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Internet Edition, June 20, 2007, Page 1


The Army Corps of Engineers, which has taken hits for its work on the New Orleans levee system, is planning an RFP for PR firm support on its public affairs and outreach work in that city.

The PR work includes community and public engagement for public meetings, education forums, new media work, speeches and events.

The Army Corp’s New Orleans District unit plans to award a five-year contract and wants a starting PR staff of six, which could increase to 12 or more as the work dictates.

The RFP is expected to be issued later this month with proposals due by July 12.

A Corps report released last week reported that new drainage pumps installed ahead of last year’s Gulf hurricane season were found to have flaws.

Hurricane Katrina flooded 80 percent of New Orleans when the Corps-designed levee system failed.


Ed Gillespie, founder and co-chairman of Quinn Gillespie & Assocs., is succeeding Dan Bartlett as White House counsel.

Bartlett, who announced his resignation June 1, has been a key aide to President Bush for almost 14 years. He has managed political and media fallout connected to the Iraq war and Hurricane Katrina.

Gillespie is former chairman of the Republican National Committee and current chair of the Virginia GOP. He was a key advisor to Sen. George Allen’s defeated re-election effort.

Gillespie has close ties to the president. He served as senior communications advisor in Austin during the Florida recount, and was communications chief for the ‘01 inauguration. Gillespie also headed the confirmation team for Chief Justice John Roberts, and advised Justice Sam Alito during his confirmation process.


Sean Clancy, who held top corporate posts at Flowserve and Union Carbide, takes VP/corporate communications slot at Louisiana engineering and construction giant The Shaw Group.

Clancy had recently been a senior consultant for the Institute for Crisis Management. At UC, he crafted its media strategy during its acquisition by Dow Chemical and the Toms River, N.J., cancer cluster crisis. Earlier, he headed the 17-person Brown & Williamson Tobacco account team at Shandwick Worldwide during the crisis that was captured in the movie “The Insider.”


The 2007 O’Dwyer’s Directory of PR Firms, listing more than 2,000 firms in the U.S. and 80 other countries, has been published and copies are available at O’Dwyer offices.

A record 408 PR firms display their logos and provide “Agency Statements” describing their unique services. This group of firms is also listed on the O’Dwyer website.

Features include rankings of 147 PR firms by net fees and number of employees; a U.S. and international geographical index; rankings of PR firms by 11 types of specialities, and a cross-index to the 10,000 clients listed by the firms.

“How to Hire a PR Firm” articles are provided by Jack O’Dwyer and Fraser Seitel, author of The Practice of PR.


Interpublic announced that it has received a “Wells Notice” from the Securities and Exchange Commission, which invites the ad/PR conglom to respond to the federal probe into its restatement of `02 and `05 financial statements.

A WN indicates that the SEC may determine to bring a civil action against a company. The development, according to CEO Michael Roth, was “not unanticipated.” He remains confident that the move brings IPG “a step closer to the resolution of the matter,” according to Roth’s statement.

IPG maintains that “no current senior management within the operating units or in the corporate group acted inappropriately” regarding the `05 restatement.


Salmon Boore Group is handling media concerning the recall of 1.5M trains and accessory parts of the popular “Thomas and Friends” toy line.

RC2 Corp., which markets the China-made toys, says it is cooperating with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in the voluntary recall.

An SBG staffer said the shop is directing reporters to the site for the latest information. The Lake Forest, Ill.-based firm is also guiding the media to the CSPC site, she added.

The CPSC has posted the names of the 35 components, including “James the Engine,” that are being recalled. The items sell from $10 to $70.

RC2, which is based Oak Brook, Ill., notes there have been no reports of injuries or illnesses of children ingesting lead from the popular toys.

Internet Edition, June 20, 2007, Page 2


Nicholas & Lence, the firm of former New York City tourism chief Christyne Nicholas, has signed Aviator Sports and Recreation as a client.

Aviator, last November, opened a $30M complex at Brooklyn’s historic Floyd Bennett Field, which was NYC’s first municipal airport and host of aviation pioneers such as Wiley Post; Amelia Earhart; “Wrong-Way Corrigan, who “accidentally” flew to Ireland when he was cleared to fly to California, and Howard Hughes, who used the Field to begin and end his 1938 record-setting around the globe flight.

The 170K-sq. ft sports facility is housed in four former airplane hangers.

It features two National Hockey League regulation ice rinks, three basketball courts, three volleyball courts and a 15K sq. ft gymnastics/dance center.

Aviator has established ties with professional teams in the area, such as the NBA Knicks, NHL Rangers, WNBA Liberty and MLS Red Bulls.

Nicholas started her firm in January with George Lence, who was COO and general counsel of NYC & Co.

The National Park Service acquired the Field in 1991 following the deactivation of Naval Air Station Rockaway.


Alan Ulman has joined Levick Strategic Communications as senior VP in charge of the Washington, D.C.-based firm’s issues management practice.

The Georgia-Pacific and National Data Corp. vet also worked for former Georgia Governor Zell Miller and Congressman Bo Ginn. Most recently, he had been running ICL Communications.

Ulman has handled PR campaigns for Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable and Cingular Wireless.

Richard Levick believes Ulman’s work with high-profile clients in contract negotiations, lobbying and crisis matters will be an “indispensable asset” to the firm.


AirTran Holdings, the parent company to the troubled regional airline AirTran Airways, has brought in New York-based IR and proxy solicitation firm Innisfree M&A as it works to enter merger talks with Midwest Air Group.

Midwest rejected a merger offer from AirTran in December. Orlando-based AirTran was highlighting Midwest’s financial struggles ahead of its annual meeting last week and has been pointing out that Midwest has alerted investors that it will miss its Q2 and full-year financial goals.

AirTran has offered $389M in the latest of three offers over the last eight months to take over Milwaukee-based Midwest, which has refused to meet to discuss the bids. AirTran has put forth a slate of nominees for Midwest’s board and is urging shareholders to contact Innisfree for information.


More than eighty percent of people believe environmental PR pros mislead the public for a living, Jim Hoggan told the Canadian PR Conference on June 14 in Edmonton,

In his keynote speech, Hoggan said the PR profession faces a “crushing PR problem.” It’s a “credibility problem when dealing with the environment, and that lack of credibility is undermining our ability to serve clients,” he told the group.

The CEO of Hoggan & Assocs., Vancouver, is co-founder of, which is dedicated to clearing the “PR pollution” surrounding global warming.

He called his speech, “You Can’t Spin Mother Nature.”

Global warming is the No. 1 public policy issue in Canada, according to a survey by Angus Reid Strategies. It topped concern for the economy and healthcare.

Hoggan retained ARS in May to query people about their view of PR.

The survey asked the 1,097 participants if they are aware that “PR professionals actively assist companies and governments to communicate their environment policies and performances to the public.” Seventy two percent of respondents were aware of that role.

The pollsters gave those respondents two more choices: “PR experts help the public better understand the environmental performance of companies by providing clear and accurate information,” and “PR experts help deceive the public by making environmental performance of companies appear better than it really is.

The result: eighty-one percent of respondents said they thought PR people were helping clients misrepresent their performance.

Hoggan believes PR’s poor reputation is due to some pros “playing with public perception on issues ranging from tobacco to climate change.”

There are “some very skilled PR people hard at work, not trying to educate people but to confuse them,” he told CPRC.

He spoke of conflicting realities. “We have an environmental crisis and we have a group of industries that don’t want to know about it and don’t want us to know about it either.”


Marnie Funk, former spokeswoman for the Republican staff of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has taken a senior communications post at Shell Oil’s Washington, D.C. outpost.

She played a bit role in the Democratic effort to find out whether energy executives participated in Vice President Dick Cheney’s energy task force in `01.

Funk famously told the Washington Post (11/23/05) that it depended on the definition of “participation.”

A White House document showed that officials from ExxonMobil, BP America, Conoco and Shell met with Cheney aides.

Funk is a former Salt Lake City reporter who went to Washington to serve as communications director for Rep. Merrill Cook, who was defeated in 2000.

Internet Edition, June 20, 2007, Page 3


Exiting British Prime Minister Tony Blair likened the media to a "feral beast" that tears people and reputations to bits.

Due to media fragmentation and fierce competition for scoops, journalists hunt "in a pack," Blair told a meeting of Reuters executives. News is "driven by impact."

The PM spoke about the "unraveling of standards," and the increasing amount of editorial space devoted to commentary, which to him is very frustrating. "There will often be as much interpretation of what a politician is saying, as there is coverage of the news," said Blair.

The politician believes people in public life spend much of their time coping with the media. The media's weight and hyperactivity "literally overwhelm" those in the public eye, according to a report of Blair's speech on the BBC.

Blair told the audience that he expected to be "rubbished in certain quarters," but felt he needed to make his remarks because the relationship between the media and politicians needs to be fixed.

The current state of affairs, according to Blair, is sapping the U.K.'s "confidence and self-belief."


The Wall Street Journal has shuffled its editorial ranks in a move to integrate print and online operations and simplify its international staff.

Bill Grueskin, managing editor of WSJ Online, has been upped to deputy managing editor for news. He is to oversee the "melding" of print and online journals and rethink about how the organization approaches and produces news, according to the release from Dow Jones & Co.

Mike Miller, page one editor, shifts to the deputy managing editor for enterprise journalism. He is responsible for the Marketplace, Personal Journal, Weekend and Pursuits sections of the paper.

Dan Hertzberg, senior deputy managing editor, becomes deputy managing editor for international news in charge of all overseas bureaus.

Christine Glancey and Jesse Lewis, head of Asia and Europe, respectively, report to Hertzberg.


John Burbank, who was VP-marketing at AT&T, is now chief marketing officer at Time Warner's AOL unit. He reports to Randy Falco, CEO.

Burbank held top marketing posts at ATT Wireless and Cingular Wireless before joining Ma Ball. He is responsible for the noted "Signal Bars" campaign and ironed out mobile promotions with FaceBook, MySpace and YouTube.

Prior to joining AT&T, Burbank was director of brand management at NewPower Co., and brand manager at Procter & Gamble.


CMP Technology CEO Steve Weitzner has unveiled a program to shift resources from print to online by merging titles, reducing print frequencies, strengthening electronic networks and launching digital products.

The plan calls for the merger of Networking Computing and Optimize into InformationWeek and the end of SysAdmin. The revamp will result in the loss of an estimated 200 jobs at the United Business Media unit.

Weitzner said the reorg reflects the reality that non-print revenues have now surpassed print sales.

That gap is growing so CMP wants to make "online networks the heart of its operations."


Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN has acquired Cricinfo, the world's No. 1 cricket website, from Wisden Group.

The move, according to Lynne Frank, managing director of ESPN Europe/Middle East and Africa, underscores ESPN's commitment to "serve a diverse fan base." ESPN runs the biggest English-language soccer site.

Cricinfo was founded in `93. It offers "ball-by-ball" coverage and in-depth statistics and news of the game. It attracts more than seven million users each month.

ESPN is 80 percent-owned by Disney's ABC network. Hearst Corp. owns the rest.


Mohamad Bazzi, the first U.S. newspaper reporter to profile Ayman al-Zawahri, Osama bin Laden's top aide, is leaving Newsday.

He has been awarded the Council of Foreign Relations' Edward R. Murrow fellowship for '07, and then will teach at New York University.

Bazzi reported from Pakistan, London and Egypt about the rise of Islamic extremism in the aftermath of 9/11. He also filed copy about Israel's push into Lebanon.

Newsday is owned by Tribune Co.


The British Broadcasting Corp. is creating a one-hour newscast for U.S. audiences. It will be produced by Rome Hartman, who was in charge of the debut of the "CBS Evening News with Katie Couric."

The Hartman production will build on the Beeb's current offering, a 30-minute version of the BBC World program that is anchored by Katty Katy in Washington.

The British broadcaster hopes to fill a void as U.S. networks cut back their overseas coverage.


The New York Times Co. is launching an international edition of T, the upscale fashion, travel and lifestyle magazine of the New York Times, in December.

T will be carried by the NYTC's International Herald Tribune.

The magazine will debut at IHT's fashion and luxury industry conference set for Moscow on Nov. 28-29.

It will then be distributed in subscription, newsstand and hotel copies of the IHT in Europe and the Middle East. The IHT is printed at 36 sites throughout the world, and sold in more than 180 countries. Leach Communications handles PR for the NYTC.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, June 20, 2007, Page 4


Larry Register has resigned as news director of Alhurra, the U.S.-funded Middle Eastern satellite TV service, after charges that the station aired anti-American fare.

New Jersey Congressman Steve Rothman (D) and the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal were among Register's fiercest critics.

Rothman issued a statement that called Register's resignation "welcome news." He hopes Alhurra has learned from "Register's failures and is prepared to ensure that no terrorists are allowed to espouse hate speech on a television network for by U.S. taxpayers."

The Journal ripped Alhurra as "one more outlet for anti-U.S. propaganda." It attacked Register for providing friendly coverage of "camera-ready extremists from al-Qaeda, Hamas and other terrorists."

Register responded to the WSJ's four attacks on his "journalistic and personal integrity" via a letter to the editor that was published June 11.

Denying of making "professional decisions based on politics or ideology," Register said he gave "Arabic speaking audience an important choice-news and information guided by democracy and free speech."

The WSJ also published a letter from Register's former boss, Tom Johnson, who headed CNN from '90 to '01. He branded attacks on Register's reputation as "reprehensible, unfair and without merit."


The No. 1 source for news across Europe, Australia and the U.S. is TV, reports a Harris Interactive study that examined newspaper readership around the world.

Readership of daily newspapers was the fifth media outlet sought by more than 8K people surveyed for the report. Daily newspaper readership ranged from a low of six percent in the U.K. to a high of 13 percent in Spain and Germany and 12 percent in the U.S.

TV news was followed by online, cable network news, radio, and then newspapers, as ranked by respondents to the survey.

In the U.S., 25 percent of adults said they tune into TV network news, while 19 percent go online, 14 percent watch cable news, and 12 percent listen to the radio and read major daily papers. Only four percent read magazines for news, and three percent read national daily newspapers.

Despite the bleak numbers for newspapers, most adults across the seven countries queried said it is important for newspapers to have a regional and global newsgathering role, Harris noted.

More people in the U.S. (eight in 10) said newspapers play a key role in providing information about elections.

Asked to assess the credibility of newspapers on a scale of 0-100, with 100 being the most credible, more Americans (21 percent) pegged the medium in the 71-80 range than in any other slot. Seventeen percent put papers in the 41-50 range for an average of 57 out of 100. Germans gave newspapers the highest credibility (67) while Italians scored papers the lowest (52).

The biggest reason given in the U.S. for not reading newspapers was "lack of time" (58 percent), although 55 percent also said it is easier to go online for the information. Half of Americans polled said newspapers are biased. Asked what could be done to improve newspapers and their websites, 65 percent of Americans said "ensure that all points of view are fairly represented in key issues." Online 30 percent called for more "citizen journalism."


Daniel Menaker, executive editor in chief, of Random House, is leaving the publishing house at the end of the month.

He rejoined the Bertelsmann unit in `03 as publisher Gina Centrello's first major hire.

Menaker, 65, also worked for more than 25 years at The New Yorker and did a 16-month stint at HarperCollins. He edited Salman Rushdie, Benjamin Kunkel and former U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins.

With his departure, Centrello has divided Menaker's duties between executive VP Kate Medina and senior VP Jennifer Hershey.

The publisher has named Kurt Anderson, former editor in chief of New York Magazine editor at large. RH has a two-book deal with Anderson.

Briefs _______________________

Bonnier Corp. plans to launch an affluent skiing magazine called Snow this November with the tagline "Life, Lifts, Luxury."

The publisher is planning three issues during the ski season, covering equipment, services and destinations. David Gibson, former reporter and editor for Aspen Magazine and editor of Chile Pepper magazine, is editor-in-chief.

Lake Erie Living, a new magazine based in Cleveland, is now being sold on 400 newsstands in states bordering Lake Erie, in addition to 25K copies being mailed to households. The publication, which premiered with an April/May issue, is online at

People __________________

Seth Bauer, founder of Good Business Media, a publishing company focused on social responsibility and clean tech, has been named editorial director of National Geographic Digital Media's Green Guide website,, and bimonthly print newsletter.

Bauer splits time between Washington, D.C., and New York.

In a 20-year career, he was editor-in-chief of Body & Soul and Walking magazines. The Green Guide covers advice for consumers to lead greener lives.

Dave Ulrich, a management and business coach, has signed on as a contributing writer for the twice-a-month Crain Communications magazine Workforce Management.

He has written 12 books on human resources and related topics.

Internet Edition, June 20, 2007, Page 5


MWW Group has taken over sister company Deutsch’s PR group and established a joint venture between the PR firm and ad agency called MWWGroup@Deutsch.

The firms, both units of Interpublic, will base the collaboration in Deutsch’s New York office with MWW tackling PR and Deutsch guiding advertising, interactive and media.

Michael Duda, Deutsch’s chief corporate strategy officer, called MWW the “Deutsch of the PR space.”


Waggener Edstrom has established an Australian presence via affiliation with Buchan Consulting, an independent firm with offices in Melbourne and Sydney.

Buchan, established in 1985, clients include ANZ Bank, Novell, the Australian government, and QBE Insurance.

The alignment, WaggEd’s first formal entry into Australia, will mainly focus on the Asia Pacific region.


GolinHarris is expanding its Middle East foothold with the appointment of a country manager for Saudi Arabia, based in Jeddah.

Mustafa Sami, PR director for Memac Ogilvy in Riyadh, has joined the firm in the new role. He was previously with Hill & Knowlton.

Clients in the kingdom include Saudi Telecommunications Co., National Aviation Services and Gulf Air.

GolinHarris has an established office in Dubai in the region. Middle East clients include British Petroleum, The Dow Chemical Co., MasterCard and Kraft.


Dudnyk, a Horsham, Pa.-based healthcare firm, is working on the “re-re-launch” of Synova Healthcare Group’s Today Sponge contraceptive.

The integrated campaign was launched at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in May. The Sponge, first sold in the early 1980s, was the top selling female contraceptive for 11 years before being pulled from the market because of manufacturing problems in the mid-1990s.

Allendale Pharmaceuticals re-launched the product with Widmeyer Communications in 2005. Allendale was acquired by Synova in January of this year.

BRIEFS: HSR Business to Business, Cincinnati, won the Silver Sledgehammer Award from the Business Marketing Assn. at its annual conference in Las Vegas. HSR, which also won in 2005, got the nod for winning the most Pro-Comm awards from the group. Its work for Delta AirElite, Gordon Flesch, USG and Eclipse Aviation stood out to the judges… Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell has changed its name to Ypartnership. The Orlando-based ad and PR firm wanted the name to reflect new partners and top execs.


New York Area

Articulate Communications, New York/CDC Games, online and mobile game developer in China; CounterStorm, network security; RecycleBank, environmentally focused rewards program; Restricted Stock Systems, insider trading software and services for brokerage firms and companies, and Rogue Wave Software, re-usable software and components for developers.

FD, New York/Greenwich Equity Group, to promote fund for investment in India.

MWW Group, New York/, online retailer for small and limited production wineries, for media relations and online work.

Redpoint Marketing PR, New York/Gateway Canyons Resort (Gateway, Colo.); Loews Philadelphia Hotel; Global Rescue, emergency medical response; Art of Storage, home storage, and Designs by Ahn, floral artisan shop.

The Devon Group, Shrewsbury, N.J./Meta4, human intellectual capital management services, as AOR for PR in North America.


Strategic Communications Group, Silver Spring, Md./Everest Software, business software, for PR.

French/West/Vaughan, Raleigh, N.C./Well Wishers Int’l, global gifting service, for PR and media relations support.

Push, Orlando, Fla./American Residential Services, for a $5M national re-branding and market expansion effort following its Q4 split from ServiceMaster. The company operates under the ARS and Rescue Rooter brands. Incumbent Cramer-Krasselt did not pitch.


Scott Phillips + Associates, Chicago/Wincor Nixdorf, IT services for retail and banking industries, for PR in the U.S.

Sidney Maxwell PR, Chicago/Univ. of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago, for launch of the Walter Payton Liver Center.

Bianchi PR, Troy, Mich./Tinnerman Palnut Engineered Products, engineering services for automotive and industrial equipment makers, as AOR for PR.

Strat@comm, Troy, Mich./smart USA, a unit of United AutoGroup, for media relations for a summer road show to introduce a new microcar, and the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, for PR support of National Transportation Week.

Marx Layne & Co., Farmington Hills, Mich./RxPJs, medical robes, as AOR for PR.

Bader Rutter & Associates, Milwaukee/Rust-Oleum Industrial Brands, as AOR for marketing comms.


Peppercom, San Francisco/Jump Associates, consulting firm, for media relations, and Foreversafe, secure file swapping and storage, for U.S. launch.

mml Inc., Venice, Calif./Arcona, luxury skincare line; The LBH Group, women’s tennis apparel, and Surf Academy, surfing camps, for promotion of the camps and SA’s non-profit arm, Surf Bus, which brings inner-city youth to the beach.

Internet Edition, June 20, 2007, Page 6


RFPs and first quarter revenues are up over last year, according to a survey by the Council of PR Firms.

The 72 firms surveyed by the Council in March and April reported an 8.8% increase for Q1 ’07.

The group also found that 73% of firms reported an increase in the number of RFPs last year vs. 2005. The most productive sectors, according to the survey, are consumer products, technology and healthcare.

Cathy Cripps, president of the Council, said “these are really good times” for PR firms.

ONLINE PR SVCS. COMPANY GOES LIVE., an online PR services company, has launched a news distribution service in beta form channeling web directories, search engines, direct-to-consumer outlets, and PR Newswire’s web distribution.

The New York-based company, headed by Miranda Tan, is also offering services like SEO, writing and editing.

“Our goal is to automate the PR process so anyone who needs PR can get access to great PR for a fraction of the fee,” said Tan.

Costs start at $399 for a news announcement.


PR Society of America’s Counselors Academy, which helps senior PR firm execs with networking and development, has announced the first slate of advisors for its new Strategic Advisors for Growth and Excellence Program.

Among the group are Thomas Amberg, president/CEO of Cushman/Amberg Comms.; Lynn Casey, chair and CEO, Padilla Speer Beardsley; Steve Cody, managing partner and co-founder, Peppercom; Tom Gable, founder/CEO, Gable PR; Michael Herman, vice chairman, The Catevo Group Worldwide/LCI Group; Sandy Hermanoff, pres./CEO, Hermanoff & Assocs.; Tom Hoog, special counselor to global chairman, Hill & Knowlton;Eric Morgenstern, pres./CEO, Morningstar Comms.; Gary Myers, president/CEO, Gary Myers+Assocs.; Deborah Radman, SVP/dir., CKPR, and Dick Truitt, principal, Truitt & Kirkpatrick.

The program, known as SAGE, has the counselors conducting telesminars, monographs, blogging and mentoring members.

Executive search firm Taylor Search Partners, Columbus, Ohio, has promoted Mick Shimp to president. He has been with the firm for 15 years handling searches in the healthcare, pharmaceutical and biotech sectors.

Kristine Welker, VP at Hearst and publisher of CosmoGIRL!, was elected president of New York Women in Communications for 2007-08. Betsy Morgan of CBS had been president for the last two years.

AdMedia Partners, New York advised Guide Communications in its acquisition by Yellow Book ISA. Financial Terms of the deal were not disclosed.



Mireille Gragenois, VP of advertising for the Baltimore Sun, to Burson-Marsteller, New York, as managing director to lead its multicultural practice. She held adv. and marketing posts at and Philadelphia Newspapers after starting her career in journalism at USA Today and BusinessWeek.

Darcy Bradbury, managing director and co-head of Blackstone Group’s client relationship and marketing team for its Alternative Asset Management unit, to The D. E. Shaw Group, New York, as director of external affairs, a new post.

Erin Webb, marketing and branding exec at 4Kids Entertainment, to Ripe Ideas, New York, as director of licensing.

Andrew Rusnak, comms. and editor, American Composites Manufacturers Assn., to the North American Insulation Manufacturers Assn., Alexandria, Va., as director of comms.

Amy Call, comms. director for ex-Sen. Bill Frist, to AOL, Dulles, Va., as senior director and spokesperson. Earlier, she worked in the White House Office of Management and Budget as a deputy associate director for legislative affairs and communications.

Maria Romeu, director of PR, Reynardus and Moya Advertising, to Great Communicators, Coral Gables, Fla., as director of account services. Romeu previously ran her own shop, Luna Media.

Laura Celesia, director of business development, OMD Worldwide, to GolinHarris, Chicago, as senior VP of new business dev. She was also a VP for bizdev at DDB.

David Oboyski, director of PR, Cerner Corp., to NIC, Olathe, Kan., as director of IR and communications. He was previously with Brodeur Worldwide and Hudson+Duke Communications.

Rene Smith, formerly of GolinHarris and The Point Group, to Marion, Montgomery, Houston, as an A/S. Sam Byrd, previously with The Wehrly Marketing Group, and Emily Verret of The Dwyer Group and Heart of Texas Industries, join as A/Cs.

Elizabeth Gengl, senior VP of corporate comms., United Online, to CarryOn Communication, Los Angeles, as senior VP and practice leader of the firm’s consumer technology and entertainment units. She was previously VP of national publicity for Universal Pictures, where she began her career as a publicist in 1991.


Sarah Manley to senior VP, global PR and communications, Burberry, New York. Leslie Dance, former VP and GM for global marketing and comms. for Motorola, has joined Burberry as senior VP of global marketing.

Rick Bourgoise to account director, Strat@comm, Detroit. Also, Laura Wilson to senior A/E and Shannon Mackie to A/E.

Joe Etta Bandy to senior VP, corporate comms., The First American Corp., Santa Ana, Calif. She joined in 1998 as director/comms.

Internet Edition, June 20, 2007, Page 7


Whenever PR is unjustly attacked or terribly misrepresented, someone should respond with facts, wrote Dennis McGrath, founding partner of McGrath-Buckley Communications Counseling in St. Paul, Minn., in an op-ed to

He responded to Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten who wrote May 20 that PR people are “pathetic, desperate dillweeds.”

McGrath believes the advocacy chair of PRSA should be leading the charge because Society members and other practitioners expect PRSA to stand up for them.

He believes it is important to respond because with the Internet and search engines, Weingarten’s column will last forever and may pop up every time someone Googles “public relations.”

The counselor recommends a letter has to be done quite deftly to Weingarten, sans sound and fury.

A personal visit by someone from PRSA would be even better. “I’d allow that some releases deserve to be satirized, but then offset that with statements about the much broader positive role of PR,” says McGrath.

McGrath would give examples of how PR serves society by bringing attention to social problems; by responding after crises; by helping small companies and entrepreneurs to succeed in the marketplace; by helping corporations and other organizations to create and clarify their missions; by solving workplace morale problems; by helping public companies to meet financial disclosure regulations, and on and on.

He feels the need to at least cut down on the peddler PR lingo, especially words like “pitch,” “hit,” “score,” and “placement.”

Those terms make PR people sound to serious journalists and quite often to clients like Hollywood press agents or the huckster that Tony Curtis played in “The Sweet Smell of Success,” according to McGrath.

“Let’s act like skilled communicators and professional counselors and then we can stand up for our profession when it’s unjustly vilified,” he wrote.


Celebrity PR firm The aja Group (Studio City, Calif.) is looking for “A” and “B” list celebrities to join a June 27 promotion to encourage people, especially blacks, to get tested for AIDS.

The stars will join a press conference at the Screen Actor’s Guild in Los Angeles, and then take a public HIV test. There will be a photo op of each person taking the test, and then a group shot.

The event marks HIV Testing Day and is aimed at the black community, which accounts for 50 percent of the 1.3M Americans with HIV.

Confirmed list includes Nick Cannon (rapper), Regina King (“Miss Congeniality 2” and “Boys N the Hood” star), Vanessa Williams (former Miss America), Howard Hessman (“WKRP in Cincinnati”), Hill Harper (“Lackawanna Blues” and “CSI) and Jimmy Jean Louis (“Heroes).

Linda Jones (818/985-6555) has details. She is executive director of marketing & PR at aja.


The Recording Industry Assn. of American is using Ogilvy Government Relations as lobbyist concerning copyright protection issues.

The trade group of the $11.5B record industry sent out nearly 400 pre-litigation settlement letters to 19 universities on June 8 as part of its campaign to root out “illegal file trafficking on college campuses.”

Those letters informed the colleges of impending copyright infringement suits against either a student or school personnel and requested the university administrators to forward the letter to the appropriate users.

An NPD survey found that half of college students download music and movies illegally. College students accounted for more than 1.3B illegal downloads in `06.

Ogilvy staffers working the RIAA account are former Rep. Chris John (D-La), Gordon Taylor (John’s former chief of staff) plus Moses Mercado, who was director of intergovernmental affairs for Gov. Howard Dean at the Democratic National Committee.

The House Committee on Science and Technology has held hearings on “campus piracy” of movies and music.


5W PR has scooped up the IamFreeTonight online dating service account following a “very competitive pitch,” according to Ronn Torossian, CEO of the New York-based PR firm.

He said duties include “aggressive media relations, strategic communications and general marcomm work.

Torossian pegged the account at $100K.

IamFreeTonight site launched in `06 as a free to use resource with features such as email, advanced searches, hotlists, “stats” and flirts to offer a more interactive experience to help singles meet online.

The site unveiled “Date Now” section in January to allow busy professionals to set up dates in seconds. Users post both when and what they would like to do on a date. IamFreeTonight is a unit of publicly traded eTwine Holdings. ETWI stock trades on the OTC bulletin board at 50 cents a share.


David Poisson, a Capitol Hill veteran, has joined Widmeyer Communications as senior VP. He had been running Jenkins Hill Partners, counseling clients on federal and state legislative issues.

Poisson was chief counsel and legislative director for former North Carolina Senator Terry Sanford. He also served as chief of staff to then-Rep. Dick Durban, who now is the No. 2 leader of the Democrats in the Senate.

Following his federal work, Poisson had jobs at the Electronic Industries Assn., Computer Leasing and Remarketing Assn. and Tire Industry Assn. (CEO).

Poisson is a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, representing a district in Eastern Loudon County.

John Burchett, chief of staff to Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, has joined Google’s Washington office in charge of outreach to state governments.

Internet Edition, June 20, 2007, Page 8




PR must respond to generalized attacks on it such as Gene Weingarten’s remark in the Washington Post that PR pros are “pathetic, desperate dillweeds” (6/13 NL).

PRSA advocacy chair Mary Best West’s retort was that this was a “rant” and “so far-fetched” that there was “no way to respond to it.”

But Dennis McGrath, former chair of the Counselors Academy of PRSA, points out that Weingarten’s remarks are apt to show up for years on Google. He urges West to contact Weingarten and hear what he has to say (page 7).

Careful reading of the column reveals that his main complaint is that releases have too many long words and are marred by jargon and the use of undefined terms. He contacted the PR people listed on the releases for more information but was mostly frustrated, feeling he had entered some “alternate reality.”

This is a good time to examine the basic orientation of PR, which in recent years has become more and more marketing-oriented. Results of a publicity campaign are measured by how many “copy points” are picked up in the press rather than the thoroughness of the stories that resulted. The press and public want stories that cover not only the product in question, but its competitors and perhaps the history of the product category. They want to be educated, not marketed to.

Blocking information flow goes against a strong tide. We’re noticed that areas that supply the greatest amount of information, such as sports and Wall Street, are prospering. Fans know much more about baseball and football via instant replays, often from 4-5 different angles. The increased information has helped popularize these activities. Referee calls in football are sometimes reversed on appeal because videotapes show an obvious error. Baseball doesn’t allow such appeals but it should. We’ve seen too many games lost by wrong calls.

Wall Street is prospering because of the avalanche of historical and current information available from financial sources such as “Bloomberg” and Google.

Hill & Knowlton, the biggest firm for many years, used to publish a list of more than 500 clients and provide proofs of its fees and staffs. After going under the WPP umbrella, it stopped providing any client list or any information on billings and staff size. Meanwhile, independent PR firms that provide such information are showing strong growth.

The New York Times and New York Post (“Pinch” Sulzberger vs. Rupert Murdoch) are warring on each other. Sulzberger, in an amazing and insulting editorial June 10, took down Murdoch (personally) for “dangling a hefty $5 billion” in front of the Bancroft family that has owned the Wall Street Journal for 100+ years. Family-owned newspapers (such as the NYT) are the ones that are free from “political currents” and show “journalistic independence,” huffed Sulzberger, who said Murdoch likes to “meddle in his news properties.” With “Pinch” controlling both the editorial and business sides of the NYT for the first time in history, all sorts of business and political agendas are being pursued in the NYT’s editorial columns. The PR/ad community is familiar with the paper’s almost complete lack of coverage of Omnicom’s financial issues while upwards of 15 reporters are put on the lawsuit against the Post by a former writer for its “Page Six” gossip column. The NYT’s obsession with political correctness made it a leader in the drive to oust Don Imus from his radio show. NYT columnists Frank Rich and Tom Friedman, who sold many thousands of their books via Imus, suddenly only had the worst possible words for their former friend. Odds are they were obeying orders of Sulzberger…answering Sulzberger, the Post on June 15 had the five-column headline, “The worst of ‘Times,” in which it accused the paper of “cheap hypocrisy” in “trumpeting the view that downtown was dead” to further its own interests in renting out the top half of its new h.q. on Eighth ave. “The Old Downtown Economy Won’t Return,” one NYT headline had said. The NYT is “beset by dwindling profits, evaporating readership (260,000 circulation in New York), and shareholder unrest” (which wants to unseat the Sulzberger family), said the NYP. Another story in the same issue headlined: “Times ad rev drops sharply” (its newspaper ad revenue fell nearly 10% to $149M in May from $166M in the previous May.

The American Institute of CPAs is showing financial acumen and consideration for its members in moving about 400 of its staffers from expensive offices in New York and New Jersey to Durham, N.C. The “continuing escalation of labor costs in the New York metropolitan area” was cited as a major reason for the exodus which is expected to provide an annuity savings of about $10-11 million per year over a 15-year period. About 220 AICPA staffers are being kept in offices in New York, Jersey City and Washington, D.C.

“Escalation of labor costs” in New York caught our eye in this release and brought to mind PRSA’s $5.28 million in staff costs in 2006 (a gain of 16.4% and now amounting to 46.1% of revenues of $11.4M). This high cost is why 22,000 members are no longer getting their 1,000-page printed directory of members, bylaws, committees, task forces, services, etc. (and not because the online directory is better). The PRSA board, threatened with resignation of the entire staff in 1986 when the Assembly voted twice to leave New York, caved into the staff and missed a golden opportunity to save millions. Seven chapters had pitched for h.q. The board, ignoring future savings in staff costs, over-ruled the Assembly. PRSA, instead of having most of its offices far from New York and smaller offices in midtown that interface with the local PR and press community, has a costly 22,000 sq. ft. white elephant in downtown New York that it’s stuck with for the next 12 years unless it exercises some sense. That space should be sublet like AICPA is doing with its space in Jersey City.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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