The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, April 1, 2009, Page 1
ARMY SEEKS PR HELP IN IRAQ
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.
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.
official solicitation is slated to be released on or around April
24. Response date is set for May 31.
F/W/V HANDLES MASSACRE CRISIS
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
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
EDELMAN BACKS DUBAI WORLD IN SUIT
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 MGMs
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 funds Infinity World
unit filed a suit in Delaware Chancery Court on March 23 to protect
its rights and the best interests of the project.
Edelmans 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, MAKOVSKY, DUKAS GAIN
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.
Were 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
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
It is about two blocks north
of 75 Varick where Porter Novelli moved in 2007. The building
is now also called Hudson Square.
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
Chairman Ken Makovsky
said that healthcare, financial and professional services, and
technology and business services gained 20% or close to that while
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,
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,
on page 7)
Edition, April 1, 2009, Page 2
ALLAYS VOLCANO FEARS
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.
eruption, which has continued intermittently, has provided stunning
video and photographs which are running worldwide.
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.
National Weather Service has issued a warning about possible light
ash fall in Anchorage.
news release being distributed with the headline Mount Redoubt
Eruption No Cause for Alarm includes this quote on the eruption
from ATIAs COO, Rob Peck: If I wasnt paying
attention to news broadcasts or the web, I wouldnt even
know it was happening.
president Jennifer Thompson handles the Alaska tourism account
at the firm.
PR effort is also urging travelers with summer plans to purchase
expect the volcano, which is 103 miles southwest of Anchorage,
to remain active for a period from weeks to months.
BATEMAN WINS PLATFORM
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 Batemans firm is
celebrating its fifth anniversary. The firm chalked up an 18 percent
rise in `08 billings to $1.6M, according to ODwyers
S.F.-headquartered TBG also
scooped up The Jericho Forum, an IT think tank. Trainer Communications
had that business.
MASSA DIES AT 56
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
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.
F-H BUFFS BRAZIL
Fleishman-Hillard is doing global
image work for Brazil under an estimated $850K pact inked by the
countrys 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 units federal filing.
F-H springs into action as Brazil
suffers its biggest slide in growth in a dozen years, according
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.
KILLEEN DEALS WITH OCTOMOM
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 ODwyers 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 Sulemans website for donations ($25K have been sent
in) is still in Killeens name.
Suleman now has an attorney
representing her after two other publicists briefly tried to work
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 Sulemans
children before quitting the account.
HOLLYWOOD BUG BITES SCHWARTZES
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
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
McCarthys epic `06 novel about a father and sons 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 ODwyers
listing of `08 independent firms. It registered fees of $31M,
which was up 1.8 percent from 07.
Edition, April 1, 2009, Page 3
NYT CUTS PAY
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.
END, BEGINNING OF AN ERA AT CSM
The Christian Science Monitor printed its last edition
on March 26 and will now pursue its weekly magazine and online
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."
INFE CANCELS CONFAB
The INFE, the association for financial executives, is the latest
newspaper group to cancel its annual convention because of the
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
AJC AXES 90
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
The downsized AJC will have 230 full-timers and distribution
in seven less counties. The company cut 48 part-timers on March
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.
GOP LANDS NEW MEDIA GURU
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 MSNBC.com, Herman
devised the strategy and business plan for MSNs video product
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.
HERITAGE FOUNDATION ALIGNS COMMS.
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 groups 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
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 groups 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 groups mission
to convince political and pop culture that only conservative
principles will build an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity
and civil society flourish.
news continued on next page)
Edition, April 1, 2009, Page 4
Media Group is killing Blender, the music and entertainment
magazine, after the April issue. Thirty jobs will be lost.
pages for the magazine dropped 31 percent in 08 to 522 pages.
is combining the print and online editions of Maxim. Jay
Woodruff, editor-in-chief of Blender will head that combo.
TWs TURNER TO MARTHA STEWART
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.
RTNDA CALLS OFF SEARCH FOR PREZ
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 doesnt 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 Cochrans 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 doesnt
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
There are belt-tightening measures
in the works such as the summer shutdown of RTNDAs magazine,
Communicator, which is going digital.
TOP JOURNOS TO DISCUSS MISSING
Four top national journalists
will examine press coverage leading up to the economic crisis
with a program called Missing the Story? at Long Island
Universitys 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 LIUs
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 administrations 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].
MORE NEWSPAPER LAYOFFS BY HEARST
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
Editor Jeff Cohen believes the
restructured newsroom will continue its strong watchdog
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.
VERIZON NEWS SET FOR NYC
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
Edition, April 1, 2009,
OF PR FIRMS
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.
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.
Master, who heads PR for Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Ariba, told ODwyers
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 Aribas services help
companies reduce costs and improve efficiency. He pointed out
that timed with the current business conditions we
couldnt ask for a bigger opportunity.
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.
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 thebrandonagency.com.
...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 groups
annual meeting in Vancouver in June. The survey is at www.keysurvey.com/survey/246239/2340.
Communications, Boston/Streambank LLC, intellectual property
consulting firm handling healthy and distressed companies, as
AOR for PR.
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.
Communications, Boston/Babson Energy and Environment Club,
for PR for its fourth annual Entrepreneurial Energy Expo.
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
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.
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.
Communications, Vorhees, N.J./Goodman Marketing Partners,
as AOR for the East Coast for its direct-response campaigns.
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.
Communications, Washington, D.C./The Biotechnology Institute,
for PR for its 2009 sanofi-aventis International BioGENEius Challenge,
a research competition for high school students.
& 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.
Orlando, Fla./Hilton Family of hotels in the Caribbean and Latin
America, for PR support after handling the advertising account.
Hall, Costa Meda, Calif./Tiemans 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
Group, Campbell, Calif./
Nokeena, new media infrastructure; e4e, business process and IT
services, and Net Optics, networking monitoring, for PR.
Media Group, Ukiah, Calif./Pamelas Products, gulten-free
foods, for PR.
Finn Israel, Jerusalem/AORA, ultra-high temperature concentrating
solar power technology, for clean-tech PR.
Edition, April 1, 2009, Page 6
CRISIS PROBED BY PAGE
at the Spring Seminar of the Arthur W. Page Society on April 2-3
in New York will focus on the global economic upheaval.
Gasparino, on-air editor of CNBC, and columnist for the New
York Post and The Daily Beast website, will discuss A
Journalists View of the Global Financial Crisis.
Vaitheeswaran, correspondent for The Economist, will discuss
One Crisis: Sustaining Value in a Drastically Altered Economy.
Economic Turmoil: Implications & Opportunities, will
be discussed by Sally Benjamin Young, VP-communications, Lundbeck,
Danish pharmaceutical company, and chair of the seminar speaker
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.
Ashooh of AIG will be among those leading roundtable discussions.
BURTON MOVES TO KEF
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
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 Childrens Books in New
RADIO STATIONS HIT BY DOWNTURN
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
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.
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
Martin, president of Cohn & Wolfes 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.
VanAssendelft-Baker, senior A/E, Rosica Strategic PR, to
Childs Play Communications, New York, as a senior A/E and
director of its mommy blogger unit, Team Mom.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
Edition, April 1, 2009, Page 7
FIRM RANKINGS (Continued
from pg. 1)
here for O'Dwyer's Ranking of N.Y. PR Firms
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.
counted 35 appearances for clients on major business programs
(CNN, Fox, CNBC, etc.) in the previous 24 days.
firm also promotes clients via social media but Dukas
says clients are mostly looking for "high quality media placements.
His slogan is, Its the media that matter.
PR pros also build media relationships via in-person contacts
at lunches and other opportunities.
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.
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 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
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.
Edition, April 1, 2009,
York PR firms weathered the economic storm that broke
in the last quarter of 2008 better than firms throughout the U.S.
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%.
of the New York firms were acquired and a third was split when
two partners went on their own.
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 couldnt bring themselves to report that.
the state of the economy, no one will fault a firm for failing
to show the usual gain.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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. Whats 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.
PRS/Foundation relationship is the relationship of the fox
to the chicken coop.
The Foundations 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
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, Barrons, 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.
PRSs 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.
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 Gaulkes 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