The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, October 1, 2008, Page 1
PR FIRMS FOR IRAQ
The Defense Department has awarded a sweeping contract
for PR operations in Iraq topped at $300M to four firms
with experience handling strategic communications and media
work for the government.
Rounding out the roster are Lincoln Group, Leonie Industries
of Pacific Palisades, Calif., SOSI International of New
York and MPRI of Alexandria, Va.
The U.S.-led force in Iraq, known as Multi-National Force-Iraq,
issued an RFP in August to find firms to assist with information
and psychological operations, “influence campaigns”
and other PR work in Iraq and potentially Afghanistan. The
contracts could stretch to three years and $300M, although
projects assigned to the four firms will range from $125K
to $100M, according to documents outlining the work.
The PR efforts are seen by the military as a means toward
“reconciliation” of the country and a way to
foster support for Iraqi Security Forces from Iraqi civilians,
among other goals.
Leonie Industries has handled Internet and marketing work
for the Army and produced events around the world. SOSI
in June won a contract to provide media relations and translation
services to the U.S. Army Public Affairs Office at the Novo-Selo
Training Area in Bulgaria. MPRI, a unit of L-3 Communications,
has worked with the Pentagon in the U.S. and abroad in the
past including setting up a “strategic communications
cell” in the Office of Army Public Affairs.
The Lincoln Group’s work in Iraq has been well-documented
and drew criticism at points for some of its PR tactics
in the country. A public affairs official told O’Dwyer’s
last month that between 20 and 30 LG staffers were assisting
with military PA operations in the Green Zone in Baghdad.
C&W’S HUNT RETURNS
Jeff Hunt, who merged GCI Group into Cohn & Wolfe
last July, is returning to his Texas roots, but will remain
a consultant to the WPP Group unit.
Hunt, the former CEO of GCI, was president of the combined
entity and chief of its global practices.
He is leaving as part of C&W’s “planned
management transition” and envisions an entrepreneurial
pursuit in the Lone Star State, where his “home and
C&W is not filling the presidency post. Geoff Beattie,
head of C&W’s energy practice, assumes Hunt’s
global responsibilities. Donna Imperato, CEO of C&W,
says the time is right for Hunt to slide into a counseling
role now that the merger is complete.
COKE GRABS GLOVER PARK
Coca-Cola has retained the Glover Park Group for communications
work regarding climate change, trade and assorted industry
The Atlanta-based soft drinks marketer is in the process
of restructuring its communications function with the departure
of Tom Mattia, Coca-Cola’s senior VP-worldwide PA
& communications. The 60-year-old Mattia, plans to retire
Coke has been a juicy target for activist groups which are
upset with its sustainability policies and labor practices
GPG has close ties with Democrats in D.C. Its Coke team
is led by Joel Johnson (ex-executive director of the House
Democratic Study Group).
QORVIS URGES BUDGET RESTRAINT
Qorvis Communications has picked up the Committee for
a Responsible Federal Budget, a bi-partisan group promoting
fiscal responsibility in government amid the economic crisis.
The group has launched USBudgetWatch.org to educate voters
about the presidential candidates’ views on key issues.
Kate McGann, an associate for Qorvis on the CRFB account,
told O’Dwyer’s her firm is assisting with the
Budget Watch project.
The Committee on Sept. 23 used the White House’s
$700 billion Wall Street rescue plan to push for a greater
commitment to fiscal temperance.
“I don’t see how you can charge $700 billion
to the credit card when you already have $500 billion in
unpaid bills and a $10 trillion mortgage,” said CRFB
president Maya MacGuineas in a statement distributed by
Qorvis. MacGuineas was an economic advisor to John McCain
in 2000 and has worked at the Brookings Institution, Concord
Coalition and on Wall Street.
OPPOSING VIEWS KEY FOR PR
PR pros, in order to live up to the high ethics of their
profession, "must allow and seek opposing views for
the good of the public," writes Prof. Timothy Penning
in the September issue of Tactics of the PR Society.
PRS celebrated September as "Ethics Month."
"Critics of PR should not condemn it but recognize
a profession that enables voices to speak in open democratic
dialogue," writes Penning, who is associate professor
of communications at Grand Valley State University, Allendale,
Mich. It has 23,000 students.
The article has 11 separate references to PR as a function
that encourages public discussion of issues and uses the
words "democracy" and "democratic" 11
(continued on page 7)
Edition, October 1, 2008, Page 2
WALL STREET MELTDOWN RATTLES
Financial, real estate,
automotive, high-end retail, travel/tourism, restaurant
and non-profit sectors are going to be hammered by the chaos
on Wall Street, according to PR pros contacted by this website.
CEO Michael Petruzzello says his Washington-based firm is
having its “best year yet,” but things really
picked up with news of the Wall Street turmoil.
“A crisis means
more business,” he explained. “The financial
crisis has created a flood of calls for assistance and RFPs
from a wide range of clients.” Those prospects want
to deal with the “perception of jeopardy.”
Michael Kempner, CEO
of MWW Group, calls the news from Wall Street “stunning”
and believes “lightning speed” is required from
Whether a company has
good news or bad, companies need to be in touch with their
stakeholders to differentiate strategy, to give faith in
management and to clearly articulate corporate assets, wrote
Kempner on his MWW blog.
Manning Selvage &
Lee CEO Mark Hass is convinced the “financial crisis
will lead many companies to re-examine their own core values
and further align those values with their business practices.”
In times of great trouble,
“great brands and companies fall back on the values
that defined them and made them great,” added the
Publicis Groupe unit chief.
That means CEOs
and chief communication officers will be spending more time
talking about those values in a transparent way. “The
economic crisis, in other words, will accelerate the positive
trend we’ve been seeing among companies to be more
authentic, and that’s a good thing,” said Hass.
Michael Robinson, who
handles corporate duties at Levick Strategic Communications,
says PR people are going to spend much time advising clients
on fine-tuning their messaging. That effort will come
once the initial political uproar over the Bush Administration’s
move to bail-out Wall Street subsides.
“Many people are
currently playing the ‘blame game’ due to the
political campaign season,” said Robinson. They want
to “extract a pound of flesh or more precisely, $700B
worth of flesh.”
The Wall Street meltdown
is “the latest in the new ‘shock and awe’
environment of mounting distressing events,” said
Dave Senay, CEO of Fleishman-Hillard.
He told O’Dwyer’s:
“Those who predicted an era of ‘fear’
are unfortunately being proved correct, and in an everyday
sense, fear is expressed in terms of uncertainty and hesitation. While
our new-business-winning pace has equaled last year’s
record so far, real spending behind those wins is lagging.”
Smart companies, according
to the F-H CEO, “know this is a transitory period
and are using it to develop or extend a competitive advantage.”
His Omnicom unit is “spending
a lot of time, helping clients seize the opportunity for
greater separation. This is an era that rewards initiative.
Rewards fall to the bold.”
Senay quoted Browning: “For sudden the worst turns
the best to the brave, The black minute’s at end.”
LILLY WILL DISCLOSE DOCTOR
Eli Lilly said it will
become the first pharmaceutical company to disclose some
payments to physicians in the U.S. starting in 2009.
Legislation is currently
moving through Congress to establish a national registry
of payments to doctors by medical device and drug companies,
but Lilly said it was moving ahead before eventual passage
of that bill, which is supported by major drug companies.
Drug makers often pay doctors for speeches, consulting advice
and events, and subsidize entertainment, meals and gifts
John Lechleiter, president
and CEO of Indianapolis-based Lilly, announced the disclosure
plan at an Economic Club of Indiana speech saying it was
part of a move to improve transparency across the drug industry.
He said that while Lilly supports the current legislation
– the Physician Payments Sunshine Act – he said
moving independently “is an important step to building
trust and confidence.”
Lilly, which says physician
payments help advance the science related to medicines,
said its online database will include payments over $500
for speaking and advising and be available by the second
half of 2009. It will not initially include payments before
2009 or for other services and gifts.
GOOGLE, CUTLINE UNVEILED ANDROID
Google is working with San Francisco firm Cutline Communications
on the launch of its anticipated Android mobile phone platform,
which was unveiled last week on a T-Mobile device to widespread
Google’s relationship with Cutline became so close
over the last year and a half of planning that staffers
from the firm are seen as Google employees, said Brian O’Shaughnessy.
“They’re more or less Googlers as far as I’m
concerned,” he told O’Dwyer’s. “They’re
in house with us; eat lunch next to me in the cafeteria.”
Erin Fors, partner at Cutline and an agency veteran of Merritt
Group, A&R Partners and Porter Novelli, heads the Google
account for Cutline and is the main press contact for the
initial launch of Android.
T-Mobile’s new phone, called the G1, employs the
Android software and will be initially available in 21 metropolitan
areas when it goes on sale Oct. 22. It costs about $20 less
than Apple’s iPhone, which it was compared to in most
coverage of the G1 launch. The new phone was unveiled in
New York on Sept. 23 by Google’s co-founders Larry
Page and Sergey Brin, who wore rollerblades for the occasion.
The device is tightly integrated with Google services like
Gmail, YouTube and Google Maps.
O’Shaughnessy said the company is very pleased with
coverage of the launch so far, but stressed the T-Mobile
phone is the first of what Google anticipates will be thousands
of devices running the Android software.
“We anticipated a lot of the coverage we’ve
gotten regarding design and iPhone comparisons,” he
said. “I don’t think I could be more pleased
or that we could have done anything better.”
T-Mobile worked with AOR Waggener Edstrom on the G1 launch.
Edition, October 1, 2008, Page 3
PROVIDENCE JOURNAL CUTS 30
The Providence Journal, which is owned by Dallas-based
Belo, is trimming 30 staffers effective Oct. 10. That list
includes all part-timers in the newsroom plus five full-time
According to a notice from the Providence Newspaper Guild,
Belo has assured it that no security guards will be on hand
to escort the cut workers from the premises. Computers will
not be disabled.
It says the union has tried to work closely with management
to make the best out of a bad situation.
LIFE RETURNS FROM THE DEAD
Life magazine, which has been killed three times by Time
Inc., is rising from the dead and will be online next year.
The venture is a deal that TI cooked up with Getty Images.
The partnership called “See Your World” will
feature free downloadable photos from Life and Getty, which
will contribute 3,000 photos.
Life was launched in 1936 and was last shutdown as a newspaper
supplement in '07. Getty was recently acquired by Hellman
& Friedman, private equity firm.
WILSON EXITS USAT FOR NPR
USA Today executive editor Kinsey Wilson is leaving the
paper to become senior VP and general manager of digital
media for NPR.
In a memo to staff posted at Poynter.org, USAT editor
Ken Paulson said Kinsey “has been a driving force
and advocate for change throughout his years here, in both
his initial role as editor-in-chief of USATODAY.com and
in his current position as executive editor of all of our
A replacement has not yet been named.
Wilson previously worked in news and new media at Congressional
Quarterly. He was elevated to the executive editor post
in December 2005 when USAT combined its newspaper and online
BOSTON GLOBE LAUNCHES SPORTS
The Boston Globe has launched a weekly newsstand sports
publication, OT – Our Town. Our Teams, to cover major
sports as well as fantasy football. OT will be published
Thursdays and will carry a $0.50 retail price.
BG and Boston.com writers Tony Massarotti, Charlie Pierce
and Chad Finn are among contributors.
Boston Globe Media Group, which is owned by the New York
Times Company, said OT will carry articles, local stats
and new features “on the lighter side,” including
“The Dirt,” where gossip and sports collide;
reader feedback; comical photo/quote of the week, and “Tidbits,”
described as “the stuff you don’t know about
your favorite sports personalities.”
Jay Fogarty, VP of strategic planning for the Globe, said
the publication is targeting both younger sports fans who
prefer a “bold and hard-hitting presentation of their
sports,” as well as fans who want more perspective
on local action.
OT is the Boston Globe’s fourth niche publication
in the last two years including BoMoms, a web portal for
mothers, and women’s lifestyle magazine Lola.
BONNIER GRABS WORKING MOTHER
Bonnier Corp. has acquired Working Mother Media Inc. from
MCG Capital and CEO/founder Carol Evans. The deal is Bonnier’s
first acquisition since it was formed by the combination
of Sweden’s Bonnier Group and 18 Time Inc. titles.
WMM is the parent company to eight-times-a-year Working
Mother magazine, a conferences and events division, and
the research program listing the “100 Best Companies”
for working mothers.
Bonnier already owns titles in the niche like Parenting
and Babytalk. WM will remain in New York with offices in
AdMedia partners brokered the deal.
USN&WR EXPANDS OPINION
U.S. News Media Group, parent to U.S. News & World
Report, is expanding its online offerings in news analysis
and “service journalism.” A new opinion section
launched last week at www.usnews.com/opinion with new blogs,
daily op-ed columns, and interactive features.
The Thomas Jefferson Street blog, which has six staff
contributors, is seen as the anchor for the online opinion
section. New regular op-ed features include “Two Takes,”
which presents opposing viewpoints on a topic, and “Past
& Present,” a weekly column putting current events
in an historical context.
U.S. News said it will soon unveil a new board of contributors
comprised of leaders in news, politics, national security,
business, education, and other fields, who will regularly
contribute views to the site.
Robert Schlesinger, U.S. News deputy editor for opinion,
who oversees all online and print editorial content for
the section, led the expansion.
Bloomberg TV will make national cable advertising time in
the U.S. available via the Google TV Ads platform.
The TV Ads platform reports second-by-second data from
millions of set-top boxes, allowing advertisers to measure
Trevor Fellows, head of ad sales for Bloomberg, called
the Bloomberg TV audience “the wealthiest and most
powerful” in cable TV and said they are extremely
difficult to quantify using traditional methods.
Google TV uses an auction-based pricing system in which
advertisers only pay for impressions delivered to their
ads. NBC Universal and DISH Network are other partners.
ex-CEO of Gemstar-TV Guide International, is back at News
Corp. as president of Fox’s cable networks.
He ran Gemstar, which was sold to Macrovision Solutions,
this year, from '04.
Earlier, he was with Fox Entertainment Group as chief
of business development and executive VP at Fox TV.
news continued on next page)
Edition, October 1, 2008, Page 4
CBS OPENS BIDDING FOR RADIO
CBS has opened bidding
for its 50 mid-size market radio stations, but is not willing
to conduct a fire sale to generate cash, according to CEO
Outlets in Baltimore
and Cleveland are among those with “for sale”
Radio generated $780M
revenues during the first-half of `08. That was down nine
percent from the year earlier period. Operating profit fell
21 percent to $266M.
POLITICO BEEFS UP COVERAGE
Politico, the Capitol Hill publication, announced plans
to expand coverage of the new Administration.
Publisher Robert Allbritton will “unleash the best
reporters in the country on the most important story: how
the new Congress and president govern in this historic period.”
The paper will increase publication to four days when
Congress is in session, and add 15 staffers to its 85-member
Minute-by-minute White House coverage is promised starting
Nov. 5, the day after the election.
Politico managing editor Bill Nichols, who covered the
White House for USA Today, oversees the White House team.
Editor John Harris and executive editor Jim VandeHei will
Print circulation will jump 5K to 32K. Politico’s
website ranked among the Top Ten sites in August.
NYT PICKS UP WSJ ‘REJECT’
The New York Times has picked up the Breakingviews.com
business column that was dropped by the Wall Street Journal.
The WSJ dropped the column to concentrate on its own “Heard
on the Street” piece.
Breakingviews currently provides commentary to the Daily
Telegraph, Le Monde and Business Times in Singapore.
Larry Ingrassia, business editor of the NYT, called the
new addition a “complement” to its leading news
coverage of finance and its roster of columnists.
Coach PR flap
The Coach-sponsored PR class at Hunter College in 2006
that resulted in students creating a fake website to help
search for a “stolen” Coach bag was given a
full-page write-up in the Sept. 21 New York Times magazine.
The article, headlined “School of Hard Knockoffs,”
asked if the corporate-sponsored course was “a real
academic service or a fake one?”
Hunter faculty blasted the course, offered by the International
Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition, a client of Paul Werth Assocs.,
TRIBUNE TAPS HUNTER FOR PUB
Tony Hunter has been named publisher, president and CEO
of the Chicago Tribune, where he has worked since `94. He
is upped from the senior VP/circulation and operations job.
Randy Michaels, Tribune COO, called Hunter a “creative
leader who is eager to move the paper in a new direction
so it can compete for more readers and advertisers.”
Hunter, 47, succeeds Robert Gremillion, senior vice president/Tribune
Publishing, who took the job on an interim basis during
the summer. He worked for the Audit Bureau of Circulations
from 1984 to 1994.
NIKOLOPOULOS NAMED PBMB ED
Daphne Nikolopoulos, editor of Palm Beach Illustrated
since `06, is the new editorial director of Palm Beach Media
Group. That expands her responsibilities to include Tampa
Bay Illustrated, Naples Illustrated and the Charity Register
Nikolopoulos joined the company in `03 as managing editor
She has been a freelance contributor and editor at publications
such as Gourmet, InStyle, National Geographic Traveler and
Frommer’s travel guides.
Nikolopoulos wrote the cookbook, The Storm Gourmet: A
Guide to Creating Extraordinary Meals Without Electricity.
MEDIA, TECH GROUPS FIGHT WEB
Viacom International, NBC Universal, ATT, Cisco, Microsoft
and the Songwriters Guild of America launched the Arts+Labs
advocacy group Sept. 24 to combat what they call 'Net pollution.
They define 'Net pollution as illegal file sharing, malware,
spam, viruses and hack attacks.
A+L says its goal is to “inform and educate consumers
about the availability and vast array of legal, safe and
affordable material on the Internet.”
Mike McCurry, President Clinton’s former press secretary,
and Mark McKinnon, media advisor to President Bush, co-chair
the A+L, which wants to ensure that content creators and
innovators can “safely share their works through online
distribution channels with confidence that their right to
earn fair compensation for their creativity is respected.”
E. Bruce Harrison’s latest book, “Corporate
Greening 2.0: Create and Communicate Your Company’s
Climate Change and Sustainability Strategies,” has
just been released by Publishing Works (Exeter, N.H.).
The environmental pro outlines the climate change and
sustainability positions of more then 40 companies and business
Harrison believes climate change and the resulting war
on carbon has “altered the green equation.”
The time is now ripe for executives to “determine
how to bring financial, social and political factors into
alignment for competitive advantage.”
Harrison ran his own PR firm in Washington, D.C. He began
his career as a newspaper reporter and entered the PA world
in 1962 at the Chemical Manufacturers Assn. That was
the year that Rachel Carson published her groundbreaking
“Silent Spring” attack on the chemical industry.
Harrison became CMA’s VP/environmental information officer,
the first time that title appeared in the business community.
Corporate Greening is available at www.envirocomm.com.
Edition, October 1,
2008, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
‘GAP’ ON CLIMATE ISSUES
a gap between American business leaders’ recognition
of climate change risks and corporate action, according
to Makovsky + Company’s Green Gap Survey.
polled 150 Fortune 1000 executives by telephone in March
and April for the study and found that costs and other priorities
are getting in the way of corporate action on climate issues.
said they are personally concerned about climate change
and its potential impact, but only 61 percent said actions
taken by corporations can effect change on the environment.
Seventy-three percent, however, said addressing climate
change on a corporate level can help make businesses more
competitive and 75 percent think their company should act
on the issue to improve its corporate or brand reputation.
the belief in action, only 57 percent said their companies
are collaborating to address CO2 emissions standards.
action is not being taken, many cited “more important
business priorities” and the cost of implementation.
Executives also indicated that it’s unfair to single
out business as the major culprit for climate change. Many
believe the U.S. government (27 percent) should bear the
brunt of responsibility, followed by foreign governments
(21%), and an equal share among individuals and business
executive VP and partner at M+K, said business leaders are
deeply concerned about global warming and think responsible
green policies make sense. “The challenge moving forward,
however, is to unleash these convictions,” she said.
HOFFMAN HAS GIFT GUIDE SERVICE
San Jose-based tech firm
The Hoffman Agency has put together a gift guide service
to get clients placed across various media in holiday product
Cost of the service is $30K for a set number of hits and
a sliding fee scale is available for different goals.
The firm has handled
gift guides for Plantronics, Sony and Altec Lansing.
global strategic head of health and wellness at Ruder Finn,
is being honored as “volunteer of the year”
by CancerCare, Inc. She has been a member of the group’s
board of trustees for several years. She’s a 29-year
veteran of Ruder Finn. ...Scott
Jennings, director of strategic development for Peritus
PR, Louisville, Ky., has been named one of Louisville’s
“40 Under 40” for 2008 by Business First. ...PAN
Communications, Andover, Md., and Ron Sachs Communications,
Tallahassee, have relaunched their websites – www.pancomm.com
and www.ronsachs.com, respectively. ...Deirdre
Breckenridge, president and director of comms. at
Totowa, N.J.-based PFS Marketwyse, will keynote The National
Women’s In Network Conference Oct. 7 at Crabtree’s
Kittle House in Chappaqua, N.Y. ...Carmichael
Lynch Spong, Minneapolis, said it took home two Gold
Pick Awards and two Silver Awards from PR Society/Colorado
New York/Liberator, luxury and lifestyle brand for the intimacy
market, as AOR, including media relations, product placement
publicity, sponsorship and sampling opportunities.
Goodman Media International,
New York/ “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” for
PR for its presidential election coverage; Thirteen/WNET,
for PR for “Worldfocus,” a new half-hour nightly
newscast hosted by Martin Savidge debuting in October, and
“Make ‘Em Laugh,” a six-hour PBS series;
Penguin Books, for PR for “Madeline and the Cats of
Rome,” the first new book in the series in 50 years;
Free to Choose Media, for PR for the two-hour documentary
“The Power of the Poor: Capitalism at the Crossroads,”
and Mediapost, to promote MEDIA Magazine.
New York/Eveden Inc., U.S. division of the U.K.-based lingerie
and swimwear company Eveden Group, for traditional and online
PR for its brands like Fantasie, Freya and Elomi. WS/U.K.
has worked with Eveden Group’s SLAM division.
Gibbs & Soell PR,
New York/Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP, Wall St. law
firm, as AOR to promote the firm, its practice groups and
key partners. The firm also has a D.C. office.
New York/JMJ Holdings, Dallas-based high-end residential
developer, for PR for its projects and corporate brand.
The Atrebor Group,
New York/Rosalie Bay - A Nature Resort (Dominica), as AOR
for media relations and marketing communications for the
28-room boutique resort, slated to open in January.
The Investor Relations Group,
New York/Sahara Media, for IR and PR support.
Boston/Karen Clark & Company, catastrophe risk management
services, as AOR for PR focused on media relations and speaking
engagements, and LifeYield, financial technology provider
for wealth management firms, for PR and marketing.
Smart Schools, a nonprofit education reform organization
in Colorado, as AOR for PR. GFM worked with the group on
its official launch in September.
San Francisco/imeem, social media community for music, video
and photos, as AOR for PR.
Bob Gold & Associates,
Los Angeles/Kabel-X USA, fiber optic cable conversion, for
PR and marketing.
Los Angeles/MAZEfilms, to promote the new horror-suspense
film “Cornered!” starring Steve Guttenberg.
San Diego/Riverside County’s Dept. of Public and Social
Services, for a campaign addressing homelessness, a new
211 hotline and website. The county wants to “challenge
preconceived notions of homelessness” and generate
community support for those in need.
Edition, October 1, 2008, Page 6
PRN-BACKED STUDY SAYS IT’S
PR Newswire said a survey
it sponsored that was conducted by Diagnostics Plus showed
PRN releases were used 55 percent of the time, versus 43%
pick-up for Marketwire, 38% for BusinessWire and 37% for
PrimeNewswire, now known as GlobeNewswire.
DP tracked five random
releases per wire service on each business day from April
1 to June 30 and defined a pick-up as any reference to the
release subject matter in media published after the release.
Republication verbatim was not counted and the pick-ups
were tracked via LexisNexis and Factiva.
PRN carried an average
of five hits per release, followed by BusinessWire (4.6),
GlobeNewswire (2.6) and Marketwire (2.1).
Jim Fong, president of
DP, said the releases were selected to “minimize bias
and produce a truly random sampling.”
TNS ADDS RF BINDER EXEC
Natasha Stevens, managing
director of research for RF Binder Partners, has joined
TNS Media as business solutions architect for TNS Cymfony,
its media analysis and measurement platform.
At RF Binder, Stevens
managed a team that provided competitive intelligence, media
analysis, tend forecasting and other research for the firm’s
TNS Cymfony CEO Andrew
Bernstein said Stevens’ experience “will further
differentiate Cymfony from other cookie cutter tools in
New York Women in Communications
will host a panel Oct 7, “Disconnecting in a Hyper-Connected
World” at the DoubleTree Guest Suites Times Square.
Among the speakers are Jen Chung, executive editor, Gothamist;
Lisa Mogensen, chief financial officer, Forbes.com, and
Amy Introcaso-Davis, EVP of programming and development,
Oxygen. $41/non-members; $16/students. Info: nywici.org.
New York chapter will host a technology networking
reception hosted by dna13 on Oct. 2 at Latitude Bar and
Lounge (Eigth Ave. betw. 47th and 48th Streets at 6 p.m.
Free admission, appetizers and first drink. ...PRS’
Georgia chapter will host a monthly luncheon panel
on the Beijing Olympics at 11:30 a.m. at Maggiano’s-Buckhead,
3368 Peachtree Road, Atlanta. Representatives from UPS and
The Coca-Cola Company will relate communications efforts
and challenges from the recent Games. Info: Denise Grant
at 770/449-6369. PRS’ National Capital Chapter’s
PRONet Committee will host a happy hour event from 5:30
to 8:00 p.m. at Piola, 1550 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, Va.
Cost: $10 at the door. RSVP to Alex Meerovich at a.meero[email protected]
or call 202/454-3403...Interlex,
a San Antonio-based cause-related marketing firm,
has been named general market and multicultural AOR for
TracFone Wireless’ SafeLink Wireless, pre-paid mobile
phone service supported by the U.S. government for low-income
households. Interlex is handling advertising, PR and partnership
Sullivan, director of marketing and brand management,
Diane Von Furstenberg Studio, to Phat Fashions, New York,
as VP of marketing and PR. PF is owned by Kellwood Company.
Della Croce, president, Phase IV Health & Performance
Center, a wellness and fitness start-up, to MWW Group, New
York, as senior VP and deputy GM of the office. He was executive
VP and director of corporate/financial comms. at Ogilvy
PR Worldwide, and a VP in Fleishman-Hillard’s corporate
Chisholm, founder of Lola Productions, a TV production
shop focused on documentaries for corporate and cable network
clients, to Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications, Boston,
as associate VP of digital communications and media services.
She was previously a senior associate producer for ESPN.
Makopoulos, senior product manager for GlaxoSmithKline’s
pediatric vaccine, Boostrix, to Dorland Global Corp., Philadelphia,
as VP, management supervisor, to oversee three key accounts
and handle new business. She previously worked at two WPP
agencies in New York and New Jersey.
Jill Monahan, previously with Tierney Communications,
Fleishman-Hillard and The Weber Group, to Tier One Partners,
Philadelphia, as a management team member.
Karen Levin, director of finance/practice business manager,
Burson-Marsteller’s U.S. media practice, to Spectrum
Science Communications, Washington, D.C., as VP of finance.
Ian Ritchie, research director of the Level Field
Institute, a grassroots group set up by retirees from Detroit’s
“big three” automakers, to North Bridge Communications,
Washington, D.C., as an A/E. Ritchie was previously special
assistant to Burson-Marsteller CEO Mark Penn.
Callahan, partner at marketing and distribution firm
Beyond the Box Productions, to Ascent Media Group, Santa
Monica, Calif., as VP of global marketing and communications.
Haedicke, a reporter for KSFY-TV in Sioux Falls,
S.D., and Ashley Ennis, who handled media relations for
the Spokane (Wash.) Arena, have joined Duo PR, Seattle,
as communications coordinators.
Whitman Jr. to VP, U.S. communications, McDonald’s
USA, Oak Brook, Ill. He takes over for Richard Ellis, who
re-joins McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada. In the
role, Whitman, a veteran of Fleishman-Hillard and Exxon
USA, is chief communications officer and chief spokesman
for the company in the U.S. He also oversees management
comms., internal and external comms., media relations, public
affairs and stakeholder engagement.
Weaver, press secretary for the Pennsylvania Dept.
of Environmental Protection, Harrisburg, Pa., to director
of communications. Teresa
Candori, deputy director for comms. for Gov. Ed
Rendell, takes over Weaver’s role as DEP press
Edition, October 1, 2008, Page 7
LET TRUTH AND FALSEHOOOD
Philosopher John Milton is quoted as saying: “Let
truth and falsehood grapple; whoever knew truth put to the
worse in a free and open encounter.”
Milton pleaded for “open deliberation” in 1644
in a speech entitled “Aereopagitica” tothe
Lords and Commons of the Star Chamber court in England.
| PR Society has
informed Jack O’Dwyer
that it will allow him 350 words in its November issue
of Tactics to rebut charges in a PRS board letter published
in the September issue that said he had “stepped
far beyond the bounds of accurate and professional reporting”
in writing about PRS and its volunteer leaders.
John Stuart Mill is quoted as saying that truth is not always
easily discerned and that citizens will look for a consensus
among multiple points of view.
in the great potential concerns of life is so much a question
of reconciling and combining of opposites,” said Mill.
Grunigs’ ‘Symmetrical Model’ Is Cited
Also cited by Penning is the “two-way symmetrical
model” of communications described by Professors James
and Larissa Grunig.
The model involves “collaboration, negotiation and
mediation as PR pros listen as well as communicate to their
publics,” says Penning.
Also deplored is censorship. Penning quotes Milton as saying
that government censorship, even if well intended, does
great harm to society.
[A group of PR professors has been trying without success
for two months to get PRS national or chapters to carry
their 14-point essay arguing for a discussion and vote on
publishing the printed members’ directory].
PR people who are caught trying to cover or bend the truth
reinforce the image of PR as “nothing more than intentional
deception, sleazy image crafting, or spin,” Penning
writes. He concludes: “The ethical and democratic
role of PR is to help provide equal and diverse expressions,
to encourage deliberation, and to enable informed decision
Penning Has Own Firm
Besides teaching PR courses at Grand Valley, Penning has
his own PR firm, Penning Ink. He was president of West Michigan
PRS in 2004 and was on its board seven years. He is a founder
and board member of Interchange: The Assn. for West Michigan
A graduate of Central Michigan with a B.A. in journalism,
he received an M.A. in Organizational Communication from
Western Michigan University and is working on a Ph.D. in
Media Information Studies at Michigan State. His early career
in journalism included working as a staff writer and editor
for Traverse Magazine and Advance Newspapers.
COAL GROUP RENAMED; GORE RAPS
Americans for Balanced
Energy Choices, a group of 40+ companies using coal to generate
electricity, and which recently agreed to federal regulation
of carbon dioxide emissions, has changed its name to “American
Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.”
Environmental groups have been charging that the ABEC name
did not accurately reflect the membership of the group.
MGA Communications, Denver,
headed by Jeff Julin, CEO of the PR Society, worked for
the coal group until 2004. Julin helped ACCCE in 2007 when
it shopped for a PR firm, recommending a member of the PROI
network of PR firms, ACCCE said. However, ACCCE elected
to have ad agency R&R Partners also handle PR.
ABEC, as of 9/27 was
listed on the MGA website as among “past and present
clients.” Asked for a current account list, MGA declined
to provide one.
Former Vice President
Al Gore, at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New
York Sept. 24, declared “Clean coal does not exist.”
He said the issue of
global warming is so severe that it’s time for direct
Said Gore: “We
have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience
to prevent the construction of new coal plants that do not
have carbon capture and sequestration.”
Civil disobedience, he
said, should focus on “stopping the construction of
new coal plants that would add tons of carbon dioxide to
The coal industry, he
said, has spent “a half billion dollars worth of advertising”
The coal group in 2007
raised its annual ad/PR budget from $8M to $30M and hired
R&R. CEO of R&R is Billy Vassiliadis, Nevada adviser
to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama.
Can Be Buried
ACCCE says that “carbon
capture and sequestration” allows the carbon produced
by burning coal to be captured and buried underground.
A Massachusetts Institute
of Technology study, quoted by desmogblog.com, said that
the first commercial CCS plant would not be operating until
at least 2030.
Also quoted is Shell
as saying it “doesn’t foresee CCS being in widespread
use until 2050.”
ACCCE notes that emissions
from coal power plants have declined 35% since 1970 even
though coal use tripled during that period.
It says the U.S. has
more than 200 years of coal reserves, making it the largest
energy resource. Critics contend that most of the high-quality,
easily mined coal has already been removed.
ACCCE says that producing
electricity from coal costs less than most other fuels and
that a “balanced energy portfolio, using all of our
available domestic energy resources—will be needed
to meet America’s growing electricity needs and still
keep energy supplies reliable and affordable.”
sources of energy like solar and wind “are not suitable
replacements for coal when it comes to providing ‘baseload’
power (the constant supply of electricity that must be available
at all times to ensure that the electricity transition grid
functions properly,” says ACCCE.
Critics of coal say American
Electric Power has admitted that “clean coal”
could raise electricity rates anywhere from 5-7 cents a
kilowatt-hour to as much as 15 cents an hour, thus tripling
Edition, October 1, 2008,
PR Professor Tim Penning’s
view (page one) that PR is “dialogue,”
stated 11 different ways in an article in Tactics of the
PR Society, is a wake-up call to the industry.
Truth has nothing to fear in “grappling” with
falsehood, says Penning in quoting philosopher John Milton.
Presidential candidates and other public officials are
going through the cauldron of public debate now and the
business world could certainly benefit from the same.
PRS CEO Jeff Julin told the Denver Post April 12 that “a
two-way dialogue…is ultimately the goal of effective
There’s certainly a lot of lip service being paid
to PR as dialogue but we don’t see much follow-through.
PRS hardly even talks to its own members. Dialogue is
needed to attack such issues as the right of all members
to run for national office; elimination of proxy voting
at the Assembly; whether or not there should be a printed
members’ directory; moving the charter to Delaware
to allow more meetings of the Assembly; releasing Assembly
transcripts; reinstituting an enforceable code; showing
PRS financials several ways, etc.
an absence of nationally recognized PR leaders,”
concludes a “PR Leadership Study” by Heyman
Assocs. and the Dept. of Advertising and PR, University
A majority of the respondents said there were either no
outstanding leaders or skipped the question, Heyman Assocs.
Prof. Bruce Berger, chairman of the University’s
Ad/PR Dept., said the absence comes “at a time when
the profession needs excellent leaders to strengthen its
image and create ethical role models.”
He would like the leadership issue “put on the agendas
of professional associations,” implying that the PR
trade organizations are falling down in this regard.
The PR leadership study was conducted via an online national
survey of more than 200 “experienced PR professionals
in various fields and company types and sizes, and a series
of in-depth interviews of 20 diverse, young and highly successful
Leadership in PR has
to be conducted by PR execs speaking out and debating
with various experts including those in the press. It is
especially needed now as the nation tries to understand
the Wall St. meltdown. Lack of public confidence could cause
a ruinous run on banks.
The one PR person we can think of with a national reputation
who appears often on TV interview shows in behalf of the
industry is Fraser Seitel, author of the college text, “The
Practice of PR,” former editor of PRS’ Strategist
quarterly and who has written a twice-monthly column for
odwyerpr.com for five years.
He is the PR “expert” TV hosts have turned
to more than 100 times (including three times on Fox News
last week). He is invited because he writes knowledgeably
about current crises. He has also authored more than 50
essays on the basics of PR for odwyerpr.com.
How PR people can assert leadership without appearing
in public is beyond us.
But the Heyman study gives short shrift to media relations,
barely mentioning it: “PR leaders must be able to
create a vision for how communications strategically connects
an organization to its publics, and understand media technologies
in order to successfully deliver messages.”
Media don’t want “messages” delivered
to them. They want dialogue.
PR leadership is needed
now when secrecy and refusal to submit to government
regulation (or the government’s lax regulation) has
led to a financial collapse.
O’Dwyer staffers called numerous PR execs for their
views on this mess and got answers from some of them (page
two). These are by definition the leaders of the industry.
Leadership in PR requires quick thinking because, as the
saying goes, “media are traveling at blinding speed.”
They have to in order to keep up with the events. There’s
no such thing as PR leaders working behind the scenes. Eloquence,
charisma and goodwill need to be publicly expressed and
a dialogue set up with the relevant experts. Knowledge of
subject matter and being on top of the latest news are key
ingredients of PR leadership.
Among those commenting on the current crisis were IR veteran
Ted Pincus; Rich Torrenzano, former VP-PR, NYSE; Dave Senay,
CEO, Fleishman-Hillard; Mark Hass, CEO, Manning, Selvage
& Lee; Michael Kempner, CEO, MWW Group; Michael Petruzzello,
CEO of Qorvis Comms., and Richard Goldstein, O’Dwyer
The Heyman study says
that “ethical orientation” is a key ingredient
of PR leadership and we agree.
A big ethical bone of contention in PR is whether a PR
firm or PR counselor should identify clients.
This issue broke the back of the old code of the PR Society
in 1999 when the Ethics Board declared the code unenforceable.
The code only said members had to be “prepared”
to disclose the origin of a release but stopped short of
mandating this. A possible case with nationwide ramifications
had to be dropped and PRS opted for a new code that would
not be enforced.
MGA Communications, Denver, whose president, Jeff Julin,
is chair of PRS, has on its current website a list of 11
“past and present clients” including “Americans
for Balanced Energy Choice,” which changed its name
in April to “American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.”
When we said on odwyerpr.com that ABEC is a client of
MGA we were corrected—told that MGA has not worked
for what is now ACCCE since 2004.
We were further told that MGA does not release a current
client list so we have to guess who is or who is not a client.
MGA listed 46 clients in the 1997 O’Dwyer’s
Directory of PR Firms, 22 in 1998, ten in 1999, and seven
in 2001. It didn’t give any information at all for
the 2008 Directory. What made it change its policy is a
question we put to the firm.
Our ethical view is that all clients of PR firms should
be on the record in order to live up to the “public”
in PR and so prospective clients can see if there are any
conflicts. Reporters also look for help from PR firms on
In recent years, there has been a trend for some firms,
especially those owned by the five ad conglomerates, to
avoid listing any clients.
But the 204 firms in the 2007 O’Dwyer rankings all
provided account lists which are required for a ranking
and had no problem doing so.
Leadership in PR would be fighting the tendency to retreat
behind the scenes. “Transparency” is one of
the supreme values of the industry.