The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, May 3, 2006, Page 1
H&K WINS BEIJING OLYMPICS.
Hill & Knowlton has
landed the Beijing Olympics Organizing Committee business,
edging Weber Shandwick and Burson-Marsteller which were
in the competitive mix of eight international firms.
More than 30,000 journalists
are expected to attended the 08 Summer Games, which
are viewed as a major test for the Chinese Governments
modernization drive and its human rights performance.
to dissent were recently showcased by the Falun Gong protester
during the White House photo-op that President Bush shared
with President Hu. Government censors pulled the plug
on western media that were airing the protest in China.
H&K handled the Athens
Games in 04, and spearheaded Londons win of
the 12 Games.
FOXS SNOW SPEAKS FOR
President Bush has named conservative FOX commentator Tony
Snow as his new White House press secretary to replace Scott
Snow was a speech writer for the first President Bush,
serving as the deputy assistant to the president for communications
and director of speechwriting, and later as deputy assistant
to the president for media affairs.
My job is to make decisions, and his job is to help
explain those decisions to the press corps and the American
people, said President Bush.
Snow has recently served as host of Weekend Live
with Tony Snow, a Saturday program on FOX News Channel.
He joined the network in 1996 and previously hosted FOX
Earlier, he was a syndicated columnist for the Detroit
News and penned a column for USA Today after writing editorials
for The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.), The (Newport News,
Va.) Daily Press, Detroit News, and Washington Times.
DHILLON TO MWW GROUP.
Neil Dhillon, who has more than 20 years of international
and PA experience, at Hill & Knowlton and Financial
Dynamics, has joined MWW Group as senior VP in its Washington,
He is in charge of issues management, crisis PR, media
relations and will lobby on behalf of the Interpublic units
Prior to joining H&K, Dhillon was senior communications
and policy counsel for the American Academy of Actuaries,
and held a government affairs post at the Dept. of Transportation
during the Clinton Administration.
DUKE U. HIRES B-M FOR SEX
Duke University has turned to Burson-Marsteller for PR
help in the face of national scrutiny surrounding a sex
scandal at the North Carolina institution.
The firm, which has maintained a behind-the-scenes role,
has helped media-train a group of Duke students and faculty
members to deal with the press.
John Burness, senior VP of public affairs, told ODwyers
last month that the school was using outside PR counsel
but he would not name the firm.
Burness and university president Richard Broadhead have
been Dukes primary liaisons with the media through
coverage of the scandal, which has seen two Duke lacrosse
players indicted amid allegations of rape at a team party.
The incident has captivated the press Sex,
Lies & Duke was Newsweeks cover last week
and the school has drawn criticism in the PR industry
for its response to the crisis.
A B-M spokesperson declined to talk to ODwyers
about its Duke work.
On another PR front, parents and boosters of the Duke team
and its players have formed the Committee for Fairness to
Duke Families. They hired Bob Bennett, a former federal
prosecutor who represented President Clinton in the Paula
Jones sexual harassment case, to get their message out.
WREN GETS 10% BONUS HIKE.
Omnicom CEO John Wren received a 10 percent hike in his
incentive bonus to $4.4M as a reward for the ad/PR congloms
9.3 percent jump in 05 net income to $791M.
The bonus increase, according to OMC's proxy, took into
account Wrens decision to decline sizable stock
grants that he and CFO Randy Weisenburger were entitled
to for meeting financial goals.
Wrens 05 salary remained at $1M.
N.Y. IS BEST FOR PRSA CONF.
New York, the center of media, advertising, publishing,
international finance, fashion, the arts and the No. 1 tourist
attraction in the U.S. (43 million visitors expected in
2006), should be the site of the annual PRSA conference
every third year, said Art Stevens, president of PRSA/New
The 2004 conference in New York, the first in the city
since 1990, grossed a record $1.9 million and netted a record
$580,000 according to PRSAs financial report.
Conferences in other cities in the previous five years
grossed an average of $1.1M and netted $131,000.
(Continued on page 7)
Edition, May 3, 2006, Page 2
PUBLICIS SETS UP BIRD FLU
Publicis is the latest agency to establish an operation
dedicated to potential fallout and other issues surrounding
Publicis Consultants has aligned with high-powered law
firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe to offer a PR-legal
one-two punch on the issue.
Lanny Davis, former special counsel to President Clinton
and a partner at Orrick in New York, joins Paris-based Publicis
director Seth Goldschlager and Hong Kong-based Orrick managing
partner Christopher Stephens to lead the venture.
The firms say they want to raise awareness in the international
business community about preparedness and legal exposure
in the face of the global health threat, which has already
made an apparent impact on the U.S. poultry industry.
The Publicis-Orrick venture aims to help companies monitor
developments affecting their business, communicate risks
to stakeholders and demonstrate responsibility and accountability
with regard to the issue.
Bird flu cases among animals and humans began to gain attention
in Asia in mid-2003 and have spread to Russia, Europe, the
Middle East and Africa, according to the World Health Organization.
Hill & Knowlton launched a practice focused on global
pandemics with an eye on bird flu last November. Ketchum
set up a global task force of healthcare and crisis pros
to focus on bird flu issues earlier this year.
BOSTON SYMPHONY LOOKS FOR
The Boston Symphony Orchestra is looking for an associate
director of PR to handle day-to-day press activities for
it and sister unit, Boston Pops.
The BSO, which summers at the Tanglewood Music Festival
in the Berkshires, wants a strong writer and someone who
can handle the demands of news crews.
Arnold Huberman Assocs. is handling the search. Arnie Huberman
is an accomplished musician who played for the BSO for five
years and is past president and timpanist for the Hudson
Valley Wind Symphony.
He can be reached at [email protected] or 212/545-9033.
BLUESHIRT ASSISTS WITH COREL
Corel, the Canada-based software maker that was taken private
in 2003, is working with financial PR firm The Blueshirt
Group for its IPO this week, the first public offering a
software company in 2006.
Corel, which markets programs like WinZip, WordPerfect
and Paint Shop, stands to raise $104 million on the sale
of 6.5M shares, down from a planned eight million-share
offering when the IPO was announced in early April.
The offering closed on May 2.
Todd Friedman, former VP of corporate communications and
IR at E.piphany Inc., heads the Corel accounts at San Francisco-based
Blueshirt, where he is a managing director.
Friedman told ODwyers that Blueshirt was brought
in specifically for the IPO.
GSA WANTS PR FIRMS FOR REGISTRY.
The General Services Administration, the U.S. governments
acquisition arm, is actively soliciting proposals from PR
firms to be added to its list of pre-qualified contractors
for federal pacts under its Multiple Awards Schedule program.
That initiative locks in pricing and other terms to speed
up the process of the government hiring firms for specific
tasks. Initially, a firm must complete $25K worth of work
in the first two years, and then $25K each year after that
to stay in the program.
Currently, 171 companies are registered with the GSA to
handle PR which falls under the umbrella of advertising
and integrated marketing solutions, or AIMS
from the largest firms like Ketchum or Edelman to mid-sized
and smaller shops.
Solicitation of firms for the MAS program is ongoing, but
the GSA reissued the continuing solicitation last week.
The GSA, which operates independently of the three main
branches of government, said that although 600 contractors
are on schedule for AIMS assignments, there
remains potential for tremendous sales growth for
that sector. Estimated funds allocated specifically for
public relations services for 2006 are $4,773,217,
but other categories like integrated and web marketing ($82M
and $30M, respectively), event and tradeshow planning ($15M),
and even advertising ($25M) are sure to draw interest from
Firms are not required to be registered for the MAS program
to participate in all government solicitations
DITTMAN ACES EIGHT FOR ALASKA
Dittman Research and Communications Corp. has picked up
the $100K Alaska PR account, which is designed to give Gov.
Frank Murkowski a better idea about how the Last Frontier
is perceived in the Lower 48.
The Anchorage-based firm aced seven other firms including
Fleishman-Hillards Allyn & Co. (Dallas), Public
Strategies (Austin), CRG Research (Seattle), Moore Information
(Portland, Ore.) and local firms.
President Dave Dittman plans to conduct a survey of 1,500
people to gauge the perception of Alaska. Its reputation
has been burned by the bridges to nowhere pork
barrel debate and the never-ending argument over drilling
in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge.
The state plans to award a contract later this year to
carry out the PR program to improve the states image.
FD GRABS GRABOS.
Megan Grabos, a veteran of Chicagos PR scene, has
joined Financial Dynamics as VP, reporting to Harlan Teller,
senior managing director of Midwest operations.
Grabos served as VP in Edelmans corporate practice,
handled executive and employee communications at Sara Lee
and worked as spokesperson and media strategist for Kemper
She also worked at Hill & Knowlton in New York and
Chicago and at Dye, Van Mol and Lawrence in Nashville.
Edition, May 3, 2006, Page 3
MCCLATCHY SELLS FOUR K-R
Cos. is selling San Jose Mercury News, Contra Costa Times,
Monterey Herald and St. Paul Pioneer Press in a $1B deal
to MediaNews Group and Hearst Corp.
Gary Pruitt said McClatchy is getting a full but fair price
for the papers. He expects to close on the deal in the summer.
will pick up the San Jose and Contra Costa papers, while
Hearst gets the Monterey and St. Paul properties.
has eight remaining K-R orphans to sell. Pruitt
is expected to focus his next deal on the Philadelphia Inquirer
and Philadelphia Daily News, which have drawn the most attention
from prospective buyers.
properties on the block are: Akron Beacon Journal (Ohio),
Aberdeen American News (S.D.), Duluth News Tribune (Minn.),
Fort-Wayne News-Sentinel (Ind.), Grand Forks Herald (N.D.)
and Wilkes-Barre Times Leader (Pa.).
STEWART UNVEILS BLUEPRINT.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia unveiled its anticipated
lifestyle publication Blueprint: Design Your Life to reporters
last week, despite the departure of its editor, Rebecca
Thuss, in the final two weeks before the launch (she cited
The New York Times noted Stewart is not immediately visible
as a columnist or featured contributor, but does appear
in advertisements. The paper noted the title clearly
bears her influence.
Reuters also noted the scaled back appearances by Stewart:
But unlike many of her other projects, Stewarts
name is hardly prominent when it comes to Blueprint, where
it appears in a small red banner across the top of the cover.
BusinessWeek.com said the the mag, targeted at women 25-45,
comes off as slightly cheeky without being hip. ...Think
of it as Martha Stewart Lite.
MSLO says the title focuses on style as it relates
to home, fashion and beauty with a how-to
Tom Prince, MSLOs development editor and former editor
for Real Simple, is leading Blueprint until a permanent
replacement for Thuss is found.
A follow-up to the May 1 issue is due in August. MSLO is
planning on six issues in 2007. Initial circulation is 250K.
ROBB REPORT GOES ON BLOCK.
The Robb Report, which targets the super-affluent demographic,
has joined 14 other upscale publications on the auction
block. Publisher CurtCo Media could haul in $500M from the
sale, according to reports.
The 30-year-old Report has more than 100,000 readers, and
is aimed at the five million U.S. households that have more
than $1M in net worth.
Other CurtCo pubs up for sale include Robb Report Luxury
Home, Worth, Art & Antiques, Sarasota Magazine, Gulfshore
Life and ShowBoats International, a title aimed at the market
William Curtis founded CurtCo in Boston in 01.
THE NORTH FACE PUBLISHES
Custom publisher Pace Communications has inked a deal with
outdoor clothing retailer The North Face to produce Epic,
an online magazine targeting the likes of climbers, long-distance
runners, skiers and other outdoor hobbyists.
Trends, advice, recipes, and coverage of events and expeditions
are planned subjects for the site. Content, including high-def
video, will be downloadable for MP3 devices.
VIACOM ACQUIRES XFIRE.
Viacom has acquired Xfire, an online videogame company,
for $102M in an effort to grab a chunk of the $12.5B Internet
Xfire, which has a four million users of males from 14-34,
is growing at a rate of more than 300,000 subscribers a
month. A quarter of its top users spend an average 91 hours
a month playing Xfires more than 600 games.
Viacom, the parent of MTV Networks, acquired Neopets, a
childrens web site, last June for $160M.
WARNER BROS. APOLOGETIC.
New York City hip-hop radio station Hot 97, which has drawn
scrutiny for a slew of violent altercations at its Tribeca
studio, notched another shoot-out last week when rapper
Gravy was hit by a bullet on April 26 before entering the
Warner Bros., the Brooklyn rappers label, put out
a statement the next day noting Gravy went ahead with an
interview instead of going to the hospital.
Penny Palmer, a Warner Bros. PR rep, seemed apologetic:
He did not intend to bring adverse publicity to Hot
97, who have supported him and his records. After being
shot, he sat for a two-hour interview rather than go the
We are relieved that he is okay and that his wounds
were not more serious.
Gravy, aka Jamal Woolard, was spotted by police while he
was limping down the street exiting Hot 97. He was taken
to a local hospital and treated. No arrests have been made.
JAGGER TO STAR IN ABC COMEDY.
Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger has agreed to do a
pilot program for Disneys ABC unit currently called
Lets Rob Mick Jagger.
The serialized comedy is about plans of a down-and-out
crew of potential thieves to rob the Manhattan penthouse
of Jagger. It is a comedy version of Lost or
24, wrote Bill Carter in the New York Times.
Jagger shot the first episode of the show in Auckland,
New Zealand, where he was on tour with the Stones.
He will appear as a regular, but not in every episode.
Well work around his schedule, said Mark
Burnett, the creator of the program.
(Media news continued
on next page)
Edition, May 3, 2006, Page 4
TV Guide has
unveiled a new column, Downloads, featuring
information about the growing list of TV programs made available
for download or online viewing.
Guidance and tune-in information for viewers
on current and archived programs is also covered.
calling for nominations for its Technology Fast 500 ranking
of tech companies in North America. Companies must be in
business for at least five years and own proprietary intellectural
property or technology that contributes to the bulk of operating
revenues. Base-year revenues must be at least $50K with
cuurent-year operating revenues at least $5M.
Companies can nominate themselves or have a third party
to do it. Deadline is May 31. Info: www.Fast500.com.
Jaffe Legal News Service,
which celebrates its 10th anniversary on June 10, has just
published the 500th issue of the weekly legal newsletter.
The service covers news of law firms, and tackles legal
issues. It is a platform that law firms use to position
their attorneys as expert commentators. The free legal tip
sheet goes to more than 800 journalists. The current issue
has items about the May 1 immigration protest and calls
for a probe into gasoline price fixing.
Kevin Aschenbrenner, is editor-in-chief of JLNS, which
is a service of Jaffe Assocs.
JA offers PR, business development, creative and web services
to law firms and other professional service entities.
an illustrator and product designer, has been named a contributing
columnist for the New York Times premium service TimesSelect.
She will post an illustrated column on the first Wednesday
of each month.
Kalman has drawn covers for The New Yorker and done articles
and illustrations for the Times, Newsweek and Interview,
in addition to writing and illustrating children's books,
an illustrated version of Strunk & Whites Elements
of Style, and designing products for the Museum of Modern
Arts M&Co. label.
an executive producer for Univision in a five-year career,
has joined Azteca America, a Los Angeles-based Hispanic
TV network with a presence in 43 U.S. markets, as director
43, has been named to succeed Raju Narisetti, 39, as editor
of The Wall Street Journal Europe, effective June 1. Narisetti
is moving to a new post with the Hindustan Times Media group
Williams is based in Paris and has served as the papers
southern Europe bureau chief in a 14-year career. He will
continue to oversee the papers global energy coverage
and adds responsibility for coverage of Europe, the Middle
East and Africa for all editions of the Journal.
Alessandra Galloni, 32, has been named to replace Williams
in the southern Europe post.
managing editor of Retail Traffic magazine, has been named
editor-in-chief to replace Beth
Karlin, who is relocating to Miami to become editorial
director of Alert Global Media, a news company focused on
money laundering issues.
Bodamer was formerly senior associate editor for Commercial
was upped to business editor at the Boston Herald. He joined
the Herald in 98 as a business reporter from the Patriot
Ledger and Middlesex News. Before moving into print, Gatlin
was a producer for ABC News in New York.
editor of Economist.com and New York bureau chief of The
Economist, will leave his post at the end of June. The 20-year
veteran of the British magazine says he is ready to do something
Dont think you can call me too soon, because
I work four to five months ahead of stories, said
a freelance journalist, at an Entertainment Publicists Professional
Society and International Cinematographers Guild sponsored
media workshop called Freelance Journalists, the Sure
Way of Breaking Print! held at the ICG Local 600 theater.
Early is good. Lots of conversations occur with editors
and me while the story is developing.
Kaufman specializes in writing for lay audiences about
complex technology, especially those technologies involved
in film and TV production. She is West Coast editor of Film
& Video magazine, and is a frequent contributor to The
Always put your client in the big picture,
said Kaufman. Nothing turns me off more than self
promotion. If you call me, I will interrupt you with questions,
and if Im interested then I will ask you to send me
an e-mail. Relationships are important. Anyone who helps
me with my job and does their homework gets on the
Kaufman is at [email protected] and 310/397-5464.
Be creative in your pitch and tell me why this person
is going to be interesting to our readers, said Dana
Meltzer Zepeda, who has been a full-time freelance
journalist for the past five years and says she needs at
least a week lead time.
Zepeda is a contributing write for TV Guide, covering features,
celebrity profiles and news, and freelances for USA Todays
Faces & Places column about celebrities favorite
hotspots in L.A.
Try to come up with out-of-the-box ideas and be alert
to deadlines, explained Zepeda. Dont be
vague in your intro e-mail pitches, know in advance what
youre talking about, be brief, and be ready to refine
your angle if the first one doesnt work.
Zepeda covers health and fitness for Self and Fitness magazines
as well as fashion and beauty for US Weekly and MTV News.
E-mail pitches first and a follow-up call is preferred at
310-475-0650; [email protected].
Edition, May 3, 2006,
OF PR FIRMS
FIRMS GUIDE ATHLETE HEALTH
prominent athletes are the pitchmen for separate drug industry
campaigns aimed at promoting products and educating the
public about athritis and cholesterol.
Healthcare is working with HealthStar PR for an arthritis
awareness campaign launched last week with a professional
football star as its public face.
receiver and newly minted reality show star Jerry Rice,
who suffers from arthritis, kicked off the Daily Dose
of Good News campaign for Bayers Aleve brand
on April 24 as part of National Arthritis Month.
PR effort precedes a national advertising blitz set to feature
31 real people with arthritis.
has arthritis in his knees but recently made an admirable
showing on the reality show Dancing with the Stars
and is a shoe-in for the Football Hall Fame, logging 20
seasons in pro football before retiring ahead of the 2005
Novelli, meanwhile, is helping Mens Health Network
and Merck/Schering Plough Pharmaceuticals with the Strike
Out Cholesterol campaign featuring baseball great
is slated to tour Minor League baseball parks across the
U.S. during the summer to talk about high cholesterol and
the two main sources food and family (genetics).
AGENCIES FORMALIZE MERGER.
The Cherenson Group and
Success Advertising have merged operations to form the Success
Advertising Network, based in Livingston, N.J.
The firms have shared operations over the last 15 years
with the intention to eventually merge.
Kurt Schwartz, president of SA, takes the title president/CEO
of SAN, and Glenn Gershaw, who headed TCG, serves as president
Peppercom is guiding a six-figure marketing budget
for the launch of Hachette Filipacchi Medias Shock
magazine and website. The publication is expected to generate
controversy and push the envelope with images
ranging from funny to startling, according to the New York
Post. ...IR firm Dennard
Rupp Gray & Easterly, based in Houston, is providing
communications counsel to Integrated Electrical Services
as the company navigates Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The Houston-based
electrical design and installation contractor expects to
emerge from Ch. 11 in the first half of May after filing
in February. ...BlabberMouth
PR, Dallas, is donating its services to Texas Scottish
Rite Hospital for Children, which specializes in orthopedic
conditions, neurological disorders, and learning disabilities.
who runs Albany, N.Y., boutique PR firm Be Heard Solutions
and is the mother of three-month-old twin girls, has started
a weblog geared toward mothers who are business professionals.
Cherry said the blog, www.mommy-inc.com, will include insights,
articles, business tactics and other advice so that others
can learn from her experiences.
& Soell PR, New York/Active International, professional
services, as AOR to raise its profile in the business community.
& Co., New York/Fosters Wine Estates, for
media and POP marketing of its Australian wine brand the
PR, New York/Titan Global Entertainment, hybrid music
entertainment company handling artist management, production
and publishing, as AOR.
PR, Chappaqua, N.Y./International Laser Display Assn.,
and TII Network Technologies, communications equipment and
network protection and management products, both for PR.
Mower and Associates, Buffalo, N.Y./SEW-Eurodrive,
power transmission and motion control systems manufacturer,
for marketing communications in the U.S. for the South Carolina-based
Group, Philadelphia/Nailite, residential and commercial
siding, for logo and web design, advertising and PR.
Group Communications, Washington, D.C./General Contractors
Assn. of New York, for centennial year events and web work;
Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW, for direct mail/adv.; Metra, Chicagos
commuter rail, for a public information campaign for new
rail lines; National Energy Management Institute, to produce
a seminar, and the National Alliance to End Homelessness,
for production of an annual awards ceremony.
Group, Germantown, Md./Quality Associates, document
management and quality assurance services, for ongoing PR.
Richmond, Va./Fleet Laboratories, health and beauty products,
for PR/marketing counsel.
Boineau & Co., Charleston, S.C./Navigational
Sciences, radio-frequency communications, wireless and intermodal
logistics, as AOR for PR.
Pepperdine, Brown & Russell, Orlando, Fla./Luggage
Concierge, for publicity and PR, including media relations
directed at consumer outlets for the luggage and sports
Horse Inc., Minneapolis/Pure Fishing, fishing tackle
giant, as AOR, and Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America,
for sponsorship communications campaigns.
Fiskum & McCormick, Portland, Ore./
Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundations Oregon and
SW Washington Affliate, as AOR for PR.
Factory, San Mateo, Calif./Citysearch, as AOR for
integrated marketing and PR following a competitive review.
The firm is charged with national and local marketing efforts
like a new messaging platform, media outreach, partnership
marketing and promotions.
San Francisco/Adify, Internet advertising; NewsGator Technologies,
RSS technology, and TurnHere, Net video portal.
Edition, May 3, 2006, Page 6
MEDIALINK TAPS CAVENDER IN
Cavender, former parnter for iCD Media and a CBS news executive
in Atlanta, has joined Medialinks regional business
is a former chairman of the Radio-Television News Directors
Association and will be based in Atlanta for Medialink.
he was VP and news director at CBS affiliates in Washington,
D.C., Tampa, Fla., Nashville, as well as Atlanta.
USPS HEARS STUDENT PR PITCHES.
Student PR teams from
six New York area universities are slated to make presentations
May 15 in the U.S. Postal Services P.R. Professional
Experience. For the competition, the Postal Service
turned to college PR sudents to develop a campaign to best
promote the online postal products NetPost, Click-N-Ship
and Direct Mail to18-30 year-olds.
The winning team will
earn $2,500 in prizes from Microsoft, JetBlue Airwads and
Students from Dowling College, New York Univ., SUNY at New
Paltz (New York), Fairleigh Dickinson, Montclair State (New
Jersey), and Quinnipiac Univ. (Connecticut) are taking part.
Locke, national account executive for Vidicom, has
joined News Broadcast Network, New York, as director of
Beholder Productions, Jenkintown, Pa., has produced
a DVD for the Chemical Heritage Foundation to honor Japanese
entrepreneur Masao Horiba. The company guided technical
direction, audio recording, A/V editing, and DVD programming
for the project, which was viewed by the CHFs 30,000
attendees at its annual conference in Pittsburgh. Beholder
as also recently tapped by Irvine, Calif., video production
firm Merit Andrew to produce a webinar for McNeil Pharmaceuticals.
Beholder also completed an on-location project for Christina
Care Hospital in Delaware, interviewing hospital staff and
doctors about cardiac care for a presentation at a recent
American Heart Assn. Conference.
Television, Ridgewood, N.J., recently produced a
satellite media tour with Gabrielle Lichterman, author of
28 Days, a Daily Horoscope for Your Hormones.
The SMT was put together for for Lippe-Taylor on behalf
of feminine-product maker Always, which had conducted a
survey that found young women had not been sufficiently
informed about the role their cycles would play in their
Another SMT featured Innovation
Insider Steve Greenberg from the 2006 International
Home & Housewares Show as he covered new products. Participants
included Weber Shandwick for Unilevers All Small &
Mighty detergent, Paine PR for Hoovers Z-Bagless upright,
AeroGrows AeroGarden, the first kitchen garden to
use aerogonic technology, and ZojiRushis breadmaker.
Patil, A/E, Siano Pinckney & Hugo, to Eric Mower
and Associates, as an A/S. She is a former product manager
for Unilever Bestfoods.
Burns, senior manager of comms. for Kraft Foods,
to Wheatley & Timmons, Chicago, to VP and director of
client services. Earlier in her career, she was an A/S on
the Kraft account at Edelman.
Blake, former VP of media relations for Touchstone
Television, the TV development unit of The Walt Disney Co.,
has joined World Wrestling Entertainment in Stamford, Conn.,
as VP of publicity, its top PR post. Blake reports to marketing
VP Kurt Schneider and oversees all of WWEs publicity
and consumer PR activities. WWE produces the wrestling TV
programs Raw (a top-rated show on USA) and Smackdown
(the top draw for the soon-to-be-merged UPN), as well as
content in 100 countries. Revenues, including merchandising
and pay-per-view totaled $366M last year. Blake has recently
served as an independent PR consultant based out of Stamford.
She earlier was VP of Bender/Helper Impacts consumer
TV division when the firm was known as Bender, Goldman &
Helper PR. Blake also was director of publicity for Columbia
Sullivan, former managing editor for FOX station
WGHP in Greensboro, N.C., to Cotton & Co., Stuart, Fla.,
as a VP. Sullivan was PR manager for Replacements, Ltd.
after his journlism career, which also included a stint
as bureu chief for NBC station WTVJ (Miami).
Alexander, marketing/PR manager, Atlanta Neighborhood
Development Partnership, to Sturges Word, Kansas City, Mo.,
as a senior A/E. She was previously PR specialist for Wold
Architects & Engineers.
Pitta, a veteran technology journalist covering Silicon
Valley, has entered the PR realm with a director of media
relations post at McGrath/Power PR in Santa Clara, Calif.
Pitta opened Forbes first Silicon Valley bureau and
served as senior editor and chief technology correspondent
for the magazine. Previously, she was at the Los Angeles
Times for three years in northern California, as chief technology
reporter for the paper. McGrath/Power is the Silicon Valley
firm for the Worldcom PR Group.
Sturtz, chief creative officer for Euro RSCG Magnet,
U.S., to chief marketing officer for the Magnet unit for
North America, reporting to chairman John Margaritis.
DiVirgilio to management supervisor, Eric Mower and
Associates, Syracuse, N.Y. He joined the firm in 1988 and
was recently a senior A/S.
Jenkins Jr. to senior VP, comms., Amerigroup Corp.
He joined the company in 04 as a VP after a decade
as a reporter for the Washington Post.
Murray, managing director, TD Ameritrade Holding
Corp., Omaha, Neb., has added oversight for IR and now serves
as liaison with government and regulatory agencies for the
Edition, May 3, 2006, Page 7
N.Y. SHOULD HOST CONF. (continued
from page 1)
problem with the net figures of the conferences
is that PRSA charges only a minimal amount for staff time
$103,122 in 2004 while former presidents and
treasurers say staff costs are actually well over $1M because
of extensive year-long work on the meetings.]
who was nominated for president-elect in 2000 but lost to
write-in candidate Joann Killeen in the Assembly, said he
and other New York chapter members and leaders are distressed
with the continued dominance of accredited members in PRSA.
the rollback of APR in the Assembly in 2004, allowing non-APRs
to be delegates for the first time since 1973, only APRs
are allowed to serve on the nominating committee and only
APRs can sign a petition for a special Assembly.
has long sought decoupling APR not only from the Assembly
but throughout PRSA including membership on the national
Withdraw from National?
Stevens said he will take
up with the PRSA/NY board the concept of the chapter withdrawing
from national and becoming an independent body.
Dissident PRSA members
who are also members of PRSA/NY said a strong anti-New
York tide at PRSA leaves the chapter no choice but
to go out on its own just like the Institute for PR did
Corporate members of PRSA
have gone to the Arthur W. Page Society, counselors in big
and some smaller firms have gone to the Council of PR Firms,
and virtually all those in financial PR have gone to the
National Investor Relations Institute, they say.
The IPR, corporate, counselors
and IR people got too frustrated in dealing with PRSA leadership,
say the dissidents, and its time for PRSA/NY to take
the same step.
They say that a New York
group could hold a conference in New York every year and
that the profits would be kept in New York instead of distributing
them around the country.
Most of the PR service
industry companies are in the New York area and would appreciate
the savings from a local conference.
Since PRSA/NY only has
about 600 members, it would not be missed by national which
has 20,700 members, the dissidents also said.
A new group, they said,
could follow the example of New York Women in Communications,
which has many editorial, publishing, broadcasting, and
service people as well as PR professionals.
NYWICI, which broke away
from its national group in the late 1990s, has grown from
several hundred members to 1,100.
Its Matrix Awards luncheon
each April nets nearly $500,000, which is used to fund weekly
programs throughout the year in addition to major events
every few months.
The Institute for PR,
which broke from PRSA in 1989 on the issue of APR, had revenues
of $566,466 in 2005 vs. revenues of $161,313 for the PRSA
Foundation in 2004.
OMNICOM FLIES TO S.F. FOR
meeting will be in San Francisco May 23, marking the fourth
year in a row that the company has had the meeting outside
of New York.
Last years meeting
was in Dallas, the 2004 meeting in Atlanta and the 2003
meeting in Los Angeles.
CEO John Wren has said
the meetings have been taken on the road to interface better
with stockholders. Attendence is usually 20-30 people.
OMC, the biggest owner
of PR (about $1 billion in PR fees), reported last week
that PR revenues were up 1.4% for the first quarter while
advertising was up 7.1% and customer relationship management
(direct mail, etc.) was up 10%.
PR revenues gained 2.1%
in all of 2005 and 1.3% in the last quarter of 2005.
Nineteen of the 25 largest
independent PR firms in the 2005 ODwyer ranking had
gains of 10% or more and ten had gains of 20% and more.
OMC PR units include Fleishman-Hillard;
Porter Novelli, Ketchum, and Brodeur.
Forbes magazine has ranked
Wren 89 out of 189 CEOs for efficiency, meaning
performance vs. pay. Ratings are given only
to CEOs who have been in their jobs at least six years,
No. 1 standing for most efficient (lowest pay and highest
performance) and No. 189 standing for the lowest.
Wren in 2004 (latest year
then available) was paid $13.48 million in total compensation
and an average of $5.6M over the six years. The six-year
annual total return of OMC was calculated at -2% by Forbes.
OMC's stock was $107 on Dec. 17, 1999 and is in the high
Wren rebuffed an ODwyer
reporter in Dallas last year, telling him to save questions
for the meeting, which was adjourned before the questions
Wren has given three interviews
since a story in the June 12, 2002 Wall Street Journal cut
the OMC stock price in half to below $40.
Two of the interviews
were conducted with reporters for AdWeek. No financial topics
were raised in either interview. The other interview was
in Market-Watch at a time when MW was thinking of making
Wren CEO of the year because of the rebound of OMC stock.
Edition, May 3,
2006, Page 8
appointment of Tony Snow as White House press secretary
is rightly being hailed as a giant step forward in
the press relations of President Bush. White House reporters
have been chafing at the naivete of Scott McClellan for
years but no action was taken until Michael Wolffs
shock and awe attack in the May Vanity Fair.
There are times when only the strongest words in the press
will have any effect. Mild criticisms are just shrugged
off. Although Snow has conservative leanings, he has criticized
Bush on occasion and he is certainly media-savvy. Reporters
point out he is the first Presidential spokesperson in decades
who is from the media rather than PR or PA. A good part
of the PR world takes its cue from policies set by the White
House press secretary. The fashion in organizations in recent
years has been to butt heads with the press
(Ari Fleischer school) or assign a lower-level staffer to
press relations (McClellan school). Another ploy is to make
this person hard to reach by giving him or her many other
tasks so that theyre always busy. It may
take days to get the simplest question answered. Snows
appointment could signal a return to knowledgeable, helpful
The press dodging
tactics of John Wren of Omnicom (page 7) continue
because no major media have taken him to the woodshed. OMC
has good earnings reports (although CPAs dispute its off-balance
sheet handling of its dot-com assets). But it is in full-flight
from the New York financial press at the same time that
Interpublic, with much to fear from stockholders and the
press, is holding its annual meeting in an auditorium in
the McGraw-Hill building. The meeting is open to the public
and photographs can be taken. ...more
importantly for the PR counseling field, OMC reported that
PR was its worst performing service in the first
quarter, up only 1.4%. This after a dismal showing for PR
of +2.5% in all of 2005 and +1.3% in Q4 of 2005. We dont
know how much of the PR fees are from acquisitions. Wren
and his sidekick Randy Weisenberger (both accountants) have
trampled on every known principle of PR. Publicis, Havas
and Interpublic, which are not far behind, dont break
out PR revenues at all, either in general or for any of
their units. WPP Group reports a combination of PR
and PA and we dont know what it means by PA.
They were up 7.5% in 2005 which is better than OMCs
reported PR growth but far below the gains being racked
up by the U.S. independent PR firms. Seventy-five of the
134 independents in the 2005 ODwyer ranking had gains
of 10% and more while 48 had gains of 20%+ and nine in the
top 50 had gains of 30%+. ...the
modern PR firm, with numerous ways to win attention for
clients and boost sales short of expensive advertising,
must be delivering good value to its clients. It does not
have to bump up 25% or so of its profits to a parent company
and count every step its employees make for the benefit
of bookkeepers. ...Art
Stevens, president of PRSA/NY, has made a courageous stand
in calling for national to hold its conference in New York
every third year. There was a 14-year gap between the 1990
conference in New York and the 2004 conference. Having the
conference in different cities around the country (playing
to the local pride of various chapters), cost PRSA at least
$800,000 in revenues each year and probably $10 million
from 1990-2004. A poll of ODwyer web subscribers found
84% of those who responded agreeing with Stevens. All of
the PRSA/NY members we talked to are gung ho for PRSA/NY
leaving national, having its own conference in New York
each fall, and keeping all the profits in New York. They
feel rebellion is long overdue. PRSA/NY leaders, who are
out of touch with their rank-and-file members, should explore
all the pluses and minuses of this topic with its 600 members
and then take a secret ballot. Were sure, based on
our web poll and talks with veteran chapter members, that
the vote would be overwhelmingly in favor of bolting from
national. ...an indication
of the questionable spending habits of the national
staff and leaders is the fact that travel, meal and hotel
costs for the 2005 conference, which was not even held as
scheduled in Miami because of Hurricane Wilma, totaled $59,646
which is more than the $57,798 travel costs for the conference
in San Francisco in 2002 which was actually held. Thirty-two
PRSA staffers were scheduled to go to Miami and it looks
like a lot or all of them went although it was nearly-certain
by Wednesday of the previous week that Wilma would wash
out the meeting. ...the
average pay/fringes for the 55 PRSA staffers in 2005, according
to the audit, was $82,530. Total payroll/fringes
was $4,539,162 or 44.4% of revenues of $10.2 million, which
is high for a non-profit organization the size of PRSA.
Wed like to see the expense accounts of the individual
staffers and leaders. ...PRSA
payroll costs for PR (Janet Troy, Cedric Bess
and an occasional aide), were $244,158. in 2005.
We get almost no answers from Troy and Bess nor do we see
many articles about PRSA in the trade or general press.
The 40th anniversary of APR passed in 2005 without a peep
and there is no PR so far either for the 60th anniversary
of the founding of PRSA in 2007 or the 60th anniversary
of its chartering by New York State in 2008. ...PRSA
president Cheryl Procter-Rogers has told Troy and Bess
that her next public appearance is not until Sept. 7 at
the North Florida chapter. Procter-Rogers is becoming another
stealth president of PRSA, rarely seen or heard.
She has not responded to phone calls and e-mails from this
NL since March 20. ...an
attempt to reach PRSA treasurer Jeff Julin the day the audit
came out ran into a stonewall. An e-mail bounced
with the message that he is out of the office
until May 11. ...WPP
Group shocked us by buying a trade publication, the
IEG Sponsorhip Report of Lisa Ukman. It covers the promotional
and sponsorship business which is closely allied with PR
and has a directory and annual show. We thought ad agencies
are not supposed to own news media. ...Vox
Medica, up 35%, Phelps Group, 23%, and Zimmerman, 12%,
are the big gainers on the list of ad agency-related PR
Rankings of PR Units of Advertising Agencies >>).
Most of the others were flat or down.