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Internet Edition, Jan. 25, 2006, Page 1

Armed with federal Dept. of Homeland Security funds, the nation’s capital and surrounding areas are looking for help to develop a multi-year PR plan showing the public and media that the region is prepared to respond to a disaster.

The push would follow-up on a $5M advertising-based campaign led by the Washington, D.C., Emergency Management Agency with Burson-Marsteller last year (dubbed “Be Ready. Make a Plan.”), according to Merni Fitzgerald, chair of the communications emergency support function for the region. She declined to provide a budget for the new effort and indicated it would be based on proposals received.

The local D.C.-area governments want to stress that the public, not just governments, plays an important role in preparing for a disaster. The new search for a PR firm comes after Hurricane Katrina created public doubts about crisis preparation across the country.

“It is clear from the pointed questions raised after Katrina that many members of the public and the media remain unaware of the NCR’s disaster preparations,” reads a copy of the RFP obtained by O’Dwyer’s which refers to the acronym for the “national capital region.”

The RFP notes that more than 50 percent of Americans now say they are no better prepared for a disaster than before Katrina.

That region – encompassing Washington, D.C., and the surrounding Virginia and Maryland counties – issued the RFP on Jan. 17.

Proposals are due Feb. 16. Contracting officer is Mary McMahon ([email protected]).

Harvey Greisman, who was VP-corporate communications at IBM, has signed on at MasterCard International as global head of communications. He joined Big Blue in `97 to head PR for its software and global services groups.

Greisman had been at GTE Corp. for more than 15 years, leaving as senior VP-public affairs and communications.

At that phone company, Greisman was a member of its executive leadership committee and worked with the office of the chairman on strategy issues.

Earlier, Greisman handled media relations for Allied Corp, which is now Honeywell. He directed PR for the United Nations, and began his career at the Corp. for Public Broadcasting.

Sharon Gamsin is MasterCard’s VP-global communications.

Berkshire Hathaway, the $75 billion conglomerate run by Warren Buffett, has moved to acquire Business Wire in a deal expected to close by the end of the first quarter of ’06.

Buffett snapped up the company for over $300M, according to Bloomberg.

BW’s management team, led by newly promoted CEO Cathy Tamraz, will remain in place and operations will not be affected by the ownership change, according to BH. BW will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of the conglomerate.

Tamraz told O’Dwyer’s that she sent Buffett a letter last year after reading a story about him in the Wall Street Journal and getting a “hunch” there might be a fit. “That led to a conversation and some talks. He checked us out and said he liked what he saw, and he made an offer,” she said. Tamraz said BW’s independence is a good fit with BH’s traditional hands-off demeanor.

BW, which is privately held, said it posted double-digit growth in 2005. It has grown significantly overseas in the last few years, staffs 504 people with annual revenue over $120M.

Last month, founder and CEO Lorry Lokey promoted Tamraz, a 26-year-veteran of the company, to the top executive post and said he would pursue his philanthropic pursuits, which have totaled $160M to date.

BH companies include Benjamin Moore & Co., Fruit of the Loom, Buffalo (N.Y.) News, and GEICO Auto Insurance, among a roster of 42 companies.

Lincoln Group, the PR firm guiding wartime communications operations for the U.S. in Iraq, has added a veteran PR executive to guide media relations for the company.

Bill Dixon, senior VP and director of media relations for the powerful D.C.-area investment bank Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group, has left to become director of media relations for Lincoln, he told O’Dwyer’s.

Dixon is a former PR manager for Google and The Motley Fool. He has worked on various political campaigns in D.C., Wisconsin, Colorado, California and Virginia.

Laurie Adler is director of marketing and government relations at Lincoln and served as the company’s spokeswoman as it came under scrutiny late last year for its Iraq work.

Dixon noted Lincoln is moving from K Street to Pennsylvania Avenue next week.

Internet Edition, Jan. 25, 2006, Page 2

Greenpeace is calling for a boycott of Gorton’s of Gloucester, marketer of fresh and frozen seafood. The action is to protest the whaling activity of Gorton’s parent company, Japan-based Nissui.

Commercial whaling was banned 20 years ago. Japan, once again, will kill up to 1,000 whales this winter under the guise of “scientific research.” The whale meat finds its way to Japan’s supermarkets. Nissui launched its first whaling expedition to the Antarctic in 1934. It bought Gorton’s in 2001.

Dave Weber, Gorton’s VP-environmental affairs, told O’Dwyer’s that Gorton’s “has neither engaged in whaling activities, nor killed a single whale in its 156-year history, and never will.”

The company, he noted, is committed to environmental sustainability. “We strongly advocate for and support responsible management of the ocean’s resources through the use of sustainable fishery practices.”

Gorton’s, he added, is a financial supporter of the Whale Center of New England, which is focused on protecting the mammals.

Greenpeace’s ship, Esperanza, has been harassing the whalers. Its campaigners have driven small inflatable boats between the whales and whalers.

The environmental group is asking supporters to host “whale parties” on Jan. 27 to watch a video of the Esperanza taking on the whalers. They will also hear from Esperanza crewmembers, and receive petitions urging a Gorton’s boycott.

Mullen handles Gorton’s PR.

Atkins Nutritionals, the struggling low-carb institution, has brought on CRT/tanaka as part of a $40M marketing push with ad shop DZP Marketing Communications.

Atkins emerged from bankruptcy this month, but still carries about $110M in debt, down from $300M when it filed last year. It has scaled back its product offerings to “higher quality, better tasting products.”

Patrice Tanaka, co-chair and chief creative officer for CRT/tanaka, told O’Dwyer’s her firm had worked with Atkins CEO Mark Rodriguez – a veteran of Acirca, Great Brands and Danone International – in the past. She said the firm’s healthcare and consumer experience helped land the work.

Tanaka oversees the account with VP Stephanie Kannel.

Last August, Atkins was using Euro RSCG Magnet as its main PR firm. Magnet at the time unveiled a marketing practice called PopWorx to handle viral marketing, gaming and blog-related work with Atkins as the unit’s flagship client.

In 2004, Atkins acquired New York firm Williams Whittle Rothstein PR, placing president Richard Rothstein at the helm of corporate communications at the height of the low-carb craze. The firm had handled PR for Atkins for six years prior to that.

Tanaka noted that Atkins’ in-house PR now falls under VP and chief marketing officer Beth Neumann.

The State Dept. may issue an RFP for an “Afghanistan public information campaign for the reduction in illegal poppy cultivation.”

The document was expected to be posted earlier this month, but is still being reviewed by State’s legal team, according to contract specialist Anthony McIntosh.

The State Dept. effort is overdue. The Wall Street Journal reported Jan. 18 on its front page that the heroin trade is soaring in Afghanistan despite its occupation by U.S. and NATO forces. Military commanders are reluctant to take on poppy farmers because they neither want to alienate the locals nor distract attention from the mission to wipe out the Taliban.

Afghanistan earned more than $2.7 billion from opium exports in `05, which accounted for 52 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. “You probably can’t build democracy in a country where narcotics are such a large part of the economy, John Carnevale, a counternarcotics official in the Bush I and Clinton Administrations, told the WSJ.

Heroin from Afghanistan is mainly used by addicts in Europe, but is slowly making its way to the streets of New York, according to Justice Dept. officials. The surge in poppy production has cut the street price of Afghan heroin below the price of South American heroin.

GMMB/Fleishman-Hillard has beat 12 competitors to snap up two parts of a lucrative contract to promote major healthcare initiatives for the state of Illinois.

The state issued an RFP in December to find a firm or firms to handle marketing communications for both its ambitious “All Kids” plan to insure every Prairie State child (along with other state efforts to help the uninsured) and its prescription drug plan for seniors.

The state Dept. of Healthcare and Family Services decided to enter its separate contracts with GMMB/F-H for both components. Budgets are $2.47 million for the All Kids work and $2.2 million for the prescription drug push, both over three years. Both contracts carry two options worth $220K per option year.

The San Jose Group, Jasculca-Terman, Burrell Comms. Group and Hill Rawls Marketing Consultants were among the bidders.

The All Kids initiative, slated for a July 1 launch and pushed through by Gov. Rod Blagojevich, is a Medicare-backed program touted as the first program to insure every child in a state. It is being closely covered and watched in and out of the state.

GMMB is F-H’s PA arm.

Hill & Knowlton has named Wendy Hutter its U.S. business development and marketing director.

She had been a partner at In The Round, a brand consulting firm. Hutter also held marketing/branding posts at Standard & Poor’s, Sotheby’s and Publicis.

She hopes her background “will infuse new energy into the company and leverage H&K’s intellectual capital to its fullest potential.” She reports to MaryLee Sachs, U.S. chair, and serves on H&K’s executive committee.

Internet Edition, Jan. 25, 2006, Page 3

VNU, publisher of Adweek, Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter and another 320 pubs, has received a buyout offer from a private equity consortium. That group includes Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Blackstone Group, Thomas H. Lee Partners, Permira, Carlyle Group and AlpInvest Partners.

The investors have been discussing a buyout with Netherlands-based VNU for the past few weeks, and the company has agreed to provide more info to the group.

The offer comes after VNU was forced to terminate in November its bid to buy IMS Health, a data firm, following heated shareholder opposition. That failed deal led to the resignation of VNU CEO Rob van den Bergh.

Acquires Web Tracking Shop

VNU last week announced plans to acquire online media tracker BuzzMetrics and add it to the company’s Nielsen unit. BuzzMetrics is slated to merge with competitor Intelliseek, the company credited with coining the term “consumer-generated media.”

The web trackers will operate under the Nielsen BuzzMetrics name and be based in New York, according to VNU, which would own 50.1 percent of the combine.

VNU noted the deal is the third in a series of “word-of-mouth research” investments for the company, following its acquisition of a stake in Israel-based Trendum, which later bought BuzzMetrics.

BusinessWeek Online has nabbed another columnist for Scripps Howard News Service for taking corporate payments without disclosing them.

BWO, which outed payments from Jack Abramoff to two columnists in December, said Michael Fumento, a senior fellow at the conservative Hudson Institute, was dropped by the news service after the magazine inquired about a $60K grant he solicited from Monsanto to write a book on the agribusiness and biotechnology industries.

BWO notes Monsanto was the “frequent subject of praise in Fumento’s opinion columns and a book.”
News service editor Peter Copeland apologized to readers in a statement and said that Fumento did not tell editors about the ’99 grant.

Fumento told BWO that the money flowed from Monsanto to the Hudson Institute to support his work.

He said he sees no conflict because the grant was several years ago and added that disclosure of financial transactions between op-ed columnists and the companies they cover wouldn’t be practical.

The New York Observer, the cheeky weekly focused on the city's movers & shakers and media elite, is up for sale.

Editor Peter Kaplan has approached trade publishers and wealthy individuals who may want to take the paper off the hands of former Wall Streeter Arthur Carter.

The paper is losing $2M a year, and was hammered by the fall-off of real estate advertising following 9/11.

Carter landed the Observer, which has a circulation of 45,000, in ’87 and poured more than $40M into it.

CNN Headline News has given a one-hour prime time talk show to radio talking head Glenn Beck, who earned recent fame by organizing pro-war “Rallies for America” when he was at Clear Channel.

CNN HN president Ken Jautz describes Beck’s style as “self-deprecating cordial.” He is said to be “conversational, not confrontational.”

Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting takes issue with Jautz. It noted how Beck, 41, fantasized on-air about killing Michael Moore, and about former presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich bursting into flames.

Beck was pretty harsh on the victims of Hurricane Katrina and the families of 9/11. Less than two weeks after Katrina, Beck said: “I didn’t think I could hate victims faster than the 9/11 victims.”

Beck’s hire is part of Jautz’s plant to “launch different types of programming.” According to Beck’s website, he started broadcasting when he was 13 and moved to bigger markets until “alcoholism and drug addiction” took over when he was 30. Beck went into recovery and credits his baptism as a Mormon for his comeback.

Former Republican Congressman J.C. Watts is also set to join CNN as a regular contributor.

The Writers Guild of America, west, is taking aim at the upswing in “product integration,” the practice of weaving a product into the storyline of a TV show or film.

The group uses a spoof website,, to tell how it is “getting a little tired of advertisers taking over any reality show with a ratings pulse so they can insinuate their miserable products a little bit more deeply into our consciousness.”

The site singles out Procter & Gamble, Home Depot and Pepsi for stopping at “nothing to insert their brand names into every TV plotline. These diabolical advertising fiends are turning our favorite TV shows into cheesy infomercials!”

Patric Verrone, president of WGAw, believes viewers need to understand the difference between a product placement and integration. “Product placement is simply putting a branded box of cereal on the kitchen table in a show,” Verrone told the New York Times. “Product integration is having the characters talk about the crunchy deliciousness of the cereal or provoking them to go out and tell their neighbors to buy that cereal.”

The WGAw site pays tribute to Federal Communications Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, who spoke out against “stealth advertising” and the commercialization of the American media last May.

Google was busy last week. The search giant moved to acquire radio advertising company dMarc Broadcasting for an initial payment of $102M. The deal could cost Google $1.136B in potential payments. It will be folded into Google Adwords, its first radio component.

Also, the company is fighting the federal government, which is trying to subpoena search records in a pornography crackdown. Google’s unveiling of its new video service was hit by some in the press as falling flat.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, Jan. 25, 2006, Page 4


Over 200 Hispanic publications have hit the market in the last ten years as general interest, men’s and women’s titles have declined, according to the latest edition of The Standard Periodical Directory published by Oxbridge Comms.

The publication reports that Hispanic titles jumped from 124 in 1996 to 329 in 2006.

Oxbridge said a boost in the number of both regional and national Hispanic titles was notable.

Other categories showing growth were interior design (213, up from 125), wedding (from 50 to 130) and golf (from 102 to 170). Declines were evident in the college student press (from 4507 to 3097) and business and industry titles (down to 1126 from 2505).

Oxbridge noted 3,665 publications are available in electronic format only.

The latest directory is $1,595 in print.

People ___________________

GE mogul Jack Welch and his wife Suzy, former editor of the Harvard Business Review, have signed on to write a bi-monthly column for BusinessWeek.
“The Welch Way” is described by the magazine as providing “no-nonsense, get-it-done answers” to questions from readers about business, company and career issues.

The column debuted with BW's Jan. 30 issue.

Jack Welch was GE's CEO from 1981 to 2001.

Playboy has named Louis Mohn to replace departed publisher Diane Silberstein, who left for the top post at Penthouse last month.

Mohn, 49, was president of Primedia’s consumer automobile group for five years and earlier was SVP at Real Names Corp., an Internet startup. He was previously SVP of sales for BusinessWeek and began his career at BW parent McGraw-Hill Cos.

Barbara Britton has stepped down from the helm of Essence magazine after 17 years to start her own multicultural marketing firm. Essence is her first client.

Britton will transition from VP and associate publisher to a consulting role of publishing advisor.

Jay Fogarty, VP of sales and development for online business application developer Interland, has moved on to The Boston Globe as VP of strategic planning for its new Boston Globe Media unit.

Fogarty, who starts in the new position on Jan. 24, is charged with assessing new business opportunities and setting the growth strategy for the unit, which is owned, along with the newspaper, by The New York Times Co. BGM president Rick Daniels noted Fogarty’s strong background in developing multi-media growth plans.

Jeremy Miller, publisher of Down magazine, has re-joined hip-hop magazine The Source as president and CEO. Miller left The Source last year as COO to start Down, which focuses on southern hip-hop music and culture and continues to be published.

Patricia Van Arnum, executive editor, Chemical Market Reporter, has joined Pharmaceutical Technology magazine as a senior editor. Kaylynn Chiarello-Ebner was promoted to managing editor for the mag, which is published by Advanstar Comms.

Howard Brashman, an appellate litigator and author of the “How Appealing” weblog, has joined as a columnist. Brashman writes a weekly column, “On Appeal,” of analysis and commentary relating to state and circuit appellate courts, judges and cases. His first column, “Who’ll Be the Supreme Court’s Next Swinger?” appeared last week. is published by ALM, parent to The American Lawyer, The National Law Journal and Corporate Counsel, among other publications.

Debra Bulkeley, who oversaw website launches for TechTarget targeting IT managers, has joined Electronic Business magazine, as executive editor. She manages print and online operations for the Reed Business Information title, which is based in Waltham, Mass.

Ira Gabriel was promoted to publisher of Motor Trend, the influential Primedia publication which claims readership of seven million. Gabriel was VP of sales and marketing for Primedia’s performance automotive group, which includes Hot Rod, Truckin’ and Motorcyclist.

Bill McCarren, president/founder of U.S. Newswire, was awarded the National Press Club's Berny Krug Award for volunteerism to the group. Richard Dunham, White House correspondent for BusinessWeek and president of the club, cited McCarren’s leadership of the press club's speakers committee and praised his contacts in both the news and PR communities in D.C. McCarren founded U.S. Newswire in 1986. It was acquired by Medialink in 1999.

Robert Woodworth, former CEO of Pulitzer Newspapers Inc., has joined Advance Publications to help find a new publisher for The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer. Alex Machaskee, who currently holds the publisher post, announced his retirement last week and has agreed to stay on until a successor is named.

Briefs ___________________

Bloom: Your Guide to Beauty and Cosmetic Enhancement, a magazine aimed at beauty mavens, is now on newsstands and sold in spas and salons in Colorado.

The $9.99 mag carries up-to-the-minute news on skincare, cosmetic enhancement and tips from board-certified plastic surgeons.

Bloom Media expects to launch local versions of the magazine in Dallas, Houston and Arizona later this year. Betsy Martin is contact at 303/680-7004.

Embattled publisher Hollinger Int’l said it would split its Sun-Times News Group into two parts and prune 300 staffers, 10 percent of the group’s workforce.

Bauer Publications has combined its sales teams for In Touch and Life & Style. L&S publisher Rosanna Giacalone is out.

Internet Edition, Jan. 25, 2006, Page 5


Charlie Russell, a PR representative for former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy through his well-publicized Alabama trial, said a payment he made to a Birmingham freelancer was an advance for PR work, not a payment for stories.

Russell, a veteran PR executive who is president of C/A Russell Partners in Denver, was drawn into a pay-for-play controversy when the Associated Press reported two PR firms made payments to a Birmingham freelancer who was writing favorably about Scrushy's trial.

The writer, Audry Lewis, says she was paid $11K through The Lewis Group, a Birmingham PR Firm, while writing for The Birmingham Times. The AP said the firm also made a payment to a black clergyman who publicly supported Scrushy throughout the trial.

A message left by O’Dwyer’s for Jesse Lewis, head of The Lewis Group, was not returned.

Russell told O’Dwyer’s he made a $2,500 payment to the writer as an advance for PR work after the trial. He said that arrangement was made after he encountered Lewis – whom he knew “a little bit” – crying about a relative in Detroit who had died and needing money for the trip there. “I told her that after the trial is over there’s a lot more stuff that is going to be going on in Birmingham and I could use some help from somebody who knows their way around the black community,” he said. Russell said she agreed to the work and that he made the payment with a personal check and hand-written contract. “We never had a conversation about her stories, with the exception that I did provide her with some interview sources like I did for all of the other reporters down there,” he said. “It was a humanitarian gesture gone awry.”

Russell, former president of Manning, Selvage & Lee/Mid-America and VP of PR for Foote, Cone & Belding, Chicago, said he was introduced to Scrushy by a mutual acquaintance and continues to work for the executive. He stressed the writer was a freelancer and not a reporter for the paper and said he was not aware that The Lewis Group was hired by Scrushy. He said in the wake of the AP story that he would not now work with the writer, noting that no PR work had yet materialized with her because the judge covering the 61 civil cases against Scrushy has issued gag orders.

Audry Lewis, who said she wrote her initial columns in favor of Scrushy because she believed him to be innocent, has gone public because she says Scrushy owes her and the clergyman, Rev. Herman Henderson, $150K for the newspaper stories and PR work done to get support from black pastors to sway the mostly black jury in Scrushy’s case, according to the AP.

The AP said the payments raise questions about the legitimacy of the ostensibly grass roots support for Scrushy – who was acquitted on the $2.7B fraud rap – seen throughout his trial. Scrushy denied making the payments and told the AP in an e-mail that he “hit the ceiling” when he found out about them.

Jesse Lewis of The Lewis Group is the former owner and publisher of The Birmingham Times. His son is the paper's editor.


New York Area

Huff Entertainment, New York/Team Ashanti, as AOR for the recording artist for work including PR, event planning and marketing.

KCSA Worldwide, New York/IQ interactive, web-focused marketing and ad agency, for corporate positioning, case studies and campaign launches. MD Yin Change and VP Anne Donohoe manage the account.

Middleton & Gendron, New York/ALTOUR, global travel company, for its first PR program.

Plesser Holland Associates, New York/Villanova University’s College of Commerce & Finance, for a regional and national PR campaign.

Manning Selvage & Lee, New York/Heineken USA, for launch of Heineken Premium Light beer. Euro RSCG Magnet handled a national test run in select U.S. cities for the beer last year. Official launch is March 1.

Ruder Finn, New York/Frank Publishing, as AOR for PR for the company, which publishes Business Traveler and Travel Savvy. RF will guide a March 2006 re-launch of BT, which was acquired by Frank this year.


Schwartz Communications, Waltham, Mass./Picis; VFA, Inc.; Softricity; Reactivity, Inc.; Qlusters; NDO Surgical; iPolicy Networks; Epocrates, Inc.; Cochlear Americas; Burstek, and BioPassword.

Fleishman-Hillard, Washington,D.C./World Travel & Tourism Council, for global marketing of its 2006 summmit at the Washington Convention Center.

M+R Strategic Services, Washington, D.C./Gay Men’s Health Crisis, New York-based public health non-profit group, for public affairs work.

Koroberi, Chapel Hill, N.C./Flowserve Corp., as global trade PR firm for its product groups.

Boardroom Communications, Plantation, Fla./SOL Southeby’s International Realty, luxury property franchise for Miami-Dade County, for a campaign to target high-end buyers in the U.S., Europe and Latin America.

Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell, Orlando, Fla./National Assn. of RV Parks and Campgrounds, for a six-month PR campaign highlighting a survey of RV operaters and campers’ use of such facilities.

Mountain West

Volume PR, Denver, Colo./Graebel Cos., relocation specialist, and Prosperity Partners, finance company focused on helping individuals sell structured settlements like annuity payments or lottery winnings.


BlueCurrent PR, Dallas/Brach’s Confections, as AOR for the 102-year-old candy maker.


Publicis Dialog, Seattle, Wash./Screenlife, DVD game developer, as AOR for PR.

MWW Group, Seattle/Perkins Coie, law firm, for a strategic PR and branding campaign in the Pacific NW.

Nuffer, Smith, Tucker, San Diego/OnPoint Marketing and Promotions, to introduce web-based services and campaign management tools.

Internet Edition, Jan, 25, 2006, Page 6


Media Training Worldwide, New York, has unveiled a premium and free website focused on video and audio news and information related to media and presentation techniques. offers free members the ten most recent pieces and access to the site’s text content. Premium subscribers have access to all content, plus books and articles by MTW president TJ Walker.

The site currently distributes daily instructional videos and audio casts which are available in Podcast and Vodcast format.


Jason Cohen, former managing director for Strauss Radio Strategies, has opened CityCast Media in New York to leverage the rise of weblogs, audio and video podcasts, and RSS technology.

Cohen said he’ll work with small and medium-sized companies to develop campaigns for traditional and new media.

“If done correctly, there is a world of opportunity for the PR industry,” he said of growing interest in blogs and podcasts.

He has set up a blog at and is producing a video podcast series about New York called CityCast: New York.


Lisa Solomon, former human resources manager for Burson-Marsteller’s Midwest offices, has joined executive search firm Bloom, Gross & Associates in Chicago.

Solomon was previously corporate recruitment manager for GolinHarris.

Principal Karen Bloom noted the pool of PR talent is shrinking and “the war between companies in the Chicago area and across the nation is heating up.”


News Broadcast Network is preparing its 11th annual Super Bowl advertising preview package to give news stations a peek at the upcoming marketing bonanza that comes with the highest rated TV event of the year.

NBN packages B-roll of ads with commentary by John Collins, senior VP of marketing for the NFL, and Bill Bruce, EVP of BBDO North America.

Thirty-second spots are selling for over $2 million during the Feb. 5 game on ABC.

Also, NBN is currently marketing its PitchPlus service via an ad campaign backed by a microsite on the Internet.

NBN says they’re the first in the industry to use such a marketing tactic.

BRIEFS: eNR Services, a media relations services company based in Norwalk, Conn., has added three new clients for its flagship grassroots PR program, which targets local papers. They are: Haagen Daz Ice Cream, LoveSac Corp. and GarageTek. ...Factiva has unveiled a beta version of Factiva Search 2.0, which, it says, goes beyond traditional keyword searching to find other information relevant to a query.



Stuart Zakim, who oversaw PR for American Media, has moved to a new post at Showtime Networks in New York as VP of corporate PR. He reports to Richard Licata, EVP of corporate comms. Zakim is focused on campaigns for the network’s new media initiatives, research, sales, marketing and affiliate activities, and serves as its PR liaison with corporate parent CBS Corp. He has previously held senior PR posts at Wenner Media, Playboy and Universal Pictures.

Laura Hermann, who managed public outreach for the American Nuclear Society, to Potomac Communications Group, Washington, D.C., as a strategic comms. program director in the firm’s energy and technology unit.

Art Massa, SVP of comms., ACNielsen, to Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, Evanston, Ill., as VP of PR and comms. He heads internal, external and marketing communications for the company’s three hospitals, home services business, among other units.

David Prichard, director of investor relations and corporate comms. for Modine Manufacturing Co., to Corn Products Int’l, Westchester, Ill., as director of IR. He was VP of IR and corporate relations for the former Vigoro Corp. and Equity Investments and earlier held senior IR and corporate comms. posts at Mallinckrodt Group and Abbott Laboratories.

Kathy Costner, executive VP of IR, North American Oil and Gas, to Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., Pittsburgh, Texas, as VP of IR.

Michelle Ordeneaux, A/E, Dawson|Duncan Comms., to Michael & Partners, Dallas, as an A/S.

Gary Frantz, director of media and analyst relations, GT Nexus, returns to CNF Inc., San Mateo, Calif., as director of corporate comms. Prior to GT, he held a similar post at Capstan Systems and earlier was comms. director for Circle International Group. He was PR manager for CNF unit Consolidated Freightways and later director of corporate comms. for Con-Way Transportation Services.


Deborah Marquardt to VP, integrated comms., for hair products marketer Matrix in New York. She joined the company in 2003.

Julie Dixon to executive VP for GolinHarris’ Washington, D.C., and Baltimore offices. She heads the firm’s marketing and brand strategy units for both offices. In Chicago, GH has promoted Bill Steers to VP managing its Owens Corning business. Trent Frager, a PR exec for Exelon, has joined GH as a VP in Chicago managing Sprint PCS, Greeley and Hansen, and Cobra Electronics. He was formerly at Fleishman-Hillard.

Georgeana Fung and Albert Shu to VPs of Weber Shandwick/Hong Kong’s consumer marketing and corporate practices, respectively.

Andy Abramson, CEO of PR firm Comunicano in Del Mar, Calif., has been named to the advisory board for client SightSpeed, an Internet video-conference software developer.

Internet Edition, Jan. 25, 2006, Page 7


The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, a U.N.-affiliated organization, is looking for at least one PR firm to cover the U.S. and Canada.

The Geneva, Switzerland-based Fund was set up in 2002 mainly as a financial resource to distribute funds through public-private partnerships. It does not implement programs directly and has currently committed to financing $4.5 billion in programs across 130 countries – the majority are AIDS programs in sub-Saharan Africa.

President Bush diverted the bulk of U.S. AIDS funding to his own initiative, but the U.S. has still contributed $1 billion to the Fund. Randall Tobias, the former AT&T CEO and the U.S.’ first global AIDS official with the rank of ambassador, is the U.S. representative.

The Fund has issued an RFP to find a firm to maintain and improve knowledge of the Fund’s work among the U.S. press and public. Knowledge of global health issues and politics is considered important for the effort. A preliminary list of areas the Fund wants to concentrate on are Washington, D.C., New York, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. The RFP has been posted at

Rosie Vanek, communications officer for the Fund, declined to provide a budget saying “cost will be an important part of the competitive process by which the Fund makes a selection of a PR company.”

A contract is expected to be awarded and commence by April. Proposals are due Feb. 6, but firms must give notice by Jan. 27 that they intend to bid. Thomas Warren ([email protected]), contracts officer, is handling inquiries.


Rich Myers, who was senior VP-communications at VNU and its Nielsen Media Research unit, has joined Edelman’s financial practice. As executive VP, Myers reports to Andrew Merrill, global managing director.

Myers’ resume includes posts at the Chicago Board of Trade, NASDAQ and the Treasury Dept. He also was press secretary to former Rep. Fred Grandy and a news anchor in Sioux City.

VNU has received an $8.9B takeover bid from a group of private equity funds.


The 180-member Orlando chapter of PRSA has reported to police that $20,000 appears to be missing from the chapter’s bank account.

Sgt. Barbara Jones, police spokeswoman, said no one has been charged and an investigation is being made. Andrea Finger, chapter president, said the shortfall was found on Dec. 19 during the transition of the 2005 board to the 2006 board.

Michael Ertel, 2005 president, told members that the board is conducting an investigation of all the transactions in the account for the past three years.

The Orlando Business Journal carried a story on the missing funds on Jan. 17. The chapter’s programs are not being affected, said Finger, publicity director for the town of Celebration. Ertel has his own PR firm.


Richard and Christine Shock, who head a 14-year-old PR firm based in Hopkinton, Mass., outside of Boston, feel the time is ripe for franchising to come to the PR counseling industry.

Both said they have met many PR pros over the years who either lost or quit their jobs and who want to go into business for themselves but don’t quite know how to do it.

Many PR people also don’t like being completely on their own after years of working and sharing ideas with others, they said.

Christine Shock, noting that Entrepreneur magazine says franchises generate $1.5 trillion a year, says the winning formula of local ownership benefitting from nationwide promotion and expert advice can also be applied to PR firms.

The new firms would operate under the banner of ‘Shock PR’ and would receive marketing and business systems advice. Fee is $25K to become a franchise.

The Shocks have created a three-level PR service system with detailed written materials, workbooks and templates for use by the franchisees.

Says Christine Shock: “We’ve launched this system to help fellow PR pros realize their dream of being their own boss and having some flexibility in their lives, yet having a support network and other experts they can count on to help and guide them every step of the way. They can be on their own, but not be all alone.”

Richard Shock said veteran PR pros often know how to do PR but not how to run a business. Most do not spend enough time on bringing in new business, he added.

Week of Training Provided

Shock franchisees receive a week of training at the firm’s offices; follow-up web training and refreshers; detailed manual covering all business operations; written procedures, guidelines and templates for all PR services provided to clients; their own page on the Shock website; a subscription to an industry-standard media database; national advertising; ongoing support from the Shock PR firm, and the ability to network with other franchisees.

Further information is available at


Julie Roehm, who is marketing communications director at Chrysler Group, is joining Wal-Mart Stores USA next month as senior VP-marketing communications. Her position is a new one, and reports to John Fleming, Wal-Mart’s chief marketing officer.

Roehm has more than 10 years of automotive experience. She handled stewardship of the Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brands. Roehm’s responsibilities also included media purchasing, events, partnerships, interactive media and gaming, database, merchandising and licensing.

Prior to joining Chrysler in 2001, Roehm held numerous marketing and sales positions with the Ford Motor Company. She will relocate to Bentonville, Ark., Wal-Mart’s headquarters city.

Internet Edition, Jan. 25, 2006, Page 8




The Jan. 19 edition of The Economist has a positive article on PR, headlining that, “As advertising struggles, PR steps into the breach.”

Quoted are Richard Edelman and Pam Talbot of Edelman; Dorothy Crenshaw of Stanton Crenshaw; Hans Bender, PR exec at Procter & Gamble; Al and Laura Ries, authors of The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR, and Veronis Suhler Stevenson, investment house specializing in media and that is also a publisher and compiler of media statistics.

The Economist did not mention it but affiliate VSS Communications Partners owns PR News and Media Industry Newsletter among 50 other aviation, telecommunications and defense publications. VSS itself employs 70 and had $6.5 million in revenues in 2005, says Yahoo!Finance.

VSS statistics are cited on the growth of PR since 1999 but PR pros won’t like the headline on the chart – “The wages of spin.”

According to VSS, PR spending in the U.S. went from about $2 billion in 1999 to $3.8 billion in 2005 and should go to $5.2B by 2009. We have a hard time trying to make sense of these numbers.

The chart appears to measure only PR firm income, ignoring the amount spent on corporate, organizational PR, and government PR. There are at least 350,000 people employed in PR-related jobs, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Our ranking of PR firms in 1998 showed the top 50 alone had $2.26 billion in net fees. We collected income tax returns, W-3 forms showing payroll, CPA-attested employee counts, and other proofs. The 1999 total for the 50 was $2.8B with some figures supplied by the Council of PR Firms.

So if the top 50 alone billed $2.8 billion in 1999, how can VSS report U.S. PR spending was $2 billion that year? There are at least 10,000 other PR and “publicity” firms in the U.S. (based on Yellow Page lists) that do untold billions of business. There are also 16,000 ad agencies and almost every one claims ability to handle PR. PR spending, including lobbying, is in the tens of billions.

The Economist article says the ad business has become “fragmented” by the many media choices and that consumers want more information than is in ads. It quotes P&G (which has an ad budget of $4 billion), as saying PR “often” provides a better return than traditional ads. Talbot says companies can’t get away with “a tight, straight message via the media by issuing a one-way press release.”

P&G, according to the New York Times Jan. 15, “earned the wrath” of the Writers Guild of America West for “turning product placement into product drama.” In the TV show “What I Like About You,” two characters, as part of a plot, audition for an ad for P&G’s Herbal Essence shampoo. Singer Jadyn Maria also competes providing additional product exposure. The real ad then appears, featuring Maria. Such paid-for product-pushing plotlines, which payment is not revealed to the audience, have caused the writers to launch a website called It attacks advertisers “who want to turn our reality shows into infomercials.” ...German liqueur Jagermeister was portrayed as a fabulous PR success story in the Jan. 23 Time. Sidney Frank, who died in January at 86, popularized the product in college bars by having pretty “Jagerettes” pour free shots, boosting sales from 500 cases in 1974 to 2 million+ last year. Frank also introduced $30 Grey Goose vodka in 1997, selling it to Bacardi in 2004 for more than $2 billion. ...Owners of movie theaters are quaking in their boots because a new film called “Bubble” is going right to consumers via cable TV and DVDs. No need anymore to schlepp to the theater and pay $4.50 for a small bag of popcorn. ...PRSA, in a financial bind because of money lost on the Wilma-cancelled national conference, has told committee members they will have to pay their own travel, meals and hotel expenses. Such spending by volunteers and staff is about a half million each year, having reached a peak of $717K in 2000 when the board went to England. One president ran up expenses of nearly $200,000, sources say. The ex-presidents of PRSA, of which there are 25, get lifetime free dues and free admittance to the annual conference ($1,025 for other members). ...PRSA will have a hard time replacing Catherine Bolton as COO. The last search, by Korn/Ferry in 1993, turned up only two viable candidates: Ray Gaulke, who got the job, and Mitch Kozikowski, PR counselor.

Dozens turned it down because they didn’t want to get involved in politics-ridden h.q., which bars senior PR pros from working there, a policy set by 1980 president Patrick Jackson. Realizing a long search was needed when Gaulke suddenly and without a full explanation shifted to the PRSA Foundation at the end of 2000 (with four years still to go on his $250K contract), PRSA promoted Bolton to COO when she had been hired to do PR for the Society.

Travel Weekly (Jan. 16) quoted PR sources as criticizing the new “aggressive” PR policy of the Royal Caribbean cruise line in the wake of charges that passenger George Smith of Greenwich, Conn., was murdered during a cruise last year.

Cable TV networks have devoted thousands of hours to coverage of the unsolved death. Cruise line execs are now giving interviews, staging press conferences and have set up a website to answer questions.

Don Stacks of the University of Miami (Primer on PR Research, 2002), said RC’s response was “way too late.” Cruise retailers note that neither RC nor any cruise lines are booking fewer passengers in spite of the onslaught of TV coverage.

Critics of the cable TV news shows say they are using the RS story and the unsolved death of Natalee Holloway in Aruba to dodge coverage of a much more difficult subject—Iraq.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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