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Internet Edition, March 4, 2009, Page 1


InterContinental Hotels Group, owner of brands such as Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Candlewood Suites, Hotel Indigo and InterContinental Hotel, has issued a request for information in a bid to assess the capabilities of PR firms in the marketplace.

The RFI follows a review of suppliers to help it “achieve financial savings and make relationships more efficient, maximizing their value,” according to the document.

IHG, which bills itself as the world’s largest hotel company based on the number of rooms, aims to “establish deeper, more strategic relationships focused on innovation, value, cost and service.” It promises a “more structured approach to how we appoint and manage our suppliers and is putting in place new and more robust contracts where appropriate.”

IHG has posted videos with top executives to offer insights into its marketing priorities and challenges facing the lodging business.

Deadline for RFI submissions is March 13. Betsy Bondurrant has info at 770/604-2794.


Sean McCormack, the top public affairs official at the State Department during the Bush administration and a former White House deputy press secretary, joined Boeing on Feb. 27 as VP of communications.

McCormack was Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs under Secretary Condoleezza Rice, leading media relations and global communications in addition to serving as chief spokesman.

At Rosslyn, Va.-based Boeing, he reports to Tom Downey, senior vice president, comms.

The aerospace and defense contractor also said it brought in David Morrison from the Podesta Group to be its chief lobbyist. He starts on March 6.


The J.M. Smucker Company has brought in search firm Marshall Consultants to fill a mid-level communications post at the Orrville, Ohio-based company.

Larry Marshall, head of MC, noted that Smucker's produces the Jif brand and other peanut butter products and, although it doesn't have any products that are recalled, Smucker’s is proactively addressing consumer concerns with its PR and advertising.
Marshall prefers candidates with food and/or consumer packaged goods experience, and issues and crisis management savvy is a plus. Resumes and salary requirements: marshallcareers [at]


Peter Kauffmann, who was VP at Glover Park Group’s office in New York, is the new communications director for beleaguered New York State Governor David Paterson. He succeeds Risa Heller, who resigned.

Kauffmann is former press secretary for Sen. Hillary Clinton and deputy press secretary for the Democratic National Committee.

Before joining GPG, Kauffmann served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy. He was geopolitical analyst specializing in the Pacific region and deployed aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln.

Kauffmann received the Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal for tsunami relief work. During Operation Unified Assistance, he provided daily briefings on relief programs to government officials and the U.S., Australian and Indonesian militaries.
Paterson has taken much heat for his unsteady effort to find a successor to now Secretary of State Clinton, a search that resulted in the trashing of Caroline Kennedy and elevation of a little-known upstate Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand.
Paterson’s official proclamation naming Gillibrand New York Senator originally spelled her name as Kristen. That has been corrected.


Interpublic has announced a 21.6 percent rise in fourth-quarter net income to $217M on a 4.1 percent dip in revenues to $1.9B.

The ad/PR conglom earned $295M for the full year on $7B revenues. The 2007 numbers were $167.7M and $6.6B, respectively.

CEO Michael Roth called the ’08 results “very strong,” and a year in which IPG “continued to demonstrate significant improvement in profitability.”

The firm posted organic growth of 3.8 percent during ’08, an increase that Roth said “is at the top end of our industry.” Roth cautioned that the economic slump is taking a toll on the ad/PR sector. The downturn that began late `08 and continues today has “begun to show the negative effect that the broader economic situation is having on the marketing services sector.”

He is uncertain “how pronounced or lasting the downturn will be” and assured investors that IPG is focused on the basics and margin management in an effort to ride out the storm.

Roth trimmed salaries and related expenses 2.3 percent to $1.1B during the fourth-quarter as the economy began to tank. He slashed rent and office-related outlays by 16.3 percent to $484M.

(Continued on page 7)


Internet Edition, March 4, 2009, Page 2


California’s “Quiet Roads” campaign is looking for a firm to handle grassroots outreach to the public as well as local and state officials to encourage the use of sustainable development in roads and highways.

That push, funded by the California Integrated Waste Management Board, involves touting the use of recycled material like rubberized asphalt concrete, or RAC, organic material and consideration of erosion control in rebuilding or developing new byways in the state. The rubberized asphalt uses recycled tires, a key environmental issue in the car-crazy Golden State.

The account, which has a budget of $1.2M, is split into two “tracks” – one targeting the public to have them urge elected officials and so-called decision-makers to use such materials, and the second targeting those officials directly.

The work includes research, material development, community outreach, media relations, web development and some advertising.

Deadline for proposals is March 27 (March 13 for questions. The RFP can be downloaded from the IWMB’s website:
A second RFP has also been issued for a more advertising and PSA-centric campaign aimed at urging Californians to maintain their tires and purchase longer-lasting tires for their vehicles. That two-year contract is worth $2.4M.


Fabiani & Co. is working to raise public awareness of the Wounded Warrior Project, the Jacksonville-based group dedicated to serving the needs of severely injured service men and women.

WWP’s agenda deals with supporting the transition process of injured soldiers to civilian life, providing healthcare and rehabilitation for those with Traumatic Brain Injury and securing prosthetic devices for soldiers who incur amputation.

The group is also working to clear administrative snafus found in veterans’ hospitals like those reported at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

WWP was founded by John Melia, who suffered burns and other injuries when his helicopter crashed off the coast of Somalia in 1992. Those injuries resulted in his medical retirement in 1995.

F&C is headed by James Fabiani, former CEO of Cassidy & Assocs. He is working the account with Erin Fry, an ex-National Academy of Sciences staffer, and Jeffrey Wiener, former legislative aide to Senate Armed Services Comm. member Mary Landrieu (D.-La.)


McMahon, Squier & Associates, a Washington, D.C.-based PR firm run by veteran Democratic operatives, is working with actor Val Kilmer as the New Mexico native mulls a political future in the Land of Enchantment.

Steve McMahon, a media consultant who has worked with Sen. Ted Kennedy and on Howard Dean’s presidential and DNC chair bids, confirmed to O’Dwyer’s that his firm is counseling Kilmer.

The 50-year-old actor and registered Democrat is considering a run for governor or some other form of political involvement. He grew up in California but lived in New Mexico for 25 years. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson must step aside in 2010 because of term limits, but Lt. Gov. Diane Denish has eyes on the office.


Joann Killeen and Mike Furtney took on “Octomom” because Nadya Suleman deserved the right to tell her story in a “professional and sympathetic fashion.” Here is Furtney’s response to an article:

“The image is indelible. The public relations man for Enron sits on the floor of the disintegrating firm’s board room and screams at the late CEO Ken Lay, demanding that he and his cabal of corporate schemers tell the truth.

Or more currently, what do we suppose the communicators for Lehman Bros., Merrill Lynch and AIG were saying about their employers as some of the world’s greatest banks and insurance firms sank — taking personal fortunes with them?

My point? We in public relations are asked to deal with many situations in our careers, and Joann and I took on Nadya Suleman for two reasons.

First, we believe that every person has the right to professional counsel, whether it is legal in nature or public relations; second, we believed that Nadya Suleman deserved an opportunity to explain her story in a professional and sympathetic fashion, and we worked around the clock to help her get as fair a hearing as possible.

Sadly, not all the media gave Nadya the type of interview, patient and caring, which Ann Curry and NBC did. And the majority of the public — already irate over our nation’s fragile economic condition — jumped on Nadya and her 14 innocent children without sympathy or concern for the future of the Suleman children.

The very positive response of many, with offers of money, clothing, furniture — even homes — does suggest that many good people are willing to overlook the unusual circumstances of Nadya’s life and focus on the needs of her children.

We remain firm that our pro bono efforts for Nadya reflect the PRSA code which instructs us all to “provide a voice in the marketplace of aid informed public debate.”


Matt Grossman, senior VP for Edelman in Paris, has moved to The Walt Disney Corporation as VP of corporate communications for EMEA.

Grossman is based in London for the media conglomerate.

At Edelman in Paris, he counseled Societe Generale, which dealt with a rogue trader last year, Microsoft’s Xbox and Starbucks. He was previously a senior VP in the firm’s digital entertainment, rights and technology unit in the U.S. handling Warner Bros. and MySpace among other clients.

Grossman previously headed communications for the Motion Picture Association in Los Angeles, developing PR strategies as digital rights and piracy became big issues for the MPA, an Edelman client at the time.


Internet Edition, March 4, 2009, Page 3


The American Society of Newspaper Editors has canceled its Chicago convention due to the “challenging times we face,” according to a memo written Feb. 27 by Charlotte Hall, president of the organization.

Participants at the April 26-29 convention were to vote on dropping the word “paper” from its name in a bid to broaden membership to include online editors and journalism educators. That tally will now be online.

Hall says it was clear that attendance was going to be “low because editors need to be in their own newsrooms during this difficult time.”

The 2010 conference is slated for Washington. The ANSE cancelled its convention once before during WWII.

Hall called this year's circumstances quite different than in 1945. “This is a uniquely stressful period in our business as we face both structural change and deep recession,” she wrote.

ASNE's board of directors will soon meet to figure out the financial implications of killing the convention.

Hall praised the convention program committee for putting together an “innovative and relevant program.”

She promised that ASNE would increase reliance on its website to “help editors share what they are learning as they reshape their news organizations for multiple platforms and operate with fewer resources.”

The ASNE was founded in 1922.

Conferences Feeling Pinch

The Magazine Publishers of America, citing the economic downturn, has canceled its annual fall conference for consumer mags, which was slated for Oct. 18-20 in Boca Raton.

Nina Link, president of the MPA, said in a statement that the move came “in response to the difficult economic climate facing all businesses, including the magazine industry.” She said the group recognized that members are looking to cut costs, which would likely have included travel and hotel expenses associated with the confab.

Link said MPA hopes to resume the event next year in Chicago. She also noted the group is planning a New York event focused on innovation in the industry, but details were not available.

The Outdoor Advertising Association of America also pulled the plug on its upcoming May conference.

Adweek reported last week that the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ Media Conference, slated for New Orleans this week, has registered only about 600 attendees, off from 1,300 last year.


The Washington Post Company said fourth quarter net plunged 77 percent to $18.8M compared with 2007's $82.9M hit by buyouts and two major write-downs.
The media company said growth at its Kaplan education and Cable One operations, which together represent 68 percent of its 2008 revenue, offset declines in newspapers, magazines and TV broadcasting.

The newspaper unit posted a $14.4M loss for Q4 and $192.7M loss for 2008. Buyouts by 231 employees made up 41 percent of that decline.

Its magazine unit, which includes the newly revamped Newsweek, put up an $11M profit for Q4 but an overall loss of $16.1M for the year.

The company took a nearly $70M write-down for its higher-education website and a $65.8M hit on lower ad revenue and value of the Everett (Wash.) Herald and its community papers.


The Rocky Mountain News (Denver) has shuttered its operations after the Friday, Feb. 27 edition because E.W. Scripps says it could not find a buyer for the 150-year-old paper.

“Today the Rocky Mountain News, long the leading voice in Denver, becomes a victim of changing times in our industry and huge economic challenges,” said Rich Boehne, CEO of Scripps in a statement. “The Rocky is one of America’s very best examples of what local news organizations need to be in the future. Unfortunately, the partnership’s business model is locked in the past.”

More than 200 staffers are losing their jobs. Scripps announced in December that it was seeking a buyer for the paper that it says lost $16M in ’08.

The Rocky had a joint operating agreement with the Denver Post. It is said to be the longest running business in Denver.

The Friday edition included a history of the paper.


Hearst Corp. is threatening to close the San Francisco Chronicle, which has been published since 1865, if it does not get cost savings from the paper's unions.

The New York-based media combine claims the Chron lost $50M in 2008, and 2009’s loss to date surpasses last year's rate.

The Chron is the nation’s No. 12 newspaper. It has a weekday circulation of 340K.
Frank Bennack, CEO of Hearst, said cuts are needed due to the “sea change newspapers everywhere are undergoing and these dire economic times.”

If Hearst does not obtain givebacks, it will attempt to find a buyer for the Chron, but then shut it down if there is no interest in the paper.

Hearst, which had published the San Francisco Examiner, bought the Chronicle for $660M in 2000. It then sold the smaller Examiner.

Yahoo Honcho Joins

Neeraj Khemlani, who was chief of Yahoo's news and information unit, has joined Hearst as VP & special assistant to the CEO for digital media. He is charged with coordinating digital content throughout the company's magazine and newspaper holdings.

Bennack wants Khemlani to “accelerate the progress through greater cooperation and synergy across divisional lines.” At Yahoo, Khemlani was responsible for Yahoo's news, tech, weather, education reporting and editorial programming for Yahoo Finance.

From ’98 to ’06, Khemlani was producer for CBS News’ “60 Minutes.”

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, March 4, 2009, Page 4


News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch on Feb. 24 took full responsibility for the dead chimp cartoon that ran in the New York Post, triggering outcries of racism and fears that the image depicted the assassination of President Obama.

The Aussie admitted the paper made a mistake by running a cartoon that offended many people, according to a statement posted on the NYP site at 2:22 a.m. and updated at 3:16.

He personally apologized to “any reader who felt offended and even insulted.” Over the past couple of days, Murdoch said he spoke with a number of people and now better understands the hurt caused by the Feb. 19 cartoon.

He talked to Post editors and is sure the “only intent of that cartoon was to mock a badly written piece of legislation. It was not meant to be racist, but unfortunately, it was interpreted by many as such.”

Murdoch holds readers of the Post in “high regard” and vows to be “more attuned to the sensitivities of our community.” As chairman of the Post, Murdoch said: “The buck stops with me.”

The Post is target of a boycott and calls to dump editor-in-chief Col Allan and Sean Delonas, who drew the cartoon.

Earlier last month, the paper issued a quasi-apology that said “sorry” to everybody, but not to those people who protested its headquarters.

They were dismissed as troublemakers with an agenda against the paper.


PR man Brian Tierney, who fronted an investment group that purchased the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News, has put the papers into bankruptcy.

He claims the papers are “sound and profitable,” but are squeezed by the $390M debt connected with the $562M purchase of the former Knight-Ridder papers from McClatchy in 2006.

The financial crunch, advertising woes, rising cost of newsprint and flight of readers from print to the web have hammered the Philly papers and the rest of the newspaper world.

In an email to staffers, media mogul Tierney wrote:

“We have been hit with a perfect storm, including a dramatic decline in total revenue, the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression and a debt structure which is out of line with current economic reality. Despite these difficult circumstances, we have been working towards an operational structure that can flourish once we get the debt restructured.”

The filing, according to Tierney’s statement, is “focused solely on our debt, not our operations.”

Philadelphia Newspapers, which is part of Philadelphia Media Holdings, made the Chapter 11 filing. It says it has been out of compliance with loan agreements for months and could not cut a deal with a group of lenders led by Citizens Bank to restructure the debt.


The New York Post is dropping columnist Liz Smith after a 14-year stint due to the tough economic times, according to editor-in-chief Col Allan.

In a Feb. 9 letter to Smith, he said the Post is “buffeted by unprecedented economic gales.”

Smith, 86, told the New York Times that she never had the impression that she was Allan’s “cup of tea.” Smith's contract is up Feb. 26.

She has written in New York tabloids for 33 years.

Smith will continue writing a five-day a week column for syndication and post scoops on, a site for women that Smith helped found and partly owns.


Eddie Alterman, founder and editor-in-chief of online car magazine, has been named editor-in-chief of Hachette Filipacchi Media’s Car and Driver, starting March 2. Csaba Csere departed the EIC post two months ago after 28 years with the magazine and HFM U.S. group editorial director John Owens had been helming the title.

Alterman was previously EIC of MPH magazine and website and earlier penned the car column and features at Men’s Journal.

Allan Donnelly, executive editor of American Media’s FLEX magazine, was named editor-in-chief in his third year with the bodybuilding title. He was previously with American’s Men’s Fitness and Muscle & Fitness.

Conde Nast has promoted Wired associate publisher Howard Mittman to publisher of the tech title. She had been in the associate post since September 2006 and is former ad director at Popular Science.

Time Inc.’s Real Simple lifestyle magazine has revamped its website, Features include more than 100 “how-to” videos featuring editors, checklists, and a streamlined design. Time said the site had 2.1M unique visitors in January.

Gerry Nott, editor-in-chief at Canwest Publishing’s news service, has been named EIC of The Ottawa Citizen, which it owns. Canwest said it conducted an extensive national search over the past several months before deciding on the 51-year-old Nott. He has been with The Spectator, Windsor Star, Calgary Herald and was recently posted in Winnipeg for the CNS.

InformationWeek said it is taking “social responsibility for the carbon footprint of the magazine” by making four issues in 2009 solely available via PDF and not in print form.

The move reduces the printed issue count to 33 from 37 issues for the year.

John Siefert, senior VP and publisher, said the magazine conducted “an extensive analysis to understand our carbon footprint as a magazine.”

Weekly circulation base is 440K.

Internet Edition, March 4, 2009, Page 5


PR budgets at nearly 200 organizations in a recent study are down more than 11 percent this year compared with 2008.

The USC Annenberg Strategic Communication and PR Center said this week that FY 2009 communications budgets were cut an average of 7.4 percent initially, but those budgets have been reduced further this year by about 3.9 percent for a total of 11.3 percent since 2008.

Jerry Swerling, director of the Center, acknowledged that the recession has hurt the profession and that “there will undoubtedly be more pain in the future,” but he found the results “somewhat heartening for the profession” because past downturns resulted in much more precipitous cuts, even total elimination, of PR budgets.

Swerling said companies have largely avoided dramatic cuts to internal communications staffs in favor of reducing budgets with external agencies or payroll freezes.

Slightly more than half of the organizations surveyed said their 2009 PR/communication budgets were smaller than 2008 by an average of 19 percent, notable because many budgets were on the rise in previous USC studies over the previous four to six-year period.

One-fifth of the responding entities said they expect staff reductions this year on average of 27 percent and 77 percent said they anticipate pay freezes or cuts this year.


French/West/Vaughan, Raleigh, has moved into larger offices in Tampa and traded the Empire State Building for Madison Avenue in New York.

CEO Rick French said the firm kept a small service office in the Tampa market after it acquired The Glasure Group two years ago, but he said the addition of clients like the Xtreme Fighting Champtionships has brought on the need for larger digs. Jack Glasure has been named executive VP/principal overseeing Tampa.

In New York, the firm’s E.S.B. lease expired and French said he’s excited about having an iconic address more associated with the advertising and PR business on MadAve.


PR Boutiques International, a network of small firms, says its membership has doubled since its founding in February 2008.

Lucy Siegel, CEO of Bridge Global Strategies and president of the group, said 24 agencies in 11 countries are now a part of the network.

Four new members include David and Sam PR, Phoenix; fd Comunicacao, Sao Paolo; Scott PR, Canoga Park, Calif., and The Darnauer Group, Aspen.

The network includes members in Europe and Asia, as well. Info:

BRIEFS: Larry Weber has added a new unit to his W2 Group of marketing firms. Two Martinis is a branding firm Weber says will focus on “unlocking the essence of a brand, or ‘Brand Truth.’” He says he saw a need to help business create strong brand impressions in an “increasingly social media world.”


New York Area

Ogilvy PR Worldwide, New York/Themis Media, publisher of video game magazine The Escapist, for strategic communications for that online title and other properties. Siobhan Aalders, senior VP, heads the account. Ogilvy has also picked up Mobile TeleSystems, a Russian mobile phone operator, for global comms. following a competitive pitch late last year. London and N.Y. co-lead the work, which started in February.

Gotham PR, New York/Tonda, Italian eatery, and Kino film series, for its 30th anniversary at the Museum of Modern Art, for PR.

MWW Group, East Rutherford, N.J./Everlast, boxing equipment marketer, as AOR for PR, including media relations, B2B and “branding” initiatives, as well as comms. for its 100th anniversary in 2010 and an increased push into the mixed martial arts category.

Travers Collins & Company, Buffalo, N.Y./Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, for a comprehensive PR campaign funded by a grant from National Grid, an investor of the economic development entity.


Furia Rubel Communications, Doylestown, Pa./Alegant Law, P.C.; The Bucks Club; Chatsworth Consulting Group; Renaissance Wealth Management, and the Women’s Resource Center, for PR.

Howard, Merrell & Partners, Raleigh, N.C./BASF Plant Science, as AOR for advertising, media buying, sales literature, interactive, public/media relations and marketing research.


Maccabee Group, Minneapolis/Hazelden Foundation, national non-profit, for PR.
Tunheim Partners, Minneapolis/U.S. Energy Services, for strategic counsel and PR support.

South/Mountain West

Top Shelf Communications, Louisville, Ky./The American Federation for Medical Research, as AOR on a three-year contract following a review that included three other firms.

Linhart PR, Denver/Colorado Technical University, as AOR for PR for the 44-year-old institution, which has campuses in Colorado Springs, Denver, North Kansas City, Mo., Sioux Falls, S.D., in addition to an online school.

Levenson & Hill, Dallas/Dallas Center for the Performing Arts, for promotional, advertising and media services for a new series starting in the fall.


Vantage Communications, San Francisco/SOMS Technologies, environmentally friendly engine oil filtration products, as AOR for PR. VC helped launch the company last October.

Burditch Marketing Communications, Los Angeles/The Allison Inn & Spa (Newberg, Ore.), as AOR.


Blueprint Partners, Brussels/G4S, security services, for public affairs and communications in the E.U. following a competitive pitch. BP, which is part of FD, will develop a PA plan to build relationships with E.U. institutions and NATO.

Internet Edition, March 4, 2009, Page 6


Sandra Fathi, president of Affect Strategies, led a two-hour "Twitter Immersion Course" that drew 120 to offices of MS&L Worldwide on Feb. 25.

Fathi told the audience how to create a "user profile" and how to use "hashtags" to make 14-character "tweets" searchable to the Twitter community.

"Think before you tweet," Fathi told the audience.

Panelists included David Binkowski, senior VP, Word-of-Mouth Marketing at MS&L, who provided case studies on how the firm has used Twitter to "generate buzz" for clients.

Thomas Barritt, partner and associate director of the Global Food & Nutrition Practice at Ketchum, told how his firm uses Twitter to serve food and nutrition clients.

The panel pointed out that 70 percent of Twitter users joined in 2008 and that from 5,000 to 10,000 new accounts are opened each day.

Key milestones for the service came in March 2007 when California authorities used Twitter to track wildfires and, in April, when the Obama campaign began tweeting supporters.

PR people can read the tweets for the event by searching for the #tweetNY hashtag on Twitter. To follow the speakers, the following may be entered: @sandrafathi, @dbinkowski, and @culinarytypes. This website is @odwyerpr.

Ten reasons to tweet, according to Fathi, are:

1. Generate Awareness
2. Seek & Create Media Opportunities
3. Foster Customer Loyalty
4. Launch Viral Marketing Campaigns
5. Manage Reputations
6. Promote Products and Services
7. Network with Customers
8. Extend Event Participation
9. Monitor Trends & Breaking News
10. Recruiting.

PR Society's New York chapter was the sponsor.


AdMedia Partners, New York, advised social marketing agency Mr. Youth as it sold an interest to private equity firms Alta Communications and The Mustang Group.

Mr. Youth runs RepNation, a network of 100K-plus consumers that marketers tap to try ideas and solicit insights about products and services.

Clients of the firm include JetBlue and Ford Motor.

AdMedia noted a large group of well-funded PE firms and selected strategic buyers are presently looking for marketing and media companies.

BRIEFS: Marketing Mine, Atlanta, is a new service that helps marketers find specialty services like widgets, in-game advertising or user-generated promotions. MM says it maintains clients’ confidentiality by giving access to its profile only to registered marketers. It notes that while an agency search can cost as much as $10K/year, its enhanced service tops out under $2,000 for small to mid-size firms. Info:



John Foster, VP at Cohn & Wolfe in Los Angeles, to Krupp Kommunications, New York, as executive director, responsible for developing strategic marketing and branding initiatives, traditional and social media programs, and managing account teams. He was previously a VP at Bender/Helper Impact and started out as an A/E for Jane Ayer PR.

Beth Leri, senior A/E, Intermarket Communications, to Spring, O’Brien & Co., New York, as an A/E in its financial services unit. She has counseled Charles Schwab, Russell Investments and the New York Board of Trade.

Jonathan Kopp, partner at SS+K, to Ketchum, New York, as global director of the firm’s digital media services unit, Ketchum Digital. He oversees the unit in the new post, which includes web design and development, A/V production, graphic design and print media. Kopp is an attorney who has worked in Democratic politics.

Kim Zeuli, research director and business consultant with the Corporate Executive Board, Business Leadership Forum in D.C., to the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond (Va.), as assistant VP of community affairs.

Palmira Farrow, who handled in-house PR at Electronic Arts, to Wonacott Communications, Los Angeles, as an A/S.

Han va der Zwan, formerly of TBWA PR\Company, to Trimedia, The Netherlands, as CEO succeeding founder Richard Neve, who exits for “other challenges.” Huntsworth acquired Trimedia in 2002.


Lisa Hamilton, president of The UPS Foundation, Atlanta, has been named to head UPS’ corporate PR unit. Ken Sternad, who was VP of PR, takes over Hamilton’s role at the foundation. She was formerly public affairs manager in D.C. for the company before taking over the foundation. Sternad has headed PR since 1997.

Amanda Sellers to VP, Spectrum Science Communications, Washington, D.C. Sellers, who joined in 2004, continues to lead accounts in women’s health, pain management and oncology.

Gwinavere Johnston is taking over for her mother, who has the same name, as president and CEO of Denver-based JohnstonWells PR. Johnston the elder founded the firm 37 years ago and will take on a chairman role. Gwinavere the daughter joined 15 years ago and has recently served as president and COO.


Internet Edition, March 4, 2009, Page 7


Ogilvy Public Relations is handling a ten-month campaign to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Holland's settlement/development of New Amsterdam in a program dubbed "New York 400."

The celebration is based on the 1609 voyage of Henry Hudson on the Dutch ship "Halve Maen" (Half Moon). In search of a northwest passage to Asia, the explorer sailed up what is now the Hudson River to Albany before turning back.

Under the $325K contract inked with the Royal Netherlands Embassy, Ogilvy is to develop a "brand management campaign that elevates the county's position as a long-standing partner relevant and important to the U.S. now and in the future."

The integrated PR campaign includes earned media, thought leadership and digital communications activities.

Ogilvy's prime targets are New York City, Albany, Hudson Valley and the New Netherland area of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Dutch heritage regions of Michigan and Iowa will also receive attention of the WPP Group property.

Lisa Ross, executive VP, is project leader of “NY 400.” She is assisted on a pro bono based by Rob Mathias, Ogilvy/D.C. managing director.


Constellation Energy, the Baltimore-based power company that is struggling financially, has brought in a former top environmental advisor to President George W. Bush in a top corporate and public affairs post.

James Connaughton was chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality for the eight years of the Bush administration, serving as a senior staffer to the president for environmental policy in the post that required Senate confirmation.

At Constellation, Connaughton took up a newly created executive VP role on Feb. 24 overseeing corporate, public and governmental affairs as well as "green" and energy policy.

The energy company, which is trying to sell half of its nuclear business to a France's Electricite de France SA in a $4.5 billion deal, wants the former White House aide to leverage its low-emission and renewable energy portfolio.

"Ultimately, our business legacy will be our environmental legacy, and as a company - and nation - we're at a critical juncture and must make the right choices," said Mayo Shattuck, chairman, president and CEO of Constellation.

Connaughton was previously an attorney in Sidley Austin's environmental practice.
Constellation reported 2008 revenues of $19.8 billion, but posted a Q4 loss of $1.4 billion and said it is laying off 800 employees in addition to cutting its dividend.

BRIEF: 42West founder and CEO Leslee Dart will receive the 2009 Matrix Award in PR from presenter (and client) Tom Hanks on April 27 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. The New York Women in Communications sponsor the annual awards.


John Stauber is stepping down as executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, publisher of

The founder of the Madison, Wis.-based nine staffer PR watchdog says "At 56, I want a less demanding life with more personal time." His successor will be a high-energy fund-raising pro with an understanding of the world of public interest social change.

Stauber says he launched CMD 16 years ago with $5,000 because the "world needed a public interest group devoted to documenting and exposing how government propaganda and corporate spin undermine democracy and progressive social change."

He/she will lead CMD as it probes areas of human rights, citizen empowerment, social and economic justice, ecological sustainability and political and corporate accountability, according to the job specs.

CMD wants a new executive director in place by the summer. Boston-based Egmont Assocs is handling the search for Stauber's replacement. A cover letter, resume and salary history go to [email protected] or 85 East India Row #24, 02110.


Bob Sherbin, VP of communications for HP who handled its nearly $14B acquisition of EDS last year, has moved within Silicon Valley to computer graphics chip developer NVIDIA Corp. in that same title.

The 51-year-old Sherbin headed IR, PR and external communications, in addition to corporate comms., in his time at Palo Alto-based HP.

He started out in journalism as a bureau chief and reporter for Dow Jones in Hong Kong, Sweden and New York. He moved into corporate comms. at HSBC and Merrill Lynch and entered the tech arena with a posting at Gateway.

Santa Clara based Sherbin said he’ll have a particular focus on external corporate messaging and strategic media relations reporting to senior VP/marketing Dan Vivoli. Sales at the publicly traded company for 2008 topped $4 billion.


Internet travel search portal is looking for PR pitches to "shake up" its approach.

The Norwalk, Conn.-based company, which claims about 20 percent of online travel search users, wants a firm to help it reach the other 80 percent. It has issued an open RFP for its six-figure PR account through March 6.

Kellie Pelletier, VP of communications, said she's available for 20-minute consultations March 2-4 for firms that want to pitch. She asks that any interested firms read Kayak's current press kit and releases before contacting her.

Edelman has worked with the company recently and Quinn & Co. won an earlier RFP in 2007 for the account.

Among its challenges, the company notes it has a small PR unit and is no longer “the new kid on the block” and is therefore being left out of stories about ways to save money on travel.

Pelletier is at kpelletier [at]; 203-899-3111. Download the RFP at


Internet Edition, March 4, 2009, Page 8




AIG, whose hand is out for another $30B in government money, committed two of the great PR boo-boos last year by spending $440K on a meeting at the St. Regis Resort on Monarch Beach, Calif., and then another $300K at the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay, Calif.

The second meeting was less than a week after AIG got an $85B bailout from taxpayers.

Reporters had a field day chortling about the costs ($600 a night at the St. Regis (two night minimum) and $400 nightly at the Ritz), the goose-down pillows, separate showers and baths, plush terry cloth robes, etc.

AIGers spent $147K at the St. Regis for "banquets," $6,939 on golf, and $5,016 at the StoneHill Tavern (plus $139K for rooms).

AIG spokesman Nick Ashooh, a longtime member of (PR) Seminar, explained such meetings were necessary to reward independent agents. Rep. Henry Waxman responded that meetings as such high-cost places were "inappropriate" and most Americans agree.

Similar inappropriate high-living is enjoyed by two groups in PR, the Seminar and the PRS "Leadership Rally."

About 150 Seminar members and their spouses or guests will meet May 20-23 (Wed.-Sat.) at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, Calif. Rooms are $449 with breakfast.

Since Seminarian/guest registration is $3,350 and three nights in the hotel are about $2,000, the total cost per couple, counting travel expenses of about $1,000, is at least $6,300. The overall total is at least $950K.

Seminarians are encouraged to bring spouses or companions. This increases "bonding" among members and PRS is nothing if not a social event. Seminar only benefits the few since not a word of this meeting, which features top flight speakers, will ever escape it.

A stock market slide from 2000-2003 that took $7.3 trillion off the stock market resulted in the "PR Coalition 2003 Summit" in Madison, N.J. on Jan. 14 that year.

About 150 PR leaders, at least eight of them from the Seminar, were at the meeting. Nearly 20 PR organizations were represented. Worldwide market loss in 2008 is estimated at $30 trillion.

James Murphy, immediate past president that year of the Arthur W. Page Society, was chair.

Another scandalous part of this silence is that major news media go along with it.

Speakers every year include editors and publishers of the biggest print and broadcast media-New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Forbes, Fortune, ABC-TV, CNN, etc. They rub elbows with the corporate communications chieftains (almost no one has PR in his or her title which is why PR was dropped from the name two years ago) but never report even the existence of Seminar.

Big name professors, heads of government departments, and top management consultants address Seminar but not a word of it is ever shared with anyone else.
The elected head of the PR Society is invited every year and mostly attends but no word of the Seminar ever appears in any PRS medium.

We'll bet 99% of PR professors never heard of Seminar although it is the PR equivalent of the Assn. of National Advertisers, whose members are the big advertisers including P&G and IBM. ANA meetings are open to the press. Seminarians network all year long and the governing committee meets monthly. The only ones who know of its existence are members, guest speakers, and the subscribers to O’Dwyer products.

The so-called PRS "Leadership Rally" in New York each June, which replaced the spring Assembly of the PR Society, is a corrupting influence on chapter leadership.

Presidents-elect of the 109 chapters get a $500 stipend from national and many also get chapter money. It amounts to an all-expense-paid weekend in New York.
We don't think chapter leaders should be taking this largess from national. Chapter leaders should have their minds on one thing only-what their chapter members want and getting it for them at the lowest possible price.

New bylaws would mandate that chapters send either the president or president-elect to the new "electronic" Assembly. Since about half the chapters have fewer than 100 members, the Assembly would have a large number of delegates who fed at the h.q. coffer.

Rank-and-file members elected separately from the board and officers of a chapter are supposed to represent chapters. National and chapter ethics boards to take up this subject. This paid-for weekend in June in New York does not pass the smell test.

Only three comments have been posted on the new PRSAY blog about the momentous bylaw changes that are being proposed such as abolishing the sitting Assembly and the 10 districts, letting directors serve four years, and letting non-APRs on the board if they have 20+ years of experience "with increasing levels of responsibility."

The lack of discussion is because the description of them was well hidden in a link that was part of the announcement of the new bylaws.

To actually see the proposals, a member had to find, among several links, the one that says "leadership briefing."

Tecker Consultants, engaged by PRS to help with the new bylaws, looked at other associations.

It should have looked at the American Assn. of Advertising Agencies in New York, the "sister" association of PRS if ever there was one.

Both advertising and PR are headquartered in New York although there is plenty of ad/PR throughout the nation. Virtually all the big ad/PR firms are based in New York. The fact that ad agencies rather than individuals belong to the 4As is a minor point. Ad and PR agencies offer many of the same services. PR firms increasingly address consumers directly rather than going through media.

The 4As has 24 directors including 12 "regional" directors located throughout the country, but it is "directed by the operations committee" of the board which has 12 members, eight of them in N.Y. They can get together rapidly if need be. All of them are CEOs or presidents of very large agencies. None of them are minor players in advertising.

The staff head of the 4As is always from the ad business and as are about half of the 70 New York staffers. The 4As has always been in midtown, currently on the 18th floor of the Chrysler bldg. at 42nd st. It has an extensive library open to all ad people and others (it has helped us many times).

PRS should be copying the governance and staffing policies of the 4As, ABA, AMA and AICPA.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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