The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, April 16, 2008, Page 1
GIVES LIVINGSTON $2.4M PACT
Livingston Group has picked up a $2.4M contract to provide
government affairs and lobbying services to Libya.
Qaddafis Government renounced terrorism and weapons
of mass destruction in `03, moves that removed Libya from
the State Dept.s list of rogue states.
however, has held up money for construction of a U.S. Embassy
in Tripoli and confirmation of an ambassador until Libya
completes compensation for the victims of the bombings of
Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland and the `89 attack on a
French airline, UTA.
is headed by former Speaker of the House-designate Bob Livingston
firms one-year contract went into effect on March
recently wound up a $1.8M contract with Turkey.
TROWER TAKES LAUDER POST
Alexandra Trower, senior
VP/media relations at Bank of America, has moved to Estée
Lauder Companies for the executive VP-global communications
post. She succeeds Sally Sussman, who left for Pfizer.
Earlier she was managing
director at JPMorgan Chase, responsible for corporate communications
at its JPMorgan Fleming Asset Management.
Trower spent a decade
at Chancellor LGT Asset Management. She served as VP-corporate
Trower reports to CEO
William Lauder. She began work on April 14.
Estee Lauder brands include
Origins, Clinique, Aramis, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors,
and Bobbi Brown as well as the Estée Lauder flagship
RAND REPLACES BOXX AT LOCKHEED
Ronald Rand, a retired
Air Force brigadier general who specialized in public affairs,
has been tapped as the new senior VP of communications for
He is slated to take over
for Dennis Boxx who retired earlier this month
on May 1.
Rand exits civil and military
engine maker Pratt & Whitney, where he was VP of communications.
He wrapped up his Air
Force career as director of public affairs in D.C. in 2004,
heading all internal and external comms. and serving as
Rand was with the Air
Force for 32 years and led communications for bases around
SORRELL STICKS WITH PENN
WPP Group CEO Martin Sorrell
sees no need to sack Burson-Marsteller chief Mark Penn in
the aftermath of the loss of the Colombian Government account
and the resulting media dust-up that triggered Penns
high-profile demotion in the Clinton for President
B-M is doing extremely
well at the moment, Sorrell told the Financial
Times, and Penn will continue as CEO to develop
the business further.
Sorrell said there are
potential clashes and conflicts between commercial and political
clients today that were hard to imagine a few years ago.
WPP has no plans to establish
any rules banning executives from working on political campaigns
while representing other clients.
Penn Schoen & Berland
has billed the Clinton campaign $13M so far for its work
as consultant and pollster.
OMCS WREN ENJOYS HIKE
Omnicom CEO John Wren
received a 15 percent hike in `07 compensation to $8.4M,
fueled by a $1M boost from the companys incentive
The ad/PR combine granted
Wren a $7M bonus last year. His salary remained at $1M.
Wren did not receive stock awards in `07.
OMCs No. 2 executive
Randy Weisenburger was granted stock worth $280,884 during
the past year. He received $975K in salary and a $5.3M incentive
The well-traveled Wren
received $410,652 in other compensation.
That sum includes $340,031
for personal use of aircraft and $49,998 for auto lease/car
allowance. Wren also got a $4,000 medical allowance.
OMC reported a 12.9 percent
rise in `07 net income to $976M. Revenues were up 11.6 percent
OMC will hold its annual
meeting in New Orleans on May 16.
CANDIDATES SCARCE AT PR SOCIETY
The PR Society,
which has a record 11 board positions to fill, conducted
two teleconferences April 8 but only two potential candidates
a director in 2002, asked if he could run for CEO-elect
in 2008 and was told that he could by chair Jeff Julin.
Prof. Francis McDonald
of Hampton University, Hampton, Va., asked how committee
chairs were picked and was told that volunteer leaders are
assigned to something that interests them.
(Continued on page 7)
Edition, April 16, 2008, Page 2
& Wolfe has made a splash in the technology sector via
its acquisition of a majority stake in London-based AxiCom,
which has more than 80 staffers.
Tanners firm does PR for telecommunications, wireless/mobile,
consumer tech, enterprise computing and digital media companies.
client list includes Real Networks, Brightcove, Kineto,
VMware, Sling Media, BT and Dell.
CEO Donna Imperato had her eye out for a European acquisition
partner to complement her shops U.S. and China tech
sees an opportunity to apply his firms expertise across
C&Ws tech, healthcare, consumer and corporate
Group owns C&W.
FIGHTS FOR YUKOS SHAREHOLDERS
is representing former shareholders of Yukos, the bankrupt
energy company that was once Russias biggest oil company.
Pastrick, BKSH CEO, leads the effort to educate the public
and private sector about the ongoing legal battle surrounding
the downfall of Yukos.
Dutch court ruled March 26 that former shareholders of Yukos
are entitled to a payment of $850M. More than 50K shareholders
could receive compensation, according to a statement from
Bruce Misamore, ex-CFO of Yukos.
Russian Government levied a multi-billion dollar back tax
claim against Yukos, which triggered its bankruptcy. The
companys assets were shifted to state-owned Rosneft.
Khodorkovsky, former CEO of Yukos, was sentenced to nine
years in jail. He is a political rival to Russian strongman
BLAIR TO MS&L
Blair, who was VP-corporate communications at H&K Canada,
is now in charge of Manning Selvage & Lees corporate
practice in that country.
former TV newsman (Global TV and CBC Newsworld) is based
in Toronto. He assumes a senior VP post. From `98 to `04,
Blair served as chief spokesperson for BMO Financial Group
and headed the banks media and PR group. He was a
TV journalist for more than a decade.
Brock-Woodland is managing director of MS&L/Toronto.
Publicis Groupe owns MS&L.
JOINS H&KS AR UNIT
ONeill, who headed Oracles analyst relations
program, has shifted to Hill & Knowlton as senior VP-director
in its U.S. industry analyst relations group.
headed Oracles operation since `01. ONeill is
a veteran of Gartner and a founding analyst at Nielsen/NetRatings.
has 14 analyst relations pros in the U.S., Asia and Europe.
They have close ties with Gartner, Jupiter, Forrester, Yankee,
IDC and other top outfits.
reports to Joshua Reynolds, senior VP-messaging, positioning
and analyst relations for the global technology practice.
REVIEWS TRAVEL PR ACCOUNT
Hampshire is reviewing its $110K/year travel and tourism
PR account with an RFP through April 22.
Granite States Division of Travel and Tourism Development
plans to award a two-year contract to earn national media
coverage positioning New Hampshire as a year-round leisure
Edge Marketing of Newfield, N.H., is the incumbent firm.
Senior partner Stephanie Seacord, former director of corporate
communications for Omni Hotels/North America, heads the
RFP can be downloaded at http://www.admin.state.nh.us/purchasing/specRFP.asp?
Hampshire uses the tagline Youre going to love
it here and is a key outdoor recreation market in
TAKES OVER KAJEET
has replaced Stanton Crenshaw Communications as AOR for
kajeet, a kids cell phone service with parental controls.
won the account in a competitive review, but the company
declined to name other firms involved.
had the business since kajeets launch last spring.
Bethesda, Md.-based kajeet, which was named from the initials
of the children of its three founders, uses online tools
to moderate cell phone use. It also launched a $10/month
GPS locator service for parents to track their kids in late
Daniel Neal said the company tapped Kaplow to reach a broader
swath of media and consumers.
AIDS TOP LOAN BACKER IN CH. 11
Baerlein is handling Chapter 11 communications for The Education
Resources Institute, the largest backer of private student
loans which filed for bankruptcy protection on April 7.
Bresnahan, associate VP at RB, is handling the account.
a statement, non-profit TERI cited the ongoing credit crisis
for causing volatility in the student loan market and causing
immense hardships on loan-related companies.
The company said it will continue operations and initiatives
as it restructures its loan guarantee business.
has more than $17 billion in outstanding loan guarantees.
and TERI are both based in Boston.
EXITS DITTUS FOR GIBRALTAR
Shi, a veteran food and drug communicator, has left FD Dittus
for a VP post at Gibraltar Associates in Washington, D.C.
was a senior director in FD Dittus food/heath/nutrition
unit in a two-year stint there.
he was senior communications advisor at the Food and Drug
Administration managing its 40-person public affairs unit.
was also the FDA commissioners chief speechwriter
and primary media contact during Hurricane Katrina.
Edition, April 16, 2008, Page 3
HBO ADDS TALENT AGENT
Sue Naegle, the 38-year-old
co-head of United Talent Agencys TV department, has
been named president of HBOs entertainment unit.
Finding a hit
program to replace The Sopranos is a key priority
for Naegle, who brought Six Feet Under to HBO,
a Time Warner unit. She is responsible for HBOs upcoming
series, True Blood.
Naegle spent 16 years
at UTA, beginning there in the mailroom. She begins at HBO
by the end of the month, reporting to Michael Lombardo,
president of HBOs programming group and west coast
operations. He called Naegle a perfect fit for
RHODES RESIGNS AT AIR AMERICA
Randi Rhodes, host on liberal Air America radio, has resigned
following her offensive comments aimed at Hillary Clinton
and Geraldine Ferraro.
Those remarks were made at a March 22 San Francisco event
hosted by an Air America affiliate. They gained wide distribution
on YouTube. Rhodes had been suspended from the station.
Mark Green, the New York politico who is president of AA,
puts Rhodes comments in the Imus league.
[Shock jock Don Imus made disparaging remarks about the
Rutgers University womens basketball team.]
He told the Wall Street Journal that Rhodes
abusive, obscene comments obviously crossed the line
of what talent at a media company could say.
Rhodes had a weekly audience of 1.5M.
Air America is owned by Pendulum Media, an entity formed
by venture capital and political activist Charlie Kireker.
He is co-founder of FreshTracks Capital in Vermont and was
a member of then-Governor Howard Deans Council of
Kireker, who is chair of Air America, purchased it in March
from Green Family Media, which bought the broadcaster in
JRC DROPS MEDIA BOMBSHELL
The Journal Register Co, which publishes 22 dailies and
310 non-dailies, has hired Lazard Freres as its strategic
advisor to evaluate its strategic options. The
investment banker is mulling the environment for print advertising.
Veteran newspaper analyst John Morton says a JRC Chapter
11 filing may be in the works, a highly unusual occurrence
at a media company.
The JRC is saddled with $625M debt as of Dec. 31, most
of that connected with the `04 acquisition of Michigan papers
that are now reeling from the auto crunch.
The companys shares trade for less than a quarter.
The stock traded as high as $6.48 during the past 52 weeks.
Morton told the New York Times that a potential
JRC bankruptcy would be a market-driven collapse.
The New Haven Register is JRCs flagship. The
company has other papers in greater Philadelphia/Cleveland
and New Yorks mid-Hudson region.
SMITH CALLS IT QUITS AT COX
Jay Smith is stepping down as president of Cox Enterprises
newspaper group on May 1, capping a 37-year career.
That span included a seven-year run as publisher of the
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Coxs largest
Sandy Schwartz succeeds Smith. He is a 23-year veteran
of Cox, joining the company as an editor in Mesa, Ariz.
Schwartz was GM at AJ-C before being named executive VP
at Cox Newspapers.
He retains his post as president of Cox Auto Trader, publisher
of auto classified magazines.
TIME WARNER GETS NAMING RIGHTS
The Charlotte Bobcats Arena is being renamed Time Warner
Cable Arena in a deal inked with the National Basketball
The city of Charlotte built the arena to win an expansion
team after the Hornets high-tailed it to New Orleans in
Under the naming deal, Bobcat games will shift from TWC
News 14 to Fox Sports Net South and SportSouth, a move that
more than triples the potential viewing audience.
The Bobcats rank 23rd in wins in the 30-member NBA.
RADIO PEREZ HITS
Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, whose real name is Mario
Lavandeira, launches "Radio Perez" on May 5.
The three-minute radio program will air during the morning
and afternoon rush hours.
New York, Los Angeles and Chicago are among the first cities
slated for RP.
Lavandeira will call the biggest stations to chat with
their DJs to help tailor RP to local markets. RP is a production
of C Student Entertainment Corp.
Lavandeiras website drew 2.8M unique visitors in
BGR TUNES IN CLEAR CHANNEL
BGR Holding has signed Clear Channel Communications as
a client for legislative and regulatory issues.
Hot topics are media ownership, localism and the Performance
Bryan Cunningham, a former aide to Republican Senators
John Ensign (Nev.) and Judd Gregg (N.H.) handles the account.
Clear Channel has been in the news, concerning a messy
takeover bid by private equity firms Bain Capital and Thomas
H. Lee Partners.
Those firms filed a lawsuit against six banks to force
them to comply with the original financing terms of the
$19.5B takeover bid.
Citigroup, Royal Bank of Scotland, Wachovia, Deutsche Bank,
Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse asked a Texas judge on
April 9 to dismiss the case.
Stanton Crenshaw reps Bain Capital. Sard Verbinnen works
news continued on next page)
Edition, April 16, 2008, Page 4
are going to have a new look to our paper, and much more
clearer, said Hollywood Reporter editor Elizabeth
Guider at a recent Entertainment Publicists Professional
Society workshop in Hollywood.
who noted that HR has seen double-digit growth since she
came on board last year, led a panel on working with publicists
with TV editor Nellie Andreeva and film editor Greg Kilday.
Hanna Pantle, associate VP, corporate and media relations
at BMI, moderated.
a 15-year veteran of Variety, joined HR in August
2007 and has been involved with the launch of an east coast
and an Asian edition, as well as the addition of several
blogs. The paper is preparing to launch a style redesign
that will include several new elements.
want to bring the paper into the 21st century, she
said. Readers want humor, insight, news, and analysis.
No more How thrilled everyone is
Guider said the new look will include expanding front pages
so there are fewer jump pages, an overall faster pace,
more thought to the stories that appear up front, and more
features that explain how things work.
belong to the Nielsen Company they have vaults of
data so wed like to do more stories that relate to
the data, she said.
Hollywood Reporter is published daily, Mon.-Fri., with Fridays
edition called the International Weekend Edition,
making it a key read overseas, where the paper has expanded
its staff to 14 writers.
New York edition covers the east coast with input from bureau
chiefs in London and Beijing. Guider said it is different
from the Los Angeles print edition, and noted the east coast
paper came about after she rarely saw HR in waiting rooms
when visiting corporate offices in New York.
advised PR pros: Part of your job is to distinguish
the level of importance. She said it is crucial to
deal with the newsroom in the morning before afternoon deadlines
approach. Andreeva admitted: We can be cranky, especially
if you call in the afternoon. In the morning were
it short and succinctly, give us the bullet points, and
keep it newsy, she said. In the longer
view, she said, they like to be part of an ongoing conversation.
Rule of thumb for film stories is when a picture is acquired
for distribution, gets into a major festival or when a story
has a happy ending, because that is the
Hollywood dream, said Guider. She told PR pros to
start with the person that they might have a relationship
with, and then copy the appropriate person for a particular
beat. If its a big story, Guider wants to be in the
All of our stories
are offered to Reuters, especially the international stories
because there is a growing demand on the Internet,
said Kilday, who has been film editor since 2001. Readers
want to know the insight, the humor and cut to the chase
of the story.
Kilday said he and his
reporters prefer email and noted two-minute voicemails
are deadly. Publicists attending the Cannes Film Festival,
he noted, should find out which reporters are attending
and contact them ahead of time.
Kilday, a veteran journalist
of the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Herald Examiner
and Entertainment Weekly, oversees the papers
daily news coverage of the film business.
Our big goal is
to have a voice you can recognize, a Hollywood voice,
said Andreeva, who has been TV editor since June 2004 and
earlier worked at Investors Business Daily.
During the Writers Guild of America strike there were
people going through the picket lines. We tried to be objective
as possible, because we knew there was a lot of coordination
to get things down in Hollywood. It was a great learning
experience of behind the scenes. It was a big impact on
television program and stories we covered, and were
still finishing stories on the TV side, she said.
be all things to all people, Andreeva said, when asked
how to get stories related to fashion in the paper. I
think the media and entertainment needs to be defined, especially
when it comes to television. Fashion plays a big role and
we are interested in those stories. Showbiz has become much
more global. We are going to see much shorter stories and
more of them, because Hollywood is one of the global players.
Guider described her typical
workday as beginning at dawn, because correspondents from
London and Beijing post directly to the Internet. About
14 writers cover Asia. If there is a big story brewing
it will likely make the paper by 3 or 4 p.m. International
deadlines on Thursday and Friday are the same as New York,
which is Thursday morning before noon for Friday editors.
Guider noted that the
New York printed edition has a different feel
than the L.A. version, while the International Weekend edition
features more Q&As and more global news.
PITCH TIPS: Pitch
Film Editor Kilday, but cc Guider, too, and ditto for pitching
TV stories to Andreeva, because Guider wants to know, too.
After your email pitch follow-up with a short phone call
to ensure the right person got your info.
of weirdness, originality, or buzz at Sundance
will likely get more attention, such as the most viewed
piece on YouTube.
Anything local that gets
picked up by a major distributor should be pitched. And
even though the news release has not been signed off by
everyone at, say, Disney, the panel suggests publicists
give editors an early heads up like the day before a major
announcement is coming. And, of course, HR editors love
All the editors and writers
prefer an email pitch first, and a follow-up call later.
Mornings are the best time to pitch stories.
Guider: [email protected];
Nellie Andreeva: [email protected];
Greg Kilday: [email protected].
Edition, April 16,
2008, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
of Leading Gainers
here for ranking
IN BAY AREA
which is based in Boulder, Col., is opening an office in
the Bay Area to bolster ties with Silicon Valleys
high-tech analysts and reporters, according to John Metzger.
He has hired
San Jose freelancer Cynthia Hoye to establish the west coast
he considered opening on the West Coast in the past, and
is making the move now to capitalize on the rebound of the
technology sector. He sees parallels between Boulder and
Northern California; both are leaders in the natural products
and LOHAS (lifestyles of health and sustainability) sectors.
Booth & Associates, New York/Tea Forté,
teas and accessories, as AOR. A/S Andrew Rossi heads the
Crenshaw Communications, New York/
Healthy Interactions, health education, for strategic comms.
alongside U.K. agency Vane Percy & Roberts.
Communications, Boston/Advisors Asset Management,
investment services for financial professionals, as AOR
for PR, including media relations, training, and conference
speaking support. AAM marketing director April Stout said
the company reviewed several national PR firms.
& Associates, Baltimore/The Shafer Center, early
learning center, for PR.
Communications, Baltimore/Boral Bricks, brick maker,
for brand positioning, sustainability awareness, media relations
and supplier comms.; Mannington Mills, flooring products,
for corporate messaging and positioning for its environmental
efforts; Beazer homes, homebuilder, for PR, and United Industries,
consumer products, for traditional and digital comms. for
launch of new Super Green fertilizer line.
Ketchum Mountjoy, Charlotte, N.C./
Simonini Builders, for advertising and marketing.
Zimmerman Agency, Tallahassee, Fla./Sanderson Farms,
for advertising, PR, promotions and interactive work, following
a review. SF is the No. 4 chicken processor in the U.S.
Howard, Cleveland/Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., for corporate
comms.; Maloney + Novotny LLC, public accounting firm, for
branding, media relations, marketing and graphic design;
Progressive Corp., auto insurer, for message dev. and media
training; Fire-Dex, emergency response apparel and gear,
for mktg., publicity, and trade show support; Synapse Biomedical,
for mktg. planning for new device, and Memorial Hospital
of Union County, mkt. research, planning and community affairs.
Associates, Boulder, Colo./The Sterling-Rose Group,
advertising and branding agency, for a national PR and new
PR, San Francisco/KidZui, for launch of the Internet
for Kids, an online network of websites, images and
videos for children.
Agency, Santa Rosa, Calif./Cakebread Cellars, for
media relations to support the 22nd annual American Harvest
Workshop in September.
Gardiner, San Diego/BeautyEncounter.com,
formerly Perfume Bay, for integrated marketing; Sheraton
Gateway Hotel SFO, for interactive, advertising and PR;
Cadena Churchill, law firm, for a website revamp, and San
Diego National Bank, for annual report design.
McRae Agency, San Diego/Complexions Rx, medical spa,
for PR, including community relations, media relations and
Edition, April 16, 2008, Page 6
HAS SMALL BIZ VERSION
whose $5,000 and up media management products have mostly
been used by larger businesses, has a new Small Business
Edition priced at about $3,000 annually.
like the Vocus Enterprise and Professional Editions, helps
users to create customized lists of editors (which are then
updated by Vocus) and track what the editors write about
specified products and competitors products.
of the enterprise and professional editions can include
biographies of the editors, preferred methods of contact,
and podcast interviews with editors who are willing to give
PRWeb unit of Vocus e-mails releases including embedded
pictures and video to thousands of blogs, websites and other
outlets for prices that range from $80 to $360, depending
on breadth and depth of coverage.
include many thousands of editors and others who have asked
to be sent materials on a specific subject.
is no membership charge for PRWeb services, which can be
purchased separately from Vocus.
has about eight million websites, blogs, etc., in its RSS
database that respond to certain keywords.
$200 PRWeb package reaches many thousands of outlets and
includes placement on major search engines such as Yahoo,
Google and Topix. Releases can include up to two megabytes
most comprehensive PRWeb package, which includes Associated
Press distribution to the major dailies and some 30,000
other outlets, is $360.
based in Lanham, Md., went public at the end of 2005 and
reported 2007 revenues of $58 million. It has more than
2,400 customers worldwide and provides services in five
with previous Vocus editions, SBE does not require software
installation or IT support. A demonstration is available
marketing officer Bill Wagner said SBE will help businesses
with under $10 million in sales to create their own media
lists and track usage not only of their own releases but
those of competitors as well as industry news.
include how many potential customers are viewing the news
in the releases and how many times client websites are being
accessed as a result of the release dissemination.
products, said Wagner, do not require expensive up-front
hardware and software.
NewsMarket has launched a channel for
the 2008 Olympics in Beijing to provide free video content
for journalists and bloggers from clients like Visa, Samsung
and the International Olympic Committee. Info: thenewsmarket.com/beijing2008.
a former officer of the U.S. Marine Corps with corporate
and legislative experience, to Rapportica, Gaithersburg,
Md., as an account director. Rapportica is an online platform
design to link financial experts with journalists.
Guidette, who headed corporate comms. for Insurance
Services Office Inc., has been named director of comms.
for the XL group of insurance services companies in the
Americas. He handles internal and external strategic comms.
for XL. Roger Scotton, global head of marketing, comms.
and knowledge services, said Guidette will support growth
of XL's insurance business in new markets in the Americas.
Previously, Guidette was city editor of the New Brunswick
Home News-Tribune before entering the PR arena in the
public sector as director of comms. for the New Jersey General
Assembly. He later moved to the corporate sector with Prudential
Insurance Company before taking up the ISO post.
Converse, VP of corporate finance and treasurer at
Keane, to W2 Group, Waltham, Mass., as chief financial officer.
She formerly held finance roles at PepsiCo and U.S. News
& World Report.
Caldwell, former director of content and education
for the Telecommunications Industry Assn., to Connect2 Communications,
Wake Forest, N.C., as an account director.
Walker, former managing editor of Inside Business
magazine, to PR 20/20, Cleveland, as a consultant.
Brannum, associate director of North Texas Business
for Culture and the Arts, to GroundFloor Media, Denver,
as senior PR manager. She was previously a senior A/E at
Moses, senior VP of Duncan & Associates
Los Angeles office, to Riester, L.A., as general manager
of the 15-staffer office. He was previously executive VP
of Radio Marketing Group and SVP of The Martin Agency.
Goldston to GM of Fleishman-Hillards Kansas
City, Mo., office. She joined the firm in 02 and replaces
Anne St. Peter, who headed the office for four years, before
leaving in February.
Rozeen to VP of GolinHarris Insights and Innovation
research unit, based in Chicago. He is a 17-year veteran
of the firm.
Walker to president of GCI Groups Texas operations,
GCI Read-Poland. He continues to head the firms global
digital media unit.
Temple to GM of Hill & Knowltons San Francisco
office. The SVP and California native joined H&K/Houston
in 2003. She is the firms global client service director
Walker to partner and senior VP, McGrath/Power PR
and Communications, San Jose, Calif. She first joined the
firm in 2001 and rejoined after stints at Internet Security
Systems and Borland Software Corp. She heads up East Coast
operations for the firm.
Kendall and David
McDonald to co-presidents, Allied Advertising, PR,
Los Angeles. Gerry Feldman, moves from the presidents
post to chairman. He said he watched Kendall and McDonald
work together for the last two years and called them the
perfect team to run the entertainment agency.
Edition, April 16, 2008, Page 7
Mike Cherenson, describing what its like to be a director,
said those who join the board must check your PR hat
at the door and put on your board of directors hat.
cease being PR people when they join the board and instead
become leaders and management, he said.
will handle PR, he added, saying directors were to keep
out of the weeds
let the staff do their part
have a great staff, extremely capable people
the tools to be successful.
not PR people on the board, said Cherenson, recalling
that 2005 director Steve Lubetkin had often voiced the same
DeRupo Are PRS PR Staff
two PR people on staff, Janet Troy and Joe DeRupo, were
not members of PRS when they were hired.
hired in 2004, told the Bergen Record that she was
flabbergasted that PRS even existed
and was clueless to it. She said the Society
needed more visibility and Im here to help fix
hired in September 2007, previously was with the National
PRS policy forbids them from answering press questions.
There have been no stories in the general press about the
2007-2008 60th Anniversary of PRS and the anniversary committee
apparently has been disbanded. It has been removed from
the list of boards and committees on the PRS website.
has been a severe shortage of national candidates in recent
years. No one showed up for a Southeast District board seat
last year and the nominating deadline had to be extended.
only Southwest candidate, Marlene Neill, an M.A. candidate
at the Missouri Journalism School, was rejected by the nominating
committee and a special search was conducted for the district
candidate shortage is so severe that Blake Lewis of Richardson,
Texas, and 49 other members created a task force to work
at attracting candidates from the chapter level on up.
group was successful in getting the 2007Assembly to pass
a resolution demanding transparency, complete openness
for PRS and its board.
Eliminate 95% of Members
80% of members cant run for national office because
theyre not accredited. Other rules eliminate another
15% or more. Candidates must have headed a chapter, district,
section or national committee or have voted in an Assembly.
available are chair-elect, treasurer, secretary, and directors
for the East Central district, Midwest, Northeast, Mid-Atlantic,
Sunshine, Tri-State, Western, and one at-large seat.
Weiss, 2007 chair, said district directors are not to think
of themselves as representing a district but as working
for the entire Society and the entire PR industry.
not here to represent a chapter or district
not only members but the profession
becoming so global, she said.
attempt by the board to combine the ten districts into five
with the eventual aim of eliminating districts was defeated
by the 2007 Assembly.
Hours Weekly Needed
said directors spend about three to four hours a week on
PRS work and this can increase at certain times of the year.
are required to attend four two-day board meetings and the
Silver Anvil function and Leadership Rally each
year which are held on adjacent days in June.
and hotel expenses are paid but not meals, he noted. Travel
expenses are only paid in the city where a meeting takes
place and not in the home town of the director, he noted.
are required to sign an oath of confidentiality
in which they promise not to discuss PR or PRS matters in
public, letting the elected chair and certain staff members
of PRS act as the sole spokespersons.
PR SOCIETY FIGHTS ABUSE OF
Too many members of the
PR Society are lending their access codes to
non-members, resulting in a drive by PRS staffers to stop
PRS is placing cookies
on member computers so that only these computers can gain
access to the members area of the website which includes
the database of 22,000 members.
The upsurge in the improper
and possibly illegal use of member codes (theft of services)
is partly the result of PRS suspending publication in 2005
of the 1,000-page One Source directory that included member
Those who joined in 2006
and 2007 and who did not renew their memberships now find
themselves barred to the database of members unless they
borrow the codes of a friend who is a member.
Previously, all members
received the printed directory which is widely used for
job-hunting purposes, reaching PR people in allied fields,
and doing research of many types.
A transitions team
headed in 2005 by Rhoda Weiss, who became chair in 2007,
decided to halt publication of the directory after the 2005
Other members of the team
included directors Mary Barber, John Deveney, Margaret Ann
Hennen, Steve Lubetkin and Thomas Vitelli.
Neither the Assembly nor
members-at-large were ever consulted about the decision.
Former national director
Paul Wetzel of Boston, noting that several associations
he works for have dropped printed directories, said the
PRS directory was a large expense to accommodate a
few old dinosaurs.
Critics saw the staff
as much preferring to put time and effort into the annual
conference rather than the directory.
The conference is attended
by about 4% of members, 2005 president Judith Phair has
The 2006 PRS audit showed
conference income at $1,361,738 and expenses at $1,077,813.
Edition, April 16, 2008,
board of the PR Society, finally commenting after about
20 days on
the sudden resignation March 20 of Gail Baker as ethics
chair (3/26 NL), has blamed it on the writer of this column.
totally accept the blame although we call it
have saved Bakers employer, the University of Nebraska,
from a lot of embarrassment.
boards letter (in full on odwyerpr.com)
says were an extreme example of attack journalism,
we make personal attacks on leaders, we have
a disregard for respectful communication, and
have stepped far beyond the bounds of accurate and
something extreme going on here and its not us. Its
the extreme rigidity of the board which is unable to face
facts and make needed changes.
for personal attacks, we criticize chair-elect
Mike Cherenson for saying that PR people check their
PR hats at the door when joining the board (page
7). That is a ridiculous comment and deserving of no respect.
Cherenson should be available for further questioning to
see if he can dig himself out of a deep hole. PR talents
and sensitivities are especially needed on a PR board.
We criticize 2007 chair
Rhoda Weiss for saying that directors are not on the board
to represent chapters or districts but to represent all
members and the profession as well. This too is unworthy
of belief or respect. For instance, Tri-State (NY, NJ &
CT) is the most populated by far and the richest possible
source of new members. It deserves far more attention than
a thinly populated district. Tri-State director Fran Onofrio
should be pushing for a huge increase in help to the NY
chapter, a midtown information center, and having the annual
conference to be in New York at least every third year (where
it loses the least amount of money). He has no public record
of saying anything. In criticizing the ideas of Cherenson
and Weiss, we are not making personal attacks
biggest project of the year, according to chair
Jeff Julin, is the re-write of the bylaws.
But what are the members
told about what might change? Next to nothing. Julin told
the Jan. 25 board meeting that a number of options
and approaches are being considered and key
issues are being identified.
Heres what the members
should be discussing on the PRS website:
1. Remove APR from the
bylaws. It has choked off the supply of leaders to the point
where only two questioners showed up at cattle calls
April 8 (page one story). Also remove service as chapter,
etc., leader. Get leaders from PR community, not PRS.
2. Negotiate with the
11 still-living authors whose articles were copied and sold
without their permission, giving PRS at least $200K in gross
profits. This stain on PRS gets deeper each year.
3. Switch the charter
from New York to Delaware which allows electronic meetings.
4. Order the CPA firm
to defer dues income like the AMA, ABA, AICPA, etc., giving
members a true picture of their finances.
5. Assembly should pass
bylaw mandating publication of an annual directory of members,
also ordering drastic shrinkage of the ego-boosting annual
conference attended by 4% of members.
6. Assembly should pass
Central Michigan bylaw proposal giving it the same powers
that similar bodies have at the AMA and ABA.
7. Ditch the three-year
rule for Assembly delegates which guarantees a naive Assembly.
Delegates sat meekly for about 90% of the time in 2007 while
leaders hogged the mike.
8. Appoint us to the board,
following Sarbanes-Oxley which tells companies to appoint
expert outsiders. Many non-profits follow it. After all,
who knows more about the history and politics of PRS than
us? Instead of two outsiders, PRS just appointed two loyalists
as board counselsDave Rickey and Mary Beth West.
few more needed reforms include eliminating proxy votes
at the Assembly; again publishing Assembly transcripts;
barring the return of anyone to the board whether as officers
or not, and ordering employment of at least ten senior PR
people at h.q. PR staffers Janet Troy and Joe DeRupo, who
were not members of PRS when they were hired, are swamped
by the association/legal culture that exists at h.q. PR
values of compromise, being open to criticism, gentleness,
facing facts and engaging in dialogue are missing. Speed
of response, the hallmark of PR, is obviously lacking since
it took 20 days to come up with the letter about Baker.
A spring Assembly in June
instead of the ego-stroking Leadership Rally
for chapter presidents-elect (which costs about $100K) could
accomplish all of the above.
must be done about the controlled press of PRSnamely,
Tactics. One suggestion given at the Assembly was
that Tactics start to run honest, truthful editorial
content.But the March issue devotes a full page to
the Tylenol myth, declaring it an enduring example
of crisis management done right.
Tylenol was not a PR triumph
but a tragedy. Johnson & Johnson rushed onto the market
two months after the initial seven deaths in 1982 with the
same easily-spiked capsules that resulted in the death in
1986 of 23-year-old Diane Elsworth of Westchester. CEO Jim
Burke expressed profound sorrow that he had re-introduced
the capsules. J&J had spun and framed the issue as a
packaging problem when it was a product problem. The business
press took a dive, worried about possible damage to the
Tylenol brand. Tactics did not carry a word on the resignation
of Baker. As another example, it printed not a word in 2006
of Central Michigans proposal to model PRS governance
after that of the ABA and AMA.