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Internet Edition, June 27, 2007, Page 1


An RFP for PR and public affairs support for the Army Corps of Engineers in New Orleans could span five years and be worth up to $5M, according to procurement documents released on June 21.

The resulting PR contract would include a base year and four year-long options—all worth up to $1M each—to support the New Orleans District public affairs office and other regional entities of the Army Corps.

The RFP outlines a four-person public affairs team, including two senior specialists and two junior-level staffers, to support the PAO office.

The office covers Army Corps public affairs in New Orleans, the Mississippi Valley Division’s Task Force Hope, an ACE entity set up to support Federal Emergency Management efforts post-Hurricane Katrina, and the Hurricane Protection Office, which is governing long-term efforts for flood protection in the region.

Those entities are all working in some form to reduce the hurricane and flood risk in southeastern Louisiana, which faced hurricane-induced devastation exacerbated by the failure of an Army Corps-engineered levee system in New Orleans.

A PR firm hired by the ACE is expected to work behind the scenes, as government personnel only would act as public and media spokespersons for the federal entities.

The work spans media relations strategy, press materials, talking points and strategic planning to events support and speech writing.

Proposals are due July 19. The RFP is available via the FedBizOpps online procurement system.


Jeremy Galbraith, who headed Burson-Marsteller’s Belgium practice, has assumed the head of European operations as Heidi Sinclair plans to exit to handle PR for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The 49-year-old Madrid-based Sinclair had headed Europe since 2005.

She also served as head of Burson/Los Angeles (`94-`96), VP-corporate communications at Borland, VP-corporate communications at Lotus Development, senior VP-advanced technology at Hill & Knowlton and executive VP at Ketchum.

Sinclair began her PR career at Regis McKenna’s tech shop.

Galbraith, 40, had been running Belgium for seven years. He will remain in Brussels. Sinclair will depart for Seattle in September.


The Cranberry Marketing Committee has put its $400K domestic PR and promotion account up for review. Publicis Consultants (Seattle) is the incumbent.

Janice Barton, marketing director of CMC, wants to play up the anti-oxidant, bacteria-fighting, heart healthy, and potential cancer inhibiting aspects of cranberries.

The cranberry budget depends on the harvest.

Proposals are due July 10. Finalists will be invited to interview CMC officials in Plymouth, Mass. Barton has details (716/655-1602; [email protected]).


Lou Hammond & Associates has picked up the MGM Grand at Foxwoods hotel/casino account in a competition that included travel/lifestyle shops such as M Booth & Assocs.

The MGM property is the centerpiece of a $700M development project that will open next spring.

Hammond also hit the jackpot by adding Foxwoods Resorts Casino, which was handled by Dan Klores Communications, to its client roster. Connecticut-based Foxwoods is the largest casino in the world.

Doug Dowie remains a free man as a U.S. Appeals Court ruled he can stay out of jail as his case is appealed.

The former Fleishman-Hillard Los Angeles executive was convicted of bilking the city’s Dept. of Water and Power.


The Office of Professional Discipline of the New York State Education Department is examining evidence that Philip T. Bonaventura, named CFO of PRSA on June 19, may have improperly used the term CPA in connection with his announcement.

He is not currently a registered CPA and only those who have registered, paid the $245 fee, and taken at least 24 hours of formal education each year, can use that term in public.

The American Institute of CPAs and the New York State Society of CPAs both say he is not currently a

(Continued on page 7)

Internet Edition, June 27, 2007, Page 2


APCO Worldwide and Cassidy & Assocs., targets of a “sting operation” conducted by Harper’s Ken Silverstein, question the journalistic ethics of the magazine for publishing a piece by a writer pretending to be a lobbyist seeking help for Turkmenistan, one of central Asia’s most repressive countries.

B.J. Cooper, deputy managing director of APCO, told O’Dwyer’s the article is the “most unethical reportorial project that he has ever seen.” The D.C. firm was “lied to” by Silverstein and the information published was “taken out of context,” according to the APCO exec. He charges that Silverstein began with the premise that PR firms are bad and crafted his piece to back that belief up.

Cooper complained that Silverstein presented APCO executives with phony business cards, phone number, address and website.

He stressed that Silverstein’s phony lobbyist had a “first meeting,” in which both sides are supposed to feel each other out. It takes “weeks and even months” before APCO agrees to work with a client.

Cooper also said that APCO was not directly asked to represent the Government of Turkmenistan, but a “group of investors” that wanted to improve its image.

He said APCO wanted to sign a confidentiality agreement with Silverstein’s make-believe Maldon Group, but was told by the writer that discretion must be maintained.

The Harper’s piece reports that Barry Schumacher, APCO’s senior VP, said he understood Silverstein’s reluctance to sign a confidentiality pact. “It is not unusual to us,” he reportedly told Silverstein.

Cassidy issued a statement to say that it is “surprised that a reporter would go to such extraordinary lengths to gather information in such a deceptive way that really isn’t all that new or interesting.” It says the “reporter’s deception went well beyond what he described to his readers.”

Both firms criticized Harper’s for running the piece without their comments.

Public benefits, says Silverstein

Silverstein defended his “undercover techniques” to this website. He believes PR firms such as APCO and Cassidy engage in “spin” and undercover activities all the time on behalf of their clients.

He singled out APCO as an “unsavory firm” based on its work in the `90s to set up a group for Philip Morris to dispute the science vouching for the danger of second-hand smoke.

Silverstein admitted to resorting to “trickery,” but stressed that it wasn’t like he was “offering a wallet filled with cash” to get the lowdown on the firms.

“I made the whole situation as outrageous as possible,” he said, referring to the selection of Turkmenistan, a place slightly less Stalinist than North Korea, as the focus of the PR pitch. He said APCO conducted poor “due diligence” in falling for the ruse.

Silverstein believes he conducted a “public service” by outing how the foreign lobbying game works in D.C., especially when firms work for reprehensible regimes.

“It’s up to my readers to decide whether my undercover techniques were legitimate,” he said.


Hope Boonshaft, who once led Sony Pictures Entertainment’s worldwide government relations/corporate communications unit, has joined Hill & Knowlton as general manager of its Los Angeles and Irvine offices. The post had been vacant.

She joins from the Los Angeles Opera, where she was in charge of marketing, PR, community relations and outreach.

Earlier she founded Boonshaft-Lewis & Savitch PR/PA, a firm that counted Virgin Atlantic Airlines, Pitney Bowes, Four Seasons Hotels, HBO and World Cup as clients.

Boonshaft served in the Carter White House as director of community relations. At H&K, she reports to CEO Paul Taaffe. H&K’s COO Gene Reineke had been overseeing the southern California offices.


Brunswick Group is handling Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, the former CEO of American International Group, who has sued his old company for its “unnecessary and improper decisions” related to restatement of earnings, which led to a $1.6B settlement.

Greenberg, who led AIG for more than 30 years until his ’05 resignation, alleges the restatement was not because of his “improper conduct,” but an effort by current management to “insulate themselves from liability.”

He charges current management with “pursuing their personal complaints” against him rather than working in the interest of shareholders.

Sarah Lubman, BG staffer and Greenberg spokesperson, credits him for “building the largest and most successful insurance company in the world.” She said he increased market cap by 40,000 percent when AIG went public in 1969 through the end of `04.

AIG filed its own suit against Greenberg seeking damages of more than $1B. Both suits have been dismissed by the other side as being without merit.


The City of Oakland has issued an RFP to hire a lobbying firm to snatch more federal dollars.

The city’s `05-`07 budget included more than $50M in federal revenues that were used for parks, housing, recreation, police, arts and the environment.

Oakland, according to the RFP is eager to “establish an aggressive, substantial presence in Washington.”

The goal is to “craft significant relationships with the Congressional body” while marketing the city as a “viable and vital municipal center” with an eye to bringing in “even more funding opportunities for the city.”

The bidding firms must be in compliance with Oakland’s restrictions on “doing business with service providers considered nuclear weapons makers.”

A pre-proposal conference is slated at Oakland’s City Hall on July 10. VaShone Huff is project manager at (510/238-3141).

Jim Walsh, founder of Walsh PR in Dublin, has been elected as the third non-American to head IPREX since its founding in ‘83. The network has 58 members with a combined revenue base of $94M.

Internet Edition, June 27, 2007, Page 3


The Financial Relations Board is handling a bid by an investment group headed by MySpace founder Brad Greenspan to purchase a 25 percent stake in Dow Jones & Co., owner of the Wall Street Journal.

The bid counters a $5B offer by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., which acquired MySpace's parent company, Intermix, in `05 for $580M.

Greenspan contends that his offer will keep Dow Jones independent from media conglomerates so it can keep its culture of integrity and high quality reporting intact. He has studied Dow Jones' online assets and sees the opportunity to "significantly enhance the company's presences and revenue streams in electronic media."

In Greenspan’s letter to the Dow Jones board, he claims that he can grow and from their current 4.3M unique viewers per-month audience to 15M. He also would launch an ad-supported video content network within 18 months.

Greenspan holds majority stakes in Live Universe Inc. and BroadWebAsia, which own a combined 30 websites that attract 75M million viewers a month. His investment group is willing to spend up to $1.25B for its DJ&C stake, and in return is asking for two board seats.

FRB's Lasse Glassen is handling the Greenspan bid. Kekst & Co. is working for the DJ-controlling Bancroft family. Sard Verbinnen & Co. works for DJ.


ABC News chief David Westin has launched a two-year “top to bottom” review of operations to find out where the Walt Disney unit stands, where it is going and how it is going to get there. He expects to slice about 35 staffers from the payroll.

In a memo to staffers, Westin wrote that he plans to add people and resources especially in the digital area, which is “centrality” of its future. The network is looking to hire staffers to cover India, Australia, Brazil and Iran. Westin is also looking at places to trim. “We will be consolidating some operations, we will be asking some of you to take new assignments, and yes, some positions will be lost where that makes sense,” he wrote.

The ABC News chief is making his moves as Charlie Gibson’s “World News Tonight” is the top rated evening news program. Westin credited ABC’s revival to changes that it has made over the past few years. “Now we’re dealing from strength,” wrote Westin.


The Economist thinks outgoing British prime minister Tony Blair's “feral beast” blast (6/20 NL) at the media is a “bit rich.”

Blair, according to the June 16 issue, was a master of using the media. More than any other recent PM, Blair “seemed instinctively to understand the ways journalists think, with an unerring knack for finding the words to provide the coverage he wanted.”

The Economist continued: “For a prime minister who treats every public appearance like a theater performance, and whose administration will always be synonymous with spin, to question the system he has so often exploited seems a bit rich.”


The New York Times and Wall Street Journal will both raise their cover prices on July 16. The Times said it will hike its newsstand and home delivery prices a week after Dow Jones announced a markup for the Journal.

The newsstand price of the Times will rise from $1 to $1.25 on July 16. Sunday cost will rise from $3.50-$4 only in the New York area. The hikes will mean $7-$8M in revenue in 2007 and more down the road.

Dow Jones said it will raise the newsstand price of the Wall Street Journal on the same day as the Times this month to $1.50.

Times launches ‘City Room’

The Times has launched "City Room," a blog to tackle government, crime, economy, housing and transportation issues. The site contains expanded photography, videos, neighborhood profiles, links to primary sources and forums for comments.

Sewell Chan, a metro editor, is bureau chief.


The San Jose Mercury News said it will cut 40 positions in its newsroom in July, a 17 percent purge that leaves 200 newsroom staffers. Seven years ago it had about 400 positions in the newsroom, the paper reported.

Executive Editor Carole Leigh Hutton said that although the paper is still profitable revenue is not growing at the paper, which fired 15 workers in December.

The Merc pointed out that the San Francisco Chronicle is eliminating 100 newsroom jobs amid weekly losses estimated at $1M.

The Merc was sold to McClatchy by Knight Ridder last year and then sold to a Gannett/Stephens Media joint venture with the Contra Costa Times.


Yahoo! has acquired, a college and sports high school site, to formally kick off the post-Terry Semel era. Rivals has a network of more than 150 sites that attract two million viewers each month. Its audience, according to Yahoo's Sports chief James Pitaro, consists of communities of "fanatical, like-minded enthusiasts."

The Rivals deal follows news that Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, 38, had succeeded Semel as CEO.

The 64-year-old Semel, a former co-CEO at Warner Bros., joined Yahoo in `01 and is credited with providing a focus and fueling its advertising growth. Lately, he took heat as Yahoo fell further behind Google in the search business. Susan Decker, Yahoo's 44-year-old CFO, has been promoted to president.

ESPN has named Keith Clinkscales, head of ESPN publishing and ESPN The Magazine, to head the newly created content development and enterprises unit.

The operation is to develop programming across the web, print, mobile and radio platforms.

Clinkscales' unit replaces the ESPN original entertainment division. Rob King, meanwhile, has been tapped as chief of

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, June 27, 2007, Page 4


Crisis counselor Michael Sitrick is in the middle of the controversy surrounding reports that jailbird Paris Hilton will receive up to $1M for the first interview following her release from the slammer.

The New York Post reported that the heiress is to receive as much as $1M from NBC for an interview with Meredith Vieira on “Today.” The network issued a statement to refute the Post story.

CNN’s Larry King landed the Hilton interview sans payment, which is slated to air on June 27.

The New York Times reported that ABC lost a “bidding war” with NBC for the sit down with Hilton. Barbara Walters told ABC management that Rick Hilton, Paris’ father, told her that ABC’s $100K offer to interview the heiress was “not even in the same galaxy” to what was being offered.

Sitrick, on behalf of the Hilton family, flat out denies that the heiress is being paid for any interview. That includes money for “any collateral, including video and photographs,” said Sitrick’s statement.

Paris released a statement via Sitrick on Saturday that said: “I am thrilled that Larry King has asked me to appear on his program to discuss my experience in jail, what I have learned, how I have grown and anything else he wants to talk about. Larry King is not only a world-renown journalist, but a true American Icon. It will be an honor to do his show.”


The Abernathy MacGregor Group is handling PR for Quadrangle Capital Partners as the private equity firm closes a deal to buy Dennis Publishing's lifestyle magazines like Maxim and Blender and other online and media properties in the U.S.

Media reports have pegged the deal in the $240M range, although the parties have not disclosed the price tag.

Quadrangle takes ownership of Maxim magazine and, Blender, Stuff, and Maxim properties like a radio network, restaurant chain, nightclubs and an event marketing company.

Kent Brownridge, who oversaw production of Rolling Stone, Men's Journal and U.S. Weekly as a senior VP at Wenner Media, partnered with Quadrangle and has been tapped as CEO upon closing of the deal, which is expected in the third quarter.

Dennis Publishing is based in the U.K.

AMG president Adam Miller and senior VP Lux Suvanto have been fielding media calls about the deal for Quadrangle.


Ziff Davis has sold its enterprise group, which houses eWeek, CIOInsight and Baseline, to Insight Venture Partners, a private equity firm, for $150M.

The unit has a database of 3.5M business and technology users. It also runs digital and live events throughout the globe.

Sloan Seymour heads the enterprise unit, which has staffers in New York, San Francisco and Boston.

Rosen Group does PR for ZD.


Blockbuster has taken a side in the high-definition DVD war by choosing to expand its offering of Blu-ray discs for rental at its 1,700 corporate-owned stores by mid-July.

Blue-ray, developed by Sony, is locked in a battle with the Toshiba/NEC format HD DVD to become the dominant player in the new market.

Blockbuster said Blu-ray rentals have significantly outpaced HD DVD rentals at its stores since both formats were made available in November.

Blockbuster's SVP of merchandising, Matthew Smith, said the company could add HD DVD to locations down the road "if that's what customers tell us they want."

People _____________________

Anna Badkhen, foreign/national correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle, has joined the Boston Globe as a general assignment reporter. Badkhen was formerly Moscow bureau chief for the Chronicle.

Thomas Gardner, president of Reader's Digest Association's international arm and its Direct Holdings Worldwide unit, said he will resign at the end of the month to pursue other opportunities. The 49-year-old Gardner was also an executive VP since 2006 and through the March 2007 acquisition of RDA by an investment group.

Briefs ___________________________

Yoga Journal has begun publishing a mainland China edition in Mandarin through an agreement with Beijing sports publisher Titan Sports Media. China is YJ's eighth international edition.

The Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects plans to publish a six-times-a-year magazine called Chicago Architect starting in October.

McGraw-Hill is collaborating on the publication. Dennis Rodkin, contributing editor for Chicago magazine and ex-editor of Lake, is editor of the new magazine. Lee Bay, former architecture critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, is among five writers already slated to contribute.

Trend Pot, which publishes a free Japanese newspaper in the New York area, has launched a free monthly magazine called Chopsticks targeting non-Japanese New Yorkers who want information about Japanese trends in food, healthcare and schools. It also lists more than 800 businesses in New York of Japanese influence. Info:

Meredith Corp. has acquired the consumer health search engine Healia. Meredith, which publishes magazines like Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies' Home Journal, said the move is part of its effort to expand its reach in the women's health market.

Internet Edition, June 27, 2007, Page 5


Over one hundred PR pros and members of the press gathered on June 19 to help Development Counsellors International settle in its new offices near Union Square in New York City.

The firm's new Park Avenue South digs—now only two months old—is nearly twice the size of its previous uptown offices, a move executives say mirrors the firm's expansion of technological capabilities and range of marketing communications services.

DCI posted over $5,500,000 in net fees for 2006, a growth of more than 31% from the pervious year, and is ranked 4th largest by O'Dwyers for travel and tourism PR.

Some of DCI's current tourism clients include Chile, Dubai, Northern Ireland, Miami and Tasmania.


Stanton Crenshaw Communications represented client Bain Capital as the private equity firm, along with Catterton Management Co. and company executives, sealed a deal to take OSI Restaurant Partners private in a $3.5 billion transaction.

A shareholder vote on the deal, which took about nine months to complete, was delayed for weeks after large shareholders pushed for a sweeter deal.

OSI’s restaurants include Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar.

Bain took a majority interest in OSI.


The Contra Costa County Employment and Human Services Dept. has issued an RFP for PR help for its Workforce Development Board.

The entity is a public policy body that oversees planning and development for the country’s workforce system.

A one-year PR contract worth $72K is planned. Proposals are due by July 6. Info:

Healthcare firm Chandler Chicco Companies has moved its Los Angeles offices to a larger space in Santa Monica.

The firm, which has a “no walls, no titles” mantra, is now at 1315 Lincoln Boulevard, #270, Santa Monica, CA, 90401.

BRIEFS: Idea Hall, Costa Mesa, Calif., has set up a green marketing and PR practice for companies looking to boost their green profile. Current clients include LPA, an architectural and design firm, and Watson Land Co., a commercial real estate developer. ...Dix & Eaton, Cleveland, said it is preparing for new SEC guidelines on annual reports and proxy materials to shareholders with a new product, ar360. The service combines IR counsel, design, electronic delivery and printing. The SEC will no longer require companies to mail proxy materials to shareholders as of July 1, although print copies can be requested.


New York Area

Connors Communications, New York/For Your Imagination, web series production and marketing, as AOR for PR, including launch and promotion of shows.

Cohen Consulting, New York/Tao Minerals Ltd., based in Medellin, Colombia, for PR and financial comms.

R&J PR, Bridgewater, N.J./International Playthings, for PR to support its toy and game brands.


Kirk Communications, Portsmouth, N.H. /IMT Partners, storage products and solutions for CIOs, as AOR.

Greenough Communications, Boston/Agilix Labs, e-learning platforms, for PR.

Matter Communications, Newburyport, Mass./arvato, a unit of Bertelsmann; Bitstream, font software development; Salestream Software, email software; X-Rite, color management and instrumentation software and hardware, and Vertus, graphics and imaging software.

Warschawski, Baltimore/Marble Slab Franchise Management, ice cream franchise system branded as Marble Slab Creamery, and MaggieMoo’s Franchise Management, ice cream chain, both owned by NexCen Brands, for PR. NexCen’s The Athlete’s Foot unit is also a client of the firm.

Pan Communications, Andover, Md./CooperEye; GlobalSCAPE; Helium; Hydro Int’l; Mirror Image; OrderMotion; Kodiak Venture Partners; Lean Enterprise Institute; Milton Hospital, and PlayNetwork.

The Spizman Agency, Atlanta/Sweet Success Enterprises, “healthy lifestyle” beverages, to develop a national brand and consumer awareness campaign for its GlucaSafe brand.


Ruder Finn, Chicago/Widevine Technologies, Internet Protocol TV security, for a PR program focused on the national business press. SVP Kristie Heins Fox and VP Charlotte Walker head the work.


Tellem Worldwide, Century City, Calif./Nevada Corporate Headquarters, for a national media relations campaign.

Citigate Cunningham, San Francisco/Fuzz, online music startup, for launch and ongoing PR.

Shift Communications, San Francisco/RealNetworks, as AOR for North America following a competitive pitch. The company did not have an AOR.

The Bateman Group, San Francisco/Baynote, content guidance software for business websites, and Spotplex, content aggregation service, as AOR for PR. Both are startups.

Gable PR, San Diego/Ichor Medical Systems, privately held biotech focused on DNA drug and vaccine delivery, for PR and media relations.


Inmedia PR, Ottawa/Acceleware Corp.; Cathexis Innovations, and Antibe Therapeutics. The firm’s new Boston office picked up TiE Boston.

Internet Edition, June 27, 2007, Page 6


Nine-year-old media training and TV production company Media Savvy has named a new partner, relocated to a new facility in Studio City, Calif., and bolstered its media training network in major markets.

Steven Lewis, a TV and Internet executive and producer who started his career at Rogers and Cowan, was named partner and CEO of the firm. Ramey Warren, founder and president of the firm, said Lewis’ appointment is in-line with MS’ goal of having TV producers handle media training.

Warren also said the company has boosted its media training network to cover New York, Chicago, Nashville, Orlando, Dallas, Atlanta and San Francisco.

Current clients include Disney TV, Fox Reality, and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.



News Broadcast Network has opened an office in Boston to cover the New England region.

Craig Greiner, director of client services, will head the new Milford Street outpost.

It is the company’s eighth office.

In other news, the company promoted Amanda Berlin to editorial director handling story development and news angles, in addition to previous work writing scripts, story treatments and media alerts.


Although 85 percent of agencies hire business development executives, the vast majority are gone within 18 months, according to a free report by bizdev firm Reardon Smith Whittaker. Two-thirds of the agencies that hired a new business guru in the last three years have replaced the person at least once. One-third have made more than one replacement, said RSW.

RSW said most agencies queried by the firm said that garnering new business is more difficult than it was three years ago. Forty percent said it was “harder” or “a lot harder” to get new business.

“The belief that bringing a new business manager in-house is the only way to effectively get the job of prospecting done is a fallacy,” said Mark Sneider, U.S. managing director for RSW.

The report can be downloaded at

Technology PR icon Larry Weber has penned “Marketing to the Social Web” (Wiley 2007) to educate marketers in a “time of marketing confusion.” Weber tackles the social media phenomenon and urges marketers to communicate with consumers, rather than at them. A review by O’Dwyer’s is pending. ... PRSA/Georgia will host a chapter luncheon, “Transforming a Company In Flight: How Delta Air Lines Told the Story of its Rebirth During 19 Months of Change" on July 12 at Maggiano’s-Buckhead, 3368 Peachtree Road N.E., Atlanta. Kent Landers, APR and Keyra Lynn Johnson, directors of external and internal comms. at Delta Air Lines, will speak. Contact Denise Grant, or 770/449-6369.



Phil Nourie, who ran his own Ruder Finn-affiliated firm, NouriePR, to Financial Relations Board, New York, as a senior VP. Nourie was previously with Citigate Dewe Rogerson, RF, Rubenstein & Assocs. and Shea Comms.

Julie Fisher, VP of U.S. neuroscience for Pfizer, to Chamberlain Healthcare PR, New York, as a senior VP handling P&G Pharmaceuticals and Abbott. She began her career in Pfizer’s medical comms. and education department.

Melissa Skabich, consultant, Freeman PR, to Coyne PR, Parsippany, N.J., as an A/S. She was previously an A/S for WWR PR and earlier was at the MWW Group and Cairns and Assocs. Beth Kimmerling, previously of Litzky PR, joins as an assistant creative director supporting new business. LauraLee Munson, comms. manager for the American Lung Assn., joins as a senior A/E on the Siemens account. Jonathan Pocius, prev. with Keating & Co., joins Coyne as an A/E.

Stephanie Milo, previously with the Nascar Foundation and Mullen Advertising, to McRae, Atlanta, as an A/E.

Sarah Fields has joined Denmark, Atlanta, as an A/E.

Rachel Lassiter, deputy press secretary for Gov. Phil Bredesen, to McNeely Pigott & Fox PR, Nashville, Tenn., as an A/S.

John Reinan, former reporter for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, to Fast Horse, Minneapolis, as a senior director. Amanda Mark, who handled comms. at the national headquarters of the American Red Cross in D.C., joins as a client relationship manager.

Steven Baisden, who handled corporate and investor comms. for Agilysys, to Cleveland Cliffs Inc., Cleveland, as director of IR and corporate comms. He was previously manager of IR and PR for OfficeMax through its ’04 acquisition by Boise Cascade Corp.

Michelle Andersen, a corporate and product comms. exec for Dotted Line Communications, to Oodle, a search engine for classified ads based in San Mateo, Calif., as director of comms. She was previously with Fleishman-Hillard.


Shelly Otenbaker to senior VP and Steve Blow to VP, Eisbrenner PR, Troy, Mich. Otenbaker, who joined the firm in 1996, handles clients like Harbour-Felax Group, Magna Aftermarket and Robert Bosch LLC. Blow works on ATX Technologies, Blue Water Automotive Systems and Henkel. He joined as an A/S in 2006.

Jean-Pierre Vasseur to president of Res Publica Consulting Group, Montreal. John Crean to national managing partner, National PR. Both firms are owned by Res Publica.


Lena Davie, VP for Hill & Knowlton, Tampa, to the board of directors of Recycle Florida Today, a non-profit. Davie has supervised a curbside recycling education program for the Aluminum Can Council, one of H&K’s largest marcom clients.

Internet Edition, June 27, 2007, Page 7

NYS PROBES NEW PRSA CFO (Cont’d from page 1)

member although such membership is claimed in the June 19 release. NYSSCPA is sending him a letter telling him to “cease and desist” claims of membership. The AICPA is looking into the matter.

The PRSA press release announcing his appointment referred to him as a “certified public accountant and business executive with more than 22 years of experience.”

The press release is on the PRSA website, which can be accessed by 31,000 members including about 9,000 students. The PR and advertising trade press also received the release. The extent of distribution to the general or business press is not known.

Licensed CPAs who use the term CPA in public when they are not registered may be subject to disciplinary actions and those who actually practice as a CPA without being registered are subject to criminal prosecution.

New York collects registration fees from tens of thousands of registered practitioners in 47 areas including medicine, law, various trades and accounting. These are considered “protected” activities that cannot be carried on without a paid-up registration.

CPA registration involves not only payment of a fee, but taking, in-person, 40 hours of educational courses or 24 hours of courses in auditing, accounting or taxation.

In response to queries, Janet Troy, VP-PR of PRSA, has sent two e-mails to this website. The first quoted New York law saying CPAs who are not engaged in public practice are exempt from the education requirements and fees. Bonaventura is on self-imposed “inactive” status with the Education Department.

The second e-mail said: “Thank you for your comments on CPA credentials. As you noted, ‘Your professional license is good for life.’ The press release is correct as issued, and Mr. Bonaventura is a licensed CPA.”

Attempts to obtain comment from Bonaventura, William Murray, who recently joined as president of PRSA, and Rhoda Weiss, elected chair and CEO of PRSA, were unsuccessful.

Rejoins NYSAE

The release on Bonaventura also listed the New York Society of Assn. Executives as among his memberships. Two calls were made to the NYSAE and both times this website was told he was not a member.

However, Tara Oehlmann, director of education and membership, said June 22 that Bonaventura renewed his membership last week after a lapse of a year and a half, paying the fee of $225.

Bonaventura was previously with the United Nations Assn. of the United States of America, whose directors include media figure Ted Turner, Maurice Greenberg, ex-CEO of AIG, and Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Ex-president Jimmy Carter is a chairman of the national council of the UNA-USA. The staff of 47 is based at 801 Second ave., New York. President is William Luers, who had a 31-year career in Foreign Service.

He was U.S. Ambassador to Czechoslovakia from 1983-86 and has headed UNA-USA since 1999.


Paula Davis, a top corporate PR executive for Siemens AG, is slated to join the Pepsi Bottling Group in early July as part of a realignment of its communications.

PBG, which is publicly traded and manufactures and distributes more than half of Pepsi-Cola products in the U.S. and 40 percent abroad, has also promoted a key investor relations executive, Mary Winn Settino, to take on more responsibility for PR and media relations.

Davis will be in charge of executive comms. strategy, employee comms., the PBG foundation and community relations upon joining the company on July 9. She has been executive officer and senior director of comms. and relationship marketing for Siemens.

In addition to Pepsi, PBG brands include Aquafina water, Mountain Dew, Lipton Ice Tea, and Mug root beer, among others. Sales for 2006 topped $12 billion.


Qorvis Communications reps the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, an opposition group whose members have been jailed by the military regime that seized power in January.

The Washington-based firm has neither a formal contract nor receives any compensation from the BNP. Qorvis, which has distributed a press release for the client, is unclear whether it will get any BNP money in the future.

The BNP is working to promote democracy in Bangladesh. The military government has banned all political activity, but promises to hold an election next year after it completes a crackdown on corruption.


Jason Schechter, senior VP at Robinson Lerer & Montgomery, has shifted to Burson-Marsteller’s corporate practice. Both units are owned by WPP Group.

As managing director-financial comms., Schechter will provide counsel on mergers/acquisitions, IPOs, restructurings, litigation PR and executive comms.

At RL&M, Schechter worked on the United Airlines’ Chapter 11 filing, America Online merger with Time Warner and the takeover of publisher VNU by private equity groups. He served in the Clinton Administration as asst. press secretary.

Josh Gottheimer is acting chair of B-M’s U.S. corporate practice.


Bob Madison took the senior director-corporate communications post at Tarrytown, N.Y.-based biopharma house Emisphere Technologies on June 25.

He is a Hoffmann-LaRoche veteran who handled PA for Pegasys, which markets hepatitis C therapies. That job had Madison running broadcast radio tours to hike awareness of hepatitis C.

Earlier, Madison served as comms. director for the American Liver Foundation, where he established the Think B program to educate Asian-Americans about the dangers of hepatitis B.

Madison also held posts at Porter Novelli and GolinHarris.

Internet Edition, June 27, 2007, Page 8




The botched announcement of Philip Bonaventura as CFO of PRSA (page one) is proof that PRSA should be put into ethical and professional receivership.

PRSA has become too much of an embarrassment to its members, the PR industry, and the people who join it such as Bonaventura and COO Bill Murray.

Bonaventura has suffered embarrassment and will probably be subject to a reprimand by New York State because of PRSA’s flawed press release on him.

False claims were made that he is a “Certified Public Accountant” when he is forbidden to use that title in public because he has dropped his registration.

He did not have current memberships in the national and New York CPA societies as claimed. At the time of the release, he had let his membership lapse in the New York Society of Assn. Executives for a year and a half. He should have studied the release by VP-PR Janet Troy.

She should have confirmed the memberships. Troy (or the board) has yet to issue a correction when the PRSA Code says errors by a member must be corrected “promptly.”

New COO Bill Murray is also responsible. He had almost no background in PR. The news of his appointment by PRSA was also botched. It was made in the week between Christmas and New Year’s, a “burial ground” for unwanted news. PRSA first said he would be available for interviews, then contradicted that and then reversed that. Murray had a disastrous telephone interview with PR students at Auburn University. They were shocked at his lack of knowledge of PR and unresponsive answers. They raked him over the coals in the student e-group.

Murray had one lunch with us in which we told him what we knew about PRSA and asked him to work towards better financial reports and democratizing PRSA (removing the APR rule for directors). He never spoke to us again nor answered any of our e-mails.

Both Murray and Bonaventura have backgrounds with major organizations as did Rob Levy, who was head of professional development and No. 2 staffer at PRSA for one year. He suddenly quit in June of 2004 after boosting PD income by 61% in the first half. PRSA can recruit experienced executives but how long do they stay?

We’re disappointed in Bonaventura’s appointment because we wanted a bona fide, registered CPA at PRSA in hopes that a CPA would rid PRSA of its substandard financial reporting practices. Either PRSA doesn’t want a CPA on staff because a CPA would “clean house,” or CPAs, aware of PRSA’s history, refuse to work for it.

Frustrated by the stubbornness of PRSA on financial topics, and unable to force it to change (like the FTC did in 1977 when it made PRSA remove anti-competitive articles from its Code after the Assembly refused to do so), we asked some of the CPA societies whether they would look into this. They told us we would have to file a formal complaint supported by documentation. A staff member said it was a “serious” matter to accuse a CPA of unethical behavior. We responded we think it’s a “serious matter” that members believe PRSA makes money on its national conference when it doesn’t; it’s “serious” when h.q. are moved downtown to 50% more space for 13 years without the Assembly knowing about it or having a say in it, and it’s “serious” when the beloved 1,000-page members’ directory is cancelled without the knowledge or approval of the Assembly. Were CPA groups “serious” about ethical enforcement and making CPAs live up to the “highest standards” (as the CPA Code says), they would investigate misleading, substandard audits on their own (once reports about this hit the public prints) and not wait for a citizen’s complaint or ask the citizen to compile evidence that is already on the public record. Police and firefighters, if they see a crime being committed or a fire, don’t wait for a complaint.

The intransigence of PRSA is hurtful to the Society. It’s one reason it had to go to the West Coast to recruit a COO. It’s one reason none of the six new directors last year had a major job at a blue chip and two blue chip directors quit the board (Gary McCormick of Scripps and Ron Owens of Kaiser Permanente). The six directors, who share blame for PRSA’s mismanagement by caving in to its culture of silence, secrecy and inaction, are Leslie Backus, solo practitioner, Davie, Fla.; Tom Eppes, manager, Charlotte office of Eric Mower & Assocs.; Dennis Gaschen, PR prof at Cal State/Fullerton and solo practitioner; Francis Onofrio, Mason Onofrio PR, Bethany, Conn.; Dave Rickey, Alfa Corp., Montgomery, Ala., and Christopher Veronda, internal PR specialist, Eastman Kodak, Rochester, N.Y. We doubt any blue chips will show up this year for nominations. No one wants to run from some districts which is why the board tried to eliminate five district directors last year and replace them with five at-large directors. The move failed.

The PRSA board continues to withhold the transcript of the 2005 and 2006 Assemblies from members and is refusing to release the 2006 IRS Form 990 report until the summer (thus blocking access to former COO Catherine Bolton’s remuneration for 2006 and other financial information). A member can get the full 2006 audit by sending $3 to h.q. (a document that should be on the PRSA website).

The “sting” operation conducted by Harper’s Ken Silverstein (page two), in which he lied about his identity in order to knock responses out of APCO Worldwide and Cassidy staffers, is a violation of journalistic ethics. Such tactics are unnecessary because there is already plenty of information available about the work of PR firms for foreign principals. Such filings are required by the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

--Jack O'Dwyer


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