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Internet Edition, January 28, 2009, Page 1


An RFP to help the federal government attract volunteers and support for service programs like AmeriCorps has extended the deadline for pitches.

The $750K-a-year account will now take pitches through Feb. 6, a two-week extension.

Hill & Knowlton is the incumbent firm but 71 PR agencies and related vendors have expressed an interest in the RFP.

The resulting contract could stretch to five years.

The RFP is at


Mary Young, VP-nutrition at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Assn. for the past 16 years, has moved to Edelman in Chicago as executive VP-food and nutrition communications.

At the NCBA, Young took on health professional education, nutrition programs and communications. She coordinated outreach for the NCBA Policy Center on policy and government relations.

Young was responsible for overall PR strategy and message delivery tactics for advertising.

Before the NCBA, Young was nutrition specialist at University of Chicago Hospitals, and held positions at the American Dietetic Assn. and Society for Nutrition Education Foundation.

She reports to Janet Cabot, Edelman central region president and chief of its U.S. food and nutrition practice.


The National Football League has hired Fleishman-Hillard Government Relations to keep tabs on developments at the Federal Communications Commission.

The FCC has been reffing the NFL Network’s squabbles with cable broadcasters to carry its programming that is now in more than 42M households. That network launched Nov. 4, 2003.

The media bureau of the FCC ruled Dec. 31 in favor of NFL Net in its complaint that Comcast Cable favored its own sports programming.

Former Congressmen Max Sandlin (D-Tex.) and Jim Luther (R-Minn.) are working the NFL account with Mike McSherry, a former deputy political director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee. 

Major League Baseball launched its own network Jan. 1.

That venture with DirecTV, Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Cox Communications is in more than 50M homes.


Schenkein, a Denver firm founded in 1973, told its 10 staffers on Jan. 20 that it is closing down.

Christin Crampton Day, principal and owner of the firm, told O’Dwyer’s that she is becoming an independent consultant ([email protected]; 303/810-8485). Former partner Leanna Clark left Schenkein toward the end of 2008 and six staffers were cut last June.

“I looked at our contracts going into 2009 and the current state of the economy and felt like it was the right thing to do,” Crampton Day told the Denver Post.

The firm has worked with blue-chip clients like Staples, Wal-Mart, First Data Corp., Qwest and Frontier Airlines. Loss of business and budget cuts led to its closure.

Schenkein had more than 30 staffers and $3M in billings at its peak. It was founded by Bob Schenkein as Schenkein/Sherman with Sharon Sherman who sold the firm to Clark and Crampton Day in 2003.


Larry Snoddon, the former CEO of Burson-Marsteller, is now chief of APCO Worldwide’s Asian operations. He takes over for Chris Murck, who assumes the Asia vice chairman post.

Snoddon joined APCO in 2002 from the vice chairman slot at Young & Rubicam. Based in Hong Kong, Snoddon will oversee APCO’s offices including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Bangkok, Hanoi, and others.

Nelson Fernandez replaces Snoddon as managing director of APCO’s New York office. He joined the D.C.-based firm in `05 after a dozen years at B-M.


The 2009 PR Society board that met for the first time Jan. 23-24 is grappling with issues such as whether APR should be removed as a condition of board membership; allowing chapter-only membership and direct student membership, and possibly abolishing the Assembly, replacing it with direct election of board and officers by the 22,000 members.

The nine new directors constitute a majority on the 17-member board. Dave Rickey and Mary Beth West, who were non-voting members of the 2008 board, are not on the 2009 board. There are no such "senior counsels" on the 2009 board.

Although the 1999 Strategic Planning Committee urged the removal of APR as a condition for board service, the topic has never been discussed in the Assembly or on the PRS website or the two PRS publications, Tactics and Strategist.

(Continued on page 7)


Internet Edition, January 28, 2009, Page 2


The American Peanut Council is working with Ogilvy PR (D.C.) and Argyle Communications (Canada) amid an outbreak of salmonella in consumer food products linked to tainted peanut butter.

The APC, the trade group for peanut and peanut product manufacturers, is leading the industry’s communications push as federal authorities trace the extent of tainted peanut butter linked to five deaths.

The APC is also coordinating with the trade group for peanut growers, the National Peanut Board, which is monitoring the situation with its agency, GolinHarris.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control is probing the outbreak among 43 states after more than 480 people have fallen ill and seven have died across the country.

The Food and Drug Administration and the Peanut Council have warned consumers not to eat packaged products like cookies and crackers which contain peanut butter, a potentially disastrous warning for various consumer food companies.

The American Peanut Council, the trade group for growers, manufacturers, and other players in the industry, is stressing that no brands of peanut butter have been linked to the scare, only products that contain peanut butter and peanut paste.

Georgia-based Peanut Corporation of America, which does not sell products directly to the public, is the focus of the outbreak and is recalling its peanut butter and paste.

A container of peanut butter under the King Nut label was found to contain salmonella, but KN noted that it was manufactured by Peanut Corporation.

Dozens of companies and entities from The J.M. Smucker Company and Mars Snackfood to the cookie-peddling Girl Scouts of the USA are scrambling spokespeople and issuing statements to assure consumers that they do not use Peanut Corp. products or ingredients and that their products are safe.

Mars put out a statement with APCO Worldwide listing its products that contain peanut butter – Snickers bars, M&M’s, among others – noting none are sourced from the two suppliers in question.

Others involved in the crisis include firms representing grocery chains, including Rubenstein Associates (Stop & Shop supermarkets) and MWW Group (ALDI).


Brian Farley, who was VP-communications & PA, for the AMB Group has established BDF Assocs. in Atlanta to provide PR counsel, build brands and manage issues.

He had handled PR for the management company of Arthur M. Blank, co-founder of Home Depot and owner of the Atlanta Falcons National Football League team.

Prior to joining Blank in `04, Farley was executive director of communications at Cox Enterprises, supporting its newspaper, TV and cable operations, plus launching and Women's United Soccer Assn., the first female pro soccer league.

Farley also had PR posts at British Telecom, Contel Corp. and Cohn & Wolfe. He can be reached at [email protected] and 404/964-7801.


Apple’s erratic disclosures about the health of CEO Steve Jobs are being examined by the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to Bloomberg News.

Jobs reluctantly issued a surprise statement in January saying he has a hormone imbalance but would remain as CEO while receiving treatment for the “nutritional problem.” A week later, Jobs put out another statement through the company saying that his health issues are more complex than he originally thought and that he would be taking a leave of absence from the company until the end of June.

Bloomberg, which reported last week that Jobs is considering a liver transplant, noted that the SEC review does not mean investigators have found evidence of wrongdoing. Citing an anonymous source, Bloomberg said the SEC wants to ensure investors weren’t misled by the disclosures.

Initial speculation over his health was rampant as photographs of a visibly thinner Jobs last June were circulated in published reports and online.


The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation, a federally supported non-profit that promotes boating and fishing, is transitioning its six-figure PR account to a project basis.

The group is based in Alexandria, Va., and run by a board composed of outdoor industry executives, tourism and public officials.

Rawle Murdy, a South Carolina-based PR firm, won an RFP in October 2007 to handle the group’s $180K account.

Stephanie West, senior communications manager for RBFF, told O’Dwyer’s that the foundation has grown its in-house PR team and no longer requires a full-time retainer with an agency. It has issued a request for bids to identify firms that will work on a project basis.


Bayer Healthcare and Hill & Knowlton are tapping “Generation Y” to market a birth control pill recently approved in Canada.

Lo Bosworth, an actress from “The Hills,” has been enlisted as the public face of the campaign in Canada for Yaz, an oral contraceptive that Bayer says limits traditional birth control and menstrual cycle side-affects like acne, headaches and PMDD, a mood disorder.

In the U.S., the drug was approved by the FDA in 2006 when it was marketed by Berlex, a unit of Schering AG later acquired by Bayer. The FDA later approved its use to limit PMDD and in 2007 okayed Yaz for treatment of acne in oral contraceptive users.

Ogilvy PR Worldwide has worked on Yaz in the U.S. [Bayer was hit with an FDA warning letter in November because the regulator said two TV ads “misleadingly” suggested Yaz is appropriate to treat post-menstrual cycle symptoms.]

Health Canada, that country’s national health agency, gave the nod to Yaz in 2008. H&K and Bayer released a survey last week of so-called Gen Yers that said that demographic wants oral contraception that limits the affects of menstrual cycles.


Internet Edition, January 28, 2009, Page 3


Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim has invested $250M in New York Times Co. to provide some financial breathing room for the company.

Slim’s Banco Inbursa and Inmobiliaria Carso are to receive senior unsecured notes due 2015 with a rate set at 14 percent. Slim’s financial entities control a 6.9 percent in the NYTC.

Arturo Elias, director of IC, says Slim is bullish on the NYT brand, national/international reach, digital offerings and world-class news and information.

The NYTC is using the funding to refinance debt.


Gannett is closing the Tucson Citizen if a buyer can’t be found for the paper by March 21.

The media combine publishes the paper in a joint operating agreement with the Arizona Daily Star, a Lee Enterprises property.

The Citizen, which was founded in 1870, has a circulation of about 20K, while the Star has a circ of more than 110K.

The difficult economy in the southwest makes it “no longer viable” to put out two newspapers in Tucson, according to Bob Dickey, head of Gannett’s U.S. community paper group.

Lee acquired the Star in `05 with the acquisition of Pulitzer.


Embattled Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has turned to Odessa, Fla.-based PR firm The Publicity Agency for media relations.

TPA, headed by former TV news reporter Glenn Selig, is handling media relations for Blagojevich outside of his scope as governor. Selig is Twittering updates on his work with the governor at

Blagojevich was impeached in the Illinois House in early January over charges he allegedly sought compensation in choosing a successor for Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat. He faces ouster by the state senate this week. He said he is boycotting the senate hearings which started on Monday and is instead embarking on a media tour. He appeared on “Good Morning America” on ABC on Jan. 26 and was slated for “The View” and “Larry King Live.”

Illinois media is abuzz over Blagojevich’s hire of Selig’s firm because of its recent representation of Drew Peterson, an Illinois police sergeant named a suspect in the disappearance of his wife.


Belkin International, which makes electronic products to accessorize iPods and computers, is distancing itself from a business development staffer who offered to pay users of an online forum to post positive reviews of Belkin products.

Belkin President Mark Reynoso said in a statement of apology that the tactic was discovered “with great surprise and dismay.” He said the company removed postings from the site, the Amazon Mechanical Turk website, as well as reviews that may have resulted from the payment offer.

“We support our online user community in discussion and reviews of our products, whether the commentary is good or bad,” he said. “Belkin does not participate in, nor does it endorse, unethical practices like this.”

TheDailyBackground, a small progressive blog run by film student Arlen Parsa, came across a post on the AMT website under the name of Mike Bayard offering $.65 cents for every positive review of a Belkin product left on the site.

Bayard’s LinkedIn profile (since removed) identified him as a business development rep for Belkin. His post read: “It doesn’t matter if the reviewer doesn’t own the product or has never tried it. Write as if you own the product and are using it.”

The blog post was quickly picked up by various aggregators fomenting a cyber-crisis for Belkin. The TDB blog also found that Bayard had been posting glowing reviews of Belkin products under various pseudonyms.

Belkin’s PR department is conducting an internal investigation. "We are still investigating the matter, and we will provide more information as soon as it becomes available," Melody Chalaban, PR manager for the company, told O'Dwyer's.

The company, which is privately held, is based in Los Angeles. Its products range from MP3 player and laptop cases and accessories to Internet routers.


Meredith Corporation posted second-quarter revenue of $366M, in-line with expectations excluding a $16M charge for cutting 250 employees and reorganizing.

Meredith said that charge also included the closure of Country Home magazine in March 2009 and relocation of creative functions for RedyMade and to Des Moines, Iowa.

Second-quarter revenue was down from 2008's 2Q of $396M. For the first half of fiscal 2009, the company has posted revenue of $737M, off from $800 in 2008. President and CEO Stephen Lacy said advertising revenues across its businesses continue to be "significantly" affected. He noted integrated marketing, brand licensing and video production are growing, and that magazine readership and circulation response rates are up for several national publications.

Operating expenses declined 2.6 percent during the quarter.

The Wall Street Journal evacuated two floors of its Manhattan headquarters building Jan. 21 after staffers received a dozen envelopes containing white powder in the mail. The envelopes were postmarked in Tennessee and were addressed by hand. One was sent to managing editor Robert Thomson and opened by his assistant, according to a report posted on the WSJ website.

The New York City police department and officials of the city’s Dept. of Environmental Protection probed the incident.

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, January 28, 2009, Page 4


The Washington Post Co. has launched, including profiles of politicos and staff from the White House, Congress and various branches of government. The Post, which says the site is aimed to “demystify” the individuals behind the policy-making process, hopes to expand the site to include state officials, think tanks and interest groups.

The site also has a blog, “The Plum Line,” about D.C. insiders and news about political appointments written by Greg Sargent.

The Post said it plans to eventually accept user-suggested additions and revisions to WRG entries and deems the endeavor a “moderated collaboration.”


Washington lobbyist Gerald Cassidy, the king of "earmarks," is subject of "So Much Damn Money: The Triumph of Lobbying and the Corrosion of American Government" written by Robert Kaiser, associate editor of Washington Post.

The Cassidy & Associates chief is portrayed as a "true self-made man who dragged himself up from the depths of poverty to create an innovative business that has made him an immensely wealthy man," according to a review in the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Wall Street Journal calls Red Hook, Brooklyn-born Cassidy, something "straight out of a Horatio Alger novel." The "twists and turns in Cassidy’s career make for engrossing reading" notes the WSJ.

His genius was to scour the Federal Register and Congressional Record to look for highly specific appropriations suited for clients able to foot his bill.

In 1976, Tufts University wanted to build a nutrition center, and Cassidy learned of a law authorizing such a facility. Cassidy approached then-Speaker Tip O’Neill and Congress appropriated a $27M grant for the nutrition center.

That led to Cassidy business from Georgetown, Boston University, Colombia, University of California and Catholic University, according to a Washington Post review.

In order to line the schools up, Cassidy paid "well-respected academics 10 percent of the profit for each recruit." Kaiser wrote that Cassidy "found a way to put a toll booth on a very lucrative highway."

Corporate clients soon realized how "skillful Cassidy was at getting Congress to direct funds to specific projects, and they became his clients, too," noted the WP.

The "cash started coming in" to Cassidy when Congress expanded the school lunch program and the lobbyist got clients Nabisco, General Mills and Pillsbury a piece of the action.

Cassidy is "by no means an easy character: He is portrayed as possessing a ferocious temper, and Kaiser notes instances of misbehavior toward his colleagues. But none of these misdeeds would stand out in a corporate setting," said the Chronicle.

The Post adds that Cassidy is "not a smooth talker," and appears shy and reticent. He succeeded because he found an "unexplored niche: getting multimillion-dollar funding for university building projects through the use of specifically targeted Congressional spending, known popularity as earmarks.

The book is expanded from a 27-part online Washington Post series titled "Citizen K Street."

The Chronicle says Kaiser’s book "does a masterly job of showing the damage cause by the booming lobbying industry and the flood of money into and out of Washington."


Burson-Marsteller’s Chile office is providing local media support for Wal-Mart as the top retailer moves to acquire Chile’s largest food retailer, Distribucion y Servicio D&S.

Wal-Mart began a tender offer in late December which closed on Jan. 22 and resulted in a stake of nearly 60 percent for Wal-Mart.

D&S posted net revenue of $3.8 billion in 2007. The 52-year-old company, based in Santiago, where B-M’s Chile operation also is located, counts 180 stores, 10 shipping centers and 85 financial services branches.

Wal-Mart has a global procurement office in Santiago and exports Chilean products to the U.S. and elsewhere. Craig Herkert, Wal-Mart Executive Vice President and CEO of the Americas, noted Chile’s growth as a global source for seafood, fruits and vegetables.

Chile is South America’s fifth-largest economy.

Briefs _______________________

BusinessWeek has redesigned its “Personal Business” section in print and online starting with the Jan. 26-Feb. 2 double-issue.

The section has been organized to include six key features: “Money Report,” a digest of the week’s developments affecting personal finance; “How to Play It,” a deeper look at trends affecting investment; “Life Management,” a guide to retirement, insurance, tax planning and other topics; “Investing,” and “Inside Wall Street,” analysis of specific companies by columnist Gene Marcial.

Editor-in-chief Stephen Adler said the “difficult economic times” led the publication to provide an expanded personal finance section.

Time Inc. said it is putting its Southern Living at Home direct-selling unit up for sale.

The eight-year-old company, created from the magazine of the same name, uses 25K consultants to take “Southern Living” style (and products) to home parties throughout the country.

Time Inc. executive VP Sylvia Auton said the “difficult economy” has sparked an evaluation of all publishing and commercial activities.

Ed McCarrick, former president and worldwide publisher at Time Inc., has joined Icon International as executive VP-media partnerships. Icon is a unit of Omnicom involved in the corporate barter business.

Internet Edition, January 28, 2009, Page 5


Cleveland firm Edward Howard scrambled into action earlier this month when client Cardinal Fastener & Specialty found out it was being eyed by then-President-elect Obama's transition team.

CF&S got word four days before the visit would occur on Jan. 16 that Obama would tour the plant and give a speech to employees on his economy recovery plan. Several logistical issues arose – Secret Service and local law enforcement coordination, seating, elected officials attending – not the least of which was that the company needed to finish and ship all orders before shutting down production for the visit. And it all had to be done without confirming to anyone that the President-elect would be coming.

The company, led by president John Grabner, was told to expect more than 130 reporters, not including the 30-person media pool that followed Obama everywhere, and six live satellite trucks. Grabner called in Edward Howard, which it had worked with six months earlier.

EH's CEO Kathy Obert told Grabner in an email that the PR opportunity was unparalleled. “This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for you and for Cardinal, perhaps the single best opportunity to tell your story that you'll ever have," she wrote.

Five EH staffers were onsite the next morning, Jan. 14, two days before Obama's arrival. An empty room was converted into a PR warroom, and EH got to work on media training for executives and employees, coordination with transition PR staffers, preparing remarks for the employee chosen to introduce Obama, building an online press room for the company, and arranging photography and videography.

The results reported by EH include 22K news articles from outlets like the the Plain Dealer, Crain’s Cleveland Business, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, MSNBC, ABC News, Associated Press, Bloomberg, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and CNN.


Cherry Hill, N.J.-based Lubetkin Communications' podcast production unit, Professional Podcasts LLC, said it is expanding a two-year initiative with Chicago-based client CCIM Institute that will nearly double the number of Internet-based audio programs produced.

CCIMI is an affiliate of the National Association of Realtors for commercial real estate investment professionals. Lubetkin has been producing an investment trends quarterly podcast for CCIM and partner Real Estate Research Corp. since 2007. Other CCIM programs were added to its podcast line-up last year and the client plans to produce a "significantly larger" number of programs in 2009.

"The response to the programs Professional Podcasts has been producing has been tremendous, and this renewed arrangement underscores our belief that podcasting is a very cost-effective way for us to provide important information about our capabilities and expertise," said Edward Bury, senior director of public relations for CCIM Institute.

Podcasts are at and


New York Area

Rubenstein PR, New York/Destiny, 65-square-mile “eco-sustainable” city south of Orlando, Fla., for launch PR. It is considered the largest “green-planned” development in the U.S.

Carolyn Izzo Integrated Communications, New York/
Grupo Ultrafemme, collective brand for jewelry and fragrance designers in Mexico, as AOR for PR.

The Morris + King Company, New York/pingg, online invitation creation and event management site, as AOR for PR.


Greenough Communications, Boston/EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge, as AOR for PR following an RFP process. The U.S. Dept. of Energy and General Motors are among the sponsors of the three-year competition to redesign a car to minimize emissions and energy consumption. Strat@comm previously handled the six-figure account.

Jones Public Affairs, Washington, D.C./Coalition for Patients’ Rights, healthcare professionals group, as AOR to provide comms. support, message development, media relations and issues management. CPR was set up in 2006 to counter efforts by the American Medical Association to limit the scope of practice by licensed healthcare professionals.

Environics Communications, Washington, D.C./
ProLiteracy, non-profit focused on adult literacy, for PR.

Ogilvy PR Worldwide, Washington, D.C./The Lance Armstrong Foundation, Austin, Tex., for PR to support the LIVESTRONG campaign. Offices in London, Paris, Mexico City, Syndey, Milan and Brussels and Johannesburg will work on the account. Shepardson Stern + Kaminsky previously handled PR for the foundation. Armstrong recently came out of retirement from professional cycling.

Andria Mitsakos PR, Miami/Elegant Hotels Group, five Caribbean hotels and resorts, and Synchrony, The Luxury Yacht Partnership, for PR.


Marx Layne & Company, Farmington Hills, Mich./
Franklin Wind Energy Group, as AOR for PR, including media relations, social media, graphic design, advertising, collateral and web development. The firm has also picked up AOR duties for Detroit’s Winter Blast, a three-day festival produced by Jonathan Witz & Associates.


Vollmer PR, Houston/Turner & Townsend, construction consultancy; BearingPoint; The Art Institutes, and Sheila Aron, author of “I’m Glad I’m Me,” for PR. In New York, the firm has picked up work for the ASPCA; Hannah Storm Foundation, and Erik Fisher, PhD. Vollmer/Houston adds Constant Care; The LaSalle Group, and SulphCo as clients, while Austin signed on The Hyatt Regency; Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar; Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Assn., and Wonders & Worries.


Driven Media Communications, Temecula, Calif./, pricing and market research on used cars, for PR.

Internet Edition, January 28, 2009, Page 6


Companies and institutions have been putting increased emphasis on internal communications in recent years, helping the International Association of Business Communicators to post membership gains of 9% in both 2005 and 2006 and gains of 7% and 7.5% in 2007 and 2008, respectively.

Membership as of Dec. 31, 2008 was 16,189, including 866 students. IABC, the successor organization to groups that used the term “industrial editors,” will be 40 years old in 2010.

Barbara Gibson, chair of IABC who is CEO of SpokesComm in the U.K., said that while the association has benefited from the added value being given to organizational communication, IABC has instituted many programs to help members in their jobs.

The San Francisco-based group has extensive programs that train volunteer leaders and has also worked at expanding membership abroad. Affiliate agreements with other organizations are also helping to boost membership, she said.

“Staff and volunteer leaders have been providing great programs, improving our governance structure and processes, listening to our members and helping them to connect with each other, refining our strategy and branding, and supporting chapters and regions,” said Gibson.

“As chair,” she continued, “I’ve had the opportunity to meet with chapters around the world and there’s a consistent, welcoming culture that people want to be part of. It’s the people who make IABC special.”

Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP, told the Institute for PR Nov. 5, 2008 that “most of the communication we coordinate for our clients is aimed at internal audiences rather than external ones.”

The IABC list of member benefits, Gibson said, emphasizes networking and sharing of experiences. The 108 chapters provide face-to-face networking including social outings, educational seminars, special interest groups, and local job banks, she noted.

Julie Freeman has been president of IABC since 2001, heading a staff of 34.

There were financial problems at IABC starting in 1999-2000 when it experimented with a website called “TalkingBusinessNow” that was later abandoned. However, the group has been in the black several years and its 2007 audit showed net assets at the end of the year were $680,576.

Revenues for ’07 were $5,805,118, an increase of $48,789 from the previous year. Expenses rose to $5,625,422 from $5,367,381, resulting in an increase in net assets of $180,696. IABC, like the AMA, ABA, ASAE and many other trade and professional groups, defers about half of its dues income as unearned at the time of the financial report. Dues income was $2,828,186 in 2007 and $1,641,158 is entered on the balance sheet as “deferred revenue” under the liabilities section.

About 75% of IABC’s members are female and 44% work for corporations; 12% in non-profit; 11% in PR/communications firms; 6% in government/military; 5% in own practices; 5% in management consultants, and 5% in educational institutions.



Frank Gelman, COO for Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications’ New York office, to Propheta Communications, New York, as a senior consultant. Gelman held the RB post for seven years after founding his own firm, Frank Gelman Public Strategies. He was formerly a partner at travel PR firm David Kruter Associates.

Peter Collins, senior VP of Fleishman-Hillard, to Steinreich Communications, Hackensack, N.J., as VP of media relations. He was formerly senior VP and director of media relations at Dorland Global PR and Rowland Communications.

Edward Hoover, manager of public affairs, Burson-Marsteller, to Gibraltar Associates, Washington, D.C., as a VP. He was in Australia, D.C., Dallas and Austin for B-M and was previously with BSMG Worldwide. Benjamin Schneider, senate leadership reporter for National Journal Group’s CongressDaily, has joined Gibraltar as an associate.

Tim Carroll, marketing and PR manager, Commerce City, to Pure Brand Communications, Denver, to handle comm. strategy development and client counsel.

Cindy Pino, to director of PR, Q ad | pr, Las Vegas. She was formerly head of Edelman’s multicultural division in Chicago and worked at DeVries in N.Y.


Kelly Doria to director of PR for online investment firm Scottrade, St. Louis. She is a former reporter for the Springfield News-Leader.

Jeff Zilka to general manager of Edelman’s financial and investor relations unit in Chicago. He joined the firm in 2002 as a deputy GM.

Kristin Calandro Tyll to account director, Strat@comm, Troy, Mich. She joined in 2003 and manages work for the Alumni Association of the Univ. of Michigan and has worked on the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. She also worked in-house at Chrysler for the firm from 2005-08. Karah Street has been upped to senior A/E. She handles BBK and automotive supplier Valeo and joined the firm in 2007.

Andrea Goodall to A/S, Risdall McKinney PR, New Brighton, Minn. She joined in October.

Denise Dixon Leach and Martine Larson to counselors at Carmichael Lynch Spong, Minneapolis. Dixon Leach joined in November 2005 and handles Cargill Salt, Hasbro Games and SUPERVALU. Larson signed on in October ’07 and works on American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning and Jack Link’s Beef Jerky.


Larry Meyer, senior communications officer for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in Miami, will retire after 14 years on Feb. 1. He was named VP and secretary of the journalism advocacy organization in 2004. He was formerly executive assistant to the publisher at the Miami Herald and was a reporter and editor at the Fort Myers News-Press, Columbia Missourian and Hannibal (Mo.) Courier Post.


Internet Edition, January 28, 2009, Page 7

NEW PRS BOARD GRAPPLES (Cont’d from page 1)

Rickey, who was first appointed as task force chair on bylaws rewrite by 2004 president Del Galloway, with orders to complete the task by the end of 2005, told this NL last week that the new bylaws would be ready for the Assembly in San Diego Nov. 15.

Proposed bylaws are now being reviewed by the task force, e-groups, and the board and there will be "plenty of opportunity for every member to discuss them," he said.

He would not give a timetable for discussions by members and would not say whether one bylaw change at a time would be discussed or all of them at once.
Some members want not only the elimination of the APR rule for directors but also the requirement that candidates have held various leadership positions in PRS.

Members who have headed large corporate PR depts. or major PR firms should be able to run for PRS officer posts regardless of how many PRS committees they served on, say critics of the current process for electing officers and board members.

Basing officer and board eligibility on PRS activities has led to a string of solo practitioners as Society elected heads who had not achieved leadership posts in the business world, say critics.

Assembly a ‘Doormat’ of the Board

PRS/Central Michigan said in 2006 that the Assembly had become "a doormat" of the board. The chapter proposed giving the Assembly the power of "ultimate authority" over PRS policies and practices, saying this power resided in similar bodies for the American Bar Assn. and American Medical Assn. None of the other 108 PRS chapters supported the proposal.

Other Reforms and Proposals Listed

—Allow chapter-only memberships which would cause explosion at chapters and eventual increase in national memberships.

—Direct staff to hire numerous PR pros, a demand voiced by 1997 president Debra Miller.

—Allow direct student membership. Students from 3,700 colleges can't join PRS since membership is limited to the 290 colleges that have PRSS chapters. This was proposed in 2002 by 2002 president Joann Killeen and others.

—Rescind the bylaw that gives board powers to the executive committee. PRS/Miami said in 2005 this would make "eunuchs" of the board.

—End boycott against O'Dwyer Co. that was announced in September PR Tactics. Allow O'Dwyer ads in Tactics and PRS website and allow an O'Dwyer staffer to join PRS.

New Directors Listed

The nine new directors and their employers are (alphabetically):

Prof. Lynn Appelbaum, City College of New York
Kathy Barbour, Mayo Clinic
Steve Grant, National Education Assn.
Catherine Huggins, Western & Southern Financial
Don Kirchoffner, Kirchoffner Consultants
Gail Liebl, Travelers
Gary McCormick, Scripps Networks
Prof. Deborah Silverman, Buffalo State College
Gail Winslow-Pine, Catholic Medical Center

Administrative Changes Listed

New procedures and practices that members have sought include:

—Create a searchable PRS website. Current site has three "search engines" that do not live up to that definition.

—Open bulletin board that entire membership can take part in to discuss bylaws changes and other issues.

—Post 990 IRS report and full audit on the web as PDFs. Stop charging members $3 for audit via the mail.

—Reform financial reporting to match standards set by AMA, ABA, AICPA, ASAE, IABC, etc. Defer about half of dues income; report true staff cost of conference; put debt owed on 13-year lease on balance sheet; return administrative costs to 13 categories.

—Ditch computer APR exam, a proven flop since it has created only 550 new APRs in five years. Go back to testing creativity, writing skills.

—Post on PRS website for discussion, starting now, possible bylaw changes. These have been kept secret since Dave Rickey was named at the end of 2004 to head a governance reform committee. Work was to have been completed at the end of 2005.

Delegate Questioned Julin on Governance

Julin had told the Jan. 15 teleconference at its start that one of his goals for the 2008 Assembly was to see "what else besides talk about bylaws" could be accomplished by the Assembly.

A delegate, at the near end of the one-hour call, then asked Julin whether he and the board "want to remove governance responsibilities from the Assembly?"

Julin responded: "Right, we're looking at how we could blend those because they're…" did not get the rest of the quote because it was cut off. The website thought that the PRS hour was over and that must have been the reason.

However, Yann said in an e-mail Jan. 18 that was mistaken about the reason for the cutoff. He said PRS discovered that an O'Dwyer phone number was listening into the call and that was the reason for the cutoff.

"No member of the O'Dwyer organization was invited to participate on the call" and it was an "unauthorized listener," said Yann.

This NL noted that Jack O'Dwyer and any reporter was allowed to attend the Assembly and that, logically, any reporter should be allowed to listen to the Assembly follow-up call for additional issues that might be raised. especially since there was no time for a "town hall."

This NL has also asked Yann to obtain the rest of the Julin quote on whether Julin and the board want to "remove governance responsibilities from the Assembly." So far, Yann has not responded to this. Julin's policy throughout 2008 was to respond to neither phone calls or e-mails from this NL.

Jack O'Dwyer was interviewed for the latest edition of “For Immediate Release,” a podcast series by Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz. O’Dwyer discussed the history of the O’Dwyer Company and several issues facing the PR field.



Internet Edition, January 28, 2009, Page 8




PR’s key question-whether to respond to a negative news story and possibly provide “oxygen” to the fire, or whether to cut and run-are considered in “Where’s My Fifteen Minutes” by Hollywood PR pro Howard Bragman.

He’s a founder of Bragman Nyman Cafarelli, Los Angeles, a unit of Interpublic. BNC and sister company PMK/HBH make up what may be the largest celebrity-oriented collection of PR firms under one roof. But IPG does not allow any of its PR units to provide revenue or staff figures. The two firms above do not provide account lists although they represent many of the biggest stars.

Bragman, who has been in Fifteen Minutes, his own firm, since 2005, attacks PR’s thorny problem in a chapter entitled “Press Agentry, Suppress Agentry and Oppress Agentry.” Press agentry involves “outrageousness, creativity and appealing to the media's sense of fun,” while suppress agentry is blocking or reducing coverage of a story. Oppress agentry is “going after any individual for any reason” because he or she is “saying or doing something dangerous and destructive to your client's image or career.”

The key to oppress agentry, says Bragman, is that “sometimes you have to come out swinging. But when you do, you can't let your opponent off the mat.”

An example he gives was a campaign to discredit comedienne Roseanne Barr more than ten years ago when she sued her talent agency, Triad, charging its “packaging” of TV shows was illegal. Barr was portrayed as disloyal to people who helped her including her own sister. Barr’s own words “were used against her.”

Bragman, asked by this NL how a PR pro decides whether to “face the music” or “cut and run,” said that it's a “judgment call” involving extensive knowledge of the issue at hand, the major players, how the media reacts and what PR can do.

His book says that “if someone’s doing a negative story about you, freedom of the press does not mean that you have to talk to them.”

“If the media is concocting a damaging story about you, things may be much worse if you cooperate with the media,” he warns in the book. He finds it hard to believe that “people who have done something wrong willingly participate in stories on expose shows like ‘60 Minutes.’”

“Anytime you cooperate with the media, the story will be long and juicier,” he writes. One alternative is responding with a “statement.”

As an example, he notes that Floyd Landis, who lost his 2006 Tour de France victory after he failed a drug test, went on TV but was “ill-prepared.” His ineptitude with the press “served to seal the fate of public opinion against him,” wrote Bragman.

He is particularly careful about talking to “tabloids” such as the National Enquirer and the Weekly World News or online “tabloids” like and

Whether the new PR Society board (page one) will be one of action or non-action will soon become apparent.

The main issue, despite the smokescreen of the past four years that the “entire bylaws” needs a “re-write,” is wresting control from the APR “leaders” who worked their way up the ladder via titles at chapters, sections and districts. This has resulted in nine of the presidents/chairs since 1996 being solo practitioners; two others from small firms (Jeff Julin and Mike Cherenson); two from corporate (Mary Lynn Cusick and Debra Miller, educational administrator), and one with a big PR firm background (Kathy Lewton).

The “worker bees” have deluded themselves into thinking they’re “queen bees” with disastrous results for PRS. The temporary worker bee leaders allow themselves to be swatted away by full time staffers at h.q. so that there are virtually no PR pros available to do a “PR for PR” program. That’s only the beginning of the abuses that have been rampant because of weak elected leaders who have no staffs of their own and are beholden to the full-timers.

It could also be that the nature of PR pros is at work here. They mostly work with words and are not people of action. They advise others what to do. Sometimes they are kept “out of the loop” on their jobs to provide them with deniability. When they reach the board, they can claim they really don't know too much about PRS/national and better wait till they “get their feet wet.” Bold, decisive action is not the way they make their livings.

One big test is whether they let us join or not and whether they let us advertise or not. There's nothing to study there.

We’re reminded of the Overseas Press Club which lost its 11-story New York building in the 1960s because of poor financial controls. Reporters had only paid $600K for the building which is now worth upwards of $15M. But reporters, with few exceptions, aren't businesspeople, are they?

Mike Cherenson is turning out to be one of the most talkative of PRS leaders in recent years. He was on Jan. 21 describing PR as “building relationships” and saying that PR pros should study all known sources of information about PR because “knowledge is power…make yourself the most knowledgeable practitioner you can.” He was interviewed by Brandy Shapiro-Babin, co-founder of WebmasterRadio. It has a special area for PR. Cherenson, who previously revealed he is a twin, now reveals that his twin is his sister, which clears up the question of whether his twin is identical. There is as yet no name for her nor for his three children although we are told their ages (9, 7, 4). Mrs. Cherenson has yet to appear. The “First Family of PR” is making a gradual entrance. Since Cherenson believes that PR pros must know every possible thing about PR, we asked him how can he and PRS justify its refusal to carry ads for the five O’Dwyer news/information products? He has yet to answer any of the 31 questions we sent him nearly two weeks ago.

Since Cherenson is so active in podcasts and blogs, we are following him. We were interviewed for 40 minutes on where Cherenson had appeared earlier this month. Interviewers Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson wanted our definition of PR which we said was three words: “Answering press questions.” We said it could do a lot of other things but that was its “duty.” Asked about corporate PR, we said it had mostly disappeared 30 years ago when “corporate communications” replaced PR as the title of choice. Even PR Seminar dropped the PR, we noted. “PR,” meaning creativity and press relations, shifted to the agencies just like corporate ad depts. were closed in the 1950s and 60s in favor of agencies. Corporate communication has become a highly disciplined activity. Not only lawyers but the IR dept. must vet any communication for the possibility that it is "material" (may affect the price of the stock). Marketing and HR also have a say as do any executives involved.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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