The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, October 29, 2008, Page 1
REACHES OUT TO B-M
International Group, which has already burned through two-thirds
of its $122B U.S. taxpayer bailout line, has hired Burson-Marsteller
in an effort to get back on track.
was hired to deal with the flood of media inquiries and
is to be paid with funds diverted from the ad budget of
the stricken reinsurer.
which has been under pressure from New York State General
Andrew Cuomo, agreed Oct. 22 to freeze executive pay and
withhold more than $600M that was to be distributed via
its deferred comp and bonus pools.
politico said until taxpayers recoup their investment
in AIG, which is now in excess of $120B plus interest, there
should not even be any contemplation of bonuses for executive
fate of AIG was a hot topic at last weeks Council
of PR Firms forum in New York.
Diamond, CEO of Weber Shandwick predicted the AIG brand
will disappear because the company is the poster child of
reckless financial mismanagement. He predicts parts of AIG
will be resurrected under another name.
WORKS WITH LEHMAN
Verbinnen & Co. is working with Lehman Brothers Holdings,
which made the largest bankruptcy filing in history last
Burns, Sards general counsel and a managing director,
and managing director Denise DesChenes are working on the
account. DesChenes declined to comment.
firm handled the Oct. 24 announcement that Lehman filed
a motion in bankruptcy court to restrict stock trades by
Kekst & Company worked with Lehman in the past up to
its Sept. 15 Chapter 11 filing.
New York Post reported earlier this month that Lehman
ran up a $400K tab with Kekst but the firm is not listed
as a creditor on Lehmans bankruptcy website.
has agreed to sell its U.S. capital markets division to
Barclays for $1.75 billion and its Neuberger Berman asset
management unit to Bain Capital and Hellman & Friedman
for $2.15 billion.
VP-corporate and govt affairs for United Airlines
parent UAL Corp. since 2002, will take a new post as assistant
to CEO Glenn Tilton, sources say. Heidrick & Struggles
reportedly is doing the search for a successor.
MOVES TO ALCOA
Bergen, senior VP-corporate communications & marketing
at Germanys Siemens USA unit, is taking the top PR
job at Alcoa, the aluminum giant that relocated its headquarters
from Pittsburgh to New York under former CEO and Treasury
Secretary Paul ONeill.
Alcoa position is a bigger job, according to
Bergen, who pointed out he will now head global PR for a
multinational rather than handle communications for the
American division of a foreign company.
overseas travel is an additional benefit, he told ODwyers
during a break in the annual Council of PR Firms get-together
held Oct. 23 in New York.
who takes the Alcoa post next month, follows Klaus Kleinfeld
to the $30B metals giant. Kleinfeld, who is Alcoas
CEO, had headed Siemens USA prior to joining the aluminum
giant in May. He was my boss, said Bergen.
stock hit a 52-weeklow of $9.62 last week, off from its
$44.77 52-week high.
Siemens exit follows the departure of Gregg Ward, who was
government affairs chief at the $20B healthcare, lighting
and technology combine, to United Technologies next month.
ex-president of the Council of PR Firms, is former CEO of
GCI Group and was CBS/Westinghouses PR chief, serving
as head of corporate relations at CBS Corp. during its transformation
from Westinghouse Electric Corp. He also was president of
Hill & Knowlton USA, director of strategic communications
at General Electric and chief speechwriter for Secretary
of Defense Caspar Weinberger during the Reagan Administration.
NO TOWN HALL AT PR SOCIETY
packed program resulted in no time being left for a Town
Hall at the PR Society Assembly in Detroit Oct. 25.
The same thing had happened at the 2007 Assembly.
good part of the meeting was taken up with hundreds of slides
being shown for the Blake Lewis leadership development program,
a report on member attitudes by Ketchum, and a training
session in issue analysis conducted by an outside consultant.
was almost no mention of the current economic crisis. At
one point chair Jeff Julin said PRS has about 20% of a years
revenues in net assets although ideally this should be 50%.
added that the assets are being built up at the rate of
one percent a year in case of a rainy day. He
then added: Its raining.
on page 7)
Edition, October 29, 2008, Page 2
GROWTH SLIPS AT OMNICOM
Omnicom reported a 5.6
percent jump in third-quarter net on Oct. 21 to $213.5M
as growth slows at the ad/PR conglomerate.
The combine enjoyed double-digit
growth rates of 14 percent and 11 percent in the first and
second quarters, respectively.
OMCs PR units (Fleishman-Hillard,
Ketchum, Porter Novelli, Cone, Brodeur and Gavin Anderson)
combined for a 1.2 percent dip in third-quarter revenues
to $314M. PR was up 3.1 percent for the nine-month period.
Acknowledging the financial
meltdown, OMC provided a break-out of revenue sources. The
battered auto industry generates 14 percent of overall revenues.
That is only surpassed by the 15 percent revenues kicked
in by food & beverage marketers. Financial services
account for eight percent of OMC revenues.
Other key sectors are
drugs (11 percent), telecom (11 percent), consumer products
(10 percent), technology (10 percent), travel & entertainment
(six percent) and retail (five percent).
CEO John Wren also provided
supplemental information on the congloms debt structure
and the names of the 32 banks where OMC has credit agreements.
Bank of America, HSBC and JPMorgan Chase each have extended
a $200M credit line to OMC.
Wells Fargo ($175M), Royal
Bank of Scotland ($150M) Societe Generale ($150M), Deutsche
($150M), BNP Paribas ($130M), BBVA ($100M), Sumitomo ($100M)
and Citigroup ($100M) rank next.
On the acquisition trail,
Wren scooped up Paul Wilmot Communications (PR for fashion
and luxury clients), Barefoot (interactive marketing), The
Russell Organization (brand experiences and events) and
The Eleven Agency (sales training, video production, e-learning
and retail merchandising).
OMC registered a 6.9 percent
rise in third-quarter revenues to $3.3B. Domestic revenues
advanced 3.8 percent compared to a 10.5 percent jump overseas.
BERMUDA CALLS OFF PR SEARCH
Bermuda has called off its search for a strategic PR firm
to buff the image of British territory about 600 miles off
the coast of North Carolina.
Premier Ewart Brown last spring launched the search because
he feared destructive imagery and scurrilous
reports in the opposition press had the potential to hit
the islands tourism trade. Tourism to Bermudas
high-end resorts has been down for the last five quarters.
A media audit, however, found that tourism is not impacted
by Bermudas squabbling press. The tourism drop-off
is blamed on the global economy. Glenn Jones, Browns
press secretary, told the Royal Gazette (Oct. 18)
the search for a PR firm is now officially kaput.
Corbin & Assocs. has represented Bermudas travel
sector since `07. That work is separate from the just-ended
Sean-Patrick Hillman, executive VP at C&A, told ODwyers,
that Bermudas travel numbers are on pace to achieve
The upcoming year is a big one for Bermuda. The island,
Englands second permanent colony in North America,
celebrates it 400th anniversary in `09.
DALESSANDRO RIPS WALL
Former John Hancock Financial Services CEO David DAlessandro
pins the blame for the financial meltdown squarely on Wall
Streets pure, unadulterated arrogance
The former PR executive, who has just published Executive
Warfare, told the Council of PR Firms Critical
Issues Forum Oct. 23 that he was stunned
by the amount of leverage at places such as American International
DAlessandro attacked Wall Streeters for leveraging
companies to the point of making enterprise risks,
and said some executives should go to jail.
He believes it will be a long time before the public is
reassured about the integrity of Wall Street and the safety
of their investments.
The former Edelman executive also talked about the remarkable
revolution that is upending traditional media.
DAlessandro said 85 percent of the population in
1946 reported reading a newspaper the day before. That figure
dropped to 40 percent two years ago and 34 percent this
At that rate of decline nobody will be reading a paper
by 2020, according to DAlessandro.
The mainstream media model is worse than dead
as broadcast and print outlets that were supported by advertising
dollars are now chasing pennies on the Internet.
Old-line media has become the stalking horse
and feeder for bloggers and others on the web who take up
a reported story and run with it.
DAlessandro told a funny story about life at Edelman
years ago when he had to have a 10:30 a.m. martini with
a client every business day.
He finally gave the bartender a few bucks to water down
his drink so he could handle the rest of the day.
DOD SAYS NEWS OPERATION IS
The Dept. of Defense said on Oct. 20 that its newly consolidated
communications apparatus, known as the Defense Media Activity,
has been activated.
The DMA, which will open a new headquarters at Fort Meade,
Maryland, in 2011, encompasses outlets like Armed Forces
Army/Air Force Hometown News Service, and Stars and Stripes.
A ceremony at the Pentagon Oct. 20 marked the beginning
of the DMA, which includes more than 2,000 military and
civilian staffers and a budget of about $225M.
Robert Hastings, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of
Defense for Public Affairs who oversees the DMA, called
the new entity a transformational change in public
affairs that will improve the DoDs internal
It is one of the most exciting things to happen to
DoD public affairs in a long time, he said. Its
our opportunity to change the way we deliver news and information
to our internal audience.
The creation of the DMA was the result of the Base Realignment
and Closure Commissions 2005 report to put various
Pentagon news agencies under a single command.
Edition, October 29, 2008, Page 3
LEDGER SLASHES NEWSROOM
Jerseys Star-Ledger said it will cut its newsroom
staff of 334 by 45 percent by the end of 2008.
Garden States largest paper will likely lose $40M
in 2008, according to owner Advance Publications, which
has been planning cuts since August, when the company said
it needed to prune nearly one-fourth of its 750 non-union
staffers to avoid sale of the paper.
editor Jim Willse told the Associated Press that 151 news
employees will get buyouts from the paper, which counts
a weekday circulation of about 345K. Seventeen staffers
were turned down.
AP also reported that the East Valley Tribune, a daily paper
in the Phoenix suburbs, has announced plans to eliminate
142 jobs, or 40 percent of its employees, early next year
when its print edition will become a free distribution publication
running four days a week. A third of the jobs cut belong
CUTS STAFF AMID DOWNTURN
Direct Marketing Association cut staff last week amid a
restructuring caused by the tumultuous economic environment.
said several staffers were axed amid the groups annual
conference in Las Vegas which ran through Oct. 16.
R.E. Geramian, senior VP, communications, public and media
relations for DMA, said in a statement to ODwyers
that it would be inappropriate to discuss individuals
affected by this restructuring.
group listed more than $9M in net assets for the end of
its recent fiscal year, down from $11.8M in 2007. DMA, which
counts more than 3,600 members, said it moved to ride
out the current economic situation ensuring we remain strong
and capable of continuing to service members and customers.
recent annual report listed 48 staffers of the organization.
BOLTS FROM CNN
Beck is leaving CNN Headline News for Fox News Channel during
the first-quarter of next year. He was the leading conservative
voice at the Time Warner property.
News CEO Roger Ailes said of his catch that he looks forward
to having Becks thought provoking commentary
on Rupert Murdochs cable network.
is penciling Beck into the 5 p.m. time slot. At CNN, Beck
bolstered viewership at the 7 p.m. time slot.
who has roots in radio, extended his contract with Clear
Channel via a $50M five-year deal signed last year. The
Glen Beck Program is also available on XM Satellite
OFFERS DISSENT TO ENDORSEMENT
Philadelphia Inquirer raised eyebrows Oct. 19 when
it offered space for a dissent to its endorsement of Barack
Obama for President.
paper published another view under its endorsement
called The Case for McCain. It opened by saying
nobody is better prepared to serve as President as the Senator
double endorsement generated speculation that PR man Brian
Tierney, who led an investment group that purchased the
Inky and sister publication, Philadelphia News, from
McClatchy for $562M in `06, and his team had a hand in the
management has introduced marketing moves such as allowing
Citizens Bank to sponsor business briefs that have riled
some media watchers.
told the Columbia Journalism Review in `06 that he
didnt expect to hang around the Inky and be a potted
COLLEGE SPORTS CUTS 30
College Sports is trimming 30 staffers as it is cutting
studio programming in favor of game coverage.
cutback represents about a quarter of the workforce, and
is the second round of layoffs. Forty people were let go
college network, available in 25M homes, will air its College
Sports Tonight program until December. Its main competitor,
ESPNU is viewed in 21M households.
SANDER TO CONTENTNEXT
Sander, who was deputy editor in the Wall Street Journals
media and technology group, has moved to ContentNext as
10-year WSJ veteran was responsible for a 15-member reporting
group. Earlier, he served as senior editor of in the Journals
Weekend Group and managing editor of the Asian Wall Street
Journals Personal Journal.
covers the business of digital media. It was founded by
journalist Rafat Ali, and recently became part of the U.K.s
Guardian News & Media unit.
J-SCHOOL GETS MONEY BOOST
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is investing $4.5M to support
health and science journalism at Columbia Universitys
Graduate School of Journalism.
Lemann, dean of the school, says the gift is a recognition
of the critical need for improved public understanding of
science in all its form, but particularly to pressing issues
in public health.
RWJF is the charitable arm of the founding family of Johnson
Miller, the New York Times reporter who spent 85
days in jail for refusing to divulge in a federal probe
the identification of a source who outed a former CIA operative,
has joined Fox News as a contributor. She will provide commentary
and analysis on national security, counter-terrorism and
60-year-old Miller spent 28 years at the NYT, and exited
in `05 following questions about her reporting about weapons
of mass destruction in build-up to the Iraq War.
also will write for FoxNews.com and carry on as adjunct
fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute. She will
continue to submit pieces to the Wall Street Journal,
which is a sister publication to Fox.
news continued on next page)
Edition, October 29, 2008, Page 4
A BREAK, SAY FEMALE JOURNOS
its intended function was liberation, new technologies,
believe it or not, can pose just as many limitations.
interconnected culture demands constant connection: applications
that were designed for convenience instead lead us to adopt
more applications and to apply more time to juggle them,
thus adding to the overload and general anxiety that plagues
this to the pressures in our personal lives, and its
no wonder that productivity has waned with our attention
spans. Given traditional domestic constraints, women in
particular may find their time especially taxed in this
informational deluge. How then, do professionals safely
and sanely manage the conflicts of work and home?
was the focus of an October 7 New York Women in Communications
panel, which brought together some of New Yorks most
notorious female overachievers to discuss the delicate balance
of professional and personal responsibilities.
Cole, founder and editorial director at AMBERmag.com, advised
setting boundaries when accommodating the dual demands of
family and clients. For a start, Cole recommended that women
set aside a block of time each day to focus on nothing but
themselves. Allowing yourself those daily rituals
be it jogging, yoga or reading a book is a healthy
way to balance the personal and professional workflow.
crucial to set times and parameters for yourself. That first
hour in the day has to be for me, she said.
habitual entrepreneur, Cole launched AMBERmag last year,
less than a decade after launching popular insidesalon.com.
Shes written about beauty, fashion and entertainment
for publications like Elle, Essence, InStyle
and the New York Times, and shes worked in
editorial positions for Time, Inc. , Fairchild publications
and Vanguarde Media.
said setting your own boundaries helps others too: when
boundaries are drawn, others learn when its best to
approach you. Theyll also respect you for it.
get in that phase when it feels like Im on a treadmill,
everything is go, go, go. I become so drained that Im
of no use to anyone. When you take two for yourself, everyone
benefits, she said.
Sarna-Jones, founder and president of Organize Me, Inc.,
said its important to manage the expectations
of people receiving your calls and your emails.
my experience, for some reason women try to do more than
anyone else, and if were not superhuman we feel that
were not up to par, she said. Its
part of my values not to let others down.
who is also a frequent contributor to Parenting Magazine
and has been a featured guest on Martha Stewart Living,
offered a tip on how to prioritize and compartmentalize
tasks in a multi-task setting: Dont check email
every five minutes. Turn off your cell phone when youre
working on something important. Turn off the sound of your
Touby, founder and senior VP of Mediabistro.com,
believes taking a break from the steady workflow influences
the decision making process in every aspect: I dont
think of it as disconnecting. Think of it as connecting
former journalist for Working Woman Magazine, Glamour
and New York Magazine, Touby launched Mediabistro
in 2003, a blogging site that offers job listings, tips,
educational courses and networking forums for journalists.
The site now has more than 800,000 registered users. She
sold the company last year to Jupitermedia for a reported
we better off? Yes, she said. Technology gives
us more choice. Were more productive than weve
ever been in the history of the world.
Introcaso-Davis, senior VP of original programming and development
for Oxygen Media, said you choose your own destiny
when it comes to riding or falling asunder in todays
work-flow. Introcaso-Davis previously worked at Bravo, where
she produced Emmy-winning shows like Queer Eye for the Straight
Guy and Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List.
to Jen Chung, Executive Editor at Gothamist.com,
this informational sink-or-swim is indicative of the age
in which we live. A New York City-based blog that focuses
on news, events, food, Chung co-founded Gothamist in 2003.
The site was named blog of the year by Wired magazine
and given a Rave Award by the publication. The
site now receives more than four million page views every
month and recently spread its operations to 12 cities.
is currency, so you need to know whats going on,
panel was moderated by Gail Blanke, founder, president and
CEO of LifeDesigns, LLC.
RADAR FOLDS AGAIN
Radar editor Maer
Roshan has shut down the pop culture magazine once again
and has sold radaronline to American Media Inc.
AMI has installed David
Perel, editor-in-chief of National Enquirer, as managing
editor of the new Radar site.
Roshan launched Radar
in `03 but it soon folded. It was resurrected in `05 but
didn't last that year out. In `06, Integrity Multimedia
Co. relaunched Radar. IMC is partnering with AMI the new
Besides NE, AMI owns Star,
Men's Fitness, Shape, Natural Health
and Fit Pregnancy.
CAPTAIN HEADS TODAY
Catherine Captain, a former
corporate marketing executive at USA Today, has been
named general manager of the Today shows
She heads strategic planning,
content partnerships and marketing for Todayshow.com.
Captain has been at parent
site msnbc.com since 2005, a role she maintains.
Charlie Tonninghast, president
said todayshow.com has emerged from the parent site as a
brand that merits its own mangement team.
Edition, October 29,
2008, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
Communications Group, Toronto, is the newest addition to
the IPREX network of independent PR firms.
include Residences at the Ritz-Carlton, Toronto, McAfee
and WeirFoulds LLP.
Eisenstadt, founding partner of the firm, was international
chairman of the executive committee of PR Society's Counselors
Academy and was chairman of Pinnacle Worldwide, another
network of firms.
North American president Gwinavere Johnston noted TCG will
play a key role in the networks newly launched real
estate communications counsel.
A LA CARTE PR SEEN AS ALTERNATIVE
The credit crisis and
financial meltdown have some firms turning to or highlighting
a la carte models of PR and marketing services as clients
freeze or slash budgets.
A survey of more than
600 marketing pros Oct. 11-13 by MarketingProfs found that
52 percent are already making changes to plans and budgets
as a result of the crisis.
Dean Trevelino, principal
of Trevelino/Keller Communications Group in Atlanta, started
a program of basic PR services in September with the initial
goal of attracting start-up companies.
But the firm's suite of
a la carte services, called FirstGear, is now seen in a
wider light in the current financial climate.
"A lot of companies
are looking for more affordable ways to continue doing what
they've been doing," he said.
While many firms are telling
clients that outsourcing PR in a downturn can be cost-effective,
some see an advantage to smaller, more nimble shops that
rely more on freelancers and project work than large retainers.
"One thing that's
really accelerated with the economy slowing is that clients
are looking for smaller, quicker engagements," said
Mike Collins, CEO of Big Idea Group, a WPP Group-owned network
that supplies freelancers and assembles consumer groups
online for research for clients like L'Oreal and Kraft.
"Where we would normally take six weeks and have a
budget for that, a lot of clients are saying, 'We're cutting
back, so do this in two weeks.'"
BIG, which often works
with PR and ad agencies on research, operates with an open-source
model of consulting based on a network of 13,000 professionals."I
do see this trend toward kind of smaller, faster, cheaper
being accelerated," he said. "I see the fixed
overhead of some large agencies and I'm glad we don't have
that. The era of huge budgets and long-term commitments
Silvina Moschini, former
VP of corporate communications for VISA and head of international
PR for Compaq, is highlighting her pay-per-result model
of PR agency, PublicityGuaranteed.com, amid the downturn.
Her firm charges fees
based on the circulation of publications reached; for example,
a hit in a 50K-plus circulation outlet like the Christian
Science Monitor would result in a $795 charge, while
a placement in a top tier (500K-plus) paper like the Wall
Street Journal would carry a $2,850 charge.
& Soell, New York/Kaldewei, Europe-based bathing
fixtures company, as AOR for PR in the U.S.
Media International, New York/
Environmental Defense Fund, for PR support of three New
York initiatives; Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility,
for promotion of an upcoming study, Environmental
Threats to Healthy Aging, and Mental Health Association
of New York, for PR support.
Booth & Associates, New York/Frommers,
travel guides, for PR support. Andrea Conrad, senior A/S,
heads the account reporting to Brad Laney, director of online
brands at the firm. Wiley, parent to the Frommers
brand, cited Booths branding and digital media expertise,
as well as its travel background, for the selection.
Shandwick, New York/Endace Limited, network monitoring,
as global agency of record for PR. WS offices in London,
N.Y. and San Francisco are working with the company.
PR, Parsippany, N.J./Johnson School at Cornell University,
as AOR for the graduate school of management, including
strategic counsel and comms. services.
Boston/GiftGirl, online gift advice; Lotame, social media
advertising platform; Marteleron, IP call routing; TeleMessage,
which powers messaging applications and systems, and WaveMark,
clinical inventory management for healthcare outlets and
device manufacturers, for PR.
Communications, Atlanta/Over The Top Productions,
for product placements and publicity among hip hop media.
PR, Knoxville, Tenn./Honeywell, to re-brand its Kansas
City plants Work for Others program and to develop
a marketing comms. plan; OXEA, chemical basic elements for
use in coatings, paints, adhesives and other applications,
for development of a crisis comms. plan and crisis training,
and Digital Solutions Inc., wireless controller for electric
energy management, for launch.
Dallas/Higher Perpetual Energy, renewable energy solutions,
for PR, including social media, industry, technology and
Communications, Draper, Utah/Outdoor Retailer, outdoors
industry trade event run by Nielsen Business Media, as AOR
& Partners, Los Angeles/Hope on Wheels, non-profit
charity of Hyundai Motor America, for a three-year PR contract.
Irvine, Calif./Glacial Natural Spring Water, Icelandic water
brand, for national consumer PR, following a competitive
bid process. Anheuser-Busch distributes the water in the
U.S. and owns a 20 percent stake in the company.
Edition, October 29, 2008, Page 6
GETS CASH INFUSION
the Canada-based PR software company making inroads in the
U.S. market, locked up more than $2M in its latest round
of venture funding.
House Venture Partners of Ottawa and Propulsion Ventures
of Montreal, previous investors in the company, put up $2.8M
Canadian, about $2.2M U.S.
infusion comes as dna13 got a major boost by inking a deal
with Edelman to provide a software platform for tasks like
media monitoring, directories and client reporting to the
independent firms 3,200 staffers worldwide. The funds
will go toward infrastructure and sales in the U.S. and
and Propulsion invested $5M Canadian in dna13s initial
round of venture funding concluded last May.
CISION ADDS SOCIAL MEDIA SERVICES
Cision said it will integrate
services from social media monitoring company Radian6 Technologies
into its offerings.
Cision has unveiled two
new services under an agreement with Radian6, including
a social media dashboard that offers real-time access to
SM coverage, and social media daily reports, twice-daily
emails of SM monitoring.
Sites monitored include
social networks like MySpace, microblogs like Twitter, and
video and image- sharing sites like YouTube and Flickr.
BW ALIGNS WITH VIDEO FIRM
Business Wire has partnered
with Digital Citizen Media to offer video content creation
and management services to BW clients.
New York-based DCM handles
creation, production and other services for long and short-form
video, which can be used in releases, video annual reports,
B-roll, corporate profiles and other applications.
DCM has worked with clients
like Kenneth Cole (video annual report), American Eagle
(corporate profile) and Crocs (IPO roadshow
KEFS FOLEY WRITES NOVEL
OF THE WEST
Kevin Foley, CEO of Atlanta-based
KEF Media, has written Where Law Ends, a historical
novel that he hopes will set the record straight about the
legend of the Montana Vigilantes.
Legend has it that the
group of self-appointed lawmen made a heroic stand against
corrupt sheriff Henry Plummer and his gang of thugs, who
preyed on the gold mining camps on Grasshopper Creek and
Foley, who lives part
time in Bozeman, says he became intrigued about the 1863-64
hangings after hearing the story from former Madison County
sheriff Johnny France. The video honcho began researching
the story and found that Plummer may have been the victim
in the vigilante rampage. Innocent men were lynched, said
Foley, as the so-called vigilantes covered up their vile
deeds. Foley tells ODwyers his book is a ripping
yarn. Wyomings Pronghorn Press published the
book. Foley promises autographed copies for $26.95 at www.wherelawends.com.
Ellen, former director of corporate comms. for Serono,
to Schering-Plough Corp., Kenilworth, N.J., as director
of global product communications and advocacy relations.
She has been consultant to the company since 2005. Earlier,
she was with Alexander Ogilvy PR and Fleishman-Hillard in
New York, and she started out in TV and radio journalism.
Gallant, founder of entertainment PR and event planning
firm Spotlight Communications, to Rogers & Cowan, New
York, as senior VP. She brings her client roster and staff
of her seven-year-old boutique firm aboard.
Borden, account manager at Jaffee Communications,
to R&J PR, Bridgewater, N.J., as an A/E. She is a former
Rossi, VP at McNeely Pigott & Fox PR in Nashville,
has moved to the Washington, D.C., area for the firm, which
set up an Alexandria, Va., office in November 2007. The
Dept. of Labor is a client of MP&F, which now has two
senior execs in D.C. Rossi is a former producer for NBC
Skogrand, senior media relations specialist for Thrivent
Financial for Lutherans, to Risdall McKinney PR, New Brighton,
Minn., as a VP. Andrea
Goodall, formerly of LeBrech and Padilla Speer Beardsley,
joins as a senior A/E.
product marketing manager at LucasArts, to The Bohle Company,
Los Angeles, as VP of business development. She handled
PR and marketing for the Star Wars video games
and is a former promotions manager for Sony Online Entertainment.
Carlson to director, corporate communications, Swagelok
Company, Solson, Ohio. She heads internal comms. strategy,
media relations and crisis communications. She was previously
VP of PR at Marcus Thomas before joining SC in 2006 as global
Vander Valk to group VP and Tom
Healey to VP, Stern + Associates, Cranford, N.J.
Also, Jennifer Klock
to senior A/S and Stephanie
Euler to A/S.
Cassandra McCloud to team leader, The Vandiver Group, St.
Louis. Eileen MacLean was upped to senior team member.
Schofield to president, Keating Magee, New Orleans.
He previously served as a consult to the firm, which is
led by CEO/pres. Jennifer Magee.
Keiser and Joel
Swanson to senior VPs, Risdall McKinney PR, New Brighton,
Minn. Also, Laura Wightman
has been promoted to A/E. Keiser joined the firm
in August 2006 and heads several B2B accounts, while Swanson
serves on the Minnesota PR Society board and is an adjunct
professor at St. Cloud State Univ.
OGrady to VP in Weber Shandwick/Minneapolis
technology practice. She joined the firm in 2000.
Bryne to CEO, Europe, for Weber Shandwick, based
in London. He had headed the U.K. and Ireland for the Interpublic
Edition, October 29, 2008, Page 7
TOWN HALL AT PRS
Rosanna Fiske, asked how much of the $3.5 million in investments
is in securities, replied 60%. Since the stock market is
down about 40%, this would indicate a possible decline of
$800,000 in the investment portfolio.
Fiske would not provide any dollar amount for the possible
decline. Julin, asked for a figure during a break in the
Assembly, also declined to provide a figure, saying that
the stock market goes up and down.
is cash-heavy at this time because much of the income for
the national conference has been received but the bills
have not yet come in.
income totaled $2.7 million for the first nine months, up
from $2.3 million. Cash/grew to $1.82M from $1.68M and investments
grew to $3.5M from $3.27M. Total cash/investments were $5.3M.
Wont Pay Own Dues
were concerned with a part of the Ketchum report that said
a quarter of those who get their dues paid by their organizations
would not remain in the Society if they had to pay their
PRS treasurer in a previous year had said that about 80%
of the members get their dues paid by employers.
was no town hall at last years Assembly in Philadelphia
as Julin, then chair-elect, spent the last 35 minutes reading
power point slides.
this year voted 53% in favor and then 51% in favor of extending
the meeting beyond 5 p.m. but Julin noted that Roberts
Rules requires a two-thirds majority for such a vote.
The meeting this year
passed only one minor bylaw change relating to the international
Assembly delegate although the 2007 Assembly had been promised
it would be given a complete re-write of the bylaws to act
Bylaws chair Dave Rickey
said the committee, after discussing the bylaw changes,
decided that more input was needed from the Assembly, which
he described as the voice of the membership.
A number of delegates
were angered that the financial report and minutes of the
2007 Assembly were not given to them until the day of the
A resolution demanding
the timely distribution of these reports was passed with
64% voting yes on electronic voting devices.
Present for the meeting
were 300 of the 329 authorized delegates. Forty-one votes
were represented by proxy.
Because electronic voting
devices were used, there is no published record of how any
delegate voted, whether in person or by proxy.
The data was captured
but could only be released if a roll-call vote had been
passed. No such motion was made. The only time a roll call
vote was published in the ten years the devices have been
in use by PRS was in 2004 when decoupling APR from Assembly
membership was passed by a six-vote margin.
A delegate, noting the
small number of PRS members who have become accredited in
the first five years of the new multiple-choice test (550
or 110 per year) questioned whether it is a viable program
any more and worthy of the Societys continued support.
Julin refused to allow
a discussion of the remark to take place, saying that there
would be an opportunity for such issues in the afternoon.
The topic was never raised
again. It might have been raised in a town hall but there
was no such session.
Were Tasked by Consultant
Part of the morning and
afternoon sessions were turned over to Jean Frankel of Tecker
Consultants, whose job was to train the delegates to think
critically about governance decisions, thus preparing them
to vote on bylaw changes in 2009.
They were to receive training
in creating a knowledge-based strategic dialogue.
Since delegates are limited
to three years of service, its probable that because
of that and other reasons such as job changing and ability
to attend, half or more of this years delegates will
not be present in 2009.
The troubled economy could
also impact the likelihood of 2008 delegates returning in
Frankel and an assistant
went up and down the aisles with mikes so that delegates
could provide their observations after thinking about a
series of questions for 15-minute periods.
The main topic for purposes
of the discussion was A Call for Professional Licensing
such as APR, government licensing of PR pros as is being
started in Puerto Rico, and professional certification in
A question to be addressed
was What should PRS role be in establishing
formal practice standards for the PR profession? A
six-page paper provided to the delegates said that Strategic
mega issues are broad topics of strategic importance.
Steps involved in a knowledge-based
dialogue were said to include:
1. Defining what is known
about an issue.
2. Determining what strategic
choices this knowledge suggests.
3. Assessing the relative
opportunities and challenges of the choices.
4. Coming to a consensus
on a choice of strategies or actions.
Delegates were asked to
ponder What attributes describe the ideal PR Society?
FIRM REPS SANTA IN MALL DISPUTE
A mall Santa is going
back to work after a Virginia PR firm mounted a campaign
highlighting the St. Nicks dismissal after posing
for mall photos with children for 18 years.
Brotman Winter Fried Communications,
a Falls Church, Va.-based firm, drummed up national coverage
of client Michael Graham, the mall Santa for the upscale
Tysons Corner Center for nearly two decades who was fired
ahead of the coming holiday season.
Graham made a healthy
$175 an hour greeting children at TCC and hired an attorney,
Pam Deese, who worked pro bono, to get back his job and
a down payment he says was due Oct. 1. A new photography
contractor made the decision to replace Graham citing his
high rate. A deal was was announced Oct. 26 for Graham to
Edition, October 29, 2008,
PR Society Assembly, the legislative body of PRS
that met Oct. 25, was more departed from reality than usual.
no legislation was passed except for a minor loosening of
rules for the international Assembly delegate and a resolution
demanding the timely distribution of financials and the
same for minutes of the preceding Assembly.
did not get such documents until the day before or the day
of the Assembly itself.
PRS board bombarded the delegates throughout the Assembly
with hundreds of slides, many of them with hundreds of words
and complicated charts.
was done to keep their attention off such real topics as
decoupling APR from office holding, bringing back the printed
directory, providing transcripts of the Assembly, moving
the charter to Delaware to allow electronic meetings and
votes, removing the three-year limit on Assembly service,
ending proxy voting, and reporting assets the normal
way (not booking 12 months of dues as cash).
round of applause greeted one speaker when he said he had
no slides to show.
strategy of distraction and framing succeeded because the
delegates, well over half of them serving for the first
or second time, meekly accepted the incessant pitches and
being turned into students of logical thinking by an outside
the stock market had just suffered one of its worst weeks
ever and may have clipped $800,000 from the PRS treasury,
the economy was barely mentioned.
The topic was especially
germane in Detroit where the auto industry is under severe
pressure and corridor talk was that General Motors and Chrysler
would have to merge.
Chair Jeff Julin made
the barest of mentions of what Newsweek has called
an economic nightmare.
Julin said, Its
raining, after he noted that PRS tries to save up
for a rainy day.
Even accepting PRSs
unusual definition of net assets, it still has
less than six months of cash on hand should its income plummet
($5.3M cash vs. expenses of about $12M).
Rosanna Fiske was asked how much the $3.5M in investments
had declined during the past few weeks but she would not
provide a number.
She said PRS kept 60% of the amount ($2.1M) in equities,
32-33% in fixed income and 8% in cash.
Chair-elect Mike Cherenson
was asked what the equities consisted of but
he had not replied as of press time. If PRSs equities
were hit with the nearly 40% decline in stock prices in
recent weeks, it would mean a paper loss in the area of
The investment policy
was set three years ago, Fiske said. A delegate wanted to
know the size of the staff and was told it is 58. Twenty-five
PRS staffers were listed in the advance roster of about
Unlike previous years,
the list of registrants was not distributed in the conference
packets but was only available as a download.
delegates, about half of whom will not even be back
next year, were given elaborate, time-consuming assignments
on how to think about making bylaw and policy changes. They
meekly accepted this work.
Hours were spent listening
to presentations by Julin, COO Bill Murray, the paid meetings
consultant Jean Frankel, Blake Lewis of the leadership task
force, and executives of Ketchum who presented a survey
on member satisfaction.
Lewis, who presented dozens
of slides and said these had been pared down from a total
of 263, said the group of 22 volunteers had concluded that
there is no clear, consistent path to leadership
in PRS and that a definition of leadership itself is needed.
One problem, he said,
is keeping senior members involved in leadership.
PRS has a shortage of
leaders, especially at the national level, partly because
the APR requirement blocks 80% of members from running for
office. Requirements of heading a chapter, section, district
or national committee or voting in an Assembly eliminate
another 15% or more of members.
Prof. Lynn Appelbaum of
CCNY was recruited for Tri-State director this year after
two deadlines for candidates had passed and no one showed
up. The same thing happened to the Sunshine district this
year. Last year there were difficulties in finding candidates
from the Southeast and Southwest districts.
The PRS board, which would
rather eliminate districts than allow non-APRs on the board,
tried last year to shrink the districts from ten to five.
But the Assembly defeated the bylaw change.
The tragedy of the 2008
Assembly, which wasted hours on pitches that should have
been provided in advance, was that there was for the second
year in a row no time for a town hall.
This was scheduled for
one half hour (4:30-5 p.m.) at the end of a day that started
at 7 a.m. for many delegates who attended various committee
meetings. Some were jet-lagged by traveling from three time
As of mid-afternoon, the
Assembly was running an hour behind schedule but full time
was given to the classes in thinking by Frankel
and the Lewis leadership presentation.
As of 4:25, the 2008 elections,
which were supposed to have been passed by the Assembly
more than a hour earlier, still had not been made.
Nominating chair Cheryl
Procter-Rogers, apparently unmindful that this cut-and-dried
formality (because there were no floor candidates) was cutting
into time allotted for the town meeting, dragged out the
nominations until 4:50 by giving many details of the nominating
should have taken five minutes lasted more than 20
and by 4:53, two delegates came to the mike with resolutions
that the minutes and financials be given to delegates in
a timely fashion.
That about exhausted available
time and Julin ruled the Assembly would end at 5 p.m. because
that was in the agenda that was adopted.
Just over half of the
delegates (almost all were still in the room) voted to continue
but Julin noted that a two-thirds majority was needed to
extend a meeting under Roberts Rules.
Delegates, who are duck
soup for the association and legal experts who advise PRS
leaders, should take a bigger role in preparing the agenda
What they should do is
simply not adjourn the meeting at all. Then they could meet
whenever they want to by teleconference. Whatever they passed
might not be legally binding but the national board would
have to take notice.