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Internet Edition, April 1, 2009, Page 1


The U.S. Army will release an RFP late April for an information/psychological operations drive or “operational level advertising campaign” in Iraq to build support for its government and its ability to handle the detection and dismantling of roadside bombs.

The objective, according to a pre-solicitation notice, is to “promote an atmosphere of security and one in which Government of Iraq Security Forces can transition into the lead focusing primarily on winning the Counter Improvised Explosive Device fight.”

The official solicitation is slated to be released on or around April 24. Response date is set for May 31.


French/West/Vaughan is handing the onslaught of media requests connected to the Sunday, March 29, morning massacre of eight people at a North Carolina nursing home.

CEO Rick French confirmed the assignment with the Pinelake Health and Rehab Center (Carthage, NC) but would not go into details about the work conducted by this firm, which is located about 60 miles away in Raleigh.

Carthage police report the 45-year-old shooter, Robert Stewart, entered the 110-bed facility around 10 a.m. and shot 11 people. Seven were patients, ranging in ages from 78 to 98. The other was a worker at the facility.

Police officer Justice Garner, responding to the scene, wounded Stewart, who faces eight counts of first degree murder and felony assault of a law enforcement officer. Garner was wounded in the leg and taken to the same hospital as Stewart.


Edelman is working with the Emirates investment fund Dubai World as it sues MGM in U.S. courts over a huge joint casino and hotel development project in Las Vegas known as CityCenter.

DW is nervous about MGM’s commitment to the project after a statement in its most recent 10-K filing that said there is “substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern.”

The fund’s Infinity World unit filed a suit in Delaware Chancery Court on March 23 to “protect its rights” and the “best interests” of the project.

Edelman’s New York financial unit is handling the account. DW is asking for a declaratory judgment in court and other measures that would relieve it of its obligations should MGM breach the deal. DW owns half the development and about a 10 percent stake in MGM, which lost $1.2 billion in Q4 of ’08.


Edelman, APCO Worldwide, Makovsky + Co. and Dukas PR soared in New York in 2008, but about half of the 54 firms on the list were either level with 2007 or down.

Only three New York firms in the top 25 declined to provide information and only five among the next 29. Three dropped out because they were acquired.

Edelman boosted its New York total 29% by adding $21 million in fees for its new total of $93.2M. The growth rate was faster than the firm's overall growth rate which was $13.1% (total of $449.2M).

CEO Richard Edelman said that more and more clients are coordinating U.S. and worldwide accounts out of New York. Clients are also turning to PR for creative ideas that can be used in advertising and marketing campaigns, he said.

“We’re taking business from the ad agencies,” he said. We have supplied some good creative ideas and clients give them to their ad agencies to carry out.”

Traditional press as well as the new “social media” are being used to promote client causes and products, he said. Corporate social responsibility as well as healthcare and PA programs are going strong, he added.

Edelman, after 20 years in 100,000 sq. ft. at 1500 Broadway at Times Square, will move in the fall to 127,000 sq. ft. 420 Hudson st. which is just north of the Holland Tunnel.

It is about two blocks north of 75 Varick where Porter Novelli moved in 2007. The building is now also called Hudson Square.

APCO, Makovsky, Dukas, Widmeyer Gain

Makovsky + Co., following a 32% gain last year, added another 19% in 2008 to a total of $11M. It was the second biggest gainer among the top 10 after Edelman.

Chairman Ken Makovsky said that healthcare, financial and professional services, and technology and business services gained 20% or close to that while IR declined.

Companies feel there is less of an audience for financial news because of the stock market downturn, he noted.

Marketing, corporate image and issue-oriented and crisis-oriented PR are in strong demand, he said.

A major reason for growth, he continued, was integrating traditional and digital media strategy, making sure that client programs and aims are reflected in the company's website. "Reporters are going first these days to websites and everything must be in sync there," he said.

Makovsky + Co. also added key personnel who are specialists in digital and social media, he added.

(Continued on page 7)


Internet Edition, April 1, 2009, Page 2


Alaska’s tourism association and its PR firm are working to calm any concern from travelers over the eruption of the Mount Redoubt volcano, which blew its top on March 22.

The eruption, which has continued intermittently, has provided stunning video and photographs which are running worldwide.

The Alaska Travel Industry Association and Bernholz & Graham, a travel PR firm with offices in Anchorage and New York, are urging tourists to get current information before cancelling any travel plans. They are stressing that the resulting ash cloud has not significantly affected Anchorage airspace and the fall of debris has been “limited to a few small, remote communities.”

The National Weather Service has issued a warning about possible light ash fall in Anchorage.

A news release being distributed with the headline “Mount Redoubt Eruption No Cause for Alarm” includes this quote on the eruption from ATIA’s COO, Rob Peck: “If I wasn’t paying attention to news broadcasts or the web, I wouldn’t even know it was happening.”

B&G president Jennifer Thompson handles the Alaska tourism account at the firm.

The PR effort is also urging travelers with summer plans to purchase trip insurance.

Volcanologists expect the volcano, which is 103 miles southwest of Anchorage, to remain active for a period from weeks to months.


The Bateman Group has snagged Platform Computing in a hotly contested pitch that included shops in Silicon Valley and San Francisco, according to Lorraine Sutton, director of PR at the Markham, Ont.-based software company.

Those high-tech California locales were among requirements to participate in the review that began in October. RFIs went to 17 shops. PC whittled it down to three finalists, whom Sutton wishes to be unnamed.

Ricochet PR in New York was the incumbent on the account.

Fred Bateman’s firm is celebrating its fifth anniversary. The firm chalked up an 18 percent rise in `08 billings to $1.6M, according to O’Dwyer’s rankings.

S.F.-headquartered TBG also scooped up The Jericho Forum, an IT think tank. Trainer Communications had that business.


Art Massa, a veteran Chicago-area PR executive, died on March 20 at his home in Arlington Heights, Ill. He was 56 and suffered from pancreatic cancer.

Massa was on the job as senior VP for corporate communications and advertising at NorthShore Healthcare until three weeks ago. He was an eight-year member of the Arthur W. Page Society and former SVP, comm., for A.C. Nielsen. He also held corporate PR posts at NutraSweet and Commonwealth Edison.

Massa started a job search and counseling program when he was laid off in 1991. That effort, Self Help and Re-Employment, or Share, was run through the St. James Catholic Church in Arlington Heights.


Fleishman-Hillard is doing global image work for Brazil under an estimated $850K pact inked by the country’s social communication secretariat.

The work includes contacting media, academicians and investment analysts about “economic development and overall country image of Brazil,” according to the Omnicom unit’s federal filing.

F-H springs into action as Brazil suffers its biggest slide in growth in a dozen years, according to Reuters.

That decline threatens the legacy of populist President Luis Inacio Lula da Silver, who is stepping down next year.

Lula said March 23 that the worst is over and that Brazil is poised for a sharp comeback.

Under the contract, F-H is to have dedicated Brazil teams in Brazil, U.S., Asia and Europe.


Joann Killeen, the Los Angeles PR professional who handled “Octomom” with her husband, Michael Furtney, is writing a book about the experience as she continues to deal with the fallout from that high-profile assignment.

Killeen and Furtney run an eponymous PR firm out of Los Angeles but received death threats, intense media scrutiny and public scorn during their representation of Nadya Suleman, the now-mother of 14.

The husband-and-wife team quit the account on Feb. 14 but Killeen told O’Dwyer’s that the fallout continues to haunt them.

Killeen still gets press calls, mail and packages related to “Octomom” and has to open such correspondence outside with gloves and mask as police have urged her to do.

The Associated Press reported that Suleman’s website for donations ($25K have been sent in) is still in Killeen’s name.

Suleman now has an attorney representing her after two other publicists briefly tried to work with her.

Killeen says her pro bono PR duties began with a limited scope but expanded as media coverage grew exponentially and she even ended up caring for some of Suleman’s children before quitting the account.


Schwartz Communications has promoted Bryan Scanlon, executive VP and San Francisco general manager for the firm, to president of the Waltham, MA-based hi-tech firm.

Ari Milstein, CFO, slides to the COO slot.

Those moves free up the husband and wife team of Steve and Paula Mae to spend more time with their film production company, Chockstone Pictures.

Chockstone will debut its first movie, “The Road” this fall. The flick is based on Cormac McCarthy’s epic `06 novel about a father and son’s fight for survival in a post-apocalyptic America.

Steve will remain CEO of the firm while Paula, who was COO, becomes chief people officer.

SC ranked No. 7 among O’Dwyer’s listing of `08 independent firms. It registered fees of $31M, which was up 1.8 percent from ’07.


Internet Edition, April 1, 2009, Page 3


The New York Times has put pay cuts of five percent in place in order to save the jobs of reporters, according to Bill Keller, executive editor.

The cuts accompany ten days of mandatory unpaid leave, reduction in the use of freelancers and consolidation of some sections of the paper.

Keller says the program will save layoffs of 70 of the paper's 1,300 news staffers. The paper cut 100 reporters in `08.

The NYT also is dropping its expanded index of articles that have run on the second and third pages for the last year. It is returning to the smaller index to save newsprint costs.


The Christian Science Monitor printed its last edition on March 26 and will now pursue its weekly magazine and online future.

The move ends a two-year transition period for the daily that ended with a 50K circulation, down from 223K at its 1970 peak.

The weekly debuts April 12. It will cost $89 a-year, compared to the $219 subscription to the daily.

The CSM is owned by the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston. It was founded by Mary Baker Eddy in 1908.

The final front page carried the headline, "Farewell, Daily Print." Editor John Yemma wrote "we are putting on new clothes for a new era."


The INFE, the association for financial executives, is the latest newspaper group to cancel its annual convention because of the lousy economy.

The meeting was slated for May in Atlanta.

Jeff Hood, president of INFE and CFO of Pioneer Newspapers, said membership showed little enthusiasm for the meeting.

The group, once named for the International Newspaper Financial Executives has been recast as Interactive and Newsmedia Financial Executives, had never cancelled an annual convention in its 62-year history.


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is cutting 90 staffers to counter the "unprecedented pressures on advertising revenues and the struggling economy," according to an announcement from the Cox Newspapers’ properties.

Cutbacks are largely in the production and management areas. Workers with five years of experience will be offered voluntary buyouts. Layoffs will happen if less than 90 people take up the offer.

The downsized AJC will have 230 full-timers and distribution in seven less counties. The company cut 48 part-timers on March 24.

Publisher Doug Franklin said AJC is changing its "business model to ensure long-term viability." He plans more moves over the next three months to further cut costs. Franklin expects the AJC to return to the black ink column in '10. The AJC had 500 staffers in 2006.


Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele has hired Todd Herman as new media director in a bid to catch-up with the more Internet savvy Democrats.

The former Microsoft executive, who served as GM/media strategy and monetization at MSN, is lauded as a “thought leader in digital media,” by Steele.

Herman brings the kind of “outside of the Beltway, real-world experience” to D.C. and the GOP, said Steele in a statement. As “streaming media evangelist” at, Herman devised the strategy and business plan for MSN’s video product unit.

Prior to Microsoft, Herman was CEO of TheDial, an Internet radio network. He joins the RNC from SpinSpotter, a venture capital-backed operation that detects “spin” in news stories.

The RNC release credits Herman for forging a grassroots campaign that ultimately unseated Speaker of the House Tom Foley in 1994. It says Herman lives in Washington State, “where he works at his most important roles: Christian, husband and father.”

Herman joins the RNC on April 6.


The influential think tank The Heritage Foundation is aligning its communications as it faces the task of touting conservative policies with a Democratic White House and Congress.

Michael Gonzalez, a former Wall Street Journal editor and reporter, has joined the foundation as VP of communications, only the group’s third staffer in that role in 36 years.

Gonzalez, a Cuban émigré, was a stock market reporter for the Journal before editing its opinion pages in Europe and Asia. He left journalism for a speechwriting job at the Securities and Exchange Commission during the recent Bush administration before moving to the State Dept. and eventually into his most recent post as director of corporate affairs at Arizona-based First Solar.

Gonzalez guides day-to-day “messaging” and media relations in addition to internal communications for the foundation.

The 48-year-old executive takes over for Rebecca Hagelin, who is shifting to a senior comms. fellow role after six years.

The foundation publishes the Index of Economic Freedom annually with the Journal, an attempt to rank countries by how free its citizens are to prosper.

Heritage recently promoted two-year strategic planning staffer and former media trainer Genevieve Wood to VP of strategic initiatives, a new department focused on developing marketing and PR efforts supporting the group’s mission in areas like entitlements, healthcare and security.

Heritage president Edwin Feulner said the two staffers and their departments will shoulder a big part of the group’s mission to convince “political and pop culture that only conservative principles will build an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity and civil society flourish.

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, April 1, 2009, Page 4


Alpha Media Group is killing Blender, the music and entertainment magazine, after the April issue. Thirty jobs will be lost.

Ad pages for the magazine dropped 31 percent in ’08 to 522 pages.

Alpha is combining the print and online editions of Maxim. Jay Woodruff, editor-in-chief of Blender will head that combo.


Kelli Turner, who was senior VP-operations in the office of the chairman of Time Warner, is now with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

She will handle financial operations, capital allocation and overall business strategy. Turner reports to Co-CEOs Wenda Harris Millard (President of Media) and Robin Marino (President of Merchandising).

Turner called MSLO a “dynamic company with such phenomenal assets and a wealth of untapped opportunities ahead.” She worked at investment banker Allen & Co. and Salomon Smith Barney before joining TW.

At MSLO, Turner succeeds Howard Hochhauser who exited in December. Allison Jacques, controller, had been filling in for Hochhauser on an interim basis.


The struggling Radio Television News Directors Assn. has called off a search to replace President Barbara Cochran, who is stepping down in June.

Chairman Ed Esposito told TVNewsday that the group received about 100 resumes, many from well-qualified people, since the search began in January.

The board decided to call off the search in February as the economy deteriorated and it became clear that RTNDA must undergo “fundamental change.”

Esposito doesn’t believe it is a good idea to hire a leader to head a group that is in the midst of a transformation. There will be a “staff solution” to fill Cochran’s shoes.

RTNDA is looking to expand beyond its TV news heritage. Esposito said the board voted on the name Radio Television Digital News Assn. in a bid to embrace the Internet. It is also reaching out to other groups such as the Society of Professional Journalists, Online News Assn., and American Society of Newspaper Editors because Esposito believes RTNDA doesn’t need to work exclusively with broadcast-oriented journalists due to media convergence.

The RTNDA is operating with a $3M budget, which is half of what is spent a couple of years ago.

There are belt-tightening measures in the works such as the summer shutdown of RTNDA’s magazine, Communicator, which is going digital.


Four top national journalists will examine press coverage leading up to the economic crisis with a program called “Missing the Story?” at Long Island University’s Brooklyn campus on April 15.

New York Times reporter David Barstow, NPR correspondent Adam Davidson, documentary producer/director Stafan Forbes and Chicago Tribune foreign correspondent Paul Salopek round out the panel covering press coverage of politics and finance. Alex Jones, director of the Shorenstein Center at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, will moderate the discussion, which runs from 6:30 to 8 p.m. after an hour-long cocktail reception.

The event is presented by LIU’s George Polk Awards, which all four panelists have won for 2008, with support from the Deadline Club and Foreign Press Association of New York.

Barstow earned the Polk honor for his two-part series, “Message Machine,” about the Bush administration’s “covert campaign to transform retired military officers working as analysts for television and radio networks into defense-industry rainmakers who influenced the awarding of contracts for military equipment used in the Iraq War, while also influencing public opinion,” according to the award committee.

Forbes won an award for his documentary “Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story,” while Salopek earned a nod for his coverage of the “war on terror” in the Horn of Africa.

Davidson won a Polk honor for his radio work on “The Giant Pool of Money,” a series on the events leading to the sub-prime crisis.

Reservations are required but the event is free to the public. Info: 516/299-3298; [email protected].


Hearst Corp.’s Houston Chronicle is cutting 12 percent of its staff in a move to adjust its size to match current and projected revenues, according to a note from publisher Jack Sweeney. Ninety people will be let go.

Editor Jeff Cohen believes the restructured newsroom will continue its “strong watchdog journalism.”

The Chronicle is the nation's No. 9 paper with a circulation of 448,271 for the six-month period ended Sept. 30. That was down 12 percent from the earlier year.

Hearst cut 15 percent of staff at the San Antonio Express-News last month. It shuttered the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, converting to an online-only model.

The New York-based publisher threatened to pull the plug on the San Francisco Chronicle unless big concessions were received.


Phone giant Verizon Communications is going to launch a local round-the-clock cable news channel in New York City.

“Local interest stories are the ones that people cling to and watch,” John Harrobin, VP-digital media, told the Wall Street Journal.

Verizon rivals Cablevision and Time Warner operate local news stations News 12 and New York One, respectively. They are credited with preventing people from switching their cable company.

The phone company has made a big push for its Fios TV service. It runs news stations in Maryland and Virginia.

Internet Edition, April 1, 2009, Page 5


Pan Communications has picked up AOR duties for Ariba, the procurement software company for corporations that was one of the first Internet companies to go public in 1999.

Pan won the account in an RFP process that was narrowed down to three finalists which were then asked to outline how they could deliver high-level press coverage of an particular issue within 30 days.

Karen Master, who heads PR for Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Ariba, told O’Dwyer’s that the company produces all releases and bylines in-house so its agencies – including three firms in the EMEA region – focus solely on pitching. Pan handles media and analyst relations focused on national business and technology press. Mark Nardone, executive VP of the firm, said that Ariba’s services help companies reduce costs and improve efficiency. He pointed out that “timed with the current business conditions – we couldn’t ask for a bigger opportunity.”

Ariba’s clients include AMD, Target Corp., Siemens and Toyota, among scores of others. Its first-quarter earnings included a 35 percent boost in subscription and maintenance revenue of $54.1M.

Ariba went public in 1999 during the Internet boom and saw its shares surge to trade in the $90 range, up 291 percent. Today, they trade in the more modest $7 range.

BRIEFS: Beth Burdin, marketing comms. senior associate for GreenMark PR, Chicago, has been presented with an Illinois Park and Recreation Association Community Service Award for volunteer service to state parks and recreation. Burdin, a volunteer since ‘06, worked for more than a year to develop an environmental policy for the state association of park districts. ...Southfield, Mich.-based Airfoil PR has set up a client solutions team and added a public affairs unit all under the direction of partner and senior VP Tracey Parry. The firm has added two lobbying and PA professionals to develop its new unit — Larry Ayers and Bret Wacker. Airfoil CEO Lisa Vallee-Smith said the firm is responding to “the highest demand service areas” from current and prospective clients. Among its tweaks for the client solutions practice are a formalized social media/digital unit, a marketing comms. unit and a segment focused on brand strategy. ...The Ruth Group, New York, has set up a healthcare marketing unit to handle IR and PR in that segment. Scott Lerman, former VP at Marina Maher, has joined the firm as a VP to oversee the new practice. ...Brandon Advertising and PR, Myrtle Beach, S.C., has changed its name to The Brandon Agency as it marks 50 years in business. The firm specializes in travel, tourism and real estate. A new website is at ...The Global Alliance for PR and Communications Management, based in Switzerland, is asking for input from PR pros to an global survey on the state of the profession. Results will be presented at the group’s annual meeting in Vancouver in June. The survey is at



BackBay Communications, Boston/Streambank LLC, intellectual property consulting firm handling healthy and distressed companies, as AOR for PR.

The Castle Group, Boston/Friendly Ice Cream Corp., for consumer PR for the company and franchise restaurant chain. The client said TCG was selected based on its consumer and restaurant experience noting Friendly did not have a previous firm.

Greenough Communications, Boston/Babson Energy and Environment Club, for PR for its fourth annual Entrepreneurial Energy Expo.

Hart-Boillot, Waltham, Mass./Coghlin Companies, holding company, as AOR for PR focused on its Columbia Tech (manufacturing services) and Cogmedix (medical and clinical devices) units.

New York Area

The Morris + King Company, New York/Abyssinian Development Corp., not-for-profit community development group focused on Harlem, N.Y., as AOR for its 20th anniversary.

Dukas PR, New York/West End Financial Advisors, for strategic comms. and media relations, and Global Capacity, telecomms. information and logistics, for press and trade media outreach and other PR.

Swordfish Communications, Vorhees, N.J./Goodman Marketing Partners, as AOR for the East Coast for its direct-response campaigns.


Warschawski, Baltimore/W.L. Gore & Associates, maker of GORE_TEX, and New Balance Athletic Shoe, for a national marketing campaign to support a new show made with the fabric.

Environics Communications, Washington, D.C./The Biotechnology Institute, for PR for its 2009 sanofi-aventis International BioGENEius Challenge, a research competition for high school students.

Lutto & Associates, Richmond, Va./Vero Vellini, gun and optics accessories maker, as AOR for PR in North America. The New Jersey-based company specializes in lightweight gun slings made in Germany.

Ypartnership, Orlando, Fla./Hilton Family of hotels in the Caribbean and Latin America, for PR support after handling the advertising account.


Idea Hall, Costa Meda, Calif./Tieman’s Fusion Coffees, for media relations, social media strategy and product launch support; PERC Water, recycling treatment facilities, for branding, design and PR; Parsa Law Group, for media relations; Asset Management Consultants, for PR and marketing, and Chief Ingredient, for media relations.

Loughlin/Michaels Group, Campbell, Calif./
Nokeena, new media infrastructure; e4e, business process and IT services, and Net Optics, networking monitoring, for PR.

AGK Media Group, Ukiah, Calif./Pamela’s Products, gulten-free foods, for PR.


Ruder Finn Israel, Jerusalem/AORA, ultra-high temperature concentrating solar power technology, for clean-tech PR.

Internet Edition, April 1, 2009, Page 6


Speakers at the Spring Seminar of the Arthur W. Page Society on April 2-3 in New York will focus on the global economic upheaval.

Charles Gasparino, on-air editor of CNBC, and columnist for the New York Post and The Daily Beast website, will discuss “A Journalist’s View of the Global Financial Crisis.”

Vijay Vaitheeswaran, correspondent for The Economist, will discuss “One Crisis: Sustaining Value in a Drastically Altered Economy.”

“Global Economic Turmoil: Implications & Opportunities,” will be discussed by Sally Benjamin Young, VP-communications, Lundbeck, Danish pharmaceutical company, and chair of the seminar speaker committee.

Carlos Gutierrez, former Commerce Secretary and exchairman and CEO, Kellogg Co., will speak on the topic of “The Big Picture,” which will explore how U.S. businesses are perceived worldwide. Insight will be provided “into communicating through financial challenges.” Ray Jordan, corporate VP, PA and corporate communications, Johnson & Johnson, and John Casesa, Casesa Shapiro Group, will talk about “Industries in Turmoil.”

Nicholas Ashooh of AIG will be among those leading roundtable discussions.


Amy Burton, an account group director at Weber Shandwick in Atlanta, has joined broadcast and interactive PR company KEF Media Associates in that city as client service manager.

She handled Brinker International, Renaissance Aruba and Rooms to Go at WS and earlier was an A/S with the Atlanta office of Manning, Selvage & Lee producing luxury and lifestyle campaigns for Porsche Cars North America.
Burton started out in publishing, guiding publicity for Longstreet Press in Atlanta and HarperCollins Children’s Books in New York.


The U.S. economic collapse has resulted in massive staff reductions and budget cuts in radio newsrooms across the country, with many in the industry reporting overworked conditions and fewer available resources, according to a recent “Newsroom Trends” survey by News Generation.

The study, which polled radio newsrooms in the top 50 U.S. markets, revealed that two thirds of stations surveyed – 66% – claim they have been affected directly by the economic downturn.

Of those stations, 70% said the downturn has resulted in cutbacks in staffing. As a result, a staggering 88% of these stations now say they no longer have beat reporters.

Lynn Harris Medcalf, executive VP and co-founder of News Generation, said ongoing dialogue with stations indicates that those who still have jobs now find they have to produce more with fewer resources.



Marian Cutler, a 20-year veteran of corporate and Rx communications, has joined Makovsky + Co.’s heath practice, which is led by Gil Bashe. Cutler joins from BMC Communications, where she was senior VP. She also was VP-corporate communications at Eurand Pharmaceuticals and Health Net Inc. and executive director at Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

Bill Martin, president of Cohn & Wolfe’s global health unit, is leaving for a partner post at Rabin Strategic Partners, the New York-based health specialty firm. Martin was a key figure on the Merck account at C&W, handling internal change communications for its turnaround effort and creating a team to handle Vioxx management and communications. RSS was started in 2002 by Steve Rabin, former SVP at the Kaiser Family Foundation and president of Ogilvy & Mather Public Affairs. Martin takes up the new post on April 13.

Marie VanAssendelft-Baker, senior A/E, Rosica Strategic PR, to Child’s Play Communications, New York, as a senior A/E and director of its mommy blogger unit, Team Mom.

Christian Brucculeri, senior A/D, YouCast Corp., to Robin Leedy & Associates, Mt. Kisco, N.Y., as director of social media for its digital practice, Chatter RL&A.
George Cronin and Kelly Lynch to principals, Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications, Boston. Both joined the firm with its acquisition of The Choate Group in 1997.

April Hutcheson, former press secretary for Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, to La Torre Communications, Harrisburg, Pa., handling clients like PAGD, the Meadows Racetrack & Casino and the Pa. State Troopers Association. She was recently executive director for PAGD.

Alazne Solis was promoted to senior VP, policy and corporate affairs, Enterprise Community Partners, Columbia, Md. She splits time between Columbia and D.C. and joined the development capital company in 2000.

Joe Hodas, former VP of corporate communications, Consumer Capital Partners, to Vladimir Jones, Denver, as senior VP of brand communications. CCP is the parent to Quiznos, Smashburger and other brands. He was previously senior director of comms. and investor relations at Frontier Airlines and was a staffer at Alexander Comms., now part of Ogilvy.

Jeff Mustard, who ran his own firm after serving as director of communications for Sterling Financial Investment Group, to EurOrient Financial Group, Los Angeles, as spokesperson for the president and chairman of the board, Ron Nechemia, handling corporate communication strategy and programs for the private sector development agency, which is focused on developing contries and is accredited by the U.N. General Assembly on Financing for Development.


Internet Edition, April 1, 2009, Page 7

N.Y. FIRM RANKINGS (Continued from pg. 1)

Click here for O'Dwyer's Ranking of N.Y. PR Firms

Richard Dukas, CEO of Dukas PR, asked about his firm's 47.7% gain to $3.4M after a 90% gain in 2007, said it was mostly due to placements obtained in traditional media and especially broadcast.

He counted 35 appearances for clients on major business programs (CNN, Fox, CNBC, etc.) in the previous 24 days.

The firm also promotes clients via “social media” but Dukas says clients are mostly looking for "high quality media placements.” His slogan is, “It’s the media that matter.”

Dukas PR pros also build media relationships via in-person contacts at lunches and other opportunities.

APCO Worldwide grew 63% to $6.6M after a 14.6% gain in 2007. Total fees of the firm grew 15.3% to $112.4 million.

Based in Washington, D.C., APCO's practice includes 20 different types of services from antitrust and competition counseling to restructuring communication and strategic philanthropy. About $60M of its fees are U.S.-based with more than $50M in fees derived from abroad.

KCSA, Widmeyer, Cumberland Climb

KCSA Strategic Communications, 12th biggest firm with $10 million in fees, attributed its 12% gain to its ability to service clients across all three principal disciplines-PR, investor relations, and marketing/creative services. “Companies are seeking to minimize cost during these difficult economic times and we can offer top talent and economies of scale,” said CEO Jeff Corbin.

D.C.-based Widmeyer Communications, which racked up the largest gain on the list (+87% to $3M), said its growth was due to an “uptick in demand for social media and digital content” which it worked into overall media strategies.

The firm took on “showcase initiatives” with Channel Thirteen/WNET, Carnegie Corp. of New York, the Metropolitan Opera, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and the American Museum of Natural History, said chairman and CEO Scott Widmeyer.

Services included public opinion research, major media placements and partnerships with the creative needs of clients that also included Pfizer and the Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize.

Minneapolis-based Padilla Speer Beardsley attributed its 19.8% growth to keeping most of its client base while adding significant new clients including Coppertone and Elsevier.

“We have been able to grow these clients through multi-channel publicity, client service, senior staff involvement and results that support their business objectives,” said Michael Greece, managing director.

“Like others, we've shifted our counsel and toolkits for our clients to match the media metamorphosis that's underway,” he said.

Joanna Cumberland, president of J.B. Cumberland PR, said her firm grew 47% to $883,500 by concentrating on clients that provide products for the home including Bodum, maker of coffee and tea products and the award-winning “Double Wall Glasses”; iSi, dessert and whipped cream makers; Nambe, which makes museum-quality art a part of daily life; ZeroWater, whose filtration system removes all dissolved materials from water; Fusionbrands, innovative line of cooking utensils, and Starfrit, eco-conscious line of cookware and kitchen gadgets.

Cumberland said her firm concentrates on placements in healthcare and lifestyle magazines and other media while also building a “gigantic” list of contacts in social media. “Online media can help to create a buzz for your clients,” she said.

Among those dropping off the list were Lippert/Heilshorn Assocs., financial firm which reported $11.1M in fees in 2007; HealthStar, which had a 35% gain to $8.9M in 2007, and Bite Communications, San Francisco-based firm that had $3M in New York income in 2007. Stanton & Crenshaw, which split into two firms, did not report and two others were lost to mergers-Access PR, acquired by Ketchum, and Sawchuck, Brown, Albany, acquired by Eric Mower & Assocs.


Internet Edition, April 1, 2009, Page 8




New York PR firms weathered the economic storm that broke in the last quarter of 2008 better than firms throughout the U.S.

While 50 firms of the 190 firms on the 2007 list dropped out, or nearly one-quarter, only eight of the 54 firms on the 2007 New York list dropped out, or 15%.

Two of the New York firms were acquired and a third was split when two partners went on their own.

Some of the firms that decided not to rank candidly said that their figures were just too awful to report. Others may have been down slightly but couldn’t bring themselves to report that.

Given the state of the economy, no one will fault a firm for failing to show the usual gain.

Edelman, by far the biggest New York firm with a 29% burst to $93M, said it is doing that by offering a broad range of services and because clients are directing more marketing strategy from New York. The firm also supplies plenty of creative ideas including those that can be picked up by client ad agencies.

Top creative minds need a continuing diet of challenges to function and the agency business is where this is taking place. The creative end of PR has moved almost completely from the corporate side to the agency side, which is what happened in advertising in the 1950s and 60s.

Despite all the talk about “social media,” we heard repeatedly from firms that what really registers with clients is hits with major media. There is no one, of course, who will not claim to be working hard in the wild, almost chaotic world of Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc.

Healthcare, financial, tech and consumer products practices did well but we also notice that D.C.-based Widmeyer Communications posted the biggest gain on the list (+87%) by working on programs for the Carnegie Corp. of New York, Metropolitan Opera, American Museum of Natural History and Channel Thirteen/WNET, which are community service-oriented.

The rebuke that the 2008 board gave to the Foundation board (3/25 NL) is amazing for the sheer nastiness of it.

The board headed by Jeff Julin tongue-lashed (in public, no less) Kathy Lewton and Gary McCormick, current and past-presidents of the Foundation, respectively.

That the board would speak so harshly about the Foundation board shows the deep animosities that are present among Society leadership.

What it shows to us is the bossiness of the PRS board. Its members have become power-mad and are abusing that power.

Despite attempts by Lewton and McCormick to breathe live into the corpse of the Foundation, there is no way that any research organization can be connected to PRS.

The PRS board, in the past 20 years, has suppressed and sabotaged any research done by the Foundation and has totally dominated it, erasing any claims that the Foundation is “independent.”

In 2004-05, the Foundation “board” and the PRS board were one and the same. There was no separate Foundation board. Legal counsel Venable ordered this illegal setup ended but the 2009 Foundation board still has six PRS directors on it including chair Mike Cherenson as ex-officio member.

Power-grabbing tendencies of the board were evident when, alarmed at the recommendation of the first Strategic Planning Committee in 1999 that APR be removed as a condition for office-holding or Assembly membership, they simply erased the SPC and declared itself the SPC.

Annoyed that the Assembly in the mid-1980s voted twice to move h.q. from New York, the board simply abolished the spring Assembly. What’s left is the Assembly that meets one day a year. It can hardly get its boots on, much less do anything. The abject docility of the 2008 delegates, who sat speechless for 3.5 hours of slides and two hours of a “thought exercise,” is testimony to the disemboweling of this body. Further testimony is that the PRS board refuses to release the 136-page transcript that would prove the above comment beyond a shadow of a doubt. Suppression of information is what the PRS board is into.

The PRS/Foundation relationship is the relationship of the fox to the chicken coop.

The Foundation’s biggest research project was the study released in 1999, after nearly five years of work at a cost of $150K, that found “PR specialist” ranked 43rd in “believability” among 45 information sources.

There was no “press conference” as such for this and we only learned about the list of 45 when it was published in the Washington Times. Tactics was not allowed to carry the list of the 45. It only ran a short story deep inside one of the issues.

What annoyed the 1999 board was that media scored so high in believability in that survey.

Also suppressed was the 2005 Harris Interactive/Foundation study of 1,105 adults that found high believability in media, especially business media like the Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Fortune, Forbes, etc. Annoying the board was the finding that 85% of respondents believed that PR people “sometimes take advantage of the media to present misleading information that is favorable to their clients.”

We found out about this study nearly a year later when the Aug. 12, 2006 Toronto Star mentioned it. There was no press conference in New York.

Another major suppression of research took place in 1999 when the Fellows, after two years of work, released a study showing that APR had just about zero impact among PR executive recruiters and their clients. Not a word was allowed in Tactics.

PRS’s inability to deal with anything vaguely negative is illustrated by 2007 chair Rhoda Weiss’ financial report. Revenues grew 12% to a record $11.46M, she reported. But she failed to say anything about expenses, which rose 11% to a record $11.26M. She also failed to report that payables rose 76% to a record $1.36M.

Research that is needed is how the media view PR. The Institute for PR could do that but not the Foundation. The PRS board would not allow it.

Worst abuse of the Foundation by PRS came in 2000 when the PRS board decided it wanted to replace COO Ray Gaulke who had just gotten a five-year contract to Dec. 31, 2004 for about $1M in total. The PRS board, headed by Steve Pisinski in 2000 and Kathy Lewton in 2001, announced at the Oct. 21, 2000 Assembly in Chicago that Gaulke was being shifted to the Foundation and that a search would begin for a new COO.

The Foundation was at its peak in influence, having created in 1998 with the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, the “Kids in a Drug-Free Society” program. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation of the former head of Johnson & Johnson had given $2,637,258 to KIDS/Foundation for a program lasting until July 31, 2001. The 2000 Strategic Plan of PRS had pledged $600K to KIDS and the Foundation was to raise another $400,000 (total of $1M).

There is no evidence anything was raised because PRS reported a loss of $426K in 1999 and a loss of $677K in 2000 (total loss: $1.1M). Travel expenses had soared 23% to a record $717K in 2000 partly because the board went to London for a four-day meeting with the Institute of PR (now the Chartered Institute of PR).

KIDS was to be spun off and operated separately from the Foundation. A $9M KIDS budget had been sought for the period starting July 2, 2001, but the Johnson Foundation announced cancellation of the entire program in June. There is no evidence that KIDS still exists.

Asked how Gaulke’s salary would be paid, 2000 directors said the initial thought was for PRS to pay one-half and KIDS and the Foundation to pick up one-quarter each.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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