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 17, 2007, Page 1


The 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.

The Army’s 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 FVAP.

The Defense chief serves as director of the FVAP.

The 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 entities.

The FVAP has been looking into a system that registers absentee voters electronically to request a ballot.

Gayna Malcolm (703-695-2564; [email protected]) is taking questions.


Ford Motor has recruited Toyota’s Jim Farley for the group VP-marketing & communications post.

He had been responsible for marketing/sales and customer relations for the Japanese carmaker’s Lexus luxury brand.

Farley’s job is to “lead Ford’s 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 company’s statement.

Ford’s global communications and PR team reports to Farley, who joins the company mid-November.

Farley reports to CEO Alan Mulally, who joined the car company from Boeing last year.


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.

FM’s PR victory means the shop can seamlessly tout some of the Buckeye State’s 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, 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 work.

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 10 years.

Andreas Sappok, VP and GM of CL’s 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 and opportunities.”

CL suffered a two-year decline after Sept. 11 but stabilized after consolidating its operations.

Sappok is overseeing the RFP. She can be reached at 212/630-8106 or [email protected].


Abernathy MacGregor handled the IPO of Richard Branson’s 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” didn’t dazzle in its debut.  VM currently trades at $15.10.

VM is a venture of Branson’s Virgin Group and Sprint Nextel. The company aims its prepaid cellphone cards at the youth market.


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.

(continued on page 7)

Internet Edition, October 17, 2007, Page 2


Howard Rubenstein’s shop is promoting news of New York City’s first-ever global marketing campaign to attract more tourists to the Big Apple.

The $30M print, TV, online and outdoor ad effort was unleashed Oct. 10 in ten countries and in key U.S. cities.

The “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.

NYC & 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.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg has set a goal to attract 50M tourists to NYC by `15, up from the 43.8M who visited in `06.

The ad campaign runs in U.K., Ireland, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Brazil. Boston, Philadelphia, Miami and San Antonio are also on the schedule.

The New York office of Britain’s Bartle Bogle Hegarty shop created the ads.


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 (family features) and PartySpot (celebration planning). The Knot’s 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).


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 Yar’Adua 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.”


Stanton Crenshaw is helping Bain Capital Partners counter Congressional critics upset with its $2.2B deal to acquire 3Com Corp. BCP’s partnership with China’s Huawei Technologies Co. is the key irritant.

Republican Congressmen Duncan Hunter and Peter Hoekstra have been most vocal in speaking up against the deal.

They fear China could gain access to 3Com’s 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 Huawei’s close ties to the Government of the People’s 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 Hussein’s 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 for 3Com.


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 half.

SV’s Carrie Bloom, Jim Barron and Drew Brown are working the deal.


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 McConnell’s 2002 re-election and Gov. Ernie Fletcher’s 2003 campaign.

Internet Edition, October 17, 2007, Page 3


The 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.

The Beeb has to lop off six percent of its $3 billion-plus annual budget over the next five years.

The FT reported that BBC's factual programming, which produces shows like "Planet Earth" and "Panorama," is expected to be hardest hit by the pruning.

The BBC cut more than 3,700 positions in 2005.


Deborah Simmons is the new editor of the editorial page of the Washington Times.

She takes over for Tony Blankley, who defected to Edelman last month. Simmons was Blankley's deputy.

She joined the Times in `85. Simmons has been a copy editor, metro editor and features editor, which includes the paper's Civil War page.

She 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," and NPR.


DW Turner, a strategic communications and crisis firm in Albuquerque, has placed a bid to buy the Albuquerque Tribune from E.W. Scripps Co.

The 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.

The AT has a joint operating agreement with the larger Albuquerque Journal.

Tom 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.


General Electric's NBC Universal unit is paying $925M for Oxygen Media, the cable network aimed at women in 74M households.

The deal increases NBCU's "foothold in the advertiser-coveted young, upscale, female demographic," according to Jeff Zucker, CEO of NBCU.

He added that seven-year-old Oxygen complements NBCU's existing cable channels and plays to its strength of running networks.

Oxygen, 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.

It 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.

Laybourne has agreed to stay on at Oxygen at least through the rest of the year. The acquisition is expected to close next month.


Carly 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.

Kevin Magee, executive VP at FBN, called Fiorina "one of the foremost business leaders of our time."

She was forced out in '05 at H-P for her role in pushing for the Compaq Computer acquisition.

Fiorina made her case for that deal in a memoir, "Tough Choices."


Brian Duffy, a former editor of U.S. News & World Report has joined National Public Radio as managing editor.

He departed USN&WR during the spring after a six-year stint. Earlier, Duffy wrote for the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.

At NPR, Duffy will direct daily news reporting and lead the network's investigative efforts.


Elizabeth 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.

She succeeds Ana Maria Castronovo, who resigned after four years.

Ritter served as managing editor of Time4Media/Time Inc.'s SHOT Business and was assistant editor of Outdoor Life.

BeE Woman is published by Femme Publications and has a rate base of 120K.


PR has overtaken advertising as the "industry of choice for those seeking a route to glamour," according to the Oct. 8 New York Observer.

That's a historical twist, according to the salmon-colored weekly.

PR used to be a place where the "leading practitioners were invisible, a good PR agent never let himself usurp his client's fame."

The 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 events outfit.

While 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."

The Observer believes a "whole generation of teenagers is indoctrinated in the joys of clipboard-holding."

Newsweek has revamped to include streamlined navigation, a weekly video message to readers about the week's stories from editor Jon Meacham, and 14 new blogs.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, October 17, 2007, Page 4


Here's 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.

Senior 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.

On 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.

"I 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."

Ellen 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.

Ideas are the stuff news is made of. PR pros should appropriate their pitches by embodying their clients as part of a bigger picture.

"There's 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.'"

The 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 for themselves.

"I 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."

Meghann Marco, associate editor for The Consumerist, warned against the tricky business of sending surveys to the press that laud a client's achievements,

The 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."

Newsrooms 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.

"We'll 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 said.

Franklin agreed. "I probably get 10-12 surveys a week, with a lot of them giving me completely opposite results."

And of course, PR pros should remember to work the pitch into an original concept that can be shaped by a newsroom.

"I need to somehow find a hook, something new. Do a little research, and come up with a different angle," said McGeever.

"I 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 to be."

The panel was moderated by PCNY President Peter Himler.


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.

BusinessWeek 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.

People ________________________

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.

Meredith 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.

Jefferson 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.”

Internet Edition, October 17, 2007, Page 5


Keating & 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.

Rick 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.

Prince Faisal said he has personally seen Keating’s work for its clients globally and praised his involvement in the region and understanding of local culture.

Keating was hired in 2005 to work with another Saudi prince, Faisal bin Salman, to clear the prince’s brother of charges he was a liaison between terrorists and the Saudi government.

KeatingF6 is slated to open later this month in Al Khobar in eastern Saudi Arabia.

BRIEFS: Lee Weinstein, who headed Nike’s 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: “Nike’s a wonderful company, but it got to where I looked at myself and said, ‘I’ve been here 15 years; do I want to be here 20?’... I’d 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 WaggEd’s 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: ...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: ...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 Entertainment’s annual leadership summit earlier this month. She has repped artists like Usher, James Brown as well as NASCAR franchise Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Target.


New York Area

5W PR, New York/Urban Retail Properties, privately held developer, for corporate PR.

Hanna 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 Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

The 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.


360 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 HM’s first major foray into a consumer-focused media campaign, said Katie Rose, VP of marketing for the HM unit.

Morrissey & 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.

Calysto 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.

Trevelino/Keller Communications, Atlanta/SparkIP, online intellectual property exchange for individuals or entities performing scientific research.

TransMedia 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 City.

Mountain West and Southwest

CTA Integrated Communications, Louisville, Colo./ZaccaZa! restaurant, to design and host an interactive website, and implement a national PR campaign.

Codella Marketing, Las Vegas/Tamba Cuisine | Lounge, Las Vegas Strip Indian eatery, as AOR for PR, marketing, advertising and digital work.


Citigate Cunningham, San Francisco/BixFix, IT security, compliance and system management services, as AOR for PR.

Nadel Phelan, Scotts Valley, Calif./FraudSciences, online credit-card fraud detection and protection, as AOR for PR.

Prime L.A., Los Angeles/Weddings by EIM, for a PR campaign and to manage all of its comms. needs.

“it” Girl PR, Los Angeles/Extra Virgin Body Products, for PR for the company and its founder, Kelly Marie Rubin.

Internet Edition, October 17, 2007, Page 6


The 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.

Hallahan’s 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 practice.

A 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 in 1996.

The Pathfinder award includes a $2K grant.

IPR will also bestow the Northwestern Mutual Best Master’s 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.”

The 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.

Dulcie Straughan, associate professor who heads the PR sequence in the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication, served as the thesis advisor.

Larry Foster, retired corporate VP-PR for Johnson & Johnson, is being honored with IPR’s Alexander Hamilton Medal for lifetime achievement in public relations. Info:


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 Pinnacle’s 60 members around the world.

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.



Patrick 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.

Dirk Vande Beek, VP of global government relations for Computer Associates, to Travelport Limited, New York, as senior VP of gov’t 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.

Robin Applebaum, director of PR for Dogmatic Inc., to Krupp Kommunications, New York, as director of publicity.

J. Kevin Moran, a retired Navy vice admiral, to chief operating officer of the Investor Relations Group, New York.

Steven 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.

Karen Marinella Hall, news anchor for WLVI-TV in Boston, to Millipore Corp., Billerica, Mass., as director of corporate communications.

Abby 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.

Kristin 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 CIA’s public affairs office.

Alisa Mosley to director of external affairs, National Medical Assn., Washington, D.C., an African American physicians and patients group.

Chris 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 (D-La.).

Daniel 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.

Marianne Bichsel, senior comms. and policy advisor to Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, to Casey Family Programs, Seattle, as managing director for communications.


Randolph Ryerson to director of corporate comms., Penske Truck Leasing, Reading, Pa. He was manager, corporate comms.

Kathryn Wilson to counselor, JohnstonWells PR, Denver. She joined in 2002 and handles Qwest Communications, Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture, and Skydex Technologies.

Internet Edition, October 17, 2007, Page 7

PRS KEEPS FINANCIALS (Continued from page 1)

D'Angelo 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.

"In 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)."

D'Angelo then said information on the first half is available on the Society website.

Former officers of PRS said staff could easily PDF the financials, which should be ready by now, to both the board and delegates.

"These 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.

Rising Cost of Membership Knocked

A 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."

She 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."

Assembly 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."

Another 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.?"

There was no reply on this issue from a PRS leader.

As 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.

"Electronic" Assembly Barred

Although 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.

He 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."

Some 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 necessary.

The 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."

Murray 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.


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 Oct. 9.

"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 work.

Veteran PRS members could not remember an instance of a local parliamentarian not being hired for the Assembly.

Crockett 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 firm.

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.

Internet Edition, October 17, 2007, Page 8




This 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.

We 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 delirious meeting.

It 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).

The current SP is a cloud of soaring aspirations and goals with about as much substance as a real cloud.

It 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."

The 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.

Another unrealized SP goal was to "create a leadership institute to train and develop promising mid-careerists to service the Society…"

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 failed.

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.

We 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 open.

The Assembly is too big to be hidden. Its actions will be duly recorded for all to see.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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