The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, November 7, 2007, Page 1
DRESNER WINS CALIF. CASINO
Corporate Services, a Chicago-based IR and PR firm, has
won a competitive pitch process to guide PR for the Foothill
Oaks Casino Resort, an Indian gaming development east of
Area offices of Burson-Marsteller and Ogilvy PR, along with
DRGM Advertising & Public Relations, Reno, Nev.; Pacific
Research and Strategies, Long Beach, Calif., and M&C
Saatchi of Santa Monica pitched.
casino, slated for a November 2008 opening, is being managed
by Minnesota-based Lakes Entertainment, a publicly traded
gaming company with experience working with tribal gaming
authorities. The Shingle Springs Bank of Miwok Indians secured
$450M in financing this year to fund the project.
278K-square-foot project was fought by a group of citizens
called Voices for Rural Living last year who were against
a state plan to install a $45M highway interchange in the
area to accommodate traffic for the resort. Dresner is a
unit of investment bank Dresner Partners.
SITRICK SEEKS PR MAGIC FOR
Sitrick & Co. is handling
crisis duties for Las Vegas illusionist David Copperfield
who has been accused during grand jury testimony of raping
a woman at his Bahamas resort. The Los Angeles firm is working
on behalf of Copperfields attorney, David Chesnoff,
who has blasted the leak of the allegations to the Seattle
to Chesnoffs statement, has never struck, forced
himself or threatened any woman.
The attorney believes
the grand jury probe into the charges has been corrupted
by the leaking of information of the proceedings to the
Seattle paper. Chesnoff describes Copperfield as the rare
celebrity without any blemishes to his reputation. He
is a true gentleman in every sense of the word, said
The Times reported that
Cooperfield met the woman during a west coast show, and
lured her to the Bahamas by promising to help the 21-year-old
with her modeling career.
S&Cs Mike Sitrick,
Glenn Bunting and Holly Baird are working the business.
Card, President Bushs former chief of staff for six
years, has joined Fleishman-Hillards international
advisory board. Prior to joining the White House, he served
as VP-global government relations for General Motors, and
president of the American Automobile Manufacturers Assn.,
the lobbying arm of GM, Ford and Chrysler.
IPG LOSES $22M
Interpublic posted a $21.9M
net third-quarter net loss compared to a $3.7M profit for
the `06 period. Revenues moved ahead by 7.3 percent to $1.6B.
Despite the red ink, CEO
Michael Roth says the ad/PR combine benefited from strategic
actions put into place over the past year, as well
as new financial systems and disciplines that
have been put into place corporate-wide.
He noted that IPGs
organic revenues rose 5.7 percent during the quarter, reflecting
more spending from existing clients and net wins.
IPGs goal is to
achieve double-digit operating margins by `09.
The margin will fall in
the 8.5 percent to nine percent range next year.
That reflects an improvement
from the 1.7 percent negative margin that IPG
posted two years ago, according to Roths statement.
IPG recorded a nine-month
$10.8M net loss vs. $100.8M deficit a year ago.
Nine-month revenues were
up six percent to $4.6B. Cash holdings slipped from $2B
Philbin of FEMA Fiasco is
PR Society members have
condemned the behavior of fellow member John Philbin, fired
by FEMA last week after he staged a fake press conference
with FEMA staffers posing as reporters while real reporters
listening on a telephone line were barred from asking questions.
Several members also criticized
the Society for its "wishy-washy" and "passive"
response to the scandal.
The 11 members who commented
in the public area of the PRS website included Jean Baker,
DHS-FEMA external affairs officer, who did not identify
She told fellow members
not to rely on the news media and to seek to learn "what
really happened." She said Philbin is "a seasoned
professional who has enjoyed a stellar career" and
that he is APR and a Ph.D.
Philbin received a Ph.D.
from the Communication Dept. of the University of Maryland
in 2005 where he is also listed as an associate adjunct
Philbin's 2004 doctoral
thesis was "Strategic Decision-Making, Group Behavior
and PR." His faculty adviser was James Grunig, Ph.D.,
professor emeritus at Maryland, author, and recipient of
many PR awards including the 2005 Alexander Hamilton Medal
for Lifetime Achievement in PR from the Institute for PR.
(Continued on page 7)
Edition, November 7, 2007, Page 2
RE-EMERGES ON PR SCENE
Public Relations pitches Michael Brownie Brown,
former Federal Emergency Management Agency director, as
an expert on disaster and recovery efforts.
Brown serves as corporate strategy director for Cotton Cos.,
a disaster recovery outfit that saw duty in the aftermath
of Hurricane Katrina.
who was told by President Bush that he was doing a heck
of a job in the aftermath of Katrina, was active during
the height of the California wildfire story.
singled out environmentalists for the firestorms
during an interview with Fox News Channels Neil Cavuto.
Brown believes greenies thwarted the controlled
burns that are needed to thin the California hills.
credited California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for doing
an incredibly good job in responding to the flames.
which does PR work for Cotton, notes that California authorities
evacuated many people to San Diegos Qualcomm Stadium,
a move it feels is similar to the housing of Katrina-impacted
people in New Orleans Super Dome.
H&K REPS PETROCHINA
Hill & Knowlton represents
PetroChina, which surpassed ExxonMobil as the No. 1 company
based on market cap in its Shanghai Stock Exchange debut
PC, which was owned by
the Peoples Republic of Chinas Government, tripled
in value, positioning the energy giant as the first company
with a market cap of more than $1T.
PC, which has a quarter
of ExxonMobils revenues, is now four times more expensive,
The Chinese energy giant
is a favorite target of human rights activists who are upset
with its extensive holdings in the Darfur section of Sudan.
Some claim that protests
over PCs Darfur connection is a reason why Warren Buffetts
Berkshire-Hathaway recently slashed his 10 percent holdings
in PC to the three percent range.
Helen Tam in H&Ks
Hong Kong office leads the PC account.
GONDA SET TO TAKE CARLYLE
Ellen Gonda, a director
for Brunswick Group, is slated to take over communications
for the Americas for The Carlyle Group, the Washington,
D.C.-based private equity firm.
Gonda will join Carlyle
on Dec. 3 with responsibility for North and South America
and reporting to principal and global communications director
Ullman said Gondas
experience will be helpful as Carlyle continues to grow
in established and developing markets.
Carlyle recently formed
a $1 billion venture to invest in the international education
services sector. It is also in talks to sell a 9.9 percent
stake to a Chinese fund, according to the Times of London.
The firm has more than
$75B under management with strong holdings in the defense
and telecomms. sectors.
WIRED E-I-C RAPS LAZY
Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief
of Wired magazine, has fired off an angry message
to PR pros.
Appearing Oct. 29 on his
Andersons rant, entitled Sorry PR People: Youre
Blocked, railed against the 300 emails
he gets daily from PR pros sending blind email pitches.
My problem isnt
its PR people, Anderson wrote. Lazy
flacks send press releases to the Editor-in- Chief of Wired
because they cant be bothered to find out who on my
staff, if anyone, might actually be interested in what theyre
Anderson then proceeded
to list the individual e-mail addresses of each of the more
than 200 PR pros and spammers who have sent me something
inappropriate at some point in the past 30 days. A
quick glance at the list reveals addresses from Edelman,
5W PR, Fleishman-Hillard, Ogilvy, Lippe Taylor, Morris+King,
SS PR, Weber Shandwick, and dozens more.
The idea, Anderson said,
is to give PR pros a taste of their own medicine. If
their address gets harvested by spammers by being published
here, so be it turnabout is fair play, he wrote.
The blog has since been
flooded with hundreds of responses, many from angry industry
pros who pointed out that many of the blind pitches
Anderson has received are not directly from account executives,
but rather the result of email lists purchased from services
Anderson rebutted that
PR pros should not rely on such lists and should instead
tailor their pitches individually to editorial staff. He
referred to the tactics of such email lists as being akin
to magazine circulation departments proclivity to
place five or six subscription cards in every magazine,
a practice he also abhors.
RF PROMOTES CHINA MUSEUM
Ruder Finn is handling
the grand opening of the Ullens Center for Contemporary
Art set to open next week in Beijings Dashanzi art
district. The Center is a project of Switzerlands
Guy & Myriam Ullens Foundation, owners of one of the
most extensive collections of Chinese art in the world.
Ruder Finn Arts &
Communications Counselors is handling the work. It receives
$15K a month for the seven-month assignment.
RFs affiliates in
London, Paris and Berlin are involved in the Ullens Center
JBC EDGES TRIO FOR AUSSIE
JB Cumberland edged Lewis
& Neale, Hanna Lee Communications and another shop for
the Australian Lamb account. The budget is set at $125K
for the first phase of the program (Oct. 1-June 30). Spending
will then be determined on an annual basis.
JBCs client is Meat
and Livestock Australia, which wants to pitch Aussie lamb
as an everyday meal option, not something for
just special occasions, such as Easter.
The campaign is expected
to have a range of spokespeople who will play up lamb as
the healthy choice, a meat devoid of artificial additives
or growth hormones.
Edition, November 7, 2007, Page 3
GIVES VIEWS ON MEDIA, PR.
Tierney, who led a group to buy and revitalize the Philadelphia
Inquirer, Daily News and philly.com
last year, told PR Society's annual conference that his
role atop Philadelphia Media Holdings is the toughest job
he's ever had.
an attorney who successfully ran several incarnations of
PR and advertising agencies in the city, called himself
a "zealous advocate" for journalists and described
his initially tepid welcome as he introduced himself in
the Inquirer newsroom last year.
could hear a pin drop when I was introduced," he said.
Tierney said he is treated much better now. He told staffers
that day: "First and foremost we're about journalism.
That's what this business is about. And if we invest in
the journalism, and we invest in the marketing of journalism,
we think we can turn this thing around."
and his investors grabbed the Philadelphia papers for $562M.
He now serves as CEO of Philadelphia Media Holdings.
said the problems of the newspaper are "oversold"
and credited his commitment to raise marketing budgets at
the papers with an upswing in readership and advertising.
said he's spending $14 million on marketing the media properties,
a level he believes is appropriate for a $480M company and
exponentially larger than the $300K marketing budget the
year before his group took over. "You need to invest
back in," he said, adding that some journalists were
ambivalent about the marketing moves made at the paper.
He told them: "I defer to you on the journalism, you
defer to me on the PR/marketing side of things."
who famously projected images of pigs flying on the Inquirer-Daily
News Building this year when the Inquirer posted a circulation
gain after years of declines, has presided over other marketing
tactics like selling sponsorships to the weekly TV listings
to Comcast, getting Citizens Bank to sponsor the business
section, and securing sports section backing from Commerce
Bank. He's not worried about blurring the line between advertising
and editorial, which was the subject of a Columbia Journalism
Review feature on him this summer. "Sophisticated
advertisers understand that's our reason for being - we
have to maintain the integrity of the editorial product,"
he said. "But we also have to be flexible and relevant.
advertisers know we're not going to change the ratings on
Comcast or we're not going to give better coverage to Commerce
an audience Q&A after his speech, Tierney was asked
about News Corp.'s acquisition of Dow Jones, of which he
was said to be a suitor. He said he "kicked the tires"
of DJ and saw an opportunity to acquire the company, but
noted that he would have needed another media company partner
and assume a large debt load. Tierney said he doesn't think
Murdoch overpaid and will probably keep his hands off the
editorial operations at the Wall Street Journal "because
I think there are a lot of journalists over there that would
out him pretty quickly."
said PR people are perceived more favorable by journalists
today than they have been in the past, but admitted there
are "a lot of ineffective public relations people who
burn a lot of gas asking people to do things they will never
do." He noted: "Newspaper people view good PR
people as a real asset, where it wasn't the case even 10
of his address has been posted by PRS online.
IMUS JOINS CITADEL; CBS' REVS
Don Imus will return to
radio Dec. 3 at Citadel Broadcasting's flagship WABC-AM
in New York, which was acquired from Walt Disney Co. in
The shock-jock reportedly
will receive $5M a-year, a sum that could rise via syndication
Imus received a $10M pay
package, including syndication fees, from CBS, which bounced
him after his "nappy-headed hoes" insult directed
at the Rutgers University women's basketball team.
Imus will replace Ron
Kuby and Curtis Sliwa at WABC.
The Wall Street Journal
notes that Kuby and Sliwa "typically beat him in the
CBS, meanwhile, reported
a 2.9 percent drop in third-quarter revenues.
The radio division-minus Imus-suffered a 12 percent plunge
in revenues to $446M.
P-DS STARKS TO ESPN.
Larry Starks, assistant
managing editor at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, has
resigned the sports beat for a slot at ESPN.
He will be NBA news editor
and decide programming for ESPN and ABC broadcasts. Sparks
has written for Pasadena Star-News, Los Angeles
Daily News and Memphis Commercial Appeal. He
joined the P-D in `98.
PR IS NASTIER THESE DAYS.
PR is a more brutish business
than it was in the "old days," according to veterans
who addressed a recent Entertainment Publicists Professional
Society session in Hollywood.
Cliff Dektar, who began
a publicity career at ABC-TV in 1956, believes there are
a lot of "nasty PR people and reporters" who need
to be dumped.
Doug Duitsman warned the
crowd against lying or misleading the media. He urged the
audience to be "dead honest" with reporters. He
is founding chairman of the TV Publicity Executive Committee.
Gene Walsh was more upbeat,
recalling the days working with his dream client, Johnny
The NBC talk show host
would do anything asked of him, only complaining "this
is a long way from the beach."
The one-time Carson seem
ruffled was when Joan Rivers, a fill-in host, departed for
a show on Fox. "We wish her modest success," said
Philadelphia Inquirer will launch an electronic
edition of the paper in January.
It will be an actual replica
of the print paper and be available via subscription.
news continued on next page)
Edition, November 7, 2007, Page 4
CUTS MAKE PR INVALUABLE
legends in celebrity journalism met on October 24 to tell
PR pros how to get better radio and TV coverage. Bill Diehl
and Sandy Kenyon spoke for nearly two hours to a crowded
house at the International Cinematographer's Guild in New
York City on topics from their favorite celebrity interview
moments to what makes a good press/PR relationship.
like what's happening in the press, I think a publicist's
job is now being redefined," said Kenyon. "Stations
are killing producers to save money. Anyone who can help
people like me get a story on the air is invaluable."
a celebrity - chances are they've been interviewed by Kenyon.
Perhaps most famously known as the voice of CNN's "The
Hollywood Minute," Kenyon previously served as the
company's senior entertainment correspondent in Hollywood.
1997, he's held the title of entertainment reporter for
1010 WINS and is also a regular on WABC-TV's "Eyewitness
News This Morning."
way you can be helpful is to bring me a story that offers
something completely different. Apply a hook, something
that will get me interested. Make it easy. Ask yourself:
how can I make a story attractive? The stories I look for
have a very charismatic celebrity in an unusual situation.
It's much more effective than having someone in the news
room with a splice reel."
devoted much time discussing the relationships between publicists
and the press. Due to the nature of the professions, reporters
and PR pros are forced to develop "long term"
relationships. Kenyon said both parties can do much to understand
and accommodate the professional needs of the other.
this level you've got to know the game. When you're a publicist,
you're under pressure to get mentions. When you're a reporter,
you're pressured to get the story. The way relationships
are built is by understanding the rules on each side. I
need you [during] breaking news. If you can deliver on that,
I'll remember you forever. It goes beyond getting your mention
for that day it's about making the reporter look
good for his bosses."
the chief entertainment correspondent for ABC News Radio,
said that while new relationships can often be hard to forge,
they often start when a publicist displays a knack for smart,
would venture to say most of you aren't representing A-list
celebrities. A lot of you are pitching kind of obscure things.
Put something really damn good in that subject line,"
he said. "That will at least get me to open it up."
voice has become synonymous with radio. As chief entertainment
correspondent for ABC News Radio since the early '80's,
you'd be hard-pressed to find a news-savvy American who
hasn't heard his distinct drawl. His daily entertainment
feature, "Bill Diehl's Spotlight," is broadcast
on more than 2,500 affiliates. He's also interviewed virtually
ever major celebrity over the years, including DeNiro, Hanks,
Madonna and Springsteen, to name a few.
said he enjoys working with publicists, but said nothing
turns him off more than getting pitches laced with blatant
really down on that kind of thing and we're going to get
in trouble if we use it," he said at the Oct. 24 event,
which was hosted by the Entertainment Publicists Professional
TOROSSIAN CALLED BAD
BOY OF BUZZ
5W Public Relations CEO
Ronn Torossian is profiled as the "bad boy of buzz"
with a PR problem by the Nov. 12 BusinessWeek.
The 33-year-old Torossian
"courts controversy-sliming rivals, scrapping with
journalists, lobbying public insults on behalf of clients."
He also has built 5W into "one of America's fastest-growing
BW reports that Torossian
has "made a point of taunting his rivals, calling them
'dinosaurs," "old men in suspenders," and
"brain-dead." New York counselor Howard Rubenstein
and son, Richard, take regular jabs from Torossian.
The magazine credits Torossian's
"loud, crass, buzz-obsessed" style for echoing
the "raw, unvarnished discourse of the blogosphere."
Reporter Diane Brady speculates
that Torossian's brashness runs the risk of "alienating
corporate clients by continuing with 'Girls Gone Wild,"
the soft-porn video operation that 5W repped when its founder
Joe Francis surrendered to U.S. marshals on contempt charges.
Torossian claims that 97 percent of 5W's revenues stems
from corporate work.
The 5W chief credits his
success to being "bright." Another reason: "My
competitors are not so bright." He feels it's an easy
choice to hire an Edelman or Burson-Marsteller, but "it
takes guts to hire 5W."
Torossian, in an email
to O'Dwyer's, blistered the BW article, saying it does not
reflect the reality of 5W.
Woodruff, the wife of former ABC News co-anchor Bob
Woodruff who was injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq, is
joining "Good Morning America" as life and family
contributor. She co-authored "In an Instant,"
a book that deals with Bob's recovery process.
Woodruff is contributing
editor to Family Fun Magazine and has freelanced
for Redbook, Country Living and Health.
She also ran her own marketing communications firm and owns
big-time agency experience earned at Porter Novelli and
Hill and Knowlton.
Smith, who has been at Newsweek for 37 years,
is stepping down as editor-in-chief and chief executive
Tom Ascheim, GM of Viacoms
Nickelodeon TV, will assume the CE duties, handling business
aspects of Newsweek. Nobody has been tapped for the EIC
post, leaving Jon Meacham, editor, the top newsroom executive.
Ann McDaniel, corporate VP at Newsweek, takes on the managing
director role at the magazine. She is in charge of both
business and editorial.
7, 2007, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
HANGS SHINGLE IN MINN.
Rumpza, a veteran agency and corporate PR exec in the Twin
Cities area of Minnesota, has set up his own shop, Rumpza
Consulting, in Minneapolis.
clients include Marvin Windows & Doors, The Toro Company,
Lawn-Boy and Avant Energy Services.
was with Weber Shandwick for 17 years leading its corporate
relations group in Bloomington. He later joined Nicholson
Kovac as senior VP of PR in its Minneapolis office.
FACTORY IN DIGITAL ENTITY
Factory, a San Francisco firm with offices in New York,
has formed a digital media group of like-minded
companies under the umbrella of Thunder Group.
in the group is AdJuicer, a user-generated advertising platform;
Media Gems, a network of media and marketing properties;
MobileGates, a mobile marketing services company, and CollegeCarrot,
a network for college admissions counselors and students.
Di Chrio, of TF, said: The fact is that there are
many incredibly smart companies and thought leaders in the
digital media and marketing space, but its difficult
to succeed as a singular entity.
called Thunder Group a keiretsu, a Japanese term for a group
of collaborating companies.
FIRM SOLD TO STAFFER
& Partners, Dallas, has been renamed HCK2 Partners to
reflect the sale by founder George Michael to staffer Heather
Capps and Kenneth Kracmer, a former client.
takes the president/CEO reins while Kracmer, who was formerly
director of corporate communications at Excel Communications,
an M&P client, leads business development as a managing
nine-year-old firm retains its staff of 25. Michael will
act in a consultative, strategic role for the firm.
was M&Ps first employee.
a boutique New York firm, is opening a Mumbai, India, office
to target global brands, Indian companies, and U.S. companies
looking to woo Indias consumer base. Clients of the
firm have included Coca-Cola India, Jet Airways and Cobra
Beer. Info: mypeepul.com. ...Taylor
has relocated its 30-person Charlotte, N.C., office to Prosperity
Place Three, 10150 Mallard Creek Road. Info: taylorpr.com.
signed an alliance agreement with The Jeffrey Group, a Miami
firm focused on Latin America and the U.S. Hispanic market.
network of independent PR firms has added Oak Brook, Ill.-based
consumer firm JSH&A
PR to its
roster. Clients include Beam Global Spirits & Wine,
McDonalds and The Hershey Co. IPREX has an existing
Chicago affiliate Serafin & Associates, which focuses
on corporate comms., public affairs and crisis work.
New York/Columbia Universitys Graduate School of Journalism,
as AOR. The firm is leading an audit and competitive research
project to determine a brand message for internal and external
stakeholders. That includes plans to enhace the schools
website and boost alumni relations.
United Parcel Service, for representation on issues related
to Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization legislation.
Managing director John Green is handling the lobbying effort.
Atlanta/Grand Hall, gas appliances, for marketing and communications.
K&A is charged with leading brand development and marketing
for the introduction of Eternal, a hybrid water heating
system. The firm has also picked up Nichiha USA, a fiber
cement technology company. K&A is handling brand development
and PR for a new line of building products in the Southeast
Miami/dmg world media, exhibitions and publishing, as PR
and marketing counsel for the Miami Beach Antique Jewelry
& Watch Show and similar shows in Las Vegas, New York,
as well as the Original Miami Beach Antique Show.
Layne & Co.,
Farmington Hills, Mich./
Anderson Economic Group, East Lansing, Mich.-based consulting
firm focused on economics, finance, market research and
public policy, as AOR for PR. AEG has operations in Chicago,
Oklahoma City and Dallas.
San Diego/Raytel, hands-free mobile comms.; 42Media, digital
signage; Packard Hospitality Group, hotel management; Orange
County Office of law firm Luce, Forward, Hamilton &
Scripps; Cohn Restaurant Group and restaurateur Deborah
Scott; Fresh[er], eatery/lounge; Donna Marsh, upscale womens
clothing store slated for December opening, and Shorelines
Gallery, art and jewelry gallery.
FRITTS FIGHTS FOR MPA RIGHTS.
Eddie Fritts, who stepped
down as president of National Assn. of Broadcasters in '06,
is repping the Motion Picture Assn. on intellectual property
MPA is the leader in the
fight against video piracy. It claims MPA studios lost $6.1B
in '05 revenues to "movie thieves." That included
$2.4B in bootlegging, $2.3B in Internet piracy and $1.4B
in illegal copying.
MPA COO Bob Pisano told
the Tokyo International Film Festival Intellectual Property
Rights Forum on Oct. 26 that he "looks forward to the
criminalization of unauthorized downloading." He wants
to forge ties with other industry groups to "educate
consumers about the value of intellectual property rights."
Fritts is joined on Capitol
Hill by Fritts Group staffers: Kathy Ramsey, who was executive
VP-PA at NAB, and John Lively, who was NAB's director of
Edition, November 7, 2007, Page 6
RTNDA, MEDIA GIANTS HIT FCC,
The Radio-Television News
Directors Assn. and a coalition that includes
the top media and news organizations in the U.S., have filed
a 15-page statement of support for Comcast with the Federal
Communications Commission in the wake of the FCCs
fines against the cable operator for allegedly airing video
news releases without proper attribution.
The strongly worded letter
by RTNDAs lobbyist Kathleen Kirby of Wiley Rein and
dated Oct. 31 blasts the FCC for its flawed and unprecedented
sanctions against Comcast as an unconstitutional
form of regulation and an affront to First Amendment
values. The letter outlines both the RTNDAs
legal argument against the FCCs action as well as
an overarching defense of VNRs and the first major support
of media companies for the valuable role of
VNRs in newsgathering.
A PDF copy of the letter
is at odwyerpr.com.
Among dozens of media
entities that signed the letter are the major networks
ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX as well as companies like Gannett
Co., Meredith Corp. and ABC parent Walt Disney Co. The support
of those companies gives significant weight to the PR defense
of VNRs, said one PR industry executive.
The heart of this
matter is the FCCs outright intrusion into the newsroom,
said RTNA president Barbara Cochran.
Comcast is facing $20K
in fines for alleged violation of FCC sponsorship identification
rules. Two reports by the Center for Media and Democracy
last year have brought VNRs to the spotlight. The CMD reports
said that use of VNRs without attribution in TV news is
widespread. RTNDA has tagged those studies as biased,
embellished, and inaccurate.
The National Assn. of
Broadcast Communicators, a trade group of broadcast PR companies,
praised the RTNDA letter as a very compelling First
Amendment case against government intrusion into news
rooms. Fortunately, we live in a country without an
information ministry to monitor and regulate
the activities of electronic and print journalists or otherwise
control the free flow of information through all media,
and the NABC agrees with the RTNDA and the coalition of
70 broadcasters that it should stay that way, the
group said in a statement to ODwyers.
Among the RTNDAs
arguments is that Comcast procured the VNRs from CNN Newsource,
a third-party in the news process that distributes such
PR video material. Therefore, RTNDA argues, no payment or
other favor was exchanged between CN8 and the original VNR
producer and the so-called payola statute does not apply.
The legislative history shows Congress did not intend
for the FCC to dictate how stations should make identifications
when they independently decide to use third-party resource
materials such as written press releases or their modern
day electronic equivalents, the RTNDA and media companies
argue. By making electronic journalists strictly responsible
for the motives and connections of their sources ... the
FCC has embarked upon an extraordinarily dangerous
slippery slope toward government censorship...
McGraw, who held several top comms. posts at VH1,
has changed channels at Viacom in taking the VP/comms. slot
at BET Networks, New York. McGraw has led media relations
for VH1 for the last deacade. At BET, she reports to Jeanine
Luburd, SVP/comms. and public affairs.
Stroup exits Ruder Finns branding practice
for an executive VP post at Euro RSCG Life PR. The healthcare
pro was previously with Nelson Communications.
Vonder Meulen, marketing, events, sports and cultural
comms. manager, BMW North America, to Rolls-Royce Motor
Cars, Woodcliff Lake, N.J., as corporate comms. manager
for North America. She is taking over in January for Bob
Austin, who is slated to retire at the end of the year.
Lancaster, A/E, Rasky Baerlein Strategic Comms.,
to Stanton Communications, Washington, D.C., as a senior
A/E. Shareese DeLeaver,
former press secretary for Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich
Jr., joins Stantons Baltimore office as a senior A/E.
has joined Stantons New York office as an A/E.
Thill, director of IR at Marathon Oil Corp., Houston,
has been elected to succeed Kenneth Matheny, who is retiring
as VP of IR and public affairs for the company at the end
of the year. Thill is a former IR and PR director for Phillips
Hempel, CEO of Sparkpr, to Eastwick Communications,
Mountain View, Calif., in the new post of president overseeing
day-to-day operations for the firm. She was formerly VP
of corporate comms. for myCFO and VP of marketing at Qwest
Catz, who has served as acting deputy secretary of
transportation in California, to MWW Group, Irvine, Calif.,
as a senior counselor. MWW CEO Michael Kempner called Katz
a powerhouse in transportation and public policy.
She continues to sit on the board of an entity developing
a high-speed rail service between Orange County and Las
Vegas, and is director of the Center for Urban Infrastructure
at the University of Calif.
Schaff, comms. consultant for the California Cable
and Telecommunications Assn. and an A/S for Porter Novelli,
to Perry Communications Group, Sacramento, Calif., as an
account manager. The firm has also added three A/Cs: Kristen
Barrett and Andrea
Sheridan to executive VP, Citigate Cunningham, San
Francisco. She was key in recent wins BigFix and Keynote.
was upped to VP and Scott
Malinowski to executive VP on the East Coast in Boston
for the firm.
Pangrazio to president/CEO of Burson-Marstellers
Asia Pacifc region, effective Jan. 1. Hes an 11-year
veteran of B-M who joined the firm in Melbourne.
Edition, November 7, 2007, Page 7
MEMBERS CONDEMN PHILBIN (contd
online directory of PRS lists Philbin as "technical
director," General Dynamics Information Technology.
Maryland listed him as being with Anteon Co., $1.3 billion
supplier to the intelligence community (90% of sales are
to the Pentagon) when he received his Ph.D.
Not in Advocacy
Area of PRS Website
Philbin story was covered in the news portion of PR Tactics
Online rather than in the "Advocacy" area where
controversial issues are usually addressed. Link is:
Rhoda Weiss, the sole spokesperson for PRS who comments
on issues, is quoted as saying that "FEMA and all government
agencies" should adopt the PRS Code of Ethics and that
PRS "offers its assistance in order to establish effective
PRS looks forward to working with
Oct. 30 PRS web story ("PRS responds to FEMA news conference
incident") does not mention Philbin. Some writers who
posted comments on the PRS website were not aware he is
an APR member.
Stalzer, PA specialist, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Palmer,
Alaska, said she was "disheartened" that PRS could
not revoke Philbin's APR "for such an egregious violation
of the Society's Code of Ethics."
said FEMA's actions "tarnish the credibility of all
who practice public affairs in the U.S. government. She
was also disappointed by "PRS's wishy-washy response-six
days after the fact."
Shank, Indianapolis counselor, called for "righteous
indignation" and said: "Obviously the ethical
moral compass was massively deflected by a total lack of
understanding of professional right and wrong
Parrish-Kell, president and chief rabbit, Dancing Rabbits
Communications, Las Vegas, said the Society's response was
"pretty passive" and that "recommending adherence
to a set of practices is a long way from true advocacy.
Given the severity of FEMA's PR fiasco (yet again), I expected
more 'bite' from PRS, our guard dog for our profession,
to assure the media and public that true professionals do
not act in such a stupid, uncreative way."
at Bush Administration Mistake
Steve Lubetkin, Cherry
Hill, N.J., counselor and former director of PRS, urged
"a measured approach" while admitting "FEMA
screwed up badly." He said there was "a lot of
glee at catching the Administration doing something wrong."
The last posting in PRS's
advocacy section was dated July 12, 2007. It criticized
executives of public companies who place anonymous comments
Mary Beth West, Maryville,
Tenn., counselor, former PRS director who ran unsuccessfully
for secretary of the Society this year, is the current head
PRS abolished the enforcement
part of its ethics code in 2000 when a new code was instituted.
Seattle counselor Bob Frause concluded in a report that
the previous code was unenforceable because of lack of member
cooperation and high legal costs involved in any prosecution.
ECHO EXPOSES MORMONS.
Echo Media Group works
for Mormons Exposed, a venture of Las Vegas-based
singer and sixth-generation Mormon Chad Hardy who wants
to dispel misconceptions about members of the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Tustin, Calif.-based
firm is promoting the Men on a Mission calendar
that features a dozen young, buff and shirtless missionaries
who have completed service overseas.
The calendar, according
to Hardys site, will certainly raise eyebrows,
but is intended to be a tongue-in-cheek celebration
of the selfless servitude of missionaries. For instance,
Mr. March worked with the Red Cross in Namibia
distributing polio vaccines.
The calendar has received
coverage in the Washington Post, Las Vegas Sun
and Kansas City Star. The Post said the shirtless,
sculpted and looking seductive pin-up guys aim to
debunk the popular image of Mormons as straight-laced
LDS officials do not comment
on the calendar because it is a commercial enterprise. Hardy
told the Post that Mormons have an absolute sense
of humor about their religion. They realize people think
its crazy. Proceeds from the calendar are earmarked
ROEHM, WAL-MART MAKE UP.
Julie Roehm has dropped
her wrongful dismissal suit against Wal-Mart because pursuing
the case has "become more difficult and financially
draining," according to a statement distributed by
her PR firm, Sitrick & Co.
The marketing communications
wiz hired to inject sizzle into the Bentonville, Ark.-based
retailer has accepted "Wal-Marts decision to
terminate her employment." She is not receiving any
money or other compensation to settle the case.
also is based on information that allegations she made against
Minnesota investor Irwin Jacobs and Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott
are false. She had alleged Scott received boats and a "large
pink diamond" at a steep discount from companies controlled
by Jacobs in return for Wal-Mart contracts.
Jacobs, who is happy that
Roehm has "finally come to her senses," has dropped
his defamation suit against her. Wal-Mart is ending legal
claims against Roehm, who is happy to "move on."
SALAK OPENS FOR BUSINESS.
John Salak, senior principal
at the Dilenschneider Group, has established The Salak Group
headquartered in Hoboken, N.J.
TSG offers services such
as message development, media outreach, website development,
custom publishing and executive training.
Salak, who has counseled
top executives in the U.S. and Europe, is a former journalist.
He was posted in London for four years on an assignment
for United Media. He is joined by Jim Swords who takes the
director of business development/strategic media post.
Salak handled Texacos
merger with Chevron and promoted the Grace Commission report
that was sponsored by W.R. Grace & Co.
Edition, November 7, 2007,
John Philbin/FEMA fiasco (page one) is a major scandal for
the U.S. government and
PR but also for the PR Society, which says it sets worldwide
PR ethical standards ("highest standards of accuracy
and truth"). Rhoda Weiss's public statement about the
debacle fails to mention Philbin, who is not only a member
of the Society but an accredited member.
in itself is an ethical violation. Her statement, by omission,
does not meet the "highest standards etc."
of lecturing FEMA and "all government agencies"
to follow PRS's Code of Ethics, Weiss should be apologizing
that one of its star members, who is APR and has a Ph.D.
in PR, has been caught red-handed in an egregious ethical
should also note that PRS has no enforcement mechanism for
ethical violators and that she should have put her statement
about FEMA (which fails to mention Philbin by name) in the
"Advocacy" part of the PRS website instead of
burying it as one of numerous stories in PR Tactics online.
She had previously addressed such controversies as the firing
of Don Imus in that section.
with the acquiescence of the board, has also violated PRS's
code by leading the most secretive and press-averse administration
in the Society's history, refusing member and press requests
for Assembly transcripts and creating secret e-mail groups
for Assembly delegates only, to name a few of the abuses.
paid tens of thousands to Tim Russert to hear him say that
reporters ask "tough" questions and expect "hard"
answers. But its leaders ignore this advice.
hometown newspaper, the Greenwich Time, just got
bought out by Hearst and we hope it's for the better.
GT was a weak paper, under the thumb of local business interests.
Its circulation and that of sister paper the Advocate
of Stamford was only 39,000. The two were the smallest properties
of the Tribune Co., which had been trying to unload them
for many months.
GT ducked whenever we
suggested a controversial story. One was the isolation of
Denny Griswold, "queen of PR," from her friends
for the last five years of her life. She was at a local
nursing home. None of her friends could reach her by any
means until she died in 2001 at 92. The tragic story won
a column in the New York Times and a full page in
the New York Post (both with pictures) but we couldn't
interest GT editors. We figured they were afraid of offending
the local business community. Nor would any other paper
in Fairfield County cover the story.
We spoke May 17, 2006
to the local PRS chapter, noting that Greenwich citizen
John Wren, CEO of Omnicom, has been paid tens of millions
by OMC since 1999 although the stock is still below its
1999 high of $53.50. We thought it was a natural for the
GT but its editors didn't. The Greenwich Post, an
independent weekly, wrote 2,000 words on our remarks.
Durham Monsma, publisher
of the Time and Advocate
(who was immediately fired), said in a statement that Hearst
and partner MediaNews of Denver (which owns the Connecticut
Post), had the "strongest commitment to the communities
we serve." We hope so. Journalism professor Rachele
Kanigel of San Francisco State University and former Chicago
Tribune reporters, said in her blog that the papers
of the Tribune Co., former owner, "don't really serve
any of their communities adequately."
Job losses are expected.
Employees have to re-apply for their jobs although "most"
will be retained, the new owner said. Printing will be shifted
by yearend to the Post in Bridgeport.
We spent four years
at the Post (initial job) and then six years at Hearst's
former New York Journal-American. The "J-A"
was a hard-hitting paper and we hope the GT and Advocate
become that. Hearst, by the way, has a very harsh attitude
towards the press. When the New York Times last year
did a feature on Hearst's new building (purchased for $555
million in cash!), CEO Victor Ganzi refused to be interviewed,
saying "It doesn't make the Hearst Corp. another dollar."
Debra Shriver, VP-PR,
is known for her tight press policy. Cathleen Black, of
Hearst Magazines, told the 2004 Matrix banquet: "We
all live by Deb's rules, the first one being, don't talk
to the press. If you do, you go to Deb's jail. I've been
there and it's not pretty."
There is a crisis
in newspapers not only in terms of circulation and ads lost
but in terms of loss of credibility. The Tribune Co. is
to be purchased in Q4 via $8 billion in loans by real estate
mogul Sam Zell (assuming the loans are approved). The Philadelphia
Inquirer and Daily News were purchased last year
by local business interests and longtime PR pro Brian Tierney
installed as publisher. A member of PRS since at least 1987,
Tierney started off with a credibility deficit because,
as the Columbia Journalism Review pointed out, "A
man who had helped to spin, not to mention squelch, stories
was now the most powerful force in Philadelphia journalism."
A written promise by the new owners not to interfere was
soon torn up, Tierney pointing out that publisher "Pinch"
Sulzberger of the NYT is involved in both the business and
editorial sides (breaking an NYT tradition).
We are sending materials
on PRS to both Tierney and Pulitzer Prize-winning Inquirer
editor Bill Marimow in hopes the paper will do an in-depth,
60th anniversary story on the Society. Fifty 50 veteran
members are demanding "openness, total transparency."
So far Marimow has said he would look at our stuff. We fear
a "squelch" because the paper did not supply one
word of coverage of the recent annual PRS conference in
Philadelphia even though Tierney was a speaker. An Inquirer
columnist noted in a three-line item that 3,000 "flacks"
were to meet at "the Convention Center" (the meeting
was at the Marriott). The Inquirer remains a challenge to
its owners. National ads plummeted last year, resulting
in layoffs. It is selling its building (half empty, says
Tierney). He upped the marketing budget from $300K to $14M.
Marketing will help but credibility will suffer if stories