The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, January 2, 2008, Page 1
TAPS GOLINHARRIS FOR TOURISM
has issued an intent to award notice to GolinHarris
for the states tourism PR account after it canceled
an initial review and put the $300K/year work out for a
second set of proposals.
Fleishman-Hillard, Cookerly, Hope-Beckham, and The Pont
Group submitted proposals. The Pont Group came out as the
winner after the first review, but the state, citing administrative
reasons, released a new RFP for the account.
planned pact is with the states Dept. of Economic
Development and covers PR for tourism, international trade,
film and entertainment industry relations, and outreach
to business sectors like bioscience and technology.
Selvage & Lee had worked with the department in the
past. After a comment period, a contract with GH is expected
to be inked.
FT. LAUDERDALE SEEKS PR INPUT
The tourism entity for
Fort Lauderdale and Broward County Florida is seeking letters
of interest from PR firms as its $500K/year account goes
into mandatory review.
Jessica Taylor, media
relations director for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention
& Visitors Bureau, told ODwyers that a short-list
will be culled from firms submitting letters to the countys
request by Jan. 3.
M Silver & Associates
has handled the account for two decades.
The Bureaus 2008
plans include increased outreach to affluent and 30-something
aspirationals. PR efforts include a winter pop-up
store in New York, luxury media roundtable, and the
continuation of its Beach on Wheels tour in
The request for letters
of intent has been posted online at http://www.broward.org/purchasing.
BRUM MOVES TO PN
Lynne Brum has joined
Porter Novelli Life Sciences in Boston as executive VP.
She made that move following a 13-year stint at Vertex Pharmaceuticals.
As VP-strategic communications,
Brum helped Vertex raise $1B in capital, and launch two
human immunodeficiency virus drugs (Agenerase and Lexiva).
Earlier Brum was VP at
Feinstein Kean Healthcare and Biogen.
She co-chairs the marketing/communications
committee of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council and
served on the BIO 2007 conventions communications
panel. Brum reports to Carin Canale, president of PNLS.
F-H COLLECTS $6.4M FROM SAUDIS
$6.4M from Saudi Arabia to promote King Abdullah University
of Science and Technology during the six-month period ended
Oct. 31, 2007.
It received that money
from Aramco Overseas Co., a unit of the Kingdoms national
oil company, Saudi Aramco.
More than 1,500 people
joined King Abdullah Oct. 21 at the ground-breaking ceremony
for Kaust, which is expected to open on the shores of the
Red Sea (Thuwal) next September.
The school promises to
be a graduate-level research university dedicated to inspiring
a new age of scientific achievement in the Kingdom
Kaust will have one of
the worlds biggest endowments to recruit top-flight
facility and students.
It has already forged
partnerships with the American University in Cairo, National
University of Singapore and Indian Institute of Technology
F-H did branding work
for Kaust and created its visual identity.
The firm established editorial
guidelines for the universitys communications material,
launched a website in both English and Arabic, ran print
and online ads and monitored the media for coverage.
The Omnicom unit chalked
up expenses of $4.2M during the six months.
The biggest chunk of those
outlays$3.9Mwent to Siegel + Gale, F-Hs
affiliated brand identity firm, which has an office in Dubai.
WAL-MART TAKES GROUP FROM
Wal-Mart said it will
revamp and take over Working Families for Wal-Mart, the
group created and run by the retailers PR firm, Edelman,
to counter union attacks.
The groups website
has been taken offline and replaced with the message Please
check back soon for a new site brought to you by Wal-Mart.
The web pages title has been shortened to For
It was under the guise
of the Working Families group last year that Edelman was
blasted for bankrolling a fake blogger who traveled
the country in an RV and camped overnight in Wal-Mart parking
The group also took a
hit when former U.N. ambassador Andrew Young made racially
insensitive remarks while on the payroll of the Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart spokesman Dave
Tovar told Associated Press that operating the Working Families
group in-house as an internal program is the best way to
tell Wal-Marts story.
Edition, January 2, 2008, Page 2
DEATH LEAVES BHUTTO PUSH UNCERTAIN
While the assassination
of Benazir Bhutto has clouded Pakistans political
future and its relationship with the U.S., also in doubt
are newly launched efforts to raise the profile of her party
in the U.S. and abroad.
Scribe Strategies &
Advisors, a Washington, D.C.-based, government relations
and political consulting firm, had been working with Bhutto
and her associates in the Pakistan Peoples Party for
the last several years. Joseph Szlavik, president of the
firm, said most of his firms counsel was in regard
to political issues. He personally met with Bhutto on several
occasions in Washington, London and Dubai.
was cordial and Mrs. Bhutto was always gracious, kind, and
intellectually engaged during our conversations, he
Scribe deployed a website
with political tech consulting firm Aristotle International
to help the PPP raise money outside of Pakistan. Szlavik
said the future of that site, go-ppp.com, is not certain
but remains active until further notice.
Bhutto was Pakistans
last popularly elected prime minister and the face of opposition
to President Pervez Musharraf.
Musharraf declared emergency
rule in the country in early November, sparking an international
outcry and the resignation of its U.S. lobbying firm Cassidy
& Associates. The emergency rule was lifted last month.
Cassidy had registered
a $1.2M one-year contract with the Justice Dept. on Oct.
4, and officially terminated it on Nov. 7.
The firm also ended registrations
for staffers from public affairs sister firm Powell Tate.
Bhuttos death has
sent economic, political, and diplomatic ripples throughout
BiBi was more than
a client, said Szlavik. She was a friend and
she will be impossible to forget.
UTAH PLANS EFFORT TO BOOST
Utah is reaching out to PR, advertising and marketing shops
to produce a public information push supporting healthy
The state, which has a divorce rate above the national
average, has issued an RFP and allocated a $335K annual
budget and plans to award a five-year contract to promote
The communications work is outlined with a special focus
on young adults and low-income couples.
Utah men and women are four years younger than the national
average when marrying for the first time, a fact the state
believes may be causing the elevated divorce rate.
The divorce rate for Utahans is 4.1 per 1,000, compared
with the 3.6 national average.
Marketing, press outreach, events, advertising, and focus
groups are among the assignments planned.
The Beehive State established the Utah Commission on Marriage
in 1998 to strengthen unions in the state by focusing on
education and programs for both engaged and married couples.
Utahs Dept. of Workforce Services is footing the
bill for the campaign. With options, the pact could stretch
to 10 years.
PA HELP SOUGHT FOR KLAMATH
The federal government is looking for public affairs help
for the 1.7M-acre Klamath National Forest along the Oregon-California
border, a key recreational and industrial swath that is
prone to forest fires.
The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, which includes the Forest
Service, issued an RFQ for a PA contractor to support work
like news release preparation, media relations and events,
research, and revamps of its website and Fire Information
Operations Handbook. An option on the planned three-month
contract covers unforeseen emergencies like
fires, floods or other natural disasters. All of the work
is planned for the forest supervisors offices in Yreka,
The Klamath National Forest is known for its fishing, boating,
hiking, as well as timber, gold, and grazing lands. The
RFQ can be downloaded here (PDF):
STOCKMAN SUCCEEDS OSTROWSKI
Gary Stockman replaced Helen Ostrowski as CEO of Porter
Novelli effective Jan. 1 in what the PR firm calls a long-planned
The 56-year-old Ostrowski held the top post for the past
five years. She assumed the chairman post.
Stockman, 46, was upped from the presidency. He is a 12-year
veteran of the Omnicom unit.
Chief client officer Julie Winskie, 44, is now Americas
president, while chief invention officer Jean Wyllie, 42,
moves to the president post for Europe/Middle East/Africa.
She retains digital and social media duties.
FIRMS BOLSTER SIDES IN R.R.
Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher has been brought
in by railroad operator CSX as it faces a proxy battle with
two hedge funds.
Sard Verbinnen & Co. is making the case for Childrens
Investment Fund and 3G Capital Management, which have nominated
a slate of five directors. SV chairman/CEO George Sard and
principal Jonathan Gasthalter are handling the account.
The two funds hold an interest of about 11 percent in CSX.
JF is helping Jacksonville, Fla.-based CSX back its current
board, noting the companys stock price has nearly
tripled over the past three years. Partner Joele Frank and
director Andrew Siegel are handling that effort. The hedge
funds are taking issue with spending and corporate governance
issues at CSX.
and comms. firm Voice of Your Customer has edged four shops
for a $98K contract to support a social marketing effort
to curb tobacco use among Buckeye State college students.
Clark Communications (Columbus), Hybrid Marketing (Cleveland),
Innis Maggiore (Canton), and JT Consulting (Kent, Ohio)
pitched for the account.
The state notes that college students are the youngest
legal marketing demographic for the tobacco industry. It
wants a campaign to offset handouts, events and other PR
from tobacco companies on campus.
Edition, January 2, 2008, Page 3
KRISTOL WRITES FOR N.Y. TIMES
The New York Times
said conservative scribe Bill Kristol will pen a weekly
op-ed column starting on January 7.
The editor of The Weekly
Standard is being hailed as a "captivating writer
and keen observer of the political landscape" by the
Times' editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal.
Kristol was chief of staff
to Vice President Dan Quayle and Reagan Education Secretary
FITZSIMONS EXITS TRIBUNE
Dennis FitzSimons, the former ad executive who took Tribune
Co. private via an $8.2 billion deal engineered by real
estate mogul Sam Zell, has resigned as CEO.
In a message to staffers, FitzSimons believes the Tribune
Co. will be successfully revamped out of the glare
of the public markets.
The 57-year-old FitzSimons joined Tribune in `82. He became
president in `01 and CEO in `03.
Tribune is owner of the Chicago Tribune, Los
Angeles Times, Newsday, Baltimore Sun
and 24 TV stations. It goes private with a debt burden of
Zell, who has taken over the CEO role, praised FitzSimons
as leading the company through a challenging environment.
He wishes him success in his next career.
NEWSWEEK LAUNCHES POLITICAL
Newsweek has teamed with the Media Bloggers Assn.
to unveil The Ruckus, a group blog about politics
timed for the Presidential election.
Ruckus, according to Deidre Depke, editor of Newsweek.com,
will be a key part of our `08 campaign coverage.
It will introduce readers to a new array of voices
and will encourage enlightened political discourse as the
`08 race steps into high gear.
Ruckus features bloggers of various political viewpoints.
MBA, formed in `04, is a nonpartisan group dedicated to
the development of citizen journalism.
VIACOM LINKS WITH MICROSOFT
Viacom has joined with Microsoft to a multi-year digital
advertising and content partnership that is valued at $500M.
Microsofts Atlas ad platform will serve as the ad
server for Viacoms bevy of websites, while Microsoft
agrees to buy ads on its partners cable and online
networks (MTV, Comedy Central, BET and Paramount Pictures.)
Viacoms online revenues doubled to $500M in 2007.
HOLLEY SAYS YAHOO
Brandon Holley, who was an editor at the folded Jane
magazine, is now at Yahoo Lifestyles, working as executive
producer in charge of good, health, fitness and environmental
Holley joined Jane in `05 as editor. Earlier, she was founding
editor of Hachette Filipacchi Medias Elle Girl.
EISNER SEES TOPPS AS TOP MEDIA
Former Walt Disney CEO Michael Eisner wants to transform
Topps, the venerable trading card party that he bought for
$385M, into a media and entertainment company.
Bazooka Joe, the eye-patch wearing star of
Topps comics, is Eisners new Mickey Mouse,
according to the Financial Times.
He noted that Topps is a little smaller than Disney
when he took the helm more than 20 years ago. Eisner sees
a world of upside potential for Topps overseas.
NEWS CORP. NIXES BOOKS DEAL
News Corporation, fresh from its $5.6B acquisition of Dow
Jones & Co., nixed a published report that it is talking
to Germanys Bertelsmann about selling book publisher
News Corp. denies that Bertelsmann offered $1B for the
publisher, but that its CEO Rupert Murdoch wanted twice
that amount. Murdoch's company maintains that no takeover
discussion with any publisher has taken place.
HarperCollins suffered a $19M decline in first-quarter
operating income to $36M due to bullish year ago results
from Lemony Snickets A Series of Unfortunate
The publisher reported $330M in quarter-ended September
revenues, sparked by Jenna Bushs Anas
Story and Jessica Seinfelds Deceptively
Meanwhile, a Dow Jones plant in Sharon, Penn., has begun
printing copies of the News Corp.s New York Post
for distribution in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Buffalo.
BOOMER SITE SEEKS FEATURES
The reworked website for Baby Boomers, BoomerCafe.com,
is looking for feature stories from PR professionals that
would be of interest to Boomers with active lifestyles.
The pub is looking for features with visuals and photos,
not press releases. Submission guidelines are on the site.
Inquiries go to [email protected].
David Henderson, a veteran of Edelman and Euro RSCG Magnet,
is a co-founder of BoomerCafe.
TAYLOR TO EXIT ESSENCE AFTER
Susan Taylor, the veteran editor of Essence magazine,
is leaving in mid-January after 37 years. She is focusing
an organization she founded to help troubled children, according
to the New York Times.
Sixty-one-year-old Taylor joined Essence in 1970, its first
year. She became editor-in-chief in 1981.
She is leaving to work for the National Cares Mentoring
Movement, which she founded as Essence Cares and urges black
adults to mentor young people.
Terrie Williams, former comms. director of Essence who
runs her own firm, told the Times that Taylor "takes
young people with her to most of the events she goes to.
She's put kids through college. She's made calls to get
kids in distressed situations in to college. She really
is an icon in the black community."
Essence is owned by Time Warner.
news continued on next page)
Edition, January 2, 2008, Page 4
SUN-TIMES CLEARS DECKS
Chicago Sun-Times announced plans to cut operating
costs by $50M in `08, a scenario that may lead to slashing
a quarter of its 160-member editorial staff.
Cooke, editor-in-chief, and Cyrus Freidheim, CEO of Sun-Times
Group, disclosed the cutbacks in memos to staffers sent
executive gave a precise number of possible job losses.
said advertising and circulation revenues continue to fall,
a drop way outside the industry average. Cost-saving
moves give us a future.
said the company is ready to move beyond the Conrad Black
trial and Canadian tax difficulties. The biggest cost reduction
in the papers history is needed for long-time
will include a reduction in staff, further outsourcing
of selected activities and reformatting our products.
assured staffers the company is not abandoning print,
but the growth in this business is online.
begin in January and should be completed by the end of June.
RINGLING BROS. LOOKS FOR SPONSOR
Ringling Bros. and Barnum
& Bailey Circus is looking for a sponsor to bankroll
a Salvation Army benefit slated for its Madison Square Garden
premiere on March 20.
The sponsor will receive
credit for footing the bill that allows 10,000 underprivileged
kids to see The Greatest Show on Earth.
Print ads (New York
Times, Daily News, New York Post), posters,
event signage and emails will alert people of the corporate
PR outreach will be conducted
by Hill & Knowlton and Alan Miller, firms that work
for Ringling Bros. parent, Feld Entertainment.
The Erlick Groups
Jim Erlick has info on sponsorship opportunities. He is
at 212/418-7372 and [email protected].
magazine pushed up the release of an interview with
Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto after she was
assassinated last week. The magazine, which said the feature
was "one of the last person-to-person interviews"
with Bhutto, had the article slated for its Jan. 6 issue,
but released it online on Dec. 27, the day of her slaying.
Washington Post raised its newsstand price
from $0.35 to $0.50 on Dec. 31, within the D.C. metropolitan
area. The home delivery price remains $0.35. The Post last
changed its daily newsstand price from $0.25 to $0.35 in
2001. The Sunday newsstand price remains $1.50.
Also, The Washington Post
Company was added to Standard & Poor's 500 Index after
the close of trading on December 28. The Post had been in
the S&P MidCap 400.
Politico, a must-read for political junkies,
has signed on as `08 media sponsor of the U.S. Chamber of
Commerces Innovative Advocacy series.
Economist is developing plans for a social networking
platform, reports the U.K.s New Media Age.
The magazine wants to develop a portal for its 3M readers
and create a conversation between them.
New Media Age notes the
Economists move into social networking comes as the
magazine launches its first online video efforts.
Dallas Morning News named the illegal immigrant
as its Texan of the Year on Dec. 30.
The newspapers editorial
board recognizes the myriad, profound ways in which
this group of people impacts Texas, ranging from the economy
to politics to the most basic sense of culture.
The board said "there
seems to be little middle ground in [the] debate,"
noting "spectacular fights over their presence ...
broke out across Texas this past year, adding to the national
pressure cooker as only Texas can."
"The story of the
illegal immigrant in Texas is rich in history, complexity
and controversy, and the impact on the state is pervasive,"
said Keven Ann Willey, vice president and editorial page
editor. "Because of this complexity, and also because
of their illegal status, it was not possible for us to call
out a single individual, but as the Board debated it became
clear to us that as a group, these people merited recognition."
McCumber has been promoted to executive VP/marketing,
digital and brand strategy at USA Network. He worked at
Razorfish and MTV Networks before USA in 01.
NATL PRESS CLUB BEGINS
The National Press Club
in Washington is marking its 100th year with the premiere
of the documentary, "The National Press Club at 100:
A Century of Headlines," on Jan. 4.
The club will also present
a panel discussion with veteran members like Helen Thomas,
Jack Germond and NPC President Emeritus John Cosgrove.
The events are the first
in a series of events to mark the centennial of the club.
include Walter Cronkite -- the first recipient of the clubs
Fourth Estate Award for distinguished journalism -- Thomas,
Austin Kiplinger and Simeon Booker. Also featured in the
program are Bob Schieffer, Bob Woodward, Jim Lehrer, Liz
Carpenter, Ben Bradlee, Tom Brokaw and Tim Russert.
The documentary was produced
by Auteur Productions, Ltd.
The club notes that while
it continues to be a meeting place for journalists and news
sources in D.C., it has positioned itself as a full-service
facility for the researching, reporting, and dissemination
of news. It counts 3,500 members in Washington and worldwide.
Edition, January 2,
2008, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
FRANK BOLSTERS SYBASE DEFENSE
software maker Sybase has turned to Joele Frank Wilkinson
Brimmer Katcher as it faces a possible proxy fight with
its No. 2 shareholder, hedge fund Sandell Asset Management.
which has upped its stake in Sybase in recent months and
says its stock price should be higher, has nominated its
own slate of three directors for the Dublin, Calif.-based
database developers board. Sandell suggested Sybases
mobility division could be spun off in an IPO, and that
the company should move to repurchase shares or pursue a
have had an open dialogue with Sandell, as we do with all
Sybase stockholders, since they first invested in our Company,
Sybase said in a statement, noting it repurchased $33M in
shares in the third quarter and has bought back $311M shares
Frank partner Matthew Sherman and director Eric Brielmann
are handling Sybase.
has not yet set a date for its 2008 meeting.
H&KS DeSALVA ADVISES
AnnaMaria DeSalva, Hill
& Knowltons worldwide healthcare chief, has been
tapped as a member of the Food and Drug Administrations
risk communication advisory committee.
The newly formed entity
is to counsel the FDA how best to educate the public about
risks and benefits of regulated drugs so as to facilitate
their medical purpose.
DeSalva was chosen from
a field of 240 nominees.
Paul Taaffe, CEO of H&K,
said in a statement that DeSalvas appointment to the
committee speaks volumes of her career and her
goal to ensure that communications in healthcare be
viewed as instrumental if not crucial to quality health
CALIFORNIA MILK BOARD LOOKS
The California Milk Advisory
Board is looking for a national PR firm via SelectResources
International. Context Marketing (Sausalito) is the current
incumbent. It will participate in the review.
CMAB, an entity of the
California Dept. of Food and Agriculture, is bankrolled
by the Golden States 2,000 dairy farmers.
Headquartered in Modesto
and San Francisco, CMAB is one of the nations largest
commodity boards. It runs programs such as Real California
Milk and Real California Cheese.
SRIs Dan Orsborn
(310-453-9200) is contact.
Singer made San Franciscos 7x7 Magazines
power list of the most influential people in
the city. Dubbed The Fixer, Singer is touted
as the man to call if your reputation, fortune or
political future is at stake.
according to the magazine, is why Levi Strauss, BART rail
system, National Football Leagues 49ers and Lennar
Corp. (redevelopers of Candlestick Park and would-be landlords
of the 49ers) use Singer Assocs. president as their spokesperson.
Singer sold his Kamer
Singer Assocs. high-tech firm to GCI Group in `99.
Strategies, New York/Valera Global, luxury executive
transportation services in U.S. and European cities, for
New York/Costa Rica Tourist Board, for a two-year North
American PR campaign. B-M's Canadian affiliate National
PR will also work on the account.
PR, New York/Battle for Manhattan, sports event,
for PR and media relations.
Marino Organization, New York/Carnegie Hall, for
community relations and PR for its expansion plans; Chelsea
Market, for PR and marketing; Massey Knakal Realty Services,
real estate, for PR; Metropolitan Real Estate Investors,
for marketing, PR and branding, and NBBJ, architecture and
design firm, for PR in New York.
PR, New York/LifeAt.com, private social networking
website that connects apartment dwellers, for PR; Cherishedlives.com,
virtual-memory website, for PR; Berry-Hill Galleries, art
dealer, for PR; Capstone Equities, real estate investment
firm, for PR; Mareazul, development on Mayan Riviera, for
PR at it approaches its completion date in 2009; Angsana
Samana Bay, Dominican Republic development, for PR, and
Prodigy International, real estate sales and marketing,
PR, New York/AHAVA, skincare brand, for PR.
& Shanley, Providence, R.I./Touchstone Crystal,
create-your-own jewelry, for PR.
Communications, Washington, D.C./Campaign to End
Obesity; Consortium for Ocean Leadership; D.C. Rape Crisis
Center; Free Range Studios, backers of the online film "The
Story of Stuff"; RTI International, and the Helping
Hands Project of the Puyallup Tribal Health Authority.
Relations Board, Chicago/GeoVax Labs, biotechnology
focused on HIV/AIDS vaccines, as AOR for investor and public
Bailey & Associates, Troy, Mich./Saleen, performance
and racing vehicles, and T-Systems, IT and communication
technology unit of Deutsche Telecom, for PR.
Barr Communications, Oakland Township, Mich./Blue
Aber Medical Spa & Wellness, for PR.
PR Worldwide, San Rafael, Calif./California Closet
Company, spatial design solutions, as AOR for PR. Double-Forte
had the account. The company is planning a new marketing
push in 2008.
Communications, Los Angeles/Paperfish; Lawry's The
Prime Rib, and Literati 2, eateries. The firm also picked
up Leblon Cachaca; Harry & David; Grace; Noe at the
Omni Los Angeles Hotel, and Zov's Bistro.
PR Marketing Group, Los Angeles/Axiotron, an Apple
Proprietary Solution Provider, for online and traditional
media relations to supports its tablet Mac computer, the
Edition, January 2, 2008, Page 6
LARGEST CHAPTERS TAP LEADERS
Evans-Keenan, who heads her own firm, and Renee Kopkowski,
director of PR for Mars North America, are taking over as
presidents of PR Societys two largest chaptersNational
Capital and Georgia, respectively for 2008.
Georgia chapter, with nearly 1,000 members, is second only
to National Capital, the Societys largest with more
than 1,200 members.
is principal and owner of Keenan PR in Arlington, Va, and
takes over for 07 president Sandra Willis Hannon.
Barbara Burfield, a senior advisor to the Deputy Assistant
Secretary of Defense for Joint Communication at the Defense
Dept., is president-elect of the National Capital chapter
for 08. Jeff Ghannam, comms. director of the Biotechnology
Institute is treasurer, and Rita Mhley, president of Mhley/Davis
& Associates, is secretary. The chapter has eight directors
and 13 Assembly delegates for 2008.
the Georgia chapter, Kopkowsi takes over for '07 president
John Walker, a senior VP for Edelman.
out the Georgia chapters elected officers for 2008
are president-elect Michael Neumeier, principal, Arketi
Group; secretary Timothy Hussey, director of marketing,
Emory School of Law, and treasurer Karla Harvill, director
of internal comms., Pilgrims Pride Corporation.
chapter has 10 directors-at-large for 2008 and nine Assembly
FSU TEACHES HISPANIC MARKETING
Florida State University
in Tallahassee is starting an online course on Hispanic
marketing communications this month which it claims is the
first of its kind.
The 15-week course, which
begins Jan. 8, covers language use, Hispanic cultural insights
for marketing, case studies, research and strategies.
Felipe Korzenny heads
the universitys Center for Hispanic Marketing Communication.
He said the course is meant to satisfy the demand
of many marketers in U.S. industry that have requested
such a course.
The class runs through
April 20 and can be completed from anywhere with an Internet
Course description is
S Simon Productions,
New York, picked up three AVA Awards, including a gold award
and two platinums awards. The video PR shop was given a
gold award in the video/film/corporate image category for
a Joseph Abboud project titled Made in America.
Simon won two platinum awards in video/film/corporate and
the web/podcasts category for a project with Frankel and
Giles X/O Condominiums. ...Maconomy
makes software for marketing communications, signed Grey
Canada to replace the agencys previous platform with
Maconomys Agency Solution. Maconomy said it made sense
for the 120-staffer agency to use its software to automate
as many administrative processes as possible to save time.
Stagg, former senior VP of corporate comms. for Fox
Family Worldwide, to 4Kids Entertainment, New York, in that
same title. Stagg had been working in the new media space
for Amp'd Mobile, SMS.ac and Diino.com.
Damoulakis, formerly of Sloane & Company, to
Hellerman Baretz Communications, New York, as an A/E. Andrew
Ryan exits the American Enterprise Institute for Public
Policy Research for an A/E post in Hellerman's Washington,
Wightman, publisher of Golf Magazine, to the
United States Golf Assn., Far Hills, N.J., as managing director
of communications. He was previously VP-national sales director
at Golf Digest.
Rodney, A/S, Cohn & Wolfe, to MWW Group, East
Rutherford, N.J., as an A/S.
Blackweel, a 20 year comms. veteran, to VP and director
of comms. and public affairs for SRI International, a government
technology and strategic consulting company based in Fairfax,
Davison, A/E for Greer Margolis, to William Mills
Agency, Washington, D.C., as an account associate.
Cunningham, a PR pro for the Philadelphia Eagles,
Comcast-Spectacor, and Smith O'Keefe & Associates, to
RT&E Integrated Communications, Wilmington, Del., as
a client service account manager.
Mandina, who joined Mullen in Boston after Hurricane
Katrina, to Deveney Communications, New Orleans. He had
been writing for the Times-Picayune.
Wade to senior VP, communications, CBS Sports, New
York. She oversees corporate and media relations effort
for sports businesses including CBS Sports, CBSSports.com,
CSTV and CSTV.com,
and works closely with Showtime Sports and other sports
Bianchi to VP, Goodman Media International, New York.
He joined the firm in 2004 and was formerly director of
comms. for the National Audubon Society. Beth Olsen, who
joined in 2005, was promoted to senior A/D and Sabrina Strauss
(2003) was upped to A/D.
Morgan to executive VP, managing director of consumer
brands, North America, Euro RSCG Worldwide PR, New York.
Kristin Dwyer was upped to VP in the firm's consumer practice.
Morgan is credited with securing work for Schering-Plough
and Sears. Dwyer has managed work for S-P, Dos Equis, IAC
and Yahoo! HotJobs.
Benton to senior A/E, Kleber & Associates, Atlanta.
Pardo and Alan
Upchurch to senior VPs, Marx Layne & Co., Farmington
Gonzalez to partner, Englander & Associates,
Los Angeles. Ruben works with Motorola, Westfield and the
L.A. Hotel Assn.
Edition, January 2, 2008, Page 7
STOCK BELOW 1999 PRICE
owner of more than 1,500 ad agencies, PR firms and other
companies, closed at $46.55 yesterday on the New York Stock
Exchange, or $2.20 lower than its price on Dec. 17, 1999,
eight years ago.
reported 177.5M shares out at the end of 1999 or the equivalent
of 355M adjusted for the recent 2-1 split.
had as many as 188M shares (376M) out as of 2001 but has
been buying its shares back on the open market in order
to reduce the float.
writer Christopher Byron, in an article in the Aug. 14,
2006 New York Post, accused OMC of pouring
billions into goosing its stock.
NYP headlined Buyback Blarney. Byron was generally
critical of buyback programs, saying that a company could
actually suffer from such a strategy which clearly
seems to have been the case with the OMC program.
was especially critical of OMC borrowing funds to buy back
he said, had plowed an astounding $1.25 billion into
buybacks by the end of 2004 and spent an amazing
$958M on buybacks during the first half of 2006.
the Byron article in a subhead: The buyback program
(of OMC) has added more than $3 billion in debt to the companys
once-pristine balance sheet. Finance!Yahoo puts current
OMC longterm debt at $3.07B.
to its strategy of buying back its own stock, OMC had been
spending slightly over $800M yearly in acquiring ad agencies,
PR firms and other businesses. Such acquisitions, with a
few notable exceptions, were usually unidentified.
headed by CEO John Wren and CFO Randall Weisenburger, executive
VP and CFO, has held its annual meeting outside of New York
for the past five years after many years of holding it in
were Los Angeles, Atlanta, Denver, Dallas and San Francisco.
reporter from the Denver Business Journal, told about
the meeting in Denver May 24 this year, went to the meeting
but was told on entering the room that the shareholder part
of the meeting was over and the board had to go into executive
session. (The reporter had received the proxy of the ODwyer
Co., which has a few shares of stock of OMC).
local reporter was hired to cover the meeting in Dallas
in 2005 but was unable to get any answers to questions.
He was interrupted during the middle of a question by a
motion for adjournment and was not allowed to ask any more
questions although he held the proxy of the ODwyer
houses, all of them doing business with OMC, have almost
universally recommended the stock over the past eight years
in spite of its longterm performance. Current recommendations,
as tracked by Finance!Yahoo, are five brokerages advising
strong buy, three buy, three hold,
and one sell. (Only one of the 12 is advising
also lists ten recent changes in recommendations and only
one of them is for a sell (Banc of America Securities).
a buy was Deutsche Securities on June 25, 2007
after downgrading OMC from a buy to a hold
on Feb. 14, 2007.
Suisse on Oct. 25, 2006 downgraded the stock from outperform
initiated coverage on Sept. 14, 2006, and rated OMC outperform.
Lehman Brothers initiated coverage on March 16, 2006 with
an overweight recommendation. CIBC World Markets
on Feb. 16, 2006, upgraded OMC from sector perform
to sector outperform. JP Morgan on Sept. 16,
2005, upgraded the stock from underweight to
Street sources who were asked about the failure of the stock
to move over an eight-year period said that OMC executives
were very tight with information about the company
and that there has been a decline in media stocks in general
in recent years.
main generator of ad agency revenues and profits, the TV
spot, is under competition, said the sources. Banc of America
Securities, in recently putting a sell on the
stock, said the DDB ad unit OMC does not have the creative
edge it once had. The $3 billion debt of the company was
also mentioned as a deterrent to a higher stock price. Barrons
has said too much insider selling of the stock has caused
confidence in OMC to waver. A complaint often heard in Wall
Street circles about OMC is, We dont know where
they get their numbers from.
Contacts Listed on OMC Web
OMC website lists 12 analysts who are covering the stock
and provides their telephone numbers.
phone numbers had been taken off for several years and recently
and their companies are: Joe Arns, Banc of America Securities;
Alexia Quadrani, Bear Stearns & Co.; Michael Nathanson,
Sanford Bernstein & Co.; Jason Helfstein, CIBC World
Markets; Paul Ginocchio, Deutsche Bank NA; Craig Huber,
Lehman Brothers; Karl Choi, Merrill Lynch (who replaced
Lauren Fine earlier this year); Stewart Barry, ThinkEquity
Partners; Brian Shipman, UBS (US); John Janedis, Wachovia
Securities, and Troy Mastin, William Blair & Co.
BLACKWATER BOLSTERS LOBBYING
Blackwater, which employs
1,000 armed guards in Iraq to protect American diplomats,
has hired Tabbert Hahn Earnest & Weddle as its lobbyist.
Gregory Hahn is the contact.
Blackwater spokesperson Anne Tyrrell could not be reached
for comment about the use of the Indianapolis-based law
The probe into the September
shooting of 17 Iraqi civilians by Blackwater guards continues.
That investigation has
widened with reports that a Blackwater bodyguard shot Hentish,
the New York Times dog at its Baghdad bureau, last
Tyrrell told Reuters that
Hentish attacked a Blackwater K-9 handler who was sweeping
the compound for explosives.
The State Dept. made two
visits to the bureau to investigate the shooting.
Edition, January 2, 2008,
year-end review Dec. 19 had 40 different items in no particular
some readers asked that we put our house in order.
top story of 2007 for us, and as voted by 271 AP editors
throughout the U.S., was the massacre of 32 students and
staff at Virginia Tech by a student who then committed suicide.
officials, including VT spokesperson Larry Hincker, sat
on the news of the initial two murders for 2.5 hours. His
boss, VP of development Elizabeth Flanagan, was not even
at the meeting.
delay, a triumph of marketing and other concerns over the
right of the campus to know a murderer was on the loose,
is figuring heavily in a hurricane of lawsuits that is starting
to engulf the school.
of the main claims of law firm Bode & Greiner, which
represents many of the victims families, is that VT
failed to lock down the campus in a timely manner
was needed at that 8 a.m. meeting was a news-oriented PR
person with guts enough to take it upon himself or herself
to alert news media immediately, no matter what the other
functionaries wanted, and at the cost of his or her job.
same defining PR moment came up at the infamous
fake press conference of FEMA Oct. 23. PA head
John Philbin later said he should have stood up in the middle
of the televised conference and ordered a halt
to it even at the risk of his career.
is often a guts undertaking and cant operate
solely as a doormat to marketing.
in importance is the continuing deaths and assassinations
worldwide. A record 64 died in 2007. The total is 175 counting
support staffers. There were 31 deaths of reporters in Iraq
in 2007. About 1,000 journalists have died in the past ten
years, many of them hunted down and murdered because their
reports offended those in power. Almost no attempt is made
to catch the murderers.
pros, who inundate reporters with press releases, should
take note of this carnage of their fellow communicators
and create a fund. Its time for them to show some
concern in this area. It might take some of the edge off
the resentment that reporters show towards PR. Also, PR
pros should think twice before blackballing or shutting
out a reporter who offends a client or employer (a form
of assassination). Jim Lukaszewski, crisis expert of the
PR Society, writing about online aggression,
says that not responding is a toxic strategy to the
person or party under attack and that silence
is always toxic to the accused.
we find that silence in the face of criticism is nearly
universal. Those who are under criticism feel that replying
would only supply more fuel to the fire and
that its just possible the critics may be right.
in importance is the short-changing, by their PR professors,
of hundreds of thousands of students who are studying PR
PR Society, at the behest of the profs, struck down again
last year at the Assembly a move to open PRSS (student)
membership to any student in the U.S. Students at only 284
of the 4,000 colleges can put on their resumes that they
are PRSS members, a key element in job-seeking.
profs, who again blocked any open discussion or vote on
the student proposal, dont want more competition for
PR jobs although a study last year showed only 10-15% of
hires for PR jobs are PR or communications majors.
fed up with this selfish stonewalling by the profs and offer
free website access, free ODwyers PR Report
subscriptions (USPS requester forms needed) and a copy of
the latest ODwyers Directory of PR Firms to
any student group that starts its own PR chapter. We suggest
they name it after their schools (PR Society of NYU, Georgetown,
etc.), assuming permission can be obtained.
school names will have far more weight with prospective
employers than PRSS. The founders should elect themselves
as officers and board members and get their resumes off
to a good start. They should also start an awards program
and other resume-enhancing activities. They will avoid having
to pay the $82 per person fee to PRSS (double the usual
rate) that PRSS wants to charge them.
dirty politics that the professors are playing with students
should teach the students something about the often rough-and-tumble,
cut-throat nature of the business/academic/association worlds.
major issue in PR is the ownership of thousands of PR firms
and ad agencies
by the four biggest conglomeratesOmnicom, WPP, Interpublic
four have caused a huge gap in ad/PR statistics by blocking
disclosure of fee and employment totals since 2002. Such
secretive ways are not good for advertising and especially
not good for PR, whose essence is disclosure and interaction
with the press and public.
financial underpinnings of these roll-ups bear watching.
Current long-term debt of the four is $12 billion. Even
at 4% interest, the cost is $480 million a year. No wonder
pennies are pinched at many of their agencies. We are hearing
complaints from service firms that its hard getting
paid by conglomerate firms until invoices are about 90 days
the congloms have been reporting net debt, subtracting
cash-on-hand from debt. U.S. GAAP does not allow this.
laughable are the analysts who supposedly track these stocks.
The analysts, all of whose employers are doing business
with the Big Four, have almost universally flogged OMC for
eight years although the stock has gone nowhere (page seven).
Even now only one of the 12 advises sell for
OMC. There are five strong buys, three buys,
three holds, and one sell. So much
for Wall Street credibility.