The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, February 25, 2009, Page 1
TECH ENTITY SEEKS FIRM
Technology Research and Development Authority, which allocates
funding and runs programs to boost tech endeavors and education
like the space program in Florida, is seeking an outside
Authority was created in 1987 and is governed by a five-member
board appointed by the Florida governor. It has alliances
with NASA and private sector companies and seeks to boost
education, research and economic development for technology
in the Sunshine State.
deputy director Dave Kershaw said Griffin Integrated Marketing,
Seabrook, Tex., is the incumbent.
RFP was issued on Feb. 10 with a March 5 deadline for proposals
to develop and implement a comprehensive PR plan for the
TRDA, including press release writing, media relations and
monitoring, electronic newsletter production and planning
for its website, TRDA.org. The RFP is posted online there.
is funded by federal, state and private allocations, along
with other means like proceeds from the Space Plate
license plate in Florida.
QORVIS READIES $20M+ AAMCO
has been named agency of record for Aamco, the No. 1 auto
transmission specialist, and will launch a more than $20M
integrated marketing campaign in April in front of the summer
Qorvis CEO Michael Petruzzello
told ODwyers the Aamco win establishes his shop
as a regional leader in advertising. Aamco is an iconic
brand and we are really excited to put our creative talent
to work for the countrys Aamco dealers.
Aamco was using Clearvision
for creative duties. Qorvis takes command of creative development
for TV/radio advertising, interactive marketing and PR.
The campaigns aim
is to bolster awareness of Aamcos complete car care
capability and grab share from competitors such as Firestone.
TESLA VET MOTORS TO PEPPERCOM
Peppercom has hired Darryl
Siry, former chief marketing officer for Tesla Motors, as
senior analyst for its clean technology practice. He had
handled brand building, sales and media relations for Tesla,
which has orders for more than 1,200 of its electric cars.
At Peppercom, Siry will
support its business intelligence group and GreenPepper
sustainability operation. He will counsel clients such as
Honeywell, Tyco Flow Control and Solazyme.
Prior to Tesla, Siry was
CMO at Firemans Fund Insurance Co.
RODRIGUEZ GETS PR COUNSELING
Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees
slugger taking licks from the media and public after he
was outed for failing a steroids test in 2003, has been
leaning on two PR firms to deal with the fallout.
Rubenstein PR president
Richard Rubenstein has worked with A-Rod since he joined
the Yankees, and confirmed to ODwyers that relationship
continues. But the third baseman also brought in Outside
Eyes, a crisis firm based on the West Coast, after the allegations
Rodriguez last week admitted
to using performing enhancing drugs after Sports Illustrated discovered that he failed a doping test in 2003. He gave
a brief interview to ESPN last week confessing to using
a banned substance and arrived at the Yankees spring training
facility in Tampa, Fla., last Tuesday amid a barrage of
questions from hundreds of reporters.
Ben Porritt, a partner
at Outside Eyes, was with Rodriguez in Florida last week,
as was Rubenstein. Porritt is a former press secretary for
Rep. Tom DeLay, when he was Majority Leader in the House
of Representatives. He also worked in the Bush White House
and on Bushs 2004 and John McCains 08
SOLBERG RETURNS TO DUTY; F-H
Betsey Solberg, who stepped
down from Fleishman-Hillard in 2006, has been called out
of retirement to head its Kansas City office on an interim
She takes over for Jennifer
Goldston, who took the post in April with the exit of Anne
St. Peter to launch her own shop, Global Prairie, in Feb.
Solberg, 69, opened F-Hs
K.C. office in 77. She was appointed F-Hs midwest
regional president in 99.
F-H, meanwhile, is trimming
North America staff to cope with the global economic slump,
according to CEO Dave Senay. He said the cuts represent
less than five percent of F-Hs staff.
PRS BYLAWS DROP APR RULE,
New bylaws proposed by
the PR Society would drop the APR rule for the board, drop
the districts, end the sitting Assembly (which would vote
electronically), and allow electronic election of directors
and officers by the entire 22,000 members.
The Assembly, which in
2006 heard a proposal to make it the ultimate policy-making
body of the Society, would become a group that
communicates regularly, votes electronically, and helps
shape PRSs advocacy agenda.
on page 7)
Edition, February 25, 2009, Page 2
PULLS PLUG ON OCTOMOM
Furtney Group has pulled the plug on its pro bono PR representation
of Nadya Suleman, the California mother who gave birth to
octuplets in late January.
president Joann Killeen said she and her husband, Mike Furtney,
dropped Suleman after receiving threats. One particularly
chilling threat outlined by Killeen suggested she should
be anesthetized and put down like a dog.
said L.A. police told her and her husband that the threats
were the worst they had seen since the O.J. trial. Clients
of the firm were also targeted by hecklers.
now has 14 children and has received welfare assistance,
sparking outrage among some in the public and media.
is a former president and COO of the PR Society and Furtney
was a PR exec for Union Pacific.
PSI SHEPHERDS LIVE NATION
Public Strategies Inc.
is guiding Live Nation through the Washington thicket as
its plan to merge with Ticketmaster runs into a roadblock
on Capitol Hill.
The potential combination,
resulting in Live Nation Entertainment, would control 80
percent of U.S. concert sales, according to New York Senator
Chuck Schumer. He penned a letter to Attorney General Eric
Holder urging him to block the deal on antitrust grounds.
The Justice Dept. has opened its own probe, an investigation
that looms as the first test of the Obama Administrations
Two PSI staffers with
strong Democratic ties are working the Live Nation business.
They are Lee Godown, former aide to Reps. Loretta Sanchez/Bob
Wise and staffer on the presidential campaigns of Dick Gephardt
and Mike Dukakis, and Daniel Kohns, ex-communications director
for Rep. Mike Honda and advisor to the failed Andrew Cuomo
for Governor run in New York.
The Senate Judiciary Antitrust
Subcommittee has penciled in Feb. 24 as the day it will
kick off hearings on the Live Nation/Ticketmaster hook-up.
The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts and Competition
Policy will take up the matter on Feb. 26.
Brunswick Group and Brainerd
Communications are handling media relations for Live Nation.
Abernathy MacGregor Group is guiding Ticketmaster.
WISNER EXITS AIG
Frank Wisner, a career
diplomat serving as vice chairman, external affairs, for
American International Group, is retiring from the troubled
financial services companys board.
Wisner, 70, served on
AIGs board of directors from 1997-03.
AIG chairman and CEO Edward
Liddy said Wisner contributed knowledge of international
affairs and public policy to the companys businesses.
Wisner retired from the
U.S. Foreign Service after 36 years, serving as ambassador
to India, the Philippines, Egypt and Zambia, in addition
to several under secretary roles at the State Department.
OMC MERGES GA WITH KREAB
Omnicom has merged its
wholly-owned Gavin Anderson & Co. unit with Swedens
Kreab Group in what is billed as a merger of equals
and a complimentary fit of the two firms.
Kreab, which is part of
Magnora AB, is a public affairs/strategic PR powerhouse
in nordic/northern Europe and the EU, while GA bolsters
a global corporate and financial PR network. Kreab and GA
have partnered in Beijing for a number of years.
Peje Emilsson, chairman
of Kreab becomes executive chairman of the combined Kreab
Richard Constant, CEO
of GA, is president/CEO of the merged entity, while Charlotte
Erkhammar, CEO of Kreab is deputy CEO of KGA.
KGA has more than 350
staffers in 25 countries. It will target financial/political
centers in developing markets in the Middle East and Asia.
Meanwhile, Standard &
Poors has placed OMCs long-term ratings on its
credit watch with negative implications. S&Ps
credit analyst Heather Goodchild says the placement is based
on the view that the congloms leverage will
likely rise further beyond our threshold for OMC at an A-
rating as a result of weak ad demand. The conglomerate
is unlikely to return within our threshold over the
next one to two years, according to Goodchilds
SITRICK STEPS UP FOR BROWN
Sitrick and Company has
been retained to mount a PR defense of Chris Brown, the
19-year-old multi-platinum recording artist whose career
is in jeopardy after an arrest for allegedly assaulting
The mainstream and entertainment
media have pounced on the story because Browns alleged
victim is believed to be the singer Rhianna.
Mike Sitrick and Tony
Knight of Los Angeles-based S&C issued a statement for
Brown on Feb. 15 expressing sorrow and regret from the singer.
Brown said in that press release that he is seeking the
counseling of his pastor, mother and other loved ones and
is committed to emerging a better person.
Brown continued: Much
of what has been speculated or reported on blogs and/or
reported in the media is wrong. Brown said via Sitrick
that he cant talk about the incident until legal issues
Knight was city editor
of the L.A. Daily News.
BP TAPS TORRES
Dara Torres, the darling
of the Beijing Olympic Games, is the new face of energy
giant BPs Gasoline with Invigorate line
and its positioning of helping a car run younger for
The 41-year-old swimmer
copped three silver medals during the Summer Games, competing
against women half her age.
The three-time Olympian
joins BPs Invigorate team of marathoner Linda Quick,
mountain climber Wendy Booker and surfer Ryan Helm.
Linda Bartman, marketing
communications manager at BP Products North America, believes
Torres story will help consumers make a relatable
connection to the brand. GolinHarris handles the BP
Edition, February 25, 2009, Page 3
YORK POST SAYS SORRY
The New York Post, the target of two days of chanting
protestors outside its Manhattan headquarters, has issued
a half-hearted apology for an editorial cartoon that shows
two cops standing over a bullet-ridden dead chimpanzee.
cop in the cartoon is saying: "Theyll have to
find someone else to write the next stimulus bill."
protestors say the cartoon plays off the racist depiction
of blacks as monkeys. Others suggest it calls for the assassination
of President Obama.
Rupert Murdoch-owned paper posted a statement on its website,
noting that the Sean Delonas-drawn cartoon has stirred "considerable
controversy." Its intent was to "mock an ineptly
written federal stimulus bill."
Post says its aware that the cartoon "has been
taken as something else - as a depiction of President Obama,
as a thinly veiled expression of racism. This most certainly
was not its intent; to those who were offended by the image,
paper then lashed out at its critics "in media and
in public life who have had differences with The Post in
the past - and they see the incident as an opportunity for
payback. To them, no apology is due. Sometimes a cartoon
is just a cartoon - even as the opportunists seek to make
it something else."
Al Sharpton, who is among leaders of the protest, regrets
the "conditional statement" of apology.
we think it is the right thing for them to apologize to
those they offended, they seem to want to blame the offense
on those who raised the issue, rather than take responsibility
for what they did," said Sharpton in a statement.
NYT CO. SUSPENDS DIVIDEND
The New York Times Co.
has suspended its dividend for the first time in 40 years,
a move that will save about $35M a-year.
The NYTC cut the payout
from 23 cents to six cents in November. The dividend was
upped in May 2007 from 17.5 cents.
Sulzberger says the dividend cut provides the company
with additional financial flexibility given the current
economic environment and the uncertain business outlook.
He said the NYTC has taken
decisive steps to reduce capital spending, lower operating
costs and re-evaluate our assets to help decrease
debt and improve liquidity.
NYTC shares trade at $3.75.
HAYNER UPPED AT S-T
Donald Hayner, managing
editor of the Chicago Sun-Times, is the new editor-in-chief.
He replaces Michael Cooke, who left for the Toronto Star.
The 57-year-old Hayner
is a 27-year veteran of the paper. He has been metro editor,
city editor, general assignment reporter, personal finance
writer, neighborhood beat reporter and Sunday features writer.
Hayner practiced law before joining the S-T.
Andrew Herrmann, 48, takes
Hayners ME post. He has been with the paper for a
quarter of a century as general assignment/lifestyles reporter,
Sunday editor, assistant city editor, editorial writer and
SUNUNU JOINS TWCS BOARD
Former New Hampshire Senator
John Sununu, who was defeated in 2008, has joined the board
of Time Warner Cable, which will be split from Time Warner
Inc by the end of March.
Sununu served as N.H.
Congressman from `96 to `02, and chief financial officer
of Teletrol Systems prior to that.
He is one of a trio of
new directors at TWC and is joined by Donna James and Ed
Shirley on the 12-member board.
James, managing director
of Lardon & Assocs., a business advisory firm, was president
of Nationwide Strategic Investments and executive VP of
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.
Shirley is vice chairman
of Procter & Gambles global beauty and grooming
unit, and held top posts at Gillette, which P&G acquired
TWC is the No. 2 cable
company. It has more than 14M customers.
PLAYBOY GOES ON AUCTION BLOC
CEO Jerome Kern said last week that he is open to offers
for the mens magazine that has been hammered by the
Internet. The company suffered a $156M loss for `08 on $292M
Kern took over for Christie
Hefner, daughter of Playboy founder, Hugh. He told an investment
conference call that Playboy is open to discussions.
Playboy is closing its
New York office and is combining print and online editorial
operations. Jimmy Jellinek, a Maxim alum, is overseeing
LIBERTY BAILS OUT SIRIUS XM
John Malones Liberty
Media notched a last-minute deal to save Sirius XM Radio
from a Chapter 11 filing.
Liberty is to pump $530M
into Sirius in return for preferred stock convertible into
40 percent of the satellite radio companys outstanding
Mel Karmazin, CEO of Sirius
XM, says Libertys cash infusion is an important
validation and a vote of confidence in
the radio companys future, especially in light of
the challenging credit markets.
Malone and Greg Maffei,
CEO of Liberty, will get seats on Sirius XMs board
Sirius XM lost $654M on
$1.8B nine-month revenues. Its stock trades at 14 cents.
HONEY REVIVED ON WEB
fashion magazine for women of color that closed in `03,
has been revived as a website.
The Sahara Holdings-owned
site focuses on fashion and beauty news/trends that are
of interest to women aged 18 to 34.
Honey reached a
1.5M circulation high before it was shut down by Vanguard
Media. Shanel Odum, ex-editor at Vibe, is editor-in-chief
of the new Honey.
news continued on next page)
Edition, February 25, 2009, Page 4
TUNES IN TO CBS NEWS
public affairs media exec Jeff Ballabon is slated to join
CBS News as senior VP of communications.
head media relations and public affairs for the news division
of CBS Corp. taking over for Sandra Genelius, who left in
the fall for the VP/comms. slot at Sony USA.
had been running his own PR and PA shop, Ballabon Group,
with offices in New York and D.C. and an affiliate agreement
with The Livingston Group.
Yale law grad previously headed public policy for TV, Internet
and magazine owner Primedia and held senior policy and communications
posts at Court TV and Channel One. He was also legislative
counsel to Sen. John Danforth (R-Mo.) and Republican counsel
to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.
the 2004 campaign, he specialized in Jewish outreach for
the Republican Party.
McManus is president of CBS news and sports divisions.
Corp. posted dismal Q4 results last week, reporting a profit
slide of 52 percent and revenue dip of six percent to $3.53B.
DETROIT CASTS F-H FOR FILM
Film Detroit, the division
of Detroits tourism entity that handles motion picture
and TV projects, has hired Fleishman-Hillard after an RFP
The Omnicom firms
Los Angeles office will lead the six-figure account, which
starts on March 1.
Film Detroit narrowed
the RFP responses down to three firms in Los Angeles. Chris
Baum, senior VP, sales and marketing, told ODwyers
that F-H was by far the most professional.
Baum said the film unit
is only two years old and had previously been using the
Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureaus in-house
We have come to
believe that the entertainment industry requires PR experts
on the ground in L.A. and New York, he said, noting
that Michigans generous film production incentive
is gaining traction in Hollywood.
The Wolverine State offers
a refundable tax rebate up to 42 percent for film operations,
among other incentives. It has advertised in the trade paper
Variety with the tagline Were Cheap and Easy.
Recent Hollywood hits
shot in Detroit include Gran Torino, directed
and starred in by Clint Eastwood, and the blockbuster Transformers.
WSJ DROPS DUBAI TENNIS SPONSORSHIP
The Wall Street Journal has yanked its sponsorship of the Barclays Dubai Tennis
Championships because the United Arab Emirates refused to
give Israeli tennis star Shahar Peer a visa to enter the
The UAE now says the ban
was put into place because officials feared Peer's play
might trigger protests in the aftermath of Israel's invasion
of the Gaza Strip.
The WSJ Europe is pulling
out because its "editorial philosophy is free markets
and free people and this action runs counter to the Journal's
editorial direction," according to its statement. The
News Corp. property is dropping a special advertising tennis
themed issue that was set to run this week as the men's
competition takes place. The WSJ also has dropped sponsorship
on the men's matches.
The Barclays Dubai Tennis
Championships lists other sponsors of the match including
Rolex, Lacoste, Sony Ericsson, Jacob's Creek and Newsweek.
Titled sponsor Barclays
says its agreement does not allow it to interfere with the
actions of the tournament, players and regulations of the
The WSJ ran an editorial
Feb. 18 called Dubai Double Fault. It says the
Arab city-state needs to reconsider not only Peers
visa, but its attitude toward Israel. The paper
said if Dubai truly believes it is a global mecca
for commerce, sport and recreation, it ought to be able
to handle a few Jews in its cosmopolitan midst.
TIME MAG ACCUSES HGTV &
Feb. 23 edition carries a list of 25 People to Blame
for the collapsing economy, describing the good intentions,
bad managers and greed behind the meltdown.
Among the 25 is Burton
Jablin, described as programming czar of Scripps
Networks Interactive which owns HGTV and other lifestyle
His shows pumped
air into the real estate froth by teaching us how to extract
value from our homes, says the article, which shows
pictures of the 25.
Programs such as Designed
to Sell, House Hunters and My House
Is Worth What? created addicted audiences,
says the story. Blame is also put on other shows such as
Flip That House (TLC) and Flip This House
No one on these
shows ever seemed to lose a dollar, giving the housing game
too much glamour and gusto, said Time.
SNI Has No
HGTVs Gary McCormick,
who is chair-elect of the PR Society, reached by telephone,
said the ones at SNI who might comment are Cindy McConkey,
senior VP-communications, SNI, or Audrey Adlam, VP-communications
and partnership marketing, HGTV. After speaking with one
or both of them, he called back to say there would be no
comment from the company on the story.
The 25 include
former Federal Reserve chair Alan Greenspan; Christopher
Cox, former SEC chair; former president Bill Clinton; Stan
ONeal, former CEO of Merrill Lynch, and Sandy Weill,
former CEO of Citigroup.
SNI, cable TV and online
operations including HGTV, Food Network, Food Network, DIY
(do-it-yourself), Fine Living and Great American Country,
was spun off from Scripps (newspapers) last year.
HGTV last year was the
big money-maker at SNI, grossing $171M in the second quarter,
up 12.9%. Gross of all operations for the second quarter
25, 2009, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
GREEN HABITS FIRM IN DOWNTURN
Cone says the dire economy hasnt changed the habits
of environmentally conscious consumers.
half of more than a thousand adults surveyed in late January
said their green buying habits havent changed amid
the downturn and 34 percent said they are more likely to
buy green products today, the firm reports.
eight percent among the sample of 1,087 U.S. adults said
they are less likely to buy green and 14 percent said they
dont shop with the environment in mind.
Yohannan, senior VP of corporate responsibility at Cone,
sees the results as evidence that environmental consciousness
is more than just a passing trend.
noted that as consumer confidence in companies has dipped
to record lows, trust in green messages has been surprisingly
resilient. Yohannan pointed to data saying 63 percent trust
companies to tell them the truth in their environmental
Earth Day approaches in April, Cone also highlighted the
finding that 85 percent surveyed said they think companies
should communicate green commitments year-round.
the small percentage of consumers who said they are less
likely to buy green amid the downturn, 71 percent said they
have less money to spend and environmental products seem
to cost more.
Important in Buying
A similar survey by non-profit
Green Seal and Portland, Ore.-based EnviroMedia Social Marketing
found that half of 1,000 people surveyed said they are buying
just as many green products as they were before the economic
downturn, and 19 percent said they are buying more.
Notably for PR pros, 21
percent of consumers polled said a products reputation
is the biggest factor they weigh when making a purchasing
decision. Word of mouth follows at 19 percent
and brand loyalty was cited by 15 percent. Only nine percent
said green advertising affected their decisions.
AUTHOR SEEKS SOURCES
David Stephenson, former
VP of public affairs at Agnew, Carter, McCarthy, is writing
a book with Washington, D.C.s chief technology officer
and is seeking examples of businesses and organizations
making strategic use of structured data like XML or XBRL.
Stephenson heads Stephenson
Strategies in Medfield, Mass. Contact 508-740-8918
Meritt, Washington, D.C., won a Gold Magellan award
for corporate/organizational communications from the League
of American Communication Professionals. The firm won for
its Pentagon Memorial Fund: We Must Never Forget
to raise money for a permanent 9/11 memorial at the Pentagon.
...Hal Dash of Cerrell Associates, Los Angeles, was elected
chairman of Worldcom
PR Group for 2009. Stefan Pollack of Pollack PR Marketing
Group, also in L.A., was named chair-elect and treasurer.
Mattie PR, New York/Marc Sebastien, skin care cosmeceuticals,
for PR, and Ootra, luxury accessories brand, for a fashion
Hammond & Associates, New York/Allegria Hotel
& Spa (Long Beach, N.Y.); The Atlantic Hotel (Ft. Lauderdale,
Fla.), and Certified Angus Beef Brand, as a full-time client
following a project for its 30th anniversary.
Waltham, Mass./American University of Antigua College of
Medicine and School of Nursing, for PR to raise the public
perception of offshore medical education and attract students.
Media relations, messaging and other PR efforts are among
Communications, Washington, D.C./Core180, telecommunications
network integrator, to develop and implement its 2009 PR
program, including message strategy, media and anlyst relations,
events and trade show marketing.
Richmond, Va./Tie Cinemas, for Feb. 27 opening of a 17-screen
movie theater in Richmond called Movieland.
Communications, Greensboro, N.C./Terrie Anne Bennett,
professional skier, for PR and sponsorship outreach.
Group, Atlanta/MaxRecall Technologies, as AOR to
develop a new message for the document management company.
The work includes PR counsel and marketing.
Communications, Boca Raton, Fla./Upromise, private
funding source for college tuition payments, for PR for
its Tuition Tales ceontest. Upromise is part of SLM Corp.,
also known as Sallie Mae.
PR, West Palm Beach, Fla./Community Foundation for
Palm Beach and Martin Counties, for strategic comms. counsel
for several civic engagement leadership projects.
Houston/WellEz, oil field operations reporting and support,
for marketing and PR.
PR, Austin/TaxaScapes, landscape design and maintenance
firm, for creation of a website, marketing and communications.
Group, Dallas/Silicon Border, science and technology
park in Mexicali (Mexico), for PR. Shelton previously launched
the company in 2005.
and Company, Los Angeles/University of Pittsburgh
Media Center, for opening of its $625M Childrens Hospital
in Lawrenceville, Pa. The hospitals use of an electronic
medical record system is drawing national interest. The
firm has worked with UoP in the past.
& Digney, Los Angeles/Madame Tussauds Las Vegas
and Hollywood, for PR representation. The Las Vegas locale
is marking its 10th year and the $55M Hollywood museum is
slated to open this summer next to Graumans Chinese
Theatre. S&D has also picked up Delta Groove Music and
eclectoGroove Records, an independent record label.
Edition, February 25, 2009, Page 6
a discount press release and writing services company, has
set up a news dissemination circuit just for non-profits
have served non-profits for years but felt it was time give
this formidable and important segment a place of its own
via CauseWire, said Mickie Kennedy, co-founder and
company, which has discounted its services to non-profits
for years, said the new wire includes newswire distribution,
media targeting and online visibility to meet the
special needs of non-profit entities.
points out that non-profits can have small or overtaxed
media departments and also notes that news dissemination
and portfolios can bolster fundraising efforts. Distribution
starts at about $200 while a writing and distribution package
will start at about $600.
PRN CREATES DEVELOPMENT POST
Victoria Akers, a researcher
for PR Newswire who has been the companys face on
the social networking service Twitter, was promoted to director
of audience development for PRN.
The company said the move
marks the launch of a division aimed at cultivating new
audiences among media, analysts, social media users and
Units marked for growth
include its PR Newswire for Journalists portal and the ProfNet
news source service, as well as the overall online influence
and following of the company.
She has been in PRNs
media research group for eight years.
COMPANIES LAUDED FOR DIVERSITY
Fourteen companies including
Wal-Mart Stores, CSX, National Grid and Omega World Travel
were recognized Feb. 19 by the National Minority Business
Council for being outstanding employers of minorities.
John F. Robinson, president
and CEO of NMBC, presided over the 29th annual award ceremonies
before more than 200 at the New York Marriott Marquis.
Founded in 1972, NMBC
is a not-for-profit that helps small businesses through
programs and networking support; acts as a clearing house
for the Women and Minority-owned Business Enterprise community,
and serves as a resource for corporate America for supplier
Keynote speaker Marisa
Lago, president and CEO, New York Empire State Development
Corp., spoke about President Barack Obamas stimulus
plan, saying it would help the state but was by no means
a magic bullet. Particular emphasis will be
put on helping small businesses and improving the states
infrastructure, she said.
CSX, National Grid and
Wal-Mart Stores won Outstanding Corporate Supplier Diversity
Outstanding Minority Business
Award winners were Bartlett Dairy, Levon Graphics Corp.,
and New York Staffing Services.
The Outstanding Woman
Business Award went to Omega World Travel, Fairfax, Va.,
headed by Gloria Bohan. It has offices in 125 cities.
McGuire, deputy chief of staff to New Jersey Gov.
Jon Corzine, to the Princeton Public Affairs Group, Trenton,
N.J. She is a former adviser to Sens. Frank Lautenberg and
Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and previously ran her own grassroots
shop, Front Porch Strategies.
Bennett and Mike
Schmidt to VPs, GolinHarris Public Affairs, Washington,
D.C. Bennett has been with the firm for a year, joining
from Issue Dynamics. He handles Kaiser Permanente, Olympus
and the National Cable and Telecomms. Association, among
other clients. Schmidt is a two-year veteran of the firm
and former journalist who heads the PA units sustainability
practice, geoImpact. He handles Dow Chemical, Waters Corp.
and Cool Earth, among others.
Groombridge, a veteran State Department hand who
was former counselor to the U.S. Ambassador to the United
Nations, to Global Communicators, Washington, D.C., as a
member of its board of senior international advisors.
Tillinghast, senior A/E, Victoria King PR, to Vollmer
PR, Austin, as an A/S to handle the Texas Tourism Office,
Hyatt Regency Austin, and the Employee Retirement System
of Texas, among other account. She was previously an A/C
at Publicis Dialog.
Krutchik, co-founder and principal at Edison Group,
to Allison & Partners, Los Angeles, as a senior VP.
Krutchik is a former commercial litigation attorney. Clients
joining A&P with him include Healthways, California
Childrens Health Initiatives and the Los Angeles Regional
Kates, a freelance journalist, to Infinity Communications,
Oakville, Ontario, as a VP.
Green, a veteran U.K. journalist most recently with IT PRO, where he was founding editor, to Davies Murphy
Groups European operation, DMG Europe. He was an editor
with Computing and sister pub Data Business for eight years, and has worked for the Daily Mirror,
Reuters, and Cable & Wireless, among other outlets.
DMG in the U.S. is based in Burlington, Mass.
Garcia to chief strategic officer and vision
stirrer at STIR-Communications, Miami. He joined the
firm in June 2008 from marketing firm Bridget Conway, where
he was CEO.
Rosene adds the title of chief sustainability officer
to his duties heading global communications as VP of public
affairs for Flowserve Corp., Dallas.
Edition, February 25, 2009, Page 7
BYLAWS DROP APR, DISTRICTS (contd)
would be renamed the Leadership Assembly and
would still approve bylaw changes, dues structure and chapter
non-APRs could run for the national board, they would have
to show more than 20 years of PR experience with increasing
levels of responsibility.
the new Leadership Assembly would be 26 heads
of national committees and task forces. Chapter delegations
would have to include the president or president-elect.
About 50 chapters that have fewer than 100 members could
only send the president or president-elect.
in the Assembly are about 47 national directors, district
heads and section heads.
once complained that such leaders should not
be in the Assembly since the Assemblys job is to hold
the leaders accountable. Houston withheld national dues
for a period to underscore its complaint.
bylaws re-write committee, headed by Dave Rickey, who was
initially given the task of heading bylaws re-write by 2004
president Del Galloway, published a membership briefing
on the new bylaws Friday, Feb. 20.
election of national board and officers by the 22,000 membership
might entail the shift of the PRS charter to another state
such as Delaware because PRS leaders have said New York
State law does not allow electronic voting.
Could Return as Directors
proposed bylaw would let directors return for another two-year
term and return again to run for secretary, treasurer or
1999, no director had ever returned to the board either
as a director or officer. Bylaws stated that directors could
not succeed themselves and this was interpreted
to mean either as directors or officers.
an emergency occurred in 1999 when the nominating committee
decided not to nominate counselor Lee Duffey as president-elect
even though he was treasurer. It picked Kathy Lewton, who
previously served on the board, breaking a nearly 50-year
tradition that barred anyone from returning to the board
in any capacity. Duffey opposed her at the 1999 Assembly
but Lewton won by a large margin.
the new returning director rule is passed, a volunteer could
serve up to nine years on the boardfour as director
and five more as secretary, treasurer, chair-elect, chair
and immediate past chair.
Would Propose Candidates
nominating committee, whose members would include APRs or
PR pros with 20 years of PR experience with increasing
levels of responsibility, would continue to propose
candidates could run by submitting 25 signatures from active
Assembly delegates 60 days before the Assembly.
bylaws committee did not take up the matter of how candidates
would campaign such as whether they would be able to state
their views on the PRS website. PRS for many decades has
picked its leaders on the basis of years of service to PRS
and PRS titles held rather than titles obtained in the business
world or stands on issues facing PRS or the industry.
COO of PRS would join the nomcom in a non-voting,
non-deliberating capacity to provide important
immediate past chair would continue to lead the nomcom but
his or her predecessor as immediate past chair would no
longer serve on the nomcom.
Assns. Allow All Members to Compete
associations it examined, said the task force, allow
any voting member in good standing to run for their boards.
The briefing is on the PRSAY blog of PRS in the public area
of the site.
Consultants, Yardley, Pa., described as experts in
association governance, helped the bylaw re-write
task force. It advised the committee that Popular
votes are supplanting the use of stakeholder groups (such
as the Assembly) to represent members and that Barriers
to full participation, including holding the organizations
credentials, are usually abandoned.
boards are defining and delegating, rather than reacting
and ratifying, was further Tecker advice.
Tecker in 2008 conducted a full day session for the PRS
board at its first meeting on the topic of how to be a director.
The 2009 board did not take part in such a session.
is the author of Will to Govern Well: Knowledge, Trust
May be Opened Further
bylaws committee has urged that new bylaws extend
membership opportunities to professionals with a broader
range of knowledge, experience and job responsibilities,
saying this is typical of todays communications
professional who is involved in all aspects of communication.
members interpreted this to mean that marketing, advertising,
promotion, research and those with other job descriptions
could join PRS. Prospective members once had to have a proposer
and seconder but this rule was dropped many years ago. Students
two years ago were allowed to join while still five months
ideal PRS, says the committee, will be member
driven, transparent and participatory, its board elected
by a popular vote among all members.
SOCIETY REJECTS ODWYER AD
attempt to place a full page ad in Tactics, the monthly
tabloid of the PR Society, was rejected by VP-PR Arthur
Yann who said in an e-mail to Jack ODwyer that PRS
chooses not to do business with your organization
given its history of, among other things, personally attacking
[PRS] leaders, harassing [PRSS] students, and misrepresenting
[PRS] programs, activities and operations.
said PRS does not consider itself to be a competitor
to the ODwyer Co. in any way.
Jack ODwyer responded that the ODwyer products
are in head-to-head competition with PRS products and this
is the real reason for the ad turndown. He said that PRSs
non-profit charter calls for it to act like a Chamber
of Commerce and not be in competition with anyone.
PRS has forgotten the first name in its titlepublic,
Edition, February 25, 2009,
bylaws rewrite task force of PRS has presented its recommendations
(page one) and we will present ours.
First order of business is bringing blacks on the board right
now, ending historic de facto discrimination (three blacks
on the board in 61 years).
Second is opening debate and taking a vote on bringing back the
printed directory of members, a decision that was made in
the dark of night without any notice to the Assembly.
Third is a board resolution ordering chair Mike Cherenson to face
PRS/NY ASAP and then at least a dozen other large chapter
memberships (not their boards) and take questions (just
like President Obama and Alex Rodriguez have done). PRS
chairs have run from members for four years in a row.
Fourth is a board resolution that takes the muzzles off the directors
and lets them speak to their own chapters and districts.
Fifth is ditching the Leadership Rally June 5-6 in
New York (in conjunction with the Silver Anvils June 4)
and replacing it with a working Assembly that will hash
over the bylaw proposals and make some of its own. The board
could call an Assembly meeting with ten days notice if it
Sixth is taking up the Tecker Consultants advice of transparency
and putting the full audit (2007 and 2008) and full IRS
Form 990 for both years on the PRS web. A balance sheet
showing deferred dues must be provided. CFO Philip Bonaventura
is a CPA but is not registered (hasnt taken the required
yearly courses and cannot use CPA after his name). This
is a red flag. Also a red flag is the failure
of PRS to have one of the big CPA firms as auditor (it used
to have Deloitte & Touche and Ernst & Young). True
costs of staff time on the conference should be revealed.
Seventh is cutting the board from 17 to 12 or even ten. PRS should
mimic the 4As. It has a 24-member board but at least eight
are in New York who can meet almost instantly on any problem.
PRS directors are scattered throughout the nation and the
board often doesnt have anyone from New York. Lynn
Appelbaum of CCNY was shanghaied onto the board after two
nomcom deadlines had passed. The board is too anti-New York,
too anti-media, too white, too inbred and lacking in any
non-PR people (which puts it out of step with most other
hope PRS has not paid too much money for the Tecker
We doubt the Assembly,
weak as it is, will vote itself out of existence and become
a propaganda arm for the board.
The Houses of Delegates
of the AMA and ABA, which tell their boards what to do,
are not doing that. These are the professional associations
that PRS should be mimicking and not any dug up by Tecker.
As for dispatching the
districts, the Assembly just turned this down by a large
margin in 2007 so Tecker should not be bringing it up.
Whats needed is
for some delegates to get together and block this power
play by the board.
Not only should the delegates
stop the 26 heads of committees and task forces from joining
the Assembly, but they should boot the 47 directors and
chairs of the districts and sections. These management
types have no business being in the Assembly which is supposed
to hold their feet to the fire.
We like the Tecker proposal
that the Assembly meet regularly and not just
once a year. Moving the charter to Delaware or elsewhere
(both easy and cheap) would allow electronic voting and
give members some access to big PRS issues.
Carl Icahn, writing in the Feb. 16 Washington Post about the current financial catastrophe, blasted
board members who were demonstrably unqualified, abjectly
remiss or simply too cozy with management as key culprits.
Nell Minow, of corporatelibrary.com,
has portrayed corporate boards as composed of intelligent,
capable, honorable people who lose 50% of their I.Q.s
and all of their courage when they join a board. The
PRS board certainly answers to some of these criticisms.
Icahn had another point
about board compositionthat the chair is a fiduciary
to shareholders and the main shareholder representative.
How can this person oversee the CEO if the job is one
and the same? he asks. We would put this question
to PRS which makes the chair (Mike Cherenson this year)
also the CEO. How can he monitor himself?
Anyone who has ever been
to an Assembly has heard the staff and board praise each
other endlessly for what a great job the other one is doing.
The board is too close to the staff and too far away from
the membership. Icahn says North Dakota has the most
shareholder-friendly corporate laws in the nation.
While on the subject
of the financial debacle, Time mag Feb. 23 harpooned 25 People to Blame for the housing meltdown
and one of them was Burton Jablon, described as the programming
czar of Scripps Networks Interactive, whose HGTV has
programs such as Designed to Sell, House
Hunters, and My House Is Worth What?
Time said these
shows and others pumped air into the real estate froth
and no one on ever seemed to lose a dollar, giving
the housing game too much glamour and gusto.
We called Gary McCormick,
director of partnership development at HGTV and chair-elect
Normally he would
be forbidden to talk to us under the single spokesperson
rule of the PRS board, but this was a matter that involved
his company rather than PRS.
he is not the spokesperson for HGTV, said that he would
seek a comment from Audrey Adlam, VP-communications of HGTV,
and/or Cindy McConkey SVP, Scripps Networks Interactive.
Neither would talk
to us nor was any statement available on this matter to
anyone. This is typical of corporate PR today.
Not only was it
impossible to reach Jablon, but even his PR people would
not get on the phone with a reporter. Scripps is one of
the great names in American newspapering and has an elaborate
Last year it split
the profitable online operations from the unprofitable newspaper/TV
Stock of the newspaper
part (SSP) went from a 52-week high of $147.78 to $1.59
last week while SNI (online) went from $44.98 after the
spin-off to $19.81 last week.