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Internet Edition, December 24, 2008, Page 1

Happy Holidays to all our readers. The next issue of the newsletter will be Jan. 2. Follow breaking news on


Interpublic CEO Michael Roth is expected to cut payroll up to 2,000 in an effort to cope with the “advertising depression.”

Tom Cunningham, spokesperson for IPG, told O’Dwyer’s the firm has not commented on that report that ran in Reuters.

Roth, during an October presentation, vowed to manage IPG “conservatively” and remain competitive on a margin basis with WPP and Omnicom. He said General Motors, IPG’s No. 1 client, was a big concern.

IPG employs 60,000.

OMC CEO John Wren is cutting about five percent or 3,500 people from its 70,000 workforce. The firm has been hurt by cutbacks at Chrysler and the loss of the Pepsi business. That ad/PR conglom issued the following statement: “Given current economic conditions, our companies have reviewed their staffing levels as they relate to their current business requirements. Some, but not all, will have to make adjustments.”

WPP chief Martin Sorrell already has announced plans to reduce headcount in `09 in mature markets such as the U.S. and Continental Europe.


Susan Borra, president of the International Food Information Council Foundation for the past two years and IFIC president for the prior 15 years, has switched to Edelman as executive VP/managing director of nutrition, food & wellness, a new position.

She will provide counsel and coordinate activity among Edelman’s food & nutrition, PA, bio science communications, consumer health, health PA and health media operations.

Borra will be based in Washington, and also have an office in Chicago. Her resume includes president of the American Dietetic Assn., chairman of the ADA Foundation, and member of a National Academy of Sciences subcommittee.

Prior to joining the IFIC, Borra was director of consumer affairs at the Food Marketing Institute.

Weber Shandwick has tapped Mark MacGann head of its EU public affairs operation beginning in March. MacGann, director general of Digital Europe, also worked at Brunswick, handling international mergers and acquisitions from its office in London, Paris and New York.

Earlier, he held key jobs at Alcatel-Lucent including VP-strategic affairs for Alcatel Space and head of its European government affairs operation.


San Bernardino County, a 20K-mile swath in southern California abutting Los Angeles that is home to two million people, is looking for PR support for its Economic Development Agency.

The EDA covers programs in workforce training, community and housing development and attracting investment to the region.

San Bernardino and Riverside Counties make up a region of California known as the Inland Empire. A 2007 Brookings Institution report predicted the fast-growing region needs to appeal to skilled workers and industries and “build on the optimism that has led many newcomers to the region.”

The county plans to award a 12-month pact with a one-year option.

Deadline for proposals is January 13 with questions due by Dec. 30. The RFP is at


Hill & Knowlton is the highest paid consultant to the Chicago 2016 Olympic bid, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The WPP Group unit has received $2.1M since July 2006 from the Olympic committee.

WPP tops No. 2 on the list, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the Windy City architectural firm that has collected $1.1M.

The U.S. Olympic Committee tapped Chicago as U.S. bid city for the Games on April 14, `07. The International Olympic Committee will select the host for the `16 Games next October.

Chicago 2016 estimates the economic impact of the Games will total $22.5B of activity in Illinois, of which $13.7B will be in the city.

The organization predicts the Games will create 315K jobs from`11 to `21.

Tootelian & Assocs. complied that study. The results were announced Dec. 11 and discounted business and tourism that is anticipated whether or nor Chicago wins the Games.

Chicago 2016 got into the Christmas spirit last week with the opening of the official city bid merchandise shop in the Macy’s on State Street.

Internet Edition, December 24, 2008, Page 2


The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense in charge of the Pentagon PR program “America Supports You” was operating the campaign in a “questionable and unregulated manner” while spending millions on an outside PR firm, according to a Defense Dept. audit.

Auditors said the program, which was run by PR firm Susan Davis International up until the fall, created confusion with the creation of a private non-profit under the Defense Dept.-backed ASY name to solicit private funding (against DoD policy) and opening the possibility for misuse of funds.

Auditors said issues that were found were referred to the Defense Dept.’s Inspector General for investigation of potential misconduct of senior officials.

The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Liaison and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Internal Communications, Allison Barber, oversees the four-year-old ASY program. Auditors said that office provided broad statements of work and inadequate oversight for nearly $9M in charges by Susan Davis Int’l for its work.

The report noted that in fiscal year 2007, the Assistant Secretary procured the equivalent of more than 11 full-time PR managers and executives from the PR firm at rates from $312K to $662K. It also said SDI was reimbursed for charges not allowed under federal rules.

More than $9M in funds for the ASY program were inappropriately transferred from the Stars and Stripes newspaper, part of the American Forces Information Service, the audit statement said, and officials from the newspaper have “lost visibility” of $4.1M transferred to the PR program.

The report on the ASY program, completed at the request of the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, coincides with another audit released Dec. 12 detailing “inappropriate” funding between the PR and propaganda units of the Defense Dept.

History of ASY Funding

The report outlines the lush spending by the Defense Dept. on the ASY program. From 2005-07, $9.2M was appropriated from the AFIS ($5.4M) and the Global War on Terror ($3.8M) supplemental budget. Another $3.1M was kicked in for 2008 from the War on Terror budget.

The audit said the SDI PR firm received six contracts from 2004-07 for more than $8.8M, in addition to a six-month bridge pact and a new contract in May 2008 that could’ve stretched to five years and $15.3M had it not been cut in the wake of the audit.


APCO Worldwide is serving as Dow Corning’s Washington representative as the joint venture of Dow Chemical and Corning Inc. seeks federal support for its solar power initiatives.

In May, DC opened its solar solutions applications center in Freeland, Mich. to evaluate and develop materials used to manufacture solar panels.

On Dec. 15, CEO Stephanie Burns announced a $3B investment with Hemlock Semiconductors to expand production of polysilicons in Hemlock, Mich., and at a new plant slated for Clarksville, Tenn.


The Episcopal Church, which has faced turmoil over doctrine and homosexuality in its Anglican congregation and clergy, has brought in a new chief strategist for internal and external communications based in New York.

Ann Rudig, VP and creative director for Cincinnati firm Northlich and a member of the church’s southern Ohio diocese, was unanimously recommended by a search committee and tapped by presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.

She steps into the role vacated by Canon Robert Williams, who led communications for four tumultuous years before resigning in June.

The church, which has 2.4 million followers in the U.S., saw hundreds of conservative U.S. congregations split from the national denomination to form an independent church last year over disagreements in ritual and doctrine, as well as a rift that started in 2003 when a gay bishop, Gene Robinson, was consecrated in New Hampshire.

Jefferts Schori, the only female leader in the worldwide church, has allowed same-sex unions in dioceses of the U.S. church, which is also facing criticism from millions of members abroad.

Rudig takes the title of director of communications and supervises a staff of 15 people at the Church Center in Manhattan, which houses its Episcopal Books and Resources, Life Media, digital communications and public affairs units. She had worked pro bono on communications for the church’s southern Ohio diocese.

Earlier, Rudig held posts in Ohio and New York as creative director for LexisNexis and a senior executive for HSR Business to Business.

She was chosen by a search committee comprised of communications execs and church officials from around the U.S.


FD and Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher are working Constellation Energy’s sale of a $4.5 billion stake in its nuclear energy operations to Electricite de France SA.

EDF Development, a subsidiary of the French energy company, is taking a 49.99 percent stake in Constellation Energy Nuclear Group, which includes the Calvert Cliffs plant in Maryland and New York’s Nine Mile Point station, among other nuke power facilities.

In addition to in-house teams for the companies, Joele Frank directors Barrett Golden, Kelly Sullivan and Eric Brielmann in New York are supporting media relations for EDF in the U.S. regarding the deal.

FD’s Kal Goldberg in New York and Michael Geczi in Chicago are working analyst and investor relations for Constellation Energy.

The deal allowing Constellation to stay independent comes after Warren Buffett buoyed the company amid a cash crisis earlier this year with a $1 billion investment and a September agreement to take over the company for nearly $5 billion.

The New York Times noted Dec. 18 that Buffett will more than double the $1 billion he invested from a deal break fee, cash and stock.

Internet Edition, December 24, 2008, Page 3


Lobbying, is not anti-democratic because it “frustrates the will of the people,” writes Newsweek columnist Robert Samuelson in the Dec. 22 issue.

Rather, he says, it is “an expression of democracy” because lobbyists “sharpen debate by providing an outlet for more constituencies and giving government more information.”

He notes that political scientist James Thurber of American University has estimated the size of the lobbying community in Washington, D.C., at 261,000.

This includes 16,000 registered lobbyists who are required to report under the 1995 Lobbying Disclosure Act, a gain of 50% since 1998.

The community also includes “hordes of PR consultants, ad managers, Internet advisers, and policy experts,” writes Samuelson.

PR Grads Work for Politicians

Ron Culp, Ketchum executive who operates the career advice blog, recently cited three PR grads who have started careers in political PR.

One took an unpaid press internship with the office of the Chicago mayor, worked at a utility, and is now President-Elect Barack Obama’s Illinois press secretary.

Another landed a job in the office of First Lady Laura Bush and then a post with the Energy Dept., while a third is now legislative assistant to Rep. John Shimkus (R-Illinois).

“Lobbying is modern marketing: trying to transform a group’s narrow interest into something perceived, rightly or wrongly, as serving the broad ‘public interest,’” says Samuelson.

He notes that while business has “powerful” lobbyists, so do others such as AARP for retirees, the AFL-CIO for unions, and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities for the “poor.”

He expects the lobbying community to expand under Obama.

Bara Vaida, lobbying reporter for the National Journal, has predicted the Obama Administration will be “a bonanza for K street,” where many lobbying firms are located.

Says Samuelson: “There will be a vast mobilization of interests, from radiologists to renewable-energy producers; from mutual funds to hospitals.”

The National Capital Chapter of the PR Society, with more than 1,400 members, is by far the biggest of the 109 PRS chapters.

In second place is the Georgia chapter with more than 800 members.


Associated Press reporters and photographers went on a byline strike Dec. 16 to protest contract talks between their union and AP management.

AP staffers say management proposals would threaten job security, dramatically raise medical costs and freeze wages. The News Media Guild represents the 1,400 editorial, technology and support staff at AP.

Staffers point to solid revenues for the AP over the last two years but management fears a rough patch in 2009. The AP is also facing a potential challenge from CNN, which has said it is assembling its own wire service. Management has said it welcomes that challenge.

The union and management have been in negotiations since Oct. 21. Management proposed a wage freeze for the first year of a two-year pact, with a two percent boost in the second year. The Guild countered with a 10 percent pay hike but says it is willing to negotiate.

“Staffers recognize the tough times, but they also understand that quality journalism at AP means attracting and retaining the best employees,” said Guild president Tony Winton, in a statement.

Staffers were also refusing to use personal vehicles, phones and other equipment as part of the protest, which began Dec. 14 and was scheduled to extend through the end of the week.


Tribune has launched a consumer and personal finance magazine distributed exclusively for the Amazon Kindle, its second title published for that electronic device. The title, CASH: Personal Finance for Real People, is published weekly and is available for $.49 an issue or $1.49 a month.

It is the second Kindle title for Tribune Media Services, the syndication arm of Tribune, after the previously launched Opinionated journal of commentary.

Content is drawn from TMS titles like U.S. News and World Report, Kiplinger’s and the Los Angeles Times.


Kevin Merida becomes assistant managing editor for national news at the Washington Post on Jan. 5.

The 15-year WaPO veteran joined from the Dallas Morning News. He has covered the White House, Capitol Hill and politics. Merida co-authored books on Clarence Thomas and Barack Obama.

Another WaPo author, Rajiv Chandrasekaran, has been upped to associate editor to guide national security stories.

He wrote “Imperial Life in the Emerald City,” based on reporting from Baghdad’s Green Zone.


Robin Toner, the first female national political correspondent at the New York Times, has died of colon cancer. She was 54.

Toner spent almost 25 years at the Times, covering a range of issues includes taxes, healthcare and Social Security.

The NYT obit praised Toner’s fact-checking and attention to detail. Of 1,900-plus articles with her byline, only six corrections needed to be published.

Toner was the NYT’s lead reporter on the Bill Clinton campaign in `92. She began her career at the Charleston Daily Mail in West Virginia and reported for the Atlanta Journal and Constitution before moving to the NYT.

Toner was married to Peter Gosselin, chief economic correspondent for the Los Angeles Times.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, December 24, 2008, Page 4


NBC dropped a bombshell on TVland earlier this month with the announcement that Jay Leno will become prime-time fare. That news was tossed on a broadcast business undergoing a profound overhaul.

TV media reps told an Entertainment Publicists Professional Society workshop in Los Angeles this month what the restructuring means.

“The TV business model is changing clearly faster than anyone thought, said Joe Adalian, deputy editor and columnist, TV Week. “The writers’ strike set that up, and I think we are going to see more events like this happen like this over the next year. Some people say it was a negative, while others will say it is a reflection of the business.”

“It’s all about making sure your audience can turn to your site to get the story, whether you are two minutes earlier or later than the competition,” said Adalian who also writes for Variety and the New York Post.

“Long gone are the days where you hold stuff,” said Melissa Grego, executive editor, Broadcasting and Cable, who said she was working on breaking three major stories.

“We really are driven weekly by a cover story, which is a multi-paged, in-depth report you can’t replicate like breaking news such as the Leno deal,” said Grego. “The timing of the attacks in Mubai was tricky for a lot of the U.S. TV organizations to cover. Marissa Gunthery, who covers the TV business, did a nice job in an analytical piece that showed how all those foreign news budget cutbacks came into play with the lack of coverage in Mubai. It was a huge story.”

“That 1,200-word story was posted online and got so much interaction at various journalists’ websites; we took excerpts and printed some of the talk backs from the conversations online. The most fun part of the story was encouraging our readers to go back online,” explained Grego.

“If you can push a story ahead in the print edition of our magazines it gives the story legs beyond what you have to print on a day-to-day basis online,” explained Alan Frutkin, correspondent/producer, Nielsen Business Media (Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, MediaWeek, and Backstage).

Frutkin was caught in a middle of doing a feature on NBC’s Night Rider when the news came down it was cancelled: “I was invited out to the set to do a video report on the executive producer and the Night Rider show, but before we packaged and uploaded our story, it changed to NBC cutting back on the episodes. It’s tough and that’s how fast news changes.”

The job has changed too for Frutkin. In addition to writer, he also produces video reports online for all of Nielson’s platforms. “It indicates how quickly the industry and trade journalism is changing to meet the needs of what users and readers want,” he said.

“I’m a little jealous, because breaking news is not really something we can do,” Juan Morales, editor-in-chief of Emmy Magazine, which publishes six issues a year for mostly subscribed TV and Arts Academy members. “We do more of analysis and compiling of the TV events, and we’re all connected in the sense of being the media, we focus on what it means when NBC Chief Jeff Zucker announces he’s doing away with primetime television. Realistically since we are a bimonthly, we really can’t do anything until February or when the new show (Jay Leno) premiers.”

Morales also said in regards to the NBC fallout announcements, “Strictly as an observer of the industry I thought it was interesting that there are a lot of appendages of stories, not only the announcement itself, but what about the story about competition for bookings between Leno and Conan O’Brien being on the West Coast, at the same network.”

He admitted that the Emmy Magazine doesn’t have the resources to covering breaking news, but “does have a website and we rely on publicists to provide us with the information so we can provide to our members.”


Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. is transferring its stock listing from the New York Stock Exchange to the NASDAQ on Dec. 29.

The move, according to Reed Nolte, senior VP-IR, is to “ensure that our stockholders have access to the most current trading technology possible.” That is “coupled with a cost-effective structure.”

The Big Board contends that NASDAQ “bought the listing with a significant advertising commitment to News Corp,” Richard Adomonis, senior VP at the NYSE, told the New York Times.

He speculates that NYSE’s proposal to increase advertising in News Corp. properties such as Fox News, Fox Business News and the Wall Street Journal did not measure up to the deal offered by the NASDAQ, which does not discuss advertising strategy with the press.

Shares of News Corp. trade at $8.93, off a $21.90 52-week high. The company is still waiting for a return on its $5.6B acquisition of Dow Jones and Co. made a year ago.

News Corp. does not break out earnings for its newspaper operations, but noted the DJ&C unit reported a $4M operating loss during its first-quarter ended September.


Jay Carney, deputy Washington bureau chief for Time, is jumping to PR as director of communications for Vice President-elect Joe Biden.

Carney is married to ABC News senior correspondent Claire Shipman and joins traveling campaign press secretary and transition communications chief Linda Douglass as the second national reporter to join the Obama administration. Douglass was an ABC correspondent.

Carney, whose full name is James, has written about politics for 15 of his 20 years at Time.

He moved to Washington in 1993 to cover the Clinton White House was on Air Force One covering President Bush on Sept. 11, 2001.

Carney also served as Moscow and Miami bureau chief.

Internet Edition, December 24, 2008, Page 5


The IPREX global network of independent PR firms said it has partnered with U.K.-based OCTO, a crisis management and response planning firm.

IPREX sees its services as a complement to its communication offerings.

Crisis was a focus of a recent meeting of the group’s Europe, Middle East and Africa partners in London, where it launched a handbook by members of crisis case studies. OCTO has worked with Shell, Pfizer and BAE Systems, among other clients, along with the British and Irish governments. It is not a communications firm but works with PR professionals, including IPREX London partner Surrey House.


AIG’s retreats and clueless auto chiefs topped San Francisco-based Fineman PR’s annual top 10 list of PR blunders.

Private emails at the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs that appeared to play down high suicide rates among vets, David Letterman’s verbal assault on Sen. John McCain after the candidate canceled an appearance on his show, and Nike’s diss of the winning runner in the San Francisco Women’s Marathon rounded out Fineman’s top five.

In other news, the firm has “branded” its three-year-old Latino and multicultural communications unit as Mosaico. Fineman said it made the move in response to growing interest in the sector and to mark the firms’ 20th anniversary. Juan Lezama was named director of the unit. Xoom Corp., a ‘Net-based money transfer company, is its first client as it expands to Mexico.


Pierce Mattie PR, New York, identified its top 10 ingredients that consumer will here more about in 2009.

The firm says among the trends for the upcoming year will be argan oil for skin and haircare, acai, a Brazilian berry used in anti-aging products, Goji berries, a Himalayan berry used in perfumes, and blueberries, expected to be used in anti-aging products.

Also on the rader is myrrh, tumeric, probiotics, baobab, acerola and palmitoyl tripeptide-3, a so-called “cosmeceutical” used to fight facial lines and wrinkles.

BRIEFS: William Corbett, past president of the International PR Association and PR Society’s New York Chapter, and current chairman of Corbett PR, received the “Make a Difference Award” from Hempstead, N.Y., town supervisor Kate Murray. The attorney was cited for his pro bono legal services to families and local churches, as well as service as a Boy Scout leader and other endeavors. Corbett is a former Nasaau County assistant district attorney. Info: ...Zehnder Communications, New Orleans, won a Gold Davey Award for work on the “Campaign for Your Cause,” a web-based competition that had Louisiana residents determine how a $200K grant from a local Burger King would be divided among non-profits. The competition garnered more than 700K online votes. The International Academy of the Visual Arts gives out the Daveys.


New York Area

Abelson Group, New York/DataMotion, formerly CertifiedMail, data flow solutions, as AOR for PR and analyst relations.

Intermarket Communications, New York, and Fisburn Hedges, London/Wall Street Systems, for PR and analyst relations starting in January. The firms take over for London-based Metia.

Rubenstein PR, New York/Dr. B. Todd Schaeffer, consmetic and endoscopic surgeon, for PR for his practice.

blue sky communications, New York/Oregon Aesthetic Technologies, for PR for its ANSR and ANSR topical line of acne treatment.

R&J PR Bridgewater, N.J./CURE Auto Insurance and NJ PURE Medical Malpractice Insurance, sister companies, for a public information and media relations campaign including the expansion of CURE into Pennsylvania.


Osiris Group, Philadelphia/Independence Visitor Center Corporation, as marketing agency of record over several competing agencies. The Center, located across from the Liberty Bell, provides regional event and attraction information about Independence National Historical Park, the City of Philadelphia and the countryside.

Qorvis Communications, Washington, D.C./Society for Human Resources Management, trade group, to boost its “I AM SHRM” advertising campaign. The work includes ad testing, “branding,” advertising and media planning.

Michael Smith Business Development, Washington, D.C./dna13, PR software, as AOR for PR. Mike Smith is a former technology VP at Edelman. His firm will be working with Ottawa, Ontario-based dna13 as it launches new software and services.

Winning Strategies, Washington, D.C./Garden State Ethanol, N.J.-based renewable fuel developer, for government relations focused on appropriations and transportation funding.


Airfoil, Detroit/solidThinking, industrial design and styling software developer, for PR during its acquisition by Michigan-based Altair Engineering. The firm is handling ongoing media relations, speaking, awards, marketing comms. strategy and counsel for the client.

Justice & Young Marketing and PR, Cincinnati/
Ardus Medical, as AOR, including development and implementation of an ongoing, integrated marketing, PR and sales support campaign.


Levenson & Brinker PR, Dallas/The Beck Group, developer, as AOR for PR. L&B will focus on its construction and design services, technology, sustainability efforts and global humanitarian work.


Morgan Marketing & PR, Irvine, Calif./Malibu Fish Grill, “fast-casual” seafood eatery chain based in Huntington Beach, Calif. MM is handling media relations and overall PR.

Internet Edition, December 24, 2008, Page 6


The Marketing Research Association said it has launched a research company review program to vet and standardize online sample providers.

The program includes self-review by sample providers and an internal review by an independent researcher tapped by MRA. Results will be posted on the MRA website,

The group said it is aiming to provide more transparency in online research and create a clear understanding of panel supplier practices and data quality.

MRA has also posted a guidebook online for clients of online research firms.


ARAcontent, a feature article and placement service, said it is offering a “Quick Read” program of condensed, 250-word articles to answer a trend toward truncated copy online.

ARA points to the Project for Excellence in Journalism’s recent “State of the News Media” report noting more than half of newspapers say that their average story length decreased in the past three years.

A year earlier, the PEJ’s report said the top reason people cited for not reading the newspaper was lack of time. The Quick Read service includes two high-res photos, online access to reports of placements, hard-copy and electronic clippings. Cost is about $5K per article.


D S Simon Productions, New York, has unveiled an Internet media tour service aimed at placing video content on the ‘Net with a midrange PR package.

President Doug Simon said he is trying to fill the middle ground between a simple multimedia release and an elaborate online endeavor like JC Penny’s recent “Beware of the Doghouse” campaign.

The so-called IMT includes creation of a social media-enabled microsite, outreach to bloggers and online journalists, placements on social media and news websites, syndication to leading portals, a digital release and strategy consultation.


BRIEFS: Civolution, the recent spin-off from Philips Electronics that operates the Teletrax media monitoring service, said that Teletrax is expected to deliver more than 40 percent year on year growth for 2008 compared with 2007. Philips is a limited partner in the spin-off, which is backed by Prime Technology Ventures. ...Burns Marketing Communications, Johnstown, Colo., has teamed with San Francisco’s AMI Conference Management to provide an event management and marketing package. The firms have worked together at NVidia NVision, itSMF USA Fusion Conferences and the Hewlett-Packard Software Forum and said they sought to formalize the relationship. Services include strategic planning, site selection, theme development, design, registration and attendee services, speaker management and press relations. Info: Johnny Hyde, [email protected].



Susan Brophy has left Ketchum for a senior VP, media relations, slot at GolinHarris in Chicago. She also serves as national media director for the firm. In Washington, D.C., GH has reorganized its public affairs operation under the GolinHarris Public Affairs. Lane Bailey, a 10-year GH veteran who heads the firm’s D.C. office, was named president of the unit with Susan Corsini as managing director.

Bill Sanders, former enterprise reporter at Atlanta Journal Constitution and city editor at the Augusta Chronicle, to Hayslett Group, Atlanta, as senior counsel. He was a PR major at the Univ. of Georgia’s Grady School of Journalism. Dori Moss, former academic affairs director for the Consulate General of Israel’s Atlanta office and a recent master’s degree graduate, jonis as an A/E.

Anthony Tornetta, account manager at Godfrey, to the American Red Cross Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region, as regional communications manager.

Marc Pasco, account director at PCGCampbell, to Hermanoff PR, Farmington Hills, Mich., as manager of client services. He manged the Ford account in 10 years at PCG.

Robert Johnson, a finance and IR executive in a 32-year career at J.C. Penny Corp., to grocery market chain SUPERVALU, based in Minneapolis, as VP of investor relations, starting January 5. David Oliver, who held the post on an interim basis, continues in a leadership role in its finance unit.


Chris Womack to executive VP, Southern Company, and president of external affairs, effective January 1, 2009, overseeing federal and state affairs and corporate communication initiatives. He is EVP, external affairs for Georgia Power, SC’s largest subsidiary.

Liz Zale to VP of investor relations, Moody’s Corp., New York. She leads all IR, including communications and outreach to its global shareholders. She formerly led IR at DealerTrack Holdings.

Erin Vadala to VP, Warner Communications, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass. She was former North and Latin America PR manager for Aspen Technologies.

Gail Gessert to VP, marketing and communications, REVShare, a Temecula, Calif.-based cost-per-action advertising network.


Mike Neumeier, a principal at Atlanta-based Arketi Group, was elected president of PR Society’s Georgia chapter for 2009. In addition to president-elect, he was treasurer, secretary and at-large board member of the chapter. With nearly 1,000 members, Georgia is the second-largest chapter of PRS behind the National Capital group.Timothy Hussey, director of marketing for the Emory School of Law, was named president-elect for 2009.

Jonathan Blum, senior VP of public affairs for Yum! Brands, was named to the board of directors for Kindred Healthcare, Louisville, Ky. He serves on the $4 billion healthcare services company’s compliance and quality, and audit committees.

Internet Edition, December 24, 2008, Page 7


PR staff and outside firms are working with financial institutions wrapped up in the alleged multibillion-dollar fraud scheme by former NASDAQ chairman Bernard Madoff.

Madoff told employees that losses from his apparent Ponzi scheme could hit $50 billion, according to the FBI. Fairfield Greenwich Group, a New York-based hedge fund that has worked with Madoff for nearly 20 years, issued a statement from its director of communications with Sitrick and Company on Dec. 12 to say it was examining the extent of potential losses “like numerous other money managers and investors who appear to have been similarly victimized.”

About $7.5 billion of its $14.1 billion in assets under management were invested in vehicles connected to Madoff as of Nov. 1 FGG said.

Law firms are also stepping up communications as the opportunity for shareholder class action suits surfaced. Two firms, Millberg and Seeger Weiss said Dec. 12 that they have already signed up dozens of clients who they say are victims of the “stunning fraud.” New York-based Strategy XXI is advising on PR for the law firms.

The Hastings Group, an Arlington, Va., PR firm, is working with the Securities Investor Protection Corp., the Congressionally funded reserve fund that helps investors at failed brokerage firms.

R.C. Auletta & Co. is helping Sterling Equities, a real estate venture owned by the Wilpon family, deal with Madoff. The Wilpons have admitted to investing millions with Madoff over a number of years.

Richard Auletta told the New York Times Dec. 18 that Sterling is “shocked by recent events and, like all investors, will continue to monitor the situation.”

Dow Lohnes Government Strategies dropped Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities from its roster on Dec. 12. It inherited that account in September after key staffers at Lent, Scrivner & Roth joined the firm.

Norm Lent III, executive VP at DLGS, headed the Madoff business.

He is son of the former New York Congressman who established LS&R, which received more than $500K from Madoff’s operation since 2000, according to federal records.


CKPR and sister unit Cramer-Krasselt will run PR for the “Run for the Roses” this year. The independent agencies have been tapped by Churchill Downs Incorporated to develop a communications plan and “brand” identity for the Kentucky Derby and its companion race, the Kentucky Oaks.

The 135th Derby will run on May 2, 2009, and the Oaks will be held a day earlier, on May 1. CKPR’s New York office leads the account with support from the advertising unit.

CHI said the work will have a strong emphasis on PR as well as integrated marketing and promotions.

Dave Tompkins, senior VP for CHI, said CK will help with a “broader strategy to help promote horse racing’s premier events” as well as introduce the races to people not familiar with the events.


Dow Chemical has yanked PR business from Brunswick Group in the wake of a $5M insider trading charge brought against the husband of a BG partner who allegedly used confidential information from his wife, Nina Devlin, who was not charged. The chemical giant consolidated its financial PR account at FD.

A Dow spokesperson told the Financial Times that it is "shocked and disappointed by the recent events." Dow has "taken the prudent action of temporarily suspending all business relationships with Brunswick Group, pending the outcome of the investigation by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission."

Brunswick has hired a law firm to carry launch and internal probe, and claims that it has received "phenomenal support" from its clients.

The U.S. attorney's office for New York charged Matthew Devlin, a former Lehman Brothers sales rep, along with two day traders, a brokerage sales exec in the scheme. Devlin pleaded guilty on Dec. 16 to four counts of conspiracy to commit insider trading and one count of securities fraud.

"The husband of a Brunswick employee has been arrested by U.S. authorities for using information obtained illegally from her and without her knowledge, which has then passed to third parties," Brunswick said in a statement.

Nina Devlin was previously with Citigate Dewe Rogerson and Taylor Rafferty. She handles M&As, proxy fights and other financial assignments.


Drier LLP, the bankrupt New York law firm whose founder stands accused of bilking as much as $380M from investors, apparently can’t pay its PR bills.

Dreier founder Marc Dreier was arrested Dec. 7 for his alleged role in defrauding investors of as much as $380M.

Van Prooyen Greenfield, a New York PR firm that specializes in legal communications, is owed more than $270K by the 250-lawyer firm, Dreier LLP, according to its Chapter 11 filing.

Amy Greenfield, managing partner at VPG, is a former VP in Edelman’s issues and crisis management practice and earlier was at Fleishman-Hillard. She told O’Dwyer’s that the law firm was a client for five years.

VPG is claiming it is owed $273,991.77 and is among the law firm’s 30 largest creditors, including, among others Westlaw ($441K) and American Express ($323K).


World Wrestling Entertainment has hired Robert Zimmerman as VP-PR & corporate communications.

He is a 17-year veteran at Dan Klores Communications and Edelman, where he handled corporate, media affairs and crisis work for clients such as Howard Stern, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Bill O’Reilly, and Donatella and Allegra Versace.

Zimmerman also was spokesman for Fox News from '98 to '04 serving as VP-media relations handling the channel, radio, Internet and overall press strategy.

Internet Edition, December 24, 2008, Page 8




REVIEW OF 2008 ____________

The PR scene in 2008 was dominated by the bursting of the hyped-up financial and housing bubbles in the last quarter. Corporate and agency employment came under heavy threat.

Our own terrorists in Wall Street caused loss of jobs, homes, college educations, etc., on a scale unimagined by foreign terrorists. Health and lives will be lost because of inability to afford healthcare.

Financial PR veteran Ted Pincus, who has weathered seven downturns, told PR firm owners to skip their own pay to keep clients and staff.

Best articles analyzing the collapse were in the December and January issues of Vanity Fair which noted, as did syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin, that many sub-prime loans went to minorities including illegal aliens. "Diversity" was practiced in home loans with catastrophic results.

Explanations for the debacle were numerous but the best and shortest was: Americans had always paid their mortgages.

The shenanigans involved in credit default swaps, collateralized debt obligations, derivatives, etc., boil down to one word-hype-which many also consider to be the definition of PR. Financial instruments were oversold on a massive scale and the few doubters were ignored.

Secrecy was a big ingredient. Not only were regulators and reporters kept out of the loop, but many financiers lost track of what was going on.

Shifting responsibility was also the main game as big Wall St. houses went public. John Gutfreund, ex-Salomon Brothers, agreed with Michael Lewis in the Dec./Jan. Portfolio that the move shifted risk from the partners to the public.

"No investment bank owned by its employees would have levered itself 35-1 or held $50 billion in sub-par CDO's," wrote Lewis.

Banks gave mortgages to homebuyers on the flimsiest grounds and shifted the problem of collecting to others. The “morally bankrupt” rating agencies (Moody’s, Fitch, S&P) blessed the rotten fruit, said Portfolio.

Companies spent hundreds of millions via PR wire services supposedly practicing “disclosure.” Zillions of releases went out with mostly inconsequential news while financial disclosure was absent where it was needed most.

The era of the electronic release, which mostly displaced PR/press personal relationships, may be over since the SEC has said companies, in some instances, may put news on their own websites. Companies can also now just send a few words via the PR wires with a link to their own sites, cutting down on per-word charges.

Business Week 12/8/08 ranked Lorry Lokey, co-founder in 1961 of Business Wire with his wife Eva, as No. 26 among "American Philanthropists" with gifts of $433M from 2004-2008.

Lokey, in a remarkably candid profile in the magazine of his alma mater, Univ. of Oregon, said his profits were “obscene”-amounting to $100K “every workday.” He said PR Newswire in 1986 said to him, “You will be run over…they were really trying to kill us,” if he didn't sell out to them.

Many other companies are no doubt told they will be “run over” by bigger competitors which is one reason for all the mergers. Lokey disappointed us by not mentioning Eva's 29 years with BW in telling its story to UofO. They divorced in 1990.

Explanations for the near-death of the U.S. auto companies abound including high labor and health costs, better-made foreign cars, etc.

But we recall the line from “King Kong.” It wasn't bullets that killed the beast, but “beauty.” It wasn't economics or even [slightly] better foreign cars that killed U.S. automakers, but fashion-it became “smart” to own a foreign car. People are defined by the car they own.

A letter to the New York Times said tax credits should be given to those who buy cars from the “Big Three.” But public sentiment is heavily against U.S. automakers, GM VP Steve Harris told the Institute for PR.

GM spent $8 million over nine years to Nov. 2008 to have Tiger Woods sell Buicks (average age of purchasers is 68). Derek Jeter continues to help Ford but this pair was no match for all the James Bonds who drove Astin-Martins in 22 movies.

The ad congloms, whose stocks were battered more than most (down 50%+), turned to PR for salvation. WPP’s Martin Sorrell spoke at the Institute for PR on the “renaissance” of PR (who said it had disappeared?). Omincom gave a bevy of hitherto private statistics and even named some of its acquisitions. It listed 32 banks it owes $3.1 billion to.

Sorrell gave a mixed message in appearing at the IPR's signature event. He preached the gospel of “social media” but did not socialize himself. He skipped the cocktail party and dinner and spoke non-stop for 50 minutes without allowing questions. He praised interactivity but did not practice it.

Sorrell is a social butterfly compared to John Wren of OMC who has given four interviews in six years and has taken the annual meeting out of New York five years in a row. We hired reporters in those cities to question Wren but they were rebuffed.

Sorrell and Wren have made life difficult for their many PR operations by not letting them reveal revenues and staff sizes since 2001. More than 200 independent PR operations, meanwhile, document fees and staff every year. Many are up 20% and more. Conglom PR units also miss out on the 12 specialty rankings.

WPP switched to h.q. to Dublin, cancelled its London-traded shares and issued new ones to avoid new U.K. taxes. It even changed its name from WPP Group to WPP. Its annual meetings must now be in Dublin. But the U.K., hit by the downturn, may cancel the taxes and negate the reason for the move.

Sorrell told the Financial Times June 30 that WPP may have acquired too many companies (300+) since it was "difficult" to control the "warring factions."

He also said much corporate PR is focused on internal politics. It could be "argued," he said, that "most of the communication we coordinate for clients is aimed at internal audiences rather than external ones." PR's job is to keep everyone "on message" and make sure no one talks to the press.

The Committee to Protect Journalists, which tracks their murders, in-action fatalities, and persecutions, lists 31 groups that contribute. None are PR.

The PR Society board, dominated in 2008 by members from the South, Southwest and West (13 of the 17) in 2009 will have four new directors from the East-Steve Grant of D.C., Gail Winslow-Pine, Brentwood, N.H., Deborah Silverman, Buffalo, and Lynn Appelbaum, New York.

Appelbaum, of CCNY, is the first NY director since Phil Ryan served in 2004. He was robbed of a regular three-year term by anti-NY politics. Appelbaum is a most reluctant director, only taking the post after two nomination deadlines had passed.

New Yorkers were robbed of use of PRS h.q. by the move downtown in 2005. The chapter office was booted from h.q. in 1992. Non-New Yorkers are exultant that they have taken control of PRS in the so-called "Communications Capital of the World" and the epicenter of East Coast liberalism. It's partly a Red State vs. Blue State thing.

Francis Donofrio, of Bethany, Conn., repped the Tri-State district in 2007-2008 and did nothing to push the unique needs of NYC, whose PR/IR population dwarfs that of any other city. PRS could easily afford a midtown library/info center but staff/OOT directors would block it. PRS/NY, with about 600 members, has not grown in ten years.

The use of a Hunter College class to push the agenda of the Int'l Anticounterfeiting Coalition by using the fake theft of a non-existent Coach handbag enraged some professors and put the spotlight on corporate use of PR classes. Hunter profs wanted students to hear about the labor abuses of Coach as well as those of the counterfeiters.

We wrote about the German Council for PR which publicizes its enforcement activities, says PR is about "dialogue, discourse and debate," and that there is no expiration date on organizational wrong-doing. Maybe we should move to Germany.

“PR for PR” of PRS consisted of chair Jeff Julin telling public figures to obey the PRS Code. He chastised Scott McClellan for admitting he lied in behalf of President Bush and sent copies of the Code Pledge to the Presidential campaign teams, urging them to sign the pledges and stop the mud-slinging. Julin and the board then flung a page of mud at me in the September Tactics.

Both moves backfired. Andrew Cohen of CBS-TV was in stitches over what he said was the equivalent of burglars having a code against stealing. Neither campaign even acknowledged Julin's request. The Denver Business Journal noted that both already had "truth squads" to combat lies.

The Congressional Quarterly noted Julin's quest but started off its article with, "They are called flacks and spin doctors and it's usually not meant in a nice way."

For people who keep telling us to forget the past we are responding with three quotes: "The past is never dead. It's not even past" (Faulkner); "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past" (Fitzgerald), and "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it" (Santayana).

Writing about the financial troubles of newspapers, James Surowiecki said in the New Yorker (12/22) that the audience is to blame. "We want access to everything, we want it now, and we want it for free," he wrote.

The country is in a pretty fix now because U.S. leaders forgot about 1929 and again let Wall Street run amok.

Since those who provide opinions are often attacked, Mark Twain said in "The Privilege of the Grave" (reprinted in 12/22 New Yorker) that the only way to have truly free speech is to publish after death.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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