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Internet Edition, August 13, 2008, Page 1


Fleishman-Hillard has defeated five firms for a six-figure PR pact with California’s state-funded institution for funding stem-cell research.

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine was created by a statewide ballot initiative in November 2004 and set up the following year with $3 billion in funding for stem-cell research.

Burson-Marsteller, Weber Shandwick, Feinstein Kean, GCI Group and Wundermarx competed for the contract after an RFP was issued.

Ruby Barcklay, a senior VP in F-H’s San Francisco office, heads the account, which is worth $115K.

Don Gibbons, chief communications officer for CIRM, told O’Dwyer’s that the contract covers media monitoring, leadership media training, opinion leader research in the biotech and business communities and high-level targeted media placement around the organization’s leadership position in the field of stem-cell research funding.

A $300K RFP issued late last year was tabled in favor of the recent solicitation.


Declan Kelly, CEO of FD U.S., for the past six years, is now chief integration officer at parent company, FTI Consulting, the Baltimore-based consulting firm.

His job is to handle global integration and acquisitions of FTI plus manage its worldwide branding and communications strategies.

Kelly will remain chairman of U.S. operations of the former Financial Dynamics. Ed Reilly, who was COO at FD U.S., assumes CEO duties. Mark McCall, GM of FD/New York, is now president of FD Americas.

FTIC trades on the New York Stock Exchange at $71.63, near its $74.01 52-week high. They traded at a $44.90 low-point during the past year.


The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners has pulled a $600K three-year contract from Hill & Knowlton.

A $750K three-year pact with Rogers Group is expected to be reduced to $350K for one year.

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had opposed hiring two firms to handle outreach for the Port’s $1.6B environmental initiative. He ultimately wants to rely on in-house staffers.

RG’s work is limited to educational efforts related to the Clean Trucks Program, which requires vehicles to meet `07 federal emissions standards.


The Lincoln Group is handling the Army’s Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization campaign in Afghanistan designed to separate the “bomb makers and users from the support of the populace.”

LG, which has done extensive work for the Pentagon in Iraq, is to encourage Afghans to “take responsibility for their communities and report suspicious activities.” The firm is charged with developing a broad-based information campaign about IEDs using billboards, radio messages, hour-long TV programming, video compact discs, posters, flyers and newspaper ads.

Sixteen firms bid on the Army contract. LG successfully fended off a protest to its award by Afghanistan-based CentenaGroup.

The General Accountability Office upheld the award to LG despite CG’s “exceptional” grade in the “technical capability” category. The GAO ruled the Army was correct in deciding that CG’s superior rating “did not outweigh LG’s $3.5M price advantage.

LG bid $14.3M for the contract, while CG put a $17.8M price tag on the work. The contract is for six-months with a six-month option period.


John Patterson has moved to Ketchum for a senior VP slot and the opportunity to work on the FedEx business, a major client of the Omnicom unit.

He is a veteran of Capgemini, the Paris-based consulting and outsourcing outfit. As director of North America communications, Patterson worked on its $100M name change and branding campaign and the $3.5B IT and business process deal with TXU. He helped Capgemini create an internal/external PR program for its India operations.

Earlier, Patterson served as assistant director of PR at Ernst & Young (acquired by Capgemini in `00), and senior associate at Burson-Marsteller, where he handled KeyBank, U.S. Army Reserve, Gatorade, Major League Baseball, Andersen Consulting and “Just Say No.”


Gary McCormick of Scripps Networks has been nominated chair-elect of the PR Society over Rosanna Fiske, a Florida International University professor.

McCormick’s selection by the Society's Nominating Committee is a return to PRS office after he resigned from the PRS board in 2006 because of job obligations. He is now director of partnership development for Scripps’ HGTV network and has the support staff neces-

(Continued on page 7)

Internet Edition, August 13, 2008, Page 2


Ripp Media, a boutique New York firm that specializes in legal PR, is working with Venable, the high-profile law firm, in the wake of the suicide death of its former Army scientist client who killed himself last month after being targeted in the government’s anthrax investigation.

RM is headed by Allan Ripp, a former staff writer for Time and People. He put out a strong statement on Aug. 1 attributed to two Venable attorneys saying “relentless pressure of accusation and innuendo” led to the death of their client, Dr. Bruce Ivins. The lawyers say their client was innocent and claim they would’ve proved that at trial.

The Department of Justice and FBI came under fire for the six-year investigation of the anthrax case. The DoJ paid another suspect, Steven Hatfill, $5M in a legal settlement after he was said to be a “person of interest” in the case.

Ivins committed suicide after the government told him he would be charged with murder.

The DoJ’s public affairs unit said on Aug. 1 that “significant developments” in the anthrax investigation have been made by the Department, FBI and U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The government calls the investigation “Amerithrax” and says it is one of the most complex and comprehensive ever conducted by law enforcement.

Five people died and 17 others were injured in the 2001 anthrax mailings.


Red Ventures, the online marketing company that ranks No. 4 on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing private companies, is looking for a PR firm.

The Charlotte-based company runs customer acquisition programs for Sirius Satellite Radio, ADT home security systems and DirectTV.

RV, according to its RFP, “generates more than one million marketing impressions and talks to nearly 15,000 people” each day. It prides itself on a “unique entrepreneurial culture” and a “casual atmosphere with a fast-paced numbers-driven mindset.” RV employs 450 people at its headquarters plus in Dallas, Miami, Guatemala City and San Juan.

Marshall Reiffsteck (704/971-4369 and [email protected]) is handling the search. Responses to the RFP are due Aug. 29. Finalists will present from Sept. 15-19.


Brad McCormick joins Porter Novelli as executive VP, U.S. digital communications this month to oversee its interactive strategies. He will work closely with PN’s strategic planning and research group.

McCormick is exiting Ruder Finn as senior VP-client services. A highlight there was the creation of the debut website for the Dept. of Homeland Security that warned people of the risk of terror via a candy-colored system. He also handled web duties for the Council of Foreign Relations.

McCormick represented other high-profile clients such as Johnson & Johnson, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Girl Scouts and Perdue Farms.


Levick Strategic Communications is handling the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans, a group dedicated to “community building, image building and influence building” on behalf of this country’s one million people of Iranian descent.

PAAIA, launched in April, to tackle issues such as civil liberties, immigration and negative stereotyping, according to Babak Hoghooghi, executive director and former attorney at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Rudi Bakhtiar, former CNN anchor and Fox News correspondent, handles PR duties.

PAAIA focuses on domestic issues. It is not a platform for promoting foreign policy or influencing Iran’s internal affairs. It will address foreign policy toward Iran “if and to the extent such policies adversely impact the Iranian American community,” according to its website.

Levick’s Fred Jones reps PAAIA. He was deputy director of the State Dept.’s Office of Strategic Communications before joining LSC.

He also served in the White House National Security Council as deputy press secretary for foreign affairs and senor director of the Office of Communications, Press and Speechwriting.


Bill Whitsitt, who headed his own public affairs shop in D.C. since 1997, has joined the largest U.S.-based independent energy company in a new role overseeing PR, government relations and communications.

Whitsitt takes the title of senior VP, public affairs, for Oklahoma-based Devon Energy Corp. “At no time in our history has it been more important for Devon to clearly communicate our messages to the public and to our representatives in government,” said John Richels, president of Devon, which had previously been a client of Whitsitt’s.

Whitsitt was previously VP of worldwide marketing and PA for Oryx Energy Co. and directed gov’t affairs for a global law firm after a career as a Senate and House aide.

He is currently president of the American Exploration & Production Council, the trade group for independent oil and gas producers. A search has begun to replace him.

Devon posted oil and natural gas sales of $4 billion in the second quarter of 2008. Production hit the equivalent of 58.5M barrels of oil. It has operations in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Canada after selling its operations in Africa earlier this year. China and Brazil are its key international markets.


Stanton Crenshaw has added, the online comparison shopping site, to its client roster.

The site boasts of “universal shopping cart technology.” That capability allows users to buy goods from “merchant partners” such as Lucky Brand Jeans, Harry and David, Hammacher Schlemmer, and Brookstone with a single password-protected account.

The four-year-old company is headed by Ken Goldstein, who was executive VP in charge of Walt Disney Co.’s online operations.

Internet Edition, August 13, 2008, Page 3


Rupert Murdoch said he plans to increase the subscription price for He disclosed that nugget in the release of News Corp.’s fourth-quarter earnings, which rose 27 percent.

Previous reports before and after his acquisition of Wall Street Journal parent Dow Jones indicated the Aussie was considering making a free site.

Murdoch noted the Journal’s more than one million online subscribers pay a “healthy price” but said that would increase, although he didn’t say when or by how much. The addition of DJ added $24M in operating income to News Corp. for the quarter.

Cable programming income was up 16 percent despite losses from the launch of Fox Business Network and the Big Ten Network. That growth was boosted by Fox News Channel, regional sports networks and Fox International channels.

Net income for Q4 was $1.1 billion and $5.4B for the year, up $2B over 2007. The 27% rise in the fourth quarter was helped by the sale of Fox Sports Area interest and Gemstar-TV Guide International.

Murdoch said the company “clearly” faces more challenging conditions in fiscal ’09, but said it’s positioned to deliver “continued, if somewhat less robust growth.” Those challenges include higher energy costs, the U.S. real estate crisis and the battered financial industry.


Conservative columnist Robert Novak said on Aug. 4 that he will retire immediately following the diagnosis that he is suffering from a brain tumor. Novak said his prognosis is “dire” and that he will undergo radiation and chemotherapy treatment.

His syndicated political column, started in 1963 with Rowland Evans, moved from the New York Herald Tribune to the Chicago Sun-Times in 1966.

Novak, 77, initially said last week that he would suspend his work for an indefinite “but, God willing, not too lengthy period.”


Ron Fournier, acting bureau chief of the Associated Press’ Washington, D.C., bureau is now chief. He succeeded Sandy Johnson.

Fournier, 45, began his journalism career in `85 at the Sentinel-Record (Hot Springs, Ark.) and Arkansas Democrat before joining the AP in Little Rock in `89, where he covered then-Governor Bill Clinton.

He moved to D.C. with Clinton, and worked at the AP until `06, when he left for the editor-in-chief slot at, a social networking site.

He returned to the AP in `07.


The San Francisco Chronicle wants to receive buyout offers from another 125 staffers by the end of the year. The paper already sliced 100 staffers from the payroll earlier this year.

Publisher Frank Vega says he hopes to meet the target so “we can avoid any type of layoffs going forward.”

The Chronicle is a property of Hearst Corp.


Francis Wilkinson, blog editor at Huffington Post, is now executive editor at The Week, which is published by Felix Dennis. He serves as deputy to William Falk, editor-in-chief.

The Week, which provides commentaries on world news, has doubled its circulation to the 500K range since `04.

Dennis sold Maxim and Blender to concentrate on The Week and its website.


Comcast is spending $125M to acquire DailyCandy, an e-mail publisher of newsletters and sites geared to young women.

DC provides shopping and culture news to 2.5M subscribers in the U.S. and U.K. It will be integrated into the cable TV giant’s interactive services group. Comcast purchased the Fandango movie site last year.

Bob Pittman, former COO of AOL, is a major investor in DC.


The Institute for Interactive Journalism has moved from University of Maryland (College Park) to American University in Washington, D.C. It is expanding its reach following a $2.4M grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Jan Schaffer, J-Lab’s executive director, says his mission is to “transform journalism for today and reinvent it for tomorrow.”

He is former business editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer.


Publicis Groupe is purchasing Google’s Performics Search Marketing unit, a top search marketing company.

PSM has nearly 200 staffers in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, London, Hamburg, Sydney, Singapore and Beijing.

PG CEO Maurice Levy says the deal brings “critical mass” to his firm’s search capabilities and it enhances its “affiliate marketing and overall performance marketing offering.”

PSM has 130 clients representing more than 200 brands.

People _______________________

Peter Roberts, who headed communications for BBC News, has moved to Hill & Knowlton. He will work in the issues and crises practice. Roberts worked as a publicist for Radio 5 Live before he joined the Beeb. He promoted programs like “Today” and “Panorama.”

Jeremy McCarter, theater critic for New York Magazine, has joined Newsweek as a senior writer, covering arts, culture and entertainment. The magazine said McCarter will also occasionally cover broader cultural, social and political topics for the print and online editions. He previously wrote for the New York Sun as one of its original critics when it launched in 2002.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, August 13, 2008, Page 4


It was a cause for celebration on July 31 when New York advertising and marketing pros threw a party for Polish vodka maker Sobieski. The event commemorated the company’s record-breaking one-year anniversary in the U.S. market.

The roof-top event, set at “Penthouse 15” above the trendy Zipper Factory in Midtown, drew more than 400 PR, media and industry pros who were treated to a vodka tasting lesson from “master mixologist” Junior Merino and an appearance by Polish supermodel Joanna Krupa. Downstairs, guests sampled an array of Sobieski-spiked drinks and Polish dishes. A dance party was later hosted by DJs Roxy Cottontail and Stretch Armstrong.

Titled “Spread the Truth,” the event was an extension of Sobieski’s “Truth in Vodka” integrated marketing campaign launched last year by food and beverage PR pros Hanna Lee Communications. The campaign focuses on a “back-to-basics” approach, stressing affordability and quality while mocking the vodka industry’s penchant for fancy packaging and inflated prices (a 750 ml bottle of Sobieski retails for only $10.99). According to company officials, the U.S. launch gathered record-breaking sales for the company, selling more than 200,000 cases in less that one year, and transforming the brand into one of the bestselling and fastest growing vodkas in the world.

“My team and I are proud that we were able to successfully launch Sobieski Vodka and help them break all sales records for reaching their 200,000-case milestone faster than any new spirit,” said Hanna Lee Communications president Hanna Lee.

Sobieski earned a Gold Medal and Best Buy Award after it was ranked best premium vodka by the Beverage Testing Institute in a blind tasting of more than 100 vodkas.

The “Spread the Truth” event was developed by Horizon Media. The product is imported and marketed by Imperial Brands, Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of Belvédère S.A.


The Society of Professional Journalists has honored Toni Locy and the Illinois First Amendment Center with a First Amendment Award.

Locy was a USA Today reporter who failed to reveal her anonymous sources in the 2001 anthrax mailings that killed five people and sickened 17.

Steven Hatfill, a person of interest in the case, sued the Justice Dept. and 13 subpoenas were filed to find out who leaked the information.

Locy faces fines of almost $50K, money that she is required to pay with no help from outside sources. She is waiting a ruling from her May 9 appeal.

Locy is currently the Reynolds Professor of Legal Reporting at Washington & Lee University.

The IFAC is cited for its extensive work in promoting freedom of the press, efforts that include an annual poster campaign for students.

The SPG will honor Locy and IFA on Sept. during its conference in Atlanta.


Peter Grunert, deputy editor of Top Gear, will assume the editor slot at the monthly Lonely Planet when it is launched by the BBC later this year.

BBC will publish the adventure travel, under a license from LP, publisher of tour guides.

The British broadcaster purchased a 75 percent stake in LP in `07.

The LP magazine will compete against Conde Nast Traveller.


Two Men’s Health editors who have penned a book grading the health value of food at chain restaurants are urging the public to pressure six major chains to publish the nutritional value of their dishes.

David Zinczenko, senior VP and editor-in-chief of MH, and Matt Goulding, food and nutrition editor, have penned “Eat This, Not That!” after a year-long study of nutrition at popular chain restaurants.

Their “restaurant report card” gives high marks to Chick-fil-A, which the authors dubbed the country’s ‘Healthiest Chain Restaurant” for kids and adults. Six eateries – Applebee’s, IHOP, Olive Garden, Outback, Red Lobster and T.G.I. Friday’s – earned “F” grades for being among the last national chains that don’t provide nutritional information on their dishes.

“Even after years of communication with their representatives, we still hear the same old excuses: it’s too pricey, it’s too time-consuming, it’s impossible to do accurately because their food is so fresh,” the authors said in a statement from their publisher, Rodale, which also publishes Men’s Health.

“Our response is simple: If every other chain restaurant in the country can do it, then why can't they?”

They noted that at Outback, a “simple” order of salmon will wipe out 75 percent of a person’s daily caloric allotment, while IHOP’s “healthiest” entrée-size salad carries a whopping 1,050 calories.

The authors are urging readers to pressure the companies into providing nutritional information on all of their products.

“Eat This, Not That!” is due out this month.


News Corp. properties Fox International Channels and the Wall Street Journal Digital Network have aligned to sell’s Spanish and Portuguese-language portal focused on Latin America called Wall Street Journal Americas.

The site has migrated to and will be promoted by Fox TV and online in Latin America. FIC has sales offices in 33 markets like Miami, Mexico, Venezuela and Madrid.

Ta-Nehisi Coates has joined The Atlantic as a blogger and contributing editor. He recently penned a piece for the magazine about the “audacity of Bill Cosby’s black conservatism.”

He blogs at

Coates was previously a staff editor at Time and the Village Voice.

Internet Edition, August 13, 2008, Page 5


Dan Klores Communications has picked up PR duties for i2Telecom International, an Atlanta-based VoIP company focused on the wireless market.

Scott Miranda, managing director at DKC, told O’Dwyer’s his firm was referred to i2Telecom and was among a handful of firms in consideration.

CWR PR of Massachusetts had been handling the account.

A Kuwaiti businessman, Raed Rajab, in July entered into a joint agreement with the company and put up $9M for operating and marketing expenses over the next year as it eyes international expansion and launches MyGlobalTalk. That VoIP service allows mobile phone users to make long-distance calls for a fraction of the normal cost on a pay-per-call basis, the company says.

Miranda and senior VP Rachel Carr oversee the account at DKC. Carr called the company’s service a “true breakthrough in the mobile space.”


Schwartz Communications is seeking clients that want to take part in the Mobile World Conference, a global wireless trade show slated for Barcelona in February 2009.

Schwartz has set up a tailored service for companies looking to attend the confab, especially smaller companies and first-time attendees that can get swallowed up at such an event.

Multi-lingual staff with wireless experience from the firm’s Stockholm and London offices are under the direction of the firm’s European wireless director Ed Barket and telecoms team A/M Luke Nava.

Barker noted more than 3,000 media and thousands of delegates attend the show.

Schwartz has set up a portal at

BRIEFS: Sitrick and Company is advising WCI Communities, the homebuilding giant controlled by Carl Icahn which filed for Chapter 11 protection on Aug. 4. Icahn, who is chairman of the Bonita Springs, Fla., developer and its largest shareholder, said via Sitrick that WCI attempted to avoid bankruptcy but a failure to line up financing meant the company’s entire $1.8 billion debt could be headed for default. ...Brand Building Communications, New York, is opening a Los Angeles office under the direction of relocating VP Vijay Lalwani. L’Oreal Paris, Dove Chocolate and 3 Musketeers are clients. Contact: 329 N. Wetherly Drive, # 208, Beverly Hills, CA 90211. ...New York-based IR and financial communications firm Christensen has been working with China Mass Media International Advertising Corp., which debuted with a $49M IPO on Aug. 4 after postponing and cutting its target number of shares to be sold by more than 30 percent. The company provides TV advertising services. ...Burns Marketing Communications, Johnstown, Colo., has been elected as the 20th firm to join the Transworld Advertising Agency Network of marketing comms. firms. The network is 72 years old and counts members on every continent.


New York Area

Hullin Metz & Company, New York/Holcim US, cement and mineral component supplier, for corporate comms. and media relations. The client tapped Ricochet Partners, Portland, Ore., for B2B advertising.

Trylon SMR, New York/Theorem, services for digital marketers, as AOR for media relations.

Keating & Company, New York/StockCross Financial Services, brokerage, for PR and strategic comms.

GolinHarris, Arlington, Va./Rosetta Stone, language software, for PR in the U.S. and U.K. GH’s London office is co- heading the account.

Alison Brod PR, New York/Selective Beauty, 16-brand portfolio including Jimmy Choo, Zac Posen and Van Cleef & Arpels, for PR, and By Terry Cosmetics, for PR.

Rubenstein PR, New York/Oak Room, eatery at the Plaza Hotel, for media relations for opening and special events.

Kitchen PR, New York/SogoTrade, discount brokerage; Digital Gadgets, marketer of Sylvania brand tech products;, small business referral service, and Impact, public safety technology, for PR.

MWW Group, East Rutherford, N.J./Keep a Child Alive, for PR support for the HIV/AIDS non-profit.


Pan Communications, Andover, Mass./uLocate Communications; Isabella Products; Mavent, regulatory compliance services for mortgage industry; Good Data;; MedAptus, and HealthHonors, artificial intelligence for healthcare industry, for PR.

Strategic Communications Group, Silver Spring, Md./
Avectra, on-demand membership management software, as AOR for PR.

The Zimmerman Agency, Tallahassee, Fla./Florida Prepaid College Board, state-sponsored prepaid college plan, for advertising and PR replacing Kelley Swofford Roy, Miami, and Clarke/Eric Mower and Associates, Sarasota.

Andria Mitsakos PR, Miami/Spledia, luxury hotel booking website, for PR.


Bianchi PR, Troy, Mich./Habitat for Humanity, Detroit, for pro bono media relations.

Johnson Direct, Brookfield, Wisc./Super Products; the Florentine Opera Company, and Omaha Steaks. The firm has added business to existing accounts Gardner Bender; Rosalie Manor, and National Business Furniture.


The Bateman Group, San Francisco/Passenger, on-demand customer collaboration technology for business, as AOR for PR following a competitive pitch. MDs Tyler Perry and Bill Bourdon, co-lead the account from New York and San Francisco, respectively.

Burditch Marketing Communications and Allimer Marketing, Los Angeles/Santosha Development Group, luxury real estate and hotel developer, for a new property in Central America.

Internet Edition, August 13, 2008, Page 6


The Securities and Exchange Commission, noting the transition of company websites from a “static” to a “dynamic” medium, embraced new forums like blogs as promising methods of communicating information with investors in an “interpretive release” issued Aug. 7. The federal entity also raised the potential for a scaled-back role for PR wire services in the dissemination process.

“Because companies of all sizes now have the capacity to present information on their websites to all investors on a broadly accessible basis, and because investors correspondingly have the capability to easily find and retrieve information about companies by searching the World Wide Web, we now analyze the concept of ‘dissemination’ through a changed lens,” the SEC reports says.

The new release goes further than previous rules under Regulation FD to now say that “some companies in certain circumstances” can meet requirements by solely posting on their own websites. To meet that threshold, a company’s site must be a “recognized channel of distribution” and the information must be “posted and accessible.”

The SEC’s strong embrace of the Internet drew a rebuke from Business Wire, which said in a statement that Internet-only disclosure falls short of the egalitarian spirit of Reg FD. “The shortcomings of RSS feeds and corporate blogs as standalone disclosure options have been widely documented, and are clearly not a substitute for the broad-based simultaneous, and real-time disclosure that is at the heart of Reg FD,” said Cathy Baron Tamraz, president and CEO of Business Wire.

Dominic Jones, a communications consultant and principal of IR Web Report, told O’Dwyer’s that the new guidance gives companies greater flexibility to meet the requirements of the SEC rules, whereas before they had limited options and often were compelled to buy services from PR wire services.

He also said a traditional 5,000-word release can be shortened to a paragraph and a link to the full text on the company's website. That will save companies and their shareholder a lot of money in the long term since wire services typically charge by the word,” he said.

Such “notice” releases can currently be sent out via PR Newswire, but Business Wire has thus far refused to distribute them. BW contends that the current model of disclosure provides free and unrestricted access to the entire investment community simultaneously and should remain the “backbone” of public disclosure.

'Sky is Not Falling'

Marketwire told O'Dwyer's that "the sky is not falling" for newswires. “This interpretive release is not sending shockwaves through our company, and we are monitoring the situation as we want to be as helpful to our public company clients as possible with how best to leverage whatever new opportunities a final ruling from the SEC may provide,” said Thom Brodeur, senior VP of global strategy and development for Marketwire.

Brodeur said Marketwire views the report as recommending to the SEC that it allow public companies to use their corporate web sites as “a” means of meeting disclosure, not the only means. More at



Susan Lietz, VP of PR at Rodale, to Thumbplay, a mobile entertainment provider based in New York, as VP of corporate communications. She previously headed corporate comms. at BMG Entertainment Int’l and EMI Records North America.

Meredith Paley, group VP of PR and public affairs at Kenneth Cole Productions, to The Talbots, New York, as VP of PR for the Talbots brand. She was at Kenneth Cole for seven years and earlier served as managing director of publicity and advertising for Nicole Miller.

Caren Elfenbein, A/S for Cohn & Wolfe, to Resolute Communications, New York, as managing supervisor. She earlier was an A/E at Edelman. Monica McAteer, previously with Centocor, has also joined the firm focusing on web and digital healthcare work.

Samantha Stark, A/S at Hunter PR, to Rubenstein PR, New York, as an associate VP. She handles “The Park Avenue Diet” and the Cygalle Healing Spa. Samantha Kain, director of the lifestyle division at Paul Wimot Communications, to RPR as a VP. She handles client Talent Resources.

Cindy Pinto, head of Edelman’s Chicago multicultural division, to Q ad | pr, Las Vegas, as senior PR supervisor. She previously handled Procter & Gamble at DeVries PR in New York.

Andrew Whitman, VP of the Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance, to Varian Medical Systems, Palo Alto, Calif., in the new post of VP, government affairs, based in Washington, D.C. Varian focuses on cancer treatment devices and software.

Jason Kello, former chief spokesman for ex-Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) and speechwriter for Sen. George Allen (R-Va.), to Adfero Group, Washington, D.C., as an A/S.

Holly Francis, director of internal communication for Internet consulting firm marchFIRST, to McNeill Communications Group, High Point, N.C., as VP of strategic communications. She was a VP with Ketchum in Chicago and earlier served as VP of corporate comms. for James A. Fyock & Associates.

Lisa Nason, former VP of Enterprise Florida and tourism staffer for the state, to Ron Sachs Communications, Tallahassee, as VP based in Orlando. She served in the Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development under Govs. Charlie Crist and Jeb Bush.

April Stewart, VP of marketing sales at The Athena Group, to OrthoSynetics, Metairie, La., as corporate comms. manager.

Beth Burdin, who ran Marketing Works Unlimited, to GreenMark PR, Chicago, as a senior associate.


Erin Allsman to PR director, Brownstein Group, Philadelphia. She had been interim director since October. Laura DiLello was upped to associate PR director and Kelly Lange to senior A/E.

Jeff Donaldson to PR director, Elias/Savion PR, Pittsburgh. He joined in 2006. Heather Pharo, a former reporter for the Press of Atlantic City, joins the firm as a PR specialist.

Internet Edition, August 13, 2008, Page 7


sary to allow him to serve PRS, he said.

“I am honored to be given this opportunity to lead [PR Society] on behalf of the 22,000 members who are committed to advancing the profession of public relations,” he said in a statement.

McCormick answered several questions from this website about issues facing PRS ahead of the nominating process, while his opponent, Fiske, did not.

Thomas Eppes, a senior partner at Eric Mower and Associates in Charlotte, N.C., was nominated as treasurer over Mary Barber, an Alaska PR pro.

Don Kirchoffner of Bloomfield, Colo., beat Marisa Valbona (La Jolla, Calif.) for the Western district chair nomination. Kirchoffner is a former PA head for the U.S Army and told O’Dwyer’s that he never ducked a press call in his life. He is against the APR requirement for holding national office at PRS.

In other nominations: Leslie Backus, who runs her own Davie, Fla.-based firm, beat Vincent Hazleton, a Radford University professor, for secretary.

Steven Grant, senior manager of PR, National Education Assn., Washington, D.C., edged Jeffrey Douglas of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, and Michelle Leff Mermelstein of Sprint Nextel Corp., as Mid-Atlantic director.

Gail Liebl, director of corporate comms. for Travelers in St. Paul, Minn., beat three candidates for the Midwest director slot – Jacqueline Clark, Ash Grove Cement Co.; Barbara Hernandez, Heibling, and Rose McKinney of Risdall McKinney PR.

Gail Winslow-Pine, director of marketing and corporate comms., Catholic Medical Center in Brentwood, N.H., edged Deborah Silverman, a Buffalo State College professor for the Northeast director nomination. PRS said Silverman was nominated as at-large director, although she was not listed as a candidate.

Kathy Barbour, manager of internal comms. for the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., beat Cynthia Sharpe of Sharpe PR in Thonotosassa, Fla., for the Sunshine District director slot.

Carolyn Bobo, who handles university relations at the Univ. of North Texas, and Susan Van Barneveld, CEO of Antarra Communications in Garden Grove, Calif., took two open slots to be at-large Assembly delegates.

Uncontested slots included Catherine Huggins, AVP, corporate comms., Western & Southern Financial Group, Cincinnati, for East Central director, and Lynn Appelbaum, assoc. professor, City College of New York and last-minute candidate, took the Tri-State district slot.


Jeff Julin, CEO of the PR Society, has announced that the rewrite of the entire bylaws of the Society, which was supposed to be voted on by the Assembly, Oct. 25, has been postponed for another year.

“The [bylaws] task force uncovered a number of trends in association governance that make them more flexible and responsive to a rapidly changing environment,” said Julin.

“As a result of these findings, along with what we’ve learned from leaders and members, the task force recognized that additional research and discussion are necessary before drafting specific recommendations,” he further said.

The Assembly this year will be asked for “feedback” and then “PRS will be poised to craft new bylaws for review and approval by the 2009 Assembly,” he said.

The email letter also said: “We proposed a new and exciting initiative, ‘Making the Case for Public Relations’ at our July board meeting. This initiative will be a multi-year effort to compile the statistics, rationale and arguments as to why public relations is critical to meeting any organization's goals — and then we will connect this information with various audiences, leaders and influencers across the country.

“We are at the very earliest phase of this work but it has the potential to be a central component of much of what we do in the coming years. We will be discussing this in more detail over the next few months and, in particular, at the Assembly.”


Catherine Huggins, assistant VP of corporate communications, Western & Southern Financial Group, Cincinnati, is “enthusiastically” sharing her views on 13 issues that this website presented to her and other PR Society candidates yesterday.

Huggins, who is the nominee for director from the East Central district, said she hopes her answers “stimulate further discussion among your readers and/or encourage others to share differing viewpoints.”

If this happens, she said, “then we have taken a step forward in the right direction. The vitality of the PR profession is dependent upon the passion of its members.”

1. Should directors sign an agreement at their first meeting limiting their ability to discuss Society matters in public or with the constituents in their districts? Should text of this agreement be publicly available?

Signing disclosures, confidentiality agreements or conflict of interest statements is not unusual. I have signed these types of documents in my role as a Board Trustee, as a corporate officer, and when working on high-level projects. When doing so, I carefully review and assess binding agreements before placing my signature on them.

As it relates to the second part of this question, I support making information available to others as long as there is not a legal, proprietary, or other extremely justifiable reason for restricting access or distribution.

2. What are your thoughts about removing the APR requirement for serving on the national board or Nominating Committee?

I believe the APR designation should be a mark of excellence, not an impediment to leadership. It is possible to strongly encourage individuals to obtain the APR designation. Concurrently, we must support individuals who are extraordinary leaders and may not have the three valued letters of APR appearing behind their names. It is a fine balance to achieve, but one that is absolutely necessary in order for our profession to flourish in the long-term.

3. Do you support having both a printed and online directory for PRSA members?

It is important to be both environmentally responsible and fiscally conservative. I would support PRSA members having the option of choosing an online membership directory or ordering a printed version. If a printed membership directory is offered as an option, I would advocate utilizing soy ink on recyclable paper, etc. Also, any increased expenses tied to having a printed option of the membership directory should be carefully tracked by PRSA staff and assessed by the Board of Directors. Entire Q&A is at

Internet Edition, August 13, 2008, Page 8




The selection of Gary McCormick as nominee for chair-elect of the PR Society (page one) can herald significant changes in PRS governance but we wouldn't bet on it.

McCormick has to deal with 16 other directors, many of them holdovers from previous regimes that kept a tight control on information, and a staff of about 55 at h.q. that has only one PR person on it (manager Joe DeRupo, who was not a member of PRS when he joined last fall).

Leaders and staff are expert at speaking about change and then blocking it. Latest example is Jeff Julin postponing the (unneeded) re-write of the bylaws after talking about it for a year (page 7).

The Strategic Planning Committee in 1999 urged removing APR as a condition for the national board but this has been ignored for nine years. PRS ignores current problems like the recession and PR; PR's status in organizations, marketing's influence on PR, etc., to concentrate on housekeeping.

PRS has worked hard to get candidates from major organizations-McCormick of Scripps; Gail Liebl of Travelers; Steve Grant, National Education Assn.; Kathy Barbour, Mayo Clinic; Catherine Huggins of Western & Southern Financial Group, and Lynn Appelbaum of CCNY.

All of these organizations have strict codes of ethics and none of them would allow the hijinks that go on at PRS. Certainly none would tolerate a press boycott.

The Society, in numerous ways, has turned its back on its corporate charter and the tax codes. It's supposed to be a resource for its entire industry but practices gross favoritism to members. A case in point is discontinuance of the printed directory of members.

Only members can access the online directory. Pass codes cannot be "lent" to others because of blocks in the system. This ignores the fact that PRS attracted 22,000 members using tax-free money. Therefore, that database should be available to non-members as well as members.

Big losers in this coup (which members neither discussed nor voted on), include non-members whose tax dollars keep PRS afloat and for whom the printed directory was a major source for networking and job-hunting.

Also hurt are ex-members who now have no permanent members' list; professors and their students (8/6/NL); journalists and researchers, and seniors who make little, if any, use of the web.

Although PRS is supposed to charge non-members about the same as members for services, cost of the 2008 conference is $1,375 for non-members and $1,075 for members (+28%). Many of its seminars are $150/members and $250/non-members, a 66% difference.

During the 15 years or so when staff sold authors' works without their permission, netting on that activity was nearly $60,000 a year, an information packet was $18 to members but $55, or nearly three times as much, to non-members. Volunteer leaders are to gain no "enurement" for their services but at PRS the 20+ living ex-presidents go free to the annual conference and get free dues ($225) for life. The formal press boycott against this NL, as evidenced by the April 9 e-mail to leaders by the board of PRS (4/23 NL), would surely be condemned by Travelers, National Education Assn., Mayo Clinic, CCNY, Univ. of Texas and Western & Southern Financial.

The PRS board, which instituted a press boycott in 1999, remains under charges of five violations of the PRS code. Instead of airing these charges as required by the bylaws, the board simply destroyed the old code and spent nearly two years and $197,000 on a new code whose main difference was that enforcement was removed. An unenforced code is no code at all.

The nominees have to move fast before their names and the names of their employers are sullied. PRS is used to being governed by solo practitioners who don't have employers to worry about.

We have sent the professors' views on the directory, in which they ask for a vote on the issue by the general membership, to 40 chapter presidents but have yet to find one who will put the views on the chapter website.

This does not surprise us since we're aware of the tight control national has of chapters. The well-researched governance proposal of Central Michigan in 2006 did not win the backing of a single one of the 110 other chapters. No other chapter dared speak at the Assembly in favor of the proposal to copy the governance of the ABA and AMA. National has many sticks and carrots it uses to keep chapter leaders in line.

PRS could easily afford both printed and online since it had $12 million in revenues in 2007 and $4.9 million in cash (12/31/07 audit). Cancelling the directory did not save much. Printing costs fell to $153,734 in 2006 from $251,219 in 2005 and shipping/postage fell $56,660 to $1,109,936 from $1,166,596.

But publication salaries/fringes rose 16% to $809,929 in 2006 (a gain of $110,344). Staff not only got rid of the onerous task of the directory (it used to come out as late as October and in 2000 was skipped altogether), but got a big pay boost. Total salaries soared 23% in 2006 to $5,284,548 or 46% of revenues (they should be about 35% according to the ASAE).

Since some members fear retaliation if they argue for the directory, we are extending the contest for essays for and against the directory to Friday, Aug. 22, and will no longer require that writers be identified. There are prizes of $500 each for the best essays for and against.

Statistics for the new APR exam's first five years ended June 30 show that 550 members of PRS became APR in this period or 110 yearly. For the past two calendar years, a total of 274 PRS APRs were created or an average of 137. Pass rate is about 70%. PRS members account for 550 of the 669 new APRs. The Universal Accreditation Board, headed by Michael Tullier of Auburn, says that interest in APR is "consistent" although there was a "slight dip" in 2Q of 2008 of those passing it (down 7% to 57 from 61).

--Jack O'Dwyer


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