Contact O'Dwyer's : 271 Madison Ave., #600, New York, NY 10016; Tel: 212/679-2471; Fax: 212/683-2750
ODWYERPR.COM > Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter return to main page

Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter
Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter
The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Subscribe today


Jack O'Dwyer's NL logo
Internet Edition, October 18, 2006, Page 1


The Dept. of Energy is considering a multimillion-dollar, five-year PR effort backing alternative energy technologies and conservation practices.

The DOE issued an RFP on Oct. 2, after taking several months to approve the solicitation, for the planning and implementation of a full-scale marketing and PR campaign through its Office of Technology Advancement and Outreach. That entity is responsible for promoting awareness of alternative energy sources and energy efficient technologies.

The effort, which could be awarded to multiple firms, is divided into four parts: marketing and media support, strategic planning, research and evaluation; development of creative materials like brochures; Internet efforts, and development of state and stakeholder partnerships. A budget cap has been set at $5M per year for those tasks cumulatively.

The RFP was issued by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, based in Golden, Colo., with a budget of $280 million. The contracting officer said the PR work could be handled from the winning bidder’s base of operations.

The DOE wants firms pitching for any of the contract’s four parts to forge proposals covering the entire period of the resulting contract – including its two-year base and three year-long options.

Most of the solicitation is being run electronically – including submission of proposals (due Nov. 16) – via the DOE’s IIPS system (


Dunkin’ Brands has hired Margery Myers for the senior VP-communications post. The 48-year-old executive joins from Talbots. She signed on at that specialty retailer in `94 and exited as VP-corporate communications and PR.

Dunkin’ Brands is the parent of Dunkin’ Donuts, Baskin-Robbins and Togo’s, the California sandwich chain shop.

The company was acquired by a consortium of Bain Capital, Carlyle Group and Thomas L. Partners private equity firms in March in a deal worth $2.5B to Pernod Ricard. Myers reports to DB CEO Jon Luther.

Peter Dowd, who held top PR posts at Fidelity Investments and Texaco, has joined executive search firm Marshall Consultants as chairman. He also spent a decade at Hill & Knowlton. MC specializes in PR, corporate, investor relations and marketing communications jobs.


The global banking consortium thrust into the debate over the Bush Administration’s anti-terror tracking of financial records is using the Glover Park Group for crisis communications and issues management.

Known as Swift, for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, the previously obscure Brussels-based cooperative routs about $6 trillion in daily financial transactions.

The New York Times reported in June that the Bush Administration is using a secret program run by the CIA to track financial records like wire transfers to and from individuals suspected of Al Qaeda ties.

Euan Seller, public affairs manager for Swift in Belgium, said in an e-mail that Glover partner and former President Clinton press secretary Joe Lockhart is handling issues and crisis work for the cooperative.

“Glover Park Group is advising us in the U.S. regarding the U.S. terrorism investigations,” he said. “GPG also provides us with crisis management expertise to set up communications processes and to train people at our U.S. operations.” GPG is based in D.C.

In Europe, the E.U. affairs group of Fleishman-Hillard in Brussels counsels Swift. New York financial communications firm Intermarket, formerly Trimedia, handles marketing communications and PR in the U.S.


Lisa Kovitz, managing director in Burson-Marsteller’s brand marketing group, has taken a post at Edelman. She is senior VP/media strategist in its consumer practice.

At B-M, Kovitz worked with Old Navy, British Airways, Orbitz and Lincoln Mercury. During a 25-year career, She was at Hill & Knowlton, Cairns & Assocs., and Dorf & Stanton. She is program chair of the Publicity Club of New York’s “meet the media program,” and past president of Women Executives in PR.


"The Ethics of Being Genuine: How Well Are We Doing?" was the title of a Sept. 22 program put on by PRSA/Pittsburgh. But instead of examining the ethical flaws of PR pros, two veteran newspeople who were panelists talked mostly about economic pressures on media that are impeding press/PR relations.

Describing the friction between reporters and PR people, Madelyn Ross, former managing editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, said the two groups constitute "a dysfunctional family."

(continued on page 7)

Internet Edition, October 18, 2006, Page 2


The contentious PR battle between two groups on different sides of the Wal-Mart debate took another turn last week as a Washington Post photographer was outed for freelancing for the retailer-backed and Edelman-guided Working Families for Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart Watch, backed mainly by union funds, revealed that Post photog James Thresher was the man identified only as “Jim” on, a project backed by the Working Families group.

The Associated Press said Wal-Mart outfitted Thresher and a partner with an RV to drive cross-country and stay overnight in Wal-Mart parking lots, taking pictures and interviewing employees and customers.

Business Week, in a profile of the project on Oct. 8 reported that “Jim” wouldn’t reveal his last name or his identity because he said he wants to protect his employer. The Post, after hearing the revelations, said Thresher should not have done the freelance work and ordered him to remove the photos and editorial from the site and to pay back the cost of the trip.

A spokesman for the union-backed group called the incident “another PR black eye for Wal-Mart.”

Meanwhile, WF has lost a former advocate. Ron Galloway, a filmmaker and member of the national steering committee for the group, has resigned over policy differences. Galloway produced a flattering film “Why Wal-Mart Works,” releasing it at the same time as the critical documentary “Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price.” He said Wal-Mart had no role in its production.

He left because he disagreed with Wal-Mart’s decision to impose wage caps on employees. He also said he would stop sales of his pro-Wal-Mart movie in order to produce a new version that would include his views on wage caps, according to the Wall Street Journal.


Mel Webster, one of the original partners of the legendary Copithorne & Bellows hi-tech PR shop, has rejoined David Copithorne and Stephen Cooper in their Aquarius Advisers venture that was set up this year.

AA, which expects to move into offices in Boston’s financial district by year-end, says its goal is to handle the “value communication cycle,” which includes strategic counsel, content development and campaign management for corporate, government, and non-profits.

Webster, who also spent seven years at Miller Communications, has counseled IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and EMC. He joins from fama PR in Boston.

Cooper was a principal at C&B, and worked on Cisco Systems, Xerox and Iomega. He left in `98 before C&B was sold to Porter Novelli in `00.

Copithorne helped build his shop to include more than 300 people in the U.S., Europe and Asia-Pacific.

He exited as CEO of Porter Novelli International in `02. Copithorne kept busy as a consultant, investor and part-time chief marketing officer at Outside The Classroom, a web-based alcohol prevention and behavioral health management venture.

AA has worked for divisions of Pitney Bowes, and “smart growth” developer MassInnovation.


5W Public Relations is promoting the Albanian American Civic League and its call for the U.S. Congress to demand the release of a group of Albanians imprisoned in Montenegro on what it believes are trumped up terrorism charges.

The AACL feels officials of the newly independent country that split from Serbia arrested the group in order to keep its ethnic Albanian population in check.

The League claims the prisoners, which include two U.S. citizens from suburban Detroit who were vacationing in Montenegro, have been humiliated and tortured since the arrest on Sept. 9. It wants Montenegro to explain how the men present a threat to the state, and an independent probe of the incident by the Council of Europe.

AACL, which has 700,000 members, is eager to showcase Montenegro’s human rights flaws to pressure the country as it seeks membership in the European Union.

Former Congressman Joseph DioGuardi (R-NY) heads the AACL, which is committed to protecting the rights of Albanians in Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, Serbia and Greece.


Weber Shandwick is handling Monster Worldwide and the fall-out surrounding the Oct. 9 resignation of its founder & CEO Andrew McKelvey. William Pastore, who joined Monster in `02, is the new chief.

McKelvey, 71, said it was tough to leave the search and recruitment company after 39 years, but felt that he could no longer devote the time dealing with growth and the probe into its stock option practices.

His departure follows the September suspension of general counsel Myron Olesnyckyj. He was suspended “pending the results of the ongoing review of the company’s historical stock option grant practices.”

MW, in July, said it may have to restate financials because of the options grant.

With McKelvey’s exit, MW created an executive committee of three independent directors to tap their insight on corporate governance issues.

Sal Iannuzzi, CEO of Symbol Technologies heads that group. He is in the process of selling ST to Motorola in a $3.9B deal that may close early next year.


Fenton Communications CEO David Fenton is among co-stars of “The U.S. vs. John Lennon,” a movie about the transformation of the former Beatle into an anti-war activist and the Nixon Administration’s effort to deport him.

Fenton is described as a photographer and activist in the movie.

His images of demonstrations against the Vietnam War are used in the flick.

Other co-stars who talk about their memories of both Lennon and the anti-war movement are Walter Cronkite, G. Gordon Liddy, Geraldo Rivera, Angela Davis, John Dean, Bobby Seale and Noam Chomsky.

The Lippin Group does PR for the movie.

Internet Edition, October 18, 2006, Page 3


Air America, the liberal radio network that was habitually hobbled by financing woes, has filed for Chapter XI.

The filing comes following breakdown of negotiations with a creditor, according to the Associated Press.

AA says it plans to stay on the air until it hammers out a rescue package. The company has lost $13M this year on top of deficits of $20M in ’05 and $9M in ’04.

The network also reports that Scott Elberg has replaced Jim Wiggett as CEO. Elberg joined last year from New York's WLIB. Wiggett took over the top spot on an interim basis with the departure of Danny Goldberg in April.

Al Franken, Robert Kennedy Jr., Randi Rhodes, and Jerry Springer are among luminaries of the network that bills itself as the home of “America’s progressive talk.”


Laura Bernstein, editor the past four years of the monthly Investor Relations Update of the National Investor Relations Institute, has left her post.

She could not be reached nor was there any immediate comment from Nancy Humphries, who succeeded Louis Thompson as NIRI president and CEO earlier this year, or Maureen Wolff-Reid of Sharon Merrill Assocs., Boston, the elected chairman of NIRI.

Some members said they have not received issues recently of IR Quarterly, which is also published by NIRI.

Leaving the NIRI staff in the wake of Thompson’s retirement were his son Eric, who was a staff assistant, and Heather Sieber, who was named the first full-time PR staffer of NIRI in early 2005. She was VP of communication.

Information about IR Update on the NIRI website is dated 2001 and gives circulation in 2000 as 5,600.

NIRI's membership plummeted after the 2001 dot-com collapse to about 4,500. The main part of the NIRI website claims circulation of IR Update as "more than 4,500."

NIRI reported record cash and investments of $5,299,547 as of Dec. 31, 2005. Salary and benefits of Thompson totaled $432,929 in 2005.

The August issue of IR Update had 20 pages and included full page ads by Business Wire, PR Newswire, Financial Relations Board and IrNavigator, and Hot Targets.


CurtCo Media, which publishes the high-end Robb Report and Wealth, has called off the auction of its glossy lifestyle guides because CEO William Curtis couldn't get the number that he expected.

More than 60 firms, mainly private equity operators, submitted bids when the auction opened in April, but a dozen were left at the altar when Curtis pulled the plug.

The company now says it is a buyer and expects to make an offer on some of the Time Inc. magazines that have “for sale” signs on them.

Goldman Sachs refereed CurtCo’s auction.


Michael Janofsky, a 20-year veteran of the New York Times, is joining Bloomberg News in Los Angeles.

Based in D.C., Janofsky covered domestic policy issues with an emphasis on energy and the environments. Prior to D.C., he was the NYT’s Denver bureau chief.

Before joining the Times, Janofsky worked for the Miami Herald and Baltimore Sun.

Rosenthal takes op-ed reins at N.Y. Times

Andrew Rosenthal, son of legendary Timesman Abe (A.M.) Rosenthal, has been promoted to editorial page editor of the Times, effective January 1. Rosenthal, who was deputy editor for the page, will succeed Gail Collins, who plans to take a book leave to pen a sequel to her 2003 tome, “America’s Women.”

Collins is slated to return next July as an op-ed columnist for the paper.

Rosenthal, 50, has held several editing posts at the Times. He started with the paper in 1987 as a correspondent after serving as Moscow bureau chief for the Associated Press.

Collins, 60, had been editorial page editor since 2001 after serving as a columnist and edit board member.


The New Republic’s Oct. 16 editorial slaps the Anti-Defamation League for going too far with concern about some not getting the joke of the soon-to-be-released satirical film, “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.”

The ADL released a statement on Sept. 28, saying the “premiere of Sacha Baron Cohen’s new film featuring his farcical character ‘Borat’ has raised anew concerns among some in the Jewish community about the character's boastful expressions of anti-Semitism and stereotyping of others.”

TNR notes the film, which presents “The Running of the Jew” as a favorite Kazakh pastime, is utter satire, featuring a fictional character played by the “brilliant British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, himself an observant Jew.”

The ADL’s statement acknowledges that Cohen's “brand of humor may be tasteless and even offensive to some,” and it understands that his “intent is to dash stereotypes, not to perpetuate them.”

It hopes audiences recognize that Cohen uses humor to "unmask the absurd and irrational side of anti-Semitism and other phobias born of ignorance and fear." It fears that people "may not always be sophisticated enough to get the joke, and that some may even find it reinforcing their bigotry."

TNR feels Kazakhstan strongman Nursultan Nazabayev has the most to fear about the film because Cohen exposes his "intolerance in a way that no State Dept. report ever will."

The magazine hopes ADL's plea to "keep audiences away from Borat’s film works as well as it did for the "The Passion of the Christ."

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, October 18, 2006, Page 4

COMMENTS WELCOME ON POST SITE. has enabled viewers to post comments to all articles on the site for the first time, expanding a program the site began last summer with a few hiccups.

Jim Brady, executive editor of the site, said "we've rebounded after some early bumps in our efforts to make more interactive." He said reader interaction is the foundation of a strategy to make viewers part of "the conversation about news and issues."

The site was criticized last year for turning off comments after it was bombarded by feedback over a story claiming the disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff gave money to Democrats.


The New York Observer ran a front-page profile of legendary New York publicist Bobby Zarem in its Oct. 9 issue.

Zarem, who celebrated his 70th birthday at famed Manhattan watering hole, Elaine's, is called a "tubby PR pothead."

He told the weekly that he gave up drinking in '69 in favor of smoking pot. "Liquor shut me down and closed me up, and pot opened my mind and relaxed me and great ideas came to me," he said.

The paper praises Zarem as "the original" New York publicist. "Stoned or not, the wiry-haired, pot-bellied, foul-mouthed legend has a good memory for his own hits," it noted.

Zarem has repped Sly Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ann-Margret, whom he transformed from a "cheap sex kitten into a glamorous star like a Rita Hayworth or a Betty Gable."

Movie credits include "Dances with Wolves," "Saturday Night Fever," "Scarface" and "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure."

Zarem describes his mission as finding and publicizing something fantastic about a client that other people do not see.

He has never taken a client that he wasn't excited about. The publicist turned down Paris Hilton a few years ago because "there was absolutely no merit or talent there."Zarem was feted by a "throng of gushing guests," including Donna Dixon, the wife of Dan Aykroyd. She said of Zarem: "There's not a mean bone in his body. He has a tremendous love of mankind and he wants everyone to be successful, which is grand."

People ___________________

Salvatore Petruzzi has been upped to senior VP-PR at Turner Broadcasting System’s Turner ad sales and marketing unit. He is to handle publicity for Turner Sports, the sports production and programming unit.

TS airs Major League Baseball, National Basketball Assn., NASCAR, college football and professional golf content.

He joined Turner Broadcasting in `03 from A&E Television. Petruzzi reports to Shirley Powell, senior VP-corporate communications for TBS Inc., which is part of Time-Warner.

Blog publisher PajamasMedia has added two editors for Paris and Washington. Nidra Poller, an American novelist who has written for the Wall Street Journal and National Review, will pen a weekly column on the French media. Richard Miniter, who wrote the books Losing Bin Laden and Shadow War, is a terrorism expert and will cover D.C. for the company, which focuses on media and politics.

James Crombie, senior editor for International Financing Review in New York, has been named editor of LatinFinance, based in Miami. He heads all editorial operations for the title, including the magazine, Daily Brief, and its Internet presence.

Crombie covered Latin America, U.S. structured finance, and U.S. fixed income for IFR. He was previously product manager of Thomson Financial's real-time web-based Latin American joint venture with Dow Jones Newswires. Previously, he was a correspondent for Reuters in Mexico City and London, focused on commodities.

Briefs ________________

World Publications has purchased three-year-old home design magazines Home Miami and Home Fort Lauderdale from its two founders. All staff will remain with the magazines, including co-founders John O'Connor, who is editor-in-chief, and Jim Baxter, real estate editor. WP, which partnered with Sweden's Bonnier in May to pursue acquisitions, said it would add the two titles to its lifestyle group alongside Saveur, Garden Design and Florida Travel & Life.

MotorTrend’s radio unit has kicked off a four-hour weekly podcast which is available free via iTunes. A 30-minute "best of" podcast will also be made available on

Azteca America, a Spanish-language TV network in the U.S., has launched a channel in Washington, D.C., carried by Comcast. AA is part of the Mexican conglomerate Grupo Salinas.

Viacom has acquired, a teen social network site, for its MTV Networks unit. The site features quizzes, poetry, polls, fiction and non-fiction and other content.

The Huntington Herald-Press, the newspaper owned by the family of former Vice President Dan Quayle, is up for sale. The Indiana-based daily, which was launched in 1848, has a weekday circulation of more than 7,200. Quayle was once its associate publisher.

Reuters has launched a virtual bureau on Second Life, the online role-playing site. Its avatar is modeled after technology reporter Adam Pasick. The move is designed to broaden Reuters' appeal among young people by giving the 155-year-old news service a "certain with-it-ness," Reuters CEO Thomas Glocer told the New York Times.

Internet Edition, October 18, 2006, Page 5


Linden Lab, the technology company behind the virtual world Second Life, has tapped Lewis PR as its global agency of record, following a review.

The San Francisco-based firm will support Linden's quest to attract millions of users for SL and to reach out to marketers looking to establish a presence in the digital realm.

Lewis VP Morgan McLintic heads a team of five in the U.S. for the account. In a statement, he called SL "disruptive, engaging and interactive," adding, "the world may be virtual, but the experiences and enjoyment are real. We're hoping to provide a glimpse at some of those experiences."

Lewis won the account following a two-way pitch process. Catherine Smith, director of marketing for Linden, declined to name the other finalist but said five agencies responded to an RFP. She said Linden had used San Francisco-based Flashpoint PR in the past but that firm declined to pitch amid Linden's search for a firm with global reach.

Smith said she conveyed early on that she felt she was the press officer for an emerging country. She noted that Lewis came back with a pitch as the "ministry of information." "I felt like they really got what I was asking for, which was total immersion and becoming a part of the [SL] world," she said.

Linden was set up in 1999 by the former chief technology officer of RealNetworks, Philip Rosedale.

In September, Text 100 was the first major PR firm to set up a virtual office in SL.


Ken Robinson, former VP of communications for the Pennsylvania Medical Society who has counseled or been on staff at several public institutions, has set up shop in Harrisburg, Pa., to provide media relations counsel.

Robinson was also press secretary for the Penn. Dept. of Corrections, provided media training to the U.S. Justice Dept. and started his career as a radio news director. His new firm is Robinson Group Strategic Communications.

BRIEFS: Kelly MarCom, Sanford, N.C., has launched a sports and event marketing unit in its 10th year. The firm works for the Carolina RailHawks, racecar driver Kerry Earnhardt (son of Dale), and triathlon producer Set Up Events. ....Marsh Communications, Atlanta, is marking its fifth year handling PR, IR and marcom in the financial sector. John Marsh heads the shop with a client roster that has included Appalachian Bancshares, Southeastern Bank Financial Corp. and FedEx. ...Marmillion & Co., Washington, D.C., produced seven media events in six days for its ongoing work for the America’s Wetland Campaign. The firm is trying to help that campaign raise issues of coastal protection and restoration along the Gulf Coast following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The campaign began well before those natural disasters hit the area.


New York Area

Dan Klores Communications, New York/FTD, floral products and services, for PR including the launching of the Todd Oldham partnership and its seasonal product offerings, generating brand awareness of FTD, and supporting ongoing marketing efforts. VP Liz Anklow heads a team of five focused on consumer media. DKC beat three firms for the year-long contract.

Imagine Global Communications, New York/Sun International Hotels & Resorts, African resorts, for PR.

Kitchen PR, New York/Mercator Risk Services, wholesale insurance broker; Scottrade, online investment firm; SNL Financial, business information provider, and Tangerine Wellness, corporate weight-management program.

Lippert/Heilshorn & Associates, New York/
ImageWare Systems; SYS Technologies; Avatech Solutions, and Savient Pharmaceuticals.

Lou Hammond & Associates, New York/Newport Beach Conference & Visitors Bureau; Bimini Bay Resort & Casino (Bahamas); Remote Lands, luxury travel focused on Asia, and the Mount Washington Resort at Bretton Woods (New Hampshire).

Padilla Speer Beardsley, New York/Natural Health Trends Corp., international direct selling company, for PR, marcom and investor relations.

Quinn & Co., New York/57 Main Street Imports, wine and spirits importer, for PR.

5W PR, New York/Fannie Mae Foundation, for its Help the Homeless Walkathon celebrity program; QD3 Entertainment, urban content distributor headed by Quincy Jones III and former Microsoft exec Paul Campbell, and Access 360 Media, youth media network.

MWW Group, East Rutherford, N.J./The Motley Fool, as AOR for PR.


Greenough Communications, Boston/Idiom Technologies, globalization management systems software, for PR, and EnerNOC, “clean-tech” company, for U.S. PR support.

TBC PR, Baltimore, Md./Davinci Virtual, virtual support services for small businesses, as AOR.

Strategic Communications Group, Silver Spring, Md./Techbooks, media content management, as AOR for PR.

Tara, Ink., Miami Beach, Fla./Morgans Hotel Group, for its Delano hotel brand; Table 8 South Beach; Motley Bird, energy drink; Casa Decor Miami ’06.


m strategies, Dallas/Services of Hope Entities, youth and adult programs, for pro bono PR, messaging and media training.


Ruder Finn, San Francisco/Soaptronic, touchless hand sanitation devices and services, as AOR. The company’s Germstar-to-Go product has been embraced by Hilton Hotels and Norwegian Cruise Lines.

Internet Edition, October 18, 2006, Page 6


The National Assn. of Broadcast Communicators and PRSA have issued a joint statement, attacking the Center for Media and Democracy’s study that found 77 TV stations aired VNRs without properly disclosing the source of the material. (The CMD probe has triggered a Federal Communications Commission review of disclosure practices.)

They say CMD's report "seriously distorts the Commission's rules concerning VNRs and creates the false impression that numerous broadcast stations across the country are violating FCC rules."

The pair says FCC mandates sponsorship identification only when VNRs deal with controversial issues of public importance, political matters and instances where TV stations received payment or other consideration for broadcasting pre-packaged materials.

The duo argues that hardly appears to be the case with the CMD flap. Those uncovered "abuses," according to the statement, dealt with non-earth shattering subjects such as holiday gift ideas, floral care tips, versatility of pancakes, use of candy flavored lip gloss and the shortage of auto technicians.

The NABC and PRSA say VNR distributors have the "professional responsibility to faithfully inform broadcasters of the true origins" of supplied footage, but it is up to broadcasters to "disclose the sources of those materials to the public in the best way they see fit."

The partners say current FCC regulations rely on broadcasters to use their own discretion in determining which issues are controversial or political. It wants the Commission to "preserve that same latitude for broadcasters to exercise their own creativity and judgment in how they identify the source and sponsorship of all third party materials they air."

The NABC is composed of broadcast PR firms, VNR makers/distributors and satellite media companies.

Members include Auritt Comms.; D S Simon Productions; DWJ Television; Gordon Productions; Gourvitz Comms.; Home Front Comms.; KEF Media Assocs.; Medialink; MultiVu; News Broadcast Network; On the Scene Productions; PLUS Media; VNR-1 Comms., and West Glen Comms.

BRIEFS: Business Wire is celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2006. In other news, the company named 13-year veteran Marcia Taylor as director of licensing and content development. She is charged with expanding the newswire’s online visibility across portals, aggregators and databases. ...PR software developer Vocus plans to announce a music and entertainment business press release service on Oct. 24 with VNU unit Billboard. Vocus acquired online syndication and search engine optimization company PRWeb this year. The venture is titled Billboard Publicity Wire and the companies said it will offer direct-to-consumer distribution at a price that is “suitable for everyday marketing and not just major announcements. ...PRSA’s Counselors Academy said its spring conference will be in Los Cabos, Mexico, from June 10-12. Info:



Peter Moore, former managing editor for the Greenwich Post and a senior writer for Real Estate Weekly, to Walek & Associates, New York, as an A/E.

Tom Chizmadia, a veteran PR executive in the chemical industry, has left Holcim after 15 years for a VP post at $50 billion chemical giant BASF Corp. Chizmadia takes the title of VP of corporate communications, starting Oct. 16, for the Florham Park, N.J. company. He is tasked with overseeing advertising, marketing communications, media relations, employee communications and other PR tasks. He takes the VP post left vacant by the departure of Don McGrath earlier this year, who is now VP of communications at Eaton Crop.

Lee Davies, SVP for Ogilvy PR Worldwide, to Schering-Plough Corp., Kenilworth, N.J., as director of global product comms. and advocacy relations.

Elizabeth Reinhardt, VP of community relations for AOL, Jody Arlington, a media consultant to Sundance Institute and Silverdocs, and David Bartlett, former parter at Rowan and Blewitt, to Weber Merritt, Washington, D.C., as senior communications strategists.

Teresa Schofield, public affairs counsel for the Mortgage Bankers Association’s gov’t affairs unit, to The Herald Group, Washington, D.C., as a VP. She handled post-Katrina issues at the MBA and previously worked for Rep. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and the Clinton Admin.’s Office of Legislative Affairs.

Judi Wax, who headed her own firm and previously was a senior VP and deputy GM in Edelman’s consumer marketing unit, to Luquire George Andrews, Charlotte, N.C., as senior vice president, director of PR. Earlier, Wax was VP and director of PR for Lindsay, Stone & Briggs in Madison, Wisc. She is a former feature writer for the Chicago Tribune and Daily Herald and served as guest editor for Mademoiselle magazine.

Brian Burch, PR specialist for Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, to Lambert, Edwards & Associates, Grand Rapids, Mich., as a senior associate in the firm’s consumer practice. He was formerly a senior A/E for Ruder Finn in Chicago. Kristen Heffern has joined LE&A as an associate. She was formerly media relations manager for the Women’s Studies program at East Tennessee State Univ.

Krista Simmons, executive editor, Fort Worth Business Press, to Burk Advertising & Marketing, Dallas, Tex., as director of PR.


Shawna Seldon to VP, The Rosen Group, New York. She heads publishing accounts for the firm like VNU Business Publications, Smithsonian Business Ventures and Kiplinger Washington Editors.

Mark Shadle to deputy president of Edelman’s central U.S. region, including Chicago, Dallas and Austin. Shadle also serves as co-leader of the firm’s corporate practice, spanning its 13 U.S. offices. He has served as EVP, managing director of the firm’s Chicago-based corporate affairs practice.

Internet Edition, October 18, 2006, Page 7

CONFUSED PRESS (Continued from page 1)

Marketing and profit-minded media owners are blurring the line between news and ads, said Ross. Agreeing was panelist Dennis Roddy, Post-Gazette columnist, who added that reporters have been hit with “25 years of concentrated demonization” by “political” interests and by their portrayal in movies and TV.

Ross said new examples of ads being palmed off as news occur “every day” while Roddy said the “slums of journalism” are celebrity coverage because celebs “have the right of first edit.” He fears that habit may spread to other parts of news coverage.

Lean editorial staffs mean that reporters don't have enough time to do proper stories or enough time to deal with PR pros, said Ross.

PR people “put out legitimate stories and hear silence back,” she said, “so their efforts become more and more extreme to get attention.”

Leave Us Alone, Say Editors

Ross, 35-year veteran of the Post Gazette and its acquisition, the Pittsburgh Press, who has been in PR for the past year at the University of Pittsburgh, was shocked at the attitudes editor panelists displayed at a recent conference on media relations.

They repeatedly told the "unvarnished–of which I am now one–not to bother them," said Ross.

The editors said they were "really busy, with lots to do, and PR people keep sending this stuff expecting an answer," she said. This same message was given "over and over and over and I said to myself, this is not a functional relationship," she added.

The editors need the "ethical PR work that goes on day in and day out–they need it desperately–but they don't think they do," she said.

The editors want PR pros to stay away "until they need us, and then they'll bother us," she said.

Ross, who is associate vice chancellor for media relations at UP, said she found that PR staffers at UP are as concerned with accuracy as newspeople.

Media ‘Demonized’ for 25 Years

Roddy says the public has a low opinion of the press not only because advertising pressure is eroding editorial independence but because "the public's "view of newspeople has been obscured by 25 years of concentrated demonization that's been thrown on us by people with a political agenda."

Asked to elaborate on this after the program, Roddy said the criticism has "certainly been fed by the right-wing" but has also come from the portrayal of journalists on TV and in the movies, "which are hardly bastions of conservative ideology."

Reporters have been so "caricatured" by both the left and right as agents of various agendas, "that we've been taught to act on the job as if we're doing something wrong," he said.

Ross said the real scandal about the use of TV personality Armstrong Williams to do PR for the Dept. of Education for its “No Child Left Behind” program was that Williams was not only an announcer but also had a PR firm.

"What the heck is someone who owns a PR firm doing in the news media?" she asked.

She is also disturbed by medical and business sections in Time and Newsweek that are really “ads.” News and PR pros may realize this but not the general public, she said. She recalled stories that have "a little ad at the end" saying the stories are sponsored by "Dick's Sporting Goods" or whatever and asked if that is "legitimate news or something Dick's put in place?"

The system is being corrupted by this "back and forth, back and forth," she added. "You can't tell anymore what's legitimate info and what is not."

Newspapers, faced with declining ads and circulation, are "not sure" about their mission anymore and "they're trying to provide everything, trying to replace every specialty magazine, every medium, every other newspaper (but) nobody can afford that with full time journalists." So part-time specialists that may have business interests are being used, she said.


PRSA chapter leaders are seeking the identities of the 270 Assembly delegates who represent the 110 chapters of PRSA but so far have been unsuccessful.

The delegates, who meet Nov. 11 in Salt Lake City, were to have been elected by Dec. 1, 2005, according to PRSA's bylaws.

However, those chosen may not be able to attend the Assembly that is nearly a year later and PRSA h.q. staff compiles the final list in the months before the Assembly.

The complete list was published in previous years prior to the Assembly but the 2006 board apparently has halted this practice.

About one-third of the delegates are not elected but are "appointed" by chapter boards, according to a 2004 survey of the delegates. Attending by "convenience" are 9% of the delegates.

PRSA's website carries an analysis of the 321 delegates by eight categories. The identities of the members of seven categories are known–16 board members; 19 section heads; 10 district heads; three delegates-at-large, and one each from the College of Fellows, PRSSA and Canada. Eligible from chapters are 270 delegates.

Board Has Counter Proposal

The PRSA board, headed by Cheryl Procter-Rogers as president and Rhoda Weiss, president-elect, has submitted a counter-proposal to the Central Michigan bylaw change that would make the national board report to the Assembly.

The proposal is that the right of Assembly members to propose resolutions that are "either policy statements or directives," a power that the Assembly already has, would be "formalized."

This suggestion has come from PRSA parliamentarian Mark Schilansky, the board said. He had also proposed last year that the powers of the executive committee of the board be "formalized" so that it could act as the full board.

Andrew Corner, president of PRSA/Central Michigan, said the chapter is not opposed to the board's counter-proposal "but it does not go far enough."

Internet Edition, October 18, 2006, Page 8




Four veteran reporters have given a good update on PR/press relations thanks to the Pittsburgh and Oklahoma City PRSA chapters.

The remarks of Madelyn Ross and Dennis Roddy of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette are in this issue. The remarks of Steve Lackmeyer of The Oklahoman and journalism Prof. Mark Hanebutt, formerly of the Orlando Sentinel, were in the NL 10/4.

Reporters are under a lot of stress these days, said Roddy. “Political interests” have “demonized” them to the extent they think the very act of reporting is something “wrong,” he said. He referred to celebrity coverage as the “slums” of reporting because celebs get the “right of first-re-write” and expressed the fear this would spread. Lackmeyer gave several instances of PR pros misleading him and complained bitterly of pros and others going on a “daily” basis to the “front” office of his paper to place, change or kill stories.

Hanebutt was angry at unavailable CEOs. “Don’t tell me the CEO is out of town—get him on his cell phone, get him on his corporate jet,” he said.

Ross, who recently left the Post-Gazette to do PR for the University of Pittsburgh, sees problems on both sides of the fence. She said short-staffed, economically pressed media don’t have the time to deal with PR pros who have worthwhile materials. The attitude is “Don’t bother us but we’ll bother you when we need you,” said Ross. Ad-hungry media are caving to advertisers said Ross, citing the business and health sections in Newsweek and Time. A PR pro in Oklahoma City said clients are “dead scared of the media” because they don’t know how their quotes will end up looking in print.

As for ethics, 46% of Oklahoma City chapter members said their employers or clients have asked them to “misrepresent, cover up, exaggerate or withhold information from the media.”

The reality of press/PR relations is that it’s a daily bruising, knock-down battle. Both sides snub each other regularly, go over and around official contact points, and use just about “every trick in the book” to get what they want.

Press calls are causing near-hysteria, working PR pros tell us.

The quote of former National Investor Relations Institute president Tim Cost that “corporate PR experiences a press call as a drive-by shooting” needs to be updated, we were told. When a press call comes in, “alarm bells go off all over the building,” said PR pros. Not only PR, but the CEO and CFO offices get involved as well as legal and other staff and line executives. They want to know “what does the press want and what are we going to give them,” said the sources.

Current fashion is that personal relationships with reporters are all but forbidden. Today’s PR pros are “ultra-serious, even grim, almost never cracking a joke,” say veterans.

PRSA president Cheryl Procter-Rogers told the Jacksonville, Fla., chapter Sept. 7 that 2007 is the 25th anniversary of the Tylenol murders and Johnson & Johnson’s handling of them is an example of “ethical PR.” We hope J&J, which has an extensive ethics code, will clear up the mythology about its handling of this crisis.

There was no “instant” withdrawal of Tylenol capsules as claimed in “The Insider” movie in 2000. Actor Russell Crowe says CEO James Burke “didn’t wait for the FDA to tell him, he just pulled Tylenol off the shelves in every store right across America instantly.” PR textbooks say about the same thing. J&J at first removed two lots, MC2880 (93,000 bottles) and MD 1910 (171,000), trying to “localize” the problem. The murders were traced to Tylenol capsules on Thursday, Sept. 30, 1982. The real heroes were the police and firefighters who roamed the Chicago neighborhood with bullhorns warning residents not to take Tylenols (50 additional deadly capsules were found). J&J pondered the problem over the weekend and started ordering a nationwide withdrawal of the capsules the next Tuesday after a man in Oroville, Calif., almost died from a poisoned Tylenol. Because of “instant” reporting by the press, hardly anything labeled Tylenol was left in any store by that time. J&J portrayed itself as very helpful to the press but never held a press conference. Karen Ryan of Ryan Group PR, Washington, D.C., but then assistant business news editor of ABC-TV (she was featured on the recent controversial U.S. Health Dept. VNRs) told a PRSA/New York meeting April 28, 1983 that up until the Tylenol crisis, “when all of a sudden they had to deal with us,” J&J “would not give reporters the time of day.” Interviews involving camera crews would be cancelled at the last minute “when everyone was assembled,” she said. A call to the J&J PR dept. was not returned.

A current example of stonewalling is provided by NIRI. Laura Bernstein, the editor of NIRI’s monthly IR Update the past four years, either quit or was suddenly fired. She is the sister of Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame. Nancy Humphries, who succeeded Lou Thompson as president/CEO, would not return calls nor would elected chair Maureen Wolff-Reid. This is par for NIRI. Heather Sieber, the first on-staff “PR” person at NIRI, who recently quit, never spoke to us nor returned any e-mails in a year and a half on the job. Circulation figures for IR Update on the NIRI website are dated 2000, six years ago. Thompson’s salary/benefits in 2005 totaled $432,929, or 8.3% of NIRI revenues of $5.19M. Thompson’s pay ballooned in spite of the fact that NIRI’s membership fell from 5,300 to 4,400.

The NIRI “ethics code” lacks the word “public.” NIRI books dues as cash although the dues are not yet earned. Although NIRI once talked about IR/PR “convergence,” IR has carved out a separate, Wall Street-oriented existence in companies.

Corporate PR pros know better than to deal with anything involving company finances. NIRI chapters don’t file IRS 990 statements while PRSA chapters do so. Does this meet IRS rules?

--Jack O'Dwyer


Copyright © 1998-2020 J.R. O'Dwyer Company, Inc.
271 Madison Ave., #600, New York, NY 10016; Tel: 212/679-2471