The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, October 17, 2007, Page 1
MULLS ABSENTEE BALLOT PSA DRIVE.
Federal Voting Assistance Program, which covers the potential
six million absentee voters in the U.S. and worldwide, has
put out a feeler to develop and manage a large-scale public
service campaign ahead of the 2008 elections.
Armys contracting center has issued a sources
sought synopsis on behalf of Secretary of Defense
Robert Gates to determine the interest in capabilities of
organizing a PSA, online marketing and PR effort for the
Defense chief serves as director of the FVAP.
government wants to hear from agencies with PSA experience
and digital savvy, well-versed in PR and media relations
and with experience working for government and non-profit
FVAP has been looking into a system that registers absentee
voters electronically to request a ballot.
Malcolm (703-695-2564; [email protected])
is taking questions.
FORD FINDS FARLEY.
Motor has recruited Toyotas Jim Farley for the group
VP-marketing & communications post.
had been responsible for marketing/sales and customer relations
for the Japanese carmakers Lexus luxury brand.
job is to lead Fords drive to connect even more
closely with customers through integrated marketing, advertising,
digital communications, brand development product planning,
research, product communications and PR, according
to the companys statement.
global communications and PR team reports to Farley, who
joins the company mid-November.
reports to CEO Alan Mulally, who joined the car company
from Boeing last year.
FM RETAINS $800K BUCKEYE TRAVEL
Fahlgren Mortine has retained
command of the $800K Ohio Division of Tourism and Travel
account, fending off Landau PR.
The Columbus-based incumbent
also does Ohio tourism advertising.
That account is under
review with a decision slated for early next month.
FMs PR victory means
the shop can seamlessly tout some of the Buckeye States
roster of harvest events such as the Circleville Pumpkin
Show (Oct. 17-20) and Apple Butter Stirrin
Festival (Oct. 19-21).
Visitors spent $33B in
Ohio last year. The state counts 560K travel-related jobs.
CIRCLE LINE TROLLS RFP FOR
Circle Line, the well-known
sightseeing and music cruise company in New York City, is
reviewing its PR account with an RFP process to boost its
brand in a changing environment. Greenwich,
Conn.-based Danika Communications currently handles the
Circle Line boats have
cruised New York waters since World War II. The company
split into two parts in the early 1980s Circle Line
42nd Street, which operates the sightseeing and music cruises
around Manhattan and has issued the RFP, and Circle Line-Downtown,
which recently lost a re-bid for the $350M contract to ferry
passengers to Liberty Island and Ellis Island for the next
Andreas Sappok, VP and
GM of CLs sightseeing cruises unit, said the company
plans to award a one or two-year contract from the RFP,
which calls for media relations, communications services,
and developing creative ways of promoting the CL brand in
a changing environment with various challenges
CL suffered a two-year
decline after Sept. 11 but stabilized after consolidating
Sappok is overseeing the
RFP. She can be reached at 212/630-8106 or [email protected].
VIRGIN CALLS ABERNATHY MACGREGOR.
Abernathy MacGregor handled
the IPO of Richard Bransons Virgin Mobile, the virtual
wireless company that went public on Oct. 11.
The shares closed at $15.75
a share, up a modest five percent from the offering price.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the much
anticipated stock offering didnt dazzle in its
debut. VM currently trades at $15.10.
VM is a venture of Bransons
Virgin Group and Sprint Nextel. The company aims its prepaid
cellphone cards at the youth market.
PRS KEEPS FINANCIALS FROM
PR Society delegates
who expressed disappointment that no financials were in
the delegates' binder have now been told that no financial
information will be revealed to them until the morning of
the Assembly Oct. 20.
Treasurer Tony D'Angelo
of United Technologies said in a posting Sept. 23 in the
delegates' e-group, after queried about the lack of financials,
that the "plan is to distribute hard copies in Philadelphia."
The board is to
review the financials at its meeting Oct. 18 in Philadelphia.
on page 7)
Edition, October 17, 2007, Page 2
PITCHES NYC AD PUSH.
Rubensteins shop is promoting news of New York Citys
first-ever global marketing campaign to attract more tourists
to the Big Apple.
$30M print, TV, online and outdoor ad effort was unleashed
Oct. 10 in ten countries and in key U.S. cities.
This is New York City tagline is used to play
up the diversity of experiences here. The ads
feature iconic images from each of NYC boroughs including
Times Square, Coney Island, Yankee Stadium, Staten Island
Ferry and the Unisphere.
& Co. chairman Jonathan Tisch said one of the purposes
of the campaign is to counter the negative image of the
U.S. held by foreigners.
Mike Bloomberg has set a goal to attract 50M tourists to
NYC by `15, up from the 43.8M who visited in `06.
ad campaign runs in U.K., Ireland, France, Italy, Spain,
Portugal and Brazil. Boston, Philadelphia, Miami and San
Antonio are also on the schedule.
New York office of Britains Bartle Bogle Hegarty shop
created the ads.
KNOT TIES UP SCARDINO.
Janet Scardino, who was
executive VP-media at Reuters, has moved to The Knot, the
No. 1 site in the weddings category, as president and chief
marketing officer, a new position.
She is charged with developing
new content for The Knot and its associated sites such as
TheNest.com (family features) and PartySpot (celebration
planning). The Knots roster includes magazines, books
and e-commerce aimed at the couples market.
Scardino called The Knot
the new media model for the 21st Century. Her
role is to expand its scope beyond the white dress.
At Reuters, Scardino headed
consumer media services in the Americas and Europe. She
was responsible for ad-supported websites, mobile, outdoor
and Internet delivered TV properties.
Scardino also worked at
AOL as senior VP-international marketing. Her responsibilities
included brand and acquisition marketing in 16 countries.
She held spots at Walt
Disney (managing director of the Disney Channel in Milan,
Italy) and MTV Networks (VP-international marketing).
NIGERIA TO RETAIN WATTS.
Watts Consulting Group
is negotiating a long-term contract to promote the new face
of Nigeria in the aftermath of the April presidential election
that put Umaru YarAdua into power.
WCG is the firm of former
Congressman J.C. Watts, the former University of Oklahoma
Sooners football star who rose to the No. 4 leadership position
in the Republican party.
WCG envisions a full menu
of government relations work plus outreach to business,
social and civic organizations on behalf of the Nigerians.
That planned outreach
follows a Human Rights Watch report released Oct. 9 that
portrays Nigeria as a nation mired in corruption.
SC WORKS CONTROVERSIAL DEAL.
Stanton Crenshaw is helping
Bain Capital Partners counter Congressional critics upset
with its $2.2B deal to acquire 3Com Corp. BCPs partnership
with Chinas Huawei Technologies Co. is the key irritant.
Duncan Hunter and Peter Hoekstra have been most vocal in
speaking up against the deal.
They fear China could
gain access to 3Coms telecommunications technology
that is used by the Pentagon. Hunter is a Presidential rival
to Mitt Romney, founder of the private equity fund.
In a letter to Treasury
Secretary Hank Paulson, they expressed alarm
over the deal because of Huaweis close ties to the
Government of the Peoples Republic.
BCP, on Oct. 3, agreed
to submit the deal for approval of the Treasury Dept.s
Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S.
Huawei is headed by a
former Chinese military officer. The Washington Times
reported that the company supplied Saddam Husseins
government gear in violation of United Nations sanctions,
and provided the Taliban equipment before the American-led
invasion of Afghanistan.
Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions
(Republican) said the 3Com deal is worse than the proposed
agreement to turn over control of U.S. ports to Dubai.
Porter Novelli does PR
SV TAKES AIM AT BUD.
Sard Verbinnen & Co.
is playing media matchmaker to the blockbuster marriage
combining the U.S. operations of No. 2 brewer Miller Brewing
and No. 3 Coors to take a run at No. 1 Anheuser-Busch.
The deal would create
a $6.6B MillerCoors entity headed by Leo Kiely, CEO of MolsonCoors.
Tom Long, CEO of Miller, will be president and chief commercial
officer of the new company.
The deal, if approved
by regulators early next year, is expected to generate $500M
in annual cost synergies.
Miller Coors will hold
about 31 percent of the U.S. beer market, while AB controls
SVs Carrie Bloom,
Jim Barron and Drew Brown are working the deal.
JENNINGS EXITS W.H. FOR PERITUS
Scott Jennings, a special
assistant to President Bush and deputy to Karl Rove, has
left the White House to direct strategic development for
Louisville, Ky., PR firm Peritus PR.
Jennings was a direct
advisor to the president and deputy for personnel and political
affairs to Senior Advisor Rove.
Peritus, formerly The
Commonwealth Group, is a nine-year-old PA and PR shop that
works in the corporate, consumer and healthcare sectors,
among others. The firm has worked with DCI Group, Ford,
Caremark Rx and the Univ. of Louisville.
Jennings joined the White
House in early 2005 as a political affairs liaison for 11
southern states after managing the Bush/Cheney campaign
in New Mexico in 2004. He also worked on Sen. Mitch McConnells
2002 re-election and Gov. Ernie Fletchers 2003 campaign.
Edition, October 17, 2007, Page 3
EXPECTED TO SWING AX.
BBC is preparing to cut nearly 2,000 positions, or at least
12 percent of its 23,000-person workforce, according to
the Financial Times.
Beeb has to lop off six percent of its $3 billion-plus annual
budget over the next five years.
FT reported that BBC's factual programming, which produces
shows like "Planet Earth" and "Panorama,"
is expected to be hardest hit by the pruning.
BBC cut more than 3,700 positions in 2005.
Simmons is the new editor of the editorial page of the Washington
takes over for Tony Blankley, who defected to Edelman last
month. Simmons was Blankley's deputy.
joined the Times in `85. Simmons has been a copy editor,
metro editor and features editor, which includes the paper's
Civil War page.
began her newspaper upon high school graduation at the Washington
Evening Star. Simmons has appeared on "Bill Maher's
Politically Incorrect," "America's Black Forum,"
"The O'Reilly Factor," Washington Journal,"
FIRM BIDS FOR SCRIPPS PAPER.
Turner, a strategic communications and crisis firm in Albuquerque,
has placed a bid to buy the Albuquerque Tribune from
E.W. Scripps Co.
Cincinnati-based media company announced plans to close
the 85-year-old evening paper on Aug. 28 if it could not
find a buyer within two months.
AT has a joint operating agreement with the larger Albuquerque
Carroll, DW Turner president, told the Associated Press
that the Tribune would operate independently of the PR firm
that is headed by Doug Turner, who has counseled Wal-Mart,
Philip Morris, Pfizer and Westinghouse.
PAYS $925M FOR OXYGEN.
Electric's NBC Universal unit is paying $925M for Oxygen
Media, the cable network aimed at women in 74M households.
deal increases NBCU's "foothold in the advertiser-coveted
young, upscale, female demographic," according to Jeff
Zucker, CEO of NBCU.
added that seven-year-old Oxygen complements NBCU's existing
cable channels and plays to its strength of running networks.
which Zucker called the "crown jewel" of independent
cable networks, was founded by current CEO Geraldine Laybourne,
Oprah Winfrey and TV producers Marcy Carsey, Tom Werner
and Caryn Mandabach.
is to be folded into NBCU's cable entertainment unit which
includes Bravo, USA Network, MSNBC and SCI Fi. The unit
generates 50 percent of the company's profits.
has agreed to stay on at Oxygen at least through the rest
of the year. The acquisition is expected to close next month.
Fiorina, who was ousted from the helm of Hewlett-Packard,
is a contributor to Fox Business News, the News Corp. offering
that debuted Oct. 15.
Magee, executive VP at FBN, called Fiorina "one of
the foremost business leaders of our time."
was forced out in '05 at H-P for her role in pushing for
the Compaq Computer acquisition.
made her case for that deal in a memoir, "Tough Choices."
MOVES TO NPR.
Duffy, a former editor of U.S. News & World Report
has joined National Public Radio as managing editor.
departed USN&WR during the spring after a six-year stint.
Earlier, Duffy wrote for the Wall Street Journal and
NPR, Duffy will direct daily news reporting and lead the
network's investigative efforts.
TAKES BeE WOMAN POST.
Ritter, who was managing editor of Worth, is now
editor-in-chief of BeE Woman, the Dallas-based mag
of personal finance, careers, lifestyles and politics.
succeeds Ana Maria Castronovo, who resigned after four years.
served as managing editor of Time4Media/Time Inc.'s SHOT
Business and was assistant editor of Outdoor Life.
Woman is published by Femme Publications and has a rate
base of 120K.
TOUTS PRS GLAMOUR.
has overtaken advertising as the "industry of choice
for those seeking a route to glamour," according to
the Oct. 8 New York Observer.
a historical twist, according to the salmon-colored weekly.
used to be a place where the "leading practitioners
were invisible, a good PR agent never let himself usurp
his client's fame."
paper contrasts AMC's "Mad Men" series about advertising's
glory days of the early `60s with MTV's "The Hills"
reality show that features Bolthouse Productions, a special
Mad Men shows how "the era of advertising's larger-than-life
men era is over," MTV's "Heidi Montag looks pretty
behind the desk of an Los Angeles publicity agency whose
founder, Brent Bolthouse is perfectly content to let the
camera linger on his carefully slicked black hair."
Observer believes a "whole generation of teenagers
is indoctrinated in the joys of clipboard-holding."
has revamped Newsweek.com
to include streamlined navigation, a weekly video message
to readers about the week's stories from editor Jon Meacham,
and 14 new blogs.
news continued on next page)
Edition, October 17, 2007, Page 4
LOW ON EDITORIAL TOTEM POLE.
a good trick to try out when pitching the press: instead
of sending story ideas to the top dog of a magazine or its
newsroom, find the publication's masthead, look at its roster
of editorial staff, and start sending items to the people
listed on the very bottom of the list.
and managing editors are usually too busy to sift through
the PR slush pile, said a group of consumer and personal
finance media experts at a September 27 Publicity Club of
New York luncheon panel.
the other hand, beat reporters and associate editors are
more likely to rely on PR pitches for news items, items
they can then re-spin to their bosses and turn into a story.
really do count on emails you send me telling me what's
going on," said Mary McGeever, Consumer Unit producer
at WCBS-TV. "When you come up with a different angle
it means that I can go to my boss with a different angle.
I look like a superstar and you get your story on the air."
Stark, assistant managing editor of Money magazine,
said it's important that PR pros distinguish the concept
of pitching an idea to the press, as opposed to pitching
a product or person.
are the stuff news is made of. PR pros should appropriate
their pitches by embodying their clients as part of a bigger
a big difference," Stark said. "It's the difference
between saying 'John Smith would like you to speak with
him about this issue,' versus saying 'John Smith has a new
idea on this or that issue.'"
panel offered another tip: don't give the media 'empty'
experts. Mary Beth Franklin, senior editor of Kiplinger's
Personal Finance magazine, said supplying experts for
soundbytes like an analyst or a financial planner is par
for the course, but said it should be someone who not only
has something valuable to say, but who can put the press
in touch with an actual client so they can see the results
have wonderful relationships with PR people who know what
I want," Franklin said. "If you know what we want
and you deliver, we're golden."
Marco, associate editor for The Consumerist, warned against
the tricky business of sending surveys to the press that
laud a client's achievements,
Consumerist, a blog that gets more than 6 million unique
visitors a month, specializes in putting the spotlight on
consumer complaints, a practice that Marco said makes many
companies "afraid of us."
can see through the veil of slippery surveys compiled solely
for the purpose of making a company look good, and Marco
noted that it isn't a good idea to send any of this data
to the press unless it's from a legitimate third party.
do surveys, but if you give us a survey and it's put together
by your company, we'll probably make fun of you," she
agreed. "I probably get 10-12 surveys a week, with
a lot of them giving me completely opposite results."
of course, PR pros should remember to work the pitch into
an original concept that can be shaped by a newsroom.
need to somehow find a hook, something new. Do a little
research, and come up with a different angle," said
know it's tough. I know it feels sometimes like everything's
been done. But at the end of the day, that's what it's got
panel was moderated by PCNY President Peter Himler.
WSJS HERRICK TO B-M.
Thaddeus Herrick, a reporter
with 25 years of newspaper experience, has been tapped as
general manager of Burson-Marsteller's Houston office. He
reports to southwest regional chairman Mike Lake.
Herrick covered real estate
and the energy business during the last seven years for
the Wall Street Journal. Those stories including
ones about ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical and OPEC.
Prior to the WSJ, Herrick
was San Antonio bureau chief for the Houston Chronicle,
chief political writer for Rocky Mountain News and
Mexico City bureau chief for Scripps Howard.
has reworked its editorial and design, the result of an
18-month process that was unveiled with the Oct. 22 issue.
Among the changes are an expansion of "The Business
Week" news digest, a new section called "Links,"
which aggragates outside content, and the newly created
"In Depth" feature section. "Feedback"
from readers has become a weekly feature and Maria Bartiromo's
"Face Time" column will also be weekly.
Time Warner Cable has
tapped Ellen East
for the executive VP-corporate communications slot. She
will take over for Lynn Yaeger when she retires at the end
of the year.
East held the VP-corporate
comms. spot at Cox Communications in Atlanta. She is a former
reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
AT TWC, East also will
oversee the cable entity's regional PA activities. She will
report to TWC CEO Glenn Britt.
McGinn was promoted to assistant news director for
WNYW/Fox 5 in New York. She takes over for Jim Driscoll,
who was named news director for sister station My9/WWOR-TV.
Morley, a 15-year Washington Post vet, has
been named editorial director of the Center for Independent
Media, a start-up expected to have an online news site up
in late 2007.
David Bennahum, president
and CEO of CIM, said the center conducted a thorough and
intensive search before deciding on Morley. Bennahum said
Morley is ideally suited to help lead the way to the
21st century newsroom.
Edition, October 17,
2007, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
IN PR FIRM WITH SAUDI PRINCE.
& Co., New York, has entered a joint venture with Saudi
marketing and investment company F6 to form a Middle East
and North Africa PR firm, KeatingF6.
Keating, CEO and chief strategist for K&C, serves as
managing partner of the entity. Prince Faisal bin Fahad
bin Abdullah Al-Saud serves as chairman.
Faisal said he has personally seen Keatings work for
its clients globally and praised his involvement in the
region and understanding of local culture.
was hired in 2005 to work with another Saudi prince, Faisal
bin Salman, to clear the princes brother of charges
he was a liaison between terrorists and the Saudi government.
is slated to open later this month in Al Khobar in eastern
Weinstein, who headed Nikes PR department for
15 years, has traded in the swoosh for a shingle
and set up Oregon-based Lee Weinstein and Associates PR.
The firm handles employee comms., sports PR, crisis and
issue management, and other PR disciplines. On leaving Nike,
Weinstein told Tactics: Nikes a wonderful
company, but it got to where I looked at myself and said,
Ive been here 15 years; do I want to be here
20?... Id accomplished everything I wanted to
accomplish, and it was time to do something new. ...Waggener
Edstrom Worldwide has aligned with Tokyo boutique
firm Actio Inc., marking WaggEds entry into the Japanese
market. Actio works with Microsoft, NetSuite, and Sawai
Pharmaceutical Co. ...Stone
Ward, a Little Rock, Ark.-based ad agency, has set
up a new business unit with the combination of its PR and
public affairs units and addition of a digital PR practice.
Blake Rutherford, director of PA, has been tapped to manage
the new entity, called Link, as director of public comms.
Brenda Scisson, who has been director of PR for nearly six
years, takes on an of counsel role as an advisor through
her own firm. Info: stoneward.com. ...Aristotle,
a Little Rock-based web design and marketing firm, has established
a PR unit to focus on traditional marketing comms. as well
as digital media like blogs and wikis. Amy Glover Bryant,
former marketing officer for Arvest Bank who previously
headed her own firm, has been named director of the new
PR division. Info: aristotledesign.com. ...French/West/Vaughan,
Raleigh, N.C., has acquired a majority interest in Raleigh
ad agency Distill. The deal, expected to close next month,
calls for the formation of FWV Distilled, a sister agency
and affiliate of FWV. ...Simon
Smalls, VP of Susan Blond Inc., New York, has won
the Stiletto Award for Publicity and Media Relations Executive
of the Year given at the National Assn. of Black Female
Executives in Music and Entertainments annual leadership
summit earlier this month. She has repped artists like Usher,
James Brown as well as NASCAR franchise Dale Earnhardt Inc.
PR, New York/Urban Retail Properties, privately held
developer, for corporate PR.
Lee Communications, New York/How Sweet It Is, high-end
custom pastry and cake company, as AOR for launch of its
first retail store, slated for November on Manhattans
Lower East Side.
Kotchen Group, West Hartford, Conn./Gardus, for PR
for a new product line of home maintenance tools, including
a dryer vent cleaning system and rotary chimney cleaner.
A consumer and media outreach effort educating homeowners
to prevent fires and increase energy efficiency is slated
for this fall.
PR, Boston/Houghton Mifflin, as U.S. AOR for its
College Division, which publishes textbooks, study guides,
online tools and other study-support materials for higher
education. The work will be HMs first major foray
into a consumer-focused media campaign, said Katie Rose,
VP of marketing for the HM unit.
& Company, Boston/Safe Roads Alliance, for a
project with consulting firm Synectics focused on promoting
safer driving among teens in Massachusetts. M&C is helping
the non-profit integrate data from focus groups conducted
by Synectics into promo materials and presentations for
its high school outreach program.
Communications, Atlanta/ParkerVision, developer and
marketer of semiconductor technology solutions for wireless
applications, for PR including messaging, executive visibility,
trade show support, strategic counsel and media/analyst
relations. The company is based in Jacksonville, Fla.
Communications, Atlanta/SparkIP, online intellectual
property exchange for individuals or entities performing
Group, Boca Raton, Fla./Los Angeles School of Gymnastics,
for the 2008 LA Lights Rhythmic Gymnastics Invitational
Jan. 24-27 at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Culver
Integrated Communications, Louisville, Colo./ZaccaZa!
restaurant, to design and host an interactive website, and
implement a national PR campaign.
Marketing, Las Vegas/Tamba Cuisine | Lounge, Las
Vegas Strip Indian eatery, as AOR for PR, marketing, advertising
and digital work.
Cunningham, San Francisco/BixFix, IT security, compliance
and system management services, as AOR for PR.
Phelan, Scotts Valley, Calif./FraudSciences, online
credit-card fraud detection and protection, as AOR for PR.
L.A., Los Angeles/Weddings by EIM, for a PR campaign
and to manage all of its comms. needs.
Girl PR, Los Angeles/Extra Virgin Body Products,
for PR for the company and its founder, Kelly Marie Rubin.
Edition, October 17, 2007, Page 6
TO RECEIVE IPR AWARD.
Institute for Public Relations will present Kirk Hallahan,
professor at Colorado State University, with the 2007 Pathfinder
Award for outstanding scholarly contributions to professional
knowledge at their annual awards dinner Nov. 8 at
the Yale Club in New York City.
record includes oversight for nearly 30 journal articles
and book chapters. He has focused his recent research on
the application of online technologies to public relations
former practitioner with 19 years of professional experience,
Hallahan entered his second career in PR education in 1991.
After receiving a Ph.D. in mass communications at the Univ.
of Wisconsin-Madison, he taught for three years at the Univ.
of North Dakota before joining the faculty of Colorado State
Pathfinder award includes a $2K grant.
will also bestow the Northwestern Mutual Best Masters
Thesis Award on Major Chad G. Carroll, University of North
Carolina-Chapel Hill, for his work entitled, The U.S.
Army Public Diplomacy Officer: Military Public Affairs Officers
Roles in The Global Information Environment.
findings of Carroll's research suggest these officers would
be more effective if trained to interact with foreign publics,
not just domestic publics as they are now.
Straughan, associate professor who heads the PR sequence
in the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication,
served as the thesis advisor.
Foster, retired corporate VP-PR for Johnson & Johnson,
is being honored with IPRs Alexander Hamilton Medal
for lifetime achievement in public relations. Info: www.instituteforpr.org.
MOUTON TO HEAD PINNACLE WORLDWIDE.
The Pinnacle Worldwide
network of independent PR firms has named Johanna Mouton
as its new executive director. Mouton will look to her experience
as personal assistant to the Ambassador of Egypt to help
coordinate the efforts of Pinnacles 60 members around
Mouton also served as
a principal consultant for Cap Gemini/Ernst & Young,
project implementation supervisor for Gelco Information
Network, and project manager and financial risk analyst
for Wells Fargo Bank.
Others named to Pinnacle's
Executive Committee for the 2007/08 fiscal year are:
Ron Hanser, pres., Hanser & Assocs. in Des Moines, Iowa,
will serve as chairman; David Marriott, CEO of Gogerty Stark
Marriott, Seattle, Wash., as president; Donna Vandiver,
president and CEO of The Vandiver Group, St. Louis, Mo.,
as pres.-elect; Scott Peyron, pres. of Scott Peyron &
Assocs. in Boise, Idaho, as treasurer; Ray Casas, principal
of Wragg & Casas PR, Miami, FL., as VP of Latin America;
Gary Conkling, pres. of Conkling Fiskum & McCormick,
Portland, Ore., Jeannette Boccini, principal and EVP, LVM
Group, New York, and Barbara Coles, pres. of Coles Marketing
Comms. in Indianapolis, Ind., serve as members-at-large.
Simpson, senior VP for consumer brands at Edelman,
to Ogilvy PR Worldwide, New York, as executive VP/director
for its N.Y. consumer marketing group.
Vande Beek, VP of global government relations for
Computer Associates, to Travelport Limited, New York, as
senior VP of govt affairs. He was formerly VP of PR
for The Coca-Cola Co. and global manager of PR at Halliburton.
He was formerly director of comms. and press secretary for
Vice President Dick Cheney in the 2000 campaign.
Applebaum, director of PR for Dogmatic Inc., to Krupp
Kommunications, New York, as director of publicity.
Kevin Moran, a retired Navy vice admiral, to chief
operating officer of the Investor Relations Group, New York.
Gaynes, VP of PR for Cashman + Katz Integrated Comms.,
to VantageScore Solutions, Stamford, Conn., as VP of media
relations. He was previously an MD with Stanton Crenshaw
Comms., senior VP of corporate and investor relations for
Mallory Factor, and VP for Porter Novelli.
Marinella Hall, news anchor for WLVI-TV in Boston,
to Millipore Corp., Billerica, Mass., as director of corporate
Butt, formerly of Godfrey Advertising and Lois Paul
& Partners, to Neiman Group, Harrisburg, Pa., as an
A/E. Intern Danielle
Floyd is now an A/C.
Brown, comms. staffer for law firm WilmerHale, to
Prism Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., to focus on litigation
and crisis comms. She previously worked for Levick Strategic
Comms. and began her career in the CIAs public affairs
Mosley to director of external affairs, National
Medical Assn., Washington, D.C., an African American physicians
and patients group.
Kelley Cimko, SVP for ICF Consulting, to FD Dittus
Communications to head its PA practice. Cimko was formerly
MD of public affairs for Burson-Marsteller and earlier served
as press secretary for Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) and
then-Sec. of Defense Dick Cheney. Paul
Carothers, VP of global public affairs for Kraft
Foods, joins FD Dittus as leader of its food, health and
nutrition practice. He formerly worked for Sen. John Breaux
Lally, senior PR consultant for HSR Business to Business,
to Powers Agency, Cincinnati, as VP of PR. Earlier, he was
director of PR/mktg. at Frontgate.
Bichsel, senior comms. and policy advisor to Seattle
Mayor Greg Nickels, to Casey Family Programs, Seattle, as
managing director for communications.
Ryerson to director of corporate comms., Penske Truck
Leasing, Reading, Pa. He was manager, corporate comms.
Wilson to counselor, JohnstonWells PR, Denver. She
joined in 2002 and handles Qwest Communications, Barker
Rinker Seacat Architecture, and Skydex Technologies.
Edition, October 17, 2007, Page 7
said financials were not included in the binder "because
the plan is to include the year-to-date third quarter numbers,
and the third quarter doesn't close for another week. By
the time the PRS staff closes the month and quarter and
prepares the statements along with their analysis, we will
be right up against the conference, so the plan is to distribute
hard copies in Philadelphia.
fact, the finance committee and the board will only have
seen them two days before the Assembly does-that's how close
the staff is cutting this to make sure all delegates have
the latest information (special thanks to CFO Phil Bonaventura
and his team for really cranking to make that happen)."
then said information on the first half is available on
the Society website.
officers of PRS said staff could easily PDF the financials,
which should be ready by now, to both the board and delegates.
financials should be studied in advance by the delegates
who should not have them dumped in their laps on the day
of the Assembly," said a former officer.
Cost of Membership Knocked
posting by a delegate from a large chapter who is going
for the first time says she fears the Assembly will be "a
day steeped in the usual bureaucracy and reporting duties."
asked: "Is anyone interested in talking about the escalating
cost of every morsel of membership-and how we can no longer
access anything we haven't paid for? Or, how it is difficult
to even get delegates to go-a) cost; b) substance. My jaw
keeps dropping further and further as my wallet gets lighter."
co-chair Dave Rickey, answering the complaint, said delegates
this year will have the opportunity to provide "input"
to the next strategic plan and will also be able to talk
at the "town hall meeting" at the end of the Assembly.
Another delegate complained that copies of the proposed
strategic plan have not been received by the delegates and
that, "therefore it is likely that our breakout sessions
will be superficial."
delegate agreed, saying: "What kind of meaningful discussion
can you have about a strategic plan you receive as you walk
through the door for a one-day meeting.?"
was no reply on this issue from a PRS leader.
of Oct. 10, there were 26 postings in the e-group which
began Sept. 7. More than half of the postings are by leaders
answering questions or describing benefits of the Society.
several PRS surveys have found that many delegates want
the Assembly to be in session throughout the year and to
be able to conduct business electronically, COO Bill Murray
threw cold water on this in a posting.
told the e-group that "PRS is organized under New York
State law, which requires that votes take place at meetings,
and which contains no provision for electronic voting by
an Assembly (or members of an organization); PRS's bylaws
do not address the subject, and as a result, direct electronic
voting is not permitted."
delegates said that they should be able to discuss matters
such as the cancellation of the printed directory, cancellation
of the previous Code of Ethics, and the move of h.q. to
downtown New York for 13 years in a teleconference and then
call an in-person meeting to cast legal votes if that is
2006 Assembly had passed a motion that called on the PRS
board to evaluate technology "to assist Assembly delegates
to fully participate in the annual meeting, whether in person,
via teleconference, or web-based meeting format."
said that as part of the proposed re-writing of the entire
bylaws of PRS that "legal hurdles" to an electronic
Assembly would be addressed.
LAWYER IS PRS PARLIAMENTARIAN.
Beth Caseman, an associate
in the Washington, D.C., law firm of Venable, will serve
both as legal counsel and parliamentarian for the PR Society
board when it presides over the Assembly Oct. 20 in Philadelphia.
The announcement was made
by PRS chair and CEO Rhoda Weiss during a delegate teleconference
"We are thrilled
to have her as part of our team," Weiss told the teleconference.
Weiss also said that lunch
has been moved up to noon from 12:30 to insure 1.5 hours
of discussion on the new Strategic Plan.
Delegates will be given
seats that separate them from others in their delegations
or districts. They will be given three subjects from the
SP and will not be allowed to discuss any other subject.
"Monitors" will make sure the delegates are staying
on the topic.
Jeff Tenenbaum of Venable
said that he, Caseman and other lawyers at the firm often
serve as parliamentarians at meetings of associations because
of their extensive work with associations.
Neither Tenenbaum or Caseman
are members of the National Assn. of Parliamentarians or
the American Institute of Parliamentarians.
Legal fees were $66,761
in 2006 vs. $20,498 in 2003. The board has proposed a re-write
of the entire bylaws which will entail considerable legal
Veteran PRS members could
not remember an instance of a local parliamentarian not
being hired for the Assembly.
Attended Board Sessions
Ray Crockett, director
of communications, Coca-Cola North America, Atlanta, was
appointed by Weiss to the national board this year as "senior
counselor" and has attended three meetings thus far,
it was learned. PRS did not announce this development.
Crockett ran for the board
starting in 2008 as S.E. director but the nominating committee
picked Phil Tate of Luquire George Andrews, marketing/ad/PR
Lynn Sallot, Ph.D., PR
professor at the Univ. of Georgia, is this year's selection
as "Outstanding Educator."
Georgia, the second largest
chapter with 800+ members, has nine Assembly delegates.
Dr. Mark Schilansky, a
podiatrist who had served for several years as the parliamentarian
for PRS, said he currently has no assignment from PR Society.
Edition, October 17, 2007,
is our last editorial before the once-a-year meeting
of the Assembly (Oct. 20) of the PR Society, the body that
is supposed to represent the interests of the members.
don't think it does. It represents the interests of the
leaders and h.q. staff.
We would like this to be a serious meeting instead of a
will be delirious if the 250 chapter delegates let themselves
be hornswoggled into discussing the "Strategic Plan"
for an hour and a half (with monitors patrolling the aisles
to make sure they don't discuss anything else).
current SP is a cloud of soaring aspirations and goals with
about as much substance as a real cloud.
can easily be shown that it has failed in its main goals
so why craft another one? The reason is that the attention
of the delegates will be shifted to the future and away
from the painful truths of the present. Another such dodge
this year is the threat to re-write the entire bylaws. Delegates
will have to worry about that one, too. We recall the adage:
"The future is the playground of fools."
Strategic Plan was more meaningful when it was created
in 1999 as a "check and balance" against rule
by the board. It was meant to gather the opinions of a broad
spectrum of members.
The 1999 SP demanded that
APR be removed as a qualification for national office or
the Assembly or membership on the nominating committee.
APR was to be removed "across-the-board" from
the bylaws. What happened was that the board removed the
SP of independence. The 1999 board rejected the APR advice
in no uncertain terms and said it would fight any such changes
in the bylaws.
The board now dominates
the SP. The SP is no longer a "check and balance"
on the board and neither is the Ethics Board, which refuses
to make any criticisms of the national board; the audit
committee, which rubber stamps the audit by Sobel &
Co.; the College of Fellows, which is silent; the ex-presidents,
also silent, and the Gold Anvil winners, even more silent.
All these possible "checks and balances" are no
match for the board and its arsenal of lawyers, accountants
and association executives. The Assembly is the last possible
"check and balance" but its overwhelming objection
to the Central Michigan proposal last year that would have
made the Assembly the chief policy-making body of the Society
shows the board is in almost complete control of it.
But back to
the 2005-2007 SP.
For openers, it says that
PRS is a "member-driven organization" when it
emphatically is not. Members are typically kept in the dark
about any big decisions like killing the directory, the
code, and signing a 13-year lease downtown. There is no
PRS blog for members and they're barred from seeing what
their "elected" delegates say in a private e-mail
group. As it turns out (page 7), very little is being said
in this e-group. Most of the participants are leaders.
A chief goal of the SP
was making PRS "the profession's leading voice on important
industry, societal and global issues." We haven't seen
a single speech all year from either CEO Rhoda Weiss or
COO Bill Murray, both of whom have ducked all but three
of the 15 biggest chapters. How can leaders have a voice
when they're in hiding?!
Another big goal was to
"identify the PRS Foundation as the leader in research
and education that advances the profession."
This is preposterous because
the Institute for PR, which broke away from PRS in 1989
over the APR issue, had revenues of $845,485 in 2006 vs.
the Foundation's $259,840 in 2006. IPR is three times as
big as the Foundation and we don't see the latter catching
up. Actually, it should never have been created. It's a
waste of time and money. PRS should have accepted an independent
foundation back in 1989. Its outsized ego blocked this.
unrealized SP goal was to "create a leadership institute
to train and develop promising mid-careerists to service
What a laugh! On the Oct.
9 delegate teleconference, S.E. district chair Blake Lewis
bemoaned the failure of even one acceptable candidate to
show up for a district board position. One had to be recruited
by petition. "No organization should have to go through
that," he complained. Obviously this SP initiative
Another goal, equally
laughable, was "increase the number of accredited members
through a targeted marketing plan." New PRS APRs have
been at an all-time low for three years running-130 yearly
or 391 in total. Stick a fork in this program.
Yet another main objective
was "gain recognition" for PRS leaders such as
Gold Anvil winners. Where are Debra Miller, 2006 Gold winner,
and all the other Gold winners? Are there any speeches or
leadership activities coming from them? No. What have they
got to say about the secret e-mail group of the delegates,
the false financials that understate conference payroll
costs, the lack of a blog on the PRS website, etc.? Nothing.
Equally silent are the past presidents, who self-mockingly
call themselves "The Dead Presidents Society"
because of their lack of leadership.
could go on and on about the unrelenting bloviating that
marks the SP. It is loaded with positive words like "strategy,"
"critical," "vision," "ethical,"
"strengths," etc. How many zeros make one? If
the delegates spend one minute on creating a new string
of superlatives for PRS, they will show how politicized
they have become.
If they want to win a
lot of brownie points with the national leadership, that
is the way to do it. But the Assembly is the one day in
the year when PRS volunteers and staff must operate in the
The Assembly is too big
to be hidden. Its actions will be duly recorded for all