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Internet Edition, March 18, 2009, Page 1


The Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport has begun an open review of its PR account with an RFP process running through early April.

The seven-runway airport, which is among the top five in the U.S. for traffic, has worked with Burson-Marsteller since it won a 52-firm review in 2005.

Burson, which works with local subcontractors Ware & Associates and ATS, was granted a $220K extension this month to handle the account through July, when the winning firm would take over (or continue).

The PR contract, expected to be for a three-year term with two additional option years, will be under the direction of Ken Capps, VP/public affairs, and covers national media relations, PR, community outreach and events. Prior to B-M, the airport worked with Ackerman PR for two years after 9/11.

Proposals are due by April 6, but a conference for prospective bidders will be held March 18.

The RFP has been posted on the airport’s website.


Trevor Francis, managing director in Burson-Marsteller’s media practice, is joining the Republican National Committee as communications director for its embattled chairman Michael Steele.

The Richmond-based Francis served as press secretary for former Commerce Dept. chief Donald Evans. He also worked in the State Dept.’s communications shop and was deputy director for the inauguration of Bush/Cheney.

Steele, who was elected RNC head six weeks ago, has had a shaky start, highlighted by a high-profile squabble with Rush Limbaugh and fallout from an interview with GQ magazine in which he appeared at odds with the Republican Party’s position on abortion and gay rights.

Steele apologized to Limbaugh and released a statement March 12 to say he is and always has been pro-life.


Deutsche Bank has put a “sell” rating on Omnicom Group’s stock, downgrading shares from “hold.” Analyst Matt Chelser also cut OMC’s price target to $19 from $26.

Chesler made the downgrade though he admits there is no sign that client spending has tapered off at OMC as it had in previous economic slumps. He does anticipate that “downward pressure from clients on fees” will become intense.

OMC CEO John Wren has announced plans to cut about five percent of staffers.


Walmart U.S. is in the midst of an RFP process to review its PR account.

Edelman has worked with the retailer since 2005, when it edged APCO Worldwide and DCI Group in a review process.

The retailer said it has identified candidates for the account and that Edelman is in the mix.

Tara Raddohl, senior communications manager, Walmart PR & brand reputation, told O’Dwyer’s: “Walmart is currently talking to a number of public relations agencies to support consumer communications for Walmart U.S. Candidate agencies that may join the roster have already been identified and vetted. The incumbent agency, Edelman, Chicago, is participating in the search.”

Leslie Dach, former vice chairman of Edelman, is Walmart’s VP of corporate affairs and government relations. Select Resources International, Santa Monica, Calif., is handling the agency search.


Bill Novelli, of Porter Novelli fame, is leaving his CEO post at AARP on April 6. He will be replaced by Barry Rand, who will become the first African-American chief of the senior citizens lobbying group.

Novelli assumed the AARP slot eight years ago after he left the presidency of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. He is joining the faculty at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.

Rand worked at Xerox for more than 30 years. He left the copier company to helm Avis, which made him the first black to head a Fortune 500 company.
Rand retired as CEO of Equitant Corp. in `05. He serves as chairman of Howard University’s board of trustees.

AARP calls itself the “definitive voice” for people over the age of 50. It has 40M members and claims its AARP The Magazine is the world’s largest circulation mag with 34.5M readers.


The 50 PR firms that skipped the 2008 O’Dwyer rankings (3/11/09 NL) missed a chance to show “consistency” in financial reporting, said IR vet Ted Pincus, who called it a “sudden case of lockjaw.”

He said the firms violated a basic principle of financial reporting—consistency.

The current economic downturn is an “acid test of whether people can sustain not only their solvency but their principles when the chips are down,” he said.

(Continued on page 7)


Internet Edition, March 18, 2009, Page 2


The Army has pulled the plug on a bid to hire private contractors to bolster its public affairs operation in northern Iraq and the U.S. in support of the 25th Infantry Division’s public affairs team.

The Multinational Division-North, based in Tikrit, had been searching for three civilian PR specialists and two Arabic-speaking media monitors to work in Iraq and two staffers stateside.

A statement issued March 11 said the government “no longer has a requirement for this service.”

An RFP issued in February was extended twice with the last deadline for proposals set as March 15.

The Washington, D.C.-based Lincoln Group has worked alongside military PAOs in Iraq since early in the U.S. invasion, which began in 2003.

The Iraq-based team called for in the solicitation would have handled day-to-day PA support, local Iraqi and international media monitoring and outreach to Iraqi media. The U.S. team was needed to pitch hometown, regional and national U.S. media, including a “troop blog” and maintenance of an interactive website.

The 25th Infantry, known as the Tropical Lightning Division for its base in Hawaii, took over control of the northern command in December after previously serving there for 15 months from 2006-07.


Patton Boggs has picked up the Campaign for U.S.-Afghanistan Partnership, which is run out of McLean, Va., according to the lobbying firm’s federal filing.

The goal is to “advocate a stronger U.S. role in Afghanistan and to strengthen the bilateral relationship.”

The Campaign’s headquarters has an unlisted phone number. Its website is in the works. A notice promises information is coming soon. It says CUSAP is “committed to achieving sustainable security and prosperity in Afghanistan.”

PB’s Nick Allard and Robert Kapla represent CUSAP. Allard is a former aide to Sen. Ted Kennedy and the late Pat Moynihan. Kapla is a White House and Justice Dept. veteran.


Peppercom is helping Maytag as the Whirlpool unit has recalled 1.6M refrigerators that may represent a fire hazard.

The recall includes fridges sold from 2001 to ’04 branded as Maytag, Magic Chef, Admiral, Jenn-Air, Crosley and Amana.

Deborah Brown, managing director at Peppercom, said her firm is “providing ongoing media support during the recall process.”

The New York-based independent shop is “working together with the Maytag and Whirlpool corporate communications teams to ensure all media communications are disseminated and addressed in a timely manner,” according to Brown.

The refrigerators, according to the recall notice, contain a faulty relay component that may cause the compressor to overheat and thus cause a fire. There have been 41 reported ignition episodes that caused smoke or fire damage.


WPP Group is folding its 36-year-old Brouillard Communications unit into Brand Union, a branding outfit.

Simon Bolton, CEO of BU, told the Wall Street Journal his shop is strong overseas but lacks a robust presence here. He hopes the BU absorption of BC will remedy that situation. BU has 23 offices throughout the world and annual revenues in the $80M range.

Brouillard has worked for Bear Stearns, Pennzoil, Morgan Stanley, Salvation Army, Goldman Sachs and Lexus.

Its website describes CEO Rob Scalea as a “grand strategist” along the lines of Alexander the Great, George Washington and Bobby Fischer. He becomes head of Brand Union North America.

Bolton isn’t clear how many jobs will be lost with the cut in overlapping services. The Journal calls the disappearance of Brouillard the “latest phase in the slimming down beginning on Madison Ave.”


Roger Lowe, senior VP for APCO Worldwide, has left the firm for the senior VP/communications slot at the American Red Cross in Washington.

Lowe, who started work March 10, was at APCO for five years following a four-year stint directing public affairs in Porter Novelli’s D.C. office.

The Red Cross said Lowe will focus on expanding its web and social media presence.

Lowe was in journalism for 21 years covering politics, government, the U.S. Supreme Court, including a stint as Washington bureau chief for the Columbus Dispatch. He handled U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable to Catholic Charities USA while at APCO.

Suzanne DeFrancis, another Porter Novelli/D.C. alum, joined the Red Cross in ’07 as its chief public affairs officer.


The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District, California’s No. 3 public bus system, is looking for proposals covering its “brand development” program.

The District serves 67M passengers a year and seven East Bay cities, including Oakland, Berkeley and San Leandro. It plans a serious of enhancements to improve service by `14. That includes more rail-like boarding, off-board fare collection and bus-only transit lines.

The District wants a firm to create an “identity” for the improved services, consisting of a name, logo, color scheme, positioning, vehicle decaling, and shelter design, according to its RFP. The selected name of the service must be translatable into Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese and Cantonese.

Phase One of the work (focus groups) begins in July and runs 18 months through the following December. The full-blown marketing effort kicks off in 2012. Proposals are due April 7.

Sharon Dennis, contract specialist at AC Transit’s purchasing department, has info at 510/577-8897 and [email protected].


Internet Edition, March 18, 2009, Page 3


Rodale will kill Best Life after the May issue hits the newsstands next month because the Men’s Health spin-off failed to meet the publisher's “internal benchmarks,” said Steven Murphy, CEO, in announcing the decision to end the five-year-old magazine.

He cited the challenging advertising market and the overall sour economy as reasons for the shut-down.

BL had a circulation of 550K and was led by editor-in-chief Stephen Perrine and publisher Michael Wolfe. Murphy called the duo “outstanding leaders and ambassadors for the brand.”

Rodale also publishes Prevention, Runner’s World, Women’s Health, Organic Gardening and Bicycling.


News Corp. has purchased The Brooklyn Paper, the 31-year-old paper with a circulation in the 50,000 range.

TBP covers neighborhoods such as Brooklyn Heights, Dumbo, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Williamsburg, Park Slope and Bay Ridge.

It is owned by Ed Weintrob and published by his wife, Celia. Editor Gersh Kuntzman used to cover the borough for News Corp.’s New York Post.

News Corp. bought TBP competitor, Courier-Life, in '06. The TBP staff will move into C-L's headquarters in the Metro Tech complex this week.


McClatchy Co. said March 9 that it would cut another 1,600 positions, or 15 percent of its workforce, and order wage cuts as part of plans to slash $110M in spending in 2009 at its 30 newspapers.

The Kansas City Star, a McClatchy paper, said a workforce cut of 15 percent is likely, translating to about 150 positions, according to publisher Mark Zieman.

Another paper, the Modesto Bee said it is cutting 11 staffers after a union vote, and wages will be cut up to 10 percent for Bee staffers. Furloughs are also being discussed, the paper reported. McClatchy expects the moves to cost $30M in severance. The cuts will begin by the end of the first quarter of '09.

Gary Pruitt, chairman and CEO who declined '08 and '09 bonuses, also said he'll be reducing his salary by 14 percent. Other top execs will see a 10 percent cut and no bonuses for the year, according to a statement.

Also, company directors have seen their fees reduced 13 percent and stock awards were cut for '08 and '09.

“We have been transitioning steadily from a traditional newspaper company to a hybrid print and online, news and advertising company for some time,” Pruitt said in the statement.

“The effects of the current national economic downturn make it essential that we move even faster to realign our workforce and make our operations more efficient. We previously discussed a plan to reach a targeted level of cost savings, but given the worsening economy, we must do more,” he added.

Pruitt said “while painful, we know these actions are working” as evidenced by expense drops of 11.5 percent for ’08 and more than 14 percent in Q4.


The San Francisco Chronicle and its biggest union have agreed to cuts in an effort to fend off the shutdown of the Hearst Corp. property.

Hearst, last month, threatened to close the 144-year-old paper within "weeks" if concessions were not reached.

The California Media Workers Guild says the new agreement with Chronicle management allows for layoffs without regard to seniority. The Guild expects at least 150 of its 483 reporters, advertising, circulation and production staffers will be let go.

The Guild also okayed reduced vacation time/sick leave, expansion of the work week from 37.5 to 40 hours and expanded use of outside contractors.

Frank Vega, publisher of the Chron, is now targeting a Teamsters local for cuts to "ensure the newspaper’s survival," according to his statement.

Hearst says the Chron lost $50M in `08. Its circulation is pegged at 340K.


The Miami Herald is cutting 175 staffers and eliminating 30 vacant jobs in an effort to fight the advertising slump.

“Reductions will occur in all areas of our operation and at every level in the organization,” said publisher David Landsberg in an e-mail to staffers.

The cutbacks affect 19 percent of the McClatchy Co.-owned paper.

Remaining staffers get salary cuts and mandatory one-week unpaid furloughs.
Landsberg said he has done everything possible to “minimize the impact of layoffs by identifying alternative means of saving expenses.”

The paper, for instance, is reducing the width of its news pages and shuttering its international edition.


The New York Times Co. has completed its sale/leaseback deal with investment firm W.P. Carey & Co., a transaction covering the paper's new headquarters building. The deal is worth $225M.

The transaction covers 21 floors of the 52-story building that is located across from New York City's Port Authority bus depot.

The lease deal is for 15 years. The NYTC has the option to repurchase its condo interest for $250M in ten years. The initial rent is $24M. That will escalate over terms of the sale/leaseback.


Alex Baxter, executive director of digital media for Wenner Media, has moved to Parade as GM of its online endeavors.

Baxter headed Internet, mobile, video and other interactive services for Rolling Stone, Us Weekly and Men's Journal at Wenner.

He was formerly director of Internet sales and marketing at Dow Jones & Co.

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, March 18, 2009, Page 4


Braden Keil, who penned the New York Post’s “Gimme Shelter” real estate column died from cancer on March 10. He was 53.

Col Allan, editor-in-chief of the Post, called Keil a real estate reporter without a peer, one “whose smile and wit illuminated the darkest room,” according to a piece written by the Post’s Rita Delfiner.

Donald Trump remembered Keil as “a great guy, a fantastic reporter who understood real estate as well as anyone in the industry.”

The former columnist is credited for recognizing that New Yorkers are interested in what “bold-face-name-people” are buying or selling.

Keil was “equally at home in a pub as he was at the city’s swankiest eateries or Hamptons estates,” according to the piece.

The New York Observer called Keil, a frequent contributor to the Post’s Page Six gossip page, “New York’s dapperest scoop artist.”


Kevin Naff, editor of the Washington Blade, has been named editor-in-chief of Genre Magazine, a magazine startup by Blade owner Window Media, the country’s top gay publishing house.

Naff will continue at the helm of the 40-year-old Blade as he guides day-to-day operations and planning for the new magazine.

He was previously a financial journalist for Reuters in New York before moving on to the Baltimore Sun.


The Newspaper Project, the month-old group of newspaper publishers, has launched a new series of ads touting journalism’s historical role in the U.S.

With the tagline “Defending Freedom Daily Since 1776,” the ads will run in newspapers in print and online nationally this month.

The Project said he garnered more than 40K unique visitors to its first three weeks in February.

Members of the project include Parade Publications, Community Newspaper Holdings and the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association.


Hearst Newspapers has inked a content deal with the online writer’s community Helium.

Hearst said it will use Helium’s publishing platform to access local and lifestyle content through its stringers and will also use Helium’s “community debate” feature to let readers comment on articles.

The Connecticut Post and other papers in the Constitution State will go live with the features in the next few weeks, Hearst said.

Peter Newton, a former ad executive at the Boston Globe, is VP of business development for Helium.

Hearst’s senior VP for digital media, Lincoln Millstein, said the deal allows Hearst to produce local content for readers “while also taking the necessary steps to get our costs in line with today’s economic realities.”


Crain Communications has pulled the plug on RCR Wireless News after a 28-year run.

The wireless industry trade pub said the market for its products has been hit particularly hard by the global financial meltdown.

In a statement, Keith Crain, chairman of CC, said “it pains us to make this move but the economy gives us no other choice.” The title, published since 1981, claimed 50,104 subscribers as of December 2007.


Julie Bain, health and consumer service director for Reader’s Digest, has moved to Meredith’s Ladies’ Home Journal as features editor responsible for its new front-of-book “Journal” section.

She will also assign and edit features. Bain guided all health, fitness, nutrition and psychology coverage for RD and established multimedia platforms, including its first blog, Healthy Dose.

She has previously been health director for LHJ and deputy editor for In Style’s special issues.

LHJ has also added women’s magazine vet Marisa Fox as entertainment director in charge of cover stories, covers and celebrity Q&As. She takes over for Susan Pocharski, who left the magazine.

Fox was previously features editor at In Style and Allure, and deputy editor at Seventeen.


Mike Kessler, freelance writer for Details and Outside, among other publications, has joined Entrepreneur as a deputy editor.

He was previously articles editor for Denver’s 5280 magazine and executive editor of Skiing.

Kessler was previously staff editor for Outside and editor-in-chief of the quarterly No Boundaries.

Entrepreneur editor-in-chief Amy Cosper praised Kessler’s “investigative prowess and journalistic curiosity.” The 31-year-old independent magazine for small and mid-sized businesses recently underwent a revamp.

Briefs _____________________________

Marty Peretz, who sold The New Republic to Canwest Global Communications, in 2007, has bought the liberal magazine back in conjunction with an investment group led by Laurence Grafstein, a former Lazard executive.

The Winnipeg-based publisher says the 95-year-old magazine as its “only American asset” did not fit as a “core” holding.

Canwest revamped TNR into a 24 times a year magazine. Peretz will remain editor-in-chief of the magazine with Frank Foer as editor. TNR has a circulation in the 60,000 range.

Liza Zimmerman, a writer and former managing editor of beverage industry title Market Watch, has been named chief editor of Cheers, the monthly magazine published by the Beverage Information Group for hospitality pros.

Internet Edition, March 18, 2009, Page 5


Waggener Edstrom has released a beta version of a Twitter "mining" tool intended to gauge the tone of postings to the popular social networking service.

Called twendz, the service evaluates up to 70 tweets at a time on a topic by using a keyword-based approach.

Selected terms are compared to a database of words associated with a positive or negative slant and the terms receive a score that leads to twendz making an educated guess about the tone of a tweet.

When a handful of tweets are "scored," key terms are extracted and assembled in a word cloud, which would provide a snapshot of what is being discussed around a particular topic.

For example, on the topic of the new film "Watchmen," a March 12 series of tweets were gauged to be 41 percent positive, 39 percent neutral and about 20 percent negative. Among the terms extracted were "great," "geeks," "going," and "comic."

WaggEd noted that the service is in a beta stage and therefore the firm expects to change it frequently.

Reviewing the application for CNET, Josh Mowensohn called it a "great way to figure out what people are talking about without actually having to read their tweets, something that Twitter’s own search lacks and third-party software tools like TweetDeck haven't quite nailed."

The service is online at


Grupo BPMO, a Barcelona and Madrid-based group of six communications units, has set up an international division to cultivate global accounts.

Seventeen-year-old BPMO handles services from PR to corporate publishing, digital marketing, advertising and event management.

“In such challenging times, a possible reaction could be to stay put, watch the big wave go by and hope for the best,” said Jenny Hoefliger, who directs the new unit, noting that GBPMO has instead moved to expand its focus in the current environment.

BRIEFS: The IPREX network of PR firms has added “clean tech” firm Antenna Group of San Francisco as a partner. ...LaVoie Group, Salem, Mass., received a 2008 Impact Award from the League of American Communications Professions in the the “Best Industry-Exclusive Agency” category. ...Marx Layne & Company, Farmington Hills, Mich., was named to Corp! Magazine’s “best” in its “Best of Michigan Business” competition. ...Sitrick and Company, Los Angeles, is working with Herbst Gaming as the casino operator navigates Chapter 11 bankruptcy. ...PR Talent, a virtual consultancy based in Huntington Beach, Calif., said it has developed PinPointPR, a cost-efficient “localized” PR service based on its network of 1,200 freelancers nationally. A flat rate of about $2K/month is set for each market. Info: ...Rhea + Kaiser Marketing Communications, Naperville, Ill., nabbed three best of show awards, 31 first-place honors and 20 regional merit awards in the Regional Best of National Agri-Marketing Association competitions.


New York Area

M. Silver Associates, New York/Turkish Tourism & Culture Office, for a destination marketing program targeting North America. The work includes promotion of Istanbul as the 2010 European Capital of Culture.

Goodman Media International, New York/Nabbr, for PR support for its Gen Y online video network; American Library Assn., for the 40th anniversary of the Coretta Scott King Awards; World Science Festival, June event in New York, and Starmount Life Insurance Co., for PR.

G.S. Schwartz & Co., New York/HCL plc, U.K. healthcare recruitment for U.S. jobs; New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies, as it approaches its 75th anniversary, and C. Crane Company, direct marketer of consumer products, all for PR.

Peppercom, New York/FreshDirect, online food purveyor and delivery service, for traditional and digital PR.

Strategy + Communications, Weston, Conn./Cache-A Corp., for introduction of new video storage solutions, including PR and trade show support. The first new product debuts in April at the NAB convention.


The Castle Group, Boston/Salem Five Bank, 20-branch savings bank, as AOR for PR, and the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, for development of a strategic PR plan and comms. support. Mass. College Goal Sunday has renewed as a client for a fifth year.

WordWrite Communications, Pittsburgh, Pa./
Redstone Highlands, non-profit senior living community, as AOR for PR.

GolinHarris, Washington, D.C./National Insulation Association, to educate industry and policymakers on commerical and industrial insulation and its benefits to reducing energy consumption and greenhouse emissions.

Crossroads PR, Raleigh, N.C./SpectorSoft Corp., Internet and PR monitoring and surveillance software, and Atlantic Business Technologies, web development, for PR.

Trevelino/Keller Communications Group, Atlanta/
Ian Thomas Group, engineering software, for PR including messaging and press materials, analyst and media relations, and a “strategic visibility” program for founder Kevin Mobley.


McNeely Pigott & Fox PR, Nashville, Tenn./Tennessee State Collaborative on Reforming Education, or SCORE, a nonpartisan statewide push headed by former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. MP&F is handling national media outreach, community engagement and event planning.


Loughlin/Michaels Group, Campbell, Calif./Mokeena, new media infrastructure, for PR.

Cook & Schmid, San Diego/City of San Diego’s Redevelopment Agency, for PR, graphic design and community outreach focused on its affordable housing offerings, projects and public participation opportunities in the city.

Internet Edition, March 18, 2009, Page 6


New York-based media training firm Laskin Media was tapped by The History Channel to prep two professional loggers featured on the second season of the network's popular reality show “Axmen.”

Gabe Rygaard and Jimmy Smith, neither of whom had ever appeared in a TV interview, were media-trained by LM president Barbara Laskin and hit the airwaves with appearances on “Fox & Friends" and “Red Eye.”

On Fox & Friends, the duo appeared in a snowy outdoor interview in front of the News Corp. building in New York and conducted a logging demonstration on the sidewalk with a chainsaw. Both men discussed the upcoming show and outlined injuries sustained in the field. A clip is at

The new season of “Axmen” debuted on March 2.


Monica Elias, who directs fashion, beauty and luxury accounts at Medialink, has been promoted to VP, client solutions.

“Monica has orchestrated hundreds of successful campaigns for clients and truly understands how to help them express the prestige of their brands on air and increasingly on the web,” said Larry Thomas, COO of the broadcast and interactive services company.

Elias has been with Medialink since 2000.

Medialink also said it picked up two Telly Awards in the “Live Events” and “Viral Video” categories.

The company was hired by Cohn & Wolfe to produce videos for client Irish Spring, which included shooting footage of a dozen men dressed up as leprechauns in New York.

The second win was for a campaign with GolinHarris and Smithfield foods that includes B-roll and an interactive news release with celebrity chef Paula Deen.

BRIEFS: Business Wire said it has extended its relationship with custom publisher SmartBrief, which produces 35 industry email newsletters. BW users can distribute content to SB newsletters to supplement any geographic circuit. Cost is $150 per newsletter, which include NLs for the American Assn. of Advertising Agencies, International Dairy Foods Assn. and the National Retail Federation. BW has also enhanced its web-only social media platform, EON: Enhanced Online News. The additions include a tag cloud generator, relocation of its iFrame preview, and the addition of social media buttons for sites like Digg, Delicious and Twitter, ...TEKgroup International has developed an integrated social media package for its online newsroom software which includes the ability to share content via social media accounts. TEKgroup says it can ease the burden of overseeing viral messages for communcators and journalists. Content can also be tagged and sent via sites like Twitter. ...West Glen Communications, New York, says it has a “stimulus” package for non-profits that includes four 15-minute satellite feeds of PSAs with TV notifcation for a month at no cost to the organization. Deadline for consideration is March 27. Contact [email protected].



Jim Gorman, head of PR for Liquidnet, to Kwittken & Company, New York, as a managing director charged with growing the firm’s financial services practice. Liquidnet is a digital marketplace for equities trading. K&C has also added Russell Weigandt, a former comms. specialist for Chubb, as a senior A/E in editorial services. Will Nikosey, a social media consultant, has joined as an A/E.

Danielle Floyd and Kelly Seipe to A/Es for PR accounts, White Good & Co. Advertising, Lancaster, Pa.

Joyce Fredo, former PR director for the Venice Simplon Orient Express luxury train and hotels, to Ferri & Partners, Miami, as a director in its New York office. She was also former VP of Chiat-Day PR. Lisa Gaynes, former director of marketing for Course Manager International, joins as director of business development in Sacramento. Rich Roberts, former head of comms. for Wyndham Worldwide’s Hotel Group and an ex-reporter, joins as a director focused on lodging accounts, and Bill Warelis, who held posts at Burson-Marsteller, Hill & Knowlton and Edelman, takes a director role in Toronto.

Kimbirly Orr, show manager for New Hope Natural Media, to Sue Procko PR, Los Angeles, as VP of business development. She is former director of sales and special events for Brunico Marketing.


Tom Barritt, a partner at Ketchum, to director of online relationships and reputation for the firm’s global food and nutrition practice, a new post. He was previously director of Ketchum’s global issues and crisis management network.

Samantha Devine to A/E, Koroberi Inc., Chapel Hill, N.C.

Marlena Reed to VP of interactive services, communications 21, Atlanta. She has been with the firm since 2005.

Tricia Bentley to A/S and Kayla Schmit to A/C, Vollmer PR, Houston. In Dallas, Vollmer promoted Ashley Johnson, Rupa Patel and Lindsay Stout to A/E. In New York, Kate Sutherland to senior A/E and Nicole Buckley to A/E.

Michel Rathier, VP of external and internal comms. for Domtar, to Cohn & Wolfe, Montreal, as a managing partner.

Judith Cranford to managing director, health and advocacy, MS&L, London. Clare Lucker, former director and head of PR at Axon Communications, joins as U.K. head of healthcare for MS&L.


Margery Kraus, president and CEO of APCO Worldwide, was inducted into the Enterprising Women Hall of Fame on March 12 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The hall of fame was started by Enterprising Women magazine in 2002. Kraus founded APCO in 1984. The firm billed $112.4M in 2008.


Internet Edition, March 18, 2009, Page 7

PINCUS CHIDES NO-SHOWS (cont’d from 1)

Pincus, founder of Financial Relations Board and managing partner of StevensGouldPincus, management consulting firm, said the PR industry has spent a half century preaching consistency in financial reporting and transparency.

“There is nothing as important in reputation-building as credibility, and the only path to lasting credibility is truth, openness and transparency,” he said.

“Rain-or-shine transparency has paid handsome dividends in keeping the confidence of customers, employees, shareholders and Wall Street,” he continued.

Pincus was “appalled by the paranoid mentality that has swept over a substantial segment of the PR agency field in knee-jerk reaction to the economic meltdown of the past six months.”

But this year, in many cases, noted the management consultant, “the holy teachings of transparency were shelved as agencies ran for cover. Even though some experienced only a drizzle, not a monsoon, they suddenly were beset with lockjaw.”

Significant, he said was that 23 of the 25 largest independent agencies on his roster reported faithfully—whether good numbers or bad for ’08—although 48 other agencies refused to disclose their latest numbers and effectively dropped out of his rankings.

Said Pincus: “If you needed proof that this was the best policy, you could look no further than a 2007 study by Accenture that documented the evidence that all-weather transparency by public companies paid a solid return in long term street support. As an analyst or money manager, you tended to sponsor those companies that placed sustainable credibility above temporary embarrassment. They were never in the closet.”


Libya paid more than $750K in fees since September to The Livingston Group for its work to improve ties with the U.S. That sum generated half of the firm’s foreign fees.

The firm of former Speaker-designate Bob Livingston organized events at Libya’s Embassy, met with Senators/Congressmen, pitched corporations (ExxonMobil, Carlyle Group, Northrop Grumman) and squired a military delegation around D.C., according to TLG’s federal filing.

Former Hill & Knowlton staffer Lauri Fitz-Pegado is among TLG staffers working the account. She traveled to the World Economic Forum in Davos in February with Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi, the head of the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation and eldest son of Libyan leader Col. Gaddafi.

He talked about human rights, role of a civil society, climate change, education and training.

Libya formalized ties with the U.S. in ’08, 20 years after its agents blew up Pan Am Flight 203 over Lockerbie, Scotland.


Pacific Energy Resources has tapped Boardmarker Group to handle the Chapter 11 filing of the Long Beach, CA.-based oil/gas company squeezed by falling prices and a heavy debt burden.

PER, the former Shamrock Resources, blames the filing on the “dramatic decrease in the market price of oil over the past five months,” debt related to past acquisitions, and poor capital markets for a cash flow “insufficient to operate its business and invest in its oil production assets to increase production.”

Boardmarker is headed by Dean Stuart and headquartered in Calgary, Alberta. He worked in the economics department of Nova Corp. before joining the Alberta Stock Exchange. His firm has served financial communications and IR needs of natural resources clients such as Anglo Canadian Uranium, Ultra Uranium, Belmont Resources, Athabasca Minerals and Minco Gold Corp.


Ruder Finn said it is cutting its PR rates by up to 15 percent for Israel-based clients to avoid cancellations to PR plans.

Glenn Jasper, managing director for RF Israel, said companies that pull the plug on PR plans “are actually playing a role in prolonging the economic downturn.”
The Bank of Israel said last week that the country’s economy is in its worst slump since its founding in 1948.

The independent firm, which put out a news release announcing the price cuts, said it will reduce fees from 10 to 15 percent for clients of the Jewish state.

RF Israel is based in Jerusalem and its clients in the country include ECI Telecom, ECtel and AORA.


Sitrick and Company issued a statement on March 12 for a manager of singer Chris Brown to dispel reports that the embattled recording artist is considering new PR and legal counsel.

“Reports that Chris is looking to replace his team, including Mark Geragos, Tina Davis and Mike Sitrick, are false,” said Joyce Hawkins, who co-manages the 19-year-old Brown. “There are only two people who could make a change at that level on Chris’ behalf: his business attorney Kenny Meiselas and me – and neither of us were the source of this information.”

A popular and top-selling singer, Brown’s image has plummeted in the wake of February accusations that he allegedly abused his girlfriend, the singer Rhianna. The 19-year-old has been charged with two felonies in the alleged assault.

Sitrick was called in after that story broke and before a picture apparently depicting Rhianna with facial bruises surfaced on the Internet last month.
Tabloid media have swarmed to the story and have reported that the two entertainers are working to reconcile their relationship.

Brown took another image blow recently when photos of him gleefully racing around on a Wave Runner were aired and published, and he was forced to withdraw from the Kids’ Choice Awards this month because of the fallout.

The reports have begun to hit Brown’s career and wallet as well. Radio stations have pulled his songs from rotation and San Diego ad/PR firm Red Lizard Creative on March 13 issued a statement for client BigHeaded Boxers saying that Brown has “repudiated” his contract with the company.


Internet Edition, March 18, 2009, Page 8




IR/PR veteran Ted Pincus has spoken out on the folly of PR firms only reporting their figures when they’re good (page one).

He has said it as well as we could but with more authority since he built what was the largest financial PR and IR firms (Financial Relations Board) and knows firsthand the value of consistent financial reporting.

The fact that 50 PR firms ducked the rankings ostensibly because they had lower figures does not speak well for the industry.

One of the raps on PR is that its practitioners are all over the press when they have good news to spread but can’t be found when something unpleasant arises.

The bright spot is that 23 of the 25 largest firms put out their figures even though 12 of them were just about flat (rose 3% or less) and one was down less than 3%.

Four of the six biggest firms were up in double figures. They have been steady reporters for many years and their success may have something to do with the consistency they have shown in reporting their figures.

Clients are flocking to the major brands because of the solid records they are compiling.

Mid-sized firms in the top 100 ($2.6M and up) also had good growth, 26 reporting double-digit gains.

We only lost ten of the firms ranked 26 to 100, meaning we lost 38 firms from 101 to 190. Those with less than $2.5M in fees ran into more trouble in 2008 (mostly in the last quarter) than firms in the top 100.

We continue to be disappointed at the boycott of PR firm rankings by the conglomerates (WPP, OMC, IPG, Publicis & Havas).

We applaud Cincinnati counselor Rodger Roeser of the Eisen Marketing Group for starting the PR Agency Owners Assn. for small and large independent firms (3/11 NL).

There is no fee to join the PRAOA which will bring agency owners together to discuss common problems such as managing staff, building the business, succession, legal questions and handling RFPs.

The Council of PR Firms covers similar issues but its membership fees (starting at $2,500) are far too high for nearly 100% of the 10,000+ U.S. firms including freelancers and solo practitioners, a breed that will multiply in the current frigid economic climate.

Eisen, former president of PRS/Cincinnati, says he continues to regard PRS as a “wonderful organization” but says many of its members are young and are not “senior level practitioners facing ownership challenges and issues.”

We agree with Eisen that much of PR has migrated to firms where there is independence of opinion and a variety of creative challenges to occupy good minds.

Corporate ad departments closed in the 1950s and 60s as advertising shifted to ad agencies for the same reasons. Most corporate PR today is defensive—keeping press at bay. What is left is mostly aimed at internal audiences and doesn’t qualify as “public” relations.

Eisen has an ad showing that an entry level PR person can cost up to $90K a year for pay, office equipment, benefits, taxes, etc., while $50K to a PR firm can buy expert advice and the latest communication know-how.

Memberships are at (click “Join the PROA.”)

Carl Icahn, Warren Buffet and a host of financial critics say the current economic mess is due to weak and inoperative boards of directors that have too many insiders and lack public accountability.

The PR Society board has been picked from about 5% of members for the past 35 years because of the requirement for APR, service as chapter, district, section, national committee leader, or voting in an Assembly. “Leadership" is defined as how many Society posts have been held rather than leadership in the business world.

Thirteen of the last 15 chairs/presidents have been solo practitioners or in small firms—Mike Cherenson and Jeff Julin in small firms; Rhoda Weiss, solo; Cheryl Procter-Rogers, solo after leaving HBO mid-term; Judith Phair, solo; Del Galloway, headed small PR dept. in ad agency that dissolved; Reed Byrum, solo; Joann Killeen, small firm; Steve Pisinski, small firm; Sam Waltz, small firm; Mary Lynn Cusick, small IR/PR dept. of a company; Debra Miller, educational administrator; Luis Morales (1996), solo after leaving Robert Morris Assn. in February of presidency.

The last CEO of PRS who headed a major PR firm was John Beardsley, 1995 president, of Padilla Speer Beardsley, 13th largest PR firm in 2008. Kathy Lewton, 2001 president, was with Fleishman-Hillard as a VP.

When New York was dominant in the Society, its presidents were the heads of big PR firms such as Kal Druck of Harshe-Rotman & Druck and George Hammond of Carl Byoir & Assocs., or big corporate PR depts. (Kerryn King of Texaco, Don McCammond of American Can, Jon Riffel of Pacific Gas & Electric, and Joe Awad of Reynolds Metals.)

Current directors allow numerous abuses to go on unchecked including withholding the transcript of the 2008 Assembly, refusing to discuss whether blacks should join the board, etc.

The minutes of the Jan. 23 board meeting have yet to be posted.
These same directors are now demanding that anyone who wants to join the board and who is not APR must show more than 20 years of experience in PR “with increasing levels of responsibility.” We don’t see any of the current directors meeting that bar.

We’re perplexed that director Gail Winslow-Pine, who is with the Catholic Medical Center in N.H., is involved in PRS policies and practices. As a Catholic, we believe in the Seventh Commandment which says "Thou Shalt Not Steal." Surely a corollary to this Commandment is, "At least give it back if you do steal."

We would like get the profits that PRS made selling at least 50,000 copies of our articles and would like Winslow-Pine and the other PRS directors to give us a fair hearing on this, thereby living up to the “fairness” part of the PRS code.

The Dept. of Health & Human Services in 2007 charged that CMC overbilled Medicare by $1.7 million in 2003 but the claims were dismissed in June 2008 by National Government Services on the ground that they were beyond the four-year recovery period.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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