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Internet Edition, November 21, 2007, Page 1


Cassidy & Associates has formally dropped Pakistan as a client following the imposition of martial law there.

The Interpublic unit registered the $1.2M one-year contract with the Justice Dept. on Oct. 4, and officially terminated it on Nov. 7.

Cassidy also withdrew 11 short-term registrations on behalf of Pakistan. That list includes Cassidy CEO Gerald Cassidy and vice chairman Gregg Hartley.

The firm also ended registrations for Powell Tate staffers working on the account. They include PT chief communications officer Lance Morgan and executive VPs Howard Opinsky and Jim Meszaros.

The Interpublic unit, working closely with sister company Weber Shandwick, was 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,” according to its pact.

Equatorial Guinea is Cassidy’s only other foreign client. That country kicked in $1M during the six-month period ended Sept. 30.


Linda Distlerath, VP-global health policy at Merck’s Asia/Pacific region, has joined APCO Worldwide as senior VP.

She has extensive experience working on HIV/AIDS, vaccine policy issues and with nongovernmental organizations.

Distlerath represented Merck on the African Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnership, a venture with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Government of Botswana.

In the U.S., Distlerath handled outreach to AIDS advocacy groups following the launch of Crixivan, Merck’s medicine for the treatment of HIV.

Robert Schooling is chair of APCO’s worldwide health group.


Christine Castro has joined Genentech as VP-corporate relations. She reports to David Ebersman, executive VP & CFO.

Korn/Ferry International placed Castro, a veteran of Bank of America and Yahoo, at the biotech research.

Genentech earned $778M on $2.1B revenues during the third-quarter.

K/FI’s search team included Asheley Linnenbach (San Francisco), Don Spetner (Los Angeles) and Jody Cooper (Chicago).


Hill & Knowlton promoted the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, last week as the price of oil flirts with the $100 mark and reports circulate that the Saudis are eager to boost production to rein in the price of a barrel of crude.

The Saudis invited hundreds of journalists to the event and pledged unfettered access to OPEC’s leadership. They have promised to provide access to energy facilities that were once considered “off limits” to foreigners.

Press reports speculate the new Saudi openness stems from the fact that the Kingdom is trying to dispel the idea that members of the royal family support Islamic extremists.


Jackson Bain, a former senior VP for Hill & Knowlton who has run his own shop for 16 years, has been named VP of public affairs for the global trade group for children’s hospitals, based in Alexandria, Va.

Bain oversees PR, grant development and sponsorships for the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions, which represents 215 hospitals across the globe. His work includes web communications, and the group’s magazine, Children’s Hospitals Today.

Bain is a former journalist who covered the White House and government for NBC News during four administrations through the 1970s.

He later advised clients like NBC, Boeing, and the National Institutes of Health at H&K and his own firm. He has also media-trained heads of state ahead of U.S. visits and counseled celebrities like John Denver and Richard Gere.

His wife, Sandy, a Kamber Group veteran, is president of Bain and Associates.


The PR Society, headed by Rhoda Weiss, has removed three e-mail comments from the Oct. 30 PR Tactics/online story headlined “PRS responds to FEMA news conference incident.”

The PRS “response,” in the public area of the website, was in the form of advice from PRS and Weiss urging FEMA to “engage the PRS Code of Ethics as a guide to review the current incident, prevent future errors in judgment and restore public confidence.”

Not included in the PRS response, but which was in the three letters, was reference to ex-FEMA PA direc-

(Continued on page 7)

Internet Edition, November 21, 2007, Page 2


Manning, Selvage & Lee is taking on critics of the ethanol sector such as the Wall Street Journal, the paper that ran a tough editorial (Nov. 12) charging that the corn-based energy source has “prospered on taxpayer subsidies fed by political panic over oil prices and old-fashioned Congressional log-rolling.”

Randolph Court, MS&L’s spokesperson for the Renewable Fuels Now Coalition, says WSJ editorial writers have been on a “crusade” and bashing ethanol is one of their “hobby horses.” His job is to “set the record straight in the public space.”

Court, who is in MS&L’s D.C. office’s public affairs group, noted that ethanol has been credited with hiking the gross economic output by $42B and supporting 160K jobs including 20K in the manufacturing sector. He dismissed as a “canard” that diverting corn to ethanol production is the cause for rising food prices.

Court noted that the Agriculture Dept. attributes 19 cents of each food dollar to “farm output.” Almost 40 cents is attributed to labor and transport costs, while 24 cents is for packaging/marketing. To Court, rising oil prices is the “800-lb. elephant in the room.”

The Coalition includes the RFA, American Coalition for Ethanol, Ethanol Promotion and Information Council, National Corn Growers Assn. and Buckeye Renewable Fuels Assn.


Fleishman-Hillard is handling media relations for Ralcorp Holdings’ $1.6 billion stock purchase of Kraft Foods’ Post cereal business.

Post is the No. 3 cereal maker in sales behind Kellogg and General Mills.

F-H and Ralcorp are both based in St. Louis.

Ralcorp said the deal, which has been approved by both companies’ boards, increases its 2007 sales by 50 percent to top $3 billion. Ralcorp owns Ralston Foods cereals, which makes store-brand cereals, and Carriage House, which markets private label foods.

Kraft will unload the unit in a split-off or spin-off transaction to be determined prior to closing. Kraft shareholders would own 54 percent of Ralcorp, while Ralcorp shareholders would hold the remaining 46 percent.

The Post brands include Grape-Nuts, Pebbles and Raisin Bran.


Anne Green has been promoted to president at CooperKatz. She had been senior VP/general manager of the New York firm of Andy Cooper and Ralph Katz, who are principals.

Cooper told O’Dwyer’s he created the presidency post because as “we’ve grown to ‘mid-size status,’ Ralph and I felt this was the right time to create the new position.” The firm generated $3.1M in `06 fees.

Green left Burson-Marsteller for CK in `96, the start-up year of the firm.

The firm also upped Dorothy Sonnenburg to the senior VP/finance & operations slot and hired Eos Arlines and Canon veteran Roberto Lebron for the client services director spot.


Omnicom has signed a lease to take over more than 183K square feet on three floors of the “wedding cake” tower at 195 Broadway in New York next summer, according to reports.

The lease is the largest signed by a creative firm in the financial and law firm-heavy area of downtown, and represents “another breakthrough” for the neighborhood, said the New York Post.

OMC agencies have more than one million square feet in the Midtown area with its headquarters at 437 Madison Avenue.

The New York Observer noted the deal is one of the largest in the downtown area. The paper reported that outside of 7 World Trade Center (which is 29 percent open) there are hardly any large blocks of space available in the area until the 84-story World Trade Center Tower 1 is built in 2012.

OMC signed a 10-year extension on its Madison Avenue headquarters in July. It also has a second principal corporate office in Greenwich, Conn. The company’s consolidated rent expenses worldwide in 2006 were $351.9M, according to its ’06 annual report.


Fraser Communications, a Los Angeles ad/PR shop, has defeated four competitors to execute a communications program for the Presidential Climate Action Project, an academic, government and interest group push to make climate change a priority.

Burson-Marstellar, Edelman, MWW Group and Waggener Edstrom also pitched.

Fraser is expected to ink a year-long contract worth just under $250K. The University of Colorado at Denver, which is administering PCAP, handled the search. Burson-Marsteller had previously worked with the group under a modest contract to help develop its PR strategy. Fraser’s contract is the next stage in the group’s communications plan.

Members of PCAP’s advisory committee hail from the Johnson Foundation, NOAA, the Pew Center on Global Climate Change and the National Wildlife Federation, among other groups.


The Blackstone Group has hired WolfBlock Public Strategies as its government relations firm to largely deal with tax matters.

Christopher Cushing, vice chairman of WBPS, leads the effort. He was president of the Commonwealth Group prior to joining WolfBlock in `04.

Earlier, he was an aide to former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, and director of government relations at Boston Capital Corp. WolfBlock is part of Wolf, Block, Schorr & Solis Cohen.

Blackstone made news Nov. 12 with the release of disappointing financial results that sent its stock down more than eight percent.

CEO Stephen Schwarzman reported a $113M third-quarter net loss in Blackstone’s first financial release as a public company.

Blackstone’s shares currently trade at $22.77, off from the $38 first-day high.

Internet Edition, November 21, 2007, Page 3


CNN is increasing its news staff by 10 percent in an effort to generate and own more original news content. The Time Warner unit plans to add about 15 staffers to its 150-member staff.

Tony Maddox, executive VP-CNN International, said owning content that can be distributed to multiple platforms is the “backbone of this business.”

The expansion plan focuses on CNN’s bureau in the United Arab Emirates though news people will be hired throughout Asia and Africa (South Africa and Kenya).

CNN recently opted out of a contract with Reuters.


The Audit Bureau of Circulations said Nov. 13 that it has endorsed a set of changes to circulation standards, streamline its rules and audits, and provide more useful information to marketers.

ABC will tackle the changes at its next meeting in March, but it has outlined the proposals.

It plans to revise the definition of paid circulation to be “more straightforward and intuitive” and represent payment by an individual reader; adopt a model to count other paid circulation (sponsor and school copies, for example) as “verified” circulation, and adopt a model to count papers as “paid” regardless of the price for which it is sold.

ABC also said it would reclassify hotel and business subscriptions to a new category, allow papers more flexibility to convert home subscribers to a greater frequency, and revise its publisher’s statements and audit reports to summarize total average circulation (paid and “verified”) and where the papers are being sold (ex: newsstand or home delivery).

Editor & Publisher called the moves “sweeping changes that will put more prominence on the metric of total audience.”

The board will also increase the number of magazine copies that can be distributed to hotels under its “verified circulation” rule so that, effective immediately, consumer magazines published monthly or less frequently may provide a maximum of four copies per room to each hotel location.

The previous limit was two. The weekly magazine limit remains one copy per room.

The changes are part of a two-year review process by ABC and were hailed by Walgreens’ VP of advertising and the New York Times’ president and GM in a statement.


Lincoln Financial Group has agreed to sell TV stations in Charlotte, Richmond and Charleston plus its sports syndication business to Raycom for $583M.

The Philadelphia-based insurer has a separate deal worth $100M to sell its Charlotte radio stations to Greater Media, which owns stations in Detroit, Philadelphia and Boston.

The sale of the broadcast properties is expected to be finalized during the second-quarter of '08.

Lincoln is exploring divestiture options for its remaining radio stations.


CBS lashed out at former anchor Dan Rather last week, calling his lawsuit a “regrettable attempt” to remain in the public eye and to “settle old scores and slights.”

In a 30-page brief filed in Manhattan State Supreme Court, CBS moved that Rather’s case be tossed.

The broadcaster claims Rather’s Sept. 19 wrongful dismissal suit is based on “far-fetched allegations” that the White House put pressure on CBS to get rid of Rather for his investigation of President Bush’s National Guard service.

CBS did acknowledge Rather as “one of the most important figures in the history of journalism,” but remains “mystified and saddened” by his lawsuit.

Rather is seeking $70M in damages from CBS, which he claims “scapegoated” him. A statement from Rather’s lawyers accused CBS of “trying to delay discovery of the facts.” The newsman is confident the case will go forward.


Karl Rove, who was President Bush’s political counselor, has signed on as a contributor to Newsweek and its website.

Jon Meacham, Newsweek editor, said in a statement: “Whether one agrees or disagrees with Karl, there is no arguing that he has been a critical player in the political world with insights and experiences that we think will give our readers something unique.”

He said Newsweek has a “long tradition of asking practitioners and opinion-makers” to offer readers the “benefits of their experience in occasional opinion essays.

Meacham named former Bill Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos as someone who did “terrific work for us” after he left the White House.


Tammy Haddad, who was VP at MSNBC’s D.C. office in charge of politics and election coverage and executive producer of “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” has launched Haddad Media.

The video veteran has worked at CNN (“Larry King Live”), NBC (“Today” show), CBS (“The Late, Late Show with Tom Snyder”) Fox News Channel and People (TV development).

Haddad also was media consultant to the Vaccine Fund, a project of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Haddad has inked Newsweek and the National Journal Group as charter clients. As consulting executive producer at Newsweek, Haddad will develop cross platform strategies and produce political video for the website.

That work will include interviews, roundtables, convention coverage and special projects.

For NJG, Haddad will work to maximize benefits from its partnerships with NBC News, MSNBC and She will also arrange events focused on the presidential election.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, November 21, 2007, Page 4


Christopher Hayes, a writer on politics, labor and economic topics, has been named Washington editor at The Nation. He succeeds David Corn, who has written for the liberal weekly since the `80s. Corn left for the D.C. bureau chief spot at Mother Jones.

Hayes has written for the New Republic, Washington Monthly, American Prospect, Guardian and Chicago Reader.

Most recently, he was senior editor at In These Times and a contributing writer at the Nation.


Rupert Murdoch told shareholders at News Corp.’s annual meeting that he could increase readers of Wall Street by tenfold by making it free.

“We expect to make that free, and instead of having one million subscribers, we could have 10 to 15M million in every corner of the globe,” Reuters reports.

WSJ’s archrival Financial Times allows readers to get up to 30 articles for free each month.

News Corp. is expected to complete its $5.6B acquisition of Dow Jones & Co., publisher of the Wall Street Journal, next month.

PEOPLE | Briefs ______________________________

Fortune’s Tim Arango joins the New York Times next month as its new corporate media reporter. He succeeds Richard Siklos, who joined Fortune….WWOR-TV/My 9 has signed a one-year extension to air the '08 campaign of the New York Yankees. The deal was cut with the team’s YES Network. …T.J. Quinn is leaving the New York Daily News for ESPN. He has been aggressively pursuing Major League Baseball’s steroids scandal.

Hearst has fully launched covering environmental news, tips and information after kicking off a beta version on Earth Day. The publisher said it is the first magazine company to have a consumer-oriented, earth-friendly news site.

Gannett veteran Dan Shapley, news editor for the site, heads breaking environmental news. Sections also include “green” cuisine, blogs, weather, and green homes. Brian Howard is home and eco-tips editor; Karen Berner covers food, and Gloria Dawson is photo editor overseeing the “Weird Weather Watch” photoblog.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has unveiled, a social networking site intended to tap the 2.25M area pet owners to expand the paper’s online audience.

Users can post and share pet profiles, photos and comments. Features include pet of the week, calendar of events, information on pet adoptions, blogs, pet-related stories, videos, and pet classifieds.

The AJC says two of three visitors to its site have a pet. Two staffers are overseeing the project. Morieka Johnson has been named channel manager and Sandy Eckstein is creating an online version of her pets column in addition to penning a blog five times a week.


“Green” business coverage by the top 10 newspapers in the U.S. has doubled since last year creating a boon for the PR sector, according to a study by Arizona State University.

The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism at ASU analyzed content and surveyed business editors to outline the “significant shift” in coverage priorities.

As the report notes: “The demonstrated interest in such stories also has spawned a thriving public relations specialty focused on getting ‘green’ press releases to business journalists.”

The study gives a tip of the hat to press release disseminators. PR Newswire transmitted 1,466 releases on sustainability this year, compared with only 212 in 2000. CSRwire has sent out 551 “green”-themed releases in 2007 so far for companies like Alcoa, Baxter and UPS. That has nearly doubled from 2005 and compares to 490 releases in 2006 and 301 in ‘05. A competitor, Environmental News Service, issued 483 releases on sustainability, although the study notes that some of them “stretch the boundaries of environmental consciousness.”

Although not mentioned in the report, many major PR firms like MWW Group, Fleishman-Hillard, GolinHarris and Bell Pottinger USA have set up green units this year with some pledging to make their businesses carbon-neutral.

Interest hasn’t peaked

Eighty-one of a tallied 154 business stories on environmental sustainability in the top papers since 2000 were publishing this year. Despite the surge in coverage, most editors queried said they didn’t have a reporter solely dedicated to green coverage, although most said they have a “green angle” story appearing as often as weekly. They don’t feel that interest has yet peaked for the issue.

A sampling of green headlines from the last year noted in the study ran the gamut from coverage of Wal-Mart and FedEx to fishing bait shops and small businesses in Washington state.

The study says New York Times business reporters have been the leaders among big papers in covering sustainability. The paper has published 21 stories this year, excluding a 12-page special section on the “Business of Green” that ran Nov. 7.

Although the study found 1,707 articles mentioning “sustainability” in October among hundreds of papers, only 184 were business stories.


Internet advertising surged more than 25 percent to a record $5.2B during the third-quarter, according to the PricewaterhouseCoopers/Interactive Advertising Bureau Report. Revenues for the nine-month period jumped 26 percent to $15.2B.

Randall Rothenberg, CEO of the IAB, says the robust growth performance indicates that marketers have “come to accept digital media as the fulcrum of any marketing strategy.”

Internet Edition, November 21, 2007, Page 5


Joele Frank Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher is squared off against Sard Verbinnen & Co. in a nasty public fight between a medical device maker and a shareholder that was sparked by anonymous calls to the company’s ethics hot line.

Joele Frank is guiding the device maker Datascope amid the accusations of ethical violations that led to an internal probe by the company and review by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Shareholder Ramius Capital, which is using Sard Verbinnen to make its case and has nominated two directors for Datascope’s board, is questioning the device company’s internal probe of the allegations and sent a letter to Datascope shareholders this week.

Ramius is using proxy solicitation firm Innisfree M&A and has set up a website,, to make its case. Datascope has brought in proxy solicitation firm MacKenziePartners.

The (N.J.) Record reported that the allegations involve “financial hi-jinks and sweetheart deals” by Datascope’s CEO, as well as an affair by a Europe-based executive that involved misuse of company funds.

Datascope sent its own letter to shareholders this week urging the re-election of its directors and defending the company’s record.

The showdown culminates at Datascope’s Dec. 20 annual meeting.

BRIEFS: Siegel+Gale, New York, is offering a digital brand asset management tool based on Google search technology. Called Brand Amplifire, the service was developed with SmartDoc Technologies and includes a Wiki model for a company’s brand assets and guidelines, a platform for creating collateral materal in QuarkXPress and Adobe formats, and links from brand assets to search terms. ...Boca Raton-based RPR PR believes as the Euro soars in value against the U.S. dollar, European companies will race to outsource their PR to U.S. PR and marketing shops. “Small American-based PR agencies specializing in handling European product launches are reaping the rewards of a weak U.S. dollar as they are experiencing a substantial increase in new business inquiries from European companies,” the firm said. Ria Romano, partner of the firm, said: “I haven’t seen anything like this in two decades.” ...E. Boineau & Co., Charleston, S.C., has developed a training program to hone clients’ ability to deliver their message to media and other audiences. Elizabeth Boineau and account director Glenn Jeffries are handling the training program, called Media Mark. ...The Investor Relations Company, Chicago, is producing two free newsletters under the tutelage of VP Jacob Eisen—Eisen Digest and Eisen Banking Digest—on small cap banks and companies (most TIRC clients) with up to $2 billion in market value. News and commentary by a small-cap investment journalist are included. Info:


New York Area

Lou Hammond & Associates, New York/Christophe Harbour, St. Kitts resort; Mayflower Inn & Spa, Connecticut spa and country hotel, and The Modern, Palm Beach luxury condo.

Leach Communications, New York/T: The New York Times Style Magazine, for consumer PR. The magazine is planning international and online editions. The firm has also picked up, a network of community websites, for corporate communications, B2B and consumer communications svcs.

S.I.R. Marketing Communications, Northport, N.Y./, on-line video training for media, arts, and design. as AOR. SIR specializes in photographic, imaging and high-tech PR.


CGPR, Marblehead, Mass./Outdoor Retailer Winter and Summer Markets, for media relations support. The winter market is January 23-26 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Kirk Communications, Portsmouth, N.H./ITelagen, virtual IT services, as AOR for PR.

Imre Communications, Baltimore/Fiber Composites, decking and railing systems manufacturer, for brand positioning, PR, media planning, creative and digital services centered on its fiberon brand.


HSR Business to Business, Cincinnati/Carlisle Power Transmission Products, industrial belts and components maker, as AOR for strategic comms.

Marx Layne & Co., Farmington Hills, Mich./
Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce, a local partnership of Chaldean businesses and professionals, as AOR for PR.

P2R Associates, Livonia, Mich./ Intermet Corporation, as AOR including integrated comms., corporate positioning and PR.

Nicholson Kovac, Kansas City, Mo./Advanced Environmental Recycling Technology, for North American and international launch of its MoistureShield Decking brand made with 90 percent recycled content and intended for “green” building projects.


Vollmer PR, Houston, Tex./NightRays, teleradiology services; French Quarter Hospitality, investment group, Greenstar North America, recycling company, and Legacy Brands, parent to eateries Antone’s Original Market and The Original Ninfa’s. The firm’s New York office picked up Open Hospitality, a web services company for the hospitality industry, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society New York Chapter. In Dallas, Vollmer added NYLO, a hotel chain; Cause Marketing Solutions; CRAFT restaurants; Hillsboro Outlet Mall, and The Palms at Destin.

PetersGroup PR, Austin, Tex./Semantra, search technology software, for media and analyst relations. A/E Shannon Stewart leads the account.

Shafer Communications, Fort Worth, Tex./Golf Etc of America, retail franchise, for marketing communications and media relations initiatives.

Internet Edition, November 21, 2007, Page 6


Producers of magazines and other publications for client companies were honored Nov. 9 at the fourth annual Pearl Awards dinner at the Rainbow Room, New York. Recognized was the best in design, editorial and strategic initiatives for business-to-business and consumer custom publications.

The Custom Publishing Council honored 27 companies with gold, silver and bronze awards before 150 industry executives.

McMurry, marketing firm with offices in Phoenix and Saratoga Springs, New York, won four golds.

Clients were the Ritz-Carlton in the editorial category (50,000-250,000) and design (best cover, less than 250,000); United Services Automobile Assn. (strategy, best new launch or re-launch), and MCom, circulated to staff (most improved design, less than 250,000).

Full coverage is at

Brian Suh, executive VP of corporate development for mortgage broker Countrywide Financial Corp., has joined Korn/Ferry International in Los Angeles as senior VP of corporate development.

K/F has also promoted Don Spetner to executive VP, corporate affairs, a new role, and Michael Distefano to SVP and chief marketing officer. He was CMO of K/F’s Futurestep unit.

BRIEFS: Strategic America, Dallas, has been tapped by HVAC company Service Experts for field marketing. SE operates in 100 markets in the U.S. and Canada. ...JWT Boom, the baby boomer marketing division of JWT Worldwide, has picked up home builder Shea Homes as a client. The work focuses on Shea’s Trilogy brand for the “second adulthood” lifestage and includes brand positioning and online and traditional media and research ...Aspen Marketing Services, Chicago, has acquired Newgen Results Corp., a CRM provider for automobile dealers and manufacturers. Bob Kurilko, VP of marketing and operations at Newgen, takes an EVP and GM role at Aspen. He was previously with and Nissan Motor Company and is based in San Diego. With the deal, Aspen said it acquires relationships with more than 1,800 auto deals in the U.S. and Canada. Aspen acquired digital marketing firm Townsend Agency in July. ...Win/Win Radio, Minneapolis, which produces daily radio promotions for corporate clients, has promoted Kelley Walhof to client services/operations manager and Kathleen Hansen to senior affiliate relations associate. ...Gebbie Press, a media contracts directory publisher, has aligned with Trackvia to produce an online version of the Gebbie Press All-In-One Directory. Cost for the professional version is $565 for a year’s subscription. Info: ...The Institute for PR gave its Jack Felton Golden Ruler Award to David Kistle, senior VP of Padilla Speer Beardsley. The award is given annually for research and measurement achievement in PR. Kistle won with research firm GfK for a customer satisfaction tracking survey for Rockwell Automation.



Jennifer Fader, who co-founded and headed Terpin Communications’ social media unit, SocialRadius, to Rogers & Cowan, as VP of eMedia heading the firm’s social media efforts. She is based in Los Angeles and reports to CEO Tom Tardio. Fader previously ran her own shop, Synchronicity, and earlier was with CM/A and Globalfusion.

Bill Martin to executive VP, global healthcare practice leader, GCI Group, New York. He continues to counsel clients like Merck, Genentech and Cephalon. Martin joined the firm in 2004.

Justine Sacco, A/E for Dan Klores Communications, to The Morris + King Company, New York, as an A/S. She handles New York Women in Film & Television and the Apollo Circus of Soul.

Tiffany Alvarado, who oversaw book launches and author tours for Ruder Finn’s Planned Television Arts, to Krupp Kommunications, New York, as a senior A/E handling HarperCollins, Hyperion and Weight Watchers.

Sheila Green, a former associate of Solomon McCown & Co. and Kortenhaus Communications, to Coventures, Boston, as director of PR. She will oversee work for Metro Boston and The Ocean Club.

Bridget McNie to VP of PR for Jack Horner Communications’ Pittsburgh office. She handles Parata Systems and the H.J. Heinz Company.

Tad Segal, who ran high-tech political shop WinCampaign, has re-joined Widmeyer Communications in Washington, D.C., as a senior VP heading its public affairs practice. He was an A/M for the firm in 1997.

Mark Riggs, formerly of Mullen, Bates Grainger, of Career Sports & Entertainment, and David Garriga, A/D for Carat Media in Atlanta, to Taylor, Charlotte, N.C. Riggs is a VP while Grainger takes on a senior A/S role and Garriga is director of consumer insights for Taylor’s Knowledge Center.

Alan Hall, former VP of corporate communications for Gaylord Entertainment Co., to Peritus PR, as managing director of the firm’s new Nashville office. He is a former reporter for The Tennessean and press secretary for an ex-mayor of the city.

Rafael Casa-Don to chair of Burson-Marsteller’s Latin America healthcare practice based in Miami. He was regional communications director for Baxter Int’l and previously headed Puerto Rico and Mexico for B-M.


Jonathan Heit to senior VP of technology for Allison & Partners, Los Angeles. Heit is one of the firm’s original employees and is charged with growing its technology roster, which includes YouTube, Sony Electronics and Boost Mobile.

Julie Jimenez and Kimberly Bobson to A/Es and Veronica Jimenez to A/C for rbb PR, Miami.


Michael Neumeier, principal for Atlanta-based Arketi Group, has been named to the national advisory board for Kennesaw State University’s Dept. of Communication.

Internet Edition, November 21, 2007, Page 7

PRS EDITS FEMA STORY (cont’d from page 1)

tor John Philbin as being an APR member of PRS. Two letters wondered if an APR could be removed from a member for an “egregious violation.”

Philbin has taken responsibility for the snafu but has also said he did not “advise, authorize or approve” of the way the conference was conducted.

Said the PRS story: “PRS applauds the rapid and forthright statement of Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff in his disapproval of the Oct. 23 incident.” Chertoff had called the incident “one of the dumbest things” and promised “disciplinary action.”

Deputy administrator Harvey Johnson, who conducted the “press conference” before about a dozen mostly high-level FEMA staffers, apologized for the incident but did not place blame for it either on himself or administrator David Paulison.

Philbin, an APR member of PRS who holds a Ph.D. in communication/PR from the University of Maryland, had already resigned Oct. 12 to take a job with the Office of the Directory of National Intelligence. That job was cancelled after the FEMA flap. Press secretary Aaron Walker also left FEMA, saying, he was asked to resign. He is with a PR firm in Utah.

CBS News posted a picture of the conference last week, showing Johnson standing at a podium a few feet away from seated staff members. He referred to one of them by name.

CBS identified those in the audience as Nathanial Fogg, counselor to Paulison; Philbin; Michael Widomski, PA specialist; Eric Heighberger, special assistant; Cindy Taylor, communications deputy director; Dan Shulman, director of legislative affairs, Debbie Wing, media response liaison, and Walker.

Stalzer Asks if APR Can Be Revoked

Cassandra Stalzer, PA specialist, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Palmer, Alaska, asked on the PRS website whether APR can be revoked for an “egregious violation.”

PRS bylaws say discipline can only be applied to members who are convicted of a felony or subjected to a government sanction. PRS stopped prosecuting ethics cases in 2000 after a committee headed by Bob Frause said members were not cooperating in investigations and were hiring law firms to defend themselves, causing great expense to the Society.

Gwyn Walcoff, who has her own firm in Annapolis, wrote on the PRS website that as ethics chair of National Capital, the largest PRS chapter with 1,200 members, she would be “very interested to know if an official complaint had been made on this. Does PRS have the mitigating facts we seek to guide our response?”

Removed from the website by PRS in the past several days was the letter by Stalzer and the letter by Walcoff.

Stalzer told O’Dwyer’s that what is of most concern to her in this “debacle” is that “PRS does not have the ability to revoke the APR of any member who violates the Code, unless…they are convicted of a felony, subject to a government sanction, or misuse their designation. Without the ability, or perhaps the will, to enforce ethical standards, what does the APR designation really stand for?”


Burson-Marsteller has forged a partnership with Haft Entertainment to create Allscreen Studio to integrate client brands into media content including digital, cable TV and network platforms.

Allscreen also will develop and co-own independent content that could be licensed to sponsors.

Mark Penn, CEO of B-M, believes branded content has become a “critical part of the communications and marketing mix for cutting edge brands.”

Steven Haft will chair Allscreen. He produced the “Dead Poets Society,” an Academy Awards “best picture” nominee, “Mad TV,” which is in its 13th season on Fox TV, and “Pirates of Silicon Valley,” which was nominated for an Emmy for “outstanding made for TV movie.” Allscreen’s goals are to “engage audiences first and foremost, cut through clutter, execute with world class talent and produce measurable results,” according to a statement from Haft.


Steve Schechter, veteran New York PR executive who had posts at Burson-Marsteller, Hill & Knowlton, the Rowland Co. and other New York PR firms, died Nov. 8 at the Cleveland Clinic. He was 64.

He had joined Landau PR, Cleveland, as VP of strategic planning in mid-2006 and had just been promoted to executive VP.

Howard Landau, president of the firm, said Schechter was a valued creative force at the agency who was always in search of new ideas to promote client programs and services.

The firm has created the “Steve Schechter Sparkplug Award” which will be given quarterly to the staff member who comes up with the best creative idea for a client.

Schechter’s previous position was with 5W PR, New York, where he was a VP. He was a VP at H&K from 1969-74; a VP at B-M from 1974-80; VP at the Rowland Co. from 1981-84 and director of sports and entertainment marketing at H&K from 1985-87. He also had his own firm for many years while teaching PR at New York University.

Surviving is his wife, Barbara Fazio.


Qorvis Communications has joined Patton Boggs’ “Cyprus Team” for a monthly fee of $25K.

The firm is to assist Cyprus with U.S. media and public outreach and organize grassroots support for Cyprus in its long-running squabble with Turkey, occupier of a big chunk of the island.

Qorvis is to contact the White House, Pentagon, Treasury and State Dept. on behalf of Cyprus. Congress, think tanks and universities are on its “hit list.”

Qorvis’ fee may be re-negotiated after four months of the one-year contract. CEO Michael Petruzzello is on the Cyprus Team, along with Patton Boggs’ Tommy Boggs and John Breaux, the former Democratic senator.

Qorvis is coordinating its outreach effort with CMS Strategies, the firm of Christy Stefadouros, former staffer to Rep. Michael Bilirakis, who was co-chair of the Hellenic Caucus and a staunch supporter of Cyprus.

Internet Edition, November 21, 2007, Page 8




The FEMA “fake” news conference story (page one) is turning out to be a “Rosetta stone” for interpreting current pressures on PR. It should especially be followed by PR profs and students. This conference was even more “fake” than it looks like at first glance.

Homeland Security Dept. Secretary Michael Chertoff and FEMA chief David Paulison, who were on a flight to San Diego at around 1 p.m. on Oct. 23, should have staged an on-the-spot conference when they landed. But FEMA was bent on getting out the “message” that it was responding quickly and adequately to the California fires and that current FEMA is as different as “night and day” from Katrina FEMA.

Chertoff and Paulison would have been hit with questions from the Los Angeles Times, which said the region was “woefully unprepared for the cataclysm”; the San Diego Union Tribune, which said there were conflicts between federal and state fire control efforts and environmental rules, and the Orange County Register, which said there was under use of firefighting airplanes (FEMA said high winds made their use dangerous).

Instead of facing a local conference, FEMA officials staged one at their own h.q. in D.C. with /No. 2 official Harvey Johnson giving what was mostly a 12-minute commercial for FEMA. His rapid-fire delivery, available on “You Tube,” was more like a sales pitch than a Q&A with the press. Illustrated here is the use of PR for marketing purposes—to get out some kind of “message.” (PA is used in the government because “PR” has been banned since 1917).

Copious evidence is available for study of this PR disaster including a picture of the actual briefing by CBS News showing Johnson standing a few feet from his own employees. There are many quotes by the principals including officials of FEMA and HSD; quotes by the leading PA person involved (John Philbin, APR); stories in the Washington Post and New York Times plus comments on their blogs, and “coverage” by the PR Society website that drew 11 comments from members including two that asked if APR could be removed from a member for an “egregious violation.” Instead of answering the question, PRS removed the two postings.

The hastily-called conference was put together in less than an hour with little or no thought about what the press might want. PR has morphed from its original goal of “most cheerfully answering press questions” (Ivy Lee).

PA head Philbin had been working many hours because of the wildfire. He supervised a staff of 100 and was in charge—not only of press relations—but international relations, intergovernmental relations, legislative affairs, private sector relations and employee communications.

Having a laundry-list of duties (besides press) is common among corporate PR heads. But it can be disastrous in a crisis. The PR head rarely deals with the press and staffers mostly adopt the same practice. Philbin was unaware of the demand for the sudden briefing. Chertoff later said Philbin should have stood up and stopped the faux briefing. Philbin, sticking his neck under the guillotine, agreed. Can anyone imagine a PR pro stopping a televised news conference? He or she could be committing professional suicide. Philbin, who has two children in college and one in graduate school, is looking for a job in the public or private sector. His bosses showed little loyalty to PR or him.

Our question is how responsive has FEMA been to reporters in the past? Was the practice to “give any help to the press you can?” When we asked FEMA’s PA staff for a transcript of the wildfire briefing, they replied there was no such transcript. Reporters told us that formal “press conferences” by Paulison (in which he faced a roomful of reporters for on-the-record discussions) were rare if they happened at all. But FEMA PA told us Paulison met with the press on dozens of occasions. When we asked for dates, places, subjects and transcripts, we were told no such record exists. However, along with a number of other PA reforms, FEMA says that transcripts of Paulison’s future meetings with the press will be supplied “when practicable.”

Blundering onto this very delicate scene, like someone with gardening tools trying to take part in an operation, was the PR Society and its chair, Rhoda Weiss. PRS had just conducted a “fake” Assembly in which the delegates were blocked from talking to each other in open session 90% of the time. Delegates (banned from serving more than three years) were seated alphabetically rather than by district and during the 2.5-hour “working” lunch were not even allowed to sit with fellow chapter delegates. They were forced to discuss only ideas for a future strategic plan. The 300 ideas were flashed on the screen by 2008 chair Jeff Julin (who monopolized the last 35 minutes of the Assembly to do so). He and PRS now refuse to supply a record of these ideas to members or the press and PRS, for the third year in a row, refuses to supply a transcript of the Assembly. When two members asked Tactics/online whether an APR could be removed from a member guilty of an “egregious violation” PRS removed the questions rather than answer them. Philbin was mentioned in the Tactics/online posting Oct. 30 but no one from Tactics or PRS called him. When Philbin called Weiss, the call was returned by PR staffer Joe DeRupo who said Weiss was traveling and would talk to him Nov. 12 (13 days after the Tactics story). He said he had a “cordial conversation” with her but his impression was that Tactics/online would not do a follow-up story. Thus, PRS, a sinkhole of unethical and anti-democratic practices, pretends to lecture FEMA about ethical practices.

Another dubious move by PRS was putting Weiss’s advice to FEMA in a news story rather than in the much more visible “Advocacy” section (where there are few other postings). When Weiss comments on a national issue, it’s usually there. Currently what is left of the FEMA story and comments is buried among scores of news items on Tactics/online.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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