The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, November 8, 2006, Page 1
CHECK OUT DoE ACCOUNT.
Beltway communications firms have expressed interest in
a lucrative five-year PR contract to support the U.S. Dept.
of Energys alternative energy and conservation practices.
a pre-proposal conference on Oct. 27 were Washington, D.C.,
firms ASG Renaissance, AD Rendon Comms., Dittus Comms.,
JDG Comms., PCI Comms., Potomac Comms. Group and a dozen
management consulting shops. Osborn & Barr Comms., St.
Louis, also is considering the RFP.
RFP, issued in early October, is an effort by the DoEs
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy operation to present
a consistent approach and message across its regional offices.
has been estimated at $5M per year of the expected contract
two base years with three single-year options
but that depends on Congressional appropriations.
DoE said firms can pitch one or multiple aspects of the
four-part RFP, which includes marketing and media support,
creative development, Internet efforts, and development
of state and stakeholder partnerships. Attendance at the
pre-proposal conference was not mandatory, so other firms
could jump in the mix.
BARTON EXITS H&K FOR C&W.
Sally Barton, who headed
Hill & Knowltons healthcare practice in New York,
has moved over to Cohn & Wolfe in a new role to head
the firms North American healthcare unit.
In a 15-year career, Barton
has held key healthcare posts at Interscience, Edelman and
She joined H&K in 2005 from Ketchum.
Earlier, she was a senior
VP at Edelman on its Wyeth and Pharmacia business.
As a senior counselor
at C&W, she works with New York healthcare MD Jeremy
Clark on current and new business across the WPP units
four U.S. offices and Toronto operation.
CONVERGE PR NETWORK DEBUTS.
Eight mid-sized shops
have banded together to create the Converge network, to
provide clients even more powerful value-added services
and results, says Margi Booth, whose New York-based
M Booth & Assocs. is a charter member.
Converge includes 360
PR (Boston), Carmichael Lynch Spong (Minneapolis), Duffey
Comms. (Atlanta), rbb PR (Miami), Rogers Group (Los Angeles),
Stanton Comms. (Washington) and Vollmer (Houston).
WOMMA PUTS EDELMAN ON NOTICE.
The Word of Mouth Marketing
Association said last week that it has put Edelmans
membership in the group under a 90-day review.
Acting two weeks after
disclosures about the firms work for Wal-Mart raised
red flags in the media, PR industry and blogosphere, WOMMA
sent a six-point letter to Richard Edelman and social media
practice leader Rick Murray. Edelman is a governing member
of the group and sits on its board of directors.
Some of the actions WOMMA
is urging have already been implemented by the firm.
The group urges Edelman
to provide assurances that all inappropriate programs have
been stopped, brief WOMMAs executive committee to
explain the controversial Wal-Mart incident, and to implement
training to educate employees and prevent violations in
If the groups executive
committee likes the progress it sees, the firms membership
will be restored to full status. Expulsion from the group,
removal as a governing member and from the board are possible
Although you have
publicly re-committed to WOMMAs Ethics Code and have
outlined a series of action steps going forward the WOMMA
Board of Directors believes it is necessary to put your
membership under a 90-day review, the group said.
Edelman said in October
that the firm was auditing its global efforts, implementing
ethics classes on social media, establishing a hotline for
review of its social media efforts (ensuring that they adhere
to WOMMA guidelines), and creating ethics materials for
PRSA (LIKE IRAQ) NEEDS 'DEMOCRACY.'
The Central Michigan Chapter
of PRSA, pressing its case for a bylaw that would force
the national board to carry out directives of the Assembly,
said: "Democracy might be an idea whose time has come
for PRSA. If it's good enough for AMA, ABA, the ADA, the
American people, the Iraqi people, and half the nations
on earth, why not PRSA."
The statement was made
by CM Assembly delegate Mark Holoweiko on a private "E-mail
Group" of PRSA as he rebutted arguments by the board
against the CM proposal to make the Assembly and not the
board the "ultimate policy-making body."
are not allowed to see the debate in this private E-Group.
No stories have appeared in PRSA's monthly Tactics
or quarterly Strategist or on PRSA's website about
the CM proposal.
(continued on page 7)
Edition, November 8, 2006, Page 2
TAKES SWIPE AT HBO.
Election Systems, the leading maker of electronic voting
machines, contends the HBO documentary, Hacking Democracy,
is a slam job, riddled with factual errors and
a work that fails to meet the Time Warner units standards
for accuracy and fairness.
documentary, debuted Nov. 2 and runs through the end of
the year, maintains that electronic voting machines are
open to tampering and casts doubt about the integrity of
Bev Harris was able to download secret program files for
DES machines from the companys website. She
then sent the 40,000 files to computer security experts
who determined the software lacked security features to
president David Byrd, in an Oct. 30 letter to HBO CEO Chris
Albrecht, believes the films material errors
and material misrepresentations are so egregious that HBO
should pull the documentary.
points to mistakes such as the claim that Diebold counted
40 percent of the vote in the `00 Presidential election.
The Ohio company was not in the U.S. electronic voting business
until `02 via its acquisition of Global Election Systems,
according to Byrd.
the very least, DES wants a 30-second disclaimer to be shown
before and after the documentary to indicate that HBO did
not verify the accuracy of any claims in the movie and that
a statement is available on Diebolds website.
Iny, who handles media relations for HBO, told ODwyers
that the company stands by the program.
SMARTMATIC DENIES VZ TIES.
Smartmatic Corp., the
Venezuelan software company, is using Group SJR to help
guide communications related to its takeover of American
voting machine maker, Sequoia Voting Systems.
The New York Times
reported Oct. 29 on concerns that Venezuelan president and
Bush White House nemesis, Hugo Chavez, may influence the
impending U.S. elections through the Smartmatic deal.
To kill that talk, Smartmatic
and Sequoia voluntarily filed a notice with the U.S. Committee
on Foreign Investment in the United States, asking for a
review of the transaction.
Antonio Mugica, CEO of
Smartmatic denied that any foreign government including
Venezuela ever had an ownership stake in the company. Smartmatic
made the filing to put to rest the baseless but persistent
rumors about our ownership.
MURPHY HEADS PR FOR WRI.
Robin Murphy, former VP
of communications for non-profit wilderness protection group
Conservation International, has joined the World Resources
Institute in Washington, D.C., as VP for external relations.
Murphy, a 30-year PR and
social marketing executive on the agency and non-profit
side, heads an effort by the WRI to boost its communications
profile. That includes media relations, bolstering its technology
efforts, and pushes the environmental think-tanks
efforts on issues like climate change, economic development
MORMON CHURCH IS NEUTRAL.
Edelman has organized
meetings with Washington-based media for representatives
of the Mormon Church to push the point that it is an apolitical
The move comes as Massachusetts
Governor Mitt Romney, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-Day Saints, mulls a run for the Republican nomination
for the President in 2008.
Media coverage of the
Church has been on the upswing since Romney started thinking
about the Presidency. That coverage is bound to intensify
if Romney decides to throw his hat into the ring.
Mike Otterson, PR spokesperson
for LDS, and Ken Bowler, head of its D.C. office, have met
with reporters, according to a story in the Salt Lake
Otterson told the paper
that media calls that he has received show how little
reporters understand about who we are.
The Church has nothing
to do with LDS politicos, and followers can vote for whomever
they please, Otterson said.
Edelman vice chairman
Mike Deaver, a former aide to Ronald Reagan, helped arrange
A group close to Romneys
campaign operation has also been educating people in South
Carolina, a key primary state, about the Mormon religion.
PENTAGON STEPS UP PA DRIVE.
The Pentagon is beefing
up its PA efforts by establishing a new media
unit to deal with the `Net, blogs, podcasting and instant
messaging, according to Eric Ruff, a Pentagon spokesman.
There is also a push to
better manage the activities of surrogates,
those third-party endorsers of the militarys strategy.
Ruff says the military
is eager to counter inaccurate stories and to
get its message across to various publics.
He denies the stepped-up
PA effort has anything to do with plummeting support for
the war in Iraq.
The Associated Press obtained
a memo by Dorrance Smith, Assistant Secretary for PA, in
which he promised new teams to develop messages
for the 24-hours cycle.
He also stressed the Pentagons
need to correct the record.
Smith is a veteran of
ABC News and was media advisor to former Baghdad viceroy
Paul Jerry Bremer.
ODONNELL TROTS TO TEXT
Tara ODonnell, who
was Samsung Electronics senior corporate communications
manager in North America, has joined Text 100s digital
She worked on the Korean
companys Olympic Games sponsorship, charitable initiatives
such as the Four Seasons of Hope effort, and
handled ties with entertainment celebrities.
At Text 100, ODonnell,
who has more than a decade of PR experience, will work on
the IBM and Philips Electronics account.
Text 100 is the No. 5
ranked ODwyer firm with `05 fees of $52.4 million.
Tom Reno, of GCI Group
and Hill & Knowlton fame, heads Text 100s North
Edition, November 8, 2006, Page 3
CIRC DROPS 2.8%.
nation's daily newspaper circulation dropped 2.8 percent
for the six-month period ended Sept. 30, according to the
Audit Bureau of Circulations. Sunday circulation was down
3.4 percent. Both drops are the biggest for the past 15
of the top ten dailies reported declines. The Los Angeles
Times was the biggest loser, off 8.0 percent
to 775,766. Its sister Tribune Co. paper, Newsday,
showed the second largest decline, down 5.0 percent to 410,579.
Tribune is in the midst of a restructuring, which could
lead to the divestiture of both papers.
Today remained the circulation leader at 2,269,509.
That was off 1.3 percent.
Wall Street Journal had a 1.9 percent decline in
circulation to 2,043,235.
New York Times had a 3.5 percent skid in circulation
to 1,086,798. Its Boston Globe property, the No.
12 paper, was down 6.7 percent to 386,622.
York City tabloids bucked the circulation trend. The New
York Post topped archrival Daily News as its
circulation rose 5.1 percent to 704,011 compared to a 1.0
gain by the News to 693,383.
Post, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., heralded
the "circulation stunner" on its front page.
in a statement, said: This is a great and historic
day for The Post. He noted that it is the first time
the Post passed the News in circ and broke into the ranks
of the top five papers in the country.
Posts performance also put it ahead of the Washington
Post, which was down 3.3 percent to 656,297.
WSJ 3.0 GOES TO LAUNCH PAD.
Gordon Crovitz, publisher
of the Wall Street Journal, told the Council of PR
Firms on Nov. 2 that the launch of the 3.0 version of the
paper is slated for Jan. 2.
The WSJ will be smaller
and less gray than the current paper. There
will be more labeling and sectioning such as individual
Whats News sections for categories like
media/marketing, technology and politics. The WN section
currently appears only on the WSJs front page.
The 3.0 paper will be
tightly integrated with the online Journal, referring readers
to it for more information about stories.
Crovitz said the printed
WSJ will provide context and perspective since he knows
the papers readers in the current always on
media world already are aware of breaking news. The paper
also will attempt to handicap news that is expected
to break. He likened that to reporting a second-day
story on the first day.
Crovitz said there is
a staggering amount of gloom and doom about
the prospects of old media, but he remains the most
optimistic publisher in America.
Paul Taylor, personal
technology columnist of the Financial Times, said
his paper sees growth opportunities online and in China
for print. The FT also is planning more interpretive features
because it is not going to compete with Reuters in
the instant news department."
Suzanne Vranica, marketing
reporter for the WSJ, urged PR people to make sure
your brands are authentic and telling the truth.
Her best headlines are
when your brands screw up. She singled out Wal-Mart
Stores/Edelmans phony blogging story as the most recent
AIR AMERICA BLACKLISTED.
Air America, the liberal
radio network that filed for Chapter 11 last month, is the
target of a boycott from some of the biggest national advertisers,
according to an internal memo from ABC Radio Networks. ABC
is owned by Walt Disney Co.
The memo addressed to
the traffic director at ABC affiliated stations
says to make sure you blackout this advertiser on
your station as they do not wish to air on any Air America
It includes a "complete
list of advertisers requesting that NONE of their commercials
air on Air America programming."
The list includes Wal-Mart,
Microsoft, Coca-Cola, ExxonMobil, General Electric (owner
of NBC Universal), Bank of America, National Cattlemen's
Beef Assn., Procter & Gamble, Hewlett-Packard, U.S.
Navy, Heinekin, BMW, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft, Levi
Strauss, Sony, Pepsi, Dennys and McDonald's.
The ABC memo was provided
to Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, the media watchdog,
by the Peter B. Collins Show, a syndicated radio program
on the West Coast.
FAIR deems the memo as
"evidence of the potentially censorious effect that
advertisers' political preferences can have on the range
of views presented."
COPLEY RETREATS TO SAN DIEGO.
The Copley Press is looking
to sell/merge its seven newspapers in Ohio and Illinois
to concentrate on its hometown San Diego Union-Tribune.
The papers on the block
in Ohio are the Repository (Canton), The Independent
(Massillon) and Times-Reporter (New Philadelphia).
The Illinois papers are the State Journal-Register
(Springfield), Courier (Lincoln) and Journal Star
In California, Copley
also publishes the Daily Breeze (Torrance), Palos
Verdes Peninsula News (Rancho Palos Verdes) and Today's
Local News (San Marcos).
BRITS BLAME U.S. FOR UNSAFE
Nearly seven-out-of- ten
(69 percent) of Brits say U.S. policy has made the world
less safe since 01, according to a survey conducted
by the Guardian.
Respondents say President
Bush is a bigger threat to world peace than two charter
members of his "axis of evil:" North Korea's Kim
Jong-il and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The British view only
Osama bin Laden as more dangerous than Bush by an 87 percent
to 75 percent margin.
news continued on next page)
Edition, November 8, 2006, Page 4
NAMES SALMI MTVs DIGITAL CZAR.
has named Mike Salmi, president of global digital media
for its MTVN unit, in a bid to bolster its online offerings.
was formerly president of Atom Entertainment, which Viacom
acquired in August. He is responsible for developing music,
entertainment, games and interactivity to engage targeted
McGrath, CEO of MTVN, said Salmi knows "what it takes
to create that addictive, immersive online experience and
at the same time build a valuable brand."
gaming assets are NeoPets, GameTrailers and Xfire. It owns
Y2M, the largest network of online U.S. college newspapers,
and sports user-generated content and networking through
IFILM, MTV Flux, The Click from The N, MTV's Virtual Laguna
Beach, and Nickelodeon's ParentsConnect.
has 30 broadband sites and is the leading mobile video content
producer in the world. The company also has made its content
readily available for download via deals with AOL, Amazon,
Apple and Google.
founded AE in 1998. He merged the firm with Shockwave.com
in early 2001. Prior to creating AE, Salmi led business
development for the media and entertainment industries at
RealNetworks. He also spent eight years in the music business,
working for TVT Records, Sony Music and EMI Music, where
he discovered bands such as Nine Inch Nails and Presidents
of the United States of America.
SERWER GETS FORTUNE.
Andrew Serwer has replaced
Eric Pooley as managing editor of Fortune.
Pooley assumed the slot
in August. He is to work with John Huey, editor-in-chief
of Time Inc., and Jim Kelly, ex-managing editor of Time,
on investigative projects.
Serwer, who was senior
editor at large, becomes the third top editor at Fortune
in less than six years. He is a regular commentator on CNN
and CNNMoney, also owned by Time-Warner.
Fortune like its financial
magazine competitors BusinessWeek and Forbes
has suffered a hit in ad pages as readers have moved to
Earlier, he was at ABC
News and began his career at the Delaware Gazette,
a daily near Columbus, Ohio.
GOODMAN LAUNCHES RATHER.
Goodman Media is handling
the launch of "Dan Rather Reports," which premieres
on Mark Cuban's HDNet on Nov. 14.
The high definition network
is available on DirectTV, Dish Network, Time Warner Cable,
Charter Communications and Bright House Networks.
Rather will do a one-hour
news program each week. Colette Carey is PR director for
Goodman, which is celebrating
its 10th anniversary, is headed by Tom Goodman. He is the
former VP-media relations for Rather's old haunt, CBS News.
Goodman crafted PR campaigns
for "CBS Evening News with Dan Rather," "60
Minutes," and "48 Hours."
CNNS BONNER TO GH.
GolinHarris has hired
CNN's Nickie Bonner as VP and executive producer of its
Crossmedia broadcast unit in Los Angeles. Bonner spent six
years with CNN in L.A as field producer with "CNN Financial
News," "MoneyLine" and "Lou Dobbs Tonight."
Previously, Bonner held on-air positions with Canadian Broadcasting
Judy Johnson, managing
director of GH's western region, expects Bonner to help
clients "navigate the changing broadcast news landscape"
and get "news coverage of clients' products, services
Bonner will handle media
training, satellite media tours, b-roll and video production,
radio news releases and tours, general broadcast strategy
and story placement, according to GHs release that
announced the hire.
Intepublic owns GH.
WAPO COLUMNIST LIKES QORVIS.
is a firm with more chiefs and fewer Indians
than its competitors, wrote Steven Pearlstein in the Oct.
27 Washington Post.
Pearlstein believes Qorvis
is a cut far above the rest in PRland. He is tired of receiving
mind-numbing phone calls each day from some 20-something
in PR asking if he got an e-mail that she just sent
Thats not the case
at Qorvis, according to Pearlstein, where the work is done
by people with real knowledge, experience and contacts.
He is bullish on Qorvis because the highest-paid people
arent spending all their time in managers meetings.
remember the last time that a pitch from a 20-something
worked. He is baffled why corporations hire these firms
and "spend good money to accomplish so little."
Pearlstein wrote: "those
phone calls and lots of similarly useless work have become
the bread and butter of a business that is less about relationships
and real knowledge and more and more about meeting monthly
targets for billable hours."
When a firm pays a "senior
associate" $25 an-hour and bills clients at the $200
rate, it can "support a lot of corporate overhead in
London or New York and still declare a profit."
Pearlstein believes the
typical PR model is "premised on widely held fallacies
about economics of scale and the need to be part of a global
network. All it has really produced are a few bureaucratic
behemoths that overcharge and under-perform, driving away
their best talent."
The Qorvis difference
is due to its practice of charging a monthly retainer based
upon performance benchmarks. That puts the emphasis on "being
successful rather than busy," Qorvis CEO Michael Petruzzello
The columnist notes that
some may look "askance at an American firm that shills
for Saudi Arabia, a country that hates Israel, and profits
from $3 gasoline and hasn't always been helpful in the war
The bottom line to Pearlstein:
"When someone from Qorvis calls, they know what they
are talking about."
8, 2006, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
PR veteran Don Middleberg, who got back into PR earlier
this year after selling his firm to Havas in 2000, has merged
his new firm with Alan Towers' New York-based shop.
now operates as a division of Middleberg Communications
with Middleberg as CEO of the combine. Towers serves as
chairman of the TowersGroup division. Scott Sunshine, TowersGroup
principal, heads the division as president and is a principal
noted he has competed with Towers in the past but said the
combined entity poses a strong offering for corporate and
financial services clients.
firms said the move puts them at about 10 employees and
billings around $2M.
sold his 150-staffer Middleberg & Assocs. to Havas'
Euro RSCG in 2000 at the height of the dot-com craze. He
had been an early-stage investor with New York Angels Inc.
while waiting for his contractual obligations to Havas to
set up his firm in 1969 and has worked for a swath of financial
services clients, along with some technology and professional
MC now operates out of TowersGroup's offices on West 39th
Street in New York.
GUIDES CH. 11 PR FOR DURA.
Group has been engaged to guide PR for auto industry supplier
Dura Automotive as the global company's U.S. and Canadian
operations file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
is working for the company in both the U.S. and Europe,
where operations have accounted for 51 percent of Dura's
is based in Rochester Hills, Mich., and makes car parts
like steering systems, brakes and door modules.
has launched a blog, nextfiftyyears.com, in an effort to
continue a dialog sparked by six months of research on emerging
trends that was published in a booklet to coincide with
its 50-year anniversary. The firm held a cocktail reception
at New Yorks Rainbow Room to mark the milestone. "We
are very proud of what we have accomplished in the past
50 years, but we are even more excited about the next 50,"
said president/CEO Fred Cook. ...Weber
has launched a reputation management website that includes
news, research and commentary on the subject. The site,
also includes a blog and links to outside resources and
was produced by the firms chief reputation strategist,
Leslie Gaines-Ross. ...The
Abernathy MacGregor Group
is handling PR for satellite company Orbcomm, which had
a rough debut following its IPO on the Nasdaq last week.
The company raised $101.5 million with its IPO, but shares
fell 30 percent the next day. It plans to build and deploy
new satellites with the windfall.
Group, New York/Carey Rodriguez Greenberg Paul, for
a PR project for the Miami law firm, and Unitone, residential
security systems, for PR.
SMR, New York/Jewish Telegraphic Agency, international
news service for Jewish people, as AOR for PR and media
Communications, Stamford, Conn./
Compass, global management consulting firm, as AOR for PR
following a review.
Collins & Co., Buffalo, N.Y./City of Buffalo,
for a marcom push to recruit new police officers.
Communications, Boston/Quest Software, for PR.
Communications, Providence, R.I./
PhotoShelter, online marketplace for professional photographers,
and Studio 1011, design firm, for PR support.
Group, Atlanta/Secured eMail, software, for North
Relations Board, Chicago/Kite Realty Group Trust;
Feldman Mall Properties; Grayco Partners; NorthStar Realty
Finance Corp.; Fieldstone Investment Corp.; Douglas Emmett;
CBRE Realty Finance, and Quadra Realty Trust, for IR and
Shandwick, Chicago/Alzheimers Assn., as AOR
for PR following a review. Billings are in the six-figure
range. Consultant Jones Ludin Beals handled the search for
the 25-year-old non-profit. WS New York office picked
up Egglands Best Eggs for PR duties in the U.S.
Bailey & Associates, Troy, Mich./DuPont Automotive;
Spalding DeDecker Associates, and SoftTech Solutions.
Louisville, Ky./Wabash National Corp., truck trailer manufacturer,
and Godiva Chocolatier, for in-store comms., signage and
promotions for duty-free shops and cruise lines.
Anshell, Phoenix/Blimpie, sandwich franshise, for
advertising and PR across 320 markets.
& Associates, San Francisco/Beach Chalet Brewery;
Cedarshed Industries, outdoor sheds and gazebos; Cubellis
Marco Retail, retail design firm; The Retreat at Fort Baker,
a renewal; iNetOffice, web-based office applications; Safari
Books Online, online library of business and technology
publications, and Security National Properties, commercial
property acquisition with a focus on environmental redevelopment.
PR, Los Angeles/Martin Luther King, Jr. National
Memorial Project Foundation, for PR for its groundbreaking
ceremony and gala in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 13. The firm
will handle media relations and celebrity participation.
Edition, November 8, 2006, Page 6
URGED TO MAKE WEB COMEBACK.
firms blew the chance to seize control of the web for their
clients but can stage a comeback in the digital revolution
with the rise of video, according to panelists at the Nov.
2 Council of PR Firms "Critical Issues Forum"
in New York.
Ochman, a consultant who develops blog strategies for Fortune
500 companies, rapped PR for losing web development responsibilities
to advertising and marketing types during the past decade.
also knocked firms for not monitoring the Internet over
said a blogger can start a fire on Friday evening and nobody
in the corporate world will know about it until Monday when
a firestorm is raging throughout the blogosphere.
Denise Chudy believes PR firms can recover in cyberspace
by taking ownership of video, which is becoming more important
with the increase in broadband connections. She suggested
that educational and user-generated video materials are
ripe for PR firm ownership.
talked about the growth of 3-D and virtual programming on
the 'Net during the next decade.
TELETRAX, REUTERS EXPAND DEAL.
Medialink has expanded
an agreement with Reuters for development of Medialinks
Teletrax video monitoring service.
The companies plan to
expand services to include software for watermarking both
standard and high-definition formats, upgrades in watermarking
digital MPEG video files, and improvements on the technologys
Teletrax expects to build
monitoring sites in United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, South
Korea, and Turkey to service Reuters needs. The news
agency, which has worked with Teletrax for four years, had
requested additional channels to track its broadcasts.
BRIEFS: The Council
of PR Firms has launched an electronic bulletin board
site for commentary and networking. The site, called BuzzBoard,
can be accessed via the firms website, prfirms.org.
...The NewsMarket has
signed PricewaterhouseCoopers as a client of its BroadcastRoom
video hosting service. PWC now enables reporters to download
broadcast-standard video from its press portal at pwc.com.
Minntonka, Minn., has put together a directory of business
blogs and a search engine for corporate bloggers. The free
site, hosted at www.iblogbusiness.com,
includes RSS feeds, a list of authors names, and a
subscription feature. Blog URLs can be submitted for a consideration
on the site, also. ...Kelton
Research, Los Angeles, has unveiled a separate polling
unit, The Omnibus Co., focused on PR. President Tom Bernathal
said the needs of PR execs are different from corporate,
political, and government organizations. He said the firm
provides scientifically sound research data that also gets
media attention. Info: omnibus.com.
a former hand to Euro RSCG Magnet CEO Lisa Sepulveda when
she was at Edelman, has followed Sepulveda to Magnet as
a senior VP.
will focus on health brands for the firms national
Edelman, she managed healthcare business including
Aventis Arava and Ross Laboratories PediaLyte
for Cohn & Wolfe in New York.
she worked on Schering-Ploughs Claritin, Astra Zenecas
Nexium, Johnson & Johnsons Acuvue contact lenses,
and Toys R Us.
She previously worked in London and New York for Edelman.
Fitzsimmons, founder of Aspire Communications, to
RF|Binder Partners, New York, as senior managing director
focused on the firms science and technology practice.
He has been at FitzGerald Comms., Walt & Co. Comms.,
and Manning Selvage & Lee.
Miller, former staff writer for the Daily Record
and Baltimore Examiner, and Dicken
Counts, a former intern for the U.S. Naval Academy,
to TBC PR, Baltimore.
LoMenzo, a veteran healthcare PR pro and former director
of strategic communications and PR for The Martin Agency,
to biopharmaceutical company Insmed as director of investor
relations and corporate communications. Insmed, based in
Richmond, Va., is working on treatments for growth failure
in children, muscular dystrophy and extreme insulin resistance.
LoMenzo was marketing comms. director for McKessons
medical-surgical division and served as director of IR and
corporate communications for United Dominion Realty Trust.
She ran her own firm focused on the biotech, pharmaceutical
and healthcare sectors.
Messner, who was director of marketing at LexisNexis,
has joined marcom firm Focused Image in Falls Church, Va.,
to establish a PR practice. She has more than 20 years of
experience, and helped launch LexisNexis' online products
to corporate, government and academic customers. Previously,
she was at EG&G, handling media relations and serving
as contact for officials in the Treasury Department. Messner
also served as PR director at Washington's Willard Inter-Continental
Folta to executive VP, corporate communications,
for Viacom, based in New York. He serves as the media giants
chief comms. strategist and spokesperson reporting to Tom
Dooley, senior EVP and chief administrative officer. He
had been an advisor and spokesperson for chairman Sumner
Withers, managing director for Dix & Eaton, Cleveland,
has been named to head its marketing communications unit.
He was previously MD for strategic marketing and comms.
for Answerthink Inc., a Miami consulting firm.
Edition, November 8, 2006, Page 7
NEEDS DEMOCRACY (Contd
from page 1)
says the board has presented false arguments in opposing
the CM bylaw. One, he said, is that the 270+ delegates wold
be personally liable for their decisions and
PRSA would have to obtain insurance for them.
replies that delegates would be protected by PRSAs
corporate shield and an indemnity clause can
also be put in the bylaws.
has not responded to requests to further explain its assertion,
also branded as false the boards claim that more than
one meeting a year of the Assembly would be needed and it
would be too costly. CM is not seeking an additional meeting
since one a year is sufficient for the AMA, ABA and ADA,
false claim, he said, is that the CM proposal would make
the Assembly a 270+ member board.
CM proposal explicitly states that the board would
continue to act on behalf of the Assembly between meetings,
for the boards assertion that present bylaws
pertaining to Assembly authority clearly state that `it
is the overall governing body of our Society, Holoweiko
says there is no such statement in the bylaws.
an example of the boards dominance of the Assembly,
Holoweiko noted that two chapters introduced a motion at
the 2004 Assembly about PRSAs spending policies but
no vote was taken. Board members ruled the motion was out
of order, explaining, The Assembly cant
direct the board to do anything (quote from minutes).
This NL polled via e-mail
54 senior PR people, including many who are present or former
members of PRSA, on how they would vote on six of the proposals
before the Assembly Nov. 11. Responding were 28 (52%).
Twenty-one supported the
Central Michigan proposal, six were against it and one was
The vote on calling a
paid staffer president was 19-9 against this
A rule requiring Assembly
resolutions to be presented to the board in writing 30 days
before an Assembly was rejected 19-9.
Other votes were on use
of proxies (14-14); switch five directors from district
to at-large directors (15-13 against), and let PRSSA members
also join PRSA for $60 five months before graduation (15-13
Assembly delegates are
limited to three years of service and one-third of them
are appointed by their chapter boards rather
than elected by the members, according to a survey of the
Chosen by convenience
are 9%, meaning they have the time and money to attend a
national conference. Only one-half are elected.
One respondent, a former
Assembly delegate, said a member of his delegation voted
against decoupling APR from Assembly membership although
directed by the board to vote in favor of decoupling. This
person should have been made to answer to the board and
chapter membership! he said. Unless votes are made
public via the electronic system, there is no way to tell
who voted for what, he said.
Another writer said the
bid to substitute at-large for district directors fails
to attack the real problem?the shortage of candidates because
APR is required.
This writer noted that
non-board members used to head most of the 24 committees
and task forces but 13 of them went to board members this
year. This is an attempt to keep power in the board and
grassroots leaders out, said the writer.
One respondent said, PRSAs
governance is out-of-date and in need of a complete overhaul.
Said another: The
board has been hit with resignations and lack of candidates
because PRSA is irrelevant to the profession and spends
too much time contemplating its navel rather than doing
PR for PR. Letting students in as regular members to boost
the membership totally misses the problem of senior PR people
who have gone to Arthur Page, PR Seminar and NIRI. Membership
has been stagnant since 2000 and bringing in students will
only lower the average experience level. If seniors are
brought in, others will follow.
Assembly Could Pass
One veteran member gave
some examples of directives the Assembly could pass that
the board would have to carry out.
Direct the board
to bring back the printed BlueBook of members which members
Direct the board
to replace departing h.q. staffers with senior PR pros,
gradually changing the culture of h.q. from association
Direct the board
to accurately report the cost of staff time on the annual
conference; trim the conference until it breaks even; allow
ten or fewer staffers (not 30+) to attend conferences and
rely instead on local volunteers; start the conference on
a Sunday with Monday afternoon set aside for the Assembly;
allow Assembly delegates to attend the conference free;
let the Assembly elect it own chair (which the
ABA does), and hire an on-staff CFO who is a CPA.
at $5M; Occupancy, $750K
IRS Form 990 of PRSA,
supplied to the press Nov. 3, shows that occupancy costs
were $750,014 in 2005 (vs. $503,673 in 2002 when h.q. were
at 33 Irving pl.) COO Catherine Boltons salary was
$260,949 in 2005 and pension, $28,000. Her salary was $264,880
in 2002. Consulting fees grew to $242,034 in 2005 from $162,696
in 2002; speakers fees to $201,644 in 2005 from $131,563
in 2002, and editors fees to $119,758 from $59,651 in 2002.
Income for the nine months to Sept. 30 was $8,179,155 or
$39,510 below expenses. A category called other
grew to $278,896 in 2005 from $113,790 in 2004 and another
category called Misc. & Other grew to $306,198
from $72,784. Relocation costs of $68,673 were
reported for the nine-month period. Payroll costs for the
first nine months grew $474,447 to $3,805,903 and are expected
to top $5M for 2006. Total revenues will be $10M+. There
are about 55 staff members.
Edition, November 8,
2006, Page 8
history of the two paid presidents at PRSA illustrates the
and ferocious politics that mar the Society.
person who is being enticed with the presidents title
at PRSA should study this history. Both Bob Carlson (president
1971-72) and Ray Gaulke (1999-2000) were canned shortly
after they got that title.
happened even though Carlson still had 18 months to go on
a three-year contract and Gaulke had four years to go on
his. Members wanted the presidents title and didnt
care what it cost.
Carlsons case, that was $75,000, a princely sum in
1972. In Gaulkes case, he was owed $250,000 a year
for the next four years but settled for one payment of $250,000,
Carlson, a Ph.D., a researcher more than a PR pro, was to
be the messiah of PRSA who would provide continuity
in leadership. The presidents title had been debated
for years. He was savaged by both the staff and the board.
Carlson was no match for
1972 chair Kal Druck, a super salesperson who
came out of Hearst. Whenever the two appeared together,
Druck would do the talking. His office was a few blocks
The staff, who wanted
one of their own to get the job, sabotaged Carlson in many
ways. Their crowning achievement was failing to clean a
list of 1,500 CEOs who were told it would be a good idea
for their PR person to join PRSA. Companies that already
had PRSA members, including some top PR execs, were not
removed. The PR execs howled.
The list also had numerous
mistakes in names and titles. It was sloppy work. Carlson
was canned as of June 30 and Druck took the presidents
title. It would take 27 years for the next staff president.
a career adman, was the opposite of Carlson. Gaulke
and his sidekick, CFO Joe Cussick, dominated PRSA from 1993-2000.
Among other things (and
with the acquiescence of the supine board) Gaulke killed
the monthly PR Journal in its 50th year, replacing
it with Tactics and Strategist (giving PRSA
two money-losing publications instead of one), and cancelled
the exhibit hall at the annual conference for five years.
Gaulke was going to get one overall sponsor and perhaps
have regional exhibit halls. Neither ever happened. The
copying scandal (it was discovered that PRSA was selling
3,400 information packets a year loaded with articles copied
without the authors permission) broke in late 1994.
Gaulke and the board fought the claims of a dozen authors.
What was bad about this is that PRSA is supposed to be making
friends with the press, not enemies.
combative style is illustrated by two incidents. While
we were sitting, as usual, with the New York delegation
at the 1995 Assembly, Gaulke came down from the podium,
took us by the arm and marched us down the aisle in full
view of the Assembly and placed us in the back of the room,
ordering us never again to set foot in the Assembly.
In early 1994, we were
sued for $20 million by Dean Rotbart of The Journalist
& Financial Reporting on charges we were
maliciously inaccurate and violated copyright in covering
his speech at the 1993 PRSA conference. We showed the suit
to Gaulke at his office and asked if PRSA would help us
since PRSA had invited us to cover the conference and had
credentialed us. Rotbart spoke in open session.
PRSA had a contract with
Rotbart signed by staffer Ellen Gerber giving it perpetual,
unlimited rights to the speech. Gaulke/PRSA refused to help.
The charge of inaccurate reporting could have been disproved
if we were allowed to print the entire Rotbart speech, which
correctly pointed out that news media and reporters are
influenced by news tips and ads. While thats true,
its also against the PRSA Code. PRSA was going to
sell the Rotbart video as a guide to working with media.
We proved our case in Federal court at a cost of $80K+.
for other instances of treachery, Phil Ryan and Jeff
Seideman did PRSA a favor by taking one-year terms on the
2002 PRSA board to smooth the transition from two to three-year
terms. They were promised regular three-year terms. But
Seideman opposed the board on Nike/Kasky and Ryan was suspected
of talking to the press. The nomcom ran official
candidates against both and they were defeated. In 2004,
No. 2 staffer Rob Levy, who boosted seminar income 61% in
the first half, was suddenly bounced with no explanation.
Was he a threat to someone? This year, the board is telling
delegates the Big Liethat the bylaws say the Assembly
is the overall governing power of our Society
and there is no need for Central Michigan to seek more Assembly
power. There is no such wording in the bylaws and the Assembly
has no such power. Another issue is Rhoda Weiss claim
that she was acting CEO of a statewide health organization.
We can find no evidence of that and if she cant produce
it she is unfit to be president (or chair) since PRSA espouses
the highest standards of accuracy and truth.
instance of PRSA reneging on its word was its promise to
give us a transcript of the rescheduled 2005 Assembly in
Chicago since we couldnt attend. A debate on proxy
voting took place. When we asked for the transcript we were
told PRSA had changed its mind. That makes PRSAs word
worthless and were sure candidates for the COO post
are aware of this...PRSAs
IRS Form 990 (given to us Nov. 3) shows occupancy costs
for 2005 were $750,014. The same cost at the former h.q.
was $503,673. Offices are now costing $250K more each year.
Staff costs are rising about $250K each year also. Such
costs were $3.8M to Sept. 30, indicating a final total of
about $5M when total revenues are figured...an
e-mail poll by this NL of PR veterans (many of them
PRSA members) found that 21 favor the Central Michigan proposal
and six are against it, while 19 oppose the COO being president
and nine favor this.