The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, August 23, 2006, Page 1
DANGLES $4.5M SOLAR PACT.
aggressive embrace of solar energy has led to a $4.5M public
education RFP to urge Golden State residents and builders
to build and buy homes that utilize power from the sun.
ambitious multi-billion program spearheaded by Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger to encourage the development and use of solar
energy in the Golden State was okayed by the states
Public Utilities Commission in January.
nod created a $2.8 billion, 10-year incentive program administered
by California Energy Commission, which has issued the lucrative
state wants a firm to develop social marketing programs,
PR, advertising, and a wide-reaching education effort targeting
public and private entities like home builders, trade groups,
financial institutions and chambers of commerce across the
initial contract runs for two years and also includes two
option years at $1.5M per year.
are due by Sept. 14 with the goal of hammering out a contract
by January 2007.
Bergmann is contract officer for the CEC ([email protected];
WAGGED SET TO PART WITH BOEING
Waggener Edstrom is preparing
to pull the plug on its work for Connexion by Boeing, the
doomed in-flight Internet service that never caught enough
traction for the airplane maker.
WaggEd has worked on the
account for three and a half years.
We have appreciated
the opportunity to support the innovation and passion of
the company and its individuals, Erica Beyer, northwest
region GM for the firm said. We recognize that every
day businesses must make hard decisions to be responsible
to employees, shareholders and customers, and we wish Boeing
success with future endeavors.
Boeing said last week
that it was nixing the service because of a lack of demand.
Despite strong interest in surveys of airline travelers,
actual use of the service which cost about $10 for
an hour or $27 for a full flight never met the lofty
expectations of a predicted $70 billion in-flight Internet
Boeing said it will continue
the service for several months before an orderly phase
The company expects a
pre-tax charge of up to $320M in the second half of 2006.
Rival Airbus is planning
a similar service through a joint venture with SITA.
CMS NAMES FOUR FIRMS TO ROSTER.
The federal bureaucracy
that runs Medicare and Medicaid has tapped four firms as
its primary contractors for PR and communications over the
next five years.
Following an eight-month
review, incumbents Ketchum and Ogilvy PR Worldwide remain
on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid roster.
Weber Shandwick expands
on its current duties and Porter Novelli has been added
to the mix.
Under government procurement
rules, CMS will choose from the four firms as projects and
campaigns arise over the course of the primary year and
four option years covered by the new contracts. The combined
pacts have a ceiling of $300M.
Ketchum, Ogilvy, GCI Group
and Academy for Educational Development had previously been
the major PR contractors for the CMS. PN is a newcomer to
the federal agencys PR roster.
Weber Shandwick was one
of four firms to win part of a research and communications
RFP in October 2005 with the federal entity.
The new quartet will be
called on to handle a swath of communications efforts, including
earned media and press relations, Internet communications,
grassroots outreach, press conferences, monitoring, marketing
materials and paid media, among other tasks. That could
include an overhaul of federal entitys image as well.
ISRAEL TAPS WEILL FOR U.S.
The Israeli Ministry of
Tourism has brought back its former PR firm, New York-based
Geoffrey Weill Associates, following a six-month review
that began before the latest round of violence in the region.
The MoT said it has not
utilized outside PR assistance in the U.S. since 2004. Its
last firm was 5W PR.
Weill declined to defend
the account after being one of 15 firms invited to pitch
during the last review in 2004, which resulted in a $2M
a year pact that went to 5W PR and MWW Group.
In announcing the return of the account, Weill referenced
the Israeli-Hezbollah ceasefire and noted: We are
starting work formally on a day that is full of optimism,
so lets hope its a good omen.
Group is supporting Dell in its costly recall of
4.1 million laptop batteries made by Sony, the largest product
pull-back ever in the consumer electronics sector. Sony
and Dell plan to split the cost of the recall - estimated
from $200M-$400M which was initiated because some
of the batteries in the laptops burst into flames. GCI is
Dells agency of record.
Edition, August 23, 2006, Page 2
HEADS EDELMANS TECH UNIT.
has placed Bob Angus, CEO of its May acquisition, A&R
Partners, at the helm of a new technology leadership team
for the firm.
will now serve as director of U.S. technology and president
of the A&R Edelman unit, as well as chair of a new unit
that includes Edelman managing directors in London (Jonathan
Hargreaves) and Southeast Asia (Bob Grove).
Pollace, the former Intel pro, has left her Edelman post
as global tech chair to serve as communications director
for the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, a San Francisco-based
entity focused on doling out grants for environmental and
a co-founder of A&R Partners, has been in PR 25 years
and is based in San Mateo, Calif. Grove heads Southeast
Asian tech operations from his base in Singapore.
in the U.K., has been heading global communications for
the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
and currently leads the Orange account at both group and
U.K. level for Edelman.
firm says more than 250 staffers work in its tech practice
on clients like Canon, Samsung and Microsoft. The firm claimed
1,848 total employees across all disciplines in 2005, while
A&R staffed about 100 at the time of the acquisition.
WPP BULLISH ON PR.
WPP reported a nearly
13 percent rise in revenue for the first six months of 2006,
compared with the same period last year. Including currency
movements, overall revenue rose 16% to $5.12 billion.
The No. 2 ad/PR holding
company is bullish on PR and public affairs, noting the
fields continue to show significant improvement over last
year, following a strong year in 2005.
It seems that the
public relations and public affairs businesses, in particular,
are benefiting from the growth of new technologies, where
editorial publicity is very effective and probably more
effective than paid for publicity, the company said
in releasing its financials. Social networking, in
particular, is offering a new form of word-of-mouth advertising,
that is very effective. These new technologies are probably
boosting the growth rates of [PR and PA].
PR and PA revenues rose
11.6 percent for the first half, compared with advertising
and media investment management, which rose 10.7 percent.
Dewey Square Group
Moving on the growth it
sees in PA and following its acquisition earlier this month
of Public Strategies, WPP also announced that it has agreed
to acquire DSG Strategies, a Washington, D.C. public affairs
firm focused on grassroots advocacy, coalition building,
communications and strategic marketing which was formerly
known as Dewey Square Group.
DSG was set up in 1993
and based in Washington The firm has five other U.S. offices
and employs 53 people. WPP said DSGs unaudited revenues
for 2005 were $12.5M with gross assets of $2.9M at the date
WREN ARE RAPPED.
Financial columnist Christopher
Byron of the New York Post took Omnicom and CEO John
Wren to the woodshed Aug. 14 for a stock-buyback program
which he says borders on outright stock manipulation
and for Wren's refusal to deal with the press.
Byron received no help
from OMC PR staffer Patricia Sloan who directed him to the
OMC website and demanded that he send any questions by e-mail.
None were answered.
Concluded the article:
And they call this company skilled at media relations?
The buyback program, which
has reduced OMC's outstanding shares from 187 million to
170 million with analysts predicting another ten million
in buybacks, has added $3 billion+ to OMCs once
pristine balance sheet, said Byron.
He notes the stock was
$107 at the end of 1999 and only $86 as of the close Aug.
11 in spite of the program.
Stock prices can be boosted
by buybacks but if the program is aggressive enough,
the company could actually suffer, which clearly seems to
have been the case with the OMC program, says Byron.
He criticizes CEO John
Wren for avoidance of press interviews, noting that Wren
has only given three in the past four years which included
two with a friendly trade magazine. AdWeek
interviewed Wren twice but no financial topics were discussed.
Wren stressed in both interviews that the 1,500 properties
of OMC are coordinating closely with each other.
Byron also notes that
Wren has taken the annual meeting out of New York four years
in a row.
Wren previously worked
at the defunct Arthur Andersen accounting firm.
Stocks of rivals like
WPP, Interpublic, Havas and Publicis have also fallen from
their turn of the century highs, says Byron. The conglomerates
have banned all their PR and ad agencies from releasing
any statistics about billing and employment for the past
four years. The debt of the four largest conglomerates is
Byron is especially concerned
about OMC borrowing money to buy back stock.
This included a recent
loan of nearly $1 billion which was plowed into OMC stock.
OMC in 1999 took
its first hesitant steps into the bog of financial razzle-dazzle
from which few companies ever return, said Byron,
who notes OMC spent $958 million on buybacks in the first
half of 2006 alone.
He reprises the 2002 dust-up
of OMC with the Wall Street Journal when a story
about alleged accounting irregularities cut OMC stock in
half to below $40.
OMC tried to contain
the damage by unleashing a corporate flack to smear the
article as a tissue of inaccuracies and improper innuendos,
then calling a teleconference at which only friendly Wall
Street analysts were permitted to ask questions, writes
He says the story was
completely accurate and fairly balanced, and OMC eventually
abandoned its spin effort without pointing to a single error
or distortion or asking the WSJ to publish any corrections.
Sloan was formerly New
York editor of Ad Age.
Edition, August 23, 2006, Page 3
TAPPED TO EDIT VOICE.
Blum, a veteran magazine editor and writer, has been named
editor-in-chief of the Village Voice.
appointment follows the short-lived tenure of Erik Wemple,
the former Washington City Paper editor who was tapped
in early June as the fourth editor in seven months at the
began his career as an urban affairs reporter for the Wall
Street Journal in 1979 and has written for New York
magazine, Esquire, and the New York Times
Magazine. He left the Journal for Esquire in 1983 and
was at New York from 85-92. He wrote for the Times
Magazine from 95-00 and has been an adjunct professor
at Columbia Universitys journalism school since 2002.
Since 02, he has been a TV critic for the New York
Queens native officially starts at the Voice on Sept. 12.
believe in the limitless possibilities of weeklies, and
in the power of narrative journalism to change the way people
think and feel, Blum said in a statement.
TIME CHANGES ON-SALE DAY.
Time magazine said
it will shift its on-sale day from Monday to Friday as part
of a plan to reformulate the magazine and its
starting in January 2007.
The magazine noted the
move marks a return to its original on-sale day established
by founder Henry Luce in 1923.
Managing editor Richard
Stengel, who joined in June, said the move will allow the
magazine and website to offer content continuously
Company research showed
that pre-weekend delivery allows readers to spend more time
with the magazine, which will hit newsstands on Friday with
most subscribers receiving the publication by Saturday.
It has not yet set the day of the week when the magazine
will be printed.
HARVARD GRADS PLAN MAG.
A former Harvard student
plans to launch a new bi-monthly magazine dubbed the Vanity
Fair for Harvard with the backing of David Bradley,
owner of the Atlantic Monthly.
The new publication, called
02138 after the schools Cambridge, MA, zip code, is
aimed to build a base from Harvard graduates with the anticipation
of reaching beyond that narrow demographic. Bom Kim, a 2000
graduate of the Ivy League school who worked as a reporter-researcher
at The New Republic, is a founder with Daniel Loss, who
worked with Kim at The New Republic. Loss is a Harvard
Law School grad (04).
Meredith Kopit, former
associate publisher of the Atlantic, is publisher of the
new title, while Caroline Miller, former editor of New York
and Seventeen, is editorial director.
The Rosen Group is promoting
the magazines October debut with events in New york,
Boston and Washington, D.C.
Initial circulation is
planned at 50,000 alumni. An estimated 320K people list
Harvard on their resumes, according to the new publication.
WOLFF PAINTS GRIM PICTURE
Vanity Fair columnist
Michael Wolff paints a grim picture of the New York Times
in the September issue of the magazine.
on 43rd Street, the article lays much of the blame
for the NYT Companys low stock ($21.64 today vs. $52
in 2002) on publisher Arthur Pinch Sulzberger,
who controls not only the business side but the editorial
side of the paper.
Sulzberger has consolidated
executive, shareholder and editorial power subverting
the traditional autonomy of the Times newsroom, writes
Wolff. He calls executive editor Bill Keller probably
the weakest editor in the history of the paper.
Sulzberger is said to
be attention-seeking, immature and verbally
The NYT, famously
impersonal, suddenly has a flamboyant, hard-to-control,
easy-to-dislike face, Wolff adds.
The paper is controlled
by about 50 family members who own the voting B
shares while the A shares, which greatly outnumber
the B shares, are held by the public.
Wolff calls the board
a passive and lackluster bunch that only had
one corporate star, IBMs former CEO Lou
Gerstner, who resigned several years ago.
Some holders of the A
shares, including Morgan Stanley Asset Mgmt., with 5% of
the shares, have publicly criticized the governance of the
Such charges question
the integrity of the NYT itself, says Wolff,
who notes that two big scandals have hurt the
credibility of the paper.
One complaint is the increasing
pay package of Sulzberger, which reached $3.2 million in
Precursor to Calamity
The article shows the
new $850M h.q. of the NYT on 42nd St. A headline says, The
Times is also doing that one thing that is a classic precursor
to calamity. Its building a fabulous new corporate
While the NYT has 1.1M
daily circulation, only 260K of this is now in the five
boroughs, the rest being spread across the country. Both
the New York Post and Daily News have circulations
of more than 600K. The Sunday NYT has a circulation of 1.7M.
While the paper has created
the richest website of any newspaper in the world,
the depth and efficiency of the site are undermining
the paper itself, says Wolff.
He criticizes the NYT's
purchase of About.com
for $410 million, saying the site "may actually establish
the baseline for the lowest level of information available
on the web...a multi-million-page mishmash of superficial,
often out-of-date, dumb, frequently wrong info bits.
The NYT website generates
40 million users monthly and 489 million page views, but
MySpace has 50 million monthly users and generated 29 billion
page views, Wolff says.
He feels the Sulzberger
family is most touchy about bad press.
Calls to Catherine Mathis,
VP of corporate communications of the NYT, were not returned.
news continued on next page)
Edition, August 23, 2006, Page 4
PLANS COURIC NET SIMULCAST.
said The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric,
slated to debut on Sept. 5, will be the first network evening
news broadcast to be simulcast live on the Internet.
said the move is an example of how the program plans to
use its website to complement the broadcast.
Kramer, president of CBS Digital Media, pointed to the networks
successful simulcast of the March Madness college
basketball tournament earlier this year and said there is
a huge appetite for real time content on the Internet.
broadcast will be advertiser-supported.
program also plans to produce a blog called Couric
& Co. and a daily on-demand web feature with extended
interviews of people in the news by Couric called Eye
FENTON LINES UP WAR CRITIC
Washington, D.C., office is lining up former military and
national security personnel who are critical of U.S. policy
on Iraq for media interviews.
The work is on behalf
of client Win Without War, an umbrella organization encompassing
dozens of groups like the Sierra Club, NAACP, Pax Christi
USA and the National Organization for Women.
Fenton set up a conference
call for reporters on Aug. 16 with Gen. Joseph Hoar (USMC
Ret.), who headed the U.S. Central Command before retiring
in 1994; Lt. Gen. Robert Gard (U.S. Army Ret.), who fought
in Korea and Vietnam and retired in 1981, and former National
Security Council member Morton Halperin, who served in the
Clinton, Nixon and Johnson administrations. Halperin's son,
Mark, heads ABC News' political unit.
The three released an
open letter to President Bush yesterday signed by 21 colleagues
calling for a change in U.S. policy toward Iraq and Iran.
They argue that a hard line is not working.
Fenton also works for
the liberal advocacy group Moveon.org.
top business cliché in major U.S. media from
January through July was at the end of the day,
according to an analysis by Factiva. That hackneyed expression
was mentioned 12,640 times. In the black was
a distant second at 4,876 mentions, the Dow Jones unit reported.
In the Red rang in at 4,628 mentions, and level
playing field and time and again were
just under 3,000.
plans to launch a half-hour nationally syndicated
TV show in late September.
Ed Gordon, a prominent
black journalist formerly with CBS and NBC, is slated to
host the series, Our World with Black Enterprise.
He now heads a production
company, Gordon Media Group.
International Fur Trade Federation kicked off three
worldwide campaigns via Vogue, Elle and Wallpaper
The effort, which pushes
a different aspect of fur in each publication, aims to position
fur as the choice of strong, stylish women with a
sense of individuality.
Creative Marketing Plus,
a New York-based marketing communications firm, is promoting
Business Media has relaunched the American Artist
The site covers art and art materials with content from
American Artist, Watercolor, Drawing
and Workshop magazines.
has revamped its website in an overhaul the publication
calls its most significant upgrade since 2000. The magazine
worked with MetaDesign Inc. in changing its look and adding
features like live chats, user reviews, and customization.
Universal has tapped custom publisher Pace Communications
to produce a magazine section promoting NBCs fall
lineup of TV programs. The section will appear in Paces
in-flight magazines for United, Delta and U.S. Airways.
Coleman, deputy editor of Popular Science,
has been named editor of Crain Communications FinancialWeek.
Coleman, former assistant
managing editor of Money, was previously with Crain
in 1990, serving as features editor of Crains Chicago
Business. Before joining Money in 1999, he launched
InvestmentNews, a weekly newspaper published by Crain.
Nast has ousted Vanity Fair publisher Alan
Katz in favor of Edward Menicheschi, president of WWD Media
Worldwide, the parent to Womens Wear Daily
and Footwear News.
Menicheschi has headed
WWD since 2001 after serving as president of IAM.com, a
talent search website for the entertainment industry. He
was formerly associate publisher and executive editor of
Vogue and earlier worked on advertising and retail
programs for GQ.
Johnston, editor-in-chief of the American Bar Associations
Student Lawyer magazine, has been named EIC of Public
Works. The 66K-circulation magazine, published by Hanley
Wood, covers public works departments at the municipal,
county and state government level. Johnston was previously
associate publisher and EIC of Construction Equipment Distribution.
John McCain, retired cyclist Lance Armstrong, Bob Buford
of mega-church fame, and stay-at-home mom and political
activist Mary Shull are the latest to sign on to Hotsoup.com,
the online community headed by former Associated Press political
writer Ron Fournier and a slate of other political and Internet
Edition, August 23,
2006, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
MOVES INTO S.C.
Communications Group, Atlanta, has dispatched VP Kira Perdue
to set up a Charleston, S.C., office for the firm.
which focuses on technology, niche B2B and consumer lifestyle
accounts, is no stranger to the area. It helped launch the
Charlotte-based biometric payment company BioPay in 2005
and has handled local efforts for Planet Smoothie and Velocity
Sports Performance in the state.
Genna Keller has also been active with the Carolinas
annual tech initiative Innoventure.
CSV GUIDES DELTA AND PINE
Citigate Sard Verbinnen
is handling Delta and Pine Land Company's communications
with the press as the cotton seed producer has agreed to
be acquired by genetically modified seed giant Monsanto.
The two companies have
fostered an on-again off-again relationship over the last
The latest $1.5 billion
cash deal must clear D&PLC shareholder approval and
earn an antitrust nod. A similar merger between the two
companies, valued at $1.3B, fell apart in 1999 after a two-year
probe by the Justice Dept. raised antitrust concerns. Delta
sued Monsanto for $1B in 2000 following the collapse of
that deal for allegedly not making "commercially reasonable
efforts" to respond to investigators. That litigation
was pursued up to the merger announcement on Aug. 15.
In 2004, Monsanto moved
to sever all ties the two companies had forged, accusing
Delta of not paying royalties on Monsanto seed. CSV worked
on behalf of Delta during that dust-up as well.
Delta, which also breeds
soybean seeds and dates back to 1886, is based in Scott,
Strength Marketing Communications, has won an $89K
contract with the Colorado Dept. of Natural Resources for
an ad/PR effort highlighting wildlife management and the
importance of hunting and fishing in Colorado to non-sportsmen.
Group, which handles celebrity endorsements, embedded
content and sponsorships from its base in Cary, N.C., has
moved to acquire sports consulting firm Wisse,
Hollmann & Co., a partially owned affiliate of
WH&C will be merged with Premier and the combined entity
will become a close affiliate of FWV, the PR firm said.
Jay Wisse, founder of WH&C, takes the role of SVP of
strategic marketing for PMG and manages a four-person team
embedded with FWV. ...The
Lippin Group, Los Angeles, has set up a unit, Brand
to Hollywood, to link corporate brands with entertainment
industry events and celebrities. ... The
City of El Centro, Calif., has issued an RFP for
a firm to assist the city with PR and media relations. Ruben
Duran (760/337-4540), city manager, is point of contact.
Associates, Farmington Hills, Mich., has completed
a redesign of its website, hermanoff.net, via Motor City
Group, New York/RawFlow, streaming video and audio
technology, as AOR for PR in North America.
Target Global Group, New York/RDM, real estate technology
and consulting services, for media relations, events, marketing
and PR. EVP and GM Rob Shapiro heads the account.
& Gendron, New York/Hong Kong Tourism Board,
for AOR for PR in the U.S. Yvonne Middleton, chairman, and
SVP Sue Dorn head the work.
PR, New York/Black Diamond Partners, IT advisory
firm for private equity firms, for financial communications
and industry trade media relations following a competitive
review with four other firms.
PR, New York/Mega Media Group, Russian media and
entertainment company, for PR and IR.
Issue Communications, Trenton, N.J./ Healthcare Institute
of N.J.; Fraternal Order of Police; Community Associations
Institute, and Ethical Corporation.
Communications and the Center
for Risk Communication, Washington, D.C./Mississippi
Dept. of Health, to plan a response strategy and public
information effort for a potential pandemic flu outbreak.
The two firms, which work together as the Consortium for
Risk and Crisis Communications, previously worked with the
MDH in 2005 on an emergency preparedness effort just before
the disastrous hurricane season that year.
Communications, Wilmington, N.C./Acusphere, pharmaceuticals;
PTC Therapeutics, biotechnology, and Zylera Pharmaceuticals.
PR, Miami, Fla./National Parkinson Foundation, for
strategic counsel and media relations.
Pepperdine, Brown & Russell, Orlando/ All Star
Vacation Homes, for PR.
Palm Beach/The Deltennium Group, leadership and governance
consulting, and Event Radio, which broadcasts to attendees
of large events via FM radio, both for marketing and PR.
Minneapolis/Hickory Farms, specialty foods, for media relations
and guerilla marketing.
Halaska, Milwaukee/D-M-E Company, mold technologies
for the plastics industry, for PR and adv.
PR, Louisville, Colo./Barb Bashor, realtor, for corporate
branding and PR.
Novelli, San Jose, Calif./Freedom from Hunger, global
non-profit, for support of its Reach for Three Million
plan and malaria initiative, as well as the organizations
60th anniversary this year. PN is working on a pro-bono
Marketing & PR, Irvine, Calif./Mimis Cafe,
bistro, for media relations and PR.
Communication, Los Angeles/Fun Web Products, for
PR support of its Smiley Central brand and product launch
of a new offering called Zwinky.
Edition, August 23, 2006, Page 6
PURSUES VNR INQUIRY.
Federal Communications Commission, at the behest of chairman
Kevin Martin, has sent letters of inquiry to the owners
of 77 TV stations singled out by a watchdog group's report
on unsourced video news releases.
FCC is asking the stations' 42 owners if VNRs were properly
labeled before being broadcast. The Commission warned stations
last year that they could be fined $32,500 per violation
if the source of prepackaged news was not identified upon
the FCC is going to find is that TV stations are doing what
the FCC requires," said Dan Johnson, president of DWJ
Television in Ridgewood, N.J., and a former TV news producer
in New York and Chicago.
Center for Media and Democracy unveiled a study in April
claiming 77 stations ran VNRs without attribution. The investigation
found that VNR producers properly labeled the material's
source, but that ID was stripped before being aired. The
group has called for continuous on-air disclosure of any
video material not shot by news staff.
Members of the broadcast
PR sector have carefully monitored the latest scrutiny of
VNRs and held meetings about the issue. That group
referred to as "the VNR consortium" by one executive
is putting together a response and possible campaign
to be released after Labor Day.
To date, much of the criticism
since the CMD report has focused on poor disclosure practices
in newsrooms. Only a handful of stations out of more than
a hundred studied by the CMD were found to have aired VNR
packages in their entirety.
make it difficult for viewers to tell the difference between
news and propaganda," FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein
WAL-MART CLIMBS DELAHAYE INDEX.
Wal-Mart supplanted IBM
in the No. 3 slot of Delahayes quarterly gauge of
companies getting a PR boost from media coverage as Microsoft
and Disney remained in the top two slots.
Citigroup and Goldman
Sachs both benefitted from an improved tone in financial
coverage landing at fourth and sixth on the Delahaye Media
Index. The companies were sixth and eigth during the first
ExxonMobil, which fell
to No. 21 in the last index on the backlash against huge
oil profits, rose five slots to No. 16. GM climbed from
the bottom of the index to No. 27 and Ford climbed 63 spots
to No. 36 on news coverage focused more on recovery and
buyouts than declining fiscal health in the auto industry.
Haefeli Productions, New York, produced an electronic
press kit for Sony BMGs release of DMX new album
Year of the Dog ... Again. ...Pam
McConathy, senior VP for Pierpont Communications,
was elected president of International Assn. of Business
Communicators Houston chapter. The chapter counts
250 members. member chapter since 1983.
COMMS. FOR AIG.
Ashooh, VP of corporate communications for American Electric
Power, plans to join New York-based insurance and financial
services giant American International Group in September
as senior VP of communications.
concludes a six-month search by the company, which manages
more than $843 billion in assets.
The top PR
post has essentially been vacant since the December departure
of Steve Rautenberg for New York Life. The company called
John Wooster (1989-01) out of retirement to fill the post
on an interim basis.
has been with Columbus, Ohio-based AEP since 2000, following
an eight-year stint as VP of public affairs and corporate
comms. for Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. in Syracuse, N.Y.
At AIG, he
reports directly to president/CEO Martin Sullivan and heads
PR, branding, advertising, publications and employee communications,
along with the firms 30-member communications unit.
Sullivan in February reached a $1.6B settlement with the
SEC over fraud charges. The company officially cut ties
with embattled CEO Maurice Greenberg later that month.
Ashooh held top PR posts at Paramount Communications, formerly
Gulf and Western Industries and acquired by Viacom in 1994,
and Public Service of New Hampshire.
director of corporate media relations for American Electric
Power, said plans for a successor to Ashooh have not yet
developed as he submitted his resignation on Aug. 15.
senior client partner for Korn/Ferry, headed the search
Marotta, director of corporate and brand communications
for TAG Heuer in the U.S. and Canada, to Luxottica Group
S.p.A., New York, as senior director of PR for North America,
a new post. She was previously managing director of consumer
marketing for Hill & Knowlton and director of global
communications for Movado Group.
Salmanowitz, a former PR executive for Media Matters
for America and Burson-Marsteller, has joined M+R Strategic
Services in Washington, D.C., as a senior consultant in
its comms. unit. She was deputy director for comms. for
MMfA, joining the organization at its outset in 2004.
Mathis, who managed accounts like Hewlett-Packard,
Radio Disney and VeriSign at Hill & Knowlton, has joined
CarryOn Communication in Los Angeles as a VP and practice
leader for its consumer technology and interactive units.
She manages new and ongoing communication assignments from
key client Symantec. Mathis was previously at Manning, Selvage
& Lee and Fleishman-Hillard.
Pogharian, VP of North America Equity Research for
Deutsche Bank, to The Hershey Co., Hershey, Pa., as director
of investor relations. Prior to joining Deutsche Bank in
2005, Pogharian worked at Kraft Foods as senior manager
Edition, August 23, 2006, Page 7
PROS SHOW ETHICAL SENSE.
professors Lee Wilkins and Renita Coleman, who conducted
in-person 60- to 90-minute interviews in recent months with
129 PR pros at PR firms from throughout the U.S., found
they scored high in terms of ethical awareness.
PR people were given the Issues Defining Test
which has been taken by more than 30,000 professionals over
the past 30 years.
test confronts subjects with a choice between two goods
or two evils.
people were asked in previous research by Wilkins and Coleman
whether they would take a multi-million dollar beer account
even though they were against alcohol consumption.
most ad subjects answered yes to this and similar questions,
they were ranked 16th from the top in ethical awareness.
only groups lower than ad people were business graduates
(No. 17), high school students, prison inmates and junior
PR Pros Sixth
in Ethical Sense
PR pros ranked sixth in
ethical reasoning behind seminarians and philosophers, medical
students, practicing physicians, journalists, and dental
Lower than them were nurses
(No. 7), graduate students, undergraduate students, accounting
students, veterinary students and Navy enlisted men.
At the bottom, ranking
15-19, were business professionals, business students, high
school students, prison inmates and junior high students.
had a Por ethical reasoning score of 65.1 while
PR pros registered 46.2 and prison inmates, 23.7.
the relative importance the person gave to principled
Coleman, a Ph.D. at the
University of Texas-Austin, described the results of the
study to the 2006 conference of the Assn. for Education
in Journalism and Mass Communication in San Francisco Aug.
She and Wilkins, a Ph.D.
at the University of Missouri, used as their database the
400 PR firms listed on odwyerpr.com.
A random sample of 5%
of the firms was used. They then visited firms in cities
such as New York, District of Columbia, Atlanta, St. Louis,
Chicago and Seattle.
Funding the research was
a $10,000 grant from the Arthur W. Page Center located at
Pennsylvania State University. Lawrence G. Foster, Penn
State alumnus and retired corporate VP for PR, Johnson &
Johnson, provided a gift to the Center.
Cooperating PR pros were
mostly interviewed during lunch, with the two professors
supplying sandwiches or pizza.
Eleven of the exams were
tossed because the takers highly rated too many meaningless
statements or for other inconsistencies.
Left were 118 test results. Eleven respondents were PRSA
PR pros were found to
do better on ethical dilemmas that concerned PR than those
that did not.
SOUTHWEST WINDPOWER INTERVIEWS.
Southwest Windpower, Flagstaff,
Ariz., whose Skystream 3.7 backyard system was
featured on the Aug. 6 CBS Evening News and in last weeks
Wall Street Journal, is interviewing PR firms.
VP and co-founder Andy
Kruse is involved in the search. Kruse and New Jersey homeowner
Carl Baldino were interviewed by CBS.
The Aug. 15 WSJ story:
A Novel Way to Reduce Home Energy Bills, noted
smaller, quieter wind turbines reduce reliance on
the power grid but cost and aesthetics are issues.
A typical turbine costs
$8,500 to $11,000 installed.
COOKERLY DEFENDS CLEAN AIR
PR has fended off three firms in a review for the Clean
Air Campaign, a Georgia public-private non-profit focused
on air pollution.
Cookerly has inked a one-year
contract with two option years and has handled the account
for six years. PR budget is in the mid-six-figure range.
The 10-year-old campaign
coordinates information efforts for employers, schools,
and the public to curb vehicle usage and, in turn, emissions.
Federal funding and local
companies like Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines and UPS support
MIAMI-DADE LOOKS FOR ELECTION
Miami-Dade County, ground
zero in the contentious 2000 presidential election recount,
has issued an RFP for media consulting and PR as it prepares
for upcoming primary and general elections.
The short-term effort
which bills at about $10K a month calls for
experience in handling media relations for election departments
in Florida, knowledge of the states election processes
and its voting system. Educating the public about how and
where to vote, absentee ballots, early voting, and identification
required at polling places are all part of the planned effort.
Miami-Dade is home to
more than 2.2M people.
The county wants to have
a firm in place by August 30. Primary elections in the state
are Sept. 5.
SLOANE ADVISES TIVO.
Sloane & Co. is helping
Tivo declare victory in a legal battle with EchoStar Communications,
the satellite TV provider that markets a service similar
to Tivo's flagship digital video recorder.
TiVo said on Aug. 18 that
a U.S. District Court judge in Texas issued an injunction
for EchoStar to stop selling competing products that infringe
on TiVo's patents within 30 days. Judge David Folson also
ordered EchoStar to pay nearly $90M in damages and interest,
building on a similar ruling in April in Texas.
Sloane & Co., headed
by Elliot Sloane, has been handling corporate, financial
and IR work for TiVo for about a year. Sloane, who is handling
media relations for the court verdict, told ODwyers
that he had worked with TiVo CEO Tom Rogers when Rogers
was the top executive at Primedia several years ago.
EchoStar said it would
appeal the Texas court rulings and continue its vigorous
Edition, August 23,
2006, Page 8
massive share buyback program, covered in this NL Aug. 9,
was the subject of a full page feature Aug. 14 by New
York Post financial columnist Christopher Byron (page
noted that publicity shy CEO John Wren has given
only three interviews in four years. Wren himself said he
rejected advice from his PR firms after the June 12, 2002
Wall Street Journal piece on OMCs accounting
practices cut the stock in half.
kept quiet and stuck to its knitting and the
stock recovered to the $80s. However, it has remained in
the $80s for years in spite of 17 million shares being removed
from the float and analysts predicting 10M more will follow.
e-mail posted on the OMC bulletin board Aug. 18 at finance.yahoo.com
asked: Billions for share buybacks buys stockholders
will be no answer from OMC which has given new meaning to
the word silent. All Byron got from OMC PR staffer
Patricia Sloan was instructions to read the SEC filings.
dodging of press questions is bad for PR since the
company is the biggest owner of PR firms. Its units such
as Fleishman-Hillard, Ketchum, Porter Novelli and Brodeur
have about $1 billion in fees. The definition of PR, according
to Wren, is duck the press. Wren refused to
talk to the New York Times when Timothy OBrien
did a Feb. 16, 2005 (Sunday) feature headlined Spinning
Frenzy: PRs Bad Press. The Ketchum/Armstrong
Williams/Dept. of Education scandal touched off the article.
no PR organization out there presenting a positive view
of PR, PRs Bad Press has continued
unabated. The NYTs Frank Rich on July16 described
PR as empty gestures, lack of substance,
publicity stunts, propagandizing, press avoidance, marketing
and sloganeering. Der Spiegel, German
weekly, called PR pros Masters of Deception
in a lengthy feature Aug. 7. A Harris Interactive/PRSA Foundation
poll released Nov. 10, 2005 found that 83% of 1,015 respondents
believe PR is just another tool that companies can
use to market their products or state their positions on
certain issues. And 79% believe PR pros are
only interested in disseminating information that helps
their clients to make money. In other words, PR is
a selfish activity of organizations that lacks redeeming
public service qualities. PRSA buried these important findings
about PR by mixing them up with findings about the media
and attitudes towards PR of Congressional staffers and business
positive take on PR is that it represents the public to
organizations, answers press questions, and performs
ombudsman and educational roles rather than just a sales
role. PR can help provide full details about a subject so
that public understanding is increased. PRSA is the group
that is supposed to be putting out this message and leading
by example. Rhoda Weiss, in seeking the nomination for president-elect
last year, said that PRSA is to be the voice of PR
and that PRSA is to be the first source media turns
to for expertise.
were hollow words. PRSA is almost completely tongue-tied.
President Cheryl Procter-Rogers,
the only PRSA officer allowed to speak to the press, has
made no public appearances this year (not counting three
visits to chapters) and has been unreachable by this NL
since March 20. Advocacy chair Mike Cherenson is similarly
absent from public view. The background of Weiss reveals
almost no interest in press relations but rather an obsession
with leadership. Leader and leadership
are mentioned 23 times in an autobiographical essay by her
in the Sept./Oct. 2005 Health Progress magazine of
the Catholic Health Assn. Weiss is a consultant with the
St. Francis Healthcare System of Hawaii. We have yet to
find any substantiation of a claim she made in Bulldog
Reporter that she is Acting CEO of a Statewide
Health Organization. She is studying for a Ph.D.
in Leadership and Change in the Professions at Antioch
University, a program with a tuition of $18,600 over a 4-5
year period. PR professors at other colleges said they know
of no such program at any other institution and said Antioch
is noted for its unusual programs.
PR under such withering attacks, the field does not need
another PRSA president who cant stand the public
limelight. Weiss should withdraw from president-elect for
the good of the industry. One reason for this is we cant
expect any of the other PR or IR groups to carry the flag
for what is right about PR/IR. The Council of PR Firms is
mostly funded by tight-lipped OMC and the other four equally
silent conglomerates. It cant campaign for openness
and dialog. The Arthur W. Page Society and PR Seminar (many
corporate PR execs belong to both) are not accustomed to
public debate. IABC traditionally avoids statements on controversial
issues. The National Investor Relations Institute does not
address the general public. The fact that reporters are
barred from the quarterly teleconferences of public companies
is o.k. by NIRI.
Sulzberger, in managing both the business and editorial
sides of the New York Times, has not only
broken tradition but is doing a bad job of both, says Michael
Wolff in the September Vanity Fair (page 3 of NL).
The paper is compromising its integrity, writes
Wolff, by violating the principles of fair governance.
The holders of the small number of B shares
(50 family members) have the power to elect a majority of
the directors. The disenfranchised A holders
are in open revolt, he notes, and are waging a press
campaign against the B holders. A question
we have that relates to the integrity of the NYT is why
has it never covered the finances of OMC when the Wall
Street Journal and New York Post have done so? Is this
interference with the editorial side by the business side?