Contact O'Dwyer's : 271 Madison Ave., #600, New York, NY 10016; Tel: 212/679-2471; Fax: 212/683-2750
ODWYERPR.COM > Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter return to main page

Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter
Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter
The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Subscribe today


Jack O'Dwyer's NL logo
Internet Edition, October 3, 2007, Page 1


Americans for Balanced Energy Choices, a well-funded coal industry group, is prospecting for PR help in two states and on the national level as it pitches coal as an “essential, affordable and increasingly clean” energy fuel. The Alexandria, Va.-based group issued RFPs for work in both Pennsylvania and Nevada for help in targeting the public, politicians, interest groups, and the media.

Steve Gates, senior communications director for ABEC, told O’Dwyer’s that the group is also in the beginning stages of talking to firms about PR efforts on a national level. He welcomed input from firms about those plans but said ABEC has not had time to draw up an RFP for that work.

The National Journal has reported that the coal industry and its allies agreed to up ABEC’s PR, grassroots and advertising war chest from about $8M a year to $30M a year.

Proposals for the Nevada PR were due by Oct. 1, while the Pennsylvania RFP carries a deadline of Oct. 9. Gates ([email protected]) said he was interested in hearing from firms with ideas for national outreach.

MGA Communications, Denver, worked with the ABEC in the past, before it had an in-house PR staff. It now has four regional comms. heads.


Paige Craig, co-founder of the Lincoln Group, has launched GoNowDo, an entity that he believes will revolutionize the travel business.

The LG was the Pentagon’s “go-to” firm in Iraq.

The start-up is billed as a social networking site that will report from the four corners of the world.

Craig told O’Dwyer’s that he remains chairman of LG. “I’m also investing in early technology start-ups in Silicon Valley,” he said.

GoNowDo is looking for travel partners and investors, plus individuals interested in hosting future travelers.

LG, according to Craig’s bio posted on the GoNowDo site, closed over $60M in business and also served clients in Egypt, Lebanon, Kuwait, Indonesia, Pakistan and Australia. has launched a blog on PR at that will feature the thoughts of editors about what we consider the most pressing PR and public affairs issues of the day.

You may disagree with us more often than not. Please join the conversation.


Fleishman-Hillard has a $113,683 per-month contract to represent the Government of Turkey.

The six-month pact went into effect following the Aug. 28 parliamentary election of Abdullah Gul as the country’s new president. Gul, who heads an Islamic party, has raised fears that Turkey will move from its secular heritage.

Turkey’s military, which has staged four coups since 1960, has warned of factions that have been attempting to “corrode the secular nature of the Turkish Republic.” The country’s armed forces also have threatened to pursue Kurdish separatists into Iraq’s Kurdish region.

F-H has agreed to provide Turkey with PR and communications services that must at first be okayed by the Government. Work may include media relations, stakeholder outreach and online programs. F-H staffers will meet with the client on a bi-monthly basis.


Pat Kingsley, whom the Los Angeles Times called the "grande dame of Hollywood spin," is relinquishing the reins atop PMK/HBH after 27 years to handle client work. Partners Cindi Berger and Simon Halls are taking over operations of the Interpublic-owned shop for Kingsley, who is 75.

Kingsley told the L.A. Times: "We are now a conglomerate and it's daunting. I want to be involved in the creative aspects of working with clients. That is what I enjoy."

PMK/HBH has offices in Hollywood and New York. It merged with Huvane Baum Halls in 2001.


The California Walnut industry has begun an RFP process to review its $2.5M PR account for 2008. The industry, which is marketed through the Walnut Marketing Board (federal) and California Walnut Commission (state), is comprised of 4,000 growers and 57 handlers.

Torme Lauricella PR is the incumbent for the contract, which must be re-bid every three years.

The account covers outreach to consumers, health professionals and the media with the overall goal of boosting consumption of California walnuts in the U.S.

The RFP covers the marketing year from Sept. 1, 2008 to Aug. 31, 2009 with two possible extension years.

The current budget breaks down to $1.65M from the WMB and $900K from the CWC for PR.

Michelle McNeil, marketing director, is overseeing the RFP ([email protected]). Proposals are due Nov. 2.

Internet Edition, October 3, 2007, Page 2


Burson-Marsteller is waging a “behind the scenes” campaign on behalf of Microsoft to defeat archrival Google’s $3.1B acquisition of DoubleClick, the company that helps clients place and track online advertising.

The WPP Group unit also established (Initiative for Competitive Marketplaces) as a discussion forum to hammer out privacy and competition issues, according to a page 4 report in the Sept. 26 Wall Street Journal.

Icomp, according to its website, is a “joint initiative sponsored by Microsoft and B-M to highlight principles in online services and important industry discussions around copyright, privacy and competition.”

It is staffed by B-M people in New York (Kathryn Yontef), San Francisco (Carolyn Dealey) and London (Jonathan Dinkeldein and Pernille Goodall).

B-M’s CEO Mark Penn is an advisor to Microsoft. The cover of his book, “Microtrends,” features a blurb from Microsoft’s Bill Gates.

Gates wrote that Penn has a “keen mind and a fascinating sense of what makes America and the world tick, and you see it on every page.


JLM PR reports that President Clinton raised $25K for the Diamond Empowerment Fund when he was filmed wearing its green bracelet during the VH1 Save the Music gala at The Tent at New York’s Lincoln Center on Sept. 20.

DEF is the brainchild of entrepreneur Russell Simmons, founder of Def Jam Records and Phat Farm clothing line.

It contributes $20 to DEF from the sale of each $125 green bracelet sold by Simmons Jewelry Co. DEF’s funds are earmarked for economic and educational development in South Africa and Botswana.

Simmons met with Clinton backstage at the show and explained his DEF program.

He told the former president that SJC chief Scott Rauch promised to give DEF $25K if Clinton wore one on stage.

Clinton wore a bracelet and waved his wrist before the cameras, according to Janice Torres of JLM PR. The image was seen by millions of TV viewers, she added.

JLM reps both Simmons and his jewelry company.


Marie van Luling, a veteran of Bank Rhode Island; Manning, Selvage & Lee and Aetna Life & Casualty joined Northeast Utilities on Oct. 1.

As VP-communications, van Luling reports to Gregory Butler, senior VP and general counsel, of the Connecticut-based energy company that serves more than two million New England customers.

Van Luling handled PR, public policy, customer communications and advocacy development at the Rhode Island bank.

Earlier, she headed MS&L’s Boston office and led the corporate social responsibility practice.

She began her PR career at Aetna, rising to the senior VP-corporate affairs slot in an 11-year stint there.


Nancy Marshall Communications has won a competitive bidding process for a six-figure account to bolster Maine’s boat building and marine trades.

The sector is an important industry for the state and seen as key to its future economic growth. More than 450 companies and thousands of jobs are linked to the marine trades.

The $400K contract runs through February 2009 with an option year that could stretch to 2010. It was not immediately clear how many firms competed for the work.

NMC has worked with the Maine governor’s office, as well as the state’s economic development entity and Office of Tourism in the past.

The firm’s contract is with the Maine North Star Alliance, an effort setup by Gov. John Baldacci to support workforce programs last year in the wake of the announced closing of the Brunswick Naval Air Station in 2001.

NMC will handle statewide and international PR for the Maine boat building sector.


Amy Colton, a founding member of the Marketing to Moms Coalition, has joined Interpublic’s Current Lifestyle Marketing unit in Chicago.

The agency designs grassroots campaigns, influencer outreach, word-of-mouth programs, social media efforts and brand revitalizations in order to reach today’s highly mobile consumers involved in a slew of various activities.

Colton, who ran Colton Communications, has worked on campaigns for Procter & Gamble, Kraft, Harley-Davidson and Ryland Homes.

The Moms Coalition works to trump the $1.7T buying power of mothers, money that is spent on themselves, families and businesses.

It bemoans the outdated media images of mothers as either frantic working women rushing home to tend to families, or as “superwomen” able to perfectly balance work and family.


Tom Hughes, senior VP-communications at Atlanta Spirit, is joining Atlanta’s Hope-Beckham on Oct. 15.

He handled PR for the Spirit’s Atlanta Hawks (NBA), Atlanta Thrashers (NHL) and Philips Arena properties.

That effort included the Thrashers bid for a franchise and the launch of its `99-`00 debut season, induction of the Hawks’ Dominique Wilson to the Hall of Fame and building of the arena to house both teams.

Hughes (41) is a 15-year veteran of Ted Turner’s Turner Broadcasting System, which is a unit of Time Warner Co. He “transitioned” from TBS to AS following its purchase of the teams and arena in `04.

H-B president Bob Hope and chairman Paul Beckham are Turner veterans.

Hope was VP for the Atlanta Braves (MLB) and Hawks, while Beckham was involved with creation of the Superstation and CNN.

Internet Edition, October 3, 2007, Page 3


Jeff Wellington, president and group publisher of The Parenting Group since December '05, is moving to Reader's Digest as publisher on Oct. 22.

At Parenting since `98, Wellington guided its transition from Time Inc. ownership to Stockholm-based Bonnier Group. That deal was sealed in March.

Wellington reports to Eva Dillon, president of RD Inspiration and group publisher. RD publishes in 21 languages and reaches more than 80M readers in 60 countries.


Timothy Phelps, who was Washington bureau chief for Newsday, is joining sister paper, Los Angeles Times, in the nation's capital.

He is investigative editor in charge of enterprise and project reporting.

Phelps has reported for the Baltimore Sun, Providence Journal, St. Petersburg Times and New York Times. He also co-authored a book about Supreme Court Judge Clarence Thomas' nomination battle.

Phelps, a U.S. Army veteran, joins the paper on Oct. 29. He will report to Doyle McManus, bureau chief.


CBS is unveiling "EyeLab," a website that will feature short clips of its programs free of charge.

The Wall Street Journal reports EyeLab runs counter to network competitors who are focused on getting their full-length shows on the web.

Quincy Smith, president of CBS Interactive, says his network's research shows that less than a third of CBS' web audience want entire programs on the web.
CBS likened EyeLab content to the videos that air on YouTube, which played a role in its development.

The WSJ reports the CBS was inspired by a video on YouTube called "Endless Caruso One Liners" that carries "pat catchphrases from scene crimes" made by the star of "CSI Miami."

The seven-minute video has been viewed more than a million times.


EchoStar Communications, which serves more than 13.5M customers via its Dish Network, is acquiring Sling Media for $380M.

SM's "Slingbox" is billed as a "place-shifting" device that enables people to watch TV shows whenever or wherever they want.

The company's Sling Entertainment Group is working with content creators and owners to develop programming such as Clip + Sling to give people clips and segments of their favorite TV shows.

EchoStar was an early investor in SM, as was Hearst Corp. and Allen & Co.

The Englewood, Col.-based company also announced that it may split into two publicly traded companies. EchoStar would continue to run the Dish network, while spinning off its technology and infrastructure group, which is the leading developer of digital video recorders.


Amy Baer, executive VP-production at Sony Corp.'s Columbia Pictures unit, has joined the fledgling CBS Films operation as CEO.

CBS chief Les Moonves announced in March plans to produce up to six films a year with budgets capped at $50M each. Baer will handle development, production, distribution and marketing of the pictures.

Prior to joining Columbia, Baer worked at TriStar Pictures for five years, moving up to chief of production. She also worked at Guber-Peters Entertainment.

Baer is paired with CBS Films COO Bruce Tobey who has been handling financial, legal and video distribution matters relating to the new unit.

He also is in charge of lining up financial partners.


ABC News chief David Westin has named WABC (New York) general manager Dave Davis executive VP, programming in an effort to centralize operations.

The move frees up Paul Slavin, who was senior VP-worldwide news gathering for domestic and foreign bureaus, to concentrate on digital operations.

Davis, who turned around the Big Apple station, takes charge of ABC News programs such as "Good Morning America," "20/20," "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," "PrimeTime," "Nightline" and "World News."


Discovery Holdings, the parent of the cable network that reaches 1.5B people worldwide, is negotiating with Advance/Newhouse Communications to obtain its 34 percent stake in Discovery Communications.

The plan, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, would give A/NC DH shares, and pave the way for a public stock holding of DC.

David Zaslav, the former president of NBC Universal's cable operations who joined DC in January, has been whipping the place into shape. His major moves include slashing payroll by 25 percent, and shuttering the more than 100 Discovery Stores.

DC's properties include Animal Planet, Military Channel, Travel Channel and Science Channel.


The Economist has identified 100 top political bloggers and provides them content before the material is published, Mike Seery, chief information officer of The Economist Group, told the AOP forum in London.

The goal is to build a "buzz around the thing before it's there" in print, he told the audience. The tips also generate a lot of traffic to the magazine's site.

Dennis Berman, who was mergers & acquisitions reporter at the Wall Street Journal, is now the deals editor at the paper. The Deal Journal appears in the Deals & Dealmakers page in the Money & Investing section of the paper. The Dow Jones unit will name an M&A reporter to replace Berman, who joined the paper in `01. He is a BusinessWeek alum.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, October 3, 2007, Page 4


Bloomberg LP, the financial media giant founded by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has been sued for allegedly discriminating against pregnant women who took maternity leave.

The case filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan charges that women who announced they were pregnant were replaced with more junior male staffers. They also say that their job responsibilities were reduced.

Bloomberg says the suit is meritless and that it will vigorously defend itself.


Bob Dilenschneider carries some Excedrin tablets with him into some tough client meetings and hands them to the client if he/she gets worked up over his counsel, according to a Newsweek (Oct. 1) profile of The Dilenschneider Group CEO.

"I ask them if they'd like to take some and calm down before we go further," said Dilenschneider to Newsweek editor-in-chief Richard Smith in the piece that is headlined "Straight Talker."

Dilenschneider said it was an easy decision to leave the CEO post at Hill & Knowlton because he became bogged down in administrative work.

He left at the urging of friends to "get back out and do what I really liked doing, which was advising top executives."

In describing his work, Dilenschneider said: "The court of public opinion is very important and it creates a premium" for a company's stock and stakeholders. His job is to maximize that premium.

He also helps clients in tough situations to "get out of scrapes as quickly and elegantly as they possibly can."


Verizon Wireless made an "incorrect decision" when it decided to reject a text message from abortion rights group NARAL, according to a statement released Sept. 27 that was attributed to spokesperson Jeffrey Nelson.

The New York Times ran a front page feature the same day about VW's refusal to run NARAL's program.

Nelson said senior VW executives have reviewed the NARAL case, and decided that it was an incorrect interpretation of a "dusty internal policy." The company has "fixed the process that led to this isolated incident."

The Verizon/Vodafone venture initially told NARAL it turned down the text because its does not accept programs that promote an agenda or that may be deemed controversial or unsavory to any of its users.

The NARAL messages, however, are received by only those who have signed up for them.

Briefs ____________________________

John Nee has been promoted to senior VP-business development at DC Comics. He is expected to push for synergies with sister companies such as Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment and Warner Bros Digital Distribution. DC is the largest English-language comics publisher and home to Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. has started a new blog called "Shifting Careers," complementing the website's column of the same name for entrepreneurs and independent business owners. Marci Alboher,'s "Shifting Careers" columnist, writes the blog covering tools and tips for changing careers, reader success stories and Q&A forums with outside contributors.

Lawrence Ingrassia, business editor of the Times, said the blog is part of an effort to include more small business coverage.

Alboher is a former corporate lawyer who has written about workplace issues and careers for The Times since 2001.

BusinessWeek has compiled a list of the most powerful 100 people in sports. Rounding out the top 10 are, for 1 to 10: Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner; Tiger Woods; David Stern, NBA commissioner; George Bodenheimer, president of ESPN, ABC Sports, co-chair of Disney Media Networks; Bud Selig, Major League Baseball commissioner; Brian France, chairman and CEO of NASCAR; Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Universal Sports & Olympics; Phil Knight, chairman of Nike; Sean McManus, president of CBS News and Sports, and Rupert Murdoch, chair/CEO of News Corp.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said it has completed an offering of early retirement incentives to the first 60 staffers who accepted. The deal includes cash payouts and enhanced retirement benefits and was geared toward 50+-year-old employees who had been at the Post-Dispatch for at least 10 years.

The paper, which is owned by Lee Enterprises, said its annual savings from its early retirement program is estimated to be up to $4.4M.

CNET is calling for entries for its "Best of CES" Awards at the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Each year, CNET editors receive hundreds of entries from companies hoping to be selected as one of the hottest products at the show. Submission is free and can be accessed through an online form at The deadline to submit is November 30, 2007. Awards are given in 10 categories, including Best of Show and the People’s Voice. The winners of the Best of CES awards are selected by the CNET editors, who are looking for the most innovative product that will set the standard from which all other products are measured in the coming year.

Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, part of healthcare publisher Wolters Kluwer Health, said it will take over publishing of the Journal of Investigative Medicine, covering the field of clinical and scientific research as the official journal of the American Federation for Medical Research (AFMR). LWW takes over with the January 2008 issue of the journal, which is published eight times a year, including two regional meeting abstract issues.

Internet Edition, October 3, 2007, Page 5


Tech firm SutherlandGold Group is guiding the launch of PuddingMedia's free ad-supported Internet phone service, which scans calls to display advertising relevant to the conversation.

The service, which is in beta mode and can be tried out at, is aimed to eventually include traditional land-line and mobile phones, as well as Internet calls, known as VoIP.

The New York Times, in previewing The Pudding Sept. 24, noted it raises questions about the line between target advertising and violation of privacy.

The company said it is not keeping records or content logs of phone calls. It compares the technology to Google Gmail service, which scans emails for keywords that produce ads.

Erica Jostedt, who handled the Skype Internet phone service account at Spark PR, is working on The Pudding for SutherlandGold, a San Francisco-based firm of senior tech PR execs.

Pudding Media is based in San Jose.


Makovsky & Co.’s annual survey of executives at the largest U.S. companies found half of respondents see shareholder activism strengthening the health of public companies.

Those findings counter prevailing wisdom that U.S. business leaders see such activsim as a distracting or deletrious influence, according to New York-based Makovsky.

The firm found that 68 percent cited pressure exerted on corporate leadership as a cause for ethical breaches in corporate America. Only 18 percent cited ignorance of today’s ethical standards.

Harris Interactive conducted the polling of 284 senior executives (directors and above) for Makovsky across Fortune 1000 companies.

BRIEFS: The Aker Partners, Washington, D.C., has aligned with NanoReg, a professional services firm focused on the nanotech sector. The partnership is aimed to help nanotech companies monitor, address and resolve environmental, health and safety issues concerning nano-engineered products, according to NanoReg head John DiLoreto. ...The web portal says it is averaging 2,500 hits a day and is positioning itself as a resource for fast-tracking PR efforts. It has launched a “Find An Expert” broadcast email service that allows journalists and speakers’ bureaus to post a request for experts. Experts who sign up on the site can post articles, discuss topics in forums, and put events like book signings on a calendar. Membership ranges from $100/month down to $50/mo. ..Fleishman-Hillard said it has committed to becoming carbon neutral by the end of 2008 as the firm announced a sustainability communications practice. As part of the pledge, the firm will reduce its global energy consumption and decrease the CO2 it produces. SVP Malin Jennings heads the new unit.


New York Area

Trylon SMR, New York/Meredith Corp., as AOR for PR for, the web portal for Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

Gale Group, New York/Diamonair, Toronto-based jewelry and accessories brand, for re-branding, including PR, in-store visuals, online work, mailings and advertising.

Hanna Lee Communications, New York/Sobieski Vodka, for U.S. entry of the Polish vodka brand.

JB Cumberland PR, New York/Wiggles, wigs for dogs, for PR, and Nostalgia, a consumer brand from Helman Group, for consumer PR.

Lou Hammond & Associates, New York/Relais & Chateaux, hotel and restaurant association, for media and marketing for its 33rd International Congress in D.C.; Pilara, sporting and residential community outside of Buenos Aires, and Sears Holding Corp., for consumer and media events followed by a national rollout for K-Mart’s new collection of Abbey Hill and Martha Stewart Everyday products.

MWW Group, East Rutherford, N.J./Intermedia, hosted Microsoft Exchange services for small and mid-sized businesses, as AOR.

Oxford Communications, Lambertville, N.J./Quick Chek, fresh coffee and food service, Philly Pretzel Factory, 100-store franchise, as AOR for both.


Focused Image, Falls Church, Va./Indus Corp., federal IT solutions provider, for branding and marketing communications support.

Arketi Group, Atlanta/Cbeyond, managed services for small business, as AOR for PR.

French/West/Vaughan, Raleigh, N.C./Randy Parton Theatre, new N.C. performance venue, for integrated marketing.


Wheatley & Timmons, Chicago/Barton Brands, as AOR following a review for PR, event marketing, promotion and counsel. BB is part of Constellation Brands. Initial focus is Cocktails by Jenn, Old Pulteney, and 1972 Ridgemont Reserve.

Maccabee Group, Minneapolis/AmericInn; The Ivy Spa Club; Angie’s Kettle Corn; Certes Financial Pros, and Icon Services Corp., for PR.


Catapult PR-IR, Boulder, Colo./Envysion, web-based video service, for PR.

Mindspace, Tempe, Ariz./Addison Taylor Fine Jewelry; Perceptive Learning; GarageFly; iMedica; Create & Taste; ShowBiz AZ; Sea Spa skincare, and The Urban Tea Loft, for adv. and PR.


Ant Hill Marketing, Portland, Ore./Yost Grube Hall Architecture, for integrated marketing and PR.

JS2 Communications, Los Angeles/Ivy Academia, charter school in L.A. Unified School District, as AOR for PR and marketing.

Girlpower Marketing, Newport Beach, Calif./The KN Karen Neuburger lifestyle brand and its parent company, KN Ltd., for PR and influencer programs for its brands.

Internet Edition, October 3, 2007, Page 6


Cable operator Comcast said it is "perplexed" by the Federal Communications Commission's proposed $4K fine against its CN8 network for airing portions of a VNR on behalf of a sleep aid product.

D S Simon Productions, New York, distributed the VNR, which was the subject of a complaint to the FCC by the Center for Media and Democracy and Free Press. Simon deferred to the National Association of Broadcast Communicators for comment. The group told O'Dwyer's: "This is the beginning of an administrative process to determine the legality and appropriateness of the Commission's proposed action, and it's important to let that process run its course."

The "process" was set into motion by the FCC's Sept. 21 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, which outlined its basis for proposing the $4K fine—the lowest fine possible for sponsorship ID violations—against Comcast. The FCC contends that much of the VNR, for "Nelson's Rescue Sleep," aired during a segment on the news program "Art Fennell Reports" and the federal agency concluded that "even though CN8 received this material at no charge, it falls within the exception" that calls for a disclosure of its origins.

Sena Fitzmaurice, senior director of corporate communications for Comcast, said the FCC's disclosure rule does not cover cable programming. She told this website: "Even if it did apply to cable programming, there was no benefit or exchange of value for showing the VNR, and these were decisions made by journalists with their own editorial judgments."

Fitzmaurice said she believes there are a number of similar cases under investigation, including additional cases involving Comcast, as well as broadcasters and other cable operators.


More than 180 PR practitioners attended the 39th Annual PR Society/National Capital Chapter Thoth Awards Gala on Thursday evening, Sept. 20 at the National Press Club in Washington. The event recognized the best public relations programs, accomplishments and practitioners.

The “Best of Show” award for public relations excellence and one Thoth Award went to DDB Issues & Advocacy and its client HopeLab for the first video game scientifically shown to improve health-related outcomes for young people with cancer.

Washington-based DDB Issues was charged with launching ReMission, while influencing an emerging media awareness of games that can improve health.

Ketchum, Crosby and Ogilvy big winners

Ketchum Public Relations picked up the most awards this year, with two Thoth Awards and four Certificates of Excellence.

Crosby Communications received the second largest number of awards with two Thoths and two Certificates each. Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide had the third largest number of awards with two Thoths and one Certificate.
For a complete list of winners, visit



Terry Abramson, consultant to the Univ. of Maryland’s Office of Professional Studies, to Widmeyer Communications, Washington, D.C., as a VP in its higher education division. She was previously manager of educational program development at George Washington Univ.’s Center for Professional Development.

Will Edwards, reporter for Bloomberg News in Charlotte, N.C., to Neusner Communications, Bethesda, Md., as a senior writer.

John Mose, head of the public affairs and issues practice for Weber Shandwick/Chicago, to CKPR, Milwaukee, as senior VP and director of the office, taking over for Jill Schroeder, who is shifting to a part-time role with the firm. Mose was previously at VSA Partners, an adv. and corporate comms. firm in the Windy City. He also had stints with Ogilvy, Burson-Marsteller and Edelman.

Carrie Becker, group account manager, Marketing Werks, to Wheatley & Timmons, Chicago, as an A/S to manage and develop the Sargento Foods and Brand Sense Partners accounts.

Gayle Joseph, former VP at Mullen PR, to Airfoil PR, Detroit, as VP in its B2B technology group.

Betsy Merryman, senior VP and managing director for FischerHealth, to Fleishman-Hillard, Los Angeles, as senior VP to lead its healthcare group. She had previously headed Porter Novelli’s L.A. healthcare practice and earlier worked at managed care organization Health Net.

Andrew Moser, VP of economic development and marketing, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp., to the Burnham Institute for Medical Research, La Jolla, Calif., as VP of communications.

Janet Galway, a former Cohn & Wolfe staffer, to Argyle Communications, Toronto, as a senior consultant. The firm has also added Annie Zeni as a consultant and Laura LaMontagne as an A/C.


John Hlinko to president and CEO, Grassroots Enterprise, Washington, D.C. He was VP of marketing and creative engagement and takes the reins from Arvind Rajan, who slides into the role of chairman.

David Kargas and Maclaren Latta to principals, Carmichael Lynch Spong, Minneapolis. Kargas leads the firm’s Denver office, while Latta works out of Bozeman, Mont.


Johanna Mouton, former principal consultant for CapGemini/Ernst & Young and supervisor for Gelco Information Network, is taking over as executive director of the Pinnacle Worldwide network of independent PR firms. Lynn McCarthy has announced her retirement after 23 years in that post. McCarthy is returning to an active role with Pinnacle member Northstar Counselors in Minneapolis.

Rick French, president and CEO of French/West/Vaughan, Raleigh, N.C., to the board of trustees of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland.

Internet Edition, October 3, 2007, Page 7


PR professor Karen Russell of the University of Georgia, who answered a telephone call from this website by blogging, "Why I'm not returning Jack O'Dwyer's phone call," has said she is too busy to take up a discussion of PR education with this website and is not qualified to act as the spokesperson for PR education.

Russell blogged on Sept. 25 that: "Jack O'Dwyer called this morning while I was in class to ask my opinion about the current debate about the worthiness (or wastefulness) of an education in PR. I've decided not to return that call."

The issue has been raised in recent weeks by advice in the “Princeton Review” (not part of the University) that a "broad" education and not PR courses is the best preparation for a PR job and a finding by PR researchers that only 10-15% of those hired for PR jobs majored in PR. The research was done by Rob Flaherty of Ketchum, Pat Ford of Burson-Marsteller, and Michelle Hinson of the Institute for PR.

Russell e-mailed rather than called, saying she was too busy at work and did not feel qualified to act as the spokesperson for PR education.

PR People are "Social Servants"

Russell's blog ( in February said she teaches PR students that they should "first serve society" and that this is important for them to learn no matter what career they choose.

She said she does not share the assumption that "PR research and education should work solely in service to the profession." She said she agrees with fellow professor Betty Jones who "tells her students that they're public servants."

Russell says that in monitoring blogs in the past year she has been "surprised and disappointed at the level of criticism aimed at PR education" and that she didn't understand "the degree to which practitioners feel our students are unprepared for, or even incapable of, participation in the work world."

The comments touched off entries to her blog including one from Marcel Goldstein, senior VP of Ogilvy PR Worldwide, Washington, D.C., who asked: "Why do graduates from the liberal arts consistently provide the PR profession with better writers, broader readers and more logical, analytical thinkers?"

Goldstein told this NL that he hired dozens of PR people over the years and has reached this conclusion.

Russell in 1999 authored a history of the early years of Hill & Knowlton under the name of Karen Miller (“Voice of Business: H&K and Postwar PR”).

"It's not my job to defend PR education," she said on her blog Sept. 25.

Her "teaching PR" blog provides "thoughts on teaching PR in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia."

This NL e-mailed Russell some of the current criticisms of PR including charges by New York Times columnist Frank Rich that it is "press avoidance, marketing, sloganeering, spinning, sales strategy and lacking in substance" and the comment by Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten that PR people are "pathetic dillweeds" (made after the contacts on releases couldn't answer any of his questions).


PR veteran Jim Haynes, a 1959 journalism graduate of the University of Texas who was at Texas Eastern Corp., Tracor, and several PR firms including his own business, has accumulated the necessary ten signatures to become a petition candidate for S.W. district of PR Society.

The nominating committee did not nominate any candidate although Marlene Neill, a communications specialist for Waco, Texas, was the sole candidate. This was the first time the nomcom had rejected a sole candidate from a district, Society veterans say. The PRS board, which is having difficulty finding candidates from all ten districts, has proposed replacing the districts with five "regions."

Neill, a 1993 journalism graduate of the University of Kansas, is working on a M.A. at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. She was president of the Central Texas chapter of PRS in 2006 and has been in PR 12 years. Associates said PRS leaders told Neill she did not have sufficient background in PR nor enough activities in PRS and to try again.

Haynes Active in TPRA, IABC

Haynes has been active in the Texas PR Assn. and Int'l Assn. of Business Communicators as well as PRS.

He received the PRS/Austin statewide award in 1991 and received presidential national citations of PRS in 1988, 1989 and 1990.

His biography submitted to O'Dwyer's Directory of PR Executives does not indicate he was president of a PRS chapter. Candidates have to have headed a chapter, district, section or national committee or to have voted in an Assembly. He was exec. dir. and president of the Texas PR Assn. and was on the executive board of IABC. He was named a lifetime member of TPRA and received its Golden Spur Award. He also served as chairman of the PR Foundation of Texas. He was assistant dean, professional programs, University of Texas at Austin from 1982-86 and with KCBN PR from 1977-81 as SVP and executive VP. Currently he is a senior consultant at QuickSilver Interactive Group, Rockwall, Tex.


Product placement is under attack by two top Congressmen who believe the "blurring of the line between advertising and content" is unfair and deceptive if it occurs without adequate disclosure to the TV viewing public. That's the message that Reps. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) have for Federal Communications Commission chief Kevin Martin.

The duo fears the possibility that product placement may "undermine the integrity of television programming itself." There were more than 4,000 cases of “product integration on network TV” in `06. The business represents a $2.7B market.

Markey and Waxman, in a letter to Martin, contend that changes in the marketplace and technology are fueling the release of placements. They note that 40 percent of TV households have DVRs and half those homes skip commercials.

The Congressmen want the FCC to review the "criteria broadcasters and cable operators currently use to distinguish between commercial and creative content."

Internet Edition, October 3, 2007, Page 8




PR education is undergoing a healthy discussion on blogs and websites and we hope it will lead to changes. On the chopping block is whether anyone should study PR at the undergraduate level.

The larger argument is whether there should be any vocational courses in college at all. Fans of Allan Bloom (“Closing of the American Mind”) argue there shouldn't.

They ask: why go to a fancy restaurant and order hamburgers or hot dogs when you can have esoteric, far healthier dishes at the same price?

Tens of thousands of youths are studying "PR" when the term has all but disappeared from corporations (replaced by "communications"). Media attack PR constantly and nine books on PR have "spin" in their titles.

Are 18-year-olds being sold a bill of goods (at $25K/year and up) by people who should know better?

Our take is that PR is a sophisticated, complex set of activities, many of them conducted in deep secrecy.

On the corporate side, confidentiality is so important that some PR pros think "corporate diplomacy" best captures today's "walking on eggs" atmosphere. PR recruits soon learn that there are things they're supposed to know and things they're not supposed to know or even ask about.

Gathering intelligence and working behind the scenes (such as to kill or at least soften a negative story) are so much a part of a PR person's job that it starts to resemble espionage and counter-espionage.

Editors of The Oklahoman told the local PRS chapter last year that a big problem is PRS members who go to the ad dept. or publisher to get stories yanked or changed. This goes on "daily" and it "gets me angry and my bosses angry," columnist Steve Lackmeyer told a chapter lunch.

We've been reading spy novels lately and find the level of secrecy in PR is similar to that in intelligence. Spies often do not know what fellow spies are up to. One problem with "public diplomacy" and "corporate diplomacy" is that the separation of diplomacy and spying is often not clear. PR veterans say overseas PR pros are "prime prospects" for CIA work. Also, "anything goes" in spying since you're dealing with "the enemy." Spies can be recruited by blackmail (seduce a bureaucrat, threaten exposure) or with lots of cash. Harlot's Ghost (1,400 pp) by Norman Mailer is the definitive work on the CIA.

Before studying PR, students should have access to both the positives and negatives of this career. Best way is via and other PR websites including the most critical. This is no time for censorship. PR textbooks provide a "peaches-and-cream" view of PR and need a reality check. Wikipedia's section on PR quotes the Encyclopedia of PR by Robert Heath as saying that PR helps organizations to achieve "mutually beneficial relationships." Audiences and the press don't want "relationships" but rather the straight facts and their questions answered.

We're disappointed when a PR professor won't talk to us. Prof. Karen Russell of the Univ. of Georgia last week blogged: "Why I'm not returning Jack O'Dwyer's phone call." It was quickly sent to us by other bloggers. Russell said she was busy with a three-hour class on "PR Writing." We'd like to know what she teaches since writing skills of PR and other grads are said to be lacking by PR employers. Editors are interested in the materials in press releases but even more so in contact points. Can the writer make sources available? Russell teaches PR is public service and PR pros are "public servants."

For an example of how PR is conducted, students should study the current behavior of the largest collection of PR people in the U.S.—the PR Society.

Elected chair Rhoda Weiss has so far this year addressed only one of the 15 largest chapters—her home chapter of Detroit, which will host the 2008 annual conference of PRS. But what of the other 14 including New York, the biggest single-city chapter with about 600 members; National Capital, the biggest with nearly 1,200; Georgia, second biggest with 900; Chicago, fourth biggest with 500+, and Los Angeles, fifth biggest with 500+? Weiss has been in hiding from most of the members through most of her tenure. She has answered no questions of any reporter on PRS itself (finances, APR program, student society, governance reform, "PR for PR," etc.) or the Princeton Review's advice against PR courses. Ditto for "President" Bill Murray, paid staff head, who has spoken to only one chapter since arriving Jan. 22. His only "interview" was with Auburn PR students who chided him for being unknowledgeable and unresponsive.

Information flow to the members is at its lowest point ever. The binder to 2007 Assembly delegates did not even list the delegates nor are they on the PRS website. PRS has refused to give members transcripts’ of the ’05 and ’06 Assemblies. Despite the arrival of Phil Bonaventura as CFO, there has been no filing of IRS Form 990, no Foundation financials on the PRS website (as of last week), and no PRS financials in the Assembly binder (when there used to be). A non-member was hired for a PR post, again proving members are virtually barred from their own h.q. (only two of the 55 staffers). Censorship and lack of interaction mar the PRS website. A proposal to squash the ten districts into five "regions" is being debated in a private e-group barred to regular members. Mike Holoweiko's proposal to model PRS governance on the ABA and AMA, made in 2006, was not allowed on the PRS website or in any PRS publication. He sent it to the 109 chapters but we know of none that used it. No other chapter supported it publicly. Art Stevens, 2006 president of PRS/N.Y., refused to put it on the chapter website, saying he would follow the structure of PRS in which power flows from the national board to chapter boards to members. This confirmed Holoweiko's main complaint: PRS is run from the top-down, like a corporation, rather than from the membership up, like an association should be run.

--Jack O'Dwyer


Copyright © 1998-2020 J.R. O'Dwyer Company, Inc.
271 Madison Ave., #600, New York, NY 10016; Tel: 212/679-2471