The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
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.
BOHREN JOINS POWELL TATE.
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 Yorks 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.
BKSH CUTS IRAQ WORK.
Burson-Marsteller's BKSH & Assocs. has officially cut
ties with the Office of the Deputy Military Attache of the
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 BLOGS FOR WAL-MART
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
This notice was placed on those sites on Oct. 19: In
response to comments and emails, weve added author
bylines to blog posts.
Edelmans 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-Marts
$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.
YOSIE HEADS WORLD ENVIRONMENT
Terry Yosie, a green PR pro, has been named
president of the World Environment Center in Washington,
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
Yosie also served as VP-health and environment at the American
Petroleum Institute and director at the Environmental Protection
Agencys 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.
Edition, October 25, 2006, Page 2
DIAMOND INDUSTRY GETS BLOODIED.
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 worlds 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 wont discourage people from buying diamonds
for Christmas. He told the Times that people who buy diamonds
fund the countrys health and education systems.
QORVIS DEFENDS RUSSIAN TUNES
Qorvis Communications handled the Oct. 17 news conference
of Moscow-based Mediaservices, owner of the AllofMP3.com
music site that has been charged with digital piracy by
U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab. The U.S. wants AllofMP3
The site has been criticized by WarnerMusic, Universal,
SonyBMG, Recording Industry Assn. of America and British
Phonographic Industry for copyright infringement.
AllofMP3.com 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
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.
CAMPBELL UPSET WITH PROMO.
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 Roches 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.
PCI WINS WOMEN-OWNED DESIGNATION.
Public Communications Inc., Chicago, which had fees of
$4.2 million and 38 employees in 2005, has won the designation
of Womens Business Enterprise from the
Womens 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,
FOWLER GROUP LANDS DISASTER
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.
Edition, October 25, 2006, Page 3
NBC NEWS FACES JOB CUTS.
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.
REDSTONE WARNS OF SELF-CENSORSHIP.
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."
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!, CBS IN VIDEO NEWS
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 BUYS OUT REUTERS.
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.
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 wpp.com,
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, variety.com, to include daily box office reports,
expanded video, and an upgraded design and search capability.
news continued on next page)
Edition, October 25, 2006, Page 4
EDITORS: TECH BEAT IS BOON
"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
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
"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.
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
Keeping this in mind,
publicists need to be wary when pitching these tech-savvy
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."
ST. PETERSBURG TIMES REVAMPS.
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
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
More links to the paper's website, TampaBay.com,
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.
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.
Edition, October 25,
2006, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
SUPPORT WAL-MART DRUG PLAN.
has assembled a cross-country network of PR firms that is
currently supporting the widening scope of its discount
prescription drug program.
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.
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
company's initial rollout of the plan in Florida caused
competitor Target to say it would match the effort.
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.
POWELL TATE REPS CYPRUS.
Weber Shandwick Powell
Tate has an oral agreement to provide strategic communications
to Cyprus, which has emerged as a key obstacle to Turkeys
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 Turkeys
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 EYES CLEAN TECH MARKET.
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.
Texts 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.
Weill Associates, New York/Hotel Fouquets Barriere,
for PR as the hotel opens on the Champs-Elyssees in Paris
on November 1.
& Knowlton, New York/Emrise Corp., defense and
aerospace electronics, as AOR for PR and IR following a
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 stores new
Corporate Communications, New York/
Gerken Capital Associates, alternative asset fund manager,
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.
Communications, Portsmouth, N.H./Portsmouth A la
Carte, consortium of local businesses, for direct marketing,
advertising and PR.
Worldwide, Washington, D.C./Gasification Technologies
Council, for a positioning and public outreach campaign.
Palm Beach, Fla./Palm Beach Zoo at Dreher Park, for marketing
Orlando/Kissimmee Investors Limited, for research, branding
and integrated comms., and Baggage Airlines Guest Services,
personal luggage transportation, for a re-branding campaign.
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
Communications, Draper, Utah/Kartchner Homes, for
media relations as the builders property is featured
on ABCs Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
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.
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.
& 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.
Edition, October 25, 2006, Page 6
CRITICS FIGHT BACK.
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.
stressed the need of a "point-by-point rebuttal of
the RTNDA filing" (posted at www.prwatch.org)
in light of the letter sent to FCC chairman Kevin Martin
by the law firm of the National Assn. of Broadcast Communicators.
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."
Center and FP say NABC's assertion that FCC requires sponsor
identification only when the material is controversial is
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."
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
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."
believe the "routine infiltration of disguised public
relations and marketing materials must be fully investigated."
SMITH HEADS TO OTSP.
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.
Shapiro was promoted to VP for Infocom Group, parent
company of Bulldog Reporter. She adds oversight of
BRs client satisfaction unit to her duties as group
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: www.bprsny.org.
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.
Mackay, who headed Hill & Knowltons consumer
marketing groups in D.C. and Chicago, has joined Fleishman-Hillards
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-Hs
IMS group is designed to forge links between disciplines
like consumer insights, brand development, world of mouth,
social impact marketing and multicultural communications.
Dorn, senior producer, Tribune Broadcastings
Washington bureau, to Strat@comm, Washington, D.C., as producer
and senior A/E.
Kolbjornsen, VP of client services, Wragg & Casas,
to Thorp & Co., Coral Gables, Fla., as senior VP.
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
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.
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
who has left the company. Lewnes began her career in Intels
corporate communications unit.
Haldeman, VP of marketing, InterMune, to Zogenix,
a San Diego-based pharma company, as VP of commercial strategy
and corporate comms.
executive director of the Northwest Chamber Orchestra and
Bachanalia Wine Auction, to the Washington Wine Commission,
as director of communications.
Sorbello to senior A/S, PR and public affairs, Eric
Mower and Associates, Syracuse, N.Y.
Palafox to senior A/E, KWE Group, Coral Gables, Fla.
Arielle Friedman joins as an A/C.
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.
Brown, president of Brown Lloyd James, to chairman
of Literacy Partners, a non-profit focused on family and
adult literacy in New York.
Edition, October 25, 2006, Page 7
OPPOSES CENTRAL MICHIGAN.
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.
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.
NCC board does not feel that CM's proposal is the "right
solution to the problem," she added.
feels it is more of a "communications problem"
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.
proposal was also not explained in sufficient detail, she
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.
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.
Assembly task force has recommended more frequent meetings
of the Assembly in person or by teleconference.
'Chair' to Replace President
said the NCC board also supports the national board's bid
to change the title of the top elected person from president
would be the third time PRSA has made such a change.
said the current practice in associations is to give the
staff person the president's title and that titles
change with the times.
NCC board does not attach much importance to the change,
National Investor Relations Institute and the International
Assn. of Business Communicators both give staff members
the title of president.
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.
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 is $41. The student members would be counted
in the membership total of PRSA, which now is about 21,000.
are 9,000 members of PRSSA in 270 colleges.
LAWYER ABELMAN IS DEAD.
Abelman, 72, of Moses & Singer, PRSA's lawyer for decades,
died Sept. 23 in New York Hospital.
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.
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.
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
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.
leaders on several occasions had Abelman write to the O'Dwyer
Co. demanding a correction of one type or another.
IN 1999 PRSA ELECTION.
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,
PRSAs lawyer, who over-ruled a decision by the parliamentarian
that the vote was invalid.
Joann Killeen won 123-122 but the parliamentarian ruled
Killeens 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 didnt
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,
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,
Edition, October 25,
2006, Page 8
firestorm in the media and in blogland has erupted
over Business Weeks 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 odwyerpr.com.
BW said the story may end up hitting PR firm Edelman
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 didnt
take some action against the Edelman firm.
He replied: We arent
the police. Associations dont punish. And look, PRSA
didnt even say a word and they are the PR association.
We are all in unchartered waters. Mistakes will be made...
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
PRSAs 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, theyre
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
The death of Arthur
Abelman, PRSAs 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 its time that PR values
The pugnacious stance of M&S was evident in numerous
instances, especially in PRSAs 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 wouldnt 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 ODwyer 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
When we ask about PRSAs substandard financial reporting,
were 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 dont
have enough time to tend to PRSA matters properly.
This is why theres 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 its
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 couldnt see what Gaulke was doing since
we were confined to a roped-off area at the back of the