The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, February 28, 2007, Page 1
BRUNSWICK AID CONAGRA.
and Brunswick Group are helping ConAgra deal with the salmonella
crisis that has led to the recall of Peter Pan and Great
Value peanut butter, Chris Kircher, VP-corporate affairs,
shops are aiding the extensive in-house crisis capabilities
that the Omaha-based $11.5B food giant already had in place,
added Kircher who has been swamped with media calls.
deputy, Stephanie Childs, director-communications, also
has been fielding media inquiries. He noted that Childs
is a veteran of the Grocery Manufacturers of America.
CEO Gary Rodkin apologized to consumers on Feb. 22 after
the Centers for Disease Control confirmed the presence of
salmonella in jars of peanut butter.
are truly sorry for any harm that our peanut butter products
may have caused, he said. Rodkin added that the company
is committed to taking all reasonable steps to remedy
voluntarily recalled peanut butter made at its Georgia plant
on Feb. 14 after federal regulators linked the product to
a salmonella outbreak that sickened more than 300 people
in 40 states since August.
CDC test results found salmonella-tainted peanut butter
in New York, Oklahoma and Iowa.
Pennsylvania family has filed a negligence and wrongful
death suit against ConAgra on Feb. 22, charging that a 76-year-old
woman died after eating ConAgras peanut butter. ConAgra
has estimated that the recall would result in a quarterly
charge of $50 million to $60 million.
WHITE TO GCI.
White, who was deputy director of Manning, Selvage &
Lees healthcare practice, has shifted to GCI Group
as SVP and deputy health director.
has more than 25 years of experience, handling therapeutic
areas such as cardiovascular, central nervous system, nutrition
MS&L, White repped two of its biggest health assignments.
She worked on Ambien, the sleep aid, and Aricept, an Alzheimers
also held a top health post at Ruder Finn. She was responsible
for worldwide media efforts for Femara, the breast cancer
drug, and Novartis Gleevec.
White was director of PR at the New England Dairy Board,
and had PR positions at Boston Universitys Sargent
College of Allied Health Professions.
Humphries has resigned the presidency/CEO post at National
Investor Relations Institute after a seven-month stint.
is replaced on an interim basis by Linda Kelleher, 54.
is upped from NIRIs senior VP/professional development
& executive director of the Senior Roundtable posts.
She is a 24-year NIRI staffer.
56, joined NIRI in July. The former BellSouth VP-IR had
succeeded Lou Thompson, who stepped down after a 24-year
left NIRI to pursue other interests. With the
promotion, Kelleher joins NIRIs board.
GREENBRIER NAME HAMMOND.
Hotels & Resorts, which has 200 properties in North
America, Europe, Asia, Africa and South America, and The
Greenbrier, which is undergoing a $50 million renovation,
named Lou Hammond & Assocs., New York, for PR after
will handle corporate-wide re-branding with responsibility
for marketing communications, product segmentation, and
obtaining partnerships for the 200 properties.
the premium brand of Accord Hotels, is noted for its use
of French art and creating a distinct sense of place
for each hotel.
Greenbrier is located in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
It is reopening in early spring after a $50 million renovation
that includes improved guestrooms and a new gourmet restaurant
with a noted chef. The Greenbrier was founded in 1778.
SIGNS ON WITH PAC/WEST.
Pombo, the former Republican head of the House Natural Resources
Committee who lost a bid for re-election last November,
has joined the Sacramento office of Pac/West Communications
as a senior partner.
Ding, Pombos House chief of staff, joined Oregon-based
Pac/West as a VP earlier this month to head its new office
in Californias capital.
45, served seven terms in the House representing Californias
11th district. He took the Resources Committee reins in
had an ally in Pac/West in his efforts to revamp the Endangered
Species Act, open the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve for
oil exploration, and supporting President Bushs Healthy
firm has a $3M contract with Alaska to push oil drilling
in ANWR, according to the Contra Costa Times.
Edition, February 28, 2007, Page 2
JETBLUE MOVES TO STEM BLEEDING.
JetBlue Airways entered
the second week of media and consumer turbulence with a
shored up PR defense in the form of a customer bill of rights.
The discount airline carrier
and past media darling is looking to right its ship after
a winter storm in the northeast created a ripple of delays,
more than a thousand flight cancellations, and stranded
some passengers on tarmacs for up to 11 hours. News reports
have included a steady stream of irate passengers swearing
off JetBlue, and overtime and cancellations could cost the
company up to $30M, by Morgan Stanleys estimates.
A spokesman for the Forest
Hills, N.Y.-based company told ODwyers that
JetBlue does not utilize outside PR counsel.
Its corporate PR unit
Feb. 20 unveiled a customer bill of rights laying out new
policies for vouchers based on the amount of time passengers
are delayed. For example, a customer who experiences a one-
or two-hour delay on arrival gets a $100 voucher for a future
flight. The document promises customers will be notified
of delays, cancellations and diversions and will deplane
passengers if delays hit five hours.
This was a big wake-up
call for JetBlue, said founder and CEO David Neeleman,
in a statement. He said the silver lining is
that the airline would emerge stronger and better prepared
to serve customers.
The airline said it will
also create a customer advisory council and revamp internal
operations and communications.
More than 100,000 JetBlue
customers have been affected by the crisis.
TEXAS MULLS HEALTH INFO PUSH.
A bill to create a public awareness program to educate
the public on the value of health insurance and options
for coverage in the state of Texas has paved the way for
a possible RFP.
The states Dept. of Insurance has issued a request
for information to hear from firms about potential strategies
for a statewide education push through March 6.
The RFI is a result of the Texas legislatures passage
of Bill 261 in 2005, which authorized the Dept. of Insurance
to develop and implement a public information campaign.
Texas estimates about 25 percent of its population lacks
health coverage, the highest rate in the U.S.
The state entity wants to know about costs, approaches,
and methods to boost the Texas Health Options website and
highlight options for coverage in the Lone Star State.
The state said the RFI has been issued to survey the industry
and obtain guidance which would be used in preparation of
Jim Hurley, director of the insurance departments
public information office ([email protected]),
is taking questions.
Rowland memorial is
set. A memorial service for Herbert Rowland, founder
of The Rowland Co., who died Feb. 8, will take place March
6 at 4 p.m. at the Metropolitan Club, 1 E. 60th st., New
MERCK KILLS GARDASIL PUSH.
Merck has pulled its lobbying push to get state legislatures
to pass laws requiring pre-teen girls to be vaccinated against
cervical cancer. The turnaround follows an angry backlash
from some parents and religious groups.
Merck admitted that lobbying to promote sale of its Gardasil
vaccine, which provides protection against two strains of
human papillomavirus, has backfired.
Richard Haupt, executive director for medical affairs in
Mercks vaccine unit, told the New York Times that
the drive to require mandatory vaccination of sixth-grade
girls has been counterproductive. Thats the message
that he received from public health and medical officials.
Haupt said Mercks school lobbying campaign has distracted
the company from its goal of educating as many people as
possible about the risk of HPV, which is transmitted sexually.
The company launched a national ad campaign for Gardasil
in November to empower women to want to become (or
help their daughters want to become) one less
person who will battle cervical cancer.
At least 20 states are considering mandatory inoculation
of females starting at age 11. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has
issued an executive order requiring vaccination.
Merck is among the financial backers of the Women in Government
group, which has been pushing for mandatory vaccination.
Gardasil is a key part of Mercks comeback plan. The
required three-dose regimen costs $360.
Merck is eying a rich Gardasil revenue stream to offset
the loss of drugs that are coming off patent, and the staggering
legal cost stemming from Vioxx.
SIMON TAKES SENIOR ROLE WITH
Marcy Simon, who headed Weber Shandwicks WCTV broadcast
PR unit, has taken on a senior advisor role with Ogilvy
Simon had been serving as a senior advisor to former President
Bill Clinton on his Clinton Global Initiative, a WS client.
Ogilvy noted Simons experience working with CEOs
from Microsoft, Sony and Boeing. Ogilvy CEO Marcia Silverman
said Simon would be an asset for the firms
Simon said Ogilvy has the best team and resources
in the industry.
KURDS HIKE D.C. PRESENCE.
The Kurdish Regional Government of Iraq has officially
opened a D.C. lobbying office, which is headed by Qubad
His goal is to mobilize grassroots support for Kurdish
interests. That includes establishing a Kurdish Congressional
Caucus and a Kurdish-American business council to promote
investment in Kurdistan. He also is to promote Kurdish educational
and cultural links with the U.S. Talabany is the son of
Iraqs President, and former senior foreign relations
officer for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. He is a frequent
speaker on CNN, BBC and Fox News.
Edition, February 28, 2007, Page 3
MISSES ARAB FINANCIAL MARKETS.
policy is causing it to miss the "exploding Middle
East capital markets," Walid el-Gabry, news editor
of the enterprise desk of Dow Jones Newswires, told 75 members
of PRSA/New York on Feb. 8 at a meeting at Burson-Marsteller.
who is president of the Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists'
Assn., said the U.K. is moving into this market and is "doing
a brisk secondary market in Arab Bonds."
journalist, who started his career with a Turkish newspaper,
said Middle East newspapers carry far more international
news than U.S. papers.
noted a recent study showed the foreign affairs content
of Arab newspapers is 36% while such content in U.S. papers
Now in English
Abderrahim Foukara, bureau
chief and managing director of Al Jazeera, Washington, D.C.,
said that like many Middle Eastern journalists, he got his
initial experience working for the British Broadcasting
Al Jazeera recently launched
an English edition and its biggest challenge now, said Foukara,
is obtaining pickup by U.S. cable operators.
Talal Alhaj, bureau chief
of Al Arabiya, Washington, D.C., which is developing an
English language capability, said Arab media have evolved
from being "official tools for governments" to
holding governments accountable.
The question that he is
often asked, he said, is whether "one can be a good
journalist and patriotic at the same time?"
Much attention was focused
on Al Jazeera after it aired the tapes of Osama Bin Laden
in 2001, he noted.
Afraid of U.S.
Aleta Wenger, assistant
secretary of the University Office of International Affairs,
Yale University, said parents in Arab countries are afraid
to send their children to the U.S. because there might be
"distraction, discrimination, harassment and worse."
Wenger, who served in
Qatar and Bahrain as a Public Affairs officer before her
retirement, said Yale wants to attract qualified students
from Arab countries.
She told the PR audience
that Arabs "love stories" and that a "personal
touch" should be used. Accuracy is also very important,
Many Arab journalists
have no formal education as journalists and more and more
are women, she said. Arab columnists are important, she
added. "The Arab media have their own Tom Friedmans."
Asked if there is a "clash
of Western and Arab civilizations," Wenger said there
isn't but the current state of U.S.-Arab relations means
that fewer Arabs will know what the U.S. and its people
are really like. Islamic families are "circling the
wagons," she said.
Alhaj said more must be
done to educate the Arab world about the U.S.
John Paluszek, senior
counsel to Ketchum, moderated the panel and James Wycoff,
editorial director of PRSA/New York, provided coverage.
VIACOM TEAMS WITH JOOST.
Viacom has ironed out
a commercial licensing deal with Joost, which bills itself
as the first broadcast-quality Internet TV service. The
move follows breakdown of talks between Viacom and Google,
owner of YouTube.
Viacom will provide Joost
with programming from its MTV Networks, BET Networks and
Paramount Pictures units. Those properties include "Beavis
& Butthead," "Laguna Beach" and "Real
Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman
called Joost a "key partner in the launch of the next-generation
in broadband video technology."
Joost boasts of a "piracy-proof
Internet platform that enables premium interactive video
experiences while guaranteeing copyright protection for
content owners and creators."
Joost is currently in
the testing phase, and is expected to be fully up and running
by June 30. The Viacom programming will be free to consumers.
Viacom expects to make money by sharing ad revenues with
Companies that did not
score well on Fortune's annual "America's Most
Admired Companies" list did better on Wall Street than
those with good reputations, according to a study called
"Stocks of Admired Companies and Despised Ones."
The survey tracked companies
on the magazine's list from `83 to `06. Splitting each list
in the middle, the survey found that lower-ranked companies,
or the "despised," portfolio posted a 17.8 percent
return, compared to a 15.4 percent return by the "admired."
The study was written
by Santa Clara University professor Meir Statman, University
of Michigan's Deniz Anginer, and Fisher Investments CEO
Kenneth Fisher. They believe investors in most admired companies
are penalized by an aura of positive feelings.
For instance: "A
$10,000 Rolex watch and a $50 Timex watch have approximately
the same utilitarian qualities, both show the time. But
Rolex buyers are willing to pay an extra $9,950 over the
price of the Timex because of the affect of
the Rolex, consisting of prestige and perhaps beauty, is
more positive than that of a Timex," wrote the authors.
They continue: "Affect
pays a similar role in the behavior asset-pricing model.
Investors in stocks of admired companies receive some of
their rewards in the form of returns and some in the form
of affect, while investors in stocks of despised companies
receive their rewards in returns only."
The study, according to
Matthew Boyle of Fortune, serves as a reminder to Corporate
America "that all that glitters isn't stock market
The study is online at
Hackett, a marketing consultant for the Latino cable
network mun2, has been named VP of marketing. She serves
as the lead for brand strategy and management and oversees
advertising and merchandise.
news continued on next page)
Edition, February 28, 2007, Page 4
IAB OPENS IN D.C.
The Interactive Advertising
Bureau had hired Mike Zaneis to open the Washington, D.C.,
office of the trade group for the online ad industry.
Zaneis was executive director
of technology and e-commerce for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
At the IAB, he is to oversee
regulatory matters, legislative affairs and handle policy
Randy Rothenberg, president
of the IAB, says his industry is seeking to strike the "right
balance" between consumer protection and a consumer's
free online access to information and entertainment.
The new public policy
office will help the IAB "continue to build a world-class
media that has the highest level of transparency and accountability,"
according to Rothenberg, who was ad columnist for the New
York Times and a Booz Allen Hamilton consultant.
At the Chamber since `81,
Zaneis handled consumer privacy, data security, e-commerce
and intellectual property matters.
The IAB has more than
300 members that sell 85 percent of online advertising in
AHA PUBLISHES HEART MAG.
The American Heart Assn. and healthcare publisher Lippincott
Williams & Wilkins have teamed to produce a new consumer
magazine for heart patients, their families, and caregivers.
The quarterly magazine, Heart Insight, debuted in
late February and was distributed to 10K cardiologists and
other healthcare providers' offices. Subscriptions are free
by filling out a form at heartinsight.com.
"Heart Insight may look like other health and nutrition
magazines, but it has something the others don't have and
that is the full resources and credibility of the American
Heart Association," said Patrick O'Gara, M.D., editorial
board chair and director of clinical cardiology at Brigham
& Women's Hospital in Boston.
Ruth Papazian is the magazine's editor.
The Los Angeles
Times unveiled a revamped print and online (Travel.latimes.com)
travel section on Feb. 25 to better integrate and upgrade
its content, the first of what it says will be several new
The paper said the new travel pages place a premium on
enhanced photography, outdoor and adventure travel, and
online features. Latimes.com
readers can share feedback on hotels and restaurants and
interact on a message board.
In print, new columns cover Las Vegas and dealing with
Daily launched a free online forum for access
to its editorials and cartoons at IBDeditorials.com.
An archive is searchable and users can sign up for a free
"On the Left" and "On the Right" columns
are featured daily from syndicated writers and guest commentators
are routinely published. The following day's content is
published at 8 p.m.
Warner Brothers Domestic
Distribution will air a cable TV version of celebrity/gossip
website TMZ in the fall. The company has cut deals with
Sinclair Broadcasting, Tribune, Cox, Clear Channel and Media
WBDD chief Ken Werner calls the TMZ project an integrated,
multiplatform content and marketing play.
Time Warner is the owner of WBDD and TMZ.
Time Warner's HBO
unit is going to produce films, series and specials
in a venture with American Girl. The initial project will
be a live-action theatrical film based on the AG historical
character Kit Kittredge. She is a spirited nine-year-old
growing up during the Great Depression and one of AGs
CBS is contributing
to a $7M investment in Electric Sheep, which develops
3-D properties for the virtual world. CBS Interactive president
Quincy Smith said virtual worlds "represent next generation
CBS and ES have already collaborated on projects for "Two
and a Half Men" and the Super Bowl pre-game show. AOL,
MTV and Reuters have worked with ES.
Google is negotiating
deals with Dow Jones, Sony and Conde Nast to syndicate
their video content.
The videos appear inside Google ad boxes, according to
a report in the Feb. 26 New York Times. Ads run during
or after a viewer has clicked on the content. Revenue is
shared by Google and its media partner.
The ads are part of Googles effort to gain
traction with consumer goods companies who spend billions
on brand advertising, reports the Times.
Sarah Chubb, president of CondeNet, the digital unit of
Conde Nast, told the Times though her company would prefer
consumers to go directly to her site, a Google relationship
is a way to find people that we havent found
in other ways.
XM Satellite Radio,
which last week announced a merger plan with rival Sirius,
posted a $257M loss for the fourth-quarter of `06. That
was down slightly from the $268M deficit suffered for the
year earlier period.
The Washington, D.C.-based company added 1.7M subscribers
in `06 for a total of 7.6M customers.
Hugh Panero, CEO of the company, called `06 a "pivotal
year," and feels the company is heading in the right
direction. He noted that XM's marketing costs are down while
revenue is up. The company's full-year revenue rose 67 percent
CANWEST ACQUIRES NEW REPUBLIC.
CanWest Global Communications has acquired a majority stake
in The New Republic, the 93-year old political/cultural
The Canadian media combine plans to redesign TNR, and publish
every two weeks on heavier stock paper with more photos/graphics.
The first issue of the spruced up TNR will appear March
19. A re-launched website is slated for mid-April.
28, 2007, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
& Co. paid Cornerstone Government Affairs $120K in `06
to promote increased funding for the National Immunization
Haupt, executive VP in Merck's vaccine unit, reaffirmed
the company's lobbying effort for increased vaccine funding,
while announcing the end of the state-by-state push for
the cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil.
NIP's 317 Program is a key lobbying area for Cornerstone.
Merck is a member of the "317 Coalition," which
advocates for immunization of children, adolescents and
adults without the means to pay for vaccines.
Mioduski and Amy Sounders are Merck's lobbyists at Cornerstone.
Mioduski served as a budget analyst in the Dept. of Interior
and was a staffer on the House Appropriations Committee's
panel on labor, health, human services and education.
Kerins, Merck's spokesperson, could not be reached for comment
about Cornerstone's work.
has aligned with five-year-old London sports communications
consultancy Vero ahead of the 2012 Olympic games.
Vero CEO Mike Lee helped
London land the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games as director
of communications and public affairs for the citys
The deal makes Vero an
exclusive affiliate of Edelman, which noted the Olympics
and the re-opening of Wembley Stadium raise the citys
importance in the multi-billion dollar global sports sector.
Dynamics assisted Moscow tech company Sitronics with
its $352M early February IPO, Londons largest tech
IPO in the last five years, according to reports. ...The
Global Consulting Group
has opened a Moscow office, its 11th wholly owned outpost.
The office handles IR and corporate communications work
for existing Russian clients, which the firm has serviced
from the U.S. and Europe. Info: hfgcg.com.
...Two firms have developed an event to assist alumni of
Connecticut College who are business owners. Burke
& Co. and branding firm CO-OP,
both owned by CC alumni, have produced the CC Entrepreneurs
Forum NYC, a March 7 event featuring panelists and
CC graduates who run businesses. Jim Moran, founder of CO-OP,
will host and moderate the forum. ...double
E communications, New York, has opened an office
on the west side of Los Angeles. Melissa Kojan, who has
been with the firm since 2005, heads the outpost. ...Joseph
Honick, president of GMA
International, Bainbridge Island, Wash., has been
appointed to the executive advisory committee for the William
Simon Graduate School of Business at the Univ. of Rochester.
has moved a few blocks to 9 Harcourt Street in Boston. Info:
...Allen & Caron,
New York, has aligned with Italy-based IR shop Polytems/Hir
to cooperate as partner agencies. A&C opened a London
office in 2002. Polytems claims to be Italys first
financial marcom agency.
Worldwide, New York/CongiFit, for a North American
PR campaign to boost its MindFit and DriveFit program suites.
+ King Company, New York/The Ritz-Carlton Club, San
Francisco, fractional residence, a renewal of its AOR duties;
Freewebs, website hosting; Stardoll, online fashion community,
and Natrona Furniture, modern furniture showcase in New
York, all as AOR.
Collins & Co., Buffalo, N.Y./BSC Development
Group, Manchester, England-based developer, for ongoing
PR counsel as it plans an $80M renovation of the Stateler
Towers and $360M development of the Buffalo City Tower.
Advertising & Communications, Washington, D.C./The
Johns Hopkins Univ. Center for Communication Programs, for
a mass media campaign to inform Hispanics about the need
for annual eye exams.
Raleigh, N.C./Cardiac Wellness Supplements, for national
media relations focused on its Wellcor brand of nutritional
Newman, Columbia, S.C./South Carolina Dept. of Agriculture,
for an integrated re-branding campaign, including PR and
advertising, for the states agricultural products.
Partnership, St. Louis/XPLANE, business consulting,
for PR and media relations support. SP is part of the Worldcom
PR Group, which will assist with the account in Europe.
Des Moines, Iowa/Downtown Community Alliance, to develop
a comms. and branding campaign for Des Moines downtown.
Layne & Co., Farmington Hills, Mich./EliteFTS.com,
strength training products and services, as AOR.
PR, Lake Oswego, Ore./Citizen Image, agency that
represents amateur photo and video content producers to
editorial outlets, for PR.
Bohle Company, Los Angeles/Eastman Kodak Co., for
PR for the fifth anniversary of the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.
Woodland Hills, Calif./National Limousine Assn., for media
relations and brand expansion. THe non-profit
is based in New Jersey.
San Diego/The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino, as AOR for PR
following a competitive review. F-H is charged with re-introducing
the Las Vegas resort.
Communications, San Diego/Striker VIP, Las Vegas
luxury concierge and event services, as AOR for national
and regional PR.
Dynamics, London/ARC International, subsystems and
processors for semiconductor industry, for financial PR.
Edition, February 28, 2007, Page 6
a media monitoring and analytics company which tracks both
traditional and social media, has been acquired by advertising
research giant TNS Media Intelligence.
has a customer base in the PR and marketing sectors and
will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the advertising-focused
TNS. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Fredericks, president and CEO of TNS Media Intelligence,
told ODwyers that the company had looked at
building an analytics unit or acquiring one over the last
year before deciding to approach Cymfony. He cited three
criteria for that choice. First, he said Cymfony uses both
proprietary technology and human intervention. Second, he
cited Cymfonys monitoring of both traditional/mainstream
media and digital media noting that while digital media
is growing fast, it still only represents 10-12 percent
of the ad spend. Lastly, he noted Cymfonys management
team for its sophistication and maturity in the sector.
was focused solely on reporting advertising data. The Cymfony
acquisition adds an analysis capability to its offerings.
Bernstein, Cymfonys CEO, said the company weighed
whether to agree to the TNS acquisition or wait a few years
before deciding that TNS assets made it a good fit.
He said the company had been approached by another player
in the PR space but didnt see it as a good fit. Bernstein
played up PRs embrace of social media as a boon to
Cymfonys business. User-generated content has
given PR a whole new leg to stand on, said Bernstein.
was founded in 1996 and will remain at its Watertown, Mass.,
TNSMI was formed in 2000 by the acquisition of Competitive
Media Reporting, itself a combine of several media and advertising
research companies dating back to 1926. TNS claims 16K clients
across 23 countries.
MACKINNON PENS POLITICAL THRILLER.
Doug MacKinnon, a Washington,
D.C., PR consultant who was director of communications for
former Sen. Bob Dole, has written a political novel about
a shadow team of Americans who specialize in toppling foreign
Days centers on a conservative militia, The 1776 Command,
that is considering treason to topple the U.S. government
to save the nation from itself.
MacKinnon has earned praise
across the aisle from James Carville and Dee Dee Myers.
Tom Brokaw called it 7 Days in May for
the Internet generation, a reference to the book and
movie that had military leaders plotting to overthrow the
MacKinnon previously held
PR posts at Verner Liipfert and Barbour, Griffith &
Rogers in D.C. He also spent three years at the Pentagon,
serving as special assistant for policy and communications
in the office of the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization.
He was also a writer for
Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
Beaudoin, VP for Cone, to DeVries PR, New York, as
a senior in its consumer division. He handles Crest Whitestrips,
Thermacare and Vicks. Beaudoin was previously director of
consumer and technology media relations at Mullen.
Davidson, special assistant to the president and
communications specialist for the New York State Energy
Research and Development Authority, to Sawchuk, Brown Associates,
Albany, as a VP in its energy practice.
Hanks, program administrator, Animal Protective Foundation,
to Eric Mower and Associates, Albany, as an A/E in its public
affairs group. She previously handled communications and
policy analysis for state assembly environmental committee
chair Thomas DiNapoli, who is now state comptroller.
Hanson McKean and Robyn
Freedman, co-founders of consulting firm Element
Six, rejoin Ketchum, Atlanta, as senior VPs. McKean, who
also takes on the role of director of strategy for Ketchum
South, and Freedman, who is director creativity and strategic
planning, left Ketchum in 2004 to set up ES.
Stacey, who headed her own healthcare marketing and
PR firm in Austin, to Padilla Speer Beardsley, Minneapolis,
as VP of its healthcare and medical practice unit. She was
formerly director of strategic marketing and PR for Zimmer
Srere and Howard
Belk to co-presidents, Siegel+Gale, New York. They
continue as chief strategic office and chief creative officer,
Wilson to group leader, The Vandiver Group, St. Louis.
She joined the firm in 2004. Laura
Varndell, who jonied in 2006 from London, was upped
to senior team leader.
Lawton to VP, GolinHarris, Houston. She has worked
on the firms Texas Instruments business since joining
Hocken and Will
Andrews to senior consultants, Blueprint Partners,
ONeill to senior director for Peppercom, New
York. She has been with the firm since 2001. Ann
Barlow, who relocated from New York to San Francisco
in 2005, was promoted to president of its west coast operations.
Coan, EVP, director of client services; Sergio
Rogina, executive VP, managing director, and Hayley
Soffer, senior VP and healthcare practice director,
to the management team of Publicis Consultants|PR, New York.
CEO Ann Moravick heads the group, which includes Steve
Bryant, president of PCPRs Seattle office,
and Sheri Smith,
predent of its Dallas outpost.
Shepard, president of his own Los Angeles firm, has
been named to the deans advisory board for Loyola
Marymount Universitys College of Business.
Edition, February 28, 2007, Page 7
DILBERT SLAMS PR.
the syndicated comic strip about office life that reaches
an estimated 150 million readers a week, has been lampooning
PR in a series of recent strips.
the recent series on PR, the Machiavellian character of
Dogbert is hired to handle PR for the company featured in
the strip. Dogbert tells the press that the company's products
are deadly and are being recalled in an apparent (and untrue)
effort to get press. In one segment, Dogbert takes a reporter
out for drinks and tells her, "I expect you to publish
my press release and act like you wrote it."
has the Dogbert character telling the company boss that
his PR campaign has "grossly over-inflated" the
company's stock price. "Now you can use your stock
to buy companies that actually make money," the PR
character quips. "After you manage those companies
into the toilet, give me a jingle."
appears in 2,500 newspapers worldwide through United Feature
NL sent an email to Scott Adams, who created and pens the
strip, asking for his response and inspiration for the recent
series on PR. He blogs at dilbertblog.typepad.com.
INVITATION LIST OF PR SUMMIT
The Private Sector
Summit on Public Diplomacy Jan. 9-10 won acceptances
by 98 of the 150 PR and association executives who were
Andrea McDaniel, deputy
director of private sector outreach, has said that a further
report of the results of the meeting will be made public.
A preliminary report was
issued based on recommendations by "teams" of
the attendees. The group was split into smaller groups and
given assignments by State Dept. officials.
One recommendation was
that companies and organizations name a "corporate
officer responsible for public diplomacy."
Another was that PR depts.
help in building "relationships of trust and respect"
by creating "a corps of private sector 'foreign service
officers' made up of academics and business people with
specialized expertise who could work abroad on short term
About 20 PR groups were
represented or invited under the umbrella name of "Public
Relations Coalition." James Murphy of Accenture was
chair of the meeting. List of 98 attendees is on odwyerpr.com.
Several attendees reported
to this website that PRSA chair Rhoda Weiss slipped on the
stairs of the Eisenhower Executive Office Bldg. on Tuesday,
Jan. 9, while leaving a cocktail party at around 7:30 p.m.
Attendees said it was
lightly snowing at the time and that a large number of steep
stairs are in front of the building. Weiss was seen being
carried away by uniformed members of the Secret Service.
The next day, she was seen in a wheelchair with her leg
in a cast. She did not attend any of the sessions on Thursday.
Weiss has refused to comment
on what happened. Comment could not be obtained from PRSA
PR staffers Janet Troy and Cedric Bess nor president/COO
William Murray. Murray and Troy were present at the PR Summit.
Murphy said he had no
first hand knowledge of the accident but said he had heard
Weiss fell on the steps of the building and injured her
leg. She did not attend the next day's session, he said.
Among those present at
the meeting were Karen Hughes, Under Secretary of the State
for Public Diplomacy; Dina Powell, Deputy Under Secretary
of State for Public Diplomacy, and Nicholas Burns, Under
Secretary of State for Political Affairs.
Secretary of State Condoleezza
Rice addressed the group at lunch Jan. 10.
A further report of about
30 pages on the meeting is to be issued in the next week
or two, said Murphy.
MMG MARDIKS BLASTS OFF.
MMG Mardiks will handle
the Memorial Day opening of the Shuttle Launch Experience
attraction at the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex,
which is outside Orlando, Fla.
The $60M motion-based
system is designed by NASA as the only true to life
simulation of a shuttle launch. It is the anchor of
the Complexs 10-year makeover to update the gateway
to mankinds greatest adventure. DNC Parks and
Resorts has operated the Complex since `95.
Chuck Mardiks firm
also reps Colorado Tourism, San Francisco Convention and
Visitors Bureau, Regent Luxury Group, Hertz Corp. and Midwest
JURY DIES AT 56.
Ron Jury, who was communications
director for Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, died Feb. 18
after a battle with cancer. He was 56.
Rendell, in a statement,
praised Jury as a skilled communicator and one of
the most decent human beings that Ive ever met.
Jury joined the Rendell
Administration in July `05. In the decade prior to his move
to Harrisburg, Jury was in New York City.
He worked as VP-PA and
communications director for the Empire State Development
Corp. and at Burson-Marsteller as PA director.
From `95 to `99, Jury
was director of corporate PR and communications for Lockheed
W&P GOES UNDERGROUND.
White and Partners has
picked up Luray Caverns, one of eastern Americas biggest
caves and a U.S. Natural Landmark. The goal is to position
LC as the crown jewel of Virginias Blue
John Shaffer, VP-marketing
at LC, says W&P got the business based on the strength
of its work for its Meet Virginia campaign and
for the Washington Nationals Major League Baseball team.
LC were discovered in
1878, and features the worlds only Stalacpipe Organ.
LCs cathedral sized rooms have towering stone columns
that reach 10 stories high.
More than a half million
people visit the caverns each year.
Edition, February 28, 2007,
Dilbert column mocking PR counselors (page 7) is
a crisis for PR. Comment should be forthcoming from the
Council of PR Firms, PRSA, and its Counselors Academy headed
by Roy Vaughn of Katcher Vaughn & Bailey PR, Nashville.
Similar recent attacks
on PR include those in the New York Times (Frank
Rich, 7/13/06 depicting PR as press-avoiding and lacking
in substance, and Tim OBriens Spinning
Frenzy piece 2/13/05); Der Spiegel (8/7/2006 Masters
of Deception), and Financial Times (corporate
reaches 150 million in 65 countries via 19 languages. He
writes about office life and attracts a business audience.
In Dilberts view, PR people make up stories to get
ink, ply reporters with drinks and boss them around, and
have the power to grossly inflate a stock price.
The PR counselor urges his client to be bold like Richard
Branson, head of the $7.2B Virgin empire. Do something
in a way that has never been done before, he advises.
The message that PR
needs to put out is that there are abuses but real
PR stands for openness, responsiveness to the press, and
accuracy in financial reportinga force for the education
of the public and not its manipulation. The group that should
be doing this, the 22,000-member PRSA, practices none of
the above. Its PR is in meltdown.
Chair Rhoda Weiss on Feb. 22 announced she was available
to the press to comment on the JetBlue air terminal snafu
that took place in the previous week. Her initial advice
was that every organization must have an adequate
Where is the crisis
plan at PRSA? The Dilbert strip that ran last week
was a crisis but PR manager Cedric Bess was on vacation
Thursday and Friday and not returning until Tuesday of this
week. In the week before, VP-PR Janet Troy was off the entire
week with no access to e-mail. We think that
the two PR staffers taking vacations like this in the first
five weeks of president Bill Murrays new job at PRSA
is a sign of contempt for Murray. Since he lacks PR experience,
he is especially in need of it at the beginning of his reign.
Troy and Bess carry
out numerous forms of stonewalling and information
blockage not only of us but members (currently, they wont
release the chapter speaking schedule of Weiss). At the
2006 Assembly, when we walked up the aisle to take a picture
of the board as had been allowed in previous Assemblies,
Troy ran after us and made us leave the sacred Assembly
area. This impressed leadership but at what cost to her
We believe Troy and
Bess went to leaders in 2004 and said that if they
were to continue to do this dirty work they wanted more
money. Media relations salaries/fringes soared 87% to $244,158
in 2005, up $113,402. The cost of this practice, which includes
a lot of stonewalling, went from $35,846 in 2000 to $360,860
in 2005 (not counting about $60K in administration). Included
in the sum is $34,481 for marketing when in
the three previous years marketing in media
relations averaged $4,500. We would like to know what marketing
is and also why $43,113 in professional fees
was spent on media relations. Slashed, meanwhile,
were APR, from $566,454 in 2000 to $152,159 in 2005 and
ethics, from $104,108 in 2000 to $6,741 in 2005.
Both Troy and Bess were particularly exposed to the press
in 2006 because CEO
Cheryl Procter-Rogers stopped talking to us on any
subject after 3/20/06. Weiss is following the same policy.
Two previous PR directors of PRSA quit suddenly, we believe,
because they were fed up with doing PR dirty work and feared
for their reputations. Steve
Erickson quit in 1996 just before the annual conference
and Richard George
quit in 1999 just before that years conference.
They ditched PRSA when they were most needed, as if in revenge.
was hired for PR in 2001 and quit in 2003 after having a
baby. She was the best in our view, distributing 150 copies
of the members directory to the press, providing us
with chapter member counts, renewal rate of members, new
and lapsed member totals, etc. Troy, hired in 2004 and not
a member of PRSA, told the Bergen Record 7/27/04
she was clueless about PRSA and flabbergasted
that such an organization existed. Bess, a 1999 college
graduate, has spent almost his entire career at PRSA. Murray,
whose salary at the MPA in 2004 was $387,105, is learning
about PRSA but actually he had months to know its problems.
He should not have joined without promises from leadership
that it would hire a CPA, end APR-only leadership, report
financials timely and accurately, provide Assembly transcripts
to members, end the BurrellesLuce ad exclusive on the PRSSA
website (BL says it does not want an exclusive), open membership
to students at any college, end the silencing of directors,
of Nancy Humphries as president of the National Investor
Relations Institute after seven months (page one) is an
indication of change going on at NIRI. Some leaders want
IR people to be closer to the overall PR community and financial
press. There has been great concentration on Wall Street
and numbers in recent years when critics have been saying
that intangibles greatly impact stock prices. The February
Harvard Business Review said that 70-80% of a stock
price depends on factors like brand equity, corporate reputation,
intellectual capital, etc...with
elected leaders of PRSA being mostly silent in recent years,
counselor James Lukaszewski has emerged as the most visible
and quoted PRSA leader. He is featured in 16 seminars and
webinars of PRSA in the six months to March 31 and is a
member of the Ethics Board. He told the Canadian Broadcast
Corp. Radio series on A Century of Spin that
truth is 15% facts and 85% perception. Every
person has a different perception of truth, he said, and
the PR persons job is to lay out as best he
can the facts of the matter from the perspective he is representing.