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Internet Edition, December 10, 2008, Page 1


President-elect Barack Obama proposed expanding national service programs like AmeriCorps while on the campaign trail and he may be getting a PR campaign to support those plans.

The Corporation for National and Community Service, the quasi-governmental agency that runs AmeriCorps and similar initiatives, is preparing an RFP to be released later this month to support its communications efforts.

The work would cover recruitment of participants, building partnerships and “encouraging an ethic of service and citizenship in America,” according to a description of the pending solicitation.

The CNCS said the RFP will be an open competition for a so-called IDIQ contract, which designates a firm or group of firms that handle assignments as they arise. Expected term of the pact is one year with four yearlong options.

The RFP is expected to be issued on or before December 17.

Nicola Goren, chief of staff for CNCS, is serving as acting CEO through the transition to the Obama administration.

Upon taking the reins in November, she noted that the economic downturn has put more Americans in need of services the voluntary sector can provide. She noted Obama’s “service agenda,” pointing out that the increased demand comes at a time when service is gaining “unprecedented” levels of support from the public and private sector.


Paula Erickson has moved to Beam Global Spirits & Wine as VP-global external communications and brand PR.

She joins from Ace Hardware, where she spent 15 years before exiting as director of advertising and brand development. In that post, Erickson was in charge of PR, creative direction, retail execution and integrated marketing.

Erickson started Dec. 1 and reports to Chris Swonger, senior VP-corporate affairs.

She is part of Beam’s marketing vision of “building brands people want to talk about.” Those brands include Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Knob Creek (bourbons); Canadian Club (whisky); Teacher’s and Laphroaig (scotch whisky); Sauza (tequila); Courvoisier (cognac); Cruzan (rum), and DeKuyper and Starbucks (liqueurs).

Qorvis Communications handles PR for Beam, which is part of Fortune Brands.


Kimberly-Clark Corp. has tapped Laura Moore for the VP-global communications slot. The veteran of more than 20 years in communications assumes the Dallas-based giant’s corporate communications, internal PR, media relations and crisis/issues functions. She will also be in charge of the K-C Foundation.

Moore reports to chief marketing officer Tony Palmer and succeeds David Sandor. She has a diverse background in PR, spanning the retail, banking, education and government sectors. She joins from Regions Financial Corp. (Birmingham), where Moore held the senior VP-PR and internal communications post.

Earlier, Moore was senior VP-communications & PR at RadioShack, VP-corporate communications at Zale Corp., PR/staff development at Dallas County Schools, PA officer at Texas Dept. of Transportation and community relations manager at Fidelity Investments.

K-C recorded a 9.7 percent nine-month sales jump to $14.8B. Net dipped seven percent to $1.3B. The company claims that a quarter of the world’s population use its tissues and personal care products.


Tallahassee-based Kidd PR has defeated two competitors for a six-figure public education contract touting new ID card rules to Floridians.

Kidd defeated Salter Mitchell, also of Tallahassee, and MRD Consulting of Coral Gables for the $376K contract. Five firms originally submitted proposals.

The Sunshine State issued an RFP in October to get residents up to speed on new federal rules for obtaining driver’s licenses and other forms of ID.

Kidd will develop a campaign under the tagline “Get REAL,” named after the federal government’s REAL ID program signed into law in 2005 setting greater security standards for forms of identification.

Tom Derzypolski is PR director for 28-year-old Kidd PR.


Bally Total Fitness, which is in bankruptcy for the second time in two years, is working with Sard Verbinnen & Company.

The fitness chain filed for Chapter 11 protection on Dec. 3 amid financing trouble stemming from the credit crisis saying it intends to reduce debt from its balance sheet while streamlining its core operations. That could happen through a sale of the company or a revamp.

Larry Larsen, a VP for Sard in Chicago, is handling the account.

Internet Edition, December 10, 2008, Page 2


The trend of Internet technology toward social networking and conversation provides an opportunity for the U.S. to outmaneuver effective propaganda from extremists like Al Qaeda online, according to the federal official who oversees the U.S. image abroad.

Speaking at the New American Foundation, a D.C.-based non-partisan think tank, on Dec. 1, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy James Glassman said influencing younger generations with technology is a key to fighting the PR war over extremism.

“We have arrived at the view that the best way to achieve our goals in public diplomacy is through a new approach to communicating, an approach that is made far easier because of the emergence of Web 2.0, or social networking, technologies,” he said. “New technology gives the United States a significant comparative advantage over the terrorists.”

Glassman, who took over the key PR post in June after Karen Hughes stepped down last December, acknowledged the effective use of the ‘Net by extremist groups like Al Qaeda for recruiting and spreading propaganda. But he sees the so-called Web 2.0 environment – buoyed by weblogs and networking sites like Facebook and MySpace – as directed by users and masses, where the earlier rise of the Internet – Web 1.0 – was centered on dissemination of information and one-way conversation. “The Internet world of Al Qaeda is one of direction: believe this, do that,” said Glassman. “The new world is a marketplace of ideas, and it is no coincidence that Al Qaeda blows up marketplaces.”

The State Dept. hosted a summit last week of groups from countries like South Africa, India, Cuba and Saudi Arabia using the Internet to fight extremism. Glassman said the goal is to create a “giant global conversation” on ways young people can oppose violence and extremism.

The view by foreigners that the U.S. does not respect their opinions or actively listen to or understand them is the major reason for animosity toward the country, according to Glassman, who cited government research.


Melissa Shannon, who was senior policy advisor to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for about a decade, is now a principal at Kountoupes Consulting.

She served as the Speaker’s liaison to the Women’s Caucus and helped pen the “Innovation Agenda.”

Shannon was Pelosi’s point person on issues such as science & technology, labor, education, agriculture and veteran affairs. The Montana native worked for Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) prior to joining Pelosi’s team.

Lisa Kountoupes, who heads the D.C.-based government affairs firm, was President Clinton’s House liaison, assistant director of legislative affairs at the Office of Management & Budget, special assistant at the Dept. of Energy and staffer on John Dingell’s Energy & Commerce Committee.

Her shop works for Yahoo!, Best Buy, National Electric Manufacturing Assn., Personal Care Products Council and Large Public Power Council.

Qorvis Communications handles KC’s PR.


Former Fleishman Hillard executive Hilary Norton heads a new group called Fast, a coalition of Los Angeles business people, real estate interests, politicos, educators and labor unions, that wants to change the “car culture” of the City of Angels.

Fast, which stands for Fixing Angelenos Stuck in Traffic, contends that “much of our city was designed with the automobile in mind, and the prospect of significantly reconfiguring the way we travel seems an uphill battle.”

That car culture has led to massive congestion, taking a toll on the area’s economy, environment and quality of life, according to a recent “Moving Los Angeles” published by Rand Corp.

The Rand report was sponsored by Fast. It found that congestion in Southern California leaves little room for new roads or expansion of those already in service.

The report features ten recommendations such as ride-sharing, paired one-way streets, high-occupancy toll lanes, improved traffic signal control, parking restrictions, regionally connected bike networks and deep transit discounts.

The think tank says its recommendations can be put into place within three to five years without significant net capital outlays or major new infrastructure developments.

Fast, describes itself as a non-profit organization dedicated to “designing and supporting the implementation of short-term strategies to reduce traffic congestion in Los Angeles by optimizing current transit infrastructure and facilitating use of public transit in order to improve our quality of life.”


Tesla Motors is urging Congress not to divert a penny from the Energy Dept.’s car-of-the-future program to bail out the Big Three Automakers, which are currently pressing for a $34B federal bailout.

Congress earmarked $25B for the Advance Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program in September.

Tesla, which plans to build zero-emission all-electric cars in San Jose in `11, applied for $400M in loans from the Energy program. It has just hired K&L Gates to lobby in support of that effort.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk penned an op-ed piece in the San Jose Mercury News on Dec 3 urging Congress not to move funds from Energy to salvage Detroit’s automakers. He wrote: “Diverting a progressive program for next-generation car technology into a general bailout would be a dangerous and sad irony: The Detroit Three have resisted building hybrids and electric vehicles for decades.”

Tesla wants to apply its federal money to produce recyclable batteries to sell to other automakers and to finance the manufacturing plant that will produce a five-passenger family sedan, “freeing owners of petro-state dictators, OPEC-mandated price fluctuations and Big Oil oligopoly,” according to Musk’s piece.

Musk replaced CEO Ze’ev Drori on Oct. 15. He cut some staffers to “make the company cash flow-positive in the next six to nine months.”

Internet Edition, December 10, 2008, Page 3


Tribune Co. on Dec. 8 filed for bankruptcy, crushed by the weight of $12B in debt connected to its takeover by real estate baron Sam Zell.

The owner of the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Hartford Courant and Sun-Sentinel, promises to run its newspapers, interactive properties and broadcast stations without interruption during the voluntary restructuring of its debt.

"We have made significant progress internally on transitioning Tribune into an entrepreneurial company that pursues innovation and stronger ways of serving our customers," said Zell in a statement.

He blamed factors beyond the Tribune's control such as a "precipitous decline in revenue and a tough economy coupled with a credit crisis makes it extremely difficult to support our debt."

The restructuring will help the Tribune "bring our debt in line with current economic realities, and take pressure off our operations so we can continue to work toward our vision of creating a sustainable, cutting-edge company" that is valued by readers, advertisers and communities that it serves, according to Zell.

The Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field are not covered under the bankruptcy filing. Zell hopes to unload Tribune's baseball operations.


E.W. Scripps has put its 50 percent share of the Rocky Mountain News on the auction bloc.

The Cincinnati-based company purchased RMN, which is Colorado’s oldest continuously run business, in 1926. RMN runs the Rocky Mountain News via a Joint Operating Agreement with the Denver Post, owned by MediaNews Group.

Rich Boehne, CEO of Scripps, said the decision to sell the paper “would have been unthinkable until very recently.” Market conditions in Denver are “increasingly difficult” and Scripps’ 50 percent cash flow from the JOA “is no longer enough to support The Rocky,” said Boehne’s statement.

Scripps reports its equity earnings in the paper fell 50 percent to $5M during the first nine months of the year. Editorial expense is in the $16M range.

Broadwater & Assocs. in New York is handling the sale of the paper. The auction runs through mid-January and Scripps said it will explore other options if the paper is unable to find a buyer.

Scripps still owns papers in 15 markets, including the Commercial Appeal in Memphis, the Knoxville News Sentinel and the Ventura County (Calif.) Star. Its stock trades at $2.24.

Virginian-Pilot Off Bloc

Landmark Media Enterprises has removed the Virginian-Pilot from the auction bloc due to the credit crunch. Richard Barry, LME vice chairman, says the V-P will be put back on the bloc when the economy improves. He says an enthusiastic buyer had been lined up, but could not put together a financial package to seal the deal.

Landmark sold The Weather Channel to NBC Univ., Bain Capital and Blackstone Group in September.


CNN is cutting its science, technology and environment news unit, including chief correspondent Miles O’Brien and six producers, in what the network says is a bid to integrate such coverage into its main editorial structure. O’Brien has been with CNN for 17 years.

CNN said the move is not an economic decision and noted the “Planet in Peril” series from “Anderson Cooper 360” continues.

“Yet one can’t help but feel dismayed by CNN’s decision or that this industry, at least for the time being, is sadly deteriorating,” wrote Curtis Brainard in the Columbia Journalism Review online.


Cox Newspapers will shutter its Washington national and international news bureau on April 1. Its Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Dayton Daily News properties will manage their own coverage of the nation’s capital.

Cox bureau chief Andy Alexander is stepping down at the end of the year as the 30 year-plus D.C. news operation winds down.

Alexander has reported from more than 50 countries including hotspots such as Vietnam, Angola, Iran and Iraq.

Cox, which is unloading newspapers in Texas, Colorado and North Carolina, still has reporters in London, Beijing, Mexico City and Jerusalem.

Cox TV retains its D.C. broadcast center.


Patrick Purcell, who was Boston Herald publisher under Rupert Murdoch, has been named by News Corp. executive chairman of the Ottaway chain of local papers that was owned by Dow Jones & Co.

The 61-year-old Purcell bought the BH from News Corp. after the combine was forced to sell it in `94 in order to keep ownership of a Fox TV station in Beantown. He replaces Andrew Langhoff, 47, at Ottaway, who is moving Jan. 5 to head the Wall Street Journal’s European edition. Bill Casey, who had headed WSJ/Europe is retiring after nearly 30 years at DJ&C.

Purcell will remain publisher of the BH, while overseeing Murdoch’s chain of eight daily and 15 weekly papers in Massachusetts, New York and California.

News Corp. originally intended to sell Ottaway after it completed the DJ&C acquisition.

TIMES LINKS TO OTHER HEADLINES is beta testing “Times Extra,” a feature which aggregates and displays headlines from third-party news sources and blogs.

March Frons, chief technology officer for the Times’ digital operations, noted, “The days when content sites were afraid to link to other sites are over.”

A “Times Extra” button appears on the homepage to activate the feature, which bundles and lists related headlines in green below stories.

Blogrunner, a news aggregator which ranks stories by popularity on the ‘Net, powers the service.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, December 10, 2008, Page 4


Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman fired 850 people in a restructuring of the media combine last week that owns MTV Networks, Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon.

That cutback represents seven percent of the work force. It is broad-based and across all divisions of the company that is controlled by media mogul Sumner Redstone.

Dauman says Viacom is moving quickly to “adapt to the challenges presented by the current economic environment.”

The revamp positions Viacom to “navigate the economic slowdown and generate sizable efficiencies” to drive business as the “marketplace stabilizes and conditions improves,” according to Dauman’s statement.

The restructuring will result in a charge of up to $450M during the fourth-quarter. Viacom anticipates `09 savings in the $225M range. The company registered a 37.4 percent plunge in third-quarter net to $401M on a 10.7 percent revenue rise to $2.7B.

The restructuring program also caps salaries of top executives. Viacom’s stock is down more than 60 percent this year to $14.57. The CEO is confident of the future based on Viacom’s “outstanding brands, diverse revenue streams and global footprint.”

Dauman appeared at the 36th UBS annual global meeting conference in New York on Dec. 8. His presentation (as other speakers) was also webcast.


Media heavyweight Myrna Blyth, who spent more than 20 years as editor-in-chief and publishing director of Ladies Home Journal and More, is the new editor-in-chief of, a site geared to women aged 18-49. She follows another magazine legend, Tina Brown, who recently made an Internet splash with the launch of TheDailyBeast.

Blyth is going online because the “Internet is the most exciting arena for women’s media today,” she said in a statement.

She has been honored as Ad Age’s “Publishing Executive of the Year,” and with the Magazine Publishers Assocation's Henry Johnson Fisher Award, a top magazine industry honor.

Blyth has contributed to The New Yorker, Reader’s Digest, New York and Redbook. She had tongues wagging in magazineland with the publication of her '04 book “Spin Sisters,” an attack on the purported liberal leanings of female professionals in the media.

Deborah Perry Piscione, CEO of BettyConfidential, can’t “imagine a stronger person to lead the editorial direction of BettyConfidential.”

“There are few people in this world who know women better than Myrna Blyth,” she added.

The site says it offers a social network and content in a “roomful of women setting,” and serves as a “gathering place for entertainment, opinion, news and information on anything and everything women want to talk about.”

CNN’s Soledad O’Brien chairs the advisory board of BettyConfidential, which is based in Palo Alto.


The Pentagon sent a media advisory to reporters Dec. 5 concerning a possible briefing of a “missile defense test” that said there would be no briefing if the test was unsuccesful.

The Missile Defense Agency warned the media “the test can occur any time between 3 and 7 p.m.” It said the subsequent press briefing “will start approximately two hours after the test is completed.”

If the ground-based missile failed to make an intercept (it was successful and the briefing was eventually held) the whole media event would be canceled. “This briefing will be held only in the event of a successful intercept,” said the Pentagon.

The MDA included a note to the advisory. It read: “If there is no intercept, it is doubtful that any detailed information will be available regarding possible cause or causes until telemetry and other data is analyzed. This will likely take several days.”


The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is donating $3.5M to public broadcaster WETA in Washington to expand health coverage at “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” which is co-produced with Thirteen/WNET in New York.

That grant will fund up to 50 documentaries on global health issues such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, measles and malaria and the challenges that neglected diseases pose to scientific and public policy officials.

The NewsHour will also step up outreach to medical professionals and other members of the global health community.

Linda Winslow, executive producer of the NewsHour, says the Gates gift provides the program the “resources to give global health the attention it deserves.”

The NewsHour is watched five times a-week on 315 PRS stations. It receives funding from Grant Thornton, Chevron, Vestas, Pacific Life, Atlantic Philanthropies, National Science Foundation and the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Briefs _________________________ has signed on disgraced former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer as a bi-monthly columnist on government, finance and regulation.

His first column Dec. 3 focused on the financial crisis and argued against bailing out large banks.

People ____________________________

Nancy Cordes was named CBS News' Congressional correspondent. She continues to cover transportation and consumer safety as well. Cordes joined CBS in 2007 from ABC, where she was a New York-based correspondent.

Randell Beck, president and publisher of the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, S.D., and Keven Ann Willey, editorial page editor of the Dallas Morning News, have been elected to the Pulitzer Prize Board, Columbia University said.

Internet Edition, December 10, 2008, Page 5


VSC Consulting, a boutique digital media and marketing firm based in San Francisco, is expanding its presence in Mumbai in the wake of the late November terror attacks there.

“In light of recent events, now more than ever it’s important to show the world that the international business community will rally around Mumbai, India,” said founder Vijay Chattha.

Chattha said the firm, which works for Reliance, Project Ahimsa and Jump Games, had a media relations presence in the country but decided to open a Mumbai office for clients looking to expand to India.

The outpost is slated to open in January and Chattha said three clients in North America will be extended into India upon the move. He is looking for senior account managers and consultants as well.



Kraft’s Stove Top Stuffing brand kicked off a campaign last week heating 10 Chicago bus shelters to bring attention to a new instant stuffing product.

Kraft, which is working with Weber Shandwick, said the month-long push is the first time heat has been used in bus shelter advertising.

Stove Top brand manager Ellen Thompson said the product is “all about warming up families.”

Samples of the new product, Stove Top Quick Cups, will also be handed out at a handful of bus stops throughout the Windy City this month and a print advertising push is part of the mix.

Kraft is based outside of Chicago in Northfield, Ill.

BRIEFS: PainePR won the “Best of Show” at the 2008 PRism Awards given by PR Society’s Los Angeles chapter. The firm won for the “One Pack = One Vaccine” campaign for Pampers benefitting UNICEF. Paine also grabbed four other PRisms and five Awards of Excellence, including three awards for the Pampers campaign in categories new product/service launch, consumer, with budget $50K and over; cause-related marketing, corporate, brand or other; one-time media or special event, corporate/brand, $50K budget or over. ...Bell Pottinger USA, Boston, marked “Green Day” on Dec. 3 to highlight what the firm says are minor changes being made to create significant changes to the environment. The day included an organic breakfast, an environmental quiz, gifts and a screening of “The Truth About Climate Change,” a film by David Attenborough. Staffers were encouraged to take walks and public transportation to work, switch off computer monitors and lights, and to recycle. BP, and its Chime Communications parent, have pledged to reduce their carbon footbprint by five percent this year for a total of 42 percent since 2007. ...Darrow Associates, a boutique Melville, N.Y.-based investor relations firm focused on small-cap clients, has opened a Dallas, Tex., office. Matt Kreps, who led his own area IR firm, Magnolia IR, heads the outpost. Info:


New York Area

Krupp Kommunications, New York/Gaiam, special interest lifestyle programming, as AOR for strategic media planning.

The Marino Organization, New York/Morton’s The Steakhouse, for opening of a downtown Brooklyn location on Nov. 20. The firm handles Morton’s three other New York area locations.

OpenGate Marketing Communications, Nyack, N.Y./
International Beverage USA, a unit of Thai Bev, for national and regional consumer and trade PR for its Mekhong and Change Beer brands; Cymbol, watch and sunglass brand from Msource, for PR, Internet marketing and promotions, and True World Restaurant Group, for launch of packaged sushi brand Sushi DO.

Travers Collins & Company, Buffalo, N.Y./
BakeMark USA, Los Angeles-based manufacturer and distributor of bakery ingredients and food across the U.S., as AOR for a “re-branding” to include advertising, sales training, PR and other comms.

Trylon SMR, New York/BookSwim, online book rental club, as AOR for media relations. Users pay as little as $10/mo. and can borrow as many as 11 books at a time with an option to purchase.


DPR Group, Cary, N.C./DocSite, clinical care solutions, for strategic consulting and PR.

The Jeffrey Group, Miami/Airbus, global airline manufacturer, for PR in Latin America and the Caribbean, including 14 markets in the region. Offices in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and a partner in Chile will service the account.

Schwartz Media Strategies, Miami/Cushman & Wakefield of Florida; Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts; Hall Lamb and Hall P.A., law firm; Rilea Group, development firm, and CREW-Miami, commercial real estate group for women.

O’Connell & Goldberg, Hollywood, Fla./W Fort Lauderdale, for PR for launch and introduction, slated for March 2009.


Bader Rutter, Milwaukee/Ball Horticultural Company, for “product branding” and integrated marketing communications.


Cohn & Wolfe, Austin, Tex./GelPro, anti-fatigue floor mats, as AOR for consumer media relations. The company also tapped Emblem Creative, Southwest Media Group and Square One to round out its maketing team.


Bailey Gardiner, San Diego/ista North America, utility expense management, for industry and consumer PR; Pierce Education Properties and Golden Gate Fields, for advertising.

JS2 Communications, Los Angeles/The Nature Conservancy in California, for PR focused on maintstream consumer media.

Lynch Archer PR Entertainment, Los Angeles/Team San Manuel Yamaha, Supercross racing team, for a second year of PR representation.

Internet Edition, December 10, 2008, Page 6


Cision is reorganizing its operations under the leadership of North American executive VP Peter Granat.

The company said it is slashing costs and reworking several shared service departments at its headquarters to be integrated into its European operations.

Granat has been named CEO for Cision Europe, based in London. Managing directors from Germany, Portugal, the U.K., and the Nordic region, as well the MD of sales now report to Granat.

Senior VPs for corporate communications and strategic projects are leaving the company.

In October, Cision’s board ousted CEO Niklas Flybord and brought in Hans Gieskes of LexisNexis Group.

The company, which fended off a $250M+ takeover bid from U.K. private equity firm Triton in June, had a rough third quarter amid the battered U.S. economy. It is currently rolling out its digital PR platform, CisionPoint, internationally after the U.S. launch last fall under Granat.

Cision said its head office functions will be reduced and its new group management team will include only the group’s CEO, CFO and division CEOs for its North American and European operations.

Gieskes said the moves “ensure improved cost efficiencies” and faster execution of its “change agenda.”


Tracey Page, VP of broadcast and online media sales at Phoenix-based WestStar Talk Radio Network, has joined PR Newswire’s MultiVu broadcast and digital unit as a divisional VP.

Page focuses on client development and sales in the advertising and marketing space and is based in Los Angeles.

At WestStar, she handled direct B2B and media agency broadcast, web, email and podcast product sales.

She was previously with Giga Information Group and Fourth Shift Corp.


Educommunicators, a two-month-old social network for PR and other communications pros focused on the education sector, has announced an advisory board to guide its development.

The group is planning to unveil several features like a weekly newsblast of articles related to education communications, weekly blog postings, an online director of resources, job board and webinars.

Among the “board of advisors” are Patrick Riccards, CEO of Exemplar Strategic Communications in Falls Church, Va.; Paul Baker, senior communicator, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education; Terri Dunham, partner, Collaborative Communications Group, D.C.; Bryan Goodwin, VP of marketing and communications, McRel (Denver); Jimmy Kilpatrick, founder and editor,; Kathleen Schnier, Laureate Education (Chicago), and Matthew Tabor, author of “Education for the Aughts.”

The group networks through its website, a Facebook Group and via LinkedIn.



Matthew Heyman, chief of staff, National Institute of Standards and Technology, part of the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, to the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention, Rockville, Md., as VP of external affairs and strategic integration. He was chief of public and business affairs at NIST for more than a decade, communications advisor to the deputy secretary at Commerce and acting director of PA for the Technology Administration with the department. The USPC is a private non-profit focused on food and medicine safety standards.

Anne Nicholson Prince, formerly of The Wade Group, Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe, to Gibraltar Associates, Washington, D.C., as a senior VP. Jackie Khan, A/M at August Jackson Company, joins as an account manager. She previously handled comms. at Booz Allen Hamilton and B-M.

Pava Cohen, VP at ENC Marketing & Communications, to Sage Communications, Vienna, Va., as a VP. She was previously VP of sales and marketing at Omnistudio.

Sandy Sims, district manager for the Fort Walton Beach District, to Gulf Power Company, Pensacola, Fla., as public affairs manager. She takes over for John Hutchinson, who has been promoted to corporate services general manager.

Michele Peden, VP of marketing and communications for Spheris, to IASIS Healthcare, a Franklin, Tenn.-based hospital owner/operator, as VP of corporate communications. She is a former A/S for McNeely Pigott & Fox PR.

Stacey Smart, product manager, Edstrom Industries, to Johnson Direct, Brookfield, Wisc., as an A/E.

Sandra Tomlinson, an independent consultant in the Cayman Islands, to the Ministry of District Administration, Planning, Agriculture and Housing, as manager of comms. and public affairs.


Mark Dvorak to senior VP, GolinHarris, Atlanta. He heads work for the Georgia Dept. of Economic Development, National Peanut Board and Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. He joined in 2006 and was president of PR Society/Georgia in 2002.

Beth Fortune to vice chancellor for public affairs, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. She held the post on an interim basis for six months and joined the university in September 2000. She is a former gubernatorial press secretary and reporter for The Tennessean.

Richard Costello to senior VP of investor relations, The Hartford Financial Services Group, Hartford, Conn. He joined the IR unit in January 2008 after serving as corporate secretary and assistant general counsel.

Andrea Hazard to A/S and Stephanie Snyder to senior A/E, Padilla Speer Beardsley, Minneapolis. Joey Lomicky and Katherine Brozek were upped to A/Es. The firm also added Tina Valek to work on General Mills and Whitney Mares for the Beam Global Spirits & Wine account.

Internet Edition, December 10, 2008, Page 7


The Internet has changed crisis response from “pronouncements” by an organization to a “conversation,” says “Crisis Communication,” written by members of the IPREX group of independent PR firms and published this month by Kogan Page, London and Philadelphia.

The 64 member firms have 86 offices in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific and employ 1,000 PR professionals. Total fees are $116 million.
The Internet is more than just a faster means of communication but a “different kind of medium that is realigning the role and influence of the media, institutions and corporations while empowering new activists and even the average citizen,” says the book.

Today’s bloggers “are the new investigative reporters,” it adds, saying “companies don’t fear the camera crew at the front gate as much as a blogger posting insider information, a whistle-blower’s allegations, non-attributed accusations, or the unleashing of unsubstantiated rumors.”

Communication and response during a crisis must now be “more of a conversation than a statement … more of an engagement than a pronouncement … it’s all about engaging with our stakeholders, the new lords of social media,” says the 222-page book.

Organizations are now required to “find, engage with, and share ideas with total strangers,” it says.

Advice is given on handling blogs, podcasts, video and RSS feeds.

Scores of crises and the way they were handled are described.

Each chapter covers an aspect of crisis communication including crisis types such as fraud, environmental, legal, natural disaster, corporate change, and product recall. Developing institutional brands and creating strategies are covered as well as risk management, dealing with the media, and working with lawyers.

Anthonissen is Editor

Peter Frans Anthonissen of Anthonissen & Assocs., Antwerp, Belgium, is editor. His clients have included Renault, Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble and the Belgian and Flemish governments.

Anthonissen studied law and also worked as a journalist before setting up his own firm in 1987. He has worked on numerous crises and has published ten books on communication management.

Anthonissen is president of EMEA group of IPREX. EMEA has 23 offices in 19 countries stretching from Ireland to the United Arab Emirates.

The goal of the book, he says, is to convince companies “of the absolute necessity for proactive crisis communication and proper planning.”

IPREX president Jim Walsh of Walsh PR, Dublin, said contributions by experts from ten countries makes Crisis Communication unique.

He describes it as “one of the early results of our program to derive maximum benefit for clients and partners from our outstanding knowledge base.”

Members of IPREX include French/West/Vaughan, Raleigh, 17th largest U.S. firm in 2007 with $12.2 million in fees; Makovsky + Co., New York, 33rd largest with $9.2 million in fees; Vollmer PR, Houston, 53rd largest with $6.8M in fees, and JohnstonWells PR, Denver, 103rd largest with $3M in fees (O’Dwyer rankings). U.S. authors are Roger Bridgeman, Boston; Tom Gable, San Diego; Jerry Hendin, Seattle; Robert Oltmanns, Pittsburgh; Steven Pellegrino, Boston; Thom Serafin, Chicago; Tony Shelton, Houston; Kathryn Tunheim, Minneapolis; Elizabeth Courtney, Nashville, and Tim Wallace, New York.


Blake Lewis, a Fellow of the PR Society and chair of the Universal Accreditation Board in 2005, said last week, when asked whether he favored release of the transcript of the 2008 Assembly, that “personally” he had “no reservation” about releasing it.

Lewis, who co-chairs the Leadership Development Task Force of the Society and who made a presentation of its results at the 2008 Assembly Oct. 25, had said in an e-mail to Dec. 10, 2007 that the release of the transcripts of the 2005, 2006 and 2007 Assemblies “seems fine to me.”

PRS has refused to release those transcripts after releasing them for the 2002, 2003 and 2004 Assemblies.

PRS COO Bill Murray and VP-PR Arthur Yann have been telling members who ask for the 2008 transcript that its sole purpose was to help in preparing the “minutes” of the meeting.

Those minutes, a three-and-a-quarter page document condensing 6.5 hours of the Assembly that were transcribed onto 136 pages, were published Nov. 21.

Delegates had complained at the Assembly that the 2007 minutes were not given to them until the day of the 2008 Assembly and chair Jeff Julin instructed the staff to prepare the 2008 minutes within 30 days.

The 2007 minutes had the notation that they were based on a transcript of the meeting that was “on file” at Society h.q. The 2008 minutes had no such notice.
Murray and Yann have been asked what the meaning of “on file” was but have not answered.

New York State non-profit corporation law says that members of a group may appeal to a local court if the group refuses to provide minutes and other documents when asked to do so.

Co-chair with Lewis on the leadership task force is Barbara Whitman, counselor based in Honolulu, who is also APR and a Fellow. She has not responded to e-mails asking her position on releasing the 2008 transcript.

The leadership task force, which drew the signatures of nearly 50 veteran members in 2007, stressed the need for “openness, total transparency,” in Society matters. Such openness would help to get members interested in PRS matters and attract leaders, it was argued.

Lewis, in making the presentation of the task force’s work to the 2008 Assembly, said the group had created 263 Power Point slides but he had pared them down to a couple of dozen.

The lack of acceptable candidates from the Southeast and Southwest districts of the Society was cited by Lewis last year as a key reason for the creation of the leadership task force.

No one had applied from the Southeast by the deadline while the one candidate who applied from the Southwest was rejected.

Internet Edition, December 10, 2008, Page 8




One of the biggest problems facing the nation, and one that hangs on public image, is the threat of bankruptcy faced by the Big Three automakers.

Popular polls say 60% of Americans oppose the bailout of the Big Three and a poll on drew a 55%-45% vote against the rescue.

How Americans became so hostile to one of their own major industries, one that means millions of jobs, is a mystery to us.

But for a possible solution we turn to O’Dwyer Newsletter editor Kevin McCauley, who suggested in his blog that “Only Oprah can rally America to save its car companies.”

Oprah, he notes, has the power to make a book an almost instant bestseller. She gave away 276 Pontiac G-6 sedans to her studio audience on Sept. 13, 2004 to mark the start of her 19th season.

The industry’s poor PR, epitomized by the use of corporate jets to get to the first congressional hearing, needs far more than the same execs just traveling by car to the resumed hearings.

With many who are now shouting “off with their heads” to the overpaid auto execs, it’s a case of joy at seeing the mighty take a flop. But these unwitting critics are putting their own heads on the chopping block.

Three million jobs could be lost next year if the companies go broke and that means the loss of $150 billion in personal income and $60B in tax dollars. Another 2.5 million jobs could follow in 2010.

Says the McCauley blog: “Oprah could give the greatest Christmas gift of all to America and the millions who depend on the car industry” by putting a shine on the industry.

Creative PR is what’s needed.

Fitch, Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s get a big share of the blame for the current economic debacle since they gave good ratings to substandard equities.

All three were blasted by a page one article in the New York Times Dec. 7. They won increasingly large fees for favorably rating increasingly large (and opaque) bundles of securities about which they knew little. Moody’s made $370M on revenues of $1.35B in the first nine months of 2008. Profit margins from 2000-2007 averaged an astounding 53%.

But sell-side security analysts engage in the same game and now the public is paying the piper.

For instance, the record of upgrades and downgrades for Omnicom since 1999 shows only one “sell” advice (by Bank of America Securities in November 2007) among 58 such changes.

Thirty-one are for “buy,” “strong buy,” “add,” “outperform,” etc., with all sorts of rosy price “targets.”

OMC’s historic high was $53.50 in 1999 although it briefly touched $54 earlier this year. It has been in the mid-$20’s lately. The ad conglomerate stocks tend to fall faster and farther than stocks in general in a downturn.

Economic analysts are noting that investors, after being burnt by several market collapses, mostly swore off stocks from 1964 to 1981, a 17-year hiatus.

They may not come back to the market in such numbers for sometime.

A good entry to PR posts these days is politics and government service, according to Ron Culp, Ketchum executive who operates, which provides advice for PR careerists including recent grads.

Culp tells the story of Justin DeJong, who took an unpaid press internship with Chicago’s mayor after graduation and then got paid jobs in a utility company and state government agencies. He is now on leave from the Chicagoland CofC as Barack Obama’s Illinois press secretary.

Rebecca White, after an internship with a PR firm before starting her junior year, applied to the White House website and landed a post in the First Lady’s press office.

After graduating, she got a PR job at the Energy Dept. and is now helping Secretary Samuel Bodman win support for the Administration’s Energy bill.

Grant Culp, son of Ron, won an unpaid internship with U.S. Rep. John Shimkus while in high school. This was followed by a paid internship with Shimkus and two others in D.C. including one with then-Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert. After graduation, he became legislative assistant to Shimkus.

We take issue with the definition of the PR Society Assembly that was provided to the PRNewser website earlier this year by Mike Cherenson, who will be chair and CEO of PRS Jan. 1.

Cherenson said “putting ultimate voting authority in the hands of Assembly delegates is the most democratic of all possible structures for association management.”

There is no way the phrase “most democratic of all possible structures for association management” can be applied to the Assembly. It can only elect the board and officers, set dues and pass procedural bylaws such as how many districts there are and whether delegates have to be APR or not.

Lawyers for Venable, which advises PRS, have repeatedly told the Assembly it must never order or even suggest that the board do anything because the Assembly has never voted itself such powers. An attempt by Central Michigan in 2006 to give the Assembly these powers (which the ABA and AMA Houses of Delegates have) was defeated with none of the other 109 chapters supporting it. National exercises strict control of the chapters.

The Assembly in the mid-1980s voted twice to move h.q. out of New York but was over-ruled each time by the board, which then permanently cancelled the spring Assembly.

If the Assembly had any democratic powers, its delegates would be able to obtain a transcript of their own meetings, which they are unable to do.

The mark of a democracy is elected representatives suggesting and debating issues at their meetings. No “town halls” took place at the last two Assemblies because national board members monopolized the programs.

Little action on re-writing the PRS bylaws can be expected in 2009 because bylaws chair Dave Rickey has announced that bylaws re-write is now a “multi-year” effort. There is no effort on the PRS website to obtain suggestions for new bylaws nor debate any of the issues involving them such as the APR rule for board and office posts. Abolishing the APR rule was first proposed in 1999 by the Strategic Planning Committee but leadership has fought any change in the rule since then. This reform has never been placed on the Assembly agenda…proxy votes at the Assembly have to be “registered” before the meeting starts, according to a memo to the delegates. This can take place on the morning of the Assembly. The proxy total went from 28 at 8:15 a.m. to 41 at 3:37 p.m., meaning 13 delegates left the Assembly. Who got the proxies and how did they vote them on ending the meeting promptly at about 5 p.m.? Many Assemblies have gone past 6 p.m. The vote to end the meeting was about 50-50 but a two-thirds majority was required. This issue needs investigating.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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