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Internet Edition, February 4, 2009, Page 1


California is reviewing its $5M a year recycling communications account, drawing a crowd of firms to an informational session last month.

The Golden State is required by law to put the PR, public affairs and public service advertising pact out for bids every three years. Los Angeles-based Riester won the last review in 2006 and is the incumbent.

Forty-seven firms attended an informational meeting about the RFP on Jan. 14, including PR firms Edelman, GolinHarris, Ogilvy, Cohn & Wolfe, Weber Shandwick, MWW Group and Fleishman-Hillard, among others.

The state expects to award a one-year, $5M contract with two year-long options. Riester is in its third year and its contract ends June 30.

Elements of the work in the past have included development of a recycling starter kit (more than 70K have been distributed) and a PR campaign encouraging people to recycle plastic water bottles that drew heavy media interest in the state and pushed up recycling rates.

The state hopes to get its overall recycling rate above 80 percent, a level not reached since the 1990s. The RFP is at


Richard Wolff, who was founding CEO of Huntsworth’s Global Consulting Group, has moved to Gavin Anderson & Co. as executive chairman of North America.

He is credited with guiding the GCG’s merger with Grayling in `08, a move that doubled the size of the corporate communications, IR and PA unit.

Prior to joining Huntsworth, Wolff was worldwide managing director for financial communications at GolinHarris. He began a PR career at Kekst & Co., where he was a partner for a dozen years.


Dan Nelson, VP & chief of its Washington, D.C. office, is stepping down April 1 following more than three decades of service to the world’s biggest energy company.

CEO Rex Tillerson says Nelson served Exxon “at a time of unprecedented public interest in energy issues.”

Nelson’s final duties may be fending off Democrats who are eager to slap a windfall profits tax on the energy companies.

Tillerson last week reported that Exxon earned a record $45B in `08 profit, up 11 percent from the year earlier period.


MWW Group has signed on as Washington rep for the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority, which is guiding the post-Katrina reconstruction of that city.

NORA says it is sole agency with the legislative authority and capacity to implement comprehensive neighborhood revitalization plans.

Katrina and the flood left 100,000 homes in the Crescent City uninhabitable and thousands of others in need of renovation or demolition.

MWW’s team includes Marilyn Berry Thompson, the veteran lobbyist of more than 40 years of experience who joined MWW with its acquisition of Jorden Burt a year ago. She was New Jersey’s federal representative during the rule of three governors.


Ousted Merrill Lynch chief John Thain engaged Sunshine Sachs & Assocs. in the wake of his rocky departure from Bank of America.

Thain, a former Goldman Sachs and New York Stock Exchange executive, took over Merrill Lynch in 2008 and stepped down after steep losses at the investment bank, which was acquired by Bank of America last year.

After criticism that he redecorated his Merrill office at a cost of more than $1 million, Thain apologized last month and said he would reimburse his former company.

He also is firing back at BoA management, saying it knew all along of the hefty bonuses that were going to be paid to ML staffers.

Bloomberg News reported that Thain first approached Rubenstein Associates.


The Idaho Dept. of Commerce has decided not to tender a PR contract worth up to $200K to Development Counsellors International and said it will take another look at in-state firms.

Thirteen firms submitted proposals for the economic development pact. The DoC said seven applicants were based in the state.

“The intent letter sent to DCI is being withdrawn, and we will be negotiating exclusively with Idaho firms using Idaho talent for the Idaho Department of Commerce’s public relations needs,” said DoC director Don Dietrich.

The Idaho Business Review said three local firms came close to winning the contract. They were Red Sky PR, Scott Peyron & Associates and Gallatin Public Affairs.

(Continued on page 7)


Internet Edition, February 4, 2009, Page 2


The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage has a $25K a-month contract with Leslee Dart’s 42West to extend outreach to the U.S. entertainment community about the Arab state’s effort to become a cultural regional hub.

ADACH outlined a four-year strategic plan in `08 to enhance and develop cultural and artistic infrastructure of the Emirate. It specifically wants to promote cultural activities such as cinema, theater, music, art and lectures.

The Authority seeks to enrich “intellectual production” and “expose Arab and Islamic heritage on a national and regional scale.”

42West is working to bolster the profile of ADACH’s “The Circle,” a government initiative to transform Abu Dhabi into a filmmaking and new media hub.

Dart has promoted films such as Martin Scorsee’s “The Departed,” Paul Thomas Anderson’s “There Will Be Blood,” Mike Nichols’ “Charlie Wilson’s War,” and the Coen brothers’ “No Country for Old Men.”


Michael Wong is the new pharma/biotech practice leader at Santa Barbara-based Davies.

In a 20-year career, Wong has counseled drug and biotech companies such as Bayer, Merck, Medtronic, Boehringer Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis.

His PR firm experience stems from stints at Fleishman-Hillard, Ruder Finn and most recently GCI Group, where he was healthcare practice leader. Wong also worked as PR director at Abbott.

Brandon Edwards, COO of Davies, says Wong was hired because the pharma/biotech sectors require a “desperate need of fresh thinking and new strategies.”

Davies, which has a staff of 50, maintains offices in Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Washington, D.C.


Two firms are counseling opposite sides in the attempted $2 billion takeover offer of Terra Industries, a major producer of nitrogen and phosphate for the global fertilizer industry.

Brunswick Group is working with CF Industries Holdings, a rival of Terra which proposed an all-stock acquisition of Terra on Jan. 15.

Terra, which has hired Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher, said its board has unanimously rejected that overture because it “substantially undervalues” the company.

Terra’s board also said in a letter to CF’s board it made public that “we are perplexed by your decision to make a public approach that is conditioned on and subject to due diligence.”

CF argued in announcing its offer that the combined companies would form a stronger, more competitive global player. The company said it went public with its offer because of the significance of the proposal and the potential for “selective disclosures.”

In its initial letter announcing the offer, CF noted that Terra first approached the company several years ago about a combination.


Stanton Communications has won a two-month RFP process to guide PR for Maryland’s Office of Tourism Development.

The state previously handled all U.S. PR internally but a desire to increase its level of activity led to the October solicitation.

Maryland does have retainer PR firms in the U.K. and Germany.
Stanton’s Washington, D.C., office will handle the contract, which could stretch to two years and $140K with an option.

Goals for the account include outreach to media, consumers and travel agents to boost the Old Line State on the tourism radar.

The OTD also wants to increase traffic to its travel hotline and website,

The average visitor stay in Maryland is less than two nights and average spending is a tick over $300. Both numbers have been flagged for improvement with an expanded PR program.


Publicis Groupe’s Kekst & Co. is handling the Chapter XI filing of packaging giant Smurfit-Stone Container Corp., which registered for bankruptcy in the U.S. and Canada on Jan. 26.

The Wall Street Journal noted S-SCC’s business is closely tied to consumer spending as its products range from television to pizza boxes.

Patrick Moore, CEO of the Chicago-based company, said his business hit the skids in October as customers moved to “preserve precious cash.”

Moore believes “burdensome debt levels” has hindered S-SCC from benefiting from its “three-year transformation program.”

The company has secured financing of $750M to enable it to continue operations under Chapter 11.

S-SCC earned $6M during the first nine-months of `08 compared to a $156M year earlier loss.

Kekst partners Michael Freitag and Andrea Calise work to reorg.


Rachel Miller, who was director of federal affairs for BP America, is now in charge of energy and environment at Capitol Solutions.

At the British petroleum giant, Miller worked on its high profile efforts regarding carbon issues and global warming.

Prior to joining BP, Miller was staffer for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), focusing on transportation, energy and agriculture. She led Feinstein’s effort to increase vehicle fuel standards and promote energy efficiency.

CS was founded in 1998 as a bipartisan shop led by Dan Tate, former special assistant for White House legislative affairs and deputy assistant secretary for legislative affairs in the Dept. of Energy during the Clinton Administration, and David Taylor, advisor to former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole and associate director of Office of Management and Budget in the first Bush White House.


Internet Edition, February 4, 2009, Page 3


Online readership rose 16 percent for the top 10 newspaper websites on a year-over-year basis from December 2007-08, according to Nielsen Online.

The New York Daily News site posted the largest gain among newspapers from December ’07-08, registering a 99 percent change to record more than 5.8M unique visitors by Dec. ’08. The News bested its archrival New York Post online by about 1.3M readers. was the second biggest gainer with a 73 percent jump to just under eight million unique visitors.

The New York Times Company properties and were the worst performers based on new unique visitors, although remains the most trafficked newspaper site by a wide margin. posted a meager six percent rise to top 40M visitors and dropped six percent with about 4M uniques.

Nielsen noted that not only are more people visiting newspaper sites but they are perusing more often than a year ago. Overall, the number of total visits was up 27 percent between ’07-08 at the top 10 sites. In total, 252M sessions were recorded on the sites in December 2008.

Unique Visitors to Top 10
Newspaper Sites Dec. 2008
% Change
from ‘07 (Chronicle)



Source: Nielsen    


News Corp.’s Fox Interactive Media is cutting staff by about five percent (100 people) as part of cost-cutting efforts at the home of MySpace and other Internet sites.

Dani Dudeck, spokesperson for MySpace, said the site is “constantly aligning” its business and resources to focus on core strategic initiatives.

Though cutting staff in some places, MySpace is beefing up its business development and music efforts, according to Dudeck.


Alexander Lebedev, 49, is buying London’s Evening Standard, a venerable but money-losing paper. The price is one pound with assumption of a pile of debt.

He told CNN the Evening Standard is a “good newspaper” put together by “brilliant journalists.”

It was one of the papers that Lebedev read while he worked as a spy in London at the Soviet embassy in the '80s. The Financial Times, Guardian and Daily Mail were other required reading by Lebedev.

The billionaire owns Novaya Gazeta, an independent Russian newspaper that is an opponent of Prime Minister Putin.

An NG journalist was gunned down on the streets of Moscow earlier in January when she tried to stop the fatal shooting of a Russian human rights activists.


Sandra Lee, star of Food Network’s “Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade program” is launching a bimonthly for busy homemakers who want to stretch time and resources.

As editor-in-chief of Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade, Lee promises a resource with “great do-able ideas that are aspirational, attainable and affordable.”

The bulk of the magazine will focus on food/entertainment with the remainder on home, gardening, crafts and lifestyle.

Lee’s semi-homemade idea translates that “anyone at any skill level can combine 70 percent of ready-made products with 30 percent fresh ingredients, and creative touches allowing the end user to take 100 percent credit that looks, tastes and feels like it was made from scratch.”

Hoffman Media is publishing the magazine that is being promoted by Dan Klores Communications.


Celebrity columnist James Brady died Jan. 27 at his Manhattan home. He was 80.

The former Marine lieutenant began his journalism career at Women's Wear Daily after returning from combat in Korea. He became Fairchild Publications' Capitol Hill reporter in 1956 and then moved to London and Paris.

In 1964, Brady returned to New York, taking the publisher slot at WWD. Hearst Magazines recruited Brady in 1971, making him VP/editor & publisher of Harper's Bazaar.

Rupert Murdoch hired Brady in '74 to edit The Star. Brady went on to become vice chairman of Murdoch's U.S. operations, editor of New York and creator of the New York Post's "Page Six" gossip page.

Brady did celebrity interviews on WCBS-TV and hosted "power lunches" at the Four Seasons for CNBC.

He wrote columns for Crain's New York, Advertising Age, and penned a piece for Parade before he died. His last Parade column, which features Kevin Bacon, is set to run Feb. 15.

Walter Anderson, Parade CEO, announced Brady's death, remembering him as a "towering figure in American journalism."

Brady, a Bronze Star winner, wrote "The Coldest War," which was published in `90 and nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. He also wrote "The Marine," "Why Marines Fight" and "The Scariest Place in the World," an account of his return to North Korea.

Brady had just finished "Hero of the Pacific: The Life of Legendary Marine John Basilone," a WWII hero who will be featured in the Steven Spielberg/Tom Hanks HBO mini-series, The Pacific," that will air in October.

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, February 4, 2009, Page 4


Pastor Rick Warren, author of “The Purpose Driven Life,” is getting into the magazine business with Reader's Digest Association.

He is pastor of the Saddleback Church, a mega-church that claims more than 100,000 members and boasts of a 120-acre campus in Lake Forest, Calif. Warren provided the invocation at Barack Obama’s inauguration.

Purpose Driven Connection is a quarterly that is being tested to connect Christians with each other and their maker.

The magazine sells for $10 at Wal-Mart and Christian bookstores. An annual sub goes for $30.

The magazine’s 146-page debut issue includes features such as “25 Bible Promises for Hard Times,” “What God Knows About You,” and “Pastor Rick Interviews President Obama.” It is the cornerstone of a suite of PDC tools that includes a workbook for prayer groups and Warren's DVD, “40 Days of Love.” A web component launches Feb. 15.

Warren, according to a release, says PDC offers a “pathway for discovering one's life purpose; a gateway to opportunities for making a significant impact with one's life; and a library of useful tools to accelerate one’s spiritual, emotional and relational growth.”

The magazine is divided into five sections: “knowing, relating, growing, serving and sharing.”

There will be articles from top pastors and writers such as Kay Warren, Lee Strobel, Bill Hybels, Max Lucado and Anne Graham Lotz. PDC is aimed at the 100M evangelicals in the U.S. Circulation for the first issue is 500K. The plan is to double that circ by issue No. 3.

RDA Cuts Back

CEO Mary Berner is slicing eight percent (280) of Reader's Digest Association’s 3,500 staffers as the core of the Pleasantville, N.Y.-based publisher’s recession plan.

In a memo, Berner notes that advertising fell sharply beginning in the fall of ’08, requiring more cost-cutting than what was anticipated for this year.

She is “profoundly disappointed that the economy plunged just as RDA was in takeoff mode with its growth plans and that we have to say goodbye to friends and colleagues whose jobs are being eliminated.”

Berner, the former CEO of Fairchild Publications who took the RDA helm in ’07, says RDA plans “shutdown days” or “mandatory unpaid vacation days” of a week over the next year.

Cash incentive programs have been suspended until further notice. Merit increases have been put on ice until fiscal ’10.

Berner believes her recession program deals “with the reality that is in front of us,” according to her note.

DeWitt and Lila Wallace published their first issue of Reader’s Digest in 1922.

The company went public in 1990, when it became listed on the New York Stock Exchange. An investor group, Ripplewood Holdings, took RDA private in 2007 in a transaction valued at $2.6B.


The New York Times Co. is peddling its 18 percent share in the Boston Red Sox and Fenway Park via Goldman Sachs. Gregory Lee (212/902-7584) is listening to interested parties.

The NYTC, via New England Sports Venture, also owns an 80 percent stake in New England Sports Network, which goes into four million homes, and a 50 percent interest in the Roush Fenway Racing team in the NASCAR circuit.

CEO Janet Robinson closed the books on a tough 2008 with news that fourth-quarter net income plunged 48 percent to $28M on an 11 percent dip in revenues to $772M.

She warned investors that the rate of decline in January advertising accelerated from what the company saw in December.

Robinson believes advertisers will remain cautious with their ad dollars “particularly in the early part of this year.”


The PR Society on Jan. 12 started a blog open to non-members as well as members.

They are able to post comments on statements by leaders subject to several rules including one against anonymous postings and another against “objectionable content” that might “defame or harass” someone.

PRS also won’t post items that are “off-topic, irrelevant or inappropriate for the purposes of this blog.”

About a dozen members and non-members have posted comments since Jan. 12, most of them lauding PRS for starting the blog.

One blogger criticized a description of the PRS board meeting Jan. 23-24 by chair Mike Cherenson as too wordy (“heavy use of last century jargon”) and suggested that Ann Wylie, who teaches seminars in writing for PRS, should look over future releases by Cherenson.

Another member asked Cherenson to post the full minutes of the meeting on PRSAY rather than a summary. A posting by Jack O’Dwyer was used in which he congratulated PRS on the new blog and expressed the hope that members and non-members could ask questions as well as comment on posts by leaders.

PRS president and COO Bill Murray, in announcing the new service, said it was demanded by members who told leaders through a variety of means that they “want their voices heard.”

PRS, said Murray, is a “fantastically complex organization made up of many ‘neighborhoods’ and ‘constituencies,’ 109 chapters, ten districts, 20 interest sections, affinity groups, 299 chapters, dozens of committees, task forces and working groups, hundreds of Assembly delegates, and countless volunteer leaders. Each group has its own ways of communicating, ranging from e-mail distribution lists to websites to Facebook and LinkedIn Groups to networking and learning events.”

While this “mirrors the coming together of like-minded people happening online, it also creates a daunting number of layers and nuances,” he said.

Internet Edition, February 4, 2009, Page 5


Dennis Tartaglia, senior VP in M Booth & Associates’ healthcare unit, has set up Tartaglia Communications, Somerset, N.J., focused on health, science and non-profit clients.

Tartaglia said he set up shop to provide senior counsel on a personalized basis for clients in sectors where he speaks the language.

He previously held senior PR posts at NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases and Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in New Jersey. Prior stints included the American Heart Association, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, United Cerebral Palsy and the American Cancer Society. Info: [email protected]; 732/545-1848.

Herich, Munroe Open Peak3

Veteran PR executives Denise Herich and Michelle Francis Munroe have set up Peak3 Communications with outposts in San Diego and Chicago.

Herich was previously a VP for The Benchmarking Company and Townsend Agency in San Diego, and earlier served in that role for Hill & Knowlton in Washington, D.C. Munroe handled PR and community relations at two Virgin Islands resorts and worked at a San Diego boutique firm, in addition to running her own shop.

Clients include developer The Flagship Group, Vermillion Properties and


BRIEFS: Accession PR, Newark, N.J., has set up a female-centered newswire service called LadyPR. For $75, clients can distribute their news online based on industry. “Our distribution service, not unlike that of Black PR Wire, PR Newswire or Business Wire, serves a niche market to help companies diversify their marketing strategy,” said Sherrell Dorsey, co-founder and CEO. ...Absolute Pitch PR, a New York-based music PR shop, is marking its first year in business and sees a glimmer of opportunity despite the current economic woes. Founder Beatrice Bugnosen said the tough times can be a good time to launch in music. “The playing field has been leveled to the point where even an ‘indie’ artist has a shot,” she said. Clients have included Josh Kelley, Alexa Wilkinson and Jerry Cherry. ...Mirza PR, which opened in Washington, D.C., in January 2008, said it is focused on improving U.S.-Muslim relations. Rabiah Ahmed, CEO, said she has noticed a growing number of religious organizations investing in media efforts to “build bridges” in recent years and expects that number to increase. The firm has specialized services to target the American Muslim market, a population Mirza notes is between five and eight million and one of the fastest-growing in the U.S. ...PRAP Japan has acquired Asahi Agency, a marketing and communications firm with 15 bilingual staff. Asahi has worked with California Fig Advisory Board, All Nippon Airways and Dow Chemical Japan Co. Tokyo-based PRAP said the deal is the first acquisition of a domestic Japanese firm “by a local player.” The deal is slated to close on March 3. Terms have not been released PRAP, founded in 1970, staffs more than 200.


New York Area

Andria Mitsakos PR, New York/Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide in Costa Smeralda, Sardinia, for PR for its three properties there.

Mouth PR, New York/whitelines, eco-friendly stationary; “The Compass,” DVD documentary; Drs. Douglas Hamilton and Babak Azizzadeh, authors of “Beverly Hills Beauty Secrets” (Wiley 2008); Tank Black, author of “Tanked!”; Larry Johnson, former CFO of Alcor, and Scott Baldyga, authors of forthcoming “Shiver,” a novel about cryogenics.

Roher PR, Pleasantville, N.Y./Optoma Technology, DLP video projectors; American Remote Video Inc., developer of Video Doorman, and, “non-interventionalist” political website.


Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications, Boston/
American Cancer Society, New England Division, and The Screening for Mental Health Inc., for PR via its non-profit practice. The firm handles media, public and government relations, community affairs and consulting for the ACS. A six-month push focuses on the group’s national healthcare reform campaign, Access to Care, in the six New England states. For SMH, the firm is handling media relations and PR for its mental health services available to members of the armed forces and their families.

KWE Group, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Palmera de Cabarete Resort & Spa, Dominican Republic resort slated to open in 2011, for global marketing and PR.

Boardroom Communications, Plantation, Fla./The Lawrence Group, agricultural company seeking to purchase U.S. Sugar Corp., for media relations and public affairs; Ladenburg Thalmann & Co., investment banking/brokerage, for media and community relations; CEO Fitness Challenge, statewide contest, for PR, and CSI Associates, telecom consulting firm, for a national PR and marketing push.


Red Square Agency, Mobile, Ala./Cirque du Soleil, for PR for the Mobile premiere of its arena tour, “Saltimbanco.” Rubenstein Communications, Cirque’s main firm, will coordinate with RSA.


Olson Communications, Phoenix/Home2Suites by Hilton, for North American media relations for the new “mid-scale” hotel concept for extended-stays.


MSR Communications, San Francisco/, apartment rental site, for launch PR and media rels.

VSC Consulting, San Francisco/ClerkDogs, user-based recommendation services for films, as AOR after launching the search engine. The site, founded by founder Stuart Skorman, went live on Dec. 9. CD recommends films based on recommendations from former video store clerks.

JS2 Communications, Los Angeles/Bedford; CASA; Ivan Kane’s Cafe Wa s; RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen, and Tender Greens, all eateries.

JWalcher Communications, San Diego/Abio Bikes, chainless folding bicycle maker, for national and trade media relations.

Internet Edition, February 4, 2009, Page 6


PRWeb, the press release service owned by Vocus, has added an option for users to post links to releases on Twitter in addition to regular online dissemination.

The “TweetIt” service posts a link to a release as part of a 110-character “Tweet” via the user’s Twitter account. Twitter has exploded in the last year and reportedly turned down a $500M acquisition offer in stock from Facebook.

Bill Wagner, chief marketing officer of Vocus, said the new feature complements other social media capabilities like social bookmarking and embedded video.

The TweetIt service is available on PRWeb pricing plans from $140-per-release and up.


Medialink said last week that it enhanced two key online services for video/audio and social media press releases to facilitate reach to both reporters and directly to consumers.

Don Michaels, chief technology officer for the broadcast and digital PR company, said the search, preview and download features for journalists using its Mediaseed platform were enhanced based on feedback from users. Video and audio content can now be searched by topic, format and keywords and the site was optimized for faster downloads.

Journalists are no longer required to log in or register to download documents and images, although they must do so to obtain video.

Medialink has also rolled out a new version of its Interactive News Release, which eases the posting of content to blogs and other outlets like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. The latest installment has added more templates for video content.


Darren Nicol, manager of media at PR video company The NewsMarket, has moved to West Glen Communications as an account director in New York.

Nicol led The NewsMarket’s team pitching stories and content to journalists and also handled business development, which he will also guide at West Glen.

Ed Lamoureaux, senior VP at West Glen, noted Nicol’s "deep" media relations and account management experience.

Nicol, a native of Australia, has worked in London and New York for News Corp., Random House, Reed Elsevier and Network Ten (Australia).

New York Women in Communications will honor Leslee Dart, founder and CEO of 42West (see “Arabs Target Hollywood,” page 2) with the 2009 Matrix Award in PR.

The group will host a luncheon in New York on April 27. Dart is one of seven women to take the top honors. Others are Monica Langley, deputy bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal; Sherrie Rollins Westin, EVP of Sesame Workshop; Linda Wells, editor-in-chief, Allure Magazine; Dany Levy, founder and editorial director of Daily Candy Inc.; Campbell Brown, CNN anchor, and S. Epatha Merkerson, actress.



Will Flower was promoted to executive VP, communications, Republic Services, Phoenix, Ariz., following its $6 billion merger with Allied Waste Industries. Susan David, director of marketing and public affairs for The Trust for Public Land, has joined RS as director of corporate communications. Peg Mulloy, PR consultant, joins as manager of media relations, corporate comms.

Lisa Olsen, VP of investor relations, Spencer Trask & Co., to APCO Worldwide, New York, as a VP. She was previously a member of Burson-Marsteller’s global corporate transactions and litigation unit and started her career in former California Gov. Pete Wilson’s press office.

Christopher Morris, PR manager, Pfizer Health Solutions, to Widmeyer Communications, Washington, D.C., as assistant VP. He was previously with Fleishman-Hillard. Caroline Johnson, interactive project manager, Park&Co, joins as studio mgr.

Howard Mortman, who directed the public affairs division of New Media Strategies, to C-SPAN, Washington, D.C., as director of communications handling traditional and online media. Mortman was previously editor and columnist for National Journal’s The Hotline and a producer for “Hardball with Chris Matthews.”

Lisa Jagr, who held PR posts with the National Honey Board, American Sheep Industry Association and U.S. Wheat Associates, to Charleston|Orwig, Hartland, Wisc., as senior PR accoun manager in its agricultural unit.

Christian Sadlier, VP, North America, Christensen IR, to Lambert, Edwards & Associates, Grand Rapids, Mich., as a director based on the West Coast.

Peter Harris to director of MS&L’s North American corporate practice based in New York. He is credited with doubling the revenue and staff of the firm’s New York corporate unit since joining more than two years ago. He formerly managed the IBM account at Ketchum and earlier was at Peppercom and Access Comms.

Shannon Benton to A/S, Kleber & Associates, Atlanta. She joined the firm in 2005. Kate Griffin has joined the firm as an AA/E.

Jamie Ortiz to A/S and Kelly Johnson to creative director, Bailey Gardiner, San Diego. Also, Kevinie Woo, an intern, was hired as a junior A/E.


Sharon Goldmacher, president of communications 21, Atlanta, to the board of the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau for 2009-10. She served as mktg. and PR chair for the ACVB during the 2007 NCAA Final Four and helped land the ’13 tourney.


Internet Edition, February 4, 2009, Page 7


The private jet industry and its clients are trying to counter a flood of attacks against so-called business aviation, which has become a political football and PR prop amid scrutiny of corporate spending and bailouts.

“We’re very concerned about it and are trying to correct the misperceptions,” Robert Baugniet, senior manager of corporate communications for GulfStream, a jet maker, told O’Dwyer’s. “This is a billion-dollar industry -- a net exporter -- that employs pilots, dispatchers, union jobs. There are more than a million Americans employed in aerospace. Instead of a positive impact on the economy, [critics are] going to destroy it.”

The industry is coordinating its communications through trade groups like the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and the National Business Aviation Association.

A consistent theme from those entities is to point out the huge workforce and economic impact of the industry to media and the public.

Dan Hubbard, former VP at Fleishman-Hillard, is senior VP of communications for NBAA.

“Our industry is being stereotyped and pilloried by the press, and the people and businesses in general aviation are weathering one of the worst economic storms anyone has ever seen,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen in a letter to members released to the press.

Bolen sent a letter to President Obama noting that “the vast majority” of general aviation aircraft in the world are made, operated, serviced and maintained in the U.S. “In fact, general aviation manufactur[ing] is one of the remaining sources of good manufacturing jobs in this country -- the kind of jobs we can keep in the U.S. in the 21st century,” Bolen wrote to Obama.

NBAA is submitting op-eds to newspapers and sending representatives on TV news programs to convey what they see as the importance of business aviation to the country. That advocacy also extends to Congress. The industry successfully eliminated a provision in the Troubled Asset Relief Program legislation that would have prohibited companies from acquiring business jets.

But scrutiny of Citigroup’s acquisition of a $50M Dassault jet drew harsh criticism last week from Congress, media and the public provoking a renewed backlash against such planes.

“Most companies in order to survive in an international marketplace need business aviation,” said Baugniet. “That aircraft wasn’t ordered yesterday. It takes four years to fill an order for a jet. The damages of cancelling that are exorbitant.”


Florence Quinn, president of Quinn & Co., New York, received the Winthrop W. Grice Lifetime Achievement Award last week before a black-tie audience of more than 800 at the annual Adrian Awards Gala of the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Assn. International at the New York Marriott Marquis.

Weber Shandwick took two "Best of Show" awards, one for its introduction of the A380 Airbus aircraft for Singapore Airlines and another for PR for Holiday Inn Express in the web marketing category with Digitas.

WS took a total of 12 awards including also one platinum, three golds, four silvers and two bronze.

Lou Hammond & Associates, New York, for the eighth consecutive year, topped all award recipients by winning a total of 21—six golds (more than any another gold winner), six silver and nine bronze.

Quinn is the eighth largest travel PR firm in the O’Dwyer rankings with $2,932,212 in fees in 2007. The firm picked up one platinum, one gold, ten silver and three bronze awards last night for a total of 15.

Clients include the Algonquin Hotel; Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises; Club Med; Hilton, the Americas, and numerous hotels.

M. Silver Associates won a total of seven awards including one gold, five silver and one bronze.

Cohn & Wolfe took one gold, four silver and four bronze and Spring, O’Brien & Co. took eight including one platinum, four gold, two silver and one bronze.

A complete list of winners is at

Edelman has succeeded Kahn Travel Communications, which had the HSMAI account for eight years.


Middleberg Communications has acquired The Weiser Group, a boutique financial and crisis firm with annual revenue of more than $1M. Middleberg believes that this can be a time of “unparalleled opportunities.”

Don Middleberg, CEO of MC, suggested he is eying firms of similar size — $1M to $3M in billings — that serve a unique niche.

Michael Weiser takes on a senior strategist role at Middleberg, while Weiser president Jonathan Cohen becomes managing director. Weiser said he met Middleberg as a young reporter 35 years ago.

The acquisition brings MC to 15 employees and $3.2M in annual revenue, Middleberg said. The firm acquired another financial shop, The Towers Group, in 2006. Weiser was founded in 1979 in Chicago and moved to New York in 2002.


Soaring costs of Fisher Island, Fla., have resulted in a quarter of its 695 condos being for sale and a near revolt among the rich residents, said an article in the Feb. 1 New York Times.

One resident called it a “battle between the haves and the have-mores.”

Ted Pincus, partner in StevensGouldPincus, New York, and founder of Financial Relations Board, said his costs have climbed to more than $200,000 annually.

He noted that property taxes on his 5,900-sq. ft. home have gone from $60K to $115K in five years. His condo fees include $22K to the condo association, $35K for his condo unit, and $21K for country club dues (there is a nine-hole golf course on the island).

He told the NYT that the island is “the last bastion of tranquility in a world overrun by tourists or populated with prosaic retirement villages. Some will pay the premium just as some people will cough up whatever it takes to buy a Rolls-Royce.”

He also told the NYT that “Nobody has unlimited net worth" and that the economic collapse has hit Fisher Island just like it hit "everybody else.”


Internet Edition, February 4, 2009, Page 8




The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Assn. Int'l gave out 685 awards Jan. 26, almost one for every one of the 811 people at the event (page 7) in New York.

Four metals were used to designate the awards-platinum, gold, silver and bronze. We're waiting for a new diamond award category.

In the PR category, seven platinums were awarded, 48 gold, 66 silver, and 89 bronze. The ad category had six platinum, 39 gold, 97 silver and 121 bronze. Web marketing, a more recent addition, had five platinum, 25 gold, 59 silver and 93 bronze. Each category also gave out "Best of Show" awards. Honored were 25 executives with the "Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing" (an award started in 2004). Two new awards this year were the “HSMAI Tourism Cares Sustainability Award” and the Google “Wisdom of the Crowd Award” recognizing an integrated marketing campaign.

As is becoming customary in these dinners, usually costing $300 and more per seat, winners in the top categories, platinum and “best,” were not announced until the dinner itself, an incentive for people to attend.

Attendance fell 19% this year from 1,004 last year with HSMAI blaming this mostly on “economic conditions.” Most attendees purchased individual tickets rather than tables, it said.

Another example of award inflation is the PR Society, which in the 1990s was giving out about 40 Silver Anvils a year. Entry cost was $165 for members and $200 for non-members.

The awards were made at a sit-down dinner in a New York hotel and members were grumbling that it took too long for 40 winners to march up to the podium, accept their awards, and make speeches.

A black-tie cocktail reception was held in 1994 in an art gallery where the awards were on display. The savings were used to partly pay for an ad in the Wall Street Journal that cost about $140,000. It invited readers to write for a booklet. There were 431 Anvil entries that year.

With the cancellation in 1995 of the information center's business of copying and selling author's works, which was turning a profit of close to $60K annually, PRS sought new revenues and increased both the number of awards and the cost of entries.

Added were Silver Anvil “Awards of Excellence.” In 2008, there were 52 Silver winners and 57 Silver Awards of Excellence.

Bronze Anvils, awarded since 1970 for PR “tactics” rather than entire campaigns, were merged with the Silver Anvils awards night.

There were 43 Bronze winners in 2008 and 85 winners of Bronze “Awards of Commendation.” PRS gave out a total of 237 awards.

Entry fees for Silvers jumped from $165 in the 1990s to $295 for members for entries received before March 13 and $370 after that and to $395 for non-members and $470 after March 13.

Bronze fees are $175 for members and $275 for non-members with $75 additional for entries after March 13.

Some PR firms provide dozens of entries not only for the Anvils but local PRS chapter and other awards programs.

The costs involved in preparing the entries, travel, hotels, black-tie dinners, etc., can easily run to the tens of thousands of dollars.

Awards are used on resumes and considered to be a key part of new business pitches.

A firm believer in awards is WPP’s Martin Sorrell, who in 2007 said of his agencies, “The more awards, the stronger the margins.”

He noted that OgilvyOne Worldwide, a WPP agency, won 595 awards in 2006, helping WPP to “rocket up” from ninth place to fourth on the GunnReport, U.K., which provides overall award totals.

A critic of awards is advertising author Al Ries who said agencies have mostly stopped advertising in ad trade books (ad pages in Advertising Age are much fewer than they once were and AdWeek now comes out 33 times a year) in order to concentrate on winning awards and using them in new business pitches.

There are no consumers on the ad judging panels nor any connection to sales, says Ries. He also feels subjective judgments by industry figures and others are involved.

The new board of the PRS met Jan. 23-24 and continued the charade about the need for a "bylaws rewrite," a task that is now in its fifth year. A vague promise was made that members might hear of some proposed changes in March.

Not one change has ever been put up for member discussion (particularly one that would remove the APRs from power).

The one visible reform ordered by the new board is the PRSAY blog on the Society website that started Jan. 12 and that will carry posts by non-members as well as members.

The new board so far has ignored our requests for fair treatment including removing the PRS boycott against us announced in the September 2008 Tactics; letting us advertise our products in Tactics and on the PRS website; letting us join PRS, and our request that the directors examine evidence of wholesale copying and sale of our articles and articles of other authors for at least 15 years.

We figure we have about as much chance of getting justice from the all APR out-of-town board (except for New Yorker Lynn Appelbaum) as a black lynch victim would get from a mob in the Old South.

Or, about as much chance as the all-APR board has of voting APRs out of power. APRs represent the extreme right wing of PRS as evidenced by their tight, undemocratic control of leadership posts; anti-press policies (reporters banned from membership lists, chapter appearances by elected chairs, if any, hidden from the press, etc.), tight control of information, etc. No doubt the directors perceive us as a "liberal New Yorker" and the antithesis of their philosophy.

The all-white PRS board is a problem for the Society. It's evidence of the inhospitableness PRS has shown to blacks throughout its 60-year history.

The board should rectify this immediately by appointing at least two black leaders from the communications area as "senior counsels" just like Dave Rickey and Mary Beth West were appointed to the 2008 board.

They should not even be members of PRS, but “outside” directors which are common in just about every major association and all public companies. At least one should be a well-known journalist.

Only one black male has ever served on the PRS board and he quit after six months. Ron Owens of Kaiser Permanente, had been elected to serve for three years, from 2006 through 2008. Only two other PRS directors had quit in mid-term.

The Assembly Oct. 25, 2008 in Detroit had one or two blacks among more than 275 delegates. PRS has not reached out to the black PR community.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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