The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, May 16, 2007, Page 1
IRAQ PR RFP GOES PRIVATE.
The U.S.-led military
force in Iraq has moved a multimillion-dollar RFP for PR
firms to work in Iraq from a public database to a private
system designed for sensitive but unclassified
acquisition information. Only firms that are cleared beforehand
to provide services to the government can view the materials
in that database, FedTeDS.gov.
Last month, the Multi-National
Force-Iraq issued a notice via the public Federal Business
Opportunities system, or FedBizOpps, stating that it planned
to release an RFP in May to collect proposals from PR firms
for a marketing campaign supporting its electrical reconstruction
efforts in Iraq. The work was valued from $11M-$25M. Past
RFPs for PR work in Iraq were handled in the public FedBizOpps
Hill & Knowlton, Jaffe
Associates, The Gallup Organization, and Hooah Advertising
and Marketing are among firms that have expressed an interest
in the RFP. The Lincoln Group has been the Multi-National
Force-Iraqs primary PR firm through the war.
FULLER JOINS APCO
Craig Fuller, former chief of staff to President Bush I,
has joined APCO Worldwide as executive VP and a member of
the independent firms international advisory committee.
He also served as chairman of the `92 Republican National
Fuller made his mark in the corporate world as VP-corporate
affairs at Philip Morris and president & CEO at the
National Assn. of Chain Drug Stores. He resigned that post
in `06. At that time, Fuller was one of the highest paid
association executives, pulling in more than $3M a year.
Fuller also held top posts at Hill & Knowlton and Burson-Marsteller.
He served in the Reagan White House as assistant to the
president for cabinet affairs, and worked at Deaver and
Hannaford from `77 to `81. That was the firm of former Reagan
advisors Mike Deaver and Peter Hannaford, an APCO advisor.
A federal judge has
certified the class action securities fraud
lawsuit filed against Omnicom over its dot-com investment
losses on behalf of those who purchased its stock from Feb.
20, `01 through June 11, 02.
Judge John Keenan, U.S. Southern District of New York,
appointed New Orleans Employees Retirement System
as the lead plaintiff in the case. It claims that OMC established
a shell company, Seneca Investments, to shield its bottom
line from losses that occurred during the dot-com bust.
408 FIRMS EXPAND ENTRIES IN
A record 408 PR firms have expanded their entries for the
2007 ODwyers Directory of PR Firms which
will be published in June.
Included in this total are virtually all of the 151 PR
firms that documented their fees and employment totals.
The expanded entries display the logos of the firms and
provide their own descriptions of their unique philosophies
More than 2,000 PR firms are listed in the Directory which
has a cross-index to their 10,000+ clients.
Publisher pays shipping for pre-publication orders.
WS MAPS CHRYSLER TAKEOVER.
Weber Shandwick is guiding Cerberus Capital Management
as it agreed to acquire an 80 percent stake in Chrysler
from DaimlerChrysler in a deal worth $7.4B.
The private equity firm, based in New York, will also absorb
responsibility for Chryslers $18 billion retirement
and healthcare obligations.
Peter Duda, executive VP in WS corporate/crisis group
leads the PR effort. Duda told ODwyers that
his firm has had a previous relationship with Cerberus.
The Interpublic unit, for instance, repped Cerberus in
its $14B deal to acquire a 51 percent stake in General Motors
Daimler bought Chrysler in 98 for $36B in the so-called
merger of equals that never panned out that
The German automaker will change its name to Daimler AG
once Chrysler is unloaded to the private equity firm. Cerberus
auto operation is headed by David Thursfield, a Ford Motor
KAMER EXITS MS&L FOR F-H.
Larry Kamer, North America president of Manning, Selvage
& Lee, joins Fleishman-Hillard June 18 as western regional
practice head and co-chair of its corporate communications
Based in San Francisco, Kamer will be in charge of five
offices in California and Oregon.
The PR veteran led MS&Ls General Motors account
and counseled blue-chips such as Procter & Gamble, Roche,
Home Depot and Reebok.
Kamer and Sam Singer founded high-tech firm Kamer/Singer
Assocs., which was acquired by GCI Group in 99. Kamer
assumed the presidency of GCIs PA group following
In 25 years, Kamer has tackled crises such as Jack-in-the-Box
Restaurants food contamination issue, labor strife
at General Motors and rumors over AIDS-tainted blood at
a San Francisco hospital.
(Continued on page 7)
Edition, May 16, 2007, Page 2
PENNS CONFLICT POTENTIAL
Mark Penn, Burson-Marsteller
CEO and Hillary Clintons pollster, is profiled in
The Nation, which hits the stands on May 16, as perhaps
the most important figure in the New York Senators
presidential campaign. [Penn was President Clintons
Beyond his connections
to Clinton, Ari Berman notes that Penns firm, Penn,
Schoen & Berland, polls for Americas biggest
companies. PS&B, for instance, has counseled Microsoft,
Texaco, Procter and Gamble and Monsanto.
Penns double duty
creates a dilemma for Hillary: Penn represents many
of the interests whose influence candidate Clintonin
an attempt to appeal to an increasingly populist Democratic
electoratehas vowed to curtail.
The article, which is
currently online, asks: Is whats good for Penn
and his business good for Hillarys political career.
It is difficult to tell where Penns corporate
life ends and the political one begins.
Penn has no intention
of taking a leave of absence from B-M. President Bush, writes
Berman, forced his top advisor Karl Rove to sell his direct
mail business in `99.
Howard Paster, who was
President Clintons lobbyist and B-M chairman, dismisses
talk of a potential Penn conflict. B-M is a lot bigger
firm than Senator Clinton. Theres a whole `nother
life we live.
HASTINGS MINES SUPPORT FOR
The Hastings Group is providing PR support for a delegation
of Appalachia citizen groups calling on the U.N. to ban
radical forms of surface mining like the removal
Hastings senior partner Scott Stapf told ODwyers
the non-profit Massachusetts-based think tank Civil Society
Institute is a Hastings client that is backing the work
of the coalfield delegation.
The Arlington, Va.-based PR firm coordinated a press event
in Dag Hammerskojold Plaza Park last week. Representatives
from four groups Save Our Cumberland Mountains (Tenn.);
Coal River Mountain Watch (W.Va.); Kentuckians for the Commonwealth
(Ky.), and Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition highlighted
coal industry abuses that, the groups say, have destroyed
more than one million acres of forests, 500 mountains, and
hundreds of miles of streams.
FREMES DIES AT 57.
Charles Fremes, CEO of Edelmans Canadian operation,
died of a heart attack on May 7. He was 57.
Fremes joined Edelman a decade ago. He had been VP-corporate
affairs at Molson, Canadas venerable brewer. He launched
a drunk driving prevention program there and the countrys
first corporate campaign to support HIV/AIDS research.
At Edelman, Fremes counseled the province of Ontario during
the SARS crisis and advised companies like Hudson Bay and
Richard Edelman remembers Fremes as a wonderful friend
and older brother.
A memorial service is planned for later this month.
IPG DROPS $133M .
Interpublic reported a $133M first-quarter net loss last
week, an improvement from the $182M year ago deficit. Revenues
inched ahead 2.4 percent to $1.4B.
CEO Michael Roth said the firm must increase the rate of
organic growth, while paring staff costs.
IPGs organic growth posted a solid 4.2 percent increase
in both the U.S. and U.K., but tanked in Continental Europe
(-5.9 percent) and Asia Pacific (-4.7 percent).
The ad/PR combine posted a 7.5 percent drop in office and
general expenses to $495M due to reduced professional fees
related to its restructuring efforts.
Roth promises to invest in both emerging markets and the
digital category. He believes IPGs turnaround plan
remains on target.
Weber Shandwick, GolinHarris, MWW Group and Rogers &
Cowan are IPGs key PR holdings.
AZAR BECOMES LILLYS
Alex Azar, who until Feb. 3 was deputy secretary of Health
and Human Services, has joined Eli Lilly & Co. as senior
VP-corporate affairs and communications.
He is responsible for government relations, corporate branding,
PR and will spearhead the $16B drug giants effort
to curb the flow of counterfeit medicines.
At HHS, Azar handled Medicare/Medicaid, disease prevention,
research, food/drug regulatory, mental health and emergency
Previously, he was general counsel at HHS, partner at Wiley,
Rein & Fielding and clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Azar succeeds Anne Nobles, who becomes VP-compliance and
enterprise risk management. She is a 16-year veteran of
the Indianapolis-based company.
HILTON/MINTZ GET BACK TOGETHER
Socialite Paris Hilton has rehired longtime publicist Elliot
Mintz five days after firing him for miscommunicated
information about her right to drive in California
with a suspended license.
Mintz told gossip site, TMZ, that they agreed to continue
our professional relationship. He will continue
to respect and support her as her media rep and friend.
Hilton is looking at 45 days in jail for violating the
terms of her probation in her alcohol-related reckless driving
Mintz, in a statement on May 6, said he told Hilton that
she could drive on work-related matters. That
was the impression he got from Hiltons attorneys.
The publicist was deeply and profoundly sorry
for telling Hilton it was all right to drive in certain
circumstances. He expressed sadness over the ruling
of the judge and the irrational sentence he imposed.
Hilton is to report to jail on June 5. Her attorneys are
appealing the sentence.
The New York Times profiled Mintz in a Walking
Ms. Hilton profile last August.
The paper called Mintz, who also repped Bob Dylan, John
Lennon and Yoko Ono, Hiltons press agent, quasi
bodyguard and all-around hand-holder.
Edition, May 16, 2007, Page 3
OTTAWAY RIPS MURDOCH.
News Corp.'s Rupert Murdoch
would destroy the journalistic integrity of the Wall
Street Journal if he acquired control of the paper from
Dow Jones & Co., according to Jim Ottaway, who sold
his regional newspaper chain to DJ&C in 1970.
The online version of
the WSJ posted a statement from Ottaway in which he attacks
Murdoch's practice of pushing his "personal, political
and business biases through his newspapers and television
channels." That's because Murdoch is steeped in the
Australian-British media tradition, according to Ottaway.
Murdoch's New York
Post, in Ottaway's view, "regularly runs biased
news stories and headlines supporting his friends, political
candidates and public policies and attacks people he personally
Ottaway offers News Corp.'s
Fox News, which is headed by former Republican strategist
Roger Ailes as a "unique example in American broadcasting
in which one man's political opinions have become the editorial
and news policy of a major national news channel."
Ottaway accuses Murdoch
of always putting business before journalism. He charges
Murdoch with kowtowing before the Chinese communist government
to allow market access for News Corp's Star TV broadcasts.
He doubts the WSJ under Murdoch's ownership would be free
to criticize China's government.
Ottaway dismisses Murdoch's
"charm offensive of public media interviews" designed
to woo DJ&C's controlling Bancroft family into approving
his $5B takeover offer. He also notes that Murdoch is 76
years old. "His promises no matter how sincere, will
not last very long. Who will keep his promises in the future?
Rupert Murdoch is a remarkably vigorous man, but he is not
The Ottaway family controls
a 6.2 percent stake in DJ&C.
News Corp. dismisses Ottaway's
letter as relying on "tired misconceptions and clichés."
Its execs would like to meet with Ottaway to sort things
FIRMS WORK THOMSON/REUTERS
Brunswick Group and Finsbury are guiding the $17.5B merger
of Thomson Corp. and Reuters Group to create an entity called
Thomson-Reuters, which would be the No. 1 supplier of electronic
news and financial data.
The combo is expected to result in $500M in synergy savings
over the next three years. The partners remain wary that
the merger can be pulled off since it is a "large and
complex transaction." There also is a thicket of regulatory
issues to overcome.
Thomson CEO Richard Harrington, 60, who guided its transformation
to a electronic/software powerhouse, will step down in the
aftermath of a completed merger. Reuters chief Tom Glocer,
47, will assume the helm of the combined entity.
Thomson's offer represents a 43 percent premium to what
Reuters shares were trading before its announcement of an
Thomson uses Finsbury's James Leviton to deal with the
U.K. press to supplement the work of Jason Stewart (VP-media
relations) and Frank Golden (VP-IR), the duo are located
in Stamford, Conn.
Brunswick's Nick Claydon is helping Miriam McKay, Reuters'
global head of IR, on the transaction.
ALBRECHT OUT OF HBO.
Chris Albrecht, who is responsible for the rise of cable
programmer HBO, has resigned as chairman/CEO of the Time
Warner property following his arrest for assaulting a girlfriend
in a Las Vegas parking lot earlier this month.
At first, Albrecht planned a leave of absence to deal with
alcoholism, but TW announced May 9 that he agreed to "no
longer serve as chairman and CEO of HBO effective immediately."
"With great regret," Albrecht honored TW's request
that he step down at HBO because he recognized that he could
not allow his "personal circumstances" to distract
him from business.
TW dismissed Albrecht following a same-day Los Angeles
Times report that HBO paid $400K to settle a battery
case brought against Albrecht by another girlfriend 16 years
Albrecht became HBO's programming head in `95 and CEO in
`02. The 54-year-old executive is credited with the development
of "The Sopranos," "Sex and the City"
and "Six Feet Under."
HBO's COO Bill Nelson is taking over for Albrecht on a
MCCRACKEN BACK AT PC WORLD.
Harry McCracken, who resigned as editor-in-chief of PC
World earlier this month because of editorial differences
with management, is back at the magazine.
Colin Crawford, PCW CEO, has returned to a corporate position
at parent IDG, where he will concentrate on strategy as
McCracken, a 16-year veteran of IDG, reportedly stepped
down after Crawford tried to kill a story about Apple and
its CEO Steve Jobs.
He returns to the e-i-c post after receiving a promise
of full editorial autonomy.
IDG is looking for a new CEO of PC World and sister pub,
QUADRANGLE TIPPED AS DENNIS
Quadrangle Group, the investment firm of former New
York Times reporter Steven Rattner, is the front runner
to win the auction for Dennis Publishing.
Women's Wear Daily reports that Quadrangle is leading
the bidding contest, which includes offers ranging from
$200M to $250M, for the owner of Maxim, Stuff
Elevation Partners and Veronis Suhler Stevenson reportedly
are among potential bidders for DP. Final bids are expected
within a month.
Following the Times, Rattner founded Morgan Stanley's comms.
group and was deputy CEO of Lazard Freres.
He launched Quadrangle in 00. It has a $3B investment
in media and communications companies.
news continued on next page)
Edition, May 16, 2007, Page 4
GOOD NEWS COVERS
A positive cover story
in BusinessWeek, Fortune and Forbes
is a good sign that a company's stock will soon lag, according
to The Economist.
The British weekly reports
"good news" companies lagged "bad news"
counterparts by a 12.4 percent to 4.2 percent margin during
the 500 trading days after the magazines hit the stands.
Stock of the good news companies had outperformed the "baddies"
in the 500 trading days prior to the stories.
The Economist believes
the results show that "if news is sufficiently good
or bad to catapult a company onto a magazine cover, then
it is already reflected in its stock price.
Tom Arnold, John Earl
and David North, authors of the survey that studied magazine
covers over a 20-year period, surmise: "positive stories
generally indicate the end of superior performance and negative
news generally indicates the end of poor performance."
Their study, "Are
Cover Stories Effective Contrarian Indicators," ran
in the Financial Analysts Journal.
DISNEY ROPES IN KIDS ONLINE.
Walt Disney Co. has unveiled Disney Xtreme Digital, a social
networking site aimed at pre-teens. Users will have access
to games, videos and music files, and can establish a personal
page similar to MySpace.
Disney promises the site will allow parents to monitor
their kids' use and there is also a feature that limits
going beyond content that is offered by Disney.
Paul Yanover, executive VP and managing director of Disney
Online, told Reuters that he wants tons of kids immersed
in my brands and franchises. What better marketer do I have
than a kid?
EXPERTISE, CHARISMA BREED
TV programs rely on vibrant personalities for success,
said an April 19 Publicity Club of New York panel of cable
"It's all about client personalities and access,"
said Jeanne McHale Waite, vice president and general manager
for Atlas Media Corp., a New York-based non-fiction television
production company that creates shows for many popular cable
networks. "You give us a personality and we can find
a way to access that expression."
Ideally, McHale Waite said an expert's knowledge combined
with a star-like charisma is the personality combo networks
look for when coming up with new show ideas.
Though this gimmick may seem simple enough, it's the stuff
programming is made of: every show from American Idol to
the litany of cooking programs uses a variation of this
formula, and a producer's ability to perfect this recipe
is a work of art.
"We need experts for absolutely everything,"
she said. "Pop culture, trend people, futurists, food
gadgets you name it. We're looking for energetic
people you can hang your hat on."
Alex Campbell, vice president of development for the Fuse
Network, offered a three-part formula for pitching his company.
"Does it have a voice, is it rock 'n roll, and will
it cut through the cable landscape? These are the questions
you need to ask before you come to me with an idea."
Fuse, a music video-oriented channel similar to MTV, produces
shows Campbell describes as "smart done stupid, stupid
done smart." It's a formula that's often viewed as
risqué (or maybe passé) among fellow networks,
but it's made a splash among the coveted demographics of
teenage viewers, causing the nascent network to grow from
its humble beginnings to currently staffing a full-service
"A lot of people are scared of what I do. Ad reps
roll their eyes when we have meetings together," he
said. "But it works and we have an advertising market
to prove it."
Times have changed for cable television, a fact the panel
noted as one of the key reasons PR pros have such a hard
time landing successful pitches. Politics, technology, FCC
regulations and new business models have vastly transformed
the industry, and understanding this new landscape is a
vital part of finding success in it.
Steve Schwartz, president of New Harbor Entertainment,
offered a brief overview of the TV broadcast industry as
a primer for publicists who are new to the medium. Before
the advent of cable, all television shows were developed
by the networks that hosted them, Schwartz said. Nowadays,
it isn't uncommon for cable networks to farm out all of
their production duties.
Cable networks are constantly in search of shows to fill
timeslots, so publicists with fresh ideas are a vital component
to production houses like New Harbor. However, Schwartz
warned that pitching production companies who lease out
their work means understanding a business model steeped
in company politics.
"We're out there hustling and selling and we really
need ideas. We're a constant supplier of programming and
we look to people like you to do it," Schwartz said.
"But you have to be wary when you pitch something.
No matter how good the idea may seem, it may cause some
problem between ad sales and the producer.
Schwartz believes the answer lies in developing a consensus
with cable networks to know what ideas would be acceptable
for their company.
Michael Kaufman, vice president of development and production
for Al Roker Entertainment, said he's used more ideas from
PR pros in recent years, and cited the evolution of good
pitches in the industry as one of the main reasons for this
"I've been hearing more and more from publicists.
Traditionally, our agents will solicit talent, but now I'm
noticing more and more publicists coming to our office and
they're bringing the talent," he said. "We're
seeing really polished pitches. Kaufman suggested
keeping the medium in mind when pitching TV networks and
to remain visual.
The panel, hosted by PCNY president Peter Himler, said
most cable networks are currently looking to add an online
component for many of their shows, and advised PR pros to
take advantage of the void in content.
Edition, May 16, 2007,
OF PR FIRMS
SETS UP INDIA OUTPOST.
has opened its first office in India for clients based in
or doing business in the South Asia country.
in Mumbai, the office is lead by senior VP and GM Jack Dougherty,
who re-joined the firm this year after running his own shop.
Hatia, an India native recently based in London for F-H,
is a VP for the new outpost.
firms Asia Pacific senior VP for technology, Tarun
Deo, also has extensive experience in the country.
Consultancy Services, a top IT services and outsourcing
company based in India, is a client of the Omnicom unit.
Communications, Atlanta, and Eastwick Communications, Redwood
City, Calif., have embraced social media in recent
Eastwick is pitching a
social media newsroom that embraces technology
like blogs, tagging, RSS, and rich media to better align
its clients (and their news) with bloggers, journalists,
Many clients told
us they wanted the benefits of social media but needed a
way to get started, said EVP, emerging media, Joel
Carabiner has added search
engine optimization and social media communications like
wiki management, blogging, and podcasting to its offerings.
Worldwide, New York, has formalized an alternative energy
practice for companies in that sector planning new
product launches or looking to reach investors.
Lewis Goldberg, managing
partner, heads the group. He said he wants clients in sectors
like geothermal, solar, biomass, and wind-to-energy to be
thought of in the same light as traditional market
The firm already counts
several clients like Keyspan Energy, ConsumerPowerline,
and Lighting Science Group.
unit has opened its first European office in London. The
management consulting firm is headed in the U.K. by Victoria
Brown, who has recently been based in New York handling
FedEx and Baxter Pharmaceuticals. Manning
Selvage and Lees Intern Challenge,
a competition for an internship at the PR firm similar to
the NBC program The Apprentice, was featured
recently in the New York Post. The firm is holding the competition
for the second year, narrowing down a field of 200 applicants
to 30 to compete for a $10-an-hour internship at the firm.
A brainstorming session, writing and current events tests,
and a one-on-one interview are part of the selection process.
...Rev Interactive, the tech division of Charles
Ryan and Associates, picked up two awards
a Mercury Award from the Travel Industry Assn., and a Gold
Adrian Award for online tourism marketing for the
West Virginia Division of Tourism and the Virginia Tourism
Communications, New York/Antenna Software, mobile
enterprise technology, as AOR following a review.
Marketing Plus, New York/Le Chateau, fashion retailer.
and WestGlen Communications, New York/International
Fund for Animal Welfare, for a comm. and education campaign
to save whales.
Communications, Westhampton, N.Y./Jaiku, for U.S.
and international PR for the Finland-based companys
Communications, Andover, Mass./
Commonwealth Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation, for PR.
Communications, Downington, Pa./Kleerdex Co., thermoplastic
sheet maker; LP Innovations, retail loss prevention solutions,
and Strongarm Designs, machine operator interface systems,
for B2B comms.
Baltimore/Meritain Health, self-funded health and wellness
plans, as AOR for PR.
Communications Group, Silver Spring, Md./
Senforce Technologies, IT security mgmt., for PR.
Results, Woodbridge, Va./Montecito Property Co.;
Bozzuto Management at The Four Winds Oakton Apartments;
Greentree Homes; Sorensen Homes; The Engineering Groupe;
McShea Management, and Providence of Brookfield.
Mower and Associates, Charlotte, N.C./Infinity Partners,
luxury real estate developer, as AOR for advertising, PR
and interactive. The firms Albany, N.Y., office picked
up BernzOmatic, an affiliate of Newell Rubbermaid, for PR.
Raleigh, N.C./Triangle Orthopedic Associates, for an integrated
PR and marketing comms. campaign for its recent merger and
Communications Group, Atlanta/
MarketSquare, message technology for online broadcast comm.,
as AOR for PR to support its broadcast platform and the
launch of MySalesBroadcast.com and MyHQBroadcast.com.
Ink., Miami/David Manero Restaurants, for launch
of DeVito South Beach, an eatery backed by restaurateur
David Manero and actor Danny DeVito, and for ongoing PR
for Vic & Angelos, a Palm Beach Manero restaurant.
Chicago/Florida Dept. of Citrus, as AOR for PR in the U.S.,
Canada and Europe, a successful re-bid as the firm marks
12 years on the account.
A. Burns & Associates, Dallas/Assa Abloy Hospitality,
electronic locks and safes for hotels, as AOR for PR.
Communications, Draper, Utah/United First Financial,
as AOR for PR and marcom work.
Los Angeles/The Secret, a bestselling film and
book, for an international comms. program.
Edition, May 16, 2007, Page 6
NAMES TOP HONOREES.
Society of America/N.Y. said Ken Makovsky of Makovsky &
Co., Emmanuel Tchividjian of Ruder Finn, and Jeanne Salvatore
of the Insurance Information Institute will receive the
chapters top honors at its annual Big Apple gala later
who founded his firm in 1979 and serves as president, is
set to receive the John W. Hill Award, considered the chapters
most prestigious honor, for leadership in the practice of
PR, ethics, and public service.
is RFs chief ethics officer and senior VP. He is set
to receive the Philip Dorf Award for mentoring.
who is senior VP for public affairs at the III, will get
the groups Presidents Award, for contributions
to the chapter which she headed in 2000.
PRSA/N.Y.s Big Apple Awards ceremony will be May 23
at the Rainbow Room. Info: prsany.org.
BLACK PR GROUP PLANS EVENTS.
The African-American PR
Collective will launch a series of seminars on May 19 with
a panel of book publishing executives at the National Academy
of Recording Arts and Sciences in New York.
The series will continue
with an event in June, before breaking for the summer and
returning in September, October, and November.
The inaugural event, The
Write Stuff: Public Relations and Book Publishing,
will feature Tara Brown, VP of sales, marketing and publicity
for Hilton Publishing; Gilda Squire, director of publicity
of Harper Collins Amistad Imprint; Linda Duggins,
director of multicultural publicity at Hachette Book Group,
USA, and Candace Sandy, an author and comms. pro.
The Collective says it
wants to fill a gap in the networking potential among African-American
PR and media pros. The group plans to launch a podcast in
the fall called the Global Communicator Lounge,
including 30-minute interviews with members.
SIMON SAYS SYLVAN FOR NEW
Sylvan Solloway has been
promoted to director of multicultural services at D S Simon
Productions in New York.
Solloway, who was a senior
producer in nearly three years with Simon, is charged with
expanding the broadcast PR companys multicultural
and multilingual offerings beyond SMTs, RMTs, VNRs and corporate
is hosting a contest open to the public to select the next
director of a national TV spot. The travel site has teamed
with the CineVegas Film Festival. Contestants must produce
a 30- or 60-second spot and upload it to the website cinevegas.com/vegascom
by May 25. Winner gets $5,000 and the change to direct a
national TV spot. PJ Inc. PR in New York is handling the
competition. ...Video search engine Blinx
has formed a content partnership with Medialink
to transcribe and index video from the broadcast PR company.
Osako, VP of corporate comms. for Yahoo!, has moved
up the Bay to Ask.com
for a senior VP post. Osako, who recently headed global
policy communications and PR for Yahoo!, is charged with
setting Ask.com's global communications strategy. Ask.com,
formerly Ask Jeeves, is part of IAC/InteractiveCorp., based
in Oakland, Calif. Osako brings media relations and PR experience
from Sprint Corp.
Newman, who handled media relations at Dentsu Communications,
to Krupp Kommunications, New York, as publicity manager.
Newman handles senior level account planning and media relations
for Weight Watchers and Taste of Home.
McDougall, director of worldwide PR for Eastman Kodaks
consumer digital group, to Bausch & Lomb, Rochester,
N.Y., as director of corporate comms. He was formerly director
of PR and operations for Buck & Pulleyn.
Brandon, VP of comms. at the International Youth
Foundation, to The WadeGroup, Washington, D.C., as a VP.
She was previously at Burson-Marsteller for 12 years and
press secretary to the chairman of the Navajo Nation. Nancy
Mayes, who ran her own firm and was previously comms.
director at advocacy group ITS America, joins The WadeGroup
as an associate.
Ratchford has joined the Information Technology Industry
Council, Washington, D.C., the voice of the high-tech
community. The former FD senior VP handles PR for
the organization that counts Apple, IBM, Microsoft, Intel,
Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Time Warner as members. The ITIC
says its goal is to build understanding of the digital
world and the challenges that abound there among Congress,
media, consumers and opinion leaders. The National Journal
billed the ITIC as one of Washingtons most
effective lobbying groups.
Gold, PR specialist, ICF International, to Environics
Communications, Washington, D.C., as an A/E. She earlier
worked in the Environmental Protection Agencys Office
of Childrens Health Protection Outreach Program.
Weiner, president of Art of Fact Media, to Maccabee
Group PR, Minneapolis, as an A/E. He was previously with
Karwoski & Courage and Tunheim Partners.
Singer, senior research analyst and managing director,
Cowen and Co., to The Walt Disney Co., Burbank, Calif.,
as senior VP of investor relations.
Chavez, district representative for former California
state senator Hilda Solis, to Cerrell Associates, Los Angeles,
as an A/E.
Colucci to president/CEO, Publicis Healthcare Communications
Group, New York.
Hunter to director of PR for QVC, West Chester, Pa.
She joined the shopping network in 2004 as PR manager and
earlier was a VP for LaForce + Stevens.
York to president and principal partner, Griffin
York & Krause, Manchester, N.H.
Edition, May 16, 2007, Page 7
BISHOP AT PR SEMINAR.
Buckley, whose latest books are Florence of Arabia and
Boomsday, and Matthew Bishop, U.S. editor of The
Economist, are among speakers at the 56th annual PR
Seminar May 23-26 at the Bacara Resort & Spa, Santa
Thank You for Smoking was made into a movie. Florence
of Arabia is described as a Middle East comedy
while Boomsday is about Social Security reform.
is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Forbes FYI
Top PR Execs
PRS is the annual gathering
of mostly corporate PR executives and about a dozen heads
of the largest PR firms. Attendance is usually 160 executives
and their spouses and companions.
Although still called
"PR Seminar," almost none of the corporate attendees
has "PR" as part of his or her title.
The most popular titles
are corporate communications, communications by itself,
public affairs, and marketing communications.
Other speakers signed
up so far are Arthur Levine, Ph.D., president of the Woodrow
Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, and Carolyn Porco,
Ph.D., imaging team leader, the Cassini Mission to Saturn
of the Space Science Institute.
Jon Iwata of IBM is chairman
of PRS. Stephen Johnson is program chair and Charlotte Otto
Thirty or more "freshmen"
are usually inducted.
High in Recent Years
Turnover at PRS has risen
in recent years due to high turnover in CEO jobs. Several
decades ago, only 5-7 new members were accepted each year.
Members could go as long as they didn't skip two years in
a row. Current policy is to drop anyone from membership
who has lost his or her job and fails to get another one
with a major company.
"PR" as such
is almost never discussed at PR Seminar.
"The goal of the
Seminar," says a mailing, "is to provide a 'big
picture' look at the trends and issues shaping the world
in which we operate."
The programs are designed
to foster dialogue and networking.
Those accepted as members
of PRS are told the invitation "is in recognition of
your leadership in the communications profession...you will
be joining the most senior PR, communications and public
affairs officers of major corporations and agency heads
in the world."
Promised are "fresh,
provocative insights from recognized leaders in a number
of fields including health, science, politics, technology
and the media."
PRS does not "focus
on the tactical aspects" of PR, since there are "other
organizations covering this role," says PRS literature.
Speeches and debate are
all "off the record" although some speakers have
provided texts at rare intervals in the past.
FIRM FUELS, AIDS COCAINE CONTROVERSY.
Stick and Move, a Philadelphia
marcom firm, is guiding PR for Redux Beverages withdrawal
of the controversial energy drink Cocaine.
Account director Jared
Scott told ODwyers that his firm is handling
both PR and advertising amid a lot of correspondence
over the energy drink. Redux advertising a
tagline describes the drink as the legal alternative
has fueled the controversy, although the company
calls its marketing tongue-in-cheek.
Redux said on May 8 that
it was responding to political threats by the
Food and Drug Administration and several attorneys general
by halting distribution of Cocaine until the legality of
the name can be firmly established.
The FDA has claimed the
company is illegally marketing the drink as a street
drug alternative and set a May 4 deadline for Redux
to pull it from shelves.
The Las Vegas-based company
said it has received tens of thousands of emails
and calls from consumers who are outraged by the FDAs
action. A Myspace page has also been bombarded with comments
in support of Cocaines sale. Redux plans to re-name
the drink Censored this spring.
ICR PROTECTS ARMORS
Integrated Corporate Relations,
the fastest growing firm among ODwyers top 15
ranking, is repping Armor Holdings Inc., which has received
a $4.1B buyout offer from Britains BAE Systems.
Armor was No. 3 on Fortunes
list of the 100 fastest growing firms in `06, fueled
by robust demand for its plating for U.S. military vehicles
in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Michael Fox, president
of ICRs corporate communications group and Ogilvy
PR Worldwide veteran, handles media on the proposed acquisition.
James Palczynski, ICR
principal, is working Wall Street. He was at Salomon Smith
Barney before joining the Westport, Conn., financial specialist.
ICR registered a 52 percent
growth in `06 fees to $17.5M.
DAVIS READIES FOOD FETE
Veteran PR pro Jeff Davis
has scheduled Food Fete `07 for July 9 at Splashlight Studios,
which is near New Yorks Jacob Javits convention center.
The invitation-only press
event will feature specialty food, beverage and gourmet
The past two events have
attracted writers from Bon Appetit, Food &
Wine, BusinessWeek, Martha Stewart Living,
Time, Saveur, Business Week, Gourmet
and Better Homes & Gardens.
Edelman, Weber Shandwick,
Porter Novelli, Cone, Hill & Knowlton and CRT/Tanaka
are firms that have showcased clients at the two earlier
Davis has three levels
of participation: networking: ($300 per-person to
mingle with journalists), gift bags ($950) and
He promises an intimate
and lively setting that is packed with interaction opportunities.
Info: 404/812-0111 and [email protected].
Edition, May 16, 2007,
reports loaded with spin and sell were put out last
week for Omnicom and PRSA.
There are many positives
in both reports but the exclusion of important negatives
makes them false and misleading.
Omnicom, whose PR firms
(Fleishman-Hillard, Ketchum, Porter Novelli, etc.) had $1.2
billion in fees in 2006, had a great first quarter and its
finances for calendar 2006 were just fine, according to
analysts who track the stock. All of them are doing business
of one sort or another with OMC.
OMC delivered a blowout
Q1 with organic revenues up 7.3%, said Merrill Lynch. It
called OMC the High Quality Leader and said
some of its peers had weaker U.S. organic growth
Net new business was up
30% in Q1 to $1.3 billion and Q2 has started out strong.
ML expects OMC, currently
$104, to hit $117 based on expected growth of about 10%
Equally enthusiastic was
Lehman Brothers, which raised its target price
from $120 to $123. OMC has met or topped Wall St. expectations
of earnings-per-share in 18 of the last 20 quarters, it
All of the above is
true but analysts we pay to help us understand OMC,
WPP, etc., (because they dont discuss their finances
with the press) made some different observations. OMC
has a lot of debt...its probably paying its vendors
at the last minute, said one. Payables rose more than
$1 billion to $7.3B as of Dec. 31, 2006 and exceed receivables
by $1.3B. OMC has negative working capital of $649M. Long
term debt was up $995M to about $3.1B. Shareholders
equity fell $77M to $3.87B. It cost OMC $5.6M in interest
and penalties for tax positions that were disallowed. How
much in earnings were involved is not told.
OMC carries $6.85B in goodwill, meaning the
amount it paid for acquisitions above cash and other assets.
It says, as usual, that there has been no impairment of
these assets. Theoretically, it could sell some of the acquisitions
and cash out. Since shareholders equity
of $3.87B includes the $6.85B in goodwill, OMC has negative
tangible net worth of minus $2.9B. To keep the
stock above $98 and discourage bondholders from converting
to stock, it spent $1.34B in 2006 to buy back 14.8M of its
own shares. The float is now down to about 167M from 187M.
Lehman expects share buybacks to cost $826M in 2007 and
$874M in 2008. It spent $451M for 4.3M shares in Q1, surprising
Lehman which expected the total to be 1.75M. Despite the
steady growth, OMC stock is still below its high of $107
on Dec. 17, 1999. CEO John Wren, who was paid $13.2M last
year, owns 486,086 shares worth $50M and has options exercisable
within 60 days on 3,700,000 shares worth (in total) about
Wrens costs per share vary from $24 to $91 and include
1.5M in options at $79.50 that vested in full on April 4,
2007 (worth a net of $30M to Wren). Hes well paid
for a CEO whose stock is below its 1999 high.
PRSA CEO Rhoda Weiss
announced that net assets rose 7% to $2.82M, the
highest level in the Societys 60-year history.
Revenues grew 12% to $11.46M. Seminar income spurted 38%
to $1.13M while costs rose only 11% to $300,470. The annual
conference grossed $1,361,738 and netted $283,925.
Cash/investments rose 54% to $4.52M.
Weiss stressed such positives but left out the fact that
payables rose 76% to $1.36M. PRSA simply didnt pay
a lot of its bills and hung onto the cash, which is what
OMC does. Bragging about record net assets is
uncalled for since PRSA is counting as assets about $2M
in dues it has received but hasnt yet earned. Real
net assets (as almost all other groups count them) are about
$800K which is very thin for a group with expenses of $11.2M.
The net on $11.46M in revenues, which Weiss doesnt
mention in her statement, was $195,429 or 1.7%.
The conference did not net $283K because PRSA
has again left out staff costs of more than $1.5M. Administration
costs of 13 programs are now lumped together and rose to
$3.18M in 2006 from $2.65M in 2005. Thus far, the complete
audit, which includes a detailed look at spending in 17
categories, is being withheld from members. We asked a couple
of directors to help us get this but they refused to buck
Some senior PRSA members
at the May 4 lunch for COO Bill Murray in D.C. (4/9
NL) were astounded that not a single question came from
the 60 members present. Murray, who was making his first
public appearance, read from a text while the members were
eating and finished well before lunch was completed. Only
silence came from the audience for the next half hour. Nor
did he ask for questions. Heres the explanation: Reporter
Christine ODwyer was in the audience taking notes
and recording the speech (although a member asked her not
to). Her presence froze the audience and Murray.
Neither could handle being on the record. At
last years Assembly, our presence froze
the delegates when bylaw changes came up for discussion
on the COO being president and more power being given to
the Assembly. There was no debate at all and two brief comments
on the CM proposal. A long debate took place in the a.m.
when proxy voting came up and we were not present...more
than 1,000 journalists have been killed in the past
ten years while on duty but we dont hear this issue
being taken up by either U.S. or international PR groups,
although their members work with journalists. Many journalists
face tyrannical regimes that cant tolerate criticism.
Business organizations often behave the same way...Fortune
mag is preparing a feature on the 25th anniversary
of the Tylenol murders that we hear will support Tylenol
as PRs No. 1 crisis success story. ...the
final years of PR queen Denny Griswold, who was blocked
from seeing friends in the last years of her life, may be
made into a movie. PR friends were unable to get through
to her. She was heartbroken that her friends had apparently
They hadnt but they didnt have the drive to
get through to her, either.