The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, December 6, 2006, Page 1
CALIF. ISSUES RFP FOR NUTRITION
California has moved to
scuttle its $28M 5 a Day campaign after federal
guidelines were revamped last year calling for low-income
people to eat more than five servings of healthful foods
As a result, the California
Nutrition Network for Healthy, Active Families, the state
entity which oversees that social marketing effort, has
issued an RFP for a firm to develop a new campaign, including
media work, advertising and PR. The budget is a whopping
$36M, or $1M for each month of the term, which is expected
to stretch from April 2007 through early 2010.
Hill & Knowlton teamed
with Runyon Saltzman & Einhorn to win last review for
the 5 a Day campaign in 2004, a four-year contract
worth $28M that has become outdated and must be replaced,
according to the states Dept. of Health Services.
The state-backed campaign,
administered through the California Dept. of Health Services,
is aimed to support a larger multi-tiered social marketing
effort urging the 10.1M Golden State residents eligible
for food stamps to lead healthy lives through eating right
The winning bidder will
give a new face to the campaign and create a master
brand to kick off in April 2007.
Firms must have a California
office that has been in service for three years with annual
billings of at least $7M to pitch. The RFP was released
last week and a pre-proposal teleconference has been set
for Dec. 19. A letter of intent to pitch is due Jan. 25.
Carmen Heredia ([email protected])
is point of contact.
EDELMAN WINS ENERGY SHOOT-OUT.
Edelmans Sacramento office has defeated an initial
field of 17 firms for a multimillion-dollar public education
effort to boost solar energy among California residents
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger earmarked $4.5M for public education
over four years as part of a larger $2.8B, 11-year incentive
program under the California Public Utilities Commission.
Residential and commercial customers receive incentives
of $2.50 per watt of solar power and can qualify for additional
federal tax credits under that program.
Edelman edged finalists Ogilvy PR Worldwide, Katz &
Associates and Astone Marketing after a final round of presentations.
Thirteen other firms pitched.
The RFP was issued in August and called for a two-year contract
with two options at $1.5M per year.
GCI GETS GEORGIA TECH ACCOUNT.
GCI Group has won a five-firm shootout to develop and guide
Georgia Techs first major effort with an outside PR
GCI bested Edelman, Ketchum, Weber Shandwick and Fleishman-Hillard
for the account, which carries a one-year term and year-long
GT, formally known as the Georgia Institute of Technology,
was looking for an established firm to develop a strategy
for its PR and marketing communications, nationally and
locally, to increase awareness and enhance the prestige
of the school.
An RFP issued in late August said 55 percent of the work
would involve media relations, with the remainder going
to planning, partnership development and PR materials. The
school also said it could seek advice from its PR firm on
advertising buys, although such work was not a requirement
for the RFP.
BRYANT HEADS GLOBAL COMMS.
Jeep Bryant, former SVP and director of corporate communications
at PNC Financial Services Group, has been promoted to executive
VP and global head of communications for The Bank of New
Bryant, who joined BNY in 2003 as a managing director,
guides the companys external PR and internal comms.
for its 23,000 employees.
Bryants career has spanned major financial institutions.
Prior to PNC, he held various corporate communications posts
including SVP/director of corporate communications at First
Union Corp. in Charlotte, N.C., as the company that would
become Wachovia Corp. pursued more than 40 acquisitions
to expand its reach.
Bryant is active in the Arthur W. Page Society and PR Seminar,
and serves on the advisory council for the College of Charlestons
Dept. of Communications.
NEW CEO OF NIRI REVAMPS STAFF.
Staff of the National Investor Relations Institute, Vienna,
Va., has undergone a major re-vamping in the wake of the
appointment of Nancy Humphries as president and CEO to succeed
Lou Thompson, who was at NIRI 24 years.
Humphries was at BellSouth Corp. for 30 years, becoming
VP-IR and a corporate officier.
Eight of the current 16 NIRI staffers, including Humphries,
are recent appointments. Among those leaving is Beth Carty,
senior VP of member services, membership and chapter development.
Those duties put her in touch with many members
(Continued on page 7)
Edition, December 6, 2006, Page 2
FOR GOLDEN GATE.
Strategies of Novato, Calif., has won a review to develop
a corporate sponsorship plan for the Golden Gate Bridge
in San Francisco.
firm was chosen on the recommendation of the Golden Gate
Bridge Highway & Transportation Districts government
affairs and public information committee following an RFP.
The District received four other proposals from Belenson
Associates (San Francisco); Kimbrell & Co. (Sausalito);
The Active Network (Huntington Beach) and The Superlative
Group (Cleveland, Ohio).
District issued an RFP in late August for a sponsorship
program for the fabled bridge after developing a plan for
its long-term financial stability which called for finding
revenue from non-traditional sources. The District
faces a deficit approaching $90M, much of that caused from
post 9/11 security measures.
RFP stressed that any sponsorship will have to preserve
its dignity and safety and enhance the Golden
Gate brand and its image as an internationally recognized
icon of historical engineering and architectural significance.
Districts PA staff is stressing that it will not pursue
a naming rights deal for the bridge, but would likely install
signs in visitor areas reflecting any corporate partnership
deals that are worked out.
F-H FOCUSES ON BABY BOOMERS.
established a Baby Boomer operation, FH Boom, to help its
drug, financial, consumer products and technology clients
sharpen their focus on that burgeoning market.
The Omnicom unit has hired
Carol Orsborn, author of BOOM: Marketing to the Ultimate
Power Consumerthe Baby Boomer Woman, to co-chair
FH Boom with Eileen Marcus, the firms consumer lead.
Orsborn was senior partner
at Imago Creative, a partner of JWT Mature Market Group,
and ran her own consulting shop in San Francisco.
FH Boom has a blog at
GAVIN ANDERSON FRONTS NASDAQ
Gavin Anderson & Co.
is managing media for Nasdaq Stock Market and its $5.2B
offer to purchase the remaining 71 percent stake in the
London Stock Market that it does not own.
The deal is designed to beef up Nasdaqs trans-Atlantic
capability in the aftermath of the New York Stock Exchanges
$15B tie-up with Paris-based Euronext.
Nasdaq made a Securities
and Exchange Commission filing on Nov. 27, disclosing that
it has arranged a $5.1B line of credit from Bank of America
and Dresdner Kleinwort to finance the bulk of the deal.
LSM chairman Chris Gibson-Smith
has rejected Nasdaqs offer as on the cheap side, pointing
out that it represents a two percent premium over LSMs
trading price. He has nixed a request to meet with NASDAQ
The LSM, which uses Finsbury
for PR, notes that it is time to move on since NASDAQ has
declared its Nov. 20 offer as final.
ABBOTT TEAMS WITH MAGIC JOHNSON.
Abbott Laboratories is
bankrolling the $60M I Stand with Magic anti-AIDS
campaign that is fronted by basketball legend Magic Johnson.
The ex-Los Angeles Laker
announced in `91 that he was infected with AIDS. Johnson
officially kicked off the campaign on Dec. 1, World AIDS
Day. He plans to visit at least 10 cities a year to educate
people about the AIDS scourge and encourage testing for
Johnson is keen about
getting that message to black Americans. Blacks comprise
15 percent of the U.S. population, but account for 50 percent
of new cases.
istandwithmagic.com site allows people to post their
picture if they stand with the basketball great. More than
880 people have done so.
USA Today (Dec.
1) mentioned the Magic Paradox. The 47-year-old
Johnson looks so healthy some may question whether
AIDS is the menace it was made out to be. Johnson
attributes his health to a multi-drug cocktail that he takes
each day, and the conditioning from playing in the NBA.
Abbott markets the AIDS
GUAM SEEKS E-MARKETING PARTNER.
The Guam Visitors Bureau
has posted an e-marketing RFP on its website that calls
for a PR firm to help forge a unified brand image
for the U.S. territory that lies in the North Pacific three
quarters of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines.
The island, which has
a population of about 200,000, draws more than one million
vacationers a year. Key markets are Japan, China, Australia,
Korea, Philippines, Taiwan and the U.S.
Gerald Perez, general
manager of the GVB, believes an Internet campaign is the
most cost effective method of publicizing Guams
story and appeal to an international audience. He
wants proposals by Dec. 15. Info is available at visitguam.org.
KWITTKEN GOES TO COURT FOR
Kwittken & Co. is
handling litigation PR for Boxborough, Mass.-based FireStar
Software, which has filed a patent infringement case against
Red Hat, according to Aaron Kwittken.
FireStar alleges that
Red Hat infringed on its patent to link software with databases.
Kwittken calls the case significant because of Red Hats
role as the patron saint of the open source
K&C, which was founded
in `05, expects to chalk up $2.7M in fees this year. The
firms 18 staffers have settled into 4,500 sq. ft.
on Lexington Ave. near Grand Central.
Kwittken wants to open
a London office during the next 18 months because he says
that is where the action is.
The firm has three U.K.
clients, and has just signed up $500K SilverJet account.
The carrier flies a single 767 business class luxury
jet from London (Luton Airport32 miles from the U.K.
capital) to New York (Newark).
Kwittken snagged that
work from Freud Communications, which is part of Publicis
Edition, December 6, 2006, Page 3
DENIES NYT TAKEOVER BID.
pro Mark Corallo is repping Hank Greenberg, the 81-year-old
former American International Group CEO, and denying reports
that he is buying hundreds of thousands shares
of the New York Times Co. in a bid to dilute Sulzberger
family-control of the company.
New York Post ran that item on Nov. 29 which helped
drive the price of NYTC shares up nine percent to $24.76.
The Post backpedaled Nov. 30, reporting that Greenberg isn't
mounting a hostile takeover "by any stretch of the
says Greenberg owns less than 100,000 shares of the more
than 143M NYTC shares outstanding. The Alexandria-based
counselor adds that Greenberg has no intention of bulking
up his NYTC holdings.
financier has expressed an interest in buying a newspaper,
and is among those considering a bid for Tribune Co., which
is reviewing its strategic options.
is the former Justice Dept. PA officer, who worked for Karl
Rove during the Valerie Plame-CIA outing story and former
Hewlett-Packard director Tom Perkins through the pretexting
HEARST BUYS TEXAS PAPER CHAIN.
Hearst Corp., publisher
of the San Antonio Express-News, is buying 18 local
papers ringing the city.
The collection includes
Bulverde Community News, Leon Valley Recorder
and Hill Country View.
The chain, which is housed
in Prime Time Inc., was launched by Lowry Mays, founder
of Clear Channel Communications. CCC is in the midst of
being purchased by a Mays-family fronted group.
PTI president Bill Johnson
believes the deal is a "great strategic move for both
companies." He plans to stay on as a consultant for
HENNEBERGER JOINS HUFFINGTON.
Melinda Henneberger is
joining The Huffington Post in January as political editor.
She will be based in Washington.
Arianna Huffington says
Henneberger is in charge of building a team to cover Congress
and the '08 Presidential sweepstakes.
Henneberger wrote political
columns for Newsweek and spent a decade writing for
the New York Times. She also reported for the Dallas
Morning News and Newsday.
For the past two years,
Henneberger has been traveling the country, interviewing
women for her upcoming book, If They Only Listened to
US: What Women Voters Want Politicians to Hear. THP
gets three million unique visitors and 60M page views a
month. Ken Sunshine Consultants promotes the site.
has launched Click to Call, a service
on its website that links product reviews to customer service
representatives of a products company. In a deal with
eStara, the website connects users by telephone with the
click of a button. PCMag.com said it is the first web publisher
to use the technology within its product review pages to
deliver leads to national advertisers.
RUPERTS LAST LAUGH.
ABC Entertainment paid
Rupert Murdochs News Corp.'s publishing unit a $1M
"kill fee" because Barbara Walters decided not
to interview O.J. Simpson about his now-killed book, "If
I Did It," according to a Newsweek web report.
Newsweek reports that
Walters took ten days to "think things over" about
the interview before ultimately deciding against the meeting.
She then told the audience of "The View" that
she turned down a chance to sit down with Simpson.
That led ReganBooks to
announce that the book about how Simpson would have gone
about killing his wife, Nicole, and Ron Goldman was going
to be a two-day "sweeps" bonanza for its News
Corp. sister company, Fox Network.
ReganBooks felt that it
was "strung along unfairly" by Walters, and ABC
decided to pay the kill fee to avoid "embarrassing
press leaks about the dealings or to maintain cordial relations
with the feisty Regan.
News Corp. and ABC have
signed non-disclosure agreements about the negotiations.
Murdoch, last month, killed the Simpson book and Fox program.
IRAQ MONITORS MEDIA.
Iraqs Interior Ministry
said it has set up a media monitoring unit in an effort
to crack down on stories it sees as erroneous.
The Associated Press has
drawn the Ministrys ire with a recent story about
six Sunni Muslims who were reportedly burned alive during
a November attack on a mosque in Baghdad. The AP stands
by the story but the Ministry has questioned its sources
and said the news organization paid for information, a charge
the AP denies.
A spokesman for the Ministry
told the AP that it has a large PR staff and should be contact
to get real, true news.
HAWKINS LAUNCHES POLITICAL
St. Augustine-based counselor
John Hawkins has launched "The Forgotten Street,"
a political and cultural website dedicated to promoting
traditional American values. He told ODwyer's the
site wants to "bring Americans together again around
a common sense, non-partisan agenda."
Hawkins blames the establishment
elite for selling out core American beliefs. "They
are more focused on K Street, Arab Street, Champ-Elysees
than they are on Main Street," he said in a release.
Hawkins says his own education
was slanted by liberal and anti-war rhetoric, but he flourished
when exposed to the conservative philosophy of Ronald Reagan.
He is fed up with the inability of both Democrats and Republicans
to "formulate a cohesive national agenda when our country
is at war with Islamo-fascists."
TFS pushes a 10-point
"Main Street Manifesto" to right what it feels
is wrong with America. Some highlights include support for
the "war on terror," immigration control, balanced
budget, and "Star Wars."
news continued on next page)
Edition, December 6, 2006, Page 4
A SUCCESSFUL MEDIA TOUR.
PR industry is slowly realizing that marketing should take
a back seat to forging good relations with media and the
public, said a panel of news and publicity experts at popular
New York nightclub The Cutting Room.
heading into a time where we're going toward traditional
PR, which I think is a good thing," said Joan Schaffer,
an independent television and radio publicist.
panel, hosted by the Entertainment Publicists Professional
Society and sponsored by Live Star Television, was gathered
to discuss the do's and don'ts of running a successful media
a publicist who specializes in booking satellite news media
tours, Schaffer said PR can improve its image and its bottom
line by easing up on the sales pitch and instead doing "something
for your community."
bottom line is that neutrality isn't working for PR,"
she said. "You can't go out and sell salad dressing
and expect people to get behind it. You have to have a cause
that's going to help make communities a better place."
and ethics play an increasing role in the media tour business,
especially lately, with the FCC's recent probe into televised
networks and their use of VNRs during news segments. This
has changed how networks use outside media sources and consequently,
what publicists must do to ensure their client gets air
now, it's extremely difficult to pitch anything with a blatant
product pitch," Schaffer said. "Stations are not
keen with these tours that have corporate sponsors. They're
running scared because of the FCC. Unless I am completely
blindsided, I am going to be completely honest with you
whose is it and why is it on there? I think that's
example, the healthcare industry's foray into the world
of media tours, as made apparent by Montel Williams' popular
tour for PhRMA's Partnership for Prescription Assistance,
has signaled a success for the industry, but is also in
many ways seen as an ethical minefield for news producers.
Robert Melstein, senior
writer for CNN's "Headline News Showbiz Tonight,"
said segment producers have to draw guidelines and handle
each case with the utmost scrutiny to ensure the news doesn't
become a breeding ground for product plugs.
"We don't like the
idea of having a spokesperson from PhRMA on our show,"
he said. "And we probably won't take them, unless,
for example, the spokesperson actually has that disease."
So who makes a suitable
slot for a media tour? Scott Knowlton, producer for "Your
Morning" on CN8, said a good segment involves a guest
who possesses the dual advantages of being a "good
talker and a good personality." News items usually
take precedence over entertainment, but if the guest is
a celebrity, it's usually seen as a bonus for the network.
The panel was unanimous
in citing a few rules to go by when getting your media tour
ready for a segment: First, don't tell producers what they
can or can't talk about, and don't ask for a list of questions
that will be asked.
"We hit on a lot
of stuff because that's what we find our viewers like,"
Melstein said. "We'll tell you that we're going to
talk about A, B or C, but we're not going to send you the
questions ahead of time and it's extremely important that
they know that. If a celebrity is pushing a movie or whatever,
fine, we will ask a question or two, but they need to have
something else to talk about. That's the number one thing
for booking a live media tour."
Second, make sure your
guest is ready to go at the pre-determined time-slot. A
late appearance is not only unprofessional, but in the world
of TV news, it can cost you the slot.
"We do pre-tapes.
We have a very limited time-frame and I can count on one
hand the amount of time-slots I have for them," Schaffer
Third, give producers
more than a sliver of time to work with guests.
"I know you want
to book them for a lot of time on different shows - but
we need more than four or five minutes," Melstein said.
When submitting a B-Roll
or a VNR, Melstein said his company's policy is typically
a standard in the rest of the industry at this point: The
B-roll should always be credited to it creators.
Schaffer said this has
been the practice at "pretty much every place I've
ever worked for," and Sharon Johnson, entertainment
producer for CBS Newspath, said her company's policy is
also similar: video from a source other than CBS will always
be credited to that source and sound bytes aren't used at
all, she said, "unless it says something so shocking
that we have to use that clip."
The panel also advised
not to mix sound bytes with the B-Roll as the results are
confusing and can result in a rejection from the network.
"In news, the ideal
source is the original source," Schaffer said.
Watson, national affairs editor for Newsweek,
is now managing editor of the weeklys website. It
is part of Newsweek editor Jon Meachams plan to better
integrate print and web news.
Carl Sullivan, news editor
has also been named a senior writer for the magazine. He
retains web duties. Sullivan led Hurricane Katrina reporting.
Holdings has named Mary Berner as president and CEO
of The Readers Digest Assn. following the completion
of its acquisition.
Berner, 47, spent the
past six years as president and CEO of Fairchild Publications,
where she re-launched Details magazine and launched
the upscale parenting magazine Cookie. Earlier, she
was publisher for Glamour and TV Guide.
6, 2006, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
SEES PR SUPPORT IN JAPAN.
percent of Japanese stakeholders say earned media using
a PR firm is more effective than advertising, according
to an Edelman report.
firm tapped Harris Interactive to query 320 opinion leaders,
including senior executives, investors, government and media
sees the strong support for PR as a signal that PR has been
an underappreciated aspect of corporate communications,
according to Japan deputy managing director Keizo Kumazawa.
has increased significantly in the last year in Japan, according
to the study. Nearly 80 percent said they have engaged in
blogging, compared with 52 percent last year. Also boosting
the web, 42 percent said they are more likely to use a corporate
website to get information on a company than any other medium.
for CSR remained steady with a slight uptick in those who
see it as a sincere business shift, rather than just
image building to 49 percent, up from 46 percent last
year. Ideals are high as 94 percent said good and
responsible companies stand by their products in a
crisis, but only 29 percent of Japanese and Western companies
are seen as living up to that.
companies scored higher marks for transparency and openness,
but Japanese companies got higher marks for quality of products
NAPOLITAN MARKS 50 YEARS.
Joseph Napolitan Associates,
a Springfield, Mass.-based political PR firm, marked its
50th anniversary on Dec. 2.
Napolitan has worked on
more than 100 campaigns for the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives,
governorships and city elections, and has advised several
international heads of state.
He served on the campaign
staffs of President John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson and
later was director of media for Vice President Hubert Humphrey
in the 1968 presidential campaign.
Napolitan is sometimes
credited as the first political consultant and
does not give interviews on campagins in progress, preferring
to maintain confidentiality by working with a candidate
and a small group of trusted advisors.
He wrote a classic campaign
guide The Election Game, along with a memoir on his
Strategies, a high-tech firm based in New York, has
aligned with London-based Johnson
King PR, a tech specialist with offices in Germany
and France. ...Capstrat,
Raleigh, N.C., won a WebAward from the Web Marketing Assn.
for its web strategy and design work for St. Engineering.
...GolinHarris has entered into an affiliate relationship
with Seoul, South Korea firm Grape PR & Consulting.
has marked the fifth anniversary of its Washington, D.C.,
office. Clients have included the U.S. Dept. of Labor and
Strategies, New York/Telargo, mobile asset management
solutions, for PR and marketing, and Blue Security, community
approach to cutting down bulk email and spam, for PR.
PR, New York/Lemon, Internet recording band, for
PR support of its current single, What I Want for
Christmas, and CD, Changing Into Me.
PR, New York/Fenwick Keats Goodstein; ForSaleByOwner.com;
Mosaic Properties, and CIEL, all real estate accounts, for
Finn, New York/Reuters Collaboration Services, the
hardware, software and enterprise messaging unit of Reuters
America, for PR counsel and media relations in New York
and London. RCS flagship product is Reuters Messaging
service for the financial industry.
PR, Chappaqua, N.Y./All Media Guide, content and
content management technology, for B2B PR and marketing
communications; LifebankUSA, for PR for launch of its PlacentaCord
banking; Rosenberg & Estis, real estate law firm, and
SiRAS, point-of-sale electronic registration for videogame
systems, for PR planning and implementation.
& Caron, Stamford, Conn./Clean Diesel Technologies,
developer of chemical and technological solutions to reduce
engine emissions, for renewal of its IR and corporate communications
PR, Boston/Galaxy Nutritional Foods, marketer of
cheese alternatives, for consumer PR.
Williams & Co., Quincy, Mass./Compass Medical;
Mentor Partners, and The Pentad Group, for development of
Communications, Washington, D.C./
Renaissance Learning, software and training seminars, for
PR to support the company and its Accelerated Reader Enterprise
Richmond, Va./Thor-Lo, protective sock products, and the
Institute for Preventative Foot Health, for cause-related
marketing and counsel.
Group, Atlanta/HealthMPowers, for re-branding, including
logo design and identity development, efforts as the non-profit
changes its name to Kids Health. The work is pro-bono.
Chicago/U.S. Postal Inspection Service, for PR to support
an overall marketing communications campaign targeting teens
about posting information on social networking sites and
blogs with Campbell-Ewald. Also, GHs Shanghai, China,
office has been tapped by Toys R US for PR.
Communications, Chicago/Unscene Urban Navigator travel
guides, and ChinaStar 101, travel planning service for business
travelers in China.
Layne & Co., Farmington Hills, Mich./Atlas Oil
Co., fuel distributor, for comms., PR and mktg.
Communications, Los Angeles/La Brea Bakery, artisan
breads, as AOR for PR and marketing.
Edition, December 6, 2006, Page 6
INKS DEAL TO TRACK BLOGS.
Monitoring Services has inked a deal with Nielsen BuzzMetrics,
the measurement company which tracks consumer generated
clients can access NBs database of millions of blogs
as part of the companys existing integrated monitoring
services and the upcoming release of its Integrated Media
Wengryn, president and CEO of VMS, said the deal allows
VMS to offer best in breed blog coverage to
complement its print, broadcast and Internet services.
IPR RESEARCHES DIGITAL MEDIA.
The Institute for PR has
developed a research program backed by Wieck Media to build
a body of knowledge on the impact of digital media on PR.
An advisory panel of academics
and practitioners has been named for the effort. Among the
participants are Ken Makovsky, president of Makovsky &
Co. who writes a weblog; John Pavlik, professor and journalism
and media studies dept. chair at Rutgers Univ., and Jennifer
McClure, executive director of the Society for New Communications
Tim Roberts, president
of WM who is also on the panel, said areas of interest could
range from the growing influence of citizen journalists
to standards for new media press releases.
FINANCIALS LINKED TO PRESS.
had a strong impact on media coverage of major companies
in the third quarter, according to Delahayes quarterly
Dell fell 61 places on
the index on news of its financial woes, while Delphi, Tyson
Foods and Fannie Mae faced similar struggles.
The financial focus scored
positive results for General Motors (up to No. 13, from
100), along with the three companies that remain atop the
index: Microsoft, The Walt Disney Co. and IBM.
Delahaye said Wal-Mart
landed in the No. 5 slot on news of strong back-to-school
sales and the overturn of a Maryland law aimed to force
the retailer to insure its employees.
Business Media is mulling a $1B bid for PR Newswire
from Apax, a private equity firm, according to the London
Times. ...Leonard Nelson,
a veteran radio producer and interactive media exec for
Susquehanna Radio Corp., has been named executive producer
for San Francisco video PR company Bars+Tone. Nelson was
producer of the Frank and Mike Morning Show
before being named director of interactive media for SRC.
the M&A advisor for advertising and marketing companies,
counseled The Glover Park Group as the PR and public affairs
firm received a major investment from Svoboda,
Collins, a Chicago private equity firm. The firm was involved
in WPPs acquisitions of Public Strategies and Quinn
Gillespie, Financial Dynamics purchase of Dittus Comms.,
and Ogilvy PR Worldwides acquisition of The Federalist
Cohn, senior VP for Steele Rose Communications, to
Zeno Group, New York, as a senior VP in the firms
consumer practice. She has been at MWW Group, DeVries PR,
and The Lippin Group.
Davich has left the Rosen Group for an associate
VP post at Rubenstein PR, New York. She was formerly with
MRM Direct, McCann Ericksons direct marketing unit.
Adams has joined MWW as senior VP in charge of its
Chicago office. She had been at Hill & Knowlton for
the past seven years, exiting as Midwest director for healthcare
and PA clients. Adams also served as U.S. training director
for the WPP Group unit. Prior to H&K, Adams held posts
at Fleishman-Hillard, Tierney Group and Forester & Co.
Adams current task is to build awareness of East Rutherford,
N.J.-based MWW in the Midwest. Garrett
Glaser, former CNBC reporter and a veteran communicator,
has joined MWW as a VP in its N.J.-based corporate comms.
unit. He had been a senior consultant for Strategy-XXI Group
in New York. Earlier, Glaser was VP of media relations for
IT product company EMC Communications on the West Coast.
He reported for CNBC from 1997-05 and served as the network's
retail and apparel specialist. Glaser was previously active
in the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Assn., where
he served on its board and co-founded the groups electronic
media task force.
DAllesandro, former director of public affairs
for Inter-Power Development Corp., to Behan Communications,
Albany, N.Y. He was recently VP of public affairs for Special
Olympics New York, president of WordSmith Communications,
and senior public affairs officer for the N.Y. Power Authority.
Goldstein, senior VP of marketing, Prosero, to William
Mills Agency, Atlanta, as a VP.
Oehl Jacobs, senior director of AMPR, to Starmark
International, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., as director of PR.
She was previously at OConnell & Goldberg and
a VP for Warschawski PR in Baltimore.
Conway, VP of investor relations at KeyCorp, to The
Sherwin-Williams Co., Cleveland, as director of corporate
comms. and IR. Conway was director of corporate comms. for
Manco, director of media relations for the Greater Cleveland
Regional Transit Authority, and special projects reporter
for WJW-TV-8 in Cleveland.
Clark, VP of marketing, PSS Systems, to Eastwick
Communications, Redwood City, Calif., as executive VP. Susan
Radd, VP and strategist for Edelmans Silicon
Valley office, joins Eastwick as a VP. She headed PR for
Globalstar, Symbol Technologies and the WiMAX Forum at Edelman.
Schrum to staff VP, investor relations and corporate
affairs, Sonoco, Hartsville, S.C., effective Jan. 1. Schrum,
51, had been director of communications.
Edition, December 6, 2006, Page 7
REVAMPS STAFF (Continued
from page 1)
other staffers who have left worked mostly on internal matters
and were not well known to members.
was with NIRI about 20 years. She could not be reached for
comment nor could NIRI executives.
leaving were Josephina Arias, member services; Susie Cunningham,
chapter services; Shannon Duong, professional development;
Connie Harrison, IR Quarterly; Satik Manjikian, finance;
Lynn Meloche, director, member services, and Dahlia Tart,
professional development. The departures of Laura Bernstein,
editor of IR Update (monthly), and Eric Thompson,
son of Lou Thompson, an administrative assistant, were previously
on NIRI Website
Joining NIRI, according
to a staff listing on niri.org, are Andrew Jens as SVP,
administration and CFO; Michael McGough, VP, marketing and
membership development; Tarik Habayeb, assistant to VP of
finance; Melissa Jones, manager, marketing comms., who returns
to the staff; Robin Kite, director, chapter services; David
Meisner, membership development, and Rhonda Watson, database
Remaining on the staff
are secretary Linda Kelleher, who was paid $176,148 in salary
in 2005 and $48,030 in health benefits/pension, and Carolyn
Wheatley, paid $138,667/$22,841.
Lou Thompson was paid
Also remaining on the
staff are Susan McGuire, assistant to president; Katherine
Philipp, director of professional development; Pamela Spraker,
director of information systems, and Angela Mumeka, manager
of member services.
Heather Sieber, the first
on-staff PR person in NIRIs 35-year history, joined
from the Federal Home Mortgage Corp. in early 2005 and left
in mid-2006. She was not replaced.
NIRI had record cash/savings
of $5.2M at the end of 2005, helped by a dues increase of
$50 to $475. Net assets, including dues for the next 12
months booked as cash, rose 7% to $4.57M. NIRI has 4,300
members, down from a high of about 5,200 in 2000 when numerous
dot-com companies were members. Members totaled 2,571 at
the end of 1994.
NIRI this year switched
from a printed members' directory to one that is online
only and password-protected for use by members. Its printed
directory had also not been available to the press.
ESSARY, RESEARCH LEADER, IS
Gayle Essary, 66, a campaigner
for openness and accountability in the financial markets,
died July 13 at the Seton Medical Center in Austin. Burial
was in Palestine, Texas.
Essary, who founded the
Investrend group of independent analysts in 1996, felt that
analysts for brokerage houses had a "huge, monumental
conflict of interest" because their employers invariably
had holdings in the very companies the analysts were writing
Admitting such a conflict,
as required by the SEC, was not enough, he contended. Consumers
of the reports needed to know how much stock or investment
banking was involved. Essary accused NIRI and the Chartered
Financial Analysts Institute of a gigantic ethical
lapse in not addressing this issue. He also wanted
both groups to press for allowing reporters to ask questions
on quarterly conference calls with CEOs and CFOs. He felt
reporters should have the same access to company executives
Essary, born in Electra,
Tex., was the son of the Rev. Willerson Essary, an evangelist,
and Lena Essary. After graduation from Tyler Jr. College,
he became a reporter for the Tyler Star. He later went into
the magazine business and served as a political consultant.
He founded the First Research
Consortium in New York in 2003. It is a group of 15 independent
analyst firms that work for investors rather than public
companies themselves. Members of the Consortium promise
not to own any of the stocks they write about.
The need for independent
analysts arose when large brokerages cut back on the number
of stocks analyzed.
Todd Essary, who has succeeded
his father as head of Investrend, said the independence
of researchers makes our research credible, makes
the market pay attention, and shows the earnestness of any
company that subjects itself to such unbiased, professional
LABOR VIOLATIONS PERSIST IN
Abusive labor practices
abound in China despite rosy reports by auditing firms hired
by such companies as Wal-Mart, Target, Nike, Reebok, Home
Depot, McDonalds and Sears, Robuck, said the Nov.
27 Business Week.
Although auditing labor
conditions has become a big business, BW says employers
coach workers to say the right things to auditors,
hide abusive working conditions, and keep two and even three
sets of books to fool the auditors. It notes that the Chinese
government puts the average factory wage at 64 cents an
hour but that assumes a 40-hour week when forced overtime
without extra pay is common. Typical workers clock 80 hours
a week and make only 42 cents an hour, says BW.
Nike told BW that wages
are best set by the local marketplace while
Home Depot said there is no perfect factory
and Sears refused comment.
HIGH HEALTH COSTS HIT PR FIRMS.
PR firms, worried about
high health insurance costs, responded in force to a survey
about such costs by StevensGouldPartners, New York.
Responding were 160 out
of 190 firms (84%) that were surveyed.
Twenty-five percent said
they make employees pay the full cost of healthcare insurance
and the figure is 36% when costly family plans are involved.
Single insurance runs
from $3K to $6K yearly while family plans can run from $12K
to $20K and more.
Employees pay some part
of their insurance plans at 94% of the PR firms. About half
said employees pay 80% and more of expenses. The payments
are made by the companies to the plan and deducted from
paychecks. Otherwise, employees would have to deduct the
expense from their income. Such expenses can only be deducted
if they total more than 7% of income.
Edition, December 6,
2006, Page 8
bloodbath at NIRI h.q. (page one),
in which 11 of the 18 staffers from a 2005 list are gone
and eight new staffers have arrived, puts NIRI and the entire
practice of IR in a much needed spotlight.
24-year reign of CEO Lou Thompson ended earlier this year
and not on a good note. Its no testimony to the quality
of his staff that 11 of them are quickly dismissed or leave.
Membership, in spite of the record stock market, has fallen
from 5,400 to 4,300. But there are 13,000 companies on the
NYSE, NASDAQ and Amex plus many thousands of others in the
pink sheets. The great bulk of public companies
avoid NIRI and even IR. NIRIs dues of $475 plus upwards
of $100 for chapter dues are one barrier to growth.
has gotten a bad name among financial researchers who denounce
it as marketing. NIRIs own definition
includes the term marketing.
was an outgrowth in 1970 of the IR Assn., a group of 25
company financial specialists. Its charter specified control
by corporate rather than agency people (PRSA was seen as
dominated by agencies).
at first embraced financial PR pros, many from PRSA. An
early president was Pete Roalman of Harshe-Rotman &
Druck, a major PR firm. But in the later 70s, the
market fell, commissions were slashed, and analysts were
joined NIRI, which morphed into an activity focused on Wall
Street and SEC compliance. Most of those with press or PR
backgrounds left. NIRI became like a highly specialized
life form whose very specialization threatens its existence.
is made up of Wall Street, numbers-oriented people but
stocks are being driven by headlines today, said one
financial PR specialist. Theyve lost touch with
reality. Another said, The internet, blogs,
etc., are one big publicity machine and IR people cant
deal with it. A third said IR staffs are minuscule,
mostly one or two people and theyre up to their ears
in SEC minutiae, deadlines, SarBox, etc. Theyre under
tight control by the CFO. Said another: NIRI
created a separate industry called IR and its practitioners
dont want to dirty their hands by dealing with the
what he said. We, the press, are dirty,
and the financial world, which gave us Enron, Worldcom,
etc., is clean.
The narrow numbers
focus of IR is hurting the industry, Thompson himself admitted
in 2002. He quoted Prof. Baruch Lev of the Stern Business
School as saying about 80% of the average S&P
companys market value is due to non-financial or intangible
assets not in financial statements.
Thompson agreed that IR
and PR are in separate silos in many companies
and the IR person may not be allowed to talk to the media.
He said NIRI planned a Center for Integrated Communication
to bridge IR & PR but we dont know what happened
NIRI staff and board are
not taking calls.
glad the 24-year reign of Thompson is over. He was
too dominant in NIRI for too long. No one on the board including
the chair was allowed to deal with us. Lou made the key
speeches on behalf of NIRI.
His policy of hiring only
women (except for his son Eric) was discriminatory. There
are now four males on the staff. NIRIs press-avoidance
policies include blocking press access to its website.
the corporate conscience is not one of an IR
persons jobs. IRs focus is on investors
(meaning mostly giant institutions rather than individuals).
While PRSA leaders say emphasizing ethics, values, morals,
etc., is the main duty of PR people to their employers and
Harold Burson says the spirit of the ombudsman should
pervade the job, there is no such imperative at NIRI.
Its code even lacks the word, public although
the definition of a profession is an activity that puts
the welfare of the public first. We can see a PR pro telling
a CEO that his or her high pay is bad for the companys
rep or that back-dating options is wrong, but such advice
would be outside the realm of an IR person.
researcher Gayle Essary, whose obit is on page 7,
had a number of run-ins with NIRI. He did not want to be
identified with IR or the brokerage-house research
done for the sell side. He despised the term
IR because he felt IR people were working in
behalf of their clients and employers and not in behalf
of investors. The independent analysts industry, which
Essary founded, works only for investors and never
for public companies, staffers at Essarys Investrend
PR pros should be familiar
with the First Research Consortium of independent analysts.
restrictive, disciplined, serious, even fearful nature of
much of PR/IR these days is evident in the lack of
any holiday parties by the three major PR groups in New
YorkPRSA/NY, Publicity Club and IABC/NY.
In this Season of
Good Cheer, all they will have in December is their
regular meetings. IABC announced a party but too few responded
and it was cancelled. Last year more than 100 members celebrated
at Annie Moores in midtown. In the 1970s, PRSA/NYs
holiday party was an extravaganza in the Starlite Roof of
the Waldorf-Astoria with more than 400 enjoying lunch, entertainment
and a goodie bag stuffed with a dozen or more
items. As late as five years ago, New York groups combined
on a holiday party at a disco that attracted hundreds. Most
of the money for these events came from corporations and
the big PR firms. Meanwhile, the New York Post reports that
other industries are throwing big parties for themselves.
What made this sea change? It could be that companies regard
PR as less important than they once did. Some corporate
PR staffs are fractions of what they were so there are fewer
people to attend. Another reason is the current tight-lipped
nature of corporate and agency PR.
Companies dont want
their PR people fraternizing with PR people from other firms.