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Internet Edition, Jan. 11, 2006, Page 1

North Carolina’s 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 state’s legislature also approved a $1M budget to upgrade the Commerce Dept.’s website ( 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 non-farm workers.

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 communications competencies.”

He has nearly 35 years of PR experience gained from running Hill & Knowlton’s Midwest operation and stints at Lockheed and Mellon Bank.

Visa is working with its primary PR firm Fleishman-Hillard on the company’s 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 Visa’s 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.

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 years old.”

ICG sold 21M shares of stock to the public last month at $11 each. The shares peaked at $13.10 and now trade for $9.08.

D&E has represented International Steel Group, which was another Ross roll-up.

CEO Scott Chaikin could not be reached.

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 DKC’s “murderer’s 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 Green’s 2001 run for mayor of N.Y.), and former New York State Democratic Party Chairman John Marino.

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 each October.

(continued on page 7)

Internet Edition, Jan. 11, 2006, Page 2

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 King Jr.

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-Mart’s apologetic response and assuring online and print scribes that there was no “sinister” intent.

“We are heartsick that this happened and are currently doing everything possible to correct the problem,” Wal-Mart’s 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 happened.”

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,” she said.

Former Speaker of the House-Designate Bob Livingston is among Livingston Group staffers working to get U.S. landing rights for Virgin Nigeria (Nigeria’s national flag carrier that is 49 percent owned by Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic.)

Nigeria selected the U.K. airline as its “strategic partner” in `04, which led to VN’s 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 (Nigeria’s oil capital) and Abuja (Nigeria’s 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 & Knowlton.

Branson, meanwhile, is trying to get U.S. approval for the launch of Virgin America. Xenophon Strategies is guiding that effort.

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 Thompson’s job.

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 Kingdom’s “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 affairs.

Janka is founder chairman of the Council for American-Saudi Dialogue.

King’s 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 education campaign.

An RFP has been issued to guide that campaign, including research, marketing, media outreach, PSAs or advertising, and evaluation.

Total budget is about $520K for the effort, which is split into two parts – residential and commercial.

Staff from the county’s 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 county’s small business program.

Proposals are due Jan. 26. Cathy Betts (cathy.b[email protected]) is contracting officer.

Internet Edition, Jan. 11, 2006, Page 3

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 House’s rise from Pulitzer Prize winning reporter to publisher. He credited her for the “very successful launch” of the Journal’s weekend edition.

Launches legal blog

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 of law.

The page,, includes content from the print paper, Dow Jones Newswires and, 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. also has specialty pages for health and media/marketing.

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 Tribune’s 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 Times newsroom.

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 summer.

Herb Scannell, the creative force at Nickelodeon, has resigned the vice chairman post at Viacom’s MTV Networks. He is succeeded by Cyma Zarghami, president of Nickelodeon Networks, who will now run a unit recast as MTVN Kids and Family Group.

Scannell says his departure has nothing to do with Viacom’s 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 cable’s top rated networks, driven by hit shows such as “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Rugrats.”

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 City’s office of labor relations prior to joining the News.

He says a stepped up development of the News’ online edition, which gets more than 50 million page impressions a month, is a priority.

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 Koppel’s new boss, said the addition of the 65-year-old anchor is part of the network’s “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.

Mary Berner, who was in charge of Conde Nast’s Fairchild Publications unit, is leaving the company after a six-year run to pursue other interests.

Her departure follows the September reorganization that folded Fairchild into Conde Nast Publications under CEO Chuck Townsend.

Fairchild titles include Jane, WWD, and Details.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, Jan. 11, 2006, Page 4

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 New York.

Previously, Silberstein 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.

Doug Bandow, who was paid by Jack Abramoff to write op-ed pieces for the disgraced lobbyist’s 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 I’m 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 aren’t 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?

“Don’t 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 haven’t 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.


Broadcasting & 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 trade magazine.

“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.

Discovery Channel 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 TLC’s “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 any promotion.

NewBeauty, 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 Corp.


Savannah Ashour, assistant editor for Arcade Publishing, has joined Tango magazine as an associate editor. Ashour had authored the magazine’s “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.

Peter Haeffner, 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.

Dawna Stone, 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.

Internet Edition, Jan. 11, 2006, Page 5

Ruder Finn has established an ethics consulting practice that is headed by senior VP Emmanuel Tchividjian.

He will counsel clients on setting up ethics programs, which include risk assessment, internal/external communications and employee training.

Tchividjian 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.

RF claims it's the first international firm to offer an ethics consulting practice.

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 IID’s Securities Bureau last month issued a warning about investment salesmen targeting seniors. The state launched 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 a few.

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.

BRIEFS: 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, England.


New York Area

S&S PR, New York/Smart Energy Solutions, marketer of the Battery Brain automotive device, for media relations and financial PR.

5W 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.

Ripp Media, New York/DPS Development Co., sporting club properties in British West Indies and Wyoming, for PR.

Raker Goldstein & Co., Old Tappan, N.J./Morton’s, The Steakhouse, for community and media relations and event management for two new locations in Stamford, Conn., and White Plains, N.Y.


Cassidy & Associates, Washington, D.C./Accenture LLP, for government relations targeting an advisor to House Majority Whip Roy Blunt and the Senate Finance Committee’s tax counsel.

Hoover Ink, Huntersville, N.C./Focus Four, business coaching program for entrepreneurs, for PR, marketing comms. and website development.


TeamWorks Media, Chicago/Chicago Sky, Women’s National Basketball Assn. expansion team, for a comprehensive PR campaign kicking off the team’s inaugural season in May 2006. That includes media and community relations and aiding in development of a team mascot.


Michael & Partners, Dallas/Strong Products Group, for launch of an electrical connectivity product for architects, interior designers and facility managers.


Richmond PR, Seattle, Wash./The Harvest Inn, a Napa Valley country estate owned by Joie de Vivre Hospitality of San Francisco.

MCorp., 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.

Fleishman-Hillard, 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 airline’s first AOR for the region. It flies to Asia, Europe and North America and is based in Hong Kong.

NMC Partners, Rolling Hills Estates, Calif./Dynamic Details, electronics manufacturing, as AOR for PR.

CCG, Los Angeles/Amerityre Corp., tire technology developer, for corporate comms. focused on investors and the media. Amerityre’s chief administrative officer, Elliott Taylor, cited CCG’s track record with early stage companies as a key factor in the hire.

Internet Edition, Jan, 11, 2006, Page 6

PR Newswire has cut dozens of sales personnel amid what the company says is a realignment of its customer service organization.

“We 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.”

PRN 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.

PRN parent United Business Media has been implementing an offshoring and outsourcing program across its business units.

UBM 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.

Paige Eversole McMahon, an independent PR pro and founding chair of PR Society of America’s 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 PRSA’s 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 chapter’s 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

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 de Orci
– secretary, Leticia Marquez, senior media relations officer for UCLA

BRIEFS: 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.



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.

Henry 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.

ICC, based in St. Croix, is a telecom and media company with holdings in the U.S., Central America and the Carribbean.

Henry was appointed director of the external affairs at the Environmental Protection Agency in ’96.


Juliette 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 firm’s video production and mktg. unit.

Suzee Foster, a veteran of Accenture, Xansa and Burson-Marsteller, to WordHampton PR, East Hampton, N.Y., as an account manager.

Norelie 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 office operations.

Adam McNally, associate marketing director, New Hope Natural Media, to KempGoldberg, Portland, Me., as a senior copywriter. Kerrie Robinson, an editor for CancerCare, joins as an assistant A/E.

Mark Ames, VP with Omnicom’s Hodges Group, to Millennium Communications Inc., St. Louis, as a VP. Carol Kovacik was promoted to senior VP.

Elizabeth Mooradian, marketing comms. director, Techsmith Corp., to Publicom Inc., East Lansing, Mich., as a senior account planner.

Denise 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 in 2001.

John Gardner, PR manager for a healthcare non-profit representated by association management firm Executive Director, Inc., to Zeppos & Associates, Milwaukee, as an A/E.


Kate Casolaro to A/E, Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications, Boston. She joined the firm in ’04.

Michael Valdes-Fauli to managing director for The Jeffrey Group’s Miami headquarters. He becomes part of the firm’s executive management team and adds responsibility for directing work on Florida, U.S. Hispanic and Latin America accounts.

John 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 firm’s 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.

Internet 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 PRSA’s technology and expanding the advocacy program to include issues management.

She wants financial measurement tools so leadership will be “accountable” to the membership. Promoting the PRSA “brand” is also a goal.

Like her predecessor, Judith Phair, Procter-Rogers says PRSA is a “private organization” and has the right to keep certain matters to itself.

She 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.

An 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 it.

Whether there should be a spring Assembly is up to the delegates themselves, she said.

While the board is able to meet and take action by telephone, it would be illegal for the Assembly to do so, she added.

Asked 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.

PRSA 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.

Conference 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 it’s 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.

Ads Blocked 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 said.

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. PRSA’s board meets Feb. 3-4 in New York.

Omnicom CEO John Wren has given his third interview in the 3.5 years since the June 12, 2002 Wall Street Journal article dropped OMC’s 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 OMC’s more than 1,500 agencies are cooperating closely while maintaining their traditional autonomy.

Finances Not Discussed

Finances were not discussed either in this article or in a previous AdWeek interview for the May 23, 2005 issue by Noreen O’Leary.

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 OMC’s PR units.

Neither Wren nor anyone from OMC or its PR firm Ketchum could be reached by Timothy O’Brien of the New York Times when he wrote the Sunday business page feature Feb. 13, 2005 that had the headline: “Spinning Frenzy: PR’s 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 the article.

Spain told Wren that OMC’s stock performance, which had rebounded from the WSJ piece, had made him a contender for Market Watch’s “CEO of the Year.” He was not chosen, however.

Annual Meeting 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 questioning.

Internet Edition, Jan. 11, 2006, Page 8




Three 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. What’s 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 didn’t), was the absence of any discussion of OMC’s 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 O’Brien when he tried to contact OMC for his “Spinning Frenzy” piece last Feb. 23. O’Brien pointed out that four PR units of OMC were involved in the Ketchum – Armstrong Williams scandal. “Repeated” calls from O’Brien 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.

Omnicom obviously doesn’t believe in “PR” (there is no PR staffer working directly for OMC). It doesn’t 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 don’t 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 you’ve been the CEO of something for 10 years, no one tells you the truth.”

He might get it at a press conference.

Another secretive, 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 it’s 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 can’t know what members want if it doesn’t blast e-mail questions to the 20,000 members, 300 Assembly delegates or 110 chapter presidents. This it refuses to do.

Members don’t learn about decisions like moving h.q. downtown or killing their annual directory until they’re made.

PRSA’s 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 of PRSA.

Procter-Rogers could show leadership by releasing to members and the press the audiotape of the 2005 Assembly and by giving reporters access to PRSA’s 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 conference.

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. NIRI’s 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” calls.

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 them.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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