The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, November 14, 2007, Page 1
ISSUES $300K RFP FOR STEM CELL PR
state-backed entity set up to distribute funds for stem
cell research has issued a six-figure RFP for state, national
and global public information and communications work.
California Institute for Regenerative Medicine is backed
by $3 billion in bonds and distributes funds via an independent
citizens oversight committee, which plans to dole
out nearly $300M each year over the next decade. The Institute
has issued an RFP for a firm to handle its public information
needs for the next year with a budget capped at $300K. The
work includes a full media relations program, strategic
counsel, outreach to patient advocacy and health organizations,
and internal communications.
CIRM wants a firm steeped in education and advocacy for
scientific and medical research, public funding and related
are due Nov. 30. Point of contact is Melissa King (415/396-9119).
JUMPS INTO AQUA DOTS CRISIS
is repping Spin Master Toys, which is the center of the
Aqua Dots/ 'date rape drug' toy crisis.
toy beads contain a chemical that when swallowed metabolizes
into the date rape drug.
has frozen the export of Aqua Dots beads following recall
of the toy in the U.S. and elsewhere.
officials say they "sealed" up the Shenzhen plant
that produced the small multi-colored beads the stick together
when sprayed with water.
American children have been sickened after eating the dots.
The toy was sold in 40 countries, and was once touted as
a "hot" holiday item by Wal-Mart.
B-M staffer told O'Dwyer's that the WPP unit's New York
and Washington offices are involved in the Aqua Dots story
with support from other offices in the network. Marc Ambinder,
who blogs for the Atlantic Monthly, broke the B-M/Aqua
Baer, a former senior advisor
to President Clinton, has joined Burson-Marsteller and its
Penn, Schoen and Berland unit in the roles of vice chairman
and chairman, respectively.
is based in Washington, D.C., and advises clients at both
units, reporting to Mark Penn. He has been senior VP of
strategy and development at Discovery Channel parent Discovery
Communications and is considered an expert in helping companies
extend their brands in the digital sphere.
PUMPS $30M INTO W2 GROUP
Clipper Partners has pumped a $30M investment into W2 Group,
the Waltham, Mass.-based digital marketing firm that is
headed by Larry Weber.
former Weber Shandwick chief is earmarking proceeds to expand
operations of its Racepoint Group (PR) and Digital Influence
Group (social media) units plus to bankroll acquisitions.
plans to build out marketing services in categories such
as community building, social networking, content/Web 2.0
publishing, mobile, online analytics, and domain-specific
services such as healthcare.
told the Boston Globe that MCP has made a long-term
commitment of more than $100M to W2 Group in return for
an equity stake.
says W2 Group will generate $20M in revenues this year,
earning about $4M. His goal is to build W2 Group into a
$300M entity within five years. It has worked for Sony,
eHarmony, One Laptop Per Child, AMD, Genzyme and AOL/Third
is a private equity firm that manages $1.5B in capital.
stock on 11/12 hit $45.84, a 52-week low, in the aftermath
of a Nov. 7 downgrade from buy to sell
by Banc of America Securities. They are now at $46.87.
Joe Arns cut OMC because of an anticipated slowdown in advertising
spending in `08. He projects 3.9 percent growth in marketing
expenditures vs. 5.4 percent this year. That `08 projection
is the lowest growth rate since the 3.8 percent mark in
who has a $48 price target on OMC, also is concerned that
creativity has slipped in its DDB advertising network following
the `05 retirement of creative guru Keith Reinhard. He notes
that Subaru shifted its $150M ad account to Interpublics
Carmichael Lynch without a review. Also, DDB has not had
a $100M win this year.
PR PRO LEAVES IN FEMA FLAP
second PR head has rolled in the FEMA fake news conference
flap-that of Aaron Walker, FEMA press secretary, who has
taken a job at an undisclosed PR firm in Utah.
the Washington Post reported that Harvey Johnson,
No. 2 under administrator David Paulison, knew that FEMA
staffers were asking him questions at the conference; he
referred to them by name.
on page 7)
Edition, November 14, 2007, Page 2
CONNECTS WITH RFID GROUP
Group has won a competitive RFP process to develop a consumer
awareness group for the trade group behind radio frequency
identification technologies, or RFID.
campaign, called RFID: Safety, Security and Convenience
for Everyone, for AIM Global aims to highlight the
benefits of the technology, self-regulation by the RFID
industry, and to dispel inaccuracies about the tracking
is the 35-year-old trade association for mobile data collection
technologies like bar codes, biometrics and RFID. RFID is
commonly used to track goods shipped through the supply
chain, but expanded uses for animals, food and even humans
are being developed. Detractors say expanded use of the
technology compromises privacy.
is charged with a three-pronged effort targeting consumer
and trade media, analysts, and grassroots social and new
media communities. The firm is also putting together a communications
program for state capital cities considering RFID-related
mainly focused on large consumer outlets like local, regional
and major daily newspapers, and business journals,
said Keith Pillow, VP for Abelson, targeting a number
of different beat reports, whether it be travel or healthcare,
to highlight many of the newer consumer-oriented RFID applications.
Abelson, CEO of the firm, noted RFID faces numerous
challenges, including criticism from detractors who fail
to acknowledge proven facts about the technology, and choose
to sensationalize it instead.
5W HANDLES HULK HOGAN CRISIS
5W Public Relations is
doing PR for the family of wrestler Hulk Hogan whose 17
year-old son has been booked on a wreckless driving charge
in Florida. He surrendered to authorities on Nov. 7, and
was released on $10K bail.
Police say Nick Bollea
was racing his fathers car on Aug. 26 when he hit
a curb, spun across two lanes of traffic and slammed into
a palm tree, reports the Associated Press.
John Graziano, the 22-year-old
passenger, suffered a broken skull and remains comatose.
Adam Handelsman, executive
VP at 5W, is handling media inquires on behalf of Bolleas
The family maintains the
crash was not a high-speed accident, and is
saddened that criminal charges have been filed against Bollea
based on a tragic single car accident.
FD GUIDES CHINESE AD NET.
FD is counseling AirMedia
Group, the China-based digital advertising company that
made a splashy public IPO last week.
AirMedia manages an airport
and airplane media and advertising network in China, which
includes news, weather and entertainment programming. That
includes 52 airports in the country and aboard nine airlines.
Six-month revenue ended June 30 was $16.7M.
FD is handling the account,
including media relations work, in Beijing and New York.
PA/NJ COMMISSION SEEKS HIGHER
The bi-state commission
that oversees transportation and land use issues along the
Delaware River between Pennsylvania and New Jersey is looking
for an agency to boost awareness of its role in the region.
The Delaware Valley Regional
Planning Commission is run by an 18-person board and staffs
more than 100 full-time employees. Its operating budget
is slated at $25M for 2008.
The 42-year-old Commission
wants a marketing, advertising or public relations firm
(or team of firms) to develop a multi-faceted, multi-media
public relations campaign that results in public awareness
and builds grassroots support for the entity and its programs.
Proposals are due Nov.
27. The Commission expects to award a one-year contract
beginning in February 2008. The RFP can be downloaded from
the DVRPCs website.
BREWER SEEKS PR FIRM
Gordon Biersch Brewing
Co. is looking for a PR firm to handle an `08 national campaign
to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the brewer of authentic
German lagers. The Palo Alto-based operation markets draft
and bottled beer brewed in accordance with the 1516 German
Its restaurant group,
offering fare such as Cajun Pasta, New York Strip and Barbecued
Salmon, has 24 units in a dozen states plus Washington,
Founder Dan Gordon wants
a PR effort to play up five seasonal promotions of specialty
beers and limited time menu offers. He wants to receive
a PR proposal at GBBC at 357 East Taylor St., San Jose 95112.
Stephanie Nichols at Gordon
Biersch Brewery Restaurant Group, 2001 Riverside Dr., Ste.
3100, Chattanooga, Tenn. 37406 will take either a CD-ROM
or hard-copy proposal.
EDELMAN RIDES HEELYS
Heelys, the faddish wheeled
sneaker company, has hired Edelman in a bid to recover corporate
momentum, according to CEO Mike Staffaroni.
He told analysts in a
Nov. 7 conference call that Heelys is enhancing our
PR effort by recently hiring Edelman. He described
Edelman as a leading independent PR firm that has represented
many world leading consumer brands. Its expertise
will benefit Heelys as it continues to grow and evolve
Staffaroni also told analysts
that the company experienced higher than anticipated
levels of order cancellations. It had to provide retailers
discretionary marketing assistance beyond our original
budget, which negatively impacted our gross margins.
His comments helped send
Heelys stock to a $6.30 all-time low. The company went public
last December and traded as high at $40.09.
Prior to Edelman, Heelys
used SPM Communications and Integrated Corporate Resources
for PR and financial communications. SPM said it resigned
the account in September but will continue to work on it
until the end of the year.
put the wheeled sneaker on its 2005 Best of America
Edition, November 14, 2007, Page 3
fell at most of the top 25 newspapers, according to the
Audit Bureau of Circulations latest figures ending
the major dailies, the Philadelphia Inquirer (up
2.31 percent) and USA Today (up 1.04 percent) were
the only notable gainers. The New York Times posted
a 4.51 percent dip to 1,037,828, while the New York Post
sank 3.23 percent to 667,119 subscribers, falling behind
its bitter rival, the New York Daily News (-1.7%),
which sank to 681,415.
top five papers are USA Today, Wall Street Journal,
N.Y. Times and the Daily News.
San Diego Union Tribune (-8.5%), Atlanta Journal-Constitution
(-9.08%), and Dallas Morning News (-7.78%) were among
the hardest hit.
NORTHROP TAPPED FOR RD POST.
Peggy Northrop, editor-in-chief
of Meredith Corp.s More magazine, has been
named U.S. editor-in-chief of Readers Digest,
succeeding Jacqueline Leo, who is stepping down.
Northrop had been at More
since April 2004 after serving as EIC of Rodales Organic
She also held senior editorial
posts at Vogue, Glamour, Redbook,
Real Simple and Health.
CONDE NAST CLOSES HOUSE &
Conde Nast is closing
House & Garden again following the surprise exit
of publisher Joe Lagani, winner of CNs `06 turnaround
of the year award.
Charles Townsend, president/CEO
of CN Publications, cited the unexpected departure
of the publisher as the reason to take a serious
look and re-evaluate the title.
After years of red ink,
Townsend said H&G no longer was a viable business
investment for the company.
H&G was launched in
1901. CN shut it down in `93 and re-launched it in `96.
The shutdown will result in 80 job losses. The magazines
website also is going out of business. H&G had a circulation
of more than one million, and 800 advertising pages through
the 11 months of this year.
Lagani left for GlamLiving,
an online channel from Glam Media, in October.
BEWKES SUCCEEDS PARSONS AT
Jeff Bewkes has officially
been designated CEO of Time Warner, assuming command from
Dick Parsons on Jan. 1. Parsons will stay on as chairman
indefinitely. His employment pact is up at the end of May.
Bewkes, who is COO, is
credited with cementing HBOs role as a leading cable
Parsons says Bewkes is
expected to bring new energy and new perspective
to the company.
STOP COMPLAINING, SAYS CURLEY
Associated Press CEO Tom
Curley believes newspaper executives need to stop complaining
about the state of the business and get busy finding ways
to deliver news and information to people the way they want
to receive it. Editors need to stop pining for the
old world and intensify the leading to the new one,
he told a fundraising dinner for the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship.
Newspaper executives need
to drop their we-know-best gatekeeper mentality
and understand that readers want to captain their
RED CROSS WINS ROUND VS. J&J
A federal judge has tossed
part of Johnson & Johnsons lawsuit lodged against
the American Red Cross over the use of the Red Cross emblem.
Judge Jed Rakoff dismissed
J&Js claim that the charity had promised not to
sell first aid, health, safety and emergency preparedness
products with the Red Cross logo.
J&J filed its suit
against ARC three months ago. The $53B drug giant demanding
that ARC stop the licensing program, destroy inventory of
the accused products, fork over cash received from the sale
of the goods and pay punitive damages plus legal fees.
Rakoffs ruling concerns
a portion of the suit. The U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York is expected to hear the full case early
Mark Everson, CEO of ARC,
hopes Rakoffs Nov. 5 ruling will encourage J&J
to drop its lawsuit so the non-profit can put this
distraction behind it.
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
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."
U.S. MUSLIMS LAUNCH MEDIA
The Council on American-Islamic
Relations has launched a media outreach to dispel what it
considers "inaccuracies" reported about the religion
in the U.S. media.
The Washington, D.C.-based
group is distributing copies of "American Muslims:
A Journalist's Guide to Understanding of Islam and Muslims."
CAIRN believes it is the duty of all American Muslims to
work to achieve more accurate and balanced information in
the press about Islam and its followers.
news continued on next page)
Edition, November 14, 2007, Page 4
SEND SINGER TO BOARD
The Bancroft family, which is selling Dow Jones & Co.
to News Corp., has selected Natalie Bancroft, a 27-year-old
opera singer with no business experience, to be its representative
on the companys board.
Wall Street Journal (Nov. 7) reported that internal
discussions about who to select to sit on the board
were almost as rancorous as family members endured
while deciding whether to sell Dow Jones.
the Bancroft family lawyer, Michael Elefante: I dont
think weve distinguished ourselves in how we handled
Hill, a family member, called the episode a sad and pathetic
fiasco. No wonder we lost Dow Jones, he said
in an email to family members.
believes she has the capacity to handle the
board seat. She will serve with luminaries such as News
Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch, Spains former president
Jose Maria Aznar, Rothschild Investment director Andrew
Knight, J.P. Morgan Chase/Australia chief Rod Eddington
and Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers partner Tom Perkins.
believes the opera singer will make a fine director. Dow
Jones shareholders will vote on the News Corp. acquisition
on Dec. 13.
LEVICK ADDS EX-RTNDA PREZ
Levick Strategic Communications
has added David Bartlett, one-time president of the Radio-Television
News Directors Assn., as senior VP.
Bartlett will focus on
media training for the Washington, D.C.-based high-stakes
His resume includes VP-news
& programming for NBC Radio, managing editor at Metromedia
TV News, director of news and English broadcasts for Voice
of America, and director of global news services for WorldSpace.
Bartlett handled media
training and presentation coaching duties at Rowan &
Blewitt, which recently closed.
WHOLE FOODS BANS
EXECS FROM WEB
Whole Foods has banned
its CEO John Mackey and other senior executives from posting
industry-related thoughts on the Internet.
The move follows this
summers debacle that featured an anonymous Mackey
trashing competitors and talking up WF stock.
The new code of conduct
covers directors, corporate executives and regional VPs.
It bans staffers from commenting on third-party websites
to avoid the actual and perceived improper use of
company information, and to avoid any impression that statements
are being made on behalf of the company.
It also bars anonymous
postings either under a screen name or communicating
through another person.
WF conducted an internal
probe of Mackeys postings, and pledged continued support
to the companys co-founder. The Securities and Exchange
Commission is conducting its own probe.
SANTORUM DEBUTS IN INKY.
Former Pennsylvania Senator
Rick Santorum, who has been called "snake oil peddler,"
"smug," "arrogant," "intolerant,"
and a "doofus" by the Philadelphia Inquirer
penned his first every other week column for the Inky on
In his kick-off piece,
hard-right Santorum notes that he gets little love in the
City of Brotherly Love, which him 20 percent of its votes
in his big loss to Democrat Bob Casey in `06.
Santorum vows to be more
than just a "token voice of the great unwashed."
He wants to speak for the "thousands of people who
either read this section of the paper only as a source of
enemy intel or don't read it because it is bad for their
Santorum calls the "conservative
movement" rudderless, and he hopes to restore America's
confidence in it.
Once considered one of
the most polarizing figures in the Senate, Santorum now
is singing a different tune. "Some have so personalized
their contempt for the opposing view that they can no longer
view issues with any sense of inquiry or objectivity."
has launched an expanded and enhanced version of its technology
section overhauling its look and adding new content providers
IDG Media Brands and paidContent.org to contribute reporting.
Content feeds are provided by Blogrunner.com,
a feed aggregator owned by the Times Company that monitors
blog postings and the online conversations they inspire.
NYTimes.com has also added an environmental blog called
Dot Earth, nytimes.com/dotearth written by science reporter
Andrew Revkin with other contributors.
New York Daily News has become the largest
paper to join Yahoo!s Newspaper Consortium. The paper
will offer Yahoo content like display advertising and help
wanted ads. It is the 21st newspaper company to sign onto
Media, parent of Forbes.com
has acquired Clipmarks, a web browser add-on that enables
people to clip and share text and other content from web
pages. The application lets users take text, images and
videos from pages, and then save, blog, e-mail and print
what they clip. Forbes also said last week that it acquired
a 51% stake in RealClearPolitics.com, a political Web site.
The founders will remain owners and management.
Barbor, diet, health and fitness editor at Hearsts
Quick and Simple, to More magazine, as health
She takes over for Stephanie
Young, who left the Meredith magazine for the pre-med program
at Columbia Univ. but will continue as a contributor.
Barbor has written for
and edited Meredith titles like Fitness (health and
psychology editor), Shape, Health and Psychology
She is based in New York.
14, 2007, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
HAS OFFSHORE PR UNIT
100 has set up a PR unit to Mumbai, India, for clients to
have 24/7 access to services and save money on time-intensive
firm said its Global Resource Optimization division will
be useful for budget-cutting because the cost of business
in India is considerably lower than most markets.
CEO Aedhmar Hynes said the unit will significantly
improve the firms efficiency and quality of
GRO center handles account administration, content (case
studies, opinion articles), and secondary research support.
Indian team has previously worked with Cisco, Lenovo and
Microsoft. The firm said several clients have adopted the
model since it was internally tested earlier this year.
has set up a sustainability practice led by central region
managing director Scott Farrell and D.C. managing director
Lane Bailey. The practice, called Green, has GH leaders
in several major markets around the world. The firm said
it grew out of existing work on sustainability issues like
energy and security, climate change and carbon offsets.
...Hill & Knowlton
has taken over responsibility for sister WPP agency GCI/Grey
Groups office in Prague. Jindrich Lacko and Roman
Parik co-manage the operation, now known as GCI/Hill &
Knowlton. H&Ks Mediterranean region head Cesare
Valli said the Czech Republic is experiencing tremendous
growth with prospects of entering the Euro zone in
five years time. ...The
Hastings Group, Washington, D.C., has teamed with
Opinion Research Corp. of Princeton, N.J., to offer a polling/PR
product for organization and companies with limited
or no dedicated PR resources. Called PR Plus, the
service produces media-targeted surveys from concept through
post-news event follow-up, including tracking, news releases,
and a detailed report of findings. A version with fewer
options is also available. ...M
Booth & Associates, New York, has created a division
for online campaigns led by VP Josh Rosenberg. The practice,
called FirstWorldDigital, focuses on outlets and tactics
like online video, mobile applications, games, blogs and
SEO. Rosenberg was previously VP in the firms consumer
and travel/lifestyle areas. He joined the firm in 2001 from
Cone. ...Michael A.
Burns & Associates, Dallas, has aligned with
Internet marketing firm Yellow7 Interactive to handle online
PR campaigns, especially social media. Yellow7 is based
in Little Elm, Texas. ...The
Marcus Group, Little Falls, N.J., won three Jasper
Awards for its work with clients New York-Presbyterian Hospital,
The Provident Bank and LibertyHealth System from the Jersey
Shore Public Relations and Advertising Association. A profile
of the hospitals president and CEO that was the lead
feature in the New York Times Sunday business
page landed a silver award. The firms media kit for
LibertyHealth System also took silver.
who first went to work for Robert Marston and Assocs., New
York, in 1971, died suddenly of a heart attack on Nov. 7.
He was senior VP and director of the corporate/financial
programs at Marston.
1979 became a corporate VP of Norton Simon, whose operating
units included Hunt-Wesson Foods, Avis, Canada Dry and Max
Factor. He headed global PR and chaired the corporate contributions
committee. He rejoined Marston in 1994 and has worked for
a number of major clients including Albertsons, Honeywell,
Dial Corp., and Santa Fe Energy.
career began in 1958 and included serving as the business
editor and columnist of the Wichita Eagle. He was
financial news editor of the former New York Journal-American
from 1962 until its merger into the World-Journal-Tribune
are his wife, Monica Gail, and children Mary Elizabeth,
David and Michael; stepchildren William and Patrick Judge,
and sisters Nancy Savage and Honora Willcutts.
Group, New York/Iceland Naturally, part of the Icelandic
Tourist Board and Overseas Business Service, a campaign
touting economic development and sustainable energy sectors
in the country.
PR, New York/Designer Apartment Collection, for launch
of the Queens condo complex; SSJ Development, to promote
the Riviera Projects in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, and Miraval
Living, for a Manhattan condo conversion.
PR, New York/Capazoo.com, social network and entertainment
site; Vividas, video streaming, and SpinVox, voice-to-screen
Michael Rogers PR, New York/Lord & Berry, Italian cosmetics
line, for PR.
PR, Melville, N.Y./Visan, creator of the RocketLife
web photo application, as AOR.
Leifer DiMarco, Rockville Centre, N.Y./Harvey Electronics,
as AOR for advertising.
Pottinger USA, Boston/Seven Seas, European health
supplements, for PR focused on the Caribbean.
Washington, D.C./The Red Hat Society, 10-year-old social
network for women approaching 50 and beyond,
for PR via the firms FH Boom practice.
Communications, Baltimore/Fiber Composites, for brand
positioning, PR, media planning, creative and digital services
to support the fiberon deck and railing brand.
Communications, Atlanta/Agent Vi, video analytics
software; Fintura, marketing for credit cards, student loans
and home equity products, and Marshal, email and Net
Communications, Los Angeles/Everyone Loves Buttons,
promotional button maker licensing Fred Thompson 08
merchandise, and H20 Productions, for PR for its half-hour
drama Whittaker Bay.
Edition, November 14, 2007, Page 6
dna13 STARTS MEASURING EARLY
dna13, a system built
so that the largest companies can track 50 to 100 issues
in media worldwide (including the blogosphere), starts gathering
data before reporters have started to write their stories.
PR pros using the system
log in all incoming and outgoing press calls and e-mails
including their time and nature. This data is combined with
real time mentions in media, blogs, and any events or news
breaks related to the subject. Issues that have caught the
attention of reporters, even before stories are filed, are
monitored by the system.
"We believe this
closes an important gap in the monitoring of issues,"
says Chris Johnson, CEO of the six-year-old Ottawa-based
company, which also has offices in New York and Atlanta.
Clients can no longer wait for clips to come in 24 hours
later, he says. "You want to identify any inaccuracies
immediately to prevent pickup by other media."
With dna, companies are
able to see broadcast and print mentions shortly after they
occur and watch how promptly press calls are returned and
the nature of the responses. Pitches that don't win press
attention are also tracked so that the company can change
the pitch or put more PR people on the campaign.
If an issue pops up in
one part of the world while other parts are quiet, attention
of the PR staff and executives can be shifted to the "hot
spot," says Johnson.
Recording phone calls
is illegal in many states, he notes, but PR staff can enter
the gist of the conversations into dna13, which are then
available worldwide to key contacts in the company.
Phone and e-mail contacts
with the press have largely replaced face-to-face meetings
so that tracking press contacts has become much more measurable,
he said. "There's a giant thirst for real time information,
especially among public companies whose stock might be affected
by news," he adds.
Technology has made possible
the monitoring of hundreds of broadcast TV channels, traditional
print outlets, internet sites and millions of blog feeds,
he notes. Clients of dna13 posted on the company website
include the National Commercial Bank, the largest bank in
Saudia Arabia; Aegon, a major global insurance company whose
units include the Transamerica insurance and investment
group; Starbucks Coffee Co.; Rio Tinto Alcan, worldwide
aluminum producer, and Fidelity Investments.
Social media are not likely
to replace traditional media but they are a "force
to be reckoned with," says dna literature. More than
175,000 new blogs are being created daily and their total
is now in the tens of millions.
Asked about the origin
of "dna13," Andy Church, VP of marketing, says
the number 13 signifies renewal in some circles and has
many "positive connotations that offset the superstitious
ones." The U.S. had 13 original colonies, its original
flag had 13 stripes and there were 13 signers of the Declaration
of Independence, he notes.
"We combined 13 with
dna since we bring renewal to the corporate communications
process," he said.
Ardan, senior VP and head of Edelmans legal
and professional services group, to Gibbs & Soell, New
York, as VP and head of its professional/financial services
Miller, an A/E for Dorland Global PR, to JFK Communications,
Princeton, as a senior A/E for the healthcare firm. She
handles Eisai and Cytogen.
Healy, A/D for Porter Novelli, to Lipman Hearne,
Washington, D.C., as senior VP. Healy headed PBS, Propane
Education & Research Council, and Nextel Communications
at the firm. The firm has also added three VPs: Lydia
Pelliccia, former VP at Widmeyer Communications;
VP for external affairs at the National Childrens
Museum, who is VP of philanthropic marketing, and Pete
Boyle, ex-VP/director of higher education solutions
Jaye, corporate manager, business communications,
Parker Hannifin, to Nordson Corp., Westlake, Ohio, as director
of corporate comms. for the manufacturing equipment maker.
McAllister departs John Bailey & Associates for
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Detroit, as product news manager
for Midwest corporate communications.
Daar, California policy and field director for People
for the American Way, to Full Court Press, Oakland, Calif.,
as a senior VP. She was previously with Working Assets and
Watkins, VP of advancement and alumni relations,
National University, to LECG, Emeryville, Calif., expert
services and economic advisory firm, as director of marketing
Strauss to chief innovation officer, Ketchum, New
York. In the newly created post, she oversees the firms
process for identifying new communications products and
Bradley to executive VP, The Vandiver Group, St.
Louis. He joined the firm in 1996. Andrew
Lake has been upped to senior team leader after two
years with TVG.
Mayes and Lesa
Sorrentino to VPs, Marion, Montgomery, Houston. Bright
oversees operations; Jung Choi heads creative services,
Laura Mayes guides PR, and Sorrentino heads account services.
Birnbaum, who heads broadcast PR company Z Communications
Co. in Bethesda, Md., is being honored as one of the Washington
Business Journals 2007 Women Who Mean Business.
Finalists were nominated by industry peers and selected
by Washington Business Journal editors. The former ABC network
correspondent founded zcomm in 1989.
Wood, an A/C for Cook & Schmid, was among the
18 recipients of PR Student Societys National Gold
Key Award, the groups highest honor. The Key was given
to the San Diego State Univ. grad for academic excellence,
Society leadership and her internship with C&S.
Edition, November 14, 2007, Page 7
PR PRO LEAVES
from page 1)
FEMA PR head John Philbin took blame for the mishap although
he said he was "unaware before the briefing that reporters
had not been given adequate time to arrive
had already quit his post at FEMA on Oct. 12 to join the
Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Oct.
25. But ODNI then said it would not hire him.
Post said the Homeland Security Dept., headed by Secretary
Michael Chertoff, had ordered FEMA officials to hold the
Oct. 23 press conference. Paulison himself was not available
at the conference for questioning either in person or via
said he did not "advise, authorize or approve"
of the conference as it was conducted. He said he arrived
at the briefing just as it was starting and was unaware
that reporters would not be present and that a listen-only
phone line had been set up for them.
Knocke, lead press secretary for Chertoff, who was sent
to investigate, said there was "a significant lack
of leadership" in FEMA's external affairs.
has said Johnson "didn't know everyone in the room"
at the televised conference, which took place in FEMA's
Washington, D.C., offices.
said he had "tremendous confidence" in Johnson
who has worked "an ungodly amount of hours" in
rebuilding the agency.
described the staff questions at the "fake" conference
as "softballs" that included "Are you happy
with FEMA's response so far?" and "What lessons
learned from Katrina have been applied?"
Began as Firefighter
Paulison, according to
his official biography, has held "a number of senior
positions within the federal government" since 2001
after a 35-year career as a firefighter. A native of Miami,
he began as a rescue firefighter and rose to fire chief
His federal positions
include director of the Preparedness Division, Emergency
Preparedness and Response Directorate and U.S. Fire Administrator.
He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2006 as director
of FEMA. With the 2007 reorganization of FEMA, he continues
to lead it as administrator.
ACCEPT INTERNET, COMSTOCK
PR pros must accept the
internet-"the great equalizer," and give up a
measure of control, Beth Comstock, president, NBC Universal
Integrated Media, told 270 on Nov. 8 at the Institute for
PR dinner at the Yale Club, New York.
"Those trying to
'control the message' need to give it up-or at least be
willing to share control," she said.
Admitting that some in
the audience will not like to hear it, she nevertheless
said she believes that "PR people are, at the core,
being a great salesperson, like being a
great communicator, is all about listening to people and
delivering a solution that meets a need."
Her training as a communicator
turned out to be "incredibly invaluable" when
she switched to marketing, she said, "because we're
totally focused on figuring out early what's going on outside
the company." She had switched from PR to head marketing
while at parent General Electric.
Larry Foster, retired
head of PR at Johnson & Johnson, who received the Alexander
Hamilton Medal for lifetime PR achievement, said PR pros
should not let technology block them from developing "better
long-term personal relationships that are so critical to
success in PR."
He asked, "How many
people have you been communicating with online for years,
and yet have never once met face to face?"
Success in PR "relies
importantly on developing trust between two people and two
organizations," he said, noting that this includes
relationships between PR people and the press.
Raps New York Post
The NBC executive started
her speech by poking fun at New York Post reporter
Peter Lauria who on Sept. 5 said her "tumultuous two
years at NBC Universal are coming to an end."
He wrote that NBC's $600M
purchase of iVillage in 2006 was "championed"
by Comstock but it is "largely viewed as an overpriced
The iVillage deal and
her "poor decision to launch a TV show tied to the
brand, led executives to question her ability to succeed"
at NBC, wrote Lauria, who speculated she would be returned
to the parent. The Post has never retracted the story.
Comstock on Nov. 8 that
iVillage is "growing both traffic and revenue."
she said, "is having incredible growth from streaming
long-form TV." Goal is to reach $1 billion in digital
businesses by 2009.
Comstock sees her role
as an "integrator, one who has to pull different pieces
together-trends, teams, technologies-and create new value.
Understanding the value of trends and audiences, weaving
together meaningful stories, being good at integration-those
are skills I learned in PR."
In her early days in PR,
she said, "I often wrapped myself in a shield called
'control, enrobed in an illusion, or rather delusion-that
I could actually command an outcome. After all, that's what
we attempt to do as good communicators, right?"
But she said that consumers
now want more control, "sometimes even of the story
or at the very least to feel they can participate
in it's unfolding."
She now feels that "you
have to give it up (control) if you're going to move things
Digital technology has
become "the great equalizer," she said. She urged
PR people not to "head for the bunker" when their
positions are "threatened" but to "get out
of the bunker
be a tiger."
"took most of our time 50 years ago," said Foster,
but now there is reliance on computers, Blackberries, Palms,
faxes, copiers, videotapes, DVDs, camcorder, cell phones
and IPhones. I do know that success in PR relies importantly
on developing trust between two people, or two organizations,"
he said. "I contend that the best way to generate trust
is through a personal relationship-not by e-mail."
Edition, November 14, 2007,
Philbin, late of FEMA, is fighting for his PR life
bosses and even his professional assn. (PR Society) egged
on the mob before he could get a word out in his defense
about the fake press briefing. What most disappoints
him about this affair is the rush to judgment,
casualty is press secretary Aaron Walker, who resigned to
join a PR firm in Utah. A FEMA probe found there was a significant
lack of leadership in the agencys PA. Yes, there
is. It traces to administrator David Paulison and his deputy,
Harvey Johnson. Johnson knew FEMA staffers were tossing
softball questions at him such as Are
you happy with FEMAs response so far? (to the
California wildfires) because he referred to the staffers
by name in the televised conference.
himself should have been on this call, either in person
or by phone.
PA culture at FEMA was to protect the bosses
from wide-open questioning by a roomful of reporters. FEMA
did not have press conferences but rather had
press briefings on specific subjects when and
if the bosses wanted one.
bosses are trying to dump the blame on PR when it rests
with them. PR pros such as Philbin and Walker are only too
ready to put their necks on the chopping block. There are
a lot of lessons here on how PR is being practiced these
days and we hope PR and communications majors are watching.
Real PR is far different from the definition of social
work and public service used by academia.
Security chief Michael Chertoff doesnt look too good
here, either. He blasted the ill-fated conference as one
of the dumbest things he had ever heard of and promised
disciplinary action before investigations were
was a career firefighter in Miami/Dade until 2001 when President
Bush won the election. Floridas disputed vote was
Office of the Director of National Intelligence, headed
by Michael McConnell, pulled out the welcome mat for Philbin
after internally announcing Philbin would join ODNI.
started investigating the incident on Saturday, Nov. 3
when we saw 11 letters on the subject in Tactics/online
of the PR Society, whose story was dated Oct. 30. Most condemned
not only the conference but Philbin himself. Two of the
postings were by Cassandra Stalzer, PA specialist, U.S.
Dept. of Agriculture, Alaska (who did not identify herself
except by name) who said she was disheartened
that PRS could not revoke Philbins APR for such
an egregious violation of the Societys Code of Ethics.
She also pointed out that
Philbin holds a Ph.D.
Checking the Tactics story
Nov. 11, we found the two postings by Stalzer had been removed
and also one by Gwyn Walcoff that referred to Stalzers
postings. Walcoff, chair of National Capitals ethics
committee, wanted to know if an official complaint
had been made about Philbin and whether PRS has the
mitigating facts we seek to guide our response?
PRS, which only allows
members to post comments on Tactics/online, should require
that they supply their titles and employers.
started looking for Philbin on Monday, Nov. 5 and
reached him by telephone.
No one from PRS had ever
called him to check his side. Philbin, after talking with
us, then tried to reach Rhoda Weiss, chair of PRS and its
only authorized spokesperson. His call was returned by PR
staffer Joe DeRupo who said Weiss was traveling and would
talk to him on Nov. 12 (which would be 13 days after the
Oct. 30 story in Tactics/online. Philbin did not get loyalty
from his own professional association.
PR pros, who are very
loyal to their employers and clients, have to wonder how
loyal their employers and clients will be to them should
a crisis occur.
speeches to the Institute for PR (page 7) urged PR to go
backwards and we applaud that.
Fifty-year PR veteran
Larry Foster, formerly of Johnson & Johnson, urged PR
pros to cut back on the electronic hardware and return to
putting emphasis on personal relationships including those
NBCs Beth Comstock,
who went from PR to marketing, said PR people must stop
trying to control information, especially in
the age of the internet. Go back to sharing control,
she said. Comstock also said that PR people, at the
core, are salespeople.
Many have forgotten that
including the bedrock principle of sales that you must sell
yourself before you can sell anything. A couple of
decades ago, PR pros worked very hard at building the personal
relationships to which Foster referred. If PR pros
admitted that they are really salespeople, they
could demand the high salaries salespeople make.
encounters are rare now. Virtually all the press luncheons,
breakfasts and cocktail parties of companies and PR firms
in New York have long since disappeared. Even combined holiday
parties by New York PR groups fell by the wayside years
Bush is an example of someone who has gone back
to old-style press relations. During his first four
years he had only 16 solo press conferences vs. 43 for Clinton
and 84 for Bushs father, causing much criticism.
But he has changed his
policy. For the first nine months of 2007, he has had 25
conferences and took questions from reporters in 19 less-extensive
sessions (study by Towson Universitys Martha Kumar).
If PR pros (and their
bosses) listen to Comstock and Johnson and follow the lead
of President Bush, PR will start being more responsive to
the press. However, Washington Post columnist Ruth
Marcus says candidates including Hillary Clinton and Barack
Obama have been the most elusive of the Democrats,