The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, January 9, 2008, Page 1
SEEKS PR FIRM FOR DISASTER PROJECT
has set aside $250K for a two-month PR contract to produce
branding tool kits for disaster volunteers.
kits, which are to include collateral materials, logos,
fact sheets, media materials and other information, are
to be used to identify local organizations as part of the
statewide Disaster Volunteer Corps.
state has issued a request for offer to PR firms.
The work outline starts with conducting informational interviews
with state officials and volunteer organizations to produce
the kits all the way through production and distribution.
work is to be performed for California Volunteers, which
administers state volunteer and service programs like AmeriCorps.
CV coordinated thousands of volunteers to assist with the
states recent wild fires. Funding for the PR effort
comes from the states Office of Homeland Security.
Bortner, manager of comms. for CV ([email protected]),
SINGER HANDLES S.F. ZOO CRISIS
Singer & Associates,
the well-connected San Francisco PR firm, is guiding the
San Francisco Zoo through a crisis sparked by the mauling
death of a teenage boy by a Siberian tiger there last month.
S&A is working with
the non-profit Zoological Society, which runs the San Francisco
is generating heat, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Mark Geragos, the high-profile lawyer for two teenagers
who were with the victim at the time of the attack, has
threatened to sue Singer for allegedly planting stories
that portray the two boys in a negative light, reports the
The paper noted that a
dispatch in the New York Post last week had an anonymous
source saying the boys had slingshots and that an empty
bottle of vodka was found in their car.
Singer told the Chronicle
that the slingshot rumor was already out there
and denied he leaked the idea. Reporters have asked
about rocks, slingshots, bottle rockets and taunting,
he said. Those are all things that San Francisco police
are investigating, and thats a fact.
has named Barry LaSala director of its government
affairs team in Washington, D.C. He will tackle online security,
trade and technology issues.
He had been a key staffer
for the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee
that is headed by John Kerry of Massachusetts.
OGILVY PICKS UP PAKISTAN
Ogilvy PR Worldwide has
inked a three-month contract to provide media relations
services for the Embassy of Pakistan.
The $45K a-month pact
was signed prior to the Dec. 27 murder of the countrys
former leader Benazir Bhutto.
Pakistani president Pervez
Musharraf on Jan. 3 denied that his government had anything
to do with Bhuttos assassination.
He told a press conference
that extremists, who have been carrying out suicide bombings
in Pakistan, were responsible for the killing of Bhutto.
Musharraf also noted that he warned Bhutto about the dangers
connected with her conducting a public rally.
shop is to provide media training, guidance, reporter outreach
and write press materials for the Embassy. The WPP Group
unit does not anticipate participating in political activities
for its client.
The contract will be re-evaluated
after three-months to determine whether it should be extended.
Pakistan and its former
PR firm Cassidy & Assocs. parted ways on a $1.2M one-year
contract in November after Musharraf declared emergency
rule in his country.
Either Ogilvy or Pakistan
retains the right to terminate the agreement upon giving
30 days prior written notice. Ogilvy agrees not to disclose
the nature of the agreement or relationship without obtaining
Pakistani approval. The firms client agreement was
sent to Pakistans U.S. Ambassador Mahmud Ali Durrani.
MGH CONNECTS WITH 811 ACCOUNT
Maryland-based MGH has
won a review to guide PR and social media for the Common
Ground Alliance, a utility industry-backed non-profit that
runs a campaign to prevent people from uprooting pipelines
The CGA, based in Alexandria,
Va., had worked with Fleishman-Hillards D.C. office
in the past. It issued an RFP in late August for the $15K/month
account to create a news bureau, handle media inquiries
and reach out to bloggers, among other tasks.
F-H launched CGAs
811 hotline, which was set for homeowners and contractors
to call before digging or excavating. Damage to pipelines
and cables costs the industry millions of dollars each year.
MGH, which was tapped
after a unanimous decision by a team of CGA members, is
charged with targeting would-be diggers in the planning
stages before they break ground. The firm, for the last
seven years, has been AOR for Miss Utility, a CGA member
and call notification center based in the D.C. area. Michael
OBrien is EVP and PR director at MGH.
Edition, January 9, 2008, Page 2
NUKE INDUSTRY HIT ON DISCLOSURE
reader of Vermonts Rutland Herald took that
paper and Hill & Knowlton to task as the latest media
outlet to not identify an op-ed piece author as a nuclear
Dec. 27 commentary headlined Vermonts Low Carbon
Leadership was bylined Patrick Moore, who was identified
as an advisor to the Vermont Energy Partnership, co-founder
and former leader of Greenpeace, and chairman and chief
scientist of Greenspirit Strategies. Ltd.
Brennan Michaels, in a letter to the editor dated Jan. 1,
noted that Greenpeace has disavowed the current work by
Moore, who has not been with that environmental group for
20 years. Wrote Michaels: Currently, Moore is collecting
large sums of money to promote nuclear power from the Nuclear
[and] has been the most visible feature
of an $8M public relations campaign funded by NEI and run
by Hill & Knowlton that has booked countless Moore speeches
and planted countless Moore editorials, all trumpeting his
ancient association with Greenpeace and failing to disclose
his payments from the nuclear lobby.
Rutland Heralds failure to disclose Moores ties
was not the first case, by any measure. The Columbia
Journalism Review, in a 2006 editorial titled False
Fronts, noted the Washington Post, Boston
Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Herald,
Baltimore Sun, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Rocky
Mountain News, New York Times, and CBS News have
all made references to Moore as a Greenpeace founder or
environmentalist without mentioning his role as a paid spokesman
nuclear plant in Vermont owned by Entergy Nuclear is under
review for its license to be extended beyond its 2012 expiration.
That review has sparked a contentious debate in the state.
Moores op-ed argued in favor of the plant and nuclear
National Press Club has joined with British insurer Aviva
to conduct an educational outreach program to promote the
history and future of the Washington-based journalism organization
with about 3,500 members.
Moines-based Aviva USA is funding 12,000 DVDs and brochures
linked to a centennial documentary called The National
Press Club at 100: A Century of Headlines. The materials
are slated for j-schools, libraries and community groups.
documentary premiered Jan. 4 at NPC. A panel discussion
followed featuring reporting legends Helen Thomas and Jack
Germond. They joined NPC president Jerry Zremski and president
emeritus John Cosgrove.
documentary, according to Zremski, tells NPCs story
and that of the development of journalism in America. He
believes the film will transmit journalistic values
and traditions to young and aspiring journalists.
its participation in the anniversary celebration, Aviva
received NPCs first centennial founders award. Tom
Godlasky, president of Aviva USA, said his company teamed
with NPC because it is a forward-thinking company
that is dedicated to building better tomorrows in American
communities and worldwide. He praised NPCs illustrious
history of promoting the highest professional standards
Iowa-based subsidiary accounts for $38B of the parent companys
$713B total assets. Aviva USA has 1,200 employees and 37K
KEEPS BUSY ON IRAQ REBUILD
Griffith & Rogers earned fees of $650K during the six-month
period ended November 30 for work on behalf of the Iraqi
National Accord and Kurdish Regional Government, two sides
working to put the country back together again.
is promoting the Six Point Plan for Iraq that
is the handiwork of former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi
and his INA. That calls for the exit of most American forces
within two years and establishment of a federal state that
recognizes the importance of Iraqi Kurds and the KRG
in building a new Iraq.
Washington-based firm placed op-ed pieces in the New
York Times and Washington Post for submissions
bylined by Allawi. It also arranged face-time for Allawi
with CNNs Wolf Blitzer.
placed an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal
on behalf of KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani in which
he defended his governments measure to regulate energy
resources in the region.
promised to share the wealth with the rest of the country,
but noted that Baghdad had tight control over Kurdistans
energy wealth under Saddam Hussein, which it used to create
obeisance and loyalty to the center.
wrote that Kurdistan is not a rogue province seeking
an early escape from the chaos that has become Iraq.
harbors deep suspicions about becoming reliant on
the capital that has brought us such misery for so many
GUIDES PR FOR BIODIESEL CO.
Scoville PR handles Imperium Renewables, the renewable fuel
producer that suffered a December top executive shakeup
and postponed its IPO last week citing current market
has raised more than $200M in funding and operates what
it says is the largest biodiesel plant in the U.S., along
with a separate research lab, in Washington state. It planned
a $345M IPO for May.
an independent boutique firm headed by John Williams, issued
a statement for Imperium on Jan. 3 in which the companys
founder and interim president/CEO John Plaza announced the
IPO postponement. The firm also announced the departure
of Imperium CEO Martin Tobias on Dec. 21, a move CNET called
abrupt and not well publicized, noting the news
was released on the Friday before Christmas.
fuel, which produces low carbon dioxide emissions and is
supported in Congress recently passed energy bill,
is derived from organic material like agricultural products.
also works with Zipcar, the car-sharing service, and Targeted
Growth, a biotechnology company.
Edition, January 9, 2008, Page 3
WEIGHS GENDER IN POLITICS
trumps issues for prospective votes in the 2008 presidential
election, according to a survey of 2,000 Americans by New
York Women in Communications.
20 percent said they would support a woman as a historical
precedent, although 36 percent of Hispanics and that same
percentage of 18-24-year-olds would vote for a woman because
of the historical significance.
found that just 17 percent of women and 14 percent of men
said theyd be more likely to vote for a woman if they
liked a male and female candidate equally, and 59 percent
said they are neither more likely nor less likely to vote
for a female candidate.
a sizable number (36 percent) of women said they would support
a female because of strength in issues like education and
healthcare. That number was higher for black and Hispanic
voters (41 and 45 percent, respectively).
survey suggests that although women wont support another
female unconditionally, theyre more receptive to certain
campaign messages, and theyre far more sensitive than
men to public scrutiny of a female candidate, said
Kristine Welker, NYWICI president.
bias in media
half of women polled said females are more likely to receive
negative press coverage, while 35 percent of men agreed
with that analysis. Sixty percent of women said female candidates
are more likely to be judged by their clothing and hairstyle.
Half of men concur.
percent of all respondents said Hillary Clinton has been
treated differently by her male opponents because she's
female, and a large chunk of them (78 percent) call that
treatment negative or critical.
for celebrity endorsements, respondents said they arent
swayed. Only eight percent said they would be moved by a
celebritys support of a candidate. But there are a
few high-profile figures with influence. Twenty percent
said Al Gores backing would affect their vote, while
Oprah Winfreys support (shes backing Barack
Obama) registered among 12 percent of respondents. Diane
Sawyer (10 percent), Jon Stewart (9 percent) and Bill OReilly
(9 percent) also registered.
survey queried 1,016 men and 1,009 women 18 years of age
and older from December 13-17.
FOX BIZ NEWS OFF TO DISMAL
Fox Business News is averaging
viewership of 6,300 during its first two months, far below
the 283K people who tune into CNBC each weekday, according
to the New York Times.
FBN launched in October
with much ballyhoo including boasts from CEO Roger Ailes
about burying CNBC.
falls below the 35K minimum threshold that Nielsen Media
Research uses before publicly disclosing a cable networks
rating. That figure represents a tenth of a ratings point.
CNBC is available in 90M
homes, while FBN can be viewed in 30M households.
MERC BOOTS HUTTON
The San Jose Mercury
News, which has a circulation of more than 230K, has
replaced executive editor Carole Hutton with Dave Butler,
VP-news at parent company MediaNews Group.
The Denver-based publisher
bought the Merc, which had been Knight-Ridders crown
jewel, from McClatchy in `06.
Dean Singleton, CEO of
MediaNews, said Butlers job is to spark innovation
to the San Jose paper. He noted that the paper is located
near Google and Yahoo!, two of the big drivers of the new
Butler has been editor
and publisher of the Detroit News, and editor of
the Los Angeles Daily News. He retains his corporate
FLORIO DIES AT 58
Steve Florio, the colorful
former CEO of Conde Nast Publications, died Dec. 27 from
the aftermath of a heart attack suffered around Thanksgiving.
He was 58.
Florio, who had a history
of heart troubles, stepped down as chief in `04. He retained
the vice chairman position.
Conde Nast chief S. I.
Newhouse said in a statement that Florio was a great
executive and great leader.
At CNP, Florio was in
charge of magazines such as Glamour, New Yorker,
Vanity Fair, Bon Appetit, Self and Vogue.
The companys magazines attract more than 70M readers
KAHN, FISHER UPPED AT NYT
Joe Kahn and Ian Fisher
have been promoted to deputy foreign editors at the New
Kahn has been reporting
from China for the paper. Earlier, he was a business reporter,
Washington correspondent and staffer at the Wall Street
Journal. He assumes his new post in March.
The well-traveled Fisher
has written for the Times in Africa, Europe, Israel and
Iraq. He will join Kahn in April.
a Disney-published magazine for parents, said it will increase
its rate base to 500,000 with its February 2008 issue. Thats
a 25% boost from its current base of 400,000.
assistant managing editor Paul
Barrett, who led investigative reporting for the
magazine, is returning to the Wall Street Journal
to write on non-business topics for the front page.
Sagges, formerly of Access Communications, to Chief
Executive magazine, as marketing relations manager,
a new position. She markets events and handles outreach
for corporate CEOS and C-suite participants. She previously
managed events like Comdex and the International Housewares
news continued on next page)
Edition, January 9, 2008, Page 4
RECRUITS CITIZEN JOURNALISTS
MTV Networks has recruited 51 members for its Street
Team `08 to report election news from each state and
the District of Columbia.
will file weekly multimedia reports that will also be distributed
via the Associated Press Online Video Network of more than
rookie reporters will provide a youthful take on the important
issues affecting the presidential race.
Rowe, VP-PA and Strategic Partnership at MTV, said Street
Team `08 is a key way for our audience to connect
with peers, as well as get informed and engaged on the local
and political issues that matter to them most.
project is bankrolled by a $700K grant from the John S.
and James L. Knight Foundation, which has earmarked $25M
over the next three years to back community news ventures.
LHJ UNVEILS NEW LOOK, COLUMNS
Ladies Home Journal
has been redesigned for its 125th anniversary.
Diane Salvatore, editor-in-chief
for the last five and a half years who oversaw the changes,
said: "The previous aesthetic - which worked extremely
well at that point in our evolution - put more emphasis
on pure gracefulness. Now we want to have a touch more swagger
and intensity in key places." New columns include "Medical
Mystery," covering a woman whose symptoms confound
doctors but is eventually diagnosed; "Anatomy of a
Splurge," comparing a high-priced beauty item to an
economically priced version, and "Can This Recipe Be
Saved?" an expansion of an existing column of makeovers
for family recipes.
Among the changes are
new typefaces, illustrations, graphics, and photo essays.
The changes take effect
with the February edition.
Adweek, which has
cut back to 36 issues a year, has announced a "re-launch
of its brand."
The advertising trade
said it will unveil a new website, magazine and events schedule
on Feb. 4 which will be more closely aligned.
Editor Alison Fahey called
the changes an "important shift in editorial direction,
scope and content distribution." She added: "We
will move from a vertical agency book to a broader perspective
with more in-depth analysis and a focus on innovation and
In addition to the web
will include a searchable creative database of ads which
users can ad to and critique, forums, video interviews,
and agency profiles with user generated content. The print
magazine will have longer features, case studies and client
strategy critiques. A key goal is reaching beyond the agency
sector to reach "outside industries." Its circulation
will include 26 regular issues and 10 special editions focusing
on topics like design, mobile marketing, digital services
An ad campaign via New
York agency Cowboy about the changes is running online and
FALCONHEAD OWNS ENDURANCE
Private equity firm Falconhead
Capital, which focuses on sports, leisure, lifestyle, and
media, announced three separate acquisitions in the endurance
sports event and publishing industries. FC has combined
them to form a new platform company known as Competitor
The three acquired companies
are based in San Diego, Calif., the so-called "endurance-sport
capital of the world," are Elite Racing, La Jolla Holding
Group, doing business as Triathlete Magazine, and
Competitor Publishing, Inc.
Faconhead said CG is the
largest media and event-based enterprise in the endurance
sport space, with total monthly magazine circulation of
about 500K; marathons, triathlons, cycling and other endurance
events in sixteen major cities with more than 150K participants.
Financial terms were not
disclosed. FC pegs the endurance sport industry - including
running, cycling and triathlons - as a rapidly growing,
$1.3 billion sector with more than 3.4 million active participants
nationwide and attractive to the key 25 to 54-year-old demographic
with an average household annual income consistently in
the $75,000 to $95,000 range.
Elite Racing is the top
owner and operator of running events in the United States.
Triathlete is the largest triathlon consumer magazine and
online content provider in the industry with monthly circulation
per issue of about 60K.
CP publishes regional
magazines on endurance events, training tips, nutrition
and products, with controlled monthly circulation totaling
about 450K. CP also owns the Muddy Buddy endurance events.
Falconhead has named one
of its operating partners, Peter Englehart, as chief executive
officer of CGI, effective immediately.
Englehart, 55, is founder
and former president of the Convention & Trade Show
Television Network, LLC (CTS-TV); senior vice president
of programming and production for the Outdoor Life Network,
and director of program planning at ESPN.
AIM ACQUIRES SNEWS
Active Interest Media,
the parent company of Backpacker magazine and Yoga
Journal, has acquired SNEWS (Specialty News), a trade
news service for the outdoor and fitness industries. SNEWS
produces the GearTrends trade magazines and online
AIM's president and CEO,
Skip Zimbalist, called the deal a "powerful partnership
of the leading consumer and trade brands in the outdoor
and fitness industries."
AIM also publishes Vegetarian
Times, Better Nutrition and custom publications
like the soon-to-debut Whole Foods Market magazine.
SNEWS said it is retaining
key senior staff including partners Michael Hodgson and
Therese Iknoian, who will continue to operate out of Grass
Edition, January 9,
2008, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
LYNCH ADDS WY. SHOP
Lynch Spong has acquired Wyoming-based PR firm Stanwood
& Partners, which specializes in the outdoor enthusiast
adds S&Ps 11 staffers and offices in Jackson,
Wy., and Boston.
Stanwood takes on the role of principal and chair of CLS
environmental and sustainability practice.
has acquired an investment stake in Beijing-based Shunya
Communications, one of Chinas biggest advertising,
PR, event marketing and marketing services firms. With nearly
500 staffers, Shunya has offices in Shanghai, Guangzhou
and Chengdu. Shunya International PR will become part of
OMCs Porter Novelli. ...HenkinSchultz
Communication Arts, Sioux Falls, S.D., designed the
Iowa Caucus committees stage and backdrop for press
events where the results of the tally were released in Des
Moines last week. Kirby Schultz, co-owner of the firm, designed
the backdrop of a waving American flag projected on a LED
screen. ...Bob Gold
& Associates, Los Angeles, has joined the Whiteoaks
International Network of PR firms focused on technology
and business communications. Gold said it became clear that
his 11-year-old firm needed a presence in each region of
the world. The network has 15 offices in 27 countries. ...Bonnie
Crail, former PR pro for Ritz-Carlton, has opened Crail
Communications focused on the hospitality, tourism and leisure
industries. She has offices in Dallas and San Diego and
counts multiple R-C properties as start-up clients; crailcommunications.com.
a former reporter and PR writer for Panasonic, has opened
Swordfish Communications to serve the Philadelphia area
from Voorhees, N.J. He has worked at New Directions PR,
PRinceton Partners and Barton Gilanelli & Associates.
He focuses on retail, food/beverage, tech and entertainment,
among other sectors; swordfishcomm.com. ...New Jersey-based
sports and entertainment PR pro Wayne
Catan is slated to be inducted into the New York
State Wrestling Hall of Fame on Jan. 19 at the University
of Buffalo. Catan won the 1985 New York State Collegiate
title when he competed for Syracuse University (class of
1986). Catan runs Catan Communications; catancomm.com.
...Gwen Spragg Communications,
Chicago, a solo practitioner shop, has changed its name
to S3 Communications to reflect strategy, style and
solutions. Spragg, who has practiced PR for 25 years,
said she also has a new service to use images like murals,
paintings and other artwork as part of integrated communications
for new identity work or other PR endeavors. Info: s3comms.com.
president of GMA International, based in Bainbridge Island,
Wash., will moderate a panel on home building opportunities
in China on Feb. 13 as part of the International Builders
Show of the National Assn. of Home Builders in Orlando.
He has keynoted several events on housing in China and is
former president of the American Building Products Export
MAGRINO RIDES WITH TALON AIR
Magrino Agency has picked up Talon Air, a New York-based
luxury private jet operator that owns its fleet. Rubenstein
PR previously handled the account.
Thalberg, executive director at SMA, said the firm had a
number of discussions with the company about the direction
they wanted to take and both client and agency saw a good
fit. He said there was not a formal RFP process.
real estate mogul Adam Katz founded Talon and is an active
pilot in the company.
earned press last year when it hosted a tennis match between
Pete Sampras and Jim Courier in its hangar at Republic Airport
on Long Island. The event was sponsored by Maserati.
AD COUNCIL SUPPORTS CHILDHELP
Gordon C. James PR, which
has offices in D.C. and Phoenix, is coordinating an Ad Council
campaign against child abuse for client Childhelp.
The Ad Council said last
week it has launched a campaign to highlight Childhelps
national child abuse hotline and website, childhelp.org.
A three-year PSA project
GCJPR handles branding,
media relations, special events and other work for Childhelp.
As part of those responsibilities, it is coordinating the
Ad Council campaign with the Childhelp leadership team.
The Ad Council had selected
Childhelp as the spotlight of their child abuse campaign
prior to the firm being hired on. The organization was the
highlight of an Ad Council effort a few years back, the
+ Associates, Cranford, N.J./ipCapital Group, a Vermont-based
intellectual property consulting firm; China India Institute,
research and consulting organization focused on investment
in those two countries, and For Talent, by Ed Lawyer,
professor at the Marshall School of Business at the Univ.
of Southern California, slated for April 2008 release.
Public Relations, Boston/WowWee Group, designer,
developer, marketer and distributor of consumer robotic
and entertainment products, as North American AOR following
a national agency review. 360PR is introducing WowWee's
2008 line at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas
Inc., Atlanta/Chick-fil-A, for launch of a video
contest and social media website at www.chick-fil-a.com/biggestfan.
Vitrue developed a branded video community for consumers
to upload videos of up to one minute in length that pleads
their case as to why they believe they are the brands
most passionate fan.
& Associates, Westminster, Colo./REAL Software,
an Austin, Tex.-based developer and marketer of software
development environments for Windows, OS/X or Linux. L&A
is handling strategic planning, product launches, media
and analyst relations, white paper development, article
writing and placement for the company.
Edition, January 9, 2008, Page 6
CLIENTS LIKE AGENCY REVIEWS
50 percent of client/agency relationships last less than
two years, according to a study by Cincinnati-based business
development firm Reardon Smith Whittaker.
top reasons for conducting an agency review, according to
clients, are bad creative, weak strategic thinking, and
lack of proactivity or fresh ideas. Agency personnel changes
were also near the top of the list.
percent of client respondents said they look forward
or find it exciting to search for a new agency.
Sixty-eight percent of clients said they saw four or more
agencies in a review.
marketing was listed as the most interesting
of new marketing disciplines cropping up, followed by Internet
marketing and word-of-mouth.
results of the survey are at rswus.com.
PRN BOLSTERS LATINO MEDIA
PR Newswire has bolstered
its Hispanic market capabilities with the acquisition of
Hispanic PR Wire and two sister units covering monitoring
and Internet advertising.
The deal is PRNs
second move in six months to shore up its reach in the Latino
sector. It acquired Latin American media monitoring/analytics
firm Notilog in July.
Hispanic PR Wire is a
news dissemination service focused on Latino media which
started up in 2000 and is based in Miami. PRN said it will
keep HPRWs operations and staff there.
The deal also includes
media monitoring unit LatinClips, and Hispanic Digital Network,
a digital advertising network that hosts websites for Latino
Among the top HPRW executives
joining PRN is Manny Ruiz, president and co-founder of the
businesses. He is joined by Christine Clavijo-Kish, co-founder
of HPRW and LatinClips; Dalia Paratore Salazar, co-founder
and managing partner, LatinClips, and Bill Gato, co-founder
and president of HDN.
Ruiz said the deal gives
his companies 24/7 operation, expanded product offerings
and new services down the road. Dave Armon, COO of PRN,
noted that part of the three companies success came
from close relationships and boutique approach that
its principals have taken and said that level of service
would be unchanged.
PRN said the combination
of its existing operations and the new acquisitions puts
its reach at more than 3,000 unique Hispanic outlets.
Egan, senior VP of marketing and business development
for national TV sales at ABC Television, has joined media
promotion company TMPG,
White Plains, N.Y., as senior VP of business development.
Sobine, former senior promotion manager for Advertising
Age and Creativity magazine who was sales promotion
manager for ABCs national TV sales, joins as creative
TMPG has worked with Kraft,
HBO and American Express.
Greenwald, VP at Berns Communications Group, returns
to Rubenstein PR, New York, as a senior VP. He was previously
with LaForce & Stevens and the Hall Company. Isabel
Quinteros, previously with 5W PR, to Rubenstein PR,
as an associate VP. She has worked at Quinto & Co.,
Think PR and Dan Klores Communications. Colleen
McCarthy, associate director of consumer PR at Steve
& Barrys, joins as an associate VP. She has been
at Edelman, RF Binder Partners and Ketchum.
Bruck, manager of PR at Thacher Proffitt & Wood,
to Allen Overy, a global law firm, as U.S. PR and communications
manager based in New York.
Hubbard, who recently directed the National Governors
Associations Innovation America campaign for Arizona
Gov. Janet Napolitano, to Widmeyer Communications, New York,
as VP in its PreK-12 education practice. She was formerly
director of government and media relations at Scholastic,
as well as chief of staff to CEO and chairman Richard Robinson.
Coleman, senior editor of menswear trade pub MR,
to French/West/Vaughan, Raleigh, N.C., as an A/E. She handles
Wrangler and Justin Boots. She previously wrote for Vibe
and Mademoiselle and freelanced for MTV.
Klugman, a veteran of Paige Poulos Communications
and Porter Novelli, to Burditch Marketing Communications,
San Francisco. She handles luxury clients in central and
northern California as hospitality and lifestyle strategist.
Klugman was previously executive director of The American
Institute of Wine & Food. At BMC, she handles Stags
Leap District Winegrowers Assn. and Meadowood Napa Valley,
among other clients.
Schull to president, Russo Partners, New York. He
was previously managing director and senior VP of Noonan
Russos San Diego office. Earlier, he was senior VP
at Thorp & Company.
Burkhardt to executive VP and managing director of
PR, Trahan Burden Charles, Baltimore, Md. Burkhardt heads
PR for the firm out of Baltimore and New York. He has been
with TBC for nearly 20 years and oversees work for MinuteClinic,
Singapore Tourism Board, and Ameristar Casinos.
Reinsmidt to director of corporate communications,
CBL & Associates Properties, Chattanooga, Tenn. Dan
Summerlin, director of electronic marketing for Unum,
has joined as director of corporate relations.
Perry to director of marketing communications, Hyundai
Motor America, Fountain Valley, Calif.
Gold, president of Bob Gold & Associates, to
the board of directors of PR Societys Los Angeles
chapter. Art Maulsby,
executive director at BG&A, was named to the board of
Cable Positives L.A. chapter, and A/E Dwayna
Haley was elected membership chair for the Southern
California Chapter of Women in Cable & Telecommunications.
Edition, January 9, 2008, Page 7
COKE CEO TAPPED FOR PROTEST
Kent, who assumes the CEO slot at Coca-Cola in July, will
be greeted by one million empty water bottles when he takes
over the Atlanta headquarters if a plan by marketing pros
Eric Yaverbaum and Mark DiMassimo takes shape.
who heads PR firm Ericho Communications, and DiMassimo,
founder of DiMassimo Goldstein ad shop, are founders of
Tappening, a venture to promote the drinking of tap vs.
bottled water. The goal is to highlight the environmental
shortcomings of the bottled water industry; Coke is a player
there via its Dasani brand.
contends that the national recycling rate of plastic water
bottles is only about 23 percent. Four billion bottles wind
up in the waste stream.
bottles are energy demanding both in production (e.g., 17M
barrels a year) and shipping.
Think Global. Drink Local initiative also highlights
the economic cost of drinking bottled water, which is a
worldwide $35B business. Another angle: nearly a quarter
of bottled water is derived from public drinking supplies.
and DiMassimo sell re-usable Tappening branded water bottles
at $14.95 and $17.95 each as part of the promotion.
want people to include a message in the bottle to be sent
to Kent about commitments to drink tap vs. bottled water.
for its part, claims to be a steward of Mother Earth. According
to its website, the drinks company improved its water use
rate by three percent from `05.
was a four percent improvement in energy use, seven percent
hike in the solid waste ratio and a one percent betterment
figures are gleaned from its 775 beverage production plants
around that world account for 94 percent of 106 volume sales.
GEICOS GECKO HITS ROAD
Insurance giant Geico
has launched a three-year U.S. tour of a live gecko exhibit
to honor the iconic spokescreature for its line
of auto and motorcycle policies.
The tour is a partnership
with the Assn. of Zoos and Aquariums and its accredited
Steve Feldman, senior
VP-at AZA, told ODwyers the project is not using
outside PR help. It is being handled by Geico and AZA staffers.
The exhibit, featuring
giant Day geckos that are native to Madagascar and other
Indian Ocean islands, opened Jan. 5 at San Diegos
Childrens Zoo. Its goal is to help promote wildlife
The program features a
Geico Gecko costumed character who will make media appearances
to promote the need to save his cousins in the
wild. There are also animated Geico/AZA commercials.
The insurer is making
contributions to wildlife protection and signed on as lead
sponsor for AZAs Earth Day Party for the Planet.
The AZA zoos and aquariums
attract nearly 160M visitors each year. Geico insures more
than 13M vehicles. It is part of Berkshire Hathaway.
PUBLICIS LOOKS FOR NYC PR
is conducting a national search to replace Hayley Soffer,
who exited the managing director slot in New York last month,
according to Steve Bryant, the Seattle-based president of
the Publicis Groupe unit. The firm is looking for an experienced
leader, he told ODwyers via an e-mail.
Soffer, who also headed
PC|PRs healthcare unit, is now at Cohn & Wolfe
in charge of New York health client service, operations,
talent development and new business. Sally Ann Barton heads
C&Ws North American health practice.
Bryant also handles PC|PRs
development and strategy duties. He is the top U.S. exec
following the departure of CEO Ann Moravick to Ketchum in
PC|PR was formed about
a year ago to house the remnants of Rowland Communications,
which was formed in 1961.
SV PILOTS CNET TAKEOVER BID
George Sard's Sard Verbinnen
& Co. is advising Jana Partners, which is spearheading
an investment group out to gain control of CNET Networks.
The Jana-led consortium
currently controls an eight percent voting stake in CNET,
and wants to elect seven reps to an expanded 13-member CNET
Barry Rosenstein, managing
partner at Jana, called CNET an "underperforming company."
He aims to increase shareholder value by "building
on its top-notch editorial talent and premier Internet assets."
CNET shares, according
to Jana's statement, rose less than one percent in `07.
That compares to a 10 rise in the NASDAQ Index. The company
posted a nine-month net loss of $26M on revenues of $288M.
Founded in `92, CNET is
among pioneers of the Internet. It employs 2,600 staffers
at properties including its flagship tech site, GameSpot,
CNET issued a statement
saying that is has made significant "strategic, financial,
personnel and operational progress" under new management
headed by CEO Neal Ashe.
Sard is working the CNET
takeover bid with Jonathan Gasthalter, Paul Kranhold and
LOTT HITS LOBBYING TRAIL
Former Senate Majority
Leader Trent Lott, who announced his retirement from his
Mississippi Senate seat on Nov. 26, is teaming with ex-Louisiana
Senator John Breaux to establish the bipartisan Breaux-Lott
Republican Lott, 66, is
banned from lobbying the Senate for one-year under current
rules calling for a one-year cooling off period.
He initially will provide
strategic guidance to corporate clients about how to make
their case on Capitol Hill.
Democrat Breaux, 63, retired
from the Senate in `05. He exited Patton Bogg in December
with plans to set up his own shop.
Lotts son, Chet,
and John Breaux Jr. will work at the firm. Brett Boyles,
Lotts former chief of staff, also has signed on.
Edition, January 9, 2008,
Clinton's third-place showing in Iowa is being laid
at the doorstep of none other than Mark Penn, president
and CEO of Burson-Marsteller, once the biggest PR firm but
whose fee and staff figures have not been seen since 2001.
long been criticized for leading the campaign of Clinton
while at the same time heading a giant PR firm with large
numbers of business interests.
Ariana Huffington has called for Penn to resign B-M and
Ari Berman, writer for The Nation, has been blasting
Penn's "centrist" policy for Clinton.
this approach to save the presidency for Bill Clinton after
the Democrats lost both houses in 1994, says Berman. Republican
themes like welfare reform and tax cuts were co-opted by
rescued Hillary when she ran for the Senate in 2000 by getting
her to focus on "pot-hole politics" rather than
grand themes," wrote Berman.
including columnist Robert Novak, are now saying that Clinton's
emphasis on "experience" is playing poorly against
Barack Obama's promise of "change."
A dialog on what clients
should pay to PR firms for what services raged in
the Wall Street Journal print and online editions
One writer claimed that PR firms "are a complete ripoff
for small businesses. They take your thousands of dollars
each month and put a recent college graduate on your case
who knows even less about PR than you do."
The writer told small businesses to read a few books and
then attempt their own PR: "As long as you see things
from a media perspective, it's not that hard to do your
This touched off a string of rebuttals including the statement
that "PR is about vastly more than simple publicity."
Anyone who thinks about PR that way is "narrow-minded,"
said Tim Pennington of Allendale, Mich.
Another writer did not think "pay-for-play" is
a bad idea because "too many firms collect their retainers
without delivering the goods." At the same time, he
noted, "too many clients don't pay for services rendered."
A related article
was by New Yorker financial writer James Surowiecki
who said in the Dec. 24/31 issue that the true meaning
of the web is price & item shopping. For the first time,
buyers know as much about prices as sellers, he said. People
are not buying much on the web (only 3% of retail sales).
Rather, they are shopping on the web and doing their buying
in the stores.
PR firms have missed this boat which is based on massive
amounts of facts and prices available. Fighting this new
era of information are firms that display no accounts at
all when they used to display hundreds of them. They clasp
to their bosoms any data about fees, staff names and staff
totals, make no speeches, hold no press functions and exhibit
no public personality. Some small and medium-sized firms
also do this.
But to be modern, PR firms should start competing on the
basis of price (so many activities in a month for such-and-such
price) while practicing full disclosure about themselves.
The activities could be special events, parties and receptions;
letters to current and past customers; new brochures for
the sales force; interviews set up with the press and Wall
Street; promises to obtain publicity in ten of 20 target
media; a certain number of hours of counseling, etc. The
web is about prices and information, not secrecy.
PR has a numerical story to tell as Ketchum research head
Mark Weiner has pointed out. PR returns about $6 for every
dollar invested while ads return about $1.20, according
to his research. Return on investment can be measured in
terms of revenue, doing more with less, and for less, and
avoiding catastrophic cost, he says.
The first statements
of 2008 PRS chair Jeff Julin show he is a master
of the overblown empty phrase.
Prof. Bill Sledzik of Kent State University, critiquing
Julin, said that if he were a student in his sophomore writing
class he would get a "gentleman's C" for his first
release but only on the condition that he re-write it. The
grade would be much worse were Julin in the senior media-relations
class, Sledzik added.
As an example of Julin's "fluff," Sledzik quotes
this sentence: "Implementation of the (strategic) plan
will maximize member value by enhancing our real and virtual
communities, more aggressively profiling best practices
and PR research, and leveraging our leadership position
in PR ethics."
Julin's basic flaw is overuse of abstract "buzz words"
like "stakeholder engagement" while avoiding anything
specific, says Sledzik. It's "B.S." writing that
lacks "substance," he says.
We found much worse than just poor writing in Julin's first
remarks. There is mountainous hypocrisy in his statement,
"I also hope to advance a broader understanding of
our profession as PRS engages in public discourse on such
timely issues such as ethical communications, the free flow
of information and first amendment rights."
The last thing PRS believes in is the "free flow of
information" because it is withholding from members
the transcripts of the last three Assemblies; COO Bill Murray's
employment contract; how individual delegates voted in the
51-49% defeat of the proposed five district bylaw at the
2007 Assembly (the board has this valuable political information),
and what the arguments are for switching the charter from
New York (which disallows electronic meetings) to Delaware
(which allows them). Julin shows no interest in overturning
the 35-year-old undemocratic rule that bars 80%+ of members
from running for national office. Julin's remarks so far
are 100% air. His new "stealth board" meets Jan.
24-26 in New York but there's no word of this on the PRS
website. We expect not a peep from any of the directors
Sledzik feels the writing at PRS is so bad that he has
started the Facebook group, "PRS Needs Professional
PR Help-NOW." (www.toughsledding.wordpress.com).