The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, June 11, 2008, Page 1
SEEKS TOURISM PR PITCHES
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.
states 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
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.
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
RFP, which can be accessed from the story on odwyerpr.com,
says a one-year contract starting on July 1 is planned with
four potential option years.
GH PUSHES $1 COINS
GolinHarris, aligned with
sister Interpublic unitsCampbell-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, GHs
chief client officer, says the integrated campaign will
emphasize the coins benefits such as its durability.
Weber Shandwick launched
the coins in `06.
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
Kerrys 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.
JOHNSON RESIGNS CITI POST
Leah Johnson, who was
senior VP-global corporate affairs at Citigroup, is resigning
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
Johnson joined Citi from
Standard & Poors.
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 Citis PR firm. It recently took over work that
was handled by Kekst & Co.
RLMs Walter Montgomery
told ODwyers his firm refrains from saying who
is and who is not a client.
HASTERT SPEAKS FOR DP
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 Lincolns infrastructure.
He will not engage in lobbying at DP.
DP has done legal work
for DuPont, Duke Energy, Kraft Foods, Pfizer and Triple
COHEN OF CBS HITS PR; JULIN
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
(Continued on page 7)
Edition, June 11, 2008, Page 2
LOBBY PACT TARGETED
Livingston Groups $2.4M contract with Libya is under
attack by attorneys representing the victims of the 1986
terror attack on Berlins La Belle Disco, which killed
two American soldiers and wounded more than 100 others.
government affairs and lobbying services contract was signed
March 12 by the firm of former Speaker of the House-designate
Qaddafi renounced terrorism in `03, a move that removed
Libya from the State Dept.s roster of rogue states.
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 Libyas payment
Reinsch, president of the National Foreign Trade Council,
said simply accepting payment from the Libyans may
or not fall under the provisions of Lautenbergs
amendment to the defense authorization act. He believes
the matter needs to be litigated.
& 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.
MCMAHON GETS HIS 15 MINUTES
15 Minutes celebrity shop is handling media for news
that Ed McMahon, Johnny Carsons 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
McMahon broke his neck
about 18 months ago and hasnt 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 McMahons live.
Bragman says the McMahons
understand they are in the same position as hundreds
of thousands of hard-working Americans.
ANTHONY TAKES IMAX IR POST
Heather Anthony has assumed
the VP-investor relations post at Imax Corp., the digital
entertainment and technology company.
She joins the Imax from
The Childrens 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 NAMES TOP COMMS.
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 Dillers 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 Harrahs 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 Disneys IR
and shareholder services and executive director of the companys
foundation in a 20-year career there.
AMG GUIDES BATTERED MORTGAGE
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
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
Daniel Hilley, a VP in
AMGs 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 Fremonts 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.
TAPS SOARS WITH UTAH FIRM
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 SOARs
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
Edition, June 11, 2008, Page 3
BACKS WHISTLEBLOWER REFORMS
Society of Professional Journalists has signed onto a letter
to Congress with scores of other interest groups in support
of increased protections for whistleblowers.
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
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.
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 governments use of the state secrets
BLACK REPORTER DIES
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.
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.
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.
also reported for the Times from Nigeria, Vietnam and Europe.
left the Times in 1982 to run his own PR firm.
POST SETS UP ONLINE MAG UNIT
Post Co. has created an online publishing unit to focus
on digital magazines like 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.
publisher John Alderman takes on GM duties for the unit,
in addition to his current responsibilities.
TAKES OXYGEN POST
Media has named Julie Rothman VP-communications in charge
of the cable networks strategic planning, publicity
and media relations.
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.
Rothman did stints at CNBC, Lifetime, Fox, VH1 and Nickelodeon.
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.
RELIES ON READERS FOR STORIES
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.
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 magazines cable
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
SEEKS SUBSTANTIAL SAVINGS
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
Michaels, COO, told a conference call a redesign is in the
works that will feature more photos, statistics and news
newspaper redesign begins at the Orlando Sentinel
and then will move to the Los Angeles Times.
EXPANDS WEB REACH
Corp. cut a deal with Yahoo to feature its videos. Yahoo
now is part of the CBS Audience Network that already includes
Time Warners AOL, Microsoft's MSN and Googles
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.
GITTRICH GOES TO NBC
Gittrich, former assistant managing editor of the New
York Daily News, has moved to NBCs local media
division to oversee content for its 10 owned TV stations.
also will be in charge of developing mobile applications
for the sites and lining up syndication deals.
Chicago Tribune Media
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.
news continued on next page)
Edition, June 11, 2008, Page 4
BENEFITS FROM LOW WAGES
Frankfort, CEO of Coach, said keeping labor costs low is
a key tactic of the company.
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.
the fourth highest paid CEO in New York in 2006 according
to Crains 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.
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
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.
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]
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.
company has extensive guidelines for its suppliers but Coach
notes that it can only promise that it will not knowingly
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.
and his wife, Bobbie, a Hunter grad, personally gave $1M
to Hunter in 2007.
remuneration of $44.4M was topped only by CEOs of Gamco
Investors, Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch.
made more than Rupert Murdoch of News Corp., who was 15th
on the list and Ralph Lauren, No. 18. Frankforts 2,989,922
shares at $33.70 a share are worth about $100M.
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.
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
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 Coachs 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 RETURNS AS PBS
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 pbs.org.
Ken Cohen, VP of public affairs for ExxonMobil, called the
two programs two of Americas leading programs
in business news and science education.
has run for more than 30 years, is produced by WGBH in Boston.
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.
Edition, June 11,
2008, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
PUSHES FOR SIRIUS/XM SET-ASIDE
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 Commissions
approval by the end of last year.
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
Davenport, managing director of GP, made his proposal via
a letter last month to FCC chairman Kevin Martin.
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.
& Co. has also worked with GP in its opposition to the
ROSEN GROUP PARTIES WITH DIGGNATION
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 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 Digg.com.
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 citys considerable cyber
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.
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.
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: efgpr.com.
New York, has joined the 40-plus-member GlobalCom PR-Network
of firms. The firm counts 50 full-time staffers.
Play Communications, New York/TripFLIX, travel video
series for children and families, for PR.
Klores Communications and Bullseye
PR, New York/Beach Tennis USA, for PR support of
the organizations 2008 season.
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.
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 TruMedias services to marketers, advertisers
and ad agencies.
PR, New York/Wellpoint, health benefits company,
as AOR for PR. Ricochet has worked with the company since
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.
Magrino Agency, New York/Leontine Linens, as AOR
for the fine linens maker.
Baerlein, Boston/Arbella Insurance Group, property
and casualty insurance, as comms. AOR. RB first worked with
the company in 2005 to fight Gov. Mitt Romenys plan
to deregulate the auto insurance industry in Massachusetts.
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
PRCAs 10-day world championship held each year in
Las Vegas in December.
Cleveland/Color Guild, association of 58 independent paint
manufacturers, to develop and implement an international
publicity and media relations campaign.
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.
Glendora, Calif./NHRA, which bills itself as the largest
motorsports organization, for support and counsel in implementing
a national PR campaign. NHRAs in-house team handles
race-to-race event management and PR, while Edelman works
to increase the groups national profile.
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.
Edition, June 11, 2008, Page 6
MOVES TOWARD ACQUISITION
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
said June 6 that more than 40M shares have been tendered
in the offer. Combined with Tritons own 7.5M-share
stake via its Sweden-based Cyril Acquisition unit, the PE
firm controls 64.1 percent of Cisions voting shares.
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
offer is a 66-percent premium on the shares. Cision has
called the offer not unfair but suggested it
may be undervaluing the companys future performance.
partner Jan Akesson said the offer is in the best
interest of all parties that it is completed.
are now extending the acceptance period to find out whether
it is possible to pursue this transaction", he said.
Boos, chairman of Cisions board, is also a member
of a Triton advisory board and has accepted Tritons
offer to remain chairman if the offer is completed. He has
stepped down from participating in Cisions handling
of the PE firms offer. Cision, which re-branded Bacons
Information and parent company Observer Group as Cision
in 2007, is based in Sweden.
WSJS GRUESKIN TAKES
COLUMBIA U. POST
Bill Grueskin, deputy
managing editor for news at the Wall Street Journal,
has been named dean of academic affairs at Columbia Universitys
Graduate School of Journalism. He takes the spot September
He was in charge of the
WSJs 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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 &
Smith, Internet marketing director, High Tech Institute,
to Off Madison Ave, Phoenix, as search marketing manager.
e-marketing and comms. manager for the Great West division
of the American Cancer Society, joins as a customer lifecycle
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.
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.
Keefe to global director, media & entertainment,
Siegel + Gale, New York. He joined in 2005 as a VP for business
Roberti and Jayson
Schkloven to VPs, Merritt Group, Reston, Va. Conrad
handles client service, Roberti directs the firms
research practice and Schkloven focuses on strategic services.
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.
Edition, June 11, 2008, Page 7
HITS PR; JULIN HITS BACK
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.
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."
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."
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."
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."
Members Strike at Cohen
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."
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
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.
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."
"diatribe," she continued, "infers that reporters
swallow everything they're told hook, line and sinker, and
do no fact checking."
"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
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."
said "Calling an entire group dishonest because of
one bad apple is like calling all journalists biased, dishonest
and sleezy because some are."
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."
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
"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."
MEADE COUNSELS FOR RASKY BAERLEIN
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
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, RBs
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
firms management team.
Edition, June 11, 2008,
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.
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
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
blasted the PR industry, I am now the target of a PR effort
to ridicule my effort, my points, my character and integrity,"
members had a field day calling Cohen "a liar,"
"foolish," "ignorant," "nonsensical,"
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,"
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."
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.
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.
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?
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
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
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.
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.