The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, November 12, 2008, Page 1
SLATED FOR WH PRESS SECRETARY
Gibbs, senior communications strategist for the Obama-Biden
campaign, is expected to move to the White House in January
as press secretary in the Obama Administration.
Alabaman has been a communications director for Barack Obama
since he entered the Senate in 2004.
was press secretary for Sen. John Kerrys 04
Presidential bid and communications director for the Democratic
Senatorial Campaign Committee.
had a YouTube moment during the Presidential campaign when
he confronted Fox's Sean Hannity on-air about a dubious
program run on the network titled "Barack Obama: History
SERBIA TARGETS U.S. MEDIA
Serbia has inked a $50K
a-month pact with Bethesda-based 30 Point Strategies in
a bid to buff its image and overcome a perceived bias in
the U.S. media.
30 Point is to handle
a broad range of issues including economic development,
tourism promotion and Serbia's bid to join the European
Union. It also will highlight Serbia's effort to apprehend
30 Point contends American
media are woefully uninformed about "Serbia's western-oriented
leadership and government policies," according to its
pitch letter. Media targeted for placements include the
New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fortune,
Chicago Tribune, and Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Noam Neusner and Adam
Levy are principals at 30 Point. Neusner was President Bush's
speechwriter on domestic policy matters, handling tax relief,
Medicare reform, energy and environmental issues.
Levy is a former journalist
(Atlanta bureau chief for Bloomberg News) and Wall Street
research analyst (Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette).
F-HS AMBLER JOINS BNSF
John Ambler will join
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Nov. 17 as VP-corporate
relations. The Fleishman-Hillard senior VP succeeds Mary
Jo Keating. He moves from Houston to Fort Worth with the
Prior to F-H, Ambler was
global leader-comms. and public affairs at GE Energy, spent
six years at various Enron subsidiaries, and 17 years at
Texaco, working on state, federal and international public
Ambler will report to
Roger Nober, executive VP-law and corporate secretary. Keating
joined BNSF from Northeast Utilities in 2006 taking over
for the retired Dick Russack. The 32K-mile BNSF system generated
nearly $16B in revenues last year.
FTI POSTS 20% GAIN IN Q3 NET
FTI Consulting, parent
company to global PR firm FD, reported a 20 percent surge
in third quarter net income to $27.5M in what CEO Jack Dunn
called one of the most volatile and tumultuous periods
in business history.
Revenue for its strategic
communications segment, which includes FD, rose 24 percent
to more than $56M, up from $45M in 07 and buoyed by
financial crisis management assignments and stronger spending
from clients in the U.K. and U.S. Those gains offset "significantly
lower" M&A and equity capital markets communications
Dunn said that while FTI's
business units, which also include restructuring, tech consulting
and M&A counsel, generally profit from market change
and volatility, the unprecedented scale of the quarter's
downturn hurt its bottom line.
MCKILLOP MOVES TO KKR
Peter McKillop, a former
journalist who is senior VP of corporate communications
for Bank of America's consumer and small business bank,
is slated to join Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. on Nov.
17 as director of global communications.
McKillop will report to
former Bush aide Ken Mehlman, who joined the private equity
firm in April and heads global public affairs for KKR.
McKillop was managing
director for marketing and comms. in the Asia-Pacific region
at JP Morgan & Co. before joining BoA in 2004. He joined
JP Morgan after working in Japan for Burson-Marsteller,
where he was a managing director.
KKR is planning an initial
public offering, although the move has twice been delayed
in the last year.
GM VP SAYS AUTO FAILURE IS
Steve Harris, VP,
global communications, General Motors, told the Institute
for PR on Nov. 5 at the Yale Club, New York, that failure
of the U.S. auto industry would have a devastating impact.
Harris, who was
given the Alexander Hamilton Medal for lifetime achievement
in PR, said such a failure is no longer unimaginable
and that most newspeople and bloggers appear
ready to accept this happening. Said Harris: For the
last month or so, virtually every newspaper in America,
as well as countless TV commentators and bloggers, have
weighed in on whether the U.S. auto industry in general
and GM in particular, are worth saving and deserve federal
assistance. And for most of them, the answer is no.
on page 7)
Edition, November 12, 2008, Page 2
SETS U.S. IMAGE AS PRIORITY
Government Accountability Office has tabbed public diplomacy
and improving the U.S. image abroad among the 13 most urgent
issues for President-elect Barack Obama and the upcoming
diplomacy shares billing with critical issues like defense
spending, food safety, and financial market oversight in
the list of priorities released to the press on Nov. 6 by
acting Comptroller General Gene Dodaro.
is critical that the U.S. develop a government-wide communication
strategy to address negative views held of us overseas,
said Jacquelyn Williams-Bridgers, managing director of international
affairs and trade at the GAO. Moreover, the U.S. must
determine whether its investments, program priorities and
disparate collection of broadcast agencies maximize our
goal to promote democratic values and principles.
GAO notes three critical points for policy makers to improve
PD efforts. They include improving strategic planning, coordination
and performance measurement; enhancing the substance and
sharing of government audience research efforts, and addressing
staffing challenges like language capabilities that arise
from development of an overseas workforce.
Bush in June 2007 issued the U.S. National Strategy
for Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication after
the GAO recommended in 2003 that the federal government
develop an interagency strategy for public diplomacy. The
GAO said last week that gaps in research data, foreign language
capability, staffing and resources hinder the ability of
the U.S. to best target and communicate with foreign audiences.
appropriated nearly $1.5 billion for the 2006 fiscal year
for PD efforts by the State Dept. and Broadcasting Board
of Governors. Those entities are bolstered by millions in
strategic communications spending by the Dept. of Defense,
USAID and the intelligence community.
BGR REACHES OUT TO DEMOCRATS
BGR Holding, the former
Barbour Griffith & Rogers, has acquired Westin Rinehart
in an effort to bolster its Democratic outreach.
WR specializes in media
relations, advocacy, government affairs, image and brand
Founder Morris Reid was
a key aide to the late Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and
ex-Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo. WR president Alexander
Cochran also worked for Brown and Cuomo.
Ed Rogers, chairman of
BGR and alumnus of the Reagan and Bush I White Houses, called
the acquisition one of the most important milestones
in the firms 18-year history.
Michael Meehan is the
lead Democrat at BGR. He is former chief of staff to Sen.
Maria Cantwell (Wash.) and communications advisor to John
Kerrys presidential run.
Meehan also was VP strategy
& politics at NARAL Prochoice America and served as
communications aide to former Senate Majority Leader Tom
Meehan, who heads BGRs
PR unit, believes the WR acquisition reflects the evolving
political realities in Washington.
CHICAGO PR PACTS FROZEN
Chicago Mayor Richard
Daley has frozen spending on outside PR firms after criticism
that followed a Chicago Tribune report in October
highlighting city PR spending of nearly $5M a year.
Daley defended the PR
contracts after the initial report but his office said on
Nov. 4 that payments on 10 new contracts (worth up to $5M
each over time) would cease until the citys budget
crunch is over.
The Tribune reported that
MK Communications, the firm of PR pro Marilyn Katz, a Democrat
and supporter of Daley, is a key PR contractor for the city.
Her firm has reaped more than $4M since 2004, according
to the paper.
Other firms that recently
received contracts include Jasculca/Terman and Associates
and Carolyn Grisko & Associates, the latter headed by
a former Daley press secretary and campaign manager.
The Chicago Sun-Times
reported Nov. 4 that Valerie Denney Communications, Better
World Advertising and Metropolitan Group were also among
the 10 firms given new pacts.
FLORIDA NARROWS FIELD FOR
Three Florida firms are
finalists to guide a statewide public information campaign
on new federal rules for obtaining ID cards.
Kidd PR (Tallahassee),
Salter Mitchell (Tallahassee) and MRD Consulting (Coral
Gables) are finalists for the $200K/year assignment.
Group (Tallahassee) and Evok Advertising (Sanford) pitched
in the first round but did not advance.
Florida wants a firm to
develop a PR, PSA, events and sponsorship campaign to educate
citizens on the federal REAL ID campaign which was signed
into law in 2005. The Sunshine State is phasing out its
Florida only drivers licenses and stopped
issuing indefinite ID cards to seniors last month.
A decision on a firm is
expected by the end of the month.
OC WANTS PR FIRM
Orange Countys Transportation
Authority is reviewing its $100K account for on-call PR
services with an RFP through mid-November.
The select firm will work
with the OCTAs public communications department on
various forms of public outreach, as well as traditional
and new media PR tactics. Much of the work relates to the
countys so-called Renewed Measure M, an extension
of a 1990 half-cent tax hike devoted to transit projects
for the county of three million people.
Proposals are due Nov.
19. A pre-proposal conference was held Nov. 6 in Orange,
staff won a Silver Anvil earlier this year for its work
during a 10-day bus strike which affected 200K bus commuters.
Sacramento public affairs
firm Townsend, Raimundo, Besler & Usher has worked with
OCTA in the past.
The RFP can be accessed
Edition, November 12, 2008, Page 3
PLOTS FUTURE OF MEDIA
York City has issued an RFP for a consultant to plot ways
to bolster the battered media business, which pumps $15B
into its economy.
Economic Development Corp. seeks to understand how
the city and the private sector can work together to maintain
NYCs position as the leading center of the media industry
as the sector goes through the dramatic transition to digital
production and distribution.
wants to identify key drivers of change and uncertainty
in the industry and describe three-to-five challenging and
interesting scenarios of how the future might unfold.
EDC will use these scenarios to devise actionable
strategies for policy makers and industry leaders to steer
NYC and its major stakeholders toward more attractive outcomes.
consultant will conduct research, run workshops and issue
a final report on the findings and recommendations
of the scenario series.
RFP is online at www.nycedc.com.
Submissions are due Nov. 18.
E.W. SCRIPPS SWINGS TO LOSS
E.W. Scripps posted a
third-quarter net loss of $16M, a swing into the red compared
with Q3 of 2007, when it reported a profit of $88.4M.
The company said it suspended
its dividend and will cut 400 newspaper jobs for a savings
of $15M a year.
Scripps, which publishes
local and regional newspapers like the Rocky Mountain
News and Naples (Fla.) Daily News and owns several
TV properties across the U.S., said it notified staffers
of the cuts on Nov. 5.
"Our publishers were
careful to maintain our commitment to a strong local news
product, and they retain the ability to fully serve the
needs of our advertisers," said Rich Boehne, president
and CEO of Scripps.
revenue was down 20 percent to $101M.
That includes a 28 percent
decline in classifieds, its largest ad segment at $33.6M,
a 31 percent decline in national ads and a 12 percent slip
Scripps said the employee
headcount at its wholly owned papers has declined by more
than 625 staffers since 2006. It expects to employ fewer
than 4,000 by the end of the year.
In TV, political advertising
provided a boost and the company posted TV revenue of nearly
$80M for the quarter, up five percent from 2007.
Political ads garnered
$10.3M for Q3, compared with only $700K in 2007.
SUN-TIMES POSTS LOSS
Sun-Times Media Group
reported a net loss of $168.8M for the third quarter on
Nov. 6, down from a $192.4M loss for Q3 of 07.
An 18 percent decline
in advertising revenue and two percent slip in circulation
over last year contributed to the loss, STMG said.
The company posted an
operating loss of $227.8M for Q3, much of it from a nearly
$210M non-cash charge for goodwill and other intangible
STMG said that charge
came from the substantial acceleration in revenue
for the quarter both in the industry and for the company,
in combination with the negative outlook for the U.S. economy
and the continued decline in its market capitalization.
daily circulation declined 3.9 percent for the quarter,
narrower than the overall industry decline of 4.6 percent.
Sunday circulation, however,
was up 4.5 percent year over year for the six months ended
September 30, while the industry fell 4.8 percent.
Sun-Times News Group circulation
overall was flat during the period, the company said, representing
a slight decrease year over year.
USN&WR GOES DIGITAL
U.S. News & World
Report, which went from a weekly to biweekly publication
earlier this year, is now going digital.
A memo from president
Bill Holiber and editor Brian Kelly says the goal is to
become a multi-platform digital publisher of news
you can use and analysis.
USN&WR is to focus on dedicated teams of
nation & world, opinion, health, money & business,
education and rankings & reviews.
Tim Smart, executive editor,
is in charge of money & business, health and education,
while Margi Mannix, executive editor, handles nation/world
The restructured operation
addresses the needs of todays consumers by offering
them contextually relevant, exclusive journalism and other
content, as well as advertisers by providing them with highly
customized marketing solutions, according to the memo, which
tells staffers to say good-bye to Web 2.0 and welcome
to Journalism 5.0.
USN&WR will publish
a monthly print edition that features its various guides
OCR MAKES MORE CUTS
The Orange County Register
has cut about 110 staffers in an effort to adjust the newspapers
business that has been hammered by unemployment, loss of
classified advertising and increased competition from the
Publisher Terry Horne
says the paper will zero in on Orange County, providing
readers information they cant get any place else.
The layoff is the fourth
round of cuts this year. Horne says the goal is not just
to improve profitability but to become a different
kind of company.
AW SCALES BACK; CRAIN BUYS
AutoWeek said it is returning to its roots as a twice-a-month
title scaling back from its weekly distribution starting
with the Jan. 5 issue.
AW, which is owned
by Crain Communications and targets auto enthusiasts, began
as a twice-monthly motorsports newsletter in 1958 and later
increased distribution to a weekly schedule.
news continued on next page)
Edition, November 12, 2008, Page 4
publication said the fortnightly issues will increase in
size and digital coverage, including breaking news and videos,
will be increased.
claims three million readers.
also said last week that it acquired privately-held Staffing
Industry Analysts, Inc., which provides research and analysis
on the contingent workforce. Rance Crain, president of CC,
said the company is broadening its portfolio of media assets.
Hayes, senior writer at The Weekly Standard, has
joined CNN as a political contributor.
author of Cheney: The Untold Story of Americas
Most Powerful and Controversial Vice President, has
also written for the Wall Street Journal, Los
Angeles Times, Reason and National Review.
to joining TWS, Hayes was senior writer for National
Journals Hotline site. He spent six years as director
of the Institute of Political Journalism at Georgetown University.
Communications, which owns the No. 3 cable TV company, is
cutting 460 jobs (two percent of its workforce) mostly via
attrition and retirements.
Grabert told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a
Cox property, that there could be a small number of
involuntary actions, but things have not happened yet, and
we are very early in the process.
according to Grabert, wants to bolster efficiencies and
position for future growth.
TAKES YAHOO POST
Dossett, a Microsoft veteran, has joined Yahoo as senior
VP-U.S. audience to oversee its media properties. He replaces
Scott Moore and reports to Hilary Schneider, executive VP
of Yahoo U.S.
was executive producer and GM of MSN Media Network, responsible
for overall programming in the U.S.
joined MSN in 2000, and served as chairman of both MSN Carpoint
and MSN DealerPoint and GM of MSN HomeAdvisor.
'02, Dossett took a two-year leave to climb the highest
mountain of each of the seven continents. He is the second
Canadian to scale Mount Everest twice.
CO. HITS TV PROBE
Funding LLC, a leasing company being probed by the Florida
Attorney General, has brought in a PR firm as it copes with
the aftermath of a TV news investigation and other scrutiny.
Selig, a veteran TV reporter who runs The Publicity Agency
in Odessa, Fla., told ODwyers he is handling
media, requests for information about GF, and helping company
principals understand and navigate the media scrutiny.
last week helped his client blast a WFLA-Channel 8 report
about GF that interviewed disgruntled customers of the commercial
equipment leasing company. He distributed to the press a
letter from GF executive Jeffrey Maricle to the station
that said the news report vilified my company and
me by blatantly discarding key pieces of information we
supplied as part of an effort to make me and
my company look bad.
has shut down as its credit dried up after news of the AG
probe and suits by customers spread.
said he is considering legal action against the station.
HANDLES CORPSE MIX-UP
is repping Ballwin, Mo.-based Schrader Funeral Home, which
mixed-up two corpses and mistakenly buried an 80-year-old
man under another name.
St. Louis Post Dispatch ran the item Nov. 1, the
day after Halloween. The P-D told how the body of war hero
Fritz Schnabel was buried as Robert Leonard.
at the 87-year-olds wake hadnt seen Uncle
Bob for years, and assumed his appearance had changed
during the final years of his life.
buried him Sept. 25 in his blue suit and Coast Guard hat
so there were things that matched, recalled
not my Fritz, said Schnabels widow when she
first looked into the casket on Sept. 28. We thought
we were in the wrong room, but he had Fritzs clothes
on, said Schnabels son-in-law, Chuck Schreiber,
one of the 15 relatives who viewed the body an hour before
mourners were scheduled to arrive.
home staffers recommended that the family proceed with the
funeral. It did without a body in the flag-draped casket.
Schreiber would not comment on the switcheroo. It referred
the PD to F-H for comment.
Callahan of F-H said Schrader deeply regrets the extraordinary
mistake, but added that it was the first of
its kind in the funeral homes 140-year history.
and the Wall Street Journal, both owned by News Corp.,
said they have formed a three-year publishing partnership
to develop books written by the Journals editors and
first book to be published under the agreement will be The
Wall Street Journal Guide to the End of Wall Street As We
Know It: What You Need to Know About the Greatest Financial
Crisis of Our Time And How to Survive It, by
Dave Kansas. The book is slated to be published by Collins
Business in January 2009. The Wall Street Journal
Guide to Management is up next with a publishing date
of early 2010.
a citizen journalism site, said it closed a Series-A round
of funding with more than $17M from a global group of investors
led by Signature Capital LLC and including Northport Private
Reed, General Partner at Northport Private Equity, said
the driving factor behind NPEs investment is its belief
that Helium has created a technology platform that will
be transformative to the world of authored and published
material, allowing for the lowest-cost creation of the highest
12, 2008, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
MILK BOARD HEADS TO CHINA
marketing consortium for Californias milk producers
is taking a pitch for Golden State dairy products directly
to China, where a poison milk scandal has garnered international
headlines and put pressure on that countrys government.
California Milk Advisory Board, which works with Ketchum,
sent a trade delegation to the Peoples Republic last
weekend as part of an eight-day trade mission amid a food
safety scandal in China that became a dominant issue in
news release from Ketchum stresses the safety and reliability
of California dairy products: News of recent Chinese
dairy industry issues contrasts dramatically with Californias
commitment to quality, reads the release, before noting
the states stringent safety standards
and sustainable production practices.
a chemical used in plastics, was found in various Chinese-made
consumer products derived from dairy products like milk
and eggs and several deaths were linked to the tainted products.
When added to milk, melamine can make it test higher for
recent scandal followed widespread economic and physical
damage for China in 2007 resulting from tainted products
like pet food, cough medicine and toys.
delegation will include CMAB board members and representatives
from companies like Land OLakes and Great Lakes Cheese
picked up the CMAB account in March when the group decided
to seek international PR representation.
CONE: CSR COULD'VE LESSENED
Major investments in renewable
energy and fair strategies for tackling climate
change are the top two issues on which President-elect Obama
should take a leadership role, according to corporate social
responsibility executives polled after the Nov. 4 election
by PR firm Cone.
A solid majority of CSR
executives, 63 percent, also said the current economic crisis
would not have been as severe if businesses had more effective
CSR programs and practices.
The impact of the crisis,
however, is expected to be felt in the CSR arena, as 31
percent said they expected budget cuts for corporate responsibility
and 26 percent said it is too early to tell. Neatly half,
43 percent, said funds will not be cut.
PR benefits are seen as
a key justification for CSR efforts. More than three-quarters
of CSR execs polled (83 percent) said reputational benefits
are driving corporate responsibility programs today, and
nearly as many cited stakeholders demands (80 percent).
Sixty-seven percent cited
renewable energy when asked the most important leadership
role the president-elect should play to advance the corporate
responsibility agenda around the world, while 53 percent
cite climate change mitigation.
Cone polled a sample of
424 CSR professionals from the Business for Social Responsibility
annual conference on Nov. 5 from NGOs, business, government
and academia across 28 countries.
+ Company, New York/Rocket Racing League, rocket
plane racing league, as AOR for PR. M+K handles consulting,
strategy, traditional and social media relations.
Brod PR, New York/Omega, Swiss watch brand that is
part of Swatch Group, as AOR for PR, including product launches,
corporate initiatives and national brand outreach.
New York/Lionel Trains, for PR support through the 2008
holiday season, primarily outreach to consumer press.
Communications, New York/VoloMedia, advertising and
analytics for downloadable media, as AOR for PR, including
thought leadership, national and trade media relations and
Hammond & Associates, New York/Oceania Cruises,
premium cruise line, for PR for the launch of a new line
Group, New York/Institute of Design and Construction
and JCJ Architecture, both for PR.
PR, New York/Alexico Group, for PR for a new luxury
New York/HoneyShed, shopping network, for Nov. 11 launch
and media relations for the brand. Denuo and Digitas are
handling social media.
SMR, New York/Archaelogical Institute of America,
as AOR for media relations. The group counts nearly 250K
members and subscribers through 104 local societies in the
U.S. and abroad.
Partners, New York/Suite & Tender, San Diego
eatery to launch this winter, for national PR and grand
PR, Mt. Kisco, N.Y./Westchester Italian Cultural
Center, for media and community relations.
Communications, Greensboro, N.C./Verizon Wireless,
for production of consumer and business magalogs,
brochures and retail collateral.
Investor Relations Company, Chicago/Flexible Solutions
Intl, nanotech green chemistry products,
for a program of investor meetings. FSI posted Q2 net income
of $348K on revenues of nearly $3M.
Results, Chicago/MacTribe Magazine, product and lifestyle
title for Mac computer users, for launch of its print edition
after three years online.
Hartland, Wisc./Glenroy, printed products and packaging
for industries like pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, for marketing
PR, Los Angeles/BeenVerified, online background checking
service, as AOR for PR following a review. Atomics
New York office will co-head the account. The service launched
on Oct. 21.
Marketing Communications, San Francisco/The Innovation
Shootout 2009, Australian event Jan. 13-15 in Los Angeles
and Silicon Valley, part of GDay USA: Australia week.
MMC is handling U.S. media relations and picked up the assignment
after a four-way pitch against U.S., Australian and multinational
Edition, November 12, 2008, Page 6
SEARCHES FOR PRESIDENT
Ovaitt, president of the Institute for PR for five years,
will retire at the end of June, 2009. A successor is being
current salary is $150,000.
has brought a level of leadership to the Institute that
has really set the standard for how to run a trustee-based
institution in PR, said Matt Gonring and Peter Debreceny,
co-chairs of IPR.
impact will last well beyond his retirement, they
Heyman of Heyman Assocs., executive recruiters, leads a
search committee. Interested PR people may apply to www.heymanassociates.com.
The first class of the
Institute for PRs Research Fellows was inducted at
the groups dinner last week in New York. IPR said
it has established this body to provide overall leadership
for its research program.
Ovaitt said, The
Fellows will catalyze new research and provide expert guidance
as we continue to build and share the science beneath the
art of PR. There are so many assumptions regarding the practice
of PR that still need rigorous testing and support to establish
a true profession.
The six Fellows of IPR
are James E. Grunig, Ph.D., emeritus professor of comm.,
University of Maryland; Donald Wright, Ph.D., professor
of PR, Boston University; Kathryn Collins, who recently
retired as director of comms. research, General Motors;
David Michaelson, Ph.D., president, Echo Research; Louis
Williams, chairman, L.C. Williams & Assocs., and Don
Stacks, Ph.D., professor, University of Miami School of
Bradway, director of corporate client development
at dna13, to BusinessWires Silicon Valley office as
a sales manager. He has held posts at Kadence Business Research,
International Data Group and MediaMap, where he was regional
director for the western U.S. for four years. ...Thomas
Mattia, retiring senior VP of worldwide public affairs
and communications at The Coca-Cola Company, has been named
adjunct professor at George Washington Universitys
Graduate School of Political Management in the schools
strategic PR graduate program. He is retiring at the end
of 2008 and will begin teaching in January. Ann
Collier, VP of corporate communications and IR at
Circuit City Stores, is also joining the program as a section
instructor. ...PR Newswire is marking the 10th anniversary
of its media-only website PR Newswire for Journalists. PRN
said the site registered 1.4M press release views in October.
The site was previously known as Press Room and NEWSdesk
and includes PRNs popular source service ProfNet.
Alexandria, Va., said it has identified more than 2,700
technology focused editorial opportunities for 2009 based
on discussions with media and analysis of editorial calendars.
Dunn, former deputy national finance director for
Hillary Clintons presidential run, to managing director,
FD, Washington, D.C. He reports to Ed Reilly, CEO of FD
Americas. Dunn worked in the Clinton White House as associate
director of public liaison. He courted corporate support
for the New Markets Initiative and the free trade pact with
the Peoples Republic of China. He also advised Sen.
John Kerry and former Governor Terry Sanford of North Carolina,
both Democrats. Dunn consults for the American Security
Project, a bipartisan group of luminaries such as former
Senators George Mitchell, Gary Hart and Warren Rudman and
retired General Anthony Zinni that is thrashing out an overall
national security strategy for the U.S. for the 21st century.
Pena, senior VP for Oliver Wine Co., to Indiana University,
Bloomington, Ind., as executive director and chief of staff
for the office of public affairs and government relations,
a new position. She was formerly executive director of the
Bloomington-Monroe County Convention and Visitor bureau
for 16 years.
Seely, an analyst for Wave Technologies, to BackBay
Communications, Boston, as an A/E. She handles the Association
for Corporate Growth and Grant Thornton.
Parrott, previously with Parallax Communications
Group, to Hetrick, Indianapolis, as a PR specialist.
Nelson, graphic designer, Carrot, to Carmichael Lynch
Spong, Minneapolis, as a designer for the PR firm. She handles
conceptual thinking, designing and production.
Lugar to executive VP for public affairs, Retail
Industry Leaders Association, Arlington, Va. She joined
the trade group in 2006 as SVP/govt rels.
Friedensen to senior VP, The Catevo Group, Raleigh,
N.C. Also, Ann Panaro
to senior account manager and Maureen
Strahl to director of finance. In the firms
Charlotte office, Jo
Sorenson was upped to senior A/M and Christina
Kapely to A/M.
Bourgoise to VP, Strat@comm, Detroit. Also, Laura
Wilson to A/S and Valerie
Dezenski to A/E. Bourgoise joined in 2004.
Orr to senior VP, GolinHarris, Dallas. He joined
the firm in 2006 and has handled Dow Chemical, Texas Instruments
and the National Association of Tower Erectors.
Sitrick, chairman and CEO, Sitrick and Company, was
honored by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles
as an inspiring and positive role model for young people.
Larry King presented the Walt Disney Man of the Year
Award to Sitrick at an October 20 gala in Beverly
Novak, founder and CEO of VanguardComm, New Brunswick,
N.J., was named to the board of directors of the Association
of Hispanic Advertising Agencies.
Edition, November 12, 2008, Page 7
SORRELL AT IPR
appeared in videotape form. His office said the pressure
of business kept him in Detroit.
of GM were off 45% in October, which was the worst October
for the company in 25 years.
merger of GM and Chrysler is expected although they say
they need $10 billion in federal assistance to help bring
to the gloom at the Institute dinner last week was the 486-point
drop in the Dow-Jones average on Nov. 5, which some attendees
saw as at least partly caused by disapproval of the election
of Barack Obama as President.
declined and the services sector contracted the most since
at least 1997.
Harris questioned whether
the auto industry deserved that kind of PR?
He said the writers and bloggers have an incomplete
and inaccurate view of the importance and impact of the
auto industry on this nations health.
If we let the industry
fail, and that is no longer unimaginable, then the devastation
that Katrina brought to New Orleans would be duplicated
in man-made ways not only in Detroit, but across America,
He noted the industry
directly employs nearly 250,000 people, provides healthcare
to two million and pension benefits to 800,000 retirees
The industry invested
$250 billion in the U.S. in the last two decades and $12B
on R&D last year, he continued, adding that it represents
nearly 4% of the U.S. gross domestic product and supports
jobs in all 50 states.
The more than 20,000 auto
dealers employ more than a million and have a payroll that
tops $50B, he further added.
Harris, who attended the
PR Society conference in Detroit Oct. 25-28, said he was
spun around by a student who asked him whether
PR is an honorable profession.
Harris said he told the
student that what makes anything honorable is the
person and how they conduct themselves, their ethics, their
morals, and their integrity. Any profession can be honorable
or dishonorableit really depends on the individual.
Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP
Group, who gave a 50-minute address as the Annual
Distinguished Lecture of the IPR, said PR is having
a remarkable renaissance because it is poised
to take advantage of the new world of social media.
PR is adept at the give-and-take
required to communicate in this new world, he said, because
it is capable of nuances that cannot be provided
He warned that PR people
must tread very lightly in this world, reminding the audience
that someone at a dinner party cannot suddenly inject commercialism
into a conversation.
This is the first time
that the person giving the Distinguished IPR Lecture has
not provided a copy of the speech to the press or IPR itself.
Sorrell talked at length
about his 5-6 visits to China each year, saying government
officials themselves dont know whether Chinas
population is 1.3 billion or 1.5 billion. He called on the
audience not to do media relations but public
Big growth areas in PR,
he said, include public affairs and internal communications.
Marketing PR will also grow, he added, because of the high
cost of TV commercial time.
Sorrell described the
WPP operations in more than 100 countries, saying about
37% of operations are in both the U.S. and U.K. and the
remaining 26% in the rest of the world.
While describing an upbeat
picture for PR/PA, Sorrell has also been expressing expectations
of a downturn in ad spending for 2009. He told Dow Jones
Newswires Oct. 30 that 2009 will be a very tough year
because of the disintegration in the financial markets
that has accelerated sharply in the last few weeks.
This will have a significant
negative effect on consumer and corporate confidence,
He feels that pumping
massive amounts of liquidity into the system might
result in a surge in inflation.
WPP shares are trading
in the $29 range, off the 52-week high of $66.
PRS WITHHOLDS ASSEMBLY TRANSCRIPT
Arthur Yann, VP-PR, PR
Society, said that PRS will not provide the transcript of
the 2008 Assembly to members or the press because the minutes
of the Assembly are the official record and
the transcript is used only to assist in preparing
The transcript is not
to be used to track or to rehash what was said by
whom, which may be taken or reported out of context,
said an e-mail from Yann which was sent to odwyerpr.com.
His e-mail further said
that it is simply not true that PRS has freely
given out copies for many years.
Jack ODwyer, editor
said that PRS sent him 3.5-inch disks with the transcripts
of the 2002, 2003 and 2004 Assemblies and had no problem
doing so. Members who also asked for the disks were given
them, said ODwyer.
Withholding an accurate
record of the Assembly, the representative body of PRS,
flies in the face of every known democratic principle,
said ODwyer. He noted that this year PRS did not provide
even the Assembly delegates a list of the other delegates
and did not provide the 2007 Assembly minutes until the
day of the 2008 Assembly.
A skimpy financial
report was also given to delegates on the day of the Assembly,
Although Yann says Roberts
Rules govern Assembly proceedings, ODwyer noted that
the Venable law firm of PRS has repeatedly said that New
York State laws trump both Roberts Rules
and the PRS bylaws.
New York State law is
being examined to determine what rights members have to
a transcript of what their elected delegates said at their
The bylaws of PRS say
that the Assembly shall have and may exercise all
the powers, rights and privileges of members at an annual
It would seem to
me that members at an annual meeting have the right to the
full record of it, said ODwyer. The Assembly
delegates in particular have a right to the full record
of this meeting, he added.
Edition, November 12, 2008,
Institute for PR dinner last week had two of the newsiest
its historyMartin Sorrell of WPP, whose stock has
been battered to less than half its recent value, and Steve
Harris, PR head of General Motors, which the same day was
in Washington, D.C., pleading for billions from the U.S.
government to save it from bankruptcy.
spoke for 50 minutes but allowed no questions. General Motors
PR head Steve Harris attended via a pre-recorded videotape
so no questions were possible.
message of fear of a GM bankruptcy was a riff on the famous
statement of GM CEO Charlie Wilson to Congress in 1953 that
"what is good for the country is good for GM and vice
praised the interactive nature of the web and said this
was made to order for PR. He had a chance to demonstrate
interactivity with an audience but did not do so. Sorrell
and Harris used the Institute as a platform to deliver their
"messages." It was advertising rather than PR.
was there to paint a glowing picture of prospects for his
PR firms which do about $1.2 billion. He has been saying
the ad business is in for a rough 2009.
was ironic that Sorrell should be addressing the high temple
of PR research when he, CEO John Wren of Omnicom,
and the heads of the other ad conglomerates have for seven
years blocked the release of revenue or employment totals
for their thousands of ad/pr agencies.
This has removed an immense
amount of data needed for research on these firms.
The reason givenSarbanes-Oxleyis
no reason at all. Release of employment and payroll totals
would not violate anything in SOX, it has been argued by
Tim Dyson, CEO of publicly-held NextFifteen, which releases
figures for its Text 100 PR unit.
of Canada releases figures for its PainePR unit of the U.S.
Canada has its own SOX law.
CPAs say that employment
and payroll totals are mere compilations and
not subject to differing interpretations. Therefore, they
fall outside of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.
WPP cannot dialogue on this issue.
Besides withholding financial
information, conglomerate-owned PR firms have reduced or
eliminated client lists. Hill & Knowlton, a WPP agency,
has not been allowed to provide an account list for about
15 years. Previously, it published a list of nearly 500
Sorrell swept through the
IPR dinner like a freight train.
The usual one-hour cocktail
party was declared over at 6:30 because Sorrell had to leave
at 7:45. We?re quite familiar with what we call bums
rush PR (Oooh, I?m soooo busy and can?t possibly
deal with you).
He skipped not only the
cocktail party but the dinner and the chance to have conversations
with some of the more than 200 people present. His speech,
however, said that is exactly what PR pros and even execs
must do in the new web world.
The wave of PR firm sell-outs
is mostly past. Based on the macro statistics WPP and Omnicom
provide about their PR holdings, many independent PR firms
are growing at about three times the rate of the conglom
of their revenues and staff last year to the O?Dwyer Co.
were 190 independents, a gain of 42. Twenty-one of the 50
largest firms had revenue gains of more than 20%. A total
of 618 specialty rankings (healthcare, tech, etc.), was
provided, up 30% from 479.
Regrettably, the conglom
PR firms have missed this boat.
Although Sorrell said
social media are just made for PR people because
they are used to interaction and nuanced communication,
we think this falls under the remark that CBS commentator
Andrew Cohen made about PR earlier this yearthat what
PR people do is try to convince others that a turkey
is really an eagle.
PR pros today are confronted
not only with out-of-control reporters, experts media quote,
and organized pressure groups, but millions of citizens
including their own employees who don?t hesitate to take
a bite out of an organization?s hide.
Furthermore, PR pros today
are not allowed to circulate freely among reporters and
build relationships like they once did. Organizations decided
decades ago that PR/press fraternization was a threat to
corporate secrets. Having friends in the press today can
be career-threatening for a PR pro.
favorite passage in the Sorrell speech (full text
is on odwyerpr.com
is where he describes PR?s role in the turf wars
that take place in clients.
These are internal political
battles for control of an organization. Sometimes,
if customers saw what went on within a company they would
be horrified, Sorrell told the IPR dinner.
You could argue
that most of the communication we coordinate for our clients
is aimed at internal audiences rather than external ones,
To express it a
little more brutally, he said, probably the
biggest block to progress for our clients is internal politics.
So, PR people, besides
being communicators, must be politicians. They must get
on what will be the winning side or they will
be out of jobs.
became the first person ever to win the IPRs Alexander
Hamilton Medal and not show up to get it.
General Motors, as we
all know, is in dire straits.
But we think Harris could
have taken a few hours to come to New York and accept the
award and answer some questions.
He would have had to act
like Sorrellno mixing with the cocktail hour crowd,
no dinner with attendees, no questions, and a quick exit.
The behavior of these
two executives provided a lesson in today's PR. One slip
of the tongue by Harris might have made its way into the
press and jeopardized the delicate negotiations going on
PR people once said information
was the most precious commodity. It is now also
the most dangerous commodity.
The part of Harris' speech
that intrigued us was the fact that he was disturbed by
something a student said to him at the PR Society conference
in Detroit last month.
The student asked Harris
if working in PR is an honorable thing to do and if
PR is an honorable profession?
Wow! That really
set me back, Harris told the IPR dinner. He answered
the student by saying, What makes anything honorable
is the person and how they conduct themselves, their ethics,
their morals, and their integrity. Any profession can be
honorable or dishonorableit really depends on the
Harris further said the
PR industry can do its most honorable, our most noble
work ever by helping their companies in the current
global economic crisis.
Our opinion: PR is honorable
when it interfaces with experts in the press or experts
employed or used by the press. Dodging the press and experts