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Internet Edition, November 22, 2006, Page 1


San Jose’s City Council voted 7-2 to ink a $200K, one-year PR pact with GlobalFluency to raise the profile of the Silicon Valley hub.

Officials for San Jose, the No. 10 U.S. city in size, want to capitalize on a renewed tech industry and growing economy to foster tourism, special events and economic growth. The PR efforts will span across the U.S. and internationally.

Forty firms were sent an RFQ by the city. Seven firms responded and that field was narrowed to three by a five-member review panel. San Jose's population is approaching the one million mark and the city estimates more than 6,600 tech companies are located there.


Margita Thompson, who was press secretary for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, is joining Health Net as VP-corporate communications.

She had “one of the most taxing jobs in Schwarzenegger’s administration,” according to the Los Angeles Times. Her office was “a magnet for inquiries from the foreign press, entertainment shows, national TV news correspondents and California newspapers that bolstered their statehouse bureaus after Schwarzenegger won the `03 recall election,” it noted.

Thompson joined the governor's office from "Larry King Live." She also worked for California governor Pete Wilson and Los Angeles mayor Richard Riordan.

Thompson is re-uniting with Patricia Clarey, Schwarzenegger's former chief of staff, at Health Net. Clarey became COO there in March.

Korn/Ferry International's Nels Olson (Washington, D.C.) and Asheley Galloway (San Francisco) placed Thompson.


The Dept. of Energy has extended by two months an RFP to handle PR for its alternative energy and conservation unit.

The federal agency moved the proposal deadline from Nov. 18 to Jan. 8 last week. It is conducting the proposal review process online via its IIPS system.

DoE's Office of Technology Advancement and Outreach plans to award a five-year contract to multiple firms or a single contractor for marketing and media support, multimedia work, collateral materials and stakeholder development. Budget is $5M per year.

Several firms are considering a run at the account, including Dittus Comms., JDG Comms. and Osborn & Barr Comms.


Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher is helping US Airways with its blockbuster proposal to acquire Delta Airlines for $8 billion.

US Airways is positioning the move as an alternative to Delta working to emerge from Chapter 11 by itself. Delta filed for bankruptcy protection in September 2005 and planned to emerge in 2007.

US Airways simultaneously sent a letter from CEO Doug Parker to Delta CEO Gerald Grinstein and publicly released the correspondence, noting Grinstein’s failure to meet or discuss US Airways’ offers earlier this year.

A merged entity would operate under the Delta name and become one of the world’s largest airlines. US Airways said Delta did not reply to overtures earlier in the year and in September.

Partner Joele Frank leads the US Airways work for the firm.

Kekst & Co. has advised Delta through its reorganization.

Michele Szynal, a veteran PR exec for Procter & Gamble, has joined Callaway Golf Company as VP of PR. She is charged with the Carlsbad, Calif.-based company's overall strategic communications efforts and brand publicity.

Callaway, which markets golf clubs and accessories under the Callaway, Top-Flite, Odyssey and Ben Hogan brands, is eyeing a comeback.

The company posted a Q3 loss of $11.9M as sales slipped from 2005.


Tavis Smiley, host of the late night TV talk show on PBS and who also has a show on Public Radio, said PR has been “demonized as a profession” and urged PR people to “stop the spinning.”

“The American people are sick and tired of being spun,” he told nearly 2,000 PRSA members and students at the opening session of the annual PRSA conference in Salt Lake City Nov. 12.

People “crave the truth so much,” he said, that they are making “sophomoric” reality shows like “American Idol” the rage because "”they’re honest."

“Either you can sing or you can”t,” said Smiley. “People want to know if what they are seeing is real.”

Smiley, the author of eight books and the editor of one that reached the top of the New York Times bestseller list, urged PR pros to be "”truthtellers” and “avoid mendacity.”

(continued on page 7)

Internet Edition, November 22, 2006, Page 2


Wal-Mart extended a warm welcome to former senator and current Wal-Mart critic John Edwards last week after an Edwards staffer reached out to a North Carolina Wal-Mart to buy a Sony PlayStation3 gaming console for Edwards' family.

Wal-Mart issued a press release on Nov. 16 noting an Edwards staffer sought one of the coveted gaming consoles by contacting an electronics manager for a Wal-Mart store in Raleigh, N.C.

The retailer helpfully pointed out that Edwards on the same day had reportedly re-told a "homespun story" on a union conference call about how his son chided a fellow student for buying shoes at Wal-Mart.

Edwards, who has criticized the retailer's business and labor practices, acknowledged a volunteer contacted Wal-Mart on his behalf and said the staffer "feels terrible."

Wal-Mart invited Edwards to visit his local Wal-Mart to shop for electronics and apparel. It also tweaked the presidential hopeful for wanting to "cut in front" of America's working families who are "waiting patiently in line" for a PlayStation3.


Scott Milburn, White House Office of Management and Budget press secretary, has joined APCO Worldwide as VP. He reports to Washington managing director Robert Schooling.

Besides pitching the press on President Bush's budgets, Milburn helped devise communications strategies for the response to Hurricane Katrina, ongoing "war on terrorism" and initiatives such as the Line Item Veto.

Milburn, before joining the White House, was communications director for Ohio Senator George Voinovich and press secretary to the Buckeye State's Governor Bob Taft and Rep. Dave Hopson.


Kekst & Co is handling the takeover of venerable outdoor clothing marketer Eddie Bauer to private equity firms, Sun Capital Partners and Golden Gate Capital, in a deal worth $286M.

The investors also will assume $328M in debt of EB that emerged from Chapter 11 last year following the reorganization of then-parent Spiegel, the upscale catalog marketer.

EB CEO Fabian Mansson says the deal will provide EB with new resources and the "time necessary to execute our turnaround strategy."

Founded 86 years ago in Seattle, EB suffered a $275M nine-month `06 net loss on revenues of $631M.

The company blames its woeful financial performance on an effort to attract more fashion-forward consumers, a marketing drive that moved EB from its core customer base. According to Reuters, it has lost ground to competitors L.L. Bean and Sears Holdings' Land's End. EB's products are marketed through 380 stores in the U.S. and Canada.

Kekst & Co. is also representing Ripplewood Holdings in its acquisition of the Readers Digest Association (see story on page 3).


Janilee Johnson, former chief communications officer for Motorola, has taken a new top post at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Johnson, as UPMC's first chief communications officer, oversees internal and external comms., advertising and PR. UPMC encompasses 19 hospitals and 400 related sites while staffing 43,000 employees.

Johnson was with Motorola for five years, serving in a handful of VP roles before being named CCO in 2003. She joined Motorola in 2002 from Telecordia, where she was a VP of PA, PR and advertising. Previously, she was director in the executive communications and information division of Nynex in New York.

Johnson was a special assistant and chief speechwriter for Ronald Reagan's Education Secretary, T.H. Bell.

Jennifer Erickson took over as VP of comms. for Motorola after the exit of Valerie DiMaria in July.


Victor Emmanuel, co-founder of Emmanuel Kerr Kilsby PR, has opened VJE Consultants in New York's Westchester County.

The 35-year PR veteran is targeting corporate and crisis communications clients and is available on a daily, weekly or project basis. That flexibility stems from Emmanuel's belief that many clients simply don't require the support from a full-service firm. Some just need an outsider's "dose of common sense" to tackle a PR problem. Emmanuel told O'Dwyer's that he will reach to out to his "good friends" Christopher Franke and Rory McCaffrey if clients need help with compliance risk management issues or graphics.

Franke served as managing director of compliance/The Americas for J.P. Morgan and McCaffrey is a principal at Hypergraphics Inc.

Emmanuel, who has counseled UBS, Saudi Basic Industries and Greenwich Orthopedics, was senior VP at Burson-Marsteller before helping to set up EKK in `90. That firm was sold to Creative Partners LLC in `04. Emmanuel exited CP as managing director in August.

He can be reached at (914) 305-5198.


Bill Dalbec, VP and team leader in the PA and association research practices at Harris Interactive, has moved to APCO Worldwide as senior VP.

He becomes part of APCO Insight, which deals with opinion research and message development. Dalbec has nearly 20 years of research experience gleaned in the U.S. and 25 other countries.

Mark Benson heads AI. In a statement, he praised Dalbec's "commitment to understanding the connection between the rational and emotional components of decision making and its application."

Rohini Pragasam has joined UBS as executive director and media relations head at UBS Investment Bank in the Americas. She reports to Mark Arena, corporate communications chief.

She joins from Deutsche Bank.

Internet Edition, November 22, 2006, Page 3


Discovery Communications has hired David Zaslav, president of NBC Universal cable and TV president, as CEO.

Zaslav joined NBC in '89, and helped launch CNBC. He had been responsible for NBCU's ten cable channels including Bravo, USA Networks and MSNBC.

DC runs more than 100 cable brands worldwide, reaching 1.4B subscribers. Those channels include Discovery, Animal Planet and TLC. The company is owned by Cox Communications, Advance/Newhouse Communications, media mogul John Malone and DC chairman John Hendricks.

Zaslav had worked with Hendricks during the `80s when he was setting up DC. At NBCU, Zaslav reported to Randy Falco, who has exited to Time Warner to succeed Jonathan Miller as AOL CEO.


Hearst Corp. and McGraw-Hill have purchased a stake in, a social network site for grown-ups.

Gather founder Tom Gerace says he will use the $10M investment to expand the overseas reach of the Boston-based site.

Its board members include William Kling, CEO of American Public Media Group; Bill Bradley, former New Jersey Senator, and Jim Manzi, CEO of Lotus Development Group, until it was sold to IBM.

Kel & Partners handles PR for Gather.


Reader’s Digest Assn. announced that it is being acquired by private equity firm Ripplewood Holdings in a deal worth $2.4B.

Reader's Digest, founded by DeWitt and Lila Wallace in 1922, is the largest selling magazine in the world. It is sold in more than 60 countries; Romania, Croatia and Slovenia are the latest additions.

The Pleasantville, N.Y.-based company also publishes consumer magazines such as Every Day with Rachael Ray and Taste of Home. It went public in 1990.

Ripplewood's $17 dollar per share offer represents a 25 percent premium over the average price of RDA's stock during the past 60 trading days.

RDA is Ripplewood's biggest investment.

Kekst & Co. represents Ripplewood Holdings for the deal.


Randy Falco, president of NBC Universal Television Group, has taken the helm of Time Warner's AOL unit. The 30-year plus veteran of the General Electric unit succeeds Jonathan Miller, who had just completed a revamping of the online operation.

TW CEO Dick Parsons said Miller's strategy is "already bearing fruit" as he wished him well on the "next phase of his career." At NBCU, Falco was in charge of network/cable sales, affiliate relations, business development, information technology and studio operations.

Miller joined AOL in ’02, and signed a three-year contract last year.


Brian Tierney is “a former PR dynamo [who] has gone from hero to knave in journalism circles faster than just anybody in recent memory,” wrote Devin Leonard in the Nov. 27 issue of Fortune.

The man who fronted the group that bought the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News for $515M five months ago is not getting the concessions that he had targeted from the Newspaper Guild. That combined with a steep drop in ad revenues has put pressure on Tierney's ownership group.

Tierney is mulling a plan to cut the combined staff from 535 to 385. That has some columnists saying the Inky and News were better off under Knight-Ridder ownership, according to Leonard.

He notes that K-R could accept sub-par profits in Philadelphia because it "had money flowing in from 30 other papers."

Tierney, the "seasoned-enough PR guy," maintains that his group will tough it out in Philadelphia.


News Corp. has named Peter Levinsohn head of its digital media operation, replacing Ross Levinsohn, who engineered the company's $650M acquisition of Intermix, which brought MySpace under the media combine's corporate umbrella.

Peter Levinsohn is a veteran of Fox TV. He brings strong operational skills to the quickly growing Fox Interactive Media group. MySpace has more than 70M registered users and is now expanding overseas.

Peter Chernin, News Corp. president, said Peter Levinsohn's "adept leadership" and "ability to work skillfully across multiple business lines makes him the ideal person for the job."

Peter and Ross Levinsohn are distant cousins.


The English language version of the Arab TV network debuted in the U.S. on Nov. 15 with virtually no cable pick-up. The network is available via satellite and on the ’Net at

David Marash, the former ABC Nightline correspondent who co-anchors a daily newscast on Al-Jazeera, blames the lack of cable support on the black eye that it received from the Bush Administration for airing tapes of Bin Laden and live coverage from the U.S. attack on Fallujah, Iraq.

He told USA Today Al-Jazeera ran valid news stories in both cases, and that it shares the same journalistic standards with every other responsible mainstream news outlet. He expects criticism of Al-Jazeera to melt away if Americans get the chance to view the network.

In Style magazine, a unit of Time Inc., has launched a parties section on its website to keep publicists updated on the action in Hollywood. There will be news of celebrities partying, an events calendar and a party scene blog.

Clinique and J C Penney are charter advertisers.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, November 22, 2006, Page 4


Washington Post executive editor Leonard Downie last week announced several moves at the paper including plans to rein in story length and “shrink” its newsroom via cost cutting.

Downie says the moves are necessary to maximize the paper’s print audience and transform it for a “new era” of modern journalism.

In a memo, Downie said the paper is moving a number of reporters from general assignment posts to more specific assignments and beats. He said newsroom staff will continue to be pruned as low-priority posts fall vacant.

The paper has consolidated its financial market tables and plans to relaunch its Food, Health and Home sections early next year.

Downie said that stories will have to “earn” their length and that length guidelines were forthcoming.

Downie noted the current environment is “challenging,” but is also a time of “great opportunity.”


Three PR firms are involved in the $26.7 billion buyout of radio titan Clear Channel Communications by a private equity group. The deal includes $18.7B in cash and $8B in debt repayment and would take the publicly traded company private.

Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital Partners lead the takeover group. Citigate Sard Verbinnen is handling media for Lee, while Bain is represented by Stanton Crenshaw Communications.

Clear Channel is relying on its AOR, Brainerd Communications, which released a statement from Clear Channel CEO Mark Mays that said he was "pleased to announce this transaction which provides substantial value to our shareholders."

CC can listen to other offers through Dec. 7 but would have to pay a break-up fee if it accepted another bid.

The No. 1 radio station owner is separately looking to unload its TV broadcasting unit and nearly 450 radio stations in small markets.


The National Hockey League has inked a content and advertising partnership deal with YouTube. Viewers will have access to highlights of regular season games within 24 hours after they were played. The deal also includes "off-the-ice" video.

The NHL is the first U.S. professional sports league to hook-up with YouTube.

Meanwhile, Google, which acquired YouTube in a $1.65B billion deal, has set aside more than $200M to settle lawsuits and copyright matters for material that has aired on the video site.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt said the company is eager to hammer out content deals with as many media companies as possible.

The firm, he said, wants to help content owners to monetize their properties.


Jewish entertainment and media company Jewcy has created an online magazine to expand its apparel and live events brand with a forum for Jewish “ideas and culture.”

Tahl Raz, a former senior editor at Fortune Small Business, edits the site. Its aim is to “reinvigorate Jewish media – a loamy literary tradition that has gone largely unchanged for 100 years.” Subjects include pop culture, politics, self-help, marketplace and public affairs.

The company is currently producing an off-Broadway show, “25 Questions for a Jewish Mother” as a follow-up to “Modern Orthodox.”

Briefs __________________

Bird Talk magazine has put together a social networking site for pet bird enthusiasts at

Users can build a web page for a bird and chat with other members. The site features news, care information, and advice from avaian experts.

Sony Computer Entertainment America and Ziff Davis Game Group have pulled the plug on PlayStation Magazine.

Sony said it is focused on delivering content via the PlayStation Network and, rather than via the playable disc package with each issue of its magazine.

January 2007 is the last issue of the print magazine. Sony said it will continue to work with Ziff in developing content for the PSN.

Firesky Media, Irvine, Calif., formerly Fahrenheit Entertainment, Inc., said it plans to launch an entertainment trade publication during the first quarter of 2007.

Focus will be on independent film, TV and new media segments of the entertainment sector, along with the growing network of festivals and markets where content is debuted.

FireSky said it expects to close an acquisition with an unnamed existing entertainment trade pub during Q1. It said the decision to start a new title stems from those negotiations.

Motto Magazine launched this month to be the “voice of capitalism with a soul.”

Founded by two Wall Street Journal vets, the title was formerly published as Worthwhile.

Topics for the inaugural issue include “How Much Money is Enough?”, how to take an environmentally friendly ski trip, and profiles of creator Jeff Taylor and Starbuck’s Ethos Water venture.

People _____________________

Sam Grawe has been promoted to editor-in-chief of Dwell, a magazine covering modern home design.

Grawe, 29, joined the magazine at its outset in 2000 as an editorial assistant and was named executive editor in August.

Dwell plans to increase from nine to ten issues in 2007 with a rate base boost to 300K as of Feburary ‘07.

Internet Edition, November 22, 2006, Page 5


Rosanna Fiske, principal and partner of Communique Group/Rise Strategies, Coral Gables, Fla., who is completing her third year on the board of PRSA, is leaving the firm to join the faculty of Florida International University.

She will head Hispanic and multicultural programs and serve as an associate professor, said Prof. Catherine Ahles, chair of the Dept. of Advertising and PR, School of Journalism & Mass Communications.

The University, based in North Miami, has 2,100 students. It is the largest grantor of bachelor's degrees to Hispanics in the U.S.

Fiske, a graduate of FIU, has been an adjunct professor in advertising and PR at the school. She founded the Communique Group in 1998 with Lourdes Diaz, and was a reporter after graduating from FIU with a degree in journalism.

Fiske was the first Hispanic member of the PRSA board. After the 2003 nominating committee picked another candidate for at-large director, Fiske successfully ran from the floor at the 2003 Assembly.


Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications, Boston, notched its 11th ballot victory as Massachusetts voters defeated a controversial proposal to create a new class of alcohol license. The new license would have allowed supermarkets, convenience stores and gas stations to sell wine.

RB, which was tapped in early 2006 to be ballot campaign manager for The Vote No on 1 Committee, notes that a May ‘06 poll by Suffolk Univ. found 61 percent of registered voters in support of the measure. By election day, voters defeated it by 56 percent to 44.

Joe Baerlein noted a key tenet of the campaign was convincing voters that the convenience of buying wine in supermarkets had consequences.

RB partnered with polling firm Marttila Communications Group and direct mail shop Mack Crounse Group.

MWW Group, East Rutherford, has launched a sustainable technologies practice focused on marketing eco-friendly tech services and companies.

CEO Michael Kempner pointed out that innovative companies are bringing eco-responsible technologies to market that both protect and preserve the environment, and drive bottom-line corporate performance.

Slightly less than one-third of participants in the first Social Media Club event held in Boston earlier this month said they read and or contribute to blogs regularly. Twenty-three percent use RSS feeds, followed by about 20 percent who utilize podcasts and wikis.

The event, sponsored by Topaz Partners and the Society for New Communications Research, drew social media producers, consumers and novices, Topaz reports.

The Club is being organized nationally to share best practices, establish ethics standards, and promote “media literacy” around the emerging area of social media.


New York Area

Affect Strategies, New York/Telargo, mobile asset management services, for PR and marketing.

The Hamilton Group, New York/Alternative Risk Management Services; SeatSmart, secondary ticket sales, and the Duramed Futures Tour.

JB Cumberland PR, New York/The Wine Enthusiast Companies, for a national branding campaign.

5W PR, New York/MediaReady, home entertainment devices, as AOR for PR.

MWW Group, East Rutherford, N.J./Diabetes Centers of America, for corporate comms.

Stern + Associates, Cranford, N.J./Convia, a Herman Miller company; Sittris, seating solutions for the healthcare industry, and The Mohawk Group, carpeting for interiors, for marketing comms.


Creating Results, Woodbridge, Va./Westminster at Lake Ridge, a “continuing care” community, for marketing, web design, and newsletter production.

Carabiner Communications, Atlanta/GTESS, healthcare claim transaction technology; Jacket Micro Devices, RF modules for wireless products, and Message Systems, email software services for large enterprises, for PR.

KWE Group, Miami/Regent Bal Harbour, for national hotel launch, and Grupo Velas hotels, Mexico, for marketing PR and consulting.


The Vandiver Group, St. Louis/Missouri Dept. of Health and Senior Services; ChartLogic; Brentwood Baptist Church; St. Louis Community Foundation; After Hours Pediatric Urgent Care Center; Charter Comms., and Chef Richard Perry.

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

Marx Layne & Co., Farmington Hills, Mich./City of Dearborn’s Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, as AOR for media relations, mktg. and adv.

Carmichael Lynch Spong, Minneapolis/American Humane Association, as AOR for an integrated communications campaign for the Denver-based group.


Linhart McClain Finlon PR, Denver/GTC Nutrition, for PR, following a review.

Landis Communications, San Francisco/, shopping site; Partnership for a Drug-Free America, for a campaign to stem methamphetamine use in California; San Francisco Ballet, for its 75th anniversary; ING Bay to Breakers, footrace, and Save-the-Redwoods League. All involved competitive reviews.

Racepoint Group, San Francisco/DigitalGlobe, high resolution commercial satellite imagery, as AOR.


The Communications Group, Richmond Hill, Ont./
omniscout, GPS vehicle tracking for law enforcement and automotive industry, for comms. in N.A.

National PR, Montreal/RVBS, oil/gas and information technology, for IR and financial comms.

Internet Edition, November 22, 2006, Page 6


Federal Communications Commission commissioner Michael Copps last week lauded the Center for Media and Democracy for its “hard work” in “bringing the nation’s attention” to the use of unsourced VNRs.

The Center has posted its “Still Not the News” study on its site. The six-month probe found that 46 stations in 22 states aired unsourced video material supplied by electronic broadcast firms.

Copps, speaking at a teleconference with fellow commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, believes citizens have the right to know whether the news programming they are watching is “more akin to propaganda.” He believes the "public interest still matters, and that the airways belong to the people.

Adelstein said he wishes the Center’s follow-up study (its first report was released in April) wasn’t necessary. He railed against TV stations broadcasting “corporate propaganda,” and warned about tightened FCC regulation. “If the flock ignores the shepherd, it is time to build a fence,” he said.

Adelstein shot down the argument that stations running unsourced VNRS are protected under the First Amendment. “Newsrooms are not allowed under the law to run commercials disguised as news without an honest and adequate disclosure,” he said. He added that “embarrassment of informing viewers they are merely transmitting corporate propaganda in lieu of real news is leading many to actually eliminate disclosure supplied by the VNR producer.”

To Adelstein, the issue is not free speech but it revolves around “identifying who is actually speaking.”

The Center’s survey showcased stations, such as one in Meridian, Miss., that ran an unsourced VNR in May called “Global Warming and Hurricanes: All Hot Air.” The spot featured two prominent global warming “debunkers.”

Medialink distributed the material, labeling it from “TCS Daily Science Roundtable.” TCS was then owned by Republican PR firm DCI Group with ExxonMobil as a client.

The study also features a D S Simon video “It’s Not Your Grandfather’s Hearing Aid” that carries a plug from rocker Huey Lewis on behalf of Oticon A/S. DSS included a visual overlay to the video that identified the sponsor, but the stations removed the strip.

The Center’s Diane Farsetta praised DSS for adding the identification strip to its video material.

NABC rebuts report

The National Assn. of Broadcast Communicators released a rebuttal to the study last week. KEF Media CEO Kevin Foley, who presides over the trade group, called the new report a rehash that contains the “same unsupported allegations and baseless charges made in the first one.”

The NABC has found “once again-that there appears to be no violations of any rules or regulations of the Federal Communications Commission.”

The Center’s Daniel Price noted that the NABC and Radio TV News Directors Assn. support self-regulation vs. more FCC controls because their "bottom line will be hurt if stations don't use their VNRs."



John McInerney departs Ruder Finn for a VP post at Euro RSCG Life PR, New York. McInerney was with RF for five years focused on healthcare marketing communications.

Crystal Noble, marketing comms. manager for Casa Myrna Vazquez, to Louder Than Words, Waltham, Mass., as an A/E.

Steve Ellis, principal of Ellis Comms. and former VP of corporate comms. for GenCorp., to Levick Strategic Communications, Washington, D.C., as a VP. A veteran rep for foreign governments, he was formerly president and CEO of Earle Palmer Brown PR, senior VP of Jefferson Waterman Int’l, and VP of Burson-Marsteller. Jason Maloni, former media director for DCS Group Public Affairs, and Aimee Steel, director of comms. at Cassidy & Associates, join as directors.

Michael Waterman, former press secretary to Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.), to Zeno Group, Washington, D.C., as a VP in the firm’s healthcare and corporate practices. He was comms. director for the Mental Health Assn. of New York City, a special project for victims of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Matt Looney, director of resource development for LNESC, to Mickey Ibarra & Associates, Washington, D.C., as an associate.

Virginia Mann, corporate comms. exec for Hewitt Associates, to Topco Associates, Skokie, Ill., as director of corporate communications. Earlier, she was manager of public and financial relations for Brunswick Corp.

Joshua Taustein, A/S, Rhea & Kaiser Marketing Communications, to Arends, Inc., Oak Brook, Ill., as PR manager. He works on Allied Electrical Group and Systech for the firm.

Joe Austin has left JPR Communications to become VP of client relations for tech firm Ventana PR in Dublin, Calif.


Jennifer Cincu and Jennifer Buchhalter to account directors at Articulate Communications, New York. Cincu joined in 2005 as an A/S after in-house stints at Epicor, Inovis and Data Synap. Buchhalter joined the firm in Boston in 2004 from Porter Novelli. Also, Harman Chin, a veteran of CA who joined Articulate earlier this year, was named to the firm’s leadership team with Cincu and Buchhalter.

Ashley Becker to A/C, Coventures, Inc., Boston.
Tammy Campbell-Ebaugh to executive VP of Crosby Marketing Communications, Annapolis, Md. She joined the firm in 2001 after serving as VP of marketing for Hair Cuttery.

Linda Weinberg to co-head of Ogilvy PR Worldwide’s Washington, D.C.-based social marketing practice. She leads the work with Jennifer Wayman. Also, Ogilvy promoted Yolan LaPorte to a new post to spearhead development for the practice.

Sylvia Samano to VP of external affairs for AT&T in the Bay Area, based in San Francisco. Denita Willoughby was named VP of external affairs for Los Angeles.

Internet Edition, November 22, 2006, Page 7

'STOP THE SPINNING’ (Cont’d from page 1)

“PR has gotten a bad name as a profession. It’s been sullied, demonized, and devalued and it's time to stop the spin,” he added.

Smiley, who heads The Smiley Group, a company with varied activities, praised PRSA president Cheryl Procter-Rogers, who introduced him, for saying that PR people are the moral consciences of their employers and that ethics is the main concern of PR people.

“I’m glad to hear her say that,” said Smiley.
He repeatedly used the phrase, “It’s time to stop the spinning” during his speech.

As soon as someone hears the term, “PR,” he said, “they know they’re about to be spun...we’ve gotten off the message and here comes the PR.”

PR has a problem, he continued, “Something is amiss here, something has run amok.” The public is “sick of mendacity and hypocrisy and being treated like they're stupid,” he added.

Urges Relating to the Public

PR pros need to be reminded of their real mission, he said, which is “relate to the public.”

PR departments, he said, instead of being called that, should be called “Relating to the Public Departments.” He condemned the term, “reputation management,” saying, “I hold my nose.”

“How about a reputation that doesn't have to be managed?” he asked, receiving a round of applause.
PR should be “a sensible, earnest effort to relate to the public,” he said.

Leaders Must Love Audiences

“You can’t lead people if you don’t love people and you can't save people if you don’t serve them,” he said.

The questions, he said, are “What is the depth of your love and the quality of your service? What happened to the notion of love in our public discussion?”

The function of PR, he said, is to “afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.”

He urged PR pros to “stick your neck out” in making contributions to society. He praised Starbucks for addressing “critical questions in healthcare that are not being addressed by the government.”

Another round of applause greeted him when he said what's needed is not a "”minimum wage” for workers but a “living wage.”

Covenant with Black America Was #1

Covenant with Black America, which Smiley edited, reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. He also authored Never Mind Success...Go for Greatness, published by his own firm, Smiley Books, with Hay House.

Texas Southern University honored Smiley in 2004 by opening The Tavis Smiley School of Communications and the Tavis Smiley Center for Professional Media Studies. Smiley made a $1 million commitment to the Center.

The Foundation’s mission is to “enlighten, encourage and empower black youth.”
Tavis Smiley Presents, a unit of The Smiley Group, "brings ideas and people together through symposiums, seminars, and town hall meetings."


The program for the PRSA Awards lunch Nov. 13 in Salt Lake City listed the names of 234 PR people as “Newly Accredited in 2006” but the actual total is 111 as of early November.

Mary Graybill, chair of the Universal Accreditation Board, said PRSA staff mistakenly added 2005 APRs to the 2006 list.

Included in the 234 names, which occupied three full pages in the program, are 41 PR people who do not belong to PRSA. They are members of groups in the UAB.

As of Sept. 30, 2006, there were 77 new PRSA APRs in 2006 vs. 79 created in the first nine months of 2005.

In the first full year ended June 30, 2005, there were 41 new PRSA APRs. There were 82 in the second year ended June 30, 2005, and 120 in the third year ended June 30, 2006.

New APRs for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2006 totaled 27 vs. 32 in the same 2005 quarter.
The total for the first three years is 243 or an average of 81 yearly.

New Exam Started July 1, 2003

A new accreditation exam was put in place as of July 1, 2003 after four years of research and a cost of $250,000. Virtually the entire cost was borne by PRSA.

Society members take the test for $275 plus a $25 application fee while non-members are charged $385.

Members of eight other groups are in the UAB.
With the previous test, more than 200 new PRSA APRs were created yearly from 1983 through 2002.

From 1986 through 1992, more than 300 new APRs were created yearly, with 1986 and 1992 being the peak years (338 and 346 new APRs, respectively).

PRSA had 13,216 members in 1986 and 15,462 in 1992, indicating a much larger percentage of members were becoming APR.

Less than one percent of non-APR members are becoming APR each year. PRSA has 21,000 members and more than 17,000 are non-APR.

Only APRs can hold national office, which has led to a shortage of candidates for board and officer positions. PRSA has cut board terms from three to two years to attract candidates. A move to exchange five district directors for five at-large directors was blocked by the Assembly this year.

UAB Sees Jump in Applications

Graybill said candidate applications jumped 60% in Q3 to 80 from 50.

Candidates participating in the “Readiness Review” in-person interview fell 16% to 41 while candidates advancing from the RR fell 24% to 45. Candidates passing the computer-based, multiple-choice exam fell 29% to 29.

All ten of the applicants passed the APR exam in October. The usual pass rate is 70%. Another unusual period was Q3 of 2005 when 32 took the test and 30 passed it.

Two groups in the UAB have never sent any candidates to the exam–Agricultural Relations Council and the Religion Communicators Council.

Internet Edition, November 22, 2006, Page 8




Tavis Smiley spoke forcefully to the PRSA conference as the keynote speaker (page one).

No less than a half dozen times he fairly screamed at the audience to “stop the spinning.” Towards the end, he started to sound like a Bible-belt preacher on a Sunday morning. He promised to stop speaking in five minutes but spoke another 15.

Despite his pleas to “stop the spinning...the mendacity” (he never used the word “lie”), his speech was almost immediately spun in the PRSA daily conference blog as: “What a way to open the conference! Tavis Smiley brought everyone to their feet with his message of love and service.”

We sent e-mails to 2006 PRSA president Cheryl Procter-Rogers, 2007 president Rhoda Weiss, and staffers Janet Troy and Cedric Bess asking what PRSA proposes to do about Smiley’s charge that PR is “sullied, demonized and devalued.”

This reputation is discouraging clients from using “PR,” is a factor in the paltry turnout of APR candidates (see page 7), makes PR an unappealing area of study, is a factor in the lack of growth of PRSA itself, and makes the press want to avoid PR. What PRSA should do is practice “symmetrical, two-way” PR as described by Prof. James Grunig to the Institute for PR Nov. 9. An organization can’t communicate unless it does something. Words are not enough. For instance, PRSA could orchestrate “Answer the Press Day” in which PR pros drop everything, including meetings, and talk to any reporter who calls. Concrete action is needed to make PR stand for helpfulness and transparency.

The press and PR are demonizing each other about as hard as they can.

Frank Rich’s excoriation of the Bush Administration’s use of “PR” in the July 13 New York Times (PR is press avoidance, marketing, sloganeering, spinning, sales strategy, stunts, lacking in substance, etc.) is now in book length form under the title The Greatest Story Ever Sold. There are hundreds of references to PR, all of them negative. “Intimidation” of the press by institutions “has made mainstream journalists unusually defensive,” said the review in the NYT 9/17. The press is seen as a “biased, untrustworthy and unpatriotic filter.” Rich admits that mistakes in the media, including Judith Miller’s flawed reporting on Iraq for the NYT and the lies of Jayson Blair gave critics plenty of ammo.

Apropos of intimidation, reporter Paul Beebe of the Salt Lake Tribune wrote a 750-word article on the Central Michigan bylaw proposal 11/10, quoting CM president Andy Corner as saying the Assembly is used as a “rubber stamp” by the board and PRSA needs “more democracy.” The board is “out of touch with what the members want,” Corner told Beebe. But when the Assembly rejected CM by a vote of 261-19 with only a couple of minutes of discussion, living up to its “rubber stamp” reputation, Beebe did no follow-up story. We wonder if someone from PRSA called the editor or publisher. As noted by reporters and editors of The Oklahoman to PRSA/Oklahoma City (10/4 NL) one of their biggest problems is “daily” pressure on the “front office” by PR people and others to block, change or run stories.

The evolution of PRSA’s attitude to the press was only too visible at the conference.

Some years ago, the press room at the conference was a beehive of activity, located near the registration desk and open to PRSA leaders and attendees who might want to talk with reporters. A place for interviewing was set up with two chairs and a table in between. A large bulletin board displayed clips from local media about the conference as PRSA’s PR staff showed its ability to “get ink.” A daily newspaper was published by staff summarizing speeches and giving conference facts and figures. Coffee, pastries, fruit and fruit juices were staples of the press room. PR staffers helped reporters with their questions. Reporters sat among Assembly delegates where they could see, hear and take pictures.

Click to this year. The press room was at the end of a hallway two floors away from registration. There was no bulletin board of clips; no texts; mostly no PRSA PR staffer present; no visits by PRSA leaders; no interview setup; virtually no help with stories or background facts, and sparse food. On Saturday there were peanuts and potato chips to go with coffee, but on Sunday, no food at all.

Meanwhile, down the hall, the PRSA staff (30 were at the meeting) had the works. We sent a student assigned to the press room to get some food for the reporters but she returned saying the staff would not allow it. So we called the “hospitality committee” of the local chapter and PR manager Cedric Bess later walked in with a small plate of fruit and pastries just for us as though no other reporters would want a snack. We offered to let Bess see our Assembly story to check for facts but he walked out of the room saying he had to attend a meeting. Asked for a tape of the Saturday morning Assembly (which we missed because of a flight delay), he said he would try to get it. He never did.

Others who were asked for this tape, including president Cheryl Procter-Rogers, COO Catherine Bolton and conference chair Keith Burton, just shrugged their shoulders when asked for help. Most suspicious is that three other PR trade reporters were at the meeting but we were the only reporter who covered the Assembly (occupying one of the press seats at the rear of the room).

An attempt to take some close-up pictures of the board was impeded by Troy, who quickly escorted us out of the “sacred” Assembly area. Why didn’t the other reporters cover this historic Assembly? Is intimidation or laziness at work here? The Assembly does not like reporters. Our attendance at the afternoon session had the effect of killing debate. There was no discussion of the switch from president to chair for the top elected officer and only two brief speeches about the CM proposal.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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