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Internet Edition, September 5, 2007, Page 1


Barbour, Griffith & Rogers is spearheading a campaign to oust the current Prime Minister of Iraq Nouri al-Maliki on behalf of his political rival Ayad Allawi, a former interim head of Iraq.

BG&R, the well-connected Republican firm, will receive $300K for the work through January on behalf of Allawi and his Iraq National Accord political party. It is providing strategic counsel to Allawi and representation before the White House, Congress and media.

Allawi penned an op-ed piece in the Aug. 18 Washington Post in which he called for the dismissal of Maliki, and likened Baghdad to a “city of armed sectarian enclaves—much like Beirut in the 1980s.”

Ed Rogers, chairman BG&R and a top deputy to President Bush I, heads the Allawi account with Ambassador Robert Blackwell, former U.S. envoy to Iraq and President Bush II’s ex-deputy national security advisor for strategic planning. They are joined by Walker Roberts, a former staffer on the House International Relations Committee, and Andrew Parasiliti, a key member of BG&R’s team that won the nuke deal for India.


Bill Ichord, who was managing director of global affairs at the American Chemistry Council, has joined $12B Sempra Energy. He succeeds Tom Sayles, who exited the San Diego-based company last year.

The 52-year-old Ichord is a 17-year veteran of Unocal, where he rose to the VP/GM of government & international relations slot. Earlier, he held a VP post at Burson-Marsteller, and served as aides to Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Joe Biden (D-De.)

Sempra is parent to Southern California Gas and San Diego Gas & Electric, utilities that serve 20M customers. Jessie Knight is executive VP/external affairs.

Stephen Chavez, a seasoned Hispanic PR veteran, has joined Edelman from La Agencia de Orcí, where he was a VP, to head the firm’s multicultural practice. Chavez, who takes the title of SVP and U.S. director, is the third executive to lead the multicultural unit in the last year. He takes over for Peter Land, who was overseeing Edelman's sports and sponsorship division, along with the multicultural division, before stepping down last month. Former AT&T exec Rosa Alonso was tapped to head Edelman's multicultural practice last year before departing in early 2007 to start her own firm.

Chavez is based in Los Angeles, working with the 30-staffer team spread across the U.S. for clients like Unilever, General Electric, and Starbucks.


The Common Ground Alliance, the oil & gas group charged with the national “call-before-you-dig” 811 hotline to prevent damage to underground pipelines and cables, has issued an RFP for an eight-month, six-figure PR account.

It wants a firm to create a news bureau and perform other PR duties like handling media inquiries, reaching out to bloggers, website maintenance, and writing press materials.

Budget is capped at $15K/month over eight months.

Fleishman-Hillard’s Washington, D.C., office was tapped last year for a year-long contract to launch the 811 hotline, which was created for homeowners and contractors to call before digging or excavating to avoid the millions in dollars of damage done to underground conduits each year. Its contract lapsed in June.

Proposals are due Sept. 4.


Kwittken & Co. has picked up the Paul Stuart account as the upscale mainly men’s clothier seeks a “younger, but sartorially mature” market.

Jason Schlossberg, president of K&C, says the Madison Ave.-headquartered retailer “considered a number of fashion PR shops over a long period of time,” before selecting K&C.

The independent PR firm founded in `05 by former Euro RSCG chief Aaron Kwittken will handle the launch of Paul Stuart’s “Phineas Cole” sub-brand aimed at younger guys, revamp of the retailer’s women’s collection and festivities connected to its 70th anniversary next year. Paul Stuart Inc. is a family-owned business that has a store in Chicago, three in Japan and a presence in 40 department stores in Japan and South Korea.


Educators and working PR professionals rapped The Princeton Review's advice that college students interested in PR should take liberal arts and writing courses rather than PR courses.

What the field needs is people who can "communicate well in print, in person and on the phone," said the Review, which claims that one-half of those bound for college consult one or more of its products.

These include preparation for the SAT and other tests, an annual listing of the "best" colleges, and an annual ranking of the "best" party colleges.

The Review was founded in 1981 by Princeton grad

(Continued on page 7)

Internet Edition, September 5, 2007, Page 2


Fleishman-Hillard is handling the bipartisan presidential energy summit, a nationally televised event that will explore the roles that oil & gas, wind, solar, biofuels, and nuclear energy will play in the nation’s energy security picture, John Ambler, senior VP, told O’Dwyer’s.

“We have already received confirmations from some of the candidates and expect more to sign on during the next few weeks,” he said.

Ambler would not say which Democrats and Republicans have already agreed to participate in the three-hour session slated for Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center on Nov. 13.

F-H is promoting the confab on behalf of client, Greater Houston Partnership, a group that counts ExxonMobil, Chevron, CenterPoint Energy, ConocoPhillips and BP as executive partners. Chase and AT&T round out that list.

Ambler said the Sierra Club is a co-sponsor of the energy event. It was invited to “provide balance” to the proceedings.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry unveiled the Texas Bioenergy Strategy at a press conference at the Partnership’s headquarters in July.

He believes Texas can be a leader on bioenergy by tapping the know-how of the Lone Star State’s top three industries: oil & gas, agriculture and petrochemicals.

Perry noted that Texas, hardly known for its alternative energy work, ranks No. 2 in the U.S. in the production of wind power.

The state trails only California, which enjoys an environmental “halo.”


New York Counselor Howard Rubenstein has no comment about long-time former client Leona Helmsley, who left a $12M trust fund for her eight-year-old dog Trouble.

The New York Daily News and New York Post (Aug. 30) reported that Helmsley’s former maid has plenty to say about the pooch. Zamifira Sfara is horrified to learn about Trouble’s gains.

She claims the white Maltese regularly bit her, causing nerve damage. Sfara sued Helmsley in `05, but the case was dismissed.

The will of the former 87-year-old “Queen of Mean” was made public on Aug. 27. Trouble is to be cared for by Helmsley’s brother, Alvin Rosenthal.

Upon death, Trouble is to be buried beside Leona and husband Harry in their Westchester mausoleum, which must be “washed and steam cleaned at least once a year,” according to the will. Leona left $3M for mausoleum upkeep.

Rubenstein told the Aug. 21 Wall Street Journal that Leona, who was estranged from many of her family members, had recently reconciled with all of them. Her grandchildren “were with her at the end,” he said.

According to the will, Leona left money for two of her four grandchildren as long as they visit the grave of their father once a year.

The other two got nothing for “reasons that are known to them,” according to the will.


Saudi Basic Industries has revamped its “core communications” contract with Hill & Knowlton, upping annual fees over the $1M mark.

The $87,695 a-month pact covers deliverables such as media relations, news releases, global media kit development, advertising, conferences, quarterly strategic communications planning sessions, and the cost of a full-time H&K consultant in Riyadh.

SABIC, which is 70 percent owned by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, will inform H&K if additional services are needed beyond the core program.

Approval of those projects will be made only after H&K submits a detailed proposal covering costs.

H&K’s work for SABIC also includes work covering the possible acquisition of companies in the U.S. or investments made here.

SABIC, a chemicals, plastic, metals and fertilizer combine, also has an “oral agreement” with H&K for work separate from the core contract.

Compensation is based on H&K’s hourly rates and out-of-pocket outlays.


Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection is looking to hire a PR person versed in the ways of new media.

The Palo Alto, Cal.-based person will manage day-to-day relationships with the online space (social networking, search, portals, etc.).

The job also entails ACP website updates, partnership development, email/mobile list management and fundraising.

Resumes go to [email protected].

Gore’s group, meanwhile, is winding down its search for an agency to warn of the effects of global warming. The effort also will serve as a “call to action,” encouraging people to become “carbon neutral.”

The RFP calls for the “use of new and traditional media plus local action to move the world past a tipping point on the urgent and solvable global warming crisis.”

Gore and Alliance CEO Cathy Zoi will review pitches and select the winner


Kekst & Co., adding another struggling mortgage company to its roster, is handling communications for bankrupt American Home Mortgage Investment Corp., the Melville, N.Y., company that has laid off hundreds of workers amid a Ch. 11 filing.

Kekst is also working for mortgage company Luminent Mortgage Capital and the private equity affiliate KKR Financial, which is selling shares to offset its mortgage losses.

American Home, which was the 10th largest mortgage lender before filing for bankruptcy on Aug. 6, got approval from a federal bankruptcy judge on Aug. 29 for two of its affiliates to auction thousands of mortgage loans with an unpaid balance of more than $1.6 billion. The loans will be sold at auction on Sept. 11.
Kekst partner Joseph Kuo is handling AH. The firm was paid $50K by AH days before the company’s filing and has petitioned to keep working with the firm.

Internet Edition, September 5, 2007, Page 3


Quorum Productions produces "Kitchen Spaces," a half-hour program on cable TV's Food Network and WE that offers tips on cooking and serves as a showcase for the latest products/appliances.

The show has featured products from Heinz, Georgia-Pacific, Deep Foods and Haier. Guests have appeared from Chiquita Brands, Martha Stewart, Quaker Oats, Samsung Electronics and Sears.

They talk about latest trends and share "creative ideas to enhance the experience in the kitchen," according to Lysa Liemer, executive producer of the show.

She can be reached at or 954/571-5221


TravMedia, a news portal for travel industry pros has opened its first Middle East office in Dubai, in response to explosive growth of the tourism market there.

Sharon Garrett, managing director of TravMedia Middle East, says Dubai is a "travel-centric destination reliant on international PR to maintain its position as a destination of choice."

There are several major hotels set to open in `08, making it more crucial than ever to "have good contacts in order to reach the right media," according to Garrett, host of a weekly radio show called "Dubai Eye."

More than 10K journalists are registered with TravMedia, which distributes breaking news, high-resolution images and PR contacts.

TravMedia was founded in `00 by Australian Nick Wayland, a travel writer who wrote for the Age, Sun Herald and Courier Newspaper Group.

Dubai is TravMedia's seventh office.


WPP Group has invested in China Broadband Capital Partners, which owns a stake in MySpace China.

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., which owns MySpace, is a fellow investor in China Broadband.

The WPP investment, according to U.K.'s Telegraph, highlights CEO Martin Sorrell's willingness to experiment with investments outside the marketing services world.

WPP, owner of Hill & Knowlton, and Burson-Marsteller, would not comment on the amount of money that it plowed into CBCP.


NBC and Apple are dissolving their relationship to sell NBC TV shows on iTunes. Reports said NBC wanted more input on bundling and pricing than Apple was willing to offer.

The agreement is set to expire in December.

Apple said in a statement that it declined to pay more than double the wholesale price for each NBC TV episode, which would have resulted in the retail price to consumers increasing to $4.99 per episode from the current $1.99.

Shows from networks ABC, CBS, FOX and The CW, along with more than 50 cable channels, continue to be available on iTunes.


E.W. Scripps Co. is seeking a buyer for the Albuquerque Tribune, an afternoon paper that it has owned since 1923.

The Cincinnati-based company has hired Broadwater & Assocs. to find a "qualified buyer" for the AT. The paper will close if a suitable buyer is not found.

Rich Boehne, COO of Scripps, told AT staffers on Aug. 28 their paper has done an excellent job of "enlightening" readers in New Mexico, but readers throughout the country are finding "media alternatives to afternoon papers."

The Trib, which has 45 staffers, has been publishing under the first joint operating agreement, one forged in 1933. The partnership with Journal Publishing's Albuquerque Journal expires in 2022.

The Scripps paper has a paid circulation of 11K, down from 42K in 1988. The Journal's weekday circ is 106K.

In July, Scripps announced that it is killing the hometown Cincinnati Post and Kentucky Post with the expiration of a joint operating agreement with Gannett Co.'s Cincinnati Enquirer.

The last Post will be dated Dec. 31, capping a 126-year run.


The Wall Street Journal plans to rename its Saturday "Pursuits" section "Weekend Journal," which is the banner that it uses on Friday.

The New York Times reported the renaming is the first major step since Rupert Murdoch announced the $5B acquisition of Dow Jones & Co. by his News Corp.

The merger partners on Aug. 29 announced that they have received early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act. The merger is expected to be sealed during the fourth quarter.


New York's Fox 5 has launched, a high school sports website that will feature teams in the tri-state area, in a venture with Varsity Networks.

The site will get input from coaches, athletic directors, players, parents and fans. Some content will show up on Fox News' sports reports.

Fox 5 and VN will supply participating high schools with the software needed to join the program. Lew Leone, GM at Fox's WNYW, believes the venture will bolster the role of amateur sports and help teams celebrate success with a larger audience.

Jim Kaminsky, editor of Wenner Media's Men's Journal, is taking the editorial post at Alpha Media Group's Maxim on Sept. 17.

He replaces Jimmy Jellinek, who held the post during the past year when Dennis Publishing was trying to unload the "lad" magazine.

Kaminsky was an editor at Maxim before exiting for the MJ job.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, September 5, 2007, Page 4


General Electric's NBC Universal is buying London-based Sparrowhawk Media, which operates 30 pay-television stations in Europe, Asia, Middle East, Africa and Australia. It has 60M subscribers.

The deal inked with Sparrowhawk's private equity owners includes the Hallmark Channel in the U.K. and international rights to 580 Hallmark movies.

The Sparrowhawk acquisition is part of NBCU CEO Jeff Zucker's plan to double overseas revenues from $2.5 to $5B by 2010.

He told reporters that NBCU wants to buy fast growing businesses, while unloading slower growing operations.

NBCU is mulling a deal to buy cable channel Oxygen from billionaire and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen to line up with its iVillage website that targets females.

Much of Sparrowhawk's programming is geared to women.


Hearst Corp. is offering $600M to acquire the 27 percent of the Hearst-Argyle TV group that it does not own. It is offering $23.50 per-share, which represents a 15 percent premium of the average closing price over the past four weeks.

Hearst CEO Victor Ganzi is making the move because he believes the "competitive demands of the TV broadcasting industry and changes in the broader media industry, when balanced against the pressures of a public company to deliver short-term results" has convinced his board that private ownership for H-A is the best way for it to meet its strategic and business objectives.

Hearst, according to Ganzi's letter to the H-A board, originally envisioned that the "availability of a public currency would enable H-A to grow through acquisitions." The current investment landscape has altered that view.

H-A owns 26 TV stations that cover 18 percent of American households. It also owns more than 30 websites and multicasts 16 digital weather channels.

The company is projected to chalk up $780M in `07 revenues. It earned $17M during the second-quarter on $193M in revenues.


Europe's media are stepping up their push into the U.S. to offset declining newspaper sales at home and capitalize on the wish of many Americans to get another perspective on world events, according to BusinessWeek.

British media have been in the forefront, led by The Guardian, which aims to diversify its revenue, expand reach and increase journalistic opportunities, according to Carolyn McCall, CEO of Guardian Media Group.

BW reports that in May more Americans visited the Guardian website than Brits by a 6M to 4.4M margin. It credits the paper's "left-of-center" editorial stance for attracting the many Americans who oppose the Iraqi occupation.

McCall plans to hire more staffers and position the site as the "leading liberal voice" over the past 18 months.

Rupert Murdoch's The Times and the BBC have also enjoyed success in the U.S.

Robert Thomson, who heads the North America edition of the Times, says U.S. readers "want and need sophisticated political and global coverage."

The BBC's Jeremy Hillman says there is a "large appetite for the sort of news we produce."

BW also reports that Germany's Der Spiegel push into the U.S. is a shot to "show an international audience that we are a voice from Central Europe with a specific point of view," according to Mathias Mueller von Blumencron, its online editor.

One million of the magazine's six million monthly visitors read the English language version of the site.

People ____________________________

Marvin Kitman, who was syndicated columnist for Newsday, is the new media critic for the Huffington Post. He will write two columns a week for the news/views blog.

Kitman wrote for Newsday for 35 years, beginning in 1969. He was a frequent commentator on local New York City TV stations.

Kitman has just wrapped up a publicity tour for his book, "The Man Who Would Not Shut Up, The Rise of Bill O'Reilly."

Melissa Dowling has been promoted to editor-in-chief of Penton Media's Multichannel Merchant magazine and website.

The pub is for senior managers that sell products through multiple channels. Dowling joined in 1989 as a reporter.

Katherine Whiteside, garden contributor for the Huffington Post, has signed on as garden editor-at-large for Country Home, starting with the October issue.

She continues at HuffPost and as the outdoor lifestyle spokeswoman for the Propane Research and Education Council.

Nancy Bruner, VP of new media for the Seattle Times Co., has joined Fisher Communications, a Seattle-based owner of TV and radio stations, as VP of Fisher Interactive Networks.

Christine Guilfoyle, publisher of Reader's Digest Assn.'s Every Day with Rachel Ray since its launch in 2005, has been named publisher of Women's Wear Daily, starting in September.

She was formerly advertising director for Better Homes & Gardens.

Simon Cox has been promoted to VP of content for Ziff Davis' video game content platform 1Up Network. Cox had been creative director and earlier served as editor-in-chief of ZD magazines Xbox Nation and GMR.

Dan Hsu, editor-in-chief of ZD's Electronic Gaming Monthly, has been upped to editorial director while retaining the EIC duties.

Internet Edition, September 5, 2007, Page 5


Direct marketing veteran Stan Rapp has taken the reins of a new marketing firm looking to blend traditional and new media and backed by private equity firm Halyard Capital. Called "Engauge," the agency bills itself as a consortium and says it is focused on reworking the "advertising establishment."

Engauge is being built by acquisition. The agency has acquired Austin database marketing shop Direct Impact [not to be confused with the D.C.-based Burson-Marsteller grassroots unit of the same name] and ad agency Ten United, Columbus, Ohio, after looking at more than 100 marketing services companies. Annual billings for those two companies are around $40M. Engauge said it is planning additional acquisitions of "leaders in their respective marketing fields."

Rapp, 82, serves as chairman of Engauge while TenUnited's former chairman, Rick Milenthal, is CEO. Rapp noted the "old order" of marketing is "crumbling," and said the new venture is aimed at engaging customers in the most cost-effective manner, not, he noted, in the false choice between new and traditional media.

DI and TU will continue to operate independently into next year. Milenthal noted TU's "qualitative" resources combined with DI's data analytics will help determine what customers actually do, "not what they say they do." Start-up clients include TU's Airborne and Sears Optical, along with DI's Logitech.

Halyard is backed by financing from Merrill Lynch and Huntington Bank.

Rapp co-founded and ran the direct marketing agency Rapp & Collins with Thomas Collins for 23 years. He later joined McCann Erickson, part of Interpublic.

G.S. Schwartz & Co. is handling PR for the launch.

Trica Jean-Baptiste Communications, New York, has opened a London office in that city’s Mayfair district. President and founder Trica Jean Baptiste and director Kara Hoffman oversee the outpost, which replaces a previous office in Paris.

Clients of the eight-year-old firm include Terme di Saturnia Spa & Golf Resort (Italy) and The Carlton on Madison Avenue (New York). It has worked for the Dubai Trade Commission and Portugal and Scottish Tourist Boards.

The London office is at 16 Hanover Square.

BRIEFS: Potomac Communications Group of Washington, D.C., has moved to new offices, just around the corner from its M Street home of the last 10 years. The new address is 1133 20th Street, Suite 400. Bill Perkins, founding partner of the firm, says the larger space will help it serve new clients it has added this year, largely in two of its core practice areas, energy and trade associations. ...Janel Patti, an 11-year veteran of The Marcus Group, Little Falls, N.J., has been named to NJBIZ’ Forty under 40 list. ...O’Keeffe & Co., Alexandria, Va., picked up nine regional and national awards for its work for IT client CDW Government.


New York Area

Lou Hammond & Associates, New York/Caribbean Tourism Development Co., as AOR for PR following a competitive review. CTDC represents 32 countries and their hospitality partners.

Trylon SMR, New York/, online portal for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, as AOR for media relations.

Cornerstone PR, New York/The HYT ME Estate, Hamptons entertainment property, and Marithe & Francois Girbaud, for an upcoming jean line.

Krupp Communications, New York/Waterfront Media, online health publisher, as AOR, and Julie Morgenstern Enterprises, organization and time-management expert, for a brand assessment.

Mason Onofrio PR, New Haven, Conn./Blue Moon Mexican Cafe, for PR to support the chain’s growth plans. The work includes media and community relations, franchise support, and analyst relations.


Arketi Group, Atlanta/Focus, Washington, D.C.-based investment banking firm, as AOR for PR.

E. Boineau & Co., Charleston, S.C./Palmetto Detitling, title research and clearing for mobile homes, as AOR for marketing and PR.


GolinHarris, Chicago/Tyson Foods, as AOR for consumer products following a review. The firm has handled Tyson for years. SVP Amy Kennedy heads the account.

Sweeney, Cleveland/Corporate United, group purchasing organization, for research and external comms. A/S Katie Torok leads the account.

EMG, Cincinnati/Taiga Bioactives, for PR and advertising for a new line of lip care and personal care products.

Carmichael Lynch Spong, Minneapolis/Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, animal pharmaceuticals, as AOR. The firm recently lead the launch of Vetmedin Chewable Tablets, a drug for dogs. CLS also picked up Dixie-Pacific, a structural and decorative millwork products maker, for strategic comms.

Mountain West

Metzger Associates, Boulder, Colo./Colorado School of Mines’ Eight Continent Project, for national PR, new media comms. and marketing.


Brooks & Associates PR, Van Alstyne, Tex./Wescorp Energy, oil and gas operations services, for PR, IR and marketing.


Ogilvy PR Worldwide, San Francisco/The Tech Museum of Innovation, science and technology museum, for PR for its 2007 Tech Museum Awards, sponsored by Applied Materials in November.

Beck Ellman Heald, San Diego/Neuman & Neuman Prudential California Realty, for PR and marketing, and the Law Offices of Shaun Khojayan, criminal defense firm, for PR.


Weber Shandwick, Sydney, Australia/VeriSign, for PR in Australia as part of a global assignment.

Internet Edition, September 5, 2007, Page 6


Marketwire has acquired Collegiate Presswire, a content distributor targeting university print and broadcast media.

CP disseminates releases, photos and camera-ready content from companies and organizations to about 1,100 college media entities, higher education trade pubs, and websites. It also has an online press conference service that connects student journalists with newsmakers, and the electronic media monitoring system PressWatch.

Thom Brodeur, SVP of MarketWire, said CP will be combined with MW’s university distribution circuits to reach more than 2,200 colleges and universities.

CP was formed in 1998 by Matthew Farlie and Lisa Bannerot. Farlie joins MW as product manager for monitoring and reporting, while Bannerot will work on the the integration of the two companies. Both report to Brodeur.


Chicago executive recruiter Jean Cardwell, who has been recruiting in PR for 20+ years, says she has encountered ten searches for "strategic internal communicators" in the past several months.

"This is definitely a new trend," she said, with corporations willing to pay upwards of $200K for the right talent.

Some companies call it "internal branding," inculcating employees with the strategic message of the company so that they can spread it among their business associates and friends.

The job involves creating the corporate "brand" as well as disseminating it among internal audiences that include executives, the sales force, office and production workers, said Cardwell.

A good writing background including experience as a reporter or editor is highly desired, she added, acknowledging that writers are in short supply in the PR industry.

Internal PR people "must create short term as well as long term programs that support the business objectives of the company," said Cardwell. They must also be familiar with all forms of communications including internal websites. They must work with the CEO as well as the heads of all the business units to create a unified corporate approach, she said.

Companies Under Fire

Partially driving the trend, according to Cardwell, is the profusion of citizen blogs and anti-corporate websites that take a negative view of many corporate activities, resulting in declining morale among some employees. "CEOs see marketing to their own employees as a major goal," said the recruiter, who heads Cardwell Enterprises. "They realize that if their employees are not happy and satisfied they can be wooed away by other companies" and that it will also be hard to attract new employees.

PR firms that are latching onto the employee communications trend are doing extra well these days, she said. CEOs who don't reach out to their employees are going to have problems, said Cardwell.



Francesca DeMartino, director of IR for Omrix Biopharmaceuticals, to LifeCyclePharma, as director of IR and corporate comms. She is based in New Jersey for the Danish drug company. She was previously with GCI Group and The Ruth Group.

Marisa Sharkey, director of marketing and PR at Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia, to JFK Communications, Princeton, N.J., as a VP. She manages Eisai Oncology and Cytogen business.

Joy Jensen, director of comms. for Women Community Service, to Equals Three Communications, Bethesda, Md., as an A/S. Aaron Crossland signs on as an asst. A/E.

Jennifer Aleknavage, comms. manager for LexisNexis, to Welz & Weisel Communications, Fairfax, Va., as a director. She was previously director of PR for ISM Inc. Suzanne Linville has joined the firm as an A/E from 104 West Partners in Denver.

Kris Musumeci, a top Washington healthcare pro, has joined ICF International, the Fairfax, Va.-based consulting firm that is best noted for managing Louisiana's troubled “Road Home” campaign to help victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. She served as COO of Equals Three Communications, a social marketing firm in Bethesda, and COO of the Matthews Media Group. At Matthews, Musumeci helped grow the company from a 20-person staff to 160 members leading up to its acquisition by Omnicom.

Ellen Stanley and Mimi Koumanelis have been promoted to VPs, of comms., ventures, and comms., mission programs, respectively, for The National Geographic Society, Washington, D.C. The promotions are part of a revamp of the Society’s communications division under EVP Betty Hudson, who oversees strategic comms. and PR across its properties like magazines, licensing, mission program activities and media ventures. Stanley handles media relations for the Society’s TV production, film, music and radio, home entertainment, and digital properties. Koumanelis handles its Explorers-in-Residence, the All Roads Film Festival, museum exhibits and traveling exhibitions like the Tutankhamen exhibit.

Heather Radi to senior A/E, The Pen Group Communications, Coral Gables, Fla.

Sarah Murov, PR director the Palms South Beach and The National Hotel, to Lowes Miami Beach Hotel, as director of PR.

Matt Kamer, deputy comms. director for the Louisville Mayor’s Office, to Bandy Carroll Hellige, Louisville, Ky., as director of PR and new client projects. He was previously with Guthrie/Mayes PR.

Steve Filmer, a TV reporter and former consumer editor for “Good Morning America,” to American Traffic Solutions, Scottsdale, Ariz., as director of comms. The company markets red light cameras and toll enforcement services for traffic safety programs.

Donna Vandiver, president and CEO of The Vandiver Group in St. Louis, was elected president-elect of the Pinnacle Worldwide network of PR firms. She becomes president in 2009. TVG has been in Pinnacle since 1999.

Internet Edition, September 5, 2007, Page 7


John Katzman but has no connection to Princeton.

However, Benita Steyn, PR professor at Cape Peninsula University, South Africa, said the Princeton name gives credibility to the Review's opinions and "Nobody knows it's not the University's own publication." What was written "would be acceptable on a blog but not in the career section of any publication," she said.

Joe Trahan, Ph.D., chair of the Educators Academy of the PR Society, said: "How dare you send me this stuff? The Princeton Review people evidently know absolutely nothing about PR education today."

He noted PR degree programs approved by the Society put "heavy emphasis on liberal arts education" and PR Student Society graduates "are superb communicators who conduct solid research-unlike your Princeton friends-and solve problems daily worldwide!"

Donald Wright, Ph.D., professor of PR in the College of Communication, Boston University, said the Review was incorrect in saying that PR students don't get a "broad education."

Only one year of a four-year program is usually devoted to communications and PR courses and "many PR graduates wind up taking more liberal arts courses than liberal arts majors." There are plenty of vocational courses in medical, law, nursing, engineering and other professional schools, he added.

The article, he continued, appears to contradict what is said about PR on some other pages of the Review. [A section under Major: Public Relations, quotes Kent State University as saying PR is "the strategic manager of communication and relationships between organizations and their key publics" and describes numerous skills needed to practice it].

He also said the author should be identified.

Ray Kotcher, CEO of Ketchum, holds a Master's Degree in PR from BU, Wright noted, and Jon Iwata, SVP of communications at IBM, majored in PR at San Jose State University.

"I wonder if the author of this article is as successful as Ray or Jon?" he asked.

Commission on PR Education Comments

Dean Kruckeberg, Ph.D., PR professor, University of Northern Iowa, and John Paluszek, senior counsel at Ketchum, who are co-chairs of the PR Society's Commission on PR Education, found the Review's take on PR to be "rather limited and somewhat negative."

The 2006 Commission report, "The Professional Bond…PR and the Practice" ( says "coursework in PR should be built on a foundation of liberal arts, social science, business and language courses."

Kruckeberg and Paluszek point out that the report stresses "the need for excellent writing skills."

The Professional Bond, they note, says that "PR must be interdisciplinary and broad, particularly in the liberal arts and sciences." The report outlines how such an education can be structured.

Jay Rayburn, associate professor, Dept. of Communications, Florida State Univ., said, 'It is apparent that the person who wrote this article knows nothing about PR."

A good PR education, he said, teaches not only writing skills but "PR management, analysis of PR cases, the legal issues facing the profession, the research methodologies professionals use, ethics, and much more." English and journalism majors do not have the benefit of such courses, he said.

Tom Harris Agrees with Review

Tom Harris, co-founder of Golin Harris, author of The Marketer's Guide to PR, and who taught 14 years in the master's program in Integrated Marketing Communications at the Medill School of Journalism of Northwestern University, said he "agreed 100%" with the Review.

Said Harris: "I wouldn't waste my precious time in undergraduate school on vocational subjects like advertising or PR. This is the greatest time in life for young people to learn about the world in which we live and work. I was an English major at the University of Michigan and always looked kindly on English majors when I was hiring college grads."

He said "College should be about learning to think, solve problems and communicate" but life should not be "all work." He urged undergrads to take some courses in art and music.

Subjects like psychology, sociology, history, political science and economics are "invaluable to an educated person," he added.

Past Pres. of CPRS Comments

Jean Valin, past president of the Canadian PR Society, said PR pros must speak out more if they are to change the perception of PR that was presented in the Review.

Valin, whose remarks were one of a number of comments on about the Princeton Review article, asked: "How often have we taken positions on controversial issues? Are we vigilant about the abuses that take place and are we quick to explain what PR is really all about?"

He said it is "overly simplistic to equate what we do to image-making and to dismiss our profession as one that engages in less than honest practices."

Toni Muzi Falcone, past president of the Italian PR Assn., said the Review article should motivate the American and PR communities to "ask what is wrong with their current approach and how and when it intends to correct it?"

He noted that a 2005 Harris Interactive poll conducted for the PR Society found that 85% of consumers in the weighted poll agreed that "PR professionals may sometimes take advantage of the media to present misleading information that is favorable to their clients" and that 79% believe PR pros "are only interested in disseminating information that helps their clients make money."

The Harris/PRS poll "blatantly contradicts what we say and presumably believe what we are all about," said Muzi.

J-Schools Needed "Cash Cow"

Several PR pros commented that PR courses were introduced to journalism schools to boost flagging enrollment and the current trend is to combine journalism, PR, marketing and speech courses under a "communications department" to save administrative costs.

Some professors noted that there are "far more students majoring in PR today than there are jobs for them when they graduate."

Internet Edition, September 5, 2007, Page 8




The Princeton Review debacle (pages 1 & 7) puts the spotlight on PR, PR education, the definition of PR, and the PR community's lack of a response mechanism.

The Review's advice against taking undergraduate PR courses will be followed by many college students.

The Review should not be allowed to use the word "Princeton" in its name. The school lost a legal challenge some years ago, withdrawing its claim after the Review said it would "routinely use a disclaimer" that it was not connected with the University.

That doesn't satisfy PR professors nor us. The company should fly its correct flag, i.e., "Collegiate Review."

Its anti-PR advice has sparked dozens of e-mails from PR professors and PR pros in the U.S. and abroad that are on,, and prmindshare.

The University has told us it would entertain a rebuttal to its advice against PR courses. But first, PR must get its house in order. There is no accepted definition of PR.

It's a conflicted field because PR at one and the same time promises to be a sales function and an information function. It wants to eat its cake and have it, too. It's like a real estate salesperson also wanting to do the inspection on the house.

PR's image with the public is not good. The 2005 Harris Interactive/PRS poll found 85% of consumers feel PR pros sometimes present "misleading information" and 79% believe PR pros "are only interested in distributing information that helps their clients make money." A 1999 PRS/Rockefeller survey found "PR specialist" was 43rd in credibility on a list of 45 public spokespeople. PR's image with the press is even worse (i.e., Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten calling PR people "pathetic dillweeds" because PR contacts on releases could not answer his questions (6/13/07 NL). Such comments are rife in the press. There are nine books about PR with the word "spin" in their titles. "PR" has mostly been replaced by "communications" at corporations. The Princeton Review says "communications" is the eighth most popular major (after English) and that such majors learn how to "influence individual and group behavior."

One solution could be separating PR, which is mostly a sales and marketing function, from the public information function. Bring back the title of PI and put someone in it who can take press calls and not be easily offended. Sometimes reporters only want cold, hard facts. As Lincoln said, "cold, unimpassioned, reason is the only acceptable form of public discourse."

Some bloggers wanted to know where PRS stood in this debate. Nowhere is the answer.

The head of the Educators Academy, Joseph Trahan, Ph.D., a "media trainer" in McDonough, Ga., said the Review "evidently knows nothing about PR education today." That's not the answer that's needed. Trahan's picture on the PR Student Society website shows him sitting in his office holding a mug (is beer or coffee in it?). That doesn't create the proper image. He's also co-chair of the 60th anniversary committee of PRS and we're waiting for something from him on that. The celebration supposedly started July 1 but we have yet to see anything in the media about it.

Trahan is only a volunteer and has his business to run. The problem is the 55-member staff of PRS which has two PRS members on it when there should be a dozen. A full time "brain trust" is needed to tackle problems like the Review, the definition of PR, "PR for PR," etc.

PRS leaders have to face the Assembly Oct. 20 in Philadelphia and they're racking their brains on how to handle what could become an unruly mob.

Delegates should be meeting right now via e-mail and blogs, setting their own agenda and debating such issues as the lack of PR pros at h.q. (like a hospital with no doctors); misleading PRS financial reports (they should have a six-months report by now plus the 2006 IRS Form 990); the return of the printed members' directory (telephone books have not been abandoned!); again considering the Central Michigan proposal to have the Assembly set policy as is done at the AMA and ABA; expelling the nearly 50 board members, section and district chairs from the Assembly since they should not be voting on their own initiatives; stopping directors from returning to the board as an officer; ending the APR rule for national posts; demanding immediate print-outs of Assembly electronic votes so everyone can see who voted for what (standard procedure in legislatures).

But instead of asking the delegates about substantive topics like the ones above, Assembly co-chairs Brad Rye of Eric Mower & Assocs. and Dave Rickey of Alfa Corp. are polling the delegates on such topics as their age (30 or younger, 31-40, etc.); gender; APR or not; years as an APR; who's paying for their trip; attend the conference?; whether they are getting instructions from their chapter boards or members; how they were picked; first Assembly? and whether they expect to "deal with matters of great importance to PRS"…COO Bill Murray at a delegates' teleconference Aug. 29 threw a monkey wrench into any thoughts delegates might have of meeting electronically during the year as was proposed by a task force. New York law demands in-person meetings of groups like the Assembly, he said. Instead, he and PRS leaders should be encouraging the delegates to meet all year long electronically, communicating with rank-and-file members, and expressing their wishes to the board. If a legal vote is needed, a one-third Assembly quorum could quickly be arranged. Had the above been practiced, odds are the members would not have allowed abolition of the old Ethics Code, would have blocked suspension of the 1,000-page directory, and would have debated at length whether to sign a 13-year, $6 million lease on offices downtown…the PRS board, unable to get candidates from some districts, is again proposing that five "regions" replace the ten districts.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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