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Internet Edition, April 2, 2008, Page 1


The public entity which oversees commerce, recreation and the environment for the Port of San Diego, is reviewing a $300K/year public affairs account to support its communications and government affairs unit.

The San Diego Unified Port District, which counts 600 employees and revenues of more than $100M, has issued an RFP for issue education and public outreach projects for waterfront real estate projects, reconfiguration of maritime and cargo facilities, and environmental initiatives for the San Diego Harbor area.

Several firms have the RFP including Arment Dietrich, Allison & Partners, Weber Shandwick, Porter Novelli, Consensus Planning Group and The Rogers Group.

San Diego-based Katz and Associates is the incumbent and is winding down the third and final year of its contract. That pact was worth $810K.


Sard Verbinnen & Co. is representing disgraced New York ex-Governor Eliot Spitzer in the wake of his resignation and a federal probe into his dealings with an escort service.

Anna Cordasco, a managing director for the firm, is serving as Spitzer’s spokesperson. She is a former VP at Ogilvy Adams & Rinehart and media relations manager for Salomon Brothers.

Spitzer resigned in disgrace earlier this month after he was implicated in a federal prostitution probe.

A report in the New York Observer immediately after the scandal broke said that a PR firm had turned down an offer to work to with the governor.

Cordasco did not return a call.


Ketchum has picked up the California Milk Advisory Board, an account that had been at Context Marketing in Sausalito.

The Board, according to Bob Kenney, CEO of Context, wanted international representation. He is now restructuring his shop.

The Omnicom unit has broad experience working with commodity boards.

The Board is noted for its “happy cows” advertising campaign.

Spokesperson Tricia Heinrich was in the news last month in the aftermath of bovine abuse at the Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. in Chino.

The ads remain “incredibly popular” with consumers, according to the Board.


Charlie Black, chairman of Burson-Marsteller’s BKSH & Assocs. lobbying wing, has resigned to work officially full-time for John McCain’s presidential bid. No replacement has been named.

The well-connected Black had been serving as McCain’s surrogate spokesman. He was senior advisor to President Reagan, President Bush’s chief spokesperson during the `92 campaign and political advisor to President Bush II. Black also was chief spokesperson for the Republican National Committee.

The McCain camp has been criticized for its close ties to lobbyists. BKSH represented the Iraqi National Congress during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq.

B-M CEO Mark Penn is Hillary Clinton’s top strategist.


Kathryn Blackwell has been named VP-communications & marketing for the NAFTA region at German-based automotive parts giant Continental, which employs 150K people in more than 35 countries.

She joins from Union Pacific, where she handled PR, employee communications and national advertising.

Blackwell has solid auto PR credentials that she earned at DaimlerChrysler and Ford Motor, a stint that included a European posting.

At Continental, Blackwell handles PR for its key Continental Tire unit, as well as corporate and ContiTech division, which markets transmissions, coatings and springs.

Mike Flagg, a veteran journalist, is now at Manning Selvage & Lee’s Washington office handling finance and PA issues as senior VP. He wrote and edited business copy at the Los Angeles Times, Asian Wall Street Journal (Hong Kong), Bloomberg and Washington Post. At MS&L, Flagg will counsel clients such as Renewable Fuels Now and Philips.


Steve Cody, managing partner of Peppercom, New York, whose revenues soared 41% to $11.8 million last year (biggest gain in the top ten in New York), threw cold water on a suggestion by PR pro Lloyd Trufelman that PR pros should contribute to a fund for kin of murdered journalists.

About 1,000 journalists and their aides have died while carrying out their duties in the past ten years. About seven in ten were hunted down and murdered.

(Continued on page 7)

Internet Edition, April 2, 2008, Page 2


Bell Pottinger is working to improve the image of Belarus among western countries and encourage foreign investment there.

Belarus is headed by strongman Alexander Lukashenko, who is known as “Europe’s last dictator.”

Timothy Bell met with Lukashenko at the presidential office in Minsk last month to deliver a pitch about doing PR for the former Soviet Union state.

A key priority is to reverse the country’s “isolationist policies,” according to a report in The Moscow Times.

Lukashenko vowed that Belarus would be more accessible to the west. He wants Bell to be his “goodwill ambassador.”

Bell, a member of the House of Lords, was a political advisor to former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Soviet President Boris Yeltsin.

He declined to reveal the budget for the Belarus work. Bell would only say that his firm will receive millions of dollars from the account over the next several years.


Ivo Gabara, senior VP/EMEA Media Relations at APCO Worldwide, has established BGR Gabara LLP in London as part of the remake of the former Barbour Griffith & Rogers lobbying firm.

BGRG is to provide pan-European government/media relations, financial communications and political campaign management.

Gabara has more than 20 years of communications experience.

While based in Brussels, he covered Europe for the Wall Street Journal, BBC World Service and The Economist Group’s European Weekly.

He also was spokesperson for the European Commission’s Press and Information Office in Sarajevo in the aftermath of the Dayton Peace Agreement.

BGR Holding also has set up BGR PR, a unit headed by Michael Meehan, Sen. Maria Cantwell’s former chief of staff.


Thor Valdmanis, a former Lloyd’s of London VP-communications, has signed on at FD as senior VP in its special situations group.

He was in charge of brand promotion, strategic communications, investor relations and speechwriting in the U.S. and Canada for the insurer.

He helped develop Lloyd’s corporate policies regarding “hot button” issues like global warming and terrorism risk insurance.

A key Lloyd’s highlight for Valdmanis: handling crisis management duties in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Valdmanis left The Dilenschneider Group for FD.

Earlier, Valdmanis was a financial journalist for London’s Evening Standard and foreign correspondent for USA Today.

Valdmanis traveled with the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan and covered the liberation of Kabul from Taliban control in the two months following the 9/11 attack.


Nubrella, maker of the handless umbrella, is looking for a PR firm, Alan Kaufman, company founder, told O’Dwyer’s.

Kaufman wants to sign up a small- to medium-sized firm in Manhattan as quickly as possible. “I have a lot invested in the company,” he said.

With its oval design, Nubrella is pitched as the “ultimate weather protector” to protect head, face and shoulders from rain, wind, snow and extreme cold.

The $49.99 “helmet umbrella” is equipped with shoulder straps and an “offset handle” that allows hands-free protection from the elements.

Kaufman invented the Nubrella after watching people in lower Manhattan struggling to keep their umbrellas from inverting during a windy and rainy day.

Nubrella hired 5W Public Relations in February but things didn’t work out, according to Kaufman.

Adam Handelsman, 5W PR, said he was “speechless” when informed of the split-up with Nubrella.

“We got major national hits including Fox, Reuters and MSNBC in the 42 days that we worked for Nubrella,” he said.

Instead of appreciation for that effort, Handelsman said all 5W heard from the client was “Where’s Oprah?” He wishes Kaufman well in his venture.

Kaufman can be reached at [email protected].


Three firms are involved in Office Depot’s proxy battle with a dissident shareholder over two slots on the company’s board of directors.

Sard Verbinnen & Co. is working with Office Depot as the struggling office supplies giant urges stockholders to support its own nominees.

Woodbridge Equity Fund and homebuilder Levitt Corp. have nominated two directors – a former president/COO of Office Depot as well as an ex-president/COO of rival Staples – for the Office Depot board. Woodbridge owns three million shares of OD.

Woodbridge and Levitt are using Brunswick Group for media relations and Georgeson for investor relations.

Woodbridge and Levitt contend OD “has lost its vision and competitive position” and have raised executive compensation issues. They are looking to oust chairman/CEO Steve Odland and ex-chair/CEO David Fuente from the board.

OD says it has the right board in place and questions whether Levitt has a turnaround plan. OD’s annual meeting is April 23.


CKRP has picked up PR duties for eatery franchise Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar in a competitive pitch.

CKPR’s Chicago office will be handling the account, which includes national media relations and PR.

Rob Merritt, SVP, director of that office, oversees the business.

Flemings, which started in 1998 in Newport Beach, Calif., has 54 locations across the U.S. A Chicago location is slated to open this spring.

Internet Edition, April 2, 2008, Page 3


Dave Marash, the “American face” of Al Jazeera has left the Arab satellite TV operation due to increased editorial control from headquarters in Qatar.

The former correspondent of ABC’s ‘Nightline” was Washington anchor of the network that reaches 100M people throughout the world, but has scant distribution in the U.S.

Marash told the Associated Press that he noticed an “anti-American sensibility creeping into coverage” of late. Al Jazeera English launched in November `06.


The Justice Dept. has wrapped up its review of the proposed XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio without moving to block the deal.

That means the deal has been deemed not to be anti-competitive.

The ball now falls into the court of the Federal Communications Commission.

Shareholders of both companies approved the merger of the only two satellite radio companies in November.


Google, MySpace and Yahoo have established the OpenSocial Foundation to ensure “neutrality and longevity of OpenSocial as an open, community-governed specification for building social applications across the web.”

The Foundation will be an independent non-profit entity with a formal intellectual property and governance framework.

It will provide “transparency and operational guidelines around technology, documentation, intellectual property, and other issues related to the evolution of the OpenSocial platform.”

The OpenSocial allows a person to post a photo on multiple networks, rather than having to build an application for each one.


Stanton Crenshaw and Sard Verbinnen & Co. are working for Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners, pressing their lawsuit against six banks to force them to comply with original financing terms of $19.5B takeover of Clear Channel Communications.

The private equity firms say it is clear that “lenders’ remorse set in when credit markets worsened.”

They are “disappointed and dismayed the banks have chosen not to fund the transaction under the terms of the binding commitments they entered into almost a year ago.”

Citigroup, Royal Bank of Scotland, Wachovia, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse are named in the suit.

The New York Times, March 26, reported that many investors expected the Clear Channel deal to be “one of the private equity deals most likely to fall apart.”

Alex Stanton is spokesperson for Bain. Robin Weinberg, Matt Benson and Elizabeth Hanahan are members of Sard’s THL team.


The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has put up a $25M grant for the museum of journalism slated to open in Washington, D.C., on April 11.

The 250K-square-foot Newseum will host two broadcast studios and a conference center with the Knight name as part of the donation.

The Knight Foundation is the charitable arm of the former Knight Ridder newspaper company, which was broken up in 2006.

Alberto Ibargüen, president of the 58-year-old Knight Foundation and chairman of the Newseum, said the Pennsylvania Avenue museum “will immediately become one of the most important platforms for discussion of free speech in America.” Supporters of the museum project include Annenberg Foundation, The New York Times Co., News Corporation, Cox Enterprises, Hearst Corp., ABC News, NBC News and Time Warner.


Susan Kane, former editor of Babytalk magazine, has been named editorial director of Bonnier Corporation’s Parenting Group, a post overseeing all editorial content for Parenting magazine, Babytalk and

Kane also serves as editor-in-chief of Parenting and succeeds Janet Chan, who steps down after 11 years as editorial director of the Parenting Group. Chan continues as an editorial consultant.

Kane earlier was executive editor at YM, executive editor at New Woman and senior editor at Woman.

BW, LINKEDIN ALIGN has partnered with online business networking site LinkedIn in a two-way partnership.

As part of the deal, BW and Standard & Poor’s Capital IQ unit provide company data for LinkedIn’s “company profile” feature launched in mid March.

The other tenet of the relationship has BW adding a “Company Insider” link to its content which allows readers to view their contacts on LinkedIn at companies mentioned in BW articles.


Mark Carter, a 20-year veteran media executive and TV producer, has been named executive director of the Committee of Concerned Journalists and the Goldenson Chair in Community Broadcasting at the Missouri School of Journalism.

Carter has been running his own news consulting firm. He joins Missouri’s office in the National Press building in D.C. that houses CCJ Washington staff.

Carter began his career as a consultant with McKinsey & Company and later became a TV correspondent for CNN and Channel One, where he served as chief anchor for three years. He later became a top strategist for CNN during the 1990s and served on the network’s managing board for four years.

"Quality journalism faces more serious challenges than at any time in recent memory. Consequently, the work of CCJ is more important than ever," he said.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, April 2, 2008, Page 4


Lloyd Trufelman of Trylon SMR was quoted in the 3/5 NL that PR pros and PR groups should contribute to the Committee to Protect Journalists, New York, which helps families of murdered, injured and imprisoned journalists. He noted that no PR organizations are listed as contributors on the CPJ website.

Cody, taking up the subject in his March 7, headlined: “Would journalists do the same for us?”

Journalists "Bash" PR Pros

Said Cody, whose firm numbers the Columbia Journalism Review among its clients:

"With all due apologies to the family and friends of slain journalists, give me a break.

"Does Trufelman not read the various and sundry bashings of the PR industry by the media? Does he not see the journalism-PR relationship as a mutually beneficial one?

"Would journalists ever contribute money to a 'Committee to Protect PR People' who might also work in high-risk zones? (I'm joking btw).

"Last, but not least, is Trufelman's plea not akin to slapping a PBA sticker on one's car windshield to avoid paying speeding tickets?"

Josephson Sides with Journalists

A posting on the blog by Ed Josephson asked: "Does this mean that Peppercom, the PR agency that represents the Columbia School of Journalism, is against making a small financial contribution to CPJ and advises other PR professionals to adopt a similar policy?"

Cody responded: "my blog posed the question: if the roles were reversed, would journalists make a similar contribution to our industry? Would you disagree that the answer would be a resounding 'no?'".

He also noted that Peppercom does not contribute to the CPJ and "what other agencies do is their business."

‘Great and Worthy Cause’

Cody was not available for an interview with this NL but said in an e-mail that "Every PR firm should feel free to contribute to the fund for families of slain journalists. It's a great and worthy cause."

He said the blog he wrote imagined how journalists would behave if the roles were reversed.

Said Cody: "I wonder if journalists would ever contribute to a fund for families of slain PR pros (some of whom must surely work in war-torn regions of the world). While it was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, the point is valid: few journalists are overtly supportive of PR (or will acknowledge the role we play in providing them with leads, angles, etc.). Sadly, many seem to take great delight in bashing our profession."


Doug Shapiro, the Wall Street media analyst who joined Time Warner in `07, has been named investor relations chief.

He succeeds Jim Burtson, senior VP-investor relations, who will now work on mergers and acquisitions. He also will help CFO John Martin develop “optimal capital strategies for the media combine.

Shapiro is now the day-to-day contact with the investment community. He was senior analyst for cable/satellite and media conglomerate sectors at Banc of America Securities from `99 to `07. He also covered the cable and satellite sectors for Deutsche Banc Securities.

TW stock has been hammered over the past year. It trades at $14.50, near its 52-week low of $13.66. It peaked at $21.97.


Securities analysts have pegged Citigroup as the worst communicator and JPMorgan Chase as the best during the subprime mortgage crisis that has racked Wall Street, according to research conducted by IR Magazine.

The independent survey drew responses from 1,427 buy-side analysts, sell-side analysts and portfolio managers in databases supplied by Thomson Financial and Ipreo. It was conducted between Nov. 28, 2007 and Jan. 11, 2008.

Citigroup, which saw CEO Charles Prince resign after posting $8 billion in loses related to the mortgage meltdown, was followed by Merrill Lynch (where CEO Stan O’Neal also lost his job), E*Trade Financial, Countrywide Financial and Bear Stearns among the worst communicators in the financial sector.

Analysts named Citigroup as the least effective company in disclosing its exposure (good or bad). Merrill was second because its actual losses greatly exceeded initial estimates by the company. Merrill took 16.9 percent of the “worst” votes by analysts surveyed.

“There was a feeling that they didn’t know the full extent or were attempting to soft-pedal it,” said IR executive editor Neil Stewart.

The communications study was part of IR Magazine’s annual investor perception study, which polls 5,000 analysts ahead of the publication’s annual awards, which were held March 27 in New York. The magazine said 1,427 analysts responded to the communications survey. Thirteen percent pointed to JPMorgan Chase as the financial company presenting the clearest picture of its own situation during the crisis. AIG followed with good marks.

Notably, Bear Stearns, the controversial takeover target, ranked near the top of analysts best and worst lists. Stewart said analysts praised the company for being the first to recognize the problem, while others faulted it for not going beyond basic disclosure.


Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia has named former U.S. propaganda czar Charlotte Beers to the company's board of directors.

Beers, a former CEO of Ogilvy & Mather and chairman at J. Walter Thompson Worldwide, is a former director of MSLO. She resigned in 2001 to serve as U.S. Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, a post she held through March 2003.

MSLO also added finance veteran Todd Slotkin to its board. Slotkin and Beers replace Jill Greenthal and Bradley Singer.

Internet Edition, April 2, 2008, Page 5


WeissComm Partners, the fastest growing Top 100 firm in O’Dwyer’s rankings, has promoted Diane Weiser to the president & COO post. She assumes the presidency from founder Jim Weiss, who is upped to chairman.

Since joining WeissComm in `04, Weiser played a key role in the growth of the San Francisco-based healthcare company and its New York office. She also helped open outposts in Chicago and Washington, D.C.

Weiser directed Ketchum/San Francisco’s health group, where she managed Genentech’s business, prior to joining WeissComm.

She also managed Ketchum’s New York office, which had responsibility for the global Lipitor business.

WeissComm enjoyed 77 percent growth net fees to $13M in ’07.


GolinHarris, which has not had a healthcare operation in London and Europe, has aligned with Packer Forbes for consumer healthcare assignments on the continent.

PF, which claims to be the U.K.’s longest-standing independent healthcare PR firm, said it now handles all of the U.K. and European elements of GH’s global health campaigns. PF acts as Golin’s European hub for ethical healthcare programs and the firms work jointly on consumer health campaigns.

BRIEFS: Ketchum has opened an office in Rome focused on public affairs. The outpost is the firm’s second in Italy complementing its Milan office. Giuseppe Greco heads the Rome operation as business director. Ketchum notes that Rome is the country’s largest and most populous city, and has the highest concentration of researchers and top level of regional investment and development. ...Trylon SMR, New York, is working to promote the emergence of New York’s Silicon Alley with several assignments. The firm has launched a blog, and co-produced a forum on SA 2.0 with Polytechnic University and The Partnership for New York City. Trylon also handled media relations for a report from the Industrial and Technology Assistance Corp. of New York and is handling PR for the New York Media Information Group, which produces monthly tech seminars. ...Cooney/Waters Group, New York, has partnered with Red Door Communications, London, to handle global healthcare comms. ... FD has acquired Brussels-based public affairs and corporate comms. firm Blueprint Partners. FD CEO Charles Watson called the market one of the “world’s critical hubs for the communications industry.” Blueprint was set up in 2003 and counts 30 consultants. ...Publicis Groupe has rebranded its India and Singapore-based marketing services arm from Solutions to Solutions | Digitas. Publicis acquired digital marketing agency Digitas last year. ...Dorland Global said it is a finalist in Med Ad News’ Agency of the Year competition. The awards will be announced on April 17 in New York. Dorland is a finalist in the global healthcare communications category. ...Correction: The name of a new network of travel PR firms was misspelled last week. It is the Pangaea Network.


New York Area

Krupp Kommunications, New York/Jim Karas, author and celebrity trainer, for PR.

Middleton & Gendron, New York/Santa Fe Marketing & Promotional Consortium, a group of business, arts and tourism entities looking to attract affluent consumers. M&G was tapped to lead the effort.

MWW Group, New York/FreeFi Networks, advertising and content-supported free WiFi for public venues like airports and hotels.

Pierce Mattie, New York/elements, health and fitness program, for PR for its franchises and online diet component BalanceD; Every Man Jack, natural men’s grooming products, for PR for a second year, and Pañpuri, luxury skin care brand, as AOR for PR in the U.S.

Rose Communications, New York/Nucletron, radiation oncology solutions, for media relations; Bravo Health, medical and prescription drug insurance for Medicare beneficiaries, for a comms. program focused on internal audiences, and Skanska Infrastructure Development, privately developed public projects, for an executive visibility campaign and editorial services.


Dodge Communications, Atlanta/Medfusion, physician practice websites and patient communication portals, and Phytel, patient-physician communications, for PR.

Hope-Beckham, Atlanta/Major League of Monster Trucks, for marketing and media relations in the U.S.

Bitner Goodman, Fort Lauderdale/Simon Property Group, to handle media relations, event support and community outreach for 23 of its malls, outlets and “lifestyle centers” in Florida.


The Investor Relations Company, Chicago/Blackhawk Bancorp, for creation and implementation of an IR program as the company re-brands, and CTS Corporation, for IR services. Wisconsin-based Blackhawk reports assets of more than $450M. CTS manufactures electronic components and sensors. The company posted ‘07 revenue of about $686M.


Concept Communications, San Francisco/UpTake, travel search and discovery application, as AOR for PR. UpTake was formerly known as Kango and was founded by the former GM of Yahoo! Travel.

Morgan Marketing & PR, Irvine, Calif./Panda Express, Chinese quick-service restaurant chain, for launch of a nine-state marketing campaign supporting a new dish, Beijing Beef. Siltanen & Partners is handling advertising.

LM PR, Los Angeles/American Prison Consultants, for PR.

Berkman, San Diego/Funkwerk Americas, Bluetooth comms. for auto aftermarket; Donan Marsh, upscale women’s clothing store; Weaver’s Touch, woven rug emporium, and Mineral Makeup, natural makeup, for PR and comms.

Internet Edition, April 2, 2008, Page 6


The National Investor Relations Institute has elected Colgate-Palmolive IR VP Bina Thompson as chairman of the group’s board.

Thompson, who joined C-P in 1992 after seven years at Cognex Corp., takes over for Matthew Stroud, VP of IR for Darden Restaurants.

Thompson is a past president of the Investor Relations Assn. and of NIRI’s New York chapter. She has served on NIRI’s board since 2005.

Thompson credited NIRI as an “important influence on my investor relations career.” She said priorities for the group in ’08 including resourcing, enhancing its national chapter program, and increasing its advocacy efforts on behalf of members, “while being mindful of how NIRI can best assist members during these challenging economic times.”

NIRI members have also elected four new directors to serve four-year terms – Derek Cole, VP of IR for Allos Therapeutics; Barbara Gasper, group executive and SVP of IR for MasterCard; Nicole McIntosh, director of IR for Waddell & Reed Financial, and David Prichard, VP of IR and corporate comms. for Corn Products Int’l.

NIRI tapped Jeffrey Morgan of the Futures Industry Assn. as president and CEO in January.

He is the third executive to take the top role since Lou Thompson stepped down after 24 years in 2006.


CARMA International has unveiled a standalone basic media measurement tool that tracks coverage and generates metrics to measure impact.

CARMA bills its NewsAccess product as a low-cost way for companies to stay abreast of relevant news coverage.

The service monitors databases of more than 20K sources, including blogs and other social media, and categorizes content with basic search terms. Search terms and company names are designated by the user and the tool also scans in real-time to provide a continuously updated list of articles.

CARMA VP Sonia LaFountain-Ginyard sees the platform as a quick way to glean each day’s coverage. She said the stand-alone product is not meant to replace the company’s more in-depth analytics. Info:


Radio stations are increasingly moving online to reach listeners, according to a survey by broadcast PR company News Generation. That gravitation includes embrace of personality websites, blogs and social networking portals like MySpace and Facebook.

NG queried 36 random stations and found that 40 percent are using DJ blogs, with many of them utilizing social networking profiles to connect with listeners.

About 50 percent said they update station websites on a daily basis, while 22 percent only update weekly.

Asked to forecast upcoming trends in radio, 36 percent cited HD radio as a key development, while 30 percent saw continued development of web-based content as important down the line.



Joven Cabanday, who handled media relations at law firm Dechert LLP, to Greentarget, New York, as associate VP. Andrew Graham, a former journalist recently at tech PR and IR firm Cognito, joins as a senior associate.

Cicely Simpson, legislative director for Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), to Dunkin’ Brands, Canton, Mass., as director of federal and state government affairs. She reports to chief comms. and public affairs officer Stephen Caldeira. Simpson also runs DB’s corporate political action committee.

David Rabin, who held marketing and sales posts at Cablevision, Citibank and Thomson Corp., to Karen Morstad & Associates, Greenwich, Conn., as VP and managing director.

Valerie Greenhill, a veteran education consultant, to marketing comms. firm e-Luminate Group, Washington, D.C., as VP, market leadership services.

Lisa Milner, marketing and new business development fellow, Widmeyer Comms., to Swanson Communications, Washington, D.C., as an A/E.

Genine Iffla, TV producer and host for WPB-TV, to Ambit, Fort Lauderdale, Fla, as an A/E.

Lawrence Cox, director of public affairs for DRS Technologies, to The Vandiver Group, St. Louis, Mo., as a VP. He was previously senior manager of corporate comms. for Engineered Support Systems and earlier managed public affairs for the U.S. Air Force Air Mobility Command at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.

Rick Miltenberger, marketing director, Mission Hospital, to Westbound Communications, Orange, Calif. He has held VP and GMs posts at Magnet Comms., Amies Comms. and Portmann Comms.

John Kearns, PR manager for Wescom Credit Union, to the Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau, as director of comms. He previously held comms. posts at Technicolor and Manning Selvage & Lee.


Carrie Kocik to VP and Courtney Curzi to account director, 360 PR, Boston. Kocik, who joined in 2004, heads the firm’s food and family practice. Curzi joined in 2006 and handles goods and services clients.

Chas Withers to president, Dix & Eaton, Cleveland. Withers, 42, is a 10-year veteran of the firm and had served as senior managing dierctor. Keith Mabee, 60, who had been president since 1998, takes the title of vice chairman.

Lauren Kelcher, Alexandra Lippin and Paki Newell to VPs, The Lippin Group, Los Angeles. Kelcher joined in 2003, while Newell is an eight-year member of the firm and Lippin has logged two and a half years.

Elana Sullivan to director, digital media, mPRm PR, Los Angeles. Stephanie Tannenberger and Michelle Kim to A/S, and Bret Ingraham and Jessica Wolf to senior A/E, digital media. In the firm’s general entertainment unit, Theresa Black was upped to A/S and Sienna Sanders to senior A/E.

Internet Edition, April 2, 2008, Page 7


Click here for rankings


The technology/industrial category of firms in the O’Dwyer rankings jumped from 76 in the 2006 rankings to 113 in the 2007 rankings as more than 40 firms joined the list including 19 with fees of more than $1 million.

Biggest new entry was Bite Communications of San Francisco, a subsidiary of Next Fifteen Communications Group, with $16M in fees, taking the No. 4 position after No. 1 Edelman ($88M); Text 100 ($58M), and Schwartz Communications ($19.7M).

Other major new entries included Shift Communications of Brighton, Mass., with $7.9M in fees; Davies Murphy of Burlington, Mass., $6M; Spark PR of San Francisco, $5.9M; Atomic PR, San Francisco, $5.3M; Matter Communications, Boston, $3.3M; S&S PR, Chicago, $3.2M, and Launch Squad, San Francisco, $3M. Only five firms in the top 25 posted lower fees than the previous year while most of the remaining 20 were up from 10% to 20%.

Waggener Edstrom, No. 1 in tech in 2006 with $87M in fees, provided a fee total for 2007 but did not break out categories or cities.

Biggest jump in the top 25 was registered by Qorvis, Washington, D.C., which gained 89% to $6.2M, going from No. 18 to No. 12 in the category. The overall fees of Qorvis were up 27% to $30.4M.

Other firms with $1M+ in fees joining the list are Allison & Partners, S.F., $2M; SpeakerBox, McLean, Va., $1.9M; Formula PR, San Diego, $1.2M; Gregory FCA Comms., Chicago, $1M; HLB Comms., Chicago, $1M, and Idea Hall, Costa Mesa, Calif., $1M. Landau PR, Cleveland, had $992K; Catapult PR, Boulder, Co., $949K; Winning Strategies, Newark, $919K; Roman/Peshoff, Holland, Ohio, $905K, and Richard Dukas Comms., New York, $900K.

Internet Edition, April 2, 2008, Page 8




Steve Cody’s coolness towards reporters (page one) tells a lot about the state of current PR/press relations. Cody asks why should he donate to a journalistic fund when there are “various and sundry bashings of the PR industry by the media.”

We have reported many of them including Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten comparing PR pros to poisonous vipers.

Reporters are inundated with often irrelevant PR releases, phone calls and e-mails. They can put up with this but not with the PR pro who takes a hike when an issue arises.

Cody sent us an e-mail but said he was too busy to talk with us on the phone. Our readers would certainly like to hear more of his views on this subject. Our advice to him in an e-mail was to reverse his callous attitude to families of slain journalists and make a $1,000 contribution to one of four groups active in this area. His firm grossed $11 million in 2007 and was the second fastest growing firm in the top 25 (+41%).

Another failure of PR is Gail Baker’s refusal to discuss her sudden departure as chair of the Ethics Board of the PR Society. For the first time, PRS is without an ethics chair. She wouldn’t talk to us before her resignation (possibly forced by the University of Nebraska) nor after it. Members who call PRS h.q. are told PRS will have no comment on this “at this time.”

It was unethical of Baker not to talk to us in the first place while giving no reason for this. Now the EB itself is caught up in ethics charges because of its stonewalling.

There is no report of this on the PRS website. PRS, headed by Jeff Julin, is not living up to its promise to provide the “highest standards of truth and accuracy.”

The Achilles’ heal of PR is the unreturned call when the heat’s on. A reporter will not soon forget it. The EB of PRS or some other PR group should set standards in this area. Oddly, the EB has never set any specific standards even though “Professional Standards” is part of its formal name. Cody’s attitude that journalism and PR depend on each other is partly true but there would be no PR without journalism although journalism existed for hundreds of years without PR. PR feeds off the credibility earned by media, thus winning third party endorsement. Going directly to target audiences is advertising or promotion.

PR started out around the turn of the last century when the “Robber Barons” caused so much of a ruckus that laws were passed against them. Industry needed to soften its image. So Ivy Lee opened the first press bureau, promising to answer all press questions “most cheerfully.” In 1938, Paul Garrett, financial editor of the New York Post who became VP-PR of General Motors and who was one of the founders of PRS, said: “There is no place for PR that connives or squirms or distorts facts. PR is honest. It is frank. It is open.”

One of the journalist help groups wrote to PR organizations a month ago to see if it could arouse some interest. None of them even acknowledged receiving the letter. As part of the 40th anniversary celebration of this NL in June, we will stage an event with the proceeds going to the Int’l News Safety Institute, Reporters Without Borders, Int’l Women’s Media Foundation and the Committee to Protect Journalists... PR pros are not usually in harm’s way but an exception is the murder of Burson-Marsteller’s Tom Moser in 1994 by the Unabomber. A letter from him said: “We blew up Moser because he was a B-M executive... among other misdeeds, B-M helped Exxon clean up its public image after the Exxon Valdez accident... one contributor to the journalist groups might be Lorry Lokey, founder of Business Wire, who told the spring 2008 quarterly of the University of Oregon that in 2006 he was “taking home $100,000 every workday” ($26M yearly). He said such profits were “obscene...embarrassing!” Lokey has given $400M+ to charities including $74M to UofO. BW this year raised its national rate from $625 to $650. Also making huge profits is PR Newswire (approaching $100M for 2007, parent UBM has told analysts). One reason is that PR firms, mostly notably the PR giants (whose logos are featured in a UBM pitch to analysts), almost automatically send releases to BW and PRN, spending tens of millions yearly although neither wire service is a “disclosure medium.” There’s only a half dozen such SEC-dictated media and these could be serviced for a few dollars. The PR firm users of BW/PRN mark up the bills 15-20% and it’s a quick profit.

PRS is not only ducking the press about Baker but about its 60th anniversary celebration in 2008. The committee is no longer listed on the PRS website...this year is also the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Council of PR Firms and PR Week/U.S. Both started almost simultaneously in 1998 no doubt at the direction of Martin Sorrell of WPP, John Wren of Omnicom, and leaders of the other three conglomerates. The plan was to have a weekly color magazine that would “support” the PR industry. PRW/U.S. was a major addition to the PR trades, providing much greater weekly coverage than any of the PR newsletters. There would have been no complaint from us about this except that the conglomerates withdrew their “support” from other trade press and four soon died–PR Reporter in its 50th year; the monthly Reputation Management, and PR Intelligencer and PR Journal of Ragan. PR Quarterly, in its 50th year, fell to less than 1,000 in circulation and one ad. It seems the conglomerates wanted an expensive PR publication that only they and a few large independents could afford to advertise in. PRW raised its ad rates about 15% in January to $9,400 for one-page, up from $8,100. Conglomerate favoritism to PRW is obvious at the Council of PR Firms, which gets more than $500K yearly in dues from 17 conglomerate-owned PR firms. PRW has received upwards of $150K in ads from the CPRF while the O’Dwyer magazine has received one $650 CPRF ad in ten years.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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