The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, February 11, 2009, Page 1
ASSISTS U.S. AIRWAYS
Chicago office has been assisting U.S. Airways with the
international media interest in the pilots and crew of Flight
1549, which crash landed in the Hudson River on Jan. 15.
crew, hailed as heroes by the public and media, declined
interview requests in the days following the miraculous
landing and rescue, but the pilot, Chesley Sullenberger,
and flight team spoke at length for the first time on 60
Minutes on Feb. 8.
interview was originally slated for the Today Show
just days after the crash, but the federal investigation
of the crash took precedent.
Federal Aviation Administration on Feb. 5 released the audio
communications between a preternaturally calm Sullenberger
and air traffic controllers creating an Internet sensation.
His final transmission before landing in the river
Were gonna be in the Hudson was
returned by an air traffic controller using U.S. Airways
call sign: Im sorry, say again, Cactus.
Cook, executive VP and director of media relations at Edelman,
is heading the work at Edelman.
DEVRIES SUCKS UP HOOVER ACCOUNT
DeVries PR beat three
finalists to guide PR and reinvigorate the image
of Hoover vacuums.
Nicole Sinclair, PR and
promotions manager for Hoover owner TTI Floor Care North
America, said a request for information went out to 15 firms.
Four agencies were then selected to present a 2009
Hoover PR plan and DeVries was chosen by a company
team. The process was thorough and we were confident
in our decision, she told ODwyers. Edward
Howard previously worked on the Hoover brand, which marked
its 100th year in 2008.
DeVries, which is owned
by Interpublic, oversees all PR for the Hoover brand and
will handle an integrated collection of services
aimed at reinvigorating the image of the iconic brand,
the firm said.
TTI acquired Hoover from
Whirlpool in Jan. 07.
has installed Edelman veteran Tim Scerba as executive
VP in the corporate communications group. He will be based
in Los Angeles.
Scerba is to deal with
issues/crisis management, corporate social responsibility/sustainability,
business-to-business and internal PR.
Scerba managed Edelman
offices in 15 Latin American markets. He advised clients
such as Wal-Mart, Taco Bell, General Motors, Hewlett-Packard,
Procter & Gamble, Samsung, Deloitte Consulting and Motorola.
STANTON SPLITS WITH CRENSHAW
Alex Stanton and Dorothy
Crenshaw are splitting Stanton Crenshaw after a partnership
of a dozen years.
Alex Stanton keeps the
original firm, which is going to have a new name. It will
concentrate on his expertise in the corporate, financial,
technology and business-to-business spheres.
Dorothy Crenshaw launched
Crenshaw Communications on Feb. 9 to focus on consumer marketing,
consumer tech and digital brands.
Both say clients will
benefit from the break-up as Stanton and Crenshaw provide
greater focus on their areas of expertise.
Stanton Crenshaw showed
fee income of $8M in 2007, generated from clients like Boston
Beer, Bain Capital, Sharp Electronics, and Office Depot.
KFG SPEAKS FOR OCTUPLET MOTHER
Killeen Furtney Group
is handling the media whirlwind circling around Nadya Suleman,
the 33-year-old divorcee who gave birth to octuplets this
The eight newborns bring
Sulemans brood up to 14 children, sparking a debate
online and over the airwaves over whether she is irresponsible
KFG, based in Los Angeles,
is led by Joann Killeen, former president and CEO of the
PR Society, and Michael Furtney, a former senior PR exec
for Union Pacific Railroad. The two execs said Suleman is
receiving scores of book, film, TV and media inquiries.
The Kaiser Permanente
Hospital where Suleman gave birth has been deluged with
media contacts to the tune of 200 per day, according to
the Los Angeles Times, which dubbed the babies LAs
ALL-WHITE PR SOCIETY BOARD
PR Society members, including
counselor Michael Paul and corporate executive Stuart Goldstein,
have asked the Societys board to integrate its currently
all-white, 17-member self.
It is ironic that
we have a black president, Barack Obama, the leader of the
free world, and the PRS board has no executives of color,
said Paul, president and senior counselor of MGP and Assocs.
PR, New York. He called it a PRS crisis.
Said Goldstein: The
fact that the board does not have any minorities is not
only appalling, but further evidence of the need for substantial
reform of this trade group
it adds to the litany of
practices of secrecy and suppressing dissent that are anathema
to the core beliefs of the communications profession.
on page 7)
Edition, February 11, 2009, Page 2
PAID PANETTA $120K
Panetta, former Congressman and Bill Clintons chief
of staff, received $120K in directors fees from Fleishman-Hillard
last year for service on its International Advisory Board.
Central Intelligence Agency nominee earned $831,500 in overall
speaking and directors fees, according to his financial
such as Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for
Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, want Panetta to
disclose whether or not he had contact with F-H clients
with ties to intelligence agencies.
Bill Black told Bloomberg that he doesnt know of any
instance that Panetta was asked to make a call on
behalf of a client. He does internal stuff
such as serving as a luncheon speaker.
website calls IAB members its ambassadors. They
author op-ed pieces, serve as guest speakers at client events,
meet with clients/prospects and provide counsel in person,
via video or calls to decision-makers.
other of the 17 IAB members are Andrew Card (President Bushs
chief of staff); Newt Gingrich (former House Speaker); General
Barry McCaffrey (national security and terrorism analyst
for NBC News); Tom Ridge (ex-Homeland Security chief and
Pennsylvania Governor); Admiral Vernon Clark (former U.S.
chief of naval operations); Mickey Kantor (ex-Commerce Secretary);
Pete Wilson (former California Governor and Senator) and
John Onoda (ex-PR chief at Charles Schwab, Visa, General
Motors and Levi Strauss).
MULBERRY GUIDES GLOBAL PR
Mulberry Marketing Communications
has picked up the six-figure global PR account of ATI Petroleum,
a U.S.-based oil and gas company focused on reserves in
Southeast Asia and Africa.
The account is a major
win for the firms five-month-old San Francisco office,
which led the pitch process.
Public, media and investor
relations are the primary focus of the campaign across North
America and Europe with expansion to China and Singapore
slated for later this year. Budget for the remainder of
2009 is $450K.
Mulberry, which is based
in London, is the first outside firm for ATIP as most marketing
work was done out of Hanoi, Vietnam, where the company has
had oil interests since 2000. Its operations office is in
Dan Brown, managing director
of Mulberrys San Francisco outpost, is coordinating
the global account and heading the North American work.
Offices in London, Paris and Munich are also involved.
Brown told O'Dwyer's that
ATIP tried his firm out with project work before putting
it on retainer for the global campaign. He noted that ATIP
is positioning for "huge" growth over the next
two years as energy consumption in the developing world
In a statement, ATI Group
CEO Huu Duc Dinh noted Mulberry's global presence combined
with its "relatively small size."
ATIP is publicly traded
and is based in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
TICKETMASTER FEELS HEAT
Ticketmaster, the concert
and event ticketing giant, was knocked on the defensive
last week as it faced an online onslaught of irate Bruce
Springsteen fans, the artists management and even
Tickets for the New Jersey
rockers upcoming U.S. tour fortuitously went online
Monday morning only hours after his halftime performance
at the Super Bowl. After the three New York-area shows quickly
sold out, fans were redirected to Ticketmasters reseller
platform, TicketsNow, which lets ticketholders and licensed
brokers peddle tickets at higher prices.
That redirection sparked
rumors of a conspiracy by Ticketmaster to gouge ticket prices,
an assumption from Springsteens camp and ticketless
fans that media quickly seized upon. The outcry was enough
to spark New Jerseys Office of the Attorney General
and Division of Consumer Affairs to investigate the process.
Nation is a very motivated group of citizens, Albert
Lopez, VP of strategic communications for Ticketmaster,
told ODwyers. The media believed that
anonymous emails, or emails from fans who claim a situation,
to be gospel truth. We were immediately thrown in a defensive
position and it requires time to explain. But if youre
given time to explain, it doesnt make the story sexy
Lopez said Springsteens
management released a letter signed by the artist and his
manager on Feb. 4 that was picked up immediately by a fan
blog and then published on the singers website, BruceSpringsteen.net.
The letter, which alleged a conflict of interest in Ticketmasters
practices, included the email address of Lopez and encouraged
the public to contact him to seek answers.
Lopez, who heads media
relations for Ticketmaster, not customer service, said that
sparked a tremendous individual fan response to his inbox.
For all those naysayers
who thought that social media and Web 2.0 dont work,
this is a classic example of it working, he said.
BRANDEIS ENGAGES RASKY BAERLEIN
Brandeis University, the
private Massachusetts institution reeling from economic
woes, has brought in Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications
in Boston amid criticism and scrutiny during the crisis.
The university drew national
attention when it closed its art museum and announced plans
to auction off part of its $350M inventory.
president, Jehuda Reinharz, issued a statement on Feb. 5,
a few days after RB was hired, apologizing for not explaining
the fiscal situation better and not engaging the Brandeis
community in the deliberations that led to the boards
decision about the museum. He quoted President Barack Obamas
I screwed up mea culpa.
The Boston Globe
reported that many benefactors of the 61-year-old school
lost fortunes in the Bernie Madoff scheme and the global
economic crisis has whittled its endowment down to $549M
The Globe noted that state
law restricts non-profits from drawing on the principal
of their endowments, which hurts younger institutions
Edition, February 11, 2009, Page 3
Street Journal editor-in-chief Robert Thomson is trimming
14 jobs at the News Corp. property, according to his Dear
described the move as a reaction to the precipitous
decline in print advertising which forced a close
examination of our structure and our costs.
is closing the New York-based fashion and retail group and
cutting jobs in Boston and Los Angeles. He reports the WSJ
cut another 11 jobs via attrition during the past couple
layoffs are planned for Dow Jones Newswires, which recently
launched a Spanish language service and is creating a new
team to cover India.
News Corp. reported a $6.4B net loss for the quarter ended
Dec. 20 due to an $8.4B charge.
Rupert Murdoch called the economic climate the worst that
he has seen since the company was founded more than 50 years
SCHUTTE SHIFTS AT CONDE NAST
Drew Schutte, publisher
of the New Yorker, is assuming command at Conde Nast
Digital to oversee sales and marketing for the companys
23 consumer magazines. He is succeeded at the New Yorker
by Lisa Hughes, who was publisher of Conde Nast Traveler.
Schutte was VP & publishing
director of Conde Nasts Wired before moving to the
New Yorker two years ago.
FREIDHEIM OUT AT SUN-TIMES
Cyrus Freidheim has resigned
as president & CEO of the Sun-Times Media Group, publisher
of the Chicago Sun-Times and community papers.
The turnaround artist
joined the S-TMG in 06 to right the ship in the wake
of the Conrad Black scandal.
The company credited Friedheim
for guiding the organization through one of the worst
print advertising markets in memory.
Under his leadership,
the S-TMG downsized dramatically, successfully outsourced
a number of functions, consolidated plants and departments,
and significantly improved financial reporting and controls.
However, the accelerating
decline in the industry print advertising market overwhelmed
these corrective actions, according to the company.
BLOOMBERG CUTS 100
Bloomberg L.P., the firm
of New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, is trimming 100 people
from its payroll.
Most of the cuts are in
the Big Apple, centered in Bloombergs radio and television
Bloomberg founded the
company in `81, the cutbacks are the first in its history.
The company employs 10,000. It says the cuts represent a
move to reduce overlapping jobs in its global programming.
The goal is to create
a single English-language worldwide network
to better compete with CNN.
The company denies the
pruning has to due with the recession. It remains committed
to hiring 1,000 reporters and staffers in its financial
division over the course of the year.
NEWSPAPERS SAY DEMISE IS EXAGGERATED
The Newspaper Project
ran ads Feb. 2 in the New York Times, Washington
Post and more than 100 other papers to trumpet the fact
that more people will read a paper today (100M) than watched
the Super Bowl.
TNP, a grassroots group
of publishers, wants to fight the presumption that newspapers
are going the way of the dodo bird.
Jay Smith, former president
of Cox Newspapers, blogged on the newspaperproject.org site
that if nobody reads papers why did former Illinois Governor
Rod Blagojevich try to silence the editors of the Chicago
Smith also noted that
millions of people lined up to buy newspapers following
Barack Obamas historic victory.
Smith wrote that TV stations
throughout the nation get their scoops from
the morning newspapers, and that Yahoos local news
category is built on the backs of hundreds of newspaper
TNP recognizes the many
challenges facing newspapers, but wants to counter the negative,
gloom and doom stories about newspapers that appear on the
web. It rejects the notion that newspapersand
the valuable content that newspaper journalists providehave
TNPs site will feature
research and reports about how newspapers are coping and
expect to thrive in the rapidly changing media landscape.
Other key members of the
group include Brian Tierney, CEO of Philadelphia Media Holdings;
Randy Siegel, president of Parade Publications, and Donna
Barrett, CEO of Community Newspaper Holdings.
NYSE WARNS McCLATCHY
The McClatchy Co. announced
Feb. 5 that the New York Stock Exchange said the publisher
does not qualify for its listing requirements regarding
keeping a share price over $1 for 30 consecutive trading
As of Feb. 2, McClatchys
shares traded at average 98 cents each over the previous
month of stock activity.
The No. 3 newspaper chain
has six months to bolster its share price, or McClatchy
will be delisted from the Big Board.
are currently trading at 69 cents each. CEO Gary Pruitt
also announced that his company lost $21.7M during the fourth-quarter
on revenues of $470M.
He called 2008 difficult
and disappointing, one in which McClatchy battled
troubled economic times and structural changes.
Pruitt sees an uncertain
future. He said: We dont have any better sense
than other market observers as to how long the current recession
will last and we do not yet have visibility of revenue trends.
He sees better days
when the economy finally turns.
McClatchy owns the Sacramento
Bee, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Raleigh News
& Observer, Kansas City Star and Charlotte
news continued on next page)
Edition, February 11, 2009, Page 4
PITCHES DEVILS, THE ROCK
Sommer, who was president of the New York Observer,
has returned to the Garden State as chief of new media and
government affairs for the New Jersey Devils hockey team
and the Prudential Center in Newark.
a speechwriter for former Congressman and Governor Jim Florio,
did a 20-year stint at MWW Group before joining the Observer,
which is run by Jared Kushner, son of real estate baron
has been talk that New Jersey would close the 28-year-old
state-run Izod Center in the Meadowlands (East Rutherford)
to bolster the profile of the $400M The Rock
which opened in 07.
Devils used to play in the Meadowlands.
Nets currently call the Izod Center home, but are supposed
to move to Brooklyn if the Barclay Center is built.
OGILVY COUNTERS DRUNK
Ogilvy PR Worldwide is
guiding Aeroflot as it counters news reports that passengers
on a December 28 flight from Moscow bound to New York suspected
the pilot was drunk.
Prior to takeoff, passengers
become alarmed after a welcome greeting from the pilot was
so garbled it was impossible to tell what language he was
speaking, according to the Independent.
A group demanded to see
the captain, but he refused to emerge from the cockpit.
Crew members told the passengers to stop whining or get
off the plane, according to the paper.
A reporter from the Moscow
Times claims an Aeroflot staffer boarded the plane and
told the passengers "it wasnt a big deal if the
pilot was drunk" because "all he has to do is
to press a button and the plane flies itself."
The Independent reports
a TV newscaster, who was on the plane, made some phone calls
and the pilot was replaced after a delay of a couple of
Aeroflot issued a press statement on Feb. 4 to say it takes
the incident very seriously.
The medical examination
of the crew before the flight and after the incident dispelled
the allegations that the pilot, who sounded slurred while
addressing the passengers, could be intoxicated, said
the Russian carrier.
A follow-up exam showed
the pilot "had a medical problem as the incident
developed his physical condition quickly deteriorated under
stress, with a possibility of a minor stroke," said
the airline, which added there were two other well-qualified
Aeroflot is conducting
a follow-up probe in conjunction with the Ministry of Transportation
of the Russian Federation.
It said recent media
accounts do no actually contain any new official information.
Passenger, crew and plane
safety is Aeroflots top priority, according to the
Winkler and Rebecca Perfect) are handling the story with
Aeroflots press office in Moscow.
GOODMAN WORKS PRESS FOR TORRE
Goodman Media supported
former Yankee skipper Joe Torre's triumphant book tour of
the Big Apple region yesterday to promote his The
Yankee Years, a book published by Doubleday.
Tom Goodman says he and
GM's Sabrina Strauss worked with Doubleday prior to Feb.
3 and assisted with the choreography of the press
availability at the Barnes & Noble bookstore on
The New York Times
reported that B&N, which organized its book-signing
event, had to close the area two hours before the now-Los
Angeles Dodgers manager was scheduled to begin autographing
copies at 12:30.
Throngs of Torre fans
lined up around the block to buy the book and meet the man
who managed the Yankees for a dozen years, winning four
of six World Series contests.
Goodman has worked for
the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation since
its 02 launch.
Blake organized the overall book tour, which included stops
at National Public Radios All Things Considered,
WFAN sports radio and an evening event at the Yogi Berra
Museum in Little Falls, N.J.
Blake and Arthur Sando,
communications chief at CBS Enterprises, have accompanied
Torre on the tour.
YAHOO COMMS. CHIEF TO DEPART
Jill Nash is stepping
down as Yahoo!s chief communications officer after
less than two years at the Internet giant.
Nash joined the company
in January 2007 under former CEO Terry Semel after serving
as VP of global communications for Gap Inc.
Yahoo! has endured three
CEOs, layoffs, a takeover attempt by Microsoft and other
woes over the last two years.
New CEO Carol Bartz, former
executive chairman of Autodesk, has vowed to crack down
on press leaks at Yahoo!, including reports that she is
offering bounties for workers to turn in leakers.
Former Wall Street Journal
reporter Kara Swisher first reported Nashs pending
departure on her blog, kara.allthingsd.com.
Abernathy MacGregor Group
assists Yahoo! with its corporate PR.
JOHNSTON TAPPED AT MODESTO
Eric Johnston has been
named president & publisher of the Modesto Bee,
the first McClatchy-owned paper to have a digital veteran
He is the former VP of
interactive media and classified advertising. Johnston takes
over for Margaret Randazzo, who exited in January to pursue
a career outside of the newspaper business.
Johnston, 37, joined the
Bee in 2000 as director of online services. In his VP role,
he was in charge of audience development and the papers
overall marketing and community relations programs. He is
credited for launching the Bees WebWednesdays,
series of free technology classes taught by staffers.
11, 2009, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
Inc., the Portland, Me.-based PR and political consulting
firm, has merged with Boston's DBMedia Strategies, which
serves non-profits, companies and medical clients. The firms
are run by the Bailey brothers, who are twins.
Bailey, CEO of Savvy, says the merged companies will have
the resources to serve clients across New England with a
greater range of service. He was press secretary for Maine's
former Congressman Tom Andrews and communications director
for ex-Governor Angus King before founding Savvy.
Bailey is a former business editor of the the Boston
Globe and senior VP at Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications
prior to setting up shop in 2008.
clients include Cambridge Health Alliance, Arbella Insurance
Group, Planet Aid and Hybrivet Systems.
Bailey brothers teamed to defeat Massachusetts Governor
Deval Patrick's effort to build three casinos in the Bay
OUTCAST CUTS STAFF
Tech firm OutCast Communications
has cut 17 staffers in response to the sluggish economy.
There is no question
that this is a very tough economic climate, Reema
Bahnasy, senior VP for the firm, told ODwyers.
We made the very difficult decision to reduce the
size of our team.
The 12-year-old firm,
which has fewer than 100 employees, has offices in San Francisco
and New York with blue-chip clients like Xerox, Yahoo! and
We are very fortunate
that we get to work with such an amazing set of companies,
and this allows us to keep focused on doing great work for
them, Bahnasy added.
Outcast is part of NextFifteen
BITE LAUNCHES NET PAYMENT
Bite Communications has
been tapped to guide PR for the launch of BillMyParents,
an e-commerce service intended to let young Internet users
shop online with parental notification.
The service was developed
by Socialwise, a San Diego-based tech company, and is targeted
for social networks like Facebook.
Soames Haworth, who handles
investor and media relations for Socialwise, said the company
had difficulty finding a firm with relevant experience in
the San Diego area. He said Bites presence in Los
Angeles and the Bay Area along with its experience with
Internet payment service PayPal and social networks like
Facebook and MySpace stood out.
find a partner in San Diego that really understood the space,
he said, noting that L.A. is only an hour and a half away.
Bite is charged with heading
a traditional and social media push to introduce the service
to consumer, business and investor audiences. The firm will
also handle thought leadership and education campaigns aimed
at parents and teens.
Kate Wesson, A/D at Bite,
heads the work.
Bite is part of NextFifteen
Play Communications, New York/Goddard Systems, child
care franchise with 320 locations in 37 states, for social
media relations, special events, cause marketing and direct-to-mom
outreach locally and nationally.
Investor Relations Group, New York/Defense Solutions
Holding, for IR and PR.
Izzo Integrated Communications, Nyack, N.Y./The Privilege
Aluxes hotel, luxury resort opening this month on Isla Mujeres,
Mexico, for PR.
Communications, Washington, D.C./Biotechnology Industry
Organization, for public and media outreach for the groups
2009 BIO International Convention in Atlanta May 18-21.
Communications, Alexandria, Va./National Biodiesel
Board, for launch of a channel on YouTube during the groups
conference in San Francisco. PCI said it is the first of
several social marketing platforms being rolled out over
the next year.
Raleigh, N.C./Genesis Home, for pro bono PR via the firms
Boomerang Society community involvement program.
Raleigh, N.C./Help for Homeowners of America LLC, for PR
counsel for the workshop program beginning Feb. 14 in Tampa,
Fla., that teaches homeowners how to modify their home loans.
21, Atlanta/Cousins Properties, commercial shopping
center developer, for media relations, direct marketing
and social media for The Avenue concept of properties in
Georgia, Tennessee and Florida.
Inc., Pompano Beach, Fla./Jim McLean Golf Schools,
for national PR; Court at Pal Aire, assisted living, for
marketing following a renovation; Valley Meats, for re-branding,
and Transplant Foundation of Miami, for PR supporting an
organ donation license plate in Florida.
Cleveland/Lithonia Lighting, for a national publicity and
media relations campaign for its emergency lighting group.
Overland Park, Kan./B.E. Smith, leadership solutions firm
for healthcare providers, for market research, PR, advertising,
direct marketing and online marketing.
360, Portland, Ore./Fashions.org, social network
for apparel and fashion industry, for PR, media rels.
& Schmid, San Diego/Pacific Building Group, for
PR during the general contractors 25th year.
simms agency, San Diego/Globaltel Media, for launch
of a mobile cellular tech application, including web design,
PR, online advertising and social networking.
PR, London/Absolute Software, security services,
for PR in Europe on a 12-month contract. Focus is U.K.,
Germany, France, Benelux and the Nordics.
Edition, February 11, 2009, Page 6
NEWSWIRE NAMES NEW CHIEF
Newswire has named travel industry veteran Ninan Chacko
to take over as CEO for Charles Gregson, who is retiring.
44-year-old Malaysian native Chacko, who is on the job for
the first time today, will take the reins by the end of
March after a transition period working with Gregson.
found lots of very interesting parallels between the businesses
in terms of the challenges that travel continues to face,
Chacko told ODwyers of the travel and newswire
sectors. In some ways, [travel] is a business model
that probably has the same scope and potential.
outlined threats like the emergence of lower-cost competition,
globalization and the explosion of new media channels as
challenges facing both industries.
recently headed sales, marketing and other activities as
chief commercial officer for Worldspan, a technology company
focused on the travel sector. Chacko was previously with
Sabre Holdings and its former owner AMR Corp. for 13 years
in posts including senior VP of marketing and SVP of global
noted that at Worldspan the company would take information
from suppliers, attach value to it and then supply it to
another party like a travel agent or corporate travel department,
a model similar to PRN.
Levin, CEO of PR Newswires parent company, United
Business Media, noted Chackos understanding of businesses
that are all about data distribution and workflow
earned bachelors and masters degrees in aerospace
engineering from the University of Kansas.
exits the PRN executive suite after four years at the helm
and 35 years with UBM. He plans to return to the U.K. in
the spring for PRN and will transition to a broader role
with UBM for the rest of the year, the company said.
president David Armon also said in December that he would
leave the company.
suggested PRNs global reach will be a focus during
his tenure as CEO. The sector that PR Newswire operates
in, and its other competitors, is rapidly becoming more
and more of a global business, he said. Expanding
or continuing to expand PRNs global footprint is key
to our strategy.
WEST GLEN SEES PSA SPIKE
West Glen Communications,
New York, said TV and radio PSA usage was up 20 percent
in 2008 compared with the previous year.
The broadcast firm tracked
167 PSAs, which logged more than 1.2M airings.
WGC said that 34 percent of the TV PSAs airmed between 9
a.m. and 10 p.m., while the same percentage hit the airwaves
in the lesser-watched 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. slot.
A healthy 33 percent of
the TV spots aired in the top 50 markets and just under
half aired in the top 100 markets.
Twenty-seven percent of
trackable radio spots aired in popular drive-times,
while two-thirds were aired in the waking hours
between 6 a.m. and midnight.
Gargiulo to VP, Coyne PR, Parsippany, N.J. He manages
daily operations for the firms automotive and toy
practices. Hes been with the firm for five years and
manages its Shell Lubricants, Crayola, Hasbro and Toys R
Us account teams.
Prose, former director of sales and marketing at
Tourtellotte Solutions who recently ran her own firm, to
Renaissance Group, a Wellesley, Mass.-based insurance company,
as director of PR.
Gibney, A/D, Corinth Group Communications, to S3,
Boonton, N.J., as PR director.
Miller, co-founder of the Massachusetts Communications
College, to The Castle Group, Boston, as a principal handling
business development and corporate strategy. He is a former
PA director at Cone.
Wirta, manager of advertising, sports and events
marketing, Bobs Stores, to Cashman + Katz Communications,
Glastonbury, Conn., as VP, group media director. He was
previously with the firm. Jennifer
Mik, senior A/M, The Sloan Group, joins as an A/S.
Reimert, comms. consultant and former VP at Tierney
Communications, to Devine + Powers, Philadelphia, as a VP.
She heads the firms ProjectsPLUS unit, which focuses
on short-term PR projects.
Gilchrist, director of communications and marketing
for Charlotte Preparatory School, to Branstorm, Charlotte,
N.C., as director of account services. He is a former staff
writer for the Augusta Chronicle.
Kokoris to president and general manager, JSH&A,
Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. Hes been with the firm for
Janhunen, an A/S at Linhart PR, Denver, was named
the fourth partner in the firm. She joined in 2003 and leads
accounts like Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Chipotle Mexican
Yin to executive director, mPRm PR, Los Angeles.
and Leif Helland
to A/S, general entertainment practice.
Widmeyer, chairman and CEO of Widmeyer Communications,
Washington, D.C., to West Virginia Universitys Academy
of Distinguished Alumni. He established two scholarship
funds at the university for African-American and first-generation
West Virginians studying journalism. His firm also set up
a professorship in PR in 2005.
Brams, sales manager at KEF Media Associates, Atlanta,
was given the Chapter Champion award from PR Societys
Edition, February 11, 2009, Page 7
PRS BOARD SOUGHT
is managing director, corporate communications, Depository
Trust & Clearing Corp., New York.
Joe Honick of GMA International, Seattle, in an e-mail to
agreed with a quote by an anonymous contributor that A
PRS board without one member of color would be ridiculous
in any era but at a time when diversity is taught as a professional
must by PRS and urged by the new president of our nation,
it is downright stupid, ridiculous and untenable.
also blasted the current PRS policy of communicating with
only via e-mail. Dont any of these characters
at the PRS have a telephone and understand the elegance
of direct conversation? It sounds like the old Hollywood
B.S. of Have your people call my people.
comments were on an anonymous basis. [The ODwyer publications
and website allow such comments. The rationale is that those
who identify themselves could jeopardize their jobs or accounts
and could be barred from any PRS boards and committees.
Some of the contributors hold or have held high elective
posts in PRS and being identified could block them from
sources of PRS information].
Is Very White
A comment from Veep
said, The board is reflective of the industry as a
whole. PR is very, very white. Its unfortunate, but
the Society and other groups have worked to improve diversity
in the industry. I cant see forcing an African American
on the board considering the reality of the situation.
A former PRS member
commented: Diversity too often is mandatory, but not
everyone is more qualified for certain positions simply
because he or she is a person of color. On the reverse side
of the coin is the fact that not everyone is qualified simply
because he or she is white. From my past membership in PRS,
I would say the latter has too often been the case.
to Meet This Week
Arthur Yann, VP-PR of
PRS, told Paul in an e-mail that PRS chair Mike Cherenson
would meet with Paul this week. An in-person meeting had
been requested by Paul. E-mail attempts by this NL to obtain
a comment from Cherenson were unsuccessful. The last PRS
elected head to talk to this NL by telephone was Cheryl
Procter-Rogers on March 20, 2006. Rhoda Weiss and Jeff Julin,
2007 and 2008 CEOs, respectively, continued the policy of
phone silence and Cherenson has also adopted it thus far.
Paul had noted that the
ad/PR world is under heavy attack currently for alleged
discrimination against people of color. A study released
last month by civil rights lawyer Cyrus Mehri and others
found that African Americans are only 3.2% of the ad/PR
industrys upper management when the average is 7.2%
in similar professions.
Mehri, who is with D.C.
law firm Mehri & Skalet, helped win a $193M discrimination
case against Coca-Cola and a similar $176M case against
Unveiling the Madison
Avenue Project in early January, Mehri said that ad/PR
agencies under-hire and segregate African-Americans and
pay them only 80 cents for every dollar they pay comparable
Speculation is that M&S
will launch a class action suit against major ad/PR firms
but no suit has been filed as yet. The New York City Commission
on Human Rights, after a four-year investigation, last year
won signed agreements from 16 major agencies to fight discrimination.
Paul appeared about 300
times on TV/radio shows in 2008 including Fox News, CNN,
MSNBC and many radio shows. He and Fraser Seitel, author
of The Practice of PR and an ODwyer columnist,
are the two most visible spokespeople for the PR industry.
Paul said PRS is in a
crisis situation that must be addressed quickly.
He said there are no people of color running a global PR
operation, none that are the head of a top ten firm, and
none that are running any of the dozens of divisions of
global PR firms.
The excuse that
We cant find suitable minority candidates
is no longer acceptable, he said, calling on PRS board
members to have the humility to accept that
they are causing an embarrassment to the PR industry.
The PRS board had two
senior counsels last year (Dave Rickey and Mary
Beth West) but none so far this year. I will sit down
with the board and go over the names of suitable candidates,
New PRS directors (except
solo practitioner Don Kirchoffner) are at organizations
with pro-active minority hiring policies.
They are Gail Liebl,
Travelers; Gary McCormick,
Scripps; Kathy Barbour,
Mayo Clinic; Prof. Lynn
Appelbaum, CCNY; Steve
Grant, National Education Assn.; Prof. Deborah
Silverman, Buffalo State College; Catherine
Huggins, Western & Southern Financial, and Gail
Winslow-Pine, Catholic Medical Center.
E-mails were sent to the
17 directors asking them if they favored adding two or more
people of color to the board as senior counsels.
Only one responded, saying she decided almost eight years
ago that the trials and tribulations about PRS
in this NL would not add anything professionally enriching
to my life and that therefore, Im not
listening to anything in the NL. She promised not
to respond to further e-mails.
Busy to Comment
Debra Miller, who in 1997
became PRSs first black president, was reached at
her new job as VP-corp. affairs, Aurora Health System, Burlington,
Wis. She said she was in a meeting and could not speak.
She did not call back. She was previously at Clark Atlanta
Recruiter William Heyman,
who has a database of minority PR people and has championed
minority hiring, said through an assistant Feb. 5 he was
traveling and could not talk about the matter until Feb.
10, which would be after the NLs deadline.
Ofield Dukes, who headed
the PRS diversity committee from 2001-2003, said he would
withhold comment while studying the strategy involved in
dealing with the issue.
Kim Hunter of Lagrant
Communications, L.A., whose Lagrant Foundation has given
$1M in ten years to minority scholarships, would not comment
on the all-white PRS board but said there are too few people
of color in high PR posts.
Edition, February 11, 2009,
of the PR Societys all-white board
(page one) and PRSs reaction to this have opened a
Pandoras box of ineptitude at the Society.
leadership and staff froze like a block of ice when this
criticism burst on the board last week.
for comment were chair Mike Cherenson, his leadership in
a shambles after only one month; the other 16 members of
the board, who took the muzzle at their meeting Jan. 23,
and PRSs PR staff, which is trying to handle this
incendiary situation via e-mails.
one critic pointed out, the non-integrated board is but
the latest foible on top of PRSs litany of practices
of secrecy and suppressing dissent that are anathema to
the core beliefs of the communications profession.
has agreed to meet counselor Mike Paul this week but he
should also be meeting with this writer. No PRS president/chair
has met with us since 2002. The most recent four havent
even talked to us.
Julin, 2008 chair, was based in Denver and 2007 chair Rhoda
Weiss was in L.A., providing somewhat of an excuse. But
Cherenson is in Parsippany, N.J.
and radio personality Tavis Smiley, who addressed
the 2006 PRS conference in Salt Lake City, screamed at the
audience of about 1,500 PR people: Stop the spinning,
stop the spinning
the American people are sick and
tired of being spun.
Our message to the elected
leaders of PRS would also be a screamStop the
running, stop the hiding. Truth and facts are catching up
Smiley, an African-American
who has talk shows on PBS and Public Radio, said people
crave the truth so much they are making sophomoric
reality shows like American Idol the rage because
either you can sing or you cant.
He heads a sizable staff dedicated to the support
of human rights and related empowerment issues. Its
goals are to Enlighten, encourage and empower
using informative and inspiring media.
would be a good addition to the PRS board as senior
counsel. Three Southerners have had that titleRay
Crockett of Atlanta in 2007 and Dave Rickey of Birmingham
and Mary Beth West of Maryville, Tenn., in 2008. How about
some people of color?
Putting one or two token
people of color on the board would not accomplish anything.
There should be about nine or ten and none should be members
of PRS. Several should be prominent journalists.
The gene pool
of the board has shrunk to near zero in 35 years of APR
inbreeding and needs refreshening. The Hapsburgs, chronic
inbreeders, developed impotence, retardation and the Hapsburg
lip, a hideous deformity that blocked chewing.
The PRS board has developed
intellectual and character deformities over the years. Its
members have lost the ability to know right from wrong.
They block information flow on numerous frontsAssembly
transcripts, lists of delegates, bylaw reforms like Central
Michigans democratic proposal, discussion of the printed
directory, etc. They take oaths of silence so they can hide
behind a single spokesperson. They refuse to
read anything that doesnt trumpet the PRS party line.
District directors are forbidden to talk to their constituents.
Elected CEOs wont give out their speaking schedules.
The list is almost endless.
are we hoping for from this dust-up? Justice. Fairness.
PRS made and sold at least
50,000 copies of our articles and hundreds of thousands
of other authors articles without permission and has
refused to pay any of us a dime even in the form of free
ads. None of us has much hope of APR directors ever rectifying
this or many other abuses but if some major executives of
color come on the board we might have some hope.
We believe they would
come to our office and examine the boxes of information
packets that PRS sold at prices $18 (members) and
$55 (non-members) plus $3 for postage/handling. They would
see entire 30-40 page chapters of books copied and sold
with no thought of asking permission or reimbursing the
casualty of the PRS board controversy is the much-heralded
PRSAY blog started Jan. 12 as a town square
for members and non-members alike. Issues of mutual
concern were to be discussed.
The demand that the board
add some people of color was not deemed to be a fit topic
Almost all the copy on
PRSAY is by Cherenson and COO Bill Murray. There were fewer
than 20 postings by anyone elsea meager turnout from
the 22,000 regular members and 10,000 student members not
to mention the PR industry at large.
We posted a couple of
innocuous items as a test but found some others did not
get by the moderator. Another PR person had
the same experience. Barred by PRS is any submission that
contains objectionable content or is off-topic,
irrelevant, or inappropriate for the purposes of this Blog.
Falling under this apparently are ridding PRS bylaws of
APR; 2008 Assembly transcript; printed members directory;
identity of Assembly delegates, etc.
real town square is Twitter, where we
were able to instantly post long articles on the non-integrated
PRS board and PR award mania (using PDFs since
Twitter only allows 140 characters per post). Those familiar
with the service have learned to provide links to complete
Twitter fans tell us everything
goes up instantly and can be tagged for a specific audience
such as PRS. Thats what we do and find lots of PRS
Only in the rarest instances will Twitter take down a post,
say users. There is no moderator as at PRSAY.
You (the user) are solely responsible
for what is put on Twitter, say the rules. Twitter may remove
something deemed defamatory, offensive
etc. but it has no obligation to do so, rules
The U.S. started out with
complete freedom of speech, meaning anyone could say anything
about anyone without fear of prosecution. The town
square was available to set things right. The original
Americans were fed up with British libel law where the wrong
words said about the Crown could lead to hanging, drawing
and quartering or being burned at the stake. The U.S. has
gradually reverted back to the U.K. system only instead
of physical punishment there is the ruinous lawsuit. Justice
Charles Ramos of the New York Supreme Court argued against
this slide in an essay carried in full in the July 24, 1995
Wall Street Journal (8/2/95 ODwyer NL).