Contact O'Dwyer's : 271 Madison Ave., #600, New York, NY 10016; Tel: 212/679-2471; Fax: 212/683-2750
ODWYERPR.COM > Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter return to main page

Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter
Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter
The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Subscribe today


Jack O'Dwyer's NL logo
Internet Edition, Feb. 1, 2006, Page 1


The U.S. Census Bureau has set up an “industry day” for ad and PR pros on Feb. 17 at the Dept. of Commerce auditorium in Washington, D.C. The event will serve as a kickoff to the acquisition process to award what are expected to be lucrative contracts to market the 2010 count.

The bureau, part of the Dept. of Commerce, has also launched a website to serve as the main portal for its solicitation and operation of marketing comms.

The website will also include the presentation from the February event and the government plans to post a draft of any RFP for comment.

Young & Rubicam, part of WPP Group, guided the 2000 effort, with Cohn & Wolfe as the main PR firm. Budget for that three-year effort topped $160M, with about 64 percent going to media buys.

Burson-Marsteller, also part of WPP, in 2003 won a $1.2M contract with the census to help devise a way to count private citizens living overseas.


Don McGrath, who held top PR posts in the U.S. Army for more than 20 years, has been named VP-communications at Eaton Corp., the $11B diversified industrial based in Cleveland.

He joins from BASF Corp. North America, where he was VP-corporate communications since ’02. Previously, McGrath was VP-global communications at Rockwell Automation and corporate communications director at Textron.

McGrath retired from the military in `96 as a lieutenant colonel. He had served as spokesperson for the Army chief of staff, and PA director at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated with a degree in civil engineering.


Barbara Gasper, 51, is leaving her VP-investor relations slot at Ford Motor to pursue other interests as CEO Bill Ford revamps ranks at the No. 2 automaker.

Tim O’Brien, VP-corporate relations, has been shuffled in the reorg. He is now deputy chief of staff/executive operations & sustainability. In that non-officer role, O’Brien, 53, is to direct operation of Ford’s office of the chairman & CEO.

Ford is laying off 30,000 workers and shuttering 14 factories as part of its program to “retake the American roadway.” Its North American auto operations suffered a $1.6B pre-tax loss in ’05 as sales dropped to $81.4B from $83B.


Sochi 2014 has switched its Winter Olympics bid to Weber Shandwick from Burson-Marsteller. The Russian city on the Black Sea used B-M when it officially launched its effort to grab the Games last year. B-M had handled Moscow’s failed effort to win the ’12 Summer Games, which were awarded to London.

B-M released a statement to O’Dwyer’s to say the “Sochi bid has new management and has chosen a different agency.”

Andrey Braginski is the new marketing communications director for Sochi’s bid to host the Games. Braginski told this NL that B-M “was employed initially until submission of the questionnaire to the International Olympic Committee due Feb. 1.”

Sochi has a population of 350,000 living in a subtropical climate with alpine ski slopes less than an hour away. Russia has never hosted the Winter Games.

Rolf Olsen, CEO of WS/Europe, handles Sochi.


Dan Klores Communications has edged Edelman and Alan Taylor Communications to guide PR for the U.S. Tennis Association, professional tennis’ national governing body. DKC spearheaded a media campaign for the USTA for last year’s U.S. Open.

Five staffers led by EVP Scott Miranda will handle the account. On the PR slate is an image campaign aimed to revamp the way people view the USTA, tennis and its events, along with National Tennis Month in May.

Miranda told O’Dwyer’s DKC would “help people find a court, find a partner, and promote the fact that tennis is ‘your game.’”


Jeremy Pepper, an Arizona PR pro and one of the industry’s top bloggers, has put his Scottsdale-based firm on “hiatus” to join Weber Shandwick as a group manager in San Francisco.

Pepper founded POP! PR in May 2003, handling national PR and blogging programs for a roster of technology and consumer clients. Earlier, he was PR manager for Eastman Kodak’s Ofoto unit and worked on Kodak for WS predecessor Shandwick International, where he began his PR career as an intern. He left prior to the merger of Shandwick and Weber Group.

“We are in exciting times in PR, and I look forward to coming back ‘home’ to my first agency,”he told O’Dwyer’s. Pepper will continue to write the POP! PR Jots blog and work on online communications strategies for Agilent, BEA Systems, Cisco and Hitachi at WS.

Internet Edition, Feb. 1, 2006, Page 2


Americans are increasingly exposed to Pentagon propaganda used in psychological operations overseas, according to a just declassified Dept. of Defense report.

That could mean that the Defense Dept. is violating the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948, which prohibits the U.S. government from propagandizing the American public with information and psychological operations directed at foreign audiences.

The 74-page “Information Operations Roadmap” contends that the rise of the Internet and 24-hour news cycle makes it difficult to wall off the U.S. from international PSYOP. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld approved the Roadmap’s recommendations on Oct. 30, `03. In a forward to the Report, Rumsfeld wrote that the document provides the DoD with a “plan to advance the goal of information operations as a core military competency.”

The report was released Jan. 26 upon a Freedom of Information Act request by the non-profit National Security Archives. It notes the rise of the “global village.” The “increasing ability of people in most parts of the globe to access international information sources makes targeting particular audiences more difficult. Today the distinction between foreign and domestic audiences becomes more a question of U.S. Government intent rather than information dissemination practices.”

The Pentagon document says PSYOP is restricted by both DoD policy and executive order from targeting American audiences, military personnel and news agencies or outlets.

“However, information intended for foreign audiences, including public diplomacy and PSYOP, increasingly is consumed by our domestic audience and vice-versa. PSYOP messages disseminated to any audience except individual decision-makers (and perhaps even then) will often be replayed by the news media for much larger audiences, including the American public.”


Lincoln Group, Hill & Knowlton, Fleishman-Hillard, Charles Ryan Assocs. and Trevelino/Keller Comms. Group are among a dozen firms to respond to Army’s request for interest in guiding PR for its biometrics operations.

Biometrics encompasses technology like iris, face and hand scanning, and voice recognition, along with traditional fingerprint identification, usually for security applications. The science has been implemented in the “Global War on Terrorism” by the Pentagon, which is building a large database of known and suspected terrorists.

Additional firms identified by the Pentagon as potential bidders include CRT/tanaka, Public Strategies Inc., APCO Worldwide and Strat@comm.

An RFP is expected to be issued any day now for firms to compete for a five-year deal worth from $5-$10 million, depending on the need for services over time.

The Army wants a firm to provide PR support for biometrics programs and its two main facilities in Virginia and West Virginia.


Donald Trump has filed a $5B defamation lawsuit against Warner Books and Timothy O’Brien, author of “TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald.”

He claims that O’Brien’s contention that the real estate mogul’s net worth is “somewhere between $150M and $250M” is false. [O’Brien penned the Feb. 13, 2005 New York Times feature headlined, “Spinning Frenzy: PR’s Bad Press.”]

Trump’s law firm Kasowitz, Benson Torres & Friedman posted a release on Business Wire on Jan. 24 to say that Trump provided “voluminous and comprehensive financial information” to the author before the book was published.

Forbes magazine rigorously analyzed the very same books and records and other financial data that O’Brien and Warner chose to ignore, and concluded that Trump’s net worth conservatively is at least $2.7B,” said the release.

Trump, who last month launched a luxury travel venture with Travelocity, charges that both Warner and O’Brien “knew full well that their statements were false and malicious, but in hopes of generating book sales, they did not care.

A Warner Books spokesperson, Rob Nissen said Trump helped in the research of the book and that O’Brien was willing to meet with him at any time.

His statement calls O’Brien an “award winning, veteran business writer for the New York Times and his work, as does his book TrumpNation, speak for themselves.”

TrumpNation was published in October.


New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith plans hearings on Feb. 16 to examine the operating policies of U.S. Internet companies in China.

He is incensed with Google’s decision to self-censor its Chinese search engine. “It is astounding that Google, whose corporate philosophy is ‘don’t be evil,’ would enable evil by cooperating with China’s censorship policies to make a buck,” said Smith in a statement.

Smith, who chairs a House subcommittee on global human rights, said China’s policy of cutting the free flow on information is prohibitive for the growth of democracy and the rule of law. On behalf of the Chinese Government, Google has blocked sites from Friends of Falun Gong (spiritual group that the Chinese Government calls a cult), Tibet House, Tibet Government-in Exile, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, news of the Tiananmen Square massacre and Playboy.

The Republican said “many Chinese have been imprisoned and tortured in the search of truth, and now Google is collaborating with their persecutors.”

Smith has invited Google and executives from fellow China self-censors Yahoo! and Microsoft to testify. Google’s Chinese service does not include e-mail, chat and blog publishing services because People’s Republic of China officials fear those tools could be used to incite unrest.

Internet Edition, Feb. 1, 2006, Page 3


CBS Corp. and Warner Bros. plan to launch a new network, The CW, in the fall of ’06, at the same time pulling the plug on their struggling, respective networks The WB and UPN.

Each company will have a 50-percent stake.

Tribune Broadcasting and CBS’ UPN affiliates have entered into separate 10-year deals to air the network. Combined with The WB and UPN’s reach, the companies said CW will be in 98 percent of the country.

The new venture will be run by executives of the two networks. UPN president Dawn Ostroff will become president of entertainment for the new network, and John Maatta, COO of The WB, takes that title at CW.

Les Moonves, president and CEO of CBS, said CW will air “high-quality programming and maintain our ongoing commitment to our diverse audience.”

The new network will follow The WB's scheduling model and include programs from both networks while targeting a coveted younger demographic.

UPN and The WB will live on until the merger is completed in August.


The Public Broadcasting Service has named Paula Kerger, the COO of New York’s Educational Broadcasting Corp., president to replace Pat Mitchell. EBC is the license holder of Thirteen/WNET and WLIW, two of the biggest public TV stations.

Kerger officially takes over on March 13. Mary Bitterman, chair of PBS’ board, praised her as an “irrepressible champion of public television.”

Since `04, Kerger managed EBC’s editorial content, educational outreach, government affairs and communications. At Thirteen/WNET, she handled the launch of four digital channels: "ThirteenHD, Kids Thirteen, World and Create.

Kerger is vice chairman of American Public TV and the Assn. of Public Broadcasting Stations of New York.

Before PBS, Kerger worked as director of principal gifts at the Metropolitan Opera, director of development and alumni affairs for International House and program development for the U.S. Committee of UNICEF.

Mitchell calls for truce at PBS

Mitchell said public broadcasting suffered the most “egregious” political infighting under the management of ousted chairman Ken Tomlinson.

He is somebody who “doesn’t accept the fact that you check your partisanship at the door,” she told Broadcasting & Cable magazine.

Mitchell believes the best way for PBS to insure its future is for Uncle Sam to auction off the broadcast spectrum, and use some of the proceeds to set up a trust fund for public broadcasting.

She doesn't think that is going to happen very soon because of the current political reality in Congress.

Mitchell joins the Museum of Television & Radio in March as president.

She is the recipient of an ’06 “Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award” from B&C.

Search firm Spencer Stuart handled the search for Mitchell’s replacement.


The press is in a race against bloggers to deliver breaking news, said editors and producers for New York CBS and FOX news affiliates at a Jan 25th panel hosted by the Entertainment Publicists Professional Society at Dillon’s Lounge.

Blogs and web-only news sites pose a threat to both TV media and the PR firms that pitch them, the panel said. Both industries have now found themselves competing against cyberspace to deliver information to the public in a timely manner.

“The web is having a tremendous effect on crisis communications,” said Audrey Pass, director of communications for WCBS-TV. “The use of blogs and the ‘Net are having an impact on the PR industry and its ability to deliver stories to us, so to dismiss them is foolish.”

According to Rich Bamberger, assignment manager for WCBS-TV, Internet-only news sites have made such an impact on the nightly news that WCBS has begun to change its scope. Bamberger said many stories WCBS airs now center on local “neighborhood and people” profiles – items you usually won’t find on the Internet.

“The Internet has influenced our focus on the kind of original stories that we can deliver. By the time we air (the story), people already know about it,” he said. “What we’re looking for now are neighborhood stories and people stories. I can’t stress this enough. That’s what we’re fighting for right now.”

Mio Abe, assignment editor for Fox5 News, said she speaks with PR pros “less and less” because she sees many of the same news items over the Internet.

However, the panel noted that the publicity industry shouldn’t view today’s media climate as moving toward PR obsolescence. Rather, PR pros should use it as a model for how to begin pitching the local news in the future. Instead of battling bloggers for time, experts should now deliver news items with a “personable face” that television journalists can use to their advantage.

“It’s really about the people. People at home are going to connect with other people, not with your client,” said Deborah Dorf, planning editor and entertainment producer at Fox5 News.

“If you’re doing an entertainment-type story, put a personable face on it,” she said.

PR holds validity advantage

Bamberger said PR isn’t usually his first source for information, primarily because many of the tips he receives from publicists don’t “relate your event or client to the day’s events.”

“We get a lot of news tips from scanners. Police scanners, fire scanners, ambulances … then from tips, then from PR. We get very little from the papers. Hopefully we’ll see what we do in the papers the next day,” he said.

While the Internet has vastly changed the information landscape, the panel said that traditional media pitches from PR firms still house an advantage over cyberspace: validity. “In terms of blogs, you don’t know who wrote it,” Bamberger said. “You have to check to see if those things are real or fake.”

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, Feb. 1, 2006, Page 4


Walt Disney Co. is launching Wondertime, a parenting magazine aimed at mothers with children under age six, next month.

The quarterly offers insights into the physical, social, emotional and intellectual development of children. It wants to showcase the "simple joys of raising a child" and allow mothers to "view the world as their children do."

Lisa Stiepock is editor of Wondertime. She was director of creative development at FamilyFun.

The premier issue has articles about how children mimic their parents and gain understanding of the concept of time. It has advertising from Hasbro, Johnson & Johnson, Quaker Oats and Kimberly-Clark.

Heather Johnson, Disney Publications, 244 Main Street, Northampton, MA 01060, will consider contributions from parents interested in submitting stories for Wondertime, which is Disney's first mag launch since ’91.

FamilyFun revamped

Disney has redesigned 15-year-old magazine FamilyFun and boosted its rate base to two million, the company said. Disney bought the publication, which targets parents with kids from ages three to 12, in 1992.

The magazine has also added a “family traditions” department and a “creative solutions” column.


James Carville, the 'Ragin' Cajun, is to rag about sports in March on XM Satellite Radio. He will co-host a one-hour talk with Luke Russert, the son of NBC TV commentator Tim.

The duo will mostly talk about baseball, basketball and football.

XM also will give NASCAR's Dale Earnhardt, Jr., a one-hour show next month, featuring the latest tidbits from the racing ciruit.

The show will debut on XM's Nascar Radio during the week of Feb. 13, which is Daytona Speedweek.

Earnhardt will also talk about music, video games and other topics.

People __________________

Glenn Kramon, associate managing editor for the New York Times, has been named assistant ME for enterprise, a post charged with stimulating and managing original reporting ventures for the paper.

Metropolitan editor Susan Edgerley was promoted to assistant managing editor for career development, taking over Kramon's previous duties.

Joe Sexton, deputy Metro editor, was promoted and drops the “deputy” title, taking over for Edgerley.

Richard Berke, associate ME, was named assistant managing editor for news.

Andreas Laar, an investment banker at Allen & Co., was named senior VP of business development for SIRIUS Satellite Radio. He is charged with fostering partnerships with media, communications and tech companies to grow the companies reach.

Longtime Philadelphia news anchor Larry Kane has signed on to host “Larry Kane: Voice of Reason,” a 30-minute weekly public affairs show on CN8, The Comcast Network.

The program airs on Sundays at 6:30 p.m.

Al Gore has signed a deal with Rodale Books to write a book on climate change. The tome is titled "An Inconvenient Truth" and shares that name with a documentary about Gore's travels lecturing about global warming that was shown at the Sundance Film Festival this year.

Briefs _____________________

Dow Jones has re-launched Barron’s Online as a separate, premium product from the Wall Street Journal Online. DJ claims 45K paid subscribers. has added four blogs covering market activity to its portal. Jim Cramer and Jim DePorre write about equities markets, Steve Smith covers options and Tony Crescenzi, bond activity.

Penthouse Magazine has launched a digital edition with its February '06 edition. Readers can buy a digital subscription or single issue on the magazine's website. The company said the deal, with Zinio Systems, allows it to give advertisers a new venue and add to the publication's ABC rate base.

Starz Entertainment Group, The Hollywood Reporter and production company Sandra Carter Global have banded together to produce a weekly half-hour entertainment news show to focus on the business of making movies.

The show, "Starz The Hollwood Reporter," premiered on Jan. 26 on the Starz network and will air on Thursdays.

Regular segments include "Top Stories," "Cover Story," and "In Production," which includes on-set interviews with filmmakers and actors.

National Lampoon, which runs the largest campus TV network, has inked a deal to stream its content online via Akimbo Systems. NL says it reaches more than 600 schools and 4.8 million students at colleges and universities. Akimbo, which charges subscribers $9.99/month, streams content like concerts, Major League Baseball games and other video media.

The Economist Group has acquired EuroFinance Conferences Ltd., which produces about 20 events a year for senior finance professionals, for $9.5M in cash. A $2.5M payment was deferred based on performance.

TEG will fold the company into its CFO Publishing unit, which includes CFO magazine.

Google News has moved out of beta after more than three years and personalized its news-tracking features. The company said it received a lot of feedback from editors and readers ( one complaint was that people didn't want press releases viewable on the homepage, but Google noted they are useful in search results).

A new feature has been added to automatically recommend stories based on earlier stories users had viewed.

Internet Edition, Feb. 1, 2006, Page 5


5W PR has acquired The Pinnacle Group, a boutique financial communications shop that will serve as the foundation for an investor relations practice at New York-based 5W.

Mark Cohen, who headed Pinnacle, has joined 5W as a VP. He was formerly a managing partner for KCSA PR Worldwide and VP of Cameron Associates.

5W president Ronn Torossian said at least two other deals expected to close by the second quarter are in the works for the firm.


Engage PR, an Alameda, Calif.-based tech PR firm, has aligned with London-based AxiCom Limited. Engage was formerly Gallagher PR until 2002.

Axicom, which will guide international PR support for Engage clients, has additional offices in Germany, France, Belgium/Hollard/Luxembourg Italy, Spain and Scandanavia. Engage clients slated to utilize the deal are NetDevices and Kineto Wireless.

The firms have collaborated in the past without a formal arrangement.

BRIEFS: Sitrick and Co. is representing Performance Transportation Services through its Ch. 11 filing this month. The company, which claims to be the No. 2 transporter of new automobiles in North America, has secured $10M in financing and is looking to reduce debt and streamline its operations. Sitrick’s New York office is handling communications. ...Rogers & Associates, a 28-year-old PR and public affairs institution in Los Angeles, has changed its name to The Rogers Group. CEO and founder Ron Rogers said the new moniker “better reflects the firm’s internal strengths and outside collaborations.” He said clients had continually refered to the firm by the new name anyway, because of its various practices and partnerships. ...Nourie PR, New York, has opened a Philadelphia outpost and inked a deal to serve as an affiliate of Ruder Finn in the city. Founder and president Phil Nourie, a Pa. native who previously worked for RF, said he met with David Finn and a few months later a deal was official. He has four staffers in Philadelphia to guide media relations and marketing efforts. The firm has just signed Dranoff Properties, CitiStructure and Evolvence Capital, a Dubai-based investment management firm. ...Rhode Island is looking for a PR firm with a “strong interest and/or presence” in the state to guide a $150K effort to conduct renewable energy education and outreach. Proposals are being accepted through the state’s purchasing portal through Feb. 23. ...Bridge Worldwide has changed its name to Bridge Global Strategies to highlight what the firm said was its true focus: international communications. ...Financial Dynamics has acquired a majority stake (74 percent) in South Africa-based Beachhead Media. The firm has offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Nic Bennett, managing director for FD in London, has re-located to South Africa to work with BM in developing opportunities.


New York Area

Dentsu Communications, New York/Trentino Alto Adige, for a three-year contract to promote two Italian food products to the U.S. market.

French/West/Vaughan, New York/Joanna Mastroianni, designer, for media relations during the “7th on Sixth” fashion show, Feb. 3-10.

KMR Communications, New York/Faremon, sportswear; The Body Perfect, a Las Vegas salon/spa, and Equibal Labs, for support of its beauty product lines.

Laura Davidson PR, New York/The Ritz-Carlton Naples and The R-C Golf Resort Naples, for PR.

Morris + King Company, New York/The Ritz-Carlton Club, fractional ownership real estate, for a national PR campaign, following a review.

Peppercom, New York/TNS, market and media research group, as U.S. AOR.


KempGoldberg, Portland, Me./The Abacus Group, voluntary employee benefits provider; Bacoi-Dalloz, multinational industrial group; Ski Maine Assn.; WinterKids, non-profit, and Worksite Specialty Partners, voluntary employee benefits marketer.

Corporate Ink, Newton, Mass./Guardium, database security, automation; PanGo Networks, business asset monitoring; Procuri, spend analysis and supplier management services, and SoBran, federal biomedical services supplier.

Ogilvy PR Worldwide, Washington, D.C./FebBid, online procurement portal for public sector commercial acquisitions, for PR via the firm’s technology unit.

Andria Mitsakos PR, Delray Beach, Fla./Coral by Hilton Resorts, as AOR for its four Domincan Republic properties.

Boardroom Communications, Plantation, Fla./Florida Property & Casualty Assn., for a public affairs effort highlighting auto insurance market issues.


GolinHarris, Chicago/Unilever Ice Cream, as AOR for PR to support its Breyers, Popsicle, Klondike and Good Humor brands following a review of several firms. EVP/director Patti Temple Rocks leads the account with VP Carrie von der Sitt.

Kohnstamm PR, St. Paul, Minn./Nordic Ware, for media relations for the company’s 60th anniversary; Reed’s Inc., for support of its Reed’s Ginger Brew, and Hennepin County Medical Center.


Firmani + Associates, Seattle/ScreenPlay Inc., audio/visual services, for marketing comms.

Tamara Wilson PR, Seattle/McCormick and Schmick; Morton’s Steak House; E.E. Robbins, jeweler; Fork restaurant; Boka restaurant; Mario’s of Seattle, fashion retailer, and Potluck Press, greeting cards.

Edelman, Mountain View, Calif./Aperto Networks, WiMAX services, for strategic counsel, media relations and corporate branding in the U.S., Asia, Europe and Latin America.

Morgan Marketing & PR, Irvine, Calif./Kean Coffee; Poquito Mas; Wetzel’s Pretzels; Hot Dog on a Stick, and Centex Homes, for PR.

Internet Edition, Feb. 1, 2006, Page 6


D S Simon Productions, New York, recently guided a video project for the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau to promote plans for Mardi Gras 2006.

Simon, which handled the project on a pro bono basis, interviewed bureau president Stephen Perry and shot and produced B-roll footage and an SMT.

This year’s Mardi Gras is New Orleans’ 150th. Simon has put the video on its website,


Medialink Worldwide has named BitPass CEO Douglas Knopper to its board of directors replacing J. Graeme McWhirter, the chairman and CEO of MW’s Teletrax unit who resigned from the nine-member board at the beginning of the year.

Knopper, 44, was formerly SVP and GM of digital advertising company DoubleClick and earlier was at Lowe and Partners and TBWA/Chiat Day.

Medialink’s chairman/CEO/president Larry Moskowitz is heading the company’s Teletrax unit while a search to replace McWhirter is underway.

McWhirter, a 19-year veteran of Medialink, remains a consultant to Teletrax.

BRIEFS: International Association of Business Communicators has teamed with PR Newswire to launch a new online news center. IABC used PRN’s Mediaroom tool to add RSS feeds, organizational information and an image gallery to its portal, which also includes press releases and kits. PRSA revamped its media portal last year with TEKGroup Int’l. ...Digital video delivery company The NewsMarket said it provided 128K clips to news outlets in 2005, a 95 percent increase over 2004. The company also said clients which source video through its system rose from 4,000 to 7,500, including CNN, BBC and Bloomberg TV. ...Beverly Bishop, an ad exec for Yellow Book, has joined eNR Services in Norwalk, Conn., as a sales executive. ... PRSA’s New York chapter has re-launched its web presence at Registration for chapter events, a members directory and links to other PR sites are included. Art Stevens, president of the chapter, said the new site is the start of a “drive to put more content and services in our members’ hands.” A task force of members headed by Don Bates of Media Distribution Services oversaw the revamp. ...Auritt Communications Group, New York, produced a satellite media tour with Ted Allen from “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” from the Absolut Ice Bar in London for Absolut Vodka. ...A video highlights package for Virgin Atlantic’s Global Flyer launch was On The Scene Productions’ top spot of 2005 by far. The package chocked up 6,973 hits, or 6,000 more than the No. 2 spot – the announcement of the “Live 8” concert for EFPR. The National Sleep Foundation’s 2005 Sleep Poll rang in at No. 3, followed by a Jive Records spot for R. Kelly and an American Medical Association project on meat and colon cancer.



Ellen Fletcher, former senior VP for Weber Shandwick in Cambridge, Mass., has joined Racepoint Group as a senior VP. Fletcher brings 18 years in technology PR to Waltham, Mass.-based Racepoint, which was set up in 2003 by former WS COO Marijean Lauzier. Fletcher was formerly VP and GM of Alexander Ogilvy PR Worldwide’s Boston office and earlier was SVP for GolinHarris, heading client services for its Digital Equipment Corp. and Texas Instruments accounts. Earlier stints included Lois Paul & Partners and Smart Software.

Stephen Bingham, an independent consultant and former VP for Ogilvy and Environics Comms., to MCS, Inc., Bedminster, N.J., as a VP.

Darren Horwitz, former corporate communications manager for Sony Computer Entertainment America, has set up his own shop, Imprint PR (, in Brookline, Mass. Horwitz told O’Dwyer’s he left Sony after the tech downturn and tried freelancing, which he said worked out well. “As time passed, I decided to turn my role as a freelancer into a real business,” he said.

Ayanna Canty, comms. manager for the United Negro College Fund, to the American Society of Travel Agents, as director of comms.

Kathleen Oswald, PR coordinator, West Chester Univ., to Schubert Communications, Downingtown, Pa., as a PR consultant.

Donna Fleishman, who headed the Georgia Aquarium account for Fletcher Martin, to GCI Group, Atlanta, as president of the office. She takes over for Bill Marks, who has been named North America technology practice leader. Fleishman previously headed Cohn & Wolfe’s consumer division and opened and managed Edelman’s Atlanta operation. Key clients for GCI include Lowe’s and Cingular.

Kevin Brett, former director of corporate PR for LSI Logic Corp., was named senior VP to head Edelman’s semiconductor group in Silicon Valley. Prior to ten years at LSI, he was the top comms. pro at the Semiconductor Industry Assn. and earlier was press secretary for former Gov. George Deukmejian.


Mark Schroeder to senior VP and director of M Booth & Associates’ corporate practice in New York. Also, Elliott Nesterman to design director; Lauren Swartz to senior A/S, consumer; Andrew Rossi to senior A/E, travel/lifestyle, and Kelly Peterson to A/E, healthcare.

Andy Baron to senior account manager, PAN Communications, Andover, Mass.

Craig Shirley, president of Shirley & Banister Public Affairs in Alexandria, Va., has signed a contract with the conservative Intercollegiate Studies Institute to write his second book on Ronald Reagan, slated for a 2008 release. The latest tome will be a study of Reagan’s election in 1980. Shirley wrote “Reagan’s Revolution: The Untold Story of the Campaign That Started It All” last year about Reagan’s failed presidential bid in ‘76.

Internet Edition, Feb. 1, 2006, Page 7


The World Economic Forum, which is currently meeting in Davos, Switzerland, unveiled a poll of more than 20,000 people in 20 countries that showed a sharp decline in public trust in national governments, the U.N., and multinational companies.

Trust is “close to the lows recorded after 9/11,” said the report. A chart of the decline in trust in companies since 2002 shows the U.S. as having the second greatest decline—19%. The only worse decline was in Spain, which registered a 36% decline.

Germany, Turkey and Canada also registered double-digit declines while there were only slight declines in trust in Argentina, South Korea, Mexico and China. Trust declined 7% in the U.K.

The survey’s results were revealed in a special section in the Jan. 30 Time magazine.

PR Industry Had 'Trust' Summit

Nineteen PR industry groups had conducted a Summit on “trust” Jan. 14-15, 2003, in Madison, N.J. It was the largest gathering of leaders of these groups in the history of the field.

A key motivating factor was that the stock market was dropping in the wake of 9/11 and PR and IR leaders were collecting ideas on how to restore trust in corporate America.

Chair of the meeting was James Murphy of Accenture, immediate past president of the Arthur W. Page Society.

The “credibility crisis in corporate America,” touched off by the dot-com bust and the scandals at Enron, Worldcom and Global Crossing, had helped to trim $7.3 trillion off the stock market since March 2000, the meeting was told.

The Page group later published a white paper on the summit and then a book of essays by corporate leaders on how to restore trust.

Cynicism, Open Protest Are Rampant

The Time essay, by Peter Gumbel, said “deference” to institutions is “dead” and has been replaced by "sniping, cynicism and an outpouring of open protest ... thanks to the Internet, every individual's gripe can now be amplified and diffused to a mass audience...”

Adding to the Enron and Worldcom scandals are the revelations about the activities of lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the article says.

While stock markets have been rising lately, easing the sense of crisis that enveloped the Madison conference of PR leaders, “ordinary people the world over have cause to complain about being locked out of the party,” it says.

One factor in their unhappiness, says Gumbel, is that “chief executives are cutting themselves huge paychecks.”

CEO pay at major companies is currently running at more than 500 times the pay of the average worker at these companies. It once was in the range of 20 to 30 times the average pay.

Kate Watts, London-based marketing consultant, told Gumbel that too many people feel they have been lied to.

She quoted a poem by Rudyard Kipling: "If any question why we died/Tell them, because our fathers lied."

Traditional forms of advertising and marketing are losing their credibility with consumers, according to Watts. She labeled as "cynical" the trend to “buzz marketing” in which consumers are paid to plug products.

The World of Mouth Marketing Assn., based in the U.S., has a code of ethics that requires individuals who promote products for pay to reveal this fact when doing such promoting.

Edelman Finds Trust Among Friends

Edelman released its seventh annual Trust Barometer in conjunction with the meeting in Davos that found the most credible spokesperson a company can have is “a person like me.” The survey was among 2,000 “opinion leaders” in 11 countries.

In Brazil, 86% of the respondents described people they could relate to as "extremely" or "very" credible, up from 76% in 2005. In the U.S., the number was 68%, up from 56% in 2005.

Business magazines continue to be the most trusted source of information about a company in all countries. A close second are friends and family.


NewsUSA, which sends prepared articles to thousands of media, is continuing its "Clips Rewards Program" for editors despite criticism of the program last December by Scott Bosley, executive director, American Society of Newspaper Editors.

Bosley said the program, in which editors can compile points towards products such as a set of steak knives by sending back clips of NewsUSA articles, is barred by the ethics codes of most newspapers.

"Most newspapers and the ASNE are absolutely opposed to participating in the sordid game NewsUSA has devised," he said.

Rick Smith, founder of the company, said that regular clipping services miss many clips and his program helps to fill in the gaps. He said clients want to see as many clips of their stories as possible. Smith was once an accredited member of PRSA.

The 70-person company was profiled in the Dec. 12, 2005 Washington Post. The company said it has regular users at 4,000 newspapers and 700 radio stations.

PRSA Denies NewsUSA Distributes Stories

The matter was brought to the attention of the Board of Ethics and Professional Standards of PRSA, headed by David Rickey of Alfa Insurance, by North American Precis Syndicate, which also distributes prepared stories to media.

Replying to NAPS was Judy Voss, director of professional development of PRSA.

Her e-mail said, “The company and individual you cite are vendors to our profession, and apparently directly to clients we may share. As a service provider having nothing to do with inserting information into channels of communications on behalf of themselves or clients, even though their work seems directly related to measurement of PR activities, his business falls outside the PRSA Code ... even if he is an active member of PRSA...”

Internet Edition, Feb. 1, 2006, Page 8




Waggener Edstrom’s opening of a “PA and lobbying” office in Brussels (12/5/05 NL) has caught the attention of Daniel Edelman, who does not think the two functions should be mixed.

Edelman, the world’s largest independent with $230 million in fees in 2004, has an office in Brussels that does PA but no lobbying.

The same is true for the firm’s Washington, D.C., office. It may supply information to law firms that do lobbying and sometimes supply material directly to lobbyists, but it does not “go into the Senate or House to represent clients,” says Edelman.

Michael Deaver, top Reagan aide, agreed to do no lobbying when he joined the firm in 1992.

“Lobbying is a different business from PR,” Edelman added, without going into many details.

The “details” of what lobbyists do in the U.S. are only too apparent, especially with the Jack Abramoff scandal unraveling. Lobbying involves a lot of personal interaction with legislators outside the view of the public that may cross the line of propriety. Fund-raising for lawmakers is a common activity among lobbyists. Attempts to cut this back have had little success.

The public never gets to pass judgment on what is said by lobbyists nor what deals they might make. This is the opposite of what PR is supposed to do—deliver public debate and discussion leading to improved public understanding of an issue.

Trust in U.S. companies plummeted 19% from 2004 to 2005, according to study among 20,000 people in 20 countries by the World Economic Forum. It was unveiled in the Jan. 30 Time mag in conjunction with the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The only country with a steeper drop in corporate trust was Spain with a 36% drop.

This is no doubt a blow to the 19 PR organizations that met Jan. 14-15, 2003 in Madison, N.J., to discuss ways to restore trust in companies after the Enron, Worldcom, Global Crossing and other scandals. It was the biggest gathering ever of PR groups and was chaired by James Murphy of Accenture, 2002 president, Arthur W. Page Society.

Participants urged “transparency” for corporations but also cautioned they must be clean before they can “go public.” Some skeptics wanted to know what proof is there that an open policy accomplishes corporate goals. Page published a collection of essays by corporate leaders on how to develop trust.

A thorny problem, said Time, is “the huge paychecks” that CEOs are getting when “ordinary people the world over” feel they are “locked out of the party.” Protest groups, helped by the Internet, are multiplying, says Time.

New business is what’s on the minds of PR counselors, as indicated by the story that drew the most hits on the O’Dwyer website in January. The story described the six-month, $24,000 program of RSW of Cincinnati that helps firms win new clients. ...also related to the PR agency business was a full-page ad in the Jan. 24 Wall Street Journal that demanded an end to the “sweatshop conditions at advertising and PR agencies.” A side motive for the ad was bringing in business for the MGH ad agency of Owings Mills., Md. Supposedly, the better working conditions at MGH foster team spirit (helped by a staff bowling night) and more creativity. CEO Andy Malis said he has heard numerous stories about New Yorkers working far into the night at big ad agencies and PR firms. Several of his staffers once worked at those shops. ...a comment we got from a PR exec a couple of years ago was that given the $20K cost of family health insurance, about the only people New York firms can afford are “young singles.” ...we hope PR and related majors get to read these stories so they won’t have delusions about PR careers. Only the most highly motivated are going to succeed. Their unmarried state (medical insurance is only $5K for singles) gives them an edge in the job market. ...PR students need all the help they can get but the vast majority are barred from joining PRSA or its student society, PRSSA. Only 270 of the 4,000 colleges have an approved PR sequence.

This “elitist,” anti-competitive policy is a violation of the 1977 consent decree PRSA signed after the FTC charged PRSA with “unfair methods of competition and unfair acts or practices that violate Section 5(a) of the FTC Act.” unholy alliance of the Educators Academy of PRSA and most of the 25 living ex-presidents of PRSA is blocking so-called “at large” student membership. Onerous PRSA rules are also a factor. A student chapter must first be “endorsed” by the president and four members of a local PRSA chapter and guidance obtained from two professors. Students should avoid this political and bureaucratic gauntlet and set up their own PR or communications clubs using the name of their schools. Founding and holding office in such groups are great resume enhancers. The O’Dwyer Co. will donate to any such student group a set of our directories and provide website, newsletter and magazine subscription to its members without charge. The O’Dwyer NL and magazine are the only PR publications ever put on Lexis-Nexis (in full text since 1989). PRSA has abandoned its “PR Body of Knowledge” but there is a new one in the form of five years of searchable stories on

PRSA, commenting on the American Society of Newspaper Editors criticism of NewsUSA’s policy of offering gifts to editors who return clips of NewsUSA’s articles, said the activity is “outside the PRSA Code” because NewsUSA isn’t “inserting information into channels of communication.” That happens to be exactly what the company does. The opinion came from PRSA staffer Judy Voss rather than ethics chair David Rickey of Alfa Insurance. Editors who send 100 clips can receive such rewards as a bike or a three-room Coleman tent, and sending in 2,000 clips can be worth a diamond bracelet or John Deer lawn tractor.

--Jack O'Dwyer


Copyright © 1998-2020 J.R. O'Dwyer Company, Inc.
271 Madison Ave., #600, New York, NY 10016; Tel: 212/679-2471