The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, October 31, 2007, Page 1
REVIEWS LARGE TOURISM PR ACCOUNT
has begun an RFP process to review its seven-figure tourism
Prairie States Bureau of Tourism, under the Dept.
of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, is under contract
with Edelman through January 31, 2008 as the firm winds
down a three-year contract worth $9M.
with strong Chicago roots, has worked on tourism assignments
for the state for the last two decades.
new RFP, issued on Oct. 19, calls for domestic and international
tourism PR, along with a focus on more specialized segments
like agricultural and heritage tourism. Media relations
and annual communications plans are a large part of the
DCEO said it will only consider proposals from firms with
more than 25 full-time staffers in a Chicago office. The
firm must also have international offices in the U.K. and
Germany, either agency-owned or through partnerships. The
selection committee also wants a four-minute video or DVD
of a firms proposed team members.
anticipated PR contract will run through June 30, 2011 with
two option years. Sara Barnett (sara.barnett [at] illinois.gov)
is point of contact for the RFP, which can be downloaded
from the states procurement site, www.purchase.state.il.us.
are due Nov. 9.
CASSIDY INKS $1.2M PAKISTAN
Cassidy & Associates
has signed a $1.2M contract with Pakistans U.S. Embassy,
a pact designed to address various high-priority issues
faced by the Islamic state.
Oct. 29 cover story branded Pakistan the most dangerous
nation in the world.
The Interpublic unit,
working closely with sister company Weber Shandwick, is
to clarify Pakistans role as a key partner
in this countrys effort to enhance security
and stability in a region of broad strategic importance.
C&A is to promote
a more accurate and balanced message regarding
the effort of Pakistan President Pervez Musharrafs
effort to deal with the important changes taking place
in Pakistan in the political, economic and social spheres.
The firm will work with the Embassy to sharpen its public
WPP Groups Burson-Marsteller,
BKSH & Assocs. and Penn, Schoen & Berland Assocs.
earlier this year inked a contract with the Pakistan Peoples
Party, which paved the way for the return of former Prime
Minister Benazir Bhutto to her country.
B-M RIDES TO RESCUE THOMAS
RC2 Corp., which launched
a massive recall of 1.5M Thomas the Tank Engine
wooden train toys and accessory pieces in June, has reached
out to Burson-Marsteller to recover from its lingering PR
The Oak Brook, Ill.-based
marketer of the Chinese-made toys containing lead initially
relied on its shop Salmon Boore Group to handle media inquiries.
RC2 had a second recall
of toys in September, including its Toad train
that it had been sending as a gift to parents
returning toys from the first product recall.
RC2s strategy apparently
is to keep Curtis Stoelting, RC2s chief executive,
and Peter Henseler, its president, under wraps.
Thats what New
York Times columnist David Leonhardt wrote Oct. 24 after
trying to reach them about the Thomas the Tank saga.
B-Ms Joanne Tremulis,
who is based in Chicago, has a written response for calls
about the product recall policy. She refers people to RC2s
Tremulis says she cannot
comment about the lead situation because the issue is in
She encourages parents
to scour their home for Thomas toys that are subject to
the recall, and assures them that RC2 is working day and
night to replace the recalled items so children can continue
to enjoy playing with all the parts of the Thomas
and Friends Wooden Railway Line.
ANSWER TOUGH QUESTIONS-RUSSERT
PR pros should encourage
their clients to "answer tough questions," newscaster
Tim Russert told the annual conference of the PR Society
Oct. 22 in Philadelphia.
"Spinning may work
in the short term but it's an absolute disaster in the long
term," he told an audience of more than 2,000. "You
pay a price for spinning," he said.
Total attendance, including
day and event-only registrations, was 3,400. Record for
a conference is 4,000 set in New York in 2004.
Russert said the presidential
candidates are hiding behind their websites, commercials
and brochures rather than answering "tough questions"
of the press.
Citing the lessons of
"history," he said, "If you're president
of the U.S., you cannot make tough decisions unless you
are willing to answer tough questions."
Russert rapped the "partisan
divide" in D.C. that results in the two parties not
wanting to "sit down and reason with each other"
very little room for
on page 7)
Edition, October 31, 2007, Page 2
CONTRACTOR TAPS SAYLOR
Middle East contractor leading construction of the troubled
U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad has hired Saylor Company,
the PR firm of former Sitrick & Co. executive Mark Saylor.
Kuwait-based construction company, First Kuwaiti General
Trading and Contracting, has a hundred-million-dollar contract
with the State Dept. as the lead in a two-company team with
Maryland-based Grunley Walsh to build part of the overall
$600M complex. But the opening of the project has twice
been delayed and the State Dept. and Congressional investigators
are looking at the safety of the rising structure after
a mortar shell damaged part of a wall last May.
Washington Post raised eyebrows in D.C. earlier this
month in reporting that the cost of the embassy rose by
$144M from its initial $592M price tag. McClatchy Newspapers
reported last week that at least one criminal investigation
is under way and that First Kuwaiti received a sole source
contractmeaning no competitive bids were solicitedapparently
to rush the project.
which got a no comment from Saylor, also noted
that First Kuwaiti has recently partnered with Grunley Walsh
LLC to win contracts for work on State Dept. properties
in Gabon, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia, noting FK appears
to be the major financial player in the partnership and
that foreign firms cant lead embassy contracts.
a former senior editor for the Los Angeles Times,
left Sitrick earlier this year to start his Los Angeles
area crisis firm.
opening of the embassy in Baghdad, the largest U.S. diplomatic
outpost in the world, has been delayed indefinitely after
initial openings set for June and September of this year.
DEA CHIEF JOINS MOTOROLA
Karen Tandy, administrator
of the Drug Enforcement Administration, has joined Motorola
as senior VP in its global government relations and public
She is to serve as Motorolas top public policy spokesperson
regarding telecom policy, trade, regulation, and spectrum
allocation, according to the Motorola website.
Tandy also will seek to
increase Motorolas global defense units share
of government and public safety contracts. She succeeds
Michael Kennedy, who retires after 22 years at the electronics/telecom
Motorola is among corporate
sponsors of the DEAs traveling Target America:
Opening Eyes to the Damage Drugs Cause exhibit that
recently wrapped up a schedule at Chicagos Navy Pier.
Tandy, says her DEA bio,
deployed the first teams of DEA agents to conduct
counter-narcotics operations in Afghanistan, leading to
the first U.S. extradition from Afghanistan and a more than
700 percent increase in the seizure of opium, heroin and
The United Nations has
reported that Afghanistan will set an all-time record for
opium production this year.
OMCS STOCK GETS HIT;
IPG ENJOYS BOOST
Deutsche Bank has sliced
its rating on Omnicoms stock from buy to hold,
and cut its price target from $60 to $53.
The investment banker
told clients that it is concerned that a slowing economy
could impact the ad/PR combine. Though DB has not seen any
cuts in client spending, it notes that ad agencies are lagging
indicators. The banker did not want to fight
the economic tape any longer.
OMC CFO Randy Weisenburger
alluded to some economic noise in his presentation
to shareholders Oct. 23 following the release of earnings
that were up 14.2 percent for the third-quarter to $202M.
Revenues jumped 11.8 percent to $3.1B.
PR growth (Fleishman-Hillard,
Ketchum, Porter Novelli, Brodeur) jumped 9.7 percent, but
lagged CRM (+14.2 percent) and advertising (+12.1 percent).
CEO John Wren spent $329M
for acquisitions during the quarter. Earn-outs accounted
for $132M of that amount, while $154M was spent for new
Bear Stearns, meanwhile,
upgraded Interpublic from peer perform to outperform
because the stock has significantly underperformed
It believes IPGs
shares carry a risk-reward ratio that makes them attractive.
Bear has a $13 price target for IPG in `08. Shares now trade
GEORGIA RE-BIDS TOURISM PR
Georgia has re-issued
an RFP for its tourism and economic development PR account
after tentatively awarding the contract to New York-based
The Pont Group in late September.
Alison Tyrer, senior communications
specialist for the Georgia Dept. of Economic Development,
told ODwyers that a document was published by
the state in September indicating that it intended to award
the contract to Pont, but a contract was never signed. She
cited administrative reasons for the reversal.
The new RFP is calling
for pitches through Nov. 9. It covers PR related to tourism,
international trade, film, music and video gaming industries,
as well as the technology and bioscience sectors, among
Manning Selvage &
Lee worked with the DED for the last seven years through
the end of its fiscal year in June. The Pont Group beat
out Cookerly, GolinHarris, Ogilvy, Creaxion, Fleishman-Hillard,
Hope-Beckham and Diversified Media Design in the summer
5W NAMES NOBS
David Nobs, a PR vet with
more than 25 years of experience, is assuming command of
five-year old 5W Public Relations Los Angeles office
as executive VP and GM. He replaces Cindy Rakowitz, a Playboy
include managing director of Ruder Finn and GM of Weber
Shandwick/Rogers and Cowans L.A. operations. He also
worked at Cone Communications (executive VP), Earle Palmer
Brown (senior VP) and Cohn & Wolfe (VP). 5W CEO Ronn
Torossian told ODwyers 5W needed to add
more process in order to land huge RFPs.
Edition, October 31, 2007, Page 3
SOCIAL NETWORKING DRIVES PR
Group CEO Martin Sorrell, according to the Guardian,
believes growth in social networking sites is great news
for the PR business. "Social networking seems to underline
the importance of editorial publicity," he said.
said social networking is "really recommendation between
people about the things that they are interested in and
they like." To Sorrell, "that has stimulated people's
attention in terms of the importance of PR."
WPP chief said companies are eager to get into news stories.
Web users, in turn, are hungry for "ideas and knowledge"
from "independent sources."
is a way to earn press coverage and help brands get around
social networkers' typical aversion to advertising, said
last thing social networkers want is to be "monetized"
or "advertised to." That's why Sorrell believes
editorial communications is so powerful.
WPP head also noted the cost-effectiveness of PR vis-à-vis
other forms of marketing. PR "looks cheaper in terms
of absolute levels of spending so it makes people happier."
MICROSOFT LOCKS UP FACEBOOK
Microsoft has taken a
$240M equity stake in the social networking portal Facebook.
The deal expands an existing
advertising relationship that makes Microsoft the exclusive
third-party ad platform for Facebook.
Google had also reportedly
been pursuing a deal with FB.
put Facebooks valuation at a whopping $15B, nearly
30 times what News Corp. paid for MySpace.
PENSIERO RETURNS TO WSJ FRONT
Jim Pensiero is taking
the VP-news projects post at the Wall Street Journal
on Nov. 1. He will unveil the new technology platform to
unite the print and online WSJ news staffs, and assume responsibility
for the launch of WSJ's glossy magazine.
Pensiero has worked in
the publisher's office of the WSJ since Nov. `05 on special
projects. He managed the Journal 3.0 re-design.
He joined the WSJ as copy
editor in `84, and rose to VP-news operations in '02 before
being kicked upstairs.
Prior to the WSJ, Pensiero
worked at the Philadelphia Bulletin and Time Inc.
His wife, Karen, is an
assistant managing editor of the WSJ.
COLVIN JOINS CNET
Stephen Colvin, former
president/CEO of Dennis Publishing, joins CNET Networks
as executive VP on Oct. 29. He was publisher of Maxim,
Stuff, Blender and This Week magazines
until DP was acquired by Quadrangle Partners in August.
At CNET, Colvin will be
in charge of the San Francisco-based interactive media company's
entertainment and lifestyle brands. Those include GameSpot,
FilmSpot, Chow and UrbanBaby.
CNET CEO Neil Ashe reported
a $26M net loss on nine-month revenues of $289M.
The firm, which attracts
140M unique visitors to its site each month, expects to
generate full-year revenues in the $400M range.
REILLY EXITS SI FOR ESPN
Rick Reilly, writer and
columnist for Sports Illustrated is moving to EPSN
when his contract expires on Nov. 30.
His Life of Reilly
piece appears on the final page of SI. He also posts Riffs
of Reilly, a humorous commentary.
Reilly wrote novels, Shanks
for Nothing and Missing Links, and the
nonfiction Whos Your Caddy.
SI, in turn, has hired
Dan Patrick, former ESPN SportsCenter anchor,
to do a column and handles a radio simulcast on SI.com.
FCC FINES SONSHINE, SINCLAIR
The Federal Communications
Commission has proposed a fine of $40K on Sonshine Family
Television and $36K on Sinclair Broadcast Group for airing
the infamous The Right Side with Armstrong Williams
in which the commentator plugged the No Child Left
Behind education law.
The stations were fined
$100 for each broadcast. The commentator was paid by Ketchum
for the plugs that were made two years ago and set off a
firestorm of controversy over government PR and pay-to-play.
The FCC also issued a
citation against Williams' Graham Williams Group for producing
the commentaries but not disclosing the payments received.
SV GOES DOWN WITH DOLANS
Sard Verbinnen represented
the Dolan family in its failed $10.6B offer to take Cablevision
private. It is the biggest rejection of a buyout offer,
according to the New York Times, and towers over
the $2.6B aborted deal for Lear by Carl Icahn.
nixed the Dolan deal on Oct. 24.
Chuck and Jim Dolan, the
father and son team that leads Cablevision, put an interesting
twist on their loss.
Though disappointed, they
see "nothing negative about today's outcome."
The rejection, in fact, is a "positive event,"
one that "is a vote of confidence in the prospects
of Cablevision, its management team, its 20K employees and
the industry's future."
George Sard and Paul Caminiti
are listed as Dolan Family Group contacts on that release.
Cablevision owns extensive
CATV operations, as well as the New York Knicks, New York
Rangers, Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall.
Jim Dolan has been in
the news of late following an $11.6M sexual harassment verdict
won by a former employee of MSG.
news continued on next page)
Edition, October 31, 2007, Page 4
PROBES NEWSPAPER PR PACT
Dept. of Defense has widened an investigation of the Pentagon's
"America Supports You" campaign to include Stars
and Stripes, an independent newspaper covering the military,
S&S has disclosed.
Pentagon's inspector general's office is looking at a $500K
PR contract with Susan Davis International to support the
America Supports You campaign awarded by S&S in July
causes extreme concern among the editorial staff, and could
cause readers to question our objectivity as an editorially
independent newspaper -- an unacceptable situation,"
executive editor Robb Grindstaff and managing editor Doug
Clawson said in a joint statement on Oct. 19.
reported that its editorial staffers were not involved with
the America Supports You PR effort, and that the editors
will conduct a review of all the paper's stories written
about the campaign.
were aware of some interaction between S&S marketing
department and ASY, but were appalled to learn the degree
of involvement and the use of Stripes finances to fund the
Pentagon's public relations campaign," the statement
Pentagon is looking into the American Forces Information
Service, which administers the ASY campaign, and the Office
of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs,
Allison Barber, who oversees AFIS. S&S is being probed
for its expenditures related to ASY.
is a former PR director for the American Red Cross who later
served as president of Sodenta, her own D.C. PR firm. She
was also president of the Washington D.C., office of PlowShare,
a Connecticut advertising agency focused on PSAs.
DISNEY WELCOMES U.S. VISITORS
Disney's Parks and Resorts
unit is working with the U.S. Depts. of State and Homeland
Security on a public diplomacy effort to welcome international
visitors to the U.S.
The film can be viewed
The multi-media campaign,
called "Welcome: Portraits of America," is part
of the Rice-Chertoff Initiative, a three-part plan unveiled
last year intended to make visitors feel welcome while maintaining
The Disney unit has donated
a seven-minute film and hundreds of photos of Americans
to illustrate the "diversity, friendliness and optimism"
of U.S. citizens.
"Our global reputation
depends on making visitors feel every bit as welcome
as they feel secure," said Homeland Security assistant
secretary Stewart Baker in a statement.
The film, produced by
Federico Tio, a marketer for Disney's "Lion King"
and "Finding Nemo," is to be shown in federal
inspection areas of U.S. airports (Washington Dulles and
Bush Intercontinental in Houston are the first to host the
display), embassies and consulates overseas.
Disney has an obvious
stake in the consistent flow of tourists to the U.S. from
abroad. Jay Rasulo, who is chairman of Disney's Parks and
Resorts division, also chairs the Travel Industry Association,
a key trade group for the travel industry.
No commercial content
is included in the campaign, although Karen Hughes, who
is Under Secretary of Public Diplomacy and PA for the State
Dept., praised Disney's involvement in a news release.
MSNBC MOVES IN WITH NBC
Staffers of WNBC have
moved from Secaucus, N.J., to NBC's headquarters at New
York City's Rockefeller Center in a move to integrate operations.
The multimillion dollar
renovation of the insides of 30 Rock began in February.
A key feature is a sliding
door that allows "Nightly News with Brian Williams"
anchor to walk from the adjacent cable and broadcast studios.
has launched a blog/online forum that has expert panelists
discussing classic books with New York Times Book Review
editors. The new feature is called Reading Room: Conversations
About Great Books and is online at readingroom.blogs.nytimes.com.
The first conversation included Book Review editor Sam Tanenhaus
and two translators of a new edition of Tolstoy's "War
and Peace," which kicked off a four-week discussion
of the book on Oct. 26. Readers' comments will also be posted.
Geographic has created a new global media group composed
of its flagship magazine, book publishing, TV, film, music,
radio, digital media and maps units. Tim Kelly, 51, president
and CEO of National Geographic Ventures and a 25-year vet
of the company, has been named president of the division.
National Geographic said
it wants to enhance and broaden coordination among its editorial
units and refine its digital strategy.
Virginian-Pilot, Virginia's largest-circulation
paper, has launched a campaign developed by marcom firm
BCF titled "It's In Your Hands" to boost its brand
in the state.
The effort aims to play
up the paper's benefits to non-readers, tap the 20-something
market, and have readers between 30 and 50 years old "reevaluate
and deepen their relationship with the paper."
BCF said the effort took
two years to develop and takes elements typically found
in a national campaign and implements them at a local level.
Print, TV spots, billboards,
and micro-website, and people acting out the ads are elements
of the effort, which runs through the end of the year.
has partnered with gaming company Oberon Media to create
a new gaming channel on the social networking portal.
The channel, expected
to launch in early 2008, will be called MySpace Games and
let users to choose from hundreds of online games to play
solo or with friends.
Edition, October 31,
2007, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
PR, MEDIA VET RAGONE EXITS HUNTER
Ragone, a food PR veteran of Ogilvy and Hunter PR, has moved
back to the journalism side as food director for Family
departs a VP post at Hunter and takes over at the Meredith
publication for Peggy Katalinich, who has been named editor-in-chief
of the custom publication Food and Family. Earlier
in her career, Ragone was a nutritionist for Family Circle.
handled McCormick, Post and Kraft while at Hunter PR and
entered the PR sector with Ogilvy in 2004, working on Unilever's
Promise, Lipton and Hellmann's brands while serving as VP
of food and nutrition.
got into PR after working as food editor of Prevention
magazine. She also was test kitchen director for Ladies
Home Journal, and food editor for Weight Watchers
GT PROMOTES UNDERSTANDING
Kurdistan Regional Government
has given Greenberg Traurig a $40K a-month contract to promote
awareness and understanding of Kurdish interests among U.S.
policymakers and business leaders.
GT will also help "shape
U.S. perceptions" of Kurdish goals in Washington and
throughout the national media.
The firm reports to Qubad
Talabany, son of Iraq's president. The Washington-based
Talabany has been doing outreach to the Kurdish-American
community educational institutions.
Iraq recently sent a military
delegation to Turkey to discuss plans to stop the Kurdish
separatist group, PKK, from launching attacks on Turkey
from its territory. The Turkish Government has okayed a
plan to strike Kurdish installations in Iraq.
Another Kurdish group
has been using Iraq to stage attacks on Iran.
Communications, Boston, said it will open a Silicon
Valley office in January under the direction of MD Stephanie
Casey. ...Peggy Nahmany,
who handled media relations for France's luxury goods marketer
PPR for the past year, has joined Publicis Groupe to handle
its external communications. She is assuming duties of Eve
Magnant, VP-corporate communications. Magnant says "it
is time to slow down." She is reducing her workload
due to health reasons. Magnant will focus on corporate social
responsibilities and pro bono work. Nahmany has ad/PR experience
gleaned from work at Havas, archrival of Publicis. In a
14-year stint there, Nahmany headed external relations at
Havas, and served as global communications director for
Euro RSCG Worldwide. Nahmany reports to John Rossant, VP-communications
and PA of Publicis. ...Pascale
Communications, a healthcare firm with offices in
Pittsburgh, New York and Los Angeles, has opened a Chicago
office under the direction of A/E Caitlin Maire Gorman.
Clients iScience Interventional and Valeant Pharmaceuticals
are under Gormans tutelage. Info: 773/697-9810.
Strategies, New York/Proclivity Systems, online shopping
and e-marketing software, for PR.
Cumberland PR, New York/Meat and Livestock Australia,
as AOR for Australian Lamb in the U.S. market, following
an agency search.
Worldwide, New York/Linkstorm, interactive marketing
technology, for launch of an online advertising system.
SMR, New York/AzoogleAds, online marketing and media
buying, as AOR for media relations.
Shandwick, New York/Rooms to Go, furniture retailer,
as AOR following a competitive review. WS New York
and Atlanta marketing practices handle the account.
Melville, N.Y./Commercial Industrial Brokers Society of
Long Island, for PR.
+ Associates, Cranford, N.J./B. Braun Medical, healthcare
safety and working process products and services, for PR.
The firm is also working for two books, Innovation
Nation by John Kao and Judgment by Noel
Tichy and Warren Bennis.
Communications Group, Silver Spring, Md./Integral
Systems, satellite ground processing and control systems,
as corporate AOR.
Group Strategic Communications, Washington, D.C./Association
of Government Accountants, for govt and stakeholder
Raleigh, N.C./HemCon Medical Technologies, hemostatic bandages,
for PR and national media relations for the Portland, Ore.-based
Spalding, Atlanta/Bagster USA, refuse disposal products,
for launches; Touchstone National Bank, for media relations;
Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta, to create its annual
report; Justice Served, consulting group of court and justice
experts, for speech writing and booking, and the Max Awards.
Group, Chicago/Ultimate Ears, in-ear monitors for
musicians and entertainment producers, for national PR.
Image, Buffalo Grove, Ill./RedPrairie Corp., supply
chain optimization, as AOR for PR.
Stashower, Cleveland/Tom James Company, custom clothing
retailer, for media relations and grassroots marketing,
and Canterbury Golf Club, for media relations and web development.
Communications, Twain Harte, Calif./
ArtGuitar, custom paint and technology for guitars, for
marketing, PR and bizdev to position the company in the
videogame peripherals sector.
Phoenix/OnScreen, thermal management services, as AOR for
PR, including strategic counsel, media/analyst relations,
IR, and other comms.
& Knowlton, Los Angeles, and Gable
PR, San Diego/Biotechnology Industry Organization,
for its 2008 BIO International Convention in San Diego June
Edition, October 31, 2007, Page 6
POSTS STRONG Q3 RESULTS
software company Vocus posted third-quarter '07 revenue
of $15.1M last week, a 40 percent boost from the same quarter
last year and a seven percent rise over Q2.
results sparked a nine-percent surge in the company's stock
as it hit a 52-week high of $34.70 before receding on an
overall market slide last week.
CEO and co-founder Rick Rudman said that the Lanham, Md.-based
company inked 210 new subscription deals in Q3, compared
with 73 for the same quarter last year. New or renewed contracts
included ConAgra Foods, the London School of Economics and
the U.S. Air Force.
business so far this year has grown 37 percent, Rudman said,
while overseas business has doubled - mostly from the U.K.
- to now represent nine percent of Vocus' overall quarterly
revenue. Rudman said international expansion will be a key
element of the company's growth, citing early success in
also said Vocus will begin to target small businesses for
its PR software applications, a previously overlooked market.
CEO said Vocus' PRWeb online news distribution unit, which
it acquired for $28M last year, now has 30K active customers
and represents the "future of news distribution"
with its multimedia press releases.
Vocus now has 2,214 active clients and an 83-person sales
force. Operating income was $221K for Q3 (GAAP), compared
with a $268K loss for Q3 '06.
stock has more than doubled its 52-week low of $15.06. Revenue
for the year is expected to top $57M.
COCHRAN REBUTS STAUBER
Barbara Cochran, president
of the Radio-Television News Directors Assn., told odwyerpr.com
that claims about improper VNR use at the annual Society
of Professional Journalists conference earlier this
month in Washington, D.C. just don't stand up.
In a panel discussion,
the Center for Media and Democracy founder John Stauber
accused TV newsrooms of depending too much on VNRs, or what
they call "fake news," rather than doing their
own reporting. Stauber said during that event that the RTNDA
is not doing enough to make its member stations clearly
identify the source of VNR material.
Cochran, in an interview
insisted that in some of the cases identified by CMD, the
VNR source was identified and CMD discounted the identification.
She also pointed out that the RTNDA has been very vigilant
in making its members aware of the guidelines for using
VNR footage. She noted that the February 2006 issue of RTNDA's
magazine, Communicator, featured a cover story on the issue.
She flatly rejected Stauber's
use of the term "fake news" to describe TV stations
running VNR footage. VNRs may contain important information
that the public needs to know, such as details on new drugs
and automobile safety for example, Cochran said.
The FCC recently fined
several stations based on CMD's findings.
Maicon, head of strategic planning for ad agency
Strawberry Frog, to DeVries PR, New York, as director of
strategic planning. He is part of a newly formed group at
the firm encompassing digital services, research and analytics,
and new business development.
Golden, a consumer and consumer health practice leader
at WPP Group's GCI unit, has moved to independent shop Marina
Maher Communications in New York. She takes the managing
director post, and reports to Nancy Lowman LaBadie, executive
VP of the consumer practice group. Golden has repped Intel,
Pfizer Consumer, Unilever and Schick Wilkinson Sword. At
MMC, she assumes responsibility for Clairol and Herbal Essences
haircare products, Secret and Head & Shoulders.
Aldridge, senior director of investor relations at
Pfizer, to The Phoenix Companies, Hartford, Conn., as VP
Meyer and Robin
Mayns Cowles, formerly of Institutional Shareholder
Services, to Integrated Corporate Relations, Westport, Conn.,
as co-heads of its new corporate governance unit, based
in Washington, D.C.
Tappan, who headed Burson-Marstellers D.C.
office and prepped Blackwater USA for Congressional testimony
last month, to Weber Meritt Public Affairs as president
of its PA unit. At Burson, he oversaw its Direct Impact
grassroots advocacy unit and was managing director for BKSH
& Associates, the firms government relations arm.
He also handled Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto,
the American Resort Development Association, and the Government
of Colombia while at Burson. Earlier, he served at the State
Dept. as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for
Public Affairs. He also was director of strategic communications
for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad during
Jeffries, PA officer and deputy director of comms.
at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, to E. Boineau
& Co., Charleston, S.C., as an account director. She
graduated from the Defense Information School in Indianapolis
and won the Meritorious Civilian Service Award.
Brophy, a comms. director for Aurora Health Care,
to Midwest Airlines, Milwaukee, as VP of corporate communications,
starting Nov. 5. He was with Miller Brewing Co. for 13 years
serving as director of corporate comms., regional state
affairs, and PA.
Ramirez, who has directed PR and Latino marketing
campaigns for Anheuser-Busch and AT&T, to Lopez Negrete
Communications, Houston, as director of PR. Ann
Howard, previously with La Agencia de Orci, joins
as director of interactive marketing svcs.
Fitzgerald, who joined KPMG as chief comms. officer
in 2006, has added the role of global head of corporate
communications for KPMG International. She was formerly
VP of PR and advertising for Lucent Technologies.
Edition, October 31, 2007, Page 7
The moderator of "Meet
the Press" said he has received some "good PR
advice-don't let the interviewee take over the interview."
His understanding of "good PR" is that it is often
"damage control" but he said it must also stick
to the facts. The job of the press, he said, is to get "hard
answers" to "tough questions."
Referring several times
to his 2004 book, Wisdom of Our Fathers, in
which he described his relationship with his father, Russert
said his father would often say, "What a phony!"
in referring to certain guests on "Meet the Press."
"You can't be a phony
longterm," said Russert.
As an example of "good
PR," he referred what Johnson & Johnson did when
seven people were murdered via Tylenol capsules in 1982.
J&J "stepped right up and took immediate and bold
action" to remove the capsules from the marketplace,
he said. Other companies might have been tempted to "spin
and dodge," he said.
Referring to the war in
Iraq, he said he has been told by some generals that the
U.S. could be there until 2013.
Help for Darfur
Actress Mia Farrow, keynote
speaker, focused on Darfur, saying that what is happening
there is "genocide." More then 400,000 have been
killed in the past four years not only in Darfur but Chad
and the Central African Republic, said Farrow, who has made
seven trips to Africa.
She showed dozens of photos
she had taken including one of a girl who had been raped
by 30 soldiers who then burned her face with cigarets.
She urged the audience
to get involved with the Darfur situation including making
donations to Doctors Without Borders or joining the Genocide
Intervention Network. She wants them to be "among the
few who care" and who "take action."
Karen Hughes, Under Secretary
of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs of the U.S., said
American businesses can play a role in public diplomacy
by spreading the good word about America via their overseas
The image of the U.S.
abroad has suffered greatly because of the war in Iraq,
she said. Her biggest job is "communicating a message
of friendship and peace in a time of war." This is
a task that could take decades and needs help from all Americans,
TV is especially influential
in the current era, she said, adding: "One picture
is worth a thousand words."
The image of America as
portrayed in U.S. TV programs that are seen abroad is far
from ideal, she said, noting that even after 9/11, the most
popular TV show abroad was "Baywatch" (male and
female lifeguards in L.A.). The audience cheered when she
said the U.S. has abandoned its policy of not appearing
on Al-Jazeera, the Arab network. U.S. positions are broadcast
via Al-Hurra, which the U.S. government owns.
The days when foreign
audiences eagerly listened to broadcasts of the U.S. Information
Agency are over, said Hughes. "People aren't just sitting
around waiting to hear from America anymore," she said.
Diplomats who used to
focus on individual relationships in countries where they
were posted now are instructed to be the "voice of
America" providing current information to all possible
audiences, she said. Diplomats now have more freedom to
talk to media without getting clearance from Washington,
The "best representatives
of America," according to Hughes, are American citizens
who travel abroad and bring a good message about the U.S.
She is especially proud of the student exchange program
that brings 40,000 to 50,000 students each year to the U.S.
According to Hughes, PR
is at its best when it takes part in the planning stage.
"We need to be in on the take off and not just the
crash landing," she said, adding: "If we're there
at the start, there will be fewer crash landings."
and "New" Media Needed
PR pros, in their enthusiasm
for Internet-based media, should not forget the "tremendous"
audiences that traditional media reach, said a panel sponsored
by Cision, which provides data on hundreds of thousands
of editors, media, analysts, bloggers, etc., worldwide.
Ray Kotcher, CEO of Ketchum,
said that 25-30 million Americans still watch TV news shows
each night and three million copies of USA Today
and 1.8 million copies of the Wall Street Journal
are circulated daily.
"Both ways of reaching
audiences are needed," said Kotcher. Fellow panelist
Marcia Silverman, CEO of Ogilvy PR Worldwide, said: "Ray
is absolutely right."
K.C. Brown, VP of Cision
US, Chicago, who moderated the panel, said PR pros have
to be nimble to keep up with the changes in media personnel.
Cision, which also tracks
print and broadcast usage worldwide and analyzes the coverage,
makes 21,000 changes daily to its editors' database, said
Fred Cook, CEO of Golin
Harris, said PR pros must find new ways of reaching those
under 20. They're not reading USA Today or the Wall Street
Journal and they don't get their news online, either, he
"As someone has commented,"
he said, "newspapers are not dying, their readers are."
The big TV audiences, Cook noted, are being drawn to shows
like "American Idol," which gives try-outs to
Kotcher, noting the power
of the Internet, said 62% of internet users go to search
engines when they're looking for facts about something.
Among trends that are
big and will get bigger, according to the panelists, are
interest in the environment and healthcare.
Panelist Patrice Tanaka,
co-chair and chief creative officer of CRT/Tanaka, said
the proliferating new media make it possible for PR pros
to better target their audiences and messages.
Asked by Brown what talents
a new PR person should bring to the field, the panelists
said that writing skills are at the top of the list. Kotcher
described a resume of one candidate that listed several
advanced degrees and enrollment in a further program and
said this impressed him.
PR pros must have a broad
general education, said Kotcher. "We should think of
ourselves as citizens of the world. Everything we do touches
everyone else on the planet."
Edition, October 31, 2007,
Russert told the PR Society
that the job of journalists is to ask "tough questions"
and get "hard answers" (page 1). The lesson of
history, he said, is that "If you're president of the
U.S., you cannot make tough decisions unless you are willing
to answer tough questions." This applies equally to
the chair of PRS and its board. We hope the new board will
take control and answer the tough questions we've been asking
for years. This year's board candidates refused to answer
any of our questions, tough or easy. Chair Rhoda Weiss ducked
not only our questions but the five biggest chapters.
Assembly passed, by a 93% vote, a resolution by 50 PRS leaders
including eight past presidents that demands "openness,
complete transparency" in the "whole continuum"
involved in developing leaders.
candidates show up because at least 95% of members are ineligible
(non-APR or didn't head a chapter, district, section or
national committee or vote in an Assembly).
policies and the resignation last year of two directors
(Gary McCormick of Scripps and Ron Owens of Kaiser Permanente)
a similar message to the board, the 2006 Assembly
backed the Global Alliance resolution calling for PR to
"support the promotion of democratic values based on
free expression, free will and free flow of information."
However, the 2007 Assembly
was a pep rally run by Weiss rather than a serious legislative
session. Leaders had the mike about 90% of the time. PRS
lawyer Beth Caseman of Venable, serving as parliamentarian,
slapped down any delegate who dared to tell the board to
do anything. The resolution of the "50" had been
altered in 19 places by Venable to remove words like "create,"
"empower" and "lead." Caseman said New
York law and the Society's Articles of Incorporation "trump"
PRS bylaws and Robert's Rules.
PRS's planned new bylaws be written to satisfy New
York or Delaware laws? New York puts a lot of power in the
board and won't let members of groups meet and pass laws
electronically. Delaware does. The PRS board is against
the Assembly meeting all year long or even more than once.
It killed the Spring Assembly in 1986. PRS could drop its
New York charter via the web for $60 and enroll "over
the phone" in Delaware for $89 (paperwork to follow).
Caseman said there's much more work including a "new
set of books," transfer of assets, IRS recognition,
payroll tax setup, etc.
Caseman did not know whether
Central Michigan's bid last year to make the Assembly the
"ultimate policy-making body" of PRS was legal
in New York. That wording is from the American Bar Assn.'s
bylaws. If it's O.K. for the ABA, it should be O.K. for
Ray Crockett had no business sitting on the dais
with the 17 directors. He was not elected by the Assembly
but appointed by chair Rhoda Weiss. There was also no "town
hall" although one was on the agenda. After taking
up 2.5 hours of delegate time on the new Strategic Plan,
chair-elect Jeff Julin then monopolized the last 35 minutes
(till 5 p.m.) by reading hundreds of ideas from nearly 50
slides. Reporters had been barred from the Assembly lunch
for the first time. PRS uses other "control" devices
such as loud, non-stop presentations and panels at luncheons
so that delegates at tables cannot converse. Delegations
were also seated alphabetically rather than by district
and were further split up at lunch where they were given
assigned seats and told what to talk about. Also impeding
member interaction is lack of a printed directory. Several
delegates told us the "party line" that online
is just as easy to use as print is "absurd." At
least 5,000 names are lost permanently each year due to
non-renewals. Many types of research are impossible.
the print version saved about $130,000. Printing
costs fell to $153,734 in 2006 from $251,219 in 2005 when
the last One Source directory was published. Shipping/postage
fell to $94,691 from $125, 679 (combined savings: $128,473.
But the overall cost of publications only fell $56,660 to
$1,109,936 from $1,166,596. Publication salaries/fringes
rose 16% to $809,929 in 2006 from $699,585. Total salaries
soared 23% ($987,877) from $4,296,671 in 2004 to $5,284,548
in 2006 (46% of revenues of $11.4M). Salaries for a group
the size of PRS should be about 35% of income.
were disappointed that the Philadelphia Inquirer,
bought for $562M last year by former PR executive Brian
Tierney and his "rich friends" (said an article
in the Columbia Journalism Review), failed to provide
any coverage of the PRS conference even though Tierney was
a featured speaker. The only mention was a three-line item
by Michael Klein Oct. 21 saying Mia Farrow, Tim Russert
and Donna Brazile would address "3,000 flacks."
We sent Tierney materials for weeks with the angle that
PRS, rife with undemocratic and press-dodging policies,
was meeting on its 60th anniversary in the city where America's
democracy was created. Tierney brushed us off, saying he
was busy with other things. Materials were also sent to
Tony Gnoffo, business editor. CJR said Tierney had reneged
on his written promise not to interfere in the editorial
policies. Tierney hired Bill Marimow of National Public
Radio as the new editor and a "noninterference committee"
was disbanded. "I'm not here to be a potted plant,"
Tierney told CJR. Marimow was quoted as saying, "I
want Brian to be a presence in the newsroom." We sent
materials to the Philadelphia Bulletin and it sent
reporter Brad Vasoli to the Assembly. He wrote 400 words,
saying the "already powerful" PRS board had lost
a bid to increase its power. He noted PRS had spent $410,551
on travel in the first nine months on income of $8 million.
No other PR trade press
except us covered the Assembly. Julia Hood, editor of PRWeek,
was present and we congratulated her on the impending birth
of her son.