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Internet Edition, May 14, 2008, Page 1


Elliot Schrage, VP-global communications & PA at Google, is joining Facebook to handle its worldwide PR efforts.

He will “direct our efforts to work with users, media, governments and other entities around the world to ensure that Facebook’s policies are transparent, responsive, effective and are recognized as being those things,” according to a memo from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

He calls Schrage’s role critical to “helping us scale based on our culture that values transparency, openness, and honest internal communications.”

Schrage joins Sheryl Sandberg, a Google alum who shifted to Facebook last month for the COO slot. Sandberg was responsible for building Google’s online sales channels for AdWords and AdSense. Schrage reports to Sandberg. Prior to Google, Schrage was senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Columbia Business School professor and senior VP at Gap Inc.


The Northern Virginia Hospital Alliance, a group governed by the CEOs and COOs of 12 area hospitals, is seeking a firm to develop a crisis communications and media relations plan.

The NVHA wants a program to train up to 10 senior executives at each of its member hospitals. Budget must come in under $100K for the project, which has to be completed by Aug. 31, 2009.

Crisis situations named in the RFP include incidents involving hazards, including attacks to a community using weapons of mass destruction.

Zachary Corrigan ([email protected]) is overseeing the search. Proposals are due May 16.


Laforce + Stevens supported the blockbuster launch this month of Take-Two Interactive’s “Grand Theft Auto 4” video game.

Record-breaking first-week sales of the game, developed by Take-Two’s Rockstar Games unit, hit $500M, including $310M on the first day, figures more akin to a Hollywood movie release, as several reports noted.

Leslie Stevens, principal at L+S, declined to comment on the launch.

Rival Electronic Arts is pursuing a hostile takeover of Take-Two for $2 billion. EA said this week it has secured $1B in outside financing for that bid.


Abu Dhabi is working with Edelman to promote its bid to become the global showcase for environmentally friendly renewable energy, according to Christopher Deri, general manager/Edelman New York.

The No. 1 independent firm began work for Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co. ahead of the first World Future Energy Summit staged there in January.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan made a splash at WFES when he told the audience of more than 4,000 people that Abu Dhabi will spend $15B in solar, wind and hydrogen power projects. Sustainable development and carbon reduction also are high on the Prince’s agenda.

Edelman oversees the “master narrative” of ADFEC, a story that includes development of Masdar City, a green community and technology center that is to open in `09 near Abu Dhabi’s airport.

The firm is to develop “intellectual capital” and engage global “thought leaders” about Abu Dhabi, which collects more than $200M daily from oil revenues, and its renewable energy ambitions.

Edelman has billed its client $640K so far for the work that is handled in its New York, London and Dubai offices. Iain Twine is overall program director of the campaign.


Vito Fossella, New York City’s only Republican Congressman, has retained O’Reilly Strategic Communications in the wake of his drunk driving arrest in Virginia in the early morning of May 1.

Susan Del Percio, the firm’s founding partner, also was questioned about the “love child” that Fossella had with Air Force lieutenant colonel Laura Fay, who bailed him out of jail.

The Staten Island/Brooklyn Congressman, who has three children with his wife, released a four-paragraph statement on May 8 admitting a relationship and child with Fay.

He is aware that his “personal failings and imperfections have caused enormous pain to the people I love and I am truly sorry.”

Fossella, who faces a five-day jail sentence if convicted of drunk driving, said now is not the time to ponder his political future. The Staten Island Advance has called for Fossella’s resignation because of his ”moral descent, and the distractions and ugly controversy that it brings.” Its editorial states that far too much damage has been done to Fossella’s personal reputation for him to recover and be an effective public servant.

Internet Edition, May 14, 2008, Page 2


Fleishman-Hillard has been counseling Zimbabwe’s opposition party amid a challenged presidential election that has led to violence in the landlocked southern African nation.

F-H is working with presidential hopeful Morgan Tsvangirai and his Movement for Democratic Change, the rival party to the country’s quasi-dictator, Robert Mugabe, and his Zanu-PF party.

Zimbabwe has been beset by violence following its presidential election in late March that saw Mugabe lose to Tsvangirai.

After the initial results were delayed for weeks and the tallies released did not show a majority needed to avoid a runoff, the MDC and foreign governments called the results into question.

Tsvangirai has not yet said whether he would participate in a runoff election.

Kevin Bell, president of F-H’s Europe/Middle East/Africa operations, is serving as a spokesman for Tsvangirai and leading the account.

Kevin Welman, managing director of F-H/Johannesburg, wrote in an April 2 position paper for the firm that, “A legitimate victory for Mugabe now looks impossible, if indeed it ever was possible.”

Mugabe has been in power since 1980, when the country was known as Rhodesia. Agence France-Presse reported on May 9 that pro-government militias have been “instilling terror” in the countryside, sparking a call from the U.S. to end the violence and resolve the election standoff in favor of Tsvangirai.

One member of the MDC team at F-H, the former BBC reporter Guto Harri, left the firm last week to direct communications for London’s new mayor, Boris Johnson.


Carmelo Anthony, the prolific Denver Nuggets basketball player who is about to turn 24 years old, has brought in Maroon PR to boost his charitable foundation as the star forward has had two brushes with the law in recent weeks.

Anthony was arrested in April for suspicion of DUI and picked up a speeding citation on May 3.

Marriottsville, Md.-based Maroon is headed by veteran sports PR pro John Maroon.

His firm is charged with overseeing the growth and PR outreach for Anthony’s foundation and philanthropic efforts, according to a news release.

The three-year-old Carmelo Anthony Foundation has made more than $4M in contributions for projects mainly centered in his hometown of Baltimore and Syracuse Univ., where he played one year of college ball (winning the NCAA championship) before turning pro.

Maroon also works with baseball great Cal Ripken’s charitable foundation.

Tease Marketing was hired in March to guide PR for Anthony outside of his charity work. TM replaced marketing firm BDA Sports.

San Francisco-based Tease was founded by Theresa Tran, former director of communications for Nike’s Jordan brand. Anthony has an eight-figure deal to promote those shoes.


Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide is re-branding the venerable Sheraton Yankee Trader Hotel, which will reopen in `09 as the more upscale Westin Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale.

Sheraton Yankee Trader operated for the past 44 years with a leisure-based clientele consisting mainly of family vacationers and airline crews.

Starwood is looking to compete in the “upper-upscale market” with at least a 55 percent mix of corporate group, convention and incentive travel, according to the RFP. It wants to bump the average daily group rate from $166.03 to $266.04 during the next three years.

Starwood is targeting travelers from New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta and Washington. The monthly retainer is set at $7K.

Bidding firms must give a specific example of a crisis they handled because “organizations need to be prepared to handle myriad crisis situations, including natural disasters and terrorist attacks. Hotels are particularly vulnerable to crisis situations.”

Ty Brassie (954/245-3844 and [email protected]) wants to be contacted by May 19. The PR firm selection date is June 2.


Paul Clark, who was once Hill & Knowlton’s U.S. director of crisis media, has joined The Wade Group as senior VP in Washington to handle crisis communications and media training.

Before establishing his own consulting firm, Clark had been senior VP at Walker Marchant and communications director for the U.S. Senate Committee of Governmental Affairs. Clark, who spent nine years at H&K, also was PA head of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and handled a grassroots effort to celebrate the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution.

On the journalism front, Clark was associate publisher of the Saturday Review, news editor of the National Journal and senior editor with McGraw Hill.

The Wade Group was established in `02 by Terry Wade, who had headed Cohn & Wolfe’s D.C. office and was managing director at Burson-Marsteller.


Boeing has recruited the well-connected Gephardt Group to determine why the Air Force awarded its $40B air tanker program to France’s European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co., the parent of Airbus.

Former Democratic Majority Leader and St. Louis Congressman Dick Gephardt heads the Washington, D.C. firm.

Gephardt and his former chief of staff, Tom O’Donnell, are squaring off against political heavyweights such as former House Speaker-Designate Bob Livingston, who reps EAD&SC, and the tandem of ex-Sens. John Breaux and Trent Lott, who work for EAD&SC partner, Northrop Grumman.

Boeing’s tanker PR is led by Bill Barksdale (St. Louis) and Kerry Gildea (Washington, D.C.).

Tod Hullin is Boeing’s senior VP public policy, responsible for all federal, state and local government outreach.

Internet Edition, May 14, 2008, Page 3


General Electric’s NBC Universal unit is launching a 24-hour local news station in New York City in a bid to scoop up some ad dollars.

The digital station will share news staff with WNBC-New York, and compete with Time Warner’s NY1 network.

NBCU will build a “content center” that will house staff and some operations that are moving from its “30 Rock” headquarters. It does not plan to hire more people for the start-up.

The New York station could be the first of several all-news stations in markets where NBCU owns broadcast outlets.


The New York Times is “forced to resort to a relatively small number of layoffs” because not enough newsroom people accepted the buyout package, according to a memo by Bill Keller, executive editor. The paper was looking for about 100 volunteers.

Keller thanked those who sought buyouts but agreed to stay on to “help us through the demands of a year when we must cover both the Olympics in China and a national election campaign.”

The EE knows that times are “unsettling and dispiriting,” but believes the worst is behind the paper.

He believes the Times benefits from being owned by a family that “sees our work as a civic trust and durable business.”


Sinclair Broadcast Group may go private because Wall Street does not give its financial performance the credit that it is due.

CEO Dave Smith told a conference call that the valuation of Sinclair shares “doesn’t show up from a market standpoint in our equity.” He added that the credit crunch would make it difficult to arrange financing for a buyout.

SBG shares are trading in the $10 range.

The company earned $16.4M during the first quarter on $160M in revenues. That’s an improvement from a $2.4M loss in the `07 period on $148M sales.

Sinclair operates 58 TV stations in 35 markets. Twenty of them are affiliated with Fox.


Cablevison, the big Long Island-based cable TV operator, is paying nearly $500M in cash and stock to buy the Sundance Channel, which is owned by CBS, NBC and actor Robert Redford.

Its Rainbow Media Holdings unit is the home of the IFC (independent film channel) and a good fit for Sundance’s offerings, according to Cablevision COO Jim Dolan.

Seventy percent of Sundance’s programs are features and documentaries with the remaining a mix of exclusive series and shorts.

Rainbow president Larry Aidem touted Rainbow’s programming and distribution prowess as rationale for the deal.

Dolan on Monday was announced as the successful bidder to purchase Newsday from Tribune Co.


The Charlotte Observer is trimming five percent of its staff to cope with the newspaper recession and restructuring.

Publisher Ann Caulkins regrets the Observer may have to “say goodbye to some trusted and valued colleagues.” In a memo to staffers, Caulkins wrote of the need to operate more competitively and efficiently and to “respond to changing business models.”

The Observer is offering a voluntary separation package where it has the opportunity to “streamline, transfer or consolidate job functions.” It also discontinued its circulation telemarketing efforts


TV Guide has named Debra Birnbaum as editor-in-chief. She takes over for Ian Birch, who departed last week with the completion of Macrovision’s acquisition of Gemstar-TV Guide International.

Birnbaum had served as executive VP of TVG’s cross-platform content integration, taking credit for TV Sexiest Stars and Online Video Awards programs. She has more than 15 years of lifestyle/entertainment reporting and editing, including stints as e-i-c at Life & Style and executive editor at Inside TV.

Scott Crystal, president of TVG, also upped west coast bureau chief Craig Tomashoff to the executive editor slot. His background includes jobs at VH1, People, Boston Herald and Seattle Times.


Allison Arieff will write a monthly column in Sunset beginning in September about design changes reshaping the West.

As editor-at-large, Arieff also will work on architecture and design stories and serve as a consultant to its Idea House programs; Two IH locations open in Menlo Park and Monterrey, Calif. this summer. Prior to joining the Time Inc. publication, Areff was senior content leader for IDEO and editor-in-chief of Dwell.


Brian Offutt has been named to the new post of senior VP-creative operations at Viacom’s Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group. He reports to Sarah Levy, COO.

Offutt is responsible for operations, financial, technology and human resources.

He will manage vendor relations and force new partnerships.

Offutt was in charge of Nick and Viacom entertainment and consumer products. He also handled the “social expression” business of Nick, Noggin, TV Land, Comedy Central and Spike TV.

Offutt established the tie with Hertz for the “Nick on the Go” program, a pre-loaded media player for vacationing families and the connection with Shutterfly for photo cards with digitally uploaded personalized content.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, May 14, 2008, Page 4


Reader’s Digest has tapped DKC after an RFP process to handle PR for the flagship magazine and its redesigned website,

Seven firms were invited to pitch in an RFP process, including incumbent Susan Magrino Agency, which declined to defend the account. DKC was tapped among three finalists.

RD’s agency change comes after its parent company, Reader’s Digest Association, was taken private last year in a deal that installed new management and a new editor-in-chief for the magazine.

The June issue of RD will be the first cover-to-cover book under Peggy Northrop, who took the reins in November after serving as EIC of Meredith’s More magazine. “It’s a pivotal time in this iconic brand’s history and we felt it would be a great idea to bring in a fresh team with new ideas to help us take it forward,” said Ellen Morgenstern, director of PR. She declined to name the other two finalists.

Adam Schiff, senior vice president at DKC (formerly known as Dan Klores Communications), is the day-to-day lead for the account.

RD is the most widely circulated magazine in the world with 51 editions in 22 languages.

A revamp of was soft-launched last week, Morgenstern noted, and the magazine has also been revitalized with the tagline “Life Well Shared.”

“It’s really not a new magazine, but Peggy has sort of refocused a lot of what we feel is very core to the Reader’s Digest brand,” said Morgenstern.

DKC had previously worked with RDA on the launch of Every Day with Rachel Ray.


Norman Pearlstine, former editor-in-chief of Time Inc. and executive editor of the Wall Street Journal, has been named to the new post of chief content officer for Bloomberg.

Pearlstine had recently been working as a senior advisor for The Carlyle Group for telecom and media affairs. He will team with Bloomberg News founder and EIC Matt Winkler.

Winkler said the idea of teaming with Pearlstein gained steam when Pearlstine presented him with a lifetime achievement Emmy Award in December and the two discussed Bloomberg.

Pearlstine headed Time Warner’s magazine division for 11 years overseeing its 154 titles and also overseeing international and new media business for several years.

He was managing editor and then executive editor in a 23-year career at the Journal.

David Brown, editor-in-chief of Legal Times, has expanded his duties to serve as publisher of the Washington, D.C.-based newspaper and Web site. Brown now oversees all business affairs at the paper, as well as coverage of the region’s legal business, lobbying, and Capitol Hill. He takes the publisher reins from Ann Pelham, publisher since 1998, who is retiring and taking a sabbatical from journalism, ALM said.


More than four million U.S. mobile phone users access social networks with their devices each month, according to research by The Nielsen Company.

That figure represents about 1.6 percent of all U.S. mobile users, a close percentage to the 1.7% of mobile users in the U.K.

MySpace was the top destination among mobile networkers. The site logged 2.8M unique U.S. mobile users in December, compared with 1.8M for the closest rival, Facebook. In the U.K., Facebook topped MySpace by 557K to 211K unique users, respectively.

MSN’s Windows Live Spaces took top billing in Italy and France, albeit with under 200K users, and ranked second to MySpace in Germany.

Nielsen’s VP of mobile media, Jeff Hermann, noted consumer demand for mobile social networking could be a key driver of mobile pricing models in the near future.

Vodafone recently made unlimited Internet access a standard feature in its monthly plans in the U.K.


As pressure from media and interest groups builds ahead of the 2008 Olympics in China, independent sports publisher New Chapter Press ( New York) is publishing “Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games” exactly three months before the Games begin.

According to NCP, the book covers the stories of American athletes “denied the opportunity to compete in the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow – due to geopolitical circumstances surrounding the Jimmy Carter-led U.S. boycott of the Games.”

Vice President Walter Mondale, who supported the boycott prior to the U.S. Olympic Committee’s vote to officially boycott the Games, wrote the foreword for the book. Mondale apologizes to the 1980 Olympic team but calls the team, “warriors in our country’s defense of freedom.”


Bethany McLean, who has been at Fortune for the past dozen years, is moving to Vanity Fair, which is owned by Conde Nast.

With Peter Elkind, McLean co-authored “The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron.”

McLean joins VF after her wedding in June.


The Associated Press has debuted its Mobile News Network, a wireless news portal, with an application for Apple’s iPhone.

Apple says the Mobile News Network powered by AP enables users to “keep up-to-date with what’s happening anywhere.” Users can tailor the service to select local news from hometown papers and broadcasters.

The MNN is a product of AP’s Digital Cooperative program to capture opportunities in high-growth mobile platforms to offset the decline of the AP’s newspaper service assessments.

Internet Edition, May 14, 2008, Page 5


Davies Murphy Group, Burlington, Mass., has entered the European market with a London office.

DMG veterans Brian Alberti and Joanna Horn head the U.K. operation for the 10-year-old firm.

Principal Eric Davies noted that most of the firm’s clients are international in scope, so opening in the U.K. allows DMG to “support them with a single integrated global PR and marketing team.”



Beacon Advisors and FD are handling the Chapter 11 filing of Tropicana Entertainment, owner of nine casinos in Nevada, Mississippi, Louisiana and Indiana.

The move follows the December decision by the New Jersey Casino Commission to yank the gambling license of Tropicana’s Atlantic City casino because the company was unable to maintain a “first-class operation.”

Tropicana CEO Scott Butera, who joined the Crestview Hills-based company last month, says the bankruptcy filing will enable him to address debt issues and reorganize the business to increase the value of assets.

Privately-held Tropicana, which was the subject of an `06 bidding war, has more than $1.2B in annual revenues and 11,000 employees.

Beacon’s Hud Englehart and FD’s Michael Geczi are working the bankruptcy filing.

BRIEFS: The 12-year-old Public Relations Global Network has added three firms to bring its ranks up to 38 independent PR firms on six continents. Joining the ranks are Mileage Communications of Singapore; Evident PR, Amsterdam, and Aspire Communications, India. Frank Cullen, head of Cullen Comms. in Dublin, Ireland, has taken over as president of PRGN. ...Bob Gold & Associates, Los Angeles, has aligned with Philadelphia’s D4 Creative Group, a branding and direct response agency, to provide a turnkey communications package for cable operators to educate stakeholders about the DTV transition. The firms said the package includes three components – electronic tactics, print and community relations. ...O’Keefe & Company, Alexandria, Va., said it will mark its 11-year anniversary with Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin at a party on May 15. The firm marked 10 years with “perfect 10” model Bo Derek last year. ...PR@vantage has become Vantage Communications. The 24-person firm, founded by Ilene Adler in 1990. Adler said the @ was used in the firm’s name in its early years because it was a “symbol” of the times. “But today, the Internet, and PR, is much more than a symbol,” she said. Video production capability has been added to the firm’s services. ...Jackson Spalding, Atlanta, has re-branded its media and speaker training unit as JS Cultivation following the hire of WXIA general assignment reporter Blair Meeks. Tactics for the unit include simulated press conferences, on-site media interviews and public speaking counsel.


New York Area

Abelson Group, New York/Camiant, policy control and application assurance for telecomms. companies, and Mobilians International, secure online payment service.

Morris + King Company, New York/Good, integrated media company, for PR.

Travers Collins & Co., Buffalo, N.Y./Northtown Automotive Companies, for re-branding including advertising, website/interactive, point of sale and collateral, and PR.


Devine + Powers, Philadelphia/The Philadelphia Inquirer, for PR for its second annual Sudoku National Championship in October.

Pan Communications, Andover, Md./ Attivio, business data indexing; TRA, media marketing research company which matches ads people receive with the products they actually buy; Airwide Solutions, mobile messaging and Internet applications; JackBe, enterprise mashup software; Safend, data leakage prevention solutions; Lexalytics, data anlysis, and RAID, managed storage services.

APCO Worldwide, Washington, D.C./Salt Institute, trade association for salt industry, for PR, lobbying and strategic comms.

French/West/Vaughan, Raleigh, N.C./Nfinity, women’s athletic footwear, for PR counsel, including media relations, social marketing, event marketing and product seeding. FWV’s advertising unit, Distilled, is handling media placement and ads.


Brendy Barr Communications, Oakland Township, Mich./Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, as AOR for PR. The firm has worked with local and regional Marriott properties on a project basis for more than two years.

Weber Shandwick, Minneapolis-St. Paul/National Marrow Donor Program, for second year of its “Thanks Mom” campaign to recuit bone marrow donors. The work includes national media relations, outreach to faith-based community leaders, online strategy, and local outreach.

Mountain West

Catapult PR-IR, Boulder, Colo./Aztek Networks, voice comms. switching products, for PR and analyst relations.


Schwartz Communications, San Francisco/Fujitsu Computer Products of America, for media and social media programs and analust relations, for five product divisions.

Pollack PR and Marketing Group, Los Angeles/Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater L.A., for a fourth year of PR for its “Season of Wishes” campaign.

WDC Media, Los Angeles/Bret Merkle, “faith-based” author of the book “Tragic Blessing,” (Promise Land Publishing) for PR and marketing comms.

Greenough Communications, Menlo Park, Calif./Marketo, B2B software company, for PR.

Internet Edition, May 14, 2008, Page 6


Broadcast PR firm WestGlen Communications has organized a group of earned and paid media services for developing and connecting with online audiences under the banner of SocialPRo 2.0.

Ed Lamoureaux, SVP of WestGlen, said significant growth in online communities has made it necessary for companies in the broadcast PR sector to rethink and retool online strategies to get clients more value and penetration for their marketing dollars.

He also noted recent struggles in the broadcast sector with FCC attention of VNRs and downturn from the heyday of bloated ROI figures.

“For companies in our space, business is down markedly and that’s because television has become a diffilcult place to play for public relations placement,” he said.

"A lot of organizations out there were looking for alternative ways to reach audiences and the world of marketing has shifted," he added. "Advertising is dying in its traditional form and marketers want more effective ways to communicate, especially with those niche verticals of consumers that matter."

WestGlen's approach blends paid placements like banner ads and in-line text ads with an established network of websites and in-depth research into online audiences being targeted.

Lamoureaux said a recent campaign to launch an information website for Quintiles Transnational Corp. began with a satellite media tour and webcast, but was bolstered significantly by a campaign targeting 220 health-related weblogs and sites. "In some cases we had to build a relationship before we were able to connect with the Quintiles site, but when you do it right, when you engage the communities respectfully and are transparent, it's a no-lose situation," he said. The result was a 97 percent penetration rate on the targeted sites, including top destinations like WebMD.

SocialPRo 2.0 is a continuation of a "blended media" strategy preached by Lamoureaux over the last few years which has advertising complementing PR programs. He sees the effort as a way of building awareness of traditional tactics like VNRs and SMTs and getting more value beyond editorial coverage of PR programs.

“Getting our PR clients to understand that it's okay to pay for things if you're really just promoting the PR campaign itself is key, because you can show return on your investment for PR dollars that is amplifying the overall return on investment for the campaign,” he said.

BRIEFS: Traditional media buying firm The Ward Group, Dallas, has formally aligned with with SEO and interactive development firm TuZoom. The two companies have collaborated for more than a year. ...Medialink’s Teletrax division has inked a multiyear contract renewal with NBC Universal’s advertising unit, The NBC Agency, which handles the ad needs of NBC’s entertainment, news, sports and corporate divisions. Teletrax monitors and analyzes affiliate use of on-air TV promotions across the key 210 designated TV markets.



Erin Farrell-Talbot, SVP at Edelman, to Abelson Group, New York, as a SVP. She worked in Edelman’s corporate and technology practice on accounts like Avaya, Canon and iRobot. Earlier, she was senior director of worldwide corporate comms. at Symbol Technologies and held posts at Porter Novelli, Text 100 and Weber Shandwick. Abelson has also added Michelle Jerrier, previously with Motorola’s Enterprise Mobility Business (formerly Symbol Technologies), as an A/E.

Camille Priselac, comms. specialist for Chevron Corp., to CooperKatz & Co., New York, as manager of client services. Earlier, she handled media and analyst relations for PeopleSoft.

Joe Reblando, director in the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America’s policy and research unit, to Ruder Finn, Washington, D.C., as a VP. Also, Amber McCracken, director of comms. for the National Women’s Health Resource Center, joins as a VP.

Alan Buddendeck, senior director of global PR and corporate communications for Motorola Mobile Devices, to Nissan North American as VP of corporate comms. based in Nashville, Tenn. He takes over for Frederique Le Greves, who held the post for four years and is transferring to Renault headquarters in Boulogne-Billancourt Cedex, France, in June. Her role at Renault has not been announced, the company said. Buddendeck had been with Motorola since 1997 in various roles in Hong Kong, Austin, Tex., and recently in Libertyville, Ill.

Nancy Sherrer Beaton, director of national segment marketing, Sprint Nextel, to e-government services provider NIC, Olathe, Kan., as director of communications and investor relations.


Joshua Reynolds to global technology practice director, Hill & Knowlton, New York. He was founder and SVP of the firm’s analyst relations unit.

Kristi Stolarski to A/S and Branden Blackmur to senior A/E, Robert Falls & Co. PR, Cleveland.

Chris Perry to general manager of Weber Shandwick’s southern California operations. He is based in Los Angeles and heads west after serving as an EVP in the firm’s Detroit office. Perry, who is client relationship leader for the General Motors account, takes over for Rod Clayton, who was named head of WS’ issues and crisis management group in London.

Lisa Falcetti to executive VP, GolinHarris, Los Angeles. She heads the firm’s Orange County office and continues to counsel clients like Toshiba, VTech and

Shawna Sullivan to senior A/E, Schneider Associates, Boston. She jonied in 2006 and handles Cabot, Cabot & Forbes, Nordblom, and Campanelli Cos. Danielle Sullivan was upped to AA/E.

Linda Villafane to senior A/E, O’Connell & Goldberg PR, Hollywood, Fla. She joined in 2006.

Chrtistina Canseco to AA/E, Preferred PR & Marketing, Las Vegas.

Internet Edition, May 14, 2008, Page 7


A PR class project at Hunter College, New York, that excoriated counterfeiting of fashion products "was in total violation of the fundamental principle of universities, that the curriculum is the prerogative of the faculty," Distinguished Professor Stuart Ewen told the April issue of Clarion, the monthly newspaper of the Professional Staff Congress of the City University of New York.

Ewen further charged that Hunter president Jennifer Raab is "selling off the credibility of the College."

The course was taught in the spring of 2007 but a complaint by Ewen and another professor is just now being lodged with the Academic Freedom Committee headed by William Sakas, professor of computer science.

Faculty Senate chair Richard Stapleford was quoted as saying he would not comment while an investigation was being conducted.

Ewen is a tenured professor and author of several works including "PR! A Social History of Spin."

Coach, maker of handbags and other luxury accessories and a client of Paul Werth Assocs., Columbus, gave $1 million to Hunter in 2007, shortly after Coach CEO Lew Frankfort was given an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.

Another $10K was given to Hunter to sponsor a project for students in the "Special PR" class that called on the students to create a PR program attacking counterfeit handbags.

Told to Stick to Plan, Prof Said

Hundreds of these flyers began appearing on the Hunter College campus in March 2007. The reward, as well as the flyer's author, was later revealed to be a hoax.

A 34-page "Professor/Faculty Advisor Project Kit" created by Werth was given to Asst. Prof. Tim Portlock, who told the Clarion that Werth staffers ordered him not to vary from it.

He said he told Werth that he would like to add a section arguing that counterfeiting might not be wrong and that some people could only afford knock-offs of branded products, but said: "I got a really strong message: this is not why we're giving you $10,000."

He added Werth opposed any ideas that differed from the industry perspective.

Werth represents the AntiCounterfeiting Coalition, of which Coach is a member.

Students Become ‘Agency’

The Werth kit said the IACC "is partnering with the students in your program in a client/agency relationship. We are the client; your students are the Agency."

"An industry representative," Clarion reported, picked from among three student proposals.

The winner created a blog featuring a "fake student personality" with the name of "Heidi Cee." This character created a personality for herself by describing her dates and her interest in fashion. She then complains that her prized Coach handbag was lost. Actual flyers were posted around the campus about the loss and offering a $500 reward for its return. Students had no idea that Heidi Cee and the missing handbag were fake.

Heidi reports that someone returned a handbag and is given the $500. But the returned handbag turns out to be fake. Enraged, she attacks the blight of counterfeit products.

‘Many’ Colleges Use IACC Materials

Meredith Halpern, executive director of marketing and communications at Hunter, told the Clarion that the IACC course "had been well received at many other colleges around the country." It was developed with IACC whose staff "are experts on this subject," Halpern said.

Ewen said that Raab's request that the course be offered "was not guided by scholarly wisdom but, rather, by the desire to promote a donation from the CEO of Coach Corp."

James Roman, chair of the Hunter dept. of film and media studies, said that under a new policy the faculty must approve all sponsored courses.

There were no quotes from students about the controversy in the Clarion article.

Harbrecht Active in PRS

Sandra Harbrecht, president of Werth, a Columbus, Ohio firm with about 20 employees, is an accredited member of the PR Society and was chair of its Counselors Academy in 1994. Her biography as of 2000 said the firm was the winner of nine Silver Anvils of PRS.

Werth is also a member of the Council of PR Firms, whose Ethical Code says that members "commit to standards of practice that assure clients, the public and media, employees, and business partners and vendors the highest level of professionalism and ethical conduct in every relationship with a Council member."

The code of PRS says that members are to "respect all opinions and support the right of free expression."

Enforcement of the code was discontinued in 1999.

A member that year charged the 17 directors with violating five code articles after the board voted to stop answering any questions of O'Dwyer Co. staff members. No charges of inaccuracy were made about O'Dwyer coverage, only that O'Dwyer staffers were asking too many questions and taking up too much staff time. A new boycott against O'Dwyer staffers was revealed in a e-mail to "leaders" of the Society dated April 9. No inaccuracies were cited. Instead, editor Jack O'Dwyer was accused of practicing "attack" journalism in providing materials to news sources that "attacked" PRS. There was no charge that any of the materials provided to sources was inaccurate in any way.

Corporate Role 'Pronounced'

Roman told the Clarion that corporate involvement in classrooms was not intrinsically wrong.

"If you look at corporate America and take notice of its involvement with higher education, you'll see there is quite a pronounced role," he told the paper.

"I'm not advocating it, I'm just saying it exists," he added.

Steve Leberstein, chair of the Academic Freedom Committee of the Professional Staff Congress, urged professors to beware of violations of academic freedom.

"The independent functions of the faculty are under attack with the corporatization of CUNY," he told the Clarion.

Internet Edition, May 14, 2008, Page 8




The use of students at Hunter College (and Ohio State, Howard, CCNY and Univ. of Miami) to carry the water of the Int’l Anticounterfeiting Coalition and Paul Werth Assocs. (page 7 story) makes us question the advisability of PR being taught at the undergraduate level.

The use of students (with the complicity of their professors) to further the aims of giant corporations such as Coach (gross profits of $2.02 billion and net of $728M on sales of $3.05B in 2007) reminds us of Tom Sawyer tricking his friends into paying him to whitewash a fence and the Indians selling Manhattan to the Dutch for $24 in trinkets.

What Coach, Limited, Abercrombie & Fitch and other members of the IACC want is students pitching each other not only in person but via the multi-million audience of Facebook and MySpace on the evils of counterfeit handbags, clothing, sporting goods, etc.

The students’ endorsement of corporate goals is priceless but what are they getting in return—$5,000 to $10,000 in expenses for food, key chains, T-shirts, creating websites, etc. They also pay the school a lot for the course and get credit. They have come out on the short end of their first real business deal. They don’t understand one of the basics of business—don’t sell yourself short.

We concede that ripping off famous trade names and products is wrong and accept that it’s become a $600B a year problem for Coach and others.

(We only wish that the PR Society had thought this way in the 1980s and early 1990s when it was selling tens of thousands of copies of authors’ articles yearly without their permission).

The materials supplied for the course by Werth in behalf of the IACC are anything but scholarly.

They present only one side of this issue and contain unsubstantiated claims such as counterfeiters are involved in “drug trafficking and terrorism.”

An 11-page description of the program by Werth and the IACC says the counterfeiters “do not pay fair wages or benefits to employees and often use child labor.”

A scholarly examination of this subject would pursue the labor policies of all the members of the IACC. Use of child labor and other abuses are rampant in countries producing both real and fake products.

Scholarship went out the window at Hunter where Coach CEO Lew Frankfort donated $1M and the PR class got another $10K for expenses in this campaign. Tenured Hunter Prof. Stuart Ewen has said it was “an outrage” that a for-credit PR course came from “a PR firm working for a lobbying organization” and the course was offered without academic review. The school’s academic freedom committee is investigating this and we await its report.

Getting students to work on this program is a case of taking candy from a baby. Even worse is that the students at Hunter crafted a fake student identity, fake website, fake theft of a non-existent Coach bag and the students “appeared to have enjoyed the process,” Ewen noted. They were under careful supervision of both Coach and Werth personnel, he believes. Adweek, which did three pages on this dust-up, quoted a member of the class as saying, “I think the entire PR team from Coach, maybe six or seven women,” were in the class at times. Also monitors, said Ewen, were people from Hunter president Jennifer Raab’s office, dept. chair James Roman, a lawyer from Coach, and a rep of Melina Metzger, who runs the IACC program for Werth.

Metzger has told O’Dwyer’s that she was unaware of the specifics of the Hunter program and that the two Hunter professors on the course, Tim Portlock and Benjamin J. Weissman, did not return her “repeated” calls. She said the fake elements of the Hunter campaign were a violation of the PRS code of ethics and she would not have approved of them. IACC programs at other colleges have gone “extremely well,” she said.

Most damaging to PR are the remarks of the student in the class as related by AdWeek. Asked about the class’ violation of Facebook rules against phony entries, the student said such rules are violated “every day.” She liked the Coach class, saying it was far better than two PR internships she had which involved “grunt work” and were “B.S.” As for the deceptions in the campaign, she said this is nothing but the reality of how PR works. “PR people, in general, have very little morals when it comes to being completely honest with the consumer,” she told AdWeek. We wonder if such cynicism about PR is rampant among students.

We place major responsibility for this with Werth president Sandra Harbrecht, an APR member of PRS and 1994 chair of its Counselors Academy. Her bio (as of 2000) noted Werth had won nine PRS Silver Anvils and “Best of Silver Anvil” in 1995. The buck stops at her office. This is the doctrine of “serial responsibility” that the Bob Frause code re-write committee suggested should be made part of the code.

Fake anything hurts PR. A firestorm of bad publicity broke after it was revealed that the Federal Emergency Mgmt. Agency staged a “press conference” Oct. 22, 2007 sans reporters.

PA head John Philbin, APR, stepped forward and took full responsibility.

As criticism of him mounted and he lost a new government job to which he was headed, Philbin took even more blame on his own shoulders, saying he should have stopped the phony “press conference” mid-way as soon as he learned reporters were absent. Philbin showed a lot of character and later found another job.

The Hunter story could put undergraduate PR education under the microscope of major media and lead to far-reaching changes. Forbes has written about it thus far and AdWeek has written about it two weeks in a row. Leading figures in PR education will have to step forward on this issue.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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