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Internet Edition, September 6, 2006, Page 1


The U.S.-led military force in Iraq has issued an RFP to review its multimillion-dollar strategic communications contract with The Rendon Group for PR in the war-torn country.

Citing the brazen insurgency (described as “anti-Iraqi forces” bent on civil war in the RFP), the Multi-National Force-Iraq based at Camp Victory in Baghdad is dangling a two-year PR contract worth up to $20M.

The work described also appears to mirror efforts initially handled by the Lincoln Group shortly after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

A contracting officer for the U.S. Central Command in Baghdad confirmed that The Rendon Group currently holds the contract being reviewed.

The military wants a firm to assemble a crack team of 12 to 18 “talented/educated communicators” to support all aspects of Coalition media communications throughout Iraq and the Middle East. That includes media relations (Western and Arabic), communication research, media training, monitoring, and other PR services.

The MNF identifies the “core objective” of the PR work: “Engage and inspire targeted audiences.”

The Rendon Group did not return a call.

The RFP was issued on Aug. 23 and proposals are due by Sept. 6.


The Indiana state agency focused on developing policies and awareness of disabled Hoosiers is on the hunt for a PR firm to build up its outreach capabilities.

The Indianapolis-based Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities has earmarked $250K for the first year of a PR contract that could stretch out to four years.

Borshoff Johnson Matthews, an Indianapolis-based PR firm that is part of IPREX, has recently handled outside PR for the agency.

Community and media relations, public education, editorial/publishing, and further development of its flagship campaign Disabilities Awareness Month are all expected of the winning bidder.

More than half the $250K annual outside PR budget is earmarked for a firm to develop its month-long disabilities campaign in March.

The GCPD's work has stretched from getting disabled citizens involved in the voting process to setting up displays of disability-related books in libraries and having citizens monitor handicapped parking spaces.

Proposals are due Sept. 28.


Mark Palmer, former senior director of global communications for Enron through the energy company’s 2001 tumble, has been named president of communications and collaboration for Houston-based food service company Sysco.

Palmer departs a managing director post at Public Strategies for the new position. At PS, he headed the well-connected firm’s media relations practice.
Palmer was senior VP and managing director of Enron’s global communications operation both before and after its bankruptcy filing. He was previously VP of PR for Enron North America and director of PR.

Earlier he held a senior communications post at Fina Inc., a petroleum sector company in Dallas.

Sysco markets food products and equipment for restaurants, schools, hospitals and the hospitality industry. Sales in 2006 were $32.6 billion.


Former Edelman vice chairman Leslie Dach received $3M in Wal-Mart Stores shares with his decision to take the executive VP post at the retail giant.

Dach, on Aug. 28, received 67,522 in restricted stock that fully vests in two years. Wal-Mart’s shares closed at $44.43 on that day.

He also received 168,805 in stock options pegged at that $44.43 price. Forty percent of that grant vests in two years, 35 percent in three years and 25 percent in five years from the Aug. 28 grant date.

Wal-Mart filed a “Form 4” disclosure statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission that outlined Dach’s restricted stock and options grant.

Dach is responsible for Wal-Mart’s corporate affairs and government relations. He reports to CEO Lee Scott.


Edelman, the largest independent PR firm with $261 million in fees in 2005, has not renewed its membership in the Council of PR Firms.

Annual dues for firms with more than $80 million in U.S. fees are $40,000, reduced two years ago from $50,000.

Members pay 0.65% of their U.S. fees to a maximum of $40,000. Minimum dues are $2,500.

Kathy Cripps, Council president, said the Edelman firm felt it was “not necessarily using the resources” of the Council. She said she would “welcome Edelman back” if it should decide to return, calling Edelman “a very important voice in the industry as the largest inde-

(Continued on page 7)

Internet Edition, September 6, 2006, Page 2


A member of a prankster group posing as a Hill & Knowlton staffer on Aug. 28 was able to get a fellow imposter on a dais to speak next to the Louisiana governor and New Orleans mayor at a press event.

The stunt has ticked off reporters, officials in Louisiana, and hundreds of contractors at the event and caused a minor headache for H&K.

“These hoaxers have absolutely no connection to our firm,” said Gene Reineke, COO for H&K U.S. Reineke said federal officials told the firm that its name was used by an imposter to schedule his appearance at the Louisiana conference. That same individual, who has been identified as part of a group called the Yes Men, also appeared at the press event, identifying himself as a representative for the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development. That federal agency is not a client, H&K said.

The event featured Gov. Kathleen Blanco and Mayor Ray Nagin discussing rebuilding efforts in the aftermath of last year’s hurricanes. A member of the Yes Men group posing as a HUD official followed Blanco and Nagin on the dais and said that local housing developments slated for demolition would be rehabilitated instead. His remarks were initially reported by some media and reportedly cheered in one instance by the contractors present. The Yes Men group contends that the condemned housing developments will be replaced with condominiums or other housing out of financial reach to previous occupants.

The Times Picayune reported that a group of journalists later huddled around the fake HUD officials – the H&K imposter posed as the HUD officials’ press secretary – asking questions about the apparent policy reversal. Some news organizations, the paper said, sent out breaking news alerts to the major development before learning it was a fake.

The Yes Men, who have orchestrated subterfuge events – they call them “identity correction” exercises — targeting Halliburton, Dow Chemical and the World Trade Organization, told CNN that the group wanted to focus attention on a lack of affordable housing.

Equity International, a Washington, D.C.-based consulting and events company, organized the meeting and was initially contacted by the H&K imposter.


New York PR firm Ken Sunshine Consultants handled logistics and PR for a delegation of New Orleans officials that made a pitch to New York investors that the devastated Gulf Coast city is open for business.

N.O. Mayor Ray Nagin, who has been under fire for caustic remarks about the yet-to-be-developed World Trade Center site, led a group of business leaders, tourism officials and politicos to the Big Apple Sept. 1-2 to make the pitch. Nagin referred to the WTC site as a “hole in the ground” on “60 Minutes” when pressed about the Big Easy’s slow recovery. He emphatically apologized again while in New York.

KSC is well-known in entertainment and political circles. Sunshine is a former chief-of-staff to New York Mayor David Dinkins.


Weber Shandwick is counseling the Rochester Coalition, which is funded by the world-class Mayo Clinic, and its spirited opposition to a plan to build a third rail line to transport coal from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin, the nation’s richest coal deposit.

The Coalition, which includes Rochester (MN) Chamber of Commerce and the local government, objects to the 34 or more high-speed mile-long coal trains that will travel only blocks away from patients being treated at Mayo.

It also believes that a $2.3B federal loan guarantee to the Dakota Minnesota and Eastern line will never be repaid.

DM&E says the line is needed to boost national energy self-sufficiency and end the logjams at the Basin. Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe are the two-carriers that serve the Basin.

It draws support from a group called Growth Opportunities through Rail Access Coalition, which recently hired Jafar Karim, the former legislative director for South Dakota Republican Senator John Thune, as its PR spokesperson.

GoTrac claims the DM&E line will result in lower electricity rates and more economic development.

Fifty-five of the 56 cities along the proposed route have okayed the line.

Rochester is the sole holdout, and its supporters staged a noisy protest there on Aug. 27.

DM&E is waiting for final Federal Railroad Administration approval for the federal subsidy, which would be the biggest-ever U.S. loan to a private company.

That decision is expected in October.


Advanced Cell Technology has tapped Financial Dynamics to handle media regarding its blockbuster development procedure of creating human embryonic stem cells by using an approach that does not harm the embryo.

Nature, the scientific journal, broke the story that the New York Times gave front page play on Aug. 24.

The paper ran an editorial in support of ACT on Aug. 26, saying its work demonstrates the “great lengths to which scientists must go these days to shape stem cell research to fit the dictates of religious conservatives who have imposed their own view of morality on the scientific enterprise.”

The Vatican is among those religious groups. Rome specifically criticized the ACT procedure on Aug. 28 saying it “doesn’t solve ethical problems” surrounding “embryo manipulation.”

Robert Stanislaro, the FD staffer in New York works on the ACT account.

Alameda, CA-based ACT uses The Investor Relations Group for outreach to the investment community. James Carbonara is in charge of that.

ACT cancelled a planned private placement of $11.3M debentures and warrants after receiving commitments of $13.5M in financing following last month’s stem cell news.

Internet Edition, September 6, 2006, Page 3


The PRSA board has ruled that reporters will not be able to listen to the discussion of ethics on three teleseminars set for Sept. 5, 12 and 26.

A statement via PR manager Cedric Bess said the “ethics seminars will not be open to the media. This will allow for and encourage an open and candid learning environment for the participants who may be discussing sensitive issues.”

The teleseminars are to discuss “recent high-profile ethical problems ripped from headlines, bylines and web blogs.”

The no-press decision apparently was made by the board. No attribution is given for the decision.

Linda Cohen of the Caliber Group, Tucson, who became chair of the board of ethics and professional standards this year, said she agrees with the decision of PRSA.

Other BEPS members taking part in the teleseminars, which cost $190 for members and $290 for non-members, are former BEPS chair Robert Frause of the Frause Group, Seattle; James Lukaszewski of the Lukaszewski Group, White Plains, N.Y., and Emmanuel Tchividjian of Ruder Finn, New York, where he has been ethics officer the past five years.

PRSA had an “ethics summit” March 22, 2005 at h.q. to which reporters were barred. They were allowed to ask questions at a teleconference that afternoon.

PRSA COO Catherine Bolton, answering reporters’ questions at the teleconference, said young PR pros “need to see the benefits of acting ethically” and see how it is applied to “some basic day-to-day activities.”

September Is Ethics Month at PRSA

The 90-minute panels, part of the celebration of “Ethics Month” at PRSA, will include 70 minutes of presentations by the four members of BEPS and 20 minutes at the end of the teleseminars during which participants may question the panelists.

The panels are entitled, “Resolving Bad Ethical Practice Situations.”


The Journal Register Co. is exploring the sale of its 25 newspapers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

The so-called New England cluster generated $40M in revenues in revenues during the past 12 months, and reported a $9M operating cash flow. The papers include The Herald News (Tauton, MA) and The Call (Woonsocket, RI).

JRC CEO Robert Jelenic says the potential divestiture would allow the Yardley, PA-based company to concentrate on its fast-growing online operations.

JRC operates more than 220 websites that are affiliated with its 27 daily and 366 non-daily publications in seven geographic regions. It also runs a network of employment sites.

Dirks, Van Essen & Murray is advising JRC.

Mike McCarley has been upped to VP-strategic marketing, promotion & comms. at NBC Universal Sports & Olympics. Before joining NBC in '03, he was with USA Triathlon and the Dallas Mavericks.


The Village Voice has cut eight staffers including Robert Christgau, its longtime pop music critic. He had been writing for the paper since ’69.

Five of the group were top editors in its arts department, a traditional VV strength. Ed Park, who was in charge of books; Elizabeth Zimmer, dance editor, and Jorge Morales, theater editor, were among those dismissed.

Village Voice Media Management, the Phoenix-based holding company that owns the Greenwich Village weekly, says the layoffs are part of a reconfiguration to make the editorial department more dependent on writers than editors.

David Blum becomes the new editor of the VV on Sept. 12.


Viacom's BET Networks is buying out partners in its BET Interactive unit. Those include Microsoft, News Corp., Liberty Media, IAC/Interactive and hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons.

The online media site for African-American content and targeted brand advertising was launched in `00.

Viacom’s buyout is part of its plan to craft a multiplatform strategy that is fueling all of its many media-centered business units.

BET Interactive is headed by Michael Pickrum. It has registered more than 3.6 million users and generates 2.6 million in total monthly unique visitors, according to its June 2006 comScore data.


Time Warner, which has been reeling since its 2000 merger with AOL, could right itself by selling its venerable magazine group, suggests an article posted on

Daniel Gross sees signs the largest media conglomerate “isn’t exactly pinning its future on the periodical business.”

The company's flagship Time is saddled with an aging audience that is becoming less relevant to advertisers. “While it can make eminently respectable profits for some time, it won't provide the kind of growth demanded by public shareholders,” Gross wrote.

Gross also notes that TW CEO Dick Parsons is mulling an ’08 race for New York City Mayor. His successor Jeffrey Bewkes came up through TW's entertainment ranks.

Time Inc., which owns Fortune, Sports Illustrated, People and more than 320 other titles, accounts for about 13 percent of TW's revenues and operating profit. The collection accounts for 23 percent of the dollars spent for U.S. magazine ads.

A Time sale could be a lucrative multi-billion dollar deal to private equity firms such as the Blackstone Group, Kohlberg, Kravis & Roberts or Carlyle Group, which has added Norman Pearlstine, the former Time Inc. editor-in-chief, to its line-up to scout for media deals.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, September 6, 2006, Page 4


Omnicom has forged an agreement with digital video recording company TiVo, which created a burgeoning industry for set-top boxes that allow viewers to record TV programs and easily skip commercials.

Under the deal, Omnicom Media Group units OMD and PHD will purchase advertising and audience measurement research from TiVo.

The companies will also develop a study on DVR user behavior.

TiVo set up an audience research and measurement unit last month to analyze DVR viewing down to second-by-second tracking. It says that data can be used as a gauge for the effectiveness of advertisements.

The ad industry is closely watching the development of DVR technology because of a belief that most users skip ads when watching or recording programs.


Delegates of the Society of Professional Journalists, meeting at the annual SPJ conference in Chicago Aug. 24-27, defeated by 70-65 a bylaw that would have replaced delegate voting with votes by all 9,000 members.

The members would have been able to cast their votes in person, by mail, or e-mail.

Delegates would continue to meet at the national conference to discuss bylaw changes and other matters in person.

Chapters are allowed one delegate for each 50 members or portion thereof. There are about 100 delegates.

David Carlson, 2005-2006 president, said that nearly 40% of the members don't belong to a chapter and are therefore deprived of their voting rights.

He said the delegate system is “unjust” and that SPJ is the only journalist group that uses such a system.

“Every member deserves a voice in who leads the organization,” he said.

The SPJ website said that a “passionate debate” lasting more than an hour took place over the proposal.

Delegates opposed to the bylaw said chapter members were not informed about SPJ matters, didn’t care about the election of officers, and that an informed vote required delegate interaction at the conference.

Carlson said journalists should be for “openness” and wondered how delegates could defeat the motion “and not feel guilty about it.”

He promised to bring it up for another vote next year. The same bylaw change was tabled two years ago.


Patricia Walsh has joined McGraw-Hill as VP-communications and marketing in its information and media group. She will oversee properties such as BusinessWeek, J.D. Power and Assocs. and ABC-affiliated TV stations in Denver, Indianapolis, San Diego and Bakersfield.

Walsh had been a senior VP in Ruder Finn's corporate branding practice.

Earlier, she held editorial and PR positions at Dow Jones & Co.


There are 30 celebrities that Us Weekly covers on a regular basis, said Dina Sansing, deputy editor, so the best way to get ink is to tailor a pitch to one of those stars.

It's a pretty easy process, she told an Entertainment Publicists Professional Society meeting in Hollywood on Aug. 17. Just read the magazine to find out who is part of that charmed group of 30, and deliver a pitch.

She said though celebrity is the magazine's focus it also has a “large TV and movie section, so there are lots of opportunities in terms of products in every way that relate to celebrities.”

Us is “interested in life changes,” she said. “An engagement, a breakup, a pregnancy, or a birth and that's when they (celebrities) become interesting.”
Sansing is at [email protected].

Follows 30 shows

TV Guide also lives by the rule of 30, according to its West Coast bureau chief Craig Tomashoff.

We’re interested in what’s being said on some 30 shows we follow, instead of talking to 30 celebrities. You really need to have a compelling reason for putting your client in our magazine, especially if it’s a show that is 57th in the ratings,” he said.

Tomashoff ([email protected]) covers music, film, award shows, trends/industry news and the television shows “Amazing Race,” “CSI” and “Medium.” He wants to get pitches, but warned the publicists to read the latest magazine. “If you read the magazine you see we like ‘LOST’ and every time we cover it sales go up. ‘Desperate Housewives,’ too, is one of our favorites to cover. If you’re not working with one of the top TV shows, there has to be a really good reason to cover it,” he said.

Linda Massarella, deputy bureau chief for In Touch, warned the publicists to play straight with her. “I’ve been in journalism for 20-years and I don’t like to be lied to,” she said. “I have this combative streak, so when I ask a publicist something and she denies it, and it turns out to be true, I will call her up and say, ‘You lied to me.’”

Massarella ([email protected]) noticed a new trend among magazine editors. “Magazines are trying to get rid of the middle man in advertising,” she explained. “At In Touch, I’ve noticed that L’Oreal, for example, might have a booth at an a event and work advertising copy into the story, but first going over the ad agents and straight to the editors with their pitches.”

Another nugget: “I hate getting huge things in the mail. ...If a publicist sends a freebie, the product is given to a women’s shelter.”

Ramin Zahed, editor-in-chief, Animation Magazine, needs two months lead time for pitches. “I read all my emails, but if you want to call after a short email pitch, that’s okay,” he said. Zahed is at [email protected].

His magazine promotes the art and the business behind the field of animation, focusing on studios, production companies, films, the creators, the artists, the designers, post houses and the effects team.

Internet Edition, September 6, 2006, Page 5


Weber Shandwick and Ketchum have replaced Lime PR on discount furniture marketer Ikea’s U.S. PR account.

The Helsingborg, Sweden-based company, which markets ‘affordable solutions for better living” and is known for its large blue and yellow stores, said it asked “targeted PR firms” to submit proposals in June.

Lime was invited to pitch for the review and did so. The Kirshenbaum Bond and Partners unit landed the account when it acquired New York-based Jericho Communications, Ikea’s PR firm for a decade.

Both WS (Interpublic) and Ketchum (Omnicom) will handle the accounts from New York. A budget figure was not available.


Tara Solomon, co-owner of Tara Ink celeb/fashion firm in Miami, says everybody in Miami nightlife circles is talking about the cocaine bust of her fiancé and business partner Nick D'Annunzio. "A little infamy is good," she told Page Six of the New York Post.

D'Annunzio was arrested during his 34th birthday party celebration last week at Miami's Forge restaurant. He allegedly had two bags of cocaine. "Nick keeps saying he's the new Kate Moss. It's not like he's some big dealer. It's really a very minor thing in the scheme of life," she told the paper.

Solomon says she has already signed a client since D'Annunzio's arrest and has met with several other potential clients. The former Miami Herald advice columnist says she is not a casual drug user, and feels that her beau does not have a problem with drugs.

Solomon’s clients include Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior Clairol and Equinox Fitness.

BRIEFS: Edelman has acquired entertainment branding and content development shop Matter and plans to merge it with the firm’s own entertainment marketing unit. ...French/West/Vaughan, Raleigh, N.C., has severed an affiliation with Manning Selvage & Lee and joined the IPREX network of PR firms. FWV said competition with MS&L made the relationship “no longer practical for either party.” ...Maya Advertising and Communications, Washington, D.C., has produced the first HDTV documentary about D.C.’s Latino community. The production, which will be shown on Sept. 13 at the Inter-American Development Bank, is backed by the Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs. ...Flowers Communications Group, Chicago, which focuses on African-American PR, has set up an Hispanic unit under the direction of SVP Joseph Nebolsky de Ochoa and account director Gigi Ybarra. The duo left jndeo co. for FCG. ...Berk Communications, a New York-based entertainment PR and events firm, plans to set up a Los Angeles presence with the appointment of former Lizzie Grubman PR A/S Rachel Krupa as an assistant VP. Krupa is slated to join Oct. 1 and handle clients like Jay Z’s 40/40 Clubs and NBA players Elton Brand and Corey Maggette.


New York Area

Lippert/Heilshorn & Associates, New York/Savient Pharmaceuticals; ImageWare Systems, biometrics and security ID technology; Sequenom, genetic analysis products; Akeena Solar, and Softwave Media Exchange, advertising media inventory marketplace.

Lisa Lori Communications, New York/LaurEss, mineral cosmetics, for national PR.

Astoria Communications, Sloatsburg, N.Y./Legal Marketing Assn., for media relations surrounding the group’s endorsement of revisions to ethics rules that govern legal marketing.


Ackermann PR, Knoxville, Tenn./Education Consumers Foundation, Virginia non-profit focused on education policy; SmartBank, state-chartered commercial bank; Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar; Holly Flats Properties, for marketing and sales program support for its Timberlake residential development, and River Shoals, as AOR for the new development.


Slack Barshinger, Chicago/LexisNexis, as AOR for marketing comms. for its legal and tax groups.

Wax Marketing, St. Paul, Minn./National Marine Manufacturers Assn., for PR for its 2007 Minneapolis Boat Show and ’07 Northwest Sportshow, slated for January and March, respectively, at the Minneapolis convention center.


Hill & Knowlton, Houston/Kaneka Nutrients, for consumer marketing and PR support for its CoenzymeQ10 brand.

Marion, Montgomery Inc., Houston/Network Int’l; Denis’ Seafood House; The Houston Polo Club, and The Inn at Dos Brisas, for marketing comms.

Jetstream PR, Dallas/World Digital Media Group, music and digital content venture by RadioShack, Sirius, EchoStar Comms. and CC Entertainment, as AOR.

Preferred PR & Marketing, Las Vegas/Southern Nevada Harley-Davidson Sales, for launch of a new dealership and retail store.


Volume PR, Denver/Thousand Hills Venture Fund, venture capital fund focused on Rwandan companies, for PR.

Firmani + Associates, Seattle/ColdHeat, tool maker, for communications.

Bluedot Communications, Portland, Ore./Cadence Management Corp., project mgmt. training courses, for event support; the Lemelson Foundation, inventor and entrepreneur organization, for media relations; Oregon’s Future, for web revamp and rebrand of its magazine, and Morrison Child and Family Services, for corporate alliance support.

Mobility PR, Lake Oswego, Ore./Wireless Industry Partnership, as AOR for global comms.

Ruder Finn, San Francisco/Foster’s Wine Estates Americas, for national PR for its Beringer Vineyards Napa Valley promotional campaign.

Internet Edition, September 6, 2006, Page 6


Two former executives of broadcast PR shop KEF Media Associates have set up a firm, Firstline Media, with a presence in Chicago and Atlanta.

Chuck Edmundson, former SVP for KEF, is a 20-year veteran TV reporter and editor, heads Firstline Media’s Atlanta office. Paul Friefeld, former VP for KEF who also is a former broadcast journalist, is in Chicago for the new venture.

The new firm is aligned with Firstline Creative Resources of Atlanta, a graphic arts and event planning firm.

“Anyone can shoot b-roll, but it’s crucial to come up with a strategy for every project,” said Edmundson. “That’s where our experience is making the difference for our clients.”

Firstline handles SMTs, VNRs, PSAs and RMTs.


zcomm, a Bethesda, Md.-based broadcast PR firm, has added three new staffers to its broadcast PR team.

Melissa Daddio, a veteran radio promotions and marketing exec in the Washington, D.C., market, joins as a VP focused on the development of new services and radio promotions.

Jaclyn Fortune, an A/S on the DaimlerChrysler account at GMR Marketing, has joined as a manager for radio promotions. Also, Abbey Cantor, an intern, has been promoted to radio coordinator.

M+R Strategic Services is handling grassroots and communications work for SmokeFreeOhio, a campaign by the American Cancer Society and other groups to create smoke-free public places and workplaces in the Buckeye State.

M+R reports that the group has turned in 185K signatures to the Sec. of State to get the issue on the November ballot. That is double the required number of signers, thanks to 3,000 volunteer online activists who participated in the drive, M+R noted.

An online appeal also raised $10K for the cause.

The firm also kicked off a national campaign to highlight the 600K residents of Washington, D.C., that do not have voting representation in Congress. That work is for DC Vote.

BRIEFS: Joel Tesch, manager of sales and product partnerships for Business Wire, has been named Northern California regional sales manager. The area encompasses the Bay Area, Silicon Valley and Sacramento. ...Romina Rosado has been promoted to managing director for The NewsMarket in Europe. She will handle business development, newsroom integration and oversee the European launch of the digital video delivery company’s new product suite slated for release later this year. The Black PR Society of New York will fete its founding members at a Sept. 14 mixer at Burson-Marsteller, 230 Park Avenue South (19th Street). $20/non-members; ...Mark Haefeli Productions nabbed an Emmy nomination for its work for Paul McCartney’s concert in St. Petersburg, Russia.



Bonin Bough, SVP for Ruder Finn Interactive, to Weber Shandwick, New York, as EVP of interactive and emerging media.

Alberto Rojas, comms. counsel and spokesperson for Consumer Reports, to The Jeffrey Group, New York, as director of client service.

Nikita Davis, U.S. recruitment manager for Burson-Marsteller, to Marina Maher Communications, New York, as VP of talent. She was previously a senior contract recruiter for CMP Media.

Michael Neuman, a former Paragon Marketing Group and Arnold Comms. exec, has opened Amplify Sports & Entertainment in New York, a marketing agency focused on sponsorships and alliances for athlete and celebrity-driven campaigns. Info:

Rachel Branch, senior director of corporate communications for Sony BMG Music Entertainment, has left for a director post at luxury watch brand TAG Heuer. Branch, as director of PR, strategic partnerships and events, takes over for Livia Marotta, who left the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey unit last month for Luxottica Group. She will report to LVMH Watch & Jewelry North America President and CEO Daniel Lalonde, based in Springfield, N.J. Branch was at Sony for nine years, starting out as a PR strategist for its electronics division. Earlier, she worked in PR for Bergdorf Goodman for four years.

Timothy Hegarty, former director of PR for the Society of Financial Service Professionals, to Schubert Communications, Downingtown, Pa., as senior PR executive.

Paul Krell, director of PR for the United Auto Workers in Detroit, to The McGinn Group, Arlington, Va., as a senior VP. He was with the UAW since 1993, following stints on Capitol Hill during the 1980s.

Jesse Landis, PR director for Glasure Group, and Carolyn Oehlerts, an account director for CKPR, to Paradise Advertising and Marketing, St. Petersburg, Fla., as PR managers.

Bob Sadowski, PR manager for LexisNexis U.S., to Seapine Software, Mason, Ohio, as manager of PR. He held PR posts with The Reynolds and Reynolds Co. and Dayton Area Board of Realtors.

Mike Spataro, who headed interactive and new media practices for Weber Shandwick and GolinHarris, to weblog and consumer-generated media consulting firm Visible Technologies, Seattle, as VP of intermediary marketing and sales.

David Liu was promoted to managing director, Weber Shandwick China. Darren Burns has moved to WS from Interpublic sister firm GolinHarris as MD for Shanghai and Guangzhou. Burns replaces Diane Wu who has resigned effective early October. Also, Charles Shen, marketing services group manager for Intel, has joined WS as a VP to head its corporate and tech practices in Beijing.


Alisha Forbes and Paula Gomez to A/Es, rbb PR, Coral Gables, Fla.

Internet Edition, September 6, 2006, Page 7

EDELMAN LEAVES CPRF (Continued from page 1)

pendent firm.”

Other firms that quit in the past several years included Ruder Finn, GCI Group, Cohn & Wolfe and Sloane & Co.

President and CEO Richard Edelman said that the firm “has the utmost respect” for the remaining firms in the Council but, “We disagree with the Council on a few fundamental points.” There was no elaboration on these points in a statement issued by Edelman on his blog.

It also said: “We have an abiding and shared interest in the issues facing the PR industry from diversity to ethics ... we will continue to be advocates for the PR industry to help all of us achieve the full potential of the business.”

Four of the top ten independent firms ranked by O’Dwyer’s remain in the CPRF: Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, No. 3 firm with $84M in 2005 fees; APCO Worldwide, $73M; Text 100, $52M, and Gibbs & Soell, $17M.

Not in the CPRF, besides Edelman and RF, are the other firms in the top ten: Schwartz Communications, Zeno Group of Edelman, Dan Klores Communications and Qorvis Communications.

Six of the top 15 are members of CPRF.

Edelman did not renew as of January but the information is just now surfacing.

101 Members Currently

CPRF currently lists 101 members on its website. It had a peak of about 125 members in 2000-2001.

New members since January are Alan Taylor Communications, Financial Dynamics Business Communications, Solomon McCown, Thorp & Co., Trone PR, 360 PR, Anne Klein & Assocs., Eastwick Communications, Imre Communications and Ron Sachs Communications.

The bulk of the approximately $1 million in annual dues comes from the large PR units owned by the five ad/PR conglomerates–Omnicom, WPP Group, Interpublic, Publicis and Havas.

OMC units include Fleishman-Hillard, Ketchum, Porter Novelli and Brodeur. WPP units include Burson-Marsteller and Hill & Knowlton while Interpublic units in the CPRF include Weber Shandwick and MWW Group.

CPRF, founded in 1998, initially sought to collect fee income and staff totals from the entire U.S. counseling industry.

Signed statements from CFOs of PR firms were accepted as substantiation of the figures and up to 10% of fees could be from paid advertising.
However, following passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Council decided to withdraw from ranking any PR firms because the conglomerates no longer allowed any of their units to report fee income or employment totals.

Fines and prison terms are provided by SOX for false or misleading financial statements by public companies or their subsidiaries.

Leaving the rankings compiled by O'Dwyer were 21 of the top 25 firms that were in the 2001 rankings.


SML Strategic Media, the Washington, D.C. PR and editorial shop, placed a four-page advertorial in the September/October Foreign Affairs, the high-brow political journal, extolling progress made in Kazakhstan under the leadership of Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The “Reaching for the Stars” piece tells how Kazakhstan’s “stable government, religious and ethnic peace, growing democracy and a diversifying and expanding economy has turned it into a beacon” for central Asia.

The fate of Gregoire de Bourgues, the editorial coordinator of the report, rocks that image of stability.

At the very least, de Bourgues represents the rampant crime and dangerous conditions that exist for foreigners in Kazakhstan’s commercial center and former capital city of Almaty. (Nazarbayev moved the capital to Astana in ’97.)

De Bourgues was stabbed to death on August 2 in an apartment that he rented for several months while doing research for the FA piece.

The Kazakh government denies any political motivation behind the killing though an official at Kazakhstan’s Journalists in Danger organization, suspects that de Bourgues may have uncovered information about the recent murders of two prominent opposition leaders.

Nazarbayev, who has banned opposition parties and cracked down on the press, is to visit the White House later this year, and spend some time at the Bush family compound in Maine.


Ogilvy PR Worldwide is handling the eBay auction of the Lincoln Town Car owned by billionaire Warren Buffett.

The bidding runs from Sept. 12-22. Proceeds benefit Girls Inc. That organization is geared to girls from ages 6 to 18 who are largely from single-parent homes with income of $25K or less. It works to instill self-confidence in girls, and counts money management among its various programs.

Buffett’s car is a four-door 2001 model with 14,000 miles on it. The car comes equipped with Buffett’s personalized “Thrifty” vanity license plate.

Ogilvy’s Leslie Jones is promoting the auction.

Buffett announced in June that he plans to donate more than $30B to charity.


Ruder Finn’s Andy Hopson is counseling Valassis, which filed a suit on Aug. 30 to break up its $1.3B merger with Advo Inc.

Valassis contends that Advo provided it with “materially false information” and failed to disclose “significant internal control deficiencies.” The Livonia, MI-based company portrays itself as a “victim of fraud.”

Advo, which is the nation’s leading direct mailer, believes Valassis’ suit is “baseless and without merit.” It dismisses the suit as a “smokescreen to hike the fact that Valassis is suffering from an extreme case of buyer’s remorse.”

Internet Edition, September 6, 2006, Page 8




The departure of Edelman from the Council of PR Firms (page one) is another sign that the “Europeanization” of the U.S. PR counseling industry is receding.

CPRS was founded in 1998 and bankrolled mostly by the five ad/PR conglomerates: the U.K.-owned WPP; French-owned Publicis and Havas; Omnicom (U.S.-owned but as secretive as the British and French), and Interpublic, which grossly exaggerated its revenues and is now in deep financial trouble.

The conglomerates were bent on dominating the U.S. PR counseling industry including taking over the job of reporting fee and income totals of PR firms. They counted paid ads as “PR,” thereby skyrocketing revenue totals. No proofs were sought from PR firms, just CFO statements.

As of 1998, the conglomerates had purchased 12 of the 13 largest U.S. PR operations.

Edelman was the only independent in the top 13. It joined the CPRF although it was unlike many of its fellow members. In quitting after eight years, Richard Edelman cited “disagreement with the Council on a few fundamental points” but did not elaborate.

The big PR firms paid annual dues of $50,000 each to launch CPRF which was patterned after the American Assn. of Advertising Agencies. Its initial name was “American Assn. of PR Firms.”

Previously the ad agency-owned PR firms had been active but restless members of the Counselors Academy of PRSA, which toyed with firm membership for years, the concept pushed by Mitch Kozikowski and Bob Dorf. But PRSA ruled that neither the Academy nor any section could have its own bank account and all funds were under the control of PRSA. The conglomerate-owned PR firms were not about to give $50K each to PRSA.

The Council, currently with 101 members vs. about 125 at its peak in 2000, lost steam in 2003 when WPP, OMC, et al ordered their PR and ad agencies to stop reporting revenue or staff totals.

Sarbanes-Oxley provided jail terms and fines for any misleading information and the conglomerates said different accounting rules throughout the world made reporting hazardous.

With Edelman’s departure, only four of the top ten independents in the O’Dwyer rankings remain in the Council—Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, APCO Worldwide, Text 100 and Gibbs & Soell.

Ruder Finn, second largest independent, quit in 2003, citing CPRF’s withdrawal from ranking PR firms. RF, paying $40K yearly, also said firms three and four times as big were only paying $50K. Sloane & Co., 29th largest firm, quit in 2005, citing CPRF’s “tepid” response to the Ketchum/Dept. of Education/Armstrong Williams scandal. Other losses included Cohn & Wolfe, GCI Group, Schwartz Communications, KCS&A, and Stanton Crenshaw. Ten firms joined in 2004 and a total of ten in 2005 and 2006 to date. But there has also been attrition from mergers and firm closings. The biggest recent arrival is Alan Taylor Communications, 13th biggest independent with 2005 fees of $13.2M. The others have fees below $5M based on available data.

WPP, Publicis and Havas have brought European attitudes of secrecy to the Council. This is on top of the traditionally secretive ad business and the highly secretive financiers who hold the top posts at the conglomerates. Conglom units’ PR accounts are now mostly undisclosed and their CEOs rarely make public appearances.

Omnicom, while U.S.-owned, is headed by ex-CPA John Wren who has given three interviews in four years. The secretive culture of OMC, described in the New York Post Aug. 14, is one reason its stock is $20 below its high of $107 in 1999 and it has to buy back some 27 million shares to prop up it up.

Another aspect of European business culture is its attitude towards the trade press. Such press openly say they “support” the industries they write about. U.S. trade press “covers” their industries.

All this secrecy may have been too much for Richard Edelman, who has preached openness and who has an active personal blog. U.S.-style PR is at odds with the secret ways of European companies and U.S. and European financiers. U.S. independent PR firms are growing at a much faster rate than the conglomerate-owned firms based on available data.

Tim Dyson, CEO of publicly-held NextFifteen (owner of Text 100, which has $52 million in fees and is in the CPRF), said the firm operates in 25 countries and SOX has not stopped it from reporting figures. He said the withholding of figures by the conglomerates is “bad for our industry.” Dyson, who researched sections 302, 404 and 409 of SOX, said, “I can’t see any good reason why an agency’s revenues should not be reported...SOX has only provided a fig leaf for holding companies.”

The PRSA “Ethics Teleseminars” Sept. 5, 12 & 26 have been barred to the press by the PRSA board but PR manager Cedric Bess has invited us to submit questions in writing to the four ethics board panel members—Linda Cohen, Bob Frause, Jim Lukaszewski and Emmanuel Tchividjian. We sent Bess 20 questions but the main one is how can PRSA justify keeping the Central Michigan chapter proposal for governance reform off the PRSA website? We also ask is it fair for PRSA to allow Rhoda Weiss to be president next year when she has shown such disdain for press relations and public appearances? PR is under heavy attack (New York Times, Der Spiegel, etc.) and current president Cheryl Procter-Rogers is not taking up the offensive. Can PR and PRSA stand another nearly silent president is our question? Lukaszewski’s writings indicate skepticism towards the press. “Reporters don’t know about your business, don’t care about your business and can’t care about your business,” he says in a volume on crises “featured” in the PRSA bookstore.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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