removing APR as a requirement for the board and nominating
committee; holding a spring Assembly; banning proxy voting
in the Assembly, and polling members via blast e-mails.
Member initiatives are expressed at the annual Assembly
of PRSA, a gathering of 300 chapter and national leaders
(continued on page 7)
Edition, Jan. 11, 2006, Page 2
EDELMAN AIDS WAL-MART
IN MOVIE CRISIS.
A heartsick and horrified Wal-Mart
has pulled the plug on its movie cross-selling system after
the film Planet of the Apes was linked to African
American titles about Dorothy Dandridge and Martin Luther
The revelation, apparently first revealed on a liberal
weblog, quickly drew fire online drawing the interest of
traditional media before Wal-Mart shut down the system later
in the day on Jan. 5.
Edelman was reaching out to bloggers on Jan. 5, circulating
Wal-Marts apologetic response and assuring online
and print scribes that there was no sinister
We are heartsick that this happened and are currently
doing everything possible to correct the problem,
Wal-Marts VP of corporate Communications Mona Williams
said in a statement announcing the movie referral system
was being shut down. We are deeply sorry that this
Williams explained the system is built on a mapping
platform which erroneously paired movies like Plant
of the Apes with unrelated titles. To illustrate the
randomness of the system, she noted the movies Home
Alone and Power Puff Girls were linked
to African American literature.
We were horrified to discover that some hurtful and
offensive combinations are being mapped together,
LIVINGSTON PILOTS VIRGIN
Former Speaker of the House-Designate Bob Livingston is
among Livingston Group staffers working to get U.S. landing
rights for Virgin Nigeria (Nigerias national flag
carrier that is 49 percent owned by Richard Bransons
Nigeria selected the U.K. airline as its strategic
partner in `04, which led to VNs maiden flight
from Murtala Mohammed International Airport (Lagos) to Heathrow
(London) last June.
The carrier now has flights to Johannesburg, Accra (Ghana),
Douala (Cameroon) Port Harcourt (Nigerias oil capital)
and Abuja (Nigerias federal city).
The LG team includes Toby Moffett, former Connecticut Congressman;
Allen Martin, ex-chief of staff to Livingston; Cathryn Kingsbury,
an aide to former House Rules Committee chairman Jerry Solomon,
and Lauri Fitz-Pegado, a veteran of Gray & Co. and Hill
Branson, meanwhile, is trying to get U.S. approval for
the launch of Virgin America. Xenophon Strategies is guiding
THOMPSON LEAVES NIRI.
The National Investor Relations Institute has issued a three-page
release to announce that Lou Thompson is resigning after
more than two decades at the helm.
Thompson, 67, a former press aide to President Gerald Ford,
and a PA officer in Vietnam, plans to go into the IR business.
He began his career as a news anchor at WOI-TV and radio
in the Des Moines area.
Thompson, who earned $375K in `04, will remain at NIRI
until a successor has been found. NIRI is conducting a national
search for Thompsons job.
QORVIS GETS $6M FROM
Qorvis Communications received $6M from its flagship client
Saudi Arabia during the six-month period ended Sept. 30.
Princess Loulwa Al-Faisal played a role in the Kingdoms
charm offensive as she made various appearances
to dispel the image that Saudi women are downtrodden
slaves to men, according to the Middle East Institute.
The Princess made a July 28 presentation at the MEI that
was about empowering Saudi women.
She is the granddaughter of King Abdulaziz, the founder
of the Kingdom. Loulwa told the Saudi-U.S. Relations Information
Service, a part of the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations,
that neither the veil nor the driving have stopped
women from going where they have to go and doing what they
have to do.
Qorvis, based in Washington, D.C., arranged interviews
for the Princess with the Washington Post (Robin Wright),
Newsweek (Tamara Lipper), Christian Science Monitor (Faye
Bowers), Fox News (Laurie Luhn), CNN (Linda Roth and Kathy
Slobogin) and the Associated Press editorial board.
The PR unit also retained the services of Les Janka International,
paying the firm $75K for community education.
Les Janka talked to Fox News, CNN, Aurora Beacon News,
Naperville Sun, and Troy Eccentric about the Saudis.
He was a staff member of the National Security Council
and special assistant to Henry Kissinger in the Nixon and
Ford White House. Janka was deputy press secretary for foreign
affairs under President Reagan, and served in the Pentagon
as deputy assistant secretary of defense for near eastern
Janka is founder chairman of the Council for American-Saudi
STATE SEEKS HELP WITH
Kings County, Washington, home to 1.7 million people
in Seattle, its surrounding suburbs and beyond, has earmarked
a mid-six-figure budget to urge the eco-friendly state to
improve its recycling habits.
The governing body for the 2,000-square mile region
twice as large as the average U.S. county and the 13th most
populous in the country says hundreds of thousands
of tons of recyclable materials end up in residential and
commercial garbage each year destined for landfill.
The county has set an ambitious goal of zero waste to be
backed by several initiatives, including a multi-faceted
An RFP has been issued to guide that campaign, including
research, marketing, media outreach, PSAs or advertising,
Total budget is about $520K for the effort, which is split
into two parts residential and commercial.
Staff from the countys Dept. of Natural Resources
& Parks solid waste division will make a selection.
The contract is open to all firms, but a small point advantage
will be awarded to agencies subcontracting with firms that
are certified by the countys small business program.
Proposals are due Jan. 26. Cathy Betts (cathy.b[email protected])
is contracting officer.
Edition, Jan. 11, 2006, Page 3
TO EXIT WSJ PUBLISHER POST.
Wall Street Journal publisher Karen House, 58, is retiring
from the company by mutual agreement, according
to a Dow Jones & Co. announcement released on Jan. 3.
The 32-year veteran has
agreed to work with incoming CEO Richard Zannino, 47, for
a couple of transition months.
The announcement also
says that Zannino will assume the top spot on February 1
from Peter Kann, 63.
Kann will remain chairman
of the company until the 07 annual meeting. He is
married to House.
Zannino joined DJ in Feb.
01 as executive VP/chief financial officer. He became
COO in 02. Prior to working at the media combine,
House held financial posts at Liz Claiborne, General Signal,
Saks Holdings and Peter Kiewit Sons Inc. House also
is relinquishing her senior VP post at Dow Jones.
Zannino praised Houses
rise from Pulitzer Prize winning reporter to publisher.
He credited her for the very successful launch
of the Journals weekend edition.
In other news, the Wall Street Journal Online launched
a legal section and weblog on Jan. 3 containing online-only
and print content related to firms, lawyers and the business
The page, wsj.com/law, includes content from the print
paper, Dow Jones Newswires and Mealeys.com, part of LexisNexis.
Two legal reporters have been hired for the effort - Ashby
Jones, a 35-year-old reporter for The Deal and American
Lawyer Media, and Peter Lattman, also 35 and a former litigator
who joins from Forbes. Lattman will be the primary writer
for the legal blog.
WSJ.com also has specialty pages for health and media/marketing.
TRIBUNE CO. FACES 'ACUTE'
Tribune Co. CEO Dennis FitzSimons faces acute
problems in 06 that could lead to a corporate raid
on the Chicago-based media combine, according to Eric Herman,
business reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times.
FitzSimons, who began his career at Grey Advertising, succeeded
John Madigan as Tribune CEO in 03. He faces the challenge
of boosting Tribunes stock price, which fell 27 percent
during 05 to close the year at $11.07. There is also
a $1B tax verdict against the company, lackluster broadcast
results and a culture clash with its Los Angeles
Herman notes that Private Capital Management, the money
management company that pressured Knight Ridder into holding
an auction, holds 2.5M Tribune shares.
FitzSimons does have some protection against a takeover
threat. The McCormick Tribune Foundation and the Chandler
family trusts own about 25 percent of Tribune shares.
The S-T has its own problems as evidenced by a 21 percent
drop in average paid circulation to 382,796 for the six-month
period ended in March 05, the last audited report
since it acknowledged inflating its figures during last
Herb Scannell, the creative force at Nickelodeon, has resigned
the vice chairman post at Viacoms MTV Networks. He
is succeeded by Cyma Zarghami, president of Nickelodeon
Networks, who will now run a unit recast as MTVN Kids and
Scannell says his departure has nothing to do with Viacoms
decision to hire an outsider as president of MTV Networks.
McKinsey consultant Michael Wolf was named to that No. 2
spot in November.
Scannell is credited for the rise of Nickelodeon into one
of cables top rated networks, driven by hit shows
such as SpongeBob SquarePants and Rugrats.
KRAMER RETURNS TO DAILY
Marc Kramer, who was senior VP-circulation at the New York
Times, has been named CEO of the New York Daily News.
Kramer left the News for the Times in 98. He had
served as VP/general counsel at the tabloid, responsible
for labor relations and strategy.
Mort Zuckerman, publisher of the News, praised 50-year-old
Kramer as one of the most highly regarded newspaper
executives, not only in North America, but internationally.
Kramer worked at Proskauer Rose law firm and in New York
Citys office of labor relations prior to joining the
He says a stepped up development of the News online
edition, which gets more than 50 million page impressions
a month, is a priority.
KOPPEL, TEAM LAND AT
Veteran ABC newsman Ted Koppel will host and produce long-form
programming for the Discovery Channel and take the post
of managing editor for the cable network starting this month.
Koppel's 14-year executive producer Tom Bettag and eight
other staffers from his former show Nightline
have joined Koppel at Discovery.
Billy Campbell, president of Discovery Networks and Koppels
new boss, said the addition of the 65-year-old anchor is
part of the networks long-term commitment to
produce high quality programming that gives our global audience
insight, perspective and analysis beyond just the headlines.
Koppel said he and his team will produce journalism that
focuses on issues that matter to the largest number of people.
Programming is still to be developed with a debut slated
for the fall of 2006. Koppel signed a three-year deal and
begins immediately at the network. He agreed to produce
at least six pieces a year.
who was in charge of Conde Nasts Fairchild Publications
unit, is leaving the company after a six-year run to pursue
Her departure follows the September reorganization that
folded Fairchild into Conde Nast Publications under CEO
Fairchild titles include Jane, WWD, and Details.
(Media news continued
on next page)
Edition, Jan. 11, 2006, Page 4
EXITS PLAYBOY FOR PENTHOUSE.
Diane Silberstein, VP and publisher of Playboy magazine,
has joined Penthouse as president and publisher.
She is charged with oversight
of editorial, advertising, production and circulation of
the flagship magazine of Penthouse Media Group, based in
was publisher of Yahoo! Internet Life at Ziff Davis Media
and earlier was senior VP/group publisher at Phase2Media,
an Internet sales and marketing company.
She was also publisher
of The New Yorker and Elle and held top posts at Allure
and Vogue after starting her career at Glamour.
PUNDIT DEFENDS ABRAMOFF
Doug Bandow, who was paid by Jack Abramoff to write op-ed
pieces for the disgraced lobbyists clients, defended
his work on Jan. 4 with an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times.
Bandow, who resigned from the Cato Institute and Copley
News Service after BusinessWeek outed the payments, said
his deal with Abramoff created an appearance of a
conflict of interest; it made it seem that I spoke for him
(or his clients) rather than for myself when I wrote. That
was a mistake, and Im paying a high price. Fair enough.
Bandow, a conservative who describes himself as a libertarian,
said he has ghostwritten op-eds, drafted political speeches,
prepared corporate briefings and strategized business media
campaigns, all while writing his Copley column and other
opinion pieces. "Clearly, the ethical boundaries in
all this arent always obvious, he wrote. Virtually
everyone I worked with or wrote for had an ax to grind.
... Certainly politicians, PR firms, companies and associations
have explicit agendas.
The pundit said his op-ed was not to offer excuses
for my actions these are issues that should be addressed.
Is it journalism if the research is helped along
by a foundation whose board members have some interest in
the subject? How can we be sure that newspapers keep advertisers
out of news decisions?
Dont broadcast media hire consultants and pollsters
to contribute to their news coverage, people who could benefit
financially from promoting the ideas of their other clients?
And havent reporters sometimes pocketed thousands
of dollars speaking at conventions or corporate events and
then covered those businesses or their issues
in one way or another?
Bandow said he never took a position working for Abramoff
that was contrary to his beliefs.
Cable, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this
year, has declared 06 to be the year of the First
Amendment. It says the First Amendment is under attack by
Congress, Federal Communications Commission and the judiciary.
Creation of a federal shield law is a priority for the
News organizations should not be hounded by a judiciary
run amuck that can send reporters off to jail if they refuse
to break the confidentiality of a source, says the
magazine. The media, in turn, need to report the important
ideas and events of the day instead of chasing the tawdry
and serving as virtual PR machines for the entrenched
powers in Washington, Hollywood and their home towns.
B&C believes that's the way to regain public trust
in the media.
Radio, carried on Sirius Satellite Radio, added The
Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show to its lineup
on Jan. 7. The nationally syndicated, two-hour call-in show
is carried by 150 stations in the U.S. and Canada.
The show is hosted by Tom Kraeutler (a contributor to CNN's
Open House) and Leslie Segrete (of TLCs
While You Were Out and Trading Spaces).
The Weather Channel
said it passed the 500K mark for podcasts downloaded in
December. TWC said the MP3 files were snapped up without
which bills itself as the world's most unique beauty mag,
has forged a partnership with upscale retailer Nordstrom.
NewBeauty will distribute 50,000 copies of a quarterly
BeautyReport and 125K tip cards
via Nordstrom's advanced skincare departments. Nordstrom's
employees will also receive a monthly newsletter and training
by NewBeauty staffers.
NewBeauty was launched a year ago to cover lifestyle, over-the-counter
and medical beauty solutions.
Matthew Bautista at Pierce Mattie PR (212-243-1431) handles
PR for the magazine, which is published by Sandow Media
assistant editor for Arcade Publishing, has joined Tango
magazine as an associate editor. Ashour had authored the
magazines Dear American Vixen column in
its fall 05 issue and took a publishing course in
2002 with Tango founder/president Andrea Miller and senior
editor Kelly Bare.
The publication, which covers love, life and the
pursuit of happiness, also promoted Bare to deputy
editor and Marnie Hanel, a writer, to senior editor in charge
of production, scheduling and web editing.
advertising director for Better Homes & Gardens, has
been named publisher of TV Guide. Haeffner replaces Scott
Crystal, who was promoted to president of the TV Guide Publishing
Group in October.
He was eastern sales director of TV Guide before leaving
for BH&G. Earlier, he worked at Reader's Digest Publications.
founder and publisher of Her Sports who won the reality
show contest The Apprentice: Martha Stewart,
was named director of development, a new post, for Body
+ Soul magazine.
Stone will focus on new business development for the Martha
Stewart Living Omnimedia pub.
Edition, Jan. 11,
2006, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
IS RFS MR. ETHICS.
Ruder Finn has established an ethics consulting practice
that is headed by senior VP Emmanuel Tchividjian.
will counsel clients on setting up ethics programs, which
include risk assessment, internal/external communications
and employee training.
is supported by an advisory board that includes Frank Daly,
ex-corporate ethics officer of Northrop Grumman; Fred Wistow,
former general counsel for Warner Music Group, and Prakash
Sethi, a management professor at Baruch College in New York.
claims it's the first international firm to offer an ethics
PLANS INVESTOR OUTREACH.
The state regulatory agency for the insurance and securities
industries in Iowa has issued a $300K RFP for a firm to
educate Hawkeye State investors.
The Iowa Insurance Division
wants a firm to develop and conduct a state-wide campaign
to make consumers aware of risks and pitfalls associated
with investments, alert them to wisely selected
investments, and to prevent and detect securities fraud,
according to a copy of the RFP. The IIDs Securities
Bureau last month issued a warning about investment salesmen
targeting seniors. The state launched InvestSmartIowa.org
in the fall to highlight investment threats.
The work is slated to
include marketing research, media and education initiatives,
workshops, town hall meetings and online tools, to name
The PR effort is expected
to run from March 1 through Dec. 31, 2007. Another $100K
could be added to the budget through a grant from the Investor
Protection Trust, part of the national "analysts conflicts
of interest settlements" states reached with securities
firms in 2003. A voluntary vendors conference has been set
for Jan. 13. Letters of intent to bid are due by Jan. 20
and formal proposals, by Jan. 27.
Tom Alger ([email protected];
515/281-5575), communications director of the Iowa Insurance
Division, is the point of contact.
Simmons Design Associates and Jetstream Public Relations,
both based in Dallas, have aligned to pursue new business
opportunities. Jetstream works primarily for healthcare
and technology companies and was founded as Trinity PR in
2002. The two firms have worked together in the past on
projects, but decided a closer, more formal relationship
was the way to go. ... Paul
Werth Associates, Columbus, Ohio, acquired market
research and consulting shop MMD Research. MMD was set up
in 1986 and handles clients like Nationwide, Ventaira and
OhioHealth. Co-founder Carolyn Randolph has joined Werth
as senior VP of research and will relocate to Columbus.
Co-founder Philip Jursek will consult for Werth, which counts
clients like the International AntiCounterfitting Coalition,
McGraw-Hill Education and the Kettering Foundation... Peppercom
Europe has aligned with HotHouse
Integrated Marketing to launch HotPepper PR in Birmingham,
PR, New York/Smart Energy Solutions, marketer of
the Battery Brain automotive device, for media relations
and financial PR.
PR, New York/Giant Magazine, as AOR for the entertainment
pub, which targets 20- and 30-something pop-culture enthusiasts.
The mag is published 10 times a year. 2006 ratebase is 300K
for the first half of the year.
Media, New York/DPS Development Co., sporting club
properties in British West Indies and Wyoming, for PR.
Goldstein & Co., Old Tappan, N.J./Mortons,
The Steakhouse, for community and media relations and event
management for two new locations in Stamford, Conn., and
White Plains, N.Y.
& Associates, Washington, D.C./Accenture LLP,
for government relations targeting an advisor to House Majority
Whip Roy Blunt and the Senate Finance Committees tax
Ink, Huntersville, N.C./Focus Four, business coaching
program for entrepreneurs, for PR, marketing comms. and
Media, Chicago/Chicago Sky, Womens National
Basketball Assn. expansion team, for a comprehensive PR
campaign kicking off the teams inaugural season in
May 2006. That includes media and community relations and
aiding in development of a team mascot.
& Partners, Dallas/Strong Products Group, for
launch of an electrical connectivity product for architects,
interior designers and facility managers.
PR, Seattle, Wash./The Harvest Inn, a Napa Valley
country estate owned by Joie de Vivre Hospitality of San
San Francisco/TAG Oil, a Canadian oil and gas exploration
company, as AOR for media, investor and corporate communications.
MCorp. had handled project work for TAG and won the new
assignment following a review of IR firms. MCorp. receives
a monthly retainer of $6,250.
San Francisco/Cathay Pacific Airways, as AOR for PR in North
America for the Asian airline. Eighteen firms pitched the
account during a four-month search. F-H offices in Los Angeles,
New York, Vancouver and Toronto assist the account. F-H
is the airlines first AOR for the region. It flies
to Asia, Europe and North America and is based in Hong Kong.
Partners, Rolling Hills Estates, Calif./Dynamic Details,
electronics manufacturing, as AOR for PR.
Los Angeles/Amerityre Corp., tire technology developer,
for corporate comms. focused on investors and the media.
Amerityres chief administrative officer, Elliott Taylor,
cited CCGs track record with early stage companies
as a key factor in the hire.
Edition, Jan, 11, 2006, Page 6
REALIGNS SALES FORCE.
PR Newswire has cut dozens of sales personnel amid what
the company says is a realignment of its customer service
studied the organizational structure of PR Newswire carefully
to determine changes that would positively impact the way
in which we serve our customers, chief operating officer
Dave Armon said in a statement. We are now realigning
our sales force to provide the best, most proactive level
of service matched to our customers needs.
declined to comment on specific details, but sources close
to the company said cuts were made up to the VP level. A
former executive said he believed 40 staffers were cut,
many in the Western region.
parent United Business Media has been implementing an offshoring
and outsourcing program across its business units.
said PRN is growing in-line with expectations, although
it noted PRN was on track to exceed its 10-percent margin
target outside of the U.S.
DIES AT 52.
Paige Eversole McMahon, an independent PR pro and founding
chair of PR Society of Americas Independent Practitioners
Alliance, died on Jan. 1 at her home in Bethesda, Md., after
a struggle with cancer. She was 52.
McMahon ran her own firm,
McMahon Comms., after posts at the Chemical Manufacturers
Assn., Ketchum and the U.S. Army.
She served as president
of PRSAs largest chapter in Washington, D.C., from
1996-97, in addition to other posts. In 2003, she chaired
the national effort to set up an independent practitioners
alliance. Harry Bosk, 06 chair of that alliance, said
McMahon became a tireless advocate for independent
practitioners. Tracy Schario, 06 president of
the D.C. chapter, said McMahon was an engine
for the chapters growth and driver of national
PRSA programs for two decades.
Donations were requested
to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in Dallas
Texas. A guestbook is at www.pumphreyfuneralhome.com.
PR ASSN. NAMES 06 SLATE.
The Hispanic PR Association has named its 2006 slate of
officers. They include:
president, Romina Bongiovanni, a senior A/S and western
regional manager for Edelman Diversity Solutions
VP, Leticia Rhi Buckley, director of marketing and
comms. for the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County
treasurer, Michael Delgado, senior A/E, La Agencia
secretary, Leticia Marquez, senior media relations
officer for UCLA
Murray Hill Studios, a video PR and production company
in New York, is running a free promotion to encode clients
VNRs, SMTs, and promotional videos for use on iPods. 212/889-4200.
SUCCEEDS HENRY AT ICC.
Rene Henry is stepping down as VP-PR at Innovative Communication
Corp., which has an office in West Palm Beach, Fla. The
72-year-old executive wants to spend more time with his
family in Seattle, and travel.
is succeeded by Marvin Dejean, founder of Minority Development
and Empowerment in Fort Lauderdale, a non-profit group that
helps the Haitian and Caribbean community in South Florida.
based in St. Croix, is a telecom and media company with
holdings in the U.S., Central America and the Carribbean.
was appointed director of the external affairs at the Environmental
Protection Agency in 96.
Bogus, senior account manager, Rubin Communications
Group, to Marmillion + Co., Washington, D.C., as an A/E.
She works on the Greeting Card Assn. and National Urban
Alliance and manages the firms video production and
Foster, a veteran of Accenture, Xansa and Burson-Marsteller,
to WordHampton PR, East Hampton, N.Y., as an account manager.
Garcia, senior public affairs associate, Issue Dynamics,
Inc., to Mickey Ibarra & Associates, Washington, D.C.,
as an associate. She handles public affairs work and oversees
McNally, associate marketing director, New Hope Natural
Media, to KempGoldberg, Portland, Me., as a senior copywriter.
an editor for CancerCare, joins as an assistant A/E.
Ames, VP with Omnicoms Hodges Group, to Millennium
Communications Inc., St. Louis, as a VP. Carol
Kovacik was promoted to senior VP.
Mooradian, marketing comms. director, Techsmith Corp.,
to Publicom Inc., East Lansing, Mich., as a senior account
Dixon has left Gibbs & Soell PR in New York to
be a senior associate for Carmichael Lynch Spong, Minneapolis.
Also, Grete Krohn
was promoted senior counselor at CLS. She joined the firm
Gardner, PR manager for a healthcare non-profit representated
by association management firm Executive Director, Inc.,
to Zeppos & Associates, Milwaukee, as an A/E.
Casolaro to A/E, Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications,
Boston. She joined the firm in 04.
Valdes-Fauli to managing director for The Jeffrey
Groups Miami headquarters. He becomes part of the
firms executive management team and adds responsibility
for directing work on Florida, U.S. Hispanic and Latin America
Russell to executive VP, Asia Pacific, a new post
at Weber Shandwick, based in Beijing. Russell had been CEO
of WS/Brussels and headed the firms European public
affairs practice. He starts work in Beijing on Feb. 1. Jessica
Lee, head of comms. for the Asia Pacific region for Rohm
and Haas Co., has joined WS as GM for Taiwan.
Edition, Jan. 11, 2006, Page 7
PRSA PRES. AWAITS MEMBERS
(con'd from page 1)
Procter-Rogers, corporate affairs director, HBO Chicago
office of Time Warner, has five initiatives including improving
PRSAs technology and expanding the advocacy program
to include issues management.
wants financial measurement tools so leadership will be
accountable to the membership. Promoting the
PRSA brand is also a goal.
her predecessor, Judith Phair, Procter-Rogers says PRSA
is a private organization and has the right
to keep certain matters to itself.
does not object to the decision of the 2005 board to withhold
from members and the press both the audiotape and the transcript
of the 2005 Assembly that met Dec. 3 in Chicago.
hour and a half of debate took place on the use of proxies.
Procter-Rogers personally favors proxies but also favors
doing what members want. She is against using blast e-mails
to sample member opinion. Besides the 20,000 members, PRSA
can blast e-mail the 300 Assembly delegates and 116 chapter
presidents. The PRSA PR dept. had promised an Assembly tape
would be available to the press but the board over-ruled
there should be a spring Assembly is up to the delegates
themselves, she said.
the board is able to meet and take action by telephone,
it would be illegal for the Assembly to do so, she added.
whether $2.2 million in expenses in 13 categories of spending
that were removed from the 2004 audit should be restored,
she said that decision is up to CFO John Colletti.
started paying rent on its new quarters at Two Federal Reserve
Plaza in April 2005. It had deferred rent of
$404,622 as of Sept. 30,. 2005.
Staff Costs Questioned
The 2004 audit assigned
$103,000 in staff costs to the annual conference. But former
officers said this figure is closer to $2 million because
of the months of work put into the conference by many staffers.
Work is started five years in advance of a meeting. About
4%-5% of members go to any one conference, according to
Phair. Thirty-two staffers were scheduled to go to the 2005
Miami conference that was cancelled by a hurricane.
Asked about conference
staff costs, Procter-Rogers said its a matter for
auditor Sobel & Co, Livingston, N.J. PRSA is reviewing
its account at Sobel and will talk to other CPA firms this
year, Phair has said. PRSA normally does a review after
three years with an outside CPA, she said. PRSA staffers
report to the COO rather than the board, noted Procter-Rogers.
Members only allow their
e-mails to be used for certain subjects and PRSA has no
intention of blast e-mailing questions to members, said
Procter-Rogers. Members have identified what information
they wish to receive, she noted.
on PRSSA Website
Asked about the web advertising
policy of PR Student Society of America, which does not
allow ads on its website unless a $25,000 sponsor
fee is paid, Procter-Rogers said PRSA does not control PRSSA.
Procter-Rogers said she
expects a very busy year because she is carrying her usual
work load at HBO, which involves much traveling. HBO is
not giving her any time off for the PRSA presidency, she
Asked about the record
pass rate of APR candidates in the third quarter, in which
32 out of 33 PRSA members who took the test passed it (vs.
the average pass rate of 65%), she said she agreed with
Universal Accreditation Board chair Blake Lewis that it
was a statistical aberration and not due to
an easier test or easier marking. PRSAs board meets
Feb. 3-4 in New York.
THIRD INTERVIEW IN 3.5 YEARS.
Omnicom CEO John Wren has given his third interview in the
3.5 years since the June 12, 2002 Wall Street Journal article
dropped OMCs stock from the $70s to below $40.
It recovered over the
next year and currently is in the mid-$80's, although still
about 20 points below its high of $107 on Dec. 17, 1999.
The WSJ claimed OMC used aggressive accounting with regard
to more than $2 billion in acquisitions. It also said many
key facts about OMC are hidden from view.
Alison Fahey of AdWeek
interviewed Wren for the Jan. 2, 2006 issue. Wren told how
OMCs more than 1,500 agencies are cooperating closely
while maintaining their traditional autonomy.
Finances were not discussed
either in this article or in a previous AdWeek interview
for the May 23, 2005 issue by Noreen OLeary.
The only other interview
Wren gave was to William Spain of MarketWatch on Sept. 23,
2003. Wren told Spain that he had undertaken a 15-month
self-imposed exile from the press after the
WSJ piece, rejecting advice from some of OMCs PR units.
Neither Wren nor anyone
from OMC or its PR firm Ketchum could be reached by Timothy
OBrien of the New York Times when he wrote the Sunday
business page feature Feb. 13, 2005 that had the headline:
Spinning Frenzy: PRs Bad Press.
The article focused on
the Dept. of Education/ Ketchum/Armstrong Williams contract
under which Williams was paid $240,000 to promote the No
Child Left Behind Act. Ketchum and three other firms
owned by OMC delivered the bulk of the White House
messages that became the center of controversy, said
Spain told Wren that OMCs
stock performance, which had rebounded from the WSJ piece,
had made him a contender for Market Watchs CEO
of the Year. He was not chosen, however.
Went on Road
Besides pulling back from
press interviews, OMC has kept out of the limelight by moving
its annual meeting from New York to Los Angeles in 2003,
Atlanta in 2004 and Dallas in 2005. The L.A. meeting lasted
barely five minutes, AdWeek had reported.
A Yahoo! bulletin board
posting Nov.18, 2005 suggested OMC meetings are held in
remote places so that executives can escape
Edition, Jan. 11,
2006, Page 8
organizations with failed policies of non-communication
were in the news last week: Omnicom, PRSA and NIRI.
Secretive John Wren of
OMC gave yet another interview to AdWeek (Jan. 2) in which
he stresses that the 1,500+ OMC units are autonomous but
are also coordinating with each other.
The same message was given
to AdWeek last May 23. Whats amazing about both interviews,
the only ones Wren has given in 3.5 years except for one
with Market Watch in 2003 when MW said he might win CEO
of the Year (he didnt), was the absence of any
discussion of OMCs financials.
No questions were allowed
about how OMC has just paid $47 million in interest on no-interest
bonds; its stock price is $20 below its high of six
years ago; its Sarbanes-Oxley costs are $60 million+ each
year, and it is now spending hundreds of millions to buy
back its own stock, helping to support the stock and giving
this stock to insiders as restricted stock.
OMC used to spend close
to a billion a year to buy other firms but this has slowed
to a trickle.
The low stock price
of OMC year after year shows that the non-communication
policies of accountants Wren and CFO Randy Weisenburger
are a failure. OMC, with its vague statements that lack
financial detail, has lost credibility on Wall St.
OMC is hurt by its inability to deal with the press.
Wren snubbed New York Times reporter Timothy OBrien
when he tried to contact OMC for his Spinning Frenzy
piece last Feb. 23. OBrien pointed out that four PR
units of OMC were involved in the Ketchum Armstrong
Williams scandal. Repeated calls from OBrien
were ducked. OMC claims to be the biggest owner of PR with
$1 billion in fees. But no fee income or staff figures of
its PR units are ever given.
doesnt believe in PR (there is
no PR staffer working directly for OMC). It doesnt
believe in advertising, either, points out Al Ries, author
of The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR. Ries, in
an Advertising Age column last year, berated not only OMC
but the other ad giants for not advertising. They dont
believe in their own product, says Ries. Ad agencies used
to be big advertisers, he noted. Young & Rubicam advertised
in Fortune from its first issue in 1930 until the late 1960s.
Some agency convinced Accenture to spend $100 million to
launch its new brand, said Ries.
What about Omnicom, another manufactured name that
presumably could benefit from a little advertising?
he asked. He notes that a brochure of OMC unit DDB says,
The quickest way to make a brand famous is to make
its advertising famous.
Instead of advertising, the agencies go all out to win
awards and then publicize these awards in the belief that
publicity generates clients, he concludes.
The best Wren quote in the recent AdWeek interview was,
When youve been the CEO of something for 10
years, no one tells you the truth.
He might get it at a press conference.
non-growth institution is PRSA, which had 19,600 members
in 1998 and has a little over 20,000 now, eight years later.
New president Cheryl Procter-Rogers (page one) has a passive
view of her job. She believes its up to CFO John Colletti
to restore the $2.2 million of expenses to 13 categories
that were removed by treasurer Rhoda Weiss in the 2004 audit.
That job belongs to her and the 2006 board. Procter-Rogers
wants to be democratic. She wants to be guided by what members
want. But PRSA cant know what members want if it doesnt
blast e-mail questions to the 20,000 members, 300 Assembly
delegates or 110 chapter presidents. This it refuses to
Members dont learn about decisions like moving h.q.
downtown or killing their annual directory until theyre
PRSAs financial reporting is wildly false and misleading.
Staff spends nearly $2 million of time on the annual conference
not the $100K shown on the audit, thus vastly inflating
its profit. What PRSA calls reserves
are the advance dues payments of members that are a liability,
not an asset. Procter-Rogers should have XVP-CC Ed Adler
of Time Warner and TW CPAs look over the financial statements
Procter-Rogers could show leadership by releasing to members
and the press the audiotape of the 2005 Assembly and by
giving reporters access to PRSAs online members
directory. Other advice: COO Catherine Bolton, who is leaving,
should be replaced as soon as possible by a senior PR professional
not an association person. Staff should be put back
to work on the printed directory and pulled off the money-losing
The other association
with a failed non-communications policy is the National
Investor Relations Institute. COO Louis Thompson
is retiring after 23 years (page two). Recent news from
NIRI has not been good. Membership declined 20% from 5,300
in 2000 to 4,200 currently. Dues are sky-high at $475, too
rich for many IR and PR pros. NIRI is dropping its printed
directory of members (which was barred to the press) in
favor of online-only, with press access again blocked.
Thompson, rather than the elected chairs, acted as the
chief spokesperson. NIRI had a $265K profit in 2004 on revenues
of $4.9 million. But budget cuts were needed to do this,
including a reduction in PR and marketing from $123K to
$11K. Thompson was well paid, earning $375K in salary in
2004 plus $48,283 in pension/benefits. NIRIs new COO
should pursue two ethical initiatives: opposing the practice
of analysts writing about stocks they own, and pushing for
companies to let reporters ask questions on quarterly analyst
These calls are populated by analysts whose companies are
doing business with the companies hosting the calls. They
lack the robust questioning that reporters could bring to