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Internet Edition, December 19, 2007, Page 1

Happy Holidays to all our readers. The next issue of the newsletter will be Jan. 2. Follow breaking news on


Merrill Lynch has tapped Margaret Tutwiler to serve as its top PR person, replacing Jason Wright who will stay on during a transition period.

Tutwiler, the one-time Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, follows John Thain to Merrill. She was in charge of PR, government relations and marketing at NYSE Euronext, the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange.

Thain, the former CEO of the Big Board, succeeded Stan O’Neal at Merrill in October.

At Merrill, Tutwiler takes the senior VP/global communications & PA post. That title was effective Dec. 17. Tutwiler also served as U.S. Ambassador to Morocco, special advisor for communications for President Bush II, senior VP-PA at Cellular Telecommunications Industry Assn., State Dept. spokesperson, and assistant to the president for communications for President Bush I.

Wright, who was director of communications for Aetna, held the Merrill job since `03.


Jason Vines, the 47-year-old VP-communications of Chrysler, has resigned that post effective Dec. 31. He will be replaced by David Barnas.

Vines had urged a more media-friendly approach for CEO Bob Nardelli and vice chairman Jim Press.

That policy was opposed by Nardelli, who had brought in Robert Marston & Assocs. to work with Vines.

Cerberus Capital Management, the tight-lipped private equity firm, acquired an 80.1 percent stake in Chrysler from Germany’s Daimler in August. It hired ex-Home Depot chief Nardelli for the top Chrysler spot. Nardelli worked with Marston at Home Depot.


Stanton Crenshaw is handling the “wind-down” of CompUSA as its owner Mexican telephone titan Carlos Slim unloads the 103-member electronics store chain to Boston’s Gordon Brothers Group, an investment and restructuring firm.

CEO Alex Stanton told O’Dwyer’s that his New York shop has worked for the private equity arm of GBG in the purchase of Things Remembered giftware shops and the sale of Party America stores.

The stores are to remain open during the Christmas season, luring customers via “store closing sales.” The new owner is in “active discussions” to sell select CompUSA units in key markets.


Burson-Marsteller is promoting the Qatar Olympic Committee bid to host the `16 Olympics in Doha.

Doha is currently an “applicant” city in the hunt for the Games with Chicago, Madrid, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro.

The Wall Street Journal Dec. 12 casted doubt over Qatar’s bid. While the oil rich state could easily foot the bill for the Games, Doha “would have to bring in everything from the outside” to stage the event.

An estimated 750,000 people live in Qatar, but only 170K of them are citizens. The International Olympic Committee considers “sustainability” and the legacy that the Games will leave behind among criteria for choosing a host city.

The WSJ noted: “At the end of a Doha Olympic Games, most of the imported skills will leave with the contractors.”

The Journal also pointed out that B-M is listed as contact in the media center at the site. “In Beijing, at the same stage in the application process, the public face was Chinese.” Beijing will run the `08 Games.

The IOC will decide in June if Doha progresses from applicant to candidate city. The host city will be announced in October `09.


PR Newswire, part of United Business Media of the U.K. and PR’s biggest service firm, reported pre-tax operating profit of 23.6M U.K. pounds for the first half, representing a margin of 33.9% on revenues of 69.8M pounds.

Since the pound is worth about $2, profits for the full year as so defined would approach $100 million. Bear Stearns, which has started coverage of UBM, says PRN has a “stable mid-single digit growth rate.”

However, profits reported to the parent have been hurt by the 37% decline in the dollar vs. the pound since 2002. It took $1.45 to buy one pound then but $2 now.

About 75% of PRN’s revenues are in dollars as are 47% of UBM’s. PRN is the most profitable unit of UBM. ”Adjusted operating profit” means earnings

(continued on page 7)

Internet Edition, December 19, 2007, Page 2


Riva Levinson is representing the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission of Nigeria, which aims to root out the rampant corruption in that African state.

The former managing director at BKSH & Assocs. spearheaded the PR efforts of the Iraqi National Congress and its leader Ahmed Chalabi in the years running up to the U.S. overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

Levinson was “expert advisor” to the Iraq Study Group, which was chaired by former Secretary of State Jim Baker and ex-Congressman Lee Hamilton to review U.S. policy options. She also works for the Iraq Memory Foundation, a group that documents the crimes of Hussein and the Ba’ath Party.

Levinson’s KRL International seeks support for the Nigerian Commission’s work among the White House, Congress, private sector, media, think tank and non-governmental organization sectors.

Nigeria’s leader Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, who took power in April, met with President Bush on Dec. 13 and pledged to work with the U.S. on military issues in Africa. He also restated his commitment to transparency and a country free of corruption.

Five of the governors of Nigeria’s 36 states have been charged with corruption since May, according to the Voice of America.

Levinson established KRL in `07. She is joined on the Nigeria account by Molly McKew, a veteran of the American Enterprise Institute where she ran its research program on foreign and defense policy studies.


Hayley Soffer, a former healthcare practice director of Publicis Consultants and New York managing director, is now at Cohn & Wolfe.

As executive VP and head of its New York health group, Soffer takes on client service, talent development and new business duties.

Soffer spent seven years at Manning, Selvage & Lee, working as senior VP/counselor to health clients on planning, crises and Food & Drug Administration issues. Earlier, she was at Porter Novelli and Makovsky & Co.

Sally Ann Barton is C&W’s North American health practice chief. The WPP Group unit has more than 200 health professionals worldwide.


The 2nd Avenue Deli, a New York City kosher institution, reopened Dec. 17 with fanfare generated by Rubenstein Associates. A ceremonial salami cutting is slated for 11 a.m. at the kosher palace.

The Deli had been in the East Village for more than 50 years, but closed in `06, a decade following the fatal shooting of its founder Abe Lebewohl, the “Mayor of 2nd Ave,” who was feted for feeding the homeless and creating the Yiddish Theater Walk of Fame.

The reopened Deli will be run by Lebewohl’s nephews, Jeremy and Joshua. Their father, Jack, ran the East Village restaurant in the aftermath of his brother’s death.

The Deli, which was famous for its matzo ball soup, huge corned beef and pastrami sandwiches, kugel and chopped liver, was a favorite haunt of Joe DiMaggio, Danny Glover, Bette Midler, Jerry Seinfeld and Muhammad Ali.

The reborn 2nd Ave Deli is located on 33rd St between Third and Lexington Aves. It features 60 seats and will be opened 24/7.


Illinois, which is reviewing its multimillion-dollar tourism PR account held by Edelman, has moved to extend that contract by a month to cover the Governor’s Conference on Tourism in February.

That event, which is being planned by Edelman, is slated two weeks after the state expects to award a new PR contract.

“Having a different vendor manage this annual event after a different company did all of the planning may create insufficient execution of such plans,” says a procurement notice of the move.

The month-long extension is worth $75,500 to Edelman, which has worked with the state’s tourism entity for nearly 14 years. Paulette Wolf Events & Entertainment gets $36K for logistics and staffing the event.


Maguire Properties, southern California’s biggest owner of “Class A” commercial buildings, relies on financial PR savvy from FD as it mulls “strategic alternatives.”
The Los Angeles real estate giant has been under siege from hedge funds, clamoring for a game plan to boost shareholder value.

Maquire announced Dec. 11 that it formed a special committee of independent directors to explore the possible sale of the company. It hired Morgan Stanley as its banker.

Walter Weisman, chair of that panel, placed building shareholder value at the core of his fiduciary duties, but said the committee is “prepared to wait if the time and opportunity are not right.”

The credit crunch has hurt Maguire. The company’s stock is down more than 30 percent since the beginning of the year.

Maguire controls more than nine million sq. ft. in Los Angeles. It also has holdings in San Diego and Orange County.

FD’s Ellen Barry is in charge of the Maguire account. Peggy Moretti is Maquire’s senior VP-IR.


 Marc Raimondi, national spokesman for the Dept. of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs unit, has migrated to Harris Corp. in Washington, D.C., as communications director.

Raimondi, 39, will focus on boosting the communications equipment maker’s image with the government and in the capital area.

He previously worked in public affairs for the Dept. of the Army for 11 years, serving as director of PA for its Criminal Investigation Command.

Harris, which has annual revenue topping $4 billion, works on more than 300 government programs, from the 2010 Census to the FAA’s communications network.

Internet Edition, December 19, 2007, Page 3


BusinessWeek is cutting a dozen editorial staffers as the McGraw-Hill property completes the integration of its print and web editions.

Editor-in-chief Stephen Adler, via a memo, said BW has been working on the integration during the past three years by "increasing reporters' contributions to, combining our overseas bureaus and copy-desk teams, and seating together everyone within a given coverage area."

Adler announced a restructured line-up of Brian Bremner (news chief), Frank Comes (finance/personal finance), Jim Ellis (small business), Peter Elstrom (technology), Neil Gross (science), Mary Kuntz (corporations/workplace), Bruce Nussbaum (innovation) and Chris Power (global/policy).

Adler also appointed Ciro Scotti (managing editor of the magazine) and Martin Keohan (managing editor of the web).

Scotti was senior editor responsible for the copy desk, and government/sports business coverage. Keohan was director of editorial operations for the web.

Adler told staffers that in connection with the reorganization, "a small number of our editorial colleagues will be leaving BusinessWeek."


Douglas Shapiro, who covered Time Warner as media analyst for Banc of America Securities, has joined the media combine.

He is expected to take a key IR post when Jeffrey Bewkes succeeds Dick Parsons as CEO on Jan. 2. James Burtson currently heads TW's IR operation.

Shapiro, according to the New York Times, will likely explain the many changes that are expected under Bewkes. That could include the break-up of the company, which houses Time Inc., Warner Brothers, HBO and AOL.

In Shapiro's last report on TW, he put a $25 price target on the stock because of a chance of a restructuring including the possible divestiture of either publishing or AOL or "even a full break-up of the company into its four logical components."

TW shares have tanked since its `01 merger with AOL. They now trade at $16.93.


The Atlantic said it will move its sales and marketing operations – about 15 staffers – from Washington, D.C., to New York. The magazine’s editorial staff remains in D.C., along with publisher Elizabeth Keffer, who takes over Atlantic Live, the events business that runs the Aspen Ideas Festival.

Atlantic Media said it is searching for a New York-based publisher. Justin Smith, president of Atlantic Consumer Media, said the company will ramp up its sales efforts across the board as it enhances its print, online and events business and introduces new products.

AM also publishes National Journal and Government Executive. It recently changed the flagship magazine’s name from The Atlantic Monthly to The Atlantic. The title is now published 10 times a year, down from 12.

GovExec gets new leadership

Government Executive, meanwhile, said group publisher and executive director Steve Vito will assume the title of president, overseeing operations and performance of its print, online and events business. He has been with the media unit for seven years after serving as associate publisher of BYTE Magazine and publisher of PCResource and Federal Computer Week.

Executive editor Tom Shoop has been named editor, overseeing content for the entire Government Executive. He joined 20 years ago as a reporter. Current Editor and President Tim Clark, who has helmed the title since it was acquired by National Journal group in 1987, is staying on as editor-in-chief.

People _______________________

Catherine Mathis has been promoted to senior VP of corporate communications for the New York Times Company.

A VP who joined the company in 1997 as director of IR, she heads media, community and employee relations, PR, crisis comms., corporate speechwriting, and company websites.

Mathis was VP of corporate relations at the Overseas Shipholding Group before joining the Times.

The Times has also promoted Ken Richieri to SVP and general counsel, from VP.

Briefs __________________________

Teshkeel Media Group of Kuwait has inked a deal to publish a Middle East and North Africa edition of Cartoon Network Magazine. Nine 32-page issues a year are planned targeting kids 6-12.

Cartoon Network is part of Time Warner and is translated into 21 languages across 160 countries.

InvestmentNews, a trade publication for investment advisors, has tapped MWW Group, East Rutherford, N.J., to “elevate” its brand within the media community and boost circulation through media relations and “thought leadership activities.”

USA Today said it will debut a new “active lifestyle” magazine called Open Air in March. The quarterly will appear on Fridays March 7, May 2, Sept. 5 and Nov. 7 in 2008.

The focus is “busy, well-informed, affluent” consumers.

Editorial concentrates on outdoor activities, travel features and articles on gear, nutrition, and the psychological benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

Jack Curry, executive editor of USA Weekend, is interim editor. Staff from the newspaper and USA Weekend will handle editorial.

Penton Media’s Supermarket News has launched a daily blog and weekly e-newsletter called Refresh to supplement its quarterly organic and health/wellness title SN Whole Health.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, December 19, 2007, Page 4


Linda Dunbar has left her VP-corporate communications post at Dow Jones & Co. with the completion of its takeover by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

The former Ford Motor executive director communications strategy joined DJ on March 27.

She told O’Dwyer’s that she had a “great experience albeit brief” at DJ. It was a “whirlwind,” a reference to the activity surrounding Murdoch’s bid.

Dunbar plans to make some travel plans and then find another job in PR, a field that she “loves.”

Former DJ CEO Rich Zannino sent a note to staffers Dec. 13, thanking Dunbar (and CFO Bill Plummer) for their service.

“Since Dow Jones will no longer be a public company as part of News Corp. and as such will not require the full breadth of skills Bill and Linda brought to their future endeavors,” he wrote.

Earlier, Dunbar was PR director at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and handled external and financial communications for Philip Morris International.


Teri Everett, senior VP-corporate affairs and communications at News Corp. in Los Angeles has taken over chief spokesperson duties for Andrew Butcher, who is returning to Australia.

Everett is now stationed in New York. Julie Henderson assumes Everett's job on the West Coast. She had been the PR person for Fox Interactive Media.

Gary Ginsberg, a key deputy of News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch, is executive VP-global marketing and corporate affairs. He joined the media combine's office of the chairman in October.


Text 100 is guiding Macrovision’s bid to become a “digital hub” for TV, computer, cellphone, and mobile devices via its $2.8B acquisition of Gemstar-TV Guide, which is 41 percent owned by News Corp.

Macrovision produces software that prevents copying of DVDs and videogames. Gemstar -TVGuide is a top programmer of video guidance and entertainment.

Their announced goal is to “build and integrate open technology, content protection and distribute offerings that enable the delivery of digital media to consumers across multiple platforms and channels.”

Macrovision CEO Fred Amoroso will lead the combined companies. Gemstar-TV Guide chief Rich Battista will depart when the deal is finalized during the second quarter of '08.

News Corp. acquired its Gemstar-TV Guide stake in `98. It took a $6B write-down of the property in `02.


Reuters reported that rumors of preliminary talks for News Corp. to potentially acquire the business networking platform LinkedIn aren’t true, shooting down a dispatch by the U.K.’s Sunday Express.

The Express said that News Corp. head Rupert Murdoch and LinkedIn CEO Dan Nye started talking three weeks ago about a possible acquisition by News Corp. Nye has said he won’t take less than $1 billion for LinkedIn, which connects people in the corporate world for social and business purposes.

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 Society of Professional Journalists commended Congress for its passage of “notable reforms” to the nation’s Freedom of Information Act.

The group said FOIA is “one of the strongest tools Americans have to supervise the inner workings of government and hold elected officials accountable.”

The Senate passed a bill sponsored by Sens. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) which creates an independent ombudsman to resolve citizen disputes, helps agencies strengthen FOIA, creates a system for the public to monitor the status of requests, and “allows requesters to more effectively recover legal costs incurred when agencies improperly deny requests,” according to SPJ.

SPJ is urging the House of Representatives to pass a similar bill.

The journalists’ group lobbied with the Sunshine in Government Initiative, which includes the Associated Press, Coalition of Journalists for Open Government and the National Assn. of Broadcasters, among other groups.


The Wall Street Journal Dec. 17 mused that small businesses paying for placement is a better deal than going solo and cheaper than hiring a full-service firm.

The paper profiled Castle Rock, Col.-based Cynthia McKay, owner of Le Gourmet Gift Basket Inc., which employs 28 people. She initially hired a “PR agent” who burned through $3,000 in “two weeks with no results.” The agent was “so charismatic” and dropped the name of McKay’s business at every cocktail party. McKay realized that it would be a long time to see results.

Rhoda Weiss, chief of Public Relations Society, defended full-service firms. She told the Journal that PR “is more than being in the media. When you work with a [full-service] PR firm, they will develop a communications strategy.”

McKay next tried a firm that charged her $1,200 for an initial five placements. She dropped it after being “nicked and dimed” to death. The last straw: an $11,000 bill after an Associated Press story was picked up across the country.

McKay then considered big Denver-based firms but “quickly realized she couldn’t afford the retainers.”

She finally met Margie Zable Fisher (Boca Raton), who does straight media work and only bills a client after a hit. For instance, the WSJ article is a $6,000 placement for Fisher. That’s the top of her scale, which begins at $500 for a low-traffic website, small radio or TV station.

Internet Edition, December 19, 2007, Page 5


The Worldcom PR Group added 10 partner firms to its ranks following regional meetings this fall in Mallorca, Miami and Macao.

For the Americas region, Worldcom added Deveney Communications, New Orleans; Roberts Communications, Rochester, N.Y.; Carreno Group PR & Government Affairs, Houston; Linhart PR, Denver, and Pace Group Communications, Vancouver.

Firms in Europe, Scandanavia, Asia and the Middle East rounded out the 10 new partners, a record number of additions for the PR network.

John Bliss of Bliss, Gouverneur & Associates, New York, chairs the Americas region. Hal Dash of Cerrell Associates in Los Angeles is chair-elect.

BRIEFS: Integrated Corporate Relations, Westport, Conn., handled financial comms. for Titan Machinery, a Fargo, N.D., agricultural and construction equipment company that held a $51M IPO in early December. ...The Tourism Commission for Cape May, N.J., has severed ties with MWW Group and its $6K/month pact after nearly two years. ...Citigate Cunningham said it has been certified “green” after going through a series of audits by the San Francisco Green Business Program, which looked at water and energy use, lighting and cleaning supplies, among other aspects of operations. The firm’s Cambridge, Mass., office is engaged in a similar effort. Info: ...Credo Media Group, Boca Raton, Fla., is marketing online reputation repair services to combat “online libel.” CMG president Gary Greaves calls “Internet defamation” a widespread problem that can have “devastating” consequences for companies. The firm’s efforts focus on removing or pushing down defamatory information from the tops of search engine results. ...Kara Smith has launched what she says is Harlem’s first new media PR boutique firm, Karasma Media PR and Publicity. She is stressing her use of new technology and creativity to reach niche audiences in Web 2.0. ...KempGoldberg, Portland, Me., won a Silver Award from the Maine PR Council for a bylined article penned for Disability RMS that appeared in two trade journals for an estimated reach of 61K media impressions. The Council gives out its golden Arrow Awards annually. ...Collins Youngclaus, a Chapel Hill, N.C.-based healthcare firm, has changed its name to Pulse Health & Wellness Initiatives to better reflect its focus. The firm has worked with Kellogg’s, Unilever and Merck. ...Baltimore-area firm Imre Communications has moved from Towson to a 15K-square-foot facility in Sparks, Md. The new space is 50 percent larger than its previous location, which it occupied for 12 years. 909 Ridgebrook Road, 21152. ...Genesis Burson-Marsteller, New Delhi, has aligned with sister WPP firms BKSH & Associates and Quinn Gillespie & Associates to provide public affairs services to Indian companies.


New York Area

Lou Hammond & Associates, New York/33rd International Congress for Relais & Chateaux, organization representing 470 hotels and gourmet restaurants in 55 countries. The November meeting in Washington, D.C., drew 500 hoteliers and chefs. A three-day media tour in New York followed the Congress and included features in USA Today, Washington Post,, Washington Times, New York Post, and Washington Business Journal.

Pierce Mattie PR, New York/LA Boxing, fitness; TheraBreath, oral care products, and GlyDerm, skin products, all for PR. Earth Therapeutics has signed on for a third year with the firm.

Gutenberg Communications, New York/IDC, events and market technology, to promote the 2008 IDC IT Forum & Expo in Boston in June.


Pan Communications, Andover, Mass./Cuppy’s Coffee, Smoothies & More, franchise, for consumer and business outreach touting both its products and franchise opportunities.

Pen Communications Group, Miami/Iqua Ltd., wireless and hands-free devices, for North American comms.

Haber & Quinn PR, Fort Lauderdale/Vicem Yachts USA, to manage PR for the unit of Vicem Yachts Inc., a Turkish motor yacht builder.


GolinHarris, Chicago/Prevent Blindness America, for a national eye health consumer campaign funded by Pfizer, including PSAs for TV, radio and the web.

MWW Group, Chicago/ALDI, discount grocer with 900 stores in the U.S., for PR as it expands in new markets and boosts its presence from Kansas to the East Coast. MWW’s Los Angeles office was tapped to promote a green housing community for homebuilder The Olson Company.

Bianchi PR, Troy, Mich./Seton Co., supplier of leather for automotive interiors, as AOR for PR. Norristown, Pa.-based Seton has operations in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.


Shelton Group, Dallas/NTRglobal, remote access technology, as AOR for PR for its North American division.

Alan Weinkrantz, San Antonio/N-trig, Israel-based digital touch technology, for media and analyst relations in North America.

Walker Agency, Scottsdale, Ariz./Boat Owners Association of the United States, commonly known as BOATU.S., for marketing comms. focused on touting member benefits to a fishing audience.


Bailey Gardiner, San Diego/Vet-Stem, regenerative veterinary technology; Jade Theater, restaurant and lounge; CH Carolina Herrera, designer, for a boutique opening; La Jolla Development Group, real estate, to devise a marketing strategy, and Point Loma Outfitting, outdoor/sailing gear, for marketing and PR.

Internet Edition, December 19, 2007, Page 6


D S Simon has landed a General Services Administration contract to handle PR and video/film production services for the federal government.

Eric Wright, senior VP for Simon, noted the company has worked on federal campaigns through PR agency partners in the past, but the new federal supply schedule contract enables it to expand on that work.

D S Simon’s pact is under the Advertising & Integrated Marketing Solutions category, which encompasses PR.


RePromotion has created the "Power2Show Presentation Media Player" that allows PR presenters to integrate images, audio, Flash animation and PowerPoint in their pitches.

Chaim Fleischer, CEO of RePromotion and developer of the new software, said PR pros will find it a helpful tool in presenting to clients and prospects.

"They will be able to integrate PowerPoint, digital audio, images and video, Excel and Word documents, Flash animation, websites, scrolling text, RSS feeds and even YouTube clips with just three clicks," he said.

The presentation can be run "in a loop or with hands-on control," he added. Users can cue up individual files or sequence them as a loop that can be paused, run unattended, or customized. Presentations can also be burned onto CDs.

RePromotion, Netanya, Israel, creates presentation and digital signage software for clients such as Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson U.K., Coca-Cola Ireland, Arriva, Great American Insurance and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Said Fleischer: "PR, sales and marketing people can benefit from the experience we gained in providing digital signage and presentation solutions for the biggest companies."

A seven-day free trial of the product is available for download via

BRIEFS: Funnel Incorporated, a graphics and logo design firm in Madison, Wisc., has relocated to Middleton to house a growing staff. The firm has worked for clients like Dunkin Donuts and BMW Mini and specializes in creation of infographics, icons, maps and visual instructions. 7609 Elmwood Avenue, #201, Middleton, WI 53562; ...WPP’s Meritus data unit has launched Promo+, a tool to measure promotional campaigns of marketing-focused companies like retailers. ...M+R Strategic Services helped the Chicago Council on Global Affairs release its Task Force report, which noted a need for greater Muslim American civic and political engagement to “prevent the alienation of a community that is vital to U.S. relations with the Muslim world at large.” The group was founded in 1922 as the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations. ...PR Society’s New York chapter has set up a college fund under the Society’s 501(c)3 foundation. The chapter plans to seek funds for scholarships, building on its annual Philip Dorf Memorial Scholarship.



John Isaf, senior VP and PR unit leader, Arnold Worldwide, to Weber Shandwick, Cambridge, Mass., as a senior VP in its financial comms. practice. He was with Arnold since 1997.

Barbara Sacks, director of federal government relations, PA, policy and comms. for Verizon, to Democracy Data & Communications, Washington, D.C., as senior VP of political involvement. She was Verizon’s primary lobbyist for about 40 House Democrats and served as a liaison with other party entities. Earlier, she was a marketing and comms. analyst for MCI Comms.

Jennifer Sharp, lead design director,, to Spectrum Science Communications, Washington, D.C., as director of technology + design. She recently spearheaded the re-design of for Orbitz.

Paul Duning, executive VP, EFXMedia, to SpeakerBox Communications, McLean, Va., as COO. He was previously EVP for Multi-Media Holdings. He also founded and publishes a monthly e-newsletter, DC Communicator.

Victoria Dinges, VP of external affairs, McCormick Tribune Foundation, to Allstate Insurance Company, Northbrook, Ill., as assistant VP of public social responsibility.

David Reid, chief marketing officer for Hudsonville Creamery & Ice Cream, to Spartan Motors, Charlotte, Mich., as VP of public affairs and brand/strategic management. Reid heads marketing, corporate comms., and branding in the new post at Spartan, which makes chassis and recreational and emergency vehicles. He was previously with furniture maker Herman Miller and its subsidiary Milcare.

David Parker, senior counsel and lead practitioner for corporate affairs, high-tech and IR at Peyron & Associates, to American Commerical Lines, Jeffersonville, Ind., as VP of IR and corporate comms. He is the primary media contact for the marine transportation and service company, which posted $940M in 2006 revenues.

India Chumney-Hancock, senior communications specialist at CHRISTUS Health, to Vollmer PR, Houston, as VP of its hospital and healthcare unit managing accounts like NightRays, Universal American, and Legacy Bonds.

Darlene Gannon, marketing and PR manager, Zannel, to Concept Communications, San Francisco, as senior A/E. She was previously with InfoSpace.


Allison Leggett to senior director and Melissa Pluta to senior A/E, E. Boineau & Co., Charleston, S.C. Leggett joined in 2005, while Pluta joined in 2006.
Stacey Page to A/S, MWW Group, Seattle.


Scott Widmeyer, chairman/founder of Widmeyer Communications, has been named a member of the David Rockefeller Fellows Program, a Manhattan-based program that has executives meeting with New York City leaders to address issues and potential partnerships to support city operations.

Internet Edition, December 19, 2007, Page 7

PRN PROFIT NEARS $100M (Cont’d from page 1)

before interest, taxes, exceptional items and amortization of intangible assets. UBM said an exact value of such deductions could not be given because other UBM units are also involved in the calculations.

Regulations that force companies to practice full and immediate disclosure are driving growth, said BS, adding that even more regulation is ahead. PRN is promoting such regulations in Europe, said PRN COO David Armon.

Bear Stearns said UBM is “still finding its way” and is laggard in switching from print to online.

UBM counters that the percentage from print revenues is declining as other parts grow, especially its CMP operations where print made up 37% of first half revenues vs. 73.7% in 2005. Only 15% of profits in the half came from print, UBM said. About 85% came from “face-to-face” media such as trade shows and events, data businesses, and PR Newswire.

UBM debt is low. Stock is currently around 620 pence, trading at 13 times estimated 2007 earnings.

Regulations Boosted Use

The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (“Safe Harbor”) made companies add lengthy cautionary statements to their press releases about anything “forward looking.” In addition, “Fair Disclosure” rules of the SEC forced them to send out releases on anything remotely "material." While PRN and BW are not on the New York Stock Exchange list of official disclosure media (Dow Jones, AP, UPI, Bloomberg, Reuters) they are often used by public companies for disclosure purposes. They charge by word count. PR firms that mark up such releases by 15% or more also benefited.

Major PR firms are heavy users of PRN and BW. A slide in a UBM presentation Sept. 27 talked about an 18.9% growth in the "PR sector" in the first half to $23.1M.

Shown were the logos of Porter Novelli, Ketchum, Fleishman-Hillard, Ogilvy PR, Hill & Knowlton and Burson-Marsteller. UBM said business from other firms was included in that total.

“Regulatory” press releases of PRN rose from 60% to 70% of its messages in 2001. Revenues were $178M. Profits dipped 13% to $50M, a margin of about 30%.

PRN and Business Wire constitute a “duopoly” in the electronic news release business, says Bear Stearns.

BW, which had revenues of $127M in 2006, was sold that year to Berkshire Hathaway. Lorry Lokey, founder of BW, was called one of the 50 “Greatest Givers” by BusinessWeek Nov. 26, 2007. His gifts to charities were said to total $435M.

Medialink Rebuffed UBM in 2001

UBM, with estimated sales of 790M pounds in 2007, failed in an attempted hostile takeover of Medialink in 2001.

It offered $5 a share or $29M for Medialink’s 5.8 million shares (then trading at $3.35).

Charles Gregson, CEO of PRN since 2005 and an executive director of UBM 11 years, was paid 203,440 pounds in basic salary in 2006; 43,633 pounds in benefits, and 217,131 pounds in bonus (50% was deferred into shares under the Bonus Investment Plan). His pay totaled 751,005 pounds in 2005.

Combined 20+ Offices into Three

PRN in 2006 combined more than 20 U.S. offices into three located in Cleveland, Albuquerque and Washington, D.C. Armon, who headed Cleveland, said about 20 staffers in Cleveland and 15 others at a training center there joined a dozen from other offices.

East Coast bureaus were combined in Cleveland under Glenn Frates. Moving to Albuquerque (100+ staffers) under Janine Caldwell were the West Coast and Central bureaus.

Washington, D.C., continued as an office. PRN had acquired U.S. Newswire in D.C. in 2006 for $19 million. Revenues were $6M. Sales and media relations staff remained in 20-plus cities.

Armon cited employee retention as a key reason for combining offices. Markets like New York or Los Angeles have high turnover because there is a “job on every street corner,” he said. Employees stay on for years and even entire careers in centers where PRN has a lot of employees and there is a clear career progression path, he added.

Offices involved in the changes include Boston; Coral Gables; Tampa; Charlotte, N.C.; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Southfield, Mich.; Minneapolis; Dallas; Houston; Salt Lake City; Phoenix; Denver; San Diego; Los Angeles; San Francisco and Redwood City, Calif. BS says UBM is also improving PRN’s margins by “upgrading editorial software, off-shoring and outsourcing, and implementing data management for sales efforts.”

Purchased CMP in 2000

UBM in 2000 paid $920M in stock for publisher CMP of Manhasset, N.Y., which was nearly double its sales. Publications included Information Week and other technically oriented publications. A major part of CMP’s business is hosting major trade shows.


The Dec. 6 visit of eight PR Society leaders to offices of the Federal Emergency Management Agency was a “truly wonderful event,” a leadership teleconference was told Dec. 11.

The meeting was set up in the wake of the “fake” press conference that FEMA officials held Oct. 23 during the California wildfires. FEMA staffers, who appeared to TV viewers to be reporters, posed questions to No. 2 FEMA official Harvey Johnson.

PRS chair Rhoda Weiss told the teleconference that PRS leaders gave a “comprehensive ethics” lesson to 100 PA staffers of FEMA and the Homeland Security Dept., some at the D.C. headquarters of FEMA and others at 10 branch offices. She said that giving such instructions was “a highlight” of her career. Michael Cherenson, who will be chair-elect in 2008, said the meeting was “a truly wonderful event” that was “frank and open” and had a “cathartic effect on the government PA employees…they truly appreciated it.”

“We made America a little stronger as a result of that day…we made a strong impact,” he said.

Jeff Julin, who will be chair in 2008, said the visit to FEMA h.q. was a “highlight of the advocacy program” of PRS that allowed the Society to “share our body of knowledge and our collective wisdom.”

Internet Edition, December 19, 2007, Page 8





"If you can't justify it to your mother, then don't do it," D.C. crisis expert Richard Levick told a crisis wrap-up in the Wall Street Journal.

Truth is "15% facts and 85% perception," PR Society crisis expert James Lukaszewski told the Canadian Broadcast Corp. Radio series called "A Century of Spin." PR lays out the "facts of the matter from the perspective" of the client, he said.

PR people "make flower arrangements of the facts, placing them so that the wilted and less attractive petals are hidden by sturdy blooms," novelist Alan Harrington told the New Yorker in a 12-page article on Howard Rubenstein. The article described Rubenstein as "a gentle fixer."

The job of the press is to ask "tough questions" and the job of PR is to provide "hard answers," Tim Russert told the PR Society in Philadelphia.

Here's a definition of PR: it is the exercise of power by controlling the flow of information. If a given audience doesn't know about something, it's powerless to do anything about it.

Opinion: America runs on clean information and PR and the press must work together to keep the stream flowing and pure. No one wants to drink contaminated water or take "info pills" that have Mickies in them.

Mark Weiner, head of research at Ketchum, said research shows PR returns about $6 for every dollar invested while ads return about $1.20.

One problem with today's PR is that the press is moving at blinding speed while PR waits for numerous approvals (client, marketing, finance, CEO, legal, etc.). The story hits the web where it's picked up by Google and other "crawlers" and remains there forever.

Media operate 24/7 but almost no PR does. Editors' names, e-mails, phones, likes, dislikes, etc., are available on numerous electronic databases but all national and local PR groups bar press access to their online member databases.

Some orgs work hard to maintain military silence no matter what is said about them. They're like the guard at Buckingham Palace who wouldn't flinch even if a bee stung his nose.

Still others seek to overwhelm and intimidate audiences with unlimited, overbearing hype. Anyone not on their "bandwagon" is savaged.

The answer to these types is Abe Lincoln, who said in 1837 that the only acceptable form of public discourse is "reason, cold, calculating, unimpassioned reason."

What PR students are learning from PR profs: that they must "first serve society" and that PR is a good major even if they don't go into PR (Prof. Karen Russell of Univ. of Georgia) and PR people are "public servants" (Prof. Betty Jones of UGA).

We were disappointed that Philadelphia Inquirer publisher Brian Tierney, a longtime PRS member, did not do the history of PRS on its 60th anniversary when PRS met there Oct. 20-24.

In fact, his reporters did not even cover him when he spoke at the conference or write anything about the conference.

One columnist named speakers at the upcoming meeting and left him out. Philadelphia Bulletin sent a reporter who wrote 400 words.

Counselor Bill Huey, who has taught ad/PR at three universities, blasted the report on PR education by PRS ("The Professional Bond") for saying more Ph.D.s in PR are needed. Ph.D.s help schools get grants but students need teachers who have hands-on experience, he said.

PRS chair Rhoda Weiss, attending a meeting of PR people at the State Dept. in Washington, D.C., Jan. 10, slipped and fell on wet stairs outside the Eisenhower Office Bldg. and apparently broke her leg. She was seen in a wheelchair with her leg in a cast the next day. Weiss refused to talk about this (or anything else) with us the entire year.

Companies that scored poorly on Fortune's "America's Most Admired Cos." list did better on Wall St. than those with good reputations, said a study by Prof. Meir Statman of Univ. of Santa Clara Univ. and Deniz Anginer, Univ. of Mich. Investors in admired companies are penalized by an aura of positive feelings, they said.

Dilbert, the syndicated comic strip about office life with an audience of 150 million, poked fun at PR. An attack with fangs came from Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten who likened PR pros to the Gaboon viper, a six-foot poisonous African snake with two-inch fangs.

Independent PR firms flourished in 2006 with 20 of 50 largest having gains of 20% +. Participating in the O'Dwyer rankings based on top pages of tax returns and W-3s were 140 independents. Tech, health, financial were hot.

Dec. 17 marked the eighth anniversary of Omincom's high of $53.50 in 1999 (adjusted for 2-1 split this year). But OMC is only $48 now in spite of $50M+ paid to CEO John Wren; the removal of 60M of 386M shares from the market, and "buy" or "hold" advice from practically all the analysts on the stock for eight years (all doing business with OMC). This is one story that doesn't "fit" the NYT. Ad Age named Wren its "Man of the Year" for 2007

A clue to OMC's "beleaguered" (Barron's) stock: it owes $3.07B long-term. WPP owes $4.14B; IPG, $2.32B, and Publicis, $2.84B (total is $12B). Their leaders put much of the ad/PR industry in hock for decades by overpaying for acquisitions and overpaying themselves.

Fortune marked the 25th anniversary of the seven "Tylenol murders" by declaring Johnson & Johnson's handling of it "the gold standard of crisis control." Forgotten were the seven 1982 victims and Diane Elsroth, 23-year-old victim in 1986 of the same easily-doctored capsules that should never have been marketed again (or even in the first place). You never saw her picture nor the pictures of any of the seven.

Bacon's, long the standard source of editor info, became Cision after its purchase by the Observer Group, which adopted the name Cision. Cision North America lists 400,000 editors at 130,000 outlets. Cision, listed on the Nordic Exchange, had sales of $270M in 2006.

Vocus, PR software and services company, which went public at $9 in 2005, made additional offerings and saw its stock rise to $35 and sales to upwards of $60M for 2007.

Firing of Don Imus stunned the PR world but he was back in the fall. He tried to apologize to the Rutgers team but they wouldn't accept it until after he was canned.

The tragedy of 32 murders and a suicide at Virginia Tech put the spotlight on the fatal link of PR and marketing. "PR" people doubling as marketers/fundraisers for VT were at the pow-wow that suppressed news of the initial two murders for two-and-a-half tragic hours.

Weingarten of the Washington Post wrote: "The marketing-PR axis makes the team of Hitler and Mussolini seem benevolent."

Congratulations to PRWeek editor Julia Hood and her husband on the birth of their baby boy, Leo, in November.

A record 171 journalists and other news media staff were killed in the first 11 months of 2007, topping the high of 168 killed in all of 2006. No PR group ever shows any interest in this carnage.

Financial Times quoted a Hill & Knowlton exec as saying that cash payments to Chinese news crews "for transporting equipment" can top $700. Reporters often get a $25 "transport" fee just to attend an event.

WPP Group said ad agencies that win the most awards are the most profitable. Agencies now publicize themselves by promoting their awards instead of advertising in Ad Age and AdWeek, said Al Reis. The weakened mags, suicidally, give lots of awards. AA lost longtime editor Scott Donaton and AdWeek cut to 33 issues for 2008 (new title needed?). OgilvyOne boasted winning 595 awards but wouldn't provide a list of them.

Princeton Review (no relation to the University but influential) advises the college-bound that liberal arts is the best preparation for PR. Half of incoming freshmen consult it. The Review's take on PR is that "ads lie about the product and PR lies about the company." PR profs replied that PR majors only take one year of PR courses and study liberal arts/sciences the other three years.

Several PR newswire services were acquired. CCNMatthews, Canadian PR newswire, which owned Market Wire, was bought by Omers Capital Partners. Market Wire then acquired Collegiate Presswire. Primezone was taken over by NASDAQ and renamed PrimeNewswire.

Herb Rowland, one of the dominant PR counselors in the 1970s and 1980s, died at the age of 81. He helped P&G, IBM, DuPont and others to conduct highly targeted PR campaigns at discreet demographic groups.

Paul Basista left as executive director of the Arthur W. Page Society after six years and was replaced by Tom Nicholson.

Publicity Club of Los Angeles, 50 years old in 1995, folded. PRS/L.A. and Entertainment Publicists gave it tough competition.

Sard Verbinnen & Co. bought 51% of itself back from U.K. conglomerate Huntsworth, the deal to be completed by the end of 2009.

Doug Dowie, former head of Fleishman-Hillard/L.A., was given 42 months in jail on charges of falsely billing the Dept. of Water & Power $500K.

Call ten PR people and only one will pick up the phone. Almost all leave messages like, "Sorry I'm not here" followed by "Have a great day." Please drop the latter.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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