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Internet Edition, November 8, 2006, Page 1


Several Beltway communications firms have expressed interest in a lucrative five-year PR contract to support the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s alternative energy and conservation practices.

Attending 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.

The RFP, issued in early October, is an effort by the DoE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy operation to present a consistent approach and message across its regional offices.

Budget 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.

The 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.


Sally Barton, who headed Hill & Knowlton’s healthcare practice in New York, has moved over to Cohn & Wolfe in a new role to head the firm’s North American healthcare unit.

In a 15-year career, Barton has held key healthcare posts at Interscience, Edelman and Ketchum.
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 unit’s four U.S. offices and Toronto operation.


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).


The Word of Mouth Marketing Association said last week that it has put Edelman’s membership in the group under a 90-day review.

Acting two weeks after disclosures about the firm’s 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 WOMMA’s executive committee to explain the controversial Wal-Mart incident, and to implement training to educate employees and prevent violations in the future.

If the group’s executive committee likes the progress it sees, the firm’s membership will be restored to full status. Expulsion from the group, removal as a governing member and from the board are possible consequences.

“Although you have publicly re-committed to WOMMA’s 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 each office.


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."

Rank-and-file members 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)

Internet Edition, November 8, 2006, Page 2


Diebold 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 unit’s “standards for accuracy and fairness.”

The 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 the vote.

Filmmaker Bev Harris was able to download secret program files for DES’ machines from the company’s website. She then sent the 40,000 files to computer security experts who determined the software lacked security features to prevent tampering.

DES president David Byrd, in an Oct. 30 letter to HBO CEO Chris Albrecht, believes the film’s “material errors and material misrepresentations are so egregious that HBO should pull the documentary.”

He 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.

At 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 Diebold’s website.

Lana Iny, who handles media relations for HBO, told O’Dwyer’s that the company stands by the program.


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.”


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-tank’s efforts on issues like climate change, economic development and sustainability.


Edelman has organized meetings with Washington-based media for representatives of the Mormon Church to push the point that it is an apolitical institution.

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 City Tribune.

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 the sessions.

A group close to Romney’s campaign operation has also been educating people in South Carolina, a key primary state, about the Mormon religion.


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 military’s 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 Pentagon’s need to “correct the record.”

Smith is a veteran of ABC News and was media advisor to former Baghdad viceroy Paul “Jerry” Bremer.


Tara O’Donnell, who was Samsung Electronics’ senior corporate communications manager in North America, has joined Text 100’s digital lifestyle group.

She worked on the Korean company’s Olympic Games sponsorship, charitable initiatives such as the “Four Seasons of Hope” effort, and handled ties with entertainment celebrities.

At Text 100, O’Donnell, 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 O’Dwyer firm with `05 fees of $52.4 million.

Tom Reno, of GCI Group and Hill & Knowlton fame, heads Text 100’s North American operations.

Internet Edition, November 8, 2006, Page 3


The 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 years.

Eight 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.

Chicago-based Tribune is in the midst of a restructuring, which could lead to the divestiture of both papers.

USA Today remained the circulation leader at 2,269,509. That was off 1.3 percent.

The Wall Street Journal had a 1.9 percent decline in circulation to 2,043,235.

The 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.

New 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.

The Post, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., heralded the "circulation stunner" on its front page.

Murdoch, 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.

The Post’s performance also put it ahead of the Washington Post, which was down 3.3 percent to 656,297.


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 “What’s News” sections for categories like media/marketing, technology and politics. The WN section currently appears only on the WSJ’s 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 paper’s 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/Edelman’s phony blogging story as the most recent screw-up.


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 affiliates.”

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, Denny’s 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."


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 (Peoria).

In California, Copley also publishes the Daily Breeze (Torrance), Palos Verdes Peninsula News (Rancho Palos Verdes) and Today's Local News (San Marcos).


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.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, November 8, 2006, Page 4


Viacom has named Mike Salmi, president of global digital media for its MTVN unit, in a bid to bolster its online offerings.

Salmi was formerly president of Atom Entertainment, which Viacom acquired in August. He is responsible for developing music, entertainment, games and interactivity to engage targeted audiences.

Judy 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."

MTVN's 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.

MTVN 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.

Salmi founded AE in 1998. He merged the firm with 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.


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 the web.

Earlier, he was at ABC News and began his career at the Delaware Gazette, a daily near Columbus, Ohio.


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 HDNet.

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."


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 Corp.

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 and messages."

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 GH’s release that announced the hire.

Intepublic owns GH.


Qorvis Communications 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 him.

That’s 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 aren’t spending all their time in managers’ meetings.”

Pearlstein can’t 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 told Pearlstein.

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 against terrorists."

The bottom line to Pearlstein: "When someone from Qorvis calls, they know what they are talking about."

Internet Edition, November 8, 2006, Page 5


Tech 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.

TowersGroup 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 of MC.

Middleberg noted he has competed with Towers in the past but said the combined entity poses a strong offering for corporate and financial services clients.

The firms said the move puts them at about 10 employees and billings around $2M.

Middleberg 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 lapse.

Towers set up his firm in 1969 and has worked for a swath of financial services clients, along with some technology and professional services entities.
MC now operates out of TowersGroup's offices on West 39th Street in New York.


Brunswick 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.

Brunswick is working for the company in both the U.S. and Europe, where operations have accounted for 51 percent of Dura's revenue.

Dura/U.S. is based in Rochester Hills, Mich., and makes car parts like steering systems, brakes and door modules.

BRIEFS: GolinHarris has launched a blog,, 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 York’s 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 Shandwick 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 firm’s 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.


New York Area

LVM Group, New York/Carey Rodriguez Greenberg Paul, for a PR project for the Miami law firm, and Unitone, residential security systems, for PR.

Trylon SMR, New York/Jewish Telegraphic Agency, international news service for Jewish people, as AOR for PR and media relations.

Environics Communications, Stamford, Conn./
Compass, global management consulting firm, as AOR for PR following a review.

Travers Collins & Co., Buffalo, N.Y./City of Buffalo, for a marcom push to recruit new police officers.


Greenough Communications, Boston/Quest Software, for PR.

Matter Communications, Providence, R.I./
PhotoShelter, online marketplace for professional photographers, and Studio 1011, design firm, for PR support.

Arketi Group, Atlanta/Secured eMail, software, for North American PR.


Financial 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 financial comms.

Weber Shandwick, Chicago/Alzheimer’s 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 Eggland’s Best Eggs for PR duties in the U.S.

John Bailey & Associates, Troy, Mich./DuPont Automotive; Spalding DeDecker Associates, and SoftTech Solutions.


PriceWeber, 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.


Moses Anshell, Phoenix/Blimpie, sandwich franshise, for advertising and PR across 320 markets.


Graham & 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.

5W 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.

Internet Edition, November 8, 2006, Page 6


PR 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.

B.L. 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.

She also knocked firms for not monitoring the Internet over the weekend.

Ochman 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.

Google's 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.

Ochman talked about the growth of 3-D and virtual programming on the 'Net during the next decade.


Medialink has expanded an agreement with Reuters for development of Medialink’s 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 technology’s interface.

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 firm’s website, ...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 ...TMA E-Marketing, Minntonka, Minn., has put together a directory of business blogs and a search engine for corporate bloggers. The free site, hosted at, 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:



Andrea Morgan-Robertson, a former hand to Euro RSCG Magnet CEO Lisa Sepulveda when she was at Edelman, has followed Sepulveda to Magnet as a senior VP.

Morgan-Robertson will focus on health brands for the firm’s national consumer practice.

Prior to Edelman, she managed healthcare business – including Aventis’ Arava and Ross Laboratories’ PediaLyte – for Cohn & Wolfe in New York.

At Edelman, she worked on Schering-Plough’s Claritin, Astra Zeneca’s Nexium, Johnson & Johnson’s Acuvue contact lenses, and Toys “R” Us.

She previously worked in London and New York for Edelman.


John Fitzsimmons, founder of Aspire Communications, to RF|Binder Partners, New York, as senior managing director focused on the firm’s science and technology practice. He has been at FitzGerald Comms., Walt & Co. Comms., and Manning Selvage & Lee.

Bruce 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.

Jody 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 McKesson’s 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.

Kristina 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 Hotel.


Carl Folta to executive VP, corporate communications, for Viacom, based in New York. He serves as the media giant’s 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 Redstone.

Chas 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.

Internet Edition, November 8, 2006, Page 7

PRSA NEEDS ‘DEMOCRACY’ (Cont’d from page 1)

Holoweiko 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.

Holoweiko replies that delegates would be protected by PRSA’s “corporate shield” and an indemnity clause can also be put in the bylaws.

PRSA has not responded to requests to further explain its assertion, says Holoweiko.

He also branded as false the board’s 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, he said.

Another false claim, he said, is that the CM proposal would make the Assembly “a 270+ member board.”

The CM proposal “explicitly states that the board would continue to act on behalf of the Assembly between meetings,” said Holoweiko.

As for the board’s 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.”

As an example of the board’s dominance of the Assembly, Holoweiko noted that two chapters introduced a motion at the 2004 Assembly about PRSA’s spending policies but no vote was taken. Board members ruled the motion was “out of order,” explaining, “The Assembly can’t direct the board to do anything” (quote from minutes).

‘Shadow Assembly’ Votes

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 undecided.

The vote on calling a paid staffer “president” was 19-9 against this idea.

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 in favor).

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 2004 Assembly.

Chosen by “convenience” are 9%, meaning they have the time and money to attend a national conference. Only one-half are “elected.”

‘Democracy’ Is Needed

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.

‘Complete Overhaul Needed’

One respondent said, “PRSA’s 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.”

Directives 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 loved.”

• Direct the board to replace departing h.q. staffers with senior PR pros, gradually changing the culture of h.q. from association to PR.

• 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.

Staff Cost 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 Bolton’s 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.

Internet Edition, November 8, 2006, Page 8




The history of the two paid presidents at PRSA illustrates the treachery and ferocious politics that mar the Society.

Any person who is being enticed with the president’s 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.

This 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 president’s title and didn’t care what it cost.

In Carlson’s case, that was $75,000, a princely sum in 1972. In Gaulke’s case, he was owed $250,000 a year for the next four years but settled for one payment of $250,000, sources say.

Scholarly 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 president’s 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 from h.q.

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 president’s title. It would take 27 years for the next staff “president.”

Gaulke, 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.

Gaulke’s 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 that’s true, it’s 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+.

As 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 Lie—that 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 can’t produce it she is unfit to be president (or chair) since PRSA espouses “the highest standards of accuracy and truth.”

Another instance of PRSA reneging on its word was its promise to give us a transcript of the rescheduled 2005 Assembly in Chicago since we couldn’t attend. A debate on proxy voting took place. When we asked for the transcript we were told PRSA had changed its mind. That makes PRSA’s word worthless and we’re sure candidates for the COO post are aware of this...PRSA’s 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 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.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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