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Internet Edition, October 31, 2007, Page 1


Illinois has begun an RFP process to review its seven-figure tourism PR account.

The Prairie State’s 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.

Edelman, with strong Chicago roots, has worked on tourism assignments for the state for the last two decades.

The 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 work.

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 firm’s proposed team members.

The anticipated PR contract will run through June 30, 2011 with two option years. Sara Barnett (sara.barnett [at] is point of contact for the RFP, which can be downloaded from the state’s procurement site,

Proposals are due Nov. 9.


Cassidy & Associates has signed a $1.2M contract with Pakistan’s U.S. Embassy, a pact designed to address “various high-priority issues” faced by the Islamic state.

Newsweek’s 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” Pakistan’s role as a key partner in this country’s 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 Musharraf’s 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 diplomacy efforts.

WPP Group’s Burson-Marsteller, BKSH & Assocs. and Penn, Schoen & Berland Assocs. earlier this year inked a contract with the Pakistan People’s Party, which paved the way for the return of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto to her country.


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 crisis.

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.

RC2’s strategy apparently is to keep Curtis Stoelting, RC2’s chief executive, and Peter Henseler, its president, under wraps.

That’s what New York Times columnist David Leonhardt wrote Oct. 24 after trying to reach them about the Thomas the Tank saga.

B-M’s Joanne Tremulis, who is based in Chicago, has a written response for calls about the product recall policy. She refers people to RC2’s website.

Tremulis says she cannot comment about the lead situation because the issue is in litigation.

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.”


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"…there's very little room for

(continued on page 7)

Internet Edition, October 31, 2007, Page 2


The 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.

The 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.

The 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 contract—meaning no competitive bids were solicited—apparently to rush the project.

McClatchy, 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 can’t lead embassy contracts.

Saylor, a former senior editor for the Los Angeles Times, left Sitrick earlier this year to start his Los Angeles area crisis firm.

The 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.


Karen Tandy, administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, has joined Motorola as senior VP in its global government relations and public policy unit.

She is to serve as Motorola’s top public policy spokesperson regarding telecom policy, trade, regulation, and spectrum allocation, according to the Motorola website.

Tandy also will seek to increase Motorola’s global defense unit’s share of government and public safety contracts. She succeeds Michael Kennedy, who retires after 22 years at the electronics/telecom giant.

Motorola is among corporate sponsors of the DEA’s traveling “Target America: Opening Eyes to the Damage Drugs Cause” exhibit that recently wrapped up a schedule at Chicago’s 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 clandestine labs.”

The United Nations has reported that Afghanistan will set an all-time record for opium production this year.


Deutsche Bank has sliced its rating on Omnicom’s 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 firms.

Bear Stearns, meanwhile, upgraded Interpublic from “peer perform to outperform” because the stock has “significantly underperformed its peers.”

It believes IPG’s shares carry a risk-reward ratio that makes them attractive. Bear has a $13 price target for IPG in `08. Shares now trade at $10.


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 O’Dwyer’s 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 other work.

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 shoot-out.


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 Enterprises alum.

Nobs’ credentials include managing director of Ruder Finn and GM of Weber Shandwick/Rogers and Cowan’s 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 O’Dwyer’s 5W needed to “add more process” in order to land “huge RFPs.”

Internet Edition, October 31, 2007, Page 3


WPP 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.

Sorrell 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."

The WPP chief said companies are eager to get into news stories. Web users, in turn, are hungry for "ideas and knowledge" from "independent sources."

PR is a way to earn press coverage and help brands get around social networkers' typical aversion to advertising, said Sorrell.

The last thing social networkers want is to be "monetized" or "advertised to." That's why Sorrell believes editorial communications is so powerful.

The 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 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.

Microsoft’s investment put Facebook’s valuation at a whopping $15B, nearly 30 times what News Corp. paid for MySpace.


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.


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.


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 “Who’s Your Caddy.”

SI, in turn, has hired Dan Patrick, former ESPN “SportsCenter” anchor, to do a column and handles a radio simulcast on


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.


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.

Cablevision shareholders 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.

Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, October 31, 2007, Page 4


The 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.

The 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 2006.

"This 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.

S&S 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.

"We 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 said.

The 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.

Barber 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'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 at

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 U.S. security.

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.


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.

Briefs ________________________ 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 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.

National 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.

The 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.

MySpace 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.

Internet Edition, October 31, 2007, Page 5


Regina Ragone, a food PR veteran of Ogilvy and Hunter PR, has moved back to the journalism side as food director for Family Circle.

She 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.

She 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.

Ragone 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 magazine.


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.

BRIEFS: Greenough 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 Gorman’s tutelage. Info: 773/697-9810.


New York Area

Affect Strategies, New York/Proclivity Systems, online shopping and e-marketing software, for PR.

JB Cumberland PR, New York/Meat and Livestock Australia, as AOR for Australian Lamb in the U.S. market, following an agency search.

KCSA Worldwide, New York/Linkstorm, interactive marketing technology, for launch of an online advertising system.

Trylon SMR, New York/AzoogleAds, online marketing and media buying, as AOR for media relations.

Weber Shandwick, New York/Rooms to Go, furniture retailer, as AOR following a competitive review. WS’ New York and Atlanta marketing practices handle the account.

WaxWords, Melville, N.Y./Commercial Industrial Brokers Society of Long Island, for PR.

Stern + 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.


Strategic Communications Group, Silver Spring, Md./Integral Systems, satellite ground processing and control systems, as corporate AOR.

Keymer Group Strategic Communications, Washington, D.C./Association of Government Accountants, for gov’t and stakeholder relations.

Capstrat, Raleigh, N.C./HemCon Medical Technologies, hemostatic bandages, for PR and national media relations for the Portland, Ore.-based company.

Jackson 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.


Alpaytac Group, Chicago/Ultimate Ears, in-ear monitors for musicians and entertainment producers, for national PR.

Tech Image, Buffalo Grove, Ill./RedPrairie Corp., supply chain optimization, as AOR for PR.

Liggett Stashower, Cleveland/Tom James Company, custom clothing retailer, for media relations and grassroots marketing, and Canterbury Golf Club, for media relations and web development.

Mountain West

Reverb 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.

Brodeur, Phoenix/OnScreen, thermal management services, as AOR for PR, including strategic counsel, media/analyst relations, IR, and other comms.


Hill & Knowlton, Los Angeles, and Gable PR, San Diego/Biotechnology Industry Organization, for its 2008 BIO International Convention in San Diego June 17-20.

Internet Edition, October 31, 2007, Page 6


PR 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.

The 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.

Vocus 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.

Domestic 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 Asia.

Rudman also said Vocus will begin to target small businesses for its PR software applications, a previously overlooked market.

The 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.

Overall, 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.

Vocus' stock has more than doubled its 52-week low of $15.06. Revenue for the year is expected to top $57M.


Barbara Cochran, president of the Radio-Television News Directors Assn., told 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 with, 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.



Lee 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.

Ellen 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.

Ronald Aldridge, senior director of investor relations at Pfizer, to The Phoenix Companies, Hartford, Conn., as VP of IR.

Brandon 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.

Robert Tappan, who headed Burson-Marsteller’s 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 firm’s 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 2004.

Glenn 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.

Michael 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.

Carlos 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.


Kathleen 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.

Internet 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.

Farrow Urges 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."

Hughes Pushes Public Diplomacy

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 operations.

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, she added.

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, she noted.

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."

"Old" 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 Brown.

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 said.

"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 singers.

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."

Internet Edition, October 31, 2007, Page 8




Tim 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.

The 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.

Few 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).

Undemocratic policies and the resignation last year of two directors (Gary McCormick of Scripps and Ron Owens of Kaiser Permanente) discourage candidates.

In 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.

Will 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 PRS.

Coke's 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.

Ditching 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.

We 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.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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