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, April 26, 2006, Page 1


Interpublic’s MWW Group has picked up Samsung’s main PR account after a three-month review of about a dozen firms was whittled down to four.

MWW will serve as agency of record for Samsung Electronics America and Samsung Telecommunications America, overseeing corporate communications, philanthropy, and consumer PR for the company in the U.S.

Finalists were Publicis, Edelman and Waggener Edstrom.

The company previously worked with HWH PR, Publicis Dialog, and Edelman, the latter which continues to represent Samsung Electronics Co. (Seoul, S. Korea), and Samsung Semiconductor (San Jose, Calif.). The account has been estimated to be in the $2M range.

SW Hong, SVP of SEA, said MWW’s work will help the company coordinate communications across its U.S. consumer divisions and play a role in Samsung meeting development goals over the next 5-10 years. He praised HWH PR and Publicis Dialog’s work and said the company wanted a firm that had U.S. experience with global companies.


Qorvis Communications has added Rory Davenport as a managing director responsible for grassroots and international PR.

The 18-year veteran held top posts at Hill & Knowlton (senior VP/director of PA), Fleishman-Hillard (founder of international and political affairs unit) and Edelman (director of grassroots/political programs).

Davenport has handled an array of antitrust, market access, telecom, deregulation and healthcare issues for clients including AT&T, ExxonMobil, Microsoft, Prudential, Chile, News Corp., Wal-Mart and Pfizer.

He also has PR experience in Germany, Russia, U.K. and France.

Donna Lucas, who was a PR advisor to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife Maria Shriver, has returned to Porter Novelli in the “of counsel” capacity. She is also launching Lucas Public Affairs Group.

Lucas was CEO of Nelson Communications Group in ’00 when it was gobbled up by the Omnicom entity. She headed PN’s global affairs practice from ’02 to ’04.

Lucas also was deputy press secretary to former California Gov. George Deukmejian, and California press secretary for the first President George Bush.
She is former chair of the American Assn. of Political Consultants.


Management Analysis Technologies, based in Stafford, Va., edged four firms for the Office of the Chief of the Army Reserve’s $510K a year strategic comms. account. The Lincoln Group in Washington, D.C., and CorpComm Group, Lima, Ohio were in the original mix.

MAT did not return a call regarding details of the account. An individual who answered the phone there said the company is made up of four staffers and usually partners with other companies for tasks like the new contract. MAT identifies itself as a small, Vietnam-veteran owned business.

The Army Reserve earlier this year identified the need for a consultant to help it “effectively communicate its vision of the future” via internal and external communications efforts targeting soldiers, families, the public, and Congressional audiences, according to a copy of the original RFP. The Army also wants MAT to find and book media opportunities for Reserve Chief Lt. Gen. James Helmly.

Peter Macaluso, Army contracting officer for the solicitation, told O’Dwyer’s that Sektor Solutions, Summit Group, Ventura Group, and Hernandez Consulting were competitors for the work.


M Booth & Assocs. has picked up the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism account that had previously been at Lou Hammond & Assocs.

Joan Bloom and Joan Brower, co-directors of MB&A’s travel and lifestyle practice, will manage the account. Brenda Urban will lead the account team.

MB&A promises to promote Turkey’s culture and resorts in North America via media/industry relations, in-market events and trade show report. They said Turkey is a six-figure account.

Turkey’s tourism industry has been hard hit, according to Turkish press reports, by the recent upheaval triggered by the Mohammed cartoons, bird flu and chaos in neighboring Iraq. The Iranian nuke scare also is bound to keep visitors away.

Tourism Minister Atilla Koc has dropped his target of 26 million visitors in ’06, and says he will be happy if Turkey registers the 21M visitors that it achieved in ’05. Turkish arrivals are off 14 percent for Q1.

Despite the gloomy Government of Turkey outlook on ’06 tourism, Bloom and Brower are optimistic. Pointing out those figures are worldwide arrivals, they said Americans and Canadians have positive feelings about visiting Turkey.

Internet Edition, April 26, 2006, Page 2


Time Warner’s AOL is being targeted by a Phoenix-based businessman who is infuriated by CNN’s Lou Dobbs’ upfront criticism of illegal immigration.

Jon Garrido is behind the effort as a way to pressure TW to give Dobbs the boot. The roundabout boycott call of AOL is because CNN is unlikely to drop Dobbs “because he is its number one money maker” and “right now he is making a ton of money for CNN bashing ‘illegal immigration,’” says Garrido’s statement. “We could never directly muscle Lou Dobbs because the revenue his trashing of Hispanic/Latinos generates for CNN is huge and CNN’s revenues belong to TW.”

Garrido considers AOL to be TW’s “Achilles heel.” He believes if “Hispanics would drop AOL and move in droves to other Internet providers, significant pressure would result causing owners of AOL to realize the only way to recapture market share would be to remove CNN’s Lou Dobbs.” The loss of Dobbs, says Garrido, would be a fatal blow to those who want to criminalize illegal immigrants.

If CNN fails to remove Dobbs, the effort will target the cable network’s sponsors. Garrido said AxAol t-shirts will be prominent in the next round of immigration protests slated for May 1.

Despite Garrido’s bluster, he denied an invitation offered April 17 to appear on-camera on “Lou Dobbs” because “we do not want to promote the program. We want to remove it from CNN.”

After hearing Dobbs rip the effort during the show, Garrido has now established a “picket line for all Hispanics not to cross to appear on the Lou Dobbs show.”

He is looking for support to “bring to an end the theatrical charade displayed by Lou Dobbs each afternoon as he continues to bash Hispanics.”


Burger King, on the cusp of an initial public offering, has brought in a senior investor relations hand.

Amy Wagner, VP of risk management and insurance options for trucking company Ryder System, takes the title of SVP of IR, effective immediately. She was previously group director of IR for Miami-based Ryder.

Earlier this month, BK, also based in Miami, faced the departure of turnaround CEO Greg Brenneman after less than two years at the helm. John Chidsey, the company’s CFO, took the reins shortly after as the company’s ninth CEO in 15 years. BK’s parent, Burger King Holdings, announced its IPO in February and expects to raise $400M with the offering, although no date has been set. Diageo sold BK for $1.5B in 2002 to an investment group, which took the company private.

Edna Johnson, former VP of PR for The CNN News Group, took over as head of global communications for the company in early 2005. Edelman handles PR.

Wagner began her career with BKC overseeing financial analysis efforts.

Ryder, in February, promoted Bob Brunn to VP of IR and public affairs, reporting to CFO Tracy Leinbach.


The Embassy of Saudi Arabia has retained DNX Partners to serve as a personal advisor to Ambassador Prince Turki Al-Faisal, who took over the top D.C. post from Prince Bandar in October. Bandar held the position since ’83.

Washington-based DNX, which has an unlisted phone number, is to advise the Prince on matters concerning ties between the U.S. and the Kingdom.

Under the open-ended contract, DNX is to receive $75K per-quarter for its consultation. DNX says it will not engage in PR or other public information activities.

It may however advise the Prince about the work of Saudi PR contractors such as Qorvis Communications and contact reporters on the Prince’s behalf.

Kenneth Close is managing member of DNX and a good friend of Turki. In his letter of agreement to the Prince, Close writes that DNX will receive “its direction and instruction directly from you or anyone you designate.” Saudi Arabia is the biggest foreign country spender for PR in the U.S., shelling out nearly $12M to Qorvis during the past year.

Qorvis does not expect the addition of DNX to the Saudi payroll to have any impact on its business.
CEO Michael Petruzzello traveled with the Prince to Detroit last week as part of Turki’s “listening tour.”


The Institute for PR, founded in 1989 as a separate corporation when the board voted to leave PRSA, reported revenues of $566,466 for 2005.

The IPR, in a first for PR associations or their educational affiliates (S3C tax status), made its entire 27-page Form 990 IRS report available to the public. Gifts, grants and contributions totaled $201,631 and receipts from seminars and other activities totaled $363,327.

Peter Debreceny of Allstate Insurance Co. is the elected chair. Frank Ovaitt is the paid president. Michelle Hinson is director of development.

The Institute broke from PRSA on the issue of accreditation. The board of PRSA demanded that all directors of the Institute be APR. But Institute board members said it was too difficult to find donors who could be large contributors and who were also APR.

The APR requirement was too big an impediment to recruiting donors, said the Institute board, which was led at the time by Paul Alvarez of Ketchum.

Jerry Dalton, 1990 president, and other PRSA board members were highly critical of the defection and immediately created the PRSA Foundation. Foundation revenues were $161,313 in 2004, the latest IRS return available. PRSA combined its regular board and the Foundation board two years ago but, acting on legal advice, is now in the process of unraveling the two boards.

Major contributors to IPR include Allstate Insurance; APCO Worldwide; Burson-Marsteller; Cephalon; Dreamworks Animation; Echo Research; Edelman; General Motors; Hunter PR, International Truck & Engine; Johnson & Johnson; JPMorgan Chase; Ketchum; RF|Binder Partners, and 3M.

Internet Edition, April 26, 2006, Page 3


BBC World Limited has tapped Interpublic’s Weber Shandwick to handle the launch of its 24-hour cable news service in the U.S.

Public Broadcasting Service has been airing a 30-minute BBC World News program daily on nearly 230 outlets, while BBC America has been airing BBC News from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.

The 24-hour Beeb programming is designed to reach U.S. viewers who want a global prospective on international events, according to Seema Kotecha, marketing chief of BBC World.

The BBC has lined up Cablevison to distribute its programming in New York, and earlier this year inked a deal with Discovery Communications. Omnicom's BBDO will break ads early June for BBC World in New York. BBC World has a global audience of 280M.


Morgan Stanley Investment Management blasts the leadership of New York Times Co. CEO Arthur Sulzberger for refusing to “take the actions necessary to improve operational and financial performance.” The No. 4 investor in the company, with a six percent stake, withheld its vote at the April 18 annual meeting to register a protest to the lackluster performance of both the board and management.

The investment house believes the dual voting stock structure of the NYTC protects the Times management. It wants a single class of stock.

“While it may have at one time been designed to protect the editorial independence and integrity of the news franchise, the dual class voting structure now fosters a lack of accountability to all the company's shareholders,” said MSIM’s statement.

The investment house maintains it is not interested in forcing the sale of the company, a la Knight-Ridder, but wants better management focus on improving the company's financial performance.

Class A shares, which are owned by the public, elect four of 13 NYTC board members, while Class B shares, of which 90 percent are held by the Ochs-Sulzburger family, elect the rest.

The value of NYT Class A stock has fallen 45 percent since the beginning of ’04. It trades in the $25 range. The company's first-quarter net income plummeted 69 percent to $35M.


The Hollywood Reporter has moved into TV with the production of syndicated segments covering what it says is the "hard news" of the entertainment industry.

Beginning in May, the Reporter will provide two weekly feeds containing at least eight vignettes of 30, 50 and 80 seconds, and custom full-length news insert packages.

The spots include celebrity interviews, B-roll, box office results, and news of theatrical and home video releases.

The paper claims more reporters are covering the TV and film industries than any newsmagazine or TV program – 60 in the U.S. and 50 abroad.


Gay Bryant, former VP and editor at Family Circle, has been named editor-in-chief of Success, a new business magazine slated for a June 6 debut.

Bryant was formerly EIC of Mirabella and held top editorial posts at Working Woman, Executive Female, and Corporate Boardmember.

She was also editorial director for Sydney-based Murdoch Media responsible for Family Circle, Marie Claire, Marie Claire Lifestyle, New Woman, Better Homes & Gardens and Men’s Health.

Success plans three issues for 2006 and a bimonthly plan for 2007 with a goal to hit 12 issues by 2009.

Initial rate base is 650K, about 52 percent women, the publisher said.

Patrick Mitchell, formerly of Inc., Nylon and Tango, has joined as creative director.


Brian Lewis has been named executive VP-corporate communications Fox TV Stations, which includes Twentieth TV and Fox News. It is a new position at the News Corp. unit.

Lewis has been senior VP at Fox News since `00, and joined the company in ’96 to help launch Fox News Channel. He is now responsible for all TV, radio and online properties and will assume PR duties for the business network if CEO Roger Ailes decides to green-light that operation. Lewis reports to Ailes.

The Fox chief has praised Lewis as “one of the best corporate communications professionals in the business.”

Before Fox, Lewis was VP-media relations and corporate communications at CNBC for five years and held PR posts at Rubenstein Assocs. and Wishner Communications.


Joanna Coles, who was executive editor at More, is the new editor of chief of Marie Claire, replacing Lesley Jane Seymour, who began editing the fashion magazine in ’01.

The 43-year old Coles is a Brit who began her journalism career as foreign correspondent for The Times of London and Guardian.

She has been at More since ’04, joining from New York magazine, where she toiled as features editor.

MC’s circulation was up three percent to 970K for the second half of ’05. It is a venture of Hearst Magazines and France's Marie Claire Album.


The New York Post has officially bounced Jared Paul Stern and a trio of other Page Six freelancers in the aftermath of the payola scandal.

Stern had been suspended upon allegations that he tried to shake down California billionaire Ron Burkle for $220K.

The freelancers occupied the “fourth chair” of Page Six gossips which include editor Richard Johnson, Chris Wilson and Paula Froelich

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, April 26, 2006, Page 4


La Opinion, the No. 1 Spanish language paper in the U.S., has inked a deal with Transit Television Network to provide TV news feeds to the 1,750 Metro buses in Los Angeles equipped with TV monitors.

The newspaper notes that 67 percent of bus riders are Hispanics.

The screens display 24 stories from La Opinion daily, including local, national and international news. Florida-based Transit TV recently inked a 10-year contract with the city.

The Radio Advertising Bureau has unveiled a new campaign to promote radio as a key tool for advertisers and ad agencies. The premise of the spot hangs on people not using everyday items like sunscreen or toothbrushes with the tagline “If it works, don’t ignore it.”

DeVito/Verdi, a New York ad shop which produced the National Assn. of Broadcasters’ campaign last year with The Rolling Stones and Alicia Keys, put together the radio spots.

“People have been writing radio’s obituary for years, but the truth is: there is nothing else that compares with its ubiquity, effectiveness and ROI,” Ellis Verdi, president of the agency, said in a statement.

Sixty-six percent of radio stations do not have a podcast, according to a survey of news and talk stations in the top 75 markets by radio PR company News Generation. Twenty-eight percent have embraced the medium, while only 3 percent have both a podcast and RSS feed to syndicate it. Three percent said a podcast & RSS feed is in the works.

Of the stations that have embraced podcasting, 26 percent said it was to "keep listeners listening," while two percent see it as a tool to get new listeners.

iVillage Parenting Network, a New York-based prenatal and parental education media company, plans to launch two new titles this year to build on the success of Lamaze Parents, Lamaze Para Padres and BabySteps.

The company said Lamaze Pregnancy will debut in July with BabySteps Toddler slated for a September launch.

iVillage said the debut issue of LP will be given to ob-gyns to pass along to newly pregnant women at their first prenatal visit. In 2007, the magazine will be published bi-annually with an estimated circulation of one million readers. The title has been endorsed by Lamaze International, the only publication to obtain that nod, the company said.

Sally Tulsa, VP and editor-in-chief of iVillage's magazine unit, is EIC of both titles.

CMP Media and Dr. Dobb’s Journal have launched an online site for the magazine,, to include specialized content, news and opinion for software architects, developers and managers.

Reuters has aligned with Global Voices Online, a network of bloggers coordinated by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

The news company has made a contribution to the center so it can hire a full-time managing editor and enhance its infrastructure for outreach, training and publicity. Reuters will make material from the network available through its websites and

The Hispanic Communications Network, a media company targeting Hispanics, said its weekly radio show “Bienvenidos a America,” which has a large immigrant audience, received a big ratings bounce since immigration became a hot topic in the U.S.

The show, broadcast live from HCN studios in Washington, D.C., on Thursdays, was launched in 1997 on a handful of stations. The broadcaster said it now reaches 74 stations as it features prominent political guests and experts on immigration and allows listeners to call in for naturalization counsel.

Philips Electronics is paying Time Inc. $5M to put the table of contents of Time, Fortune, People and Business 2.0 on the first page.

A flap on the inside cover of the magazines tells readers that Philips is the reason why the contents page is upfront. It reads: “Simplicity means not letting complexity stand in your way. It starts with the Table of Contents on the first page.”

Philips uses the “simplicity” ad theme.

The Denver Post is cutting its newsroom staff by eight percent. It wants 25 staffers to take a voluntary retirement package.

The Post is owned by Dean Singleton’s MediaNews Group, which is a front-runner to acquire the Knight Ridder papers in California (San Jose Mercury News, Contra Costa Times and Monterey County Herald).

Billboard has launched Billboard Latino magazine to complement its TV show of the same name.

OverTime Magazine, a business and lifestyle magazine geared toward professional athletes and sports industry pros, has launched a website at

Online magazine and web community Women & Wine has debuted a one-hour radio show on Internet radio network Voice America. The show focuses on women’s interest in wine, travel, food and other lifestyle stories.


Lenny Kaye, a musician and rock journalist who co-founded the Patti Smith Group, has signed on at eMusic as a columnist covering rock and pop music replacing Ann Powers, who recently left for the chief music critic job at the Los Angeles Times.

eMusic has also named Michaelangelo Matos as its managing editor. He was previously music editor at Seattle Weekly.

In addition, Cathy Halgas Nevins, former VP of comms. and publicity for independent label Eagle Rock Entertainment in the U.K., has been named senior director of comms. to guide PR for the company, which is the top retailer of independent music and covers the field.

Internet Edition, April 26, 2006, Page 5


CarryOn Communication, Los Angeles, has set up an advocacy and social marketing practice in Washington, D.C., to build on the firm’s work in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors.

Mark Bennett, an 11-year veteran of Manning Selvage & Lee, has been tapped as senior VP and managing director of the new unit. He managed advocacy relations and social marketing efforts for clients like Amylin, Baxter, Eli Lilly & Co. and Takeda Pharmaceuticals. Current work for CarryOn includes Pharmavite, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and Jacuzzi Brands.


Denver-based Linhart McClain Finlon has expanded into neighboring Wyoming to boost its regional client base and better serve existing accounts with the Wyoming Dept. of Transportation and Softsky.

Kendall Hartman, director of government relations and national director for the Congressional Awards program, has been tapped to head the new outpost.

Info: 50 E. Loucks, #201, Sheridan, WY 82801; 307/673-4530.


Bender/Helper Impact, Los Angeles, has promoted a handful of executives to director as the firm re-organizes into four practice areas – entertainment content, entertainment technology and consumer electronics, interactive entertainment, and consumer products. – to engage emerging entertainment technology spaces.

Sarah Gumina, Jonalyn Morris and Melisa Rodriguez were all elevated to directors, all reporting to SVP Shawna Lynch.

“As the entertainment industry has evolved, so has Bender/Helper Impact,” said president Dean Bender in a statement. Sony Digital, MGM Home Entertainment, and Yahoo! Music are clients.


Chicago-based BIGfrontier won an Award of Excellence at the 2006 Communicator Awards for its campaign to make sauerkraut “sexy.”

The firm, working for the Frank’s Sauerkraut brand, invented a martini, called the K’tini, made with a sauerkraut-stuffed, vermouth infused olive.

The firm said Time magazine, the Food Network, and “Good Morning America” featured the brand.

BRIEFS: Dittus Communications, Washington, D.C., is handling PR for the International Fund for Animal Welfare as the group kicks off a national public awareness campaign in the U.S. against Japanese whaling. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews is an IFAW board member and helped launch the campaign on April 18 in D.C. ...Minnesota’s Dept. of Education wants bids for a $50K PR contract to promote state students taking more rigorous coursework in math, science and engineering. Deb Rose is point of contact: ([email protected]). Bids are due May 4.


New York Area

Cognito, New York/Phyxis Mobile, wireless software for the financial services sector, for U.S. trade and business media relations.

Dukas PR, New York/Brandeis Univ. (Waltham, Mass.), for promotion of selected programs, inititives, and issues with the school’s office of communications and president, and the Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem, as AOR for its U.S.-based development organization, American Friends of the Hebrew Univ.

Goodman Media, New York/Univ. of Southern California, for a national science conference; Southern Living magazine, for its 40th anniversary issue; Wall Street Journal Online, for its 10th year; The River to River Festival, lower Manhattan arts event; Television Bureau of Advertising’s ’06 Marketing Conference, and Intermountain Healthcare, Utah-based non-profit health system.

Lou Hammond & Associates, New York/Hilton Ft. Lauderdale Beach Resort, slated for summer ’06 opening; Barton G., event management firm entering the restaurant space; Off the Menu Restaurant Group, operator of ‘Cesca, Mainland, and Big Bubba’s BBQ eateries, and Hotel Provincial, hostelry in New Orleans’ French Quarter.

Inphorm, Lake Placid, N.Y./Kinney Drugs, retail pharmacy operating in New York and Vermont, for a two-year contract for PR, and Jefferson-Lewis BOCES, career, technical and adult education across five counties in N.Y. state, as AOR for PR. Inphorm is the PR unit of AdWorkshop.


Furia Rubel Communications, Doylestown, Pa./The Hepatitis B Foundation, as AOR for PR. Initial work focuses on National Hepatitis Awareness month in May and, later in the summer, a $12M biotech center slated to open in Doylestown.

French/West/Vaughan, Raleigh, N.C./Diana Vincent Jewelers, for regional and national media relations, product placement and product “seeding.”

Tara, Ink, Miami/Miami Fashion Week; In Style magazine, for a two-day fashion event; Mynt UltraLounge, Miami Beach nightclub; Vita Restaurant; Shine at the Shelborne Hotel, and Mizaan Holistic House, for PR and marketing.

O’Connell & Goldberg, Hollywood, Fla./CondoMax USA, real estate company focused on condo-conversion projects, and Da Vinci on the Ocean, condo development on Sunny Isles Beach.

Mountain West

CTA PR, Louisville, Colo./Far East Energy Corp., for design and production of a corporate profile for the Houston-based company’s IR program. FEEC has three offices in China and is pursuing coalbed methane through deals with ConocoPhillips and China United Coalbed Methane Co.


JS2 Communications, Los Angeles/Tony Roma’s Los Angeles Co-op, as AOR for media relations.

Formula, San Diego/Sumit Diamond Corp., as AOR, for media relations and consumer PR.

Internet Edition, April 26, 2006, Page 6


One of PR’s biggest challenges is attracting more men, PRSA president Cheryl Procter-Rogers told 67 attendees and members of the Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter of PRSA (30 of them women) April 19 in Milwaukee.

Repeating a theme of her last speech to PRSA/West Virginia March 15, Procter-Rogers said that wherever she travels in the PR world she sees a predominance of women.

She said the presence of 20 men in the audience was an unusually high percentage. The chapter has more than 300 members.

With so few men in PR these days, she said, often the only perspective being given to clients or employers is the female perspective.

Some companies wrongly feel they have addressed the diversity issue by hiring people from various ethnic groups, she said.

She also called for diversity in thought and beliefs.
“Sometimes we need more diversity of opinion,” she said.

HBO Is Praised

Procter-Rogers spoke highly of her employer, the HBO unit of Time Warner.

She said that while some of the programs may be controversial because of the level of sex or violence in them, HBO does many shows that are rejected by mainstream, free TV.

“HBO has given me the opportunity to get up close and personal with controversial issues like AIDS,” she said. “HBO has challenged me to think in new ways,” she added.

Procter-Rogers mentioned as examples of controversial programs “The Sopranos” and “Sex in the City.”

Unmentioned were other programs such as “Real Sex”, a long-running series; “Hookers and Johns: Trick or Treat”; “Bad Boys” comedy show; “Sexual Circus,” and a series on employees in a house of prostitution.

Repeating a theme of previous speeches at PRSA/Georgia and PRSA/West Virginia, Procter-Rogers said PR pros must find employers who share their fundamental values and ethics.

She also called on PR pros to “lead by example” and to engage in risk taking and thinking in areas that may be “outside their comfort levels.”

BRIEFS: The Mutual Fund Education Alliance has set a July 17 deadline for its annual STAR Awards competition for MF companies. Hundreds of companies vie for honors in 25 categories. MFEA, as part of the awards’ 10th year, will present a lifetime achievement award to a journalist. Info: ...The New York Spa Promotion Alliance will hold its second annual symposium on May 15 in Bolton Landing, N.Y. The event covers marketing, branding and PR strategies for the spa industry and will include experts from Spa Finder, Starwood Hotels, Mandarin Oriental and Cornell Univ. ...PRSA/N.Y. will host its annual Big Apple Awards on May 25 at the Rainbow Room.



Leslie Gaines-Ross, chief knowledge and research officer for Burson-Marsteller, to Weber Shandwick, New York, as chief reputation strategist. She joins the firm’s global senior management team and reports to WS president Andy Polansky. Gaines-Ross, who was at B-M for 10 years after serving as comms. and marketing director for Forbes, is considered an expert on CEO and corporate reputation management.

Geoffrey Phelps has left The Sherry Group after 12 years to join Coyne PR, Parsippany, N.J., as an assistant VP. Phelps will oversee Coyne's work for Goodyear. Suzanne Kimelman has also joined Coyne as an assistant VP to manage two new Coyne accounts – Disney Mobile and Progressive Insurance. She was previously with MWW Group and earlier held stints at Hill & Knowlton and Edelman.

Benjamin Taube, director of gov’t affairs for EcoSmart Technologies, to the Greenguard Environmental Institute, Atlanta, as manager of public affairs. She was formerly environmental manager for the City of Atlanta.

Maite Vélez-Couto, a two-year staffer at Tara, Ink, to rbb PR, Miami, as an A/E. She has a master’s degree in Spanish language journalism.

Lindsay Hays, formerly of Wagstaff Worldwide and Weber Shandwick, to Zapwater Comms., Chicago, as a senior publicist for the boutique firm’s fashion/lifestyle accounts. Ali Hazlinger has joined in the same role from Ruder Finn. Shelly Cellak has been promoted to senior publicist.

Terry Stepney, brand manager for ICI Paints, to Dix & Eaton, Cleveland, as a senior A/E. Heather Gaynor, previously with Adcom Comms., joins as an account executive.

Robert Moll, director of comms. for The George Washington Univ. School of Business, to Marx Layne & Co., Farmington Hills, Mich., as a senior A/E.

Paul McElroy, a copy, photo and news editor at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Chicago Sun-Times, to Alaska Airlines, as director of internal communications. McElroy has written two tech novels on the history of the National Air Traffic Controllers Assn. and the airborne collision avoidance system.

Shannon Kelly, a 16-year PR veteran, to San Francisco-based Panache Communications, which counts Accela, Singapore Economic Development Board, Shaklee, Rosum and ChinaDotCom among clients, as director. She joins from Adaptec, where she handled PR for the data storage company. Kelly also worked at Fleishman-Hillard, handling the technology and biotech practice for Australia and New Zealand, and ran her boutique shop, The Cornerstone Group, in Silicon Valley. She is a veteran of Weber Shandwick and worked at Shipley & Assocs.


Sean Graham to senior VP, French/West/Vaughan, Raleigh, N.C. He heads the firm’s healthcare and technology practice and joined the firm in ’04. Barrie Hancock and Christina Worthington to VPs. Also, Paige Sargent to A/S.

Internet Edition, April 26, 2006, Page 7


Internet Edition, April 26, 2006, Page 8




We thought Vanity Fair columnist Michael Wolff’s savaging of White House press secretary Scott McClellan was overkill (April 19 NL) but others in the press also thought McClellan was the worst in many years. Wolff did not like predecessor Ari Fleischer, either, calling him “a cold fish and a prickly one at that.” Fleischer had a “general air of resistance that reflected the Bush Administration’s hostility to media,” wrote Wolff. Fleischer was a “gifted stonewaller” with an “implicit threat that you will really be messed with if you go for that follow-up question.” ...the Institute for PR, the research and educational arm of the PR industry, broke new ground in openness last week by releasing to the public, unasked, a PDF of its 27- page report to the IRS for 2005. The IPR, which broke away from PRSA in 1989 on the issue of accreditation, had a 33% jump in revenues to $566,466. Contributions were the same at $201K but program income soared 64% to $363K. Cash rose to $202K from $119K. Many such S3Cs file for extensions until Nov. 15, depriving members of timely, important information. Some groups resent showing the 990 public report. We obtained a 990 from one group several years ago after months of trying and it has never talked to us again.

We have talked via speaker phone to several college PR classes in recent weeks about job prospects and other topics. Students wonder about ethical issues in PR including the ethics of lobbying, especially in view of the Jack Abramoff scandal. We said PR is mostly done in the open while lobbying is mostly private and some PR firms won’t do it. We advised seniors to obtain assignments from business owners if they can’t get jobs. There’s lots of jobs that a CEO needs doing. A traditional starter account is a restaurant. PR can be bartered for meals at little cost to the owner. Important local figures can be brought to the restaurant, customers interviewed, etc. Bartering is a huge, secretive business. An office, car rentals, computers, clothes and many other items can be bartered. PR professors who want their classes to dialog with us should call the O’Dwyer Co.

Women were much in the news last week with a study showing that 72% of females graduate from high school but only 65% of males. In New York, only 39% of males graduate vs. 47% of females. Women outnumber men by nearly 60/40 in colleges. The ratio is much higher for minorities. Women mature years earlier and are more focused than men at college admission time. ...“Manliness” has been authored by Harvard Prof. Harvey Mansfield and is a “big seller” (New York Post). Mansfield says women are “the weaker sex,” many have a “secret liking for housework,” and the “idea of women as warriors” is “a bluff.” He says a good picture of the confusion of women is TV’s “Desperate Housewives.” Feminists are not attacking his book, he said, because “They don’t like to argue...their favorite tactic is dismissal.” Mansfield said that if Harvard president Larry Summers (who said women are innately different from men, leading to different career choices) had been more “manly” he would have “dug in his heels” and would not have been fired. “Manly” people, who are “bold and take risks that may not be “prudent,” include Margaret Thatcher, Hillary Clinton and President Bush but not John Kerry because of his “vacillation.” One critic said Mansfield should be fired just like Summers. (Mansfield has tenure). ...PRSA president Cheryl Procter-Rogers said last week that more men are needed in PR because too often the only PR perspective provided is female (page 2). Much of her speech was about employer HBO. She said PR pros must only work for companies that have the same values and ethics that the PR pros have. We don’t find anything ethical about porn, which is a major part of HBO programming. In fact, the variety and number of such HBO programs has increased lately...after getting cooperation from the Georgia and West Virginia PRSA chapters when Procter-Rogers spoke, we ran into stonewalling from S.E. Wis. (Milwaukee). Unlike Georgia and West Va., S.E. Wis. refused to audiotape Procter-Rogers, saying it didn’t have the “equipment.” We persisted and chapter leaders hooked us up with a local freelancer. He brought a tape recorder but was forbidden to use it...the explanation for this intransigence is in the political makeup of S.E. Wis. All four of its Assembly delegates voted in 2004 against opening the Assembly to voting by non-APRs. Why it had four delegates is a mystery to us since the chapter only had 299 members as of November, 2004. Other chapters unanimously against decoupling were Los Angeles (6 votes); Philadelphia (5); Puget Sound (4), and Cincinnati (4).

PRSA/NY president Art Stevens also expounded on ethics last week, saying PR should help set up “Corporate Reputation Oversight Committees” to ensure that “the truth will be told to the public” which will “no longer tolerate stonewalling.” These lectures on ethics and stonewalling by PRSA leaders leave us breathless when we consider the actual practices and policies of PRSA national and chapters.

The PRSA/NY board must take up its fiduciary duties and explore splitting with national. It’s a no-brainer because of all the money lost by only having the national conference in New York every ten years or so. The 2004 meeting here grossed a record $1.9 million and netted $580K vs. averages of $1.1M and $131K for the previous five years. A New York group could have the conference in New York every year and keep the money here. The 17-member PRSA/NY board, symptomatic of PRSA’s problems, does not have a single corporate or financial member. Financial PR members walked from PRSA in 1970 to form NIRI; corporate members left in 1983 for the Arthur W. Page Society, and the major PR firms left in 1998 to form the Council of PR Firms. Both the Institute for PR and the L.I. chapter of PRSA walked in 1989. The culture of PRSA–anti-democratic, anti-New York and anti-press–is alien to New Yorkers and must be shucked like a chrysalis.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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