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Internet Edition, October 15, 2008, Page 1


Florida is dangling a $200K/year public education assignment to get its residents up to speed on new federal requirements for obtaining identification cards like driver’s licenses.

The Sunshine State is jettisoning its “Valid in Florida only” license by the end of 2009 and this month scrapped its indefinite ID card issued to citizens over 60.

The state is looking for a firm that can reach its 16-and-over population of “wide age, race and economic diversity” through PSA ads, PR, sponsorships, events, promotional items, and “new or nontraditional media,” according to a description of the work.

Florida is accepting proposals through Oct. 16 for the public education effort. The campaign—under the working slogan “Get REAL”— centers on promoting the benefits and requirements of the federal REAL ID program signed into law by President Bush in 2005, imposing security standards for state driver’s licenses and identification cards.

A key goal is educating Floridians about what documentation they need to obtain a new state-issued driver’s license or ID card, which will be valid for eight years. A one-year contact with a year-long renewal is expected. Proposals are due Oct. 16. A copy of the bid outline can be downloaded at:


KCSA Strategic Communications worked with Arby’s sandwich chain parent Triarc Companies to create a new brand identity in the aftermath of its $2.34B acquisition of Wendy’s International.

New York-based KCSA was brought in July for counsel on its “re-brand” strategy and its creative group wanted to create a logo to reflect the companies’ shared ownership yet distinct characteristics.

The result was The Wendy’s/Arby’s Group, replacing the Triarc name, and the tagline "Serving Fresh Ideas Daily."

Margaret Wiatrowski, creative director at KCSA, said the brand was designed to be an acronym as well as a “spiral continuum” to give the idea of “flexible movement forward.”

The company, now the third largest fast-food company with more than 10K stores and sales topping $13B, unveiled its new identity to shareholders last week.

Phil Harrison, 75, died from cancer Oct. 6. He had run his own Atlanta-based PR firm and served as president of Georgia chapters of PRS and Society of Assn. Executives. He is the brother of E. Bruce Harrison, the environmental PR counselor.


Cision’s board of directors has replaced CEO Niklas Flyborg with former LexisNexis Group CEO Hans Gieskes ahead of the release of its third-quarter results later this month.

Flyborg headed the Sweden-based PR and communications services company for 19 months, taking the reins in February 2006 from longtime president Robert Lundberg.

Cision fended off a $250M+ takeover bid from U.K. private equity firm Triton in June.

The company, which has about 2,600 employees, said in a statement that its Q3 performance has been “unsatisfactory” due to weak performance in the U.K., the “weaker” U.S. economy and “a slower development for broadcast monitoring.”

The company’s new CEO is a 20-year veteran of LexisNexis parent Reed-Elsevier and a Dutch citizen with professional experience in the U.S. and U.K. He will work out of Stockholm and Chicago.

Anders Boos, chairman of the Cision’s board, said Gieskes has a proven track record of managing “critical change processes in an international setting.”

Cision, which will release its Q3 results on Oct. 23, said in August that its CisionPoint digital PR software platform released last fall in the U.S. passed the 1,000 customer mark in July. It is in the process of rolling out the platform internationally.


The Amani Group has a $500K pact to enhance U.S. diplomatic and economic ties with the Republic of Congo. Its pact is through Congo’s law firm, Trout Cacheris.

TAG is the firm of the well-connected William Gray. He served 13 years as CEO of The College Fund/United Negro College Fund until retirement in `04.

Previously, Gray chaired the Democratic Caucus and served as Majority Whip in Congress.

Elected to the House in `74, Gray played a major role in erecting sanctions against the then-apartheid government of South Africa and handled budget negotiations between Congress and the Reagan Administration.

The Congo has a population of more than four million and once ranked among Africa’s leading oil producers.

Chevron and Murphy Oil are developing Congo’s offshore assets.

Alan Eastham, former director of the State Dept.’s Office of Central African Affairs, becomes the new U.S. Ambassador to Congo on Oct. 17.

Internet Edition, October 15, 2008, Page 2


MCB Communications played a big part in bolstering the national stature of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, creating a perception that she is a crusader against Big Oil right up to her selection as Republican Vice Presidential candidate, according to the Washington Post.

Needham, Mass.-based MCB worked under a $31K contract with Alaska’s Dept. of Natural Resources. It was recommended to state officials by law firm Greenberg Traurig, which provided legal services to Alaska on pipeline issues.

Kurt Gibson, a state energy official, told the Post that a PR firm was needed to raise the image on a natural gas pipeline supported by Alaska, a project said to benefit both state and country. Palin was the “best person to deliver the message.”

Marcia Brier, founder of MCB, says she worked with Palin right up until she was nominated for the Republican Vice Presidential spot. She was involved with media pitches for the Governor, including those sent to the Post with headlines such as “Big Oil Under Siege.” Brier also offered interview opportunities with Palin.

The Post received its first pitch for Palin last October after the Governor announced that TransCanada was the only firm that met bidding requirements for the pipeline.

Brier touted Palin as the driving force behind the pipeline plan. She was credited for breaking the logjam over construction of the pipeline. Another pitch called Palin “Alaska’s upstart Governor” who is pushing a project that is detested by energy companies such as BP, ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips.

The Post reports that Brier scheduled interviews for Palin with the New York Times, Fox News, Fortune and “60 Minutes.”

MCB has worked for victims of the Catholic Church sex abuse scandals and Saudi Prince Bader Al Saud in his plea bargain over a traffic accident that killed a pedestrian. The Prince served a one-year jail sentence in the Edgartown House of Corrections.


Tierney Communications won a competitive review for Education Testing Service’s PR account following an RFP. Tierney takes over for New York-based Connors Communications, which is focusing more on technology PR.

Lawrenceville, N.J.-based ETS is the non-profit that develops standardized tests like the Graduate Record Examination, Test of English as a Foreign Language, and California High School Exit Exam. It also develops the SAT exam for the not-for-profit College Board.

"They're going to be helping us out with getting the ETS story disseminated as much as possible," said Mark McNutt, manager of media and external relations for ETS. "We have very high expectations for them."

McNutt said the states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania are very important to ETS and that the non-profit liked Tierney's Philadelphia base and experience in the Keystone State as well as its overall approach.

ETS has faced criticism in the past that it functions as an unregulated monopoly, a charge it says is unwarranted based on its 16-member board of trustees and competitors in the field.


JPMorgan Chase, which bought Washington Mutual last month in a $1.9B deal brokered by the federal government, has beefed up its government and international relations units with two new senior executives in Washington, D.C.

Brian Roseboro, who was President Bush’s principal economic official on domestic finance as under secretary in the Treasury Dept., has been named managing director for public policy for JPMorgan in D.C.

The company has also added Emily Beizer, a VP of the Grocery Manufacturers Association leading their international program, who joins the financial services giant as VP to oversee international affairs. The appointment comes as the New York Times reported that “there is a growing consensus that the crisis is now so fast-moving and harmful to the global economy that it demands an unprecedented degree of worldwide coordination.” She was also a former assistant trade rep in the Clinton Administration.

Both executives report to VP/global government relations Peter Scher in JPMorgan’s office of corporate responsibility. Scher said Roseboro will help address “the numerous public policy issues facing today’s economic markets,” while Beizer will help the firm “play a leadership role in the global economy.”


EBay’s global corporate communications team has been consolidated by 14 percent in a “simplification” process that leaves 90 positions, according to a memo from Alan Marks, senior VP of corporate comms. Eight corporate comms. slots are open at the company.

EBay’s CEO John Donahoe said Oct. 6 that the auction and e-tail site would lay off 10 percent of its 16,000 employees.

Marks, who joined in April after serving as director of global media relations for Nike, said the cuts came as work was already underway during the summer to “evolve” the company’s global communications organization to create a more unified team. “These reductions support financial goals for the company while also maintaining appropriate communications resources through a more streamlined structure,” he wrote.

Within eBay’s corporate and North America marketplace functions in communications, six jobs were cut as 34 staffers remain. Its PayPal and Skype units were unaffected.

Marks, whose memo was posted at ValleyWag and is circulating over email, said the VP/corporate communications slot; VP, marketplace communications; senior director, corporate comms., and manager, employee comms., are among eight open slots and the company has been recruiting since August.

In the lengthy memo, Marks said it is a difficult week at eBay, adding: “Unfortunately, these changes impacted people in our team who are co-workers and friends, and who have made great contributions at eBay.”

Internet Edition, October 15, 2008, Page 3


Advance Publications says it will not sell or shut the Star-Ledger for now because it has achieved a suitable amount of buyouts from its staffers.

The cuts will reduce the staff of New Jersey’s biggest paper, which will lose about $40M this year, from 1,000 to less than 800.

Advance also picked up concessions from S-L’s Newspaper and Mail Deliverers Union, which reps 100 drivers.

The S-L is the nation’s No. 15 paper with a circulation of 345K.


Hearst Magazines said it will fold nine-year-old teen magazine CosmoGirl! after its December issue. The shuttering comes after Hearst pulled the plug on the weekly Quick & Simple earlier this year.

Mediaweek reported that following a 15.5 percent decline in ad pages through October of this year CosmoGirl! publisher Vicki Wellington was reassigned to head Hearst’s new Food Network magazine, launching in November.

Editor Susan Schultz stays on for special projects at Hearst.

The Mediaweek Monitor had CosmoGirl! third in ad pages behind Seventeen and Teen Vogue.


The Houston Chronicle said its White House correspondent and a national reporter were among 10 staffers cut as part of a layoff and buyout plan aimed to eliminate 90 posts.

Julie Mason, who penned the “Beltway Confidential” blog and covered the White House, and Bennett Roth, national political correspondent, were among the layoffs.

Mediabistro noted the cuts leave the Chronicle’s D.C. bureau at three people, down from 10 in recent years. The Wall Street Journal reported that of the 90-plus positions targeted, about 25 came from the newsroom.

The Journal also reported that the Cleveland Plain Dealer plans to cut 16 percent of its unionized newsroom jobs, 38 staffers, by the end of the year.


The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, TD Ameritrade and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine are sponsoring a year-long national bus tour offering free financial advice to consumers that kicked off from New Jersey last week.

The 60-city tour, dubbed the Your Money Bus Tour, will cover the east coast from Maine down through Georgia into November and resume after the holiday season across the country.

Volunteer financial advisors will be available to the public at each stop hosting events and symposia.

“Together we hope to show Americans that they can take control of their finances and their future, despite volatile markets and an uncertain economy,” said Kiplinger’s editor Fred Frailey.


Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the Russian oligarch who has been jailed since 2005, has been placed in solitary confinement following an interview with the Russian edition of Esquire magazine, according to his lawyers.

The 12-day confinement for Khodorkovsky overlaps a parole appeal hearing, his law firm, Amsterdam & Peroff, said in a news release issued by New York PR consultant James T. Kimer.

Esquire published the interview as a written exchange between Khodorkovsky and the Russian novelist Boris Akunin. Khodorkovsky is a co-founder of the now-dismantled Yukos oil company and was Russia’s richest man as recently as 2004. As the Associated Press noted: “His prosecution has been widely seen as a Kremlin-backed attempt to silence an opponent and consolidate control over Russia's strategic energy sector.”


The New York Times Co. is shutting the website of the International Herald Tribune because it is incorporating much of its content on the site.

The NYTC expects the move to bolster its overseas audience. It denies the shutdown has anything to do with cutting costs.

The NYT site attracted 19.4M unique visitors in August vs. 2.5M for the IHT.


Tina Brown of Vanity Fair, New Yorker and Talk fame, is editing the The Daily Beast website, which promises to offer a “merciless point of view of what interests our editors.”

TDB will feature the best stuff with twist, according a Q&A with Brown posted on the site.

The site will have input from satirist Christopher Buckley, historian Sean Wilentz, former John McCain advisor Mark McKinnon and Project Runway’s Laura Bennett. TDB is funded by Barry Diller’s IAC. Its team includes Wall Street Journal veterans Edward Felsenthal, executive editor, and Jane Spencer, managing editor.

Brown also boasts of a “cadre of brainiac gremlins fresh out of school.”


Pamela Raley, a veteran of Hearst and Disney, has signed on at Newsweek as chief revenue officer.

She is in charge of the newsweekly’s advertising team and spearheads its push to monetize the magazine’s online offerings.

Raley served as VP-advertising sales & marketing at Hearst Digital, and held a similar post at Disney’s internet unit. Newsweek CEO Tom Ascheim called Raley a “digital native” who will exploit cross-selling opportunities.

Dawn Zier was promoted to president, global consumer marketing, for The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. She previously headed North American consumer marketing since 2005 overseeing the launch of Every Day with Rachel Ray, among other duties.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, October 15, 2008, Page 4


The New York Financial Writers’ Association reports that more than 1,000 seats have been sold at $350 for individual seats and $3,000 for a table of ten for its annual “Financial Follies” and that the show, which pokes fun at the foibles of Wall Street, will go on as usual.

President Steve Gelsi, of MarketWatch, said the seats were mostly sold months ago and that the impact of the current financial downturn would not be felt until next year’s show.

NYFWA is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year.

The black tie event is usually a night of fun and networking for PR people, financial executives and financial reporters.

For its first several decades, only men were allowed in the cast of the show and in the audience. Women comprise about half the audience now.

Skits in the show poke fun at whatever problems and scandals turned up in the financial markets in the preceding year.

2007 Was Record Year

Last year’s show drew a record crowd of 1,280. Among organizations taking tables was Fannie Mae, which has figured prominently in the current financial meltdown.

Sard Verbinnen & Co. and Weber Shandwick Worldwide both had four tables in 2007.

Ketchum, Manning Selvage and Lee, Sloane & Co., UBS, Edelman, Gavin Anderson & Co., Rooney & Assocs., and Bloomberg News had two tables each.

Corporations taking tables included American Electric Power, Barclays Capital, BlackRock, Deutsche Bank, Jones Day, Merrill Lynch, Novartis, MetLife, and Verizon Communications.

The record for tables purchased by a single company was set in 1999 by Morgan Walke which took 13. It had numerous mid-cap companies as clients.

MW became part of Cordiant Communications in 2002.


Paul Pendergrass, who blogged about PR for as “Jack Flack,” is now a contributor to the New York Times.

He will contribute insights about PR and the business world for the “Deal Book” and “Business Day” sections. He reports to Andrew Ross Sorkin.

Pendergrass kicked off his column on Oct. 7 with a memo to Secretary Henry Paulson about the financial crisis.

He recommended recasting the Wall Street bailout as the “Crash Prevention Bill.”
Pendergrass suggested hanging out with Warren Buffett to get some ideas and taking the lead in framing how the Bush Administration’s actions will insure that America thrives in the future.

Another tip: take a hike when the transition to the next Administration is completed. “History tends to punish those who stay too long, wrote Pendergrass.


The Federation for American Immigration, a D.C.-based non-profit, has been closely monitoring the Presidential debates to gauge the impact of its annual September media blitz intended to inject the group’s signature issue into the election season.

For the third year, FAIR footed the bill for dozens of talk radio hosts from around the country to broadcast for two days from the Phoenix Park Hotel in Washington near the Capitol for an event it calls “Hold Their Feet to the Fire,” an effort to bring immigration to the forefront of the Presidential race.

The group, which wants to curb immigration to the U.S. and beef up border security, was fortunate this year to complete its event just days before the financial crisis hit and began a news-cycle domination that has continued ever since.

“It was certainly well-timed this year,” said Bob Dane, communications director for FAIR. “We had 42 talk hosts broadcasting for four hours each day – 336 hours of radio time across virtually the entire country. I don’t care who you are – Exxon, Warren Buffet, the Congress of the United States – you cannot direct the agenda of 42 independent talk show hosts for two days straight, but that’s what this event actually does.”

Shirley & Bannister Public Affairs, Alexandria, Va., managed on-air guest booking for the event, locking up Congressional guests, Senators, authors and other high-profile figures in the immigration movement.

Dane called the event FAIR’s “Super Bowl” and said six months of planning go into the radio portion, along with press conferences and rallying activists.
FAIR in the spring successfully pitched producers for CNN’s Lou Dobbs, a key media figure in keeping the immigration reform fires burning, on broadcasting from the event.

“He was a journalist more than a participant, but he covered the event,” said Dane, a radio veteran of Westwood One and CBS. “While he was airing his show he was pulling on radio hosts from the event on as guests, so it worked out well for us from a coverage standpoint.”

FAIR as a non-profit does not back a candidate in the Presidential election.

As for the presidential race this far, Dane said FAIR is disappointed with the candidates on immigration. “It’s been abject silence in the debates so far,” he said. “Candidates are not talking about it and this event is a loud reminder that we aren’t and will not be silent on the issue.”

Brief _________________________

Ann Hallock, creative director at Disney Publishing Worldwide’s U.S. consumer magazine group, is now editorial director. She is based in Northampton, Mass. Hallock takes over for Alix Kennedy, who resigned to join the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst as executive director.

She worked on the launch of Wondertime and Family Fun. Hallock edited FF and served as creative director for Disney Adventures.

Internet Edition, October 15, 2008, Page 5


More than half of U.S. employees in a national survey by Weber Shandwick last week said they have not heard from their companies’ leaders about the impact of the financial crisis.

Weber Shandick had KRC Research poll 514 employed adults in early October and found that nearly three-quarters (71 percent) felt their company’s leadership should be communicating more about the economic crisis.

Harris Diamond, CEO of WS, said employees are looking for credible, candid information and too few business leaders are filling the “information void.” He said companies can enhance their standing, “consolidate their position of trust in challenging times” and head off any inaccurate rumors or fears by communicating with staff.

WS found that 70% feel that their company will be negatively affected by the crisis, including 26% of those polled who believe their company will have to lay off employees and 62% who said their employer would have trouble meeting goals.

Of those leaders who have communicated with employees, WS’ survey found little skepticism among staff as 86 percent said that senior executives or management who have discussed the crisis were seen as “believable” and “trustworthy” sources.


Wachovia Securities said last week that expected ad declines would lower the earnings of Omnicom and Interpublic as ad/PR stocks were hammered by the general market slide.

Stock declines among the conglomerates exceeded the average decline in the market. Omnicom, at around $32 a share, saw its capitalization fall from $17 billion to $10 billion (318 million shares outstanding). It had a high of $55 earlier this year. Interpublic, which once traded at $55, saw its stock decline from a 52-week high of $11.85 to just over $6 recently. Market cap went from $5.64B to $2.91B. WPP’s stock at $34+ is less than half of its 52-week high of $74.73.

Wachovia analyst John Janedis said he expects U.S. ad spending this year and next to decline by 0.8 percent because of “continued deterioration in the economy and our belief that things may get worse before getting better.” He had previously forecast a gain of 1.2% this year and 1.5% next year.

Edelman Europe president/CEO David Brain’s “SixtySecondView” blog provides estimates of 2007 revenues of eight large conglomerate-owned PR firms, but notes they are estimates only since the firms have not been allowed to report figures since 2001.

He says the conglomerates are using Sarbanes-Oxley as an “excuse” not to break out their PR firm revenues. By his reckoning, and he hopes to be “corrected” if necessary, Weber Shandwick had $527M in revenues in 2001 and $470 in 2007; Fleishman-Hillard went from $343M in 2001 to $460M in 2007; Edeman went from $238M to $414M; Burson-Marsteller from $304M to $270M; Hill & Knowlton from $306M to $220M; Ogilvy PR from $169M to $210M; Ketchum from $168M to $200M, and Porter Novelli from $238M to $160M.


New York Area

Redpoint Marketing PR, New York/Cranwell Resort, Spa and Golf Club, a Lenox, Mass., 380-acre property in the Berkshires, as AOR for media relations, special events and marketing PR counsel. Senior VP Maria Andriano heads the account.

Abelson Group, New York/Mobile Content Networks, mobile search management and revenue solutions, for media and analyst relations, launches, event coordination and executive visibility, in N.A. and Europe.

Dukas PR, New York/Alpha Search Advisory Partners, executive search; Conifer Securities, middle and back-office services for investment firms; Topos LLC, hedge fund manager, and New Year’s Nation, events and promotions company, for PR.

Krupp Kommunications, New York/LivePerson, online engagement technology for applications like real-time assistance and advice, as AOR for PR, including national and regional media relations to increase awareness of its consumer-facing service and recruit new experts for the site.

Trylon SMR, New York/MeetingWave, online tool for offline business meetings, for PR and media relations.

Stern + Associates, Cranford, N.J./Michael Porter, Harvard professor and author focused on modern competitive strategy, for PR representation for outside speaking engagements and comms.


Sawmill Marketing, Baltimore/AOEware, social networking software, for national launch of its BINDpoint instant messaging program.


Liggett Stashower, Cleveland/Libman, cleaning products, for website design and PR; NEC Sphere Communications, software-based enterprise telecomms., for interactive design and marketing; May National Associates, manufacturer, for logo and graphics creation and PR focused on trade magazines; Oberg Industries, machining, for digital and interactive marketing to boost its SEO and brand recognition; Ohio Masonry Assn., for assistance with a new name and member recruitment campaign through direct mail, PR and web comms., and Rio Tinto, mineral and metal resource mining and processing, for external and internal PR.

CKPR, Milwaukee/Mohawk Industries, floor covering manufacturer and distributor, for PR as part of AOR duties with its Cramer-Krasselt advertising parent.

Maccabee Group PR, Minneapolis/NorthMarz, real estate services company, for PR including local and national media relations, marketing, corporate comms. and media training.


Accolades PR, Austin, Tex./Mercury Manbo, Hispanic experiential marketing and sales promotions firm, for PR focused on national awareness and social media.


Lane PR, Portland, Ore./Consumer Cellular, “affordable” wireless service wholesaler; Creature, independent ad agency, and Dutch Bros., drive-through coffee company with 130 locations in western U.S.

Internet Edition, October 15, 2008, Page 6


Nick Peters, senior VP for marketing and strategy at On The Scene Productions’ Los Angeles headquarters, has moved back east to join CommCore Consulting Group in Washington, D.C., as a senior VP.

He is focused on business and product development for the media training and strategy firm.

Peters was previosuly at Medialink Worldwide for 18 years serving in Los Angeles and New York, including a stint as senior VP of the western region.

He joined broadcast PR after a career as a newswriter and producer for CBS in New York and at Philadelphia’s NPR affiliate, WHYY-FM. He was also a newspaper reporter in Philadelphia, Raleigh and Indianapolis.


Medialink said that hard drive giant Seagate Technology is using its Mediaseed content management platform to construct and manage a digital broadcast center.

The Mediaseed portal will disseminate information and multimedia content to the media via Seagate’s own branded site.

Medialink said more than 20,000 media professionals have registered at its site for access to content.


Levick Strategic Communications, which has handled crises surrounding the Catholic Church, Guantanamo Bay and the spinach E. coli scare, has published the “Crisis Communications Desktop Reference” that is available for download at

The fully searchable document offers best practices and tips for challenges from lawsuits to blog attacks on a company’s reputation.

It discuses what happens next after a crisis strikes, ongoing communications risks involved, steps to minimize damage and ways to transform the situation into opportunity.

Richard Levick says the purpose of the guide is to “ensure that corporate executives, board members, lawyers, and government decision-makers have access to critical information the moment that it is needed.

BRIEFS: Dow Jones is hosting a free webinar on Oct. 17 on using social media in PR strategies. The one-hour, interactive event is sponsored by the International Association of Business Communicators and is titled “Leveraging Social Media for Effective Corporate Communications.” David Meerman Scott, marketing strategist and author of “The New Rules of Marketing and PR,” and Glenn Fannick, product development manager for Dow Jones’ Insight service, are among presenters. Info: ...IABC and Cision are sponsoring the seventh annual Research and Measurement Conference Oct. 22-24 at Le Royal Meridien King Edward Hotel in Toronto. Theme is “Communication Management and Measurement in Complex Organizations.” Info:



Stephanie Ackerman, senior VP of PR and government affairs for Aloha Airlines, to The Gas Company, Honolulu, as VP of public policy and communications to direct corporate comms., PR, gov’t affairs and community outreach for the gas energy provider.

Paul Moniz, who ran Connect Strategic Communications in New York, to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Bronx, N.Y., as director of communications and marketing, a new post. He was formerly VP in the healthcare practice of Widmeyer Communications and had a 15-year career as a TV reporter and anchor in New York and other East Coast locales.

Jennifer Becker, senior A/E and company director at The Apple Organization in Miami, to Rubenstein PR, New York, as an associate VP. She handles 15 Central Park West, Trump SoHo Hotel Condominuim and the BellTel Lofts. Melanie Weitzner, senior executive at Think PR, joins as an associate VP for lifestyle and hospitality clients like SushiSamba and Berry-Hill Galleries.

Dee Anna McPherson has been promoted to partner at the Horn Group, New York. She is based in San Francisco and heads client service, business development and operations for that office.

Kelly Mount, creative services director at GQ who handled marketing and publicity earlier at Modern Bride, to Matter Communications, Newburyport, Mass., as an account director. Marisa Carullo, previously with Prestige Connection and Catchpole Corp., joins as an A/M. Ariane Doud and Tobi Young were promoted to A/Ms.

Matthew Faraci, spokesperson for the U.S. Dept. of Labor under Secretary Elaine Chao, to the Council on Competitiveness, Washington, D.C., as VP for communications. He started out as a TV producer and held PR/spokesman posts on Capitol Hill and the private sector in D.C.

Rick Laney, director of marketing for GVW Holdings in Chicago, to Ackermann PR, Knoxville, Tenn., as a senior A/E. He is a former reporter who continues to contribute to trade journals and special interest mags.

Tony Morse, director of marketing, operations, sales and customer support, Safe Lites, a lighting technology manufacturer, to Padilla Speer Beardsley, Minneapolis, as director in its B2B technology practice. He was previously in marketing and sales coaching at Comtrol.

Jennylee Haines, previously with Willow Creative Group in Cincinnati, to Weber Shandwick’s Minneapolis/St. Paul office as a senior VP/healthcare.

Jack Ekstrom, director of government affairs for Pioneer Natural Resources, to Whiting Petroleum Corp., Denver, as executive director, investor relations and corporate communications.

Paul Haney, deputy executive director for Los Angeles World Airports, to Englander & Associates, L.A., as a partner. A former reporter, he previously worked in corporate comms., business development and marketing at American Airlines and Lockheed Martin.

Internet Edition, October 15, 2008, Page 7


Embattled AIG CEO Hank Greenberg, under fraud charges in 2006 by New York State and investigations by the SEC and Justice Dept., hired Cambridge, Mass., “think tank” eSapience to burnish the company’s image.

Greenberg had gone through seven other PR firms in rapid succession, writes Jonathan Bandler in the Oct. 13 Fortune, before settling on what the magazine calls “a little-known media and research firm.”

eSapience, headed by Karen Webster, promised to position Greenberg as a “visible and highly credible voice about public issues that are completely unrelated to his legal situation.” The initial plan cost AIG $100,000.

The strategy was not to go directly to the media but to “influentials” including public intellectuals, policymakers and advisors who affect debate.

Two “think tanks” were created, the Barbon Institute, named after Nicholas Barbon, the creator of fire insurance, and the eSapience Center for Law and Business. Greenberg then spoke at a conference in the St. Regis Hotel, New York, about the need for insurance by the government and private industry in case of further terrorist attacks.

Working with the PR firm was Richard Schmalensee, who was dean of MIT’s Sloan School, and Webster’s husband, law professor David Evans. Several other academics were also involved including David Evans, adjunct professor, University College London, and Richard Epstein, University of Chicago law professor, said court documents.

Howard Opinsky, with Powell Tate/Weber Shandwick, an AIG PR firm, and described by Bandler as Greenberg’s “main media strategist,” objected “strenuously” to the plan.

Bandler does not name any PR firms but eSapience but one of them was the Brunswick Group.

eSapience’s bills, at $400 to $1,000 per hour of work, were nearly $500,000 a month and Greenberg eventually stopped paying them, resulting in a $2 million lawsuit vs. AIG.

It was settled out of court but the court papers exposed the relationship to coverage in the Boston Globe and other media.

Sard Tells AIG to Nix Ad Plans

George Sard, CEO of Sard Verbinnen & Co., mistakenly emailed advice for client AIG to nix an explanatory ad campaign to a reporter for Bloomberg.

AIG, which was bailed out to the tune of more than $120B by the federal government, has been blasted for hosting a $440K conference for brokers in late September after the initial bailout and Bloomberg reports that another soiree at a California Ritz-Carlton is in the works. Nicholas Ashooh, senior VP of comms. at AIG, said the latest event is to “motivate and educate” about 150 agents who sell AIG coverage. Fifty AIG employees will also attend.

Sard shot down a company consideration to buy ads to explain its position. ``To spend the taxpayer’s money on an expensive ad campaign to apologize for how you used taxpayer money leaves you open to further attacks,’’ Sard wrote in the email mistakenly sent to Bloomberg, which reported its contents.


Israel will soon launch an image campaign touting its cultural and scientific accomplishments in an effort to disconnect itself from problems with the Palestinians and the larger Arab world.

London-based Acanchi, a self-described country brand capital development firm, will handle the work.

Haaretz reports that Acanchi founder Fiona Gilmore visited Israel last week and met with businesspeople, academics and activists.

Ido Aharoni, the Israeli Foreign Ministry staffer who oversees the PR work, told the Israeli newspaper that Israel’s current brand is that of conflict. “Even those who recognize that Israel is in the right are not attracted to it,” he said.

Gilmore, who has more than 30 years of PR experience, is author of “Brand Warriors” and “Warriors on the High Wire.” Her firm has done work Northern Ireland, Lebanon, Wales, Saudi Telecom and Vodafone.

Acanchi’s name incorporates the Chinese concept of Chi, inner positive energy or life force, according to the firm’s website.

Gilmore believes a country can achieve success by “discovering, defining and channeling this chi into a brand positioning that reflects the core truths of a place.”


Pamela Browner-Crawley, who headed public affairs for Citizens Bank, has joined the Philadelphia Eagles as senior VP overseeing communications, PA, PR and government relations.

The Eagles said she will help promote the franchise as a “good public citizen” in the greater Philadelphia area, in addition to managing its media and government strategies.

Browner-Crawley had been with Citizens Bank since 2001, part of a 20-year career in corporate communications that included serving as VP of business & community relations for Philadelphia Newspapers Inc. She started out as an ABC News reporter.

She is married to prominent Philly PR man Bruce Crawley, president and principal owner of Millennium 3 Management and former head of Crawley Haskins Sloan PR & Advertising.

When a news release announcing her move to the football franchise was posted in the media section of the fourth-place Eagles’ website this week, a fan replied, “Hey, lets give her a shot at calling the plays... it couldn’t be any worse…”


Manning Selvage & Lee has hired Webster Lewin as senior VP/director of digital innovation and strategy. He is based in the New York office of the Publicis Groupe operation.

Lewin joins from R/GA, where he held the director of mobile marketing position. He worked with the mobile & emerging platforms group devising campaigns for giants such as Johnson & Johnson, Nokia, Nokia and Verizon Wireless.

Prior to R/GA, Lewin worked as supervisor of mobile marketing at WPP Group’s VML unit developing programs for Windows Mobile, Burger King and Sprint.

Internet Edition, October 15, 2008, Page 8




The involvement of academics in a PR campaign for Hank Greenberg of AIG in 2007, as described in the Oct. 13 Fortune, was an apparent violation of academic ethics, according to the Center for Business Ethics at Bentley College, Waltham, Mass., and the Center for Corporate Citizenship, Boston College.

“Resurrecting the reputation of certain people who deserve a plaque in the hall of infamy because of past wrongdoing is not proper,” Michael Hoffman of the Bentley CBE told the Boston Globe.

Sandra Waddock of the Boston College CCC told the Globe that what academics including Richard Schmalensee of MIT did “sounds like a PR campaign and the worst kind of PR campaign.”

A lawsuit filed by the PR firm eSapience, of which Schmalensee was identified as managing director, sought $2 million in unpaid bills.

He is dean of MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Other academics involved in the PR firm were Richard Epstein, University of Chicago law professor, and David Evans, adjunct professor, University College, London.

The question is whether the pursuit of business as well as academic careers at the same time is a conflict of interest. Almost all PR professors do PR “on the side” and many have formal PR firms. The view of PR that they present to students is very positive as is the view presented by PR textbooks and the professors themselves. This view ignores a lot of the realities we see in PR.

They are in effect doing “PR for PR. Students think they’re training to be mediators of public disputes or social workers but mostly end up (if they get jobs) hard-selling products and services.

The “avoid the media” and go directly to “influencers” strategy of eSapience is familiar. It was championed by Patrick Jackson, 1980 president of the PR Society (“duck ‘em and screw ‘em”) and adopted by a portion of the PR industry.

PR grads are facing a tough job market and we wonder how well they’re being prepared for it. If they had a good dose of the realities of PR and were trained to be entrepreneurs, they would be a lot better off.

Babson, Babson, Mass., champions “entrepreneurship” and is ranked No. 1 for such training by U.S. News & World Report. The school “infuses entrepreneurial management throughout its curricula and co-curricular activities.”

We applaud the new student job-advice website set up by Robert Culp, managing director of Ketchum Midwest (

He answers questions from grads and gives his experiences. They ask questions such as whether careers should be started in PR firms or organizations and how long should one remain in the first job.

“Many of us who have worked in PR for a long time are eager to share our knowledge,” says Culp.

Our advice to grads is not to spend months searching for jobs or taking jobs at fast-food places but to knock on the doors of all their local businesses and ask what can be done.

PR is a catch-all job that does tasks no one else wants. Highly successful Ben Sonnenberg got personally close to all his clients and helped them solve not only business but personal problems such as helping wayward children, a spouse who wants to get into the right club, winning awards for the CEO, getting big play for a child’s wedding, etc.

Having attended at least 25 spring conferences of the PRS Counselors Academy, we heard numerous times that what counselors do is “anything the client wants.”

New business was a hot topic but counselors were loathe to reveal their own sources of business or describe new services. At “new business workshops,” members would sit around and wait for others to divulge what they were doing.

PR grads must realize that PR is a highly competitive and secretive business and hard-earned inside knowledge is not readily shared.

Since at least 40% of an agency principal’s time is spent on new business, PR grads should join all local business and charity groups and make as many friends as possible. They should be expert at web research, writing and creation and be available for any chores including floor-sweeping, baby-sitting and picking up laundry. These are invaluable bonding opportunities. The first account of many a successful PR pro was a restaurant. Free meals for PR is a good deal for both. Sonnenberg’s goal was to be the first (business) person the client saw in the morning and the last one the client saw at night.

More is going on in the “war” between PRS and the O’Dwyer Co. than a journalist criticizing an organization.

The O’Dwyer Co. competes with PRS on many fronts including news and public issues coverage, PR instructional materials, web search capability, and publishing.

The O’Dwyer website, magazine and Directory of PR Firms compete with PRS for ads from PR firms, companies and organizations, and PR service companies.

PRS therefore has a business reason for attempting to discredit the O’Dwyer Co. and its reporting. We have always been open to any factual corrections of our stories and have carried rebuttals and statements of PRS staff members and leaders (the latest being an essay by VP-PR Arthur Yann arguing that only an online directory of members is needed).

PRS’s tax-free status forbids it from being in competition with what any private business would do. It’s supposed to act like a Chamber of Commerce benefiting everyone in its industry including non-members. We find no federal enforcement of this.

Instead of fighting us tooth and nail, PRS should be telling its members about services we have that it doesn’t including nearly eight years of a searchable database of tens of thousands of PR-related stories, commentaries and nearly 100 educational essays by PR textbook author Fraser Seitel, who was editor of the Society’s Strategist quarterly.

Since PRS has stopped publishing its One Source Directory, its members would find useful the 450-page O’Dwyer’s Directory of PR Firms, which lists thousands of PRS members, and the O’Dwyer PR Buyer’s Guide, with 1,000 PR products and services in 57 categories.

A large hole in PRS informational services is the lack of a website search capability that matches industry standards.

A search for mentions of CEO Jeff Julin, for instance, brings up a dense page of 1,600 words without the words Jeff Julin being highlighted, a standard feature. Combing through committee reports, promotional releases, lists of people on boards and committees, etc., we found four mentions of Julin.

There is also a search engine for releases of the Society going back to 2002 and a third for stories in Tactics and Strategist back to March 2006. By no means are all the stories archived. We couldn’t find the essay on PR being dialogue by Prof. Tim Penning in the September Tactics. There should be one box for searches that includes the entire site rather than three. Full texts of T&S stories online and in print should be searchable by a word or group of words. If PRS doesn’t have certain capabilities, it should tell its members where they exist.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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