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Internet Edition, November 28, 2007, Page 1


Sitrick & Co. has been hired by bankrupt copper giant Asarco, which is squabbling with parent company Grupo Mexico.

The Mexican combine offered to invest $300M to help Asarco exit Chapter 11, but claims it has received a cold shoulder.

It asked the U.S. bankruptcy court to give it control of Asarco’s board. That bid was denied.

Asarco maintains that GM control of its board would hamper negotiations to settle asbestos claims.

Tucson -based Asarco was formed in 1899 as American Smelting and Refining Co. It has more than 2,000 workers in Arizona and Texas.


Duke University, home of the lacrosse team that was wrongly accused of a sex scandal in `06, is looking for a VP/PA & government relations person to replace the retiring John Burness, who is leaving June 30, `08.

Duke turned to Burson-Marsteller and Edelman to defuse that sex scandal crisis.

Dean Gregory Jones heads the 12-member search committee of faculty, trustees, administrators and alumni to identify candidates for the post.

He is using search firm Heyman Associates to help in the hunt.

The new university staffer will serve as chief spokesperson for Duke and senior counselor to president Richard Brodhead.

Resumes go to senior associate Jessamyn Katz, [email protected].


Green Bay firm Leonard & Finco PR is handling crisis PR for American Foods Group, the Wisconsin meat packer that is recalling thousands of pounds of ground beef after two people fell ill from possible E. coli contamination.

AFG beef produced in early October and sent to seven states—Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Virginia—has been voluntarily recalled by the company. Although the use-by date is expired and the beef is no longer on store shelves, customers may have frozen the beef.

Susan Finco, president of the PR firm, is leading the AFG work. Her firm’s website carries an endorsement from AFG president Carl Kuehne praising the firm’s crisis and media savvy.

AFG claims to be the sixth largest meat packer in the U.S.


A committee of PR Seminar, the annual gathering of heads of blue chip corporate PR depts. and about a dozen CEOs of major PR firms, has decided to rename the group as simply, “The Seminar.”

Founded in 1952 by corporate PR people who attended annual meetings of the National Assn. of Manufacturers, Seminar had retained “PR” in its title although most members had dropped it decades ago in favor of “corporate communications,” “public affairs,” etc.

Only one of the 33 new members of Seminar this year had a title with PR in it—Jane Garvey, VP, corporate communications & PR, Convergys, Cincinnati, $2.7 billion company that grew out of Cincinnati Bell.

Only five of the 42 new members in 2004 had “PR” as part of their titles.

A committee headed by 2007 Seminar chair Jon Iwata, senior VP, worldwide communications of IBM, did a survey earlier this year of titles used by members and also discussed the matter at length.

Sources said there was “heated discussion” on both sides but that the weight of evidence (the nearly complete abandonment of PR by members) proved decisive.

One topic of discussion was whether PR is a subset of corporate communications or vice versa. Some Seminarians argued that PR involves a number of activities that are not strictly communications and therefore, communications is a subset of PR.

Don’t Want ‘Relations with the Public’

Some PR veterans said the meaning of the switch is that many companies, and particularly the biggest ones, “simply don’t want relations with the public any more.”

They particularly don’t want relations with the press, others added.

Some educators worried that there will be fewer PR majors now that Seminar, whose members have the highest titles in corporate and agency PR and communications, have dropped the term. Corporate PR policy throughout the U.S. is heavily influenced by discussions among the members of Seminar both at the annual meeting and at sessions of the executive committee throughout the year. At one point, monthly meetings of the committee were held at the Harvard Club in New York. There is no press contact at Seminar to field questions.

Attempts to reach Iwata earlier this year and for this story were unsuccessful. Staffers will not provide his phone or e-mail.

With “marketing communications” in ascendancy,

(Continued on page 7)

Internet Edition, November 28, 2007, Page 2


Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan in an upcoming memoir accuses President Bush, VP Dick Cheney and political counselor Karl Rove of giving him false information regarding the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame.

“The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his “behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq,” according to McClellan’s book, “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and What’s Wrong with Washington.”

McClellan wrote that he “had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice President, the President’s chief of staff [Andy Card], and the President himself.”

He “stood at the White House briefing room podium in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and publicly exonerated two of the senior-most aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby.”

Wrote McClellan: “There was one problem. It was not true.”

PublicAffairs Books released a three-paragraph excerpt of the book that is slated for publication next spring.


Integrated Corporate Relations is advising Internet Brands, the operator of e-commerce sites like, and that went public on Nov. 16 with a scaled back IPO.

El Segundo, Calif.-based IB had initially filed to offer shares between $10 and $12 each, but pulled back the offering of six million shares to $8 per share on Nov. 19. Reuters reported that the IPO was initially expected in midweek last week, but failed to price on Nov. 15.

Henry Blodget, writing for Silicon Alley Insider, said the IPO size cut could be the result of general concerns about advertising weakness.

He sees a recession dampening investor demand for Web 2.0 companies.
Internet Brands cashed in about 2.4M of the six million of the shares with the remainder offered by selling stockholders. The stock, trading as INET on Nasdaq, closed at $8.30 on Nov. 19.

IB websites span automobile sales, a network of mortgage brokers, vacation home listings and home improvement.

ICR senior managing director Andrew Greenebaum heads the account for Wesport, Conn.-based ICR. He said ICR’s work is continuing.

Angie Montes, who headed the American Diabetes Assn.’s federal lobbying shop, has moved to Ogilvy PR Worldwide’s Washington office. She takes a VP post in the WPP Group unit’s health policy group.

Montes handled legislative work concerning private health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and embryonic stem cell research.

Rob Mathias is managing director of the office.


Fleishman-Hillard has been working with the St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Assn. to fight its ranking as the nation’s second most dangerous city according to the 14th edition of “City Crime Rankings: Crime in Metropolitan America” published by CQ Press in Washington, D.C.

The effort got a national airing of National Public Radio’s “On the Media,” which specifically cited F-H’s work.

The Omnicom unit and the Chamber contacted CQ in October before the rankings were released.

They complained the ranking information is “baseless and damaging,” according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Paul Wagman, F-H senior VP, had hoped CQ staffers would at “least listen respectfully to their concerns.”

That complaint fell on deaf ears, and dismissed as a “spin job” by CQ publisher John Jenkins.

The CQ figures are based on FBI numbers assembled in categories for murder, robbery, rape auto theft and assault.

The P-D pointed out the criminologists believe a fairer comparison of the overall crime picture would include the entire metro area, vs. the center city.

Detroit overtook St. Louis as the most dangerous city by a single point on CD’s list.


Abernathy MacGregor Group is handling financial communications in New York for MSCI, the Morgan Stanley spin-off that debuted with a 46-percent IPO surge on Nov. 15.

The IPO grossed $252M for the investment banking services company.

Morgan Stanley controls 97 percent of MSCI’s Class B stock. The IPO covered 14 million Class A shares priced at $18 per share. The shares rose to as high as $26.71 in the first day of trading.

AMG managing director Steve Bruce and SVP Pen Pendleton are handling the account.

MSCI, formerly Morgan Stanley Capital International, puts together global equity indices for investment market research. Its clients span 63 countries.


 Harry Savage, 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.

Savage in 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 had worked for a number of major clients including Albertsons, Honeywell, Dial Corp., Pentair, Santa Fe Energy, The Rouse Co. and Coopers & Lybrand.

Surviving are his wife, Monica Gail, three children Mary Elizabeth, David and Michael, two stepchildren William and Patrick Judge, and two sisters.

Internet Edition, November 28, 2007, Page 3


Scott Donaton, publisher of Crain’s Advertising Age, is the new publisher of Time Inc.’s Entertainment Weekly effective Dec. 10. He succeeds Dave Morris who left last month.

Stephanie George, Time Inc.’s executive VP, praised Donaton’s “perspective on the relationship between entertainment and business.” He “shares EW’s signature wit and passion for all things movies, music and television,” she wrote in a memo to staff.

Donaton worked for nearly two decades at AA. He rose through the editorial ranks becoming publisher in February.


Media General has downsized its six-member Washington bureau to four “multimedia” journalists working through its web site. It has abandoned its former regional and national correspondent set-up.

James Crawley, who is president of the Military Reporters and Editors group, is departing as military reporter for MG, owner of 25 newspapers (Richmond Times-Dispatch, Tampa Tribune, Winston-Salem Journal) and 23 TV stations.

His is joined in the exit by Peter Hardin (T-D), Mary Shaffrey (W-SJ) and Gil Klein (national correspondent).

Bureau chief Marsha Mercer remains at MG with Sean Mussenden and Billy House, according to a report of Editor and Publisher.

She says the company is creating a bureau to “make sense for the 21st century.”


More than 1,300 writers, PR pros and financial experts showed up for the 2007 Financial Follies at the Marriott Marquis in New York City.

A sold-out, black-tie audience of 1,300 watched as financiers and corporations were roasted. A prime target was bankers and others who lured home buyers with low mortgage rates only to boost them later.

Using the tune, “Summer Nights” from Grease, the writers sang:

Easy credit had me a blast,
Easy credit happened so fast,
I met a mark crazy for me,
I bought a house cute as can be,
Sub-prime days on lay away,
But oh oh those sub-prime heights

Companies that “go green” also came in for ribbing.

Major corporations, PR firms and media were among those taking tables including Bristol-Myers Squibb, BlackRock, Deutsche Bank, Dow Jones Indexes/STOXX (three tables), Edelman (two tables), Fannie Mae, Ketchum (two tables), Merrill Lynch, New York Society of CPAs, Rooney & Assocs. (two tables), Sard Verbinnen & Co. (four tables), Sloane & Co. (two tables), UBS (two tables) and Weber Shandwick Worldwide (four tables).

Sheila Mullan of Market News International, president of NYFWA, announced that the group has given $30,000 in scholarships this year to ten students who are planning to become business and financial journalists.

Britt Tunick, a senior editor with Alpha Magazine, was the producer and Josh Friedlander of Institutional Investor headed book and lyrics. Laura Josepher directed the show. Photos are at


Dubai International Capital has made a “substantial” investment in Japan’s Sony Corp., the electronics and entertainment powerhouse.

The $13B fund cited Sony’s strong management team and leadership position in emerging markets as reasons for the cash infusion.

DIC’s strategy is to invest from $500M to $1.5B in leading “brand names” throughout the world.


ABC News has established a partnership with Facebook, the social networking site, to cover the political arena.

Facebook members will get access to ABC reports, polls and video via a “U.S. Politics” section on its site. They can also engage in dialogs with ABC correspondents.

ABC and Facebook are sponsors of the Democratic and Republican presidential debates slated before the New Hampshire primary. Facebook has 56M active users.


CBS has launched a six-month “CBS Mobile Zone” initiative that will give midtown Manhattan workers and visitors free access to a high-speed wireless network for their laptops and phones.

The 20-block zone covers Times Square to Central Park from sixth to eighth avenues. It is a partnership with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Citibank and are charter sponsors. Users receive an ad message when accessing the zone.

The network is powered by transmitters fixed on CBS Outdoor billboards and above subway stations.


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.

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 Q2 of '08.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, November 28, 2007, Page 4


PR pros should go for stories, not artist profiles. Lay off on the gimmicks, said a Nov. 14th Entertainment Publicists Press Society panel of music journalists in New York. Members of the music press are all-too familiar with the piles of eye-grabbing packaging and promotional swag that clutter their offices. Dress up a pitch any way you'd like, the press can see through to the story underneath.

"Look, I get to work with naked women. There's not a whole lot you can do that's going to get my attention," said Tim Mohr, music editor for Playboy.

Ken Dashow, who moderated the event, discussed the mess it makes in his office when publicists decide to package press kits with things like confetti. It isn't cute, Dashow said, and bending over to clean the floor doesn't put him in a good mood, let alone do your client any favors.

Dashow hosts the top-rated radio program "Drive Time" on Q 104.3, which has been nominated for a NY A.I.R. award in the "best afternoon show" category. He said staying away from gimmicks is a practice that translates into email as well.

"The guy who now sits permanently in my delete box is the one who always writes in superlatives and bolds. 'It's the greatest.' 'The future is now.' He's really not saying anything," Dashow said.

Dave Park, founder of Prefix magazine, noted that elaborate press packaging can even distract from an otherwise good story.

"If it's too gimmicky sometimes you feel that they've compensated for talent," he said.

Pat Cole, who has covered the music beat at Bloomberg Radio WBBR-AM for six years, reminded the audience that straying from gimmicks should not be confused for remembering to add a twist to your press pitches.

"What I think music publicists or anyone in publicity needs to think about, is adding a peg to your story. I think editors are always asking why: why should we be doing this story now, why is it compelling? Those are the things we're looking for."

Cole said one way to do this is by humanizing the artist. Cole's program caters to a niche audience that wants to hear stories not only about the music, but also about the musicians behind it. "Blasts from the past" are a great angle for publicists to take to reintroduce artists who may have faded from the spotlight some time ago.

"We like stories, not profiles," said Margeaux Watson, staff writer for Entertainment Weekly.

Watson, formerly Arts & Entertainment editor at Suede magazine and a writer for Time Out New York, said sending press releases does not constitute pitching. A certain level of creativity - and an ability to deliver the facts succinctly - is needed from the publicist to get the ideas rolling.

"If it's vague I'm not going to present it to an editor. I'm not going to go back and forth on it with you. I need the bottom line: what's the story, what's the access, and when can we do it. You need to bring your a-game."


Ed Williams, corporate affairs director at Reuters, is moving to the BBC as its corporate PR spokesperson early next year. He succeeds Sally Osman.

Williams worked for Hutchinson Whampoa and Brunswick Group prior to joining Reuters.

He told the Guardian that he is eager to help the BBC redefine its "relationship with its audiences and leading innovation in the media industry."

Williams also worked as a media consultant. He advised former NATO Commander General Wesley Clark during the war crimes trial of former Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic.


Katherine Green, who was VP/news director at WTTG/Fox 5 News in Washington, D.C., is now senior VP of CNN International programming.

The 20-year TV veteran takes charge of editorial production, program development, network talent and day-to-day operations of the network that is viewed in more than 200 countries.

Green will be based at CNN headquarters in Atlanta.


Adweek will publish 36 issues in `08 because it is "not focused on the antiquated idea of a weekly-only model, but on the minute-by-minute schedule that our audience desires," according to Sabrina Crow, senior VP-media and marketing at Nielsen Business Media.

She called Adweek a "multi-platform brand" that will re-launch its website with the "most robust content in the industry 24/7 replete with exclusive Nielsen data," during the first-quarter of next year.


Kekst & Co. is making the PR case that the proposed XM-Sirius satellite radio merger would stifle minority programming.

Kekst is handling PR for Georgetown Partners, a minority-owned private equity firm, as it makes its case to the FCC against a merged satellite “monopoly.”

If the deal is approved, GP wants the combined company to turn over minority channels to a third-party entity.

Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher is working for XM on the proposed $4.7M merger.

People _________________________

Peg Finucane, a 24-year veteran of Newsday, died Nov. 18 from pancreatic cancer. She was 57. She joined Newsday as a copy editor and rose to editing its "Viewpoints" section. Finucane also worked at the New York Times, Toledo Blade and Kansas City Star... John Lippman, one-time Wall Street Journal Hollywood reporter, is returning to the Los Angeles Times to cover the TV beat for the business section. He also filed copy for the Sunday Times (London) and Broadcasting and Cable in a 25-year career. Most recently, Lippman was at Sitrick & Co.

Internet Edition, November 28, 2007, Page 5


Manning Selvage & Lee has created a practice to help clients “compete succussfully” in the green marketplace.

CEO Mark Hass said the firm’s ECO Network will rely on research-based insights to develop environmental communications programs.

MS&L has handled such efforts for General Motors, the U.S. Dept. of Energy and Philips.

Offices in Washington, D.C. (public affairs), Los Angeles and San Francisco (consumer and social networking), Detroit, Atlanta, New York and London (B2B and corporate), and Asia (corporate branding/consumer) are under the ECO umbrella.

Megan Jordan, SVP in L.A., and Sheila McLean, director of corporate affairs in D.C., are co-leading the network.

Capital MS&L has worked with Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management asset firm.


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 firm MacKenzie Partners.

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.

Ramius is also pointing out that five top executives have left the company, including the CFO, although Datascope said three of them support the company and the other two were connected to the allegations.

Datascope sent its own letter to shareholders last 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: Hershey|Cause, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based marcom firm, is marking its 30th anniversary handling “communications for good.” The firm began as a marketing design shop and became the merger of Hershey Associates and Cause Communications. Hershey is the corporate arm while Cause is a 501(c)3 non-profit entity that focuses on starategic communications. It has worked for Disney, The Climate Project and Allergan.


New York Area

CopperKatz, New York/Coldwell Banker, as national AOR for national PR following a search. CRT/tanaka and Gibbs & Soell pitched.

Peppercom, New York/Malibu-Kahlua International, a unit of Pernod Ricard, as AOR for PR for brands like Malibu rum, and Kahlua and Tia Maria liquers. The work includes beverage industry positioning and communications, crisis training, and sponsorship evaluation.

Kronstain Media Group, New York/SeeToo, online video application that allows two users to watch videos hosted on the users’ own hard drives simulataneously.

CKPR and Cramer-Krasselt advertising won a competitive review for Sealy's marketing communications account. Interpublic's Mullen had the account, which was awarded after a four-month review. C-K is an independent shop. Sales in 2006 for the mattress giant were $1.6 billion. It plans to unveil a direct to consumer push in 2008.


Neiman Group, Harrisburg, Pa./The Advertising Council, to create a PSA campaign for the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security’s “Ready” campaign. The work is called “Ready Business” and targets business owners and managers.

Hill & Knowlton, Washington, D.C./Logistics Health, for PR and public affairs centered on general Defense Dept. healthcare issues. GM Kelli Parsons filed the firm’s lobbying registration.


Alexander Marketing Services, Chicago/CP, industrial power tools and assembly systems, for marketing and comms. planning, PR, collateral and direct mktg.

Mountain West

JohnstonWells PR, Denver/Regenerative Sciences, stem cell research and therapy, for launch, media relations, website counsel and event coordination. RS has developed a procedure to use a person’s own stem cells to generate bone and cartilage.


tbd, Bend, Ore./The Tree Farm, Idaho development, for market research, advertising, collateral, web design and PR.

Ant Hill Marketing, Portland, Oreg./Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center, for pro bono re-branding services.

Rogers & Cowan, Los Angeles/Empire Film Group, independent film studio, for global marketing and communications.

WDC Media, Stonyford, Calif./”Noelle,” motion picture centered on Catholicism, for Christian PR.

Tobin & Associates, San Rafael, Calif./GoSolarMarin, a coalition that has negotiated to provide lower cost solar installations to homeowners, business and non-profits, for PR, media and marketing to urge residents and businesses to “go solar,” and the San Francisco Great Books Council, which includes 40 book groups in northern California, to promote its 2008 annual conference.

Internet Edition, November 28, 2007, Page 6


Public service announcement directors want PSAs pitched to them in advance of sending, according to a survey by Atlanta-based broadcast PR company News Generation.

All 75 PSA directors queried by NG said they prefer to be pitched first. NG suggested that the big bucks spent on marketing materials and mailers to stations could be better spent.

Although the Federal Communications Commission does not require radio stations to run PSAs as part of their programming, the average station has 24 PSA slots in a typical week, according to the survey.

Only 16 percent of the stations are using long-form, 60-second PSAs, while 24 percent like the 15-second versions and the majority—60 percent—use PSAs between 15 and 30 seconds in length.

A majority of stations prefer to have a scripted version for local on-air talent to read, rather than a pre-recorded spot.


The NewsMarket has unveiled an online market for pay-per-use news feeds and licensed video content that the company says might not be otherwise available or easily searchable.

The service, called MarketPlace, is geared toward news organizations and other media and content companies that want to sell video assets.

Clients of the new service include BBC Motion Gallery, Agence France Press, Ford Models, and Hong Kong-based Asia Pacific Vision.


BRIEFS: International Assn. of Business Communicators is accepting submissions for its 2008 Gold Quill Awards. Early-bird deadline is February 5 with the final deadline a week later. Info: ...PCGCampbell, Los Angeles, used Pringo’s social networking platform for a social media marketing campaign for client Yokohama Tire Corp. The campaign centered on Yokohama’s environmental initiatives and can be found online at Lewis PR works for Pringo ...TEKgroup International, Pompano Beach, Fla., was tapped to produce CIGNA’s online newsroom, which launched in September at The new site has photos, audio and video for journalists interested in the benefits mangement company. ...Broadridge Financial Solutions, Lake Success, N.Y., has signed Independence Group of Australia for its International Shareholder Communications Programme. BFS will distribute IG’s general meeting info, corporate news and investor relations materials to shareholders electronically and monitor the collection and execution of voting instructions. ...Event marketing and productions company LimeGreen Productions, Chicago, was tapped to lead grassroots marketing for “Desert Bayou,” a feature film by Taproot Productions. LimeGreen’s plan includes a premier party at the Museum of Modern Art with events across the U.S.



Richard Pasqua has joined Siegel+Gale, New York, as creative director of its interactive unit. He has designed for Nickelodeon, RedSky Interactive, and Doubleday.

Simon Aronoff, special projects consultant for Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, to Renna Communications, Brooklyn, N.Y., as a VP. He was formerly deputy director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Jayna Kliner, former senior comms. manager at AOL, to Welz & Weisel Communications, Fairfax, Va., as a VP. She was formerly marketing and PR director at Winward Consulting Group and began her career at LCI Communications.

Tarah Donogue, deputy press secretary to First Lady Laura Bush through August 2007, to Gibraltar Associates, Washington, D.C., as an associate.

Michelle Deschenes, marketing manager for the last five years at Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, to Levick Strategic Communications, Washington, D.C., as marketing director.

Susan Jezek joins Cotton & Company, Stuart, Fla., as an A/E from All Access Marketing.

Sam Locricchio, comms. manager for corporate quality and design at Chrysler, to John Bailey & Associates, Troy, Mich., as a VP. He was previously VP at Eisbrenner PR and director of PR and crisis comms. for ArvinMeritor. Earlier, he was at Campbell Chapin & Co. and Shandwick USA.

Peter Brown, director of scheduling for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, to MWW Group, Los Angeles, as a VP focused on public affairs, policy analysis and media relations. He was previously director of governmental affairs for Dakota Communications.

Yang Weimin, GM of PR firm Beijing Broadcom, to Weber Shandwick, Beijing, as VP in its corporate practice. Scott Sykes, VP and director in the firm’s technology and interactive/social media practices, is relocating from Hong Kong to Beijing.


Mandy Griswold, a nine-year Edelman veteran who managed comms. for the NFL, to general manager of Edelman’s New York global sports and sponsorship practice. The practice has also set up a London unit headed by Edelman vet Kate Gordon. Rick McCabe, who worked in Sports Illustrated’s comms. dept. for 12 years, joins the firm as a VP in the New York sports unit.

Joy Bannon to account director and Kayle Gorski to A/C, Coventures, Boston. Bannon joined in 2002, while Gorski signed on in 2006. Lauren Garfield to A/E, Marx Layne & Company, Farmington Hills, Mich.

John Colglazier to VP of investor relations and communications, Anadarko Petroleum, Houston. He was director of IR.

Debby Vudhivadhana to A/S, MWW Group, Irvine, Calif. She joined this year and handles accounts like Samsung Electronics America.

Internet Edition, November 28, 2007, Page 7

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

the current fashion is to aim “messages” at “target audiences” and subsets of the public such as employees, customers, potential customers, stockholders, retired employees, legislators, etc.

The audiences are further defined by age, gender, income, religion, status of health, geographical location and other demographics.

Effectiveness of messages aimed at the target audiences is measured as closely as possible to determine the impact of the messages on the “bottom line.”

Press relations has become defensive at many companies. Incoming calls are handled with great caution and outgoing press calls rarely initiated unless there is certainty that the corporate “message” will receive proper treatment.

Seminar Is Hush-Hush

Seminar’s four-day meetings, at many of the finest resorts in the U.S. (the Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara, Calif., was the scene of the 2007 meeting), are highly secretive. Members are warned that if they report any of the doings to the press they will be banned for life.

Paid speakers, including academics and editors and columnists from major media such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Fortune, Forbes and Business Week, also swear not to write about Seminar. Corporate communications executives usually have control of the corporate ad budget.

With attendance of more than 300 (including spouses) upwards of $750,000 and more is spent on the meeting each year including registration costing several thousand dollars.

Page Continues to Use PR

Roger Bolton, president of The Arthur W. Page Society, said Page will continue to use the term “PR” and that he considers “corporate communications” to be part of PR.

PR, he said, not only involves communications but building relationships with various audiences. He noted that the chief principle of Page is “tell the truth.”

Page hosts on-the-record meetings at which reporters are invited and also publishes numerous studies and reports on PR-related topics (

Tom Nicholson, executive director of Page, noted that only eight of the current 340 members of Page have PR as part of their titles.

Some don’t use PR because they are heads of PR firms or are academics, he noted.

Class of 2007 Listed

Seminar inducted 33 new members in 2007 including 19 women. Only five women were present at the 1969-70 meetings. During the 1960s and 1970s, fewer than ten new members were added each year. The high turnover today reflects high turnover in corporate CEOs.

Many members of Seminar also are members of Page and “The Wise Men,” a New York group of about 80 PR executives that was founded in 1938 by John Hill, founder of Hill & Knowlton. It conducts private meetings each month.

Joining Seminar in 2007 were:

Shelly Ann Bird, chief comms. officer, NCR Corp.
Michael Busselen, VP, corporate communications, Solectron Corp.
Fred Cook, president and CEO, Golin Harris
Tim Cost, listed as with Aramark as XVP, corporate affairs, although he has left Aramark
Donna Cox, VP, comms., MeadWestvaco
Debra DeCourcy, VP-CC, Fifth Third Bank
Valerie DiMaria, Willis Group Holdings
Frances Emerson, VP-CC, Deere
Kimberley Goode, VP-CC, Visteon
Mark Hass, CEO, Manning, Selvage & Lee
Denise Hill, VP-C, Quest Diagnostics
Kathleen Lawler, VP-C, Harley-Davidson
Mary Linder, SVP, corporate brand & comms.,
Northwest Airlines
Gerard Mauchner, director/VP-comms. & PA, Eastman Kodak Co.
Anne Nobles, VP, corp. affairs, Eili Lilly
Thomas Noland, SVP-CC, Humana
Helen Ostrowski, Global CEO, Porter Novelli
Andrew Polansky, pres., Weber Shandwick
Bonnie Racquet, corp. VP, PA, Cargill
Steven Rautenberg, SVP, CC, NY Life Ins.
Chip Rouse, VP, U.S. comms., Sanofi-Aventis
D’Arcy Rudnay, VP-CC, Comcast Corp.
Robert Sherbin, VP, external comms., H-P
John Spelich, VP-CC, Walt Disney Internet Group
Michael Stewart, dir., external rels., McKinsey
Jessica Stoltenberg, VP-CC, Wyeth
Mary Stutts, sr. dir., CC, Genentech
Daniel Tarman, mng. dir., CC, Countrywide
Loretta Ucelli, SVP-CC, Pfizer
Melissa Zorkin, pres., Waggener Edstrom
Ann Marchant, CEO, Walker Merchant Group
Robert Wynn, VP, global CC, Oracle


Group SJR handling the Nov. 26 release of a 101-page report by “Dream for Darfur” advocacy group that accuses sponsors of the Beijing Olympics with being “silently complicit” in the backing of genocide in Sudan.

Jill Savitt, executive director of DfD, says sponsors are “supporting China’s efforts to position itself in glowing terms on the world stage,” but are silent about the country’s role in investing in Sudan.

Dream for Darfur

China buys $2B in Sudanese oil each year and DfD claims that financial windfall is used to bankroll the “regime’s genocidal campaign.”

DfD graded 19 Olympic sponsors on their willingness to express concern to the Beijing Government and the International Olympic Committee about China’s Darfur policy.

DfD also invited the sponsors to send a representative with actress Mia Farrow, who chairs DfD’s advisory board, on a trip to a Darfurian refugee.

Thirteen of the 19 sponsors received an “F” from DfD. They include Panasonic, Anheuser-Busch, Kodak, Visa, Swatch and Volkswagen. Three (Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson and UPS) got “Ds”

McDonald’s and Adidas received a passing grade of “C”. General Electric scored the best (“C+) mark for contacting the IOC and providing a “point person” to handle the Darfur crisis.

Internet Edition, November 28, 2007, Page 8




The abandonment of “PR” by PR Seminar (page one) says volumes about the current state of PR.

There are several ways of looking at this but we take the most direct one: “Seminar” is simply getting out the business of “PR” or “relations with the public” (via the public’s representatives in the press).

Nearly all its members stopped using “PR” decades ago, switching to “corporate communications.”

We agree with those who say this reduces “PR” to “communications” although communications is but one of the activities of “PR.”

Attempts to reach Jon Iwata of IBM (current chair) about this change were unsuccessful. No officers of Seminar have ever returned calls.

Ironically, “PR” is a topic that is forbidden at Seminar’s meetings. It is considered too “tradey,” too boring or too inconsequential. Topics wanted were Sino-Soviet relations, world economic trends, U.S. political trends and candidates, the “mood of America” as defined by sociologists, etc.

A 1968 book on Seminar by a Seminarian said its members are the “leaders” and the “elite” of the PR world who prefer speeches that have “intellectual quality—statesmanlike perspective—balanced appraisal of negative forces” and a “strongly philosophical, future-looking perspective, together with a lack of emotionalism or hysterical orientation.”

Seminar is far more than an annual event at plush resorts. Its literature says it is the “premiere organization of senior business executives recognized for leadership in communications and PR,” that membership is limited to 200, and that members “interact as an informal network for the exchange of high value information” throughout the year.

Distributed each year is a list of members and their addresses, e-mails and phone numbers plus a book of 150 pages or so of their biographies. Seminar is the ultimate networking tool for jobs and other purposes. It’s no wonder that almost all members take ironclad, lifetime oaths of confidentiality.

We wonder how many of their CEOs know about this group.

Seminar, in session all year, has a huge influence on how corporate America practices “corporate communications.” Many of these executives have control over ad budgets which puts them in the position of influencing editorial coverage. Articles in the NYT magazine or other media on “diversity,” the environment, or similar subjects are accompanied by numerous corporate ads.

Powerful editors and columnists speak at Seminar but they never mention the group in their media. These have included John Huey, editor-in-chief of Time, Inc., and former editor of Fortune; Robert Bartley, editor emeritus, Wall Street Journal; Peter Kann when he was president and publisher of the WSJ; Paul Steiger, WSJ managing editor from 1991 to May 2007 and now editor-at-large; John Geddes, when he was financial editor, New York Times (he is now one of two managing editors); Matthew Bishop, U.S. editor, The Economist; Sam Donaldson, ABC-TV News; Bill Raspberry, Washington Post; Stephen Shepard when he was editor-in-chief of Business Week; Marvin Stone, editor, U.S. News & World Report; Stanley Bing, Fortune columnist (alias Gil Schwartz of CBS PR); John Stossell, ABC News; Bob Schieffer, CBS News; Campbell Brown, NBC News; Lionel Barber, U.S. managing editor, Financial Times, and William Schneider, political correspondent, CNN.

Why do the NYT, Washington Post and WSJ skip coverage of Seminar? Are they afraid of losing corporate ads? Why doesn’t the NYT ask why Omnicom’s stock is $46 now when it was $53.50 eight years ago and wonder why CEO John Wren has been paid at least $50M in that period? The WSJ and New York Post cover OMC and its $3 billion debt, but not the NYT.

PR Seminar has logically removed “PR” from its name and we applaud its honesty. PR should also not be used by the “PR” Society (headed by Rhoda Weiss) because it doesn’t live up to the principles of PR including democracy and openness.

PR should not be used by the Council of “PR” Firms because it is improperly dominated by conglomerate-owned PR operations.

More than half of its dues come from such operations (15 are members and most pay the minimum $40K yearly in dues). Three of the five executive committee members are always from the conglomerates so its governance is not representative of the industry it is supposed to be serving.

Formed in 1998, the same year as PR Week, the Council of Firms has spent upwards of $150K in ads in PRW in the past five years and virtually nothing in any other PR publication.

This discriminatory, un-PR policy, helped pave the way for the failure of at least four PR publications. Council membership is currently 103, down from a high of about 128.

At least 45 firms have left it including major independents such as Edelman and Ruder Finn. Some departures were due to mergers.

News item: AdWeek will drop 11 issues next year, printing only 36. Veteran publisher Wright Ferguson was cut by owner Nielsen Business Media. A related item is that Scott Donaton, after 17 years at Advertising Age (as editor until he became publisher in February) has jumped to Entertainment Weekly of Time Inc. as publisher. Ad Age columnist Al Ries has pointed out that the big ad agencies (owned by WPP, Omnicom, Interpublic, Publicis, Havas) some years ago stopped almost all their house ads in AA and AdWeek, thus leading to belt-tightening of one type or another. Astoundingly, said Ries, ad agencies don’t believe in advertising if their dollar is being spent.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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