Contact O'Dwyer's : 271 Madison Ave., #600, New York, NY 10016; Tel: 212/679-2471; Fax: 212/683-2750
ODWYERPR.COM > Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter return to main page

Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter
Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter
The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Subscribe today


Jack O'Dwyer's NL logo
Internet Edition, August 27, 2008, Page 1


Lou Hammond & Associates has won a competitive review for Utah’s tourism PR account as the Beehive State puts a PR firm on retainer for the first time in years.

New York-based Hammond beat 10 other firms for the $150K a year pact. Redpoint Marketing PR, Fleishman-Hillard, The Intrepid Group, Richter7, Riester, Lawlor Media Group, Wagstaff PR, Vanguard Media Group, Ballantines PR and Sitchback PR + Marketing were among the field.

The state’s Office of Tourism previously worked with firms on a project basis but has not had a firm on extended retainer in several years.

The tourism office issued an RFP in June for a firm to develop a PR and media relations strategy, as well as organize press trips and other events. A particular emphasis will be large markets in the western U.S. like California, Denver and Phoenix.

Hammond’s one-year deal carries four option years. The budget is broken down into $120K for fees and $30K for events and other opportunities.

Utah launched a new tagline, “Life Elevated,” in 2006 backed by a multimillion-dollar ad push to highlight its outdoor recreation options like skiing, camping and hiking.

Research done in ’06 found that while the state did not have a negative image the public had little awareness about its offerings.


Lloyd’s, the U.K-based insurance giant, has handed GolinHarris its North American business as it shifts strategy of using in-house capability, according to Louise Shield, head of communications.

“We have used PR agencies in the past but we made the decision about a year ago to switch from having an in-house communications manager to hiring an agency,” she said via an email.

Shield declined to disclose either budget or names of other contenders for the account. She did praise the Interpublic unit’s track record and experience of its team.

North America accounts for 40 percent of Lloyd’s business.

Deidre Campbell, senior VP and corporate practice chief, and Paul Patella, VP, spearhead the New York-based GH team.

Lloyd’s has more than $31B in underwriting capacity via 75 insurance syndicates. It is the No. 2 surplus lines insurer in the U.S. and the world’s No. 3 non-life reinsurer.


WPP Group Martin Sorrell expects a slowdown in `09 following a robust `08 that is powered by spending for the U.S. Presidential elections and the Beijing Olympics.

He sees prospects for a U.S. and western European market dip due to the continued impact of the financial crisis and rising commodity price increases. Other impending wildcards: the new U.S. President will need to wrestle with the fiscal and budget deficits, and China will battle inflation spurred by rising food prices.

The WPP chief is more optimistic about `10 due to the impact of “mini-quadrennial” events such as the FIFA World Cup (South Africa), World Expo (Shanghai) and mid-term U.S. Congressional elections.

WPP reported an upbeat first-half `08 as “headline profits” rose 18.2 percent to $896M on a 14.4 percent jump in revenues to $6.6B.

PR prospered due to growth in “fact-based polling techniques and social networking on the web, which demonstrates the increased effectiveness of editorial publicity over paid for publicity,” according to WPP, which owns Burson-Marsteller, Hill & Knowlton, Ogilvy PR Worldwide and Cohn & Wolfe.


The Government of Dubai’s Executive Office has retained Saylor & Co., which was launched in ’07, for PR advice and services. Mark Saylor, the former Los Angeles Times senior editor, had worked on that account when he was at Sitrick & Co.

Sitrick terminated its Dubai work Nov. 30 after a year of service. The firm received a $60K annual retainer and billed professional rates ranging from $165 to $695 per-hour as a DLA Piper subcontractor for United Arab Emirates Prime Minister and Dubai ruler Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE Ministry of Finance and Industry, and Dubai Executive Office.

The Dubai EO re-upped with D.C.-based Levick Strategic Communications on a $1.2M pact in March.


The board of the National Capital chapter of the PR Society discussed at length last night the 14-point essay of several college professors asking that members be allowed to discuss and vote on this issue.

Heathere Evans-Keenan of Keenan PR, Arlington, Va., said the board discussed the essay but decided against putting it on the chapter website because there have not been any complaints from members about the

(Continued on page 7)

Internet Edition, August 27, 2008, Page 2


PR counselor Robert Barrows, who helped stir up global interest in the alleged Bigfoot discovery last week, said from Fiji, where he is on vacation, that he feels "dumb" and "gullible" after revelations that the alleged sasquatch finding turned out to be a gorilla suit.

"I didn't know until last night," he told O'Dwyer's on Aug. 20. "It's a disastrous piece of news for me and a humiliating situation for me, as well as my client."

The Associated Press reported that two researchers who obtained the supposed Bigfoot carcass found it to be a rubber gorilla outfit just days after the "much ballyhooed news conference."

Barrows said he would never put out a story if he didn't absolutely believe it was true. "And based on the information that I was given and the questions that I asked, as well as the fact that they said they were going to do an autopsy on it, I though it was real," he said.

Barrows left for a Fiji vacation on Aug. 16 before the credibility of his client was seriously called into question this week.

Barrows, who has run his own firm in Burlingame, Calif., for nearly three decades, had previously told O'Dwyer's that he was upbeat about the widely covered press conference held to officially reveal photos of his clients' sasquatch find.


Phyllis Proffer, who headed investor relations and PR at West Coast pharmacy chain Longs Drug Stores Corp., has moved to RadioShack in its top IR post.

CVS Caremark Corp. announced a $2.9 billion deal to acquire Longs on Aug. 12, but two key shareholders of Longs are trying to block the deal, despite the management support of the drug store chain.

Kekst & Co. is working with Longs.

Proffer directed IR and corporate communications for the publicly traded, Walnut Creek, Calif.-based drug store chain, which marks its 70th year in 2008 and runs more than 500 stores in California, Hawaii and Nevada.

She was previously VP of IR for Pioneer-Standard Electronics and held communications posts at ShopKo Stores and The May Dept. Stores Company.


Dan Springer has joined Jones Public Affairs (Washington, D.C.) as senior VP.

The 20 year-plus PR veteran worked at CHA Health Systems/CHA Biotech, Centers for Disease Control and Valeant Pharmaceuticals.

Springer also served as VP at Beverly Enterprises (now Golden Ventures), where he handled the company's response to a Justice Dept. and Office of the Inspector General probe into its Medicare payment practices. He revamped Beverly's corporate communications and PR operations.

Carrie Jones, principal and managing director, says Springer was hired for his ability to develop winning marketing and awareness campaigns for healthcare organizations.

She worked at Ogilvy and Edelman prior to setting up her shop that registered $470K in `07 fee income, according to O'Dwyer's rankings of PR firms.


Manning Selvage & Lee supported the premiere of Coca-Cola's "Environmental Champions" documentary that aired at the company's "Shuang Experience Center" at the Beijing Olympics complex.

The environmental sustainability film was also shown to Coke employees at its Atlanta headquarters.

The documentary profiled the environmental achievements of seven people who participated in the Olympic Torch Relay. It was only one of Coke's environmental efforts at the Olympics. The company, for instance, presented each Olympian a Coca-Cola t-shirt made with blended cotton and PET plastic bottles. Paralympians are to get visors made with recycled PET.

Farnham said Coke plans to leverage the EC film beyond the Olympics by making it available to field communications teams throughout the world. There are no special events or screenings scheduled at this time.

Environmental activists have criticized Coca-Cola's use of water resources. Coke is part of MS&L's ECO Network, which counsels General Motors, Chevron, Philips, Marathon Pipeline, Best Buy and Staples.


Burson-Marsteller provided PR support for "Inconvenient Youth," a group launched Aug. 16 at Stanford University by Silicon Valley teen-agers to lobby for measures to combat global warming.

Mary Doerr, daughter of legendary venture capitalist John Doerr, organized the grassroots effort to spread concern over climate change that was spelled out in former Vice President Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth" presentation.

Gore is a partner at Doerr's Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Gore and Doerr work on KPC&B's greentech investment strategy.

Mary Doerr believes a peer information campaign revolving around the Internet will spur a youth movement to trigger action on global warming.

She wants to "get young people everywhere engaged and active and really questioning what right do older generations have to jeopardize our future," according to the Palo Alto Daily News.

B-M promoted the event on a pro bono basis.


Rubsenstein Associates was brought in by the new owners of the Bennigan's and Steak & Ale franchise system in late July in the wake of the bankruptcy and liquidation of the corporate parent of the restaurants.

Rubenstein is handling PR support for Dallas-based Bennigan's Franchising Company, which owns 132 of the Bennigan's eateries and is looking to buy some corporate-owned locations that the flagging corporation, S&A Restaurant Group, has closed in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The franchise group, which was not part of the bankruptcy filing, also said it plans to open new Bennigan's locations in Texas and Mexico in the next few weeks.

Rubenstein VP Alex Stockham said his firm was brought on board by the group on July 29 (the day S&A filed for Ch. 7) to provide strategic communication support and media relations.

Internet Edition, August 27, 2008, Page 3


Martin Savidge, an NBC News correspondent, will anchor “Worldfocus” when it debuts on public TV on Oct. 6.

The 50-year-old CNN alumnus will be the only full-time presence on Worldfocus, which is a project of WLIW (Long Island). It will air in eight of the ten top markets including New York’s WNET, where Worldfocus will replace “BBC World News.”

Worldfocus has forged partnerships with NBC, ABC, ITN (U.K.) and the Christian Science Monitor and New York Times. It will feature weekly contributions from Richard Haass, president of the Council of Foreign Relations, and Deborah Amos of National Public Radio.


Hachette Filipacchi Media is suspending publication of Home because of the “steep decline in the middle market for the shelter category,” according to CEO Jack Kliger.

Home reported a 47 percent drop in ad pages during the second-quarter, according to the Publishers Information Bureau.

Kliger called the current economic environment difficult, and said the mid-market sector has been particularly hard hit.

HFM will consider reviving Home on a “special interest publication newsstand model” if the market recovers. Kliger thanked Home’s “very talented editorial and sales teams for years of hard work and dedication to this brand.”


Washington’s “celebrity journalism” comes under a blistering attack by Lewis Lapham in the September issue of Harper’s.

He wrote the “vanity of the fourth estate which regards itself as the light in the window of western civilization” was on glorious display during the over-the-top mourning for “Meet the Press” broadcaster Tim Russert.

More than 1,500 members of Washington’s carriage trade showed up at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts memorial for Russert, an event organized and covered live by MSNBC.

Lapham recalls the days of the not so distant past in which a family of a working newspaperman would have felt he had disgraced the profession if more than two people showed up at his funeral.

Harper’s national correspondent believes the press used to receive its “accreditation as a fourth estate on the theory that it represented the interests of the citizen as opposed to those of the government.”

Russert, to Lapham, was the exact opposite, personifying the oneness of Big Media and the government. He served as a “headwaiter,” allowing government officials to pick and choose between courses of silence, spin and rancid lies. Russert would sagely nod, and then move on, like that of a “trend-setting restaurateur anxious to please his best customer.”

Lapham trashes prominent figures of the D.C. press corps for serving as “de facto members of government, enabling and codependent, their point of view is that of the country’s landlords, their practice equivalent to what is known among Wall Street stock market touts as securitizing the junk.”


Jane Hirt, editor of the Chicago Tribune’s RedEye edition, is now managing editor of the Tribune.

Gerould Kern, editor of the Trib, said Hirt has the “experience and credentials to move our newsroom toward the future.”

At RedEye, a fast-read aimed at a youthful audience, Hirt demonstrated a “true understanding” of the paper’s readers, said Kern. Before joining RedEye, Hirt was the Trib’s foreign/national news editor.


The New York Daily News is looking to reduce its newsroom ranks by 25, according to a report in the rival New York Post.

The News wants 25 volunteers to take buyouts as part of “necessary staff reductions in the newsroom,” the paper said in a statement citing rising costs and falling ad revenues in the newspaper biz.

The Post dutifully pointed out that the cuts would be the second round of buyouts at the News this year after six staffers took exit packages in April. That was followed by the closing of the paper’s two-reporter Long Island bureau in early August.


Josh Wolf, the video blogger who went to jail in 2006 for refusing to give up video footage and testify about a violent protest in San Francisco, is now a general assignment reporter for the Palo Alto Daily Post.

The San Francisco Chronicle tracked down the 26-year-old reporter who in ’06 sparked a First Amendment discussion about the rights of citizen journalists that continues today.

Wolf files up to 15 stories a week for the 16,500-circulation paper. The Post’s publisher and editor told the Chronicle that he met Wolf after trying to get a prison interview with him in ’06. He offered Wolf a staff job after a brief tryout.

The Society of Professional Journalists made its largest donation ever, $31K, for Wolf’s legal defense. He was eventually released after being granted a waiver from testifying and agreeing to air his footage on his own website. A police officer was injured in the ’06 protests, sparking the subpoena of Wolf and his footage.


Eddy Hartenstein, a satellite TV pro who headed DirectTV, is the new publisher of the Los Angeles Times. He succeeds David Hiller, who resigned in July after two years on the job.

An engineer by training, Hartenstein is the fourth publisher of the Times unit since 2000.

Hartenstein, 57, was with DirectTV from its founding in '90 to '03. He had been running HD Partners Acquisition Corp, a media investment firm, before tapped for the LAT slot by Tribune CEO Sam Zell.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, August 27, 2008, Page 4


St. Petersburg Times CEO Paul Tash announced that layoffs are not needed at the paper as 150 full-timers and 50 part-timers have agreed to accept an enhanced retirement benefit and voluntarily exit the paper.

About 40 percent of those eligible accepted the buyout, according to a memo written by Tash. The roster includes Phil Gailey, editor of the editorial page, and Helen Huntley, business columnist.

Tash promises that in the near future, “we will not have the more sweeping measures that often are employed in such a harsh business climate.”

The SPT will be cautious about new hires, even as others depart for other jobs. Tash encouraged remaining staffers to re-commit themselves to the “difficult but vital work of adapting the Times to changing consumer tastes and challenging economic times.”


TV Guide, for the first time in its 55-year history, has lined up a sole advertiser to sponsor an entire magazine. ABC-TV placed 21 ad pages in the August 25 issue of TVG.

The ads support the broad array of program, such as ABC Daytime, ABC News, Buena Vista Home Entertainment and “Late Night.”

Scott Crystal, president of TVG, called the collaboration with ABC an “innovative and unprecedented partnership.”

It is an example of TVG’s “willingness to disrupt the norm in terms of advertising placement and execution with the goal of being both memorable and more engaging to our readers,” said Crystal in a statement.


Envy Magazine, a lifestyle magazine, has expanded into the Austin market following launches in Houston and Dallas. San Antonio is on the drawing board.

Envy promises “The Ultimate Guide to Current Culture” with an eye on the trend-conscious and urban professionals who are “in-the-know.”

Paul Salfen, editor-in-chief, zeroes in on the 21-to-36 age bracket. The magazine has run features on Willie Nelson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ozzy Osbourne, Kiefer Sutherland and Charlize Theron.

Envy, which is promoted by Taylor Curtis Media, plans a push beyond the Lone Star State in `09.


NBC Universal has acquired U.K.-based production house Carnival Film & Television as part of its strategy to double its overseas revenues by `10. The deal is worth an estimated $60M.

Reuters reports the acquisition provides NBC access to Carnival’s 400-hour library and current development slate.

Angela Bromstad, president of NBCU’s international unit, said U.S. companies are eager to drum up co-commission deals with foreign partners.

NBCU currently is developing a British version of its show “Law & Order.”


Jeff Birnbaum, lobbying reporter for the Washington Post is leaving for the managing editor-digital slot at the Washington Times.

In an email, Birnbaum said he is following former colleague John Solomon to the Times, who is now executive editor at the paper.

Birnbaum’s responsibilities include the WT’s website, radio operations and other new information outlets.

He will continue to make appearances on Fox News and Fox Business Channel.


Christiane Amanpour, chief international correspondent for CNN, has been named the 2008 International Matrix Award recipient by the Association for Women in Communications.

The 20-year-old group gives the award for the “highest level of professional excellence in communications.”

Amanpour, who began her career at CNN in 1983 as an assistant on its international assignment desk in Atlanta, will get the honor at the group’s annual awards event on Sept. 27 in Washington, D.C.


Reuters said the Israeli military advocate-general has alerted the news agency that a tank crew who killed a Reuters cameraman acted properly and will not face action.

The AG told Reuters that the troops could not see whether 24-year-old Fadel Shana was operating a camera or a weapon, but were justified in firing a shell packed with darts that killed Shana and eight other Palestinians between the ages of 12 and 20.

Reuters said it is deeply disturbed by the finding that “severly curtails the freedom of the media to cover the conflict by effectively giving soldiers a free hand to kill without being sure they were not firing on journalists.” The news agency said Shana and his soundman, who was injured, were wearing blue flak jackets marked “press.”

Reuters editor-in-chief David Schlesinger said he is “extremely disappointed” in the Israeli military report. The Committee to Protect Jouranalists also denounced the Israeli Army’s findings.

BRIEFS: Sports Illustrated said it will have its Aug. 25 cover photo of Olympian Michael Phelps commissioned as a poster and made available for sale, a first for the magazine. The poster will be available through Olympic licensee Fine Art Limited. The magazine had previously published posters featuring images from its pages, but never a cover for mass distribution. ...The Sacramento Bee is moving public editor Armando Acuna to the new post of associate features editor in the newsroom. The paper cited a need to focus resources on newsgathering, advertising sales and customer service, according to a memo posted on Jim Romenesko’s media blog.

Internet Edition, August 27, 2008, Page 5


Porter Novelli has integrated sister company FischerHealth into its healthcare division Porter Novelli Life Sciences.

The move eliminates the FischerHealth name after 24 years but both management teams remain in tact, according to the firms.

Carin Canale, president of PNLS, helms the combined operation.

Los Angeles-based FischerHealth was acquired by PN in 2003 with revenue of about $4.5M at the time. The firm was founded in 1984.

Julie Winskie, president of the Americas at PN, said “pooling” the firms better enables both firms to meet the demands of the rapidly growing and converging sector.

PN is part of Omnicom.


Sard Verbinnen & Company is working with the parent company of fast-food chain Arby’s as it moves to acquire Wendy’s in a $2.34 billion deal to create a 10,000 restaurant powerhouse.

Arby’s is owned by Atlanta-based holding company Triarc Companies, which owns more than 1,100 Arby’s restaurants; 2,550 are franchises.

The proposed merger is being mulled by shareholders and is set to be voted upon on Sept. 15.

Both boards have approved the deal, which would have each company operating separately under Wendy’s/Arby’s Group, incorporated in Delaware and trading on the New York Stock Exchange as WEN.

Sard principal Carrie Bloom is handling media relations for Triarc through the process. Wendy’s is handling media in-house for the deal.

Wendy’s is based in Dublin, Ohio, and owns about 1,400 of the 6,625 restaurants in the U.S.

Combined sales of the two franchises would top $12 billion and place the merged entity as the No. 3 fast-food company.


Qorvis Communications, Washington, D.C., has started a series of online and offline seminars which included the Aug. 19 webinar “iPhone & New Media Trends” featuring two of its clients.

Peter Barkely, director of mobile services at, and Tim Karr, campaign director at Free Press, took part in the discussion, which has been archived at

Qorvis worked with to develop its “City Guide” iPhone app and has handled public affairs campaigns with Free Press.

BRIEFS: N. Scott Jones & Associates, Houston, has set up an advisory board of directors and senior counselors, including Houston attorney Jack Rains; Scott Bennett, former columnist and editorial writer for the Dallas Morning News; Neil Devroy, a Dallas-based corporate comms. and agency vet; William Elliott, also in Dallas, an attorney focused on tax law and estate planning, and Fred Routon, Houston, a restaurateur and former investment advisor.


New York Area

Makovsky & Company, New York/Russell Reynolds Associates, executive search firm, as AOR for the U.S. following a competitive RFP process. M+K emerged from an initial field of eight firms and beat three finalists for the account, which is estimated to be in the mid-six-figure range. The firm is working with IPREX affiliates and is handling development and execution of an external comms. strategy, executive positioning, media relations and local market PR. Scott Tangney, executive VP of M+C’s financial and professional services practice, heads the work.

FusionPR, New York/SGI, high performance computing, for national PR, including traditional and online media relations and market/industry analyst relations.

Hawkins International PR, New York/The Yachts of Seabourn; The Dorchester Collection, portfolio of five luxury hotels in U.S. and Europe; The Greenwich Hotel, New York; Qua Baths and Spa at Caesars Atlantic City; Hotel Caesar Augustus, Capri, Italy; Sage Hospitality, three-hotel group in U.S., for PR.

Morris+King Company, New York/Renewal by Andersen, widow and patio door services network, for a PR campaign focused on Long Island.

S3, Boonton, N.J./The Maxon Company, healthcare administration, as AOR for PR following a search.


KG Partners, Portland, Me./Emery-Waterhouse, building products and services, for brand strategy development, direct marketing, interactive design and development, PR, event planning and print design.

Academy for Educational Development, Washington, D.C./National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, to continue a three-year education program, “We Can!,” an acronym for Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity and Nutrition. Budget is $3.7M. AED supported the program’s launch in 2003 and worked on the campaign since.

Elite Financial Communications Group, Lake Mary, Fla./Amber Alert Safety Centers Inc. and Foundation, for IR, PR and marketing; Quest Capital Partners, for financial PR and marketing; America West Resources, for IR and PR; Best Energy Services, for IR and PR, and Rock Energy Resources, for IR and PR.


Levenson & Hill, Dallas/Azteca Mobile, wireless provider focused on U.S.-based and cross-border Mexican community, for media services.

Preferred PR & Marketing, Las Vegas/Las Vegas Philharmonic, as AOR for media relations, publicity and promotional efforts for its programs and events. The 10-year-old group projects ’08 revenue of $2.1M.


Lane PR, Portland, Ore./Eid Passport, identity authentication technology; Entrance Controls, security and monitoring for businesses; Euro RSCG Edge, direct response TV/online agency; Miller Nash, general practice law firm in Washington and Oregon, for PR.

The Bohle Company, Los Angeles/Emergent Game Technologies, video game development tools, and NDOORS Interactive, U.S. subsidiary of Korea-based online gaming company, for PR.

Internet Edition, August 27, 2008, Page 6


PrimeNewswire, the news release distributor owned by The Nasdaq OMX Group, has renamed the service GlobeNewswire.

NOMX said the new name reflects its change to global exchange company with operations on six continents.

GlobeNewswire has enhanced its services with Times Square marquee display, distribution to targeted media and CSR-focused investors, and multi-channel delivery worldwide.

The company said its services will also be closely aligned with the portal, following the SEC’s recent guidance on disclosure which gave support to online media like websites for disseminating corporate information.


Rebecca O’Halloran, a former political reporter for the Sun-Times News Group and policy aide, has joined Strauss Radio Strategies, Washington, D.C., as an A/E.

She was recently a policy advisor with the Office of Illinois Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, testifying at House committees and performing research and communications functions.

O’Halloran covered politics and government for three Illinois towns and large school district at S-T and earlier was on the government beat for Copley Illinois Newspapers.

At Strauss, she handles media outreach and radio PR for clients in the public affairs, corporate and non-profit spaces.

Strauss is headed by president and founder Richard Strauss, who directed radio for the Clinton White House.


Business lead generation firm Reardon Smith Whittaker has put together a trade show service intended to streamline new business pitches for PR firms and advertising agencies at industry events.

Called Trade Show Impact, the service is a three-month program covering engagement prior to, during and after events. RSW develops messaging, sets meetings and follows up for its agency clients. Info:

BRIEFS: Event planning and marketing company EMRG Media, New York, has set up a hotel division to focus on events, in addition to the restaurants, event spaces, and nightclubs it works with in the Big Apple. Mario Stewart, founder of the EMRG, said event planners and other clients are increasingly requesting hotels for events and meetings so it made sense to expand the firm’s focus. ...Donald Stuart, research director at Gartner, to T3i Group, Cherry Hill, N.J., as a market research specialist in its InfoTech division. He worked at T3i earlier in his career, which included stints at ITT and Siemens. ...MeGlobe, Los Angeles, has launched translation services for instant messaging to enable online chats in different languages. Fourteen languages are available and the service is used over the Internet without downloads or installations. Info:



Joe Rutledge, a partner at Blitzen Ventures, to Cohn & Wolfe, New York, as executive VP and head of the firm’s global corporate practice. He was previously executive VP/chief marketing officer for and Walker Digital; VP, marketing and comms., General Mills, and VP, corporate comms., NBC.

Sherrie Weldon, who handled sales and marketing at Text 100, to FD, New York, as the financial PR firm broadens its horizon. At Text, Weldon worked on Gartner’s PR, Philips and NXP, the semiconductor operation that was spun off from Philips. She also did a stint at The Hoffman Agency. Weldon reports to Mark McCall, president/COO of FD Americas.

Bradley Daves, who held senior VP and creative director posts at Weber Shandwick, Hill & Knowlton and Ruder Finn, to Loving + Company, New York, as managing director.

David Hoffman has been tapped as managing director of New York-based Keating + Company’s new West Coast office in San Jose, Calif. Hoffman, an ad industry vet and movie maker, has worked with K+C CEO Rick Keating for 10 years.

Isaac Mark, senior producer, Howard TV, to VP, video and content producer for Ketchum’s Creative Network, New York. HTV is Howard Stern’s video-on-demand service. Katherine Yustak, director of human resources for Ipsos North America, joins Ketchum as VP of human resources. She also managed HR for Ann Taylor Corp.

David Tamasi, a public affairs exec at Ogilvy PR Worldwide, to Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications, as senior VP to head its Washington, D.C., operation. Prior to Ogilvy, he was D.C. correspondent for the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune and began his career as a Republican House aide.

Caroline Kawashima, director of corporate communications, Autodesk, to Racepoint Group, San Francisco, as a senior VP. She was a SVP and group head of Edelman’s digital lifestyle practice group in S.F. and directed corporate comms. for McCann-Erickson Worldwide in the Asia-Pacific region. Tim Hart, former strategic director of comms. at the American Cancer Society, also joins as a SVP in S.F. He held posts at Weber Shandwick, Ketchum and GolinHarris, among other stops.

Stephanie Capellas, PR manager for Shooters on the Water and Silk Nightclub, to Preferred PR & Marketing, as an associate A/E.


Ted Birkhahn to the new post of chief operating officer at Peppercom, New York. He focuses on integrating the firm’s three offices and other duties.

Liza Morris to senior VP, Spectrum Science Communications, Washington, D.C./ She continues to oversee several corporate and non-profit accounts. Morris joined the firm in 1997.

Alicia Gauer to senior A/E, and Jessica Conner and Rebecca Gallant to A/E, Landau PR, Cleveland. Gauer joined in 2004, while Conner and Gallant have been with the firm for more than a year.

Internet Edition, August 27, 2008, Page 7


absence of the printed directory. Present were 16 of the 20 board members.

Evans-Keenan said she will call members including professors and members of the PR Student Society and ask them for their views on the issue.

The essay by the professors blasts the “autocratic system” of the Society which allowed cancellation of the directory without member knowledge or input. The professors say it “doesn’t make sense to eliminate something so important to member communication and networking” and that it’s “ludicrous to eliminate modes of communications and relationship building in an association of professional communicators who build relationships for a living.”

Especially harmed are students who were loaned copies of the directory for networking and job-seeking, the professors said.

Members Are Not Complaining

Evans-Keenan said she and board members have not received complaints from members about the lack of a printed directory.

It was pointed out that PRS, as a 501/c/6 non-profit corporation, operates on a tax-free basis because it’s supposed to serve its entire community and not just members. PRS/national, which has about $4.9 million in cash and savings, would have to pay about $2M in taxes if it were a private company (40% federal and New York taxes).

Such non-profit entities are supposed to act like a “Chamber of Commerce,” supporting an entire industry and not being in competition with any private companies, according to the Association Law Handbook published by the American Society of Assn. Executives.

Non-members who used the 1,000-page printed directory included prospective members, jobseekers, students, PR suppliers, reporters, researchers, ex-members and others. Reporters are not allowed to join PRS and are not allowed to have access to member contact data although contact data on reporters is public record.

Members who don’t renew lose access to membership data, which is barred to all except members.

Ask for Vote by Members

The professors are asking PRS/National to air their views and conduct a national poll among the 22,000 members on whether a printed directory should be made available to all members or just those that seek a printed version.

If more than 25% want such a directory, it should be published, they argue.

BoardSource, an association management service, has a program that allows groups with more than 100,000 members to conduct secure e-mail polls among members (blocking any member from voting more than once).

NCC Directors Listed

Directors of NCC are Barbara Burfeind, Dept. of Defense; Fred Lash, Dept. of Defense; Mary Jane Atwater, Atwater Communications; Fred Whiting, Booz Allen Hamilton; Kristina Messner, Focused Image; Jeff Ghannam, Biotechnology Institute; Rita Mhley, Mhley/Davis & Assocs.; Sandra Hannon, The Hannon Group; Elizabeth Reitz, United Cerebral Palsy; Sylvia Luna, Pharmaceutical Research and Mfrs.; Brigitte Johnson, Forest Foundation; Deborah Deal, Saint Blackwell; Aaron Cohen, Imre Communications; Michelle Hudgins, National Education Assn.; Tim Ayers, Ayers and Assocs.; Amie Hornbaker, American Podiatric Medical Assn.; Phil Simon, American Institute of Architects; Reggie Kouba, rmk Productions; Rachel Foltz, Ogilvy PR, and counselor Robert Udowitz.


Morris + King is handling weplay, the youth sports social networking site set up by a high-profile trio of backers.

Supporting the site is the sports division of the powerful Creative Artists Agency, CAA Sports, as well as Major League Baseball’s Internet arm and FirstMark Capital, the $2 billion venture fund spun off of hedge fund Pequot Capital Management.

Peyton Manning, the Indianapolis Colts quarterback and CAA client, is the face of a current campaign by weplay to get professional football on the Olympic slate of events. “There is still one thing left to accomplish – winning a gold medal,” Manning says in a presidential campaign-style video on the site. “The only problem is that football has never qualified as an Olympic sport, which is completely bogus.” He has collected more than 1,600 signatures on a petition so far and drawn attention via YouTube and Digg.

Justine Sacco, account supervisor at M+K, said the firm has worked with weplay since early ’08 and oversees all campaigns and announcements for the venture. She said the network will seriously submit Manning’s petition to the International Olympic Committee.

Weplay, which has raised $13M in venture funding including capital from professional athlete investors, was set up for kids, parents and coaches to connect and share observations and interest in youth sports.

Top CAA athletes like Derek Jeter, LeBron James and Peyton Manning are backers of the network. Users can befriend the sports stars, post blogs and profiles and play games on the site.


Dan Klores Communications has picked up, a sports news and networking site started by former Yahoo! Sports and Entertainment chief David Katz.

Scott Miranda, managing director at DKC, heads the account. He said DKC is handling SFL’s launch and focusing on consumer, business and technology media. He said the firm will be working to maintain a steady stream of coverage over the next few months.

DKC, which picked up the account following a competitive pitch, broke the launch story on Sunday night, Aug. 17, with stories in the New York Times and TechCrunch.

SFL got some attention online with two blog-centric ventures. Its “Olympic Blogathan” had four writers continuously blogging the 17-day Beijing games while living in a sports bar in Manhattan. The site also has a team with 28 students from George Washington Univ., who are filed video dispatches from Beijing during the games.

Internet Edition, August 27, 2008, Page 8




Public companies and financial media continue to explore the ramifications of companies doing their own disclosure on their own websites, jeopardizing some $500 million+ spent yearly on PR wires. The SEC has approved such a practice but a formal decision is being awaited.

Corporate PR people noted their websites are free to current and potential stockholders whereas audiences have to pay, sometimes handsomely, for the Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, Barron’s, New York Times, etc., and/or their websites.

Why bother with such expensive intermediaries when company websites “don’t require a subscription or even registration, and are available to anyone, worldwide and simultaneously, assuming they have web access?” argues one public company.

IR Web Report says companies can save by shrinking a 5,000-word release to one paragraph that links to their websites. Business Wire refuses to handle such releases.

PR wires are arguing they reach the entire investment community and the current model of disclosure should remain the “backbone” of disclosure.

Blogger Jennifer Leggio, who describes herself as being “passionate about all things social media,” says many companies have “long recognized that pushing out a traditional news release via a wire service such as PR Newswire, Business Wire or Marketwire is an almost antiquated approach to obtaining news coverage.”

Companies pay for such distribution “only to meet SEC Full Disclosure requirements,” she noted.

BW is lobbying against the new SEC guidelines, saying they “will lead to investor inequality and market inefficiencies, troubling trends for skittish retail investors who place a premium on market fairness.”

BW founder Lorry Lokey, who was able to donate $435M to various causes, had described BW’s profits as “obscene.” He sold BW last year to Warren Buffet’s Berkshire-Hathaway for an estimated $500M.

Catherine Huggins, nominee for the East Central district of the PR Society, has answered our 13 questions about PRS governance and other issues, and we applaud her for that.

However, a bunch of skeletons have shown up in the closet of her company, Western & Southern Financial Group.

Policyholders are accusing the original W&S “mutual” insurance company of walking off with $5.2 billion in profits that belong to policyholders.

The creation of the W&S holding company, not allowed in New York state where such a transfer of assets is referred to as “legalized theft,” erased the ownership interests of policyholders, says Wikipedia.

Mutuals were supposed to offer insurance-at-cost but many of them “accumulated massive profits by overcharging policy owners and paying too little in dividends,” says the website.

Prudential, MetLife and John Hancock “demutualized” and returned profits totaling $100 billion+. But others, such as W&S, formed holding companies and used the profits to buy other companies.

W&S policyholders estimate they will receive an average of $6,201 per policy if the $5.2B in profits is distributed.

The W&S website has numerous lofty statements by CEO John Barrett promising “pursuit of excellence,” “positively affecting other people’s lives,” and becoming “the finest personal financial services enterprise in the U.S.”

We’re reminded of the lofty promises of PRS including dedication to “the highest standards of accuracy and truth,” “right of free expression,” “respect for all opinions,” and dealing “fairly” with the media and other audiences.

That PRS, its chapters and many members do not live up to these lofty principles is shown by the current 100% blackout against the well-reasoned plea by PR professors for a discussion and vote on the printed members’ directory.

Thus far, neither national nor any of the 110 chapters will allow the professors to make their case on the PRS websites.

The professors complain that members had no voice in this decision and it is “ludicrous to eliminate a mode of communication for professional communicators who build relationships for a living.”

We’re disappointed that National Capital, the largest chapter with 1,380 members (and based in the seat of our democracy) has thus far turned down the professors’ plea for a hearing. Board members discussed the matter among themselves and said there have been no complaints from members. Some of the members will now be queried. Non-members also have rights because PRS is a tax-free 501/c/6 non-profit entity.

NCC members probably won’t have opinions because they haven’t heard any of the arguments for or against the printed directory.

They also won’t have opinions on:

• Central Michigan’s proposal to model PRS governance after the American Medical Assn. and American Bar Assn.

• Authors’ claims that PRS owes them for selling tens of thousands of copies of their articles without their permission.

• The proposal to switch the PRS charter from New York to Delaware to allow electronic meetings and discussions throughout the year by Assembly delegates and others.

• Demands of members to have transcripts of the last three Assemblies (formerly available on a 3.5-inch disk).

• Removing the three-year limit on Assembly service.

• Reporting PRS assets the “normal” way (deferring dues income like the ABA, AMA, AICPA, ASAE, IABC, etc.), which would reduce assets from $3.48M to about $1M.

• The proposal to have chapter presidents teleconference all year long since at least the identity of the presidents is known all year which is not true of the Assembly delegates.

Members won’t have opinions on these subjects because discussion of governance issues is barred from PRS media including the Society’s website, Tactics and Strategist. Members are kept in the dark as much as possible. One member pleaded at the 2007 Assembly for “honest, truthful editorial content in Tactic.” That plea was ignored.

The system of governance at PRS is broken which is why board candidates must work outside the system, pressing for reforms now while they have leverage.

They will be sworn to silence at the first meeting in January 2009.

Rank-and-file members lack key information such as the fact that not printing the directory in 2006 only saved $128,473 in printing and mailing costs.

There was no savings in staff costs as publication salaries grew 16% to $809,929. Meanwhile, $398,441 was spent on “media relations” in 2007 and not one story appeared in general or trade media on the 60th anniversary of PRS being celebrated in 2007-08.

--Jack O'Dwyer


Copyright © 1998-2020 J.R. O'Dwyer Company, Inc.
271 Madison Ave., #600, New York, NY 10016; Tel: 212/679-2471