The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, April 15, 2009, Page 1
LOOKS TO BOLSTER DTV OUTREACH
Federal Communications Commission is considering an additional
PR contract to support its protracted public awareness push
for the national switch to digital TV.
the original Feb. 17, 2009 deadline pushed to June 12, the
FCC is asking for quotations from firms that could handle
tasks like PSA production, media services, publication,
PR, distribution and other efforts to reach the public about
said last week that as many as 3.8M Americans are still
unprepared for the switch. Nearly 45 percent of TV stations
have already switched to digital-only signals.
has handled a multi-faceted campaign for the DTV switch
on a $1.7M contract since 2008.
FCC said it is conducting an open competition for a new
contract worth up to $2.5M.
contractor must have the wherewithal to complete multiple
assigned tasks with short deadlines, reads a procurement
document, which outlines a time table for a campaign stretching
from late April through mid-June.
Obama signed the DTV Delay Act in February, a week before
the initial deadline, and Congress earmarked $650M to pay
for coupons for converters.
Obama cited Americans in vulnerable communities
that would be left in the dark without the delay.
for RFQ info.
MADDEN JOINS EDELMAN
Jane Madden has joined
Edelmans Chicago office as senior VP for corporate
responsibility and sustainability.
Madden, a dozen-year veteran
at the World Bank, has created programs in more than 25
countries including Afghanistan.
She unveiled the WBs
global development learning network in Kabul. Thats
billed as one its first projects completed under the Karzai
At the WB, Madden held
the job as capacity building and education specialist.
Madden also worked at CARE, UNICEF and the European Union.
She once headed her own shop, counseling Xerox, Ben &
Jerrys and The Brookings Institution.
Madden is trustee at CHF
International, which focuses on housing and microfinancing.
Her concentration at Edelman
is engaging with multilateral groups and developing environmental
and CSR programs.
OMCS WREN TAKES FINANCIAL
Omnicom CEO John Wrens
2008 compensation tumbled 72 percent to $2.9M following
his recommendation that top executives at ad/PR conglom
take a 75 percent cut in their performance based bonus.
That reduced bonus, according
to OMCs proxy, allowed senior management to
provide for lower-level employees to receive incentive compensation,
while permitting OMC to maximize its financial objectives
for shareholders in a troubled economy.
pay dropped to $1.75M from $7M in 08. He also received
$172K for personal use of OMCs jet. Chief financial
officer Randy Weisenburger took a 66 percent hit in total
comp to $2.8M, while diversified agency services chief Tom
Harrison suffered a 53 percent drop in pay to $2.3M.
OMC has cut its workforce
by an estimated 3,000 workers. Its `08 net rose 2.5 percent
to $1B on a 5.2 percent gain in revenues to $13.4B
H&K TOUTS SHANGHAI WORLDS
Hill & Knowlton is
repping Shanghai Expo 2010, which is billed as the most
anticipated Worlds Fair since the 1964 event held
in New York.
China expects more than
70M visitors to attend the Expo that will run from May through
October. It plans to use the Expo as a sign of its emergence
on the global economic and political stage.
More than 185 countries
have confirmed participation in the event as well as corporations
such as Coca-Cola, General Motors and Siemens. U.S. participation
is yet unclear, tied up in behind-the-scenes maneuverings
and State Dept. incompetence, according to The
Atlantic. The Shanghai Expo is another trophy win for
the WPP Group unit, which handled the Beijing Summer Olympics.
H&K has 200 staffers in China.
SOCIETY DELEGATE SEEKS BYLAW
A posting in the
Governance Forum of the PR Society
says members so far have very little real information
about proposed bylaw changes and especially the proposal
to extend membership opportunities to those
with a broader range of knowledge, experience and
the Society needs to evolve, Assembly delegate
Mark McClennan of Boston asked, What specifically
are we talking about here?
Bylaws chair Dave
Rickey responded by saying that the committee has in mind
other communications professionals including
those in social media, strategic
on page 7)
Edition, April 15, 2009, Page 2
WORKS TO COUNTER TRAVEL ALERT
Mexico Tourism Board is working with Miami PR agency Newlink
Communications to reassure travelers and counter coverage
of drug-related violence in that country.
U.S. State Dept. issued a renewed travel alert on Feb. 20
citing an increase in violence near the U.S. border.
and the Tourism Board have launched a series of roundtable
discussions with reporters which started last week in New
York and will continue on to Los Angeles next week, Chicago
and the Texas market. The latter market has been particularly
affected because of its proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border.
wanted to talk about the travel alert renewal and what the
concerns are and tell the other side that the travel
destinations are safe, said Cessie Cerrato, senior
A/E at Newlink. So much of the media has covered all
the negative stuff. People can get confused but there is
a difference in distance and geography between,
for example, Cancun and Ciudad Juarez.
officials, travel agents and representatives from large
tour operators are taking part in the roundtable discussions
with media to emphasize that violence is contained to a
handful of provinces in the northwest part of the country.
has also been launched to include an FAQ and host videos
from convention and visitors bureaus throughout the country.
Cerrato said: Theyve been sending us content,
including video testimonials of Americans in Mexico traveling
while this is all going on, saying This is safe.
Newlink will mark its second year on the Mexico Tourism
Board account in July.
ENTERGY PLUGS INTO BREAUX
Entergy Corp. has hired
Breaux Lott Leadership Group to deal with nuclear issues
as the license of its Indian Point facility in Westchester
is up for renewal.
The New Orleans-based
company, is the second largest nuclear generator in the
nation with plants in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi,
Texas and New York.
Located 45 miles up the
Hudson River from New York City, Indian Point has been a
target by activists eager to shut down the facility. That
protest picked up momentum following the 9/11 terror attacks.
Entergy, in `07, filed
an application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to
extend the original 40-year licenses at the Indian Point
reactors for another 20 years. The licenses are up next
February. A round of raucous public hearings is expected.
The $13B (revenues) Entergy
celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Three
Mile Island incident last month, issuing a press release
that noted the nations 104 reactors are stronger and
safer than ever before.
The company pointed out
that TMIs safety systems performed as designed,
resulting in no injuries and no deaths, even as the reactor
experienced the nations only partial meltdown.
Exelon Corp., which has $19B in annual revenues, runs TMI.
Former Senators John Breaux
(D-LA) and Trent Lott (R-MS) head the Entergy business,
assisted by their sons.
OGILVY VOUCHES FOR PAYDAY
Ogilvy Government Relations
is repping the payday loan business against
Congressional charges of predatory pricing surrounding
the practice of making short-term loans that could burden
low income borrowers with a 391 percent annual interest
The WPP Group unit is
working on behalf of Cash America International, pawn shop
operator in more than 20 states that also offers payday
advances, and Community Financial Services of America,
which has membership running half the nations 24,000
advance loan outfits.
CFSAs website features
an extensive myth vs. reality of payday loans
section. It covers topics such as Payday loans are
extremely expensive and have exorbitant interest rates;
Payday loans trap borrowers in a never-ending cycle
of debt; Payday lenders take advantage of poor
people and minorities, and Consumers win if
payday lenders are regulated out of business.
The group takes aim at
the 391 percent interest figure, saying that rate applies
only if a consumer rolls over the 15 percent two-week interest
rate on a $100 loan for the entire year. (The Center for
Responsible Lending found that 12M of the 19M payday loan
borrowers make five or more transactions on a loan. It found
that 90 percent of payday loan revenues come from people
who do not pay off the loan in two weeks.)
CFSA notes the 391 percent
rate is better than the 965 percent late fee ($37) that
credit card companies charge on a $100 balance overdue for
a full-year or the 1,203 percent rate that utilities charge
with $46 late fee on a $100 bill.
Its staffers on the two
accounts are Moses Mercado (an aide to former Rep. Dick
Gephardt), Dean Aguillen (who worked for Rep. Nancy Pelosi),
Stewart Hall (a Sen. Richard Shelby alum) and John Green
(a staffer for former Sen. Trent Lott).
DUBAI TAPS FINSBURY FOR
Dubai has hired Finsbury
to develop a financial communications strategy to counter
media reports that depict the Emirate as in state of economic
The New York Times
(Feb. 12) reported that Dubais real estate/construction
market has crashed, leaving many foreigners, who make up
90 percent of the population exiting. It reported that more
than 3,000 cars have been abandoned at Dubai Airport by
fleeing, debt-ridden foreigners who could be imprisoned
if they failed to pay their bills.
Housing vacancies make
parts of Dubai, once hailed as the economic superpower of
the Middle East, as looking more like a ghost town,
according to the NYT.
The Financial Times
(April 2) blames the Government for a lack of transparency
in financial matters, overlooked in the boom years, has
come to haunt the Emirates.
black hole allowed rumors, since denied, to snowball about
Dubais richer neighbor Abu Dhabi buying Dubais
trophy assets, such as the airline Emirates and Dubai Metro,
in return for a financial bail-out.
Edition, April 15, 2009, Page 3
BIGWIGS SAY NET HURTS JOURNALISM
majority of big-name journalists surveyed by The Atlantic
say the Internet is hurting journalism more than it helps.
five percent of the 43 media people surveyed say journalism
is hurt by the `Net while 34 percent say the craft is bolstered
by online activities.
Donaldson, Jim Lehrer, Tucker Carlson, Ray Suarez, Fareed
Zakaria, Judy Woodruff, Cokie Roberts, Todd Purdum, Chris
Matthews, Gloria Borger, David Brooks, Jeff Greenfield and
Gene Robinson participated in the poll.
cons: smaller news bites, shallow coverage and inability
to monetize news.
pros: audience reach, broader participation in public affairs,
and real-time scrutiny.
YOUTUBE TO LOSE NEARLY HALF-BILLION
Credit Suisse expects
YouTube to lose $470M this year, according to a report written
by Spencer Wang and Kenneth Sena. They project revenues
in the $240M range.
The cost of bandwidth,
which accounts for more than half of YouTubes expenses,
is the key financial burden for the Google-owned operation.
Wang and Sena believe
YouTube needs to increase the percentage of its videos
that can be monetized and attract more advertising
demand via standardization of ad formats.
Google paid $1.65B for
Google more than two years ago.
VA REVIEWING REPORTER INCIDENT
The U.S. Dept. of Veterans
Affairs is investigating an April 7 incident in which a
public affairs officer and security confiscated a reporters
flash memory card after a Town Hall meeting.
The Washington Post,
other media and journalism groups have been pressuring the
federal agency with coverage of the incident and the VA
returned WAMU radio reporter David Schultzs memory
card on April 10.
The VA, which initially
cited a legal and moral responsibility to protect
the privacy of patients and said Schultz didnt properly
identify himself, is conducting a top to bottom review
on the incident, according to WAMU, which is an NPR affiliate.
Schultz was covering a
meeting (announced in a press release) in the hospital auditorium
about medical care for minority veteran patients.
He says when he followed
up with a veteran who spoke critically of the care, a PAO
interrupted to say both reporter and patient needed to sign
Security was summoned
and Schultz gave up the flash card on his audio recorder
after speaking with his news director.
FOX SNAGS PAEZ
Gaude Paez, who was at
Veoh Networks, has taken the VP-corporate communications
post at Fox Broadcasting. She reports to Shannon Ryan, senior
VP-publicity & corporate communications.
At the Internet TV company,
Paez was in charge of Veohs business, consumer and
Stationed in Los Angeles,
Paez serves as FB's spokesman for executive initiatives,
ratings performance and the News Corp. unit's brand.
Paez launched her career
at BSMG Worldwide and then moved to Burson-Marsteller, where
she handled telecom, consumer electronics, crisis and high-tech
She moved to the corporate
side as director of communications at Yahoo!
OBRIEN EXITS PRWEEK
Keith O'Brien, editor-in-chief
of PRWeek/U.S., is exiting the U.K.-based Haymarket
property to join New York-based Attention.
He spent five years at
PRW, taking over the top spot from Julia Hood in '08.
O'Brien announced his
departure on April 7 via Attention's blog. He quit the magazine
because the PR biz is fundamentally changing
and people no longer solely consume top-down media,
they create and share their own.
He experienced the rise
of social media at PRW via its coverage and the increase
of interaction between staffers/readers through blogging,
Facebook and Twitter.
O'Brien believes the Internet
will truly come of age when people throw out "tired
phrases like digital natives" and realize that people
of all ages go online.
Marketers must also chuck
aside the numbers game of counting impressions
on the Net.
The influence of the Internet
stems from its ability to find right community linchpins
and work with them to spread appropriate messages, according
to OBriens post.
He joins Attention April
Curtis Hougland, a veteran
of Ruder Finn and pre-Euro RSCG-owned Middleberg, founded
AXELROD EARNED $1.5M FOR CONSULTING
David Axelrod, a senior
White house advisor to President Obama who ran strategy
for his campaign, took home $1.5M from his PR and political
consulting firms last year.
He took a $3M buyout that
will be paid over five years when he left the firms for
the White House.
The numbers have been
released by the Obama administration to meet financial disclosure
ASK Public Strategies
is the corporate PR firm Axelrod started in 2002 with former
Edelman exec Eric Sedler and ad/public affairs consultant
The firm has worked for
Exelon, ComEd and AT&T.
AKP&D Message and
Media is the 24-year-old political campaign firm that works
for Chicago Mayor Richard Daley in addition to its Obama
Axelrod is a former Chicago
Tribune columnist and got into politics in 1984 as communications
director for Paul Simon.
news continued on next page)
Edition, April 15, 2009, Page 4
TAKES MOTOWN PR POST
Motown Records, the Vivendi unit that houses the classic
Detroit music label, has created a new senior PR post and
recruited veteran music writer to fill the slot.
Watson, recently a staff writer and blogger for Entertainment
Weekly, has been named senior VP of media relations.
handle media strategies for artists like Lil Wayne, Stevie
Wonder and Blue October.
brings a fresh perspective and a breadth of experience to
Universal Motown that we have not had before," said
UMR president Sylvia Rhone.
Watson was formerly arts and entertainment editor for Suede
magazine and senior editor at Vibe.
held posts at Time Out New York, co-edited books
on hip-hop and Tupac Shakur, and penned pieces for publications
like Rolling Stone, Spin and Marie Claire.
GROUPS BACK NEW GREEN
Al Gore and a band of
environmental groups are urging the creation of a new Internet
domain suffix, .eco.
The Sierra Club, Surfrider
and the Alliance for Climate Protection, along with Gore,
are supporting Dot Eco LLC in its application for the new
"green" web address.
The Internet Corporation
for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, is preparing to
accept applications for new web addresses, known as top
The advisory board of
Dot Eco LLC includes Davis Guggenheim (director of An
Inconvenient Truth), Roger Moore (actor and Goodwill
Ambassador for UNICEF), Richard Muller (Author of Physics
for Future Presidents) and Jim Dufour of the Scripps
Institution of Oceanography.
The groups hope to use
.eco to raise awareness about climate change. A website
has been set up at www.supportdoteco.com.
NEWSER BOOSTS BOARD
Newser, an online news
aggregator founded by Michael Wolff, has named four prominent
media members to its new advisory board.
Gordon Crovitz, ex-publisher
of the Wall Street Journal; Ned Desmond, former president
of Time Inc. Interactive; Larry Kramer, founder of MarketWatch,
and Wenda Harris Millard, co-CEO of Martha Stewart Living
Omnimedia, round out the four new members.
They'll handle corporate
development and strategy.
GORE TV PULLS PLUG ON IPO
Current Media, the cable
TV company co-founded by ex-Vice President Al Gore, has
suspended plans to issue an initial public offering.
The San Francisco-based
operation filed a registration for a $100M IPR a little
more than a year ago. The proceeds were supposed to fuel
The sour economy is given
as the reason for officially putting the IPO on ice. Current
cut 60 staffers late last year. It attracts 58M viewers.
TIME RIPS AIGS PR SPENDING
Times Michael Weisskopf
posted an April 10 column, questioning why American International
Group is spending tens of thousands of dollars every
month on four big PR firms in the aftermath of CEO
Ed Liddys testimony that the company would act as
good stewards of the public funds we have received.
He quoted Congressmen
who want to know what spin doctors have to do
with Liddys stated mission.
AIG, which received $180B
in taxpayer funds, has been roasted for doling out bonuses
to those responsible for its distress and for conducting
junkets at swanky resorts. AIGs firms are Burson-Marsteller
(crisis), Sard Verbinnen (bailout statements), Kekst &
Co. (asset sales to pay back loans) and Hill & Knowlton
AIG PR chief Nick Ashooh
defended the use of the outsiders, saying they made a bad
situation much better.
According to Ashooh, AIG
needs the outside PR help to meet the medias insatiable
demand for info. If we stopped doing what were
doing, there would be a worse outcry, he said.
The firms are not doing
image work or developing corporate sponsorships to bolster
AIGs reputation, noted Ashooh. They are doing vital
information-processing work and making sure
that reporters and Congressional staffers get all the answers
to their many questions about the bailed-out AIG.
The Time piece carries
input from a fierce AIG critic, Rep. Elijah Cummings, who
serves on the House Oversight Committee. He riled against
the PR payroll as prime example of AIG misusing funds.
Cummings said all
of the PR firms in the world will not distract us from getting
to the bottom of what is really going on at AIG and how
the company is spending taxpayer dollars.
Weisskopf frets that some
of AIGs PR dollars may be going for damage control.
Ashooh would neither disclose specific PR duties of the
firms nor the overall budget. Contracts are proprietary,
FORBES EYES WOMEN EXECS
Forbes Media has launched
ForbesWoman, a brand to include a dedicated
section on Forbes.com,
quarterly magazine for female subscribers of Forbes, proprietary
research, and custom events and conferences for female executives.
The first issue of ForbesWoman
magazine will be delivered with the May 11th issue of Forbes,
and the online component is already live.
Moira Forbes serves as
publisher, and Carol Hymowitz as editorial director.
Content areas include:
Leadership, Power Women, Entrepreneurs, Net Worth, Style,
Wellbeing and Time. A video series, Smart Women Now,
is also part of the mix.
BRIEF: United Medias
Dilbert, the cartoon about a cubicle office worker, is marking
its 20th year. Dilbert was recently fired and hired back
at a lower salary to do the same job. Scott Adams pens the
Edition, April 15,
2009, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
ACQUIRES SOCIAL MEDIA FIRM
has acquired D.C.-based social media firm Livingston Communications
and is making the firm its Washington office. The deal closed
on March 31.
was originally slated to merge with Canadas Social
Media Group last year but that deal fell apart a month after
it was announced.
three-year-old firm is headed by Geoff Livingston, who has
said that social media consulting should start to gravitate
into overall communications plans rather than be a separate
discipline. He penned the 2007 book Now is Gone
and has a second tome in the works for 2010.
summer in announcing the deal with SMG, Livingston hit large
agencies for ineffectively handling social media programs.
This acquisition brings social media into the larger
communications fold, he said of the deal with CRT.
takes a senior VP role with CRT and brings three other staffers
with him. The firm also uses a stable of freelancers. The
deal is CRTs second major acquisition this year. The
firm acquired food PR specialists Lewis & Neale in March.
Livingston has handled social media projects for Ford Motor,
the Consumer Electronic Show, General Dynamics, Save Darfur
and United Way.
about the move in a blog post, Livingston noted the time
commitment for an entrepreneur (60-100 hours a week) and
said he is thrilled to work for a firm without
his name on it.
services include blogging and social networking engagement,
product marketing, SEO, content development and blogger
based in Richmond, Va., with a major New York office, topped
$12M in revenue last year, up nearly seven percent from
BRIEFS: Rhode Islands
Economic Development Corp. has dropped an $8,750/month pact
with Cutler & Company
and given a $5K/month pact to Duffy
& Shanley ahead of an RFP this summer. Both firms
are based in Providence. R.I. has seen its unemployment
rate top 10 percent, fifth highest in the U.S. ...Peritus
PR, Louisville, Ky., has formed an equine marketing
division out of its Lexington office. Lisa Sheehy, who ran
her own marketing shop focused on the thoroughbred industry,
has joined the firm as director of the unit. Clients include
Kirkwood Stables and Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs Equine
and Gaming Group.
percentage change in revenue was incorrect in the April
1 issues table of New York PR firms. The firm, which
posted $11,623,964 in PR fees for 2008, was up 11% in New
York, an increase of more than $1.1M. The table in the 4/1/09
edition incorrectly stated the change as a 1.6% decline.
Strategies, New York/ASME, professional association
for mechanical engineers, as AOR for PR.
New York/Beyond Tribute, veterans support group, for PR
for its Memorial Day and Veterans Day initiatives focused
on research, services and treatment of neurological conditions
that affect veterans.
Events & PR, New York/Sixth Annual Style Week
Jamaica (May 28-31), for onsite PR and media relations.
Sherman & Associates, New York/The Visiting Nurse
Service of New York; 6th Annual Abu Dhabi Music and Arts
Festival, and the PBS broadcast of 3 Mo Divas,
New York/Astorino, architecture and design firm based in
Pittsburgh, and elliptipar and Tambient, Conn.-based divisions
of archit. and lighting maker, Sylvan R. Shemitz Designs,
for integrated comms. and thought leadership campaigns.
Boonton, N.J./The Zoological Society of New Jersey, non-profit
covering the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo, as AOR for marketing
Group, Harrisburg, Pa./National Association for Home
Care & Hospice, for development of a new PR campaign,
Help Us Choose Home. A new website, helpuschoosehome.com,
went live on March 24.
Shandwick, Washington, D.C./U.S. Postal Service,
for a strategic messaging contract worth up
to $750K per year. The two-year pact carries three option
Communications Group, Atlanta/
InQuickER, online check-in system for emergency room patients,
for launch and initial PR push into Georgia, Alabama and
Worldwide, Miami/Authenware, biometrics software,
as AOR for PR.
Awareness and North Shore PR, Deerfield, Ill./DTV,
Internet and telecomms. services in Vietnam, for IR and
PR, Edwardsville, Ill./Danna McKitrick, P.C., St.
Louis-metro area law firm, for media relations and PR.
Edwards & Associates, Grand Rapids, Mich./Perceptron,
manufacturing control applications for automotive and other
manufacturers, for investor outreach and comms.
Communications, Orlando/Florida Venture Forum, for
pro bono PR counsel and services.
Girl PR, Los Angeles/Masha K, Russian recording artist,
for publicity as she prepares to launch a U.S. career with
the release of a new album in Sept.
& Associates, Los Angeles/Starwood Energy Group;
Enterprise Rent A Car; So. California Veterinary Medical
Assn. and Areas USA.
Marketing & PR, Irvine, Calif./Fresh Foods Cafe,
fast casual dining, for opening of its flagship eatery in
PR, San Francisco/Mortons The Steakhouse, as
AOR for its San Jose location.
Edition, April 15, 2009, Page 6
veteran Don Bates has taken a senior counselor post at StevensGouldPincus,
where he will advise on mergers and acquisitions especially
in the social media category.
ran his own shop for a dozen years before merging it with
Sumner Rider & Assocs. in 1994. He exited SR&A as
COO/executive VP for a top post at Media Distribution Services,
a 10-year stint.
joined George Washington University in 2007, making his
mark via establishing its strategic PR masters degree
and certificate program in the graduate school of political
had jobs at Western Electric, North American Rockwell, McDonnell
Douglas, United Nations Assn., Planned Parenthood and Public
Relations Society of America.
is led by partners Art Stevens, Rick Gould, Ted Pincus and
STRAUSS EXPANDS IN D.C.
Strauss Radio Strategies,
Washington, D.C., has added four new clients and built out
its National Press Building offices to 2,500 square feet.
The radio PR firm recently
handled an on-site radio media tour for the Consumer Electronics
Associations 2009 trade show in Las Vegas.
Strauss also conducted
an on-site tour for attendees at the winter meeting of the
U.S. Conference of Mayors, and did the same for the National
League of Cities annual Congressional Cities Conference
in Washington, D.C., in March.
The 13-year-old company
also arranged interviews for General Motors corporate executives
for an on-site RMT during the Detroit Auto Show.
Richard Strauss said his
companys new digs include a next generation
conference room with video networking capabilities and better
IT infrastructure. Straussradio.com has also been revamped.
CONSERVATIVE 2.0 FIRM ADDS
David All Group, which
bills itself as the first conservative Web 2.0 firm, is
expanding its boutique staff with two Bush-era hands.
Joining the Washington,
D.C.-based firm are Ethan Eilon, former head of the College
Republican National Committee, and Heath Clayton, a former
White House aide to President George W. Bush.
DAG was set up in 2007
by David All, former communications director to Rep. Jack
Eilon, who led the Bush-Cheney
get-out-the-vote push in Colorado in 2004, will serve as
manager of political and grassroots advocacy for the firm
and clients in the corporate, non-profit and political sectors.
Clayton, who worked in
the Offices of Strategic Initiatives and Presidential Correspondence
at the White House, is assistant to All.
The firm has worked with
the Clare Booth Luce Policy Institute, Media Research Center
and Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder. It doesnt
disclose its corporate work.
Faford to VP, IR and corporate communications, Arch
Chemicals, Norwalk, Conn. He has been with the company since
its 1999 spinoff from Olin Corp., where he was since 1977.
Neal, a former journalist and director at Burson-Marsteller
recently with The Caraway Group, to Hill & Knowlton,
D.C., as senior VP and director of strategic media in the
firms corporate practice. Christopher
Hull, a former Hill aide who has been president of
Issue Management Inc., joins as senior VP and campaign manager
in its public affairs unit. Also, Antoinette
Forbes, senior VP in Porter Novellis PA unit,
joins as SVP, healthcare, and Stacie
Paxton, national press secretary for the Democratic
National Committee, joins as VP, PA and strategic media.
relocates from H&K/N.Y. for a senior VP role serving
as director of the D.C. healthcare unit. H&K said it
has hired nearly a dozen staffers since January.
Guthrie, comms. director for the U.S. Senate Committee
on Finance, to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
in D.C., as Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Public
and Media Affairs. She was previously comms. director and
speechwriter for Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). Deborah
Mesloh, a spokeswoman for the Obama campaign and
inauguration, joins as Deputy Assitant, and Nefeterius
Akeli McPherson, an aide to the new Trade Rep Ron
Kirk when he was mayor of Dallas, takes a senior media affairs
Black, previously with Riben Postaer and Associates
in Los Angeles, to Low + Associates, Bethesda, Md., as a
Hvidston, former VP for development and external
relations, College of St. Catherine, to Catholic Charities
USA, Alexandria, Va., as senior VP for development and communications.
She has recently served as consultant to the group.
Parker, scientific director, ProEd Communications,
to MedThink Communications, Raleigh, N.C., as associate
Herzfeld to senior media relations specialist, Carmichael
Lynch Spong, New York. She joined the firm in 2007.
Huebner, director of George Washington Universitys
School of Media and Public Affairs and former publisher
of the International Herald Tribune, has joined the Global
Communicators board of senior international advisors.
Topper, president and CEO of HJMT Communications,
New York, has been named for the second time as one of the
Top 50 Most Influential Women in Business by Long Island
Business News. The 30-year vet founded HJMT in 92.
Edition, April 15, 2009, Page 7
SEEKS BYLAW INFO
from pg. 1)
marketing, business development, etc.?
objected to this, saying there are fundamental differences
between PR and marketing and the Society should stay focused
on areas that work to build two-way mutually beneficial
relationships between an organization and its publics.
McClennan: I do not want to see the day when the head
of the Society could also be the head of the American Marketing
textbooks have been teaching for years that PR is
not a marketing function, he added. It would be a
serious mistake for the Society to take in those
in traditional marketing jobs, he said.
Cherenson, chair of the Society, and Dave Rickey, bylaws
chair, have not been available for public questioning on
the proposed bylaws.
of press time, there have only been four postings on the
bylaws revision in the Governance Forum of the
Society website, which is restricted to members.
said Specific bylaws language will be drafted and
circulated by mid-summer.
thanked the committee for its heads up on the
general themes in the bylaws but said the
devil is in the details. He wants specifics in order
to be able to provide intelligent feedback.
gave permission to odwyerpr.com
to reproduce his full one-page letter.
The proposal to have the
Assembly communicate regularly worries him since
he notes he was one of the outspoken critics
of the Think Tank sessions that occupied about
two hours of the 2008 Assembly.
He called them a substantive
failure and a total waste of time.
He does not want the Assembly
to give up its teeth and get turned into an
advisory board whose weight could be questionable.
On the proposal for direct
election of board and officers, which would eliminate this
function of the Assembly, he would like to know how
specifically members could educate themselves on the various
candidates, how specifically members would vote, etc.
Rickeys answer was
that the specifics would be part of the Policies and Procedures
Manual rather than the bylaws.
McClennan objected to
this, asking whether such rules would be available to the
2009 Assembly. He wants at least rough policies and
procedures before agreeing to this change.
He also called for a
large amount of time at the next Assembly for debate
At the 2008 Assembly,
delegates who posed questions during the day were told to
wait until the end of the Assembly when there would be a
town hall. But there was no town hall for the
second year in a row. Leader presentations took up about
3.5 hours and another two hours was spent on the Think
Tank sessions. The 5 p.m. deadline for closing the
2008 Assembly was reached and only one-half of the delegates
voted to continue the session.
A two-thirds vote was
He and Rickey also traded
comments on the proposal to turn the Assembly into the Leadership
Assembly, making it more of an advisory and advocacy
group and less of a rule-making body.
Rickey noted that one
proposal is to add the 27 committee and task force chairs
(who are appointed by the national chair) to the Assembly
which already has 46 from leadership including the 17 national
directors, 10 district chairs and 19 section chairs.
McClennan said he is confused
over the proposals regarding the Assembly and wants more
input on this. He is also against the elimination of district
directors (all directors would be at-large),
saying different regions have different needs.
The importance of
having someone relatively close cannot be overemphasized,
he added. It creates a connection between the individual
chapters to know that there is someone in the next state
or two. It makes in-person visits more likely and cost effective.
McClellan is also opposed
to putting the COO on the nominating committee, saying working
relationships of candidates with the COO might be
affected. As for the need for history that the
COO might provide, the nomcom already includes the past
chair and others with plenty of Society background, he said.
COO Bill Murrays
contract is up Dec. 31 and would need to be renewed so that
an experienced COO would be on the nomcom.
CEOS NEGLECT PR, SAYS GUTIERREZ
CEOs could learn a lot
about the value of PR from government and political leaders,
former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez told the Arthur
W. Page Society Spring Seminar April 3 at the Jumeirah Essex
House, New York.
Gutierrez, who was CEO
and chairman of Kellogg Co. before joining the Bush Administration,
said he was shocked at the amount of teamwork and collegiality
achieved by the Administration and the involvement of the
PR person in policy matters.
In government, communications
people are policy people they know policy with a
high level of detail, he said. In the private
sector, communications people are not always business people
close to strategy. Its not your fault, its the
CEOs fault. Its the CEOs responsibility
to see communications as a strategic tool.
Urging PR people to get
close to their CEOs, Gutierrez said You should be
with your CEO in every meeting.
He felt the level of knowledge
given to communicators in government is far greater than
that given to PR people in the business world.
My sense is that
in the corporate world PR people walk around not knowing
why the company may have dropped its dividend by 10% or
why a new product was launched, he said.
PR people should use simple
language that everyone can understand, said Gutierrez.
In the corporate world, he said, We often mistake
complexity for sophistication
simplicity is an art
and a science and the beauty of simplicity is often overlooked.
Edition, April 15, 2009,
remarks of former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez
(page 7) to the effect that government PR people are far
better informed than corporate people brings to mind a description
of PR that PR people have fought against for years: Last
to know, first to go.
said he was surprised at the close coordination government
officials have with their PR people.
contrasted it with his experience as CEO of the Kellogg
Co. and his knowledge of other companies.
government, he said, the top communicator is inseparable
from the President.
in the business world, he added, Some CEOs dont
see the value in communications. Some think it is a little
bit of role-playing.
feels government people are experts in areas
ranging from healthcare and taxes to immigration policy
and can therefore be engaged in policy formation at the
highest level. The message is that if you want a seat at
the boardroom table you need subject matter expertise.
studying communications, PR, journalism, etc., which involve
knowledge of methodologies, should also not neglect having
a specialty such as healthcare, tech, financial or any of
the nearly dozen other well-defined areas of PR/PA.
new PR grads are coming onto the market these days
and we have been in touch with a number of them after sending
free copies of ODwyers Directory of PR Firms
to about 70.
In return, we have asked
them to describe their experiences in job-hunting.
The general response is
that employers have little interest in their majors and
instead want to know how many internships they have served.
Two internships are mandatory and three are even better.
Practical experience trumps book-learning, said
This principle is illustrated
by a story we heard about a college student who majored
in education some years ago but did not get to practice-teach
until her last semester.
She was put in front of
a classroom of children but found she hated it. Teaching
candidates today, we are told, are put in class almost
immediately to see if they can handle it. Students
thinking of PR careers should serve a couple of internships
before deciding on a major.
quest of members of the PR Society for
more information on the proposed bylaws (page 1) is a laudable
one and we hope the presidents-elect are able to knock some
answers out of bylaws chair Dave Rickey and chair Mike Cherenson.
Assembly delegate Mark
McClennan does not like the Society seeking marketing, business
development, strategic planners, etc., as full
members although affiliate memberships might
be o.k. McClennan says PR develops relationships and is
different from marketing.
Marketers are hunters
and predators, aiming their messages at target
audiences. They deal in large numbers, sometimes millions
of people, pigeon-holing them by demographics such as age,
income, gender, ethnicity, etc.
Theyre not into
conversing with consumers (and never with reporters) but
tend to regard them as laboratory animals that need to be
subjected to constant testing. In the new world of Twitter,
Facebook, etc., consumers want conversations. They dont
want to be manipulated.
The quote marks above
around the PR used for the PR Society
indicate we dont feel the group is living up to the
definition of PR any more than the fake press conference
staged by FEMA on Oct. 26, 2007 lived up to the definition
of press conference. You cant have a press conference
slew of half-baked and unbaked ideas in the proposed
Society bylaws contain this ringer: put COO Bill Murray
on the nominating committee because he can help its members
with current and historical information about Society
operations (budget, programs, etc.).
The quote is from bylaws
chair Dave Rickey answering criticism by Assembly delegate
Mark McClennan that the COO's presence on the nomcom may
have a "chilling effect" on discussions and besides,
there are already plenty of people on the nomcom who know
This proposal is a bid
to save the job of Murray, whose contract is up Dec. 31.
A new COO would not have his three years of experience.
Murray, an appointee of
Rhoda Weiss, Jeff Julin, Mike Cherenson and others, should
depart Dec. 31. He should never have been appointed. He
has been a "stealth" president, having little
contact with the press or members. He is a non-PR professional
in a job that demands a PR pro. Peer groups like the ABA,
AMA, AICPA and 4As always have one of their own professionals
as head of staff.
Another staffer who must
go or be given a new job is CFO Phil Bonaventura. He is
not a registered CPA (has not taken the required annual
courses). A group the size of the Society should have one,
says CPA Phil Wolitzer, who is authorized to speak for the
NYCPA. Bonaventura succeeded another Society CFO who should
not have had that post-John Colletti, who was not even a
Also needed as auditor
is one of the Big Four CPA firms which will put an end to
the Society's habit of refusing to defer dues income.
questioning of Rickey on the Governance Forum
of the Society shows how inadequate e-mails are for the
purpose of having a discussion. In more than a month, there
have only been four participants from among 22,000 members.
in public are what is needed. Rickey, Cherenson and others
should face members and the press in New York to discuss
incendiary proposals that include abolishing district directors
(all 17 directors conceivably could come from one state
or district); further packing the Assembly with
27 committee heads (on top of 17 national directors, 19
section chairs and 10 district chairs); letting directors
serve four years in a row and potentially another five as
officers; letting almost anyone in as members, and providing
direct election of board and officers without giving specifics
on how this would be done. The proposed bylaws would strengthen
APR and staff control of h.q. and the blocking of PR pros
from working at h.q. (the hospital without doctors).
presidents rather than presidents-elect should attend
the June 5-6 meeting in New York and change it from a Leadership
Rally into a mini-Assembly, grilling national leaders
on the proposed bylaws.
First, they need plenty
of answers and data including the transcript of the 2008
Assembly. Rickey should not be allowed to get away with
his plan to withhold further details until mid-summer.