The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, October 8, 2008, Page 1
SEEKS PR FIRM
General Motors and Dept. of Energy-sponsored competition
for college engineering students in North America, is looking
for a PR firm to support the three-year program.
is soliciting proposals from PR firms through Oct. 16 to
guide communications for EcoCAR and its sponsors for at
least half of its three-year span. The PR program will be
evaluated in the second year to determine if a new contract
will be sought.
will range from $200-350K, according to a copy of the RFP.
covers universities in the U.S. and Canada (the Canadian
government is also a sponsor) and has students reengineering
a Saturn Vue automobile to improve fuel economy and reduce
greenhouse gas emissions.
in the PR work is development of a communications plan for
Jan. 2009-10 and execution of media relations, PR events,
outreach to consumers, policy makers, students, and coordination
with PR staff from GM, the DOE and other supporting organizations.
DeClark ([email protected]),
a Strat@comm executive on the GM account who is now communications
and logistics manager at the DOEs Argonne National
Laboratory in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., is the point person
for the competitions steering committee and will oversee
the selected firm. Jackie Papiernik ([email protected]]
is handling proposals. A copy of the RFP can be downloaded
from the EcoCAR website at http://www.ecocarchallenge.org/.
MIKE SUCCEEDS JIM LAKE AT
Burson-Marsteller has replaced Jim Lake, who was chairman
of its U.S. PA practice, with his identical twin brother,
Jim took the presidency post at Gibraltar Assocs. on Sept.
15. Mike had been running B-Ms southwest region and
opened offices in Dallas, Austin and Houston.
Prior to B-M, Mike opened BSMG Worldwides southwest
Both Lakes served in the Reagan White House. Mike was director
of campaign event operations for Bush-Quayle in `88, and
director of candidate operations for the Dole for
B-Ms domestic PA group has about 100 staffers.
PRS president Bill
Murray earned $262,515 in `07 compensation. The Society
contributed $29,500 to Murrays employee benefit plan,
and shelled out $21,338 for his expense account and other
allowances, according to its Form 990 made available Sept.
IRISH EYES SMILE FOR SORRELL
WPP Group CEO Martin Sorrell is shifting the firms
incorporation from the U.K. to Ireland in a move to slash
taxes. The move is to be completed next month.
The British Treasurys tinkering with the tax code
would force WPP and other companies to pay taxes on earnings
overseas once they are remitted to the U.K, according to
a report in the Daily Mail. E.g., United Business
Media, owner of PR Newswire, is joining Sorrell in the shift
to the Emerald Isle.
The Mail reports that WPP paid 204M pounds in taxes in
`07, but would now be on the hook for tens of millions
of pounds more. The U.K. generates less than 15 percent
of WPPs revenues and profits.
Sorrell had been an ardent foe of the Treasurys plan,
and is now apparently throwing in the towel. Reuters reports
that WPPs shift to Ireland is a blow for
the British Government, especially since Sorrell acted
as an ambassador for British business. He also played a
leading role in Londons win of the `12 Olympics.
CAVANEY TAKES CONOCOPHILLIPS
Red Cavaney, who is retiring as president and CEO of the
powerful oil industry trade group, the American Petroleum
Institute, will take the top government and public affairs
post at ConocoPhillips in November.
Cavaney announced his retirement from API after 11 years
in June. He steps down on Oct. 31 and will be succeeded
by Jack Gerard, who heads the American Chemistry Council
and previously led the National Mining Association.
Cavaney was a senior White House staffer for Presidents
Nixon, Ford and Reagan. The 65-year-old Vietnam veteran
earlier headed three key trade groups the American
Paper Institute, American Plastics Council, and the American
Forest & Paper Association.
At ConocoPhillips, Cavaney will oversee policy, government
affairs, communications and PA.
OGILVY WINS SUNPOWER ACCOUNT
Ogilvy PR Worldwide has won PR duties for Silicon Valley
solar cell producer SunPower Corp. following a competitive
review. Ogilvy takes over for San Francisco-based Bite Communications.
SP claims to be the largest maker of solar systems in the
U.S. Its looking for Ogilvy to tap the energy mediums
momentum as a mainstream energy source.
Ogilvys S.F. office will lead the account with support
from more than 10 offices in the U.S., Europe, Asia and
Australia. The work encompasses corporate and consumer comms.,
PA, crisis management, message development, social media
and media training.
Edition, October 8, 2008, Page 2
WORKS ANTI-OBAMA TOUR
Russo, founder and principal of the right-leaning PR firm
Russo Marsh & Rogers, is chief strategist of a political
action committee targeting Sen. Barack Obama with a 38-city
tour this month of rallies across the U.S.
Our Country Deserves Better PAC is hitting Obama on what
it says will be higher taxes, weaker national defense, an
empty energy policy and uncontrolled borders if the Illinois
Democrat is elected to the White House in November.
group is organizing rallies across the U.S. from Sacramento
on Oct. 15 to culminate 14 days later with a Washington,
D.C., press conference. Its asking participants with
executive experience to bring their resumes to highlight
Americans with more experience than Obama. The group, which
is also raising money to run advertising, is urging rally
participants to bring American flags to the events.
a former aide to Ronald Reagan when he was governor of California,
has been active in similar groups in the past to advance
Republican causes. In 2007, he was chief strategist of Move
America Forward as it assembled a 24-city caravan in support
of the so-called military surge in Iraq and
earlier, mounted opposition to Michael Moores Fahrenheit
9/11 film. He was also under contract with Iraqs
Kurdish population at the time.
Kaloogian, a former state assemblyman in California and
key figure in the recall of Gov. Gray Davis in 2004, chairs
the OCDB PAC.
AMG, SC GUIDE NEUBERGER RESCUE
Abernathy MacGregor Group
and Stanton Crenshaw are working the $2.2B private equity
takeover of venerable asset management firm Neuberger Berman.
Hellman & Friedman
and Bain Capital Partners are leading the takeover of the
property that had been part of Lehman Brothers, which prior
to its collapse had spurned a $7B offer for NB. AMG reps
H&F, while SC works for BCP.
NB is to form the core
of a $230B asset group that is being created by the equity
partners. The company will be known as Neuberger Investment
George Walker, former
head of global investment management at Lehman, says his
worried staffers are now energized by the deal with H&F
and BCP. He couldnt think of two better partners,
according to a statement. Walker will head NIM.
GONDA EXITS CARLYLE FOR HILTON
Ellen Gonda has left the
director of communications slot at private equity giant
The Carlyle Group after a year to head global communications
and PR for Hilton Hotels Corp.
She took up the senior
VP post at Hilton last week reporting to CEO Christopher
Nassetta and based in Beverly Hills.
Gonda joined Carlyle in
New York last December to direct communications for its
North and South American initiatives from Brunswick Group,
where she was a director. Earlier, she was with Gavin Anderson
and then-Abernathy MacGregor Frank.
Chris Ullman continues
to head global communications for Carlyle, which has $89.3
billion under management, up from $75B when Gonda joined
KEKST OWED $400K BY LEHMAN
Lehman Brothers owes Kekst
& Company $400K for its crisis and other PR services
handled before the bankrupt investment bank went belly-up
The New York Post
said Oct. 3 Lehman was expected to pay the firm in full
about a week before its earnings announcement on Sept. 11
but never did, despite a request before the Chapter 11 filing.
Kekst, which was acquired
by Publicis Groupe in a nine-figure deal in July, doesnt
comment on its client work. It had worked for Lehman in
the past before its financial troubles surfaced this year.
The firm hasnt yet
filed a request for payment from the bankruptcy court.
BATTCHER EXITS DELTA
Jeff Battcher, who headed
corporate communications at Delta Air Lines for a year and
a half, has left the carrier for the senior VP post at Level
3 Communications, the Colorado-based fiber network giant.
Delta is slated to merge
with Northwest Airlines pending a federal antitrust
review to create the worlds largest airline.
Battcher, who started
at Level 3 on Sept. 30, heads media relations and internal/external
He relocated to the Denver
area from Macon, Ga., for the post. He joined Delta in February
2007 as its top communications strategist from BellSouth
Corp., now AT&T, where he was VP of corporate communications
in a 15-year career. He headed global comms. for the three
years leading up to its merger with AT&T and was BellSouths
MAKES PANASONIC LEGIT
Cohn & Wolfe is helping
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. officially rebrand itself
as Panasonic Corp. as the Japanese electronics powerhouse
seeks to expand beyond its home market.
Panasonic North America
CEO Yoshi Yamada and COO Joe Taylor celebrated the name
change by ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock
Exchange Oct. 1. Its NYSE stock symbol has been changed
to PC from MC. Panasonic showcased a 150-inch plasma high-def
TV outside the NYSE. It is the largest flat screen TV.
The Wall Street Journal
called the name change a radical move for a company
that has long revered its founder Konosuka Matsushita.
The company, however,
is too dependent on the slow-growth Japanese market compared
to its more nimble competitors.
Panasonic had fiscal `08
global sales of $90B. Half came from Japan, where the company
sold its goods under the Matsushita and National brands.
The corporate makeover
of the 90-year-old company is expected to be completed by
It follows the move made
by archrival Sony to change its name from Tokyo Telecommunications
Engineering. That was done a half-century ago.
Edition, October 8, 2008, Page 3
DOES SET IN NEW YORK
New York Sun published its last edition on Sept.
30 after president and editor Seth Lipsky failed to find
a financial angel in his three-week search for the cash
needed to save the conservative daily.
a farewell note published on the Suns website, Lipsky
said he spoke with every individual deemed to be a prospective
partner, but was hampered operating during a period that
is one of the worst in the century in which to be
trying to raise capital.
decision to shut down after a six and a half year run was
not an acrimonious one. It is a logical decision following
a hard-headed assessment of our chances of meeting a goal
of profitable publication in the near future.
regrets that the paper could not return the cash to the
original roster of investors that pumped nearly $16M into
group includes Michael Sternhardt, former chairman of the
Democratic Leadership Council; Roger Hertog, chairman emeritus
of the Manhattan Institute and Bruce Kovner, a hedge fund
WAPO CO. BUYS FOREIGN POLICY
The Washington Post Co.
is buying Foreign Policy magazine and its website
from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a D.C.-based
The deal, according to
WPC CEO Don Graham, furthers his companys commitment
to great magazine journalism and provides an opportunity
to expand online.
Moises Naim is publisher
and editor-in-chief of FP. Susan Glasser, a Washington Post
editor and foreign correspondent, will become executive
editor at FP, which is now part of The Slate Group.
FP is a bi-monthly with
a circulation of 100K.
JOURNAL EXPANDS WISC. REACH
Journal Community Publishing
Group, a Milwaukee-based unit of Journal Communications,
has inked a deal to acquire Waupaca Publishing Company and
its Wisconsin newspapers and niche publications for $7M.
Titles include the Waupaca
County Post, The Chronicle, Picture Post,
Tri-County Advertiser, Wisconsin State Farmer
and Silent Sports magazine.
The deal also includes
additional unnamed print publications and associated websites
as well as Waupaca Publishing Companys commercial
printing business and the related real estate and buildings.
TV GUIDE CHANNEL GOES ON THE
Macrovision is looking
for a buyer for its TV Guide Channel, which it acquired
as part of its May acquisition of Gemstar-TV Guide International.
The channel is distributed
in more than 80M cable/satellite homes.
a deal could be worth about $400M to Macrovision.
It notes that NBC Universal
and its partners shelled out $3.5B for the Weather Channel
in July, which was before the current financial crunch.
S&P KEEPS EYE ON GANNETTS
Standard & Poors
has put the ratings of Gannett, on its creditwatch
with negative implications, which means the ratings of the
No. 1 newspaper chain could be in store for a downgrade.
The ratings agency is
reviewing both Gannetts long-term corporate credit
rating and short-term commercial paper rating.
S&P cited the worsening
pace of decline in advertising revenue for the move.
It believes that the risk of a long-term downturn in the
U.S. economy could exacerbate operating weakness at
Gannett for a longer period of time than previously expected.
Gannett says it continues
to generate substantial cash flow and enjoys significant
untapped availability under its $3.9B of committed revolving
credit facilities, far in excess of its total commercial
CEO Craig Dubow believes
Gannetts underlying fundamentals remain strong,
according to a statement issued in reaction to the S&P
Gannett publishes 85 daily
newspapers, including USA Today.
On Sept. 15, it reported
that August ad revenues dropped 16.8 percent from the year
earlier month. Gannetts stock trades at $16.52. Its
52-week range is $46.18 and $14.52.
ELLIOTT DIES AT 83
Osborn Elliott, who is
credited with revitalizing Newsweek during the `60s,
has died of cancer. He was 83. The New York Times obit said
when Elliott assumed the managing editor role at Newsweek
the magazine lagged far behind Time and just aped
the Time Inc. flagships terse writing style.
Elliott, widely known
as Oz, brought a sense of flair to Newsweek and doled out
bylines to reporters who had written anonymously. He actively
targeted a younger audience with hard-hitting pieces on
the opposition to the Vietnam war and the civil rights movement.
which stood at 1.5M in `61, grew to 2.7M in 76, the year
Elliott left the publication.
Upon leaving Newsweek,
Elliott became New York Citys first deputy mayor for
economic development, and dean of Columbia Universitys
Graduate School of Journalism. He stepped down from that
Columbia post in `86. He taught at Columbia until `94.
Elliott saw combat in
the Pacific during WWII, and began a journalism career at
the New York Journal of Commerce.
His brother John, known
as Jock, rose to the chairman slot at Ogilvy
& Mather. He died in `05.
Varadarajan, contributing editor at the Financial
Times, has joined Forbes.com
as its opinions channel editor. He is responsible for the
four topic categories of foreign affairs & defense,
culture & society, business and economics and politics.
Varadarajan penned op-eds,
book reviews and culture essays at FT and earlier was chief
TV and media critic and op-ed/features editor.
news continued on next page)
Edition, October 8, 2008, Page 4
PAPERS TOP CREDIBILITY SURVEY
and daily newspapers are viewed as more credible sources
of news and information than radio, the Internet or magazines,
according to a survey of consumers sponsored by ARAnet,
which provides content to papers and websites.
a 1-10 credibility scale from not at all credible
to extremely credible, the study polled 1,005
adults by phone nationally in early September and found
TV scored a 6.6 and daily papers a 6.3. Radio was close
behind at 6.0 while the Internet and weekly community papers
were rated in the middle ground at 5.6 and 5.2, respectively.
garnered a 4.6 score and respondents said they got only
1.6 percent of their monthly news and information from glossies.
Free shopper papers fared the worst with a 3.5
types of media that people view as the most credible are
the ones that they turn to the most often for news information,
said ARAnet president Scott Severson.
to the survey said they receive fewer than 35 percent of
their monthly news and information from TV and less than
a quarter of their news from daily newspapers. Online sources
were cited by respondents as the source of 12.7 percent
of their news consumption.
said the results reflect what his company hears from the
industry and consumers.
NABJ PRAISES IFILL
The National Association
of Black Journalists issued a statement of support for PBS
editor and correspondent Gwen Ifill following the Oct. 2
Vice Presidential debate which she moderated after Ifill
was hit with mild criticism by Sen. John McCains campaign
and conservative pundits for a book she is writing about
black politicians including Sen. Barack Obama.
NABJ said Ifill served
with resilience, grace and tenacity, the traits of an exemplary
Ifill is writing her first
book, The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age
of Obama, slated for release on Jan. 20, 2009. She
has been an NBC correspondent and began her career in print
journalism at the Washington Post, Baltimore Evening
Sun and Boston Herald.
Gwen set a steady
hand, a sound voice and balanced tone through what became
a civil debate between two history making rivals,
NABJ President Barbara Ciara said of the debate between
Sen. Joe Biden and Gov. Sarah Palin. Wed expect
nothing less from one of our countrys most highly-respected
The group said Ifills
role in the debate paves the way for future opportunities
for black journalists and others of color to participate
more fully in coverage of Presidential elections. The group
gave out its Thumbs Down Award earlier this year in noting
how journalists of color were not represented proportionally
in this coverage.
PBS ombudsman said
that Ifills book project should have been surfaced
by the Commission on Presidential Debates or Ifill much
earlier than it was, but expressed support for the journalists
LEEDS JOINS BUZZNET
Jeff Leeds, a former music
reporter at the New York Times, is the new editor-in-chief
a pop culture online community.
He is to develop editorial
material as well as manage partner sites such as Absolute
Pink, Vampire Freaks, Stereogum and The Gauntlet.
Scott Boyd, general manger
of Buzznet, said he hired Leeds for his "wealth of
music and journalism experience plus knowledge of social
programming and the fast-changing media landscape."
Leeds joined the Times
in `04, and left in May following its retrenchment.
Earlier, he spent nine years at the Los Angeles Times, covering
music, politics, aerospace and white collar crime.
NIZZA MOVES TO ATLANTIC
Mike Nizza, blogger for
the New York Times' The Lede, is taking the senior
editor post at Atlantic Media, parent of The Atlantic
and National Journal magazines.
Jim Roberts, digital news
editor at NYT, credits Nizza for the overall development
He says Nizza has a "well-tuned
understanding of the news" and an "unparalleled
depth of knowledge of the web."
New Yorker endorsed Sen. Barack Obama
for President in its Oct. 13 issue, the magazines
second endorsement in its history following the 04
backing of Sen. John Kerry.
On almost every issue,
John McCain and Obama both "speak the generalized language
of 'reform,' but only Obama has provided a convincing, rational,
and fully developed vision," the editors wrote.
is a new large-format quarterly magazine focused on fashion
The pub is a collaboration
between artist Guy Derry and photographer Bobby Mozumder
and is based in Burlington, Vt. Info: futureclaw.com.
top online news and opinion sites said traffic records
were shattered in September.
said it broke its traffic record with more than 323.3 million
page views in September, 27% higher than the previous record
of 272.5M views. Its politics and business sections were
the top performing areas of the site and more than 1.4M
videos were viewed during the month.
the online magazine, posted more than 87 million page views
in September, a 41% increase over last year. The best performing
area was news and politics, up 67% over 2007.
Television has launched Outside the Box,,
a free online series in which cast members from network
and cable TV programs interview one another using fan submitted
The debut episode featured
cast members from ABCs "Private Practice"
and premiered on Oct. 1
Edition, October 8,
2008, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
ACQUIRES JOHN ADAMS ASSOCS.
York-based Kellen Associates has acquired Washington, D.C.,
public affairs shop John Adams Associates.
firms see critical changes in federal and state policies
over the next year following Presidential and Congressional
elections affecting business, regardless of which party
the agreement, JAA acts as the PA arm of Kellen with firm
president John Adams becoming a senior executive of the
facilitated the merger.
has operations in New York, Tucson, Brussels, Beijing and
CONSUMERS WANT COS. IN SOCIAL
One in four Americans
interact with companies on a social media website, according
to a study by Boston-based Cone.
The firm found that 93
percent of adults believe a company should have a social
media presence, while 85 percent think companies should
also interact with consumers via such a platform like a
More than half surveyed
(56%) said they feel a stronger connection and better served
by companies they can interact with in a SM environment,
Asked about what types
of SM platforms would be welcome consumers responded as
43% said companies
should use social networks to solve consumer problems.
41% said companies
should solicit feedback on their products and services via
Men are nearly twice as
likely to interact with a company via social media
37% to 17%, respectively, according to Cone. And one-third
of younger consumers (18-34) think companies should actively
market to them via social networks.
Mike Hollywood, director
of new media for Cone, said the results are great
news for marketers as younger consumers and men are
typically more difficult to target. Here they are
saying, Come market to us and interact with us online,
BRIEFS: Six consultants
from Jaffe Associates,
Washington, D.C., were included in LawDragons
100 Legal Consultants You Need to Know list, including president/CEO
Jay Jaffe. ...Idea
Hall, Costa Mesa, Calif., said it ranked 667 in the
2008 Inc. 5000 rankings of the fastest growing companies
in the U.S. Rebecca Hall, president/CEO, said the firm has
grown more than 500 percent since 2003, when it started
from her home. IH now has 23 staffers. ...Widmeyer
Communications, Washington, D.C., has created a nine-member
higher education advisory panel. Members include Edward
Fiske, former N.Y. Times education editor and author
of The Fiske Guide to Colleges; Jose Tijerino,
president and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, and
Susan Tifft, journalism professor at Duke Univ. and former
associate editor of Time. ...Vehr
Communications, Atlanta, which focuses on economic
development work, has been elected a partner in the IPREX
network of PR firms.
Strategic Communications, New York/GAIN Capital Group,
online foreign exchange, as AOR for PR. GAINs forex.com
currency trading site handles a daily volume exceeding $77
PR, New York/charitybuzz, online auction site for
celebrity experiences to benefit charities,
for publicity for its auctions.
PR, Bridgewater, N.J./GameChanger Products, exclusive
distributor of Audio Bone headphones in North America, as
AOR for PR.
PR, Alexandria Township, N.J./Octapharma USA, blood
plasma fractionation, as AOR for PR.
Collins & Company, Buffalo, N.Y./New York State
Podiatric Medical Association, for integrated communications
and PR services for the New York City-based groups
Communications, Andover, Mass./DiCicco, Gulman and
Company, public accounting and financial advisory firm,
as AOR handling traditional and social media like podcasts
and blogs, thought leadership and awards.
Novelli, Washington, D.C./Federal Deposit Insurance
Corp., for a PSA campaign with finance expert Suze Orman
to educate consumers about deposit insurance. The campaign
highlights the FDIC site, myFDICinsurance.gov,
and includes PSAs for TV, radio, online and print/billboards.
PR, Miami/BankAtlantic, financial institution, to
develop and implement a PR campaign encompassing brand awareness,
consumer education and community outreach.
Ink., Miami/American Heart Assn., for the Miami chapters
Go Red for Women charity luncheon; In Fashion
Photo by Art Photo Expo and Empire Editions, for media relations;
Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau, for Miami launch; Whiskey
Blue, for PR representation; Karu & Y, for event marketing
and media relations for re-launch; Hot Tuna, for opening,
and Giorgio Armani, for event marketing for an Oct. fashion
PR, San Francisco/Sierra Summits Skin Products, for
PR for its flagship sunblock product; Xoom Corp., Net-based
global money transfer company, to publicize a partnership
with a major Mexican bank, and The Cheesecake Factory, for
media relations during coverage of a Phoenix-area lawsuit;
Univ. of California at Santa Cruz, for animal activist terrorism
issues; The Summit Lighthouse, for crisis and issues planning
for the spiritual organization, and Empire Academy, Santa
Cruz charter school.
& Cowan, Los Angeles/Bahamas International Film
Festival, for publicity for the 2008 event in December.
The firm handled BIFF last year.
Associates, Vancouver/Canadian Aboriginal Minerals
Association, for media relations for its 16th annual conference
Nov. 2-4. PRA will be primary media contact and produce
a daily blog for the event.
Edition, October 8, 2008, Page 6
PRODUCES ECO SEGMENTS
Media Associates, an Atlanta-based broadcast PR company,
has created a series of environmental news broadcast segments
for TV stations.
Turner Seydel, president of her own eco-friendly consulting
firm, is hosting the monthly segments, which feature a newsworthy
green topic of interest and will begin airing
in early January 2009.
like cleaning supplies or clothing, as well as energy saving
tips and other eco projects are examples of features for
Brunston, VP and executive producer for KEF, said the firm
found an interest in the project after surveying stations
nationally. Two national networks and four top DMA-market
stations have signed on for the initial broadcasts, KEF
said, for an estimated audience of three million households.
EDELMAN PLUGS INTO DNA13
Edelman, the top independent
firm, has adopted dna13s enterprise PR software platform.
dna13, which worked with
the firm to design a custom platform, said the goal is for
all of Edelmans 3,200 employees across the world to
use the service for media monitoring, media directories,
analytics, document management and client reporting.
The firm will also offer
the service to clients to work on a common platform with
Derek Creevey, chief of
staff for Edelman, said the software enables its staff to
access the services in every country and provide every team
with its own client portal.
MULTIVU ALIGNS WITH SPOT RUNNER
PR Newswires broadcast
unit MultiVu has aligned with creative video production
network Spot Runner to bolster its production and distributing
of multimedia news releases and online postings with video.
Todd Grossman, MultiVus
VP of sales, said the deal allows PRN to provide a more
affordable and comprehensive multimedia release package
with online video. He said MNRs are its fastest growing
service and noted those with video receive 35 percent more
Under the relationship,
Spot Runner manages creative production of 30, 60 or 90-second
videos for multimedia releases for MultiVu clients.
Association of Business Communicators is collaborating
with the Mexican Association
of Communicators, known as AMCO, helping AMCO become
more global and facilitating IABCs entry into Mexico.
Ruben Dario Gomez, president of AMCO, signed a pact with
Julie Freeman, president of IABC, to formalize the relationship.
...The Marketing Research
Association has published a Virtual Business Guide
to aid members. The guide includes tools for human resources,
finance, sample contracts and business management. A blog
is planned to create a sort of brain trust for members to
collaborate. MRAs CEO, Lawrence Brownell, said the
guide is important in a time when company resources are
tight. Info: mra-net.org.
Weber, marketing and communications manager, UPMC
Health Plan, to Elias/Savion Advertising, Pittsburgh, as
PR manager. She previously held several agency posts handling
clients like Kellogg, Heinz and ConAgra.
Lindenbaum, special assistant in the City Council
Presidents Office in Yonkers, N.Y., to Rasky Baerlein
Strategic Communications, Boston, as an A/C.
VP and senior biotech analyst, JPMorgan Securities, to Pharmasset,
Princeton, N.J., as VP of IR and corporate comms.
Kennedy, press secretary for House Minority Leader
John Boehner (R-Ohio), to FD Dittus Communications, Washington,
D.C., as VP and managing director of its energy practice.
He was a co-founder of the D.C. office of the Institute
for Energy Research, a non-profit backed by energy companies,
serving as VP of public affairs.
Weckerle who ran her own boutique firm, to Livingston
Communications, Alexandria, Va., as a VP to launch a New
York office for the firm. She will split her time between
D.C. and the Big Apple. Weckerle has a law degree and previously
held consulting posts with Ernst & Young.
Lawson, VP of IR for Associated Estates Realty Corp.,
to Kedle, a clinical research organization based in Cincinnati,
as director of PR.
Mussman, marketing manager, Stages Theatre Company,
to Henry Russell Bruce, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as a PR counselor.
Katz, former mayor of Portland, to Gallatin Public
Affairs, Portland, as of counsel.
Barnes, technology practice leader at Zeno Group,
to Airfoil PR, Detroit, as GM of the companys Mountain
View, Calif., office in Silicon Valley. She was previously
with Waggener Edstrom and held a senior leadership role
on its flagship Microsoft account.
Catalano, former SA/E at Waggener Edstrom and Atomic
PR, to Full Court Press Communications, Oakland, Calif.,
as a PR counselor.
Pyle, former director of bilingual communications
for the Metropolitan Water District (L.A.) and an ad/PR
exec at Cruz/Kravetz, to The Rogers Group, Los Angeles,
as VP of its Latino strategies group.
Locricchio to president, John Bailey & Associates,
Troy, Mich., after less than a year at the firm. John Bailey
takes the role of chairman. Locricchio has led the Volkswagen
of America account and supervised Osram Sylvania and CPU
Tech, among others. He previously managed the PT Cruiser
launch while at Chrysler.
Spiess to VP, Perry Communications Group, Sacramento.
She joined the firm in May 2001 after working with Assembly
woman Helen Thomason. She heads the media strategy component
of the California State Parks Foundations Save
Our State Parks campaign.
Edition, October 8, 2008, Page 7
RE-ELECTED AT PAGE SOCIETY
MacDonald will serve another term as president of the Arthur
head of Gagen MacDonald, an internal communications and
labor relations outfit, has been unanimously re-elected
by the board of the organization of chief corporate communications
officers and heads of big PR firms.
told ODwyers the Society plans to move aggressively
overseas during her new term. It has already penciled in
meetings in London, Brussels, Mumbai, Beijing and Sao Paulo.
More sessions are expected.
says the Society is putting a big push on development, zeroing
in on grooming the No. 2 person in corporate
also is focused like a laser beam on better aligning the
communications function with overall corporate strategy,
was VP-corporate communications at International Truck and
Engine Corp. She founded GM in `98.
Page Society also elected new trustees at its annual conference
held Sept. 21-23 in Chatham, MA.
are David Samson, GM-corporate affairs at Chevron; Mike
Fernandez, VP-PA at State Farm Insurance; Ray Jordan, VP-PA
& corporate communications at Johnson & Johnson,
and Gary Sheffer, executive director/corporate & PA
at General Electric.
SHEEHAN MOVES IN-HOUSE WITH
Laura Sheehan, a VP at
FD Dittus who led the firms energy and environment
practice, has moved in-house for the American Gas Association,
a client of the firm.
Sheehan takes the title
VP of marketing and communications to handle external communications
for the Washington, D.C., trade group, which counts more
than 200 member companies delivering natural gas to consumers
in the U.S.
In addition to AGA, Sheehan
handled Shell Exploration & Production, Florida Power
& Light and the Center for Clean Air Policy at Dittus.
She is a veteran Democratic
operative who was policy director for the Democratic Congressional
Campaign Committee and communications director for the party
in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and its chairman,
Rep. John Dingell (D- Mich.).
She started out as press
secretary for Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.).
QG&A HONORS BEST FLAKS
Quinn Gillespie &
Assocs. is accepting nominations through Oct. 31 for its
three Flak Jacket awards for the best D.C. spokespersons
in the categories of political campaign, Capitol Hill press
secretary and industry, which includes companies, trade
associations and non-profits.
QG&A wants to honor
professionals who are level-headed, quick on their
feet, silver-tongued and tough as nails. It says given
the array of front page news over the past year there couldnt
be a better time to reward excellence on the PR front lines.
The panel of judges includes
Jeff Birnbaum (Washington Times), Jim VandeHei (The
Politico), Charlie Mitchell (Roll Call), Eleanor
Clift (Newsweek), Brody Mullins (Wall Street Journal),
Bob Merry (Congressional Quarterly), Eve Fairbanks
(New Republic), Kathryn Jean Lopez (National Review),
Bob Cusack (The Hill) and Bara Vaida (National
The Flak Bash is slated
for November 19. Nominations are accepted at www.qga.com/flakbash).
STRAT@COMM WINS SMART
Strat@Comm has picked
up the Intelligent Transportation Society of America and
its World Congress slated for New Yorks Jacob Javits
Convention Center from November 16-20, according to Sabrina
McGowan, director of communications for the organization
of transit technology professionals.
She told ODwyers
that Strat@Comm, which is part of Fleishman-Hillard, aced
a quartet of firms. She declined to name that foursome.
Strat@Comm is to create
messages to address issues such as safety, congestion reduction/mobility,
environmental sustainability and security.
The firm will organize
pre-show media briefings in New York and D.C., set up media
tours for key ITS staffers and handle the shows media
room. Post-show publicity is geared to supplying the media
with follow-up reports on the show.
OGILVY TAPS DAMATO
Ogilvy Public Relations
is using former New York Senator Al DAmatos
PA/lobbying firm on behalf of Britains JCB Construction
Equipment, the worlds biggest privately owned maker
of construction machinery.
The Republican politico
and Kraig Siracuse, managing director of DAmatos
Park Strategies Washington Group, is working Congressional
defense committees on behalf of JCB contracts.
JCB Americas, which is
located in Pooler, Ga., on Sept. 29 rolled out the first
nine of its 800 combat-ready backhoe loaders that are headed
for Afghanistan and Iraq. The company has a $230M contract
from the Army for its all-terrain vehicle, which is armor-plated
and able to maintain convoy speed.
Park Strategies also represents
Poker Players Alliance ($360K pact), Alaska Structures ($240K),
Forest City Ratner ($200K), Collazo Enterprises ($200K),
and Lockheed Martin ($160K), among others.
QORVIS GETS BUSHEY
Lisa Bushey is joining
Qorvis Communications as managing director from Widmeyer
Communications to handle Beam Global Wine & Spirits,
the No. 4 liquor company, and other corporate and association
At Widmeyer, Bushey was
in charge of Coca-Cola Co., specifically the soft drinks
marketers CSR environmental and social responsibility
She also worked on the
firms Stop Bullying Now campaign on behalf
of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Health
Resources and Services Administration.
Earlier, Bushey was director
of comms. for George Washington Univ. Center for Equity
and Excellence in Education and the American Educational
Edition, October 8, 2008,
truth and ethical behavior is PRs main job,
according to the codes of all the PR associations we deal
debate Oct. 2 between Vice Presidential candidates Sarah
Palin and Joseph Biden was littered with the usual array
of half-truths, untruths, unsubstantiated claims, overgeneralizations,
and downright inaccuracies that characterize a political
debate had its fair share of inaccuracies, said
a banner headline in the Oct. 3 New York Times and
copy below the headline bore this out.
instance, Barack Obama was accused of failing to vote for
funds for the surge in Iraq but commentators
pointed out that he and others wanted something said about
eventual troop withdrawal.
and again, lies were being told by Palin and
McCain mostly by omitting details that would contradict
campaigns are fighting this onslaught of alleged untruths.
The Obama/Biden team has a Count the lies website
to counteract the lies and distortions of the
McCain/Palin team while the latter has a Truth Squad
to defend recent attacks on Palin as well
as liberal smears.
PR Society, declaring it represents the entire PR industry,
has injected itself into the Presidential race by asking
both campaigns to sign pledges that they will uphold the
PRS Code that champions the highest standards of accuracy
No replies have been received
so far for the request that was made Aug. 22 and none are
But is there anyone who
can claim to know the truth in any given situation?
PR has backed itself into
a corner in recent years by largely shifting from an information
providing function to an advocacy function.
Advocates present their
sides of something while the truth may be a combination
of many viewpoints.
Jim Lukaszewski, the speaker
most featured at PRS webinars and seminars (making $70,000
in one year), says there may be no such thing as truth at
all. Interviewed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. in 2006,
Lukaszewski cited the example of an accident witnessed by
people standing on four different corners. Each witness
would have a different perspective and a different story,
The PR persons job,
he says, is always to lay out as best he can the facts
of the matter from the perspective he is representing
According to Lukaszewski, truth is 15% facts and 85%
another definition of truth, or a least how to arrive at
it, appeared in the September Tactics of PRS. Professor
Timothy Penning of Grand Valley State University argued
that truth is arrived at through dialogue, and (quoting
John Mill), is so much a question of the reconciling
and combining of opposites.
Quoting one source or
another, Penning made the point about the need for debating
no less than 11 times in his article. He coupled it with
democracy, which he also mentioned 11 times.
another definition of PRs role is that provided
by Prof. Karen Russell of the University of Georgia. She
(and other PR professors and PR textbooks) teach that PR
is public service.
In this view of PR, which
is widely taught, PR pros are likened to social workers
and mediators of disputes. Allegedly, they will consider
the viewpoints of several sides of an issue and try to get
the parties to compromise. We dont think this is close
to what most students will be doing should they get PR jobs.
Forgotten is PRs
original promise by Ivy Lee in 1906to most cheerfully
answer questions of reporters who are in pursuit of facts
The PR industry needs
to get its act together and send out a single message of
its role. One way to get at the thorny issue of what is
truth is to define lying. Lying, as shown by the Presidential
battles, is leaving out important facts. If you can show
that someone has omitted relevant data in making an argument,
you can claim theyre liars. Or you can at least rub
their noses in what was omitted. The PR associations have
to be shining examples of the principles they articulate
in their codes.
outright lies, there are also fallacious, fatuous
reasoning, and providing the wrong reasons for doing something
in order to hide real motives.
Some people, wanting something
so badly, lie to themselves and we dont know whether
to call this lying or not. They have fooled themselves.
The more we think about
PRSs ditching of the printed members directory
in favor of an online directory, the more we think this
action was unjustified and the real reasons for it hidden.
As for the PRS online
directory being more up to date, theres
no need for a PRS online directory at all in this day of
Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, web phone books, etc.
We searched PRS board
members as well as rank-and-file members (from the 2005
PRS directory) via such web sources and all immediately
came up in one database or another.
What PRS members need
is an easy-to-use printed directory, supplemented by Google,
The real motives for ditching
the printed directory are to improve member-retention and
cut down on member interaction. Its definitely harder
to look someone up online (at least five steps) than flip
through pages of a printed directory. With a printed directory,
theres no need to make copies of an address. PRS loses
about 25% of its members in a year and its a tough
nut to crack, a job that is mostly borne by the chapters.
In 2001, the last year
it gave a statistic, PRS gained 5,324 members and lost 5,263
for a net gain of 61 and a renewal rate of 73%.
Members who joined in
the past three years did not get a printed members
directory and now must pony up $225 yearly or lose contact
with the entire membership. PRS has instituted web controls
to block any member from lending his or her
codes to other members.
PRS leaders and staff
wanted to stop the printed directory because this major
asset was purchasable by non-members as part of the $75
subscription to Tactics.
Page two of the directory
said: PR Tactics is published monthly with an annual
Directory issue in April. At the top of the front
cover of the Directory were the words: PR Tactics.