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, September 10, 2008, Page 1


Alaska is searching for a firm to develop a statewide social marketing campaign to boost the use of lifejackets by boaters.

The state’s Dept. of Natural Resources has issued an RFP through Sept. 11 for a firm to develop and implement a PR push to foster “behavioral change” among boaters to voluntarily wear personal floatation devices. Budget is capped at $600K.

The Frontier State has one of the highest recreational boating fatality rates in the U.S. with most incidents involving people not wearing life vests. Male powerboaters are the highest demographic for boating fatalities and the least likely to wear personal floatation devices.

Rural and urban areas of the state must be covered and the proposed year-long contract covers research and focus groups, campaign materials, PSAs and media relations.


Daniel McIntyre, a top healthcare executive at Fleishman-Hillard, has returned to the client side as VP of corporate communications at pharmaceutical giant Wyeth.

McIntyre exits a senior partner/managing director post in F-H’s healthcare unit. He previously held corporate PR and policy posts at MeadWestvaco (VP/corporate comms.), Pharmacia (VP, public policy), Bayer’s pharmaceutical division, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Hoffman-LaRoche.

At Madison, N.J.-based Wyeth, he reports to Timothy Cost, SVP for corporate affairs and handles global internal and external communications for the company and its three main units covering pharmaceuticals, consumer health and animal health.

Cost said the company is in a key period in its history as it transforms for the future.

Columbia University wants to hire a senior public affairs officer to write releases, e-alerts and place stories in the New York, national and international press.

The position requires service on the “rotation team” that deals with “after normal work hours” media requests for information.

There are two week rotations about once every six weeks. Columbia wants a “strong, fast writer” who is a quick learner and “calm under pressure.”

Seven years of “progressive PR experience” is required. The job is listed on the school’s website.

Dave Poratta, who handled the science and tech press, exited Columbia last week.


Jim Lake, chairman of Burson-Marsteller’s public affairs practice, is joining Gibraltar Assocs. as president on Sept. 15.

Lake is to concentrate on public affairs and corporate communications, issue advocacy, crisis preparedness and management, domestic and international public education campaigns and brand management.

He is a player in the Washington PA game having counseled the Bureau of Engraving and Printing’s “New Color of Money” roll of redesigned currencies, Washington Convention and Tourism Corp., Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Census Bureau. Lake headed B-M’s 100 PA staffers in eight offices.

Prior to joining B-M, Lake was senior VP/PA at Cohn & Wolfe’s D.C. office and VP at Robinson Lake Sawyer Miller. He served eight years in the Reagan and Bush I Administrations.

GA was founded in `07 by Eric Bovim and Thomas Pernice.

Bovim is a journalist by training who went on to work for Montana Senator Conrad Burns and DCI Group, where he handled Google, Merck, NASDAQ and Amgen.

Pernice heads GA’s Los Angeles office. He worked in the Reagan and Bush White Houses, and served as an advance man for VP Dan Quayle. He also was VP-PA at Castle and Cooke and its Dole Food unit.

Josh Gottheimer, who is B-M’s global PA chair, will handle Lake’s duties on an interim basis.


Laura Davidson PR has scooped up the Tourism Victoria business to promote that Australian state and its crown jewel of Melbourne.

Laura Davidson reports the piece of business is worth $115K a-year with options for project put-ons.

The New York-based shop is no stranger to The Land Down Under, having worked for Tourism Australia for nearly a decade.

Davidson is gearing up for Tourism Victoria’s promotional tie with Walt Disney World’s 13th annual International Food & Wine Festival slated this Fall at Epcot.

She also anticipates much buzz surrounding the launch of Qantas Airlines’ A380 service linking Melbourne with Los Angeles.

LDPR has 18 travel PR staffers working on accounts such as Scotland, Montreal, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Mustique, Peter Island and Abercrombie & Kent, tour operator.

Internet Edition, September 10, 2008, Page 2


Chevron has brought in San Francisco PR firm Singer & Associates as the No. 2 U.S. oil company stands trial next month in a U.S. civil suit by Nigerian villagers.

Chevron, which is based in San Ramon, Calif., and will present its defense in U.S. District Court in San Francisco in October, faces charges of civil conspiracy, wrongful death, torture and negligence stemming from events in May 1998 when a three-day protest by Nigerians on a Chevron offshore oil platform turned violent as the country’s military and police intervened.

S&A, which has worked with Chevron in the past, was brought in to help brief media regarding the trial.

The case is a potential PR hit for the company which has worked hard to portray itself as a good global citizen in Nigeria.

Operations in Nigeria have been volatile at times but profitable for Chevron. Six employees were kidnapped in the country last year after armed militants boarded a Chevron oil vessel. They were released a month later. A 2004 attack left seven people dead, including two U.S. citizens working for a Chevron contractor.

In 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell presented the company, then ChevronTexaco, with an award for “corporate excellence” for its citizenship work in Nigeria. That stemmed from the company’s airlift of villagers fleeing civil violence in the country in 2003 and other medical and education work there. In February, Chevron said it is teaming with Discovery Channel and The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation to launch eight learning centers and a teacher training program in under-funded schools in the capital of Lagos.

The trial was pushed back from September to October after Nigerian plaintiffs have had trouble getting State Dept. clearance to enter the U.S. A backup plan for video testimony is being arranged.

The case was allowed to proceed under a 1789 law that allows foreigners to sue U.S. companies in the U.S. for violations of U.S. laws, according to the East Bay Business Times.

Chevron’s 2007 revenue was $214.1 billion.


Zandra Zuno, who handles marketing duties at GolinHarris, has added Hispanic outreach to her responsibilities. She is upped from VP/marketing director to senior VP in charge of the Confianza unit.

Zuno joined the Interpublic entity in 2001 as manager of global integration. She also headed the firm’s global partners network and served as worldwide account manager for Cotton Council International, National Peanut Board and Florida Dept. of Citrus.

Zuno played a key role in the celebration of the firm’s 50th anniversary in `06.

Steve Aiello, senior counselor at Hill & Knowlton, released the final report of the Commission on School Governance last week as chair of the panel. Aiello’s group interviewed more than 100 people during the past year for input on how to improve New York City’s public schools.


Porter Novelli has cobbled together a consortium of companies and organizations with an interest in the renewable plastics industry as consumer backlash to products like bottled water has surfaced amid the “green” movement.

Primo Water Corp., a North Carolina company which markets bottled water made with so-called bioplastics, is PN’s client.

The firm has worked to assemble several entities, including Primo, under the umbrella of the Bioplastics Recycling Consortium.

Pia Garcia, executive VP at PN who heads the account, said her firm has been identifying and recruiting participants with an interest in recovery systems for used bioplastics material.

The firm oversees meetings of the Consortium and communicates updates to participants. She said VP Josiah McClellan has played a key role at PN in the stakeholder outreach that has recruited the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers, Climate Neutral, the EPA Office of Solid Waste and the Yale Office of Sustainability, among others, to the group.

Primo and PN launched the company’s “environmentally friendly bottled water” on Earth Day in April contrasting the bioplastics derived from plant matter used to package Primo water against traditional bottled water, which is sold in containers made from crude oil and natural gas.

Garcia said PN’s outreach has extended from media and consumers to CSR circles and so-called “mommy bloggers.”


Euro RSCG Worldwide PR is helping Sears launch its All American Army Brand’s First Infantry Division collection of men, women and boys apparel that will debut in 550 retail outlets next month.

It marks the first time that the U.S. Army has officially licensed its marks and insignias. “Every design carries the Army seal of approval,” says Sears’ Robert McGuinness.

The Army Brand collection promises to be “authentic lifestyle reinterpretations of the supreme fit, classic design and rugged performance of regulation uniforms and military issues gear,” said McGuinness in a statement.

An Army spokesperson added “by incorporating the Army’s timeless traditions with iconic styling and unparalleled standards for performance, fit and function, consumers can wear the pride they feel for our troops.”

The line is to be introduced Sept. 10 at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York. The opening price point for an Army Brand t-shirt is $11.99. Hoodies will sell from $29.99 to $44.99, while outerwear ranges from $35.99 to $119.99. Information will soon be available at

Sears has close ties with the military as evidenced by its “Heroes at Home” program that supports the families of soldiers that face economic hardship.

That program raised $5.4M for “Rebuilding Together” during the past year. RT is a non-profit that provides home repair service at no cost.

Internet Edition, September 10, 2008, Page 3


The nearly seven-year old New York Sun will close at the end of the month unless millions of dollars are found to funnel into the conservative money-losing paper.

Seth Lipsky, editor, warned readers of the Sun’s dire financial condition in a Sept 4 posting outlining the dim future.

The paper may “cease publication at the end of September unless we succeed in our efforts to find additional financial backing,” he wrote.

The Sun was launched as an “alternative to the New York Times in coverage of New York City, politics, foreign policy and culture.”

Though the Sun is read by “a high-quality group of readers” and blessed with a “wonderful staff that works incredibly hard,” the paper has yet to “achieve its goal of making a profit.”

Lipsky says to keep the Sun alive, it requires “broadening the base of investors beyond the original group.” The paper is engaged in negotiations with other newspapers and “potential investors about possible combinations or investment relationships.”

The editor is proud to have served in a “newspaper war that is alive with the battle of ideas at a juncture when ideas make all the difference.”


The News & Observer is offering 320 employee buyouts to counter the newspaper advertising slump at the Raleigh paper that is part of the McClatchy Co. empire. The buyouts cover each full-timer in the newsroom.

The buyouts cover 40 percent of total staffers at the N&O Publishing Co., which includes community papers.

John Drescher, executive editor of the N&O, outlined a plan to trim about 10 pages a week from the paper to save newsprint costs. That effort includes combining the Sunday Travel section with “Arts & Living.”

The N&O laid off 70 staffers in April.


Gannett has acquired an additional 10 percent stake in online job listings portal CareerBuilder from Tribune Company for $135 million giving the company a 50.8 percent controlling interest in the U.S.’s largest online job site.

Tribune, previously the majority owner, falls to a 30.8% stake, while McClatchy owns 14.4% and Microsoft has a four percent stake.

Craig Dubow, chairman, president and CEO of Gannett, said the company was “delighted when the opportunity arose” and said he didn’t expect any major changes for the site.

Sam Zell, chairman/CEO of Tribune, said the deal gives Tribune a chance to monetize some of the value built over the years by the portal while keeping a “significant” stake.

Gannett controls three seats on the six-seat CareerBuilder board, while Tribune and McClatchy control a seat apiece and the company’s CEO holds the final slot.


The New York Times, which recently upped its newsstand price, is planning to cut the number of sections of the paper in a move to save money.

The “Metro” report will no longer be a standalone section beginning Oct. 6. It is being merged into the “A” section of the paper from Monday through Saturday. NYT management is still mulling whether to fold Metro into the Sunday edition.

The “Sports” section is going into the “Business Section” from Tuesday-Friday. It will stay as a separate part of the paper on Monday and weekends.

Bill Keller, executive editor, told staffers in a memo that editors are talking about “how we assure, in practice, that we keep the light of Metro burning bright when there is no longer a freestanding Metro section.” One idea is putting more local stories on the front page.

Arthur “Pinch” Sulzberger’s note says the company “is not reducing the space devoted to Metro or Sports news. This is simply a way to produce the paper more efficiently.”

The section shrinkage enables the paper to eliminate the early press run and collation process. No jobs are being cut, but overtime expense is expected to drop.


The Wall Street Journal unveiled its glossy magazine, WSJ., during a breakfast meeting Sept. 3 at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York. The 960K circulation magazine was included in the Sept. 6 weekend edition of the paper.

The debut issue has 104 pages and 51 advertisers hawking upscale fashion, watches, travel, real estate, wines & liquors, cars and tech products.

Ellen Asmodeo-Giglio, publisher, says the broad range of advertisers is a “testimonial to the brand and quality of journalism” that the Journal has delivered for more than a century.

The premiere issue has a feature on Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s long-distance running, moose eating and snowmobiling health regimen and another on how American art collectors are being shut out of auctions because of the weakness of the U.S. dollar.

Tina Gaudoin, editor-in-chief, promises a “smattering of humor, the inside track on major global players and any number of compelling, entertaining images and stories.”

The second issue of WSJ. is set for December. A monthly schedule is slated for next year.

Consumer Reports magazine debuted a redesign on Sept. 2. The company simplified its color palette and re-organized sections to make information more accessible.

A new section of updates on popular or “big-ticket” products was added, along with a Q&A feature covering questions about testing, and more photographs of the testing process.

Luke Hayman, partner at Pentagram Design, oversaw the project for CR, which claims 190K newsstand copy sales so far in 2008 and 2.3M paid web subscribers.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, September 10, 2008, Page 4


Roger Stone wants NBC to dump "Hardball" talking head Chris Matthews, who is mulling a run for the U.S. Senate against Republican Arlen Specter (78) of Pennsylvania.

Richard Nixon’s former political operative plans to form a 527 committee called Mouth—Movement Opposing Unqualified Talking Heads—to dig up dirt on Matthews.

According to the StoneZone site, Stone will “collect, review and organize everything Matthews has said or written in his public career in preparation for TV ads introducing the real Chris Matthews to Pennsylvania voters.”

Stone, who says he was an unaffiliated gadfly at the GOP convention, dismisses Matthews as “nothing other than a self important windbag.” He wants NBC to drop Matthews because his “partisan personal ambitions will now cloud any political analysis he may put forward.”

Stone has posted an email petition to Jeff Zucker, NBC president; Steve Capus, head of NBC News, and Phil Griffith, MSNBC head, saying that since Matthews has made his intention to run clear he cannot be an unbiased analyst.

Matthews was an aide to Jimmy Carter and Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill. His brother, Jim, ran unsuccessfully for the lieutenant governor spot in 2006 on the Republican ticket headed by former Steelers great Lynn Swann.

Jim reportedly believes there is a 25 percent chance that Chris will run for office. He says the political talk may be a bluff by Chris to angle for a better contract with NBC; the pact expires in '09.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported in August that Specter led Matthews in a poll by a margin of 41 percent to 36 percent. It quoted Gov. Ed Rendell saying Matthews would probably be the strongest Democrat in the race, but he questions whether Matthews wants to leave a cushy media job for the gritty world of Keystone State politics.

Specter, who has been in poor health, faces re-election in '10.


The $31M Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute opens Sept. 12 at the University of Missouri (Columbia) to create a “solution-oriented center for ideas, experimentation and research.”

The three-building complex features 50K sq. ft. at which “journalists, corporate partners and citizens will collaborate to find practice solutions to the challenges facing our industry,” according to the release.

The RJI wants to forge relationships with media companies and emerging new media innovators. It already has ties with Apple, Adobe and AT&T.

Everette Dennis, former executive director of the Gannett Center for Media Studies at Columbia University, said the new complex is a “truly unique enterprise that will connect serious research with practical solutions for the news media, education and the public.” He helped plan the Institute.


MTV Networks’ TV Land unit launches TV Land Prime on Oct. 6, new primetime programming fare aimed at people in their mid-40s.

The block will consist of a mix of original programming (“High School Reunion”), acquired series (“Scrubs”) and theatrical releases (“Analyze This”).

TVLP will have a new logo, color scheme and on-air graphics. It will offer sponsorship and placement opportunities.

There will be a robust online entity, featuring games, trivia, photos, video and entertainment news.


Local online media has an advantage for advertisers because consumers exhibit trust and response to such sites, according to a report by the Online Publishers Association.

JupiterResearch conducted a survey of more than 2,000 online content consumers finding that 46 percent of visitors to local newspaper sites take some form of action after viewing a local ad, whether it is making a purchase, going to a store site, or conducting research.

Numbers were similarly high for local TV and magazine sites (44% and 42%, respectively), which compares to only 37 percent who took action on a local ad displayed on a web portal.

Fifty-six percent of consumers in the study said they express “strong trust” in the advertising found on local newspaper sites.

Briefs ______________________

Mary Anderson, senior fitness editor at Self magazine for four years, was named fitness director at Fitness magazine. She is former editor-in-chief of

Leah Wyar, deputy beauty director for four years at Self, has been named beauty director at Fitness.

Nancy Meyer, a veteran journalist and professor, has been named editor for monthly ScheinMedia magazine New York House, which covers residential and multifamily real estate, construction, design and green living in New York.

Meyer has been senior editor for Home Furnishings News in a 14-year career there. She was previously editor-in-chief of Intimate Fashion News and managing editor of Empire State Report.

She also currently teaches journalism at SUNY New Paltz.

Pitches Requested _____________________

Fashion publication for the industry is looking for sources or articles from experts on fashion trends, color, marketing trends, Internet marketing and viral marketing, as well as PR and promoting accessory products.

Contact Diane Feen at [email protected]. All articles and experts are welcome.

This is for a 300-page book that goes out to designers, manufacturers, retailers, suppliers, etc. “We will promote your product, book or company,” the author said.

Internet Edition, September 10, 2008, Page 5


The California State Coastal Conservancy has tapped Jemal Public Affairs and WunderMarx|PR as campaign strategists for its “Thank You Ocean” campaign.

The goal of the campaign is to educate the public about the importance of sustaining ocean life and urge Californians to practice “ocean stewardship.”

The two-year-old effort, a partnership between the California Resources Agency and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, was launched in response to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Ocean Action Plan and the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy” report.

Jemal PA is based in Mission Viejo, Calif., while WunderMarx is in Tustin.

Jemal CEO Timothy Jemal cited climate change, water pollution, marine debris and declining fisheries as threats to the area’s oceans. He said there is a lack of public knowledge about the ocean and its problems.

Wundermarx CEO Cara Good said the Golden State is in a unique position to lead the nation in changing behavior toward the oceans because of its 1,100 miles of coastline.

The latest stage of the campaign is in its infancy but a PSA has been produced at

BRIEFS: Koroberi, Chapel Hill, N.C., said it has launched a web 2.0 site for material handling client FKI Logistex. The site,, is available in seven languages. ...LaBreche, Minneapolis, has added an integrated design unit to its portfolio of services with the addition of three directors. Alicia Sauer, art director of Best Buy Corp.’s experience design group; Andrew Lund, a graphic designer, and Fran Lu, senior de4signer at Spyglass Creative, are the new staffers. ...Publicis acquired five-year-old Seattle-based digital marketing and events firm PBJS. The firm, which has a long term events production contract with Microsoft, was started by two Microsoft veterans, Bob Bejan and Jenny Spigot. PBJS counts 26 staffers. Bejan and Spigot remain at the helm. ...Maccabee Group, Minneapolis, won the Admiral’s Award of Excellence from the Minnesota Health Strategy & Communications Network’s annual Beacon Awards. The firm took the honor for its “Dr. Ruth’s Evening for Two” campaign for American Medical Systems, which involved a five-city direct-to-patient tour with Dr. Ruth Westheimer discussing erectile dysfunction and touting participating urologists. Tom Tanno Publicity & Marketing, Los Angeles, has set up a unit to help individuals and small businesses prepare to launch new products in the consumer marketplace. Tanno said he aims to fill a void of few offerings for “the little guy” or small company. His 20-year-old firm has launched Blundstone Footwear, Bally Golf Shoes and The Original Ozonator. Info: 818/907-9950 or [email protected]. ...Anne Klein Communications Group, Marlton, N.J., has been approved as crisis communications provider for United Educators’ education institution clients. EU is a member-owned insurance company. It has seven approved firms for crisis work, but AK is the only firm in the northeast. The designation comes from UE member recommendations.


New York Area

5W PR, New York/Tangent Inc., computing services for education, healthcare, government and business markets, for PR for its DataCove brand of email archival solutions. 5W is handling media and analyst relations, local market support and executive communications and awards programs.

DKC, New York/Time Warner Cable of New York, for a lifestyle and technology campaign for new initiatives in the New York metro area over the next six months, and The Greenwich Hotel, Tribeca property, as AOR for PR.

Tonic Life Communications, New York/Welch’s, juice brand, for PR in the U.S following a competitive review. The firm’s London office had been working with the company. Tonic is charged with raising awareness of the health benefits of Welch’s grape juice brands among consumers and healthcare professionals. Jennifer Ryan, president of Tonic Dallas, and Matthew Kent, vice president of Tonic New York, head the work.


Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications, Boston/
Caritas Christi Health Care, No. 2 healthcare system in New England, as AOR for PR including media relations, public affairs, and consulting.

Dodge Communications, Atlanta/SCIOinspire, healthcare cost-containment services, and The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission, non-profit accrediting body, for PR and marketing.

rbb PR, Miami/Homewood Suites by Hilton, for national consumer and development PR following an agency review.


Nicholson Kovac, Kansas City, Mo./IRON Solutions, agricultural equipment market intelligence, for integrated marketing related to the re-launch of

Brendy Barr Communications, Oakland Township, Mich./Managing Thought LLC, for PR for the release of Mary J. Lore’s “Managing Thought: How Do Your Thoughts Rule Your World? (Ferne Press; June 2008).


M/C/C, Dallas/Privus Mobile, for an integrated marketing communications campaign supporting its mobile caller ID service, including a traditional and social media outreach campaign.


The Bohle Company, Los Angeles/Opposing Views, debate website; PicApp, free photo service providing bloggers with legally accessed copyrighted news and stock images, and BuzzDash, social polling forum, for PR.

Mayo Communications, Los Angeles/World Trade Center Los Angeles-Long Beach and the L.A. County Economic Development Corp., both as AOR for 2008-09. Both are previous clients of the firm.


Grayling Global, London/Yanglin Soybean, China-based soybean products producer, for a communications program targeting shareholders, the investment community and financial media.

Internet Edition, September 10, 2008, Page 6


Surviving (but shrunken) newspapers as well as laid-off staffers starting their own local news websites are using an increasing amount of ready-to-run lifestyle, health and other features, says Dorothy York, president of North American Precis Syndicate.

Some editors are now doing the jobs of two or three people while writers who have struck out on their own need lots of materials to flesh out their websites, she says.

There are 5,000 free community newspapers with total circulation of 72 million and these have been growing in circulation at 7-9% a year, said Tim Bingaman of the Circulation Verification Council. The newspapers are big users of NAPS material, said York, who noted they concentrate on local news that readers want.

The current economic downturn is exacerbating the trend to local websites and community newspapers while large dailies face a difficult environment.

A recent Deutsche Bank analyst report on newspaper publisher E.W. Scripps said on the first page of the report that there is an “overwhelming negative ad environment.” Later in the report it says “the ad environment went from terrible to horrific.”

NAPS, which is 50 years old this year, sends a wide variety of ready-to-use news and features to dailies, weeklies, radio and TV stations, blogs and other distribution points. Editors receive electronic and hard copies and can also go on at any time and shop for stories on health, food, home, financial, automotive, tech, travel, Hispanic, African-American and other subject categories.

Coverage includes 10,000 papers with 225 million in cumulative circulation (about 167 million in weekly community newspapers), plus 6,500 radio stations and 1,000 TV stations. Nationally circulated print releases start at $3,000.

New Sites are 'Hyper-Local'

York says the free newspapers and websites are doing well because they are “hyper-local,” covering local news, politics, school board, sports, taxes and other areas that might be neglected by other media.

Interactivity—allowing readers to give their opinions and dialogue—is also an attraction of the websites, she said.

Articles that give healthcare, financial, homemaking and other advice are in big demand, says York.

The media relations team at NAPS “has been inundated with requests from the thousands of new websites and blogs,” she added. She noted that laid-off newspaper reporters and editors have long-established relationships with their local communities.

The firm’s internal clipping bureau monitors thousands of the publications for “maximum tangible evidence of results.”

NAPS feature distributions normally result in 100 to 400 pickups while those with unusual content can achieve more than 1,000 placements, said York. The longtime NAPS guarantee is that another distribution will be made without charge if the client is not satisfied with the number of pickups.

The NAPS staff of writers either writes the stories or polishes them for maximum pickup.



Paul Laland, VP of corporate communications for Novacea, to WeissComm Partners, San Francisco. He held corporate posts at VaxGen, Genentech, G.D. Searle and Eltagen and was senior partner and co-chair of Fleishman-Hillard’s global healthcare practice. Mark Bennett, senior manager of corporate comms. for Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, joins as a senior associate. Emily Poe, formerly of Vox Medica; Scott Santiamo, comms. consultant at MedImmune, and Jessica Volchok, previously with FischerHealth, join as senior associates. The firm said it has recently picked up business from Celladon Corp., DNA Direct, Fisher BioPharma Services, GTx, Isis Pharm. and Topaz Pharm.

Stan March, group VP of investor relations, STMicroelectronics, to Landis+Gyr Holdings, New York, as senior VP of corporate communications. L+G is based in Switzerland. He previously headed IR at Tenneco and is a former military office.

Richard Ferraro, senior A/E, Fleishman-Hillard, to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, New York, as director of PR. At FH, he was active in the firm’s gay and lesbian practice, FH Out Front.

Sandra Taylor, president and CEO of Sustainable Business International, to APCO Worldwide’s international advisory council. She was previously senior VP of corporate social responsibility for Starbucks Coffee Company. Earlier, she was VP and director of public affairs for Eastman Kodak.

Jacqueline Parker, VP for Hayslett Group, to Arketi Group, Atlanta, as a VP. She was previously a VP for Porter Novelli and a reporter for several newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times and Indianapolis News.

Savannah Haspel, who worked in corporate communications and event planning for CB Richard Ellis, to IBISWorld, Los Angeles, business research publisher, as VP of media relations.

Carey Madsen, director of corporate communications at Qwest Communications, to SSA PR, Phoenix, as a managing director. She was with Qwest for eight years and previously worked in corporate sponsorship, marketing and media relations for the Colorado Rockies.

Deana Johnson, executive assistant to the VP of West Plains operations at DRS Technologies, to The Vandiver Group, St. Louis, Mo., as a team member.


Saurabh Wahi to senior VP for East Rutherford, N.J.-based MWW Group’s DialogueMedia digital media practice. John Ratcliffe-Lee has been upped to senior digital media specialist. Wahi continues as leader of the firm’s Nikon team.

Julie Batliner to managing principal, chief client relations officer, Carmichael Lynch Spong, Minneapolis. She joined the firm in 2005 as a principal.

Joseph Doherty to executive VP, investor relations, Pacer International, Concord, Calif. effective Sept. 15. He reports to Brian King, who was recently promoted to CFO.

Internet Edition, September 10, 2008, Page 7


Integrated Corporate Relations is working with the popular jewelry auction site as a Barron’s report and Internet rumors covered the alleged criminal pasts of the company’s CEO and other executives and business partners.

ICR produced an eight-minute, pre-recorded conference call on Friday, Aug. 29, to address issues ahead of the release of the critical Barron’s article.

“We cannot say for certain why these issues are resurfacing now, but we believe it is very likely there may be some negative press surrounding Bidz in the near future,” said Leon Kuperman, chief technology officer for the company, on that call.

“Bidz conducts a highly ethical, completely legal business that provides quality jewelry to a wide audience of highly satisfied customers. There is no evidence to the contrary.”

He said similar allegations to the questions raised in the then-forthcoming article were also raised in an “infamous” November 2007 research report by Citron Research which was investigated and refuted.

Report suggests criminal ties

Barron’s in a Sept. 2 article, linked one employee to stolen property, another (then-CFO) to an illegal strip club and another to tax fraud.

CEO David Zinberg was a co-defendant with alleged crime boss Tommy Gambino in a 1998 small claims case, Barron’s also reported. Zinberg has no criminal record, Barron’s pointed out, and the executive denied the strip club link.

ICR staffers in New York and’s home state of California are handling the account and answering media inquiries. Rich Layne, a managing director for ICR, did not return an inquiry about the work.

Reuters suggested issues raised by Barron’s and other Internet reports could be behind the steady decline of’s stock price from more than $20 to under $9 in a few months. The company points the finger at short-sellers.

Bidz reaffirmed its guidance for the third quarter between $55-58M and entire year at $240-$245M.


Clemson University in South Carolina has put a three-year, mid-six-figure contract for PR and marketing of its continuing education entity, which is affiliated with six other universities in the state.

Clemson issued an RFP through Sept. 30 for a firm to generate media coverage, handle website work, and develop an overall communications plan to attract students, benefactors and alliances with profession groups for the University Center of Greenville.

A three-year contract is planned with a budget slated from $350-$650K.

In addition to Clemson, the 21-year-old University Center is affiliated with other bachelor and graduate programs in the state from the University of South Carolina, Medical Univ. of South Carolina, Furman Univ., among others.

The center is looking for a firm with a higher education track record and capabilities across several marketing communications disciplines.


The Government of Colombia has recruited Sorini, Samet & Assocs. co-founder Andrew Samet to iron out labor issues related to its bid for a free trade agreement with the United States.

Samet was deputy under secretary for labor in the Clinton Administration, where he handled the Labor Dept.’s international activities. He was responsible for the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation ironed out under the FTA agreement with Mexico and Canada.

Samet is to receive a $45K fee for his duties in three equal installments beginning Sept. 15. He is to present Colombia’s track record on labor issues to Congress, non-governmental organizations and labor unions.

The AFL-CIO is an ardent foe of a free trade pact with Colombia. It contends such an accord would be a job-killer in the U.S. manufacturing sector.

The union blasts Colombia as a country “notorious for its abysmal human rights and labor rights record.”

SS&A’s Ron Sorini was senior VP-international development and government relations at Fruit of the Loom prior to setting up his shop.

Earlier, he served as chief textile negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in the Bush I White House.


The National Assn. of Insurance Commissioners has tapped Edelman to promote its “Insure U” consumer education campaign and deal with increased federal interest in regulation of the insurance business.

The outreach effort recently added topics to deal with changing national lifestyles.

Those areas include life situations such as domestic partners, single parents, grandparents raising grandchildren and members of the military.

Edelman’s Chicago office handles the business of the Kansas City-based NAIC, which was established in 1871 with the goal of assisting state regulators to protect consumers and work for the financial stability of the insurance sector.


Defense contractor BAE Systems has promoted internally after an extensive search to replace corporate communications VP Robert Hastings, who left the company earlier this year for a top public affairs slot at the Pentagon.

Lucy Fitch, a former journalist who has been VP of M&A at BAE, was named to the VP/corporate comms. role following a search process. She joined the $9 billion company in 2000 and headed M&A through its landmark $4.2 billion acquisition of United Defense in 2005.

Fitch started her career as a business journalist for Washington Technology, New Technology Week and the American City Business Journals group. In 1993, she moved on to defense industry contractors like Hughes Aircraft Corp. (now Raytheon), ManTech Systems Solutions and Lockheed Martin.

Hastings was named principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs earlier this year.

Internet Edition, September 10, 2008, Page 8




Presidential candidates and their families are the subject of a media feeding frenzy with both sides claiming “unfair” treatment at one time or another.

Cutting off a news medium that goes “over the line” in its questioning is a weapon that candidates can use. When and whether they are justified in doing so is another matter.

Candidate John McCain, for instance, cancelled an appearance on Larry King’s CNN show as “punishment” for alleged “unfair” questioning of a McCain aide.

Reporter Campbell Brown of CNN, interviewing aide Tucker Bounds, had repeatedly demanded to know “one decision” Sarah Palin had ever made as commander of the Alaska National Guard.

An argument ensued that left both sides unsatisfied.

CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, citing the Brown incident as the reason, then announced that McCain had cancelled the interview with King.

Had Brown stepped “over the line” and who is drawing the line these days are relevant questions.

The Poynter Institute, founded in 1975 when St. Petersburg Times publisher Nelson Poynter willed it controlling stock in the paper, takes up such matters.

The Institute, a well-financed school for reporters based in St. Petersburg, in July got a five-year, $1.4M grant from the Knight Foundation for NewsU, an online journalism program.

Kelly McBride, Poynter ethics group leader, penned a web column on media criticism touched off by coverage of Palin’s family issues, drawing numerous comments.

Reporters seeking ethical guidance can also post their issues in an elaborate section on the Poynter website that breaks the issues down 10 separate ways and allows users to ask what is “fair play” in the matter at hand.

Users have to register (free) and we have done so, asking how far reporters can go in covering uncooperative institutions. Can matters be brought to the attention of top management, board members, big clients, stockholders, members, etc., when normal channels are blocked?

E.W. Scripps (newspapers/TV) and Scripps Networks Interactive (the spin-off of profitable cable shows) both subscribe to EthicsPoint, an independent, secure website for handling ethical questions and complaints of employees and non-employees.

The Scripps ethics code promises “fairness,” “compassion,” “courage,” “excellence” and “respect” to “those whose lives we touch,” and promises to “promptly address any concerns brought to our attention.” Scripps “maintains the highest standards of journalistic and organizational integrity,” said a statement by Kenneth Lowe, former president/CEO of E.W. Scripps who now heads SNI.

We filled out the web ethics form and sent it to Denise Kuprionis, chief ethics compliance officer of Scripps and also to Scripps Networks (SNI), asking if Scripps has researched the PR Society to which SNI employee Gary McCormick not only belongs but has been nominated as chair-elect.

In view of 10-plus pages that Scripps spends on its devotion to ethics, we asked how this squared with some of the PRS policies and practices.

Thus far Kuprionis has pointed out that McCormick is no longer employed by E.W. Scripps and so she is not involved in this issue. She confirmed SNI uses EthicsPoint but said, “I cannot verify that its processes are in place.” SNI does not as yet have an ethics compliance officer but we await its response.

Virtually the entire management of SNI is from SSP. SSP stockholders got one share of SNI for every share of SSP so the ownership is about the same.

The “Code of Ethics” of the PR Society says that “Ethical Practice is the most important obligation of a Society member.” The words “ethics” and “ethical” appear 12 times on the first page of the Code.

With such emphasis on ethics, PRS could be expected to have a process for dealing with ethical questions such as those at Poynter and Scripps.

What is wrong and right about a situation may only emerge after considerable research, discussion and debate.

PRS has no process whatever for dealing with such discussions. It abandoned any enforcement of its Code in 1999 and now merely says, when a controversy arises, that everyone should obey the PRS commitment to “the highest standards of accuracy and truth.”

What, for instance, is the “highest standard” for PRS reporting its finances? Do members have a right to obtain a transcript of the Assembly? Do college PR professors have the right to argue for printing the members’ directory again?

Discussion is needed.

Bob Frause, ethics chair who succeeded Gail Baker in that post earlier this year, instead of working on such a process, is pushing a new form of accreditation called “certification” of specialties in areas such as healthcare, tech, financial, media relations/media training, travel, digital/social media and “military communication.”

A survey of about 125 members by Frause found virtually no interest in “military communication” and not much in certification in financial, tech, healthcare or travel.

Half or more of respondents are interested in certification in media relations, digital/social media and crisis management. Sixty percent would open “certification” to non-members for “a higher fee.” Frause, chair of the certification task force, is also chair of the College of Fellows.

The certification move comes on the heels of the results of the first five years of the new test for accreditation. They are dismal to say the least.

Only 550 PRS members became APR in that period (average of 110 a year). Although there are eight other “member organizations” of the Universal Accreditation Board, the eight only generated 119 APRs.

PRS’s attempt to sell the APR test to other groups (at $410 per exam) has fizzled. Selling the new “certification” would also be a stretch.

Governance reform is the big topic at the Society this year, as announced by CEO Jeff Julin. It should include setting up a process for publicly debating ethical issues.

We wonder whether there will be much governance reform at the Assembly Oct. 25 because this topic was first broached in 2004 when PRS president Del Galloway named Dave Rickey to head a new task force on “leadership and governance.” Rickey was also at that time head of the Ethics Board.

It’s four years later and Julin is now asking the 2008 Assembly in Detroit to come up with governance reform ideas. We bet press will again be barred from the Assembly lunch which will be turned into a “working lunch” (for governance ideas) like it was last year (for the Strategic Plan).

--Jack O'Dwyer


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