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Internet Edition, March 8, 2006, Page 1


Burson-Marsteller, teamed with graphic design firm Words Pictures Ideas, has won a competitive review for a public outreach campaign on behalf of San Francisco County’s Office of Emergency Services and Homeland Security.

Amy Ramirez, an emergency planner for OES, told O’Dwyer’s that the county agency ranked a list of 10 vendors for marketing and advertising and issued an RFP for a specific project to the top proposers.

OES, which covers the county and city of San Francisco, issued an RFQ in December to set up a pre-qualified list of firms. Weber Shandwick, Burson-Marsteller, Manning Selvage & Lee, Solem & Associates, and Staples Marketing Communications were tapped last month as PR contractors for OES, along with a handful of advertising and design shops.

Samsung is putting up for review its entire PR account, now handled by several PR firms and valued at close to $2 million. An RFP has been circulated. Current firms include Edelman; Cohn & Wolfe; HWH PR/New Media, and Publicis Dialog. D.J. Oh is U.S. CEO based in Ridgefield Park, N.J.


5W Public Relations edged Dan Klores Communications and Edelman for the six-figure-plus Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa in Aventura, Fla. Hill & Knowlton had worked for the Center.

More than 75,000 people have enrolled in the one and two-week Pritikin’s lifestyle change programs. The Pritikin program focuses on daily exercise and eating whole foods like fruit, vegetables, and lean meats.

Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5W, calls the Center a “vital institution at a time that America’s health crisis is in such a horrific state.”


Public Communications Inc.’s Dick Barry stepped down as CEO of the 43-year-old Chicago-based firm on March 1. The 71-year-old executive will officially retire in September.

With Barry’s exit, PCI becomes one of the largest female-owned PR firms. The firm is headed by Dorothy Pirovano, 61, who becomes president and CEO. The 25-year PCI veteran has counseled GlaxoSmithKline, Baxter Healthcare, Hoffmann-LaRoche, and 3M.

She is joined at the top by Ruth Mugalian, 54, and Jill Allread, 41. Mugalian takes over for Pirovano as secretary. Allread assumes the treasurer spot.


Seventy-five of 130 independent PR firms reporting to the O’Dwyer Co. had gains of more than 10% in 2005 with 19 of the top 25 growing 10%+.

Ten of the 25 had gains of 20% and more and six grew 30% and more.

Edelman led the independents with a 13.6% jump to $261,858,702. Its increase of $31M was the largest gain in fees on the list.

5W PR, up 85% to $5,043,600, was the fastest growing firm in PR for the second year in a row.
PR firms submitted top pages of income tax returns, W-3s showing total payroll and other proofs.

The sizable gains were in contrast to the observable performance of PR firms owned by conglomerates.

Holding Cos. Block PR Reports

While the five holding companies wouldn’t let their PR units reports for the fourth year in a row, overall PR totals were available from public documents of Omnicom and WPP Group.

OMC PR fees were up 2.1% in 2005 to $1 billion. This includes an unknown amount from numerous acquisitions that are made on a multi-year basis so that actual “organic PR revenues” could be down.
OMC’s holdings include Fleishman-Hillard, Ketchum, Porter Novelli and Brodeur.

WPP (Burson-Marsteller, Hill & Knowlton, Ogilvy PR, Cohn & Wolfe, GCI Group) reported $967M in PR fees which JPMorgan figured was a 4% gain adjusted for the acquisition of GCI in 2005.

Interpublic (Weber Shandwick, Golin Harris, Powell Tate, Rogers & Cowan) stopped breaking out its PR fees in 2002, combining them with sales promotion, branding, interactive, healthcare, event marketing.

Also shielding PR fees are Publicis (Publicis Dialog, Manning, Selvage & Lee) and Havas (Euro RSCG Magnet and Life NRP, and Abernathy MacGregor).

Independents Exultant

Independent PR principals, many of whom once worked for conglomerates, said their growth shows that PR does best in an independent environment. Some of the principals, even though their fees were flat, said they were happy to be on their own.

They recalled advertising’s quest to buy out the PR counseling business by offering generous amounts of cash and stock and by telling the PR firms they were doomed if they didn’t join one of the giants.

But many PR firms that sold to ad agencies did not do well in the ad environment. Those that couldn’t meet

(Continued on page 5)

Internet Edition, March 8, 2006, Page 2


Former President Bill Clinton advised leaders of the United Arab Emirates on how to win approval for the $6.8B deal to take over control of key U.S. ports, according to the Financial Times.

A Clinton spokesperson told FT that officials from Dubai called the former President two weeks ago for advice on how to deal with the political and public uproar about Arabs running shipping terminals in New York, Newark, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Orleans and Miami.

Clinton recommended that Dubai Ports World, which is owned by the UAE, call for “cooling off period” to allow for a full investigation of the transaction. DPW agreed on Feb. 26 to a 45-day deal of the closing of the deal.

Clinton has close ties with the UAE. He received $300K for speaking in Dubai in ’02.

New York Senator Hillary Clinton is a leading opponent of the DPW takeover. She has introduced legislation that bans government-owned entities from taking over U.S. ports.


Citigate Sard Verbinnen is piloting the takeover of Brooklyn-based Keyspan Energy, the nation’s No. 5 distributor of natural gas, by National Grid of the United Kingdom.

NG is paying $7.3B in cash for Keyspan which serves 2.6 million customers in New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

NG promises to honor Keyspan’s labor contracts and record of community involvement as evidenced by Keyspan Park, the home of the Brooklyn Cyclones minor league baseball team of the New York Mets.

The British company promises to retain a corporate presence in Brooklyn. Keyspan’s CEO Bob Catell will become executive chairman of NG USA and deputy chairman of NG.


The St. Petersburg/Clearwater area of Florida, marketed under the name Florida’s Beach, has issued an RFP to bring in its first outside PR firm since before Sept. 11.

The region, which spans 345 miles of shoreline along the Pinellas County peninsula on Florida’s West Coast, relies on tourism as its No. 1 industry ($2 billion impact) and claims 12 million vacationers each year.

The St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention & Visitors Bureau has allocated $150K for the first year of an anticipated two-year PR pact to play up its locale as a leisure, business and meetings destination.

James Raulerson, PR representative for the Convention & Visitors Bureau, told O’Dwyer’s the area hasn’t used outside PR counsel in the U.S. since cutbacks after the 9/11 attacks, but the Bureau has maintained relationships with agencies in central Europe and England. Amelia McFarlane ([email protected]) of the Pinellas County Purchasing Department is contracting officer. Proposals are due March 21.


The non-profit agency set up to provide workers’ compensation insurance for businesses in Montana has issued an RFP for a firm to highlight its work, distill the issue of workers’ comp for the public, enhance its overall image, and describe the benefits of doing business with the quasi-state agency.

The Montana State Fund, which insures 28,000 businesses and competes with private insurers, plans to allocate up to $500K for the effort, which includes PR, advertising, web design and publications consulting for its quarterly newsletter.

MSF wants a firm to be able to tackle the issue of workers’ comp and make it palatable for public education efforts. It notes the topic “is a complex type of coverage that is subject to misunderstanding and sometimes, controversy.”

The Fund is not requiring firms to have an office near its Helena base, but personnel must travel when required for meetings and must be in phone and e-mail contact.

MSF anticipates awarding a two-year contract to begin in July. Wendt Advertising and PR is the incumbent. Its contract expires in June.

Mary Boyle ([email protected]; 406/444-6502) is procurement officer.


Liesbeth De Smedt, who is studying for her M.A. in Strategic PR at the Annenberg School for Communication of the University of Southern California, is the grand prize winner in the Case Study Competition sponsored by the Arthur W. Page Society and the Institute for PR.

She will receive a $5,000 cash prize at Page’s spring seminar April 6-7 at the Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park City.

Her advisor, Craig Caroll, Ph.D., will also be honored at the April 6 dinner. He will receive $1,500.

De Smedt laid out a set of problems for students to consider, debate and respond to regarding anti-Barbie campaigns launched against Mattel by other companies, toy manufacturers and artists.

The study shows how Mattel, faced with decreasing sales of Barbie dolls, saw these changes as “threats” rather than as “opportunities” to create a pro-Barbie climate worldwide.

Daniel Pozen, student at the Amos Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College, won first prize in the Business School category for his research entitled: AManaging a Crisis in Financial Services: Putnam Investments 2003-2004. He will receive $2,500 and Paul Argenti, faculty advisor, will receive $650.

Yuliya Melnyk and Monshumi Anand, students at the University of Missouri-Columbia-Mendoza College of Business, won first prize in the communication/journalism school category.

Title of their work was: “How the Russian Company Pallet Trucks used PR strategies to protect its business and the German Brand Pfaff-Silberblau in Russia in 2001.”

Internet Edition, March 8, 2006, Page 3


New York Times reporter James Bennet has been named editor of the 149-year-old Atlantic Monthly.

The post has been vacant since Michael Kelly resigned in ’02 to return to writing. Kelly was killed in Iraq in ’03 while on an assignment for the Atlantic.

Bennet, 39, had covered politics and served as the Times' Jerusalem bureau. He planned to shift to Beijing later this year until he was offered the Atlantic post by publisher David Bradley on Feb. 29.

Bradley purchased the Atlantic from Daily News publisher Mort Zuckerman for $10M in '99. He has just completed the shift of the Atlantic headquarters from Boston to Washington, D.C.

Cullen Murphy, managing editor, had been editing the Atlantic, but decided to remain in Boston. The Atlantic’s circulation is 375,000.


Anna Perez, 54, is stepping down as executive VP-communications at NBC Universal to write a book about her life in politics and corporate America.

She denies reports that she is leaving because of the recent arrival of GE corporate marketing officer Beth Comstock as president of digital media and market development. Perez reports to Comstock.

Before joining NBCU in '01, Perez served as communications counselor to then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice. She also was corporate communications general manager at Chevron, VP-California government relations at Walt Disney Co., and head of media relations at Creative Artists Agency.

Perez was press secretary to former First Lady Barbara Bush.

People ________________

Alanna Fincke, editorial director of In Touch Weekly since 2002, has joined Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’s Body + Soul as editor.

Fincke had been writing the “Yoga Now” column for B+S, in addition to her duties at In Touch. She was formerly a senior editor for US Weekly and articles editor for Elle. MSLO bought B+S for $6M in 2004.

David Bursky, editor-at-large for Electronic Design, has joined CMP Media’s Electronics Group as semiconductor editor for EE Times and Bursky was at ED since 1973 in various titles including editor-in-chief.

Tim Kennedy, VP/strategy and development for Tribune Publishing since 2001, has been named president, publisher and CEO of The Morning Call in Allentown, Pa. He’s been with Tribune since 1994.

The New York Times has moved to reassign diplomatic correspondent Steven Weisman after his wife, Times White House correspondent Elisabeth Bumiller, has closed in on a deal with Random House to write a book on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, according to the New York Observer.

“These are two professionals of the highest integrity. … And in this case the perception of a conflict is relatively easy to avoid,” executive editor Bill Keller said in a statement to the Observer, which reported Weisman is in talks to move to the economic-policy beat.

John “Johnny Quads” Wenzel, a former reporter and staffer for Star, The National Enquirer and The Palm Beach Post, has signed on as editor-in-chief of Poker Pro Magazine. Wenzel is a well-traveled poker player and has penned three books on the subject.

Tom Termin has been promoted to executive VP, editor-in-chief for PostNewsweek Tech Media, based in Washington, D.C. Termin joined its Government Computer News in 1991 and rose to become SVP for editorial in 2003.

Also, Duncan Ballantine was named group publisher for Government Computer News and Washington Technology, both owned by PostNewsweek Tech Media. Ballantine joined the sales management team of The Washington Post in 2002 and has served at The Wall Street Journal and Red Herring Magazine.

Gregory Maffei, Oracle’s former chief financial officer who has served as CEO-elect of Liberty Media since November 2005, has taken over as president/CEO. John Malone, chairman of the company who took the CEO reins on the retirement of Robert Bennett, remains chairman.

Liberty has stakes in media properties like QVC, Encore, IAC/InteractiveCorp and Expedia.

Briefs _________________

Google will post 103 historic films and documentaries from the National Archives in a pilot program that Allen Weinstein, U.S. Archivist, says is part of his effort to establish an “archive without walls.”

Footage of the Marines raising the flag over Iwo Jima in ’45 and the ’69 film of the first manned landing on the moon are part of the initial package.The Archives has more than nine billion documents.

Bloomberg Press has published the “International Libel and Privacy Handbook,” which is billed as the first-ever guide to global media law.

Charles Glasser, media counsel for Bloomberg News wrote the “plain language” book, offering a nation-by-nation roadmap to navigate libel and privacy laws. The 391-page book cost $95.

The Economist editor-in-chief Bill Emmott said Feb. 20 that he would relinquish the post after 13 years. Emmott, credited with building a strong U.S. subscriber base for the U.K. magazine, worked at the magazine since 1980 and took over as EIC in 1993. Emmott's successor will be chosen by the group's board of directors, subject to approval by four independent trustees.

Bravo, the cable unit of NBC Universal, is launching, a broadband entertainment channel aimed at the gay market.

The site will feature programs such as “Boy Meets Boy,” a dating reality show. The gay market is estimated at $640B.

Internet Edition, March 8, 2006, Page 4


Javier Robles, a former news and sports producer for Univision and Telemundo, has joined KEF Media Associates, Atlanta, as assistant VP and director of Spanish-language media relations.

He was an audio technician and field producer for the Spanish International Network, later becoming an editor and producer for Univision, Telemundo and mun2 New York in Florida.

Robles was an assignment editor for a handful of stations like WPIX in New York.

BRIEFS: PR Newswire said users of its national news line US1 will receive free online media monitoring for 30 days after a release is issued. PRN’s eWatch monitoring service provides the tracking data from 14,000 online publications and blogs. ...Vocus has added an Italian version of its PR software, the fifth language for the service. The company has also signed GENCO, a supply chain management company, as a new client. ...PrimeZone Media Network, a press release dissemination service, has aligned with Israeli PR company Noy Tikshoret to distribute Primezone releases to Israel. ...Berkshire Hathaway has finalized its acquisition of Business Wire (NL 1/25). ...Intellix Media has been tapped to re-design the website for online magazine CigarWise.

NEWS OF PR FIRMS _______________


Jericho Communications has been acquired by Lime PR + Promotion, a unit of Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners.

The New York-based Jericho counts Progressive Insurance, Ikea and TCBY as clients. CEO Eric Yaverbaum, who co-founded Jericho more than 20 years ago, will become managing partner/client services director at Lime. He is the co-author of “I'll Get Back to You” and “Public Relations Kit for Dummies.”

Claudia Strauss is to remain Jericho’s president.

Lime has counseled Song Airways, HBO, BBC America, NBC Universal, Polo Jeans and Circuit City.

MDC Partners acquired a majority stake in KB+P in `05. KB+P has more than 225 employees and billings in the $550M range.

BRIEFS: Hill & Knowlton has moved its Washington, D.C. office from New Hampshire Avenue to 607 Fourteenth Street, NW. Phone numbers remain the same. ...APCO Worldwide, Washington, D.C., has opened an office in Guangzhou, China. Attorney Binging Shi heads the office. She was managing director of Shenzhen-based law firm. APCO has offices in Beifin, Shanghai and Hong Kong. ...Himle Horner, Bloomington, Minn., and Totten Communications, Alexandria, Va., are managing a statewide campaign supporting a proposed state constitutional amendment to dedicate 100 percent of Motor Vehicle Sales Tax to roads, bridges and transit. Himle Horner guides day-to-day operations and Totten is advertising consultant. The issue is on the November ballot in Minnesota.

PEOPLE __________________

Diane Slaine-Siegel, a veteran senior producer for NBC, CBS and CNN, to Ruder Finn, New York, as VP in its global issues group. She is working on media relations efforts for the World Summit on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Oman; Liz Claiborne’s Domestic Violence Workplace Initiative, and the Summit of Iraqi and American Women.

Norman Iannerelli was named to head a new Norwalk, Conn., office for HWH/PR New Media. He joined the New York-based firm in July 2004. (Info: 203/847-3269)

Dan Eramian, who was VP-communications at Biotechnology Industry Organization in Washington, D.C., will join Cell Therapeutics in Seattle next month. He wraps up a 13-year career at BIO, where he represented more than 1,200 companies, academic institutions and related groups. Earlier, Eramian was assistant administrator of comms. at the Small Business Admin. and director of PA at the Dept. of Justice. At CT, Eramian will be executive VP of corporate communications. Judith Cushman of Judith Cushman & Assocs. in Seattle handled the search.

Todd Barrish, director for Connors Communications, has joined Dukas PR, New York, as a senior VP and head of the firm's technology practice. Barrish began his career in tech PR with Cohn & Wolfe. Dukas has also promoted A/S Justin Perras to VP.

NEW ACCOUNTS _________________

New York Area

Connors Communications, New York/Fotolia, online digital stock images database, as AOR for PR.

Kellen Communications, New York/Littman Krooks, New York law firm focused on elder law and estate planning, for marketing and PR.

Gibbs & Soell, New York/RSC Equipment Rental, national construction/industrial markets supplier with 500 stores in North America, as AOR for PR.

MMG Mardiks, New York/The West Paces Hotel Group, for corporate comms. and to spearhead launch of its Solis Hotels & Resorts brand.

The Rosen Group, New York/Workplace Print Media, direct marketer targeting at-work consumers, for PR.

Siren PR, New York/Stride Rite, shoe brand, and cooking personality Rachel Ray, both as AOR for PR.


The Aker Partners, Washington, D.C./Altair Nanotechnologies, publicly traded developer of ceramic nanomaterial technology, for PR.

Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell, Orlando/
iBAHN North America, broadband services for hotels and meeting sites, for PR in North America.


Morgan & Myers, Waukesha, Wisc./Bou-Matic, dairy equipment supply company, as AOR for marcom.

Stir, Milwaukee/be energy bars, for ads and PR as the product is tested regionally in Target retail stores.


Noonan Russo, San Diego/Barrier Therapeutics, for launch of Vusion Ointment. NR is part of Euro RSCG Life NRP. Its New York office is also on the account.

Internet Edition, March 8, 2006, Page 5

INDEPENDENTS FLOURISH (continued from page 1)

revenue/profit quotas were merged into other firms or closed. Some firms were moved from their own offices to empty offices of the ad agencies. The five holding companies acquired a debt that now totals about $12 billion and is increasingly costly because of high interest rates. OMC says Sarbanes-Oxley costs $60M yearly.

A number of the larger independent firms say that a trade association promoting the unique benefits of independent PR counseling needs to be formed.

While most independents have only one or a few offices in the U.S., many belong to networks such as Worldcom PR Group (100 offices in 33 countries), Pinnacle Worldwide (56 offices in 31 countries), and IPREX (55 offices in 23 countries).

Media Relations Is Key for Edelman

Richard Edelman, president/CEO of Edelman, said the main thrust of the firm continues to be “getting attention in the media for our clients.”

Strategy is “critical,” he said, “but you must deliver.” He feels one reason the firm is growing strongly now is because staff was not cut in 2002-03 when the economy was down. “We kept our senior people,” he said.

Helping to boost Edelman revenues are such clients as Wal-Mart, General Electric and Unilever. U.S. fees grew 12% to $170M while international (25 countries) grew 17% to $91M. In reply to a question, Edelman said the firm has no debt.

‘We Love What We Do’—Torossian

Ronn Torossian, president/CEO of 5W, the fastest growing firm in both 2004 and 2005, said he is “especially proud that we don’t have a new business department – all of our business is word of mouth or referral based ... we have no client or staff turnover ... we love what we do and expect to be the fastest growing firm in 2006.”

Biggest gainers in the top 25 were Access PR, technology specialist that was formerly a unit of Interpublic, up 38%; Alan Taylor Communications, sports/lifestyle specialist up 36%, and Integrated Corporate Relations, financial specialist, up 36%.

New to the top 25 are APCO Worldwide, which bought itself out from Grey Global, up 22% to $41.8M, and Clear!Blue, with clients such as DaimlerChrysler, Best Buy and Compuware, which grew 31% to $13.3M.

Taylor Focused on ‘Category Leaders’

Tony Signore, CEO of Alan Taylor Communications, said the firm has become “the lifestyle and sports PR choice for the world’s leading consumer companies.”

Focus was switched to “category leaders” with the client list being cut from 62 in 2004 that generated $9.7 million to 39 in 2005 worth $13.3M.

Signore called this “addition by subtraction.”

About $1M in fees were lost from clients “who no longer met our new vision,” he said.

ICR, Financial Firm, Grows Fast

Tom Ryan, co-CEO of Integrated Corporate Relations, Westport, Conn., up 36% to $11.5M, said the firm’s growth is due to its staff of senior-level, former sell-side analysts, portfolio managers, investment bankers and communications professionals serving a variety of industry verticals.

The firm has 150 corporate clients and took part in more than 60 initial public offerings in the last three years. It added 70+ accounts in 2005.

Ryan was managing director in the research dept. of BT Alex. Brown. Co-CEO Chad A. Jacobs was VP and managing director in the same unit and earlier with Ladenburg Thalmann.

APCO Prizes Independence

Margery Kraus, president/CEO of APCO, completing its first year as an independent company, said, “Operating independently has allowed us to continue to invest in key people and add to our core strengths in corporate communication, litigation communication and public affairs. We also expanded our research capability and added to our innovative online offerings.”

The firm, which posted a 22% gain to $41.8M, opened a Chicago office and expanded in New York. It won a number of awards including an Arthur W. Page Society Principles Award. North America CEO Neal Cohen was named public affairs executive of the year

Schwartz Does Tech, Health

Schwartz Communications grew 21% to $22.1M by focusing on technology and healthcare PR.

President and CEO Steve Schwartz says the 20 most senior executives average ten years at the firm, “providing an extraordinary deep and rich reservoir of domain experience that clients can depend on.”

The firm has more than 165 clients in the two practice areas and has kept this focus throughout its 15-year history.

“We continue our laser-like focus on bottom-line results that produce real-world business impact for our clients,” said Schwartz.

Zeno Is Science-Driven

Jerry Epstein, president/CEO of Zeno Group, which grew 19% to $19.9M, said the firm’s culture “attracts people with a diverse range of perspectives including former CEOs, management consultants, and entrepreneurs.” They “fuse creativity and advanced research analytics to assure that our programs truly move minds and markets,” he said.

“In this way, we’ve built a different kind of agency, one with science-driven approach that melds creativity to analytics with an eye on delivering business results.”

A&R Cites New Clients

A&R Partners, up 17% to $14M, headed by Bob Angus, cited “exciting” new clients such as Mozilla, maker of the open source Firefox browser; Cree, pioneer developer of environmentally friendly LED lighting; Xantrex, designer and maker of energy products and controls; LANDesk, leader in IT management and efficiency, and Checkpoint, security/firewall firm.

A&R has a “clean tech” practice that Angus feels will build revenue and also have a positive effect on the environment.

New training programs were created for staff that now totals 110. Turnover was less than 6% in 2005.

Qorvis Abhors Time Sheets

Qorvis, growing 19% to $18.2M (eighth biggest firm), cited its “unique business model – top-heavy and client-service focused, with no timesheets, silos or glass

(Continued on page 6)

Internet Edition, March 8, 2006, Page 6

INDEPENDENTS FLOURISH (continued from page 5)

ceilings.” Partner Michael Petruzzello said this model “ensures communication, camaraderie and opportunity for our employees at every level.”

Big wins included Jim Beam brands, the British Embassy, U.S. Sugar Assn., Pratt and Whitney, the Bozzuto Group, and Star Systems.

Newer practice areas include media training, research and creative services

Clear!Blue Offers ‘Strategic Splash’

Clear!Blue Communications, new to the rankings, grew 31% to $13.3M and 11th place on the list, nearly missing the top ten.

Founded in 2000, its CEO is Todd Smith, who has eight years of experience in automotive sales and marketing, four each with Saturn and Chrysler. Chief strategist is Mike Rosenau, who managed PR launches for Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Dakota and other DaimlerChrysler models.

A Clear!Blue-created military-themed stunt involving seven skydivers helped introduce the Jeep Commander to 2,800 dealerships in 2005.

Clear!Blue created a new products preview party for the 2006 National Hardware Show in New York that drew 50 major consumer media.

Andrea Wood, Chicago managing director, was a SVP at Golin Harris. She has 16 years in marketing.
New clients in 2005 included ACCO Brands, Masterlock, Stanley Tools and Valvoline.

The firm believes in making a “splash” that furthers client goals.

Steve Harris, who returned to General Motors in March as VP of global communications, was chief communications officer at Clear!Blue.

Seng Likes ‘Freedom’

John Seng, whose Spectrum Science Comms. grew 35% to $8.6M, said its100% focus on healthcare is a key to its success.

“We hit the ground running faster and smarter on the issues and situations,” he said. “We’re in constant contact with healthcare media and advocacy organizations, delivering value that I believe is unmatched by larger firms.”

Seng, who was one of several Hill & Knowlton executives who left in 1992 and were sued to prevent them from taking either accounts or H&K employees, said, “I cannot overstate the importance of freedom from pushing revenues up to a mega-agency structure.”

Clients benefit from senior counselors “who are integrated on their accounts rather than drive-by strategists with high billing rates,” said Seng, who noted the firm has low staff and client turnover.

Booth Has Blue Chip Clients

Margaret Booth, president of M Booth & Assocs., up 32% to $8M, cited expanded ongoing relationships as well as new clients.

More business came from Unilever for Vaseline, Country Crock and Ben & Jerry’s. The Remy Cointreau USA account expanded with JMR Easy Drinking Whiskey and Cointreau.

The MGM Mirage account grew with SKYLofts, West Wing and The Signature at MGM Grand.

New clients included JCPenney, Akzo Nobel, Siemens, Global Home Products U.S. Virgin Islands Dept. of Tourism, and Maidenform.

Booth cited the firm’s “laser-like focus on increasing work with existing clients.” Adding creative capabilities in new media and viral and guerilla marketing brought added values to clients, she said.

Makovsky Grew 18% to $6.5M

Ken Makovsky, chairman of Makovsky & Co., said “outstanding” client retention (exceeding 80%) and new clients drove the growth.

Major new clients include a large division of Schwab; Pfizer Worldwide; Eisai Pharmaceuticals, one of Japan’s largest drug companies; O’Charley’s, restaurant chain with nearly $1 billion in sales, and Western & Southern, a Fortune 500 diversified financial services company.

Makovsky also pointed to strong morale evidenced by the fact that 100% of those queried would recommend the firm to a prospective employee. “Our commitment to our core business areas is exemplified by our new branding program and ‘brand energy line,’ – The Power of Specialized Thinking,” he said.

Davies up 42% to $6.2M

One of the biggest gains on the list was shown by Davies, Santa Barbara, Calif., up 42% to $6.2M.

Clients include ExxonMobil, Harrah’s Entertainment, The Home Depot, Tiger Woods Foundation, Centex, and Westin.

CEO John Davies said the growth is due to quality work, specialization, financial diversification, and dedicated new business efforts.

New business is aimed at core practice areas of the firm – real estate, healthcare and energy. This “builds relationships, establishes trust, and helps us to understand the decision making process of prospects, resulting in new accounts across the U.S.,” he says.

More than 75% of new clients come from referrals. Davies says about 90% of its new business pitches result in wins.

Last year was the fourth straight year of growth. Average monthly revenue per client is $18,000 and no client accounts for more than 10% of gross.

A commitment to revenue diversification protects the firm from any client leaving after completion of a successful project, said Davies.


GolinHarris and Burson-Marsteller remain in the running for the Dow Chemical PR account, according to Terri McNeill in the chemical giant’s media relations unit.

Several teams including those representing Publicis Groupe (Manning, Selvage & Lee) and Omnicom (Porter Novelli) met with Dow officials last week.

“The depth of thinking and the caliber of people from all of the agency teams made it a particularly challenging decision,” McNeil said in an e-mail.

Dow will continue talking with GH and B-M and their respective holding companies: Intepublic and WPP Group. The final decision on the review is expected within “several weeks,” said McNeill.

Dow is looking to consolidate its estimated $15 million communications budget at a single holding company.

Internet Edition, March 8, 2006, Page 7


Internet Edition, March 8, 2006, Page 8




Independent PR firms across the U.S. are flourishing and don’t mind talking about their businesses and providing backup documents to prove their numbers (page one story and chart).

Participating this year were 130 independents, up from 117 last year. Average gain in the top 25 was 18%.

Having talked to principals at about 50 firms in the past few days in gathering statistics and getting quotes on their business practices, we found them to be happy and excited about the work they’re doing and willing to talk about it at length.

Even principals at firms that showed losses claimed they couldn’t wait to get to work each morning.

They like promoting products and services of clients and have an almost unlimited bag of tools for this. They produce a “big bang” for a “small buck” and it gives them great satisfaction.

Quite a few of the principals, both in tiny firms and bigger ones, once worked for conglomerate-owned PR firms and are glad the experience is over.

Some of those who sold out to Shandwick in the late 1980s recalled CFO David Slobom going from agency to agency demanding “25/25/25,” meaning 25% growth each year, 25% profit, and 25 days on receivables.

Failure to achieve these targets meant firings, shifting to the offices of another Shandwick firm, and/or scratching the name of the firm. Only a couple of names of the 33 firms acquired survived.

Veterans of other conglomerate-owned PR firms told similar stories.

Some of those who quit conglomerates were hit with expensive lawsuits charging theft of business. It cost them a bundle to win their independence.

PR firms owned by the conglomerates are in the fourth year of a deep freeze about any statistics of the firms. Fear of violating Sarbanes-Oxley is cited.

SOX provides for jail terms and up to $25 million in fines for misleading statistics of public companies.

However, PainePR, Irvine, Calif., which was sold to the public Cossette Communication Group, Canada, last year, was able to obtain a W-3 payroll report from Cossette showing about $5 million in wages to back up its claim of $11.4M in net fees (up 23%). Paine has been shifted from the ranking of independent firms to the ranking of ad-agency related firms.

Cossette is the largest ad/PR firm in Canada with 1,450 employees and gross of $198M (Canadian).

Canada has a law similar to SOX that prohibits dissemination of false information by companies.

CPAs, commenting on the position of the holding companies that accounting principles differ from country to country, say that wage and staff totals are “mere compilations” and are not subject to differing principles or interpretations.

Attempts to reach the conglomerates for comments on their PR practices were mostly unsuccessful. Calls were not returned to spokespeople or executives at Omnicom, Interpublic and Havas (based in Paris). OMC has publicly said that its PR component grew 2% in 2005.

Eve Magnant, spokesperson for Publicis (Publicis Dialog, Manning, Selvage & Lee), called from Paris and said the only categories Publicis reports are advertising, marketing services and media, which account for 46%, 28% and 26% of revenues, respectively.

PR is part of marketing services which includes sales promotion, healthcare and customer relationship management.

Asked if someone in the U.S. could go over Publicis financials with us, she said no one in the U.S. is authorized to speak for the company and she would plan to see us on her next trip to the U.S.

The same request was made to a WPP spokesman in New York but no arrangement has yet been made for this. WPP CEO Martin Sorrell, responding via e-mail, directed us to WPP financial statements on the company’s website and also sent us copies of them.

He challenged the JPMorgan analyst report that said “PR and public affairs” of WPP was up 4% in 2005 and the Yahoo!Finance report that puts WPP debt at $4.25 billion and debt/equity ratio at 0.66.

We have requested a meeting with WPP to examine these different financial reports.

The independent PR firms are offering a wide range of services these days up to and including paid advertising.

These include marketing, media relations, grassroots organizing, issue ads, media training, worldwide PR affiliates, corporate strategy, video production, direct mail, special events, legislative programs, lobbying, branding, art and cultural programs, web marketing, multicultural outreach, litigation support, financial and capital markets, opinion research, market intelligence, celebrity PR, and sales promotion, to name some of them.

Only one of the 117 firms on the 2004 ranking did not return this year even though 25 of the firms ranked in 2004 had either flat or negative years in 2005. Joining the list in 2005 were 13 firms new to the list and two that returned after dropping from the rankings ... the meaning of this is that rankings, including the rankings by city and by PR specialties, draw attention to the firms and help bring in new business.

Ranking positions can be used in promoting the firm and winning publicity in local, national and trade media.

They can be cited to client prospects as an indication of the national recognition of a firm.

Another benefit of the rankings is that they draw attention to the PR counseling industry, showing how successful most of the firms are and arousing the interest of client prospects in what PR firms have to offer.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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