The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, November 5, 2008, Page 1
ORLEANS AIRPORT SEEKS PR PITCHES
Orleans Louis Armstrong Airport, which is still well
short of its pre-Katrina passenger traffic, is calling for
proposals to expand its list of PR and advertising agencies
that handle project work to the tune of $250K per year.
airport, which changed its name from New Orleans International
in 2001 to mark the 100th birthday of the jazz great, holds
a $1.9 billion economic impact over the New Orleans area
and affects more than 12K jobs directly and indirectly along
the states Gulf coast. It was a key hub for rescue
and recovery efforts following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
show that by the end of 2008, 123 of the airports
162 pre-Hurricane Katrina flights will have returned.
firms currently provide communications services to the New
Orleans Aviation Board, which oversees the airport. They
include Carolyn Grisko & Associates, Deveney Communications
and Sardie & Associates, among others.
airport, which is owned by the City of New Orleans, handled
7.5M passengers last year (down from about 9.7M before Katrina)
and industry experts see Armstrong growing its passenger
traffic by 10 percent over the next eight years.
are due December 19. The RFP can be downloaded at http://www.flymsy.com/.
KETCHUM ACQUIRES ACCESS
Ketchum has acquired San
Francisco-based Access Communications, a technology firm
which billed $14.1M in 2007 with 75 staffers.
Our strategy was
to source the best expertise available in technology PR
and we found just that in Access, an industry leader,
said Ray Kotcher, senior partner and CEO of Ketchum.
He sees the move intended
to bolster the Omnicom units global technology practice
and consumer-technology savvy, as well as expand its California
Access will continue to
operate under its name and its two main offices in S.F.
and New York.
Access president and CEO
Susan Butenhoff, who began her career at Ketchum rising
to VP before founding Access in 1991, said the firms
clients and staff will be well-served by the
Access clients have
included Google, Kaiser Permanente, Disney Interactive and
The acquisition is one
of the largest of a tech firm since 2006, when Edelman acquired
A&R Partners, which billed $15M annually at the time.
IPG SWINGS TO PROFIT
Interpublic CEO Michael
Roth reported a $38.7M net profit compared to a $28.8M year
ago loss spurred by an uptick in organic revenue growth
and tight cost controls. Revenues jumped a solid 11.5 percent
Roth said in a statement
that IPG, owner of Weber Shandwick, MWW Group and GolinHarris,
is increasingly competitive in the marketplace.
Major operating units are showing improvement in their
performance for the year. Roth took notice of the
global financial chaos. That mess has begun to weigh
on marketers spending plans for both the fourth quarter
Though IPG is positioned
for a strong `08, Roth warned the impact of an increasingly
unsettled and volatile business environment on our sector
is not yet clear and creates a risk to meeting our stated
For the nine-month period,
IPG registered a $56.7M net versus a $31.5M `07 deficit.
Revenues reached $5B, up 10.7 percent.
RACEPOINT CUTS STAFF BY 20%
Racepoint Group has laid
off 20 percent of its employees across its four offices.
Executive VP Jackie Lustig
told ODwyers that the reduction was made on
Oct. 27. Given the current financial crisis, we have
to prepare our business for overall lower revenue than originally
anticipated, she said. We are financially sound
and have a strong and deep commitment from our board of
Racepoint had 125 employees
at the end of 2007 and one source said the layoffs total
about two dozen staffers. Racepoint is part of W2 Group,
the marketing services holding company headed by veteran
tech PR executive Larry Weber. The five-year-old firm has
three offices in the U.S. San Francisco, Washington,
D.C., and Boston and a London outpost. It has worked
with clients like Mozilla and Sony.
SPIN RANKLES PR
You guys know how
to spin anything
we should all be as good with spin
as you are, Boston Globe career columnist Penelope
Trunk told the Oct. 27 luncheon of the PR Society conference
The skill of PR people
with spin is especially useful when they switch out of PR
and into another business, she said, because PR pros can
easily out-spin those who are not expert at it. A resume,
she noted, is all spin.
With these and other remarks
about spin, a murmur of protest started to spread
through the audience of more than 1,500 and chair Jeff Julin
interrupted Trunk to
on page 7)
Edition, November 5, 2008, Page 2
GROUP STEPS UP PR
Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq plans to go directly to
the American people to educate and raise awareness of the
goals of the leading Shiite political party that opposes
Muqtada al-Sadirs group.
Council, which has been backed by the Bush Administration,
plans to spend an estimated $20K per-month here to organize
programs and issue press releases. The group hopes citizens
and members of the U.S. government will learn, question
and become familiar with Iraqi Islamic culture, according
to ISCIs federal lobbying filing.
Council has been dismissed as a stalking horse for Iran
by the International Crisis Group. An ICG report recommended
the U.S. should stop using it as a privileged instrument
due to the Councils close ties and financial backing
received from Tehran.
Almusawi is the U.S. rep for the Baghdad-based ISCI, which
promises to promote a stable and democratic Iraq with
equal opportunities for all citizens irrespective of religion.
SITRICK REPS BARENAKED LADY
Sitrick & Co. repped
Steven Page, singer and guitarist of the Barenaked Ladies,
who faced a possible 5 ½ -year prison term for a
narcotics arrest made in Syracuse in July.
The Onondaga County District
Attorneys Office agreed to reduce the felony charge
to a misdemeanor during a hearing on Oct. 28.
The move was made because
Page did not have any prior arrests and the cocaine found
was lower in quantity and lower in quality than
had first been reported.
The Attorneys Office
also considered Page and the BNLs charitable work
on behalf of childrens hospitals in the U.S. and Canada.
Page, 38, will have the
misdemeanor charge dropped if he stays out of trouble over
the next six months and participates in a drug screening
The singer apologized
to fans following his appearance in Fayetteville. He is
happy for the opportunity to prove himself a productive
and law-abiding member of society.
Page said he views the
next six months as a time for healing and growth.
The BNL have made a dozen
albums, and recorded hits such as If I Had a $1,000,000
Dollars, and Too Little Too Late. The
group released Snack Time, which features two
dozen childrens songs in August.
McFARLIN JOINS WS
Bob McFarlin, who handled
the I-35 bridge collapse crisis, has signed on as VP at
Weber Shandwicks Minneapolis office.
McFarlin will tackle corporate,
community and PA issues.
The I-35 span over the
Mississippi River collapsed in Minneapolis on Aug. `07,
killing 13 people.
McFarlin served as principal
spokesperson for Minnesotas Dept. of Transportation
during that tragedy. He was elevated to acting commissioner
of the Minn./DOT by Gov. Tim Pawlenty in February.
Sara Gavin heads the Weber
PFIZER COMMS. VP EXITS FOR
Andy McCormick, VP of
worldwide communications for Pfizer, has stepped down to
take up the VP/public affairs post at The Hershey Co. He
steps into the post on Nov. 10 and will head corporate communications,
product publicity, community relations and corporate social
responsibility for the chocolate marketer.
McCormick joined Pfizer
in 1993 and handled various communications disciplines for
the pharmaceutical giant, including media relations, public
affairs, product and financial communications.
Earlier, the Lancaster,
Pa., native managed marketing comms. at IBM in a four-year
career and started out as a newspaper reporter at papers
like the Newport News Daily Press and the Wilmington
Richard Marshall and Megan
Sattuck led the search at Korn/Ferry.
JOE THE PLUMBER
HIRES PR PRO
Joe the Plumber has hired
The Press Office in Nashville in hopes to land a contract
and western music deal.
The firm owned by Jim
Della Croce promises maximum PR for the music
industry professional. He has repped Waylon Jennings, Grand
Funk Railroad, Merle Haggard and the Kentucky Headhunters
in a 20-year career.
The Press Office also
handles projects outside the Nashville music scene. Liquid
Fence Co., for example, is among clients. It produces eco-safe
and cruelty free goose, mole, cat and snake repellent. It
also markets Liquid Net, a Deet-free insect repellent
for people, pets and horses.
Joe, who is unlicensed
Ohio plumber Sam Wurzelbacher, got his 15 minutes of fame
when he challenged Barack Obama in person on the campaign
trail. Though not an accomplished musician, Wurzelbacher
is a C&W fan who sings a little and plays some guitar.
He is shooting for an album for release by Inauguration
MINNEAPOLIS FLOWS WITH LABRECHE
Labreche has won a six-figure
contract to tout Minneapolis tap water to residents and
neighboring municipalities as pure, safe, great-tasting
and environmentally friendly.
Twenty firms submitted
proposals and Lebreche was among three finalists. The competing
firms were not disclosed by the city.
Labreche is charged with
marketing the H20 and its contract is capped at $180K after
an RFP was issued over the summer. The contract is pending
approval from the full city council in early November.
The RFP cited two main
tenets to the campaign: build awareness of and confidence
in Minneapolis tap water, and encourage people to choose
tap over bottled water because it is said to be safer, healthier
and more environmentally friendly.
The Mississippi River
is the source of Minneapolis water bounty, which the
city notes is a sustainable resource. The city blames organic
material from the river for an occasional odor that the
water carries in the spring, but it assures consumers that
it is safe and says it is working to eliminate the seasonal
Edition, November 5, 2008, Page 3
INC. REVAMPS, CUTS 600
Inc. is cutting around 600 jobs due to the "financial
crisis, which has produced sharp decreases in advertising
spending," according to a memo from CEO Anne Moore.
She expects the slump to continue through `09.
is revamping the Time Warner units 24 U.S. magazines
into three business unit groups with titles that share similar
audiences, advertisers and staff skills.
news group combines Time, Fortune, Money,
and will be headed by John Squires.
style and entertainment group includes People, InStyle,
Entertainment Weekly and Essence and will
be headed by Moore.
lifestyle group includes Southern Living, Cooking
Light, This Old House, All You, Cottage
Living, Coastal Living and Southern Accents
and is headed by Sylvia Auton.
says Time Inc. must react quickly to the new reality in
order to maintain our financial strength, build our market
position and sharpen our ability to bounce back at the first
signs of economic recovery.
believes it is no longer possible for Time Inc. to operate
with the "same decentralized management structure that
served us so well during our many years of sustained growth."
memo highlighted recent examples of titles and writers working
together such as Sports Illustrated providing Olympics
photos to Time.com,
while Fortune and Time shared correspondents
on big business stories. "We will see much more of
this kind of cooperation," noted Moore.
Inc. employs 7,000 people in the U.S. and another 5,000
overseas, where it publishes nearly 100 magazines.
unit posted a 15 percent decline in second-quarter operating
income to $218M on a six percent dip in revenues to $1.2B.
Time Warner shares trade at $9.79, near their $8.66 low.
Activist investor Carl Icahn made a run at Time Warner in
`06, recommending that it be broken into four separate companies.
The stock was trading at $18.76 at that time.
NEWSPAPER CIRC FALLS ANOTHER
The average daily circulation
of the 507 newspapers charted by the Audit Bureau of Circulations
fell 4.6 percent to 38.1M during the six months ended September
period. Sunday circulation dropped 4.8 percent to 43.6M.
The circulation carnage
was especially evident in the Top 25 papers audited by the
ABC. None of those papers posted a gain though No. 1 USA
Today and No. 2 Wall Street Journal both posted
flat circs at 2.3M and 2M, respectively.
Rounding out the Top Five,
the New York Times was down 3.6 percent to 1M, Los
Angeles Times dipped 5.2 percent to 739K and New
York Daily News plunged 7.2 percent to 632K. The NYDN
archrival New York Post ranked No. 6 at 625K, down
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
was the biggest loser on the list, off 13.6 percent to 275K.
It was followed by Houston Chronicle (-11.7 percent
to 448K), Philadelphia Inquirer (-11 percent to 301K)
and Star-Ledger (-10.4 percent to 316K).
Smallest declines were
reported by the Washington Post (-1.9 percent to
623K), Newsday (-2.6 percent to 378K) and San
Diego Union-Tribune (-3.0 percent to 270K).
WAPO EARNINGS PLUMMET
Third quarter earnings
plummeted 86 percent at the Washington Post Company mostly
due to its struggling newspaper division.
The company posted net
income of $10.3M for Q3, compared with $72.5M for the same
period in 2007. The newspaper division put up an operating
loss of $82.7M, a large portion of it (nearly $60M) from
a goodwill charge at the Everett (Wash.) Herald and
its smaller papers because of their diminished value, the
Print advertising at the
Post fell by 14 percent to $97.2M for Q3, although online
revenue was up 14 percent to $30.8M.
The company's education
division, Kaplan, which accounts for more than half of its
revenue, posted $603M in Q3 revenue, up 17 percent from
Standard & Poor's
has lowered its ratings outlook on Washington Post Co. from
"stable" to "negative" due to declines
in circulation and ad revenues at the Washington Post
CSM EXITS PRINT AFTER 100-YEAR
The Christian Science
Monitor is ending print publication of the Monday through
Friday newspaper after a 100-year run.
The non-profit CSM will
be an online subscription publication in April supplemented
by a weekend newsmagazine when more people have the time
to experience the "pleasures of print," according
to John Yemma, editor of the CSM.
The Boston-based publisher
says it is the "first newspaper with a national audience"
to shift to a 24/7 online model.
according to the release distributed by Shift Communications,
is the "first major international newspaper" to
fully embrace the future of journalism.
Yemma believes daily print
is "too costly and energy-intensive" and considers
the electronic newspaper format more suited to attract younger
readers and a more global audience.
CSM's circulation has
declined from a peak of 220K in `70 to 52K. Its online edition
currently receives three million page views a month.
The newspaper is financed
by the First Church of Christ, Scientist to the tune of
$12M a year. The subsidy is being reduced to $4M in five
years. The paper was founded as a voice to combat the "yellow
journalism" of the early part of the last century.
Yemma expects some cuts
in the 130-member staff, of which 100 people are involved
in editorial. He promises the cutbacks will not be "draconian.
news continued on next page)
Edition, November 5, 2008, Page 4
NAST PARES PORTFOLIO
Nast is cutting staff and reducing the frequency of Portfolio,
the business/lifestyle magazine that it launched with great
fanfare in `07.
160-member staff is taking a 20 percent hit. Portfolio will
now publish 10 times a-year rather than on a monthly basis.
stand-alone website, which filed original reports, will
now re-purpose material from the printed magazine.
for Portfolio averaged 415K copies for the first-half of
`08. Its 445 ad pages for the first nine months of `08 were
not enough to put the magazine into the black ink column.
cutbacks are only a part of CN's move to streamline operations.
Men's Vogue, for instance, is being folded into Vogue.
which published ten times a-year, will now be published
LUECK TO THINK TANK
Lueck, who has been in the Wall Street Journal's
Washington bureau since 1999, moved to the Center on Budget
and Policy Priorities on Nov. 3. She had covered Capital
Hill and health policy issues for the paper.
Center works at the federal and state levels on fiscal policy
and public programs that affect low and moderate-income
is headed by Robert Greenstein, former administrator at
the Dept. of Agriculture's food and nutrition service.
U. MAG SHUTS DOWN
Media has pulled the plug on 02138, the magazine
geared to Harvard University graduates.
and its financial backer Isis Venture Partners decided not
to invest more in the venture due to the current Wall Street
current issue is near the completion stage and will be delivered
online to subscribers.
was founded by Harvard grads Bom Kim and Daniel Loss in
was published by The Atlantic before being sold to
MM in May.
SHIFTS TO ALIBABA
Spelich, who was VP-corporate communications in Walt Disneys
interactive media unit, is joining Alibaba Group, which
is Chinas leading e-commerce company.
will be based in Hong Kong.
acquired China Yahoo! in '05. It runs Alisoft.com, an Internet-based
business management software operation, and Taobao.com,
a consumer shopping marketplace.
says it has nearly 30M registered users and 30 offices throughout
China, Taiwan, Europe and the U.S. Korn/Ferry Internationals
Asheley Linnenbach (San Francisco) and Train Luo (Shanghai)
conducted the search.
TACKLES TIMES CIRC PINCH
information overload may be the No. 1 reason for readers
fleeing the printed New York Times, according to
its publisher Arthur Pinch Sulzberger, who gave
the keynote speech at the WebbyConnect summit in Dana Point,
Calif., in October.
believes the worlds senses are being assaulted by
data deluge, leaving traditional news outlets fighting for
survival or for the attention of readers. Bloggers are pumping
out reams of facts, misstatements, propaganda and personal
attacks that addle the brains of millions of simple information
seekers, he suggested.
sees the need to maintain perspective as the tendency
to either become agitated by the tidal wave of news or to
ignore critically important stories because you can no longer
process what is happening. He said it is reasonable
to ask: Do we need all this news and information?
Do we want all this news and information? Can we tolerate
all of this news and information?
his cap to Newsweeks Fareed Zakaria, he worries
that we know so much about what is happening throughout
our planet, we may have lost some perspective along the
way. As Zakaria wrote in The Post-American World:
the immediacy of the images and the intensity of the
24-hour news cycle combine to produce constant hyperbole.
Every weather disturbance is the Storm of the Century. Every
bomb that explodes is breaking news.
reminded the audience to remember the need for balance
and maintaining that critically important sense of perspective
on our world and its developments to keep from either sensationalizing
or trivializing local, national or international reports.
covered national politics and the White House for the Houston
Chronicle, has moved to the Washington Examiner
as its White House correspondent. She takes over for Bill
Sammon, who was named deputy managing editor of the Washington
bureau of Fox News Channel.
was at the Chronicle for eight years and took over the White
House beat in 2005. She is currently a political analyst
been promoted to assistant managing editor for features
at the Los Angeles Times, overseeing its Food, Health,
Home, Image and Travel sections in print and online. She's
been with the paper for 21 years and served as California
features editor since March 2006. Nicholas
been promoted to deputy editor of the Times' Opinion section.
The six-year Times pro also joins the editorial board.
Goldberg as Op-Ed and Sunday Opinion editor in November.
She returns to the section after a stint at the California
the online magazine, said it will highlight two-to-four-minute
highlights of "Charlie Rose" on the site and its
Slate V video magazine. Rose said in a statement that the
deal means his show can offer "more possibilities to
an expanding audience."
5, 2008, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
HOSPITALS TAP CRT
group of 12 northern Virginia hospitals tapped CRT/tanaka
following an RFP for crisis communications counsel.
Northern Virginia Hospital Alliance wanted a firm to align
and refine crisis plans for its member hospitals and develop
a training regimen for leaders and crisis response team
is capped at $100K through Aug. 31, 2009.
members are in the six counties in or near the Washington,
D.C. metroplex known as the National Capital Region.
Corrigan, executive director of the Alliance, said the group
developed a robust crisis plan since 9/11 but
there are always areas that need improvement.
said the group received more than 10 proposals and narrowed
that field down to two finalists, who presented to a selection
team of four directors of media relations from the group's
noted: "CRT gave the best presentation, was better
able to answer our questions about their approach and ultimately
was better able to convince us that they were (1) knowledgeable
enough about the subject matter to credibly teach our executives;
and (2) were not coming in thinking they knew enough about
hospital emergency preparedness to be unwilling to customize
their training to meet our existing plans, policies and
BOOTH TAPS HEALTH TREND IN
M Booth & Associates,
New York, has launched a unit focused on consumer products
that enhance personal and family health.
Margie Booth, president
of the firm, noted: Health and wellness products are
the fastest-growing segment of the packaged goods arena
today because consumers are flocking to their better
for you benefits.
The practice, called Better
For You, covers clients in sectors like food, nutrition,
baby care, pet care, beauty, oral care and home environment.
The firm has set up an
advisory board that includes dietician and author Sandra
Woodruff, public health advocate Charles Stuart Platkin,
and gastroenterologist Bryan Vartabedian, among others.
Booth also said it will
maintain an index to gauge the demand for products with
health benefits using Harris Interactive data and the first
installment found that three-quarters of adults say they
make more health-conscious buying decisions now than two
Booth senior VPs
Joyce Yaeger and Rich Goldblatt head the new practice.
Public Affairs, the two-year-old Sacramento firm
of former Schwarzenegger deputy chief of staff and Porter
Novelli PA practice leader Donna Lucas, has opened new offices
in Sacramento and added three staffers. Julie Marengo, former
comms. director for the League of California Cities, joins
as senior VP; Jessica Spitz Biller, a VP for Porter Novelli/Sacramento,
joins as a VP, and Justin Knighten, a legislative staffer
in the California EPA, joins as an account coordinator.
Mattie PR, New York/Bed Stu, fashion; Katrina Kelly,
jewelry; Zeira Jewelry; Como & Brigante; Kat Burki,
home furnishings; Classified Cosmetics, beauty; Rudy Project,
eyewear; Bideawee, humane organization, and ANAMA, fashion,
for PR. The firm has also renewed with beauty clients JOICO
and butter London.
PR, New York/Dezer Signature Brands, to publicize
upcoming real estate projects and its overall corporate
brand, and Clipper Equity, developer of the BellTel Lofts
in Brooklyn, for development of a media relations program.
Communications, Lambertville, N.J./Kathy Davis Designs,
as AOR for the design and inspirational message company
and creator Kathy Davis, who recently inked a licensing
deal with American Greetings Corp.
Communications Group, Atlanta/
online invitations and announcements retailer, for consumer
PR and social media, following a competitive bid of four
firms on the East and West Coasts.
Communications, Atlanta/Cardlytics, loyalty solution
for banks; LeadLife, on-demand marketing automation software;
Omnivue, financial and CRM management streamlining; TopEyeView,
environmentally friendly helium blimps for broadcasting,
monitoring and surveillance, and vmSight, user assurance
for virtual desktops and applications, for PR.
Marketing Group, Orlando, Fla./Southwest Florida
Economic Development Partners, to develop a branding platform
for the consortium.
Publicity, Chicago/Little Hands Learning Center,
preschool, for creation and implementation of a media relations
PR, Austin, Tex./COPC Inc., customer contact center
and business process outsourcing, for media and analyst
relations on top of its current marketing work for the company.
Dallas/Market Street, supermarket chain, for an integrated
marketing campaign including media relations, interactive,
and SEO, for opening of a new Texas store.
PR, Portland, Ore./Consumer Cellular; Creature, independent
ad agency; Dutch Bros., drive-through coffee company, and
Pacific Seafood, retailer, for PR.
PR, Los Angeles/BeenVerified, background checking
service for businesses and individuals, as AOR for PR. Atomics
New York office will co-head the account.
Consulting and EthnikPR, San Francisco/Jump Games,
mobile entertainment unit of Reliance Big Entertainment
Company, for PR in North America. VSC and Ethnik are sister
Toronto/Indigo Books & Music, Canadas largest
book retailer; as AOR for PR.
Edition, November 5, 2008, Page 6
REVENUE UP, STOCK HIT
reported a 32 percent rise in third-quarter revenue to $20M
on Oct. 28 but its shares were battered last week on a downgrade.
income for the quarter was $218K, down from $475K for Q3
shares fell nearly 25 percent on Oct. 29 to trade below
$17, off its 52-week high of $41.50 per share, after a downgrade
to neutral from buy by Dougherty
PR software company added 233 net new subscribers across
the U.S. and Europe during the quarter. President and CEO
Rick Rudman noted a downturn in late September coinciding
with the global financial crisis began to subside by early
tail-end of September the market kind of froze for a couple
of weeks, where a lot of buying decisions were just simply
put on hold, said president and CEO Rick Rudman. Weve
seen business return to somewhat of a normal pattern.
Customers that cut back or froze spending were offset by
others that increased spending during the uncertainty, he
operating expenses rose to more than $16M for the quarter,
up from $12M in 2007.
said it currently has 131 sales representatives. The company
expects fourth quarter revenue in the $20.5-20.7M range.
has almost $90M in cash, no debt and exceptional cash flow,
company counts 3,144 customers for its software services.
CYBERALERT CUTS COST
media monitoring company CyberAlert, said it has lowered
its cost and bundled services amid the tough economic climate.
Bill Comcowich, CEO of
the company, said he wanted to offer a media monitoring
value as we all face a painful recession.
CyberAlert is bundling
its online, broadcast TV and word-of-mouth monitoring services
into a single subscription through the end of the year for
$379 per month, a 60 percent discount, according to the
The service includes overnight
email delivery of all clips from the previous 24 hours.
GUGLER TO KORN/FERRY
Dan Gugler, senior VP
for Fleishman-Hillard, has joined executive search firm
Korn/Ferry International in Los Angeles as senior director
of marketing and communications.
He was previously a VP
at The Bohle Company.
At K/F, he reports to
Mike Distefano, senior VP and CMO of the company.
K/F has 90 offices in
video services company FeedRoom
has unveiled version 4.0 of its enterprise video platform.
FeedRoom says the upgrade allows users to more easily create,
integrate and manage online video. Info: feedroom.com.
Litten, manager of government affairs for Horizon
Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, to AmeriHealth New
Jersey, Iselin, N.J., as VP of strategic and external affairs,
a new position.
Robinson, co-founder of the CrunchGear blog and a
web metrics and conversational media advisor at Federated
Media, to MWW Group, East Rutherford, N.J., as senior digital
Rafkin, founder and president of his own brand consultancy,
to Siegel+Gale, New York, as global director of simplification.
Zepp, PR consultant for Cambria Biosciences, to LaVoie
Group, Salem, Mass., as a senior A/S and director of editorial.
She previously was an A/S at Brushfire Marketing and earlier
a science-medicine reporter at the Durham, N.C., Herald
Otu, formerly of Taylor Johnson & Olesker, to
Media & Communications Strategies, Washington, D.C.,
as a senior A/E. The firm also added Alicia
Dunn as an A/E.
Fisher has left Flynn & Wright for a senior PR
strategist post at Strategic America in Des Moines.
Beltran, PR manager, Fairmont Newport Beach, to The
Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo, as director of PR. She has been with
JMPR, Victoria King PR and Tsantes & Associates.
Hermsen, managing director for Hill & Knowltons
German technology affiliate Hiller, Wust & Partner,
to MD of Fleishman-Hillards Munich office and tech
practice leader for Germany, starting in January.
Calhoun to president, North America, for Weber Shandwick,
based in New York. Gail
Heimann was named vice chair of WS; Ken
Luce to president, global client management, and
Susan Howe to
Seldon to senior VP, The Rosen Group, New York. She
joined the firm in 1999 and handles clients like Revision3,
PCMAg.com and Cibus.
Marmur to assistant VP, Makovsky + Company, New York.
The firm has also promoted Jonathan
Pappas to A/S, Kerri-Ann
McGinty to senior A/E, Jennifer
Seelin to A/E. Three staffers were upped to AA/Es.
Cook and Caroline
Dettman to managing directors for Edelmans
Chicago office. Cook was GM in the Chicago reputation management
practice. Dettman has been with Edelman for 11 years and
has headed work for Wal-Mart, Unilever and Shell.
Cohen to executive VP, Ackermann PR, Knoxville, Tenn.
He leads the firms public affairs practice, and handles
business development and client services. Jeff
Hooper was named chief strategy officer and leads
the firms strategic consulting practice, and Crystal
Cardwell was named chief financial officer after
26 years with Ackermann.
St. Peter, founder of PR firm Global Prarie, to chair
of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.
Edition, November 5, 2008, Page 7
RANKLES PRS CONF.
that spin is something that PR people would never do. PR,
said Julin, is about building relationships.
He suggested that Trunk had some view of spin
that was other than what PR people do, a different kind
who parlayed her beach volleyball skills (she was ranked
No. 20 in the nation) into a first job since her boss liked
volleyball, said that PR pros must make friends at their
jobs and especially be friendly to the boss.
One Promotes Someone They Hate
the PR pros to throw themselves into office politics,
she said: No one ever promotes someone they hate.
co-workers are all jerks and you cant
relate to them, move onto another job, Trunk advised the
conference attendees. She is an advocate of frequent job-hopping,
saying PR people should leave a job when they stop
that she has had many jobs including a job as a writer for
Time-Warner (such bad money), she urged the
PR people to take a break from the workplace
every so often in order to think more deeply about their
author of "The Brazen Careerist," worked in marketing
for ten years in the software industry and created a career
column that goes to more than 200 publications.
said everyone should have a blog that calls attention to
their own personal brand rather than some company
they are working for.
builds relationships and is an amazing
career tool, she said, adding that using Twitter,
which creates conversations, is also a must
If companies want to keep
their young employees, they must mentor them, Trunk said.
Young people dont
know what their careers will be
if you do some mentoring,
they will stay with you, she said.
Although Trunk used the
word spin a number of times, the write-up on
her speech by Tactics editor John Elsasser on the PRS web
does not mention the word spin at all.
Wants to 'Do Good'
Craig Newmark, speaker
at the opening general session Oct. 26, said his goal in
business is to do good for America. He noted that Craigslist
is 99% free, with charges levied only in 18 cities for job
ads and in New York for real estate ads. The site gets 12
billion hits a month.
Newmark said he supports
worthwhile causes and named the Center for Media & Democracy
headed by John Stauber as one of them.
Another cause is helping
veterans and their families. He likes people who get
Anyone who gives PR a
bad reputation should be exposed, said Newmark,
who said he will back people who speak truth to power.
He calls himself a
fan of Twittering.
The company was built
without advertising and with little PR. Current PR consultant
is Mike Smith, of Michael Smith Business Development, Herndon,
PRS VETS RAP ASSEMBLY; PRS
Several PR Society veterans
have criticized the conduct of the 2008 Assembly, saying
delegates were forced to discuss the same
old topics, the subject of APR was ducked, and the
meeting was unfairly ended although half the delegates wanted
it to continue.
VP-PR of PRS Arthur Yann,
responding to the criticisms, said delegates are generally
satisfied with Assemblies (quoting a 2007 survey), and that
the delegates themselves set the agenda and voted to end
Yann also attacked the
anonymity of the complainants, saying that at least one
of the observers on odwyerpr.com was ethical enough
to include his name. The observer, noted Yann, says
the implication is that there is some kind of intimidation
from PRS that threatens people. [Editors Note:
this NL does not usually identify critics of PRS because
in the past they have been subject to calls from volunteer
and paid PRS staffers accusing them of disloyalty and harming
PRS. Critics also fear their jobs can be jeopardized and
they may be shut off from new business and job leads from
PRS. The Counselors Academy said this year that the No.
1 question PRS receives each month is Where
can I find a PR firm or consultant?].
Told No Time for Questions
Critics said that delegates
lined up at mikes to ask questions about the bylaws rewrite,
the Ketchum/Echo member survey, accreditation and the licensing
issues but were told by chair Jeff Julin that the Assembly
was running behind and there would be plenty of time
to talk about such topics at the town hall.
But the program, which
included two hours of discussion on licensing and certification
by consultant Jean Frankel, got so far behind that no time
was left for the town hall. Critics were especially annoyed
that nominating chair Cheryl Procter-Rogers took from 4:27
to 4:50 p.m. to talk about the nomcom procedure and introduce
the candidates. This pro forma vote (because
no elections were contested) could have taken a couple of
minutes, said the critics, and thus left time for the town
They also rapped Julin
for demanding a formal vote on whether the Assembly should
continue. Only half voted to continue the meeting and Julin
then closed it, noting a two-thirds majority was needed.
Veteran members said Assemblies have often gone well past
6 p.m. and Julin could easily have said that while the formal
part of the Assembly is over, the board will stay and listen
to anything the remaining delegates have to say.
Delegate Mark McClennan
of Boston said on Twitter that he was stunned and
dismayed by the abrupt end of the meeting
that was voted on by half the delegates. Thats
it for the year, he noted, even though chapters spend
$500+ to send delegates to the meeting.
Besides the two hours
taken up by Frankel, another two hours were used for presentations
by Julin, chair-elect Mike Cherenson, COO Bill Murray, the
Ketchum member survey, and the Blake Lewis leadership study.
The lunch break occupied an hour and 42 minutes.
Commenting on the Ketchum
finding that a quarter of members whose dues are paid by
their employers said they would not renew if they had to
pay themselves, Yann said this is consistent with the experience
of other organizations.
Edition, November 5, 2008,
2008 Assembly of the PR Society never took place
and the delegates
must quickly re-assemble and rectify this wrong.
witnessing the fiasco in which nearly six hours of an eight-hour
and 45-minute session was wasted on canned speeches, hundreds
of power point slides, a grade school-level, two-hour session
in logic, and an overly long hour and 42-minute lunch, were
convinced the Assembly needs its own lawyer, CPA, and PR
counsel and that PRS should fund this out of its $12 million
the second year in a row there was no town hall.
Especially objectionable this year is that delegates never
received a list of who the other delegates were. Secret
elected representatives have no place in a democracy.
Assembly must take matters into its own hands or it wont
meet again until November 2009.
legal clearance from PRS national is needed to do this.
The reconvened Assembly wouldnt have legal status
but anything it decides would have to be listened to by
national leaders. A meeting by teleconference would be easy
First Amendment guarantees Americans the right to peaceably
Uninvited, except as listeners, would be the 17 national
directors, 10 district chairs and 19 section chairs.
in the 1980s said this executive branch should
not be voting in the legislative branch because
they are voting on their own performance and initiatives.
major question about the 2008 Assembly is how did these
leaders vote on the question of cutting off the Assembly
at 5 p.m. when at least half the room wanted it to continue?
was no need to end the meeting unless the leaders and certain
others wanted it to end. There was an excessive reliance
on what was legal or not.
chair Jeff Julin nor any of the other directors sitting
on a stage above the delegates urged the delegates to vote
in favor of continuing the meeting.
hands-off attitude was that continuing the meeting was strictly
up to the delegates. It was as though he was asking them
whether they preferred fish or meat for dinner. He abandoned
his leadership role when the chips were down.
delegates are no match for the high-paid, high-powered consultants
that PRS leaders have arrayed against them.
This includes the Venable
(600-lawyer) law firm that got $65,000 from PRS in 2007;
the PKF (minor) CPA firm (because none of the four majors
will work for PRS); Tecker association consultants (used
at the board meeting in January and at the 2008 Assembly),
and new hire VP-PR Art Yann, who is probably getting $150K+
based on the reported $295K in salaries/fringes spent on
media relations in 2007.
Also working closely with
the board is COO Bill Murray, who cost $312K in 2007 ($262K
salary, $29.5K benefits, and $21.3K expenses).
PRS has developed a bad
habit lately of using ongoing consultants as the Assembly
parliamentarian, which we feel is a conflict of interest.
It used podiatrist Mark Schilansky as parliamentarian in
2004 and found him so supportive that it hired him also
as an ongoing consultant.
He worked on the bylaw
that allows the executive committee to act in place of the
full board. When proxy voting became an issue in 2005, he
noted that New York law allows it unless bylaws of a group
forbade it. This pleased the board which continues to allow
proxies in defiance of Roberts Rules, which is four-square
against the use of proxies. Groups like the Assembly must
only be conducted by those present, it insists. For two
years in a row the board has used someone from its law firm,
Venable, as parliamentarian. Last year it was Beth Caseman
(who had a baby and withdrew) and this year it was Ann Thomas.
should start organizing now because governance at PRS goes
to sleep from the Assembly till late in January when
the new board meets. Then the board will say, We have
to wait until the Assembly in October to do anything.
Another year will be lost.
The board in 2007 promised
that a new set of bylaws would be ready for the 2008 Assembly
but reneged on this promise. The board then said it was
decided that the Assembly should help pick governance reform
topics but the 2008 Assembly was given no chance to do this.
The survey of 2004 delegates
found that 71% wanted a Spring Assembly; 66% wanted quarterly
teleconferences of delegates, and 44% favored voting by
fax, which is legal. All these wishes were ignored.
Only if the delegates
start organizing now, whether or not they obtain a grant
from the board, will any change come.
Among the many proposed
governance reforms that did not get discussed this year
is the one for chapter-only membership by Prof. Bill Sledzik
of Kent State (toughsledding.wordpress.com).
He notes that chapters
typically enroll only 10% of PR pros in their areas and
chapter membership would skyrocket once newcomers are relieved
of the $225 yearly fee to national. Local-only members would
not get Tactics or Strategist. The National Law Marketing
Assn. tried this several years ago and found that both chapter
and national memberships grew.
of entries on Twitter were posted about the PRS Assembly
and conference. PRS VP-PR Art Yann monitored them and answered
participants who had any complaints about the Assembly or
PRS. He told Sledzik that PRS could not supply wi-fi for
the conference because of logistical reasons.
When Yann posted a rosy description of the Assembly by Julin,
we posted a report from odwyerpr.com that slammed Jeff and
the board for blocking discussion by delegates, wasting
hours on prepared pitches, and not having a town hall.
travesty of the 2008 Assembly becomes evident when a stopwatch
is put on the activities.
The meeting went from
8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. or a total of eight hours and 45 minutes.
Five hours and 42 minutes
were taken up by four leader presentations, a two-hour tutorial
on strategic thinking by a consultant, and an hour and 42-minute
lunch break lengthened by speeches and awards. Lunch could
have been a 30-minute affair using box lunches, a common
practice at corporate annual meetings.
All during the meeting
delegates who got to the mike to raise issues were told
the meeting was running late and topics could be brought
up at the town hall.
Unwittingly, the delegates had agreed to a hard
end of the Assembly at 5 p.m. in adopting the agenda shortly
after the meeting began15 minutes late at 8:15 a.m.
Chair Julin announced
the meeting would have to end at 5 p.m. unless the delegates
voted no on a motion to extend it. He warned
that they would be voting the opposite of what might be
expected because the vote would really be against staying
with the order of the day and a no
vote would mean the meeting could continue. The 53% (and
then 51% on a second vote) who voted to continue the meeting
lost because a two-thirds majority was needed.