The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, October 4, 2006, Page 1
LINCOLN LANDS $6M+ IRAQ PR
Group has won a competitive review to handle PR and strategic
communications for the U.S.-led military force in Iraq.
two-year contract is valued at more than $6M, although contracting
documents indicated that additional efforts could be ordered
from Washington, D.C.-based Lincoln up to $20M. Contracting
officials in Baghdad told ODwyers that The Rendon
Group had previously handled the work covered in the new
pact. TRG declined to comment on whether it had pitched
for the account. A list of interested parties
in the contract did not show Lincoln, Rendon or any other
PR firms known to work with the Pentagon.
RFP with a quick, two-week turnaround time was issued in
September. It cited the emboldened insurgency bent on civil
war as a key obstacle to the U.S. forces military
and communications mission in Iraq.
the tasks outlined for the Lincoln Group, the military wants
the firm to put together a unit of 12-18 communicators to
support military PR efforts in Iraq and throughout the Middle
East from media training to pitching stories and providing
content for government-backed news sites.
was criticized late last year for allegedly paying to plant
stories in the Iraqi media, sparking a crisis for the firm
and the PR industry as a whole. The firm has said it needed
to do a better job of explaining its work and brought in
a veteran PR executive last year to help with those efforts.
DOME EXITS H&K FOR CLS.
Doug Dome, who sold his
Chicago-based food PR shop to Hill & Knowlton, has left
that firm for the chief creative officer slot at Carmichael
Lynch Spong. He will focus on lifestyle marketing and communicating
to ethnic groups, women, youth, gays and mature adults.
Dome will work from the
Chicago office of the Minneapolis-headquartered shop. He
exits the president/U.S. creative director of Dome HK, successor
to Dome Communications, which was founded in `97.
GH DELIVERS 4AS PITCH.
The American Assn. of
Advertising Agencies, tipping its cap to the power of PR,
has hired GolinHarris for an image campaign.
The industry has been
wrestling with its future in the wake of technological and
media breakthroughs that have put the survival of the 30-second
TV commercial in jeopardy. This NL was told that 4As
head Burtch Drake doesnt talk to reporters.
MEDIALINK SELLS U.S. NEWSWIRE
Medialink has sold its
public affairs news dissemination unit U.S. Newswire to
PR Newswire in a deal worth up to $23M.
That includes a $19M price
and earnout potential up to $4M.
The Washington, D.C.-based
newswire was set up in 1986 and bought by Medialink in 1999.
It handles mainly public affairs, politics, and non-profit
news release distribution.
With the sale, Medialink
president and CEO Larry Moskowitz said it will focus on
continued development of its Teletrax video tracking system
and pursue Internet-based video opportunities.
PR Newswire has handled
political and policy news in the past, but the company said
the acquisition was intended to augment those efforts.
Dave Armon, chief operating
officer of PR Newswire, said his company is committed to
building up USN and providing additional technology and
product innovation expertise for its customers.
The acquisition is the
fourth major deal for a newswire service this year.
In April, CCNMatthews
acquired Market Wire for about $30M.
The Nasdaq stock market
moved to acquire Los Angeles-based PrimeZone in June.
In August, Vocus acquired
online newswire and search engine optimization company PRWeb
FELDMAN FLIES TO APCO.
Paul Feldman, lead negotiator
for the aviation safety pact between the U.S. and Europe,
has joined APCO Worldwide as a director in its Brussels
He also hammered out aircraft
noise dispute between U.S. and the European Union.
APCOs global transportation
unit is headed by Jane Garvey, who once headed the FAA.
PRESS, PR PROS TRADE WISH
Quicker and better access
to clients and a halt to pressure on the front office
to kill or change stories are among the things on a reporters
wish list, an ethics discussion at the Oklahoma City chapter
of PRSA was told Sept. 20.
A chapter poll of its
members found 46% of the 69 respondents say they have
been asked by an employer or client to misrepresent, cover
up, exaggerate, or withhold information from the media.
(continued on page 7)
Edition, October 4, 2006, Page 2
HALLIBURTON LAUNCHES COUNTERATTACK.
engineering and services unit has launched a strike against
the documentary, Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers,
that filmmaker Robert Greenwald plans to release nationally
during Patriotism over Profit Screening Week
set for Oct. 8-14.
The movie, which slams
Halliburton for allegedly ripping off U.S. taxpayers by
overcharging for its services, premiered in Los Angeles
on Sept. 4 and in New York on Sept. 6.
Halliburton posted a statement
on its website, claiming the movie is nothing more
than a theory in search of a conspiracy.
The company claims it
provided Greenwalds production company, Brave New
Film, factual information about its work in Iraq, but BNF
chose not to include this information because the
facts did not support their thesis for the film.
The statement also notes
that Halliburton executives have not seen the movie in its
BNF tried to interview
Halliburton CEO Dave Lesar for the film.
It sent four emails and
made four phone calls to Cathy Mann, Halliburtons
director of communications, attempting to arrange a meeting.
She did not respond to
any of those contacts, according to BNF. Melissa Norcross,
KBR PR supervisor, did return an email to say that Lesar
was not available for an interview.
This NL emailed Mann,
asking why she did not respond to BNF. She referred the
NL to Halliburtons statement. Norcross could be reached
about whether any Halliburton or KBR execs have viewed the
Former Halliburton employees
talked to the producers of the film.
Henry Bunting, an ex-
KBR procurement manager, said since KBR worked on a cost-plus
basis there was no incentive to save money. He said:
I wouldnt run a local lawn service on the business
practices that Halliburton has.
Ken Sunshine Consultants
in New York is promoting the movie.
BG&R BUFFS SERBIAS
Barbour Griffith & Rogers is working for Serbia through
Jan. `09 under a contract that pays a monthly fee of $60K.
Expenses are capped at five percent of the retainer.
The Interpublic unit provides strategic counsel and
tactical planning on foreign policy issues, according to
The pact is signed by Serbias Minister for International
Economic Relations, Milan Parivodic.
Serbias image has been battered by reports that it
has been less than enthusiastic in its cooperation with
the United Nations probe into war crimes committed during
the Balkans conflict of the `90s.
Serbia is eager to follow Romania and Bulgaria into the
On the military front, NATO is scheduled to open a liaison
office within Serbias Ministry of Defense this
C&W PLAYS PART IN NET
Clark & Weinstock has received $180K during the first-half
of `06 from the Net Neutrality Coalition, which describes
itself as an informal coalition.
That group is funded by the likes of Google, Microsoft,
Amazon, eBay, IAC and Yahoo. Its aim is legislation barring
telecom network companies such as AT&T and Verizon from
prioritizing their Internet offerings while setting up toll
booths for other content providers.
C&Ws team includes former Republican Rep. Vin
Weber, Ed Kutler (staffer for former Speaker of the House
Newt Gingrich), Niles Godes (ex-chief of staff for North
Dakota Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan), Erik Hotmire (former
special assistant to President Bush and ex-communications
director for USA Freedom Corps.) and Julie Carr, (former
senior policy officer to Rep. Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania).
Public Strategies Washington is repping the big telecoms
and their Hands off the Internet group, which
says it is against government regulation of the Net
APPLE URGED TO GO GREEN.
Greenpeace has launched its iToxic campaign
to pressure Apple Computer to go green by cutting
the level of toxic chemicals in its computers.
The group has posted a spoof of Apples hit PC
vs. Mac guy ad. It refers to them as cousins
under the skin since they carry the same amounts of
deadly toxins within. The Greenpeace spoof carries another
image: a Chinese baby who is identified as a victim of Apples
Apples computers, according to Greenpeace, are full
of polyvinyl chloride plastic and brominated flame retardants.
When the computers are dismantled for parts in China and
India, workers and the environment become exposed to dangerous
chemicals, says the environmental group.
It urges Apple to go organic by ridding Macs
of toxins and adopting strong recycling programs.
JFWBK VS. BG IN CHICKEN FIGHT.
Pilgrims Pride, the nations No. 2 chicken producer,
has launched a $1B hostile bid for Gold Kist, the No. 3
marketer of the birds. (Tyson Foods is the top chicken company).
PP, which is using Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher
to quarterback the takeover effort, publicly announced the
offer on Aug. 18.
GK, according to a Sept. 28 letter written by PP chairman
Lonnie Bo Pilgrim, has not provided his company
requested financial information.
He believes the only alternative is to take the $20 a-share
offer directly to GK shareholders. The PP offer is a premium
of more than 50 percent to what GK shares were trading for
GKs response to shareholders is to sit tight. The
company promises to review PPs offer at its Oct. 12
It uses Brunswick Group (Steve Lipin) as its media contact.
Edition, October 4, 2006, Page 3
DIEBOLD PUSHES BACK AGAINST
Diebold Election Systems,
the touch-screen voting machine maker, is pushing back against
a Rolling Stone article by Robert Kennedy Jr. slamming
electronic voting technology.
Mark Radke, DES' director
of marketing, issued a terse statement about Kennedy's "error-riddled"
piece and released a letter to RS editors signed by DES
president David Byrd.
Radke said that Kennedy
did not contact the company about the story, which he said
features Diebold as its "primary target." Radke
noted that Kennedy's article draws on the claims of a former
DES employee - presented as a whistleblower and key source
for the story - who was fired at the request of Georgia's
Secretary of State. He said Diebold is calling on RS editors
to review critical facts and disavow the "shoddy reporting"
Byrd, in his letter to
RS editors, offers a point-by-point rebuttal of several
claims made by the whistleblower.
RS has not yet returned
a call about Diebold's rebuttal.
SUMMERS TO WRITE COLUMN.
Former Harvard Univ. President Larry Summers is writing
a monthly column for the Financial Times. The column
is also slated to be published in the Los Angeles Times
and available for syndication.
A well-regarded economist, Summers was President Clinton's
last treasury secretary and headed Harvard from 2001-06.
He left the Ivy League institution after taking criticism
for suggesting there are more men than women in science
and engineering because of innate intelligence differences.
MTV PLAYS HARMONIX.
Viacom's MTV Networks is paying $175M for Harmonix, the
Cambridge, MA-based maker of music video games.
Harmonix is noted for its "Guitar Hero" product
developed for Sony's PlayStation 2. The console allows any
player to sound like a rock star.
New Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman says Harmonix is "precisely
the type of transaction that will help us aggressively grow
our digital business."
Harmonix, when the deal closes during the fourth quarter,
will be folded into MTV Networks' Music and Logo Enterprises
unit that is headed by Jeff Yapp.
NEWS CORP ACQUIRES WEEKLIES.
News Corp., publisher of the New York Post, has
acquired two newspaper companies in Brooklyn and Queens
that publish a collection of 28 papers.
The Courier-Life group has Bay News, Brooklyn
Heights Courier and Caribbean Life among its
offerings that are read by about 200K people in Brooklyn.
TimesLedger publishes Astoria Times and Glen
Oaks Ledger and 14 other papers. Circulation is put
in the 50K range.
The acquisitions are designed to extend News Corp.s
reach in New York City behind Manhattan, where the Post
News Corp. paid more than $15M for its new papers.
HUFF SPEAKS FOR TROUBLED PAPER.
Los Angeles PR firm Agnes Huff Communications Group is
serving as PR counsel to the Santa Barbara News-Press
as employees of the troubled paper have voted to unionize.
The paper has had its hands full on the PR front lately.
Ahead of the unionizing vote, it accused the Teamsters union
of planting a threatening message on a local blog.
The post urged the boycott of the paper's advertisers,
the disruption of its online presence through hacking, and
urging home subscribers to cancel.
Agnes Huff said the posting was reminiscent of "union
corporate campaigns and are used when attempting to improperly
force a company to give in to union demands."
The paper staffs about 50 newsroom employees following
a string of resignations of more than a dozen editors and
Some staffers have accused the paper's owner and co-publisher
of interfering with news coverage.
On Sept. 27, newsroom employees (about 50 of the paper's
total 206 staff) voted to authorize the Graphic Communications
Council of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters as
their bargaining agent.
A statement issued by the paper through Huff following
the vote said it is not convinced that its employees were
"afforded a fair election free from coercion."
The paper said it will consider all its options.
MechMuse Audio Magazine
has launched as a free podcast featuring serialized
novels, columns, interviews and short stories related to
the sci-fi and fantasy genres. Info: www.mechmuse.com.
Clear Channel Radio
renewed talk show host Sean Hannity's contract for
another three years on 80 of its stations, keeping the conservative
commentator on its airwaves through 2010.
Hannity claims the second-largest radio audience in the
country, reaching an estimated 15M people across 500 stations
in the afternoon time slot. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The Conference Board
has changed the name of Across the Board magazine
to The Conference Board Review.
The idea is to better align the mag with the "prestige
and reputation of The Conference Board," according
to Joan Dargery, executive VP of the New York-based group
of top executives.
A redesign accompanies the new name.
AtB was launched in 76. A.J. Vogl has edited it since
news continued on next page)
Edition, October 4, 2006, Page 4
TECH BOOSTS DEMAND FOR PR
The relationship between
publicists and the press has changed in recent years, said
a September 20 Entertainment Publicists Professional Society
(EPPS) panel of magazine editors at Dillon's Lounge in New
Online magazine content
and the advent of blogs have created an information vacuum,
leaving the press in a race to accommodate today's newsroom
PR pros should use this
void to their advantage when supplying materials for a story.
"I have to ask more
from the publicist now," said Laura Brounstein, entertainment
editor at Ladies Home Journal. "There's a lot
more bells and whistles on our website than there is in
Brounstein, a former staff
member at Seventeen magazine, said she's seen this
evolution firsthand. Not only has web-based technology created
an increased demand for more news coverage, but it's given
publicists new ways of pitching the press. The result has
left editors working overtime to sift through the informational
"The main difference
is that things are a lot more automated now. When I was
working at Seventeen, things like fast-blasting was just
starting. Now it's common."
Molly Fahner, associate
entertainment editor at Cosmopolitan, said this has
placed a demand for different types of stories too. Editors
must increase their sphere of coverage if they want to stay
on top of news and the latest trends.
"Blogging has really
affected us. Now, besides reading every magazine, I read
all the blogs in addition to that," she said.
Because of the overabundance
of information, Chris Kensler, executive editor at Life
& Style Weekly, said he appreciates an officious
publicist. An email pitch, followed by a follow-up phone
call or two, is preferred in his office.
"I appreciate pushy
publicists, I really do," he said. "For no other
reason than there's just so much stuff coming in."
While the need for more
story input may sound like a win-win for the PR industry,
the panel was unanimous in their claims that quality still
trumps quantity. PR pros still need a good product to stick
out in the morass. In essence, the rules may have changed,
but the game hasn't.
"You still need to
have good news content," Kensler said. "Some people
think a nice celebrity pic will do it, but news sells the
Lisa Chambers, features
director at TV Guide, said one method that works
particularly well is to allow flexibility in your pitch
so that editors can use it for something else.
"If your pitch isn't
working, if there's any way you can repitch it into a different
context, we can work with it," she said. "There
was one time, we were being pitched to run a feature on
a TV show that was on a cable network - it was a popular
show but it just didn't get the numbers. We didn't go for
it but the publicist kept coming back and repitching it.
We ended up packaging the show into a larger story about
TV shows that dealt with a common theme. It was a really
The panel said PR pros
also maintain an upper hand in their relationship with the
entertainment press because they are often easier to deal
with than personal or studio publicists. Because scandal
is often the center of celebrity news, personal or studio
publicists often have a habit of being tight-lipped.
"It's easier for
them to keep their account by saying 'no,'" Chambers
Kensler, who has also
worked for celebrity magazines such as Star and OK,
said "personal publicists hate us" at his current
"You know that scandal
is going on in their lives that's why you read the
magazine," Fahner added. "But we try not to piss
Brounstein said she appreciates
the PR's industry's "role as advocates for us"
by pitching stories that major television or movies studios
may not want the public to see.
All panelists said email
is the preferred route for receiving pitches. Check odwyerpr.com
for their addresses. The EPPS panel was moderated by Mediaweek
editor Lisa Granatstein.
STUDY: MEDIA NEED TO DROP
Media outlets need to ease up on rivalries and better collaborate
on information during a disaster like Hurricane Katrina,
according to a report on communications during Katrina by
the Washington, D.C., think tank Aspen Institute.
Among the recommendations of the report, written by George
Washington Univ. associate professor of media and public
affairs Albert May, was fostering partnerships between business
competitors and media outlets. May wrote that spontaneous
collaborative efforts among commercial rivals and different
media platforms proved valuable during Katrina, but more
coordination and planning is needed for both.
Both media and government, May said, need to pursue better
strategies for identifying "teachable moments"
during a crisis times when messages of personal preparedness
are likely to penetrate public attention. The report stressed
such action was particularly important for reaching out
to minority and disadvantaged groups.
May's report was culled from interviews, data, and a conference
hosted by AI in May that hosted representatives from entities
like FEMA, CNN, Yahoo, the Radio Television News Directors
Assn. and The Weather Channel.
The report noted that the Katrina disaster environment
created a new cadre of fledgling crisis communicators, or
"first informers," who came to challenge the traditional
gatekeepers of the press and government. AI also pointed
out that the presence of such citizen communicators exacerbated
the pre-existing problem of sorting out "truth amidst
AI is headed by former Time magazine managing editor
and CNN president/CEO Walter Isaacson.
Edition, October 4,
2006, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
Global Group, Chicago, has acquired London PR firm GJRPR,
adding a European capability to GT, which has four U.S.
combine reunites GT chairman/CEO Dan Reid with GJR founder
Tim Jackaman as both worked at Weber Shandwick. GT picks
up GJRs staff of 12.
who serves as chairman of GTs European operations,
set up GJR earlier this year and earlier founded Square
Mile, a shop acquired by WS acquisition of BSMG in
has offices in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco,
in addition to its Windy City base.
ACKERMANN SETS UP REAL ESTATE
Ackermann PR, Knoxville,
Tenn., has set up a real estate unit focused on developers
in that sector.
The firm has won a good
chunk of business in the sector ahead of the formalization
of the practice, the firm said, stressing it remains a generalist
PR and marketing shop. It also noted that Tennessee
is growing in popularity as a locale for second homes.
Its real estate services
include assistance with packaging plans and proposals for
the investment community and regulatory bodies, marketing
strategies, marketplace positioning and differentiation,
media relations and Internet marketing, among other services.
Real estate clients include
Tennessee National, Hidden Springs Resort, and Griffits
F-H BUYS MOSCOW FIRM.
acquired a majority interest in Moscow PR firm ECG PR turning
it into Fleishman-Hillard Moscow. The outpost staffs nine.
F-H president Dave Senay
said an integration of global economics in Russia is occuring
as a new generation of companies looks to global markets.
He said the office will also service foreign companies looking
to do business in the region.
IR, which has offices in New York and Hong Kong,
is assisting with communications efforts for Chinese medical
device maker Mindray Medical International Limiteds
$276M IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. ...919
Marketing, Holly Springs, N.C., has marked its 10th
Mattie, a beauty, fashion and home furnishings firm
with offices in New York and Los Angeles, has opened an
Atlanta office. Info: piercemattie.com.
who has run his Boston-based firm for 31 years, is blogging
on strategic communications and crisis management. His thoughts
are at: richardnicolazzo.blogspot.com.
a seven-year veteran of Trylon SMR, has left to start his
own firm, Jeff Rutherford Media Realtions. He is affiliated
with Kansas City PR firm INK, Inc., inkpr.com.
...Lutto & Associates, Richmond, Va., has opened an
office in Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas, near San Antonio. Kim
Herndon, a 14-year veteran of the firm, runs the outpost.
Gaithersburgh, Md., has revamped perceptiononline.com.
Group, New York/Honora Pearls, for PR, including
media relations, gift opportunities and TV placement. The
firm will also handle a new store launch and 60th anniversary
in New York this fall.
& Co., New York/ROO Group, online video syndication
network, for trade and national PR supporting its B2B and
OBrien, New York/Punta Mita, Mexico Pacific
Coast resort, for PR following a review that included six
finalists Edelman, PR Co., Sheila Donnelly &
Associates, Fourth Wall Media, and incumbent Andria Mitsakos
PR. The firm is charged with positioning the luxury resort
as an alternative to Hawaii and the Caribbean for the affluent.
Boston/The 41st Parameter, covert fraud detection and prevention
in the online space, as AOR for PR, including strategic
counsel, media and analyst relations, executive recognition,
and other communications.
One Partners, Boston/Clear Point Metrics; Click4Care;
Constellation Management; Connex International; CX2 Global;
Kaz; Lehigh Technologies; PlumChoise Online PC Services,
and Veson Nautical Corp.
Communications, Andover, Md./iTKO, automated service
oriented architecture solutions, for media relations, blogging
work, speaking engagements, and award submissions; Genuitec,
Eclipse software development tools, for PR in the development
community, and Aperture, enterprise software for managing
data centers, for CEO visibility and media relations.
Direct, Schaumburg, Ill./Branded Pharmaceutical Association,
to design and produce membership promotions.
Finn, Chicago/Monster Media, alternative advertising
services, for PR to boost recognition among advertisers.
Its products include plasma TVs in high traffic areas and
advertising and sports arenas and stadiums.
Communications, Garden Grove, Calif./
Ares Digital, maker of My Guide branded personal navigation
(GPS) products, as AOR for marketing communications, including
strategic counsel, media relations and product branding.
PR Marketing Group, Century City, Calif./
Cake Boxx, cargo containers, for launch of company and a
new container aimed at greater security.
Finn, San Francisco, Calif./Mitsubishi Motors North
America, as AOR for the U.S., following a review. Fleishman-Hillards
Strat@comm unit had the account. RF/West (L.A. and San Francisco)
and New York handle the account.
Communications, Los Angeles/Margaret Wendt, paranormal
expert; Carla Bate, actress; Brent Lovell and Timothy Woodward,
actors; and A.J. Wells and Aron Cowen, musicians, all for
entertainment PR and media relations.
Edition, October 4, 2006, Page 6
WINS BEST OF SHOW AT THOTHS.
was honored by the National Capital Chapter of PRSA for
its "Color of Money" campaign informing the public
about changes in the $10 bill and its anti-counterfeiting
and security features. B-M worked on behalf of the U.S.
Treasury, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Federal Reserve
Board and the U.S. Secret Service.
is the chapter's signature event and celebrates innovation
within the public relations industry and showcases the Washington
area's talent," said Tracy Schario, president of the
the NCC and director of media relations at The George Washington
than 250 attended the event at the National Press Club.
Communications, Ogilvy PR Worldwide and Ketchum topped all
entrants, each picking up three Thoth awards.
of the category winners were: Community Relations -- Lockheed
Martin and David Grossman & Assocs.; Public Service
-- Department of Defense and Susan Davis Int'l.; Public
Affairs -- State of Connecticut, Ketchum and the Washington
Group; Crisis Comms. -- Mississippi Dept. of Health and
Widmeyer Comms.; Financial/IR - RCN Corp.; Brand Management
-- Denny's and Stanton Comms.; Media Relations -- Target,
the American Red Cross with Imre Comms.
CARMA ALIGNS WITH MID-EAST
company Carma International has partnered with Middle East
media monitoring company Pan Arab Research Centre in Dubai,
UAE, to serve what Carma said is a growing area of
interest for clients.
PARC has offices in Saudi
Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and
Qatar, in addition to its UAE base. The 30-year-old company
is a member of Gallup International and has 450 full-time
Carma noted that PARC
provides original stories as they appear, as opposed to
translations or abstracts.
In regard to the Middle
East, Carma president Mike Carberry noted most clients have
questions about what they should be monitoring and how they
can locate the right coverage.
Teletrax monitoring service has signed motorsport
organization A1GP for its services. A1GP, which produces
the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, will use Teletrax to detect
and report on global broadcasts of its Grand Prix events
PR Advertising, Colorado Springs, Colo., won the
Golden Spur Award for the best PR campaign in southern Colorado
from PRSA/Colorado. It won the Gold Spur for a marketing
communications effort for Cricket Communications cell
phone service. ...Anne
Klein & Associates, Marlton, N.J., won a Gold
Jasper Award from the Jersey Shore PR and Advertising Assn.
The firm won in the corporate identity category for its
Many Hands. One Heart. campaign for Diakon Lutheran
Beckmann, account team leader for Robert Marston
Corporate Communications, to Hill & Knowlton, New York,
as an A/S focused on corporate media relations for tech
and financial services clients. Ann
Mangold joins the firms corporate group as
a senior A/E on tech, entertainment, fund-raising campaigns,
and professional services clients. She was previously with
High Water Group.
Martini, executive VP in Porter Novellis life
sciences unit, to WeissComm Partners, New York, as EVP heading
its corporate and IR practice. Also, Andrea
Campbell, senior IR analyst, CV Therapeutics, Geoff
Curtis, public affairs manager at Abbott Laboratories,
former Bloomberg reporter, and Katherine
Stueland, head of PA for TAP Pharmaceutical Products,
all join as associates.
Hillyer, editorial writer for the Mobile Register
and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, to Qorvis Communications,
Washington, D.C., as a managing director. He was formerly
press secretary for Rep. Bob Livingston (R-La.). Eric
Alvarez, a reporter and anchor for CBS stations in
California, also joins as an MD. Kathleen
Corcoran, director of PR and publications, Volunteers
of America, joins as a director.
Hennessy, PR manager, Millennium Pharmaceuticals,
to Pure Communications, Wilmington, N.C., as a senior account
Blow, a veteran of Continental Automotive Systems,
AlliedSignal Automotive, and a handful of Detroit-area marcom
firms, to Eisbrenner PR, Troy, Mich., as an A/S. Melissa
Kliethermes, who handled PR for Walker Racing and
Della Penna Motorsports, joins as an A/E handling automotive
and tech accounts.
Bultynck, communications director for Ernst &
Youngs global automotive practice, to AutoPR, Rochester,
Mich., as an account manager. She has held posts with DaimlerChrysler
and the Society of Automotive Engineers-Detroit Section.
Gutierrez, senior A/E MediaReach PR, to Kohnstamm
Communications, St. Paul, Minn., as an A/E focused on consumer
and B2B accounts.
Swaney, former marketing director for Cox Business
Services and American Healthcare Services, to SouthernLINC
Wireless, Atlanta, as communications manager.
Davies, director of communications, Personal Insurance
Federation of California, to Farmers Insurance Group, Los
Angeles, as director of media relations. Davis was an anchor
and reporter at TV stations in Miami and Des Moines. He
later became press secretary and director of research and
consumer education for the Florida Insurance Commission.
Carr to VP of new business, KempGoldberg, Portland,
Me. Also, Holly Wolf
to PR manager.
Feldman to senior VP, TBC PR, Baltimore. She opened
the firms New York office in 1999. Also, Beth
Burkhardt, who joined the firm in 1989, to senior
Edition, October 4, 2006, Page 7
MEDIA WISH LISTS
(Continued from page 1)
Steve Lackmeyer of The Oklahoman, said one
of the biggest problems in the local PR community
is members who go to the papers ownership or top executives
to get stories changed.
unethical, its wrong and too many in this town are
doing it, said Lackmeyer, whose statewide paper is
the biggest in the state with readership of 420,000 daily.
It gets me angry and it gets my bosses angry,
pros might succeed at this but there are long term
consequences that are negative, he said. He spoke
of choices being made daily in this regard.
said he was under orders from financial editor
Clytie Bunyan to make this and other points to the PR people.
Celebrates Ethics Month
session, arranged by ethics chair Debbie Anglin in observation
of Ethics Month at PRSA, was recorded and the
tape was supplied to the press.
was chosen as a panelist because he has been known to criticize
PR, said Anglin, who heads Anglin PR.
other panelist was Prof. Mark Hanebutt of the University
of Central Oklahoma, who teaches news writing, ethics and
law courses (he is a lawyer).
said PR pros are between a rock and a hard place
because some clients think PR firms control the press.
member of the audience said, Our clients are just
dead scared of the media. They dont answer the phone
or they just say no comment because theyre so afraid
of saying the wrong thing and being misinterpreted.
agreed there is merit to being afraid because
there are bad reporters as well as good.
said the answer is to build trusting relationships with
good reporters who will give you a fair shake.
stressed the need for PR pros and their clients to be readily
available to reporters who are under deadline pressure.
tell me the CEO is out of townget him on his cell
phone, get him on his corporate jet, I dont care,
he said. He believes PR pros should be available at night
(including 2 a.m.) as well as during the day and on the
weekends and that office, home, cell phones and fax numbers
should be supplied.
journalists see PR people as the enemy but reporters
couldnt do their jobs without them, he said.
of the biggest problems, he said, is that too
many people who know executives at the paper approach the
front office of the paper in attempts to block
or influence a story.
went on at length about what he called the control
freak institutional PR person who he said would even
kill a positive story if it did not involve what was being
said in a press release that day.
are just locked down at this place and I will do everything
I can to avoid going to that institution, he said.
SEES SMEAR JOB.
Group CEO John Aycoth testified Sept. 25 in U.S. District
Court for the District of Columbia that he is the victim
of a smear campaign launched by Gambian government officials
who are trying to destroy his reputation by alleging that
he had an affair with that countrys First Lady.
firm is suing Gambia in an effort to recoup $500K in PR
fees plus interest from `02 that it claims is owed to it.
told the Court every time he visited Zeinab Suma Jammeh
in her Washington hotel suite she was surrounded by her
entourage and body guard.
denies any sexual relationship with the wife of President
said James Bojang, Gambias former Ambassador to the
U.S., tipped him off about the smear campaign. That effort
is geared to killing his relationship with Gambias
has also said that he has received death threats because
of the legal squabble.
ASHTON REPS EMBATTLED CSK.
Ashton Partners, the IR/corporate
communications shop, is repping CSK Auto Corp., which announced
Sept. 28 that its COO Martin Fraser, 51, and Don Watson,
49, are no longer with the company following an internal
audit that uncovered accounting irregularities at the auto
CEO Maynard Jenkins, 63,
also said he is stepping down once a successor has been
He is extremely
disappointed by the results of the investigation and
vowed to work with the board to implement the policies and
procedures to assure that the issues identified by the investigation
do not recur, said Jenkins in a statement.
CSK said it will restate
financials as far back as `01. It owns 1,288 Checker Auto
Parts, Schucks Auto Supply, Kragen Auto Parts and
Murrays Discount Auto Stores in 22 stores in 22 states.
Elizabeth Saunders and
Chris Hodges founded Ashton in `97. They are veterans of
Thomson Financial Services.
MARTIN SWIMS TO TOP AT SEAWEB.
Dawn Martin becomes president
of SeaWeb on Dec. 1, succeeding Vikki Spruill who is exiting
to become the head of The Ocean Conservancy.
Martin is executive director
of the non-profit communications organization that crafts
social marketing campaigns to promote healthy oceans. She
joined the group in `04.
Martin is a veteran of
the Clinton Administrations Environmental Protection
Agency, rising to the associated deputy administrator.
She also was COO at Oceana
and headed the Washington, D.C., office of the American
Seaweb is a `95 outgrowth
of the Pew Charitable Trusts environment group. Spruill,
a former Ruder Finn executive, was hired as its first chief.
does PR for SeaWeb.
Edition, October 4,
2006, Page 8
Reportorial anger surfaced
at the ethics seminar put on by PRSA/Oklahoma City (page
This was no lofty, academic
discussion of ethical principles but a down-and-dirty airing
of the day-to-day friction that exists between PR and the
One of the biggest
problems faced by Oklahoman columnist Steve Lackmeyer
and other staffers is PR pros and others going to the front
office and the owners to get stories placed,
altered or killed.
Both he and his bosses
are angry, he said.
What happens at local
newspapers is that the publisher is often on the board of
the local hospital, United Way, Red Cross, Chamber of Commerce,
etc. He or she is usually a member of the local business
club and/or country club and rubs elbows with the heads
of all the local institutions and businesses which are potential
or actual advertisers.
The city editor may also
be caught up in boosterism which was captured
in Main Street by Sinclair Lewis. He wrote about
Sauk Centre, Minn., where he lived. Fellow citizens ostracized
him when the book came out but changed their tune when tourist
dollars started flowing.
Sometimes the city editor
is actively involved in all sorts of business and charitable
causes. At our first job at the Bridgeport (Conn.) Post,
one of the three biggest papers in the state, the city editor
was grand marshal of the July 4 P.T. Barnum parade and up
to his ears in civic life. Reporters soon learned what were
the sacred cows. A reporter who challenged one
was summarily fired, a lesson to the others.
So its only
natural that a community leader would put in a call
to one of the owners or the business side if a story is
brewing about one of the local institutions. PR pros who
want to be ethical should advise against this practice which
has long term negative effects on all involved, as Lackmeyer
said. The interlocking nature of civic leadership is one
reason why working for a non-profit may not be the best
training for product PR. Obtaining publicity for the United
Way, Red Cross, local hospital, etc., is not hard when the
publisher of the paper is on the board of these institutions.
Lackmeyer and the
other panelist, Prof. Mark Hanebutt of the University
of Central Oklahoma (former reporter and editor at The
Orlando Sentinel), had plenty of gripes and so did PR
Lackmeyer was put out by the control freak
at a certain institution who cant stand anything but
the days message going out. This type
is common in PR these days since so many PR pros report
to marketing. The byword in marketing/advertising
Anything else is anathema.
Hes also fed up with PR pros shopping
an article from dept. to dept. at the paper without telling
each that the story has already been rejected. Hanebutt,
a lawyer as well as a journalist, wants immediate access
to news sources on a 24/7 basis.
A member of the audience, meanwhile, wailed that Our
clients are just dead scared of the mediathey dont
answer the phone or just say no comment...
A recent study by the University of Chicago says companies
would rather face some sort of government action than investigative
Build trusting relationships with good reporters, advises
Hanebutt. But we dont see that happening too much
in this era of tight budgets and fear that PR is the prime
suspect when leaks occur. For instance, in the
Hewlett-Packard case, PR staffer Michael Moeller was one
of those spied upon.
can help solve these problems. Reporters should be
sworn not to use any quotes without first e-mailing them
back to the subject and any PR person involved. The big
fear is that quotes will be taken out of context and wrongful
impressions made. All facts should be checked with PR before
publishing. The finished story, as soon as it goes on the
web, should be sent to the interviewee and PR counsel. Web
stories can be changed instantly and should provide opportunity
for a rebuttal or reader comment. These practices might
get journalists more of the access they crave and would
help get PR pros off the hook. Reporters must
accept the marketing nature of PR.
The PRSA Foundation
spent we dont know how many tens of thousands of dollars
last year on a survey conducted by Harris Interactive thatoddlyasked
1,015 consumers, 150 Congressional staffers and 150 business
execs what they think of PR and the press. The audiences
that should have been interviewed were reporters and PR
people. Their gripes should have been catalogued and ways
of ironing out these causes of friction discussed. Instead
of PRSA leaders seeking ways to improve PR/press relations,
we see PRSA instructors preaching distrust of the media...the
PRSA board and ethics board advisory Sept. 20 warned
members against using front groups for PR. The
problem with urging individuals to do something is that
PR pros practice under the protection of a corporation and
a veil of secrecy. The corporation and not the individual
is responsible. PR pros are not required by PRSA to say
for whom they are working. Account lists may be confidential.
PR pros are also members of integrated teams that include
marketing, sales, financial, legal and the CEOs office.
PR is far from the only voice. PRSA is misleading its members
about staff costs for the annual conference (they are nearly
$2 million and not $100,000, say former officers who have
seen the figures). But not one individual is responsible
for this inaccuracy including the president, president-elect
or treasurer. Only PRSA as a nonprofit corporation is responsible.
An accounting firm, as opposed to an individual CPA, signs
the PRSA audit. PRSA staff payroll was $4.5M in 2005 and
past leaders say about half the staff works about half the
year on current and future annual conferences, which are
planned five years in advance.