The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, April 11, 2007, Page 1
VOCUS RAISES MORE WALL ST.
which went public in a $45M IPO in late 2005, has filed
for a follow-on public offering of company and shareholder-controlled
stock that could reap $22M for the company.
a PR software and services company, is selling more than
1.2M shares, while shareholders, who stand to gain more
than $33M in the offering, are offering up more than 1.8M
shares. Total value of the offering is pegged at more than
executives, directors and affiliated entities
controlled about 38 percent of outstanding stock as of the
end of 2006.
number could drop to between 23-25 percent after the latest
Lanham, Md.-based company said proceeds would be used for
general corporate purposes like working capital
and expenditures, but it didnt commit to any specifics.
Vocus said money could go also toward its growth strategy
for 2006 were $40.3M, up from $28M in 2005. Its operating
loss shrunk from $4.8M in `05 to $1.1M. Vocus bought PRWeb
for $28M last year.
Vocus stock traded at $9 on going public in 2005 and
now trades in the $19 range.
QG REPS BOSNIAS SERBS
Quinn Gillespie has a $1.3M contract to represent the Serbian
section of Bosnia and Herzegovina, an outgrowth of the Balkan
War known as Republika Srpska.
The firm of Jack Quinn (ex-counsel to President Clinton
and chief of staff to Vice President Al Gore) and Ed Gillespie
(ex-Republican National Committee chairman), reports to
Milorad Dodik, PM of RS.
He made news Feb. 28 by expressing his governments
deepest regret for the crimes committed against non-Serbs
during the recent war in Bosnia.
That came two days after the International Court of Justice
cleared Serbia of genocide connected with the massacre of
Bosnian Muslims, but criticized the country for failing
to prevent the carnage.
Dodiks statement condemned all persons who
took part in the crimes including the Bosnian Serb
forces that slaughtered 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica.
City officials in Srebrenica are seeking separation from
RS, a move opposed by Dodik.
QG is to oversee RS outreach to the U.S. Congress,
Executive Branch, United Nations, European Union and High
The firms $106K monthly retainer does not cover fees
of up to $16.6K.
EDELMAN ACQUIRES KARYO.
Edelman has acquired a majority stake in Karyo Communications,
a Vancouver shop that has 25 staffers.
Karyo Edelman will run under its current management of
Patti Schom-Moffatt and Paul Welsh.
The deal provides the No. 1 independent firm a platform
for its global sports practice in anticipation of the 2010
Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Charles Fremes heads Edelman Canada, which has offices in
Toronto and Montreal.
SV COUNSELS NEW CENTURY IN
Sard Verbinnen & Co. is serving as outside PR counsel
for New Century Financial Corp., a high-risk mortgage lender
that filed for bankruptcy protection on April 2 and laid
off 3,200 employees.
The Irvine, Calif.-based company, which is already facing
securities and Justice Dept. investigations, filed for Chapter
11 in federal court in Delaware and is working to sell off
its assets. The layoffs represent more than 50 percent of
its total workforce.
The sub-prime or non-prime sector
backs loans for consumers deemed too risky for many lenders.
A housing market slump is squeezing interest rates up on
the adjustable mortgages sub-prime lenders offer.
Sard Verbinnen execs in New York and San Francisco are
working for New Century.
New Century backed $56.1 billion in loans in 2005.
WALTON TAKES VP POST AT MARSH.
Christine Walton, who has held PR posts with UBS and Merrill
Lynch over the last nine years, has been named VP of PR
for professional services company Marsh & McLennan Cos.
M&MC posts about $12 billion in annual revenues providing
services like insurance, human resource consulting, and
Walton, who directs MMCs global communications strategy,
is based in New York and reports to senior VP and CMO James
Speros working closely with the companys media and
public relations units.
Edie Fraser, founder and former CEO of Diversity Best Practices,
has joined Diversified Search Ray & Berndtson, a major
executive search firm based in Philadelphia, as co-chair
of its diversity executive search practice, based in the
firms Washington, D.C., office.
Fraser, who has been active in public affairs in Washington,
D.C., for decades, is the founder of Business Woman's Network
and Best Practices in Corporate Communications.
Edition, April 11, 2007, Page 2
GAINERS IN THE TOP 100 INDEPENDENT PR FIRMS
in the top 10
Qorvis Comms, D.C.
Edelman, New York
Schwartz Comms., Waltham, MA
Waggener Edstrom, Bellevue WA
APCO Worldwide, D.C.
ranked 11 through 25
Public Relations, NY
Integrated Corp. Relations, CT
S&S PR, Chicago
M Booth & Assocs., New York
Cooney/Waters Group, NY
Padilla Speer Beardsley, MN
RFBinder Partners, New York
Regan Communications, Boston
ranked 25 through 50
Coyne PR, Parsippany, NJ
Cerrell Assocs., Los Angeles
Imre Communications, MD
Cubitt Jacobs & Prosek, NY
Davies, Santa Barbara, CA
Kaplow Communications, NY
Makovsky & Co., NY
Vollmer PR, Houston
Rasky Baerlein, Boston
Hunter PR, NY
Ashton Partners, Chicago
Linden Alschuler & Kaplan
Bender/Helper Impact, LA
ranked 50 through 100
PR, San Francisco
v-Fluence Inter. PR, San Diego
Ron Sachs Comms., Tallahassee
Wragg & Casas PR, Miami
Comms. Strategies, Madison, NJ
Development Counsellors, NY
Spring O'Brien & Co., New York
Pierpont Comms., Houston
Walek & Assocs., New York
Merritt Group, Reston, VA
The Vandiver Group, St. Louis
Maloney & Fox, New York
Clifford PR, New York
Hager Sharp, D.C.
Bliss, Gouverneur & Assocs., NY
Jackson Spalding, Atlanta
OF PR UNITS OF ADVERTISING AGENCIES
PainePR, Los Angeles
Vox Medica Healthcare, Phila.
Crosby Marketing Comms, MD
The Zimmerman Agency, FL
Charleston/Orwig, Hartland, WI
Travers, Collins & Co., Buffalo
Off Madison Ave., Tempe, AZ
Levenson & Brinker PR, Dallas
Luckie Strategic PR, Birmingham
GREEN GROUPS PRESSURE GORE.
Computer has told 70 environmental groups that support the
Computer TakeBack Campaign that its directors will unanimously
reject two shareholder proposals at the upcoming annual
meeting regarding more aggressive recycling of computers
and phasing out toxic chemicals used in the manufacturing
puts former Vice President, global warming champion, Oscar
winner and current Apple director Al Gore in a tight fix.
groups, including Greenpeace, Consumers Union, Friends of
the Earth, Physicians for Social Responsibility, National
Environmental Trust and Institute for a Sustainable Future,
sent a letter to Gore on March 21 asking him as a "global
environmental leader to keep Steve Jobs [Apple CEO] and
Apple from making a serious mistake."
trails competitors such as Dell, which has set ambitious
goals for eliminating toxic components from its machines
and Hewlett Packard on the environmental front.
groups want to work with Gore to implement common
sense solutions to toxic pollution that will also make Apple
the undisputed leader of environmentally sound products
in the electronics industry.
want Gore to support the shareholder resolutions as a first
step toward making an industry leader in greening its products
green groups report no new word from Gore. He did meet privately
with Computer TakeBake reps last spring.
International, on April 3, ranked Apple last among 14 electronics
makers on the environmental friendly front. While
Apple is famous for innovation, it would be a shame to see
Apple become infamous for polluting the environment,
has ruffled Apple's feathers with its "Green My Apple"
website that aims to raise awareness of the Cupertino, Cal.-based
company's poor environmental performance.
METER RETURNS TO LAS VEGAS.
Veronica Meter joined the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce
as VP-government affairs on April 9. She took over for Christina
Dugan, who is launching her own political consulting business.
Meter has headed PR for the U.S. Government Printing Office
She kept GPO's constituencies updated on efforts to position
as a lean digital publishing and distribution organization.
GPO makes government documents available free to consumers
online and via a partnership with 1,250 libraries in the
Federal Depository Library Program.
Meter served as a Las Vegas TV executive prior to joining
She was executive producer at One TV, news producer at
KLAS-TV, and producer/host at KLVX-TV. She also was news
and public affairs director for Telemundo's Channel 39.
The Chamber represents 7,000 businesses that employ more
The GPO has not yet named a replacement for Meter.
Edition, April 11, 2007, Page 3
has launched a marketing campaign to spotlight its full
range of news and entertainment features.
print ads carry the tagline, "A Fuller Spectrum of
News," to inform consumers that the site is more than
a spot news organization.
push also will play up the site's alliances with NBC, Washington
Post and its Newsweek magazine property.
is handling the $4M campaign for MSNBC.com, which is owned
by NBC Universal and Microsoft.
GREENFIELD MOVES TO CBS.
Jeff Greenfield, political correspondent at CNN for the
past nine years, is moving to CBS News. He starts contributing
to Katie Couric's newscast and other programs on May 1.
Sean McManus, president of CBS News & Sports, said
Greenfield's hire is part of the network's plan to add more
"depth and expertise" as it gears up for the `08
Greenfield worked at ABC News for fourteen years before
joining CNN, which is owned by Time Warner.
SEIGENTHALER EXITS NBC ANCHOR
John Seigenthaler has left his slot as weekend anchor of
"NBC Nightly News" after the General Electric
unit failed to renew his contract due to budget cutbacks.
The 11-year NBC News vet held the weekend anchor spot for
nine years. He reported from Nashville and Seattle prior
to that. He announced his departure on April 1 after thanking
NBC and listeners for their loyalty. NBC wants an anchor
who will do other duties at either the network or at its
MSNBC cable unit.
STATE DEPT. LAUDS IRAQI TV
The State Dept. issued a press release on March 27 to laud
two Sunni and two Shia Iraqis who in the "act of courage
and bravery allowed their faces to be broadcast" on
its Independent Radio & Television Network in Diyala.
Their message was one of "hope, peace, reconciliation
The recently launched IR&TN is aimed at "terrorists
who are operating in Diyala Province, literally miles from
the location of the radio/TV station." Its market coverage
includes hotspots such as Fallujah and Baghdad. There are
11M Iraqis living in the region.
The State Dept.'s "Global Outreach Team" is behind
the IR&TN launch. The Go Team, according to the release,
"helps ensure that public diplomacy (engaging, informing,
and influencing key international audiences) is practiced
in harmony with public affairs (outreach to Americans) and
traditional diplomacy to advance U.S. interests and security
and to provide the moral basis for U.S. leadership in the
The GO Team promises upcoming stories on Iraqi health/nutrition,
national constitution and an "inside look" of
the workings of the Diyala provincial council.
XM-SIRIUS RADIO MERGER SLAPPED.
The National Assn. of Broadcasters and Consumers Union
plan to issue formal notices with the Federal Communication
Commission over the next few weeks to oppose the proposed
merger between the two satellite radio companies, XM and
The opposition will claim the merger amounts to a "government
bailout of two-money losing ventures that paid hundreds
of dollars for big-name talent," according to the Washington
NAB president David Rehr plans to use the FCCs own
analysis of satellite competition to argue against the deal.
That FCC study found that the current "duopoly of XM
and Sirius do not compete with radio, iPods or any other
audio sources in the satellite radio market."
The merger partners contend that there is intense competition
from a broad "audio entertainment" market in which
many of the individual components did not exist when the
FCC approved licensing of satellite radio a decade ago.
The FCC analysis, according to Rehr, is a "dramatic
blow to XM/Sirius' presumption of a broader market and still
more evidence that XM and Sirius compete ferociously against
each other in the market for nationwide multichannel mobile
audio services and no one else."
DISCOVERY LAUNCHES 'GREEN'
Discovery Communications is rebranding its Discovery Home
Channel in `08 as an environmental channel as part
of its "PlanetGreen" program.
CEO David Zaslav says the channel will initially be available
in 50M households here and there are plans to expand overseas.
DC plans to carry other environmental programs on its other
channels to reinforce its position as the "green"
An initial project will be "Ten Ways to Save the Planet'
which is penciled in for the second-half of next year. DC's
Silver Spring, Md., headquarters is going carbon neutral
to reflect the PlanetGreen push.
who handled publicity for Walt Disney Co. films and its
Pixar Studios unit, has shifted to United Artists. He is
in charge of worldwide marketing and publicity for UA, which
is headed by Tom Cruise and his producer, Paula Wagner.
Rice, who was senior VP at Disneys Buena Vista Pictures
marketing unit, promoted the two Pirates of the Caribbean
films and The Chronicles of Narnia.
The unrelated Soledad
O'Brien and Miles
O'Brien are being dropped as CNNs American
Morning anchors because the shows ratings have
not kept up with programming in the other dayparts, according
to CNN president Jonathan Klein.
John Roberts, who joined CNN from CBS last year, and Kiran
Chetry, a former Fox News Channel veteran, are replacing
the duo that had been together since 05.
The OBriens remain special correspondents.
news continued on next page)
Edition, April 11, 2007, Page 4
MAKING YOUR WAY INTO THE GOSSIP
columnists have some advice for publicists looking to grab
the ultimate celebrity scoop: get out more.
always asking people: where's the story?" said Patrick
Huguenin, writer for the Daily News' Rush & Molloy column.
"We get product pitches all the time, but if you tell
me that you just saw someone get smacked at the Marquee
Club, I'm listening."
of the biggest names in celebrity gossip met for a March
28 panel at the International Cinematographers Guild in
New York City, hosted by the Entertainment Publicists Professional
Birn, society writer for OK! Magazine, said relationships
between publicists and news staffs are often forged on favors.
Publicists who will go out on a limb for the press are usually
the first to see their ideas become stories.
you hear something from someone in the industry, or if you
see something when you're out with your friends and you
tell me about it, I won't forget it," Birn said. "Even
if you don't have the greatest product, I'll work something
in as a favor to you if you help me out."
Makes Good Gossip
what makes good gossip? Scandal, of course.
sightings at a new nightclub are always important, but celebrities
caught doing or saying something shocking is the stuff gossip
news is made of. Where
that celebrity registers on the A-list hierarchy is also
important, as is the verifiability of the claim: Huguenin
said all major gossip publications are "extensibly
versed in defamation" and all items are legally vetted
before going to press. Photos are also a plus for gossip:
readers like pictures, and getting a snapshot of a sighting
or better yet, a celebrity doing something crazy
greatly increases the chances of a story going to
there's often a large gap between what publicists see as
a good news item (re: their clients' products), and what
actually makes for "good news." David Caplan,
deputy NY bureau chief for Star Magazine, advised publicists
to be creative in this process and to tailor pitches to
fit the larger picture. Pitching your client's clothing
or beverage company to the gossip pages is fine if you have
a photo of a celebrity wearing it or drinking it at a private
party. Of course, there has to be a news hook to this item
as well. Caplan suggested adding anything anecdotal, like
an overheard conversation where the celebrity voiced his/her
opinion about a fellow celebrity or a current event.
have to be cognizant of where the story is going,"
Caplan said. "Give it a hook. That's the nature of
what we do and that's how we sell it. Not giving it that
hook shows you're not giving us any effort."
this vein, creating celebrity news might look easy. However,
many publicists fail when getting their foot in the gossip
pages primarily because they don't understand the proper
protocol for how a scoop should be presented. Besides the
need to tailor a product to a celebrity incident, understanding
the pitching format is also essential.
Hunt, style & entertainment editor for Metro New York,
said the key to good pitch delivery lies in the subject
line of an email. Unclear subjects or rambling bodies of
text make their way straight to the delete box.
it short and to-the-point," she said. "To me,
it's all about subject lines."
agreed, and offered this helpful equation for PR pros when
writing subject lines: Person, event, date and time. "Keep
it simple. Those are the things I look for in a story,"
get hit with emails all day," said Huguenin. "But
we see an email that says 'Lindsay Lohan has herpes' and
all of a sudden everyone responds."
may be an anomaly in the field, as he claimed he reads all
said, however, that he gets turned off when publicists get
too "cutesy" or try to imitate gossip editorial
lingo in their pitches. All four panelists said they prefer
email pitches from publicists.
Caplan said the relationship between press and publicists
is built on a foundation of trust and all it takes
is one instance to make or break this relationship.
you give me the same pitch that you gave to the person next
to me, we know about it. I think that's cookie-cutter and
it really reflects on the quality of where it's coming from,"
he said. "I've seen the exact quotes that PR people
have given me run in other papers. It happens more than
you think. All it takes is one incident like that to ruin
a relationship I know it may sound hard to believe,
but we're all very gossipy."
Jennifer Birn, society writer, OK! Magazine, [email protected];
David Caplan, dep. N.Y. bureau chief, Star Magazine,
[email protected]; Patrick Huguenin, writer, Daily
News' Rush & Molloy email@example.com;
Kenya Hunt, style & entertainment editor, Metro New
York, [email protected]
NEWSEUM LOOKS FOR SPONSORS.
The Newseum, which will open near Capitol Hill in October,
has naming rights available to a gallery dedicated to radio
and another one for the Internet. The minimum sponsorship
level is set at $5M.
Cox Communications recently made a splash, spending $6M
for the gallery on the First Amendment and the reopening
ceremonies. General Electric's NBC News and News Corp. also
have signed up as sponsors.
Jack Hurley, deputy director/senior VP-broadcasting at
Newseum, told Broadcasting & Cable, that the Newseum
will chart the history of journalism-"warts and all."
The Newseum was previously located in Arlington, Va.. It
closed five years ago with the plan to move to D.C.
Graduate School of Journalism is closer to getting
a new student center thanks to a gift from Dan Edelman,
who graduated there in '41. The school will honor the PR
pioneer by naming the space outside the center's café
the "Daniel J. Edelman Plaza."
Edition, April 11,
2007, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
MEYER OPENS IN D.C.
Rubin, who was VP-government relations at Qwest Communications,
has joined Don Meyer, ex-senior VP at Hill & Knowlton's
D.C. office, to open Rubin Meyer PA. The firm offers issues
management, media relations and strategic counsel to clients
in the nation's capital.
told O'Dwyer's that the firm debuts with several clients
in the defense, telecom and publishing businesses. He would
not name them.
he said, promises "hands-on, independently minded PR
also served VP-government relations at U.S. Telecom Assn.
as an aide to Kansas Senator and Republican presidential
hopeful Sam Brownback.
held a Defense Dept. communications post, and helped plot
strategy in the wake of the 9/11 Pentagon attack. Info:
Marino Organization, New York, said it helped a well-known
Big Apple coffee shop return from the brink, when it was
closed on March 6 for minor health violations.
The Coffee Shop, which
has been featured in HBOs Sex in the City,
was one of 100 city eateries to be shuttered in the wake
of a crackdown following the infamous rat video that circulated
on the Internet and other mass media.
TMO went to work as the
coffee shop was re-inspected, and put together plans for
if it passed or failed; it passed. The firm said much of
the coverage of the cafe portrayed it as an undeserving
victim of a reactionary city Health Department.
News of celebrity sightings
at the shop were reported as early as the weekend following
The Coffee Shop rewarded
Marinos work with a long-term contract.
PRx, San Jose, had net fees of $1,365,951, up 14%
for 2006. It is the fourth largest ranked firm in San Jose
and had $574,072 in environmental/PA fees; $464,332 in healthcare;
$200,648 in entertainment, and $139,997 in financial. ...Bob
Dilenschneider will address Fairchester Communications
Council's Spring Forum on April 18 at the DoubleTree Hotel
in Norwalk, Conn. The former Hill & Knowlton CEO will
talk about how tech developments have changed the rules
of power in the 21st Century. That's the crux of his book,
"Power and Influence: The Rules Have Changed,"
to be published in August. Noted crisis guru Jim Lukaszewski
will moderate the event. Jane Genova plans live blog coverage.
Cost is $50 for non-members. Ed Bloch has details at (203)
227-4920 or [email protected] . ...Trone,
High Point, N.C., has unveiled a new unit, RLF Communications,
dedicated to issue and communications campaigns. Monty Hagler,
a managing partner for the firm, heads the new division,
which starts up with Flordia-based financial services company
CNL, Missouri manufacturer Leggett & Platt, and U.K.-based
Gloster Furniture as clients. Three Trone staffers support
& Associates, New York/PDI Inc.; Industrial Enterprises
of America; Perio-Imaging; EntreMed; Ramtron International
Corp., and NaviSite. The firms Los Angeles office
picked up Ligand Pharmaceuticals; Avanir Pharmaceuticals;
Delcath Systems, and Majesco Entertainment.
& Fox, New York/eMusic, music download site,
for consumer and music-industry media relations and to help
launch new products later this year. The firm also picked
up Pure Depth, a 3-D technology company, for media relations,
conference outreach and other PR.
Finn, New York/Manhattan Software, workplace management
system platforms, as AOR.
Style Group, New York/Cold Tree Press, independent
self-publishing house, as AOR for marketing communications,
including targeted publicity and PR to build up the brand.
Publicity, New York/Budget Travel, as AOR for PR.
Communications, Westbury, N.Y./NYC Firefighters,
for fifth annual charity golf outing supporting scholarships
for the children of firefighters.
Peterborough, N.H./Eastern Mountain Sports, outdoor retailer,
as AOR for PR.
Strategic Communications, Washington, D.C./Eversheds,
law firms, for a publicity campaign to support a new business
model; River Ranch Fresh Foods, to inform consumers that
the FDA has approved its Popeye brand spinach; Special Olympics,
for global PR for the summer 2007 Olympics in China; National
Volunteer Firefighters Council, for PR, and Stew Leonards,
supermarket chain, to design and implement a crisis plan.
Bridge Communications, Washington, D.C./WashingtonWatch.com,
to introduce a new legislative wiki to lawmakers, lobbyists,
trade assns., advocacy groups, and others, following a competitive
Group, Atlanta/EarthLinks municipal networks
business unit, for launch of the companys citywide
Wi-Fi networks in market areas across the U.S.
Firm PR and Marketing, Las Vegas/IntelliBED, sleep
products, for PR and marketing.
PR, Los Angeles/Fannie Mae Foundations Help
the Homeless Walkathon, for event support.
Communications, Los Angeles/SunMilk, reduced fat
dairy milk, as AOR for marketing.
PR, Los Angeles/The Starside Co., Hollywood security
company, for PR.
Los Angeles/The British Academy of Film and Television Arts/Los
Angeles; Elektrofilm Digital Studios, and Good, a multimedia
Associates, Los Angeles/Portofino Hotel & Yacht
Club (Redondo Beach), and Paradise Point Resort & Spa
(San Diego), for media relations and PR targeting leisure
and business travelers, as well as meeting professionals.
Edition, April 11, 2007, Page 6
TAPPED FOR PP EXEC SEARCH.
Associates, an executive search firm focused on marketing
communications with offices in Boston and Toronto, has opened
a New York outpost in midtown Manhattan.
Amy Lafond, associate Kassie Wilner, and project manager
Jenn Marcottee make up the firms Big Apple team.
has been retained by Planned Parenthood Federation of America
to search for a VP of comms. Lafond and Ted Chaloner are
leading the search. Info: [email protected].
GROUP SEEKS PR PROS FOR RED
PRSA/N.Y. has aligned
with the American Red Crosss Greater New York chapter
to provide PR help with the organizations disaster
The Red Cross needs
communicators among its ranks, said Mike Virgintino,
director of comms. and media relations for the American
The PRSA chapter is looking
for volunteers for the program, called the Power of Two,
to serve as disaster PA personnel, media spokespersons,
comms. strategists and writers.
An orientation session
has been scheduled for June 6 at 6 p.m. Info is at prsany.org.
We will be assisting
the Red Cross as the organization deals with crises and
media inquiries, plus volunteers can earn credits toward
maintaining their accreditation by PRSA, said Barbara
Burns, PRSA/N.Y. president.
Volunteers will be trained
by the Red Cross and provided with resources and support
if called to respond.
MEDIALINK SEES STRONG Q4.
Medialink posted a $383K,
1.2% increase in revenues for 2006, compared to year-end
results for 2005. The company also closed strong with a
7.1% increase for the fourth quarter in 2006 over Q4 2005.
The broadcast PR giant
reported revenues of $31.7M for the year ended December
31, 2006, including a 35.8% boost in its Teletrax monitoring
unit. That gain, $717K, offset a $334K drop in traditional
media comms. services, the company said.
Operating loss narrowed
in 2006 to $6.3M from $6.9M in 2005. The sale of U.S. Newswire
represented a $4.5M gain for the company.
Cash reserves total $17M.
African-American PR Collective will launch a series
of seminars on May 19 in New York with The Write Stuff:
PR for Book Publishing, a panel discussion at the
National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences offices
at 156 W. 56th St.
Panelists include Tara Brown, VP of sales, marketing and
publicity for Hilton Publishing; Gilda Squire, director
of publicity for Amistad Imprint/Harper Collins Publishers,
and Linda Duggins, director of multicultural publicity at
Hachette Book Group, USA.
The group said it is looking
to fill in a gap in the networking potential among African-American
PR and media specialists. Info: theaaprc.com; 212/765-7910.
Bader, account manager in Porter Novellis D.C.
health and social marketing practice, to GYMR, Washington,
D.C., as a VP with oversight of professional assn., non-profit
and industry clients. She was previously VP of external
affairs for Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington.
Amy Levey, comms.
coordinator for The Justice Project, joins GYMR as an A/S.
She was previously comms. manager at the American Psychiatric
Ford, PAO for the Associated Builders and Contractors,
to the Marketing Research Assn., Washington, D.C., as PR
Bello, former director at Bozell Sawyer Miller PR
who recently ran her own firm, The VB Group, to Beckerman
PR, Bedminster, N.J., as a VP.
Baker, A/E, Skutski & Oltmanns, to WordWrite
Communications, Wexford, Pa., as a senior A/E. Earlier,
she was a feature writer for Flathead Living in Whitefish,
Prosapio, a 20-year PR and marketing veteran, was
named comms. director for the Texas Credit Union League,
a trade group.
Carpenter, VP of marketing, Simply Hired, to Allison
& Partners, San Francisco, as GM of the office. He was
previously VP of corporate marketing for SideStep.
Lancaster to senior VP, federal govt relations
and public affairs, Assurant, New York. He succeeds Edwin
Harper, who is stepping down to a part-time role. Lancaster,
55, joined the insurance company in 2005.
Ray to chief communications officer, Blank Rome LLP.
Based in the firms Philadelphia office, Ray also continues
to serve as a principal with its Washington, D.C.-based
unit Blank Rome Government Relations. He joined BRGR in
2003 as a founding Principal and served as director of communications
and PR for Blank Rome.
Braam, Jennifer Brantley, Mandy Cawood, Alice Chapman, Andrew
Maraniss, Courtenay Rossi to VPs, McNeely Pigott
& Fox PR, Nashville, Tenn. All were senior A/Ss.
Eckhart and Rachel Goldberg to A/Es, Laughlin/Constable,
Bouffard to VP, PR, Sterling Jewelers, Akron, Ohio.
Sterling is the parent to the Kay Jewelers and Jared The
Galleria of Jewelry brands.
Palitz to VP, The McRae Agency, San Diego. She joined
in 1994 and manages the San Diego office.
Perry, president and CEO of Perry Communications
Group, Sacramento, received the Lifetime Achievement Award
from the Sacramento PR Assn.s annual CAPPIE Awards
on March 29. Her firm also nabbed three gold awards.
Wells, CEO of Buzz Marketing Group, Voorhees, N.J.,
has been named to the board of By Kids for Kids, a closely
held licensing company focused on fostering creativity and
entrepreneurism in children.
Edition, April 11, 2007, Page 7
RE-EVALUATES AD CAMPAIGN.
Council of PR Firms, which has seen membership slide from
a high of 132 in August 2001 to 102 currently, said that
as a result of "strategic planning" it is re-evaluating
the importance of all advertising.
was nine years old on March 26. Attempts to reach chair
Marcia Silverman, CEO of Ogilvy PR Worldwide, for comment
on the state of CPRF and its current goals, were unsuccessful.
Ogilvy is part of the WPP Group.
Carr of Bliss, Gouverneur & Assocs., New York, treasurer
of CPRF, said ad expenses have been cut back for 2007
and the budget for 2008-2009 will not be developed until
later in the year.
executive committee of CPRF (three representatives from
conglomerate-owned PR firms and two independents), is looking
to balance our many strategic priorities, she
executive committee members are Ray Kotcher of the Ketchum
unit of Omnicom; Helen Ostrowski of the Porter Novelli unit
of Omnicom and Joel Curran of CKPR, an independent firm.
for more than four years has run a monthly ad in PR Week/U.S.
at an estimated cost of $3,000 each. These ads will continue
to run for the rest of 2007. Total cost over the four years
would be approximately $140,000.
elsewhere has been sparse. There was one ad in the ANA Advertiser
in 2006 and one ad in O'Dwyers PR Report in 2006 (the
only ad CPRF has run in the ODwyer monthly in nine
years). Half page ads costing $750 were run in O'Dwyer's
Directory of PR Firms in 2003, 2004 and 2006 and a full
page ad costing $1,000 in 2005.
CPRF members cooperated on a special 20-page section in
Advertising Age Jan. 24, 2005 that cost $160,000. Copy was
mostly written by Paul Holmes of The Holmes Report. CPRF
noted this was not a CPRF project but something the 11 firms
did on their own and outside of the Council. CPRF was given
a free one-page ad in the section.
of CPRF are approximately $1 million yearly with the majority
of the funds coming from the large members who pay .065%
of their U.S. fees to a limit of $40,000 (previously $50,000).
was founded on March 26, 1998 when David Drobis, CEO of
Ketchum, announced in a release that "Leaders of major
PR firms today agreed to form the first U.S. PR trade association
and to begin recruiting members."
were 38 members in the founding group including 13 of the
15 largest PR firms.
principal aim was to involve executives of the biggest firms,
whose participation in the Counselors Academy of PRSA had
declined over the years. Academy
and PRSA leadership turned down requests for PRSA to start
a group comprised of firms rather than individuals. PRSA
decided to hold to its tradition of representing individuals
rather than corporate entities.
of the U.S. PR business has long been absent from helping
to guide the industry and profession forward," said
Drobis, who headed the steering committee to study a trade
association of PR firms. Initial name was, "The Assn.
of PR Firms." Drobis retired from the PR industry at
the end of 2003.
Council's Code of Ethics said clients of members would be
advised to be "transparent and willing to engage in
debate and discussion."
executives of PR firms were named to the founding board.
initial meeting was June 30.
APRF will represent the leadership of the PR business and
advocate on its behalf...we can set industry standards while
building the structure and influence of U.S. public relations,"
Members Sought in First Year
initial goal was to sign up 100 members in the first year.
A peak of 132 members was reached in August 2001. A slide
began after 9/11 with more than 50 of the firms on the 2001
list departing from the Council for one reason or other
two biggest independent PR firms, Edelman and Ruder Finn,
quit in the past several years.
leaving included Cohn & Wolfe and GCI Group, both part
of WPP. Two other WPP firms remainBurson-Marsteller
and Hill & Knowlton.
major firms departing included Schwartz Communications,
Zeno Group of Edelman, Access PR, RFBinder Partners, KCSA
Worldwide, and Stanton Crenshaw Communications.
aimed at signing up the biggest firms but today only 11
of the top 25 on the O'Dwyer ranking are members and only
21 of the top 50.
Major Firms Joined
Major firms joining since
2001 included Taylor, Gibbs & Soell, Cubitt Jacobs &
Prosek, Standing Partnership, Imre Communications, FD, Trylon
SMR, and Widmeyer Communications. Mergers cost CPRF at least
a half dozen members including BSMG, Weber PR Worldwide
and Shandwick, which all became part of Weber Shandwick;
Creamer Dickson Basford, which became part of Havas; FitzGerald
Communications, acquired by Omnicom; Nichol & Co., acquired
by CKP; Patrice Tanaka, which became part of CRT/Tanaka
and Rowland, merged into Publicis.
Members on the 2001 list
that are not on the current list, including some that may
either be closed or inactive, include Applied Communications;
Arnold PR; Ballard, Cairns & Associates; Collaborative
Communications; Creative Response Concepts; Cunningham PR;
Donnellon PR; Duffey Communications; Epley Associates; Franco
PR; Geduldig & Ferguson; Goff & Howard; GPC Intl;
Guthrie/Mayes; Hawthorn Group; Headline Group; Kratz &
Jensen; LaForce & Stevens; Marenghi & Associates;
Massey-Persons-Brinati; Metzger Associates; Middleberg/Euro
RSCG; Middleton & Gendron; Niehaus Ryan Wong; Phase
Two Strategies; Presence; ProMarch Agency; Skutski &
Oltmanns; Southard Communications; Spector & Associates;
Sterling Hager; Strat@Comm; Stratis PR; Strother Communications;
Sumner Rider & Associates; Tate Agency; Tech Image;
Tunheim Santrizos, Van Vechten, Vorhaus Assocs. and Zeppos.
Edition, April 11, 2007,
list of 48 independent PR firms on page two, 35 of them
with gains of 20%+ in 2006, shows the independents
The U.S. PR counseling
industry, unlike ad agencies, did not sell out to the Big
Five ad agenciesWPP, Omnicom, Interpublic, Publicis
Many firms did sell but
that era is over. The Five ran up long-term debt of $13.5
billion in their buying binge (biggest debt is the $4.82B
at WPP) and dont have the cash or stock they once
had to overpay for acquisitions.
Its no longer accurate
to refer to the Five as holding companies, suggesting
they are made up of financial executives in ivory towers
aloof from the operations of their components.
Omnicom CEO John Wren
and WPP CEO Martin Sorrell lead their empires in pitches
against other agencies. Their media buying units buy for
their entire systems, driving down media prices.
The Five found that while
PR firms can pay the salaries of owners and staff, few can
throw off 25% in profits yearly without stringent measures.
PR pros prize their independence and dont like every
step being measured by an overseer from the parent.
News item on page 7: the Council of PR Firms is re-evaluating
its advertising and doesnt have a nickel to spend
on any more ads in 2007. It may even cancel some remaining
ads in PR Week/U.S.
The poor, poverty-stricken CPRF it only has net
assets of $592,501 and only had cash of $623,924 on Dec.
31, 2006! Its paid president, Kathy Cripps, only makes $285,000
a year or nearly one-third of dues income of $837,571. She
supervises two other CPRF staffers. Cathy Bolton, former
COO of PRSA, got the same amount for supervising 55 staffers
and a $10M budget. CPRF is one of the richer PR groups with
net assets equaling 61% of expenses of $962,834. Also, member
PR firms of WPP and OMC do $2.2 billion in PR fees so its
not as though the leading members of CPRF are poverty-stricken,
At the lower end of the scale are the Intl Assn.
of Business Communicators, with net assets at the end of
2006 of $500,516, equaling ten percent of revenues (its
still recovering from the TalkingBusinessNow website disaster),
and PRSA, whose net assets of $2.8M as of 12/31/06 were
23% of expenses (this includes abut $2M of unearned dues
booked as cash). Other assets to expense ratios are NIRI,
90%; Arthur W. Page Society, 74%, and Institute for PR,
The ad/PR policy of
CPRF is the same as that of its biggest donors, the five
giant ad agencies. The Five have 15 PR firms in CPRF
including 10 that pay the max dues of $40K. About 60% of
the dues of $837K come from the 15. These units advertise
almost exclusively in PR Week/U.S. and that is the policy
of CPRF. The Five have limited relations with the press,
never holding press conferences and never discussing their
financial reports. They have blocked disclosure of revenues/staff
of many hundreds of ad agencies and PR firms for five years.
OMCs Wren is infamous for being tight-lipped even
with analysts, which is one reason OMC is only $103, still
below its high of $107 on Dec. 17, 1999. Wren, who has given
four powder-puff interviews in 4.5 years, is up to his ears
in a four-year-old stockholder lawsuit charging OMC inflated
its earnings in 2001 (Wall Street Journal 3/2/07). Sorrell
is involved in a nasty personal/business lawsuit involving
WPPs operations in Italy (4/4 NL). The New York Post
(and almost no other media) is covering this in detail.
Interpublic (Weber Shandwick, Golin Harris, MWW, De Vries
PR) is not too keen on getting press these days since it
is still dealing with the repercussions from reporting $514M
in non-existent earnings from 2000-04. But CEO Michael Roth
has promised a new level of transparency. IPG
at least holds its annual meeting in New York while OMC
has fled out of town four years in a row (and this year
to Denver on May 22). Attempts to dialogue with the two
French-owned firms, Publicis (a large minority interest
is owned by Dentsu) and Havas, have been unsuccessful. Publicis
operates Publicis Dialog and OMCs Code
of Ethics promises fair dealing with anyone
it comes into contact with.
At the bottom of this
food chain is the executive committee of CPRF, comprised,
according to the bylaws, of three reps from the Big Five
and two independents. CPRF is not going to have
an ad campaign that includes the New York Times ad column,
Ad Age, AdWeek, and the entire PR trade (and not just PR
Week) even though spreading ads around in a fair manner
would bring more coverage of PR and relieve CPRF of the
charges of favoritism and unfairness. PR firms are not going
to join an organization that acts in an unfair manner. There
is no PR campaign at all by CPRF in the sense of reaching
out to the PR trade press and building relationships with
We wonder why no one
in the PR academic world will take up a study of
the influence of the acquisition policies of the Big Five
on the U.S. PR counseling industry when so much of this
material is public record ... a
chief issue before the PR industry today is the vote
in favor of PR pros having to lie occasionally
in order to save their jobs that was taken at a session
for 350 PR pros hosted by PR Week/U.K. (3/21 NL). The ODwyer
website conducted a poll on the same question for two weeks
and the returns held steady at 65% saying an occasional
lie was needed to save employment. Its obvious
many PR pros have been forced to provide less than the truth
but the field cannot accept this attitude without harm.
PR critics are going to seize these findings and run amok.
Barbara Burns, president of PRSA/New York, has made a strong
statement calling on PR groups to urge a change in behavior
of PR people. PR pros can at least have a policy of saying
No comment when they are in situations where
clients and employers will not allow them to be truthful.