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Internet Edition, November 26, 2008, Page 1


Porter Novelli is revamping with the departure of “senior leaders” of its management team, according to an internal memo penned by Julie Winskie, who assumed the presidency of the Americas post Jan. 1 of this year. She could not be reached for comment on the Nov. 18 memo.

David Zucker, a 19-year veteran and corporate responsibility pro, will find his next “adventure beyond our doors,” according to Winskie. He handled the “Truth Campaign,” “CauseWorks” and most recently launched “Greenfluencer.”

Peter Hirsch, who ran PN’s corporate practice for 14 years, will spend `09 wrapping up a business book and teaching a communications masters degree at Baruch College in NYC.

Boston’s Jim Barbagallo, who is credited for “having thrived on the intensity of the tech boom and surviving the tech burst shortly thereafter,” is leaving the Omnicom unit. He also made sure PN staffers had the “what’s right to win” attitude, noted Winskie.

Larry Paredes, PN’s first general counsel, is getting out of the PR business. He is going to BlackRock Kelso Capital as its lawyer.

Winskie salutes the accomplishments of “these amazing individuals” and invites their “continued engagement with PN as honored alumni.”

Their departure follows news that chairman Helen Ostrowski, who relinquished the CEO position to Gary Stockman last Jan. 1, is stepping down at the end of the year. She told O’Dwyer’s via an email “there is more to life than PR.”


Brunswick Group has recruited Hilary Rosen, the former head of the Recording Industry Association of America and a prominent Democratic political commentator, for a managing partner post in its Washington, D.C., office.

Rosen, who supported Hillary Clinton for president, is political director and editor-at-large for The Huffington Post and appears on CNN as a political commentator.

She has also been running a consulting shop, Berman Rosen Global Strategies, with former chair of the International Recording Industry Association, Jason Berman.

Rosen also founded Rock the Vote and served the powerful RIAA for 17 years before retiring in June 2003 as chairman and CEO.

She was interim director for the Human Rights Campaign, a GLBT lobbyist group, in 2004.


MS&L Worldwide has snagged The Global Fund, which runs healthcare campaigns to prevent/treat tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria, in a hotly contested international pitch.

The Publicis Groupe unit’s Paris office is to handle strategic, media and logistical support. It will receive support from MS&L offices in 18 countries.

Since its `02 start-up, TGF has committed $11.5B to combat disease in more than 135 countries. TGF says its programs have treated 1.8M people for AIDS, 3.9M for TB and distributed nearly 60M insecticide-treated bed nets to protect against malaria.

Jon Liden, director of communications for the TGF, praised the “size and scope of MS&L’s global network” in announcing the win. His organization conducted a “competitive review process that included dozens of PR agencies from around the world.”


PR Newswire president Dave Armon plans to step down in 2009, the company said.

Armon, a 19-year veteran of PRN, has overseen a realignment of the company’s operations since 2006.

Parent company United Business Media said last week that PRN profits will be below 2007. PRN has cut about two dozen staffers this year as part of a wider reduction of 300 positions at UBM.

The expected profit decline comes from a loss of market share in its U.S. distribution service earlier in the year following a reorganization, as well as other costs like its $6M acquisition of its partner’s interest in China announced last week (see pg. 6). Profits of the newswire, which were about $85M in 2007, are expected to contribute 25 percent of UBM’s expected 2008 profits.

Armon was named chief operating officer of PRN in 2003 after serving as president of the Americas region since 2000. He joined the company in 1989 as Cleveland bureau manager.


Most of the bloggers commenting on PR Prof. Bill Sledzik’s editorial calling on the PR Society to release the transcript of the 2008 Assembly agree with his stand that posting the transcript on the PRS website transcript is “the right thing to do. Period.”

PRS is being “wrongheaded and obstinate,” says, a blog written by Sledzik, a professor at Kent State University. Almost all of the postings agree with Sledzik, who said his editorial resulted in a record number of postings for 2008.

(Continued on page 7)

Internet Edition, November 26, 2008, Page 2


Shoppers across the U.S. are being told to spend their gift certificates at 30 chains before many of the stores close or before the entire chains close.

The e-mail has been rocketing around the U.S. and is causing concern at chains that have already been hit with a tsunami of bad news., which monitors websites for accuracy, confirmed that cutbacks are planned by most of the 30 retailers named in the e-mail but “none of them has announced plans to completely shutter operations by the end of 2008.”

Mentioned as “closing down all stores” is Talbots, Hingham, Mass.-based retailer which operates stores in 870 locations across the U.S. It announced plans to sell its J. Jill stores (sales of $478 million in 2007) and closed 78 Talbots stores, which included 66 Talbots kids’ stores and 23 Talbots men’s stores.

Shoppers at the New York outlet on upper Madison Ave. said that salespeople were denying that store or the whole chain would close.

Julie Lorigan is SVP/PR & IR at Talbots and Meredith Paley is VP-PR. Berns Communications Group, New York, is PR counsel.

The e-mail, whose source is unknown, is based partly on announcements of closings and bankruptcies of chains that have been made over the past year.
Linens and Things, which earlier this year named MWW Group for chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, is said to be “closing all stores.” The e-mail mentions Ann Taylor, Gap, Zales, Pep Boys, Ethan Allen, Disney, Wickes Furniture, Levitz, Bombay, Piercing Pagoda, Macy’s, Pacific Sunware, JC Penney, Wilson Leather, Sharper Image, K B Toys, Loews and Dillards.

PR staffers or outside counsel are hustling either to completely deny the rumors or to provide the facts.

Bob Cuomo, Business School dean at Merrimack College, North Andover, Mass., told the Eagle-Tribune in that city that the e-mail was loaded with unsubstantiated rumors and was further evidence that false reports on the Internet can “hurt the economy.”


Hill & Knowlton is helping Egypt’s outsourcing industry get on the radar of the international business community with a global effort called “Egypt On.”

“It is a very comprehensive campaign through which we emphasize the potential of Egypt as a preferred outsourcing destination,” said Ahmed Reda, media and communications manager for the Information Technology Industry Development Agency, a governmental entity.

Reda said the work ranges from creative and web design to PR and analyst relations.

The ITIDA is based in Cairo in a 600-acre business park. It notes that the $400 billion global outsourcing industry has shifted from a focus on cost to one on quality and Egypt is pitching its multilingual, educated workforce, time zone proximity to the West and familiarity with Western culture over traditional outsourcing destinations like India and China.

Egypt has landed IT assignments for IBM, Oracle, Vodafone and Microsoft.


Whole Foods Market has tapped Glover Park Group to aid its fight against the Federal Trade Commission, which is challenging its `07 $565M merger with Wild Oats that created an organic/natural food supermarket juggernaut.

The FTC is proposing new rules that WF claims could force it to “unwind” its acquisition. The agency’s initial move to block the deal was rebuffed by a court, but overturned upon appeal. The FTC’s administrative case against WF is scheduled to go on trial on Feb. 16.

Austin-based WF contends the FTC is embarking on a “radical departure from due process” that would result in onerous rules slapped on future mergers.

GPG handles outreach to the FTC and plans to monitor any legislative action that could impact WF. Joel Johnson, former chief of staff to Sen. Howard Metzenbaum (D-Ohio), heads the GPG team. He is joined by Kimberly James, ex-aide to Florida’s Bob Graham and California’s Alan Cranston, and Ali Bonebrake, a former presidential management fellow at the Social Security Administration.

WF is buttressing its fight via creation of the Ad Hoc Committee for FTC Fair Play, which seeks private sector allies. Lanny Davis, a former advisor to ex-President Bill Clinton, is coordinating that push.


PAN Communications has won a competitive review for Novell’s North American PR account.

The software company, which is shifting its marketing strategy to tout bundled products rather than individual products, looked at almost a dozen agencies in the Boston area, according to PR director Ian Bruce.

Shift Communications was AOR for Novell for the last two years but declined to pitch.

Bruce said Andover, Mass.-based PAN fielded a strong and seasoned team and praised their media relations savvy. Trade and business press, digital and social media and the upcoming Novell BrainShare conference in March are among PAN’s focus.

PAN said messaging will target three areas: identity management & security, data center and end-user computing. Novell’s recently launched campaign, “making IT work as one,” will also be incorporated into its message.


M. Silver Assocs. organized a press lunch Nov. 12 at “The Modern,” the restaurant of New York City’s Museum of Modern Art, to highlight a new ad campaign from Aruba Tourism Authority.

Mark Wnek, CEO/chairman of Lowe Worldwide’s New York office, introduced four of the 14 TV spots that promote the friendliness of Aruba’s people.

Jennifer Maguire heads M. Silver’s travel group. The shop took over PR duties from Quinn & Co. in August.

Aruba has been an ongoing cable TV favorite since the disappearance of Natallee Holloway in `05. Her mother, Beth, appeared on Fox TV on Nov. 18 to accuse authorities of being lax in pursuing leads in the case.

The Holloway story doesn’t seem to be crimping travel as arrivals during the key 1Q this year were up 20 percent. Seventy-two percent were Americans.

Internet Edition, November 26, 2008, Page 3


David Satterfield, managing editor of the San Jose Mercury News, is joining the San Francisco office of Sitrick and Company.

CEO Michael Sitrick praised Satterfield’s knowledge of the high tech industry, as well as traditional and digital media.

Sitrick called him one of the most respected journalists in the Bay Area. Satterfield has been ME of the Mercury News for five years and served for two as the paper’s business and technology editor.

He was a reporter for 17 years for the Miami Herald and was part of two Pulitzer-winning teams there.

“While I will dearly miss the newspaper business and the people with whom I have worked, this is an opportunity I can’t pass up,” he said.

Lance Ignon, a former journalist and ex-VP/corporate affairs for VaxGen, heads Sitrick’s Bay Area outpost.


Frank DeMaria, who was global head of media relations at Thomson Reuters, has shifted to Newsweek.

The move is part of Newsweek CEO Tom Ascheim’s effort to put his own stamp on the Washington Post Co. property.

Newsweek recruited Ascheim from Viacom International’s Nickelodeon TV operation in October 2007. He succeeded Rick Smith, the weekly’s CEO for 16 years and editor-in-chief for 24 years.

DeMaria, a Reuters veteran, handled external PR and played a big role on the marketing team involved in the re-launch of the combined TR entity.

Earlier, he spent more than a decade at Brunswick, both here and in London. He worked for clients in the media, telecom and technology sectors.

DeMaria told O’Dwyer’s his VP-communications post is a new one at Newsweek.


The New York Times is closing Sport, a quarterly glossy magazine that was distributed with the Sunday newspaper.

The money-losing venture debuted in February `06 and is being closed as part of the company’s overall efforts to trim costs to deal with the pinch.

The Times will continue to publish T, upscale styles and Key, a real estate magazine.


The Journal Register Co. is exploring the sale of various newspaper properties clustered around Philadelphia plus properties in Michigan and Connecticut.

The Philly papers include Daily Times (Primos), Daily Local News (West Chester), Times Herald (Norristown), Reporter (Lansdale) and Trentonian (Trenton, N.J.).

JRC lost $8.7M for the quarter ended September. That compares to a $11.2M year ago profit.

Dirks, Van Essen & Murray is handling the sale.


Saveur, the food and travel magazine, has hired David Wondrich as wine & spirits editor.

He wrote “Imbibe! From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to Professor Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar” and is founding member of the Museum of the American Cocktail in New York.

Woodrich was chief historical consultant for the History Channel’s “Modern Marvels” show on distilleries. James Oseland is editor-in-chief of Saveur.


PC Magazine will publish its last print issue with the January issue, opting for an online-only version of the Ziff Davis Media flagship.

Jason Young, CEO of ZD, says 80 percent of PC’s profit and 70% of its revenues come from the Internet.

The print magazine is profitable in `08, but was projected to drop into the red ink column next year. Circulation is in the 600K range, which is down from a 1.2M peak during the late `90s.

Young is mulling whether to adopt an online-only format for Electronic Gaming Monthly.


Jerry Yang, the 40-year-old co-founder of Yahoo, is stepping down once his replacement is found. He is to become “chief Yahoo.”

The move follows the corporate snub to a takeover offer from Microsoft for Yahoo, a messy squabble with activist investor Carl Icahn, slumping corporate fortunes triggering layoffs of the company and collapse of an ad deal with once archrival Google.

According to Yahoo’s release, Yang “led the repositioning of Yahoo on an open platform model as well as the improved alignment of costs and revenues.” That quote is attributed to chairman Roy Bostock. He operated in an environment that included “extraordinary challenges and distractions.”

Yang believes the “time is right for me to transition the CEO role and our global talent to a new leader.”

Heidrick & Struggles is leading the search for Yang’s replacement. Yahoo president Susan Decker is a top candidate for the post.


Time Inc.’s Southern Progress unit has pulled the plug on Cottage Living and The November/December issue is the finale. The closing costs Birmingham, Ala., about 40 jobs.

Sylvia Auton, who heads Time Inc.’s lifestyle group, says the economic downturn has hammered the shelter magazine sector.

Though CL was “genuinely loved by readers and advertisers alike, the economy inhibited its ability to grow and therefore, sadly, we had to make the decision to close it,” she said in a statement.

CL had a base circulation of 900K, which was jacked up to 1M in `07.
Kay Fuston edited the final number.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, November 26, 2008, Page 4


The Independent Film Channel kicked off its IFC Media Project Nov. 18 with a lively luncheon held at Michael's, the New York reporter hang-out.

The IFC has prepared a six-part series that promises to take a hard look at the influences that shape media coverage including propaganda, corporate ownership, ratings and biases.

The half-hour documentary series is produced by Meghan O'Hara ("Fahrenheit 9/11" and "Sicko") and Nick McKinney ("The Daily Show" and "30 Days").

Evan Shapiro, president of IFC, says "though most Americans spend 70 percent of their day exposed to media, they go on autopilot when it comes to thinking about the message behind the media."

Each program will explore topics such as why the media are obsessed with missing white girls and how the government uses propaganda to sell policy decisions to the public.

The kick-off program debuted Nov. 18 with the theme "Taboos in the News." It featured an interview with Tucker Carlson. Episode two is "Frontlines of Journalism" with Valerie Plame-Wilson and Episode three is "Dumbing it Down" with Dan Rather.

The IFC promises "always uncut" programming. It champions alternative content via on air, online or on-demand. It is part of Rainbow Media Holdings, unit of Cablevision Systems Corp.

The luncheon featured a top-notch panel that included New York newsman and author Pete Hamill, Bill Kristol (New York Times columnist and Weekly Standard editor), Christopher Buckley, author of "Thank You for Smoking," and Gideon Yago, host of the IFC Media Project. Arianna Huffington, co-founder of The Huffington Post, moderated the lunch.

Kwittken & Co handles PR for IFC.

Hamill and Kristol Erupt

Hamill and Kristol erupted into a verbal brawl over the Pentagon’s ban on showing pictures of coffins of returning soldiers from Iraq.

Voice of the people Hamill can’t get enough of them, while the editor of the conservative Weekly Standard sees it all a bit unseemly.

Kristol defended the restriction as a “matter of taste.” Hamill, a former columnist and editor-in-chief of both the New York Daily News and New York Post, wants as many coffin pictures as it takes to arouse public opinion against the continued occupation of Iraq.

He wants images of “blood on the ground.” Kristol retorted that people understand soldiers die in wars. Americans, after all, are not “idiots,” he said.
Hamill bemoaned tight military control over the media that was instituted after Vietnam, where reporters could go anywhere they wanted to report on the fighting. Kristol doesn’t believe the current media are hindered by the Pentagon.
He noted that CBS, a mainstream media outfit, broke the news about Abu Ghraib.

Buckley contributor to the Daily Beast website, agreed that a Vietnam “mindset” controls policymakers in the Pentagon. He sided with Kristol about controlling media access in the age of the 24/7 news cycle.

“Just imagine if CNN was around during the D-Day invasion,” he said. A few days after the beaches were taken and allied forces were “mired in the hedgerows,” CNN would have questioned “whether the invasion was worth it.”

Buckley added a dose of levity to the proceeding. In talking about his high-profile endorsement of Barack Obama, which led to his departure from the National Review, Buckley said he is still waiting for his ambassadorship. Host Huffington kidded that Buckley may be appointed to the Court of St. James. “More like Equatorial Guinea,” he replied.


Dan Abrams, chief legal correspondent for NBC News, has formed Abrams Research to connect media professionals with the private sector.

His MSNBC program, “Verdict with Dan Abrams,” was replaced by “The Rachel Maddow Show,” in September. Abrams joined NBC in 1997 after five years at Court TV.

AR plans to help clients with media strategies, executive training and investigative reporting.

Its website boasts of “proprietary data networks and global contacts allow us to target strategically selected media insiders to offer insights, data and personnel never before available to businesses for image enhancement, branding, investigative reporting and the execution of the best media plan.”

It has forged strategic partnerships with Dan Klores Communications and Abernathy MacGregor Group.


Rodney Wenz, a former journalist and prominent Louisville PR pro, died on Nov. 19 a week after heart surgery. He was 72.

Wenz started out in journalism and later moved into PR in the Louisville office of Holder, Kennedy & Co., a Nashville-based firm built on the Kentucky Fried Chicken account.

Wenz formed Wenz-Neely Co. a few years later in 1971 with an HK&C colleague, Randy Neely, and took the KFC account. The two sold the firm in 1989 to Shandwick. Today, the firm is independent again and known as New West, a full-service PR and ad agency headed by Becky Simpson, who worked for Wenz-Neely.

The firm did $4.2M in PR business last year with 26 staffers. Wenz retired in 1996.

“The public relations profession has been made stronger by Rod Wenz and his presence will be missed,” said Nicole Candler, president of PR Society’s Bluegrass Chapter.

The Louisville Courier-Journal, where Wenz was formerly a business editor, reported that he underwent heart surgery on Nov. 13, the same day he and Neely received a lifetime achievement award for PR from the Univ. of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications Alumni Association.

Wenz taped a video acceptance of the award that was shown at the luncheon.

Internet Edition, November 26, 2008, Page 5


Ron Watt, the prominent Cleveland PR executive who was sentenced to three and a half years in jail for bank fraud in 2005, says he’s planning a return to PR.
“I’m trying to resurrect my shambles of a career,” he told the Plain Dealer’s Michael McIntyre.

Watt ran Watt, Roop & Co. for 30 years before he was charged with bilking banks of $1.5M.

He told six Cleveland area banks that he took in more than $10M in stock when he sold his firm to Fleishman-Hillard in 1999 when the actual figure was $30K. He initially fled to Cuba before returning to stand trial.

Watt has served his sentence and was recently transferred to a halfway house in Cleveland. He’s on staff at the Hermit Club, a private performing arts club, where he is working in membership and marketing and playing piano for happy hour, wrote McIntyre.


The Jeffrey Group, a Miami-based firm focused on Latin America PR, has produced a study of the region’s blogosphere and sees tremendous growth on par with the U.S.

“The statistics of Internet penetration in Latin America are setting global records for growth, and the impact of the Latin American blogosphere is nearly on par with that of the U.S.,” said TJG president Jorge Ortega.

Journalists pen 61 of the 168 blogs examined in four countries. Most cited editorial freedom as the main reason to keep a blog.

There were an estimated 9.1M bloggers in the region in 2007, or seven percent of Latin America. That compares with eight percent of Internet users blogging in the U.S.

The report can be downloaded at

BRIEFS: Joe Honick, an O’Dwyer’s contributor and president of GMA International Ltd, is slated to address the Shenzhen (China) Housing Exposition December 3-6. Honick has been involved in both Japan and China for more than 30 years as a consultant to American companies and as an advisor to officials from government and industry. Weeks after 9/11, he produced and chaired a historic, sold-out World Focus on China Housing event to open doors for American firms to do business and demonstrate to Chinese business, government and other industry leaders greater means for profitable cooperation. He has keynoted for housing programs in Asia, chaired committees for the National Institute of Building Sciences to study foreign investments in American real estate and is working to establish an American Building Technology Center in Beijing. Honick is also a Life Director of the National Association of Home Builders. ...Xpresso, a New Haven PR firm, said it has set up a “green” division to handle environmental marketing and PR assignments. It is the first specialty division for the four-year-old firm that handles clients like Bradley International Airport and Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort.


New York Area

BlissPR, New York/IG Markets, Forex trading platform, for outreach around new futures products and analyst relations, and Hedgestreet, online commodities and currency exchange, to build visibility, drive retail traffic and educate consumers on binary trading. Both companies are units of IG Group Holdings. The firm’s Chicago office has picked up Golub & Company, for corporate PR; architecture and design firm DeStefano & Partners, for media relations, and TICA, the Tenant-In-Common Association, a non-profit, for national media relations.

Lewis & Neale, New York/North Carolina SweetPotato Commission and the U.S. Apple Association, for consumer education and marketing following two RFP processes.

Rubenstein PR, New York/The Sopranos Wines, for PR including last week’s launch of the line of wines tied to the former HBO series.

The Portfolio Marketing Group, New York/South African Tourism, for marketing communications in the U.S., following a review. The work includes preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. PMG has worked with South Africa in the past.

Loving + Company, New York/MerSoleil, luxury resort wear brand, for media relations, “brand building” and other PR.

The Devon Group, Middletown, N.J./Jobs2Web, interactive recruiting service, for a global PR campaign.


Regan Communications, Boston/Willowbend Real Estate and Country Club (Mashpee, Mass.), for a national campaign touting its championship level golf course, real estate and amenities of the 15-year-old members-owned club.

Elias/Savion Advertising, Pittsburgh/Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania and Columbia Gas of Maryland, as AOR for marketing, advertising, corporate communications and PR. Both are units of energy giant NiSource.

French/West/Vaughan, Raleigh, N.C./Tomzi International, product development company, for PR.

Trevelino/Keller Communications Group, Atlanta/
Verus, early stage company in the carbon footprint sector, for PR via the firm’s FirstGear a la carte PR model.


Sojourn Communications Group, Lansing, Mich./
Travel Michigan, the state’s official tourism agency, for PR following a review. SCG has handled the account since December 2005.

Mountain West

Backbone Media, Carbondale, Colo./La Sportiva N.A., climbing and mountaineering footwear, for PR.


Sterling Communications, Los Gatos, Calif./Netgear, networking services, as U.S. AOR for PR after handling business and consumer press since 2002.

Wonacott Communications, Los Angeles/Tritton Technologies, gaming audio technology, and Harcos, maker of Mana Energy Potion, an energy drink targeting gamers, for PR in North America.

Internet Edition, November 26, 2008, Page 6


PR Newswire has acquired Xinhua Finance’s stake in PRN’s joint venture in China known as Xinhua PR Newswire for $6M in cash.

PRN, which said it will rename the service PR Newswire China, takes over all management and operation of the service, including 50 employees, customer relationships and offices, after six years in the joint agreement.

John Williams, managing director who set up the service in Bejing in 2002, and Yujie Chen, director, remain in their current posts.

PRN has also acquired Xinhua’s news release business in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. That will be known as PR Newswire Asia.

The previous marketing agreement had PRN providing the distribution platform for XPRN, while Xinhua handled day-to-day operations.

Xinhua said in reporting its first quarter results in May that XPRN’s business grew 56 percent year on year based on its distribution volume. Revenues in 2007 for the business were $4M.

Charles Gregson, CEO of PRN, said the move allows the company to create opportunities to introduce services like broadcast and video, monitoring and EDGAR filing to Chinese businesses.

PRN says it has more than 95 percent of the American Depositary Receipt market in China.

PRN is owned by United Business Media.


Brian Unger was promoted to VP of Ridgewood, N.J.-based broadcast PR company DWJ Television.

Unger, who directs medical communications for DWJ, will continue in that capacity. He said the healthcare division expanded in 2007 and ‘08 into the annual meetings and conventions arenas, and now produces prodcasts, webcasts, newsfeeds and TV/radio interviews on-site for clients like the American Diabetes Assn. and Oxfam America.

BRIEFS: BusinessWire says it has enhanced its NewsTrak Access measurement service with added search terms, referral links, reporting on link and social media tracking. The updated report now consists of two segments – journlists registered with BW, and another comprising all registered users of ...International Association of Business Communicators has released the third edition of its PR manual, “The Communications Plan,” by Lester Potter, a communications professor at Towson University. The manual contains an eight-step process for writing a communications plan and includes worksheets, exercises and case studies from winners of IABC’s Gold Quill Awards. Cost is $315 or $238.50 for a PDF. Info: said it will donate a $10K script-to-screen video production to a non-profit group anywhere in the U.S. and is seeking nominations. The company has worked for Arbitron, BlueCross/BlueShield and United Way. See its website for nomination form.



Susan Stillings, who left Edelman’s financial practice after two years in September, has taken a partner slot at Brunswick Group in New York. She was an executive VP and managing director at Edelman after a stint as MD for Ogilvy PR Worldwide in the Asia Pacific region. At Brunswick, she has a particular focus on IR, international crisis work and M&A assignments. Earlier, she was an MD with Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher.

Christopher Lynn, who joined Text 100 as new media manager for North America in August, has parted ways with the firm. The socialTNT blogger is out on his own again. Text 100 said it expects to name a replacement as early as this week.

Julia Jackson, director in Burson-Marsteller’s health and wellness unit, to Cooney/Waters Group, New York, as a VP handling UCB Inc., The Epilepsy Company. The firm has also promoted Prateek Patnaik to VP leading Abbott Fund’s Global AIDS Care and The Coca-Cola Company’s Beverage Institute for Health and Wellness. Also, Amanda Taylor was promoted to VP at the firm’s Alembic Health Communications unit, where she handles the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and National Meningitis Assn.

Lynn Martenstein, VP of corporate communications for Royal Caribbean Cruises, to GolinHarris, as managing director of its Miami office. She takes over for Lisa Mozloom, a 13-year GH veteran who is stepping down from the firm to spend more time with a growing family, according to GH. Martenstein is former VP/corporate comms. for United Airlines and VP/comms. of the American Forest and Paper Association.

Bob Huff, associate director for leadership development at the Univ. of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, to LaBreche, Minneapolis, as a principal to lead the firm’s branding comms. services. He was formerly VP of brand strategy at Olson.

Erica Salamida, A/S, Schwartz Communications, to Louder Than Words, Waltham, Mass., as an A/D.


Patrick Taylor to VP, communications, Meredith Publishing Group, New York. He continues to oversee media and marketing communications for titles like Better Homes and Gardens and More. Taylor, 50, joined the company in 2002 as a director.

Martha Boudreau to president, U.S. Mid-Atlantic, for Fleishman-Hillard. The firm has also promoted Li Hong (president, China); Nancy Seliger (president, U.S. East); Shin Tanaka (president, Japan); Susan Veidt (president, U.S. Central), and Mia Wedgbury (president, Canada).

Christin Jeffers to junior A/E, Catapult PR-IR, Boulder, Colo., handling Enterprise Management Associates and FreeWave Technologies.


Davia Temin, president and CEO of Temin and Company, New York, has been elected First Vice President and member of the Girl Scouts of the USA’s executive committee.

Internet Edition, November 26, 2008, Page 7


‘Command-and-Control’ Practiced

David Meerman Scott, author of “The New Rules of Marketing & PR,” wrote on the Sledzik blog that “in my personal experience, PRSA acts like the worst sort of command-and-control corporation…they do not engage when people are discussing them and they do not acknowledge other opinions. They have a ‘message’ and they deliver that in a one-way fashion…PRSA gives its members a very poor (and in my opinion wrong) idea of how to communicate in the always open world of social media.”

Other bloggers, many of them PRS members, said few PR people would tell clients to withhold information, that releasing the transcript would give members the same information possessed by Jack O’Dwyer (who covered the Assembly), and that dues-paying members deserve to have access to the transcript.

“What happened to the concept of two-way communication here,” asked one blogger. “Keeping the door locked and shut tight is only going to raise suspicions,” said the blogger.

Links were posted on Twitter under PRSA Assembly so that members and non-members could follow the debate.

Sledzik wondered why the “largest organization of PR professionals in the world” does not have a “proprietary network in which members could present ideas and concerns?”

Yann Quotes Robert’s Rules

Yann, in a posting on toughsledding, said that according to Robert’s Rules, “the record of the Assembly proceedings are the Minutes, and there is ‘no object in reporting the debates,’ e.g., no reason to produce a transcript.”

Senior members of PRS, commenting on this, said that RR is strongly against proxy voting but PRS has allowed proxy voting in the Assembly for three years.

New York State law allows proxy voting unless there is a bylaw in a group that forbids it. The Assembly has not passed such a bylaw although a lengthy debate on proxies took place at the 2005 Assembly. The transcript that would report that has been withheld by PRS.

Yann charged that Jack O’Dwyer “is not advocating publication of the transcript in an effort to promote transparency, but to report comments out of context and in a way that could embarrass the Society and its board members and delegates.”

O’Dwyer responded that, far from wanting to report anything out of context, the transcript would show the context of the entire 6.5-hour meeting was “dysfunctional and undemocratic.”

“Members who wanted to discuss issues such as accreditation were told to wait until the end of the day for a town hall that never took place,” said O’Dwyer.

“The transcript will document the two hours that a consultant conducted on the topic of ‘Strategic Dialogue’ that should have been used to discuss topics on the minds of the delegates, and the more than an hour of presentations by leaders that should have been put in writing and distributed beforehand,” he said.

Yann charged in the posting on toughsledding that “PRS cannot make its case fairly in the pages of O’Dwyer’s publication.” O’Dwyer responded that he would appreciate knowing the specifics behind such a charge. He also noted that certain PRS policies and practices are “not fair” to members including halting publication of the members’ directory without any discussion or vote by the general membership and barring more than 80% of members from running for national office since the 1970s because they are not accredited.


The PR Society on Nov. 21 distributed the minutes of the 2008 Assembly. It acted on the request of an Assembly delegate to supply the minutes within 30 days of the Oct. 25 Assembly meeting.

Delegates had criticized the national board for failing to distribute the 2007 Assembly minutes, third quarter financials, and the final Assembly agenda until the day of the 2008 Assembly.

A delegate had asked chair Jeff Julin to supply the 2008 minutes to delegates within 30 days of the meeting and he directed secretary Mary Barber to do so.

A formal resolution directed the “PRS national office” to “provide the Assembly delegates a draft agenda and the minutes from the previous year’s Assembly at least three weeks prior to the Assembly and the most recently available balance sheet and financial report two weeks prior to the Assembly, and notify them of their availability.”

Mark McLennan, 2009 chair of the Northeast district of PRS and who is with Schwartz Communications, Waltham, Mass., made the motion which was seconded by Kevin Kane of PRS/Rochester.

It passed by a 65%-35% margin.

The Assembly, according to PRS legal counsel Venable, may not, under New York State law, “order” the national board to do anything. However, it may give directions to the national staff.

2008 Minutes Not ‘On File’

Although the 2007 minutes said the transcript on which the minutes are based is “on file” at PRS h.q., the 2008 minutes does not have that notification.

PRS VP-PR Arthur Yann was asked via e-mail whether “on file” means a member could go to h.q. and view the 2007 transcript but he had not replied as of press time. Attempts by members to obtain the 136-page transcript of the 2008 Assembly have been rebuffed by COO Bill Murray and Yann.

Yann, quoting Robert’s Rules, said the “record of the Assembly proceedings are the minutes, and there is ‘no object in reporting the debates,’ e.g., no reason to produce a transcript.”

The committee for the 2008 Assembly was Mary Barber, 2008 secretary; Leslie Backus, 2009 secretary, and Kimberly Skeltis, president-elect, Detroit chapter.

The 2008 minutes describe actions on 24 motions and refer to presentations by Murray, 2008 chair Jeff Julin, 2008 chair Mike Cherenson, 2008 treasurer Rosanna Fiske, member satisfaction chair David Rockland, and leadership chair Blake Lewis as being “available from PRS headquarters.”

Yann was asked in an e-mail if this meant members would be sent a PDF of the presentations if they made a request. No answer was received by press time.

Internet Edition, November 26, 2008, Page 8




Dozens of commentaries, most of them blasting the PR Society’s refusal to publish the 136-page transcript of its 2008 Assembly, are appearing on,,, and this website.

No discussion at all is appearing on the PRS website, which traditionally has barred debates about PRS governance except in private e-mail groups open to selected members.

PRS “acts like the worst sort of command and control corporation,” said David Meerman Scott, author of “The New Rules of Marketing & PR,” in one of more than 20 postings on the withheld transcript on toughsledding, which is hosted by PR Prof. Bill Sledzik.

Most of the postings support providing the transcript to members and the press, one blogger saying that “keeping the door locked is only going to raise suspicions.”

Scott says, and we agree with him, that PRS is hopelessly behind the age of the web in not fostering dialogue on its website. PRS “gives its members a very poor idea of how to communicate in the always open world of social media,” he wrote on toughsledding.

Because of PRS’s intransigence, attention is now shifting to the New York City Supreme Court, the jurisdiction under which the Society falls.

The Court hears requests by members seeking information from non-profit groups. The members are not required to have a lawyer unless they represent a corporation. This is one way that individuals may challenge what may be a large organization without incurring hefty legal bills.

PRS argues that Section 621 of the non-profit law provides only that “minutes” of a meeting may be seen by members. However, this section also says the “complete books and records of account and minutes of the proceedings of its members, board and executive committee” shall be available to members.

Earlier this year, PRS put on its website the minutes of the board meeting Jan. 25 but not the minutes of its executive committee, which met all that morning by itself. Where are those minutes?

We received a copy of the 2008 minutes Nov. 21 but found they are just a bare hint of what went on. For instance, the two hours of discussion led by consultant Jean Frankel and Dave Rickey on licensing, certification and accreditation get five lines and no hint of the length of that activity. Nor do the minutes note that for the second year in a row there was no time for a “town hall.” No vote totals are given although many votes were tallied electronically.

Costs of licensing were said to range from $150,000-$200,000 to establish it and $75,000 to maintain it. Each state supposedly would be given “legal authority” to administer the licensing, said the 10-page “background paper” given to the delegates.

Section 621 was written many years ago and, to our mind, does not take into account the fact that recordings and transcripts may be made of “meetings of members.” A lot of groups may not be able to afford transcripts but PRS does.

PRS bylaws say that the Assembly “may exercise all the powers, rights and privileges of members at an annual meeting.” Surely this includes obtaining the recording and transcription of that meeting.

A main argument that can be made to the Court is that withholding the 2008 transcript is only the latest in a long string of anti-information practices of PRS which include failure to provide a list of Assembly delegates to the delegates themselves in 2008; failure to supply the minutes of the 2007 Assembly until the day of the 2008 Assembly; failure to supply 3Q financials until the day of the 2008 Assembly; failure to supply the complete agenda for the 2008 Assembly until the day of the Assembly; failure to inform members of the decision to suspend the printed directory of members or allow the membership-at-large to express an opinion on the suspension, and open hostility to the press including the full-page attack on this reporter in the September Tactics. PRS thus far has refused to supply equal space for a rebuttal.

The Court can also be told that PRS established precedent for publishing the transcripts when it gave them out to the press and members for the 2002, 2003 and 2004 Assemblies.

Another argument is that the minutes of the 2007 Assembly said “A copy of the transcription is on file at PRS h.q.” This sentence does not appear on the 2008 minutes. The 2007 sentence is nothing less than a promise that members could view the entire transcript by visiting h.q. Has the 2007 transcript been removed from the “files?” If the transcript was available at h.q. in 2007, why isn’t it available in 2008?

PRS has backed itself into a logical corner.

In view of the performance of the 2008 Assembly, we have no hope of reforms coming from that group in 2009. It will be a repeat of the “do-nothing” 2008 Assembly because it will again be a meeting of “bosses” from which “workers” are barred. All delegates are either APR or officers or directors (or both) of their chapters. It’s a company meeting to which only managers are invited. There’s no one there to represent the workers on the production line.

The break between “manager” and member wishes is evident in the views of each group on the printed members’ directory. The managers, thinking of the money saved by PRS, uniformly denounce the printed directory. But members, wanting easy access to other members, uniformly decry its suspension. The savings was only $128,473 in printing/mailing. Publication pay/fringes actually went up 16% in 2006 (first years sans directory) to $809,929.

The delegates, mainlining titles and various honorifics from chapters and national, showed their true loyalty-to-national colors in 2006 when not one chapter supported Central Michigan’s quest for more powers for the Assembly.

PRS VP-PR Art Yann, in a posting on toughsledding, said PRS “cannot make its case fairly in the pages of O’Dwyer’s publication, so we simply choose not to try…we cannot accept, nor will facilitate, the production of borderline slanderous stories about PRS and its representatives that distort and misrepresent this organization’s operations, policies and performance.”

We’re glad he brought up the subject of fairness because we would ask what’s fair about:

—PRS selling tens of thousands of copies of authors’ articles without their permission and refusing to give them any compensation?

—Suspending the printed directory of members without any warning to the general membership nor any discussion of this in the Assembly?

—Failing to have a members’ discussion capability on the Society website?

—Failing to provide, even to delegates, a complete list of the 2008 delegates to the Assembly, and failure to provide until the day of the 2008 Assembly a 3Q financial report, minutes of the 2008 Assembly, or a final agenda of the 2008 Assembly?

—Refusal to provide the transcript of the 2008 Assembly to members although it was created with member funds and transcripts were given out in previous years?

--Jack O'Dwyer


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