The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, September 26, 2007, Page 1
Blankley, who was former House Speaker Newt Gingrichs
Press Secretary, has joined Edelman in Washington as executive
VP-global public affairs.
credentials include speechwriter and senior policy analyst
in the Reagan White House, editor of the Washington Times
editorial page and author of The Wests Last
Chance: Will We Win the Clash of Civilizations.
also has named two high-profile DemocratsToby Moffett
and Paul Bledsoeas strategic counselors.
is a former Congressman from Connecticut and VP at Monsanto.
He remains chairman of PLM Group, the entity forged by Tony
Podesta and Bob Livingstons lobbying firms.
handled communications for climate change issues in Bill
Clintons White House and worked in the Dept. of Interior
under Bruce Babbitt.
C&M WORKS HILL FOR BLACKWATER.
C&M Capitolink serves
as Washington representative for Blackwater USA, the private
security firm that centers in the Sept. 16 shooting of eight
Iraqi civilians in Baghdad.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri
al-Maliki has brandished that incident a criminal
act, and wants the U.S. military to use guards from
another contractor to protect State Dept. staffers and civilian
Blackwater maintains that
its personnel acted in self-defense. Anne Tyrrell, spokesperson
for the North Carolina-based company, confirmed that C&M
reps the company. She added that crisis firm Corallo Comstock,
which provided media training in April for Blackwater officials
who testified in Congress about waste in Iraqi contracts,
is no longer on the payroll.
C&M has received $300K
from Blackwater since it began work in Feb. `06. It is charged
with responding to Congressional inquiries about activities
and capabilities of private security contractors and exploring
ways to attain proper oversight and accountability.
Paul Behrends, a former
senior advisor for international relations and national
security affairs to Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Cal.) and retired
Lieutenant Colonel from the Marine Corps. Reserves, was
the initial staffer on that account.
The C&M team has grown
to include Deborah Atwood, a veteran of the Bush I and II
Administrations, and Paul Noe, former counselor to the administrator
of the Office of Management & Budgets Office of
Information Regulatory Policy.
LEVICK LEADS ARAB NASDAQ BID.
Levick Strategic Communications
is handling the Government of Dubais audacious bid
for a 19.99 percent stake in the Nasdaq electronic stock
market of more than 3,200-listed companies.
Michael Robinson, senior
VP at Levick, is leading that effort. He is a former communications
director at Nasdaq, and public affairs and policy chief
for ex-Securities and Exchange Commission chief Harvey Pitt.
The United Arab Emirates
entity formed Borse Dubai in August as a holding
company to house Dubai Financial Market and Dubai International
With the Dubai deal, Nasdaq
will acquire BDs shares in OMX Group, the Stockholm-based
market that runs exchanges in Scandinavia and the Baltic
Sloane & Co. handles
PR for Nasdaq.
HARMON TRUCKS TO NAVISTAR.
Jon Harmon, a PR blogger
and 23-year veteran of Ford Motor Co., has taken the new
VP-corporate communications post at truck, bus and engine
maker Navistar International Corp.
Harmon had been recently
running his own shop, Force for Good Communications.
At Ford, he was director
of North American product public affairs, handling PR for
the Ford Mercury and Lincoln brands. He was also director
of communications strategy, charged with grooming Fords
PR staff for developments like citizen-generated media,
globalization of consumer networks and social responsibility.
He guided PR during the Ford-UAW labor strife in 1996, the
Ford-Firestone tire crisis in 2000-01, and Fords centennial
At Warrenville, Ill.-based
Navistar, Harmon reports to VP of corporate human resources
and administration Gregory Elliott.
INDIANAPOLIS ISSUES RFP FOR
Indianapolis is looking
for outside help to produce an integrated marketing plan
for its popular White River State Park, described as the
citys version of the National Mall in Washington,
The marketing co-op that
promotes the $200M, 250-acre park has issued an RFP for
a two-year contract for PR, marketing and some media buying.
The park encompasses two museums, the city zoo, NCAAs
headquarters, the Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial,
a minor league ballpark, a summer concert venue, an IMAX
theater and other attractions.
The RFP can be downloaded
here at www.in.gov.
Edition, September 26, 2007, Page 2
HANDLES LINDBERG EXPANSION.
Novelli is promoting the need to expand capacity of San
Diegos Lindberg Field on behalf of the San Diego County
Regional Airport Authority.
Federal Aviation Administration, in September, put the San
Diego airport on its list of facilities with the most pressing
need for expansion.
FAA warned that without more capacity by 21, LF could
have a negative impact on the nations transportation
which is formally known as San Diego Intl Airport,
handled 17.5M passengers in `06. That made it No. 1 among
single runway airports. Authority officials have outlined
a $650M blueprint to add more boarding gates and parking
spaces by 2015.
long-term expansion program may call for greater integration
of flights between Lindberg and Tijuanas Rodriguez
Intl Airport in Mexico.
B-M GOES DIGITAL
FOR NEW ABE.
helped unveil the new security-laden U.S. $5 bill on Sept.
20 with a modern twist that previewed the currency on the
won a $35M contract with the Treasury Dept. last year to
launch the new $5 and upcoming $100 notes.
new note, which features splashes of purple and two watermarks
to foil counterfeiting, was kicked off on the web at www.moneyfactory.gov/newmoney
in a press event called Wi-5 by the Treasury.
The bill enters circulation next year to be followed by
a new $100 note.
effort was the first time the U.S. government unveiled a
new currency online, according to B-Ms Penny Kozakos,
who handled the online press conference. Podcasts, an online
press kit, and other interactive features were included
in the launch.
Wall Street Journal called the preview of the Abraham
Lincoln note flashy, while the Associated Press
noted the high-tech unveiling.
had previously released new $20 and $50 bills, along with
the last new $100 bill in 1996.
LOUISIANA GUARD IMAGE EFFORT
The federal government
has cancelled plans for a strategic communications effort
to assess and improve the image of the Louisiana National
An RFQ was issued on Sept.
14 but cancelled five days later noting that the matter
could be addressed next year depending on funds.
Public affairs officer
Major Michael Kazmierzak, who was overseeing the search
for a vendor, told O'Dwyer's that "a change in requirements
resulted in the cancellation."
The U.S. Property and
Fiscal Office, which oversees National Guard funds, was
overseeing the solicitation. The plan was for a firm to
conduct market analysis in the hurricane ravaged state in
cities like Lake Charles, Lafayette, New Orleans and Baton
Rouge to gauge public perception of the Guard, improve its
image, and identify and work to correct problems in recruiting.
The USPFO also planned
on calling on a firm to assess the internal image of the
LNG based on input from its members.
INDEPENDENT PRS STUDENT CHPTS
The Western District of
the PR Society on Sept. 21 proposed allowing student chapters
at colleges other than the 286 that are "certified"
Such chapters would no
longer have to be "affiliated" with an existing
PRSS chapter. There are about 4,000 colleges and universities
in the U.S.
student chapters that are "affiliated" with a
nearby regular student chapter are currently allowed.
Students in the independent
chapters would be "encouraged" to take PRS's online
educational seminars and workshops. Taking PR courses in
a nearby school or other online PR instruction is also advised.
"This amendment shall
encourage students interested in PR to form an associate
PRSS chapter and pursue education in topics important for
a solid background for a PR practitioner," says the
The current arrangement
was made after 2002 PRS president Joann Killeen and others
proposed that all interested college students be allowed
to join PRS directly as "student members" without
being in a PRSS chapter. The proposal was placed on the
agenda of the 2002 Assembly.
U.N. LAUDS CONDOM WORK BY
Weber Shandwick has picked
up the United Nations Grand Award for outstanding `07 achievement
in PR for its campaign in India to promote condom use as
part of safe sex and family planning.
The Say Condom Freely
program by Corporate Voice/Weber Shandwick targeted the
declining rate of condom use by addressing the sensitivity
surrounding the discussion of condoms.
The PR pitch also shot
down the notion that condoms are only for people in high-risk
The campaign from the
Interpublic unit ran in Indian states that comprise 45 percent
of the countrys one billion people. It was a collaboration
among the U.S. Agency for International Development, Lowe
Lintas (an Interpublic ad agency), ICICI Bank, and Indias
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
WS will receive the award
during an International PR Assn. ceremony in London on Nov.
6. IPRA sponsors the award with the U.N.s Dept of
MEMORIAL SLOAN SEEKS PA HELP.
Cancer Center, the world's "oldest and largest private
institution devoted to the prevention, patient care, research
and education in cancer," is looking to hire a VP-PA.
The position reports to
MSKCC's president. It calls for oversight of media relations,
print publications, websites, special events and community
The VP will oversee a
staff of 22 people and a budget of $3M. The New York-based
facility wants somebody with a 10-year background in either
government or academia. The individual must have a working
understanding of the language of research, biology, medicine
Resumes go to John Gunn,
executive VP, c/o Clara Irizarry ([email protected]).
Edition, September 26, 2007, Page 3
SUES CBS OVER MEMOGATE.
Rather is suing CBS, his former employer of 44 years, for
alleged breach of contract following his removal from the
anchor chair after his report on President Bush's National
suit names CEO Les Moonves, former president Andrew Heyward
and Viacom executive chairman Sumner Redstone as defendants.
contends his removal as CBS anchor was part of a "scheme
to appease angry government officials."
alleges that Redstone at a Viacom board meeting became "enraged
that the broadcast has hurt CBS in the eyes of the Bush
Administration, and exclaimed that Rather and anyone associated
with him must go."
claims he was forced to read an apology for the story. That
apology was penned by CBS VP chief Gil Schwartz.
who now works for Mark Cuban's HDTV venture, says he will
donate the bulk of his legal winnings to "causes that
will further journalistic independence."
has dismissed Rather's suit as "old news."
MTV UNVEILS SOCIAL ACTIVISM
Viacom's MTV Networks
unit has launched Think.MTV.com,
a site to engage and inform young people about the issues
of the day.
It is a "place where
everyone from sunny day volunteers to die hard activists
can get educated, get connected, get heard, get active and
get rewarded," according to its release.
The launch follows an
MTV "Just Cause" survey showing that 80 percent
of young people want to take action to make a difference
in their community, but only 19 percent are "very involved"
with social organizations.
The respondents named
discrimination, global warming, sexual health, poverty,
immigration and terrorism among important topics. The MTV
social network is a project of the Bill and Melinda Gates,
Case, Goldhirsh and MCJ Amelior Foundations.
NYT ENDS PAID ONLINE PROJECT.
The New York Times
has pulled the plug on TimesSelect, the paid access portion
of its website that featured the work of 23 columnists.
It had been charging $49.95
a year for TimesSelect. The NYT attracted 227K paid subs
during the two years of the project.
The Times dropped TimesSelect
because future growth on the subscriber front paled in comparison
with the potential to sell ads. The paper also noted that
the "online landscape has altered significantly"
Most readers now arrive
at the Times site via search engines, social networks, and
blogs, compared to going directly to nytimes.com
as in the recent past. Those people, in the Times' view,
are less likely to pay for articles.
The NYT site attracts
13M unique visitors a month, making it Nielsen/NetRatings'
No. 1 newspaper site.
The Wall Street Journal
charges for its site, but incoming owner News Corp. CEO
Rupert Murdoch plans to review that strategy.
SEIB UPPED AT WSJ/D.C. BUREAU.
Jerry Seib, Wall Street
Journal D.C. bureau chief, has been upped to assistant
managing editor and executive Washington editor. John Bussey,
one-time editor of the WSJ/Asia paper, succeeds Seib.
Seib, according to a memo
from D.C. managing editor Marcus Brauchli, is to resume
writing his "Capital Journal" column, and is to
be the WSJ's news department D.C. TV "face."
Bussey assumes responsibility
for covering the White House, Congress, politics, government
policy and regulation.
Both take their new jobs
on Nov. 1.
AOL MOVES TO BIG APPLE.
Time Warner's AOL unit
is moving its headquarters from Dulles, Va. to New York
City because that is the "center of the advertising
The online unit also unveiled
"Platform A," with the move to provide marketers
a more sophisticated targeting capability.
Curtis Viebranz, the former
CEO of AOL's Tacoda acquisition, has been named executive
VP and president of Platform A, which reaches 90 percent
of AOL's domestic audience.
Viebranz reports to COO
CRUICKSHANK EXITS SUN-TIMES.
John Cruickshank, publisher
of Chicago Sun-Times, is leaving the paper after
seven years for a chance to head the news division of the
Canadian Broadcasting Corp. He also exits the COO slot of
Sun-Times Media Group's 100 papers in the Chicagoland area.
Cruickshank is a former
editor-in-chief of the Vancouver Sun and managing
editor of the Toronto Globe & Mail. He became
publisher of the CS-T in `03.
At CBS, Cruickshank takes
over for Tony Burman, who retired during the summer.
WSJ EYES MAG FOR WEALTHY.
The Wall Street Journal
has penciled in Sept. `08 for the launch of Pursuits,
a monthly glossy magazine aimed at high-rollers.
Pursuits, according to
WSJ publisher Gordon Crovitz, is to extend the Journal's
"highly successful business of life franchise."
Pursuits promises to capture
an "intimate view of the world of wealth, from luxury
goods and travel to art and investing," according to
the corporate announcement.
Robert Frank, WSJ's wealth
reporter and author of "Richistan," is expected
to play a major role at Pursuits.
The magazine will be delivered
to 800K selected subscribers to the WSJ, and its content
will be available free online at wsj.com.
Pursuits was the name
of the lifestyle section in WSJ's Saturday paper.
News Corp., which is acquiring
WSJ parent company Dow Jones & Co., has given the okay
for the magazine launch.
news continued on next page)
Edition, September 26, 2007, Page 4
PICKS UP REALAGE.COM.
Corp. is acquiring RealAge Inc., a consumer health media
company and information database.
company delivers health and wellness information (and advertising)
to consumers who have taken the RealAge Test, an analysis
of 125 factors that influence the rate of aging.
test allows consumers to make lifestyle changes to reduce
the impact of aging. RealAge co-founder Michael Roizen wrote
"RealAge: Are You as Young as You Can Be?" a book
that has been promoted by Oprah Winfrey.
RealAge site averaged 2.1M monthly unique visitors and 22M
page views through the first-half of this year.
expects its women magazines such as Good Housekeeping,
Marie Claire, Redbook, Cosmopolitan
and O, The Oprah Magazine to achieve synergies with
is to become part of the Hearst Digital Media unit.
ALBRECHT HEADS IMG'S MEDIA
Chris Albrecht, who was
forced to resign as CEO of Time-Warner's HBO in May, has
joined talent agency IMG as head of its global media business.
Albrecht exited the cable
programmer following reports that he assaulted his girlfriend
in a Las Vegas parking lot.
He will head a $250M media
and entertainment fund that is being raised by financier
Ted Forstmann, who purchased IMG in `04.
At HBO, Albrecht was responsible
for development of "Sex in the City," "The
Sopranos," "Six Feet Under," "The Wire,"
"Deadwood" and "Band of Brothers."
Albrecht is one-time owner
of "The Improvisation" nightclub in New York.
He also was a talent agent at International Creative Management,
where he signed Whoopi Goldberg, Jim Carrey and Billy Crystal.
Sard Verbinnen does PR
NYT, WPP TAKE GAY-FRIENDLY
New York Times Co., Starcom MediaVest Group and CMP Media
are the most gay and transgender worker-friendly
companies among the 13 media and marketing communications
companies ranked by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation,
which released its sixth corporate equality index survey
of 519 U.S. businesses.
The trio scored a perfect
100 percent in the six categories measured by the group.
Those sectors cover discrimination,
diversity training, partner benefits and appropriate
and respectful advertising, marketing or philanthropy.
WPP Group aced archrivals Interpublic and Omnicom.
The conglom scored a 93
percent falling a bit short for lack of a firmwide
diversity council or employee-supported employee resource
IPG notched 60 percent,
which was twice OMCs score. Vertis Inc. shared the
basement with OMC.
On the media side, Thomson
West trailed NYTC and CMP with a 95 percent ranking.
It was followed by McGraw-Hill
Cos. (80 percent), Gannett (65 percent), Scholastic (50
percent), Dow Jones & Co. (30 percent) and R.R. Donnelley
& Sons (20 percent).
HRCF reports that 195
businesses registered a perfect score, up from 138 last
BARBOURS IPG TIES PROBED.
Mississippi Governor Haley
Barbour may not have sold his Interpublic Group stock as
he told the Associated Press after his `03 election, according
to the New Republic.
The former chairman of
the Republican party acquired the IPG holdings when he sold
his lobbying firm Barbour Griffith & Rogers to the ad/PR
combine in `99.
The NR, however, acquired
an apparent copy of Barbours blind trust agreement
that was dated Feb. 27, `04, six weeks after he took office
in Jackson. That document lists ownership of nearly 50,000
According to TNR, maintaining
ties to a powerful K Street firm while holding high public
office would strain even the most liberal ethics regime.
The magazine noted that
Barbours nephews, Henry and Austin Barbour, joined
Capitol Resources in `03 shortly after his election. CP
shares BG&Rs clients such as Northrop Grumman
and Lorillard Tobacco Co.
TNR contacted Barbours
office about the trust, but was told, Its a
blind trust, which means we dont talk about it.
Ryan Annison refused to answer a list of questions submitted
by TNR. He dismissed them as full of inaccuracies
and innuendo, and added: Tell your sources and
allies at the Democrat Party we send our regards.
The magazine concedes
there is no way to know for certain whether Barbour sold
his IPG holdings. It did note that Barbour visited his old
shop on June 19, exiting after a 90-minute meeting.
IPR sold BG&R back
to Lanny Griffith and Ed Rogers in `04. It is a source of
speculation whether Barbour repurchased a stake in the firm.
Monjo has been promoted to VP/editor-in-chief of
Home magazine, in addition to her responsibilities
as EIC of Womans Day Special Interest Publications.
Home is published eight
times a year with a rate base of 800K.
Corporation, Nashua, N.H., said it will launch a
new magazine and website targeting the optical technologies
and instrumentation sector in January. Bio-Optics World
will be unveiled at BiOS 2008 in San Jose, Calif., and comprise
a bi-monthly magazine, monthly eNewsletter, and website.
The design, development,
and utilization of optical technologies for the study, diagnosis,
and treatment of disease is the focus.
26, 2007, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
ACQUIRES NEW SCHOOL IN MINN.
Partners, Minneapolis, has acquired New School Communications,
a 12-staffer St. Paul-based PR and public affairs firm with
revenue topping $1M.
Olson, president and CEO of NSC, joins Tunheim as executive
VP and a shareholder. His PA and PR teams will be integrated
Loesch, senior VP at Tunheim, has been promoted to VP of
PR following the acquisition.
firms had collaborated in the past.
GRAVITAS LAUNCHES FREE DOWNLOADS.
New York-based Gravitas
Communications is handling the launch of Spiral Frog, the
digital music and video service that went live on Sept.
17 to provide free downloads supported by advertising.
Spiral Frog, also based
in New York, gives record companies a cut of its ad revenue.
It has a deal in place with the largest music label, Universal
Music Group, and is in talks with others. The company has
about 800K tunes (with a goal of two million in the next
several months) and more than 3,500 videos for download.
services are teetering on the edge and have not gotten it
right yet," said Jocelyn Johnson, president of Gravitas
and a former SVP for Sloane & Co. and ex-tech staffer
at Middleberg + Associates. She told O'Dwyer's that nine
in 10 downloads are done illegally and noted a generation
of users have never downloaded a song legally. With that
data, she said Spiral Frog is getting content to consumers
while speaking out against illicit file-sharing: "This
is a fascinating company that is also taking a very strong
stance against piracy."
Users download the content
free but must login to the site once a month or the files
lock up and are unreadable. The digital files are protected
from being burned on a CD but can be copied on up to two
digital music players. Neither Macintosh computers nor iPods
can play the files.
Advertisers on the site
include the U.S. Armed Forces, Procter & Gamble, and
Gravitas picked up the
account six weeks ago in a formal RFP process that narrowed
a field of about 10 firms down to a handful. The firm has
worked for Primedia, PropertyRoom.com, and cable operator
Home Mortgage has dropped Kekst
& Co. after its request to continue retaining
the firm as it navigates Chapter 11 bankruptcy was criticized.
Kekst was brought in with a $50K retainer before AHM filed
for protection in early August. Creditors of AHM essentially
said in a filing that Kekst's purpose was to gloss over
the "failure of the company." Newsday had
closely followed Melville, N.Y.-based AHM's push to continue
retaining Kekst and reported the split. ...Global
Communicators, D.C., has aligned with NPR Communications
Consultancy, a Turkish firm with offices in Istanbul and
Ankara. GC worked for Turkey native Muhammad Yunus, 2006s
Nobel Peace Prize winner. NPR was set up in 1992.
Schwartz & Co., New York/Pivot, financial data
tracking; Miningham & Oellerich, data management services
for the financial sector, and Paradigm Group, distribution
and manufacturing services for mailroom, breakroom and janitorial
PR, New York/Vividas Group, Internet video; Vumber,
disposable phone numbers; SendUDirect and SendUMobile, mobile
networking, for PR.
PR, New York/John Fraser, chef, for new Manhattan
eatery, Dovetail, slated to open in November; Guernseys,
auction house, for upcoming Naylor Photography and Pugliese
Collection auctions, and The China8 Project, message platform
that puts ads on shipping crates for the 2008 Olympics in
Beijing, starting with launch in November.
Collins & Co., Buffalo, N.Y./Klein Steel of Western
New York, for strategic counsel, media and community relations
for launch of a steel center in the Buffalo-Niagara market.
Communications, Andover, Mass./Kodiak Venture Partners,
VC firm, for PR following an RFP. Pan beat one other finalist.
Communications, Waltham, Mass./
AgileWaves; BioMS Medical; EnjoyMyMedia; High Street Partners;
InovaWave; Oxford Biomedica; PatientFlow Technology; Quantum
Health; Spreanza Systems, and Terumo Cardiovascular Systems.
Communications, Downingtown, Pa./Datastrip handheld
identity verification systems, as AOR for integrated marketing.
Atlanta/Asian American Hotel Owners Assn., for PR for the
group, which counts 8,000 members who own more than 22K
Manjura Marketing, Longwood, Fla./Vista Royale Resort
(Kissimmee), for marketing and PR.
PR, Miami/Lady of America Franchise Corp., for consumer
PR, and Polaris World, to promote a new outdoor furniture
line, Yedra, and new store in Miami.
Bailey & Associates PR, Troy, Mich./North American
International Auto Show, for a three-year extension to serve
as AOR for PR through 2010.
Business to Business, Cincinnati/Canon Virginia,
a manufacturing subsidiary of Canon USA, as AOR for a marketing
Communications, Garden Grove, Calif./ThermoTX, FDA-approved
pain management products, as AOR.
Impact, Los Angeles/Channel M, out-of-home video
marketing; Nerjyzed Entertainment, game developer, and National
& Knowlton, Los Angeles/AmericaSpeaks, a non-profit,
for support of a statewide town meeting on healthcare across
eight cities and linked through interactive TV. H&K/Canada
has picked up WestJet Airlines following a competitive review,
for crisis preparedness and media training.
Edition, September 26, 2007, Page 6
RANKS AD EXECS.
conducted the media analysis for Advertising Ages
annual Media Mavens Special Report, which ranks ad executives
based on their portrayal in the news.
IDed the top mavens as Brad Adgate of Horizon
Media; Shari Ane Brill of Cara; Tim Spengler, Initiative
Media Worldwide; Steve Sternberg, Magna Global, and Tim
Hanlon of Publicis.
company looked at all manner of news, from print to digital,
from July 2006 to the end of June 2007.
Wire said it has a new program to target feature
and Sunday editors looking for news content to fill sections
and broadcasts. The series counts more than 100 scheduled
news topics and specialty supplements. BW has also promoted
to the new post of senior VP, media services and product
strategy. She directs the companys U.S. media relations
specialists and other teams. Sturaitis joined BW 15 years
ago as regional manager for Florida. ...Broadcast PR company
Mass., has relocated to 1230 Washington Street in Newton,
near downtown Boston and in the same facility as Fox News
Channel and ESPN. ...News
Broadcast Network, New York, said it landed a record
number of radio newsroom placements in the last
12 months. The company said more than 112K station contacts
landed more than 84K placements. Its previous best was 79.5K
placements, which it defines as physical delivery of a news
piece to a radio news room via phone patch, MP3 or fax transmission
after a pitch and on request. ...The
NewsMarket, New York, said it has more than 13K separate
media outlets across 193 countries using its PR video download
services. The company said videos published by blue-chip
clients like Microsoft, McDonalds, Volvo Cars and
Nintendo has accounted for a 200 percent jump in volume.
The NewsMarket recently added Facebook, LinkedIn and Second
Life to its client roster. ...Portland, Ore.-based broadcast
PR and marketing company Peter
Jacobsen Productions has been renamed Peter Jacobsen
Sports as part of its 20th anniversary. Jacobsen is a seven-time
PGA Tour winner and president of the firm. ...Broadcast
monitoring and analysis company dna13
has updated to its PR and stakeholder management software
suite with a greater focus on customization. New features
include integration with Microsoft Outlook, improved analytics,
and content from BurrellsLuce.
of Georgias Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication
will host a two-day conference Oct. 19-20 on social media
called Connect. Panel discussions are slated to include
Constantin Bastura of Converseon, measurement guru Katie
Paine, and Kaye Sweetser, assist. professor of PR at UGAs
Grady College. Info: grady.uga.edu/connect.
Cost: $125 with deadline of Oct. 8. ...Colloquy,
Cincinnati, a loyalty-marketing consultancy, has published
a white paper on consumer segments and their use of loyalty
marketing programs. It can be downloaded at www.colloquy.com/whitepapers.com.
Hickey, who headed Walek & Associates financial
and professional services practice, to Cubitt Jacobs &
Prosek Communications, New York, as a managing director.
He was previously director of comms. and media relations
for law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.
Hirsch, who headed Ogilvy PR Worldwides U.S.
healthcare practice, to Ruder Finn, New York, as global
healthcare practice leader. She takes over for Susan
Smirnoff, who has been named global strategic head
of health and wellness. Hirsch was formerly a senior VP
in RFs healthcare and corporate branding units, and
earlier had stints at Chandler Chicco Agency and CPR Worldwide.
White and Lisa
Sepulveda, interns at Goodman Media Intl, New
York, have been named assistant A/Es. Goodman also added
and Rebecca Stein,
recent grads, as AA/Es and promoted Jessie
duPont to A/E.
Sagan, a financial comms. and PR counselor, has returned
to Sharon Merrill Associates, Boston, as a VP to boost its
media relations and financial comms. practice. He has held
senior posts at Thermo Electron Corp., Allmerica Financial
and Camp Dresse & McKee. He was previously with SMA
for three years.
Roberts, White House reporter for Bloomberg News,
has taken the media relations director slot at the American
Institute of Certified Accountants office in D.C. He reports
to Janice Maiman, VP-comms. of 330K-CPA group. Roberts,
46, covered John Kerrys run for president and the
D.C. regulatory response to the 9/11 attacks. Prior to Bloomberg,
Roberts was D.C. bureau chief for the Journal of Commerce.
He also reported for the Philadelphia Business Journal
and Westchester Business Journal. Joel Allegretti
is AICPAs media chief in New York. AICPA also has
offices in Durham (NC), Ewing (NJ) and Lewisville (TX).
Owens has joined The Hawthorn Group, Alexandria,
Va., as client services director from the Frist Center for
Visual Arts in Nashville. Christina
Worden, comms. manager and PAC treasurer for Harrahs
Entertainment in Las Vegas, joins as comms. director. She
was formerly a communications operative in Arizona Democratic
Salas, formerly of TMP Worldwide, to Cotton &
Co., Stuart, Fla., as an A/E.
Bella returns to The Firm PR and Marketing, Las Vegas,
as account services director. She was a senior PR specialist
Szumera and James
Florez to managing directors for Burson-Marstellers
U.S. region. Szumera is based in New York and Florez in
Witter to senior A/E, Neiman Group, Harrisburg, Pa.
was upped to A/E and Aubrey
Hayden to producer.
Smith to director of business dev., Carmichael Lynch
Spong, Minneapolis. Leslie
Jones was upped to counselor in the firms San
Edition, September 26, 2007, Page 7
WRIGHT WANTS SUPPORT FOR PR
Prof. Donald Wright of
Boston University, recipient of the 2007 Distinguished Service
Award of the Arthur W. Page Society, rapped the PR industry
for failure to provide support for PR education.
"Support for PR education
is woefully bad, at best," he said in accepting the
award Sept. 17.
He quoted a survey by
Rob Flaherty of Ketchum and Pat Ford of Burson-Marsteller,
with assistance from Institute for PR staffer Michelle Hinson,
that showed major PR firms rarely hire graduates of PR degree
Such graduates only account
for a "dismal 10-15% of recent hires at these firms,"
"Most of the time,"
he said, "these agencies, and major corporations, favor
graduates of liberal arts, business and other academic disciplines
instead of graduates of PR degree programs."
Many PR Majors
Won't Find Jobs
Wright says that, according
to research, about 35,000 students are now majoring in PR
at nearly 700 institutions but "Who is going to tell
these kids most of them will never get a job in our field?"
"Who decided PR should
be taught everywhere?" he asked.
Universities are making
"huge financial profits teaching PR," he said,
but there is a "lack of financial and moral support"
from many PR practitioners themselves.
There are exceptions to this including some universities
that do support PR education and some associations, including
the Page Society, that also support it, he said.
But the "reality"
of this, he said, "is that most universities don't
support PR education and research in a manner similar to
other popular majors and too many PR practitioners couldn't
care less about it."
He continued: "Some
want to blame the practice for this problem. I think we
should blame universities and PR educators. We've sat back
and let the curriculum at some schools evolve into something
more theoretical than practical.
We've looked the
other way when some universities have hired less than competent
professors. We've tolerated, hired, tenured and promoted
those whose research agendas don't focus on information
practitioners want or need."
Reality" Needs to Be Addressed
Wright said the new "reality"
of PR needs to be addressed including the "new audiences,
new channels, new kinds of content and new measurements
most PR education remains a part of journalism schools-a
model that might have worked 50 years ago but is not effective
While a few elite universities
with "highly selective admissions policies do teach
PR, many of today's top-ranked US programs are at smaller
regional institutions, some with questionable admission
standards," he said.
Some PR professors (including
himself) developed good programs at lesser-known institutions
"rather than fight back when top-ranked journalism
schools showed blatant professional prejudice against what
we do," he added.
ORGANIZATIONAL TRUST IS PR'S
Steven Harris, VP-global
communications of General Motors, which has 500 communicators
worldwide, says building "organizational trust"
is the new principal job of PR people.
Harris, who was inducted
into the Hall of Fame of the Arthur W. Page Society this
month, said "Communicators are uniquely positioned
to become experts in the new art and science of organizational
trust" and that "today's communications leaders
are best equipped to lead in the all important areas of
trust and reputation."
Quoting a "white
paper" prepared by Jon Iwata of IBM and Valerie DeMaria
of Willis Group Holdings, he said that "Authenticity
will be the coin of the realm for successful corporations
and for those who lead them."
The white paper, as quoted
by Harris, says that "The corporation that wants to
establish a distinctive brand and achieve long-term success
must, more than ever before, be grounded in a sure sense
of what defines it-why it exists, what it stands for and
what differentiates it in a marketplace of customers, investors
whether they are called values, principles, beliefs, mission,
purpose or value proposition, must dictate consistent behavior
and actions," he said.
Harris has spent more
than 40 years in communications, first joining GM in 1967
as a lecturer after graduation from the University of Southern
California with a BA in journalism. He was with American
Motors as head of product PR in 1979 and moved to Chrysler
as director of corporate PR in 1987. He became VP-communications
for Chrysler in early 1998 and later that year became SVP-communications,
following the merger of Chrysler and Daimler-Benz. He returned
to GM in 1999 as VP-global communications.
at the end of 2003 but was asked to return to GM in February
Harris said the question
he is most often asked in connection with his return is
whether he is "having fun?"
"I'm not sure that
I would answer that it's fun but I do feel like I'm doing
something important," he said. "I feel like I'm
playing a small role in helping restore a corporate icon
He noted that GM, which
will be 100 years old next year, has had to contend with
such bad publicity as a cover story of Fortune that
was headlined, "The Tragedy of General Motors,"
and a column by Thomas Friedman of the New York Times
that asked: "Is there a company more dangerous to America's
future than General Motors? Surely the sooner this company
gets taken over by Toyota, the better off our country will
Harris said GM is rebuilding
its reputation by "giving people reasons to trust us."
It was decided at the start, he said, that CEO Richard Wagoner
was going to be "our most effective spokesperson."
Harris described 13 elements
that are part of the trust-building campaign (full text
is at odwyerpr.com).
He described as "bunk"
the thought that some PR people feel PR was more exciting,
more important and more fun five, ten or 20 years ago.
"This is the 'golden
age' of communications," he said.
Edition, September 26, 2007,
corporate and academic attitudes
towards PR are on display on page 7 of this issue.
the one hand we have General Motors veteran Steve Harris
describing the new role of "communicators" who
are involved not just in "communications" but
"every aspect of our companies and their businesses."
who returned to GM after retiring, said people often ask
him if he is "having fun." He doesn't think it's
"fun" but he does feel that it's "important."
it's very serious-building the sales and profits of GM,
which has had to contend with lots of bad publicity. At
one point he says the industry can't even agree on what
to call itself-"Is it PR, communications, public affairs
or any one of a handful of others?"
votes for communications since he also says, "This
is the golden age of communications." Almost all major
companies have "communications" rather than PR
the other hand, we have Donald Wright, PR professor
at Boston University, saying that employers, based on a
survey by the Arthur W. Page Society, are mostly hiring
other than PR grads for PR jobs. There's a glut of PR majors
and many won't find PR jobs, he says.
He would like more support
for PR education and for employers to hire more PR grads.
PR education is also buffeted by advice in the Princeton
Review (not part of the University) that "a broad
education" is the "best preparation" for
PR. The Review says "communications" is the eighth
most popular major. Critics say "communications"
is just an "administrative convenience" and not
a "real subject" and that those who carry such
a degree through life will be met with rolling eyeballs
if they mention it.
is PR these days? It's mostly sales and marketing--helping
a company to define itself and then spreading that definition
among employees and then the market. This is a very serious,
The ad/PR business used
to be a lot more light-hearted and informal and even "fun,"
as the AMC "Mad Men" TV series is portraying it.
Drinking, smoking, sexual adventures and jollity abound
in the series. Adman Jerry Della Femina told an 8/27 New
York Post article on the series that "Investment
bankers invaded [Madison Ave.] and it went from being a
business of fun to being a business of money and that changes
the subject of PR education (or other vocational
courses in college), the Sept. 16 New York Times Book
Review had a lengthy piece on author Allan Bloom (The
Closing of the American Mind) which explores his claim
that colleges have been "dumbed down" by an invasion
of business and other courses that "credential"
grads rather than provide "four years of intellectual
freedom" in which they explore new ideas.
He also says colleges
have been politicized in terms of ethnic, gender and class
professors argue that a PR major only involves one
year of PR-related courses and the other three are reserved
for liberal arts. PR courses are also a form of liberal
arts-training, they say. This argument needs to be put on
and promulgated to employers. A lot of "PR for PR"
needs to be done.
But who is to do it? The
PR Society, with $11.4 million in revenues, has not a single
experienced PR pro on its 55-member staff. VP-PR Janet Troy
arrived in 2004 confessing she was "clueless"
about PRS. New PR appointee Joe DeRupo, from the Coffee
Assn., was not even a member of PRS. The staff has only
two PRS members. There can be no "PR for PR" program
if veteran PR people can't work at h.q. The solos who dominate
the board and who become president or chair don't have the
time for "PR for PR." PRS is a hospital without
doctors, a kitchen without cooks.
Oct. 20 Assembly in Philadelphia is the time and
place for delegates and regular members to declare their
"independence" from staff and national leaders.
PR is a serious business these days and it's time the delegates
put aside the fluff (such as re-writing the frothy "Strategic
Plan") and took up serious issues such as allowing
local chapter membership; demanding that senior members
join the staff as departures occur (reportedly 15 so far
this year including veteran Gale Spreter who sold ads and
conference exhibits); eliminating the APR rule for board/officer
posts; keeping the Assembly in continuous session; dropping
the three-year term limits; demand leaders admit staff costs
for the annual conference are close to $2 million and not
below $200K as claimed; demand printing of the "phone
book" of members be resumed, and demand a "blog"
or bulletin board on the PRS website so members can trade
opinions. This year's candidates (Mike Cherenson, Rosanna
Fiske, Mary Barber, Kathy Hubbell, Dave Imre and Phil Tate)
refused to discuss any of these issues or any questions.
desperate for candidates for the board, wants to
squeeze the ten districts into five "regions"
(Texas would go into the "Midwest" region and
West Virginia into "Northeast"). This was rejected
twice by a large margin last year and one delegate on a
teleconference Sept. 18 shouted "I'm not voting for
that, Dave," when Dave Rickey brought up the subject.
Leaders are pulling their usual tricks to block Assembly
discussion including scheduling an entire morning of speeches
by themselves followed by splitting up the Assembly into
"buzz groups" for 1.5 hours after lunch. As another
diversion, they proposed (at the last minute) a re-writing
of the entire bylaws, which could touch off lengthy discussion.
Last year, the leaders came up with nine other bylaw changes
to distract attention from the Central Michigan proposal
that would have made the Assembly the "chief policy-making
body" of the Society. PRS leaders demand "a place
at the management table" for PR.
But how are they behaving
when they're the only people "at their own table?"
Are they setting a good example for the industry?