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Internet Edition, June 11, 2008, Page 1


Utah has put its tourism PR account out for proposals through June 18 for a firm to cultivate ties with national media and boost travel to the Beehive State.

The state’s Office of Tourism says in an RFP that it wants a firm to develop PR strategy and handle tasks like eight press familiarization trips per year, regular meetings with journalists, and “media blitzes” with a particular focus on large western markets like California, Denver and Phoenix.

The state launched a new tagline, “Life Elevated,” in 2006 to highlight recreation opportunities like camping and hiking in its five national parks, and skiing the well-known resorts of the Wasatch Range like Sundance and Snowbird.

The Office of Tourism has been funded with $11.6M for 2008-09 from the state legislature-controlled Tourism Marketing Performance Fund. More than $7M goes to the “Life Elevated” advertising campaign.

The RFP, which can be accessed from the story on, says a one-year contract starting on July 1 is planned with four potential option years.


GolinHarris, aligned with sister Interpublic units—Campbell-Ewald and Momentum Worldwide, is promoting use of the $1 presidential coin.

The Chicago-based PR firm handles grassroots and media relations aspects of the campaign.

C-E is to develop circulation messaging strategy and consumer advertising, while MW will create in-store retail promotions and special events.

Ellen Mardiks, GH’s chief client officer, says the integrated campaign will emphasize the coin’s benefits such as its durability.

Weber Shandwick launched the coins in `06.

Jonathan Winer, who was the State Dept.’s deputy assistant secretary of state for international law enforcement, is now senior VP at APCO Worldwide. He is to handle Congressional investigations, trade & investment, data protection and information security issues.

At the State Dept., Winer negotiated treaties with the European Union, Organization of American States, Russia, Israel, Thailand and China.

Winer served as Sen. John Kerry’s chief counsel and legislative assistant for a decade. He led the probe into Bank of Credit and Commerce International from `89 to `92. He also sits on the Steering Committee of the Transnational Threats Initiative of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.


Leah Johnson, who was senior VP-global corporate affairs at Citigroup, is resigning her post.

The eight-year veteran of the banking giant plans to spend some time during the summer with her family.

Don Callahan, chief administrative officer, said Johnson “has provided trusted and insightful communications counsel to Citi senior management, the Board of Directors and business leaders.”

According to his internal memo, Johnson “navigated the organization through countless communications issues, and the terrific communications team she built in more than 100 countries is a testament to her leadership.

Johnson joined Citi from Standard & Poor’s.

Citigroup suffered a $5.1B first-quarter net loss due largely to a $6B pre-tax writedown and credit costs on sub-prime related direct exposures.

Robinson Lerer Montgomery is Citi’s PR firm. It recently took over work that was handled by Kekst & Co.

RLM’s Walter Montgomery told O’Dwyer’s his firm refrains from saying who is and who is not a client.


Denny Hastert, the former Speaker of the House, has joined Dickstein Shapiro as a senior advisor in its government law & strategy unit.

The former Republican Congressman from Illinois served as Speaker from `99 to `07 when Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats took charge of Congress.

Currently, Hastert is co-chair of the Illinois Works Coalition, a $25B capital program to improve the Land of Lincoln’s infrastructure. He will not engage in lobbying at DP.

DP has done legal work for DuPont, Duke Energy, Kraft Foods, Pfizer and Triple Canopy.


CBS-TV legal analyst Andrew Cohen, appearing June 1 on the "Sunday Morning" program, said PR is a profession "based on deceit and spin" and that the PR Society having an ethics code is like the "Burglars Assn. of America" having as its creed, "Thou Shall Not Steal."

"Show me a PR person who is 'accurate and truthful' and I'll show you a PR person who is unemployed," he said. Cohen added that in the time it took him to write the essay, "I'll bet dozens of PR people blatantly lied to their audiences despite proclamations declaring that they should not."

Jeff Julin, chair and CEO of PRS, responded the next day, saying the Society "takes exception with what we regard as a misguided opinion."

(Continued on page 7)

Internet Edition, June 11, 2008, Page 2


The Livingston Group’s $2.4M contract with Libya is under attack by attorneys representing the victims of the 1986 terror attack on Berlin’s La Belle Disco, which killed two American soldiers and wounded more than 100 others.

The government affairs and lobbying services contract was signed March 12 by the firm of former Speaker of the House-designate Bob Livingston.

Col. Qaddafi renounced terrorism in `03, a move that removed Libya from the State Dept.’s roster of rogue states.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, however, sponsored a measure in January that gives terror victims the right to seize U.S. assets of nations that sponsor or sponsored terrorism. Thomas Fay, the lawyer repping the families of the disco bombing, told The Hill that he is going after Libya’s “payment system.”

Bill Reinsch, president of the National Foreign Trade Council, said “simply accepting payment from the Libyans may or not fall” under the provisions of Lautenberg’s amendment to the defense authorization act. He believes the matter needs to be litigated.

Blank & Rome and White & Case, according to The Hill, also have been notified that money from their advocacy contracts with Libya may be used to compensate terror victims.


Howard Bragman’s 15 Minutes’ celebrity shop is handling media for news that Ed McMahon, Johnny Carson’s former sidekick, faces foreclosure on his Beverly Hills home by Countrywide Financial, which is being acquired by Bank of America.

Bragman says the 85-year-old McMahon, who is about $650K in arrears on his $4.8M loan, is having “very fruitful discussions” with the lender.

McMahon broke his neck about 18 months ago and hasn’t been able to work, according to the publicist who founded Bragman Nyman Cafarelli in 1989 and sold it to Interpublic in 2001.

The Wall Street Journal calls McMahon “one of the most prominent people caught up in a wave of mortgage defaults that has devastated low-income areas, suburbia and even post gated communities, such as the one where the McMahon’s live.”

Bragman says the McMahons “understand they are in the same position as hundreds of thousands of hard-working Americans.”


Heather Anthony has assumed the VP-investor relations post at Imax Corp., the digital entertainment and technology company.

She joins the Imax from The Children’s Place Retail Stores Inc, the $1.5B clothing chain. Earlier, Anthony held a VP-financial communications position at Edelman and various posts at Morgen-Walke Assocs.

Imax recorded a $10.3M first-quarter loss as it moves from film to a digital format.

Nasdaq-listed Imax is trading at $7.34 near its 52-week high of $7.94. Shares traded as low as $3.72 during that period.


Ticketmaster has moved to bolster its communications and create an investor relations unit with two key hires as it prepares to be spun off from Barry Diller’s IAC/InteractiveCorp.

Diller plans to carve up IAC on August 1 into five entities – HSN, Interval, Ticketmaster, Lending Tree and an Internet unit called IAC.

Alberto Lopez, corporate director of strategic communications for Harrah’s Entertainment, has joined Ticketmaster as VP of strategic comms. ahead of that move.

Lopez handles media relations, integrated comms. and digital messaging for the ticket broker. He previously directed strategic web communications at Motorola.

On the IR side, Wendy Markus Webb, a top IR exec at The Walt Disney Co., has joined to set up an IR capability at Ticketmaster and handle internal and external comms. She was senior VP of Disney’s IR and shareholder services and executive director of the company’s foundation in a 20-year career there.


Abernathy MacGregor Group is working with Fremont General Corp., the battered housing loan company targeted by regulators which last week sold its $12.2 billion mortgage services portfolio to a Goldman Sachs affiliate.

Fremont is now traded on the Pink Sheets after a precipitous fall amid the housing crisis earlier this year that included delisting from the New York Stock Exchange in April. The Brea, Calif., company was also slapped with a predatory-lending suit by the Massachusetts attorney general.

Daniel Hilley, a VP in AMG’s Los Angeles office, has been handling investor and media relations for Fremont through the crisis.

Fremont said on June 2 that GS unit Litton Loan Servicing had completed the purchase of Fremont’s mortgage portfolio. That deal was okayed by the California Dept. of Financial Institutions and the FDIC, which in late March ordered Fremont to recapitalize its loan unit within two months or sell it off.

Fremont continues to operate a 22-branch retail banking division in southern California.


Draper, Utah-based SOAR Communications has edged two firms for a year-long PR and marketing communications contract with the Trade Association of Paddlesports, the ten-year-old trade group for the canoe, kayak and rafting industry.

Soar beat Fendler Communications (Yarmouth, Me.) and Hanson Dodge Creative (Milwaukee) in the RFP process. All three firms focus on PR and marketing for the outdoor recreation market.

A key element of SOAR’s work is to help TAPS expand paddle sports to new consumers. “As one of TAPS’ board members likes to say, our main job is to ‘help get more butts in boats,’” said SOAR president Chip Smith.

TAPS’ members include paddle sport equipment manufacturers, retailers, outfitters and publications.

Internet Edition, June 11, 2008, Page 3


The Society of Professional Journalists has signed onto a letter to Congress with scores of other interest groups in support of increased protections for whistleblowers.

The letter — sent to Sens. Joseph Lieberman (Ind. D-Conn.); Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii); and Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.); Tom Davis (R-Va.), and Todd Platts (R-Pa.) — urges Congress to complete an eight-year legislative push to bolster the Whistleblower Protection Act.

“Offering protections and a promise of less retaliation will further enable the free flow of information that our country relies upon,” said SPJ president Clint Brewer.

Among its requests, SPJ wants the final bill to grant employees the right to a jury trial in federal court; protect federal scientists who report efforts to alter, misrepresent, or suppress federal research; extend meaningful protections to FBI and intelligence agency whistleblowers, and neutralize the government’s use of the “state secrets” privilege.


Thomas Johnson, the first black reporter at the New York Times and Newsday who later went into PR, died on June 1 at his Queens home. He was 79.

Johnson was turned down for a job at the Long Island Press after college and freelanced until Newsday hired him in 1963. He joined the Times in 1966 and later taught a course on race and the news media at New York University. He also was a founding member of Black Enterprise magazine and the black reporters group Black Perspective.

In his obituary, The Times noted: “From the civil rights protests and urban unrest of the 1960s through the rise of the black power movement and beyond, Mr. Johnson often found himself as both a reporter and an interpreter of racial conflict and change.”

He also reported for the Times from Nigeria, Vietnam and Europe.

Johnson left the Times in 1982 to run his own PR firm.


Washington Post Co. has created an online publishing unit to focus on digital magazines like Slate and

Slate editor Jacob Weisberg was tapped as chairman and editor-in-chief of the unit, which also includes Slate V and the upcoming business site The Big Money. Deputy editor David Plotz takes the editor reigns at Slate.

Slate publisher John Alderman takes on GM duties for the unit, in addition to his current responsibilities.


Oxygen Media has named Julie Rothman VP-communications in charge of the cable network’s strategic planning, publicity and media relations.

Rothman had been VP-east coast entertainment publicity for NBC, where she promoted “Law & Order,” “30 Rock,” “Miss USA Pageants” and “Lipstick Jungle.” She arranged talent junkets and served as key spokesperson for projects.

Earlier, Rothman did stints at CNBC, Lifetime, Fox, VH1 and Nickelodeon.

NBC Universal Cable Entertainment is parent of Oxygen, the network that goes into 73M homes and is primarily viewed by women who are fans of shows such as “The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency,” “Snapped,”and “The Tyra Banks Show.”


The entire June issue of This Old House is the result of stories and pictures submitted by readers. “What could be more engaging then users themselves participating in the issue,” Matt Turck, publisher, told the June 2 issue of DMNews.

The magazine asked for reader submissions in its December issue. There were also requests for information made in follow-up issues, on its website and on the magazine’s cable TV show.

Readers also voted on the house that is featured on the cover. The magazine says it tapped its readers for content because they are passionate about making both their lives and homes better.


Tribune Co. chairman Sam Zell plans across the board cuts in the number of pages published by the employee-owned media empire. The idea is to shrink the papers to match the number of ad pages.

Randy Michaels, COO, told a conference call a redesign is in the works that will feature more photos, statistics and news "nuggets."

The newspaper redesign begins at the Orlando Sentinel and then will move to the Los Angeles Times.


CBS Corp. cut a deal with Yahoo to feature its videos. Yahoo now is part of the CBS Audience Network that already includes Time Warner’s AOL, Microsoft's MSN and Google’s YouTube.

The CBSAN shows short, ad-supported clips that are free to viewers. CBS says its goal is to establish as many partnerships as possible to maximize exposure for its own content.


Gregory Gittrich, former assistant managing editor of the New York Daily News, has moved to NBC’s local media division to oversee content for its 10 owned TV stations.

Gittrich also will be in charge of developing mobile applications for the sites and lining up syndication deals.

Chicago Tribune Media Group and Chicago Public Schools said they will introduce a weekly newspaper and website this fall aimed toward and written by high school students. The publications will be the only media products in the Chicago market serving teens exclusively, the two entities said.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, June 11, 2008, Page 4


Lew Frankfort, CEO of Coach, said keeping labor costs low is a key tactic of the company.

Gross profit of Coach on sales of $3.05 billion in the 12 months ended March 29 was $2.02B and net was $728M. Coach has almost no debt – $13.94M – giving it a debt/equity ratio of 0.01. It has 3,100 full-time and 4,900 part-time employees, according to financial documents. Its products are made via “independent” contractors in various countries.

Frankfort, the fourth highest paid CEO in New York in 2006 according to Crain’s New York (total remuneration of $44.4 million) told the May 29 Wall Street Journal that the company saves “incredible amounts of money on labor.”

Asked how Coach keeps its brand “more accessible than other luxury handbags,” Frankfort replied: “We make our product in lower-cost countries. Even though the raw materials come from the finest mills and tanneries in the world, we save incredible amounts of money on labor. The average cost in France and Italy is $50 an hour, and a bag could take five hours to make. Our labor costs are 10% of that.”

A 34-page kit distributed to interested college professors by the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition, of which Coach is a member, claims that counterfeit handbags, watches, etc., are made by poorly-paid workers who work and live in substandard conditions.

The company, which paid $10,000 to sponsor a course on international counterfeiting in the spring of 2007 at Hunter College, said today that Hunter was the only college receiving such a gift and there are no plans to sponsor similar courses at any college. [Statement of Coach is at end of this article]

Coach’s products are made in “many countries including China, the U.S., India, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Mauritius, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan and Turkey,” says the 2007 annual report. All manufacturers are “independent.”

The company has extensive guidelines for its suppliers but Coach notes that it can only promise that it will not “knowingly” allow violations.

The company would not provide the names of the factories where its products are made. Organizations such as China Labor Watch monitor labor conditions and pay at specific factories and the policies of contracting companies.

Frankfort and his wife, Bobbie, a Hunter grad, personally gave $1M to Hunter in 2007.

His remuneration of $44.4M was topped only by CEOs of Gamco Investors, Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch.

He made more than Rupert Murdoch of News Corp., who was 15th on the list and Ralph Lauren, No. 18. Frankfort’s 2,989,922 shares at $33.70 a share are worth about $100M.

Carole Stadler, who as general counsel of Coach suggested the $10K gift for the Hunter course to the school administration headed by Jennifer Raab, a lawyer, sold stock worth $20.5M from Sept. 2006 to March 2007 (mostly at about $50 a share), netting about $10M after paying option costs. Stadler, 48, left the company last year.

Statement by Coach

The company released the following statement on June 4: When Coach was approached by the IACC to sponsor a class, we expressed that Hunter would be a natural choice for this partnership given our long standing relationship with the school.

Coach thought it would be a great opportunity to inform students about the problems associated with counterfeiting and how it affects our everyday lives by using that as the topic around which the class was taught.

We were not involved in the development of the course description or syllabus, and all interactions between Coach and the students and college administration were exclusively with Coach’s law department, which spearheads our efforts as a company to fight counterfeiting.

We now understand that one of the campaigns developed by the students – based on the creation of a fake identity on a social networking site – apparently did not meet the standards of accepted public relations practices.

In retrospect, we regret not having our public relations department participate in this project, as they may have flagged for the students some of the concerns subsequently raised about this campaign.


ExxonMobil, the largest publicly traded oil company in the world, has returned as a sponsor of PBS with a deal to underwrite its flagship news and science programs after dropping its decades-long backing of “Masterpiece Theatre” in 2004.

The Irving, Tex.-based company said it will partially underwrite “Nightly Business Report” and “Nova.” It will receive on-air sponsor credits and identification on Ken Cohen, VP of public affairs for ExxonMobil, called the two programs “two of America’s leading programs in business news and science education.”

“Nova,” which has run for more than 30 years, is produced by WGBH in Boston.

“NBR,” credited as the longest-running and most-watched daily business news program, is produced by WPBT in Miami. Franklin Templeton Investments has been a key backer of “NBR” and recently renewed its deal through 2011. A.G. Edwards dropped out in January after 20 years because it was bought by Wachovia.

ExxonMobil had backed “Masterpiece Theatre” for 32 years through 2004 contributing about $10M annually toward the end of the relationship.

A spokesman for PBS from the Rosen Group told O'Dwyer's that financial terms of the deal would not be disclosed.

ExxonMobil is awaiting the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on the $2.5 billion punitive damage class-action lawsuit surrounding the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska in 1989. The court is expected to rule before its next recess June 23.

Internet Edition, June 11, 2008, Page 5


Ogilvy Government Relations is repping Georgetown Partners, the minority-owned private equity firm, which is a leading opponent to the Sirius Satellite and XM Satellite Radio merger that was expected to receive Federal Communications Commission’s approval by the end of last year.

GP wants a Sirius/XM combination to lease it 20 percent of its satellite capacity to program family-friendly fare. It pitches the move as a way to foster diversity of radio programming.

Chester Davenport, managing director of GP, made his proposal via a letter last month to FCC chairman Kevin Martin.

Wayne Berman, OGR managing director, spearheads the lobbying effort. He is joined by Drew Maloney, a former aide to former Texas Congressman Tom Delay, and Dean Aguillen, who worked for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Kekst & Co. has also worked with GP in its opposition to the satellite merger.


Internet television network Revision3, supported by Rosen Group PR, held a free party in Brooklyn June 4 with a live airing of its popular show "Diggnation."

Diggnation is a weekly Webcast hosted by personalities Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht. The show, which averages more than 250K downloads per episode, is a spin-off of popular news ratings site

The event, coupled as a user “meet up” for Digg, was in collaboration with “Internet Week,” an annual seven-day festival in New York to celebrate the city’s considerable cyber industry.

New York-based Rosen Group handles PR duties for Revision3. Vice President Shawna Seldon said Rosen chose the location, Studio B, because its underground status would be respected and enjoyed by the audience.

Seldon said while approximately1,500 people were expected to attend the event, she was surprised to see attendance peak at around 2,000.

Inside, the event was a beehive for the press: journalists from outlets like the Guardian, CBS News Radio, TV Week, the Deal, "Best Week Ever," and Ad Age were in attendance.

BRIEFS: Maccabee Group, Minneapolis, and client OfficeMax were given a Silver Halo Award by the Cause Marketing Forum for the “A Day Made Better” cause marketing campaign. The effort engaged thousands of OfficeMax staffers and drew extensive media coverage, including 227 TV segments, hundreds of articles, as well as a web traffic boost and increase in donations to the non-profit group Adopt-a-Classroom. ...Entertainment Fusion Group, a Los Angeles-based marcom firm, has opened a New York office in the Flatiron District. The firm works with brands lke Oakley, Johnnie Walker and MTV. Info: ...HealthSTAR PR, New York, has joined the 40-plus-member GlobalCom PR-Network of firms. The firm counts 50 full-time staffers.


New York Area

Child’s Play Communications, New York/TripFLIX, travel video series for children and families, for PR.

Dan Klores Communications and Bullseye PR, New York/Beach Tennis USA, for PR support of the organization’s 2008 season.

Hawkins International, New York/The Yachts of Seabourn, luxury cruise vacations; The Dorchester Collection, hotels in London, Paris, Beverly Hills and Milan; The Greenwich Hotel, TriBeCa; Qua Baths and Spa at Caesars Atlantic City, opening in mid-June; Hotel Caesar Augustus (Capri, Italty), and Sage Hospitality, group of three U.S. hotels.

KCSA Strategic Communications, New York/
TruMedia Technologies, audience measurement for out-of-home display ad industry, as AOR for PR. The firm is working to introduce TruMedia’s services to marketers, advertisers and ad agencies.

Ricochet PR, New York/Wellpoint, health benefits company, as AOR for PR. Ricochet has worked with the company since 2006.

Rubenstein PR, New York/David Fisher, architect, to handle global marketing and PR for his Rotating Tower skyscraper design, expected to be developed in cities like Moscow and Dubai.

Susan Magrino Agency, New York/Leontine Linens, as AOR for the fine linens maker.


Rasky Baerlein, Boston/Arbella Insurance Group, property and casualty insurance, as comms. AOR. RB first worked with the company in 2005 to fight Gov. Mitt Romeny’s plan to deregulate the auto insurance industry in Massachusetts.

French/West/Vaughan, Raleigh, N.C./Professional Rodeo Cowboys Assn., as AOR following an RFP process. FWV handles integrated PR and marketing focused on generating coverage of pro rodeo athletes and marquee events. FWV client Wrangler is a top sponsor of PRCA’s 10-day world championship held each year in Las Vegas in December.


Sweeney, Cleveland/Color Guild, association of 58 independent paint manufacturers, to develop and implement an international publicity and media relations campaign.


Cheil USA, Dallas/Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, to promote the Dallas-Fort Worth area and international airport in South Korea through the “Visit DFW” advertising and PR campaign.


Edelman, Glendora, Calif./NHRA, which bills itself as the largest motorsports organization, for support and counsel in implementing a national PR campaign. NHRA’s in-house team handles race-to-race event management and PR, while Edelman works to increase the group’s national profile.

JS2 Communications, New York/Boombang, creative think tank for products, as AOR for media relations. Boombang has brought products like the SaddleCo Flow Bicycle Seat, ACE Yank That Hair Tweezers and Disney MP3 Players to market.

Internet Edition, June 11, 2008, Page 6


The U.K. private equity firm working to take over PR services company Cision now controls 64 percent of voting shares and has again extended the deadline for acceptance of its $250M-plus offer.

Triton said June 6 that more than 40M shares have been tendered in the offer. Combined with Triton’s own 7.5M-share stake via its Sweden-based Cyril Acquisition unit, the PE firm controls 64.1 percent of Cision’s voting shares.

Triton, which made its offer on April 30, has extended the June 2 deadline to June 16 as its awaits approval from German regulators and gives shareholders more time to tender. The firm said it expects to settle the offer on or about June 19 with its goal of controlling more than 90 percent of Cision’s shares.

Triton’s offer is a 66-percent premium on the shares. Cision has called the offer “not unfair” but suggested it may be undervaluing the company’s future performance.

Triton partner Jan Akesson said the offer “is in the best interest of all parties that it is completed.

“We are now extending the acceptance period to find out whether it is possible to pursue this transaction", he said.

Anders Boos, chairman of Cision’s board, is also a member of a Triton advisory board and has accepted Triton’s offer to remain chairman if the offer is completed. He has stepped down from participating in Cision’s handling of the PE firm’s offer. Cision, which re-branded Bacon’s Information and parent company Observer Group as Cision in 2007, is based in Sweden.


Bill Grueskin, deputy managing editor for news at the Wall Street Journal, has been named dean of academic affairs at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. He takes the spot September 2.

He was in charge of the WSJ’s 14 domestic bureaus, as well as the print and online editing desks in New York and New Jersey.

Previously, he was managing editor of the Wall Street Journal Online, where he developed that venture into the No. 1 paid site on the web. Grueskin joined the WSJ in `95 as Page One editor.

He began his journalism career as a reporter and editor at the Daily American in Rome. As a Vista volunteer (`77-`79), he was founding editor of the Dakota Sun at the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota.

At Columbia, Grueskin will hold the academic title of professor of professional practice. He succeeds former dean David Klatell, who stepped down last year. Klatell chairs the international studies program.

James Li is now at The Hollywood Reporter as its media analyst, a new position. He had been at Nielsen Entertainment in Los Angeles, handling domestic and international film market research for the big studios. The former anchorman and producer on Beijing TV participated in Nielsen's first research project of China's movie market. At THR, Li provides analytical research for the publication and its special projects.



Jessica Liddell, VP at Abernathy MacGregor Group, to Berns Communications, New York, as a senior VP. Amy Kover, a financial journalist who wrote for Fortune and Smart Money, joins as a VP.

Lisa Rivero, account manager for PAN Communications, to LaVoie Group, Salem, Mass., as director/senior A/S. Earlier, she was at Schwartz Communications and Sharon Merrill Associates.

Mike Kane, director of marketing for QUMAS, to Prompt Communications, Cambridge, Mass., as VP of its North American operations. He was previously a VP at Lois Paul and Partners.

Jim Luetkemeyer, communications director and legislative assistant for Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Ore.), to Widmeyer Communications, Washington, D.C., as a PA exec. He handles the U.S. Climate Action Partnership and Consumers United for Rail Equity. Prior to Lucas’ office, he was comms. director for the ESOP Assn., which represents employee stock ownership plans.

Lindsey Blackenship, an MBA candidate at West Virginia Univ., to Quixote Group, Greensboro, N.C., as an A/E. Nichole Alston signed on as an AA/E.

Brian Engel, manager of public affairs for Devon Energy Corp. for six years, to Continental Resources, Enid, Okla., as VP of PA for the oil and gas exploration company. He was previously director of PA for Mitchell Energy & Development Corp.

William Smith, Internet marketing director, High Tech Institute, to Off Madison Ave, Phoenix, as search marketing manager. Brynne Haack, e-marketing and comms. manager for the Great West division of the American Cancer Society, joins as a customer lifecycle marketing specialist.

Mike McGrath, senior consultant at The Conservation Group and strategy and partnership director at The Communication Group, to McGrath/Power PR, San Jose, Calif., as VP of emerging media. He previously worked in-house at Apple and founded a multimedia production company, Grafica Multimedia.

Ruthie Ashley, diversity officer for external affairs at the California Public Employees Retirement System, to California All, a diversity group backed by AT&T, DLA Piper and other companies, as CEO.


David Keefe to global director, media & entertainment, Siegel + Gale, New York. He joined in 2005 as a VP for business development.

John Conrad, Thea Roberti and Jayson Schkloven to VPs, Merritt Group, Reston, Va. Conrad handles client service, Roberti directs the firm’s research practice and Schkloven focuses on strategic services.


Mark Raper, chairman and CEO of CRT/tanaka; Rick Boyko, director of the Virginia Commonwealth Univ. Brand Center and former CCO for Ogilvy; Peter Easter, chairman and director of PA for Easter Associates, and newspaper editors Josh Edwards and Malcolm Pace have been inducted into the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame. VCU established the hall of fame in 1986.

Internet Edition, June 11, 2008, Page 7


Said Julin: "The PRS Member Code of Ethics, to which all members pledge, embodies a strict set of guidelines defining ethical and professional practice in PR. Professionals who meet the Code's standards stand in stark contrast to the simplistic, erroneous characterization of the profession you (Cohen) presented.

"Contrary to baseless assertions, truth and accuracy are the bread and butter of the PR profession. In a business where success hinges on critical relationships built over many years with clients, journalists and a Web 2.0-empowered public, one's credibility is the singular badge of viability."

Discussed McClellan Book

Cohen was discussing former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan's book, What Happened, in which he said McClellan admits he "lied to the American people about certain vital policy decisions within the Bush Administration."

Cohen, having heard that the PR Society said its code had been violated by McClellan, said that a moment of "comedic zen has come from the PR community where some now wonder whether the former flack violated the 'ethics' of his craft."

Apparently, said Cohen, "an industry, the very essence of which is to try to convince people that a turkey is really an eagle, has a rule that condemns lying."

PRS Members Strike at Cohen

PRS members, having been given a link to Cohen's website, struck back with scores of e-mails denouncing him as "incorrect," "short-sighted," "no journalist" "foolish," "ignorant," "a liar," "lazy," and providing "nonsensical ramblings."

Some noted that McClellan's book not only criticizes the Bush Administration for alleged lies, but also hits the press for swallowing claims that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

PR pros said the network that hosted Dan Rather's false charges about President Bush's military record, has no right to get on a high horse about truth and accuracy.

Kathryn Hubbell, a director of PRS, said Cohen's essay was "easily one of the laziest and most ignorant pieces of so-called journalism that I have ever read." She said that as instructed by the PRS code, PR people "take care of their relationships with reporters like they would take care of diamonds."

Cohen's "diatribe," she continued, "infers that reporters swallow everything they're told hook, line and sinker, and do no fact checking."

Reader "Lpwalton" admitted to having been "fired" from a number of jobs over the years because "I won't lie for clients." Clients were also said to have "lied" to this person and such clients were resigned.

Media a "Small Part" of PR

Gina Rubel of Rubel Communications said "media relations is only one small part of the PR umbrella," but PR pros must "absolutely" provide all the facts.

Mary Wagoner, president of PRS/Arkansas, said, "Throughout its history, PRS has always demanded its members adhere to the highest of ethical standards…so to brand our entire profession based on McClellan's actions is like branding all journalists and lawyers based on the actions of a few."

"Kpearsonb" said "Calling an entire group dishonest because of one bad apple is like calling all journalists biased, dishonest and sleezy because some are."

Cohen Withdraws ‘Burglars’ Charge

Cohen, responding Monday afternoon to the onslaught of PRS e-mails, said he was "sorry" that he compared PRS to the "Burglars' Assn. of America." Said Cohen: "That wasn't nice. But of course there is no Burglars Assn. of America. At least my animal analogies worked though, right?"

He referred to his remarks that the "very essence" of PR is to "convince people that a turkey is really an eagle" and that, "You can't try to convince someone that a milk cow is really a racehorse without lying. You can't build a profession based on deceit and spin, then create 'ethics' rules that call for honesty, and then criticize McClellan."

Cohen Sticks to Main Criticisms

While saying he was sorry for the "burglars" comment, Cohen in his follow-up continued to maintain that PR has a very poor image with the general public and likened this to image problems that also beset lawyers, journalists, politicians and advertising people.

"PR people may believe they are honest and accurate and chock full of integrity in the work they do-but lay people do not necessarily share that belief," said Cohen.

He said PR people should use this incident as an opportunity to find out "how a profession built on spin can survive with its credibility intact in a world where people are more sophisticated than ever in ferreting out such spin from the truth."


Peter Meade, who recently retired as executive VP of corporate affairs for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, has taken a managing director post at Boston-based Rasky Baerlein.

He continues as a consultant to BCBS, an RB client, and is active with several civic organizations in Boston.

Prior to his role at Blue Cross, he was president and CEO of The New England Business Council, an 83-year-old group that represents New England institutions in Washington, D.C.

Earlier, he was a VP at Warner Amex Cable Communications and political commentator and host on TV and radio. He worked for Boston Mayor Kevin White in the 1970s as parks commissioner and public safety coordinator.

Meade, in a statement, said: “I know the pressures facing companies in this tough business environment and hope to be another voice of experience and counsel for RB clients.”

Meade stepped down at BCBS in February after 12 years.

In an email, RB’s top three execs called Meade a “longtime business colleague and friend of our firm.” They cited his strong ties with community groups, government officials, business leaders and the media as key to adding “depth” to the firm’s management team.

Internet Edition, June 11, 2008, Page 8




The battle between PRS and CBS (page one) has been lost bigtime by PRS and the PR industry, again pointing up the need for PR pros at PRS h.q.

Andrew Cohen slammed PRS for arguing that what Scott McClellan and others in the government need is the PRS code that will instill in them the "highest standards of accuracy and truth."

Sure, said Cohen, and everyone should abide by the code of the Burglars Assn. of America which forbids stealing. PRS CEO Jeff Julin then not only blasted Cohen but urged the entire 22K membership to e-mail him. A lot of them did, jamming Cohen's blog.

"Having blasted the PR industry, I am now the target of a PR effort to ridicule my effort, my points, my character and integrity," he wrote.

PRS members had a field day calling Cohen "a liar," "foolish," "ignorant," "nonsensical," etc.

But sprinkled among the insults and claims that PR pros cannot possibly lie because it would destroy their credibility were a few gems of logic.

One blogger wrote, "You can shout to the high heavens about adhering to a code but without inspection and enforcement it is a hollow claim."

Codes for bridges and buildings are "worthless without an inspection system," he added.

As a tragic illustration of his complaint, New York has had two recent fatal crane accidents caused by lack of proper inspections. The chief crane inspector last week was accused of taking bribes.

PRS abandoned code enforcement in 1999 when a member formally accused the board of five violations of the code when it instituted a press boycott (which is still in effect).

Rather than let the board be tried before a judicial panel, as required by the rules, PRS created a new code (sans enforcement) at a cost of $197K.

Another e-mail said Cohen only described what "at least 90% of Americans" believe about PR and that the chorus of complaints had the "usual fact-reversing rhetoric of PR people."

Cohen argued that journalism, law, politicians and other groups are regularly pilloried "in general" and they don't run out and point to codes that forbid improper behavior, especially when proof of such behavior exists. Generalizations must be supported by specifics and what Cohen cited was the No. 1 PR person in the U.S., the President's press secretary, admitting to lies.

When this NL accuses PRS of lying, we have specifics such as chronic low-balling of annual conference expenses. The 2007 audit said conference staff expenses were $240,039 or 4.67% of total staff costs of $5,135,248. This is ridiculous because past presidents assure us the conference is practically a year-round effort taking at least half the staff half of its time (including many top-level staffers). "Real" staff cost is not far from $2M. A couple of other lies are a failure to let members and the Assembly (supposedly the voice of the members) in on major decisions such as suspending the printed directory and moving h.q. downtown. Not telling someone something important is a lie. Currently, members are not being told specifics of a re-write of the entire bylaws.

There is only one working PR pro at PRS among a staff of nearly 60-Joe DeRupo, who joined last fall and who was not even a member. Five PR pros have quit the Society since 1995 and they didn't wait for someone to fill their shoes. Two quit in front of the national conference. At the ABA you'll find nearly 100 lawyers, at the AMA more than 40 doctors and at the AAAA about 15 career ad people. PR pros are banned from their own house because of fierce regional ("I-hate-New York") politics. No New Yorkers are on the 19-member board, either. Elected officers lack either the time or ability to do good “PR for PR.”

Instead of a combative policy that smacks of a legal rather than a PR culture, Julin and CEO-elect Mike Cherenson should visit Cohen and other CBS newspeople, asking their experiences with PR. Do PR pros return calls promptly, provide documents, answer their own phones, make CEOs available, provide news tips, stories they have read, make visits to newspeople?

Oxford, the health plan most used by New York PR firms, has raised its premium "family" plan (couple with children) 7% to $2,716 monthly or $32,598. Singles pay $10,515 yearly.

Its lesser "Freedom Standard" plan (higher deductibles) is $21,030 yearly ($6,216 for singles).

Family plans at the other insurers (Cigna, Aetna, HIP, Blue Cross) are in the $20K range.

Stevens/Gould/Pincus found in 2006 that 94% of PR firms make employees pay part of medical costs and 25% make them pay the full cost (returns came from 160 of 190 firms surveyed).

Partner Rick Gould said "Health costs to small and medium firms are becoming unaffordable, especially in a recession." Firms may pass on costs to employees but the employees then ask for pay hikes to cover their new expenses, he notes.

Barack Obama, the presumed Democratic presidential nominee, is a tool of the health insurance industry, which has given him "large" contributions, Ralph Nader told the May 31 Wall Street Journal.

His health plan, unlike Hillary Clinton's, would have little impact on private insurers, Nader says. She has complained that 25% of payments to the private companies are eaten up by overhead (vs. overhead of 1-2% for Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid). She wants the 45 million uninsured to be forced to pay at least something (like auto insurance is mandatory) and says Obama's plan would leave 15 million uninsured. He is against forced insurance until costs are brought down.

Nader calls Obama's health plan “a charade” and says it allows companies to keep their “redundant, wasteful, often corrupt-in terms of billing fraud-ways, ripping off Medicare.”

--Jack O'Dwyer


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