The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, March 19, 2008, Page 1
SEEKS SEX ASSAULT PR PITCHES
Pentagon is reaching out to PR firms for a possible social
marketing campaign to prevent sexual assault in the U.S.
Defense Departments Washington Headquarters Service
has issued a sources sought notice with the
goal of hearing from PR firms capable of tailoring such
a campaign to the unique needs of the armed forces.
That includes reaching military personnel from 18-25 years
old, as well as middle-aged service men nationally and on
a global scale.
Pentagon is asking for narratives of firms experience,
approach and strategy for such a campaign. The responses
will be used for a potential future formal solicitation,
like an RFP. Contract specialist Stephen Crooks ([email protected])
is accepting narratives through March 19.
HAMMOND REVIVES I LOVE
Lou Hammond & Associates
has been tapped by New York States Empire State Development
to guide PR for the re-launch of its famed I Love
New York campaign.
Hammond takes on agency
of record duties after a competitive review with four other
firms. Sweeney Vesty previously handled PR for the ESD.
Thomas Ranese, chief marketing
officer for ESD, said a number of firms were interviewed,
but he liked Hammonds experience, capability
and understanding of the work, which includes the
revitalization of the ILNY statewide brand message.
Hammond has been based
in New York for 23 years. The I Love New York
campaign began in 1977.
EDELMAN TO RECHARGE U.S./EUROPE
Edelman has a $250K contract
to promote the British Councils Transatlantic
Network 2020, a program to reinvigorate ties between
North America, U.K. and Continental Europe.
The goal is to build on
common history and stimulate grassroots efforts to tackle
issues such as climate change, immigration and security.
TN2020 wants to analyze
the different perceptions of the transatlantic relationship
based on U.S. vs. Europe dividing lines and identify rising
leaders aged 20-to-35 who will affect society for years
TN2020 will engage in
outreach to governments, businesses, media, academia, think
tanks and NGOs.
Edelmans work runs
through October. The TN2020 kick-off conference is slated
for Ireland in September. The `09 session is planned for
B-M DRAGGED INTO SPITZER SEX
last week making sure the media knew that financier George
Fox had nothing to do with the sex scandal that forced the
resignation of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer.
The disgraced politico
used Foxs name to register at the Mayfair Hotel at
which Spitzer met with a high-priced prostitute.
Fox, a longtime friend
and political supporter of Spitzer, only found out that
his name was used as an alias when news of the dalliance
broke on March 10.
The B-M statement makes
clear that there is absolutely no connection between
Mr. Fox and the governors alleged activity beyond
the unauthorized use of his name.
Fox is distressed
by the news that has emerged and is disappointed
that his name was used.
Spitzer has personally
apologized to Fox for dragging his name into the mess.
BELL JOINS ST. PETER
Doug Bell, who was general
manager of Fleishman-Hillards Cleveland office, has
joined Anne St. Peter, former head of F-H/Kansas City, at
Global Prairie Partners.
Bell worked at Bayer Pharmaceuticals,
prior to shifting to the PR-side at the Omnicom unit.
Rick Thaemer, senior VP
and co-chair of F-Hs animal health and ag division,
has moved to GPP.
Dave Senay, CEO of F-H,
addressed the exec exodus via an e-mail to staffers. He
is personally disappointed in the actions of Anne
Senay understands that
people leave agencies every day, but when individuals
in leadership positions plan their exit in a way that potentially
harms our firm, that does not fit my personal code of conduct.
SHORT STORY HITS AT PERSONAL
is raked over the coals in a short story by U.K. novelist
Hari Kunzru in the March 10 New Yorker titled Raj,
A young man gets
so addled by friends pitching him products and even getting
him to sample a vodka in a private party that later shows
up in a videotape on a website, that he thinks of murdering
the person who made the videotape. This person is Raj
in the story, who is described as a hustler.
There was no immediate
comment from either Ed Keller, president of the Word of
Mouth Marketing Assn., or WOMMA, which is based in Chicago.
Keller heads The Keller Fay Group, New Brunswick, N.J.
(Continued on page 7)
Edition, March 19, 2008, Page 2
PR PACT WITH PN SCRUTINIZED
$500K emergency no-bid contract awarded to Porter
Novelli has been suspended by the state of California after
the Associated Press and state officials questioned the
was awarded the $500K contract after being asked to submit
a proposal last November after hundreds of residents complained
about health effects following spraying to control an invasive
moth, according to the AP. The AP said it obtained emails
through a Public Records Act request that revealed a senior
state contracting official questioning the no-bid pact with
the California Dept. of Food and Agriculture.
Arnold Schwarzeneggers office asked the DFA to review
the contract last week (after the AP inquired about it)
because of questions about its size and effectiveness.
had already collected $66K and another $30K could still
be owed for services rendered.
AP noted that Randle Communications, the PR firm of Schwarzenegger
contributor and advisor Jeff Randle, was promised a share
of the moth spraying PR work. After losing out to PN to
handle the full contract, it was tapped as a subcontractor.
Donna Lucas, a former Schwarzenegger PR advisor who left
for PN in 2006, also asked to submit a proposal but was
not involved in the campaign.
spokeswoman for the DFA defended the no-bid solicitation,
saying: Its all word-of-mouth when youre
in PR. You know who the good other people are. Thats
how it works. ... People probably think theres some
political thing here, but theres really not.
GM for Sacramento, William Schreiber, told the AP that the
firm had done similar work on the moth in New Zealand and
declined to comment on the states awarding the contract
to his firm.
F-H, SITRICK TARGET BIOVAIL
Sitrick & Co. are handling a messy fight waged against
pharmaceutical company Biovail Corp. by its founder.
Eugene Melnyk announced
March 13 that he intends to nominate a dissident slate of
directors at the June 25 meeting. He contends that Biovail
lacks a strategic plan to improve both financial performance
and shareholder value.
Douglas Squires, Biovail
CEO, says many of Biovails woes stem from the time
under Melnyks watch. He says Biovail is poised to
implement meaningful changes to the businesschanges
that would facilitate a new growth trajectory.
Melnyk, who controls a
12 percent Biovail stake, stepped down in `07.
KELASH DROPS LUTHERANS FOR
Paul Kelash, who headed
PR for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans for the past five-plus
years, has joined Weber Shandwicks Minneapolis office.
He becomes Twin Cities
coordinator of the Interpublic units North American
Financial Services industry practice group that has staffers
in 20 offices.
Kelash also will be North
American liaison to WS London-based financial group.
WALKE TAKES ROLE WITH BLUESHIRT
David Walke, who co-founded
the IR and corporate communications firm Morgen-Walke and
helped build it into a $20M firm, has taken a senior advisory
role at The BlueShirt Group.
San Francisco-based TBG
has been mostly focused on technology since its inception
and is run by a group of M-W alumni. The firm is looking
to diversify its client base and recently set up a New York
outpost, where Walke is based.
M-W was sold in January
2000 to Lighthouse Group and merged with Financial Dynamics,
Blueshirt was formed by
three M-W execs Erica Abrams, Chris Danne, and Alex
Wellins in 1999, just before M-W was sold.
maintained a friendship and business relationship and when
it became clear to us that he was serious about returning
to the IR field, we were very anxious to structure something
with him for our New York growth initiative, Wellins
told ODwyers. His depth of experience
and network base is particularly strong in New York.
I kept in touch
with them on a periodic basis, Walke said in an interview.
We were competitors, but we were friendly competitors.
Morgan-Walke was very diversified, while Blueshirt was focused
on the tech space.
After M-W was sold, Walke
moved on to head research firm Find/SVP, now known as Guideline,
which was later privatized and sold under Walkes leadership.
After that, Walke said he sat down with Danne in New York
before that deal was closed and it became apparent that
he could help Blueshirt in a number of areas.
Walke serves as a senior
management advisor with Blueshirt. In addition, he is also
working on productization for the firm, which
he described as developing scalable IR products beyond common
counseling fee-based IR.
Blueshirt opened in New
York last fall under the direction of Jonathan Schaffer
and Walke also plays a role in building up that operation.
The office has aligned with New York-based The Consumer
BECKERMAN PROMOTES N.J. TRAVEL
The New Jersey Travel
Industry Assn. has hired Beckerman PR to promote the Garden
States $37B travel sector.
Michael LaCosta, a travel
PR veteran with more than 15 years of experience, will lead
He is a veteran of M Silver
Assocs. and Lou Hammond & Assocs.
LaCosta has done PR for
clients such as Atlantic Canada, Mystic Marriott, Bermuda
Dept. of Tourism and Hilton Hartford.
LaCosta, who would not
disclose NJTIAs PR budget, also held posts at Cendant
Corp, and its hotel brands (Super 8, AmeriHost Inn, Villager
and Wingate Inns).
BPR, which is based in
Bedminster, will kick off its work by promoting the 2008
New Jersey Governors Conference on Tourism that is
slated at the Trump Marina in Atlantic City on April 9-11.
Edition, March 19, 2008, Page 3
MAKES SOCIAL MARKETING SPLASH
Warners AOL is acquiring Bebo.com,
the No. 3 social networking site, in a deal worth $850M.
Bebo has 22M unique visitors, trailing marketing leader
MySpaces 109M, according to comScore. Facebook is
the No. 2 site.
Falco, CEO of AOL, called Bebo a perfect complement
to AOLs personal communications network.
deal enables AOL to offer advertisers even greater
reach and marketers significant insights into the desires
and needs of consumers, according to his statement.
users spend an average 33 minutes a day on the networking
the deal, Bebo president Joanna Shields will report to AOL
COO Ron Grant. The social networking company had drawn interests
from suitors such as CBS Corp.
CEO Jeff Bewkes told investors last month that he is willing
to listen to offers for AOL or explore any strategic
moves that make sense.
E&P: BIG NEWSPAPER CIRC
Editor & Publisher
reports that the combined circulation at the 20 biggest
newspapers dropped 1.4M during the past four years.
The San Francisco Chronicle
showed the largest percent decline 28.8 percent to 365,234
readers. It was followed by the Los Angeles Times
(down 20.2 percent to 794,705), Boston Globe (19.9
percent to 360,695) and Atlanta Journal-Constitution
(-16.8 percent to 318,350).
The New York Post
(+2.3 percent to 667,119) and No. 1 USA Today (+2.1
percent to 2,293,137) bucked the downward trend.
In rounding out the Big
Five papers, E&P reports the Wall Street Journal
was down 3.8 percent to 2,011,882; New York Times
suffered a 7.2 percent decline to 1,037,828 and New York
Daily News dipped 6.5 percent to 681,415.
MURDOCH TARGETS MIDDLE EAST
Rupert Murdoch's News
Corp. is launching two satellite TV networks in the Middle
East in conjunction with Saudi Arabian Prince Al-Waleed
Bin Talal's media company, Rotana.
The 24-hour movie channel,
called Fox Movies, debuts in May, according to a report
in Variety. A companion station will launch in November.
The venture is to be based
in Dubai though FM will use Rotana's broadcast facilities
The deal was negotiated
by James Murdoch, who heads NC's Europe and Asia operation.
It marks NC initial foray into the Middle East.
Prince Waleed is an investor
in NC, owning a five percent stake.
Variety calls Rotana "one
of the dominant media forces in the Mideast." It owns
seven TV channels the region's leading music label and a
film production company.
NC and Rotana are to share
ad revenues from the new venture.
MSNS BRADFORD EXITS
Joanne Bradford, who was
chief media officer at Microsofts MSN unit for the
past seven years, has left the firm for Spot Runner Inc.
The Wall Street Journal
depicts Bradfords departure a big blow to Microsoft.
Her job was to try to inject advertising industry
expertise into the companys software culture.
MSNs failure to
made headway against Google has led to Microsofts
bid for Yahoo.
At SRI, Bradford is executive
VP-national marketing services.
SPJ CRITICIZES CUBANS
The Society of Professional
Journalists has expressed deep concern after
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban banned bloggers from the
teams locker room last week.
Cuban, a blogger and media
entrepreneur, said he instituted the ban on writers whose
primary purpose is blogging because of space concerns. But
SPJ noted that the move affects only one news blogger, Tim
MacMahon of the Dallas Morning News, who recently
published a critical piece about Mavericks coach Avery Johnson.
This appears to
be nothing more than a power play by one team to control
media coverage, said SPJ president Clint Brewer, who
added that its the fans that ultimately lose from
decisions like the Mavericks blogger ban.
Brewer sent his concerns
in a letter to NBA Commissioner David Stern and urged an
investigation of locker room access for media bloggers.
Brewer offered SPJs help in developing a compromise.
STERN EXITS NPR
Ken Stern, 44, has stepped
down as president of National Public Radio after a dispute
with board members over the direction of the network. He
left the post by mutual agreement.
Stern ruffled some board
member feathers with the radio networks aggressive
push into the new media category. He joined NPR in `99 as
executive VP and assumed the CEO post in `06.
The Washington Post
credited Stern and former CEO Kevin Klose for guiding
NPR to the most successful decade of its existence.
Audiences for programs
such as Morning Edition and All Things
Considered doubled to the 26M mark. Revenues rose
from $65M to $200M.
Stern is replaced on an
interim basis by Dennis Haarsager, chairman.
ANN TAYLORS LINN TAKES
Jennifer Linn, who was
VP-marketing at Ann Taylor Corp., is now senior VP-brand
marketing for Viacoms Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids &
She will maximize return
on Nickelodeon properties like SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora
the Explorer, Naked Brothers Band, iCarly and original movies.
Linn also will work closely with the PA team on social and
news continued on next page)
Edition, March 19, 2008, Page 4
NEED TO LET LOOSE
time for CEOs to return to the bully pulpit, according to
George Anders writing in the Wall Street Journal
on March 12.
bemoans that many "strong-willed chairmen and CEOs
fear saying anything controversial in public."
of telling it like it is, todays CEOs fill speeches
with feeble clichés.
wants corporate leaders to bring "more of their backstage
feistiness into public view" and get rid of the layers
of advisors that encourage them to be "risk-adverse."
CEOs are toast with the rise of blogs and YouTube videos
that provide a platform for any "gabber with a funny
story or provocative point of view to gain worldwide attention
within days or hours."
Anders: "If bosses cant define the agenda with
words that delight and startle, someone else will."
WSJ columnist tips his cap to legendary leaders who had
a knack for blunt talk.
includes Citicorp's Walt Wriston and American Airlines'
also go to current chieftains such as Berkshire-Hathaway's
Warren Buffett, Microsoft's Bill Gates, Disneys Bob
Iger and Apples Steve Jobs.
believes Jobs' trashing of wireless carriers led Apple to
cut a sweet deal with AT&T to provide service for the
Lipin, a Wall Street Journal alumnus now Brunswick
senior partner, told Anders that "offense is the new
defense" for CEOs.
XMs ABRAMS MOVES TO
Lee Abrams, who was senior
VP and chief creative officer at XM Satellite Radio, is
now chief innovation officer at Sam Zells Tribune
He assumes that post on
April 1 and is eager to design the future of American
media with passion, intellect, and imagination that meets
the spirit of the 21st century, according to a statement.
Abrams, 55, has consulted
for Coca-Cola, Swatch and MTV.
JFWBK DOES ZIFF MEDIA CHAPTER
Joele Frank, Wilkinson
Brimmer Katcher is handling the Chapter 11 filing of Ziff
The publisher of PC
Magazine, Electronic Gaming Monthly and trade
show organizer is seeking to drop $225 million in debt via
ZDM CEO Jason Young, who
succeeded Robert Callahan in August, said the debt burden
was connected to an `01 leveraged buyout of the company
by Willis Stein & Partners.
While the print segment
remains challenging, Young sees growth opportunities
driven by digital revenue expansion.
ZDM says it reaches more
than 26M consumers a-month through its magazines, websites
Andy Brimmer is handling
the bankruptcy filing.
U.S. FALLS IN TOURISM RANKING
The U.S. has fallen two
places to become the seventh most competitive country in
the travel and tourism sector, according to a report by
the World Economic Forum and Booz Allen Hamilton.
The U.S. now trails Switzerland,
Austria, Germany, Australia, Spain and the U.K. The travel
and tourism sector has become more competitive as countries
improve transportation infrastructure and environmental
safeguards, according to the study.
Sweden, Canada and France
trail the U.S. and round out the top 10.
The rankings are based
on 60 factors - statutory regulations, health/safety, price
levels, and infrastructure, to name a few - that measure
a country's appeal in cultivating tourism.
The U.S. scores well in
infrastructure and natural resources, but lags in perceptions
of safety and environmentalism, the report noted.
It is No. 1 for overall
business environment and No. 2 for natural resource attractions,
but placed 105th out of 130 countries for price competitiveness
and 100th for environmental sustainability.
Justin Zubriod, VP at
Booz Allen, said the low environmental mark is a result
of "relatively weak regulatory measures to combat global
warming," as well as inefficient energy consumption
and high levels of urban pollution.
"To attract more
tourists in the long term, the U.S. might consider adopting
environmental policies that not only preserve natural assets
but also change global perceptions about our leadership
in environmentalism," he said. The U.S. also scored
dismally on its openness of citizens toward foreign visitors,
Travel and tourism contribute
3.8 percent of the U.S.' GDP.
China, which is hosting
the Olympics this year, inched up to No. 62 from 71 last
year, while South Africa, which is preparing to host the
World Cup in 2010, rose to 60th from 62 in '07.
Bogoch has been promoted to editor of Skiing
magazine. He had been senior editor and has written for
ski magazines for a decade. Skiing, which is published six
times a year by Bonnier, is also revamping its look with
a larger paper size and photo-driven design slated to take
effect with the Sept. 08 issue.
group of Asian American publishers has set up a trade
group to increase advertising share and develop the Asian
American market in representing both English and Asian-
The National Association
of Asian Publishers has begun reaching out to more than
400 Asian publishers, both print and online, in the U.S.
Publications involved at the groups outset include
Asian Fortune, AsianWeek, Filipinas Magazine,
U.S. Asian Wire and the Seattle Chinese Post.
Edition, March 19,
2008, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
Los Angeles office handled the launch of Hulu.com,
an online video service backed by more than 50 networks
and entertainment companies like News Corp., Sony Pictures
and NBC Universal on March 12.
Corp. and NBC are the main supporters of the venture.
also works with News Corp.s MySpace social networking
which has been in beta mode since last fall,
streams advertising-supported video content including
hundreds of TV shows, movies and sports programs
on Hulu.com and across major portals like AOL and MySpace.
can also be embedded into websites or shared by users. Best
Buy and Nissan are among advertisers for the sites
did not return an inquiry about its PR plans.
PR FIRMS BULLISH ON 2008
Despite economic uncertainties,
most U.S. PR firms feel they are headed for another record
year, according to a survey by StevensGouldPincus, merger/management
consultants in communications.
Saying that client budgets
are holding steady were 129 (83%) of the 156 PR firms responding
to the survey.
Three-quarters of the
respondents expect their revenues to increase in 2008 and
70% said the current economic volatility is having no effect
on their bottom lines.
Firms with net fees of
$25 million or more said without exception that budgets
Predicting increased revenues
were 88% of these firms. The larger the agency, the more
confident it is of the future, the survey found.
The survey is part of
an ongoing series that examines trends and patterns in the
PR counseling industry.
California PR firms are
slightly less certain about the effects of the current uneasy
economy while Midwest and Southwest firms are more confident
of the future.
About three-quarters of
the firms in the survey have annual fees of $3 million or
F-H BACKS BIZ ASSN. BLOG
digital group has unveiled BizCentral.org,
which bills itself as the first business association blog.
Pat Cleary, who joined
F-H from the National Assn. of Manufacturers, heads the
blog that aims to grow the voice of business in the blogosphere.
The goal is to advocate
the position that free markets unfettered by burdensome
regulation create the employment that powers the countrys
Charter members of BizCentral
include American Petroleum Institute, American Trucking
Assns., Business Roundtable, CTIATheWireless Assn.,
National Assn. of Chain Drug Stores, National Electrical
Manufacturers Assn., and Nuclear Energy Institute.
Cleary is senior VP-digital
PA at F-H and former staffer at the Dept. of Labor and National
Klores Communications, New York/Cointreau, French
liquor brand, for PR on a project basis, and Plum TV, media
network for affluent communities, as AOR for PR. DKC has
worked with Plum TV in the past.
Investor Relations, New York/Bergamo Acquisitions
Corp., branded and unbranded merchandise for wholesale and
retail, and Mico Gold Corp., mining company operating in
China, for IR.
Relations Group, New York/Mymetics Corp., biotechnology,
for IR and financial comms.
Group, New York/Michigan Instruments, medical equipment
maker, for product PR and media relations.
Group, East Rutherford, N.J./Rentacrate, reusable
crate and moving equipment rental company, to develop and
implement an integrated comms. plan, including PR, governmental
relations and web development.
PR, Bridgewater, N.J./Lutronic USA, medical lasers
for cosmetic purposes, as AOR for PR.
One Partners, Boston/Bleacher Report, community publishing
platform for sports fans; Globoforce, recognition solutions;
Molecular, interactive agency; Mozes, mobile marketing,
and PhoneFusion, business communications management, for
PR and marketing.
PR, Chicago/Lifeway Foods, dairy-based consumer products,
for launch of Kefir, a cultured drink the company says can
decrease cholesterol in the blood and improve immunity.
Detroit/Michigan Alumni Assn., for a brand awareness campaign
alongside parent firm Fleishman-Hillard; MENC: The National
Assn. of Music Education, for branding, media and event
support via Strat@comms D.C. office, and the American
Academy of Wound Management, for strategic counsel, website
development, video services and materials development to
support a national outreach effort.
Southfield, Mich./Myron Zucker, as AOR for PR for the electric
systems services manufacturer.
Partners, San Francisco/The Medicines Company; Ardea
Biosciences; Cyclacel; Lev Pharmaceuticals; Neurobiological
Technologies; PEAK Surgical, Prestwick Pharmaceuticals,
VIA Pharmaceuticals; Spinemark, and Anesiva, for product
comms. for its analgesic drug Adlea.
Court Press Communications, Oakland, Calif./
Ellis Partners, developer, for media relations and communications
planning for the $350M renovation of Jack London Square,
a city shopping district.
PR, San Diego/Above All Advertising, inflatables
and business signage services; Cool Bandanas, personal cooling
systems; Girls Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains, and Loafin
Joes, two-location sub shop, for media and community
McRae Agency, San Diego/Bilbro Construction, general
contracting firm, as AOR for PR.
Edition, March 19, 2008, Page 6
PRS RELAUNCH PR QUICKSTART
Council of PR Firms and PR Societys Counselors Academy
have re-lanuched PR Quickstart, a free web-based training
program for professionals new to the PR industry.
update on the seven-year-old program focuses on three courses
What is Public Relations?; The Agency Life, and Media
two PR organizations cite Dept. of Labor data that shows
PR growing faster than average for occupations through 2014
in outlining the need for such programs.
can read case histories, news articles, video and links
to industry resources.
EPA RE-UPS WITH VOCUS
Vocus was awarded a $66,875
contract to provide PR software services to Environmental
The EPAs Office
of Research and Development Recruitment and Support staffers
have used the software in the past.
The sole-source contract
notes that Vocus has no resellers and does not authorize
other companies to host or support its software, or provide
training. Therefore the new pact, which runs through February
2009, was awarded without bids.
STUDY: PSAs AIR IN NORMAL
Most public service announcements
air during normal waking hours and are not predominantly
shown during lower-rated overnight slots, according to a
study by broadcast PR company WestGlen Communications.
New York-based WestGlen
tracked 140 radio and television PSAs aired in 2007 for
Of 72 television PSAs,
which aired more than 250K times, the company found 36 percent
of that the PSA airings took place from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
with a bulk of those hits 24 percent occurring
between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Thirty-three percent of the TV
PSAs aired from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.
Fifty-four percent of
the 68 radio PSAs tracked by WestGlen aired during or between
the coveted morning (6 a.m.-10 a.m.) and evening (3 p.m.-7
p.m.) drive times. A small percentage, 34%, aired during
the overnight hours between 12 a.m. and 6 a.m.
The radio PSAs tracked
by WestGlen aired more than 750K times in 2007.
Annette Minkalis, senior
VP of PSA services at WestGlen, said the research proves
that PSAs play in all day parts and are not just relegated
to the graveyard of ad space.
Images, Seattle, has launched as the first specialty
agency for multicultural stock imagery. The company has
images depicting accomplishments of Latin, Asian, Indian,
black, Middle Eastern and LGBT demographics for use in marketing
CO Joe Barrett notes that
65% of the worlds GDP is produced by people who are
seen in five percent of the worlds commerical stock
Hall, a consultant director for WPP in London and
New York, to Travelport Limited, New York, as chief marketing
officer. He has held posts with Dow Jones and the Financial
Bettger has joined Gregory FCA, Philadelphia, as
market development specialist to focus on building practice
areas for the firm. He was previously with magazine publisher
CurtoCo Robb Media. His initial focus is professional services
and the firms recently announced green division.
Mohr, formerly of Communications Marketing Group
and YMCA of Fairfax County, Va., to Environics Communications,
Washington, D.C., as an A/S.
Moran, VP of college relations, Oberlin College,
to Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland, as VP of marketing
and communications. He was previously an executive editor
for the Phoenix Gazette/Arizona Republic.
Thompson and Emily
Drake to A/Ss, and Neil
DeVries to AA/E at John Bailey and Associates, Troy,
Evans, manager of comms. and government relations,
Advocate Health Care, to Arment Dietrich, Chicago, as a
senior A/E. Liz Pope
has joined the firms Denver office as an A/C after
stints at Schenkein PR, JKD & Co. and Cutter Comms.
Byars, director of corporate comms. at Targeted Genetics,
to WeissComm Partners, San Francisco, as a senior associate.
Also, Tim Friend,
former medical reporter for USA Today; Shari
Germershausen, previously with Manning Selvage &
Lee; Julie Johnson
of Porter Novelli Life Sciences; Anna
McCollister-Slipp of Manning Selvage & Lee, and
Lori Rosen of
Porter Novelli all joins as senior associates. The firm
also has offices in New York and Chicago.
Christensen, a 20-year corporate and agency veteran
in the tech space, to The David James Agency, Thousand Oaks,
Calif., as a senior A/S.
Opacity to senior A/E, The Marcus Group, Little Falls,
N.J. She joined in 2006 and handles government relations
and PR clients.
Landry to VP, Matter Communications, Newburyport,
Mass. He was the firms first staff-level hire in 2003.
Matter has also added Mullen and Beaupre veteran Charna
Cummings as a senior A/E.
Rice to director of Burson-Marstellers U.S.
Hispanic unit, based in Miami. She started with B-M in 2003.
Lyons to senior A/E, Arment Dietrich, Chicago. Angela
Loiacono to AA/E.
Georgas to senior A/S, JSH&A PR, Oakbrook, Terrace,
Werner to managing partner, Brogan & Partners
Convergence Marketing, Birmingham, Mich. He takes over for
Maria Marcotte, who continues as partner and chief operating
officer. Werner started as an unpaid intern at the firm
16 years ago. Marcie Brogan is CEO.
Edition, March 19, 2008, Page 7
STORY HITS PR
the main character thinks the behavior of Raj, who was revealed
as being paid to take the videotape, is sleazy and
underhanded, he finds that none of my friends
seemed to see anything wrong.
need information, says one, calling the protagonist
so old-fashioned, like some kind of Communist.
this character: I have the right to perform acts of
rational consumer choice; our ancestors fought wars for
it. And I think Im clever enough to filter a little
bit of spin, dont you?
the main character: Over the next few days, I started
to notice something odd. Every time I met a friend, he or
she would immediately make a recommendation, urge me to
try something new
Janine almost forced me to take
home a bottle of her new favorite nutritional supplement
all my friends seemed to be dropping snippets of
advertising copy into their conversations, short messages
from their sponsors. They were constantly stating preferences
for particular brands, dishing out free samples.
one friend pitches a copper wrist band set with tiny stones
(it helps correct biochemical imbalances in the body),
the story teller says, Oh, no
not you, too,
and slaps her in the face.
recipient of the slap then explains that its hard
to keep track of her placements and that, If
a girl doesnt want a straight job, she has to monetize
her social network.
'Snaps' in Story Teller
bombardment of commercial messages causes the story teller
to snap. Something in me had snapped, was broken beyond
repair, he says.
puts out much of his belongings on the curb and watches
people take them away.
buys a large knife, gleaming with surgical allure,
and sets out to visit Raj with the intention of using it
story is available in the New Yorkers online edition.
VETS GRIPE ABOUT RECEPTIONS
PR Society veteran members, including some past presidents
and current board members, are griping about the number
and size of receptions that CEO Rhoda Weiss held in her
hotel suite at the national conference in Philadelphia Oct.
large poster of Weiss greeted guests as they entered the
suite. This picture is currently being e-mailed around to
leaders and rank-and-file members by those who wonder if
too much money was spent on the receptions.
was no liquor at the receptions but some members brought
in their own drinks, sources said.
addition to the poster of Weiss, a two-sided release about
her was distributed. On one side was a list of 60 accomplishments
of PRS during her term as CEO and on the other side was
a 562-word resume recapping her career, organizational activity
and some of her more than 300 communications honors.
to be Roasted
annoyed are many of the 23 living past presidents. They
said that current PRS leadership decided to spend the budget
for the past presidents dinner on finger food
rather than dinner. The past presidents then organized their
instead of attending this dinner and going through the traditional
roasting of the president, spent most of the
night at the dinners of more than a dozen sections, arriving
only at the end of the past-presidents dinner. She
had informed the past presidents that she would not submit
to a roasting, some of the past presidents said.
who was accompanied by 2008 chair-elect Jeff Julin, left
the dinner after giving a brief speech.
has been bad blood between h.q. staff, leaders
and the past presidents for several years.
indication is that the list of past presidents was left
out of the 1,000-page One Source directory in 2004
for the first time in the history of the directory, which
also contained the list of members. Past presidents said
this could not have been a mere mistake since each new edition
starts with the template of the previous edition.
presidents also complained it was a long time before their
pictures were put up at the new h.q. at 33 Maiden lane.
Differs from Weiss
Weiss made herself available throughout 2007 for comment
on any controversies, via a listing in the Advocacy
part of the PRS website, there is no such presence by Julin.
a national advocacy advisory board of 16 members from across
the nation has been appointed by Julin. There has been no
visible input from this group thus far. The last posting
under AdvocacyThe News, on the PRS website,
is dated April 19, 2007 and concerned the Don Imus controversy.
Weiss advised him to apologize to the Rutgers Womens
basketball team for a remark he made about the team.
AdvocacyResearch, the last entry is on
Feb. 20, 2007, describing research which said that top management
believes PR helps corporate reputations.
last Advocacy Position Statement was put on
the site in January 2006 and commented on stories that a
writer charged that HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy paid
her to write and place favorable articles.
at the Denver Post and Denver Business Journal
said this week they have no current plans for further coverage
of the election of Julin as national chair of PRS or the
Societys 60th anniversary. Brief mentions have been
made in the two papers thus far.
RANKINGS OF PR UNITS OF
here for rankings
Edition, March 19, 2008,
New Yorker short story, "Raj, Bohemian"
(page one) is not only
a commentary on word-of-mouth marketing but on the values
and behavioral patterns of what appear to be 20 and 30-year-olds.
protagonist, whose name is not given, has the worst possible
things to say about friends who pitch products for pay ("monetize"
their "social networks" as one character says).
people are "shallow," betrayers of "trust,"
"hustlers," violators of "privacy,"
and purveyors of "zombie-speech."
shocked that none of his friends feel as he does. All they
seem to care about is consuming one product or another.
only is their ethical sense lacking, but so are their morals.
The protagonist as well as his friends accept casual sex
as the norm. They might be a little more hesitant about
this if they read the latest report from the Centers for
Disease Control that found 26% of U.S. girls aged 14-19
have one sexual disease or another and this rises to 48%
among black teenaged girls. More than 60% of U.S. women
college grads leave with a lifelong case of HPV, according
to other studies.
of "Raj, Bohemiam," is Hari Kunzru, an established
British novelist and journalist.
he has written is fiction, and employs exaggeration to make
its points, but it may have a better grasp on reality than
pure journalism where attaching behaviors to real names
can lead to a lawsuit.
advice to PR and J-majors would be to chuck all their textbooks
and read the New Yorker each week instead. Besides good
fiction and in-depth journalism, it has business articles
and commentary that no other publication would attempt.
back to "business reality," we note that
the ethics code of the Word of Mouth Marketing Assn. states
that only samples of products and never money can be used
to reward those who pitch products and services to their
Those employed by such
companies as Procter & Gamble, Dell and numerous PR
firms agree always to identify themselves as representatives
of these companies when handing out samples or recommending
For those interested in
word of mouth marketing, WOMMA has created the "Word
of Mouth Marketing University" which will hold its
first "Higher Learning Conference" May 8-9 in
Miami. Cost is $995 for members and $1,495 for non-members.
WOMMA says it had "an
extremely difficult time deciding between all of the amazing,
highly qualified candidates" who wanted to be on the
These include Erin Byrne
of Burson-Marsteller; Liana Frey, Dell; Brian Reich, Echo
Ditto; Bonin Bough of Weber Shandwick Web Relations; Virginia
Miracle of Ogilvy PR Worldwide; Geoff Nelson, Buzz Corps;
Kate Niederhoffer of Nielson Online, and Lynn Eastep of
Fleishman-Hillard. Topics include building a blog program;
managing reputation at the speed of social media; activating
WOM in social networks for beginners and those who are advanced;
"Going for Big, Fast Buzz Now," and "Communities:
Build, Buy or Rent?" Return on investment will also
flap over the receptions thrown by 2007 PRS chair Rhoda
Weiss (page 7) is indicative of many things.
Former PRS presidents,
current leaders and rank-and-file members are justified
in saying that it looks like Weiss was more interested in
promoting herself than the Society during her term of office
We realize that PR people
have to work hard at self-promotion or their careers are
apt to go nowhere.
However, when they assume
positions of leadership in any of the PR groups, personal
promotion must stop.
The past presidents of
the Society, who were given the cold shoulder by the current
leadership, have every right to beef.
None of the past presidents-so
far-wants to do so openly because punishments galore await
anyone who speaks up.
These include not only
becoming a pariah with the h.q. staff, but eliminating in
the future any of the "hundreds" of new business
leads that pour into h.q. all year long (as stated by the
Counselors Academy of PRS); eliminating appointment to the
more than 30 national standing committees, boards and task
forces (which titles look good on a resume), and eliminating
any chance of board, district or section nominations.
If the critic is already
a leader of some committee, budgets can suddenly dry up.
Critics also face ostracism at the local level. It's no
wonder that no one will publicly oppose the APR Southerners
and Westerners who control PRS.
The "Committee of
50" headed by Blake Lewis that obtained passage of
a 2007 Assembly resolution calling for "openness, complete
transparency," has been silent so far in 2008.
The disciplinary power
of h.q. was evident in 2006 when not one of the other 109
chapters supported the Central Michigan proposal to give
more power to the Assembly.
consultant and merger specialist in PR, found via
a survey that four out of five U.S. PR firms are predicting
steady business in 2008 in spite of all the clouds on the
economic horizon including the housing debacle and the weak
Sources say that the weak
currency is attracting European venture capitalists to the
U.S. in record numbers and that PR firms and ad agencies
are prime targets.
Dorland PR, Philadelphia,
which had fees of $11 million in 2006, was acquired last
year by Huntsworth, the U.K. conglomerate headed by Peter
The U.S. dollar is only
half-price to the British, whose pound is worth $2. Also
shooting up in value recently is the euro, now worth $1.54
when it used to be around 85 cents.