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Internet Edition, October 25, 2006, Page 1


The Lincoln Group did not engage in illegal activity when it paid Iraqi media outlets to run hundreds of Pentagon-scripted stories, extolling the success of the U.S. occupation, according to the Defense Dept.’s Inspector General.

The IG report states that neither Lincoln nor the Pentagon engaged in “covert action” by buying media space. By U.S. law, only intelligence operatives are allowed to engage in undercover activities designed to influence political opinion overseas.

The IG slapped contracting officials in Baghdad for failing to keep documentation to verify TLG expenditures. It also criticized the Pentagon contractors for failing to retain records regarding the review process that resulted in TLG winning a $10.4M contract in Sept. `04. The IG did not recommend any penalties since that initial contract has run its course.

TLG, on Sept. 26, landed a two-year Pentagon contract that is worth at least $6M.


Deborah Bohren has signed on at Powell Tate/Weber Shandwick as executive VP. She joins from WellChoice, where she held the senior VP-communications position.

At WellChoice, Bohren was responsible for media relations, issues advocacy, government affairs and grassroots PR.

Earlier, Bohren was an aide to Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) and a staffer in the Office of Personnel Management during the Carter Administration.
Bohren is to help clients of the Interpublic unit with crisis management and corporate communications work.

WellChoice, the parent of New York’s Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield, merged into WellPoint last year. Indianapolis-based WellPoint, the surviving entity, serves more than 33 million people in 14 states.


Burson-Marsteller's BKSH & Assocs. has officially cut ties with the Office of the Deputy Military Attache of the Iraqi Embassy.

That account, which billed less than $10K during the first-half of this year, had been headed by Rivi Levinson.

She is the staffer who headed Ahmed Chalibi's Iraqi National Congress organization. The Rendon Group propped up the INC during the `90s to drum up opposition to Saddam Hussein.

BKSH picked up the account in `03.


Edelman, which was outed for orchestrating the “Wal-Marting Across America” site, has its staffers blogging on behalf of “Working Families for Wal-Mart, which is supposed to be a grassroots group, and its Paid Critics offshoot.

This notice was placed on those sites on Oct. 19: “In response to comments and emails, we’ve added author bylines to blog posts.”

Edelman’s Miranda Gill, who was previously just identified as “Miranda” is the blogger who penned the latest posting that sings praises of the expansion of Wal-Mart’s $4 generic drug plan. The Paid Critics site, which probes the vested interests of those attacking Wal-Mart, is written by Edelman employees Brian McNeill and Kate Marshall.

McNeill wrote the Oct. 18 piece that highlighted the Wall Street Journal editorial that “exposed Wake-Up Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart Watch as front groups of the union leaders.”

WF says it represents “millions of Americans who know Wal-Mart makes a real difference for their family and community.” It is funded by Wal-Mart and guided by Edelman.

The Wal-Marting site, which features a couple traveling across the country and interviewing happy Wal-Mart workers, is funded by WF.


Terry Yosie, a “green” PR pro, has been named president of the World Environment Center in Washington, D.C.

The former Ruder Finn executive VP joins from the American Chemistry Council, where he was in charge of the much touted “Responsible Care Global Charter,” a program that won the endorsement of United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan.

Yosie also served as VP-health and environment at the American Petroleum Institute and director at the Environmental Protection Agency’s science advisory board.

He published more than 60 papers on the environment, health, and safety, and wrote “Sustainable Environmental Management.”

The WEC is an organization that says it is committed to sustainable development by fostering the most efficient uses of natural resources worldwide.

Members include Dow Chemical, General Motors, Alcoa, Inco, Chevron, Occidental Petroleum, Shell, Coca-Cola, DaimlerChrysler, Novartis and Pfizer, Black and Decker, and Volkswagon.

Internet Edition, October 25, 2006, Page 2


Amnesty International and Global Witness are among non-governmental organizations set to use the movie, “Blood Diamond,” as a platform to educate people about “conflict diamonds.”

The duo plan a celebrity-laden joint event in Los Angeles next month and AI will host screenings around the country.

The movie, which premieres on Dec. 12 and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, is an account of the late `90s bloody civil war in Sierra Leone in which “rebel militias seized diamond mines and sold the rough stones to buy weapons that were used in the slaughter, rape and mutilations of thousands of innocents,” according to the Oct. 19 Washington Times.

The World Diamond Council launched a website and ad campaign last month to get the facts out about diamonds and “how the industry is grappling with various challenges including conflict diamonds.” It claims that conflict diamonds account for less than one percent of the world’s diamond supply, down from four percent at the beginning of the decade.

Botswana president Festus Mogae was in D.C. on Oct. 18, where he said he hoped the movie won’t discourage people from buying diamonds for Christmas. He told the Times that people who buy diamonds fund the country’s health and education systems.


Qorvis Communications handled the Oct. 17 news conference of Moscow-based Mediaservices, owner of the music site that has been charged with digital piracy by U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab. The U.S. wants AllofMP3 shuttered.

The site has been criticized by WarnerMusic, Universal, SonyBMG, Recording Industry Assn. of America and British Phonographic Industry for copyright infringement. maintains that it is in complete compliance with Russian law. It says it pays a licensing fee and royalties to the Russian Organization for Multimedia and Digital Systems. Neither the U.S. nor the U.K. recognizes ROMDS as a valid licensing authority.

Mediaservices says the U.S. Government is using the licensing dispute to gain more concessions from Russia as it seeks to join the World Trade Organization.


Alastair Campbell, the high-profile former spokesperson for U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, says he is “upset” that he became involved with a Weber Shandwick-orchestrated European campaign to promote better access to cancer care in 27 countries.

The Guardian reported that Campbell was not aware that the Cancer United effort is funded by Roche, maker of Avastin for bowel cancer and Herceptin for breast cancer. He thought the E.U. was promoting CU.

John Smyth, chairman of CU, says Roche’s involvement was to pay for two visits to Brussels for its dozen board members. The website of CU says the organization is “supported by a grant from Roche and logistical support by Weber Shandwick.”


Public Communications Inc., Chicago, which had fees of $4.2 million and 38 employees in 2005, has won the designation of “Women’s Business Enterprise” from the Women’s Business Development Center, Chicago.

Dorothy Pirovano, president and majority owner, says the designation will help the firm in winning business from government-related and other clients.

Government and private business policies are that a certain percentage of the consultants and suppliers they use should reflect diversity, she said.

PCI was formerly owned by James Strenski and Richard Barry but the former is completely retired and the latter is retired but remains a consultant.

Other stockholders are VPs Ruth Mugalian and Jill Allread.

PCI has a large number of non-profit, healthcare and business clients including the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, American Academy of Dermatology, Loyola University and Loyola Medical School, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, AstraZeneca, and GlaxoSmithKline.

Pirovano said PCI is 100% woman-owned but 51% ownership is sufficient for the WBDC. She said the certification process was very “detailed” in that woman ownership had to be proven. The WBDC does not want male-owned firms to be masquerading as woman-owned, she said.

Similar certification will be sought from state, federal, county and city government entities, she said.

Hundreds of PR firms are listed on the website of the WBDC ( Access to this list is limited to members.

Among the firms on the list, which is circulated nationally, are Ackermann PR, Knoxville, Tenn.; JSH&A, Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.; Vollmer PR, Houston; Buck & Pulleyn, Pittsford, N.Y.; Duffey Communications, Atlanta; Lovio-George, Detroit; Morrissey PA, Chicago; Publicity Works, Ferndale, Mich.; RL Public Relations, Santa Monica, Calif.; Vandiver Group, St. Louis; Thorp & Co., Coral Gables, Fla.; Pierson Grant PR, Ft. Lauderdale; Airfoil PR, Southfield, Mich.; Schenkein, Denver, and Anne Klein & Assocs., Marlton, N.J.


The Fowler Group has won a 13-firm shootout to develop a disaster education plan for the north-central region of Texas encompassing the large cities of Dallas and Fort Worth.

The $250K PR contract is funded by the Dept. of Homeland Security and includes a four-month campaign slated to include press release and PSA development, publication of a preparedness guidebook, and a website, among other tasks.

The work is to be produced in both English and Spanish.

Fowler is based in Arlington, Tex.

Competing for the account were Burson-Marsteller, Legacy Uptown, Verve Communications Group, Allyn & Co., Interstar, Consecutec, Redstone Visual Impressions, Carmen Group, Paige Hendricks PR, Marketing Edge Ventures, The Rogers Group, and New Media Gateway.

Internet Edition, October 25, 2006, Page 3


NBC News' parent said last week that it would slash five percent of its overall workforce – about 700 jobs – in an effort to save $750M by 2008.

The cuts will affect NBC's 11 news units, both behind-the-scenes and on-air talent.

The overhaul by NBC Universal would shutter MSNBC's Secaucus, N.J., operations as it moves personnel to NBC's New York headquarters and an Englewood Cliffs, N.J. base.

The struggling network has been a drag on majority owner General Electric's earnings over the last few years.

NBC News will also consolidate some West Coast operations with its Telemundo unit into a news unit in Burbank, Calif.

NBC said it will invest some of the savings in growth areas like the digital realm and international operations.


Viacom founder Sumner Redstone warned that media companies are threatened with retribution by activist groups who condemn programs they don't watch and then flood the Federal Communications Commission with form letters of complaints in the hope of winning indecency fines from overzealous federal regulators.

That content crackdown, said Redstone, is leading to self-censorship.

In his Oct. 16 speech to the Media Institute, Redstone said: "Unfortunately, we find ourselves in a world where, increasingly and alarmingly, a couple thousand form complaints from people condemning shows that they have never watched can result in an indecency fine 10 times higher than it was a year ago."

Regulators do more harm than good

Redstone described a world in which "regulators dictate business models that ultimately will do more harm than good."

As troubling examples, Redstone said PBS has instructed producers to self-censor all its material including news programming after one of its affiliates was fined for airing Martin Scorsese's documentary about the blues.

More than 11 percent of CBS affiliates either moved or pre-empted a Peabody Award winning documentary about heroic rescue efforts of firefighters at the World Trade Center site because of some unbleeped obscenities.

Phoenix TV stations dropped coverage of a live memorial for Arizona Cardinals football star Pat Tillman – who was killed in Afghanistan by friendly fire – because of the anti-war language of his family members.

Redstone said if people don't like a program, they shouldn't watch it and it will eventually go off the air. He added that the media must be responsible while exercising the right of expression.

He warned of an abusive government that has the financial authority to levy fines to "punish those it doesn't like or silence what it doesn't want to hear."

That undermines democracy, Redstone told the Institute in accepting its "Freedom of Speech Award."


Yahoo! has teamed with CBS TV to syndicate local news video from 16 CBS stations via the Internet portal.

The two companies will share revenue from advertising sold adjacent to the videos.

Scott Moore, who heads news and information for Yahoo!'s media group, said local news has become one of the most important pieces of a user's online news experience.

Yahoo! will stream from 10 to 20 local video stories per day from markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston, San Francisco, Salt Lake City and Dallas.


Dow Jones & Co. is acquiring Reuters' 50 percent stake in Factiva, the electronic information service, for $160M.

The deal doubles the size of DJ&C's "Enterprise Media Group," said CEO Rich Zannino in a statement. He added that Factiva "fits our EMG like a glove."

DJ&C will finance the deal with the proceeds from the sale of six newspapers in its Ottaway group. Those papers are in Danbury; Oneonta and Plattsburgh, N.Y.; Santa Cruz, Cal.; Sunbury, Pa.; and Traverse City, Mich.

Factiva is expected to post `06 revenue in the $300M range and chalk up $27M in earnings. The company has 1.6M subscribers and 750 employees.

Clare Hart assumed the presidency at EMG in February. She had headed Factiva.

Briefs ____________________

WPP Group has entered into a joint venture with social networking consultancy LiveWorld. Alex Norman, a veteran of WPP agencies Ogilvy and Young & Rubicam, has been tapped as CEO of the collaboration. He was most recently at Endeavor Marketing working on the American Express account.

Mark Read, strategy director for WPP and CEO of, said multiple projects are in place and under discussion.

In other WPP news, the ad/PR conglom plans to produce its own TV dramas, using them as worldwide platforms to promote clients via either product placements or sponsorships, CEO Martin Sorrell told the Times of London. Its Group M division has agreed to do a series called "October Road" with Disney's Touchstone TV that will star Tom Berenger and air on Disney's ABC Network. Sorrell told the paper he wanted to do TV deals "everywhere."

Chicago entertainment guide Metromix is expanding its focus covering eateries, bars and nightlife in the Windy City to the surrounding suburbs.

The publication is targeting commuters, suburbanites, mall shoppers and movie goers with a campaign to raise its profile.

Variety has revamped its website,, to include daily box office reports, expanded video, and an upgraded design and search capability.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, October 25, 2006, Page 4


"Half the tech industry is trying to get me on the phone. The other half won't return my phone calls," said Peter Rojas, editor-in-chief at Engadget.

This is a common conundrum for members of the consumer technology press, a field that has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, noted a panel of editors at a September 21 Publicity Club of New York luncheon.

"Technology is an exciting place to be," said Brett Larson, technology reporter for CBS2 New York. "It's growing, it's ever-evolving and it's an exciting part of the news."

The advent of the Internet and a boon in home computer use has increased the demand for reliable, timely consumer product reviews. Computer and tech publications rely on publicists to deliver the scoop on an official product launch or the latest gadget.

When writing a product review, Larson said he likes to approach the product as someone who's just gone out and bought it. He doesn't need extra press materials or an expert to walk him through the product – practicality is key.

"I'm the tech person – I'll be the expert," he said. "If I can't figure it out, I'm going to mention that in the story. I go into the story as a consumer – I bought something and hooked it up, and this is what happened."

David Carnoy, executive editor at CNET Reviews, agreed. Pitching for tech stories is different from many others areas of the press in that the product in question is the news. Extras commonly offered by the publicist, such as sales revenue or quotes from company executives, do very little in this field.

"I know that you know people who work for the company and you want them on television, but that's not the way we cover stories," he said. "I generally don't want to speak with executives."

And publicists can see it as an added bonus that competition has only grown in the tech press.

Challenge for traditional tech press

Popular technology weblogs such as Engadget have proven that the web is a veritable breeding ground for computer shop-talk. As a result, the traditional tech press has to be timely if they want to stay relevant in the news.

Jim Louderback, editor-in-chief for PC Magazine, said he tends to place product reviews in both the magazine and web versions of his publication. Even better, the two publications give separate versions of each review.

"We'll take a product review and change it to a different perspective for the magazine. Different things happen in a different media, but the same benchmarks do apply," he said.

According to Rojas, because a new gadget hits the market every day, it's hard for consumers and the tech press to catch up. So while the demand is strong, time is of the essence when delivering a pitch.

"It's easy to get your products written about in Engadget. It just has to be good and interesting," he said. "We operate in real time. If you have something now – send it now."

Since its beginning as a one-person blog two years ago, Engadget's rapid growth can be seen as paramount to the tech press as a whole. Rojas believes his blog's ability to talk shop without pandering to a lowest common denominator is one of the reasons it has grown in popularity.

"One of the things I've learned in my experience was that you had to be honest. A lot of publicists are careful about what they say and they dumb-down as much as they can," he said. "I said, 'screw that,' I'm not going to sit there and explain Bluetooth everytime I mention a product that uses Bluetooth technology – I'm going to assume you know what that is."

Keeping this in mind, publicists need to be wary when pitching these tech-savvy pros.

According to Debbi Porterfield, technology columnist at Gannett News Service, don't try to fool tech writers into thinking that a product does something that it doesn't – it never works. "I really resent publicists that make something sound like it's new and then I do research on it and I find out it's not," she said.

Rojas noted that another benefit in the tech press is that news items involving technology get analytical treatment, and aren't necessarily regulated by the same timeliness as a product launch.

"It's an ecosystem and it works both ways. Sometimes the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal will have an interesting article and we'll write about it. In other cases, we get the scoop. Sometimes, it's a tiny blog that gets the scoop. It's not completely egalitarian in that we all don't have the same readership, but it is equal opportunity."


The St. Petersburg Times has implemented a major design of its print edition for the first time in a decade to further establish the Internet as a complement to the newspaper.

The revamp also includes new sections: Latitudes, a combination of its arts, travel and literature coverage; Working, and Gameday, a section on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Times said a new, smaller page size makes handling the newspaper easier.

Also added are a daily roundup of news from across Florida and from all of Tampa Bay's communities, a roundup of important world news in brief, two additional pages of world and national news.

More links to the paper's website,, have also been added. A symbol that consists of a "t" in a circle with an arrow is one of the most prominent devices signaling the reader that information is available on the website to complement the story.

The Times is dumping its 65-and-over Seniority section in favor of a broader scope with the new section LifeTimes/Living Well After 50.

McGraw-Hill Construction has inked a deal to publish a monthly magazine for the Associated General Contractors of California. The title, California Constructor, will be a monthly with content provided by AGCC and drawn from M-H's Engineering News-Record and other titles.

Internet Edition, October 25, 2006, Page 5


Wal-Mart has assembled a cross-country network of PR firms that is currently supporting the widening scope of its discount prescription drug program.

The plan, initially rolled out for a test run in Florida, has the retailer offering some generic drugs for $4/month. It has been extended to 15 states and met with generally positive coverage for the retailer, which has taken hits for some of its policies and PR efforts over the last few months.

Edelman, which is under fire for an "astro-turf" blog campaign it created for Wal-Mart, is the linchpin, based in Washington, D.C., in the company's PR support of its drug plan. Bolstering Edelman are several firms including Serafin and Associates (Chicago); Weber Shandwick (Texas); The Marino Organization (New York); The Cherenson Group (New Jersey); Kimbell Sherman Ellis (Vermont); Bickford Pacific Group (Alaska); The Ulum Group (Oregon) DW Turner Strategic Communications (New Mexico); Shank PR (Indiana); InnerWest (Nevada), and E.B. Lane Marketing Communications (Arizona).

The company's initial rollout of the plan in Florida caused competitor Target to say it would match the effort.

A spokeswoman for Wal-Mart declined to comment on the specifics of the PR effort. She referred this website to Dave Tovar, the former Philip Morris and Altria spokesman who joined Wal-Mart as director of media relations this year. He could not be reached.


Weber Shandwick Powell Tate has an oral agreement to provide “strategic communications” to Cyprus, which has emerged as a key obstacle to Turkey’s bid to join the European Union.

Turkey has occupied the northern section of the island since the ’74 invasion. The Greek section of the island joined the EU in ’04.

The EU enlargement panel is demanding that Turkey open the ports of the “Turkish Republic of North Cyprus” to Cypriot ships. It has refused to do so, saying the international embargo against the northern part of the island must first be lifted.

The EU has set a Nov. 8 deadline for an agreement with Turkey. EU enlargement commissioner Olli Rehn said last week that Turkey’s failure to reach a decision on the customs issues could prove to be the breaking point in Turkey's membership talks, according to reports in the European press.


Text 100 has set up a clean technology practice to handle clients with an interest in the energy efficiency and renewable power sectors.

CEO Aedhmar Hynes said the sector is expected to grow to a $100B market by 2014.

Text’s research subsidiary Context Analytics and public policy unit 463 Communications will consult for the new practice.

The firm has worked for GE, Philips, npower renewables and Envirowise.


New York Area

Geoffrey Weill Associates, New York/Hotel Fouquet’s Barriere, for PR as the hotel opens on the Champs-Elyssees in Paris on November 1.

Hill & Knowlton, New York/Emrise Corp., defense and aerospace electronics, as AOR for PR and IR following a review.

Redpoint Marketing PR, New York/Robinson Home Products, as AOR for media relations and marketing for two lines of kitchen utensils, and The Shade Store, for media relations and marketing alliances supporting the window treatment store’s new website.

Strauss Corporate Communications, New York/
Gerken Capital Associates, alternative asset fund manager, for PR.

T.J. Sacks & Associates, New York/Hersha Hospitality Management, for opening of its Duane Street Hotel in Tribeca; Next Generation Fitness, exercise programs for children; Elena Serova, author; Homogenius, gay trivia board game, and Scoubiloop, craft toy, for PR.


Fuze Communications, Portsmouth, N.H./Portsmouth A la Carte, consortium of local businesses, for direct marketing, advertising and PR.

APCO Worldwide, Washington, D.C./Gasification Technologies Council, for a positioning and public outreach campaign.

BrandGuy, Palm Beach, Fla./Palm Beach Zoo at Dreher Park, for marketing and advertising.

Push, Orlando/Kissimmee Investors Limited, for research, branding and integrated comms., and Baggage Airlines Guest Services, personal luggage transportation, for a re-branding campaign.


D.W. Turner, Albuquerque, N.M./Durango Mountain Realty, for media relations, monitoring, graphic design and other work to support its Purgatory Lodge ski residences, and Central New Mexico Community College, for marketing, advertising and consulting.


Politis Communications, Draper, Utah/Kartchner Homes, for media relations as the builder’s property is featured on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

MWW Group, Seattle/Intelius, research web portal, for PR and marketing communications.
Allison & Partners, San Francisco/KN Ltd. and lifestyle brand KN Karen Neuburger, as AOR for PR, including product, corporate and cause-related communications.

The Bateman Group, San Francisco/ATC-Onlane, online auction company for buying and selling wholesale vehicles; ClearApp, performance management software; The Open Group, open standards consortium, and Rimini Street, third-party enterprise software support, for PR. Billings top $500K.

Blanc & Otus, San Francisco/BrightSpot Media, online advertising and media, as AOR for PR. B&O leads a team of WPP firms on messaging, media outreach and analyst relations.

Internet Edition, October 25, 2006, Page 6


The Center for Media and Democracy and Free Press filed a rebuttal last week with the Federal Communications Commission, refuting allegations by the Radio-Television News Directors Assn. that its "Fake TV News: Widespread and Undisclosed" probe of VNRs is distorted.

It stressed the need of a "point-by-point rebuttal of the RTNDA filing" (posted at in light of the letter sent to FCC chairman Kevin Martin by the law firm of the National Assn. of Broadcast Communicators.

That NABC filing, according to the Center and FP, "wrongly states that the RTNDA has demonstrated that much of [CMD's report] is inaccurate, misleading and unreliable."

The Center and FP say NABC's assertion that FCC requires sponsor identification only when the material is controversial is wrong.

The pair cites an April 2005 Public Notice of the FCC that states: "Listeners and viewers are entitled to know who seeks to persuade them." The Notice further states that "whenever broadcast stations and cable operators air VNRs, licensees and operators generally must clearly disclose to members of the audience the nature, source and sponsorship of the material that they are viewing."

The Center and FP maintain that the RTNDA "needs to understand that their members' use of the public airwaves is a privilege, not a right. When TV stations turn their backs on the public interest to air 'fake news' provided by public relations firms, they defy the spirit and letter of their broadcast licenses."

The Center's senior researcher Diane Farsetta and FP campaign director Timothy Karr remain confident that the "Commission will enforce its sponsorship identification rules in a way that honors both newsrooms' editorial independence and viewers' right to know."

They believe the "routine infiltration of disguised public relations and marketing materials must be fully investigated."


On The Scene Productions has tapped Medialink veteran Lynn Smith as VP of new business development, focused on the eastern U.S.

Smith held several posts at Medialink, including VP, client solutions; director of broadcast research and media monitoring, and account manager - all with Medialink Worldwide, Inc. Earlier, she worked in the newsrooms of WLVI-TV and WHDH-TV in Boston.

OTSP is headquartered in Los Angeles, but Smith is based in its New York offices.

BRIEFS: Fay Shapiro was promoted to VP for Infocom Group, parent company of Bulldog Reporter. She adds oversight of BR’s client satisfaction unit to her duties as group publisher. ...Black PR Society – New York will host “Communicating in the Financial World” on Nov. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at Hill & Knowlton in New York. Non-members: $20. Info:



Peter Gawrychowski, senior partner and finance director for Ogilvy & Mather, to Ogilvy PR Worldwide, New York, as its chief financial officer. He takes the financial reins after the passing of Jeff Herskowitz in May.

David Mackay, who headed Hill & Knowlton’s consumer marketing groups in D.C. and Chicago, has joined Fleishman-Hillard’s Washington office, where he will head the integrated marketing solutions practice. Mackay, a 20-year PR executive, also held top posts at Ketchum and Burson-Marsteller. F-H’s IMS group is designed to forge links between disciplines like consumer insights, brand development, world of mouth, social impact marketing and multicultural communications.

Jason Dorn, senior producer, Tribune Broadcasting’s Washington bureau, to Strat@comm, Washington, D.C., as producer and senior A/E.

Christina Kolbjornsen, VP of client services, Wragg & Casas, to Thorp & Co., Coral Gables, Fla., as senior VP.

Jack Cotto returns to the Financial Relations Board in Chicago in the role of national director of business development, a new post. Cotto was a market intelligence executive for the firm from 1998-01. He recently served as senior client associate for RBC Dain Rauscher and as a principal of Aspectus Comms.

Anne Vincent, senior VP, Fleishman-Hillard, to Houston-based IR firm Dennard Rupp Gray & Easterly, as a senior VP to head its new office in San Antonio.

Ann Lewnes, VP of sales and marketing for Intel, to Adobe Systems, San Jose, Calif., as senior VP of corporate marketing and communications, effective Nov. 1. She will oversee corporate positioning, branding and identity, PR, customer engagement marketing and vertical marketing efforts. Lewnes will replace Melissa Dyrdahl, who has left the company. Lewnes began her career in Intel’s corporate communications unit.

J.D. Haldeman, VP of marketing, InterMune, to Zogenix, a San Diego-based pharma company, as VP of commercial strategy and corporate comms.
Deborah Daoust, executive director of the Northwest Chamber Orchestra and Bachanalia Wine Auction, to the Washington Wine Commission, as director of communications.


Christina Sorbello to senior A/S, PR and public affairs, Eric Mower and Associates, Syracuse, N.Y.

Tania Palafox to senior A/E, KWE Group, Coral Gables, Fla. Arielle Friedman joins as an A/C.

Laura Sankey to VP of marketing and communications, Qwest Communications, Denver. She joined the telecom company in February as VP of marketing comms. and advertising from Coors Brewing Co.


Peter Brown, president of Brown Lloyd James, to chairman of Literacy Partners, a non-profit focused on family and adult literacy in New York.

Internet Edition, October 25, 2006, Page 7


The National Capital Chapter of PRSA, with more than 1,300 members in its geographic area, thus giving it 13 delegates at the Assembly Nov. 11, is against the Central Michigan's quest for more "democracy" at PRSA.

Tracy Schario, chapter president, said the chapter's board last week decided that the Assembly already has enough power to supervise the board and that the proposal by Central Michigan is “not necessary.” The Assembly “is not using the power it already has,” said Schario.

The NCC board does not feel that CM's proposal is the "right solution to the problem," she added.

She feels it is more of a "communications problem" than anything else and that steps can be taken to solve this without the drastic action proposed by CM that would "turn the Society upside down."
The CM proposal would put nearly 300 people in charge of the administration of the Society, she said.

CM's proposal was also not explained in sufficient detail, she added.

CM has complained that PRSA is not being operated in a democratic manner because major decisions are being made without input from the Assembly or the knowledge of the Assembly.

While no specific actions have been mentioned by CM, two recent major decisions were made without any input from the Assembly – the move of PRSA h.q. to downtown New York and the cancellation of the printed members' directory.

An Assembly task force has recommended more frequent meetings of the Assembly in person or by teleconference.

Favors 'Chair' to Replace President

Schario said the NCC board also supports the national board's bid to change the title of the top elected person from president to chair.

This would be the third time PRSA has made such a change.

Schario said the current practice in associations is to give the staff person the president's title and that “titles change with the times.”

The NCC board does not attach much importance to the change, she said.

The National Investor Relations Institute and the International Assn. of Business Communicators both give staff members the title of president.

Another proposal supported by NCC is to allow members of the PR Students Society of America to join PRSA as associate members when they are within five months of graduation.

PRSA says this will help the students in their job-hunting. The proposal says nothing about an extra cost for dual membership. Normal cost for joining PRSA is $65 entrance fee and $225 membership fee.

PRSSA's membership fee is $41. The student members would be counted in the membership total of PRSA, which now is about 21,000.

There are 9,000 members of PRSSA in 270 colleges.


Arthur Abelman, 72, of Moses & Singer, PRSA's lawyer for decades, died Sept. 23 in New York Hospital.

PRSA leaders and staff turned frequently to Abelman for advice on controversial matters such as a dispute with a dozen authors in the mid-1990s over alleged copyright violation and COO Catherine Bolton's threatened defamation lawsuit against a staffer who criticized Bolton in an e-mail to her and the board.Abelman had been active in the law firm up until his death and had expected to recover after surgery for cancer, a member of the firm said. He never married and had no siblings.

Bolton said Abelman was a "wonderful gentleman" and that PRSA was "fortunate to have his counsel for so many years." PRSA made no announcement of his death because that was Abelman's wish, she said.

Bolton completes her contract as COO Dec. 31 and said she has obtained a new job. Reportedly it is in Northern Pennsylvania. She was married in 1988 to Richard Bolus of Scranton, an automotive importer.

Abelman served on the governance committee of PRSA and was appointed to the nominating committee two years ago after charges of irregularities on the nomcom in 2003 and 2004.

PRSA leaders on several occasions had Abelman write to the O'Dwyer Co. demanding a correction of one type or another.


Michael McDermott, the official candidate for PRSA treasurer in 1999, who was defeated for election by one vote, said there were “a number of irregularities” in the election process.

McDermott made his comments after learning of the death of Arthur Abelman, PRSA’s lawyer, who over-ruled a decision by the parliamentarian that the vote was invalid.

Write-in candidate Joann Killeen won 123-122 but the parliamentarian ruled Killeen’s total did not add up to a 125 majority of the 249 registered delegates.

The delegates had just started using electronic voting devices and four didn’t vote in the allotted 15 seconds.

Abelman took the microphone and declared the election legal. An attempt at debate was cut off.

Why the Rush, Asks McDermott

McDermott said COO Ray Gaulke also favored the “rushed” election and asks why a roll call vote was not taken. PRSA tradition was that standing votes and then paper ballots were used in close votes.

McDermott had served PRSA at the local and national levels. He was a national director of PRSA and president, PRSA/New York. He had financial PR posts at One Corp. and Banco Economico.

Killeen also served at the local and national levels. She was chair of the Accreditation Board in 1991-92 and was president of PRSA/Spokane in 1986.

McDermott said he hoped there will be no more “irregularities” and PRSA will “steer a course toward transparency, accountability, and credibility.”

Internet Edition, October 25, 2006, Page 8




A firestorm in the media and in blogland has erupted over Business Week’s revelation that Wal-Mart and Edelman were behind online PR efforts for “Working Families for Wal-Mart,” which had many good things to say about the retailer (page one).

Richard Edelman has made extensive apologies for this misuse of blogging. The topic was covered by Advertising Age, CNN and other major media and drew many comments on BW said the story may end up “hitting PR firm Edelman the hardest.”

The firm helped to create the Word of Mouth Marketing Assn. and its code that forbids hiding funding or sponsorship.

Richard Edelman said his firm is taking full blame for the PR disaster and will make certain it will not happen again.

This story is also a blow to the credibility of the press. Washington Post photographer Jim Thresher went on a ten-day cross-country trip with a Wal-Mart RV, gas money, and he took pictures. The Post ordered him to give back the money and remove his pictures from the blog. asked WOMMA CEO Andy Sernovitz why the association didn’t take some action against the Edelman firm.

He replied: “We aren’t the police. Associations don’t punish. And look, PRSA didn’t even say a word and they are the PR association. We are all in unchartered waters. Mistakes will be made...”

Associations don’t have to “punish” because punishment has already been delivered by the press.

PRSA, NIRI, IABC, WOMMA, etc., have no way to discipline members except when a member has been found guilty in court or by a government body such as the SEC. NIRI once ousted two members who had signed SEC consent decrees.

We can understand PRSA’s Board of Ethics having nothing to say about the Edelman incident. But it should have plenty to say about the ethical violations and undemocratic practices of PRSA itself that embarrass PRSA and the industry.

These include blocking 80% of the membership from running for national office; false financial reporting as we have proven via analyses by three college accounting professors; hiding the list of approved Assembly delegates until the last minute; blocking the membership from participating in debates on proposed bylaw changes on the PRSA website (the debates are in private “chatrooms”), and refusal to e-mail members for their opinions (instead, they’re bombarded with sales pitches).

When this NL does the criticizing that BEPS should be doing, we are demonized to the membership for trying to “destroy the Society,” and accused of not being “a PRSA member.”

The death of Arthur Abelman, PRSA’s lawyer for nearly 20 years, is noted on page 7. We extend to his co-workers at Moses & Singer our condolences. He had no immediate family.

While we have respect for the dead, this is also a time to review the powerful influence that M&S and Abelman have had on PRSA. The Society has been lawyer-ridden and outside accountant-ridden and it’s time that PR values became supreme.

The pugnacious stance of M&S was evident in numerous instances, especially in PRSA’s three-year battle in the 1990s with dozens of authors whose works PRSA sold without their knowledge or permission.

PRSA made at least $200K in profits on this 19-year practice but wouldn’t give a nickel to the authors. They got an apology because “professional courtesies” were not followed. Theft and sale of intellectual property is what took place.

The four Assembly delegates who studied this and found there was no ethical violation were Lou Capozzi, Cheryl Procter-Rogers, Jerry Bryan and Patricia Trubow. As an example of their reasoning, they claimed that this reporter was “a frequent conferee with PRSA executives and a frequent visitor to its offices” and should have discovered the sale of at least 50,000 copies of O’Dwyer articles earlier. As of 1980, when Patrick Jackson was president and Betsy Kovacs became COO, we were banned from PRSA h.q. and rarely spoke to PRSA leaders. The “duck and screw” media philosophy of Jackson was adopted by elected leaders and staff.

When we ask about PRSA’s substandard financial reporting, we’re told that the outside CPA firm approved it so it must be O.K. PRSA should not be citing accounting firms (after Enron, Worldcom, etc.) nor turning to lawyers as the arbiter of important issues. PRSA needs a new law firm, new outside CPA, a CFO who is a CPA, and about ten PR pros on the h.q. staff since volunteers frequently say they don’t have enough time to tend to PRSA matters properly.

This is why there’s no “PR for PR.”

The heavy hand of Abelman was evident in the rushed election of Joann Killeen as treasurer in 1999 (page 7). Killeen, a write-in candidate opposing official candidate Michael McDermott, won by one vote out of 245 cast. The parliamentarian ruled that 125 votes were needed since 249 electronic devices were in use. Delegates had just started using the devices and it’s possible four votes were not cast within the allotted 15 seconds. Had the devices been programmed to record votes by name of delegate, as these devices are meant to be used, the four missing votes could have been easily located.

The Assembly was in the habit of using paper ballots for close votes. But in 1999, Abelman contradicted the parliamentarian, declaring a legal vote had been taken and the issue was closed. McDermott said COO Ray Gaulke also supported the election of Killeen, a treasurer who would be on the West Coast vs. McDermott, who worked in New York.

This reporter couldn’t see what Gaulke was doing since we were confined to a roped-off area at the back of the room.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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