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Internet Edition, May 3, 2006, Page 1


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 Government’s modernization drive and its human rights performance.

Chinese sensitivities 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 London’s win of the ’12 Games.


President Bush has named conservative FOX commentator Tony Snow as his new White House press secretary to replace Scott McClellan.

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 News Sunday.”

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.


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, D.C., office.

He is in charge of issues management, crisis PR, media relations and will lobby on behalf of the Interpublic unit’s clients.

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 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 O’Dwyer’s 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 Duke’s 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 Newsweek’s 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 O’Dwyer’s 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.


Omnicom CEO John Wren received a 10 percent hike in his incentive bonus to $4.4M as a reward for the ad/PR conglom’s 9.3 percent jump in ’05 net income to $791M.

The bonus increase, according to OMC's proxy, took into account Wren’s decision to decline “sizable stock grants” that he and CFO Randy Weisenburger were entitled to for meeting financial goals.

Wren’s ’05 salary remained at $1M.


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 York.

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 PRSA’s 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)

Internet Edition, May 3, 2006, Page 2


Publicis is the latest agency to establish an operation dedicated to potential fallout and other issues surrounding Avian Flu.

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.


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.


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 O’Dwyer’s that Blueshirt was brought in specifically for the IPO.


The General Services Administration, the U.S. government’s 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 PR firms.

Firms are not required to be registered for the MAS program to participate in all government solicitations


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-Hillard’s 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 state’s image.


Megan Grabos, a veteran of Chicago’s PR scene, has joined Financial Dynamics as VP, reporting to Harlan Teller, senior managing director of Midwest operations.

Grabos served as VP in Edelman’s corporate practice, handled executive and employee communications at Sara Lee and worked as spokesperson and media strategist for Kemper Insurance.

She also worked at Hill & Knowlton in New York and Chicago and at Dye, Van Mol and Lawrence in Nashville.

Internet Edition, May 3, 2006, Page 3


McClatchy 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.

CEO Gary Pruitt said McClatchy is getting a full but fair price for the papers. He expects to close on the deal in the summer.

MediaNews will pick up the San Jose and Contra Costa papers, while Hearst gets the Monterey and St. Paul properties.

McClatchy 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.

Other 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.).


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 personal reasons).

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, Stewart’s name is hardly prominent when it comes to Blueprint, where it appears in a small red banner across the top of the cover.” 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” element.

Tom Prince, MSLO’s 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.


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 for mega-yachts.

William Curtis founded CurtCo in Boston in ’01.

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 has acquired Xfire, an online videogame company, for $102M in an effort to grab a chunk of the $12.5B Internet advertising market.

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 Xfire’s more than 600 games.

Viacom, the parent of MTV Networks, acquired Neopets, a children’s web site, last June for $160M.


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 building.

Warner Bros., the Brooklyn rapper’s 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 hospital.

“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.


Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger has agreed to do a pilot program for Disney’s ABC unit currently called “Let’s 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.

“We’ll work around his schedule,” said Mark Burnett, the creator of the program.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet 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.

Deloitte is 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:

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.


Maira Kalman, 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 & White’s Elements of Style, and designing products for the Museum of Modern Art’s M&Co. label.

Joshua Mintz, 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 of programming.

Michael Williams, 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 in India.

Williams is based in Paris and has served as the paper’s southern Europe bureau chief in a 14-year career. He will continue to oversee the paper’s 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.

David Bodamer, 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 Property News.

Greg Gatlin 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.

Anthony Gottlieb, editor of 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 new.

Placement Tips___________

“Don’t think you can call me too soon, because I work four to five months ahead of stories,” said Debra Kaufman, 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 Hollywood Reporter.

“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 I’m 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 radar.

Kaufman is at [email protected] and 310/397-5464.

‘Don’t be vague’

“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 Today’s 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. “Don’t be vague in your intro e-mail pitches, know in advance what you’re talking about, be brief, and be ready to refine your angle if the first one doesn’t 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].

Internet Edition, May 3, 2006, Page 5


Two prominent athletes are the pitchmen for separate drug industry campaigns aimed at promoting products and educating the public about athritis and cholesterol.

Bayer Healthcare is working with HealthStar PR for an arthritis awareness campaign launched last week with a professional football star as its public face.

Legendary receiver and newly minted reality show star Jerry Rice, who suffers from arthritis, kicked off the “Daily Dose of Good News” campaign for Bayer’s Aleve brand on April 24 as part of National Arthritis Month.

The PR effort precedes a national advertising blitz set to feature 31 “real people” with arthritis.

Rice 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 season.

Porter Novelli, meanwhile, is helping Men’s Health Network and Merck/Schering Plough Pharmaceuticals with the “Strike Out Cholesterol” campaign featuring baseball great Jim Palmer.

Palmer 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).


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 and COO.

BRIEFS: Peppercom is guiding a six-figure marketing budget for the launch of Hachette Filipacchi Media’s 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. ...Shannon Cherry, 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,, will include insights, articles, business tactics and other advice so that others can learn from her experiences.


New York Area

Gibbs & Soell PR, New York/Active International, professional services, as AOR to raise its profile in the business community.

Kwittken & Co., New York/Foster’s Wine Estates, for media and POP marketing of its Australian wine brand the Little Penguin.

5W PR, New York/Titan Global Entertainment, hybrid music entertainment company handling artist management, production and publishing, as AOR.

Roher PR, Chappaqua, N.Y./International Laser Display Assn., and TII Network Technologies, communications equipment and network protection and management products, both for PR.

Eric 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 company.


Brownstein Group, Philadelphia/Nailite, residential and commercial siding, for logo and web design, advertising and PR.

Carmen 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, Chicago’s 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.

DPR Group, Germantown, Md./Quality Associates, document management and quality assurance services, for ongoing PR.

CRT/tanka, Richmond, Va./Fleet Laboratories, health and beauty products, for PR/marketing counsel.

E. Boineau & Co., Charleston, S.C./Navigational Sciences, radio-frequency communications, wireless and intermodal logistics, as AOR for PR.

Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell, Orlando, Fla./Luggage Concierge, for publicity and PR, including media relations directed at consumer outlets for the luggage and sports delivery company.


Fast Horse Inc., Minneapolis/Pure Fishing, fishing tackle giant, as AOR, and Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America, for sponsorship communications campaigns.


Conkling Fiskum & McCormick, Portland, Ore./
Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation’s Oregon and SW Washington Affliate, as AOR for PR.

Thunder 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.

LaunchSquad, San Francisco/Adify, Internet advertising; NewsGator Technologies, RSS technology, and TurnHere, ’Net video portal.

Internet Edition, May 3, 2006, Page 6


Mike Cavender, former parnter for iCD Media and a CBS news executive in Atlanta, has joined Medialink’s regional business development team.

Cavender is a former chairman of the Radio-Television News Directors Association and will be based in Atlanta for Medialink.

Earlier, he was VP and news director at CBS affiliates in Washington, D.C., Tampa, Fla., Nashville, as well as Atlanta.


Student PR teams from six New York area universities are slated to make presentations May 15 in the U.S. Postal Service’s “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 Travelpro.
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.

Hillary Locke, national account executive for Vidicom, has joined News Broadcast Network, New York, as director of client services.

PROJECTS: 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 CHF’s 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.

DWJ 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 emotional lives.

Another SMT featured “Innovation Insider” Steve Greenberg from the 2006 International Home & Housewares Show as he covered new products. Participants included Weber Shandwick for Unilever’s All Small & Mighty detergent, Paine PR for Hoover’s Z-Bagless upright, AeroGrow’s AeroGarden, the first kitchen garden to use aerogonic technology, and ZojiRushi’s breadmaker.



Padma Patil, A/E, Siano Pinckney & Hugo, to Eric Mower and Associates, as an A/S. She is a former product manager for Unilever Bestfoods.

Alyssa 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.

Shawn 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 WWE’s 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 Impact’s consumer TV division when the firm was known as Bender, Goldman & Helper PR. Blake also was director of publicity for Columbia Pictures TV.

Liam 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).

Toni 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.

Julie 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.


Laura 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.

Joseph DiVirgilio to management supervisor, Eric Mower and Associates, Syracuse, N.Y. He joined the firm in 1988 and was recently a senior A/S.

Kent 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.

Bill 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 company.

Internet Edition, May 3, 2006, Page 7

N.Y. SHOULD HOST CONF. (continued from page 1)

[A 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.]

Stevens, 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.

Despite 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.

PRSA/NY has long sought decoupling APR not only from the Assembly but throughout PRSA including membership on the national board.

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 in 1989.

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 it’s 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.

Integration Needed

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’s annual 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 year’s 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 O’Dwyer 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 $80's currently.

Wren rebuffed an O’Dwyer reporter in Dallas last year, telling him to save questions for the meeting, which was adjourned before the questions were allowed.

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.

Internet Edition, May 3, 2006, Page 8




The 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 Wolff’s “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 they’re always “busy.” It may take days to get the simplest question answered. Snow’s appointment could signal a return to knowledgeable, helpful PR staffers.

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 don’t 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, don’t 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 don’t know what it means by PA. They were up 7.5% in 2005 which is better than OMC’s 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 O’Dwyer 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 O’Dwyer 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. We’re sure, based on our web poll and talks with veteran chapter members, that the vote would be overwhelmingly in favor of bolting from national. 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. We’d 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. 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 units (O'Dwyer's Rankings of PR Units of Advertising Agencies >>). Most of the others were flat or down.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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