The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, December 5, 2007, Page 1
WORKS FOR SECRETIVE ABU DHABI
works for the secretive Abu Dhabi Investment
Authority, which shocked the financial markets by taking
a $7.5B stake in Citigroup.
New York Times (Nov. 28) pitched the deal as a coming
out party for the worlds largest sovereign wealth
fund with assets of more than $650B.
Dhabi ruler Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who chairs
ADIA, had largely been content to pour money into
low-return, low-profile investments prior to the Citi
took on ADIA in June under a six-month contract worth more
than $800K. Its job is to support ADIAs corporate
communications function, pitch the fund as a leading global
investor and handle crisis duties. Jim Lake, chairman of
B-Ms U.S. public affairs practice, did not return
a call about B-Ms role in the Citi deal.
the deal closes, ADIA will become the largest investor in
Citi with a 4.9 percent stake, narrowly edging Saudi Arabias
Prince Walid bin Talal.
B-MS WADLER MOVES TO
Ame Wadler, who chaired
Burson-Marstellers global healthcare group and served
as chief strategic officer, has moved to MWW Group as executive
VP/chief management officer and global health leader.
MWW CEO Michael Kempner
calls Wadler a great addition to the staff.
He says Wadler created true intellectual capital that
Wadler, a 25-year PR veteran,
is to devise new thought leadership platforms
for the Interpublic unit, and drive practice integration
across MWWs 11 full-service office network.
Prior to B-M, Wadler held
posts at Edelman, Hill & Knowlton and Lobsenz-Stevens.
MAHONE FLIES TO AEROJET
Glenn Mahone, former comms.
chief for NASA, has moved to defense contractor Aerojet
in Washington, D.C., as executive director of strategic
Mahone rose through the
ranks at NASA from assistant press secretary during the
Clinton Administration to head communications for the space
agency and its 300 public affairs staffers during George
Bushs second term. He is credited with overhauling
NASAs communications for the digital age before stepping
down in 2005.
Mahone joins Aerojet,
a rocket and missile engine maker, from defense contractor
Systems Application and Technologies, where he was a VP/mktg.
BATTCHER EXITS DELTA; GH PILOTS
Jeff Battcher, who joined
Delta Air Lines as VP, corporate communications in February,
exited Nov. 30.
Battcher, 45, headed internal,
external and executive communications for the airline. He
was previously at BellSouth for 15 years, rising to VP-CC.
He reported to Delta CEO
Gerald Grinstein, who was replaced in September by Richard
Delta, meanwhile, has
tapped GolinHarris as its China PR firm as the carrier kicks
off service from its headquarters city of Atlanta to Shanghai
on March 30.
The Interpublic unit will
handle festivities surrounding that maiden flight. Delta
is pitching the flight as the first-ever link between China
and the southeast U.S., a region of more than 65M.
The Delta account will
be handled by GHs Shanghai office, which is headed
by Lydia Lee.
A Delta spokesperson said
GH edged two other multinationals for the business.
PN SNAGS BAROODY
Michael Baroody, who was
executive VP at the National Assn. of Manufacturers, has
joined Porter Novellis Washington office as executive
VP for strategic development.
He led NAMs advocacy,
communications and policy efforts, and was a regular guest
on network and cable TV shows discussing a range of issues
that impact U.S. manufacturing competitiveness.
Baroody also chaired the
Asbestos Alliance, an industry coalition working to hammer
out a solution to the long-running asbestos litigation crisis.
Prior to NAM, Baroody
was assistant secretary for policy at the Labor Dept. and
PA director in Ronald Reagans White House.
Carolyn Tieger is managing
director of PNs D.C. office.
WEINGARTEN FUMES AT PR
Washington Post columnist, used his Sunday, Nov.
25 column, which appears on the back page of the Post magazine,
to launch his heaviest attack yet against PR and marketing.
it takes 15 minutes each day to rid his voicemail of Did
you get my e-mail? calls, he compared PR pros to the
Gaboon viper, a six-foot central African snake with two-inch
fangs, the longest of any snake. A bite causes massive
tissue damage, catastrophic internal bleeding, and a slow,
shuddering death, he said.
on page 7)
Edition, December 5, 2007, Page 2
D.C. SEEKS PR HELP FOR HPV
The District of Columbia
has allocated $150K and issued an RFP for a PR effort to
educate citizens about Human Papillomavirus and the effectiveness
and risks of the Merck-manufactured vaccine developed to
HPV, which is actually
a group of viruses, has been closely linked to cervical
cancer and venereal disease.
D.C. wants a firm to develop
a public education effort and produce town hall meetings
in the District wards.
The D.C. council passed
a law this year requiring that the parent or guardian of
every female child enrolled in sixth grade be required to
certify that the child has been immunized or elected to
forgo the vaccination. The public education effort requires
a campaign to provide scientifically based information
for the purposes of informing young women and their parents
of the pros and cons of the vaccine.
is the only FDA-approved treatment against HPV. A committee
of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services has recommended
routine vaccination for girls 11-12. The RFP acknowledges
that there is considerable debate within the medical and
lay communities about whether to require girls to be vaccinated.
Mercks PR effort
lobbying state legislatures to mandate a Gardasil vaccination
program sparked controversy earlier this year before the
drug maker pulled the plug on that effort. The drug maker,
which has banked more than $1 billion this year in sales
of the vaccine, is petitioning the FDA to get the drug approved
for women up to 45.
Proposals are due Dec.
4. The RFP can be accessed here: dc.gov.
SITRICK PLANTS FLAG IN S.F.
Los Angeles-based Sitrick and Company has expanded to the
Bay Area with a San Francisco office headed by returning
partner Lance Ignon.
CEO Michael Sitrick said the firm has often worked for
Bay Area clients, but said he wanted to make sure he had
the right person to oversee an office there.
Ignon first worked for Sitrick a decade ago as VP and co-head
of its IR unit. He recently was VP of corporate affairs
at VaxGen, a vaccine maker that has struggled since its
$900M federal contract to produce an anthrax vaccine was
Ignon was also director of corporate comms. for Tenet Healthcare
Corp., and both VaxGen and Tenet are Sitrick clients. He
started out in journalism as a foreign correspondent for
Bloomberg, finance editor for Investors Business
Daily and a reporter for the Los Angeles Times.
Ignon said he is recruiting for the new office. Associate-level
employees with journalism backgrounds can send their resumes
to him at [email protected].
one of the top private equity funds, has hired Dutko Worldwide
for advice on investments in the healthcare arena. Laine
Glisson, press secretary to former Sen. John Breaux, is
on the Dutko team.
ALASKA RR SEARCHES FOR PR
The Alaska Railroad Corporation, which runs a profitable
transit business for mining and passenger transport in The
Last Frontier, has launched a search for a full-service
PR agency to guide its communications and marketing
The ARC, which carries about 500K passengers a year in
addition to its lucrative freight and real estate business,
is state-owned but is incorporated and self-sustaining without
state subsidies. It runs 651 miles of track from Seward
in the south to Fairbanks in central Alaska. Revenues for
2006 were $149M with a $10M net. The railroad is receiving
federal dollars for an aggressive capital program expanding
and rebuilding across the state.
The PR work, according to an RFP, includes annual reports,
press releases, media kits, government relations, employee
communications (ARC has nearly 750 on staff), collateral
Tim Thompson is manager of external affairs for the railroad.
President Woodrow Wilson created a commission to devise
a route for the railroad in 1914 seeing it as key for mining
and military purposes. President Warren Harding drove the
golden spike in 1923 to complete it. The state bought the
railroad from the federal government in 1985 for $22M.
HASBRO HIRES DUBERSTEIN
Hasbro has hired Duberstein Group to handle safety, manufacturing
and trade matters at the nations No. 2 toymaker behind
Those issues include lead in paint used on toys, a topic
that has received widespread coverage following various
product recalls of products made in China.
Hasbro CEO Al Verrecchia has posted a letter to parents
and caregivers on his companys site in which
he says paints used on Hasbro toys are tested and inspected
before they are applied on the products.
The firm also makes unannounced inspection trips to its
factories in the U.S. and Ireland plus vendors in China.
Hasbro, according to Verrecchia, maintains a team
of Hasbro quality control engineers and inspectors based
in Hong Kong and China. They are part of Hasbros
U.S. based global quality assurance team, and often
present on the factory floors of our vendors to confirm
the quality and safety of our products.
Ken Duberstein, former chief of staff to President Ronald
Reagan, heads Hasbros lobbying team. He is joined
by DG president Michael Berman, an aide to former VP Walter
Mondale, and Eric Ueland, who was an advisor to former Senate
Majority Leader Bill Frist.
Hasbros line-up includes G.I. Joe, who
will star in a $170M Paramount Pictures production in `09;
Mr. Potato Head; Littlest Pet Shop;
plus classic board games (Monopoly, Battleship
5W PR has five offices
and 10 cubicles available for rent with a short-term
commitment in New York at 1120 6th Avenue in the Hippodrome
The firm recently moved to a larger space. Info: [email protected]
Edition, December 5, 2007, Page 3
MAKES CUTS; STOCK RATED SELL
New York Times is making newsroom cuts for the first
time in recent memory, according to a staff memo from
Bill Keller, executive editor.
notified the Newspaper Guild that a dozen support jobs are
being eliminated now.
management jobs in administrative areas are
set to go in `08, as the newsroom is poised to help the
publisher meet the difficult financial challenges
facing our industry.
goal is to avoid the drastic staff cutbacks
that have hammered other newsrooms.
Nov. 28 memo came the same day that Banc of America Securities
analyst Joe Arns put a sell rating on the New
York Times Co. stock. He slashed his target price to $14
from $21 (NYTC is trading at $16.70).
believes the intrinsic value of the stock is
greater than $14, but that value wont be realized
under the current advertising down cycle bottoms out.
the Times reliance on luxury categories
bodes well for the stock, Arns notes that the upscale segment
is far from recession proof.
stock is vulnerable to a meltdown on Wall Street since half
of its ad revenues comes from New York and Boston (Boston
had written that the Times union-heavy employee base
(44 percent of workers hold union cards) is an impediment
to outsourcing and consolidation.
however recently assured Arns that its good ties with unions
will allow the company to scale back its cost base
sees a golden opportunity for the NYT to monetize its worldwide
online readership. He points out that less than 20 percent
of the companys online ad revenues comes from outside
the U.S. (the bulk from Canada).
Worries About Rupe
Corp.s impending takeover of Dow Jones & Co.,
publisher of Wall Street Journal, will not do much
damage to the NYT, according to Arns.
Murdoch, News Corp. CEO, has promised to add more international,
national, arts and fashion news to the pages of the WSJ.
He was asked at a recent investor conference if he wanted
to kill the Times. That would be nice,
is skeptical that the WSJ can steal many
readers and advertisers in the near term. He also
believes the Times would retaliate against the WSJ by stepping
up its business news coverage.
BoA analyst raised the prospect of an alliance between the
Financial Times, a unit of U.K.-based Pearson, and
has been under pressure from investors to boost returns
or divest the FT.
partnership between FT and NYT would be a remarkable
counterweight to a general interest WSJ, in Arns
John Harwood, chief Washington
correspondent for CNBC and a veteran D.C. reporter and editor
for the Wall Street Journal, will join the New York Times
as a political writer at the end of the year.
Harwood will contribute
in a part-time role in print and online similar to his Journal/CNBC
Washington coverage. He appears regularly on political affairs
Harwood joined the Journal
in 1991 as White House correspondent and later rose to political
editor after working for the St. Petersburg Times
in Florida and D.C.
KOONES EXITS VARIETY
Charlie Koones is leaving
the president and publisher posts at Variety on March
1. The 17-year Variety veteran wants to pursue other opportunities
in media and entertainment.
Neil Stiles, managing
director at Reed Business Information in the U.K., will
assume Koones job.
Koones, 45, is credited
with the growth of Varietys digital arm that was launched
nine years ago.
He also forged a syndication
partnership for the entertainment trade pub with MSN.
Peter Bart, Varietys
powerful editor-in-chief, said Koones brought a style
and energy that proved vital to the publications
Crawford, who has covered politics and policy for
Congressional Quarterly since 2003, will be blogging
daily for CQ with reporting and commentary on the 2008 presidential
He writes the Trail
Mix and 1600 columns for the D.C. news
outlet and formerly ran The Hotline blog for National
Crawford said it is a
kick to be covering the most wide-open
presidential campaign in more than a generation.
Santa Cruz Sentinel editor Tom Honig is joining
Armanasco Public Relations as a senior A/E focusing on public
affairs and media strategies. The Monterey, Calif.-based
firm is affiliated with Hill & Knowlton.
Corporation tapped Jennifer Mirsky as editor-in-chief
of womens lifestyle content for the companys
interactive arm. She will oversee content for titles including
Ladies Home Journal, More and Fitness.
Mirksy had been VP of
editorial programming at NBC Universals
iVillage.com. Prior to that, she directed the creation
and production of 12 websites as VP for Hearst Magazine
has upped Janice Kaplan to the editor slot to replace
Lee Kravitz who exited last month. She had been executive
editor since `06.
Kaplan began her career
as an on-air sports reporter for CBS Radio and was deputy
editor of TV Guide prior to Parade. She is author of The
Botox Diaries and Mine are Spectacular.
Lance Graham, general
manager of Parade Publications, takes Kaplans spot.
news continued on next page)
Edition, December 5, 2007, Page 4
PRESS WANTS SLICE OF LIFE
a lot accounting for good taste in the food press. More
than 120 PR pros were treated November 16 to a Publicity
Club of New York panel of top food journalists at the Three
is beyond eating and recipes, said Jee Won Park, producer
for CBS The Early Show.
goes into every aspect of life we can imagine. We need to
think a little broader the content given to me needs
to be much more than consumer news.
this breadth into context, pitching the food beat requires
a certain amount of creativity. Rachel Wharton, a reporter
for New York Daily News, said one of her favorite
ways of bringing food news to the public is behind
the scenes, human interest stories that puts a face
on a local restaurant.
really looking for things that make New York what it is,
said Laren Spirer, a food blogger for Gothamist.com. That
restaurant nobody knows about. The funky little deli that
has that thing you cant find anywhere else.
news bodes well for PR pros. The food beat blends with all
kinds of non-food pitches.
instance, Wharton said readers are interested in stories
that bridge the gap between food and health. David Bonom,
Contributing Editor for Cooking Light, said the nature of
his magazine is healthy living through food, and feedback
on his websites blog confirms a growing trend in this
Oliver Cury, Executive Editor of epicurious.com,
said some of the current buzzwords around his office are
organic, clean and sustainable.
gets between 36 and 40 million pages views a month, traffic
that Cury attributed to a huge percentage of
the more than 60,000 recipes the website offers.
said the nature of her work keeps her constantly reliant
on pitches: The thing about blogs is everything is
instantaneous. Our readers respond instantaneously.
Cury said the blog portion
of his website gives publicists a chance to pitch two areas
of the website. There are two sections on the site
that are right for pitches. For issue-related pitches, we
run them on the other blogs.
We get a lot of
feedback on our blog, Bonom continued. Interests
come out. People talk about what they like and what they
dont like. Its a great source of information.
So whats the best
way to pitch the food press? The panel agreed that succinct,
catchy subject lines in an email are of the highest importance.
Whats a hot
subject line? Just tell me what it is, Park said.
Whats a good body? Just tell me how it works.
Give me three ideas on how it fits in my show.
I save my emails,
Wharton added. Then I search through Outlook by looking
for the subject lines.
But how creative should
PR pros get with their pitches and subject lines? This was
a point of contention for the panel.
Wharton said she doesnt
like it when PR pros try to dress up the pitch with hooks.
I personally dont
see anything wrong with being creative with your pitches,
Cury said at the panel event, moderated by PCNY president
Peter Himler. Its useful. Its taking information
and trying to do something with it.
Park said she doesnt
mind PR artistry but wants to know what the story is up
front so she can work it: Being brief and being very
honest is very important to me. Id rather know what
the situation is without having to dig for it.
reported that news of preliminary talks for News Corp. to
potentially acquire the business networking platform LinkedIn
arent true, shooting down a report by the U.K.s
The Express said last
week that News Corp. head Rupert Murdoch and LinkedIn CEO
Dan Nye started talking three weeks ago. Nye reportedly
said he wont take less than $1 billion for the site,
which connects people in the business world.
Reuters cited a source
familiar with the matter, while the Express did not
identify its source, either.
Murdoch bought MySpace
for $580 million two years ago.
the digital arm of Conde Nast, has inked a content distribution
relationship with YouTube to create branded channels on
the Google-owned online video giant. YouTube Channels for
will be rolled out over the next month, joining CNs
on YouTube. A Wired.com
Channel is slated to launch early next year.
Los Angeles Press Club has announced the first-ever
National Entertainment Journalism Awards for print, broadcast
and web journalism. Deadline for entries is Jan. 25. LAPC
has run the Southern California Journalism Awards for the
last 50 years.
The contest is divided
into categories for newspaper reporters and editors, television
and radio journalists, and bloggers and other online news
organizations. The contest focuses on film, television or
music reporting and criticism. Info: lapressclub.org.
Interest Media is developing Whole Foods Market
Magazine, a custom pub for the natural/organic supermarket
company. The magazine will be available in more than 60
stores, premiering in the Midwest in January 2008, and in
the Rocky Mountain area in March.
has launched a money and financial website to deliver
real-time news, research, stock prices and charts from more
than 3,000 sources. The money.aol.com site receives its
streaming information from Relegence, which AOL acquired
has created a corporate group to scout for start-up
acquisitions. VPs Leigh Zarelli (New York) and Matt Pillar
(Los Angeles) head the operation.
TechCrunch expects Disney
to make up to 20 acquisitions of start-ups over the next
5, 2007, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
ANNOUNCES INDIA OFFICES
Worldwide formally announced two offices in IndiaMumbai
and New Delhiafter operating in the country since
earler this year.
president and CEO Margery Kraus called the country a crucial
market for many of APCOs clients. Dev Dasgupta,
who founded and led an Indian management consulting firm,
is managing director of APCO/India.
held a launch event on Nov. 19 with the American Chamber
of Commerce in India.
SURVEY GAUGES GIFT CARD PLANS
A national survey by New
Orleans-based Deveney Communications and the independent
PR firm network The PRConsultants Group found that 91 percent
of respondents said they planned to give more or the same
number of gift cards during this holiday season as they
gave last year.
The most common gift cards
are in the retail space (32 percent), followed by spa (29%),
restaurant (25%), entertainment (8%) and home/garden (6%).
Nearly 60 percent said they will spend an average of $25
per card with 34 percent upping that amount to $50.
Sixty-one percent of repondents
said they will shop in-store, compared with 36 percent hitting
online retailers. The poll included 147 respondents across
23 states in late October and early November.
reported and ran an ad campaign in October stating that
$8 billion in gift cards will go unredeemed this year on
an estimated $26B in sales.
& Fox, New York, handled the Nov. 14 launch of
Sensei for Weight Loss, a system that has a participant
using a mobile phone as a personal digital coach
for health and weight loss. The service is available for
Sprint and AT&T mobile users. ...Troy, Mich.-based Bianchi
PR picked up two MarCom Creative Awards for its work
with American Heartland Homebuilder and Childrens
Home of Detroit. The AHH work involved a home built on ABCs
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and nabbed a
platinum award. Community relations work for CHD picked
up a gold award. BlueCurrent
PR picked up a platinum Marcom for its pro bono work
for the United Cerebral Palsy of Greater DFW. It earned
a gold nod for media relations for Lennox Industries. ...The
Devon Group, Shrewsbury, N.J., won four feature writing
awards for an article on managing and motivating a multi-generational
workforce. The piece, titled Generations at Work,
earned kudos from The Communicator 2007 Print Media Awards,
the Davey Awards, the 2007 APEX awards and JSPRAA. ...New
Group is celebrating its 15th year of lining up entertainment
sponsorship opportunities for clients like Ford Motor, IBM,
HBO and Blockbuster. CEO Jim Erlick is a marketing veteran
who worked at American Express, General Foods and Seagram
Wine Co. before launching his shop. He is at [email protected]
Communications, New York/John Christopher, Dublin,
Ireland-based jewelry maker, for PR as it enters the U.S.
and launches a website.
Morris + King Company, New York/Jeffrey Scheuer,
author, for PR for The Big Picture: Why Democracies Need
Journalistic Excellence (Routledge Press 2007).
SMR, New York/Countdown Entertainment, for PR on
a project basis for its behind-the-scenes coverage of the
Times Square New Years Eve footage.
Partners, Woburn, Mass./Prospero Technologies, social
media solutions for integrating interactive features in
websites, and Brijit, which digests long-form media into
100-word abstracts, both for PR.
Marketing, Baltimore/HoodEz, vehicle ornament system,
for a national media relations campaign supporting its launch.
Group, Cary, N.C./Take Solutions, India-based business
services for life sciences, business intelligence and supply
chain mgmt., for corporate PR.
Mills Agency, Atlanta/Customer Effective, customer
interaction software, for PR.
Group, Atlanta/StatCom, hospital patient flow logistics
and tracking, as AOR.
Ink., Miami/Equinox Fitness Clubs, for PR in South
Florida; Parke & Ronen, for national PR and celebrity
wardrobing for the swimwear and menswear designer; hip.e
Boutique, for national and regional PR; VIP Couture, for
local PR; Conde Nast Americas, for PR for the Fourth Annual
Glamour Beauty Awards; RYGY, for national PR and
celebrity wardrobing for the swimwear line, and Sex &...,
for national PR for the womens boutique.
Communications, Boca Raton/BookIt.com,
online travel booking, as AOR for strategic planning and
Layne & Co., Farmington Hills, Mich./Liss, Seder
& Andrews, law firm, to write and design a website.
Weinkrantz and Company, San Antonio, Tex./
PowerMaster Corp., developer of ReCyclone technology which
reduces landfull waste via energy production and recycling,
for global PR.
Communications, Draper, Utah/Ritchey Design, road
and mountain bike components, for PR in the U.S. for its
Ritchey and Sychros brands.
PR Worldwide, San Francisco/BMC Software, as AOR
for India following a review. Ogilvy has worked for the
company in the Asia-Pacific region for several years.
Group, Irvine, Calif./Asolva, business process management
services, for corporate communications and positioning.
Edition, December 5, 2007, Page 6
ADDS CSR OPTION
has added a distribution option for corporate social responsibility
and sustainability news through a deal with CSRwire.
the service, MW news releases chosen for tract will go through
CSRwires syndication network, news alerts, website,
RSS feeds, aggregators and search engines. Audience is an
estimated 500K special interest groups, professionals and
thought leaders, as well as journalists, with an eye on
PAINE LOOKS AT YOUTUBE AND
Katie Paine, who runs
PR measurement firm KDPaine & Partners, put together
data on YouTube, the New Hampshire primary, and the 2008
presidential race. She looked at all the campaign-related
videos that mentioned a candidate and New Hampshire, which
recently voted to keep its status as the nation's first
The most active candidate
on YouTube is Ron Paul, the Republican maverick who has
surprised handicappers with his grassroots support.
According to Paine, Paul
garnered 40 percent of the total views (about 3.1M). Paul
and his supporters have has also posted the most videos
on YouTube, 559, with Barack Obama second at 462 videos.
The closest to Paul in
overall views were Obama and John McCain (w/ 273 videos),
at 11 and 10 percent, respectively.
Paine noted that Paul
has a strong and active cadre of supporters pushing his
message via social media and suggested that may have helped
with his surprising third-quarter fundraising prowess.
John Edwards, who has
the 'Net political guru Joe Trippi behind him and adopted
social media like Facebook and Twitter early on, grabbed
only 603K views, or 7.3 percent.
Notably, Edwards' tally
is only slightly more than Hillary Clinton, who leads many
polls but came in fifth in the Paine ranking with 602K views,
more than 300K behind Obama's 956K.
Paine also gauged the
average rating the YouTube viewers gave to campaign-created
videos. Joe Biden, who registered a small percentage of
overall views, nevertheless tied Paul for the highest average
user rating at 4.88.
Edwards, Obama and Romney
were within a half-point of one another and Clinton rounded
out the bottom with a paltry 3.23 average rating.
a press release distribution site focused on start-ups and
smaller businesses, has added video and photo capabilities
to its release service. The company, which distributes releases
via email directly to reporters and online via search engines,
is owned by Selig Multimedia. ...Lynne
PR Societys Georgia Chapter, won the Societys
2007 Outstanding Educator Award. She is professor of PR
at Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication
at the Univ. of Georgia. She practiced PR for 15 years before
Laster, previously of Cooney Waters Group and Rosica
PR, to Maloney & Fox, New York, as an A/E. Julie
Conover also joins as an A/E from Hunter PR, where
she handled clients like Altoids and Eclipse.
Zylstra, who resigned as president and CEO of the
Pittsburgh Technology Council earlier this year, to generic
pharmaceutical maker Mylan in the Steel City as head of
global corporate comms. and PR. Zylstras resume includes
stints as business development director at Simula Technologies,
now part of military contractor BAE Systems, and GM of General
Pneumatics Corp. At the PTC, he was chief spokesman for
the 1,300 tech and manufacturing member-companies in southwestern
Field, deputy assistant secretary for public affairs
at the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, to Porter
Novelli, Washington, D.C., as executive VP and head of health/social
marketing. She was previously comms. director for the Peace
Bryan, director of scheduling and inaugural committee
director for Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, to Cooley Public
Strategies, Nashville, Tenn., as a senior A/E.
Pendergast, who directed Burson-Marstellers
work for the National Fisheries Institutes Tuna Council,
to FD Dittus Communications, Washington, D.C., as a VP in
its health, food and nutrition practice. Laurie
Rossbach, a director in B-Ms public affairs
practice, joins as a VP in FD Dittus PA unit.
Lyn Stout, who ran her own D.C.-based events firm,
joins as VP of marketing and special events.
Schwarz, who was running his own interactive advertising
shop, to Hill & Knowlton as business development/marketing
director for Latin America. As head of Local Latin America,
Schwarz worked with clients like McDonalds, Bank of
America, Royal Caribbean and BMW to crack the U.S. Hispanic
market. Schwarz, who grew up in Peru and Bolivia, also held
a marketing post at Peru-headquartered Interlatin Corp.
Sniffen to VP of sports marketing and consumer products
for The Hamilton Group, New York. He is a five-year veteran
of the firm and handles the NHL, Barclays and Voxred Intl.
Burcin and Donna
Murphy to worldwide managing partners, Euro RSCG
Life, New York, the compilation of Euro RSCG Worldwides
44 health-focused offices.
Pinkerton to partner, director of communications
insights, The Media Kitchen, part of kirshenbaum bond +
partners, New York. Pinkerton oversees the Delta account.
has joined TMK as group director of digital media from IGA
Worldwide, which he co-founded.
Torok to A/S, Sweeney, Cleveland. She joined in 2006
as an A/E.
Markarian to PR specialist, The Firm PR & Marketing,
Edition, December 5, 2007, Page 7
FUMES AT PR (contd
from page 1)
who have made bed with the PR people, were likened to Erszebet
Bathory (1560-1614) who slaughtered 612 young women so she
could bathe in their blood and forestall the effects of
aging on her skin. Among other activities, she would suspend
bleeding women from a cage and have a blood shower.
sometimes called the Female Dracula, was confined
to her castle for life as punishment although several assistants
chats with callers each Tuesday at noon at www.washingtonpost.com.
marketing-PR axis makes the team of Hitler and Mussolini
seem benevolent, wrote Weingarten.
barb was: When a sulfurous, steaming dish of PR is
liberally seasoned with oily globules of marketing, the
resulting concoction could nauseate a carrion vulture.
had received a form from a media list company that asked
him What are your beats, what types of stories would
interest you, what tips would you give PR professionals
who may want to contact you, and what is your preferred
method of being contacted?
PR pros think he is a lifestyles reporter although
he says he knows of no such designation in any newsroom
and it certainly doesnt apply to him.
answers to the above questions include that his primary
responsibility is to savagely attack the quality of retail
products and he is interested in exposing the
unholy alliance between the PR industry and the soulless
marketing industry which exists to dehumanize people
Weingarten column May 20 that called PR pros pathethic
dillweeds drew a comment by Mary Beth West, advocacy
chair of the Society headed by Rhoda Weiss.
told a Society teleconference May 24 that she had read the
Weingarten column and considered it a rant that
was so far-fetched that she could think of no way
to respond to it.
said that responding would be a waste of time
because it would not change the reporters opinion
of our profession.
had complained that PR sources listed on several releases
were unable to answer his questions about the products or
column is circulated not only in the printed and web issues
of the Post but through hundreds of papers and other media
that subscribe to the postwritersgroup.com
(including George Will, David Broder, E.J. Dionne, Charles
Krauthammer and more than a dozen other writers).
WEISS VISITS RICHMOND CHAPTER
Rhoda Weiss, who has about
one month to go as chair of the 22,000-member Society she
heads, told 100 members of the Richmond chapter Nov. 28
that Today is a great time for PR.
Coverage was provided
by a PR student from a nearby college who was retained by
for this event. Chapter leaders had been asked to suggest
a reporter for the event.
The student said someone
from the chapter leadership announced at the start of the
meeting that recording of Weiss would not be allowed.
Weiss spoke for 30-40
minutes, the student said, and did not have time for questions
from the audience at the end of the speech because she had
another engagement and had to leave immediately for the
Several chapter members
talked with her briefly after the speech.
Weiss had only appeared
before two of the 108 other chapters, Detroit and Hoosier,
as far as can be determined. Her chapter visits are not
divulged on the Society website.
Weiss said the number
of PR firms is on the rise and companies are depending more
and more on PR for a variety of communications.
She did not discuss any
specific Society issues such as the planned re-write of
the entire bylaws nor ask for questions from the floor.
Her speech was almost totally in the abstract, mentioning
the many forms of new media that are available
for use by PR people.
PR, she said, will play
a major role in helping companies to brand and market their
products and services.
You do not have
to spend a lot of money in order to make a difference in
this world, she said.
One job of PR pros, she
said, is to find out customer needs. Feedback groups
are replacing focus groups as research vehicles,
The Society, Weiss told
the group, has created a deeper understanding of what PR
Scholarships were awarded
at the meeting to Shana Bernabela and Cassie Williams, PR
students at Virginia Commonwealth University.
2006 president, spoke to four chapters last year (based
on available records) and also asked that her speeches not
CORBETT LEAVES HITACHI
Gerard Corbett, VP, branding
and corporate communications group, Hitachi America, Brisbane,
Calif., has left the company.
An e-mail to Corbett was
returned by Hitachi with the statement: Please be
informed that Gerard Corbett is no longer with Hitachi America.
Calls to the Hitachi PR
dept. have not yet been returned. Corbetts personal
cell phone number has been disconnected.
He is in the third year
of a three-year term on the board of the PR Society. He
ran unsuccessfully for treasurer of the Society in 2006
against Anthony DAngelo.
Corbett joined Hitachi
in 1995 from Loral Corp., where he was VP of corporate communications
Previously he was with
Asarco, Gould, International Harvester and Creamer Dickson
He has been active in
the honors and awards program of the Society.
codes to this website had the fifth highest traffic for
the period July 1-18, 2007.
His 10,510 hits
via the codes were the second highest on the list, surpassing
companies paying thousands of dollars for site licenses.
Corbett denied giving his access codes to anyone else.
Edition, December 5, 2007,
complaints about bombardment by PR people are a wake-up
call to the
PR industry and especially the media list services.
services, including BurrellesLuce, Cision, Media Distribution
Services and Vocus (alphabetical order), have compiled hundreds
of thousands of editor names and made them easily accessible
by numerous breakouts. PR firms and others also compile
their own lists.
Washington Posts Gene Weingarten (page one)
beefed about a daily deluge of voicemails and Wired editor
Christopher Anderson railed against the 300 e-mails
he gets daily from PR.
spray and pray mentality existssend out
300 e-mails to a specialized audience (e.g., beauty editors)
and hope that one or two will use it.
expense is so small that even if less than 1% are used its
media list companies are highly competitive with each other
but we think they should band together to do something
VNR producers are also
highly competitive but 14 of them formed the National Assn.
of Broadcast Communicators when use of VNR materials came
under attack. The FCC has now declared that five usages
are apparent violations of the law and an investigation
is under way that could have a major impact on the industry.
TV news editors and VNR firms are arguing that the feds
have no right to force stations to identify the origin of
video they use although both favor identification (but not
the frame-by-frame identification that critics want).
identification and sourcing is currently a big issue.
FEMAs fake press conference in which staffers
posed as reporters ignited a firestorm of criticism. Senator
Hillary Clinton has been accused of taking questions from
plants. CNN has now been called the Corrupt
News Network and other names by journalists who say
the recent YouTube debate featuring Republican candidates
was marred by plants who posed as ordinary
people when several were democratic and liberal activists.
The criticism came from Michelle Malkin (11/30 New York
Post) and Tim Rutten (12/1 Los Angeles Times).
Fortune (12/10) faults banks and rating services
for giving fancy names to what were really junk mortgages.
complaint about voicemails illustrates a fact of
PRwithout a phone call, most releases will be ignored.
Some PR juniors dial for dollars all day. They
majored in PR thinking they were going to settle community
disputes or were going into public service. They were in
for a rude awakening!
majors are learning that theyre really being groomed
for sales positions and that their every move will be tracked
by computer programs that log all incoming and outgoing
phone calls and e-mails. Their value in terms of dollars
will be calculated to the penny. Although acting as salespeople
(via press placements, special events, etc.) they will be
paid a fraction of what a real salesperson would
earn on sales generated and certainly no commissions or
equity. PR figure Ben Sonnenberg got rich largely because
he took shares in a local bakery that vastly expanded.
As for whether PR pros
are salespeople, we accept what NBCs Beth
Comstock told the Institute for PR Nov. 8: PR people
are, at the core, salespeople. Students entering PR
via a PR firm will quickly find out that winning new accounts
may take up to half the time of agency principals. A traditional
route into PR, not taken by many recently, is to work for
local media, build contacts with business and community
leaders, and land a PR job either with one of the businesses,
start a PR firm, or bring accounts into an existing firm.
question posed by the Weingarten and Anderson blasts,
says counselor Cyrus Afzali, is why does PR trust
junior staffers with the most important work we do?
(influencing whats in the media). Afzali, with Astoria
Communications, Sloatsburg, N.Y., says juniors typically
dont read the media they pitch. Law firms, he notes,
would never trust a junior with complicated litigation.
Hes amazed that PR is not questioning
this model. So are we. Corporate and agency PR chieftains
opted out of media relations many years ago, dumping it
on juniors while they focus on strategy. PR
has been recast from relations with individual editors to
relationships with audiences such as potential
customers, stockholders, retireds, suppliers, communities,
etc. We dont think these audiences want relationships.
They want the straight skinny or the best possible
products at the lowest prices and will shop Google and the
trade and general press to find them.
Weiss spoke to a chapter of the Society she heads
(page 7) but did not invite questions from the audience
nor poll members on Society matters. Obvious questions are
why is the Society revamping its entire bylaws and at what
charge by its 600-member law firm, Venable of D.C., and
will the charter be switched to Delaware, which allows electronic
meetings and votes by members or elected delegates, from
New York, which does not?
see the influence of lawyers in many places in PR these
days. But lawyers are poor PR practitioners, according
to a column lawyer Harold Suckenik wrote for the ODwyer
magazine. Lawyers are trained in the negativeto look
for violations of rules or the law, he wrote. Their study
of common law is mostly a study of transactions that
went wrong. Lawyers are used to making voluminous
arguments to small audiencesa single judge, three
to nine appellate judges, or a jury of six to 12 people.
Theyre not used to dealing with the masses. Finely-tuned
arguments that work in lengthy legal briefs
may not have traction with the public. To this we would
add that lawyers often argue guilt or innocence, black and
white, up or down, with nothing in between.