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Internet Edition, February 6, 2008, Page 1


Seattle has begun a search for a PR firm to make the public case that a new jail is necessary as prisons fill up in the Evergreen State.

An RFP has been issued for a firm to develop and implement a PR campaign to engage and educate the public about the issue as the city considers whether to partner with other municipalities or build its own jail for misdemeanor offenders.

More than 20 firms have downloaded the RFP, including APCO Worldwide, Berk & Associates, Communique PR, Porter Novelli and Waggener Edstrom.

The move was sparked by surrounding King County’s decision to stop housing misdemeanor offenders by 2012. That leaves Seattle and other cities scrambling to provide means to jail hundreds of criminals like drunken drivers, prostitutes and drug users in the next four years.

The PR effort is divided into two phases with the first focused on explaining details like why the city needs a new facility and addressing “myths” about jails. Phase two begins after a site is selected and explains the development project. Organizing community meetings, identifying supporters and opponents, and producing outreach materials are tenets of the work.

The city acknowledges that it doesn’t expect the public to “welcome” the idea of a new jail, but sees the PR campaign as necessary to make them understand why it’s necessary. It plans to measure public awareness through surveys, media coverage, feedback to city officials and blogs, to name a few outlets.

Firms registered to do business in Washington State with public sector PR experience are eligible to pitch. Proposals are due Feb. 11. To get the RFP, firms must register at the city’s online procurement portal,


Los Angeles World Airports is looking for firms to handle PR, marketing, advertising and public outreach to support growth and development of its regional airports at Palmdale and Ontario.

It also wants to promote international growth at Los Angeles International Airport.

The work entails program management; design of brochures/collateral materials, newsletters; direct mail; exhibit displays; promotional event planning and advertising.

Amy Willard is handling the search. She is at 310/646-6426. Deadline is Feb. 11.


Omnicom won a major court victory Jan. 29 as a U.S. District Court judge tossed the six-year-old lawsuit over its accounting for Internet investments.

Plaintiffs sought damages of about $1B in the lawsuit focused on Seneca Investments.

They claimed that OMC off-loaded its sinking Internet investments to Seneca in an effort to avoid carrying the value of the investments on its books.

Plaintiffs charged that OMC shares tanked following an `02 Wall Street Journal story about Seneca and the ad/PR conglom’s Internet investments.

Judge William Pauley granted OMC’s request for summary judgment.

He ruled that plaintiffs did not prove that any alleged misrepresentations by OMC resulted in their financial losses.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs may appeal the ruling of the Manhattan court. Max Berger, who represents lead plaintiff, New Orleans Employees’ Retirement System, told Reuters that his client is disappointed with the ruling and believes Pauley is wrong.


Hill and Knowlton billed Saudi Arabia’s oil ministry $1M for working as communications counsel for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries summit that was staged in Riyadh in November, according to its contract just filed with the Justice Dept.

H&K’s proposal says OPEC has an “important message of hope and reassurance as the world’s leading energy supplier.”

It cites a “uniquely challenging period for OPEC and the world with oil prices at record highs as producers strain to keep pace with demand and global economic growth, and all exacerbated by economic and financial turbulence and a falling dollar.”

H&K positions itself as “one of the world’s greatest producers of news for our clients around the world.”

The firm said it is “pleased to be able to offer expertise, talent and commitment” to make the event a “showcase success” for both OPEC and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The proposal shows fees of $530K, which includes $119K for project leader Jim Cox. He was slated to spend 35 days on the job—including 16 travel days.

H&K tallied $465K for expenses. Global media outreach ranked as the biggest chunk of that tab.

H&K charged $20K per market for China, Japan, U.K., U.S., Canada and the Gulf States, plus $30K for Europe.

Internet Edition, February 6, 2008, Page 2


Edelman is defending Wal-Mart in its latest tussle with environmentalists, a flap over whether the giant discounter is selling wood products made from timber harvested from protected forests in Russia.

The Environmental Investigation Agency issued a 26-page report earlier last month that found Chinese manufacturers turning to cheaper Russian wood to produce products that could be sold to meet Wal-Mart’s tight pricing structures.

According to EIA, Wal-Mart does not ask suppliers about the source of their wood.

The “Sustainable is Good” website played up the EIA report on Jan. 29.

Edelman provided the site a statement in which Wal-Mart called sustainable wood sourcing important to its business and customers.

The company will “continue to encourage and advise our supplier partners to source from sustainable and ethical sources.”

The retailer says it published guidelines for its “Wood Furniture Supplier Preference Program” that embraces “transparency for wood fiber and raw materials by 2010.”

The Sustainable site asked Wal-Mart for a copy of the supplier preference program guidelines, but was told that it was an internal document.


Robinson Lerer & Montgomery, a WPP unit, is handling media calls for Yahoo! related to the $44B takeover bid launched by Microsoft.

Yahoo promises to evaluate the “unsolicited proposal carefully and promptly” and gauge how it fits into its own strategic plans.

RL&M’s Jim Badenhausen is handling Yahoo, which also uses Omnicom’s Fleishman-Hillard and Next 15’s Outcast Communications for PR work.

A Microsoft/Yahoo combination would provide a more formidable competitor against Google in the online consumer services market.

Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher is working with Microsoft on its bid. 

Microsoft’s $31 a-share offer represents a 62 percent premium over its $19.18 Jan. 31 closing price.

Waggener Edstrom is Microsoft’s key PR firm.


Nancy Hill became the ninth head of the American Assn. of Advertising Agencies on Feb. 1.

The former CEO of Lowe New York succeeds Burtch Drake, who has overseen the 91-year-old trade group since `94. He will officially retire on March 31 to allow for a transition period.

Hill is lauded as a tech-savvy “champion of digital marketing tools.” She is an outspoken leader for the need for increased diversity and training in the ad business.

In a 28-year career, Hill has represented clients such as Microsoft, AOL, Verizon, Sony, HBO, Cisco and Motorola.

While at Lowe, Hill launched its “Lola” (Latina unit) and spearheaded a reorganization of the shop.


Publicis Groupe has acquired Act Now Productions, the San Francisco-based firm that is a leading player on the environmental sustainability front.

ANP was founded in `98 by Adam Werbach, who at 23 served as the youngest-ever president of the Sierra Club. Currently, he serves on the international board of Greenpeace. 

ANP has designed programs that save natural resources and reduce waste for Amnesty International, Cisco Systems, Goldman Environmental Prize, National Wildlife Federation, General Mills, Procter & Gamble and CARE.

It has created the most “buzz” for its program with Wal-Mart. The Bentonville, Ark.-based discounter is using ANP’s “Personal Sustainability Project” to engage and educate its 1.3M American workers on personal and community sustainability.

ANP is to become part of Publicis’ Saatchi & Saatchi S network. Werbach will head that network that has offices in San Francisco and Boulder (Col.). It has plans to open offices in New York, Chicago, Fayetteville (Ark.), London and Beijing this year.


San Francisco’s transit authority is conducting a mandatory review of its $200K/year PR contract with Singer and Associates, which won the contract in 2005.

The city’s Transbay Joint Power Authority issued an RFP in late December. S&A’s contract expires in April.

The Authority is heading the city’s design, construction and eventual operation of a new transit hub in downtown San Francisco to replace the current Transbay Terminal. It has budgeted $200K/year for a two-year PR contract, which could be extended to five years.

Proposals are due Feb. 1 for the PR account. The RFP can be downloaded at


The Consumer Union has given John Stauber’s Center for Media and Democracy a $30K grant to launch “Full Frontal Scrutiny,” a joint venture website that promises to expose front groups.

FFS defines front groups as organizations that push a specific agenda while hiding sponsorship or membership. Consumer Reports has been publishing “Webwatch” for the past six years. It has guidelines to boost the credibility and trustworthiness of Internet sites.

Those rules gauge sites based on how clearly they disclose identity, purpose, mission, corporate parents and sources of funding.

The Center is parent of “SourceWatch” and “PRWatch,” a leading critic of activity in the PR world.

CR and the Center say the goal of FFS is to provide consumers with information about groups that “may come and go with political seasons, or spring up to sway public opinion as a piece of legislation enters Congress.”

The front group watchdog will focus on health, personal finance, electronics, automotive, home, environment, travel and other topics of interest to the CU.
Staffers from Webwatch and the Center will contribute content. FFS is at

Internet Edition, February 6, 2008, Page 3

INDY D.C. NEWS SITE LAUNCHES launched on Jan. 28 as a D.C.-based news site covering national political news and government with the backing of the non-profit Center for Independent Media.

The site aims to combine key elements of traditional journalism -- reporting, accuracy and fairness -- with new media and blogging.

The CIM also publishes state news sites in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, and Minnesota.

Allison Silver, editor of WI, is a former editor for the New York Times’ "Week in Review" section, ex-editor of the Los Angeles Times Sunday "Opinion" section, and politics producer for "Charlie Rose.” Staffers include Spencer Ackerman, national security reporter formerly of Talking Points Memo, The American Prospect and The New Republic; Holly Yeager, religion and politics reporter who covered U.S. politics for the Financial Times; Arthur Allen, science reporter, a former foreign correspondent, bureau chief and editor for the Associated Press; Mike Lillis, Hill reporter, who covered healthcare for Inside Washington newsletters; Mary Kane, middle class finance reporter, formerly of Newhouse News; Laura McGann, managing editor, formerly of Talking Points Memo and Dow Jones newswires.


Sun-Times Media Group said on Jan. 28 that it will incur an $8M charge against fourth quarter earnings for employee severance expenses associated with its plan to cut costs by $50M by the first half of ’08.

The severance plan was previously announced in December.

Cyrus Freidheim, CEO of the company, said S-TMG is taking “bold steps necessary for the long-term viability of the company.” He said “resizing” the company and investing in growth areas like online media are keys to the plan.

The company said it expects a significant portion of the savings to be achieved through “headcount reduction” in areas like advertising, circulation, distribution, editorial, executive, finance, IT, marketing and production departments. Cuts are expected to be done by June.

The company has already made several moves like combining two suburban papers, outsourcing its truck fleet maintenance, and inking a distribution deal with the Chicago Tribune Company. It has also reduced the page size of the Chicago Sun-Times and other publications and cut unprofitable weeklies.

BW BOOSTS LIFESTYLE COVERAGE has launched a new lifestyle channel aimed at affluent and “aspirational” readers and covering autos, real estate, travel, executive health and “living well.”

The channel publishes new material Monday through Friday and includes content like articles, blogs, lists, and videos.

Charles DuBow, director of new products for who was founder and editor of's lifestyle coverage, heads the channel.

Two new blogs have been added: "The Business of Luxury," by DuBow, which covers trends and the most profitable companies in the worlds of luxury products and services, and "Traveler's Check," by editors Dean Foust and Justin Bachman, which targets business travelers with insights, advice and a “chance to vent their frustrations.”


The Wall Street Journal has recruited Tina Gaudoin to edit its high-end lifestyle magazine slated to launch in September.

Gaudoin is the former style director of The Times of London and editor of The Times Luxx quarterly magazine. She began her career as beauty editor of Tatler and helped re-launch Harper’s Bazaar.

She looks forward to “bringing the world of the Journal reader to life, with the help of intelligent reporting, arresting visuals and a sense of humor.”

The new magazine promises to provide readers an “intimate view of the world of wealth, from personalities, luxury goods and travel, to philanthropy, collectibles and investing.”

Gaudoin will report to Mike Miller, deputy managing editor of the WSJ.


The Washington Post Co. has launched an online magazine targeted at the black community.

Henry Louis Gates, writer and Harvard professor, is editor-in-chief of the new venture called “The Root.” Lynette Clemetson, a D.C. reporter for the New York Times, is managing editor.

The Root covers news, political and social issues plus commentary from writers of all viewpoints.

There also is a section named “Roots,” which offers online tools to help people research their genealogy.

People ______________________

Brock Yates, founder of the Cannonball Run car race and a columnist for Car & Driver, will pen a weekly column for Publisher Robert Farago calls his site the “Internet's most fiercely independent automotive website, free from the hidden, corrupting effects of automotive advertisers.” He added, “No one else can offer Brock the total editorial freedom and intelligent informed readership that he deserves."

Said Yates: "If anything, the arrogance, ignorance and stupidity that bedevil the auto industry has gotten worse. I look forward to telling it like it is."

The site claims about 500K monthly readers.

Ricardo Torres, editorial director of CNET’s gaming web site, has been named editor-in-chief. He has been with the publication since 2001.

Prior to that, he oversaw videogame coverage at CNET’s proprietary game site GameCenter and worked in quality assurance at Rocket Science Games, a San Francisco-based developer. Greg Kasavin resigned the EIC post in early January for a production post with gaming company Electronic Arts.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, February 6, 2008, Page 4


The top five TV journalists volleyed more than 2,700 questions at presidential hopefuls last year but only six questions focused on global warming, according to an analysis by M+R Strategic Services.

M+R is working with the League of Conservation Voters on a campaign to urge political reporters to put global warming on their radar and start asking questions. LCV and M+R have launched WhatAreTheyWaiting as part of the campaign, including an online petition that has drawn more than 150K signatures.

M+R said it analyzed transcripts and footage from all major presidential debates and interviews from last year involving presidential candidates and the following political reporters.

The firm focused on interviews conducted by Tim Russert of NBC; Wolf Blitzer, CNN; George Stephanopoulos, ABC; Chris Wallace, FOX, and Bob Schieffer, CBS.

Russert posed the most questions of the group—869—but M+R found that only two mentioned global warming directly, while 12 were related to the issue.

None of the 778 questions put forth by Stephanopoulos mentioned global warming, although five were related to the issue, the firm reported.

Wallace posed global warming questions twice among his 572 queries, and four additional questions were related to the issue.

Blitzer also asked two global warming questions and three related inquiries out of 440 overall questions. CBS’ Schieffer never brought up global warming in his 279 questions, while only one was related to the issue.

M+R noted some topics that drew questions from the journalists included immigration (165), abortion (79), Bill Clinton (15) and UFOs (3).


Roy Bostock, former CEO of D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, has been named non-executive chairman of Yahoo.

He replaces Terry Semel, who was CEO of the company until last June when he was replaced by Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang.

Bostock, 68, joined Yahoo’s board in `03. The advertising/marketing veteran headed D’Arcy and its successor company, The MacManus Group, for a decade.

Bostock chairs the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and serves on the boards of Morgan Stanley and Northwestern Airlines.

Semel headed Yahoo for six years.


Bob Wright, former CEO of General Electric’s NBC Universal unit, is joining Lee Equity Partners private equity firm to line up media and financial deals.

Wright, who also headed GE Credit Corp., becomes a senior advisor to financier Thomas Lee who exited Thomas H. Lee Partners in `06.

Wright, 64, is stepping down as vice chairman of GE in April.

Jeff Zucker heads NBCU.


“The nexus of journalism and PR’s relationship can be summed up in one word,” said Richard Deitsch, Editor for “Communication.”

Bases were loaded at a January 10 panel hosted by Publicity Club of New York. More than 100 PR pros showed up for the round table discussion that brought together some of New York’s top sports journalists.

The timing couldn’t have been better. With the 2008 Olympics on the minds of every journalist working the sports beat, it was a great opportunity for communicators to hear what topics are currently on editors’ radar.

Holly Sanders, a marketing reporter for the New York Post, commented on the public’s “curiosity factor” surrounding Beijing this summer. The panel said they’re looking for stories in the coming months that highlight Chinese culture and the impact it will have on the games.

“We especially want stories that incorporate Chinese culture and the athletes,” said Becky Chatman, senior producer for NBC Olympics.

Colleague Jennie Thompson (producer for NBC’s “Today Show”) said the network is in need of profile stories on athletes who are participating in the Olympics. Localizing the story by adding athletes who are from New York can be especially helpful.

Culture allows crossover

Nick Palazzo, co-founder of Stack magazine, said a huge potential exists for marketing crossovers involving video games. Stack, a magazine read primarily by young athletes, commonly features articles on popular sporting games. A publicist with a client in the gaming industry could find a perfect home in an otherwise untapped market.

Sanders noted that because events like the Super Bowl and the Olympics are hotbeds for celebrity-driven commercials, celebrity commentary is almost always a welcome feature. Publicists with Hollywood clients would do well to offer celebrity sound bites about the games. She said she’d also like to see stories in the future on the Super Bowl’s female and Hispanic fan base.

Thompson said another common crossover for stories is sports products. As an example, she mentioned a pair of goggles worn by swimmers. PR pros with a client in the goggle business could pitch a story on the history of the product when that particular sport is being played. The story would be especially successful if a popular athlete happens to wear that brand.

“Always try to think of ways to make it fun. Show us something nobody’s seen before,” she said.

Scott Shapiro, a producer for ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike Show,” noted that PR pros should set their sights high. As the most listened-to sports talk show in the country, Shapiro said his show turns down 99% of the pitches sent their way. This puts him in a coveted position for picking only what he feels are the best story ideas. “We turn down two or three hall-of-famers each week,” he said. “We’re able to be a bit greedy. We’re particular and we go for what we want.”

Internet Edition, February 6, 2008, Page 5


A dozen PR firms have joined to form Public Relations Boutiques International, a network that promises to deliver the expertise of “seasoned, hands-on” counselors with international savvy.

Lucy Siegel, who heads Bridge Global Strategies in New York, is president of PRBI. She promises lower billing rates to reflect PRBI’s overhead “not those of big top-heavy agencies with distant shareholders.”

Other founding members of the network are Marx Communications (Trumbull, Conn.), Media & Communications Strategies (Washington, D.C.). Metrospective Communications (Philadelphia), Shira Miller Communications (Atlanta), Weisberg Communications (Salt Lake City), Scott Phillips & Assocs. (Chicago), Lang/Pan/Chan PR (Los Angeles), Campaignteam (Sussex, U.K.), Japan PR Institute (Tokyo), C.J. World PR & Communications (Seoul) and High View Communications (Toronto).


Walek & Associates counseled investment management firm Asset Alliance Corp. and Tailwind Financial as the companies announced a reverse merger in January.

Mary Beth Kissane, principal and head of the investor relations and corporate transaction practice group at Walek, advised AAC, a longstanding and ongoing client of the firm, and Tailwind. AA/E Brendan McManus worked on the deal with her.

AAC is going public in the U.S. in the reverse takeover by Tailwind Financial, a blank check company.

Tailwind plans to acquire outstanding stock from AAC valued at $80.2M in return for shares of Tailwind common stock. AAC, specializing in hedge fund investments, will be renamed Asset Alliance Corporation and will trade on the American Stock Exchange. Tailwind shareholders will control 60 percent of the shares.


FD is advising Alliance Data Systems, which has filed a lawsuit against Blackstone Group for backing out of its proposed $7.8B acquisition of the transaction processor.

Blackstone told ADS on Jan. 25 that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, regulator of ADS’s World Financial Network National Bank unit, demanded “unprecedented and unacceptable financial and operational requirement” before approving the deal.

The private equity firm also told ADS that alternative solutions would not satisfy the OCC so further negotiations would be futile.

ADS launched its lawsuit to “compel Blackstone to comply with the obligations under the merger agreement, included its covenants to use reasonable best efforts to obtain required regulatory approvals and to consummate the merger."

The Dallas-based company contends that OCC’s demands are reasonable and Blackstone could obtain necessary approvals, but has made an “apparent business decision not to complete the merger on its terms, if at all.”


New York Area

Articulate Communications, New York/StrionAir, air-purification system; CDC Games, China-based online and mobile games provider, and RecycleBank, rewards program centered on recycling.

Dukas PR, New York/Gruppo Levy, specialty investment bank; Polen Capital Management, equity manager, and RGE Monitor, macroeconomic and financial information service.

Imagine Global Communications, New York/Rani Resorts, luxury resort brand in Mozambique, for PR.

Lou Hammond & Associates, New York/Florida properties Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creed; Waldorf-Astoria Orlando; Costa d’Este Beach Resort; Naples Bay Resort, and Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach. The firm has also picked up Daroff Design, interior design firm; Mary Helen McCoy Fine Antiques; Radisson St. Martin Resort, Marina & Spa; Le Meridien Cancun Resort & Spa, and Westward Look Resort (Ariz.).

MWW Group, New York/, online doctor evaluation service, for PR.

Pierce Mattie PR, New York/butter London, luxury nail care brand. The firm has also re-upped with Storm, U.K. watch and accessories brand, for a second year of PR work.


Tiziani Whitmyre, Sharon, Mass./Accomodative Financial Solutions, research and consulting for busniess owners seeking small business loans, for PR and SEO services.

Strategic Communications Group, Silver Spring, Md./Card Printer Solutions, as AOR of PR. CPS is part of on-demand printing services company Zebra Technologies.

William Mills Agency, Atlanta/Lenders One, cooperative of independent mortgage bankers, for PR.


Shazaaam!, Southfield, Mich./Enuresis Treatment Center, bedwetting treatment, for PR and marketing communications, including social marketing, blogging and media relations.


Weber Shandwick, Santa Clara, Calif./Namco Bandai Games America, entertainment software, as AOR following a competitive review. WS’ consumer practice will handle the account with positioning, consumer marketing, media relations, social media, product launches, events and trade show strategy.

Christie Communications, Santa Barbara, Calif./
ImagiPlay, earth friendly toys; Cowgirls Don’t Cry Fashions, designer merchandise, and Perfect Foods, nutritional supplements.

Rogers & Cowan, Los Angeles/Fisker Automotive, “green” auto company, for PR to launch its Karma and Fosker hybrid autos into market. FA’s plug-in hybrid debuted at the Detroit Auto Show in January.

The McRae Agency, San Diego/So-Cal Fire Poster Project, for pro bono PR aimed at raising funds for recent wildfire victims through the sale of artwork.

Internet Edition, February 6, 2008, Page 6


Women’s fitness center operator Curves is extending its use of eNR Services’ Grassroots PR program to its international franchisees.

The company has been an eNR client for the last three years in North America. It plans to extend the media relations program to the U.K., Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

The service allows users to build media lists and distribute press releases to local media.


The American Business Awards, an independent awards program known as the “Stevie” awards, has issued a call for entries ahead of its sixth annual program. The ABAs, once called the “business world’s own Oscars” by the New York Post, go to public, private, non-profits and businesses of all sizes.

Categories include Best Executive, Most Innovative Company, Best PR or Communications Campaign, and Best PR Agency.

Deadline for entries is March 31. Info:


PR Society’s National Capital Chapter outlined three key initiatives in its annual plan released in January.

First, is a membership recruitment and retention push via Scott Oser Associations, a North Potomac, Md.-based firm.

The chapter also will be working with Rink Strategic Communications of Reston, Va., on an internal member communications initiative.

Finally, Focused Image, a Falls Church, Va.-based marcom firm, will lead an external marketing and PR push for the chapter among local businesses and target markets.

A new committee is being planned to support that effort.

BRIEFS: Sandy Young, an account manager at The McRae Agency, was named New Professional of the Year by PR Society’s San Diego chapter. The award goes to a pro nominated by peers with five or fewer years of experience. Young started her career at TMA as an intern. She handles media relations, writing and research for the firm. ...The Public Affairs Council has given its Grassroots Innovation Award to the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. The PAC recognized the Foundation’s “Campaign Friendraiser,” a grassroots push highlighting the need for federal funding of type1 diabetes research. The campaign reached 6,000 potential volunteers and resulted in 2,400 new advocates, according to Larry Soler, VP of government relations for the Foundation. ...Dogmatic, Los Angeles, has tapped two senior-level execs for its New York office. David Walton, an operations and project management veteran, has been named VP of operations. Kimberley Norris, a B2B sales and marketing pro, takes on the role of VP of sales. The firm handles broadcast PR and creative development.



Interpublic’s DeVries PR has reorganzied its top management under CEO Jim Allman as the firm enters its 30th year.

Stephanie Smirnov, a seven-year veteran, has been named president of the firm after heading its beauty and wellness division as EVP.

Cliff Berman, with the firm since, 2003, was upped to general manager.

Michael Thomas, formerly with IPG units Weber Shandwick and Octagon Sports Marketing, was named chief financial officer.

Lisa Pearson has been named executive VP with oversight of clients like Tupperware, Pepperidge Farm and E&J Gallo Winery.


Katarina Maloney, a former producer for the Food Network and CBS, to Pierce Mattie PR, New York, as an A/E in its beauty and fashion division.

Leo Bottary, senior VP in Hill & Knowlton’s corporate practice, to Mullen, Wenham, Mass., as senior VP, account director in its PR practice. He was previously president of Bottary & Partners PR.

Cassandra Semenza, Lindsay Goneau, and Valerie Morando have joined Coventures, Boston, as AA/Cs.

Shannon Bernauer, internal program manager for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, to Buchanan PR, Philadelphia, as an A/S. Jack Loughran was promoted to A/E.

Kevin Nix, director of research, Turner Strategies PR, to Hyde Park Communications, Washington, D.C., as an A/S. Alex Rosenthal has joined the firm’s New York office as an A/C.

Steve Mann, formerly of Fleishman-Hillard, to JSH&A PR, Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., as an A/S for accounts like The Hershey Company and redbox.

Will Ludlam, managing director overseeing Porter Novelli’s West Coast operations, to Hill & Knowlton, Seattle, as GM of H&K Northwest. He was previously with 2000 H&K acquisition The Rockey Company.

Monica Read, who handled marketing and PR at Nimsoft, to Crossroads PR, as a senior A/M in its Silicon Valley office.

Jennifer Cornelius, PR manager at real estate firm Grubb & Ellis|BRE Commercial, to Gable PR, San Diego, as an account manager.


Martha Cid to managing director, M Booth & Associates, New York.

Bruce Brodoff to assistant VP, marketing and communications, Alliance for Downtown New York. Brodoff, 45, had been director of public affairs.

Jeff Tammes to senior VP of strategic marketing, Cornerstone, New York. Tammes, 32, headed the firm’s lifestyle department.

John Combest to team leader, The Vandiver Group, St. Louis, Mo. He joined the firm in 2006.

Betsy Ringham to client relationship director, Fast Horse, Minneapolis. She joined in ’06.

Internet Edition, February 6, 2008, Page 7


M. Silver Assocs. won “Best in Show” for PR for its work for the Zero-Gravity Experience and Laura Davidson received the Winthrop Grice Award for Lifetime Achievement in PR at the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Assn. International dinner Jan. 28 in the Marriott Marquis, New York.

The awards were among hundreds of advertising and PR awards presented before a black tie audience of 1,000.

Morris Silver, president of M. Silver Assocs., New York, accepted the award for his firm’s work for the Zero-Gravity Experience, during which passengers experience zero-gravity while in flight.

Davidson's New York firm, Laura Davidson PR, works for clients such as The Resort at Paws Up, which won a Gold Award, Atlantis, which won two Silver awards, and Cancun Resort, which won a Bronze Award. The firm was founded in 1991.

Lou Hammond & Assocs., New York, again took the most awards — 16.

These included one Platinum for The Lodge at Woodloch; Golds for Peninsula Grill, Red Mountain Spa and Umstead Hotel and Spa, and Silvers for Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority, Cruise West, Great Wolf Resorts, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Montreal Jazz Festival, Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau, Red Mountain Spa, and South Carolina Dept. of Parks, Recreation & Tourism.

Weber Shandwick, Booth Are Winners

Weber Shandwick, whose travel & lifestyle practice is headed by Rene Mack, took 15 awards — five Gold, five Silver and five Bronze.

WS picked up Golds for the Canadian Tourism Commission; Hilton Head Island - Bluffton Chamber of Commerce; New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau, and two for Omni Hotels.

The firm picked up two Silver Awards each for its work on behalf of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Canadian Tourism Commission, and a single silver for Omni Hotels. WS won Bronze for the Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau; New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau; two for Royal Caribbean International, and one for Omni Hotels.

Third biggest winner was M Booth & Assocs., New York, which took one Gold, four Silvers and seven Bronze.

Booth won a Gold for the Myrtle Beach consumer marketing program titled, "The World's Tallest Sandcastle Campaign." Silver winners were for Turkey, Harrah's, easyCruise and U.S. Virgin Islands. Bronze winners were for USVI, Turkey (print placement), Turkey (feature placement), Turkey (consumer magazine placement), Yahoo! Travel, The Signature at MGM Grand, and Myrtle Beach.

Silver Assocs. also won a Gold for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau for the special event, "coast (954)," First-ever Destination Pop-up Store.

Silver Award winners of Silver Assocs. were for VIA Rail Canada and Explore Chinatown. Bronze winners were for Connecticut wineries, American Express Consumer Travel Network, and Paradisus Palma Real Resort. Other multiple winners included Middleton & Gendron, Spring O’Brien, Development Counsellors International and MMG Mardiks, all four winning eight each; Ruder Finn and Cohn & Wolfe winning seven each, and Edelman winning four.

The annual awards banquet of the hospitality industry, known as the Adrian Awards, is hosted annually by HSMAI.

HSMAI describes it as “the world’s largest advertising, PR and web marketing competition for hospitality, travel and tourism. It is named for its creator, Adrian W. Phillips.

Dorothy Dowling, senior VP of marketing, Best Western International, is HSMAI chair of the Americas and Robert Gilbert is president and CEO of HSMAI.

Photo gallery is at


PR Society’s Advocacy Committee is looking to hire a PR pro to serve as an “ad hoc” communication team member.

The Society has issued an RFP with a deadline of Feb. 22 as it seeks a consultant with knowledge of PR and communications issues like FCC ownership, video news releases, freedom of speech and media, and ethical PR practices.

PRS’ Advocacy Committee oversees the group’s public comments and actions on issues related to PR and the public. Its advisory board is headed by PR counselor Mary Beth West.

Among the work outlined in the RFP is writing original op-eds, web content, speeches and letters, research, and media relations. PRS estimates the work will average 30 hours per week.

Janet Troy ([email protected]) is handling the search. The RFP is at


New York-based Richard Lewis Communications has been called in by American LaFrance, the 175-year-old emergency vehicle maker that has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

ALF said it will continue operating and expects to emerge from bankruptcy within 60 days if its restructuring plan in okayed.

RLC’s Greg Tiberend and ALF’s newly appointed chief restructuring issued a statement last week to correct “inaccurate media reports” and provide an update on its reorganization. Tiberend did not return a call.

ALF in its Ch. 11 filing blamed its dire financial condition on the adoption of IBM software which has been hampering its operations, as well as obsolete inventory not properly reported by its previous owner.

Investment firm Patriarch Partners acquired ALF in 2005 from DaimlerChrysler’s Freightliner unit. The U.K.’s Register reported that Freightliner provided accounting, purchasing, inventory, and other services for ALF for 18 months while it worked on setting up a new computer system.

ALF, a top maker of EMS vehicles like fire engines, dates its operations back to 1832. It has requested $50M in financing.

RLC has worked with Patriarch Partners in the past.

Internet Edition, February 6, 2008, Page 8




New York office rents as high as $100 per sq. ft. are driving some PR firms away from midtown.

The future move of PR’s No. 1 independent firm, Edelman, from Times Square to Hudson st. on the West side of downtown says a lot (1/23 NL).

Edelman signed a 16-year lease for 127,000 sq. ft. in departing 100,000 sq. ft. at 1500 Broadway.

Burson-Marsteller in 1986 pioneered the move away from midtown by leasing six floors at 230 Park Ave. South (19th st.). It could have purchased the building but did not. It was sold last year for $228M to Rockrose Development. HIT Entertainment now leases the 13th floor, Institutional Investor, the 12th, and Capital Z, the 11th. B-M, which formerly occupied these floors, is now on the lower five floors and basement, reducing its space by 10%. Not all firms are moving downtown. Taylor, ninth largest independent with $18M in fees in 2006, a gain of 35%, on Feb. 1 moved to the 38th floor of the Empire State bldg. KCSA Strategic Communications has moved to 880 Third ave. (53rd st.) after many years on Second ave.

One driver of New York PR office changes is Omnicom (owner of Ketchum, Porter Novelli, Brodeur and Fleishman-Hillard) which itself has just signed for 183,000 sq. ft. at 195 Broadway, the largest downtown rental ever by a creative firm.

OMC, with one million sq. ft. in midtown, is on a tear to reduce rent, saying its annual net rent will be cut from $412M in 2006 to $209M by 2010.

OMC has bounced Ketchum and PN around so much that we wonder if OMC buys PR firms for their real estate. It made $17.2M by renting space in 2006. For instance, if it bought PR firm “A” and found it to have a lease worth $35 a sq. ft. when the market was $55, it could move the firm to vacant OMC space and make a tidy profit on the PR firm’s space.

Ketchum, acquired by OMC in 1996, had just moved to 220 E. 42nd st. after 10 years at 1133 Ave. of the Americas at 44th st. OMC in 1997 shifted it to 292 Madison ave. at 41st st.; to 711 Third ave. in 2001, and to 1285 Ave. of the Americas in 2004. Ketchum staffers underwent four moves in eight years.

OMC’s Porter Novelli unit has received the farthest push from midtown. It moved last August from 450 Lexington next to Grand Central Station to 75 Varick st., a building in the West Village that mostly housed printers since its construction in 1930. PN occupies the sixth floor of the 19-floor triangular-shaped building, which is undergoing a $50M rehab. New windows have been installed to muffle the noise of traffic using the nearby Holland Tunnel (two lanes of Varick feed the tunnel). A special air conditioning “scrubber” has been built to cleanse incoming air of automotive pollutants. PN, acquired by OMC in 1986 when it was at 909 Third ave., by 1992 was at 1633 Broadway. It then was moved to 437 Madison ave. (OMC h.q.) from 1995-98; to 220 E. 42nd st. from 1999-2001; to 450 Lexington in 2002, and now to 75 Varick.

“Media do not influence what people think,” according to an astounding conclusion in the APR Study Guide published by the Universal Accreditation Board, which receives most of its support from the PR Society and its members.

Quoting a 1972 study by J-profs Maxwell McCombs of the Univ. of Texas and Donald Shaw of the Univ. of North Carolina, the Guide says that instead, media “are stunningly successful in telling readers what to think about.” In other words, says the Guide, “the media shape top-of-mind presence regarding issues. The typical news consumer focuses on a handful of topics daily, and these topics are presented to him or her, in one form or another, by the media. With the next news cycle, a topic from the day before may disappear, and so does its importance among news consumers.”

So, we’re all air-heads who have no remembrance of the past and who are easily manipulated by those who control “the agenda-setting process” (PR and press). How this Guide can be quoting a study from 1972, decades before the internet, is beyond us. For openers, virtually the entire past is now available instantly via Google and other databases. Twenty sample questions from the APR test are now on
item_1.htm and we urge readers to take this exam. We got 17 of the 20 questions right, which means we could be APR (as could the average high school grad).

Another shock in the Guide came in a section on “Copyright Law” which says an author who creates an expression of his or her ideas “immediately acquires common law copyright to his or her work” and this expression can only be used “in part” for “criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research.”About the worst offense in copyright, says the section, is “slavish copying,” meaning “extensive word-for-word copying.” How about PRS’s photo-copying and selling tens of thousands of articles without their authors’ permission in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. PRS claimed this was “fair use,” which the Authors’ Guild called an “absurd” defense.

Speaking of PRS, the board slinked into New York Jan. 24-26 with no notice and no report so far on the PRS website. PRS, although it spends $250K+ on PR staffers including Janet Troy and Joseph DeRupo, is now seeking a part-timer to handle “advocacy.”

It is trying to collect $1,025 eight months in advance for the conference Oct. 25-28; has failed to get any major press on its 60th anniversary celebration; has boosted the board effectively to 19 members without permission of the Assembly (adding Dave Rickey and Mary Beth West as “senior counsel” with their headshots shown along with board members), and refuses to discuss shifting the charter to Delaware, which would allow year round electronic meetings and votes by the Assembly (the board’s worst nightmare). In the latest info block to members, none of the 17 directors lists an e-mail with a headshot when in 2006 all but two of the 17 did so (Jeff Julin and Tony D’Angelo). The directors simply don’t want to be contacted.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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