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Internet Edition, December 12, 2007, Page 1


An effort to assess the Louisiana National Guard’s image and overhaul its public affairs operations is back in the RFP stage after being cancelled earlier this year.

The federal government has issued a new RFP with a deadline of Dec. 20 and a strong focus on online communications after pulling the plug on a similar effort in September.

The Louisiana Guard includes 10,000 soldiers and airmen, just under 1,000 technicians, and more than 700 state employees.

A key goal of the planned communications effort is to bolster its recruiting because of “difficulty rooted in our nation’s Global War on Terror,” according to the RFP.

The Guard sees a revamped website with a cornerstone public affairs element as the key link and primary source of information for the public and Guard employees.

Initial stages of the work focus on identifying public perception and problems affecting recruiting and communications goals, but extend to “increasing public confidence” and buffing its public image.

The RFP can be accessed at the Army’s procurement portal at


Tim Doke, the veteran counselor who joined Abernathy MacGregor in Dallas earlier this year, is now chief marketing officer for Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, a group that raises money to fight breast cancer.

He is in charge of development, PR, marketing, branding and public policy. The foundation has raised more than $1B over the past 20 years to bankroll research, promote early detection, provide treatment and offer support.

Doke is a PR alumnus of Dell, American Airlines, Freescale Semiconductor, Brinker International, Alaska Airlines and Hill & Knowlton.

He says the move to Komen is a “meaningful career shift” since both his mother and aunt were afflicted with breast cancer.

New Balance, the $1.5B athletic products company, is looking for a New York-based company to handle national PR. The Boston-based firm uses hometown Regan Communications for regional outreach, and Dan Klores Assocs. for brand and product placement.

Select Resources International's Dan Orsborn (310/453-9200) is running the search.


Reputation Partners is doing crisis communications for the department store chain Von Maur, which was the backdrop for the Omaha, Neb., mall shooting which left nine dead on Dec. 5.

Charlotte Walker, a VP for the Chicago-based PR firm, told O’Dwyer’s that Von Maur has been a client prior to the shooting last week.

The CEO of the privately held Davenport, Iowa-based chain, which has 22 stores across nine states, flew to Omaha on the day of the shooting and a statement released via Chicago-based RP said Von Maur is “saddened” by the tragedy.

A 19-year-old gunman walked into the WestWood Mall in Omaha and began shooting in the Von Maur store there on Dec. 5, according to reports, before he turned the gun on himself. Eight people have died and five are reported wounded.

Von Maur, via RP, said it set up a team to assist victims’ families, made grief counselors available to staffers and is setting up a memorial fund.

VP Megan Hakes and Eileen Boyce, a senior associate at RP, are handling media inquiries related to the shooting.


Julie Hamp, who led communications for General Motors Europe in a 26-year career, is moving from Switzerland to Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo to head its worldwide communications team as a senior VP.

Hamp, 48, had been with GM in various roles since 1981, when she joined the Buick PR team. She held VP posts at Cadillac, Saturn and GM’s North American Car Group. At PepsiCo, she reports to CEO Indra Nooyi and covers communications for the company’s three divisions—International, America Beverages (Gatorade, Tropicana) and America Foods (Fito-Lay, Quaker) units. The No. 2 beverage marketer realigned its operations into those three units—two covering the U.S. and the other for the rest of the world—in November.

PepsiCo revenues for `06 were $35 billion.


Joe Miller, senior VP-media relations at Bank of America, has joined Gavin Anderson as a director in the Omnicom unit’s New York office.

He had served as senior counselor to CEO Ken Lewis on media positioning, crisis and various strategic initiatives.

Miller spent ten years at RF/Binder Partners and its sister Ruder Finn unit.

Internet Edition, December 12, 2007, Page 2


The Entertainment Software Assn. has slammed Hill & Knowlton as “unprofessional and unethical” for releasing a survey Dec. 5 showing that 60 percent of U.S. consumers support federal government regulation of the sale of “violent or mature” video games.

ESA, which opposes federal regulation, but favors the ratings system, says H&K’s research was conducted specifically for a pitch that the PR firm made to the D.C.-based trade group.

Dan Hewitt, ESA’s director of media relations, emailed a statement to O’Dwyer’s that says the “research was done this summer and only performed in an effort by H&K to win our business.”

The “decision to release these findings was both unprofessional and unethical and its timing is questionable.”

Joe Paluska, director of H&K’s worldwide technology group, has “enormous respect” for the ESA, but “we paid for the survey and own the data and published it,” Paluska said in an email.

“We had always planned to conduct and publish a gaming survey in the fourth quarter and those plans were accelerated when the ESA invited us to meet with them earlier this year,” he added.

The ESA faults H&K for not releasing data that shows the $7.4B video game industry in a more positive light.

That includes findings such as more than two-thirds of 18-34 year olds currently play video games, and more than half of families think video games are a positive way to spend time together.

Paluska says H&K’s survey “illustrates some of the cultural shifts facing a rapidly growing industry.” Surveys, he adds, “are intended to inform, provide insight and stir debate.”


Former New York Senator Al D’Amato is handling a New Jersey cable company that wants to lay a cable under the Hudson River to deliver electricity to Con Edison’s grid in Manhattan.

Linden-based CCH Holdings plans to build an 8.5 mile cable to connect Public Service Enterprise Group’s plant in Ridgefield to Con Ed’s facility on West 49th St. The electricity will be sold to the New York Power Authority.

D’Amato’s firm, Park Strategies, is seeking required federal approval for the project. He is working the business with son, Christopher.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has written to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in support of the CCH project, as well as one from another company called Hudson Transmission Partners. He has made diversifying the source and lowering the price of energy a key priority.

The city faces a 2010 deadline to replace juice supplied by a 30-year-old Queens power plant that is being shuttered.

That Astoria facility is the third biggest polluter in NYC, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.


5W Public Relations works for Benny Hinn Ministries, one of six megachurches under financial scrutiny by Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, according to Ronn Torossian, CEO of the New York-based PR firm.

Grassley worries that the televangelists have raised millions of dollars from followers with little accounting oversight.

The Iowa senator wants to be certain that “donations are being used for the tax-exempt purposes of the organizations.”

The Senator’s letter to Paster Benedictus Hinn of Grapevine, Tex. asks for the audited financial statements of the World Healing Center Church and BHM.
He wants records of compensation paid to Hinn and a list of expenses including “love offerings” earmarked for visiting ministers, musicians and guests.

The Church maintains that its financial house is in order. “At this time the Church’s Board of Directors and legal counsel is determining the best course of action to best cooperate with the committee’s inquiry,” said Torossian via email.

“We regard this as an important matter and will not respond until further information becomes available. World Healing Center Church complies with the laws that govern church and non-profit organizations and will continue to do so,” concluded the 5W chief.


A Global Communicators-led consortium has picked up a $1.1M campaign to bolster the image of Honduras in the U.S.

The Washington, D.C.-based firm beat teams that included Hill & Knowlton, Ogilvy & Mather, DDB Needham, Burson-Marsteller and San Jose Network for the 10-month program.

CEO Jim Harff told O’Dwyer’s the image effort will target investment sectors such as travel and tourism, agribusiness, light manufacturing and services for the Fundacion para la Inversion y Desarrollo de Exportaciones.

Harff’s international expertise includes work for Kosovo, Albania, Switzerland, Bolivia and Jordan.

The GC team includes advertising agency August, Lang & Husak and Global Partners Consulting.

The World Bank is bankrolling FIDE’s promotional campaign.


Manning, Selvage & Lee has upped Jim Tsokanos to president/North America effective Jan. 1.

That post had been vacant since the exit of Larry Kamer to Fleishman-Hillard. CEO Mark Hass had been filling in for Kamer.

Tsokanos will keep the MS&L/New York managing director post that he has held since `05.

He is credited with landing key accounts such as Heineken and Heidrick & Struggles for the Big Apple office, and overseeing the launch of the Publicis Groupe unit’s insights and measurement program.

Prior to joining MS&L in `99, Tsokanos worked at Ketchum and Cohn & Wolfe.

Internet Edition, December 12, 2007, Page 3


Dow Jones CEO Rich Zannino and Wall Street Journal publisher Gordon Crovitz have resigned their posts effective with the closing of the $5B acquisition by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

Zannino, 49, joined DJ as chief financial officer in `01, and assumed the helm two years ago. Crovitz, 49, who has a 25-year career at the company, will write a column for the WSJ.

Les Hinton, 63, a top News Corp executive, will succeed Zannino. He is executive chairman of News International, an entity that includes the U.K. papers the Times of London, Sunday Times, Sun and News of the World.

Robert Thompson, 46, editor of the London Times, is expected to take Crovitz’s post.

Dow Jones also has announced that Joe Stern, executive VP, general counsel and corporate secretary, will remain with the company during a transition period ended March 31.

Dow Jones shareholders are scheduled to vote on the merger on Dec. 13.

BeliefNet acquired

News Corp. has acquired Beliefnet, which bills itself as the “world’s largest spiritual website.”

Beliefnet will become part of NC’s Fox Digital Media.

FDM president Dan Fawcett praised Beliefnet’s “commitment to quality, editorial strength and unbiased approach to faith and spirituality.”

News Corp.’s “faith-based businesses” include HarperCollins’ Zondervan and HarperOne brands and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment’s religious programming initiative.

Beliefnet offers a range of devotional tools, sacred text searches, articles, photo galleries and interviews with politicians, celebrities and spiritual leaders.

It attracts more than three million unique visitors a month. Its daily email newsletter is sent to more than 11M people.


NBC Universal is cutting 25 percent of the more than 260 staffers at Oxygen Media, which it bought for $925M in October.

The cuts are across the board, according to J.B. Perrette, who is leading the integration of OM into NBCU.

Some staffers will be offered jobs within NBCU, while others are promised “enhanced severance packages and outplacement services.”


The Associated Press has launched a restructuring program called “AP2.0” to organize around four regional hubs and offer more multimedia sports, business and entertainment packages.

The move to four hubs is designed to farm out editing duties from New York headquarters to reduce gridlock.

NYC staffers will concentrate their attention on the top stories of the day.

The 161-year-old news cooperative, which has 243 bureaus in 97 countries, is moving toward an all-digital platform dubbed “Digital Cooperative.”


New York City deputy mayor Daniel Doctoroff is joining Bloomberg LP in February as president of the financial media/information services combine. Bloomberg chairman Peter Grauer will relinquish the presidency.

Doctoroff handled economic development for the past six years and is happy to “remain part of the Bloomberg family.”

NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg is founder of the media company that has more than 10,000 employees.

He told reporters that he recently thought about selling the company, but decided against it.


The New Republic said it can’t stand by stories it published by “Baghdad Diarist” Pvt. Thomas Beauchamp that came under scrutiny after conservative media questioned the authenticity of the dispatches.

TNR editor Franklin Foer said the magazine should never have put Beauchamp in the situation of reporting as a young soldier in a war zone.

“When I last spoke with Beauchamp in early November, he continued to stand by his stories,” the editor wrote in a lengthy piece published by TNR last week. “Unfortunately, the standards of this magazine require more than that. And, in light of the evidence available to us, after months of intensive re-reporting, we cannot be confident that the events in his pieces occurred in exactly the manner that he described them. Without that essential confidence, we cannot stand by these stories.”

The Weekly Standard and conservative blogs challenged TNR on “Baghdad Diarist” reports of cruel and inhumane acts by U.S. soldiers in Iraq. Beauchamp defended the work, which was initially published under a pseudonym, but neither he nor TNR could completely verify his claims.

Foer’s in-depth explanation of the flap also highlighted contradictions in public statements by the military, including criticism of its “thin” investigation of the Beauchamp-TNR work, the military’s stifling and alleged coaching of Beauchamp’s later contact with the magazine, apparent leaks by military PA to conservative blogs, and sloppy journalism covering the scandal.


Choire Sicha, managing editor, and editors Emily Gould and Joshua Stein have quit

Nick Denton, publisher of Gawker Media, told the New York Times that Sicha’s departure with his protégés is a “complete pain.” Their exits provide an opportunity to “accelerate the transformation of the Gawker from cute blog to fully-fledged news site,” according to Denton.

Sicha left in `04 for the New York Observer, but returned this year.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, December 12, 2007, Page 4

CNNMONEY UPS VIDEO will air about 40 original videos a day shot from the field by producers and reporters to attract more viewers and ad dollars.

Crain’s New York Business reports that’s star is on the rise as the printed media properties of Time Warner falter.

The souped up site will better compete with business portals and TV stations such as Fox Business News and CNBC.

Crain’s reports that CNNMoney is playing catch up with and, sites that have hiked their video offerings. is part of Time Inc.’s Fortune/Money Group.


Bob Dechard, CEO of A.H. Belo, will assume the helm of the newspaper spin-off company that will house flagship paper, Dallas Morning News.

He will double as chairman of Belo, which will consist of the Dallas-based company’s TV stations.

Jim Moroney is to serve as executive VP of the newspaper group, which will include the Providence Journal and Press-Enterprise (Riverside, Calif.). He has been publisher of the News since `01.

Skip Cass will be another executive VP of A.H. Belo Corp. He will be responsible for the Internet, business development and technology.

Briefs ______________________

Al Gore’s Current TV/online network has affiliated with U.K.’s Guardian media outlet and to have journalists from the media entities produce video blogs for Current. Guardian writers Dave Hill, John Harris, Seth Freedman and Anna Pickard, along with Salon correspondents Alex Koppelman, Tracy Clark-Flory, Rebecca Traister and Farhad Manjoo are slated to take part.

Current will publish a vlog each day for TV from the two outlets, along with a web-based version.

Salon editor-in-chief, Joan Walsh, said: “We love Current’s commitment to two things: to reach a younger audience, and to put the tools of content creation in the hands of that audience," said Walsh.

The Walt Disney Internet Group has acquired iParenting Media, an online network of professional and user-generated content which caters to families, young parents and parents-to-be in English and Spanish. iParenting’s content and services will be integrated into Disney’s network of family targeted sites. Disney said the acquisition builds on and It launched earlier this year.

New York-based Doubledown Media, which publishes Dealmaker, Trader and The Cigar Report magazines, has developed a magazine for professional athletes with ex-baseball star-turned-financial-columnist Lenny Dykstra.

Called The Players Club, the title aims to help athletes make “well-informed” financial and lifestyle choices. Dykstra is a columnist for and won a World Series as a centerfielder for the New York Mets in 1986. Initial circulation is pegged at 20K, with copies going to pro athletes, agents, franchise executives, and financial advisors within baseball, soccer, tennis, golf, and Nascar.

Yahoo! will launch TechTicker, a video site dedicated to financial news in January. The channel will feature up to 20 original segments per day. Henry Blodget, the former Wall Street analyst who is now at Silicon Alley Insider, and Sarah Lacy, BusinessWeek columnist, have signed on at the venture according to TechCrunch.

People ___________________________

Ron Stodghill, has exited the Sunday business section of the New York Times to serve as editorial director for magazines published by the Charlotte Observer.

He has written for BusinessWeek, Time and Essence, and also was editor-in-chief of Savoy.


Alexia Kelley, executive director of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, appeared on the “O’Reilly Factor” on Dec. 4 to comment on Bill O’Reilly’s annual “War on Christmas” spiel.

The Fox News talk show host expresses outrage each December about department stores greeters using the term “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas,” and crèches banned from public property.

O’Reilly sees a concerted effort by those pushing a “secular progressive agenda” to drive religion out of the public square.

Kelley went on the show to talk about the need of a ceasefire in the Christmas culture wars. Her group contends the real assault on Christmas comes from “excessive consumerism.”

CACG ran “An Open Letter to Christmas ‘Culture Warriors’” ad in the Dec. 4 New York Post and Washington Times—papers read by O’Reilly fans—to bemoan Christmas being “reduced to a corporate-sponsored holiday that idolizes commerce and materialism.”

Though gift-giving is a meaningful tradition, “perspective is lost when relentless advertising and maxed-out credit cards define the holidays.”

CACG’s ad reads: “To focus on how department stores greet customers at a time when American soldiers are dying in Iraq and 37 million of our neighbors live in poverty is a distraction from the profound moral challenges we face in confronting the real threats to human dignity in our world.”

The ad also ran in National Catholic Reporter this week.

Kelley’s group wants to work with O’Reilly and others to launch a “new campaign of civility and conscience that restores our focus on the common good during this holy season.”

CACG believes “strident attacks or shouting matches on television” are not ways to get that job done.

Internet Edition, December 12, 2007, Page 5


Tellem Worldwide is promoting “Sacred Duty: Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal the World,” a one-hour documentary from the Jewish Vegetarians of North America, a group that believes meat consumption is contributing to global warming.

Sacred Duty follows the release of the United Nations report, “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” that highlights how intensive animal-based agriculture adds to warming.

The U.N. found that methane emission from livestock contributes more to global warming than all of the world’s transportation sources.

That’s a “startling inconvenient truth,” says Susan Tellem in a reference to Al Gore’s Academy Award winning documentary.

Her Los Angeles-based firm will help JVNA launch an international media campaign and distribute free copies of the SD DVDs to religious communities.

Tellem’s basic message: “Try switching to one meal or one day of a plant based diet a week to help save the planet.”

SD is produced by Lionel Friedberg and features interviews with top Israeli and American environmental, health, vegetarian and animal welfare activists as well as Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jewish leaders.


Sard Verbinnen & Co. and U.K.’s Finsbury are handling PR for Activision amid its blockbuster acquisition by Vivendi to create a video gaming giant.

The combined entity is valued at $19 billion and poses a challenge to industry titan Electronic Arts. The companies estimate combined revenues of $4 billion.

Activision produces mainly games for consoles like Playstation and Xbox while Vivendi has a blockbuster online gaming title, World of Warcraft, which has more than nine million players.

The companies said on Dec. 2 that Vivendi’s Blizzard Entertainment gaming unit will merge into a subsidiary of Activision to become the publicly traded Activision Blizzard. Activision’s product roster includes Guitar Hero, Call of Duty and Spider-Man.

Stephanie Pillersdorf, principal for Sard in New York, is handling media for the merger announcement. Finsbury is handling Europe.

BRIEFS: Stephen Aiello, senior PA counselor for Hill & Knowlton, has been appointed as chair of New York City’s Commission on School Governance, a new entity charged with conducting an independent study of school governance to make recommendations to the legislature ahead of the expiration of current school governance laws in 2009. ...Richard Strauss, president and founder of Strauss Radio Strategies, has been tapped as learning chair for the D.C. chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization. He takes the lead on planning, coordinating and scheduling educational and social events for the chapter. The former White House Radio Director set up SRS 11 years ago.


New York Area

Adam Friedman Associates, Cedar Knolls, N.J./Emisphere Technologies, biopharmaceuticals, as AOR investor relations.

5W PR, New York/Clinton Sparks, DJ and E! Network correspondent; DJ Khaled, Miami radio personality and recording artist, and B5, music group.

Smith & Jones, Troy, N.Y./Mount Snow, Vermont ski resort, for a branding campaign following its sale to Peak Resorts in April.

J.B. Stanton Communications, Norfolk, Conn./David Wierner Ventures, design and creative studio; Pass Laboratories, high-end audio designer, and Salamander Designs, furniture systems for home theater and A/V set-ups.

MWW Group, East Rutherford, N.J./Strike Ten Entertainment, part of the bowling industry’s marketing arm, the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America, for an integrated PR and grassroots marketing effort to “elevate the image of bowling” and boost public interest in the sport.


Qorvis Communications, Washington, D.C./Keep America Beautiful, volunteer-based community improvement group, for a national image and PSA campaign. KAB produced the iconic “Crying Indian” PSA with the Ad Council in 1971.

Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, Washington, D.C./Savvis, IT infrastructure services, for PR.

Arketi Group, Atlanta/bSocial Networks, Denver-based software developer, for PR counsel, including media relations and speaker placements.

Tara, Ink., Miami/DeVito South Beach and Vic & Angelo’s, both eateries, for national and regional PR; B.E.D. Miami, nightclub, for re-launch and ongoing PR; Carnival Center for the Performing Arts and Make-A-Wish Foundation of south Florida, for events PR, and T-Mobile, for the Miami launch of its Sidekick LX.


CKPR, Chicago/Colorlab Cosmetics, which allows consumers to create their own make-up products, as AOR.

Mountain West

Soar Communications, Draper, Utah/Delta 7 Sports, to manage media relations for a 90-day product launch for the Delta 7 Arantix bicycle.


Loughlin/Michaels Group, Campbell, Calif./3Leaf Systems, virtualization for enterprise data centers, for PR and comms.

The Pollack PR Marketing Group, Los Angeles/
Human Touch, robotic massage products, as AOR for brand positioning and PR.

Freeman/McCue PR, Irvine, Calif./LifeModeler, the former Biomechanics Research Group, as it launches an outreach effort in 2008.


Burson-Marsteller, /DirectTV, as AOR for public, media and corporate relations in the Puerto Rico market.

Internet Edition, December 12, 2007, Page 6


Marketwire, which merged with CCNMatthews in 2006, has launched five distribution circuits for sending client news to hundreds of colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada.

Total potential audience is more than 10 million.

Paolina Milana, VP, marketing, said “Students have billions of dollars each year for discretionary spending. Combined with educators and staff, the college media market is a powerful audience.”

Distribution circuits are:

• Collegiate Presswire North America, reaching more than 1,700 college newspapers in the U.S. and Canada.

• Collegiate Presswire US, reaching 1,500 U.S. college newspapers.

• Collegiate Presswire Canada, reaching nearly 200 college and university newspapers.

• Radiowire, reaching dozens of broadcast media markets through 450 campus radio stations.

Collegiate Presswire Plus Radiowire US, reaching 1,500 U.S. college newspapers and 450 college radio stations.

News distributed through Collegiate Presswire also reaches the editorial system of College Publisher, Marketwire’s national network of online campus newspapers.

Embedded photo and video options are part of the service as well as search engine optimization and social media tags. [800/774-9473;]

Marketwire acquired Collegiate Presswire earlier this year. It is now majority-owned by OMERS Capital Partners, the private equity arm of one of Canada’s largest pension funds. It operates 12 offices worldwide and distributes a large portion of the press releases issued by publicly traded companies in Canada.


The Erlick Group has arranged “360 immersion” custom entertainment sponsorships for agencies and clients (American Express, Feld Entertainment and HBO) directly for the past 15 years.

Jim Erlick says he’s a “deal facilitator” and “deal accelerator” who creates strategic sponsorships and promotions for PR firms, ad agencies, promotion agencies, media companies and clients that are interested in cutting through the communications clutter.

The New York-based Erlick promises “priceless red carpet access” and distinctive “matchmaking” prowess on a “consultative and collaborative basis.”

He has worked with multiple PR firms on projects that could run from a $10K sampling program to a six-figure campaign. Info:; [email protected] and 212/418-7372.

BRIEFS: Larry Parnell, a partner at Beacon Advisors, has signed on as a senior associate for M&A firm StevensGouldPincus. He will work on Washington, D.C., and Canada for SGP, which focuses on the communications industry. Parnell was previously VP and group leader of corporate comms. for Hill & Knowlton Canada.



Helene Strumeyer, a veteran of Fleishman-Hillard and Edelman, to Utopia Communications, Red Bank, N.J., as an A/D.

Don McIver, chief operating officer of MWW Group, to Beckerman PR, Bedminster, N.J., in that same role. He was previously human resources manager at ISO Inc.

Judi London, president of the South Jersey Tourism Corporation, to Winning Strategies, Newark, N.J., in the new post of chief marketing officer. She was formerly executive director of the Camden Waterfront Marketing Bureau and VP of marketing for the N.J. State Aquarium.

Erika Williams, PR specialist for Marketing Works, to The Redhead Companies, Ellicott City, Md., as head of its PR division.

Scott Hildebrand, managing VP of br and marketing for Capital One, to BoldMouth Inc., a Charlottesville, Va.-based social marketing services agency, as chairman and CEO.

Susan Baier, who ran her own consulting shop, to Off Madison Ave, Phoenix, as deputy director of media, marketing and strategy. Paul Peterson, public information officer for the Phoenix Convention Center, joins as an A/S.

Robert Alaniz, a top comms. exec for Wellpoint, has been tapped as VP of comms. and PA for the California Endowment, the charitable healthcare entity set up when Wellpoint was born out of Blue Cross of California more than a decade ago. Alaniz has been serving as Wellpoint’s VP of multicultural and foundation comms., and formerly was regional VP of corporate comms. Earlier, he was a managing director at Hill & Knowlton on the West Coast and senior VP for the Rogers Group. Alaniz takes the VP reins after the passing of Dennis Hunt, who died in April.

Geert van Loocke, group managing director for Sudler & Hennessey, to Euro RSCG Life International, as president, based in Paris. Marie Ange Faure is promoted to president for France; Salvatore Manfredi to MD and leader for Italy, and David Barratt to CEO for the U.K.


William Fleishman to managing director, Cone, Boston. He continues as EVP of its brand markeing group and as a PR counselor.

Marya Pongrace to director, Peppercom, New York. She joined the firm in 2000 and opened its European headquarters in London in 2002.

Rita Klein to senior manager of marketing and special projects, Landau PR, Cleveland. Kimberly Pupillo to senior A/E. Klein is a seven-year veteran of the firm, while Pupillo joined in 2004.

Randy Sands to executive VP, financial services practice group, Weber Shandwick, Bloomington, Minn. He joined the firm in 1999 and recently led its efforts, with IPG sister firms, to win the U.S. Census Bureau account.

Stacey Page to A/S, MWW Group, Seattle. She joined in 2002.

Internet Edition, December 12, 2007, Page 7


Chair Rhoda Weiss and four other leaders of the PR Society on Dec. 6 conducted a communications workshop for external affairs and management staff of the Federal Emergency Management Agency at FEMA’s offices in Washington, D.C.

PRS said FEMA accepted the Society’s offer to conduct the workshop in the wake of FEMA’s “widely criticized news conference” during the California wildfires Oct. 23.

Staffers of FEMA posed as reporters during the conference at FEMA h.q. conducted by No. 2 official Harvey Johnson.

John Philbin, an accredited member of PRS who holds a doctorate in communications and PR, took responsibility for the much-criticized “press conference” that did not involve any actual press. He headed a staff of 100 at FEMA but had given his notice of resignation two weeks before the incident.

PRS said the workshop “represented the first time in the Society’s 60-year history that a federal government agency formally engaged and consulted the Society in a manner involving staff on the topics of crisis communications, ethics and reputation management.”

Said the release: “The Society’s interaction with FEMA is one of many national and international opportunities presented to PRS in 2007, resulting from PRS’s proactive strategies to advance the PR profession, its professionals, and ethical communications practices.”

PRS also said it has been working with the U.S. State Dept. on public diplomacy for Congressional members and their staff and responding to “many national news-making issues involving PR crisis response and ethical best practices.”
Weiss said PRS “is privileged to provide FEMA this assistance and to address the critical topic of communications ethics.”

She added that “for PRS, the opportunity to extend professional development to the FEMA staff also represented an opportunity for public service, in the hope that FEMA’s communications will continue to serve the public good.”

PRS said it hopes the workshop will be “the beginning of an ongoing interaction with FEMA as well as an open door to relationships with other government agencies interested in addressing ethical considerations…”

Participants Listed

Also participating with Weiss were Jeff Julin, who will be chair in 2008; Mike Cherenson, who will be chair of the Society in 2009; Gail Baker, Ph.D., dean of the College of Communication, Fine Arts & Media, Nebraska-Omaha; Thomas Eppes, board member and senior partner, Eric Mower and Assocs., Charlotte, N.C.; John Deveney, board member and president, Deveney Communications, New Orleans; Alicia Mitchel, PRS National Capital chapter, and Mary Beth West, chair of the PRS advocacy advisory board.


Air New Zealand has signed CRT/Tanaka to promote the carrier and position its home base as a “must visit” destination.

The airline has direct flights from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver. The PR firm will promote service from Los Angeles to London.

CRT/Tanaka also will handle the ANZ’s “Pink Flight” in February, which is targeted at gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people interested in attending the 2008 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

CRT’s service menu includes media relations, sponsorships, special events and world-of-mouth marketing.

The ANZ account will be handled from CRT/Tanaka’s Los Angeles office. Marcy Walsh is the general manager there. She will work with Roger Poulton, VP/Americas for ANZ.

Cohn & Wolfe had the account.


The Burlington Coat Factory, which offers branded merchandise at low prices in many product categories, named Kaplow, New York, as its consumer agency of record.

The company, purchased by Bain Capital in 2006, operates 367 stores in 42 states, selling coats, ladies sportswear, menswear, family footwear, children’s clothing, baby furniture and accessories, and home décor and gifts.

Liz Kaplow, president of the PR firm, said she is “delighted that we will be able to apply our expertise of changing consumer conversations to advance the classic Burlington Coat Factory brand.”

Kaplow will work on a national plan to enhance the brand profile and drive awareness around the apparel and children’s wear offerings.

Audrey Shapiro, PR director of the company, said Kaplow was awarded the account “because their plan provided quality, heartfelt elements and real purpose to our vision.

“They have incomparable relationships across diverse media sectors, and their ideas were delivered creatively and succinctly,” she said.

The PR firm ranked 29th on the O’Dwyer list of independent firms in 2006, growing 30% to hit $8.5 million.


Caplan Communications organized the Dec. 4 press conference and candle-light vigil in Oklahoma City to denounce the hate crime killing of Steven Domer who was strangled to death because he was gay by two white supremacists.

The 62-year-old Domer was murdered on Oct. 26 as part of a gang initiation into the United Aryan Brotherhood, according to the Associated Press.

On behalf of the Human Rights Campaign, Caplan arranged the “Clergy Call for Freedom and Justice” that featured HRC’s religion director Harry Knox and local ministers.

Aric Caplan told O’Dwyer’s the rally, which received extensive coverage by local media and the A.P., was designed to encourage lawmakers to add sexual orientation to the state’s hate crime law.

He also hopes that President Bush signs “The Matthew Shepard Act” (formerly known as the “Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007) that was passed by both the Senate and House.

Internet Edition, December 12, 2007, Page 8




Inordinate secrecy is being blamed for the "junk mortgage" scandal that threatens to topple the economy.

Goldman Sachs is being accused of "shorting" junk mortgages while at the same time selling more than $6 billion to others.

Allan Sloan's definitive article in the 10/16 Fortune, in which he picked the "worst" of all the deals to analyze (the GSAMP Trust 2006-S3 of Goldman) tells how he was stonewalled by GS. Such phrases as "Goldman wouldn't say," "wasn't forthcoming" and "the firm declined to elaborate" litter the article. A GS filing has 1,000 pages of individual loans but they're by "code number and zip code" with no names or addresses, said Sloan.

The New York Times on 12/6 ran into the same brick wall. It could only quote "a person not authorized to speak" who described a meeting where GS hedged its position on the junk mortgages. A GS "spokesman" was indirectly quoted as saying GS was not betting against the mortgage securities it underwrote in 2007.

Fortune columnist Bill Gross, founder of the $111 billion Pimco fund, railed on 12/10 against "a secret banking system built on derivatives and untouched by regulation." He blamed the mess on "marketing" which allowed "rancid milk" to masquerade as "skim milk." Home buyers who financed 99% of a home loan at 5-6% interest were expected to pay 9-10% after a couple of years, an obvious poor bet.

An Allstate VNR urges car renters to get insurance at the counter for "peace of mind." We just rented a Hertz car and were told that the insurance for one day was $24.95. We did not take it because we had Googled this subject, finding that such insurance is not only expensive but does not cover the other car should one be involved in an accident. Google sources said, "You're probably already covered by your own insurance, credit card, or company policy"…Delta Air Lines routinely fibs to users of its New York/D.C. shuttle. If there's only a few passengers for one of its hourly flights, one of the counter people mumble something like, TMT (too much traffic) or some other excuse and not the real reason: TFP (too few people). Flights are simply cancelled at the last minute and "ganged up" with the next flight. This happened to us the week of the Thanksgiving holiday...there's lots of turnover in PR jobs. StevensGouldPincus, consultants, surveyed 150 firms and found a 19% turnover rate in firms under $3M and a 24% rate in firms over $25M. After client turnover, staff turnover is the next biggest impediment to growth, said partner Rick Gould, who urges firms to cut this high rate…an example of turnover is provided by PR Society board posts. Gerry Corbett, who left Hitachi last month, is the 13th director to change employment in the past several years. Cheryl Procter-Rogers quit HBO; Mike Cherenson sold his firm to Success Comms.; Rosanna Fiske left her firm to teach; Kathy Hubbell is looking for a teaching job; Del Galloway to Corp. for Public Broadcasting; Cathryn Harris's job eliminated at W. Va. American Water; Dave Rickey to Alfa Corp.; Reed Byrum to own firm; Art Stevens from Publicis to own firm; Judy Phair to Graduate Mgmt. Admission Council; Steve Lubetkin to own firm, and Mary Barber to Alaska Community Foundation.

PR Society leaders instructing FEMA staffers on how to hold a press conference (page 7) is a case of the pot romancing the kettle. Both are chronic stonewallers. The last press conference of PRS was in 1993 when president Hal Warner hosted reporters from 8 to 9 a.m. in Orlando. Manning, Selvage & Lee, Warner's employer, then set up a perpetual yearly fund of $5,000 to finance a PRS ethics conference for PR pros and the press. Only one took place-the 1994 session that was videotaped. Patrick Jackson, 1980 PRS president, told Morley Safer of "60 Minutes" that Jackson's policy with the press was "duck 'em and screw 'em." Safer replied that happened to be his attitude towards PR. PRS "ethics" conferences now bar the press. PRS has withheld transcripts of the last three Assemblies and the 300 suggestions for the Strategic Plan obtained at the 2007 Assembly. We told FEMA that reporters said FEMA head David Paulison did not hold open press conferences (like President Bush), but FEMA said he talked to reporters all the time. But no transcripts were available. Nor was a transcript available of the "fake" press conference. A request by us for an interview with Paulison has gone nowhere. PA head John Philbin was unfairly sacrificed for being unable to stop a hasty "press conference" called to praise FEMA's quick response to the California wildfires. FEMA told us it will provide transcripts of Paulison and the press "when practicable."

Karen Hughes, who spoke to the PRS conference in Philadelphia Oct. 22 while still in a PA post for the U.S. Government (which she resigned a few days after the conference), said that people who come to the U.S. go away with much higher opinions of the country than they had. She said such travel was being encouraged. But Newsweek columnist Fareed Zakaria wrote 11/26 that stiff security regs have choked off tourism. Travel from the U.K. is down 11% from 2001 (in spite of the strong pound) while British travel to India rose 102%, to New Zealand 106% and to Turkey 82%. Japanese travel to the U.S. dipped from 5 million in 2000 to 3.6 million last year. Global tourism is "booming," but not to the U.S., says Zakaria. Getting a visa to the U.S. can take months, he says…PRS/New York's board is demanding that the APR rule for national office be dropped. But what's needed is to get this proposal on the Society website and in Tactics. There's no chance of this happening without a full-scale revolt against the Far West and Southern-based clique that has control of the PRS web, publications and exchequer.

The corporate charter must be switched to Delaware before $100K or so is spent re-writing a charter under New York laws that block electronic meetings of members of a group or their delegates.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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