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Internet Edition, October 24, 2007, Page 1


New Jersey is reviewing its multimillion-dollar tourism communications account currently handled by Whippany, N.J.-based Brushfire.

The state says the three-part RFP – web design, PR and advertising – could result in three separate contracts or go to a single agency.

Budget for the three categories is $6M for the first year, broken down as $2M for web work, $3.75M for advertising and $250K for PR.

Brushfire, which won its ad and PR pact in 2005, is under contract through June 2008.

An optional pre-bid conference is set for Nov. 7 with the RFP deadline as Dec. 7. The RFP can be downloaded at


Paul Carothers, who spent 14 years at Kraft Foods as VP-global PA, has joined FD Dittus to head its food, health and nutrition practice.

At Kraft, he handled global issues management, government relations, and corporate social responsibility programs. He also held the VP-international corporate affairs post.

Carothers spearheaded the food giant’s approach to the obesity issue, and worked with the World Health Organization on health and wellness matters.

He played a key role in Kraft’s partnership with the Rainforest Alliance, a program that led to the marketing of sustainable coffee products in the U.S. and Europe, and another program to tackle child labor issues in western Africa’s chocolate sector.

Prior to Kraft, Carothers served as government relations head for the American Plastics Council and legislative director for former Senator John Breaux (D-La.).


Sara Brown Meehan, a veteran of Ketchum, GCI Group and Hill & Knowlton, has joined Levick Strategic Communications in its corporate, finance and PA practice group.

She has handled high-profile campaigns for Starbucks, Ford Motor and FedEx. Meehan also has strong environmental credentials earned while communications director for the “Save the Bay” advocacy group in San Francisco. She also worked at the Rainforest Action Network, coordinating media and ad strategies.

Meehan was involved in RANs effort to target Citigroup, Home Depot and Boise Cascade for development of sustainable investment/logging programs.


APCO Worldwide is hammering out final details in an agreement to provide global PR for energy rich Kazakhstan, the former Soviet Union state that was featured in the movie “Borat.”

The D.C.-based independent PA/government relations firm has received a payment of $487,777 to cover work done here through the end of the year for the government of strongman Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has led Kazakhstan since independence 15 years ago. He visited President Bush last September.

Elizabeth Jones, former U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan, is a member of APCO’s international advisory board.

She was the State Dept.’s senior advisor for Caspian Sea energy diplomacy.
Kazakhstan is embroiled in a fight with western oil companies over the development of a field in the Caspian.

The Independent (Oct. 15) called the field “the most important oil discovery in three decades” and one that could put Kazakhstan into the “big league of oil producers.”

Nazarbayev has stepped up ties with “axis of evil” member Iran, holding a joint press conference with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Oct. 15 at which they promised to boost trade to the annual $10B mark.

APCO reports to Erlan Idrissov, Kazakhstan’s Ambassador in D.C.


A second attempt by PR Society leaders to compress the ten districts into five new “regions” was defeated by the Assembly Oct. 20 in Philadelphia after an hour of debate.

The bylaw change won 51% of the 283 votes but a two-thirds majority was needed. The change had been tabled twice last year.

Many delegates cheered and applauded when the vote went on the screens. Opponents argued that the districts would lose power if the new regions were formalized and why make such a change when re-writing the entire bylaws is planned.

Proponents said good leadership talent was being passed over simply because of geography and the districts would still have representatives on the nominating committee.

They also argued that district directors don’t really “represent” their districts but the entire membership.

(continued on page 7)

Internet Edition, October 24, 2007, Page 2


Brand Sense Partners, the Los Angeles-based marketing firm that helps clients maximize the value of their brands by tapping underutilized assets, is looking for a PR firm to bolster its profile.

The firm is a venture of Brian France, NASCAR chairman, and Robert Hollander, who was VP-marketing for the Atlanta Committee for the `96 Olympic Games.

BSP says it spots “inorganic growth opportunities” such as strategic partnerships, licensing deals, new distribution channels and joint ventures for clients. It has worked with Dodge, Hamilton Beach, Halle Berry, Chuck Norris, STP, Kingsford and Britney Spears.

BSP wants a firm with an extensive background in consumer products and corporate PR.

Ashley Vandell ([email protected] or 310/867-7245) has details. BSP wants RFP submissions by Oct. 29. Work begins Jan. 2.


The southwestern Gulf Coast region of Florida has awarded its $120K PR account to Virginia Beach firm BCF after a review.

Collier County, which uses the slogan “Paradise Coast,” issued an RFP in July for a firm to support the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The one-year contract carries two option years. Eight firms submitted proposals after dozens like GolinHarris, Hill & Knowlton, M. Silver & Associates and Lou Hammond Associates showed an interest in the RFP.

Tourism has a $1.1 billion impact on the area, which competes with Palm Beach, Clearwater/St. Petersburg and the Caribbean for visitors. About 1.4M people toured the area in 2006.


U.S. Energy Systems, a struggling “clean and green” energy company, is relying on Kekst and Company for media relations as it faces delisting and other financial woes.

The New York-based company, which has thermal energy, gas and electricity projects in the U.S. and U.K., was delisted from the Nasdaq stock market last week in a move that company officials said was “disappointing.”
Kekst partner Adam Weiner is handling the account in New York.

U.S. Energy failed to file two 10-Q quarterly reports earlier this year by Nasdaq deadlines. The company had until Oct. 15 to file its first quarter report “due to circumstances beyond our control,” according to CEO Joseph Reynolds in a statement distributed by Kekst.

Reynolds took over earlier this month after the June axing of the company’s CEO and an executive VP amid its struggles.

Tucker Bounds, who was a regional press secretary for Presidential hopeful John McCain, has taken the VP-PA slot at the American Insurance Assn., which is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

He exited the campaign following the recent shake-up of the Arizona Republican's staff.


WPP Group’s stock registered its biggest decline in nearly five years on Oct. 19 as the company’s 4.9 percent rise in third-quarter revenues failed to meet analysts’ expectations.

CEO Martin Sorrell believes `08 (Presidential elections, Beijing Olympics) will turn out to be better than `07, but he expressed some concern about `09.

“We also continue to believe that a more important concern should be the impact that any new U.S. administration will have on 2009 - when they have seen the government’s books and will be tempted to dispense any politically unpleasant medicine to the electorate, early in the potential eight year political cycle.”

Sorrell noted that though “new rapidly-growing parts of the world are no longer as dependent on the U.S. for growth, as they used to be, it is still true that when the U.S. sneezes the rest of the world catches a cold.”

The WPP boss maintains a sharp eye for acquisitions, seeing a “good quality pipeline of additional small-sized acquisitions.” He considers WPP an “attractive destination, particularly for first-generation managements.”


BEA Systems, which received an unsolicited $6.7B takeover offer from Larry Ellison’s Oracle, relies on Sard Verbinnen to get a better deal.

The company is “worth substantially more to Oracle, to others and, importantly, to our shareholders than the price [$17 a share] indicated,” according to a letter from William Klein, VP at BEA.

A logical suitor for the software maker, Germany’s SAP, announced that it would not get into a bidding war for the company because their “lines overlap,” according to a report in the San Jose Mercury News.

Hewlett Packard and IBM have been mentioned as suitors. Analysts say BEA is worth at least $21 a share.

Sard Verbinnen’s Matt Benson and Paul Kranhold handle the account.


Goodman Media organized Joe Torre's news conference Oct. 19 at the Hilton Rye Town in which he ripped the New York Yankees' contract offer an “insult.”

The former New York Yankees skipper rejected a one-year $5M contract, and felt the potential $3M in bonus money in the event the team reached the World Series was insulting and belittling to his managerial record of the team.

The 67-year-old Torre does not believe the Yankees bargained in good faith with their leader of a dozen years, a span that included four world championships.

Tom Goodman's firm works for Torre's "Joe's Safe At Home Foundation," which supports educational programs to stem domestic violence.

His firm was contacted late in the afternoon on Oct. 18 and asked to put together last week’s media event in suburban New York.

ESPN covered the conference live and scores of reporters attended.

Internet Edition, October 24, 2007, Page 3


Village Voice Media executive editor Michael Lacey and CEO Jim Larkin were released from a Phoenix jail at 4 a.m. Oct. 19 after being charged with a misdemeanor for a Phoenix New Times cover story that revealed information about a grand jury probe.

The story, "Grand Jury Targets New Times and Its Readers" told how county prosecutors issued subpoenas, demanding that the paper turn over info on notes, confidential sources and personal data about people visiting the paper's website. The men were released on $500 bond.

Lacey, upon release, called the arrest payback for hard-hitting coverage of local law enforcement officials. "We're being arrested for raising hell," he told reporters. It's sort of a tradition journalism has."

Lacey believes officials wanted to make examples of Larkin and himself. "The problem is that it takes me being arrested for you guys to show up," according to a report on PNT's website.

He urged reporters to write about the subpoenas that aimed to find the "identity, the browsing habits, the buying habits, what shopping carts people have filled, what sites people have visited on the web before they came to us, and what sites they visited after they left us."

The story, he stressed, is not "about me getting out of jail at four in the morning."


Morgan Stanley has dumped its 7.2 percent stake in New York Times Co., apparently ending its effort to pressure the Sulzberger family into revamping the ownership structure of the media combine.

Hassan Elmasry, head of the Morgan Stanley Investment Management fund, led the drive to undo the media company's dual-class stock structure.

The Class B shares owned by the Sulzbergers give them voting power to elect 70 percent of the company's directors.

The money manager also criticized the strategy of CEO "Pinch" Sulzberger and opposed the outlay for the new headquarters building. His efforts were largely unsuccessful.

NYTC stock trades in the $18.50 range. It peaked in `02 at $53.


E.W. Scripps has decided to split its company into two, a move to sharpen the strategic focus of the Cincinnati-based media entity.

The move divides the faster growing cable TV and shopping websites from the newspaper and TV station group.

Scripps Networks Interactive will house Fine Living TV Network, DIY Network, HGTV, Great American Country offerings and services like Shopzilla and uSwitch.

When newly minted, SNI will have $1.4B in annual revenues and 2,100 staffers.

E.W. Scripps Co. will own papers in 17 markets (Denver's Rocky Mountain News, Memphis' Commercial Appeal), 10 TV stations, Scripps Howard News Service and United Media syndication operation. It will be born with $1.1B revenues and 7,100 workers.

Current CEO Kenneth Lowe will head SNI, while COO Richard Boehne will lead the newspaper/TV station operation. The split will take place in the second quarter of `08.


Discovery Communications is paying $250M to acquire, a site that attracts 11M unique visitors a month.

HSW has digital rights to more than 30K books, 800K images and 180K maps to explain the world. Its content will be paired with Discovery's video library of more than 100K hours of programming.

DC CEO David Zaslav called the deal a "strategic bull's-eye for Discovery, the leader in knowledge and curiosity on TV."

HSW provides Discovery a "solid platform for strengthening our digital businesses, leveraging our video assets to create new experiences for users, advertisers and our distribution partners, and taking those opportunities around the globe," said Zaslav in a statement.


Paul Steiger, who stepped down as Wall Street Journal managing editor in May, is heading Pro Publica, a group that promises to do investigative reporting.

The non-profit will offer its reports to news outlets, according to the Oct. 15 New York Times.

Pro Publica is backed by Herbert and Marion Sandler, former CEOs of Golden West Financial Corp., a mortgage lender that was sold to Wachovia for $2.6B.

The Sandlers are worth more than $2.4B. They have dedicated $10M a-year for Pro Publica when it launches in `08.

Steiger is president and editor-in-chief of Pro Publica. He is joined by Richard Tofel, who was assistant managing editor of the WSJ.

Todd Cunningham, assistant managing editor for the LA Business Journal, has been named national editor of The Hollywood Reporter: Premier Edition, a new edition for New York and East Coast markets set for a Nov. 2 launch. Cunningham is based in Los Angeles and reports to Elizabeth Guider, editor of The Hollywood Reporter.

Prior to joining the Journal in December 2005, he wasmanaging editor of Hispanic Business Magazine and spent seven years at Variety, where he worked on the launch of its Gotham Edition as managing editor. He was news, entertainment and sports editor for 13 years at the Long Beach Press Telegram and earlier held posts at Time Life, NBC and the Christian Science Monitor.

AOL CEO Randy Falco is slicing another 2,000 staffers as the "turnaround" saga of the Time Warner unit plods on.

The latest cutbacks follow the 5,000 jobs taken out last fall. There are 8,000 AOL people left.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, October 24, 2007, Page 4


Gary Ginsberg, executive VP-IR & corporate communications at News Corp., has added global marketing duties at Rupert Murdoch's media combine.

The move comes as News Corp. has launched Fox Business News and is poised to complete the acquisition of Dow Jones & Co., parent of the Wall Street Journal.

Ginsberg reports to Murdoch, COO Peter Chernin and CFO David DeVoe.

Before joining News Corp. in `99, Ginsberg worked as managing director at Clark & Weinstock, senior editor of John Kennedy's George and assistant counsel to President Bill Clinton.

The 45-year-old Ginsberg, a top aide to Murdoch, also joins the $62B giant's office of the chairman.

That group includes Murdoch, Chernin, DeVoe and general counsel Lou Jacobs, deputy CFO John Nallen and Fox News Channel, Fox Television Stations and Twentieth Television chief Roger Ailes.


John Podhoretz is joining the conservative journal Commentary next month to follow in the footsteps of his father Norman, who served as top editor there for 35 years. He will initially take the editorial director slot, responsible for its online efforts. In Jan. `09, Podhoretz will ascend to the editor slot.

The 46-year-old editor, columnist, writer and frequent TV commentator has filed copy for the Weekly Standard, which he co-founded; New York Post and Insight. He was a speechwriter for President Reagan.

Neal Kozodoy, current editor of Commentary, will become a consultant once succeeded by Podhoretz.

People __________________________

Colleen Robar has assumed the director of corporate communications slot at Crain Communications. She takes on internal/external marketing, branding and PR duties.

The 44-year-old Robar had been running her own firm in Detroit, counseling Ford Motor, Ambassador Bridge, JWT and Oberweis Dairy and Ice Cream.

Earlier, she was VP at Mullen, doing work for the General Motors’ Women's Marketing Initiative and Detroit lead on the automaker's advance technology group.

Robar spent the `90s at Crain, starting as promotion manager at Detroit Monthly, marketing director at Crain's Detroit Business and group marketing director at Automotive News.

Conde Nast has upped Susan Portnoy to the executive director-PR post, and named Zoe Farrell PR director in its media group.

Portnoy joined CN's media group in '06, and has consulted for Cosmopolitan, Popular Science, Oscar by Oscar de la Renta and Kennedy Center's Mark Twain Prize. Farrell is the one-time VP-publicity in Dan Klores Communications' entertainment group. She repped Coach, We tv and Mac Cosmetics.

Sarah Lacy, a reporter for BusinessWeek who has been writing a book on Web 2.0, has been named technology columnist for She will contribute two monthly columns on technology and culture called "Valley Girl." Lacy was formerly a tech reporter at the San Jose/Silicon Valley Business Journal.

Christy Tanner, VP of Marketing for TV Guide Online, has been named editor-in-chief. She continues in the marketing post. Earlier, Tanner was a reporter, editor and bureau supervisor for the Associated Press.

Liz Claman, an anchor for CNBC, has joined new rival Fox Business as a daytime anchor. Claman covers the afternoon weekday business block from 2:00-5:00 p.m. with David Asman.

At CNBC since 1998, she anchored “Morning Call” and “Cover to Cover.” Prior to that, she anchored “Wake Up Call,” “Market Watch” and “Today’s Business.” She was previously an anchor and reporter for WHDH-TV (NBC) in Boston and contributing correspondent for NBC's syndicated daytime program “RealLife.”

Alex Balk, co-editor of, to RadarOnline as executive editor. He oversees and edits all editorial aspects of the site reporting to editor-in-chief Maer Roshan.

Briefs ________________________

APG Media of Orange, Calif., has launched two new "shelter" magazines: Lofts and Lodges. APG publishes Romantic Homes, Victorian Homes and Cottages & Bungalows.

Lofts covers urban lifestyle through the prism of efficient and ecologically-minded living. Lodges is resource for luxury outdoors enthusiasts, featuring lodge and chalet living from high-end travel locales, architecture and interior decor and lifestyle topics.

Jacqueline deMontravel, editorial director of APG Media's lifestyle group is also editor of Romantic Homes. She previously edited Country magazine and has held editor positions at Conde Nast's Self and GQ, and was a contributor to Hearst's Harper's Bazaar.

Jennifer Myers, who comes from the U.K.'s niche and custom publishing sector, is editor of Lodges.

The U.S. Postal Service will honor five journalists next spring who risked their lives covering war and civil strife in the 20th century as part of the National Press Club's 100th anniversary next year.

Among the honorees to appear on stamps are Martha Gellhorn, who was married to Ernest Hemmingway and covered the Spanish Civil War, World War II and the Vietnam War; John Hersey, who wrote Hiroshima; George Polk, a CBS radio correspondent who covered WWII; Ruben Salazar, a Mexican-American reporter for the Los Angeles Times and KMEX-TV who was killed covering a Vietnam War protest, and Eric Sevareid, a New York Herald Tribune writer and CBS broadcaster who covered WWII. All are deceased.

Internet Edition, October 24, 2007, Page 5


Axact Inc, which says it is the No. 1 outsourcing outfit in Pakistan, is looking for a PR firm to "strengthen its image as the top employer of Pakistan."

The Pakistan facility has more than 500 staffers and is 100 percent "export-oriented." The company is in an expansion mode, and eager to grab a piece of the outsourcing market that is dominated by its neighbor, India.

Axact headquarters, known as "Axact House" has a capacity for 2,500 staffers. It offers facilities such as swimming pool, gym, Jacuzzi, steam rooms, 24/7 cafeteria and movie theater. The company also foots the bill for boat club membership for top performers.

Axact is looking for a PR firm that has strong international broadcast (CNN, BBC) connections and contacts in Asian editions of news and business magazines.

Viqas Atiq ([email protected]) is handling the search.


Eighty-four percent of journalists for B2B media responding to a survey by Arketi Group, Atlanta, said they would or already have used blogs as primary or secondary sources for articles, although only 41 percent see that medium as reliably “credible.”

One-quarter of the 61 surveyed said blogs make their jobs easier, while 72 percent said they read blogs.

Most of the journalists surveyed (90 percent) said they get story ideas from news releases (75 percent from newswires), while nearly the same number (89 percent) tap PR sources for ideas.

Rating the credibility of other online sources, respondents cited international organizations (89 percent), government agencies (85 percent), corporate websites (85 percent), PR professionals (77 percent), activist websites (41 percent), and blogs (41 percent).

The entire survey is at


Corporate board members are too closely aligned with the interests of executive management teams. That's the consensus of high-net worth investors and financial advisors surveyed by FD and parent company FTI Consulting.

Research firm Affluent Dynamics polled 200 investors and advisors to find nearly 63 percent of that group on average say boards operate in the interests of management rather than shareholders.

The survey found a strong link between governance and corporate reputation with nearly 88 percent of respondents seeing a close connection. That result, FD and FTI assert, shows companies have significant work to do to reassure investors and their advisors about the effectiveness of corporate governance practices because of shareholders’ view that boards should be aligned with their views over management.

Eighty-two percent of financial advisors said reputation accounts for more than 20 percent of a company's market value. A slightly lower percentage of high-net worth investors, 71 percent, see reputation in that light. In contrast, the effect of boards on that percentage of market value was pegged at only 29 percent, and 20 percent, respectively.


New York Area

Alan Metrick Communications, New York/N.Y. City Performing Arts Spaces, for general counsel and PR for a coming report on the effect of real estate prices on the city’s arts community.

G.S. Schwartz & Co., New York/ApplyWise, online college admissions counseling program, and iKobo, money transfer services online.

The Morris + King Company, New York/New York Women in Film and Television, for PR for the non-profit group and its major industry events, the Muse Awards and Designing Hollywood.

Reich Communications, New York/TargetCast tcm, independent media planning agency, and Carrafiello Diehl & Associates, a national advertising agency.

R&J PR, Bridgewater, N.J./Vision Research, digital imaging systems; RTcom USA, digital A/C and PC connectivity products, and Kepner-Tregoe, consulting and training services firm, all for PR.


Pan Communications, Andover, Mass./BlueCat Networks, IP address management; LiveVox, voice contact center carrier; Merchant Warehouse, merchant accounts and credit card processing equipment; SPS Commerce, supply chain comms.; Premier Guitar Festivals, and, career software.

Ogilvy PR Worldwide, Washington, D.C./Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for three different assignments focused on chronic disease prevention, HIV/AIDs, and its “Choose Respect” youth campaign; Federal Trade Commission, to support the National Do Not Call Registry; Food and Drug Administration, for a “food terrorism” project, and the National Institutes of Health, continuing work for the National Eye Institute.

Focused Image, Falls Church, Va./N.E.W. Customer Service Companies, extended service and buyer protection plan provider, for branding and marcomms.

French/West/Vaughan, Raleigh, N.C./Target Mobile, wireless marketing, for business development, PR and sales consulting.


Marx Layne & Co., Farmington Hills, Mich./ Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce, as AOR.

Fast Horse, Minneapolis/Global Vehicles USA, for support of national launch of the Indian-made Mahindra SUVs and trucks in the U.S. FH handles media and blog relations, dealer comms., special events, grassroots marketing and consumer promotions. The Titan Agency won a review in January to guide overall PR and advertising for the launch.


Beuerman Miller Fitzgerald, New Orleans/Make It Right Foundation, a redevelopment group focused on New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward backed by actor Brad Pitt.


MWW Group, San Francisco/Amphire Solutions, e-commerce software for foodservice sector and international supply chain, for brand awareness and expansion of its comms. reach within the foodservice community.

Internet Edition, October 24, 2007, Page 6


Cision has launched an integrated software platform combining its research, distribution, monitoring and evaluation services under a new system called CisionPoint.

CEO Steve Newman called the platform, which was under development for three years, the largest project undertaken in the company’s 75-year history.
Several major releases are planned over the next year.

The initial kickoff contains all of the company’s existing MediaSource services – media list building, press release distribution, etc... – with added integration, ease-of-use, collaboration capabilities for users, and sharing of results.

Demo is at


Los Angeles-based broadcast PR company On the Scene Productions has aligned with ICE Portal, a visual media distributor focused on the travel and hospitality industry.

The partnership is aimed to tap the demand for web-based video and focuses on getting broadcast-quality clips from the travel sector out on the ‘Net.

OTSP has hired Robyn Stalson as an account manager for business development to work out of ICE’s headquarters in Hollywood, Fla. She will coordinate the two companies’ sales efforts.

The companies have published a white paper on the travel industry and video on the Internet which can be downloaded at

BRIEF: Howard Gwin, a veteran of Peoplesoft, IBM and Xerox Corp., has been named to chair the communications monitoring company dna13’s board of directors. He has served on the board of software companies like Longview Solutions, Marqui Corp. and Taleo Corp. He had recently been president of Solect Technology Group, which was sold in 2000 to Amdocs. dna13 is based in Ottawa, Ontario, but has been marketing aggressively in the U.S. this year. Sonia LaFountain-Ginyard, strategic alliance manager for U.S. corporate markets at LexisNexis, has joined research company Carma International, Washington, D.C., as VP/media analyst. ...Business Wire has launched a French website,, a press release disseminator, has added a “confidence booster” that has staff journalists read press releases for grammatical and style problems, and recommend changes. ...Plowshare Group, a Stamford, Conn.-based company which claims to be the No. 2 PSA distributor in the U.S., has opened a Washington, D.C., office. Wendy Moniz, an Ad Council and agency veteran, has joined the company as VP of campaign management and business development. PG works for the American Red Cross, EPA, and American Legacy Foundation, among others. “One of the biggest myths in the advertising world is that the PSA is going the way of the 8-track, that it’s becoming a relic,” said Moniz. Info:



Laurence Vincent, who led the Los Angeles office of Octagon Worldwide, to Siegel+Gale, New York, as group director, strategy in Los Angeles. Vincent is a specialist in branded entertainment and integrated marketing and has counseled the NFL, Mastercard and Home Depot. He was previously a senior partner and lead strategist for Cabana Group.

Brian Cupps, GM and global director of marketing for Reebok Int’l, to Amplify Sports and Entertainment, New York, as VP and group account director of the sports marketing firm.

Eric Mangan, a corporate comms. exec for Sotheby’s International Realty, to real estate portal, New York, as director of media and consumer relations. He was formerly a spokesman for N.Y. Gov. George Pataki.

Leslie Wolf-Creutzfeldt, senior VP, Financial Relations Board, to Global Consulting Group, New York, as a managing director in the IR practice. She previously led Adam Friedman Associates’ China division and held senior posts at Thomson Financial and the former FD Morgen-Walke.

Laura Kiernan, VP of IR at Playtex Products, to Integrated Corporate Relations, Westport, Conn., as a senior VP.

Sondra Newman, who has held senior IR and corporate comms. posts at NitroMed and Dyax Corp., to Pure Communications, as senior corporate comms. counselor in the Boston area for the North Carolina-based firm.

Lisa Camooso Miller, communications director for the Republican National Committee, has been tapped to head public affairs for the National Community Pharmacists Assn. The Alexandria, Va.-based trade group represents the owners of more than 23K independent pharmacies, which claim to dispense nearly half of the country's prescriptions. Miller, who takes on the role of VP of PA, was tapped for the RNC post in January. She was previously deputy comms. director for former House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

Susan Fisher, who directed IR and corporate comms. for Idex Corp., to Modine Manufacturing Co., Racine, Wisc., as director of IR and corporate comms. She was previously VP of IR for Nuveen Investments.

Jill Spiekerman-Carrothers, director of PR for Whirlpool Corp., to Karowski & Courage PR, Minneapolis, as an A/D. Mary Baze, director of comms. for the Cheyenne Regional Medical Center in Wyoming, joins as an A/M.

Josh Hallett, a social media consultant who ran his own firm, Hyku, to Voce Communications, Palo Alto, Calif., as a new media strategist based in Winter Haven, Fla.


Kate Casolaro and Emily Gombar to senior A/E and A/E, respectively, in Boston-based Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications’ energy and environment practice. Zach Stanley was upped to senior associate in its PA/gov’t relations unit.

Internet Edition, October 24, 2007, Page 7


Chair Rhoda Weiss, who conducted the meeting, tried to close off debate twice, saying discussion of the “regions” proposal was under a “hard deadline,” but the delegates overruled her.

Planned was a half-hour discussion of the new Strategic Plan by 2008 chair Jeff Julin starting at 11:30 a.m.. The vote came at 11:37.

Compromise on Student Initiative

Another controversial item on the agenda was the proposal by the Western district to allow students to join the PR Student Society even though they were not affiliated with a regular PRSS chapter. They would be urged to take web courses in PR including those offered by PRS.

The measure was close to the “at-large student membership” proposal of 2002 that would have let students from any college join PRS itself as a student member. Fifty signatures were obtained against that proposal, including 21 past presidents. It was not even allowed a place on the agenda.

The Educators Academy opposed the Western district’s bylaw change, saying that a new affiliate student membership plan had only been in effect one year and needed more time. This measure does not allow students at colleges without the PRS-required courses to form chapters. Rather, they were supposed to form relationships with a nearby regular PRSS chapter.

Casey DeLorme of the Western district, and Joe Trahan, chair of the Educators Academy, both approached the mike and said the two sides had been working non-stop for two days to forge a compromise under which a task force will be created to further study the issue while the current bylaws relating to students remains in place.

A “mechanism” is to be sought that will foster relationships between colleges with PRSS programs and those that don’t have such programs.

‘Openness’ Resolution Passed

A “Resolution in Support of PRS Leadership Development,” which has a “focus on openness, total transparency,” was accepted by 93% of the delegates with no debate.

Fifty PRS leaders had signed the petition including eight former presidents. All but three of the signers are APR. The measure addresses a severe shortage of candidates for national office. Only nine candidates showed up this year for seven posts and no one showed up for the South East district.

This low turnout was achieved even though nominating committee chair Judith Phair said her 20-member committee worked diligently from January onwards looking for candidates.

Only one candidate was found from the South West, Marlene Neill, a public information staffer for Waco. But she was rejected for undisclosed reasons, resulting in the need to have Jim Haynes run from that district after securing ten signatures.

D’Angelo Dismissal Disappoints

Veteran Society members theorized that the real complaint of the “50” is the selection of Mike Cherenson, who was secretary, as chair-elect over Tony D’Angelo who was treasurer and by tradition a shoo-in for chair-elect. They say the same political faction at PRS that jumped Cheryl Procter-Rogers from a director’s position to chair-elect in 2005 with no service as either secretary or treasurer continues to dominate the nominating committee. Maria Russell had been treasurer and in line to be chair-elect.

D’Angelo now leaves the board. The 2008 board will have only one corporate member – Christopher Veronda of Eastman Kodak.

The shortage of corporate PR people on the board was so severe that Weiss appointed to the board as “senior counselor” Ray Crockett of Atlanta, head of North American PR for Coca-Cola. He has attended all four board meetings. His appointment to the board was not announced by Weiss, who is the only authorized spokesperson for the Society.

Openness Is ‘Critical,’ Says Group of 50

While avoiding any specific areas or subjects, the resolution by the Group of 50 says a “critical” part of the resolution is the “implementation provisions” that call for “transparency, openness, involving delegates and a diverse and representative group of other PRS leaders, and ensuring that Assembly members are fully involved in the leadership of the study and review process.”

At least half the members of the committee are to be Assembly delegates.

Governance Reform a Perennial Topic

Governance reform is a regular topic at Assembly meetings but there has been little concrete action in recent years.

Dave Rickey, co-chair of the 2007 Assembly committee and a former national director, in late 2004 was named chair of a new “Task Force on Leadership and Governance” by 2004 president Del Galloway. It was to have finished its work by the end of 2005. None of the task force’s recommendations were ever revealed. Members were Jack Felton, Grace Leong, Pender McCarter, Ellen Hartman and Francis McDonald. Ex-officio members were lawyer Arthur Abelman, who died last year, and Mark Schilansky, parliamentarian, who currently has no work from PRS.

Beth Caseman, of PRS’ law firm, Venable, acted as the parliamentarian this year, repeatedly warning the delegates that New York State law was supreme in guiding the Assembly – not PRS’ own bylaws or charter and not Robert’s Rules. Under her interpretation, the Assembly can issue no orders to the board, it can only make “recommendations.”

Rickey asked for volunteers to work on the revision of the bylaws. No specific areas of change have been mentioned so far but he said the committee will welcome suggestions from all Society members. Twenty-five of the 283 votes cast were proxies. A request has been made for the identity of those using proxies.

Robert’s Rules are strongly against the use of proxies at assemblies but New York State law allows them unless there is a specific bylaw against proxies. The Assembly has yet to pass such a law. The board favors proxy voting.

With electronic voting, all votes are anonymous. The only exception was in 2004 when a print-out of the votes was obtained for the vote on removing APR as a condition for Assembly membership.

Internet Edition, October 24, 2007, Page 8




The PR Society leaders are so aware of the severe shortage of leaders that 50 of them including eight past presidents have now come forward and signed a petition seeking new ways of developing leaders.

There’s only one problem with this. It reminds us of “Groundhog Day” starring Bill Murray. He keeps living the same day, over and over.

Efforts to cast a wider net for leaders have been going on since the mid-1990s. In 1999, the first Strategic Planning committee urged that APR be dropped as a requirement for national office. The 1999 board opposed it and instead made the SP an appendage of itself.

In 2004, after two years of complaints about alleged irregularities on the nominating committee, 2004 president Del Galloway named Dave Rickey to head a Task Force on Leadership and Governance. It was to study the entire governance structure and complete its work by the end of 2005. What actually happened? Nothing.

This is the same Dave Rickey who is again asking for suggestions for governance reform and for a re-writing of the entire bylaws of PRS. This will probably result in a huge bill from Venable, the new law firm of PRS. It keeps telling the members that they are governed by New York State laws and not their own. Who knows what these New York State laws are? Venable.

There is a crisis in leadership when only one of the 17 board members in 2008 will be from a corporation. Chair Rhoda Weiss, without announcing it, named Ray Crockett of Coca-Cola to the 2007 board as a “senior counselor.” PRS leaders are like a volunteer fire department that won’t acknowledge its former “village” has grown into a city and volunteers can no longer do the job. Fires are breaking out all over the city but the volunteers are too busy with their jobs and private lives to get to them in time. They just refuse to acknowledge reality. This situation is getting to be very dangerous for all the citizens.

Volunteer leaders can no longer play much of a role in the affairs of PRS. What’s needed is a paid fire dept. at 33 Maiden lane – at least 10-15 veteran PR pros with experience and judgment.

Fires are constantly breaking out that the non-PR staff at h.q. can’t handle. There isn’t one PR veteran among the staff of 55 (although about ten staff posts are vacant currently to burnish the books).

A defensive, protective association mentality rules at 33 Maiden lane. Legal doubletalk abounds and the financials are about as clear as Mississippi mud.

Fires break out constantly but staff is unable to handle them and leaders (who have driven New Yorkers from the board) mostly have neither the time nor expertise to handle them.

Among these “fires” is the current advice in the influential Princeton Review for those seeking PR careers to obtain a broad liberal arts education. The Review quotes PR veterans who say that is the best route to a PR job. There’s also this dig in the Review: “Advertising is lying about products while PR is lying about the company.” About half of the college bound consult the Review. Another “fire” was the recent crack by Gene Weingarten in the Washington Post that PR people are “pathetic dillweeds.” It was made after he tried to obtain info from contacts listed on press releases.

Frank Rich’s book-long attack on PR (“The Greatest Story Ever Sold”) was no bouquet of flowers for PR, either. He blames the war in Iraq on PR techniques used by the Bush Administration. He characterizes PR as lacking in substance and being press-averse, and basically sales promotion and marketing. There are nine current books about PR with “spin” in their titles. PR has about disappeared from corporations, replaced by “corporate communications.”

Such criticism needs to be addressed by a SWAT team of professionals at h.q. PRS leadership is still taking orders from Pat Jackson, 1980 president who said h.q. should be dominated by association people. About a half dozen PR veterans were canned. EVP Rea Smith was transferred to the Foundation and made to work in another office. She was not allowed to set foot in h.q. This anti-New York bias is now choking the Society itself. But the “regionalists” who dominate PRS are not yet ready to give up the ghost.

The 2007 Assembly, except for about an hour and a half of debating about the “regions” bylaw change and PRS helping chapters with their websites (withdrawn after “parliamentarian” Beth Caseman of Venable said the resolution did not satisfy New York law), consisted of leader presentations. The worst was Jeff Julin’s 35-minute rundown of more than 300 suggestions for the new Strategic Plan that were obtained at lunch. He held the mike from 4:25 to 5 p.m., showing nearly 50 slides with such well-worn suggestions as “Increase speed of staff response,” “update speakers’ bureau,” “more senior programs,” “honest, truthful editorial content in Tactics,” “stop nickel-and-diming members for everything,” and “make learning affordable for all.” This was pure audience control, blocking discussion of such topics as removing the APR requirement for the board, chapter-only memberships, having a blog on the PRS website, true cost of staff time for the conference, again publishing the printed directory, etc... Venable keeps saying that New York State laws must be obeyed but PRS could easily shift its charter to Delaware (COO Bill Murray pointed out that his former employer, the Motion Picture Assn., is chartered in that state. Delaware allows legislative bodies like the Assembly to meet and pass laws via teleconferences.) Delaware will enroll a group “over the phone in five minutes for $89” with paperwork to follow, the Secretary of State’s office told us. The New York State charter can be cancelled via the web for $60 as long as all taxes are paid... Another low for the Assembly was blocking the press this year from attending the Assembly lunch on the ground that it was a “working lunch.” Reporters had never before been barred from this lunch.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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