The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, April 25, 2007, Page 1
ARMY PLANS LARGE IRAQ PR RFP.
U.S. Army command in Iraq is preparing to release a multimillion-dollar
RFP for PR agencies to produce a marketing campaign for
its electrical sector reconstruction unit based in Baghdad.
Armys Joint Contracting Command, part of the Multi-National
Forces Iraq, expects to release the RFP in late April and
to eventually award a PR firm an indefinite delivery/indefinite
quantity contract, a type of pact which has the winning
bidder engaged per project as needed.
estimated dollar value for the contract is from $11M-$25M.
The government said a six-month base contract will include
three six-month options.
Lincoln Group has handled PR assignments for the MNFI since
the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
Army report released in September said reconstruction efforts
under its watch increased power generation benefiting 1.3M
homes in Iraq and boosted electricity distribution to 340K
homes. An inspector general report, however, said in February
that the countrys electricity production has dipped
below pre-war levels, despite $4B spent on power reconstruction
CDC NAMES FIRMS FOR PR ROSTER.
The Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention has chosen a bevy of PR and marketing
shops, including Weber Shandwick, Ogilvy PR Worldwide, Ketchum
and Hager Sharp, to handle projects over the next seven
The $10M/year contract
range (one base year with three, two-year options) encompasses
health communication, public affairs, social and health
marketing, media outreach, online efforts and research for
its various programs.
In addition to the four
PR firms, 13 other companies round out the CDC's new marketing
roster. They include Academy for Educational Development,
American Institutes for Research, Battele, Constella, Danya,
Educational Services Inc., Harrison Maldonado Associates,
Macro International, NOVA Research, Oak Ridge Associated
Universities, PRR Inc., Research Triangle Institute and
Under government procurement
rules, those firms will compete or be chosen outright based
on their area of expertise as assignments arise over the
seven-year duration of their contracts.
The CDC operates under
the Dept. of Health and Human Services and produces statistics
and campaigns on health issues from HIV and brain injuries
to air pollution and workplace safety. Its 08 budget
request is $8.8B.
WS RAISES CASH FOR WTC MEMORIAL.
The World Trade Center
Memorial Foundation has selected a Weber Shandwick communications
team from a roster of nine competitors, Michelle Breslauer,
a spokesperson for the WTCMF, told ODwyers.
She declined to name the
WS and its sister Interpublic
firmsOctagon (global sports/entertainment marketing)
and Jack Morton Worldwide (experiential marketing) will
be in charge of a national outreach effort set for later
The idea is to bolster
awareness of the Memorial to the victims of the 9/11 and
`93 attacks on the WTC, build broad-based support, and raise
Octagon is noted for creation
of the Ultimate Drive for BMW, which raised $10M for Susan
G. Komen breast cancer foundation.
Morton established Bank
of Americas two-week Democracy Plaza exhibit
in NYCs Rockefeller Center.
WS publicized the dedication
and 10-year anniversary of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
FINLAYSON TAKES KETCHUM TECH
Bob Finlayson, an Edelman and Burson-Marsteller veteran,
has left the VP-corporate communications slot at software
publisher THQ for a top technology post at Ketchum in San
Finlayson has been tapped as senior VP of consumer technology
for Ketchum West with oversight for the Omnicom units
San Francisco and Los Angeles tech practices.
He was previously CEO of Burson-Marstellers Northern
California operation and executive VP for Edelman/Los Angeles.
Ketchums big tech accounts include Kodak, Nokia,
IBM and FedEx.
VT SPOKESPERSON WAS AT KEY
Larry Hincker, associate VP of university relations at
Virginia Tech, who acts as the spokesperson for the school,
was at the meeting of eight university officials Monday,
April 16, that decided to withhold the news of two student
murders that were discovered at 7:15 a.m.
The VT website had a picture of his supervisor, Elizabeth
Flanagan, VP of development and university relations, but
not of Hincker. The department said it would look for such
The two-hour delay in notifying either the campus or the
media is being blamed by some critics for the later murders
of 26 students and four professors.
Cho Seung-Hui might not have carried out his
(Continued on page 7)
Edition, April 25, 2007, Page 2
GOODNESS IS REWARDED, PAGE
is an enormous amount of rigorous data that shows
a statistically significant, positive correlation
between corporate social responsibility and financial performance,
members of the Arthur W. Page Society were told April 13
at the groups spring seminar in New York.
speaker was Jane Nelson, senior fellow and director of corporate
social responsibility, John F. Kennedy School of Government,
statement contradicted a finding published earlier this
year that stocks of despised companies slightly
outperformed those of admired companies in the
period from 1983 to 2006.
performance of companies that ranked high on Fortunes
annual most admired list were contrasted with
companies that did not score well on the list.
companies posted a 17.8% return while the admired
companies had a 15.4% return.
the study were Prof. Meir Statman, Santa Clara University;
Deniz Anginer, University of Michigan, and Kenneth Fisher,
CEO, Fisher Investments.
believe that investors in the admired companies are penalized
by an aura of positive feelings.
an example, they noted someone could pay a lot for a stylish
watch but a cheap watch would tell time just as well.
Gunther, senior writer of Fortune, questioned whether Nelsons
data actually showed that CSR is the driver of financial
replied that the connection is very deep and is supported
by a number of studies. Analysts are increasingly covering
the CSR activities of companies, she said.
that address CSR issues know how to build a broad consensus
with stakeholders. PRs role is to reach out to stakeholders
and encourage collaboration. This has made PRs role
far more important to the company, she added.
Is Executive Director
Nicholson, who was VP and general manager of two divisions
of Avery Weigh-Tronix, industrial and retail weighing systems,
has been named executive director of Page to succeed Paul
Basista, who had the position six years.
Bolton, Page president, said Nicholson has broad experience
in PR, having worked as a journalist, agency counselor and
as a corporate communications executive.
was VP, PR and communications, HSBC North America and was
director of PR for all retail formats of Sears Roebuck &
Co. He has a BS in journalism from Bradley University, Peoria,
two-day meeting, chaired by Ray Kotcher, senior partner
and CEO, Ketchum, and co-chaired by Bob DeFillippo, chief
communications officer, global communications, Prudential
Financial, was attended by more than 200.
of this years meeting was: Prove It with Action:
The Case for Improving Business Performance by Improving
Society. Summaries of the session are at www.awpagesociety.com.
EFP SHIFTS TO EDELMAN.
Finance Partners, which has agreed to pay $2.5M to settle
a kickback probe, has shifted its account from Pan Communications
to Edelman, Jeff Dillow, the PC staffer who ran the business,
told ODwyers. We started working for them
in January and lasted until mid-March, he said.
said Edelman was chosen because of its size and greater
government relations capability. Kirk Copeland, who heads
PR at EFP, said the company required a crisis capability
and presence in Washington, which led to the Edelman hire.
Maude Wilson took up spokesperson duties for EFP as it promised
even greater transparency to students and their families.
on April 16, agreed to pay $2.5M to settle New York States
investigation into its lending practices.
General Andrew Cuomo had charged the San Francisco-based
EFP with paying kickbacks to 60 colleges.
WC&A HANDLES PET FOOD
Warren Cowan &
Assocs. is handling PR for Dick Van Pattens Natural
Balance Pet Foods, which has issued a voluntary recall of
all of its venison dog and cat food products as tests show
the food contains melamine.
is fielding media calls at the firm of the founder of the
legendary Rogers & Cowan entertainment firm that is
now part of Interpublic.
Melamine is a chemical
used in plastic products and fertilizers. It can cause kidney
failure if consumed by a cat or dog.
says the source of the melamine is from a rice protein that
was recently added to its venison food line (venison and
green pea dog food and venison and brown rice cat chow).
It stresses that
no other of its canned or bagged food, such as potato and
duck or sweet potato and fish, have melamine as an
Natural Balance is working closely with the Food and Drug
Administration in that government agencys ongoing
investigation of the pet food business.
Actor Van Patten launched his company in `89. He is best
known as the star of the TV show Eight is Enough
(`77 to `81) and for his rolls in Mel Brooks High
Anxiety, Spaceballs and Robin Hood:
Men in Tights.
MCGUIREWOODS SPEAKS FOR POLAND.
Poland has inked McGuireWoods Consulting as its government
relations firm to provide advice and communications services
to further trade ties with the U.S.
Frank Donatelli is MWCs executive VP and director
of its federal affairs unit. He served as an aide to former
White House chief of staff James Baker, and assisted him
in the `00 Florida recount.
Poland has drawn fire from critics in Europe who oppose
its decision to house an American anti-missile system as
a potential shield against an attack by Iran. Russia believes
the system will spark a new arms race.
Poland will soon hold formal talks with the U.S. about
Edition, April 25, 2007, Page 3
SPRIG AIMS AT GREEN
Interactive unveiled a new online consumer magazine on April
23 targeting women with a green lite, eco-friendly
site, called Sprig, wants to be a source for fashion, beauty,
home, food and lifestyle products and editorial with
a touch of green.
Pyun, editor of Sprig who was editor of the now-defunct
green magazine from Rodale, Organic Style, told ODwyers
she thinks the time is right to cultivate green consumers.
She sees the Sprig audience as sophisticated women
who want to become a little bit more green, but in the most
stylish, convenient, fun and easy ways. She also called
the new magazine a very shopping friendly publication
with an eye on the environmentally conscious consumer.
joins former Organic Style beauty and fashion editor Suzanne
Murray at Sprig.
expects an audience of about 50K at launch and feels the
current environment is ripe for its success, whereas Organic
Style failed because it was ahead of its time. The publisher
of washingtonpost.com, Slate and BudgetTravelOnline sees
womens magazines that feature green issues, like Elle
or Domino, as one-month a year titles that are not seen
as experts in the environmental space, while green magazines
like Plenty and Good are under capitalized and not viewed
as mass market.
is also aimed more at a mainstream audience, or green
lite, rather than hard core environmentalists.
you get 95 percent of the people out there to become five
percent more green, that will have a lot more of a positive
impact than getting those five percent hardcore people to
be 95 percent green, Pyun said.
the content side, daily newsletters, video, profiles, and
news coverage will be featured on the site, along with a
searchable green product database.
a PR standpoint, Pyun specified four areas where pitches
would be welcome:
Profiles of mediagenic or celebrity people who
have great expertise that would fit in with the magazines
New green product lines, especially those being launched
by unexpected companies. e.g. Ralph Lauren, Bed Bath &
New home décor and design companies with a
Hip restaurants serving green or organic cuisine.
covering all of these areas and we have a great staff, but
these are areas I wouldnt mind a little shoring up
in, she said.
of McGraw Hill Professional, has been named president of
McGraws BusinessWeek. He succeeds William
who is retiring after 12 years at the helm of the business
joined McGraw-Hill in 2000 heading marketing strategy and
comms. as senior VP of marketing and business development
for BusinessWeek. He was formerly VP of new media at Readers
Digest Assn. and held posts at Unilever and Booz Allen Hamilton.
executive editor of Meredith Corp.s Midwest Living
magazine, has been named editor-in-chief to succeed Dan
Kaercher, who is retiring after 35 years. Philby
has been exec editor of the Des Moines, Iowa, publication
for five years.
Kaercher joined Meredith as a copywriter in 1972 for Better
Homes and Gardens. He launched Midwest Living in 1987 and
has been its only editor-in-chief.
editor-in-chief for People.com, was named to the new post
of editor-in-chief for TV Guide Online, based in New York.
Bautz oversees TVGuide.com, jumptheshark.com, TVShowsonDVD.com,
FansofReality.com, and TV-now.com.
He joined Time Inc. in 1992 as a staff writer for Money
and later moved to Entertainment Weekly, serving as executive
editor for EW.com He was named editor of People.com in 2003.
Media has reached an agreement to buy Jumpstart Automotive
Media, a San Francisco ad network focused on automobiles.
HFM, which owns Car and Driver, Road & Track and Cycle
World, said JAM would immediately assume responsibility
for the online sites of those three titles.
JAM sells ad space on five of the top auto sites in the
U.S., including JD Power & Assocs. Autos, eBays
Shopping.com Auto, and Vehix.
has tapped Bondi Digital Publishing to convert every issue
of the music magazine to searchable DVD as part of its 40th
The DVD is slated to be released in the fall and is the
magazines first digital archive, which covers 1,000
issues from November 9, 1967 to the present.
Bondi handled The New Yorkers 80th anniversary box
set in 2004.
The National Urban
Leagues Urban Influence Magazine is now being
distributed nationally on newsstands. The title, launched
in 2004, marked its new reach with its Men of Influence
issue on April 12.
ULM previously used a controlled distribution model through
chapters, paid subscribers and tradeshows, counting about
is being folded into the People.com website by the end of
the month. Visitors to the TP site will be directed to the
parent site. Teen magazine was folded a year
ago. Mark Golin, editor of People.com, said his site receives
many hits from teenagers so the decision was made to combine
CBS has linked
with Gemstar-TV Guide.
The broadcaster agreed to transmit the TV Guide On
Screen interactive program guide to those with digital
broadcast signals. The distribution will be over the next
few months as soon as Gemstar gets needed equipment.
news continued on next page)
Edition, April 25, 2007, Page 4
RUTGERS COACH INKS BOOK DEAL.
Stringer, the coach of the Rutgers University basketball
team that was the target of Don Imus' "nappy-headed
hos" crack, has signed a book contract with Random
House's Crown Publishing Group.
book, "Stepping Up and Standing Tall," is to focus
on the "extraordinary life" of the 59-year-old
coach, according to Tina Constable, Crown's publicity executive
is the third winningest women's basketball coach in NCAA
division 1 history.
also overcame personal hardships such as paralysis of her
daughter from meningitis and the death of her husband at
said Stringer has been working on a book proposal for a
year, but the contract with the Bertelsmann's unit was inked
and the Rutgers team met with Imus on April 12. They had
a "very productive meeting" with Imus, according
to her statement posted on the Rutgers site.
were able to share our thoughts and feelings, as did he.
I am extremely proud of these 10 young women, and I now
hope for this group that the healing process can truly begin.
We are hoping some good can come out of this, and we're
looking forward to putting this behind us," she said.
had a closed door meeting on April 13 with Presidential
hopeful Hillary Clinton, who visited the university to speak
on women and political leadership.
BRAUCHLI SUCCEEDS STEIGER
Marcus Brauchli takes over the Wall Street Journal managing
editor spot from Paul Steiger on May 15.
He was a foreign correspondent before assuming the global
news editor position.
The 45-year-old Brauchli managed the news department's
role in the redesign of the WSJ.
Steiger, 64, moves to the editor-at-large post, and will
retire at the end of the year. Both will report to Gordon
Crovitz, publisher of the paper.
Crovitz, in a statement, praised Brauchli as a "superb
journalist, who reported for Dow Jones Newswires and the
Journal from more than 20 countries, and as global news
editor oversaw Journal coverage from stock-market downturns
to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks."
He called Steiger "one of the great leaders in the
history of business journalism," His "impact on
the Journal will benefit readers and inspire our newsroom
The WSJ is the second-largest paper with a circulation
of 1.7M. Subscribers to its online paid edition jumped 20
percent to 931,000 during the past year.
MYSPACE MOVES INTO NEWS AG
News Corp.'s MySpace social networking unit has launched
MySpace News, a news aggregation service that allows users
to rank stories by their relevance.
The launch is part of the effort to attract more entertainment
content and advertising to MySpace, which has 160M users.
MySpace News has 25 main topics and 300 subcategories like
celebrity and fashion news.
Brian Norgard of MySpace told Reuters the venture is a
way for advertisers to "target the MySpace community
in a more direct way."
GE LOOKS FOR MEDIA/TECH INVESTMENTS.
General Electric is creating a $250M equity fund to invest
in media and technology companies, according to Beth Comstock,
NBC Universal's integrated media president.
Its first outlay is $3M for Adify, a company that helps
build online ad networks. Comstock told CNNMoney.com that
she is on the prowl for companies involved in digital/wireless
content and advertising services.
The fund is a tool for GE to "invest in smart companies
where we see a strategic value and companies that have a
high-growth potential, particularly in the digital media
space," she said.
The targeted companies could receive up to a $15M cash
infusion from GE.
IAC TARGETS BLACK COMMUNITY.
IAC/InterActiveCorp, the firm headed by media mogul Barry
Diller, plans a web site aimed at black consumers early
The site set for a January launch will feature topical
content, services and serve as a platform for community
Johnny Taylor has been named CEO of the still unnamed site.
He was senior VP of human resources for IAC, and held a
similar post at its LendingTree unit.
Taylor, who will be based in Charlotte, also held posts
at Viacom and its Paramount Pictures and then-Blockbuster
Taylor sees an "enormous opportunity in today's online
landscape to provide blacks with an experience that engages
their unique communities through a collective voice,"
according to an IAC statement.
He noted there are 40M African-Americans in the U.S. and
another 20M in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean that
have access to IAC's upcoming content.
IAC's 60 brands include Ticketmaster, HSN, RealEstate.com
INFOWORLD GOES ONLINE-ONLY.
InfoWorld, the weekly computer magazine, has completed
a 29-year print run with its current issue because of declining
Bob Ostrow, IF CEO, told the Chicago Tribune that there
is "no guarantee anymore that when InfoWorld landed
on a desk that it would be read."
He said the online version of the magazine, which will
continue, is thriving and now generates the bulk of InfoWorld's
Ad pages for the print issues fell 14 percent in February,
while online readership grew 85 percent from a year ago.
Edition, April 25,
2007, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
& REGAN IN JOINT FIRM.
Chandler, who became editor-in-chief of the New York Post
in 1993 and publisher in 1999, leaving in 2002, has joined
with George Regan of Regan Communications Group, Boston,
to form Chandler-Regan Strategies, which will focus exclusively
on New York clients.
continues as head of his PR firm, the 13th biggest firm
in the ODwyer rankings with $15 million in fees, and
Chandler continues as head of Chandler Media, a media consulting
Glor, director of TV relations for Regan the past three
years, is general manager of the new firm.
said he has known Chandler for many years and "his
reputation and media credentials speak for themselves.
who was editor of the Boston Herald, a News Corp. property
as is the New York Post, from 1986-93, said Regan has
built a powerhouse PR firm on the East Coast and that
he and Regan have an extraordinary opportunity
to expand the new business.
a native of England, began his newspaper career there at
a weekly paper, joined the News Corp. in the U.K. and came
to the U.S. in 1974 to help launch Star magazine. He joined
the New York Post in 1978 and became managing editor. He
was named editor of the Boston Herald in 1986. In 1993,
he worked for News Corps Fox Television, directing
the TV show A Current Affair.
who started his firm in 1984 after 11 years in the office
of Boston Mayor Kevin White, in 2006 acquired Pierce-Cote
Advertising, Cape Cod, expanding services to include advertising
as well as PR and marketing. Other offices are in Jupiter,
Fla.; Providence, and Hartford.
NEW FIRM MELDS OLD,
Two former senior Robinson
Lerer & Montgomery execs have set up a New York firm
to apply a consistent PR approach across both new and "old"
"There are a lot
companies that are chasing bells and whistles on the web
and specializing, and there are also companies that are
a little bit staid, but we think the discipline of strategic
communications focusing on clients' objectives and
getting the messaging dead right should be applied
across all media from traditional to brand new," Bob
Maistros, former principal at RLM, told O'Dwyer's of the
new firm, NewPR Group.
Maistros, who recently
headed Blitz Media Group, and fellow NewPR founding partner
Andrei Bogolubov, ex-head of global financial communications
for Burson-Marsteller, worked together earlier for AOL -
Maistros heading the account team at RL&M and Bogolubov
as global comms. chief for the company's Europe division.
Maistros declined to discuss
specific clients but said the firm's initial focus is new
media and entertainment, reflecting experience with accounts
like WebMD, Cablevision, MTV, and XM Satellite Radio.
"Our clients recognize
that it's no longer about old media or new media - their
messages must be programmed for all their channels to public
audiences," said Bogolubov.
Communications, New York/Skin Doctors Cosmeceuticals,
skin care products, and Linziclip, hair accessories, as
PR, New York/DebtResolve, online collection technology,
as AOR; Gersten Savage LLP, corporate law firm, for its
30th anniversary and ongoing PR; Laurus Capital Management,
boutique investment banking firm, for media relations, and
Somerset Partners, PE firm focused on real estate, as AOR.
& Co., New York/Astrate Group, IT services using
GPS and wireless comms., for outreach to the investment
and government security sectors.
Ink, Newton Mass./DarwinSuzsoft, IT outsourcing to
China, and Axeda, enterprise remote management and monitoring
software, for PR.
+ Katz, Glastonbury, Conn./Connecticut Bank and Trust
Co., for advertising, creative and media buying, events,
and brand positioning, and VantisLife Insurance Co., for
Communications, Philadelphia/Alexs Lemonade
Stand Foundation, non-profit focused on pediatric cancer
research, as AOR for PR.
O. Communications, Severna Park Md./iGov, IT services
for federal agencies, and the American Institute of Aeronautics
and Astronautics, for PR.
Communications and Widmeyer
Communications, Washington, D.C./American Road and
Transportation Builders Assn., for national outreach efforts.
Dittus is assisting with development and execution of a
multi-year image and branding push for the transportation
design and construction industry. Widmeyer is helping with
a multi-year recruitment push for careers in those sectors.
PR Worldwide, Washington, D.C./Hong Kong Economic
and Trade Office; American Public Health Assn.; National
Viral Hepatitis Roundtable, and the Endocrine Society.
Investor Relations Company, Chicago/First California
Financial Group, for a full IR program. The company, the
result of a merger of National Mercantile Bancorp and FCB
Bancorp, has 12 locations, a market cap of about $150M and
assets topping $1B.
Tea, as AOR for PR.
Integrated Communications, Louisville, Colo./New
Frontier Energy, for national IR and media relations; PetroHunter
Energy and Falcon Oil and Gas, both for design of banners,
signage, and promotional items for trade shows.
& Otus, San Francisco/BurnLounge; BuzzLogic,
and Passenger, all social media cos.
& Partners, Los Angeles/Affinity Group, recreational
vehicles, as AOR for PR to assist with a new integrated
marketing and branding campaign.
Edition, April 25, 2007, Page 6
INCOME SOARS 47%.
of the Institute for Public Relations, based in Gainesville,
Fla., soared 47% to $839,985 in 2006, helped by $86,502
in "in-kind" contributions that were counted for
the first time.
of this amount was not received and the same total has been
given an offsetting expense.
practices call for in-kind contributions to be counted if
they are a significant percentage of overall income, IPR
without the in-kind contributions, IPR showed a sizable
gain over the previous year.
assets rose to $345,665 while total net assets gained $69,937
from programs such as the Summit on Corporate Communications
and the International PR Research Conference represented
well over half of the revenues.
Debreceny, chairman, said generous contributions from supporters
are essential to the IPR but supporters are also glad to
see that programs are bringing in an even greater amount.
Institute put its financial report on its website, www.instituteforpr.com.
PRN ACQUIRES EDGAR FILER.
PR Newswire has acquired
New York-based EDGAR filing company Vintage Filings to become
a division of PRN.
The five-year-old company,
which handles filing, typesetting and financial printing
to more than 1,000 clients, has 65 full-time staffers across
offices in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Vintage continues to be
run by CEO Shai Sterm and president Seth Farbman.
PEARLFINDERS ENTERS U.S.
Pearlfinders, a London-based
lead-generation firm focused on marketing, media and PR,
has expanded to the U.S.
The four-year-old company
says its services are used by 400 marketing comms. agencies
across 32 countries. In the U.S., it is working for Fleishman-Hillard,
Rapp Collins, and Saatchi & Saatchi, among others.
Bill Colbourne, CEO of
Pearlfinders, said he found until recently that U.K. agencies
were far more proactive about hunting for new business than
senior brand decision-makers about their plans
for marketing comms. to gauge new business possibilities.
The Council for Marketing
and Opinion Research is publishing an online compliance
guide for the government affairs sector.
Donna Gillin, director
of operations for the non-profit survey and opinion research
group, said the number of legislative bills that threaten
to restrict research is on the rise. She said the new publications
gives guidance on legal issues for researchers.
The guide will be published
in five parts. The first component on online research is
available now at cmor.org.
PARKER REPS LAB DIAMONDS.
Parker, who repped the diamond business for a quarter century,
is now brand ambassador for Gemesis Corp., the privately
held Sarasota, Fla.-based producer of laboratory grown diamonds.
says its cultured diamonds possess the same fire,
brilliance and hardness of mined diamonds. A lab diamond
is created from carbon that undergoes a heating and pressuring
72, headed N. W. Ayer PR where she handled the Diamond Information
Center, the marketing arm of DeBeers. She then shifted to
the client side.
recently, she directed PR for DeBeers LVMH joint venture,
and consulted for luxury goods clients.
Villafane, senior advisor and communications director
for Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, to Butler Associates,
New York, as a partner. Earlier, he was deputy secretary
to former New York City Council Speaker Gifford Miller.
Corso, who ran her own healthcare firm and earlier
was partner/SVP at Fischer Health, to WeissComm Partners,
New York, as a senior associate. Edie
DeVine, a comms. exec for Progenics Pharmaceuticals,
and April Starling,
formerly of HealthSTAR PR, also join as senior associates.
formerly of Porter Novelli, Laura
Cutland, a reporter for the Silicon Valley/San Jose
Business Journal, and Kelly
Thornicroft, previously with GCI Group, all join
White, senior director of marketing and communications
for the American Heart Assn., to the Heart Rhythm Society,
Washington, D.C., as director of comms. and PR.
Cutting, who headed GCI Groups work for Medtronic,
to GolinHarris, to lead the Cord Blood Registry account
as a VP. Amanda Widtfeldt,
media relations manager at Northwestern Memorial Hospital,
also joins GH as a VP. Debbie
Harvey, who oversees corporate comms. work for Alcon
laboratories, was promoted to VP.
Traverso, director of communications for the California
Restaurant Association, to the Consumer Attorneys of California,
Sacramento, as director of comms. She was previously director
of public liaison for then Treasurer Phil Angelides.
Shepherd to VP for golf-lifestyle PR firm Buffalo
Communications, Vienna, Va. Tom Williams was upped to PR/branding
director and Shane Sharp was named PR manager.
Ledwith, global director of external communications
for KPMG, to the board of directors of Us Too International,
a non-profit prostate cancer education and advocacy group.
He was also named chairman of its communications committee.
Ledwith, a prostate cancer survivor, said that form is the
most commonly diagnosed cancer in American males today.
A 40 percent surge is expected as the first wave of Boomers
Edition, April 25, 2007, Page 7
VT PR EXEC WAS AT MEETING
(Continued from 1)
slaughter if TV trucks and reporters were roaming the campus,
critics are saying.
would have been more cautious if they knew a murderer was
on the loose, critics are also saying. Not informed of the
early murders until much later were the nearby Roanoke Times,
which covers University news, and WDVJ-TV, the local TV
officials at the meeting shortly after the initial murders
were discovered (besides Hincker were: Mark McNamee, provost;
Kay Heidbreder, legal counsel; Wendell Filchum, university
police chief; David Ford, associate provost; James Hyatt,
chief operating officer; Zenobia Hikes, VP of student affairs;
Kim O'Rourke, chief of staff. There were no representatives
from the student body.
Van Sustern of Fox News last week interviewed a student
who lived in the dorm where the initial murders took place
who said police refused to tell her why they were present
in the dorm when she saw them on her way to class shortly
before 8 a.m.
told her she would not be allowed to return to the dorm
but would give no reason.
she returned from class at 9 a.m. they continued to withhold
the news of what happened but let her into the dorm on the
condition she would not leave it, the student told Van Sustern.
Sustern commented before the interview was shown that listeners
were apt to be "shocked" by what the student was
about to tell them.
officials have been saying they acted in the best way they
could based on information that was then available.
Peyser, New York Post columnist, carried the list of the
eight people at the VT meeting, saying it was a "travesty"
that the earlier murders were not given wide publicity.
She blasted the "shameful inaction" of the eight
administrators and quoted Mark Owczarski, director of news
and information, as saying that "The decisions that
were made corresponded to the amount of information available."
Rachel Holloway, head of the communications dept. at the
school, is a member of PRSA. Ashley Hess is president of
the school's PRSSA chapter.
website of the chapter currently does not list any officers
or board members by name.
role of Flanagan's department is to "promote public
understanding of and support for Virginia Tech" and
to "create a positive public impression of the university
and its faculty, students and programs," the school's
PRSA CONDUCTS POLL AMONG PR
PR Society of America
has hired the Southeastern Institute of Research, Richmond,
Va., to conduct a wide-ranging research project among PR
people about PRSA and its activities.
Questions on the survey,
such as whether recipients consider themselves to be "PR
professionals" or whether they receive PRSA's PR Tactics,
indicate it is going to non-members.
Neither Bill Murray, PRSA
president, nor Rhoda Weiss, chair, were available to answer
questions about the survey. PRSA policy is not to comment
on or discuss anything related to PRSA itself such as its
finances or governance.
The last published survey
of PRSA was conducted in 1997 when Debra Miller was president.
Members were asked to gauge their satisfaction with PRSA
and whether they would approve of a dues hike.
SIR is a 40-year old marketing
research firm that helps organizations to "evaluate
brand position and awareness" and "formulate unique
Statements cover the general
reputation of PRSA, its educational programs, leadership
opportunities, forums for discussion, career advancement
opportunities, programs to obtain "positive media coverage,"
its accreditation program, and its Anvil awards program.
Recipients are not being
asked whether they think PRSA is doing a good job with these
programs but whether they are aware of the programs and
whether they think the programs are important or not important
PRSA's media relations
activities are highlighted in the survey. Some recipients
think it is a "push" survey designed to provide
messages as well as to elicit responses.
First statement in the
survey is that PRSA "Initiates programs to advance
the PR profession through increased visibility in the media
for PRSA and the profession."
Another statement on the
first page says, "Conducts activities with external
audiences that build understanding of, and value for, the
PR profession and PR professionals."
Still another statement
is that PRSA "Sponsors programs to advance the PR profession
through positive media coverage."
Other statements include
those that deal with PRSA being "a reputable association,"
having programs that "promote the ethical practice
of PR," and "offers an accreditation program for
Recipients are first asked
whether they are aware of these programs and then how much
importance they attach to each. Nineteen special interest
sections are listed and respondents asked to say whether
they are "aware" or "not aware" of them
and whether they are interested or not interested in them
of PRSA Tested
Four descriptions of PRSA
are in the study. Respondents are asked to vote on them
from 1-7 with No. 1 being "not very appealing"
and No. 7 being "very appealing."
The descriptions are:
1) "PRSA represents
the leading edge of PR strategies and tactics."
2) "PRSA is the leading voice for the PR profession."
3) "PRSA advances the PR profession by providing programs
and services that help PR professionals to succeed."
4) "PRSA is the embodiment of ethical and credible
Edition, April 25, 2007,
communications failure involving PR pros took place
at Virginia Tech that contributed to the loss of 31 additional
lives (including the shooter) after the murder of two students
was discovered April 16 at 7:15 a.m. (page one NL).
Eight VT officials met shortly after that and decided to
sit on the news. A bulletin at 9:26 did not even use the
Not invited to the meeting
was any student representative. Also absent was Elizabeth
Flanagan, VP of development and university relations (PR).
Had the local radio, TV
and newspapers been informed of the two murders, they would
have broadcast the news and sent reportorial teams and TV
trucks to the campus. Students, parents and friends would
have heard the news and spread it around the campus. Students
would have been alerted that a killer was on the loose.
VT had its own radio station and loudspeaker system but
legitimate media can also play a big role.
As Fox TVs Greta
Van Sustern learned, not even the students in the shooters
dorm were told what had happened by police stationed at
Those at the meeting included a lawyer, the campus police
chief, the associate VP of university relations,
and five administrators. None of them showed any recognition
that news of the murders belonged to the public.
New York Post columnist Andrea Peyser blasted the shameful
inaction of the eight.
A fatal administrative flaw is that Flanagan has the conflicting
title of fund raiser and PR person. Fund raising is completely
different from PR. In its early days, PRSA would not allow
fund raisers to join.
The VP of development and university relations
sounds good in the university environment but it shows an
inward orientation. Its the equivalent of corporate
communications and indicates lack of orientation to
the public. The title of public information,
implying the publics right to know things, has suffered
the same fate as PR in many corporations and
organizations banishment in name as well as in spirit.
The tragedy at VT
pushed the Imus hanging off the front pages
but the issue still lingers. A tsunami of condemnation led
by Al Sharpton went mostly unopposed while writers and others
who were frequent guests of Imus abandoned their longtime
The case for Imus was excellent. He could not have been
a bigot because he campaigned tirelessly last
year for Rep. Harold Ford of Tennessee, an African-American
who ran for the Senate. Imus noted his support for Ford
resulted in death threats. The word ho that
Imus used turned out to be common currency in rap and hip-hop
with black artists saying they needed to use that word (and
other graphic expressions) in order to sell records. The
4/23 New Yorker, unable to make up its mind about Imus,
tallied his pluses and minuses, saying hes a curmudgeon
who sticks pins in overinflated egos of whatever race, creed
or color. What Imus hated was weasel and jive
talk as opposed to straight talk, said the mag.
Imus supporters noted that real bigots do not
practice their hatred in public where they can be discovered.
In a coincidence, the April National Geographic ran 20 pages
on rap and hip-hop, saying most commercial rappers
spout violent lyrics that debase women and gays...(and)
brag about their lives of crime.
Where were Imus
friends to argue such points?! The worst defector
of all was Tom Friedman of the New York Times. He told readers
April 18, I got back from Africa for the climax of
the Don Imus controversy, a show on which Ive appeared.
That is one of journalisms all-time understatements
(show on which Ive appeared). Friedman
was allowed to pontificate endlessly on Imus on scores of
occasions, plugging his book and stating his views. Friedman
pleaded ignorance but said he was impressed
by how much hurting has been going on in the African-American
community. What Friedman should have done was marshal
all the arguments in favor of his friend Imus
and ask the public to put this issue in perspective. At
the end of his column Friedman praised Barak Obama as the
candidate for president who has moral authority...the
general public was far from unanimous in supporting
the destruction of the Imus show. A voice vote taken by
Jay Leno of the Tonight Show had a slight majority
voting against the firing of Imus and as did a poll on odwyerpr.com...
had Rutgers coach Vivian Stringer met with Imus immediately,
as sought by Imus, and accepted his apology, there probably
would have been no firestorm.
Instead, he went on the Al Sharpton show. Stringer never
accepted the apology as far as we can determine from news
reports. Now it turns out she had written an autobiography
and was looking for a publisher. The April 18 New York Post,
in an item headlined, Silver Lining, said Stringer
has obtained Crown Publishing of Random House (Bertelsmann)...the
Rutgers team is also being used for political purposes.
Senator Hillary Clinton appeared at a luncheon sponsored
by Sharpton April 20 and praised Stringer and the team.
A peaceful settlement with Imus was not what certain participants
The PRSA poll described
on page 7 seems to be a push poll designed
to push messages as well as elicit opinions. Three statements
say that PRSA programs gain positive media coverage
for itself and PR. PRSA is called the leading voice
for the PR profession and the embodiment of
ethical and credible PR. Recipients are not asked
whether they agree with such statements but only whether
they are aware of them and whether they are appealing.
Push polls are a form of marketing and are unethical, says
the code of the American Assn. of Political Consultants.
A sign of a push poll is that the results are not published.
PRSA, whose code says, Ethical practice (of PR) is
the most important obligation of a PRSA member, should
not be involved in such polls.