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Internet Edition, April 8, 2009, Page 1


The bid committee pitching for a FIFA World Cup in the U.S. in 2018 or 2022 has brought in Fleishman-Hillard to guide communications.

F-H’s sport business unit is developing campaign themes, guiding public affairs, special events and other PR initiatives for the committee, which represents the U.S. Soccer Federation as it vies against 12 other countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

With a deadline of May 2010, the bid process spans 21 months and winners will be named in December of that year.

Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico and Russia, as well as joint bids between the Netherlands-Belgium and Portugal-Spain are pitching both years.

Qatar and South Korea are only eying the ’22 event.

The U.S. last hosted the World Cup in 1994 and saw more than 3.5M fans attend 52 matches, an attendance record despite 12 fewer matches than are played in recent tournaments.

Dave Senay, president and CEO of F-H, called the effort a “great privilege and a high responsibility” for the firm. “We look forward to getting down to work,” he said.

South Africa next hosts in 2010 with Brazil to follow in 2014.

In a press conference March 30, the U.S. bid rolled out global heavyweight, Henry Kissinger, to lobby for the tournament to be held here.


Loretta Ucelli, a former Clinton White House aide and top communications exec at Pfizer, has taken a senior advisor role with New York PR firm Gutenberg Communications.

Ucelli was director of communications and assistant to the president after a stint as associate administrator for communications, education and public affairs at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Ucelli left the Clinton administration for Edelman’s New York office and later took the executive VP/communications slot at Columbia University before taking the senior VP-corporate communications spot at Pfizer in 2005.

She left after two years and for the life of an independent consultant.

Harjiv Singh, co-founder and CEO of Gutenberg who built Edelman’s India operation, said Ucelli’s counsel will be key as government and private sector support for alternative energy and healthcare reform revs up in Washington.


California’s Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella Inc. has reached out to crisis counselor Fabia D’Arienzo to handle PR connected to its “first-ever” recall of its pistachios due to potential contamination with salmonella.

The March 30 voluntary recall covered more than two million pounds of roasted nuts shipped on or after Sept. 1, 2008 to wholesalers. That followed discovery of salmonella by Kraft Foods, a Setton customer. Kraft on March 24 notified the FDA, which has warned consumers not to eat pistachios. Supermarkets across the land have yanked the suspected nuts from their shelves.

The Los Angeles Times said April 1 that pistachio growers are “shell-shocked” by the blanket FDA warning. D’Arienzo, a veteran of APCO Worldwide, SCIENS Worldwide Public Relations and CGC Communications, presented her nine principles of crisis communications for the foodservice industry at the Food Safety Summit in 1999.


A new Strategic Planning Committee of the PR Society is being formed and it will include those who are not PRS members, chair-elect Gary McCormick has announced.

The current SPC, headed by McCormick as chair-elect, consists only of McCormick.

The new SPC will be “diverse” and include an African-American and possibly a journalist as well as corporate and agency people, he said. Invitations have been sent to members of the Institute for PR, Arthur W. Page Society, and PR Seminar.

Members of the new SPC are to be revealed at the board meeting April 17 in Washington, D.C., the first meeting since the initial Jan. 23 meeting in New York.
Sarbanes-Oxley, to which PRS is “committed” (statement on PRS website) calls for “independents” to be on boards of directors.

Steve Pisinski, 2000 president, headed the first SPC in 1999 as president-elect but he was the only representative from the board. The other 16 members were non-board members who were supposed to serve for a number of years and provide continuity in leadership.

“Each president who came in had his or her own ideas and forgot what previous presidents wanted,” said a member of the committee at that time.

The first SPC urged dropping the APR requirement

Inside: Revenue table of Independent Firms for 2008 in healthcare category on page 7.

(Continued on page 7)


Internet Edition, April 8, 2009, Page 2


Argentina selected Britain’s Bell Pottinger to strengthen its image here and in Europe ahead of last week’s kick-off of the G20 Summit in London.

Abel Hadden, of Bell Pottinger Sans Frontieres, oversees the account that is pegged in the seven-figure range.

The South American country is headed by President Cristina Fernandez Kirchner, who succeeded her husband in 2007.

The Economist (March 28) says the brand of the “power couple” is slipping in Argentina as the country’s economy slows after “five years of breakneck growth.”

The President’s recent move to raise taxes on farm exports has triggered big protests and solidified political opponents of the Kirchners.

BP’s role is give people a better understanding of where Argentina is going. The Buenos Aires media maintain BP’s effort is not related to buffing the image of its President.

The firm was hired in `05 by Argentina’s Ministry of Tourism.


McNeely, Pigott & Fox PR, Nashville, Tenn., has defended a $10M, multi-year communications support contract with the U.S. Dept. of Labor’s Office of Job Corps after a competitive RFP process.

Thirteen firms pitched for the year-long contract, which includes four additional option years and is capped at $9,997,000.

Job Corps is a 45-year-old career skills and technical training program for disadvantaged youth like high school dropouts and homeless or runaway kids from 16 to 24 years old. It runs 122 centers across 48 states and educates in academics, job training and “life skills,” and also houses and clothes participants.

MP&F, which started out handling the account regionally in the southeast in 1995, will guide PR and outreach communications programs for all of Job Corps’ national and regional offices under the sweeping pact, which includes work from media relations and publication writing to speeches and event support.


PurinaCare Insurance Services, the year-old pet healthcare insurance unit of Nestle’s Purina unit, has brought in its first PR agency of record.

The company tapped KGBTexas PR/Advertising, San Antonio, following an RFP process. It had not previously worked with an outside firm.

PurinaCare launched in June ’08 and is authorized to issue policies for dogs and cats in 40 states. It declined further comment about the agency review.

KGBTexas is charged with creating and implementing a PR and social media program focused on educating consumers about how pet insurance can help them afford top-notch veterinary care for their pets.

The New York Times reported last year that there were only about 20 companies in the U.S. handling pet insurance.

Rich Teplitsky, former VP of corporate communications at GAIN Capital, heads KGB/Texas’ PR unit.


 Top corporate communications officers must step up their personal interaction with reporters and editors, building stronger relationships, counselor Richard Torrenzano told the Foreign Press Association April 1 in New York.

Media are “driving the attitudes of governments, regulators, investors and consumers,” he said.

“Business is under siege by government, the media and traditional anti-business activists and rabble rousers,” he said.

“They are seizing upon the current crises and symbols such as corporate jets, training junkets and the like to forward their well-worn agendas,” he continued.

Business, he said, “must operate with an intelligent appreciation for the symbolism of their actions and how they may be perceived by their stakeholders.”

Rather than retreating from public view, companies should communicate even more, he feels, noting the proverb, “The best defense is a good offense.”

Torrenzano, who was a member of the management at executive committees at the New York Stock Exchange where he worked for almost a decade, said companies must accept that a crisis exists or can exist. He urged them to “be visible, communicative and responsive” and to “show empathy.”


David Pryor Jr., who was senior federal rep at FedEx, is moving to Microsoft as director of government affairs for the Senate. He is in charge of education, health and online matters for the software giant.

Pryor is the son of former Arkansas Senator and Governor David Pryor. His younger brother, Mark, currently is the Senator from “The Natural State.”

The 48-year-old Pryor worked at Hill & Knowlton and served in the Clinton Administration’s State Dept. as deputy chief of protocol.

The National Journal reports that Pryor has a special needs son who attends St. Coletta of Greater Washington School, where he is president of the board of trustees.

Microsoft made a software donation to the school that made Pryor look at the company in a “new way.”


Memphis firm Obsidian PR is guiding the launch of the iPosture, a small device intended to correct posture and avoid health problems by vibrating when a user slouches.

The $65 disc is meant to be worn on the skin or clipped to a shirt or bra and uses nanosensor technology to gauge posture.

Jessica Neal, account manager at Obsidian, told O’Dwyer’s that the device has quickly seen interest from a variety of online and print media from CNET and Engaget to the New York Post and O Magazine. PR photos distributed via Business Wire have popped up among Yahoo! News’ most popular images and have run in publications like the Winston-Salem Journal.

A key pitch is the use of the device for people who spend extensive time working at desks, as well as the idea that correcting posture can avoid health problems like back and neck pain and even organ damage.


Internet Edition, April 8, 2009, Page 3


The parent of the Chicago Sun-Times has filed for bankruptcy, a move that puts it in the same financial boat as rival Chicago Tribune.

The Sun-Times Media Group promises to operate its “newspapers and online sites as usual as it focuses on further improving its cost structure and stabilizing operations.”

Interim CEO Jeremy Halbreich blames the collapse of the advertising market that has hammered newspapers from coast-to-coast as the reason for the Chapter 11 filing.

The S-TMG also has a heavy Internal Revenue tax liability dating back to earlier management, according to Halbreich’s statement.

He assured readers of his goal to “preserve and sustain these strong print and online news and information assets that are such an integral part of the fabric of Chicago and its neighboring communities.”

The company operates 59 newspapers and accompanying sites in Illinois including the Lake County News-Sun (Waukegan), Courier-News (Elgin) and Herald News (Joliet) and Beacon News (Aurora).

The S-TMG, under the leadership of Cyrus Freidheim, had put itself on the auction bloc in ’08. It also planned to explore various joint ventures and partnerships.

The Chicago Sun-Times has a weekday circulation of more than 300,000.


News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch said at a cable TV industry event last week that more newspapers have to start charging readers to view content online in order to survive.

Reuters reported that the Wall Street Journal owner said at The Cable Show conference that the New York Times has one of the most popular U.S. newspaper websites but can’t cover its costs with online ads.

Murdoch also called out Google and Yahoo! for aggregating content from other sites. “…Should we be allowing Google to steal all our copyright … not steal, but take?” he reportedly asked the audience, also mentioning Yahoo!


Ninety-five magazines folded in the first quarter of 2009, but 110 new publications were started during the same period, according to

The online database reports that Domino, Travel & Leisure Golf and Hallmark were among the closures, while 16 magazines dropped print editions in favor of online, including Blender, Computer Shopper and Tennis Week.

Regional and lifestyle titles were the hardest hit by closures with City Center and Wichita Magazine among the casualties.

MediaFinder, part of Oxbridge Communications, said that the top categories for new publications have been health/fitness, home/furnishings and family, with eight new titles in each. Best You, Purpose Driven Connection and the digital pub PopSci Genius Guide, which was launched as an online magazine by Popular Science, are newcomers.

Trish Hagood, president of Oxbridge, said the 110 new pubs compare favorably with 2008, when 335 new titles were launched.


Former AOL chief Jonathan Miller is now in charge of News Corp.'s digital operations, which include MySpace, Photobucket, IGN Entertainment, Jamba and its Hulu joint venture with NBC Universal.

CEO Rupert Murdoch says Miller’s job is to make News Corp.'s online properties “central to, not separate from the enterprise.”

He calls the new hire the “best equipped executive to provide the vision, oversight and operational experience to transform our offerings.”

Miller, 52, headed AOL from ’02 to ’06. He joins News Corp. from Velocity Interactive Group, an investment firm. Earlier, he was President of USA Information and Services and managing director of Nickelodeon International.

With Miller's arrival, Peter Levinsohn is upped to president new media and digital distribution at Fox Film Entertainment.


Richard Wolffe, senior White House correspondent for Newsweek, is leaving journalism for PR with a post in Public Strategies’ D.C. office.

The England-born Wolffe is slated to make the move on April 13.

He has covered President Barack Obama since the primaries and has written a book, “Renegade: The Education of Barack Obama” (Crown 2009).

He also reported on both terms of the George W. Bush administration and has an exclusive contract with NBC, appearing regularly on “Meet the Press” and MSNBC.

Wolffe said many PS clients are at the center of the “national dialogue” and sees PR as a “challenging new arena for me.”

He said he’s known and worked with PS staffers for years. That includes its new president and CEO Dan Bartlett, a top counselor to President Bush.
He was previously deputy bureau chief and diplomatic correspondent for the Financial Times and has written books on food and the Holocaust.


The Hill has launched “Twitter Room,” a blog covering the posts of Congressmen and other D.C. figures.

The D.C. publisher notes that President Obama and more than 100 members of Congress, as well as pundits, political reporters and others are twittering messages to their supporters day and night.

The page, at, includes highlighted tweets with commentary and context, a stream of all Congress feeds and other links to Twitter pages of D.C. figures.

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, April 8, 2009, Page 4


The National Press Club commends the House of Representatives for passing a so-called shield law for reporters and is urging the Senate to push through its own version.

“It is past time that reporters have a national shield against government attempts to learn the identities of anonymous sources,” NPC President Donna Leinwand, a reporter with USA Today, said in a statement. “Unless reporters can withhold the names of sources on occasion, the press cannot do its job as well."

Shield laws exist in 34 states and the District of Columbia, but there is no national shield. The Press Club contends that in the absence of such a national law, judges have increasingly forced journalists to disclose their anonymous sources.

Last year, the House passed a bill but the Senate did not act.

The new House bill (HR 985, with the Senate counterpart S 448) would establish a presumption in favor of protecting sources’ names, but would also set narrowly defined circumstances in which a judge can compel the disclosure of sources’ identities including, as the NPC notes, when it is the only way to solve a crime or prevent an act of terrorism.


Microprocessor maker Intel has inked a deal to be a corporate sponsor of PBS’ “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” and its online counterpart.

The sponsorship runs from April 1 through December and includes general programming support and the funding of a series of “mini-documentaries” on innovation in the U.S. economy.

Intel will also host with the Aspen Institute a series of salon dinners in Washington, D.C., on the “innovation economy.”

Intel joins Chevron as the two key corporate backers of the long-running program, which also gets support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, among other non-profits.

Linda Winslow, executive producer of Newshour, said Intel is providing “well-needed funds in these challenging times.”


Craig Moon, president and publisher at USA Today for the past half dozen years, is stepping down on April 17. He is returning to Nashville to explore opportunities.

In his exit memo, Moon wrote the “timing of my retirement coincides with industry challenges.” He views the “changing media environment and the recession creating new opportunities.” All is needed are “new mindsets” for the newspaper business to be a growth one again.

He views people at USAT flexible and “not stuck in the past.” Moon lauds innovation such as the launch of USAT’s iPhone application.

Moon expects USAT to cash in on a “host of partnership opportunities available for the brand to capitalize on.”


Lifetime Networks has named Les Eisner VP-corporate communications. He joins from The Lippin Group, where he was executive VP.

Eisner is charged with positioning the women’s fare cable TV network, distribution, promotion, marketing, digital research, advocacy and media relations. Earlier, he was in PR at 20th Television and MyNetworkTV.

Lindsay Drewel, VP-publicity and talent relations, is another new hire. She had been running her own shop in Washington, D.C., but had worked at Lifetime before.

Both report to Josh Sabarra, senior VP-corporate communications & policy.


Google is in "late stage negotiations" to acquire Twitter for a price "well north of the $250M valuation" of its recent funding, according to TechCrunch.

TechCrunch says the companies have confirmed the discussions, but those talks could ultimately lead to a joint venture.

Facebook made an overture to Twitter a couple of months ago, but it was based on its inflated price stock. Google would offer cash or its publicly traded shares to Twitter. TechCrunch believes a Twitter takeover would be a "brilliant deal for Google." It notes the Twitter founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams already have dealt with Google by selling their Blogger business to it.

Michael Arrington, who got the scoop, believes Twitter "holds the keys to the best real time database and search engine on the Internet."

He noted that more and more people are tweeting about brands, and companies "want to know all about it" to either respond individually or gather the info to see what they are doing right or wrong.

Meanwhile, Kara Swisher, of the Wall Street Journal’s D|All Things Digital site, shoots down the TechCrunch piece.

A source told Swisher there was talk a while ago “between the two parties about real-time search and about product stuff.”

Swiser, who likes the idea of a Google/Twitter match-up, says there has been no recent negotiations about a merger.


Phone book and directory publisher Idearc Inc., publisher of Verizon’s books, filed for bankruptcy protection on March 31.

The three-year-old Verizon spin-off boasted a stock price of $37 in 2007. The stock now trades on the Pink Sheets at about $.02 a share.

The Dallas-based company hopes the Internet can turn things around but online revenue rose 5.3 percent to $300M in 2008, just a fraction of its $2.6B print revenues. Print sales slid 7.9 percent.

CEO Mark Klein alluded to the recession when he launched the “SuperGuarantee” program in February, offering a shield of approval to local plumbers, dog groomers, auto repair shops, contractors, wedding consultants and others who are listed in his books.

Internet Edition, April 8, 2009, Page 5


Henry Feintuch has opened Feintuch Communications in New York City, a firm he says will offer clients “strategic relations.”

The 22-year KCSA Strategic Communications veteran told O’Dwyer’s that FC is in the market of “holistic communications.”

He aims to help clients with a range of services beyond traditional PR to include legal, accounting, administration, HR, recruitment and business development.

Feintuch, a former news assignment editor at WCBS-TV in New York, says he will reach out to partners, including KCSA (investor relations), if necessary to supplement FC's in-house capabilities.

He is initially targeting the technology, healthcare/life sciences, financial services and advertising/media categories for growth.

Feintuch opens with Bixby Energy, Tervela, Marketcetera, Basex, 3rd Dimension Technology and GAIN Capital/ as clients.

At KCSA, Feintuch handled BellSouth, International Paper, Arbitron and IEEE. He also managed the independent firm’s hi-tech practice, which included its emerging tech unit in Israel.

Steph Johnson, a veteran of Page One PR, Spring O'Brien, KCSA and Elizabeth Howard & Co., is senior VP at FC.

Feintuch can be reached at 212/808-4900.


Las Vegas firm b&p, the former Brown & Partners, has been tapped by Ohio-based developer Forest City Enterprises, which is working with Sin City as it seeks approval to build a new multimillion-dollar city hall.

The proposed $267M project is being challenged by the city’s powerful Culinary Union, which says the city’s mayor and other officials want to build a “Taj Mahal” on taxpayers’ dime, according to the Las Vegas Sun.

The new city hall would be built under the auspices of the city’s redevelopment agency, which focuses on the teetering downtown area, and the project appears to have the backing of business groups because it’s part of a larger plan that includes a new hotel and casino.

The Culinary Union, the largest union in the state with about 60K members, mostly casino workers, is taking the redevelopment agency to court to put the city hall project on the ballot, which city officials have refused to do.

BRIEFS: Atlanta-based Jackson Spalding opened a Dallas office in early March, its third outpost following an Athens, Ga., location. Joanna Schubert Singleton, who was with the firm for three years before relocating to the Lone Star State in 2008, heads the two-person operation in the Thanksgiving Tower in the city. Post Properties and Brookshire’s Grocery Co. are clients. ...The AED Center for Health Communication, Washington, D.C., took home a silver ADDY Award for its influenza campaign for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. AED produced a documentary on flu vacccines which won in the public service category.


New York Area

Spring, O’Brien, New York/Los Iguana Resort & Spa (Costa Rica), for a targeted media relations push; Yampu Latin American Tours, formerly Kontiki, for online and print media relations, and Perillo Tours, for a PR cmapaign including a news bureau, media relations and special events focused on its new escorted and private tours of Italy.

Jaymie Scotto & Associates, New York/Mzima Networks, IP network services, for PR and marketing including a web redesign, case studies and media rels.

The Dilenschneider Group, New York/Conseil Interprofessionnel Vins de Provence, group of 700 wine producers in France’s Provence region, for PR and special events.

Barwicki Investor Relations, New York/Salamon Group, electronic product design, for IR and PR services for a three-month term.

The Brandman Agency, New York/InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, as AOR for the Americas region. The firm already handles Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific.


Duffy & Shanley, Providence, R.I./The Barrett Group, fee-based career management consulting, for national advertising and PR following its revamp of the company’s website.

Cone, Boston/Guiding Stars Licensing Company, for media relations and ongoing strategic marketing comms. support for the Maine-based nutrition navigation system developer. Cone’s brand marketing unit handles the account.

Exemplar Strategic Communications, Falls Church, Va./American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education; AppleTree Institute for Education Innovation, and Stanford Univ.

Arketi Group, Atlanta/Reveille Software, as AOR for PR and marketing.


Zeno Group, Chicago/Fonterra North America, subsidiary of New Zealand dairy exporter, as AOR handling its relocation to the Chicago area and opening of a R&D institute.


Weber Shandwick, San Francisco/Taleo, software-as-a-service for talent management, as AOR for PR, including media relations, comms. support and strategic counsel.

PCGCampbell, Torrance, Calif./Spyker of North America, exotic cars made in the Netherlands, for marketing comms. Its C8 Aileron arrives in the U.S. this year.

Benson Marketing Group, Napa, Calif./Interloire and the Bureau Interprofessionel des Vins du Centre, both groups representing wine producers and grape growers of France’s Loire Valley, for a three-year- marketing campaign in the U.S. BMG’s New York office will also handle the account, which budgets at 3.4M Euros.

Bailey Gardiner, San Diego/Electra Bicycle Company, as AOR including national media relations.

Internet Edition, April 8, 2009, Page 6


Broadcast and digital PR company Medialink has notified the Securities and Exchange Commission that its 10-K for 2008 will be filed late.

Medialink said unexpected delays in completing certain procedures and documentation resulted in its inability to file on time. It expects to submit its 10-K before April 15.

The company said it anticipates an $8.1M loss for 2008, compared with a loss of $3.7M for the same period of ’07. The ’08 numbers include impairment charges of $1.1M and a goodwill charge of $3.4M.

Medialink unloaded its stake in the Teletrax monitoring service earlier this year and sold its U.K. operation. Medialink shares are trading at about $0.12, off its 52-week high of $1.79.


Monitoring giant VMS has opened the curtain on an integrated platform to track, measure and report on both advertising and public relations initiatives and how the two disciplines affect one another, as well as a company’s bottom line.

The platform, called Vantage, has been in development for several years and was in beta testing for the past nine months before its unveiling in late March.

CEO Peter Wengryn, who outlined the concept of Vantage four years ago to this magazine, sees the service affecting the dynamics between advertising and PR.
“This can really change PR and advertising in a way that we can manage those two disciplines and look at how they impact one another and the bottom line of a company,” he told O’Dwyer’s.

Vantage sits atop VMS’ Adsight and Insight advertising and news monitoring platforms and looks at the relationship between the two sets of data to develop conclusions.

“Vantage looks at the whole picture of all media in a marketplace – paid and earned -- in one platform. It allows clients to have harmonized information that is consistent for analysis,” he said.

Wengryn also added that the economic downturn makes the new service particularly appealing because it consolidates analysis and monitoring with a single vendor where companies often use several vendors for advertising and PR monitoring and analysis.


PR software company Vocus is introducing “Vocus Spring ’09” which it says has the industry's “first fully configurable home page,” allowing its PR users to better organize applications.

The new product is a complete redesign of the Vocus profile layouts and is set up to match the social media style of leading networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn.

Bill Wagner, chief marketing officer, said the new product introduces many industry firsts that will make Vocus even easier to use and save time and money for PR pros. Vocus customers will be able to transition to Spring '09 over the next few weeks with no software to download or IT-involvement required, said Wagner.



John Sorensen, VP and treasurer, Kaman Corp., to ICR, Westport, Conn., as chief financial officer and managing director for bankruptcy & restructuring communications. Sorenson, 46, previously held posts at Visant Corp., World Kitchen, Inc., US Office Products Company, ARINC Inc., and Bank of America in Washington, DC.

Joel Mazmanian, senior A/E, RLM PR, to Rubenstein PR, New York, as an associate VP handling consumer and lifestyle accounts. He took on SmugMug, ZepInvest and ThisNext at RLM and is a former reporter for NY1 and CBS 46 in California.

Alexis Moore, director of communications, Albert Einstein Healthcare Network, to the American Friends Service Committee, Philadelphia, as associate director of external affairs and director of media relations for the Quaker organization. She was previously chief communications officer for the Washington, D.C., public schools and executive director, comms., for the School District of Philadelphia.
Susan Haralson, previously with Dezenhall Resources and DCI Group, to Hyde Park Communications, Washington, D.C., as an A/S handling public affairs, litigation and healthcare clients.

Deidre Krause, A/E, Becker PR, to STIR-Communications, Miami, as a senior executive. She was previously a consumer engagement specialist with Engauge Comms.

Landry Fuller, VP of travel and real estate at Murphy O’Brien, to The Resort at Pelican Hill, Newport Beach, Calif., as senior director of PR for the 504-acre resort. She is a former Lippin Group staffer who also spent seven years with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co.


Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i to VP, diversity and communications, CBS Television, Los Angeles. The assignment expands her comms. role to focus on diversity efforts across the company. She was recently director of comms.

Kendyl Wright to senior A/E, CRT/tanaka, New York. She handles consumer clients like Girl Scouts of the USA and Wines from Rioja (Spain). Becky Comstock was upped to A/E in the firm’s Richmond office. She works on coporate clients like Mirage Studios and 4Kids Entertainment (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and VSP Technologies.

Vickie Cullen to A/E, R&J PR, Bridgewater, N.J. She joined the firm in May 2008 and handles health and consumer accounts.


Internet Edition, April 8, 2009, Page 7

O'Dwyer's Ranking of Healthcare PR Firms
Click here for ranking.

PR SOCIETY LEADERSHIP (cont’d from page 1)

throughout the bylaws, which specified APR for officer and board posts, the nominating committee, and for those petitioning for a special meeting of the Assembly.

1999 Board Fought “De-coupling”

The 1999 board, headed by Sam Waltz, rejected the advice and said it would fight “de-coupling.” Cheryl Procter-Rogers, 2006 president, abolished the separate SPC, giving its duties to the national board. Rhoda Weiss, 2007 chair, continued this policy.

Jeff Julin, 2008 chair, collected 300 ideas for the 2008-2010 SPC at the 2007 Assembly but they were never published. PRS refused to provide the transcript of the Assembly although such transcripts had been provided for the 2002, 2003 and 2004 Assemblies.

Minutes of the Jan. 23, 2009 meeting have yet to be published on the PRS website.

Arthur Yann, VP-PR of the Society, said that publication of the minutes is being delayed because they contain “information about a pending organizational announcement which has been delayed for reasons out of the Society’s control.”

The new plans being drawn up for the Society are subject to “budget constraints,” McCormick said.

The Society as of Sept. 30, 2008, had investments of $3.5M and cash of $1.8M. It reported having $1.1M in common stocks at the end of 2007. Neither the audit nor IRS Form 990 are yet available.

The Arthur W. Page Society, which had $795,142 in “publicly-traded securities” as of Jan. 1, 2007, saw this drop 25% to $591,811 as of Dec. 31, 2007. No figures are yet available for the year ended Dec. 31, 2008.

McCormick envisions a SPC of 10-12 people with at least some of them from New York so they can be close to h.q. Input is being sought from committees and task forces of the Society, he said.

Bylaw Proposals Absent from Tactics

The April Tactics of PRS does not contain any description or member discussion of the major bylaw changes being proposed by leadership and which were contained in a link on the Society website in February.

There is an essay by COO Bill Murray (on the next to the last page of the issue) discussing the need for new bylaws but no specifics are mentioned. Proposals indicate the sitting Assembly might be abolished since the bylaws committee said it envisions an Assembly that “communicates regularly, votes electronically, and helps shape the Society’s advocacy agenda.” There is no mention of the Assembly holding in-person meetings.

However, Yann said there is no intention to abolish the sitting Assembly. He did not answer the question of whether the charter would have to be shifted from New York State to allow electronic voting. Direct election of board and officers by the 22,000 members is being proposed. There is no mention of requiring at least one director from each of the ten districts.

Other proposals would let directors serve two, two-year terms in succession and let them come back as officers; requiring chapter presidents or presidents-elect to be delegates to the new “electronic” Assembly if a chapter has only one delegate (about half the 109 chapters), and allowing non-APRs to join the board if they have more than 20 years in PR “with increasing levels of responsibility.”


Internet Edition, April 8, 2009, Page 8




Sentiment of PR pros is running strongly against PR Seminar holding its annual session as usual at the Ritz-Carlton at Laguna Niguel, Calif.

Corporate and counselor PR execs are mostly telling us that and a poll on after about a week settled down at 40% in favor of cancelling the May 20-23 business/social event; 33% for moving it (such as to a major city), and 31% saying “Keep it.”

One of the red-hot issues today is corporate executives meeting at plush resorts, which is what the facility at Laguna Niguel certainly is.

Seminarian Nicholas Ashooh of AIG, the “most wanted” PR pro in America today, no doubt has paparazzi following him and it’s possible they’ll book into the Ritz-Carlton.

So far there is no indication PRS will cancel.

There are several embarrassing points about this very private meeting, at which attendance by a spouse or companion is almost mandatory. It’s as much a social event as a business event. Overall cost of the four days is at least $1 million.

The tradition is that “PR” as such is not discussed. It’s considered too “tradey.” Can you imagine a sales conference where sales is not discussed or a medical conference where medical topics are banned?

Typical topics are Sino-Soviet relations, “Global Markets” (topic from 2008) assessing candidates for political office, and listening to college professors and to editors from the Economist, New York Times, Newsweek, Bloomberg News, etc., discuss behavioral, political and economic topics (standard op-ed fare).

Eyebrow-raising, if not an actual scandal, is that none of the media at this event has ever written about it.

NYT editors know about PRS but cannot write about it.

VP-communications Catherine Mathis of the NYT is a member and would have to explain why the paper has never covered the group. NYT business editor John Geddes was a speaker in 1996 but no mention of PRS appeared in the paper. It’s possible PRS is just too connected to write about.

The PR Society is going ahead with its “Leadership Rally” for 109 presidents-elect June 5-6 in New York which is similar to Seminar in secrecy and having a hidden agenda. Training presidents-elect is not the reason for the meeting since a small booklet could have accomplished that years ago. The Rally, like Seminar, publishes nothing. Regional politics is the game. The comparatively costly meeting ($100K+ cost includes $500 “stipends” for each president-elect) is a “rally” in support of non-New Yorkers continuing their dominance of the Society. This means most board seats and other titles are spread across the nation and no more than one or two PR pros are allowed to work at h.q. Nothing special may be done for the NY chapter such as having a midtown library/meeting center.

The presidents-elect, if they organize themselves, could return control of h.q. back to the chapters. At least the presidents-elect know who they are and can contact each other. No list of Assembly delegates has been made available for years, even to the delegates themselves, so they are completely unorganized.

The Presidents-elect should take a hard look at the costs of a New York h.q. including the $5M payroll and occupancy costs of $802,765 in 2007, up from $562,428 in 2003 (33 Irving Pl.). PRS has a 13-year lease at about $24 while office costs in New York are plummeting. Moving h.q. to another city should be considered. They should look at the policy of barring more than one or two PR pros from working at h.q. This means there can be little or no “PR for PR” program or even an advocacy program because there are not enough PR pros to work on such programs.

Instead of taking their cues from what national leaders and staff want, they should query rank-and-file members and especially about bringing back the printed members’ directory. It may be slightly out of date but the convenience and ease of looking up members more than offsets that. Facebook and LinkedIn can supply contact points for anyone. If the presidents-elect surveyed members, they would find a nearly 6-1 margin in favor of getting back what was the chief member benefit for most members.

The presidents-elect should turn the tables on staff and national leaders and set their own agenda. They should not be like the meek sheep Assembly delegates who were led around by the nose for nearly eight hours on Oct. 25, 2008 and then deprived of their “town hall” for the second year in a row.

The Society Foundation is staging a fund-raiser April 20, that will honor John Graham of Fleishman-Hillard as recipient of the first “Paladin Award” recognizing his being a “long-time champion of our profession.” Paladins were the original “knights in shining armor,” noted for their leadership and courage.

Graham deserves to be honored but it is ironic that this event will only raise about $20,000 for the Foundation assuming that about 200 will attend.

PRS, the “sister” of the Foundation, pays millions of dollars for activities, rent and staff that could easily be trimmed. It subsidized the APR program to the tune of $2.9M in the years from 1986 to 2002.

Its annual travel/meals/hotels spending of more than $500,000 yearly could be cut in this age of the web, internet and telephone.

Invitation-only tickets to the Foundation dinner are $325. Members of Seminar, Arthur W. Page Society, Institute for PR and Council of PR Firms are being invited to the dinner at the “W” Hotel, Union Square, New York. Kathy Lewton is chair of the Foundation…one of the proposed bylaws of the PR Society would “extend membership opportunities” to those with a “broader range of knowledge, experiences and job responsibilities” (in other words, anyone with a pulse). What new members are not told is that they’re “second-class” citizens, unable to hold national office until they become APR and/or show 20 years of posts with ever greater responsibilities…the bylaws committee sees the Assembly as “a group that communicates regularly, votes electronically, and helps shape the Society’s advocacy agenda.” That meant to us that there would be no “sitting” Assembly since the proposal said nothing about the Assembly meeting in-person. But COO Bill Murray said on PRSAY that one in-person Assembly meeting would still be held. Will PRS have to move its charter from New York, which forbids electronic voting?...minutes of the Jan. 23, 2009 board meeting are being held up “pending an organizational announcement which has been delayed for reasons out of the Society’s control,” VP-PR Arthur Yann said…also being held up are the financial reports for the Society and its Foundation. Debra Miller, 1997 president, released unaudited full financials in February of 1997, saying there was no need to make members wait until mid-year for results…Independent Sector (800 non-profits) urges early reporting and publication of the full audit and IRS Form 990 on websites in a prominent position (which few organizations do).

--Jack O'Dwyer


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