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Internet Edition, October 22, 2008, Page 1


Maryland, which previously handled tourism PR in-house, is requesting proposals from firms through early November in an effort to boost its media and consumer outreach.

The state’s Dept. of Business and Economic Development encompasses five units, including the Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts, which will be the primary focus of the PR firm selected from an RFP process.

The Old Line State’s Office of Tourism Development currently handles PR internally but it wants to increase the “level of activity,” according to the RFP. That includes increasing consumer and travel agent awareness of the state as a destination, boosting traffic to its telephone hotline and, coordinating press tourism promotions/events, as well as overall media relations.

Maryland also wants to improve the average duration of a visitor stay (1.8 nights) and average spending ($313).

A one-year contract beginning on January 1, 2009 with a year-long option is planned. Proposals are due Nov. 5.

The RFP can be downloaded from Maryland’s procurement website,

Ad agencies Trahan, Burden & Charles (Baltimore), which has a PR unit, and MediaWorks (Owings Mills, Md.) handle the state’s multimillion-dollar advertising and media buying accounts. Maryland does have tourism PR firms in the U.K. (KBC PR & Marketing) and Germany (Claasen Communication).


The Securities and Exchange has bolstered its PR staff after the agency and its chairman Christopher Cox have been criticized during the financial crisis.

Brought in to provide communications support are Andrew Weinstein for VP of corporate communications and chief spokesman for AOL who runs his own D.C. firm, Ridgeback Communications, and Erik Hotmire, a former Bush Administration and Senate communications aide who has left his recent post at Clark & Weinstock to join the SEC staff.

Weinstein is a former spokesman for ex-House Speaker Newt Gingrich and directed media relations for Bob Dole’s presidential run.

Bloomberg reported that Cox also hired a former head of the Congressional Budget Office as a senior adviser after lawmakers criticized the agency's actions in handling the financial turmoil.


Patton Boggs has signed a $350K six-month contract with India to serve as its public policy representative on issues coming before Congress and the Administration.

Tommy Boggs and Graham Wisner, the firm’s lead on international litigation, homeland security, defense and technology matters, work the account.

The U.S. and India signed a landmark nuclear treaty on Oct. 11, a pact that allows India to purchase U.S. civil nuke technology for the first time in 30 years.

The Confederation of Indian Industry says the deal could result in business worth $27B to American companies as India plans to build up to 20 nuke plants during the next 15 years. Secretary of State Condi Rice says the agreement “reflects the transformation of our relations and recognition of India’s emergence on the global stage.” PB reports to Ronen Sen, India’s Ambassador to the U.S.


Ruder Finn has named Jessica Ross executive VP/managing director of its Washington, D.C. office. She replaces Neal Dhillon, who exited to Manning, Selvage & Lee last month.

For the past seven years, Ross had been running her own PR firm. Earlier, she had been PA practice director at Hill & Knowlton. Ross has counseled Siemens, Barnes & Noble, Qualcomm and Amtrak.

At RF, Ross is charged with expanding its health & wellness practice and stepping up the independent firm’s technology and legislative affairs activities. Ross reports to Richard Funess, president of RF/Americas.


PR firm Brown Lloyd James says it is helping to end a dark chapter in global affairs with the opening of an office in Tripoli, Libya.

Ethan Wagner, who recently completed graduate work in Beirut and worked in media relations for the State Department and as a journalist, joins the firm as managing director of the new office. He said Libya has “enormous potential as a market.”

The firm has key operations in London, New York and Doha, Qatar, and is affiliated with Italian firm SEC for work in the Middle East and North Africa.

BLJ noted the Tripoli outpost comes only weeks after a legal settlement between the U.S. and Libya paved the way for normalized relations.

Regional clients of the firm include Al Jazeera English and the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Internet Edition, October 22, 2008, Page 2


Ogilvy Government Relations is repping CME Group, which bills itself as the world’s most diverse derivatives exchange. CME is parent of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and New York Mercantile Exchange.

Jimmy Williams, former advisor to Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Joe Biden (D-Del.), and Gordon Taylor, ex-aide to Louisiana Congressmen Jimmy Hayes (R) and Chris John (D), are helping CME on investigations involving energy commodities and reauthorization of the Commodity Exchange Act.

CME officials have been busy in Washington, D.C., talking about the financial meltdown and the role of credit default swaps.

Terrence Duffy, executive chairman, testified Oct 14 before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry about the role of financial derivatives. He said the CDS market requires “product structures, rules and regulatory oversight that are suited to the needs of all participants.” That may not occur if the products “must be fitted within regulatory frameworks that were developed for different markets or to meet different policy goals.”

Kimberly Taylor, president of CME’s Clearinghouse, addressed the House Committee on Agriculture on Oct. 15.

The Clearinghouse holds more than $100B of collateral on deposit and moves more than $5B per day. Taylor said CME’s “long experience is a tremendous asset in the fight against systemic risk in the CDS market.”


Ronn Torossian has lined up Rev. Al Sharpton as speaker for 5W Public Relations’ morning sessions with movers & shakers in the political and financial world. A Q&A session and networking opportunities follow.

The former Democratic Presidential candidate and New York City civil rights leader will speak Nov. 21 about how the election of a new president will affect race relations and business.

The New York Daily News (Feb. `07) called Sharpton the “most prominent civil rights activist in the nation.” He heads the National Action Network.

Torossian recently feted conservative political strategist Roger Stone at the speaker series.

RSVP for the Sharpton talk to [email protected].


Lois Paul & Partners has added Tiffany O’Shea to its Austin office. She spent the last half dozen years as director of PA at the American Insurance Assn.

Earlier, O’Shea did stints at Fitzgerald Communications, which was acquired by LP&P’s parent Fleishman-Hillard, and The Weber Group, which is now Weber Shandwick. She handled Fujitsu Softek, 3Com and SkyStream Networks.

Carol Hanko is the Austin head of Woburn, Mass.-based LP&P. Lois Paul’s shop is noted for work on behalf of Level 3 Communications, Freescale Semiconductor, Restore Medical, CommVault Systems and Cognos.


CryptGuard, an identity verification vendor, is looking for outside PR counsel for its encryption and data protection software that not only services businesses but also is designed to prevent kids from e-mailing and instant messaging with online predators.

“How do you know who you’re talking to on Facebook and MySpace?” asks CryptGuard CTO Brian Pederson. The Canada-based firm’s “Guardian Angel” software produces a digital certificate that proves who you are on the web, like a digital passport, according to Pederson. The idea is to only let your child instant message or e-mail with someone else who has a digital certificate.

Pederson notes that the certificate cannot be traced back to the user and only age and gender is embedded for others to see.

Parents have to apply for the certificate and must download forms online and get them signed by a school administrator and a family physician. Cost is $20/year with discounts available for multi-year certificates.

The RFP can be obtained from


Rubenstein PR has been engaged to restart momentum to build a long-planned memorial to Franklin D. Roosevelt in New York City.

The Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute brought in Rubenstein to support its latest push toward creation of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, which was designed in 1972 to be built on Roosevelt Island in the East River between Queens and Manhattan.

The firm is charged with gaining press coverage of the design and plan media tours of the site. Richard Rubenstein, president at RPR, called the park a “symbol of America’s leadership.” He said the firm will create a “multi-layered” campaign to reintroduce the project.

The 2.8-acre park is named for the four freedoms outlined by FDR during World War II – freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear.

In September, the FERI was granted “conditional designation” to proceed by the operating corporation for Roosevelt Island, an early step toward formalizing an agreement between the two entities on construction.


Caplan Communications is working with Friends of the Earth’s “Don’t Dump on Nevada” group to thwart rail shipment of nuclear waste to the proposed Yucca Mountain repository, 90 miles from Las Vegas, via a new “Caliente Line.”

The effort is the latest wrinkle in the 20-year-effort to block Yucca, which is to store the nation’s waste from nuclear, military and private research reactors.

President Bush, in `02, accepted the Energy Dept.’s recommendation that Yucca become the final resting place for 77K tons of high-level nuclear waste.

The Energy Dept., on Oct. 10, fomalized its intent to ship waste via a 330-mile Caliente rail corridor to Yucca. Legal challenges to Caliente are on tap.

Internet Edition, October 22, 2008, Page 3


Macrovision Solutions Corp. has unloaded venerable TV Guide, which has a circulation of 3.2M, to OpenGate Capital, a private equity firm, for $1 or one-third of its newsstand cover price.

The Santa Clara-based digital home entertainment company also is lending OpenGate $9.5M at three percent interest.

Macrovision announced in January with the acquisition of Gemstar-TV Guide its intention to unload the magazine in order to concentrate on interactive program guides, and connected services.

CEO Fred Amoroso says the TV Guide divestiture, which should be completed by Dec. 1, “marks a significant milestone towards achieving this goal as the streamlined business model improves the company’s ability to execute its strategic plan.”

Beverly Hills-based OpenGate founder Andrew Nikou calls TV Guide an “entertainment industry icon” and a “powerful media brand.” It is to serve as the core of OpenGate’s newly formed media and entertainment platform.”

Text 100 handles PR for Macrovision.


The Palm Beach Post has hired Frank N. Magid Assocs. to "reshape" the paper and help it grow in "new ways," according to a memo from publisher Doug Franklin.

Magid has been hired to a six-month program covering strategic planning and research. The work will entail intensive meetings with readers, advertisers and members of the staff, which was reduced by 300 people earlier this year.

Franklin expects Magid's effort will help "shape our product offerings on multiple platforms next year." The recommendations, if accepted, will go into effect by the second quarter of next year.

Magid is noted for being an advocate of short bites of "happy news."


Time Warner's Southern Progress unit has shifted Eleanor Griffin from the editor-in-chief post at Cottage Living to the same job at flagship Southern Living.

Lindsay Bierman, founding executive editor of CL, takes over for Griffin.

Griffin is stepping into the void created by the departure of John Floyd, Jr. who is retiring at the end of the year at SL after 18 years in charge of the No. 7 monthly magazine in the U.S. with more than 16M readers.

Griffin began her career at SL, and was e-i-c of CL since its launch in `04. Birmingham, Ala.-based SCP also publishes Cooking Light, Coastal Living, Southern Accents, and Sunset.


The Reader’s Digest Association said it will contribute 50,000 articles to over the next five years in categories like home and garden, science and nature, and how-to content like sleeping better and reducing stress.

The articles have only previously been available in print editions of Reader’s Digest.

HSW, which was acquired in late 2007 by Discovery Communications and recently began integrating DC video clips, counts 15M unique visitors per month.

Mary Berner, president/CEO of RDA, called the deal its first major digital play and said the company is committed to aggressively growing in the space.


Christopher Buckley has resigned as columnist of the National Review – which his father, Bill, founded – following his endorsement of Barack Obama for President.

Buckley blogged Oct. 10 on TheDailyBeast, “Sorry Dad, I’m Voting for Obama.” He wrote “it’s a good thing my dear old mum and pup are no longer alive. They’d cut off my allowance.” Bill supported various liberal Democrats over the years, according to the blog posting.

Buckley has known John McCain since 1982 but feels the senator is not the man that he once was. "A once-first class temperament has become irascible and snarly: his positions change and lack of coherence, he makes unrealistic promises,” he wrote.

Obama, meanwhile, has a “first-class temperament,” so for the first time in his life Buckley will vote for a Democrat.

Buckley offered his resignation to NR editor Rich Lowry following his endorsement. It was accepted “rather briskly.”

He said he retains the “fondest feelings” for NR but admits to “a certain sadness that an act of publishing a reasoned argument for the opposition should end in acrimony and disavowal.”

Buckley maintains he has been “fatwahed” by the conservative movement. He says mail flooding into National Review Online is running 700-to-one against him: “The only thing the Right can’t decide is whether I should be boiled in oil or put up against the wall and shot. Lethal injection would be too painless.”
Buckley wrote one of the best books about PR, “Thank You for Smoking.”


Andrew Lack, former president & COO of NBC, has joined Bloomberg LP to run its multimedia operations in charge of radio, TV and interactive divisions. He is to coordinate activities with Bloomberg News founder and editor-in-chief Matthew Winkler and chief content officer Norman Pearstine.

Bloomberg, according to president Dan Doctoroff, has the “opportunity to redefine the 21st century news organization, fully integrating our wire service, TV, online, radio and online operations.”

Most recently, Lack served as chairman of Sony BMG Music Entertainment. From 1993 to 2001, Lack was president of NBC News. Before joining NBC, he was with CBS, where he helped create and then become executive producer of “60 Minutes.”

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, October 22, 2008, Page 4


American Media Operations sold the Weekly World News and the related trademarks and copyrights to a New York investor group under the name of Bat Boy LLC, a reflection of a popular character covered by WWN.

The WWN ceased print publication and went exclusively online last year. Neil McGinness, former VP of entertainment at IMG Media and a TV producer close to “Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels, takes the reins as CEO of the publication. “The Weekly World News is a powerful brand in publishing, entertainment and online,” he said in a statement. “The [WWN] brand and its characters have inspired musicals, books, feature film projects and television shows over the years. We see tremendous potential for growing the brand and significantly expanding the business.”

American Media didn’t disclose the selling price. It continues to publish so-called supermarket tabloids like the National Enquirer.


Colin Callender is leaving HBO Films after a 20-year run to launch his own entertainment company.

He was responsible for HBO’s highly acclaimed “John Adams” mini-series and social commentaries such as “Recount” about the 2000 election mess in Florida.

Callander is being replaced by Kary Antholis, who becomes president of HBO Miniseries, and Len Amato, who takes the president of HBO Films position.

The Time Warner unit is currently working on “The Pacific,” a $200M WWII drama from Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks.


Viacom's Comedy Central unit has created a live entertainment unit to participate in stand-up tours, comedy festivals and performance DVDs.

Mitch Fried, who was senior VP-promotion marketing, heads the operation.

The initial venture is a tour with comedian Stephen Lynch, star of Broadway's "The Wedding Singer" and star of two Comedy Central half-hour specials.

The tour will cover major U.S. markets as well as cities in U.K., Ireland, Sweden and Holland.

Briefs ____________________

USA Today is raising its newsstand price 25 cents to $1 to cope with the 12-year high in newsprint costs. The hike takes effect on Dec. 8. One-third of USA Today – the largest circulation paper – sales are hotel-guest copies.

The Sacramento Bee has revamped its website to put an emphasis on “top stories of the hour” and breaking news. There is now more space for reader comments and the capability for a reader to create a profile and blog.

Blaise Zerega, deputy editor of Conde Nast Portfolio, has been named president and CEO of, the venture-funded video startup looking to be a type of C-SPAN online with a broader coverage area. Zerega takes up the lead role in further developing Fora’s editorial strategy. The site aims to stream speeches and events by “thought-leaders and agenda-setting organizations” and has inked deals with C-SPAN, The Aspen Institute and the Commonwealth Club.

Zerega was previously managing editor of Wired and editor of now-defunct Red Herring.

Bobbie Halfin, who was senior VP, strategy and product development for Steve Case’s Revolution Health Group, has been named VP and director of interactive operations for American Media in New York. She heads operations, sales and marketing of the company’s web properties like, and

She had a key role in the launch of while a VP at Waterfront Media and previously was managing director of the interactive group at Meredith Corp. She has also held print posts at Parade, Sassy and Rolling Stone, among others.

The Financial Times said it is shifting its marketing plans and turning its attention to the current economic climate and the strategies that can help businesses weather an economic downturn or recession. The paper, with DDB London, kicked off posters across London on Oct. 20 that are designed to appear stripped back to bare boards with only a small copy panel asking "Global downturn. What's the first mistake businesses make?" A micro site,, supports the campaign, which also includes trade print ads.

Meredith Corporation has inked licensing agreements to extend Parents, More and Diabetic Living to seven international regions, collectively.

The new deals put Parents in Turkey, Brazil and the Middle East and North Africa; More expands to Thailand and a French version for Canada, and Diabetic Living now stretches south to Mexico and to Italy in Europe by early 2009.


The McCormick Foundation, the billion-dollar non-profit set up by a longtime Chicago Tribune editor and publisher, is reviewing PR proposals to boost its public profile.

The foundation, formerly the No. 2 shareholder in the Tribune Company, dropped Tribune from its name in May after Sam Zell took over the media company.

An RFP issued this month called for pitches to achieve two key external goals: distinguish the foundation from others to attract new donors and opportunities to serve the public, and create a “level of goodwill” that promotes and protects the entity.

“We believe that, from a reputation management perspective, this is the perfect time to engage in a more robust, proactive and integrated approach to communications and marketing,” reads a copy of the RFP.

The foundation, with $1.2 billion in assets, has five grant programs in citizenship, communities, journalism, education and special initiatives, and runs a 300-acre golf course outside of Chicago and three museums.

Internet Edition, October 22, 2008, Page 5


Taylor & Ives, New York, is marking its 40th anniversary with a move to new offices on West 37th Street in Manhattan.

The firm, which specializes in designing and producing annual and sustainability reports, other corporate and marketing materials, websites, and financial advertising, was incorporated in 1965 and moved into its first New York City office in 1968. It also creates branding and corporate identity projects.

Alisa Zamir, executive VP and design director, called the move a “face lift” and said when the firm’s 20-year lease expired it was an opportunity to “enliven its digs.” T&I notes that it has worked with some clients for more than a decade and many staffers have been with the company for upwards of ten to twenty years.

New offices, which the firm notes are only 330 feet from its old location, are at 48 West 37th Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10018; 212/921-9300;


Cook & Schmid, San Diego, was hired by the Olivenhain Municipal Water District for a community outreach campaign touting water conservation and advising the public on drought ordinances.

After conducting research into consumer practices and preferences, the firm developed a brand for the OMWD called “H20 Running Low.” The district includes parts of the cities of San Diego, Encinitas, Carlsbad, Solana Beach and San Marcos, along with other communities.

“It is gratifying to be once again working on one of the most important issues facing our region,” said Jon Schmid, partner.

Court-ordered water restrictions have been implemented to protect endangered smelt in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and drought conditions in the Colorado River basin.


WeissComm Group has launched a New Jersey-based healthcare specialty communications firm, Invigorate Communications, as a unit of the top independent healthcare firm.

Tom Jones, former executive director of comms. at Novartis Pharmaceuticals and former Ketchum healthcare exec, leads the new unit as managing director.

Tali Kaplan, who headed CarryOn Communications’ health and nutrition practice, has been named associate director of Invigorate. She was formerly VP of global communications at Baxter BioScience.

Invigorate handles services like consumer marketing, corporate reputation, media relations and IR. Diane Weiser, president and COO of San Francisco-based WeissComm Group noted Invigorate will “tap into the ‘consumerization’ of healthcare.” The new unit started working with clients over the summer.

BRIEF: California’s Waste Management Board is seeking proposals for a six-month PR assignment worth up to $100K to create an outreach effort promoting reusable bags. Info is at PSAs are a key focus.


New York Area

Middleberg Communications, New York/Liquidnet Holdings, online trading platform for institutional investors, for PR for its global social engagement program under which it commits one percent of annual revenue to charitable work. Middleberg’s sustainability unit handles the account.

The Morris + King Company, New York/
[212]Media, venture development firm focused on digital media projects in partnership with major media companies, for PR and marketing.

5W PR, New York/The Source, hip-hop magazine, and Pitbull, Latino hip-hop recording artist, for strategic counsel, media relations and brand building.

S3, Boonton, N.J./Gateway Group One, security and front-line customer service staffing, for integrated marketing and PR as it extends nationally from its Newark, N.J., base.


Prompt Communications, Cambridge, Mass./SNIF Labs, interactive monitoring and networking technologies for pet owners, for PR.

Global Communicators, Washington, D.C./Beijing Software Productivity Center, non-profit set up to raise awareness of China as a provider of skilled tech services and option for outsourcing.

Relations PR & Marketing, Tampa, Fla./A Benefit To You, geriatric care management firm, for a PR and marketing campaign for its launch.


INK inc., Kansas City, Mo., Leakey Collection, Kenya-based jewelry and accessories designed by Maasai tribal women, for PR.

Mountain West

Snapp Corner PR, Salt Lake City, Utah/Wi5Connect; Klymit; Broadweave; Wendia North America; Corcoran Group;; ProPay; DiskAgent; Kynetx, and Fifty Studio, for PR.


Landis Communications, San Francisco/Autodesk, for opening of a new design gallery; YottaMark-HarvestMark, tracing and authentication of fresh produce and foods, as AOR; The Infinity, condo development, as AOR; Greater San Francisco chapter of Habitat for Humanity, as AOR as two Bay Area branches of HFH merge, and DeVry University, for PR.

Sparks Fly PR, Los Angeles/AccessKey IP, for PR on a consulting basis for its consumer electronics subsidiary, TeknoCreations. The flagship product for the Pink Sheets-traded company is a remote control charger for video game systems like the Nintendo Wii and Sony PS3.

Fleishman-Hillard, San Diego/The Flagship Group, environmentally conscious developer of Punta Brava, a private golf and ocean club near Ensenada, Mexico, with the first coastal golf course designed by Tiger Woods, as AOR. F-H offices in San Diego, Los Angeles and Mexico City are currently working on the account and other offices within the U.S. and internationally are likely to support future initiatives, the firm said.

Internet Edition, October 22, 2008, Page 6


Jay O’Connor, managing director of Racepoint Group’s European operation, has been elected president of the Chartered Institute of PR for 2010. She serves as president-elect to president Kevin Taylor for 2009.

O’Connor is a CIPR Fellow and 14-year PR veteran as well as a board member who chairs its education and professional standards committee.

“The CIPR is the voice of the PR industry and a guiding hand that helps our members to navigate rapidly evolving, global communication challenges,” she said in a statement.


Most radio stations have turned to podcasting to further their audience reach online and expand advertising revenue, according to a survey of 25 stations by radio PR company News Generation.

All stations surveyed streamed content online and only one did not offer podcasts to listeners.

WCBS-AM in New York, one of a handful of stations NG surveyed in-depth, offers between 50 and 70 podcast clips each day translating to as many as 800K downloads per month and creating a solid revenue stream for advertising, according to the Bethesda, Md.-based firm.

“Because it doesn’t cost much to do, the return on investment is great when it comes to what we can sell the podcast for,” said Kris Fay, Internet director for KXL-AM in Portland. “Being able to show advertisers downloads and subscriptions is a great way to give them tangible stats.”

Another surveyed station, KTRH-AM in Houston, noted podcasts also allow listeners to “time-shift” and share content with friends, where previous radio broadcasts were fleeting and rarely recorded for playback.


Broadcast PR company WestGlen Communications has unveiled an enhanced radio news release service that includes access to content pages on the websites of major market stations and target audience penetration in traditional and new media.

The service, dubbed Radio News Release 3.0, reaches nearly 13K U.S. stations, according to WestGlen, and focuses on traditional, satellite, and online radio outlets.

Ed Lamoureaux, senior VP of marketing for WestGlen, said “explosive growth” of radio and its ability to influence consumers sparked the company to “evolve” its audio services.

BRIEFS: Business Wire has expanded its LatinoWire service after three months to include targeted state circuits in California, Florida, Illinois, New York/New Jersey and Texas, the top five Hispanic markets in the U.S. The state circuit covers English and Spanish releases and targets Latino and general-focus outlets. . ...Factiva, the news database service owned by News Corp.’s Dow Jones unit, was awarded a $44K contract with the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s public affairs/internal communications unit. An RFQ was issued over the summer.



Steven Emery, director of PR for Princeton Communications Group, to Steinreich Communications, Hackensack, N.J., as VP and general manager. He previously held senior posts with AT&T, Rubenstein and Associates and Weber Shandwick.

Laura Hall, VP at Off Madison Ave, to PainePR, New York, as a managing partner in the Big Apple office. She was previously VP at Fleishman-Hillard/San Francisco and earlier headed PR for Gateway at the Cambridge office of The Weber Group. Hall also held posts at Cone Communications and Hill & Knowlton. At PainePR, she’ll be a key liaison with agency partners and parent Cossette Communications Group.

James Curich has left Susan Magrino Agency after five years for the PR director post at William Grant & Sons in New York. WG&S is a distiller with brands like Glenfiddich Scotch and Hendrick’s Gin.

Christine Bragale, a former producer who was recently director of media relations at Goodwill Industries International, to Weber Merritt, Washington, D.C. Bragale was at GII for 10 years and served as its international spokeswoman. Earlier, she was at the Associated Press serving as assignment manager and directing news operations in North and South America and was formerly a producer for European networks, ABC Radio News and “The McLaughlin Group.”

Tina Hone, executive director of CQ Events, to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, as VP of public policy and leader of its Washington, D.C., office. She serves as central liaison to the White House, Capitol Hill, state legislatures and other policymakers. She is former VP of public affairs and government relations at the American Legacy Foundation.

Laura Clementi, Chelsea DeSousa and Katie Miller, interns at Carmichael Lynch Spong, Minneapolis, have been hired by the firm as associate, marketing and bizdev specialist, and associate, respectively.

Kenneth Jarrett, former U.S. consul general in Shanghai, to APCO Worldwide as vice chairman of the greater China region. APCO has also added two other key appointments in the People’s Republic. Alastair Campbell, former executive director and head of corporate finance at the Bank of China Int’l, was named vice chairman of the region. Sharon Ruwart, former managing director for Elsevier Science & Technology, joins as managing director of APCO’s Beijing office. She was formerly director of special projects at Caijing Magazine.


Terri Hartley to VP, group account director, Thunder Factory, San Francisco. She joined in March 2007.


Clyde Hill, founding partner and chairman of Washington Advocates, Bellevue, Wash., was appointed by President Bush to the National Council on Disability. Hill, who has a special needs child with his wife, Cindi, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Oct. 2.

Internet Edition, October 22, 2008, Page 7


Standard & Poor’s on Oct. 7 downgraded Omnicom to hold from buy, saying that “the effects of the worldwide credit crisis are likely to more than offset OMC’s strength in non-traditional media.”

It also noted that because of the “high economic cyclicality of ad spending,” it was raising its qualitative risk assessment to “high from medium.”

Based on an enterprise value of 8.5 times revised earnings before taxes and depreciation, the target price for the stock was lowered by $10 to $45.

S&P calculated OMC’s market capitalization as $9.6 billion (based on the Oct. 12 share price of $30.12). It was $18.2 billion earlier this year when OMC was in the $50’s.

Five of the last six changes in recommendations for OMC by Wall Street houses have been downgrades.

Citigroup on July 17, 2008 downgraded the stock from buy to hold; Bernstein on July 8 from outperform to market perform; Banc of America Securities on April 15 from buy to sell, and Deutsche Securities on Feb. 14, 2007 from buy to hold.

Deutsche Securities on June 25, 2007 upgraded OMC from hold to buy.
The nine brokers following the stock gave it a mean target of $47 for its future price.

OMC Has Breadth

S&P said the “breadth, depth and diversity of OMC’s business reduces exposure to any single industry, and to an economic reversal in any world region.”

OMC also has “significant opportunities to benefit from growth in non-advertising services such as PR and event marketing,” said S&P, adding that spending on such services is growing faster than on traditional ads.

One reason for OMC’s “strong” return on invested capital is that it “generally requires collection from clients prior to paying for media and production costs in their behalf.”

OMC’s ROIC has increased from 12.2% in 2004 to 15% in 2007.

Also helping OMC is the trend for large companies to “consolidate with agencies that can handle all of their marketing and advertising needs,” said S&P.

Based on S&P’s proprietary “fair value calculation,” the stock as of Oct. 11 was undervalued by $7.88.

On the “Investability Quotient Percentile,” OMC scored higher than 89% of all companies for which an S&P report is available.

Long term debt is $3.055 billion, said S&P.


Impact Porter Novelli, the Middle Eastern operation of the Omnicom agency, is working with the Abu Dhabi Media Company, which launched a film development entity in September that is backing hundreds of millions of dollars in film projects worldwide.

The film unit, called Imagenation Abu Dhabi, on Oct. 11 committed $100M to National Geographic to finance between 10 and 15 films over the next five years.

ADMC, which is funded by the government of the United Arab Emirates, last month inked a $250M deal with Participant Media, a socially conscious film production company behind 2007’s “Good Night and Good Luck” and Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth,” to market up to 18 movies over the next five years.

ADMC said it will spend $1B funding films over the next five years with three top Hollywood producers.

Mohamed Khalaf Al-Mazrouei, chairman of Imagenation Abu Dhabi and the ADMC, called National Geographic “one of the most identifiable and respected global brands.”

Impact Porter Novelli has offices throughout the Middle East, including Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the UAE.


M Booth & Assocs. has added Denmark to its line-up, the land of five and a half million people who were recently ranked as the “happiest people on Earth,” according to a survey by Leicester University.

The Booth travel tandem of Joan Bloom and Joan Brower will manage the account, which initially will focus on Denmark’s capital city of Copenhagen, which is known for Tivoli Gardens, Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid and a vibrant gay scene.

Bloom and Brower are to play up Copenhagen’s pulsating nightlife, contemporary art, restaurants, fashion/design and opera/ballet. The idea is to encourage Copenhagen as the ideal place for a long-weekend getaway.

Booth’s contract is with VisitDenmark, the official tourism organization of the country.


Three firms are battling for public support as Arizona voters in November will decide on a constitutional amendment that would make future tax increases difficult in the state.

Riester and Ziemba Waid Public Affairs are working to shoot down the ballot initiative, Proposition 105, which would require a majority of registered voters in Arizona to approve future tax increases, rather than just a majority of those voting in an election.

Riester is working on behalf of Voters of Arizona - No On Prop 105, a newly launched group funded by unions and trade groups like the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association, Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona, Arizona School Board Association, and the National Education Association.

Phoenix-based Ziemba Waid PA, with strong Democratic ties in the state, is also working in opposition to the amendment.

On the flip side, Tempe-based Lincoln Strategy Group, which is headed by the former head of the state’s Republic Party, is guiding PR in support of the measure with a group called Let The Majority Rule.

The Phoenix Business Journal said other backers of Prop 105 include Prop. anti-tax groups as well as beer and wine distributors worried about future sin taxes.

Joele Frank Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher is aiding NRG Energy, which has been targeted with an unsolicited $6.2 billion offer from Exelon Corp. The all-stock deal would create the world’s largest power company.

NRG publicly acknowledged receipt of the offer early Oct. 20 with a brief news release after Exelon issued a news release announcing its takeover bid on Sunday night, Oct. 19.

Internet Edition, October 22, 2008, Page 8




PR Society leader communication with Assembly delegates, rank-and-file members and the press is at a near standstill in the few days before the Assembly in Detroit this Saturday.

Assembly delegates still do not have the minutes of the last Assembly nor a list of the other delegates.

Financials have not yet been received and delegates still have only the skimpy “agenda” passed out a month ago.

Leaders, ignoring numerous pleas of delegates in previous years, have scheduled several hours of presentations in the morning (reports of CEO, president, treasurer, member research report, and leadership task force report).

These reports should have been e-mailed to the delegates in the week before the Assembly so that delegates could spend the time on the one day they meet talking among themselves. That, apparently, is what the leaders want to keep to a minimum.

The Assembly shapes up as a rally in support of leadership policies rather than a chance for chapters to question the leaders.

Last year’s tightly-scripted rally put the mike in the hands of leaders about 95% of the time. Reporters were barred from the “working” lunch of the Assembly which became a 2.5-hour secret meeting.

Jeff Julin, then chair-elect, spent the last 35 minutes of the Assembly reading off nearly 300 suggestions for the Strategic Plan and allowing no questions. That part of the day was supposed to have been a “town hall.”

Art Yann, the new VP-PR of PRS, won’t promise that reporters will be allowed to cover a scheduled “Think Tank” discussion.

The big issue before the Assembly is ridding the national board of the APR requirement, a democratizing reform that leadership has been dodging since 1999 when the first Strategic Planning Committee recommended this.

Julin told a meeting of the Universal Accreditation Board earlier this year that he would not push this year for removing the APR rule for national posts.

Major opponents of this reform are the PR academics who have become increasingly dominant in PRS. Nine of the 24 candidates for board/Assembly posts this year are from the academic side.

Three from the community are joining the 2009 board—Prof. Deborah Silverman of Buffalo State College; Prof. Lynn Appelbaum of CCNY, and Steven Grant, senior PR manager, National Education Assn.

PR professors and APR-supporters feel that if APR is decoupled from leadership posts, it will spell the end of the program which is on life-support now. They do not want to lose about the only credential for PR in the business world. Only 550 new PRS APRs were created in the first five years of the new multiple-choice test, a microscopic average of 110 a year.

For the academics, PRS is a cornucopia of local, district and national titles, awards, board and committee appointments and most importantly, places for their articles since they are under the “publish or perish”gun. Tactics, Strategist and the new online PR Journal provide ample opportunity for this.

PRS titles are proudly featured in the bios of the professors that are used for career purposes and displayed to students. Many of these are “inflated” because most national boards and committees never meet in person and chapter volunteers are often in such short supply that board and committee titles can be had for the asking. Many chapters have well under 100 members or even 50 members and only a handful of “actives.” Because of politics, professors will almost never say anything critical of APR, PRS, or its leadership.

Indication is that they have blocked, since 2002, the proposal for at-large student membership (any student in the U.S. could join PRS directly without having to belong to any of the 290 PRSS chapters).

Since there are 4,200 colleges and universities (enrollment of 16 million), students at 93% of the colleges are barred from putting “Member, PR Society,” on their resumes, which might help in jobseeking. PRSS only has 10,000 members.

Yann refuses to answer a host of questions.

We don’t think this is fair to Yann. Three other PR directors of PRS quit just before the annual conference because they got tired of being used as a battering ram (Steve Erickson, Richard George and Libby Roberge). Such usage is at its peak during an annual conference when leaders become almost hysterical about press coverage.

We have been warned that if we dare speak to a delegate during the Assembly, we will be ejected for the day. We’re allowed to take photos for five minutes at the start of the Assembly. Delegates tell us they don’t take orders from national and will speak to us whenever they like.

Among the questions Yann won’t answer is whether electronic voting devices, in use since 1999, will be used again. We’re against these devices which neither the ABA nor AMA use in their Houses of Delegates because of the expense (at least $10,000) and many other reasons.

Votes are totally hidden unless there is a request for a roll call vote and there has been only one in nine years—when decoupling the Assembly from APR was voted in 2004. It then took us a month and a half to pry the printout from leaders. The ABA told us that when a voice vote sounds close, delegates are asked to stand up. Other delegates can see who voted for what.

In the case of PRS, there is a block of 47 leader votes (board, sections and districts) that, in all fairness, should not be allowed since it’s a case of leaders voting on their own initiatives. Leader aims may be different from member aims. The Houston chapter argued unsuccessfully in the 1980s for removal of the leaders from Assembly voting.

Rank-and-file members should know whether the leaders are voting as a block and also how their own chapter delegates are voting. This is the practice followed by the U.S. House and Senate and other legislative bodies and should be followed by PRS if the voting devices are used. Otherwise it is just another technique of leaders to keep delegates and members in the dark.

The way PRS leaders use these devices is manipulative. Delegates get 20 seconds to vote and then the results are flashed for a few seconds on the screen. There’s hardly time even to copy down the vote totals and percentages. No one knows who is voting for what.

A rushed, coercive atmosphere is created, leaving no time for reconsideration of votes or requests for a roll call vote. The use of these devices adds to the impression that the delegates are regarded as a herd of sheep. The inexperienced delegates (none are supposed to have more than two years’ experience as a delegate) think, “Wow, we’re so modern,” but actually they have been led to the “slaughter” (of member rights).

--Jack O'Dwyer


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