The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, March 4, 2009, Page 1
INTERCONTINENTAL LOOKS FOR
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
IHG has posted videos with top executives to offer insights
into its marketing priorities and challenges facing the
Deadline for RFI submissions is March 13. Betsy Bondurrant
has info at 770/604-2794.
STATE SPOKESMAN TO BOEING
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.
SMUCKER’S LOOKS TO FILL
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
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
PATERSON RECRUITS KAUFFMANN
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
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
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.
IPG POSTS 22% RISE IN Q4 NET
Interpublic has announced a 21.6 percent rise in fourth-quarter
net income to $217M on a 4.1 percent dip in revenues to
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
Edition, March 4, 2009, Page 2
CALIFORNIA ROLLS OUT RFPs
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
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
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 SUPPORTS WOUNDED WARRIORS
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
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.)
KILMER GETS PR SUPPORT
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.
FIRM: SULEMAN DESERVED TO
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 odwyerpr.com 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
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 ideas...to aid informed public
EDELMAN’S GROSSMAN TO
Matt Grossman, senior VP for Edelman in Paris, has moved
to The Walt Disney Corporation as VP of corporate communications
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.
Edition, March 4, 2009, Page 3
ASNE CANCELS CONVENTION
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.
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.
WASHPOST NET FALLS 77%
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 CourseAdvsor.com and a $65.8M hit on lower ad revenue
and value of the Everett (Wash.) Herald and its community
SCRIPPS KILLS ‘THE ROCKY’
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
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 THREATENS TO SHUT CHRONICLE
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
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
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
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.”
news continued on next page)
Edition, March 4, 2009, Page 4
MURDOCH SAYS HE IS ‘REALLY
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
TIERNEY DECLARES CHAPTER 11
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
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
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
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.
N.Y. POST DROPS LIZ SMITH
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 wowOwow.com, a site for women
that Smith helped found and partly owns.
founder and editor-in-chief of online car magazine Motivemag.com,
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
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.
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.
Real Simple lifestyle magazine has revamped its website,
RealSimple.com. 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.
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.
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.
Edition, March 4,
2009, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
SLASHED BUDGETS ‘RELATIVELY
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
FWV ON THE MOVE
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
PRBI GROWS MEMBERS
PR Boutiques International, a network of small firms,
says its membership has doubled since its founding in February
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.
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.”
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.
New York/Tonda, Italian eatery, and Kino film series, for
its 30th anniversary at the Museum of Modern Art, for PR.
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
& 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.
Pa./Alegant Law, P.C.; The Bucks Club; Chatsworth Consulting
Group; Renaissance Wealth Management, and the Women’s
Resource Center, for PR.
& Partners, Raleigh,
N.C./BASF Plant Science, as AOR for advertising, media buying,
sales literature, interactive, public/media relations and
Minneapolis/Hazelden Foundation, national non-profit, for
Tunheim Partners, Minneapolis/U.S. Energy Services, for
strategic counsel and PR support.
Ky./The American Federation for Medical Research, as AOR
on a three-year contract following a review that included
three other firms.
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.
Center for the Performing Arts, for promotional, advertising
and media services for a new series starting in the fall.
San Francisco/SOMS Technologies, environmentally friendly
engine oil filtration products, as AOR for PR. VC
helped launch the company last October.
Angeles/The Allison Inn & Spa (Newberg, Ore.),
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.
Edition, March 4, 2009, Page 6
NY PR PROS TURN OUT FOR TWITTER
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
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
PR Society's New York chapter was the sponsor.
ADMEDIA IN SOCIAL MKTG. FIRM
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.
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: marketingmine.com.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Farrow, who handled in-house PR at Electronic Arts,
to Wonacott Communications, Los Angeles, as an A/S.
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.
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
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.
Edition, March 4, 2009, Page 7
OGILVY SHOWCASES HOLLAND'S
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
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.
EX-BUSH AIDE TOUTS 'GREEN'
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
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
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
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.
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.
STAUBER STEPS DOWN
John Stauber is stepping down as executive director of
the Center for Media and Democracy, publisher of PRWatch.org.
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
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,
SHERBIN EXITS HP
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
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.
KAYAK REVIEWS TRAVEL PR ACCOUNT
Internet travel search portal Kayak.com 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] kayak.com; 203-899-3111.
Download the RFP at odwyerpr.com.
Edition, March 4, 2009,
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,
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
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.
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."
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
PRS should be copying the governance and staffing policies
of the 4As, ABA, AMA and AICPA.