The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, March 7, 2007, Page 1
ISSUES $600K FIRE ED CAMPAIGN.
National Fire Protection Assn. has issued an RFP designed
to educate more than two million people in Mississippi about
fire safety behavior.
Magnolia State has the highest fire death rate in the nation
due to a combination of high poverty and smoking. Many poor
Mississippians are fire risks because they use stoves and
portable space heaters to heat their homes. Mississippi
also ranks among the top 15 states in smoking, the No. 1
cause of fire deaths.
NFPA wants a campaign that focuses on four topics: smoke
alarm installation/maintenance, cooking, heating and smoking.
The PR firm will coordinate its education efforts with the
states 541 fire departments.
budget is set at $600K for one-year. Proposals are due March
30 and the work is to begin on May 1.
Carli, VP-Communications at NFPA, is answering questions.
She is at 617/984-7275 or [email protected].
KRUPNICK TO H&S.
The well-traveled Elizabeth
Krupnick has joined headhunter Heidrick & Struggles
International as senior VP & chief marketing officer.
She had been running her own firm, TKO Communications Consulting,
Krupnick, 57, established
TKO after exiting MasterCard International as senior VP-global
Earlier she held key PR
posts at BCom3 Group the Leo Burnett entity
New York Life (senior VP-corporate communications), Dewe
Rogerson (president), Prudential Life (chief communications
officer) and Aetna Life & Casualty (senior VP-corporate
IPG MAKES MONEY.
Interpublic reported $69
million in fourth-quarter `06 net income compared to a $23M
year earlier loss as CEO Michael Roth works toward an `08
He downplayed a 1.3 percent
dip in full-year revenues to $6.2B by playing up a 1.0 percent
uptick in "organic growth."
That organic growth, according
to Roth, was spearheaded by IPG's PR units (Weber Shandwick,
MWW Group, GolinHarris) and the digital/direct mktg. units.
Roth said a key goal for `07 is to become "fully Sarbanes-Oxley
compliant" by Dec. 31.
IPG posted an overall
$32M full-year loss, down from a $272M `05 deficit. Roth
labeled `06 a "solid year" as the company put
a "strong foundation for the future in place."
The CEO added that "there still remains much work to
MANY INDEPENDENTS GROW 20%+.
Independent PR firms reporting
figures for the O'Dwyer ranking had a banner year in 2006
with 20 of the 50 largest showing jumps of more than 20%.
Five of the top 15 had
gains of 20%+ topped by the 52% gain of Integrated Corporate
Relations of Westport, Conn., financial specialist, to $17.5
D.C., was up 31% to $23.9M; Alan Taylor Communications,
New York, was up 35% to $18M (second biggest growth in the
top ten) and Schwartz Communications, Waltham, Mass., up
22% to $26.6M. 5W PR, for the third year in a row, led the
entire list with a gain of 85% to $9.3M in fees and rising
to No. 21 in the rankings.
Biggest gain in dollar
terms was registered by Edelman, rising 23.9% to $324.4M.
About $8M of the $62.6M gain was due to six months of fees
of A&R Partners, which was acquired last year.
Other big gainers in the
top 50 were Healthstar, New York, healthcare specialist,
rising 65% to $6.6M; Coyne PR, Parsippany, N.J., generalist,
rising 53% to $7.6M, and Cerrell Assocs., L.A., public affairs
and environmental specialist, rising 38% to $5.6M.
New to the rankings are
generalist Regan Communications, Boston, No. 12 with $15M
in fees, and financial specialist Lippert/Heilshorn Assocs.,
New York, No. 16 with $10.3M in fees.
PR Firms Absent
PR firms of the five ad/PR
conglomerates did not report fee/employee totals for the
fifth straight year.
Omnicom said its PR firms
(Ketchum, Fleishman-Hillard, Porter Novelli, etc.) bill
$1.2 billion and had a 10% growth in 2006. This includes
gains from acquisitions. OMC spent $311M on acquisitions
last year. It has $432M in earn-out obligations through
WPP said PR fees without
acquisitions grew 5.9% in 2006 and with acquisitions were
up 12.4%. It said "particularly strong" results
were posted by Ogilvy PR Worldwide, Hill & Knowlton,
Burson-Marsteller, Cohn & Wolfe, Finsbury and Buchanan.
PR fees of WPP are 10.1% of revenues of $11.4B or $1.15B.
Interpublic, which had
a 1.3% drop in overall revenues to $6.2B for 2006, does
not break out PR but said organic growth in PR was "spearheaded
by Weber Shandwick, MWW Group and Golin Harris."
Expansion of PR
Richard Edelman, president/CEO
of Edelman, said "PR" is being expanded to include
tasks formerly performed by ad agencies. PR is coming up
with marketing ideas that can be carried out by traditional
PR as well as
(Continued on page 6)
Edition, March 7, 2007, Page 2
EYES WIDMEYER FOR CRISIS PACT.
Environmental Protection Agencys radiation unit has
moved to award a crisis PR contract to Widmeyer Communications
without a competitive review.
EPAs Radiation Protection Division said Widmeyer is
uniquely qualified to support the federal agency as it implements
a multi-faceted crisis communication program for use in
case of a radiological emergency.
firm has previously conducted focus groups with EPA emergency
responders and communicators to develop responses in the
event of such a disaster.
The latest effort would include a background assessment,
development of a discussion guide with an online capability,
and recruitment of officials for interviews, among other
handled a disaster PR assignment last year for the Washington,
BARAN SETS UP GREEN
Josh Baran, who handled
PR for Al Gores An Inconvenient Truth
book/movie about the threat from global warming, has established
RenewComm to provide communications for the green
The former Edelman executive
VP and Microsoft director of communications will counsel
clients in the areas of renewable resources, green tech,
clean energy, conservation, design and sustainable development.
He has counseled the Sierra
Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, Amnesty International
and Pediatric AIDS Foundation.
New York-based Baran is
joined by Peter Kelley in Washington. He helped build the
press shop at the National Environmental Trust and represented
that group at the Kyoto, Japan, global warming treaty talks.
Kelley also handled PR for American Rivers, League of Conservation
Voters and Environment 2004.
coast operation is headed by Julie Buckner, former press
secretary to California Sen. Barbara Boxer, who now heads
the Senates environmental committee.
C&W SAYS YAHOO!.
Clark & Weinstock
has signed on as D.C. rep for Yahoo!, taking on such hot
button issues as `Net neutrality, child protection
and data security/privacy.
Vin Weber, the former
Minnesota Congressman who opened C&Ws Washington
office more than a dozen years ago, heads the 11-member
That squad includes the
former legislative affairs aides to Presidents Bush II (Dirksen
Lehman) and Clinton (Lisa Kountoupes), general counsel to
the Senate Judiciary Committee (Jonathan Schwantes), aide
to former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (Ed Kutler)
and chief of staff to Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan (Niles
C&W joins sister Omnicom
company Fleishman-Hillard on Yahoo!s roster. The Internet
company also relies on Outcast PR, which is part of Next
15 Communications Group.
NEW ORLEANS POLICE SEEK PR
The embattled New Orleans
Police Department is looking for outside PR counsel to better
communicate with the public and press amid national scrutiny
of its operations.
Put under enormous pressure
through and after Hurricane Katrina, the NOPD has recently
taken criticism for alleged racial profiling in arresting
illegal immigrants and has sparred in public with the citys
district attorneys office.
The assignment is to include
development of a strategy for public communications, coordination
of media coverage and events, development of educational
materials and briefing materials, and recommendations for
the superintendent of police, Warren Riley, for more effective
events involving NO police.
An RFP issued by the department
calls for proposals by March 22. An evaluation committee
of administrative personnel and the chief of the departments
Public Integrity Bureau will recommend finalists to Riley.
The move comes as the
citys Convention and Visitors Bureau turned to Weber
Shandwick last month to bolster business and leisure travel
to the city.
PS AIDS HUGE TXU BUYOUT DEAL.
Public Strategies is bolstering
PR for the record $43.8 billion buyout of Texas power company
TXU, which is trying to make the transition from public
to private company and go green in the process.
Equity firm Kohlberg Kravis
Roberts & Co. is the lead investor in the largest leveraged
buyout in history with equity firm Texas Pacific Group and
Goldman Sachs & Co. playing key roles.
The buyout is expected
to face regulatory, political and environmental concerns
and the parties involved immediately moved to head off any
immediate fallout. The news release announcing the buyout
said the deal has been endorsed by Environmental Defense
and the Natural Resources Defense Council. The companies
also said TXU will implement an energy demand program with
a $400M investment in conservation over the next five years,
in addition to appointing former Secretary of State James
Baker as chairman of an advisory group on climate change,
among other moves.
PS managing director Adam
Levine, who was formerly VP of corporate communications
for GS, is handling press inquiries for the deal.
GLASHOW RETURNS TO F-H.
Jason Glashow has returned
to Fleishman-Hillard, taking the Boston general manager
slot. He succeeds Ben Kincannon, who is now in charge of
the Omnicom units North American litigation practice.
Glashow is rejoining F-H
from Microsoft, where he handled PR for the software giants
U.S. public sector. He managed press relations and executive
communications there. Earlier, he worked at ML Strategies,
the government affairs unit of Bostons Mintz Levin,
and Weber Group in Cambridge.
Glashow served in F-Hs
Boston and Austin offices from `97 to `99.
Edition, March 7, 2007, Page 3
British Broadcasting Corp. has signed a content deal with
YouTube to show its news and other programming on the Google-owned
Thompson, director general of BBC, sees the link as a way
to engage new audiences both in the U.K. and abroad.
partners will sell advertising on the YouTube channels,
but ads on the news site will only be available to viewers
outside the U.K.
Wall Street Journal reported that private sector
competitors of the publicly-funded BBC have been upset with
its foray into the commercial realm.
SHIVE UPPED AT BELO.
Dunia Shive, president
of media operations at Dallas-based Belo Corp., has been
promoted to president/COO of the $1.7B media combine. Bob
Decherd remains chairman/CEO. He held the presidency post
Shive, 46, will spend
her time managing digital operations at the company, which
includes its flagship Dallas Morning News.
Shive joined Belo as its
controller in `93. Prior to that she was assistant controller
at Tyler Corp. and audit manager at Ernst & Young, where
she worked on the Belo account.
Decherd, 55, has been
Belo's CEO since `87.
PERETZ SELLS TNR STAKE.
Martin Peretz, editor-in-chief
of The New Republic, has sold his 25 percent ownership
stake to CanWest Global Communications.
The move following CanWest's
buyout of financiers Roger Hertog and Michael Steinhardt
gives the Canadian media combine 100 percent control of
the now biweekly political and cultural magazine.
Peretz, 68, remains editor-in-chief.
He is confident the mag will flourish with a cash infusion
by its new owner. The maiden issue of TNR under Canadian
control debuts March 19 under editor Franklin Foer.
LONDON TIMES PRO TO NYT.
Stephen Farrell, Middle
East correspondent for the Times of London is joining
the New York Times later this year.
He will remain in Baghdad
for the NYT, replacing John Burns who leaves this summer
to head the paper's London bureau. The New York paper also
will replace Sabrina Tavernise in Baghdad. She is moving
to take over the NYT's Istanbul office.
UNIVISON PICKS UVA.
Joe Uva, who was head
of Omnicom's OMD Worldwide media buying operation, has been
named president of Spanish language broadcaster Univision.
Prior to OMD, Uva worked
at Turner Entertainment Group, a stint that included president
Univision is in the process
of being acquired by investment groups including Texas Pacific
Corp., Providence Equity Partners and Thomas H. Lee Partners.
That nearly $14B deal is expected to close this month.
BLUM IS LATEST EX VV EDITOR.
David Blum has been axed
as editor-in-chief of the Village Voice after a six-month
stint. He was terminated following a staff meeting on the
lack of diversity at the New York-based weekly.
Blum is succeeded by Tony
Ortega, editor of the New Times Broward-Palm Beach.
PR director Maggie Shnayerson
said though the meeting served as the "catalyst"
for Blums exit, there had been differences between
him and management.
The VV editorial carousel
began when long-time editor Don Forst resigned in Dec. `05.
He was followed by Doug
Simmons, who left after a reporter fabricated parts of an
article and Erik Wemple, the Washington City Paper
editor who left the VV after two weeks.
Bill Jensen, a Boston
Phoenix veteran who handles new media for Village Voice
Media, took over for Blum on a temporary basis.
Deborah Kolben, who was
city editor of the New York Sun, has joined the VV
as managing editor.
She was education reporter
at the Sun before being upped to editor. Kolben also was
a reporter for the New York Daily News and The
The VV announcement also
notes that Kolben has written for the Jerusalem Report,
The Guardian and Financial Times.
The Voice has a 250K weekly
circulation and 1.5M readership.
MSNBC UNVEILS FIRSTPERSON.
has introduced FirstPerson to allow people to post news-related
photos and videos to related news stories.
Editors review the submissions
and post the best in special galleries. People can vote
on their favorites. The idea is to provide increased depth
and content to stories, and get people more involved with
Jennifer Sizemore, editor-in-chief
of MSNBC.com, notes that her site launched its first "citizen
journalist" project in `96 when it posted delegate
diaries from the Democratic and Republican conventions for
an "insider look at politics from the floor."
She considers FP a move
that embraces the "Internet's unique ability to open
up the conversation to many voices and make journalism a
more participatory experience."
Viewer content may also wind up on NBC News and MSNBC-TV
programs. Sizemore is looking for both serious and light-hearted
MICROSOFTS MARUZZI TO
Stefano Maruzzi has been
named president of CondeNet International, a new position
in charge of its nearly 60 sites in a dozen countries. Sarah
Chubb handles U.S. operations.
Maruzzi was director of
strategy and content-international for Microsoft's MSN site,
and country manager for MSN Italy. He also was editor of
PCWeeks Italian editon. CondeNasts collection
of magazine includes Vanity Fair, Vogue, Glamour,
Tatler, Gourmet and House & Garden.
Maruzzi is based in Milan.
news continued on next page)
Edition, March 7, 2007, Page 4
SEATTLES BEST TAPS DEVRIES.
Seattles Best Coffee,
a retail and wholesale unit of Starbucks Corp. which has
129 stores in North America, has tapped DeVries PR after
a three-agency pitch.
Lisa Pierson, managing
director of DeVries' home and lifestyle division, said her
firm will handle media relations and "brand awareness
support" for regional markets in the early stages of
the account work. She said an SBC marketing exec had worked
with DeVries in her days at Procter & Gamble.
SBC markets coffee via
three primary channels - cafes in locations like Borders
book stores, retail presence in grocery and drug stores,
and food service accounts like Alaska Airlines and McDonald's,
mainly in the western U.S. Its first location in New York
opened last year.
SBC worked with agencies
in the past but did not have an AOR.
Starbucks acquired 30-year-old
SBC in a $72M deal in 2003 when its previous owner, AFC
Enterprises, faced an accounting scandal. Edelman is Starbucks'
main PR firm.
GREENWOOD TEAMS WITH MARKGRAF.
Cynthia Greenwood and Sue Markgraf have combined their
50 years of PR experience and names to create GreenMark
PR, which will concentrate on environmental issues.
The partners believe a five-year shared stint at the Chicago
Botanic Garden will attract clients who want to promote
green spaces, places and issues.
Greenwood has worked as an independent media placement
strategist, handling assignments from Burson-Marsteller,
Edelman, Hill & Knowlton, Ketchum and American Library
Assn. She placed clients like Procter & Gamble, Reddi-Wip,
Quaker Oats, Everready and Culligan.
Markgraf is a veteran of Fleishman-Hillard and one-time
communications director for Dairy Management of "Got
Milk?" fame. She is a co-founder of Chicago Parks &
Gardens, a group dedicated to making Chicago a "green"
Markgraf had been running her own firm before teaming with
WEBER SHANDWICK SCORES PR
The Rochester Coalition, a group funded by the Mayo Clinic,
has scored a victory as the Federal Railroad Administration
nixed a $2.3B loan guarantee to the Dakota, Minnesota &
Eastern Railroad Corp. to build a third rail line to bring
coal out of Wyomings Powder River Basin, the nations
The RC, retained Weber Shandwick last year, to object to
the high-speed mile-long coal trains that would rumble by
only blocks away from the clinic.
DM&E argued the 280 miles of new track and upgrade
of another 600 miles-which would have represented the nation's
largest rail project in decades--was necessary to break
the logjam at the Basin. Union Pacific and Burlington Northern
Santa Fe currently run coal trains out of there.
NEW ACCOUNTS _________________________
PR, New York/Atlantic Street Capital Management,
PE fund focused on middle market cos.; Eisner LLP, CPA and
advisory firm, and Zecco Holdings, company behind financial
Levay & Rose, New York/The Amacore Group, discount
healthcare services, for IR and financial communications.
Novelli, New York/British Airways, for corporate
and consumer PR in North America, following a review. The
firm already handled the U.K. and Trinidad and Tobogo for
Communications, Boston/TrueAdvantage, sales technology,
as AOR, and IGEL Technology, network and IT hardware solutions,
Paul & Partners, Woburn, Mass./Curl, Internet
application platform; Konica Minolta Business Solutions
USA; OpenConnect; RenewData, electronic evidence services
for law firms and corporations; Troux, enterprise architecture
platform, and ZoomInfo, business information search engine.
Group, Waltham, Mass./Neighborhood America, social
networking platform, as AOR for PR.
for Risk and Crisis Communication, Washington, D.C./Health
Research Inc., New York state-affiliated non-profit, for
faith-based communication audience research, along with
risk and crisis comm. training. CRCC is made up of Widmeyer
Communications and the Center for Risk Comm.
Communications Group, Atlanta/
Omnilink Systems, human status tracking, as AOR as the company
looks to build a presence in law enforcement, healthcare
and real estate sectors.
Clair Marketing/PR, Mobile, Ala./
Cousins Subs, quick-service sub restaurants, as AOR for
franchise development PR following a review. The chain counts
158 stores in the Midwest and western United States.
Communications, Elkhart, Ind./Daimons Kids,
nonprofit sports org. for kids, and Elkhart Express, professional
basketball team based in Michigan. EE, is owned by Daimons
Kids founder Daimon Beathea.
Houston/RiceTec, rice producer and marketer, as AOR for
its consumer business division. The work includes advertising
Media, Denver/Market Force Information, customer
experience information; Shopn Chek, mystery shopping;
Electric Rain, software, and Whirled Peas Catering, for
Communications, San Francisco/Euphonix, digital audio
mixing systems and controllers, as AOR for all PR efforts.
Communications, Los Angeles/Southern California Gas
Co., for a media campaign; M. Gray Music Academy, for a
March 19 fund raiser, and the Iranian American Parents Assn.,
for a March 11 event.
Edition, March 7,
2007, Page 5
WINKLER TO TELETRAX.
Winkler, a director in PricewaterhouseCoopers' entertainment
and media advisory unit, has been named senior VP and chief
marketing officer of Medialink's Teletrax monitoring unit.
served as management consulting director and global marketing
director at PWC in New York, London and Los Angeles. He
previously presided over its Global Entertainment &
Media Outlook market forecast.
in his career, Winkler worked for marketing and PR units
at Omnicom, Grey Advertising and Ogilvy & Mather.
SCHAIBLE NAMED VP FOR BURRELLESLUCE.
Daniel Schaible, director
of business systems for the San Francisco Chronicle, has
been named senior VP of content for BurrellesLuce.
Schaible was previously
production director at the New York Post and earlier headed
a start-up mortgage company after posts in advertising and
production with the Star Ledger in Newark, N.J.
REAL WORLD PR
PR Society of America's
Georgia chapter hosted more than 240 college students at
a "real world PR" conference Feb. 16 at Atlanta's
John Walker, senior VP
at Edelman and chapter head, hosted the event, which gave
students from more than 30 colleges an "insider look"
about making the most of internships and choosing the right
specialty area in which to practice the craft of PR. Resumes
were critiqued. Networking was encouraged.
Alan Richardson, southeast
marketing manager of Starbucks Coffee, keynoted the day.
He tipped the students plus 190 chapter members on the six
cornerstones that guide every management decision at Starbucks.
The management mantra is based on being "authentic,"
"considerate," "creative," "fun,"
"transformative" and "uplifting." Richardson
said the "brand promise" of Starbucks is "daily
The conference boasted
more than 40 sponsors including LC, AT&T, Edelman, Weber
Shandwick, Allstate, Cox Communications, Porter Novelli,
UPS, William Mills Agency, AFLAC and Manning, Selvage &
Lee. The Georgia chapter's real world event is the largest
collegiate conference sponsored by any PRSA chapter.
The 900-member organization
sponsors PRSSA groups at Georgia State University, University
of Georgia, Kennesaw State University, Clark Atlanta University
and Georgia Southern University.
MacDonald was promoted to director of media for Family
Features Editorial Syndicate, Mission, Kan. The company
provides free food and lifestyle features to publications
in the U.S and Canada. ... Advertising
and corporate design firm has up to 6 windowed offices
and separate reception area available in Midtown Manhattan;
50s on 7th Ave.; 1,250+ s.f.; access to conference room
w/AV. Phone system & DSL in place. Info: 212-748-9681.
Majors, senior producer in NBC News, to The Ehrhardt
Group, New Orleans, as a senior consultant focused on crisis
communications, planning, training and management. Before
being assigned to NBCs New Orleans bureau, Majors
worked out of New York for the network and its MSNBC and
Zelkowitz, former managing director for Taylor Rafferty,
to APCO Worldwide, New York, as a senior VP focused on financial
comms. He served in New York and London for TR.
Pedro, senior consultant for diversity consulting
firm The FutureWork Institute, to Ogilvy PR Worldwide, New
York, as chief diversity officer, a new post. She helped
the firm implement its diversity training program over the
last two years as an executive on loan. She
was previously VP of diversity and professional development
at Sony Music Entert.
Mazella DeLaney, a spokesperson for ousted California
Congressman Richard Pombo, has joined John Adams Assocs.,
Washington, D.C., as VP-congressional and media relations.
Pombo, a conservative rancher, headed the House Resources
Committee since '03. He was a strong advocate for opening
the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve for oil exploration,
and supporter of the Bush Administration's "Healthy
Forests" program. He joined Pac/West Communications'
office in Sacramento (2/28 NL). DeLaney is to work on environmental
and health issues at JAA. Before working for Pombo, she
was press secretary for Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI), and
a staffer at Manning, Selvage & Lee.
Foss, a veteran broadcast journalist, to utility
company AmerenUE, St. Louis, as VP for PR. She was anchor
of KSDK-TV in St. Louis for 25 years.
Postman, director of executive communications for
H-Ps enterprise business group, to Eastwick Communications,
Redwood City, Calif., as executive VP of emerging media.
Postman is a blogger and formerly was the senior speechwriter
for Scott McNealy, former CEO and chairman of Sun Microsystems.
Tingler, a former Ogilvy exec who worked in Greater
China for the last five years, to Gavin Anderson, New York,
as an associate director. Lydia Leung, IR manager for COFCO,
a state-owned consumer food and agricultural enterprise
in China, also joins GA as an associate director.
Carter to CEO, Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications,
Boston. Carter joined the firm in 1997 and has served as
CFO, a title she retains. She was previously VP at Winthrop
Kmiecik to A/S and Eric
Younan to senior A/E, Marx Layne & Co., Farmington
Edwards to president and COO, and Robb
Rice to executive VP, Davies, Santa Barbara. Chairman/CEO
John Davies noted Edwards healthcare work contributed
40% of the firms total revenue.
Yang to senior VP, PondelWilkinson, Los Angeles.
She joined in 1997.
Edition, March 7, 2007, Page 6
GROW 20%+ (Contd
from page 1)
said. "PR firms are taking dollars from ad agencies,"
Edelman has owned
offices in 45 cities and can carry out global campaigns
of clients, he said. He noted the firm is private and independent
and does not have to send profits to a parent company.
heavily in intellectual capital such as our Trust Barometer
which conducts surveys in 18 countries," he said. Eight
staffers work on digital technologies including the "Me2"
Integrated Corporate Relations
executives Chad Jacobs and Thomas Ryan, co-CEOs, and Don
Duffy, president, said the firm's rapid growth is due to
its "unique and strategic brand of financial communications,
appreciated not only by clients but analysts, institutional
investors, business/financial media and other key corporate
ICR's "superior investor
relations model is composed exclusively of former Wall Street
professionals including senior sell-side analysts, portfolio
managers, investment bankers and CFOs who understand the
capital market," they said. ICR also has "highly
skilled corporate communications, media relations and digital
5W Has Biggest
Ronn Torossian, president
and CEO of 5W, which was the fastest growing firm for the
third year in a row, said 5W is growing "because we
are the most focused results-oriented agency in the U.S."
He said the growth "has
been entirely organic and the reward for being completely
focused on serving our clients. I am proud of our staff
and excited we have been the fastest-growing firm three
years in a row, which is unprecedented in this industry."
In second place on the
list was Ruder Finn, up 8.2% to $99.3M.
Peter Finn and Kathy Bloomgarden,
CEOs, said there was "significant global expansion
in health and wellness, corporate trust and global connectivity."
There was double-digit growth in the corporate reputation
practice, working with multinational companies on CEO positioning,
media, branding, and crisis programs.
Creative activities, especially
new media, Internet and emerging technologies, were said
to be the fastest growing divisions, gaining 25% with expertise
in developing on-line communities, web development and web
marketing. Revenues were up 14% at New York headquarters.
Edstrom Grew on Many Fronts
Melissa Waggener Zorkin,
CEO of Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, said the firm had "multiple
successes in 2006." Significant effort was focused
on "attraction, retention and development of our top
world talent, thus providing the highest quality work to
existing and new clients," she said.
The firm helped launch
Windows Vista, the Shire Human Genetic Therapies and Elaprase,
a drug for the treatment of Hunter Syndrome. New clients
included GlaxoSmithKline, BMC Software, and HTC USA.
The firm increased R&D
spending, formalizing IP in support of its "Innovation
Communications" approach with products such as "Narrative
Network." Zorkin is "strongly optimistic"
Steve Schwartz, president/CEO
of Schwartz Communications, said the 22.6% growth of the
firm was due to achieving "meaningful, bottom-line
results for clients."
The firm has a "laser-like
focus on delivering services that have a tangible business
impact for our clients," he said. "This is why
we're retained in highly competitive situations."
Michael Petruzzello, managing
partner of Qorvis, said 31% growth was the result of having
senior people work directly with clients and by not billing
by the hour, eliminating a "built-in conflict with
clients." New clients include PhRMA, Consumer Electronics
Assn., Mortgage Bankers Assn., Financial Services Roundtable,
Pratt & Whitney, United Technologies, DynCorp. and Halliburton.
New services include advertising.
Qorvis in six years has grown to 90 employees in two offices.
During the past three years, growth has averaged 23%+.
Tony Signore, CEO of Alan
Taylor Communications, "the lifestyle and sports PR
choice for the world's leading consumer companies,"
which rose 35.6% to $18M, said that since 2004 the firm
has been guided "by a clearly defined vision that calls
for ATC to be exclusively aligned with category leading
consumer brands who respect and value the PR discipline.
This selective approach continues to pay dividends for our
Up 11% to $11M
RFBinder CEO Amy Binder
said expansion came from new and current clients including
Johnson & Johnson in consumer; B2B with Haynes &
Boone, and the Chilean government for exports; in energy
with Repsol YPF and the York Regional Interconnect, and
in finance services with Ameriprise.
Long term clients including
Bank of America, Robert Bosch, Dunkin' Donuts, TIAA-CREFF,
Eli Lilly, and McGraw-Hill gave major assignments to the
in Top 20
the top 20 by growing 11% to $9.6M. Rick French, president/CEO,
said the firm won a number of major national account reviews
and that existing clients increased spending, particularly
in the consumer product and healthcare sectors.
There was double-digit
growth in the Raleigh and New York offices.
A profitable new social
media and word-of-mouth marketing practice area was started.
Marketing communications had a high single digit growth.
Said French: "Our
independent standing as a midsize national agency with resources
to handle almost any size national and even international
account has made the firm an attractive alternative to some
of the larger holding company owned agencies that have traditionally
secured the vast majority of plum client programs."
Edition, March 7, 2007, Page 7
O'DWYER'S RANKINGS OF INDEPENDENT
PR FIRMS WITH MAJOR U.S. OPERATIONS
here for rankings)
Edition, March 7, 2007,
table on page 7 shows the continued growth of
the independent PR counseling business.
talked to owners, executives and staffers at dozens of these
firms in the past few weeks and were impressed not
only with the growth of their businesses but with their
good spirits. Theyre happy and expressive, just like
PR people are supposed to be.
growth rate surpasses that of the conglomerate-owned PR
firms. The growth rate of WPPs PR firms is 6% and
for PR firms owned by Omnicom, somewhat under 10%.
reports that PR income grew an additional 6% because of
acquisitions. OMC, which spends heavily on acquisitions,
does not say how much of the 10% is from that. Interpublic,
No. 3, does not break out PR and neither do Publicis and
almost never talk to anyone from firms owned by the conglomerates.
A couple will respond if called but never initiate contact.
Many now wont release account lists nor make any announcements.
blanket of silence is harmful not only to them but to the
PR counseling industry. We dont see it changing any
time soon. Ad industry culture is not to lift a finger without
the permission of the client. PR culture is to see PR as
a bridge between client and public, with duties towards
academics seem puzzled by the silence of PRSA national board
members, chapter presidents, district leaders, ethics
board members at the national and chapter levels, section
leaders, etc., despite criticism of PRSAs financial
reporting by three accounting professors; lack of democracy
(only APRs can run for national office); refusal to supply
transcripts of Assemblies; lack of a staff CPA; failure
to report nearly $2 million on staff time on the annual
conference; refusal to defer dues income; removal of $2.5M
in administrative costs from 13 categories of spending;
refusal of new COO Bill Murray to disclose his salary, and
the collapse of the APR program (PRSA added 123 APRs in
2006 after adding 116 in 2005).
The answer is that anyone
in leadership is co-opted by an elaborate system
of favors and punishments that PRSA national has at its
command. Veteran members know this system well.
new business and job tips that pour into h.q. and that are
not posted on the PRSA website where they belong. Favorites
get them. The way to get off this favored list
is to oppose national in any way or help the press about
Counselors as well as
corporate members and PR professors want these tips.
Also desired by chapter
and district leaders are the scores of national committee
chair appointments that are given out each year; national
conference speaking assignments, of which there are more
than 100 (with publicity and reduced fees for the speakers);
appointment to key committees such as Silver Anvil judging
that help improve resumes; appointment as speakers at the
dozens of seminars and webinars that PRSA stages throughout
the year, some carrying hefty fees (James Lukaszewski made
$60,000 in one year by conducting such sessions), and approval
of travel, meal and hotel budgets by national staff and
leadership. Ex-presidents, who get free conference passes
for life ($1,000 yearly) and free national membership for
life, dont complain.
Any employee of a PR firm
who challenges national risks exclusion of the firm and
its principals from the PRSA goody bag. Any
chapter member who does this risks ostracism by chapter
officers and members.
system of rewards/punishments extends to the PR media.
Media that carry PRSA editorials word-for-word are rewarded
with exclusives, invites to speak at PRSA events, and ads.
PRSA, like Omnicom, is a subject that is off-limits to the
New York Times ad column. Leaders of the PR Student Society
of America are barred from speaking to the PR trade press.
Students know this would about kill any chances of PRSA
hooking them up with jobs. The students abjectly accept
PRSA dominance of their website, learning only too early
how to sacrifice principles for $$.
result of this system is that chapter and district leaders
are hog-tied and tongue-tied when it comes to national.
The Ethics Board headed by Linda Cohen has said that under
no circumstances will it criticize the national board. Only
silence comes from the 110 chapters, all of which have ethics
boards. Members of the current national PRSA board have
promised never to speak in public or to the press about
PRSA matters. This no doubt was a key condition for their
is thoroughly corrupt, led for too many years by solo practitioners
or those who worked at one-person corporate PR offices.
The last head of a major PR firm to lead PRSA was John Beardsley
of Padilla Speer Beardsley in 1995. Members have been robbed
of their printed directory, a caper condemned by nine of
ten rank-and-file members that we talk to. This was the
biggest heist in the history of PRSA and some members have
vowed to overturn it. A close second is the robbery of New
Yorkers of the use of h.q. by the move downtown. PRSA turned
its back on its richest source of new members, cutting off
its nose to spite its face.
impact of this corruption on the PR industry is that PRSA
is not available to provide an example of how good PR can
be when blasts in the media take place such as an article
in the NYT or ridicule from the Dilbert comic strip. It
would be nice to point to PRSA as a model of good press
relations; as a provider of timely and accurate financial
reports; that treats all members as equals; that has an
active ethics process that condemns PR abuses, and has a
president (or chair) that holds press conferences and answers
Instead, PRSA is the embodiment
of many of the evils that the press complains about.