The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, April 9, 2008, Page 1
YANKS B-M ACCOUNT
Government of Colombia has terminated its $300K a-year contract
with Burson-Marsteller because it is angry with B-M CEO
Mark Penns statement that said it was wrong to meet
his clients Ambassador.
had been working for approval of a Free Trade Agreement
and continuation of the Plan Colombia effort to eradicate
narcotics. It provided PR and communications consulting
leaders, ardent foes on new FTAs, expressed outrage that
Hillary Clintons then-chief strategist would meet
the Colombians. Clinton won the Ohio primary based on opposition
to new FTAs. She is pressing that case in the battlefield
state of Pennsylvania.
in response to union protests, issued a statement to say
that it was an error in judgment to meet with
Colombias top official in the U.S.
took umbrage, calling Penns statement a lack
of respect to Colombians and unacceptable.
South American country hired B-M in March, `07 based on
its track record in the field of public relations.
Colombia remains committed to highlighting its dramatic
improvements in its economy, social and security
indicators and will continue to press for a FTA.
resigned as Hillary Clinton's chief strategist on April
6. "After the events of the last few days, Mark Penn
has asked to give up his role as chief strategist of the
Clinton campaign," said Clinton's campaign manager
GLOVER PARK BACKS GORE CLIMATE
The Glover Park Group
is providing PR support to the Alliance for Climate Protection,
the Al Gore-backed group which is breaking a $300M marketing
campaign this week.
Agency has developed ads for the campaign with the Alliance
featuring unlikely political pairings like Nancy Pelosi
and Newt Gingrich, and Pat Robertson and Al Sharpton.
Gore is funneling profits
from his hit climate change documentary, his $750K cash
award for the Nobel Peace Prize, and additional personal
funds into the campaign.
Brian Hardwick, director
of comms. for the Alliance, said that Glover Parks
Washington, D.C., office is working with the group. Jason
Miner, VP at Glover Park, heads the account. He is a former
research director for the Democratic National Committee
and was a senior member of the Kerry/Edwards rapid response
team in 2004. The campaign is budgeted at $100M a year for
DEFENSE DEPT. TAPS HASTINGS
The Defense Department
has brought in Robert Hastings, VP of corporate communications
for defense contractor BAE Systems, to take on a senior
public affairs role.
The Assistant Secretary
of Defense for Public Affairs post, the top PA position
at the Pentagon, has been unfilled since last fall.
Hastings, who put in 20
years with the Army as a PAO and aviator, headed communications
for the U.S. operations of BAE, which is based in the U.K.
and posts annual sales of more than $14 billion. He previously
directed communications for Marconi North America before
Marconi Electronic Systems merger with British Aerospace
to form BAE.
Hastings joined the Defense
Dept. on March 10. His job title is principle deputy, Assistant
Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. Neither his hiring
nor Smiths departure were announced.
Supports You Pitches Sought
Meanwhile, the Defense
Dept. has issued an RFP to review its six-figure America
Supports You PR account. Washington, D.C.-based Susan
Davis International is the incumbent firm. Its latest pact
was worth $499K.
The ASY program is the
subject of a Pentagon investigation over its use of funds
and its PR ties to the independent military-run newspaper
Stars and Stripes. The account was not triggered by that
probe however, as SDIs contract has come up for renewal.
To judge interested firms,
the RFP calls for the development of a mock internal communications
plan on a $300K budget to convey the American publics
support of the U.S. military and military families to members
of the armed forces. A link to the RFP (deadline: April
17) is at odwyerpr.com.
PR NEWSWIRE PROFITS A RECORD
delivered another excellent performance, generating profits
of close to $100M, it was announced by U.K.-based
rose 6.9% to 141M pounds while adjusted operating profit
rose 15.4% to 49.1M pounds. The pounds value is calculated
at about $2.
margin continued to improve, rising from 32.3% to 34.8%.
almost one-third of UBMs profits of 168.6M pounds,
it was noted.
In second place
was CMP Information with adjusted operating profit of 47.6M
pounds on revenues of 192.2M pounds.
(Continued on page 7)
Edition, April 9, 2008, Page 2
Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the U.S.
has given a $15K a-month contract to Rosemont Assocs., which
is the firm of former New Jersey Senator Bob Torricelli.
is to maintain and establish contact with Congressmen
and staffs, encourage favorable legislation to Taiwan and
invite Members to visit the island.
contract runs through the end of the year. Rosemont, according
to the agreement, must promptly notify TECRO
in the event it decides to work for any entity of the Peoples
Republic of China.
held an election earlier this month, a tally that elected
a president who has pledged to improve ties with the Mainland.
Ma Ying-jeou takes office May 20, ending eight years of
rule by a pro-independence group.
British Airways has handed
PR duties for its OpenSkies premium transatlantic airline
to New York-based Sloane & Co.
The venture was made possible
March 31 as the Open Skies Treaty between the U.S. and Europe
went into effect. That agreement allows European carriers
to fly to the U.S. from any city on the Continent. They
had been restricted to providing service from their home
BA will use Sloane to
kick off service from Paris to New York this summer. Other
European flights will follow. Sloane, John Hartz, senior
VP, and Tracey Sawicki, VP, handle the OpenSkies account.
MAKOVSKY HEADS SOUTH
Makovsky & Co., New
Yorks 12th biggest independent PR firm, is moving
to 16 E. 34th St. in July.
The 83-year-old building
is between Fifth and Madison Avenues, a short stroll to
the Empire State Building.
Ken Makovsky will pay
$47 per sq. ft. for 18,500 office sq. ft., which is the
entire 15th floor of the building. That rent is a savings
from the $75/sq. ft charge it would have cost M&C to
renew its current lease at 575 Lexington (51 St.), according
to Crains New York Business.
M&C posted a robust
32 percent growth in `07 net fees to $9.2M, according to
the ODwyer rankings of independent PR firms.
GOODE GETS NORTHWESTERN LIFE
Kimberley Goode has shifted
to Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance as VP-communications.
She had been handling
external/internal communications at $10B automotive parts
supplier Visteon Corp. Goode will relocate from Ann Arbor
to Milwaukee for the new post.
In her more than 20 years
of corporate PR experience, Goode has held key posts at
Kellogg Co. (VP-worldwide communications), Prudential Financial
(VP-global communications) and American Express (director-communications).
Northwestern has been
in business for more than 150 years. It has $1T of life
insurance in force.
PE FIRMS TAKE IMAGE HIT
More than 70 percent of
merger & acquisition advisers would be more reluctant
to advise a company to sell to a private equity firm, according
to a survey conducted by Brunswick Group.
The financial PR firm
believes the credit squeeze and termination of high-profile
deals like Clear Channel Communications have hurt the reputation
of PE firms.
Those surveyed expect
corporate buyers to fill the void left by PE firms, and
hold Microsofts hostile bid for Yahoo as an example.
PE firms, according to
Steve Lipin, senior partner at Brunswick, have some
work to do both inside the board room and with banking and
legal advisers when attempting to convince public companies
More than half (52 percent)
of the 30 M&A advisers polled by Brunswick believe the
takeover market will rebound by mid-year.
On the downside, 41 percent
believe the country is moving into a recession, and say
it will take five years before the level of M&A activity
to hit the level that it reached in `07.
MARKS EXITS NIKE FOR EBAY
Alan Marks, director of
global media relations for Nike, is slated to take the senior
VP of corporate communications slot at eBay on April 28.
Marks joined Nike in 2005
after seven years in corporate communications at Gap Inc.
He started out in PR with 12 years at Avon after working
At San Jose, Calif.-based
eBay, he heads business and consumer media relations, employee
communications and executive positioning, among other tasks,
as a member of the companys executive staff.
JACKED LOOKS FOR PR FIRM
which says it has developed the first webtop
for broadcast media, is circulating an RFP for PR work.
browser-based virtual desktop allows sports fans to customize
data through a dashboard of dynamic content widgets, according
to the RFP.
The Santa Monica-based
company is looking for a firm versed in online media, sports
marketing, technology and advertising.
PR will be aimed at business-to-business
and consumer media. Budget is $10K a-month. The PR firm
is to be selected by May 1.
Nicole Heyl, director
of marketing, is handling the search. She is at 323/302-4460.
HAWKINS TRADES BURSON FOR
Steve Hawkins, managing
director and senior VP for Burson-Marsteller in Los Angeles,
has left for a managing partner role at PainePR.
Hawkins heads Paines
national corporate communications practice, handling clients
like Procter & Gamble, Sony and American Suzuki.
Prior to B-M, he was a
SVP at Hill & Knowlton, PR director for Amgen and started
his career as a journalist at U.S. News and World Report
Irvine, Calif.-based PainePR
is owned by Canada-based Cossette Communication Group.
Edition, April 9, 2008, Page 3
SLICES 111 STAFFERS
which is owned by Washington Post Co., has accepted the
buyout offers of 111 reporters and business execs.
staffers such as David Gates, David Ansen and Cathleen McGuigan
are among those who will be exited, according to radaronline,
which broke the story.
150 people were offered the severance package that offered
two years of current pay as a departing bonus plus healthcare
coverage until the age of 65.
is concern that much of the magazines institutional
memory will be lost in the mass exodus.
writers Jonathan Alter and Howard Fineman were among those
offered the package, but they refused to take it.
Washington Post also has had cutbacks. Don Graham,
CEO of WashPost Co., tells investors that the company wants
to be known more as an educational vs. media combine. The
company owns Kaplan, the test-giving and training operation.
NEWS SLATED FOR RE-HAB
Fox News Channel, which became the cultural artifact
of the Bush era, will need to remodel itself when
the new president takes office, according to Time.
beat Fox in the prime time ratings race for viewers from
24 to 54 during the first-quarter of `08. That was the first
time CNN topped Fox since `01.
according to James Poniewozik, rose with Bush. It was played
in the White House and reflected the same surety and
flag-label-pin confidence in its tone and star-spangled
look. It was not just a hit; it was the network of the moment.
believes a McCain presidency would be the trickiest for
Fox. McCain criticized former Defense Secretary of Defense
Donald Rumsfeld, and is the GOP darling of the
hasnt yet figured out how to handle Obama, but a Clinton
restoration would be welcomed with open arms
by Rupert Murdochs network.
PUBLISHES ON KINDLE
and pop culture site PopMatters.com
has teamed with Tribune Media Services to distribute a magazine
on Amazons Kindle digital reading device.
Kindle edition of the publication includes features, columns,
reviews, interviews, and blog content and is available for
$1.49/month. A two-week trial is currently being offered.
TMS unit distributes the magazine, but Tribune has no editorial
role in the venture.
GOES ON SALE IN LONDON
U.S. edition of the Wall Street Journal will go on
sale in London on April 16, which means the print edition
will be on newsstands there five hours before it hits New
paper will sell for about $5 a copy and compete with Pearsons
Financial Times and the regional edition of Wall
Street Journal Europe.
is celebrating its 25th year and has a circulation of 220K.
News Corp. bought the Journal in December.
LOOKS AT NEWSDAY
York Observer owner Jared Kushner may enter the Newsday
auction conducted by Sam Zells Tribune Company.
Murdochs News Corp., Mort Zuckermans New
York Daily News and Long Island cable operator Cablevision
Systems are in the hunt for the suburban New York daily.
is principal in Kushner Cos., a real estate operation founded
by his father, Charles. Newsday is expected to fetch at
least $400M. That price will determine whether Tribune will
be forced to sell other properties, according to the Wall
Co. has reported accelerating declines in newspaper
revenues this year, and plans dispositions of certain
assets or businesses to keep ahead of debt obligations.
News is cutting about one percent of its 1,200-member work
force to deal with a tough advertising environment and an
inability to attract younger viewers who are bombarded with
news on the Internet. The cuts are made at mostly at the
networks 29 local news operations, and were not mandated
(Boston) took the biggest hit as 20 people were cut. WBBM
(Chicago) let 17 go, while KPIX (San Francisco) pared 14.
profile on-air staffers in New York (WCBS) Andrew Kirtzman
and Scott Weinberger were dropped by that flagship station.
REPORTER RELEASED IN ZIMBABWE
Bearak, the New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winner,
who was jailed April 3 in Zimbabwe for violating its draconian
journalism laws was released on bail April 7. Johannesburg-based
Bearak was covering the hotly contested election that apparently
was won by opponents of long-time ruler Robert Mugabe.
arrested Bearak and a British journalist in a sweep of political
opponents to Mugabe. NYT executive editor Bill Keller said
the paper would do everything it could to get Bearak out
who suffered injuries from a fall in his concrete cell,
was released on bail to a medical clinic.
judges have turned down requests to hear Bearak's case,
but another court date is set for April 9.
requires foreign journalists to get a license. It grants
only a handful of foreigner requests for licenses. Few were
okayed to cover the election.
had initially requested that the NYT withhold his byline
as a security precaution. He then changed his mind as other
western reporters had bylines published. The Committee to
Protect Journalists had called for the immediate release
of Bearak. CPJ executive director Joel Simon said it is
"imperative that all journalists, foreign and domestic,
be allowed to freely cover the important political situation
unfolding in Zimbabwe."
called Zimbabwe practice of turning down the vast majority
of journalism license requests a "backdoor form of
news continued on next page)
Edition, April 9, 2008, Page 4
Furlong, former deputy national editor of the Los Angeles
Times, has joined crisis shop Sitrick & Co.
more than 30 years of reporting/editing, Furlong retired
from LAT last month. He covered the banking, real estate,
gambling and white collar crime beats. Furlong served as
deputy national editor for a decade and spent the last two
years supervising national political coverage.
is the third LAT journalist to join Mike Sitricks
firm during the past year. The others are Glenn Bunting,
former senior deputy business editor, and James Bates, ex-deputy
business editor for entertainment.
also worked as a crime reporter for City News Bureau, sports
reporter for Evanston Review and business writer
for Chicago Daily News and Sun-Times.
MARTHA ACQUIRES EMERIL
Martha Stewart Living
Omnimedia has acquired chef Emeril Lagasses media
and merchandising in a deal pegged at $50M, but could reach
$70M if performance benchmarks are met by `12.
The deal includes Lagasses
TV shows, website and licensed food and kitchen products.
Lagasse retains his restaurant business, which includes
11 units in New Orleans, Las Vegas, Orlando, Atlanta, Miami
and Gulfport (Miss.).
Susan Lyne, CEO of MSLO,
says the company looks forward to applying its expertise
in managing multiplatform lifestyle brands to further
build and develop the high-quality Emeril franchise.
Lagasse has hosted more
than 150 TV shows on the Food Network and is food correspondent
for ABCs Good Morning America.
He will host Emeril
Green set to debut this summer on Discovery Communications
Planet Green eco-lifestyle network.
PEOPLE & BRIEFS _____________________________
Preli, VP of editorial programming at NBCs
has been named editor-in-chief of Conde Nasts Brides.com.
She was previously general
manager of BudgetTravel.com
and earlier spent 10 years at MSNBC.com,
where she was part of the launch team and oversaw the websites
of the Today show, Nightly News with Brian
Williams, Dateline NBC, and Meet
Carroll was promoted to vice president of digital
content for Gannett Digital.
She helps design products
that take advantage of the value of Gannetts
vast content, according to the company. Kate
Marymont replaces Carroll with the new title of VP/information
center content in Gannetts U.S. community publishing
Marymont was executive
editor and vice president/information center at the News-Press
in Fort Myers, Fla.
Cisney, a 10-year veteran of Kodak and writer for
the companys two blogs, has been named Kodaks
first chief blogger. She is charged with boosting
the companys social media presence and serves as the
companys eyes and ears online, listening to
customer feedback and sharing ideas and tips related to
Kodaks products and services.
Jeffrey Hayzlett, VP/chief
business development officer for Kodak, said just over ten
percent of Fortune 500 companies have public blogs, and
noted Kodak is among the first to name a female chief blogger.
The company sponsors A Thousand Words, a blog
of employees personal stories, and A Thousand
Nerds, about Kodak technology.
Cisney also blogs for
the Rochester, N.Y., Democrat & Chronicles
Delaney, former executive editor of Health
and senior editor of Cooking Light and Prevention,
has been named editor-in-chief of Spry, a health
magazine slated to launch in September.
Publishing Group of America, owned by Bain Capital Partners
and Shamrock Partners, is billing the Spry launch as the
largest health magazine launch in history. It
will be distributed through newspapers PGA says the title
will focus on Baby Boomers living active lives who also
consider the health of their parents and children.
PGA publishes the newspaper
supplements Relish and Texas Profile.
Kaplan, former chief investigative correspondent
at U.S. News & World Report, has been named director
of the Center for Public Integritys International
Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Kaplan, who stepped
down from USN&WR last June and penned its Bad
Guys blog, has been an ICIJ member for more than eight
Satellite Radio plans wall-to-wall coverage of Pope
Benedict XVIs first visit to the U.S., which is slated
for April 15-20. The Papal U.S. Visit `08 channel
will air in a partnership with EWTN Global Catholic Network
and provide news and commentary as the Pontiff says masses
at Nationals Park (D.C.), Yankee Stadium and St. Patricks
Eternal World Television
Network reaches 140M TV households in 27 countries. XM has
nine million subscribers.
YAHOO PUTS SPOTLIGHT ON WOMEN
Yahoo! Shine has been
launched to provide women all the news that is relevant
to their daily lives.
YS will focus on the nine
categories of fashion & beauty, food, healthy living,
work and money, love and relationships, parenting, at home,
entertainment & culture and astrology.
Yahoo has developed relationships
with Conde Nast, Time Inc., Rodale and Hearst to provide
content from their magazines such as Glamour, Self
and Good Housekeeping. Brandon Holley, editor-in-chief
of YS, also promises to create original content for the
Edition, April 9,
2008, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
of New York PR Firms
here for rankings
Group, New York/Dynamax Technologies, digital signage
software, as global AOR for PR for the U.K.-based company.
Feinberg PR, New York/Ed Hardy by Christian Audigier,
for PR support of a new fragrance collection.
New York/Melvin Van Peebles, filmmaker as AOR for PR. His
latest project, ConfessionsofaEx-Doofus-ItchyFooted
Mutha, debuts at the Tribeca Film Festival later this
PR Worldwide, New York/TJX Companies, as AOR for
PR and experiential and consumer promotions, following a
review, for its T.J. Maxx and Marshalls retail units. OgilvyAction
New York/InfoSpace, web search products, for a consumer
and corporate campaign highlighting its search engine properties.
Communications, New York/Centris, market research,
for corporate comms. and media outreach to announce findings
on the transition to digital TV; Sportime, tennis/fitness
facilities, for media relations and publicity for opening
of a Randalls Island location; North Shore Golf Group,
for PR for the renovation and operation of Randalls
Island Golf Center, and Minted, for launch of online stationary
store Minted.com. The firm also picked up non-profits Society
of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Ghetto Film School,
and Academics in Motion.
Horner Communications, Philadelphia/Parata Systems,
automation technologies for pharmacies, as AOR for national
Raleigh, N.C./Thomasville Furniture, for launch of a new
designer collection. The firm held a preview event in New
York last month.
Group, Atlanta/LAI Engineering, consulting engineering
firm, as AOR for corporate identity and sales support material
Atlanta/Entaire Global; MedsFile.com, sports agent Manny
Arora; Stateside Capital; Dunwoody Self-Storage, and The
Tour Championship presented by Coca-Cola, for PR and experiential
Kovac, Bloomington, Minn./The Toro Company, as AOR
for research, planning, creative and PR support for its
U.S. golf course management, sports field and grounds, and
professional irrigation markets.
Marketing Communications, Los Angeles/
Val Harding, as AOR for U.S. PR including the launch of
a bath amenities line, Halcyon Blue.
Beijing/Legation Quarter, lifestyle development in Beijing,
for brand building ahead of its pre-Olympic
opening in Q2. LQ is a luxury dining, arts and entertainment
upgrade of a century-old compound immediately east of Tiananmen
Edition, April 9, 2008, Page 6
WIDENS AT MEDIALINK
reported that its '07 net loss grew to $4.6M from $946K
for the year earlier period. Revenues increased 5.3 percent
companys stock dropped nearly 20 percent to $1.26
on the news.
Larry Moskowitz announced that the board has approved a
plan to purchase up to 150K of his companys common
also has put Teletrax, the 76 percent-owned global TV tracking
and media asset management service, under a microscope.
suffered a $1.1M operating loss on $1.1M Teletrax revenues
during the fourth-quarter of `07. It lost $823K on $879K
revenues during the comparable `06 period.
said Medialink is pursuing all avenues to realize
the value we believe this business warrants, and have undertaken
a re-evaluation of the overall business plan for Teletrax,
including continuing to explore tracking of video on the
Internet. He said Teletrax revenues remain below
our internal projections.
owns Teletrax with Royal Philips Electronics.
announced three new direct response advertising agencies
as Teletrax clients in late March.
Direct & Digital (formerly Grey Direct), Kent Creative
Group and Gold Mountain Media all inked deals to use the
said it is using Teletrax to expedite the reporting process
and increase accuracy. Kent said it is monitoring ad copy
changes and media clearances to report expenditures, while
Gold Mountain is verifying TV airings of client commercials.
IABC TO FETE MARRIOTT
CEO Bill Marriott will receive the 2008 Excel Award from
the International Association of Business Communicators
in June at the groups annual conference in New York.
Excel is an acronym for
excellence in communication leadership. IABC said Marriotts
commitment to employee engagement while inspecting 250 properties
each year through adopting new tools like blogging merits
Past honorees included
Stu Reed, EVP of Motorola; Rajesh Subramaniam of FedEx Canada,
and Mark Hurd of Hewlett Packard.
Marriott will address
the June 23 confab.
San Francisco, is offering a free online marketing and calendar
software program that can be integrated into websites or
blogs to tout products and events. Info: spongecell.com.
...D S Simon Productions,
New York, picked up two Mercury Awards in March. Simon won
a silver and a bronze award for VNRs produced for the American
College of Physicians.
email contact for info on D S Simon Productions satellite
media and ground tours with home improvement guru Gary Dymski
is [email protected].
Chamberlin, former GM of Edelmans Shanghai
office, to Manning Selvage & Lee, Dallas, as a senior
VP in its corporate practice. He handles Huawei, Chase Paymentech
and Entrust. Chamberlin was previously VP of external afairs
at JPMorgan Chase and director of global comms. for Nortel
Ward, regional marketing manager, Commerce Bank,
to Subaru of America, Cherry Hill, N.J., as manager of corporate
comms. She was previously PR manager at Raymour & Flanigan
Bajema, previously with Crosby/Wright in Scottsdale,
Ariz., to French/West/Vaughan, Raleigh, N.C., as a senior
A/E. Earlier, she was an editor and reporter for the East
Mesa Independent Newspaper. Tess
Tabor, senior publicist for Penguin Group,
joins as an A/E.
Ruland, VP of comms. for the International Dairy
Foods Assn., and Greg
McCarthy, director of comms. for law firm Latham
& Watkins, to Powell Tate, Washington, D.C., as senior
VPs. My Le Ducharme,
program director for the Smithsonian Institution; MP
Gay, formerly of TBA Events; Kristin
Gossel, director of the Home Security Dept.s
Ready campaign, and Colin
Moffett, of Mindshare Interactive Campaigns (now
Virilion), all join as VPs.
Barnhardt, previously with William Mills Agency,
joins Winderkind PR, Atlanta, as a senior A/E. Kristin
McAuley, formerly of The Haystack Group, joins as
an A/E. Justin Siefert
has been promoted to senior A/S.
Sanchez, senior interactive director, Charleston
| Orwig, to Bader Rutter, Brookfield, Wisc., as a senior
interactive media specialist. Tara
Hammond, formerly at TEKSystems, joins as a web programmer,
Lels, senior marketing manager for Pipeline, to Arieff
Communications, San Francisco, as marketing communications
director. She was previously with Gap Inc. She handles consumer
accounts at Arieff.
Specter to director of communications, Thirteen/WNET,
New York. Specter handles media relations, institutional
positioning, program publicity and editorial services for
the public TV station and major producer for PBS. Rick
Thompson was upped to director of promotion and advertising.
King to VP of corporate communications and IR, The
E. W. Scripps Co., Cincinnati, as the company splits into
two units. King succeeds Timothy
Stautberg, who takes the title of CFO and senior
VP. Mark Kroeger
was named VP of corporate communications and IR for Scripps
Networks Interactive, the lifestyle TV network operator
which is set to separate from Scripps. King is 42 and had
been directror of employee comms. since 2005. Kroeger, 55,
was director of corporate comms. and IR since 2001. Scripps
announced its split into two companies last October. It
is expected to be completed by July 1.
Edition, April 9, 2008, Page 7
NEWSWIRE PROFITS SOAR
the gain in profits was the shift of editorial staffers
from 11 offices to facilities in Cleveland, Albuquerque
and Washington, D.C.
Albuquerque facility was to be completed by the end of March.
had 730 employees in the U.S. at the end of 2007. It has
yet to announce how many employees are in Albuquerque or
what percentage of the transferred workers made the switch.
office consolidation successfully reduced overall
costs, and, in time, will enable PRN to improve both its
service levels and its ability to win business, said
noted that there were some service lapses because
of the moves and the demands of training new staff.
was continued growth of the use of US1, the companys
national newswire, which costs $680 for the first 400 words.
Photos are $1,325 extra.
growth were contributions from non-regulatory, non-wire
services such as MultiVu, MEDIAtlas and ProfNet and expanding
business in Europe, China and Latin America, UBM said.
Makes Three Acquisitions
made three acquisitions in 2007 costing 33.7M pounds including
were Vintage Filings, serving EDGAR filings; Notilog, media
monitoring service in Mexico, Argentinia and Brazil, and
Hispanic PR Wire.
revenues doubled and new offices were opened in Dubai and
Sweden in 2007 and Mumbai in February 2008. An office in
Norway will open later this year.
charges users a $195 annual membership fee while
three competitors (Business Wire, Market Wire and PrimeNewswire)
national wires of BW, MW and PN cost $650, $460 and $435,
respectively. MW charges $50 extra for images that accompany
prime source of business for PRN is the PR units of ad agency
conglomerates WPP and Omnicom, according to a 2007 UBM pitch
the headline, Driving Growth in the PR Sector
is shown the logos of Porter Novelli, Ketchum, Fleishman-Hillard,
Ogilvy Hill & Knowlton and Burson-Marsteller.
from them (and others said a UBM spokesman) were up 18.9%
in the first half of 2007 to $23.1M, said the slide.
slide said: PR becomes marketing.
BACKERS WIN PRS BOARD BATTLE
attempts to reduce the potential influence of 2007 PRS CEO
Rhoda Weiss on 2008 nominations failed at the board meeting
Veronda of Kodak and Prof. Dennis Gaschen of California
State (Fullerton) motioned that not only could the immediate
past chair (Weiss) take part in nomcom discussions, but
so could all 17 directors.
2004 reform had blocked directors, except for the immediate
past chair, from participating in nomcom.
this motion failed, Tom Eppes of Eric Mower and Assocs.
and Dave Imre of Imre Communications motioned to block the
past chair from actively campaigning for or against
any candidate and may not participate in the deliberations
for any candidate. This also failed.
of Attorney Given to ODwyer
of the Jan. 25 meeting came out after more than a month
of efforts by a group of members to obtain minutes of the
Jan. 25 board and executive committee meetings.
New York State law for non-profits, the group had given
Jack ODwyer of this NL power of attorney to view the
minutes of the board and EC for 2008 and 2007.
Bill Murray cited a section of the law that said board and
EC minutes could only be viewed as part of a lawsuit.
he sent the group the minutes of the Jan. 25 meeting by
e-mail and posted them in the members area of the
minutes show that CEO Jeff Julin, under the heading, Documents
Requiring Board Signature, passed out to directors
disclosure, confidentiality and conflict of interest
directors have said they had to sign promises that they
would not speak in behalf of the Society with the press
or other audiences, leaving such activity to the CEO and
designated PRS staff.
EC met by itself the morning of Jan. 25 and this was followed
by a meeting of the entire board and ten staffers that started
at 1 p.m. that day.
the next day, a Saturday, the board spent the entire day
listening to instructions from a boardroom expert
on how to behave as a directors.
Tightens Online Access
that too many members are allowing non-members to use their
online access codes, PRS is eliminating the practice by
blocking access to anyone but the members themselves.
people who joined in the past two years did not get the
usual 1,000-page directory listing members and other information
since publication was suspended as of 2006.
least 5,000 of the 22,000 members dont renew each
year and now find they no longer have access to membership
PALUSKA GOES TO BETTER PLACE
Paluska, who headed Hill & Knowltons high-tech
practice, has moved to Project Better Place, the Silicon
Valley-based company that plans to build a grid in Israel
and Denmark to power a fleet of electric cars.
assumes the chief marketing officer post, responsible for
brand, communications and strategic planning.
who headed the PBP account at H&K, reports to CEO Shai
Davenport assumes Paluskas role at H&K.
has worked on key tech clients like Hewlett-Packard, BEA,
VeriSign, Qualcomm, EADS and PBP.
Edition, April 9, 2008,
record $98M profits of PR Newswire (page one) coupled
with the $400M+ that Business Wire's Lorry Lokey has been
able to give to charities are signs of PR's mechanization
and automation - both bad trends.
PRN and Lokey
("what I earn is far out of proportion to what I'm
worth") were lucky to be there at a time when the financiers
who took over a large part of the PR business automated
it to the best of their ability in order to maximize profits.
They had done this to the ad business with great success,
creating gargantuan media buying units that could drive
down media prices.
could be greatly increased, they reasoned, if the human
part of PR could be slashed.
to be convinced that the best and cheapest route to disclosure
was PRN and BW, (which cost a measly $680 and $650) rather
than building relationships with individual reporters and/or
answering their questions. (The Lokey quote above came from
the Feb. 22, 2007 Chronicle of Philanthropy).
The great bulk of
releases sent out over these wires tell one side
of a story and need questions answered if they are to pass
the test of journalism.
Our experience in getting questions answered from companies
using the wires and the wire services themselves is bad.
We refer to Omnicom, WPP, Interpublic, Publicis and Havas,
publicly-held companies that own at least 25 large PR firms
and hundreds of others.
Their electronic PR releases are an impenetrable electronic
fence. Our first financial questions to OMC about ten years
ago were met with contempt and ridicule: "You're going
to cover Omnicom...you're going to take us on!?" said
its CFO. In other words, we were a mere grease spot to the
giant conglomerate and writing about it would be doing battle
The over-reliance on these wires has had a negative effect
on journalism, cutting down on human interaction.
Many firms using them just want to avoid any complaints
from the SEC or stockholders and are not interested in being
grilled by the press.
But a new day is dawning
in electronic press release distribution. PRN and
BW are being left "in the dust" by new services
such as Vocus, our readers tell us. The PR Web unit of Vocus
goes to tens of thousands of media including blogs and disclosure
media (the AP) and can be customized to go to more disclosure
media and financial outlets. Instead of $680 or $650 a release,
Vocus only charges $80. The new Vocus "Small Business
Edition" costs around $3,000 annually (vs. $5,000 and
up for its more extensive "Enterprise" and "Professional
Editions") and includes 12 releases at no extra cost.
Vocus went public in 2005 and had 2007 sales of $58 million.
As if to illustrate
our point, both BW and PRN refuse to answer our questions
although both are parts of public companies. We called Lokey
months ago about his gift-giving but he didn't return the
call. Oddly, he told the University of Oregon Quarterly
that he "loves journalism." It's no wonder he
doesn't call us back. He doesn't want to explain how he
left his wife, Eva, out of the story of BW. She co-founded
the company in 1961 with him and worked for it 29 years.
She was chair of the board when they were divorced in 1990
and continued to own 50% of the company. We would like to
know if she is alive or not and whether she continued to
own 50% of BW. We would like to ask PRN how many employees
lost their PRN jobs by deciding not to move to Albuquerque.
PRN employs more than 700 in the U.S. and we wonder if the
total was 100+. Editorial staffers in 11 offices were shifted
to that city, Cleveland and Washington, D.C.
OMC CEO John Wren does not want to discuss why OMC stock
is only $45 currently when it was $53.50 in 1999 and he
has taken at least $50M in pay from the company since then.
Also, if OMC is such a great stock, why did he sell $16M
of it in February. Companies such as PRN and BW do things
that might embarrass them or which they don't want to discuss
and when reporters raise such issues, they are condemned
and shunned on charges of being "too negative."
The Lokey profile
had some revealing quotes about the way business works
and we hope both PR profs and students will take note of
According to Lokey, PRN "brass" told him in 1986
either to sell out to PRN or "you will be run over."
Said Lokey: "They were really trying to kill us."
PRN (and BW) had bought out numerous local wires over the
years and we'd guess PRN said the same thing to such companies.
These threats capture the ferocious nature of business competition
that PR students should know about. Mostly students are
taught that PR people are like "social workers"
and arbitrators of community disputes. More likely they
will be thrown into fierce competitive battles.
The pathetic nature
of the 2008 board of PR Society (page 7) was shown
when it allowed the five-member executive committee to meet
by itself all morning on Jan. 25 while the other 12 directors
sat on their hands. The board then allowed ten PRS staffers
to sit in on the afternoon board meeting (no doubt to keep
directors in line and/or distract them with numerous inconsequential
reports). The directors were "required" to sign
documents of silence about PRS matters (even to their own
district members). They then spent all day Jan. 26 being
lectured to by an "expert" in board behavior instead
of, for instance, creating a "PR for PR" program
or planning 60th anniversary celebration events... ambiguous
Section 621 of New York law shows why PRS must shift its
charter to Delaware.
The section says board and executive committee minutes
must be kept at the h.q. of a group but members can only
see them if they file a lawsuit.
NYS law, which is heavily in favor of boards rather than
the members of groups, also blocks electronic meetings of