The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, April 22, 2009, Page 1
Hass, worldwide CEO of MS&L Worldwide for the past four
years, has exited the Publicis Groupe unit, to do his own
thing. Hass joined Manning, Selvage & Lee via its acquisition
of Hass Assocs. in `02.
Tsokanos, president of North America, said he and regional
presidents Anders Kempe (Europe) and Glenn Osaki (Asia Pacific)
will run things until a replacement is found for Hass.
Groupe CEO Maurice Levy is looking for a successor for Hass
with John Farrell, head of the French ad/PR combines
specialized agencies and marketing services unit.
B-M GRABS PERINO
Dana Perino, who was President
Bushs last press secretary, is joining Burson-Marstellers
Washington office. She will be its chief issues counselor.
Mark Penn, CEO of B-M,
told ODwyers that Perino is going to work
in a senior role in the new issues and crisis group.
The plan is for Perino
to serve as a key member of the strategy group with
myself, Karen Hughes, Don Baer and Josh Gottheimer,
he said in an email.
Hughes was White House
counselor to Bush. Baer and Gottheimer worked in the Clinton
White House as communications director and speechwriter,
Penn noted that the new
issues group boasts of senior White House related
experience on both sides of the aisle.
Perino, 36, joins as policy
debates over healthcare, education, energy, defense and
climate change loom on the horizon in D.C.
RF PROMOTES U.S. AT SHANGHAI
Ruder Finn will do media
relations, counseling and events for the $60M USA Pavilion
slated for the hotly anticipated Shanghai Expo 2010, which
is expected to attract 70M people.
Chinese officials have
expressed concern with the lack of American enthusiasm (planning/fund-raising)
for the event, according to a report last month in the Peoples
The U.S. Pavilion will
stress sustainability, teamwork, health and the belief that
America is a place of opportunity where those who
seek to change the world for the better will always thrive
and prosper, says its website.
Earlier this month, Hill
& Knowlton was awarded the PR account of the Shanghai
Expo 2010s organizing committee.
CONGRESS PROBES AIGS
Brooklyn Congressman Ed
Towns wants to know whether American International Group
earmarked any of its $182.5B in bailout money to bankroll
a smear campaign against former CEO and chief critic, Hank
He demands all records
from AIGs PR firms, Burson-Marsteller and Hill &
Knowlton, beginning from the Sept. 16 bailout date. That
covers engagement letters, names of people on the account,
contracts, work orders, white papers, memos, bills and payment
In his April 14 letter
to current AIG CEO Ed Liddy, Towns wrote that he would be
extremely disappointed to learn that any of the billions
of taxpayer dollars invested to support AIG may have been
diverted to finance a PR campaign against critics of the
AIG bailout. The Democrat is determined to ensure
that the taxpayers investment in AIG is both protected
and used as intended. His committee wants to be sure that
any cash from the bailout funds is not being used to pay
PR firms to attack critics of AIG and the federal bailout.
A statement from AIG spokesperson
Mark Herr says Greenberg made false and misleading
statements about the company. AIGs purpose was to
set the record straight.AIG says it looks forward to giving
Towns the information that he wants by the April 29 deadline
PR WEEK TO MONTHLY; OFFER
PR Week/U.S., ten-year-old
publication of Haymarket of the U.K., announced April 15
that the April 27 issue would be its last as a weekly and
that monthly publication would start in June when it will
be standard size rather than tabloid.
This NL told PRW president
Lisa Kirk that it appeared that PRW in the past couple of
years has been in violation of USPS rules that say a premium
offered to prospective subscribers of a periodicals-rate
publication cannot be more than 70% of the subscription
She said PRW is in compliance
with USPS rules.
PRW, until very recently,
has been offering its $249 Contact directory as a
free bonus for those paying $198 for a subscription to PRW.
The value of a premium is determined by its actual cost,
retail value, or its represented value, whichever is highest,
say USPS rules.
The periodicals rate provided
to magazines and other publications is a small fraction
of the rate charged for First Class delivery although First
Class service is provided.
Page 4: 2008 revenue table of independent firms in financial
on page 7)
Edition, April 22, 2009, Page 2
TAPS MCHALE AS PROPAGANDA CZAR
Barack Obama has nominated Judith McHale, former president/CEO
of Discovery Communications as under secretary for public
diplomacy and PA at the State Dept. She takes over the post
that was held by Charlotte Beers, Margaret Tutwiler and
Karen Hughes during the two Bush Administrations.
a 20-year stint at Discovery that ended in `06, McHale built
a cable giant that is viewed by more than one billion people
speaking 35 languages in 170 nations.
is credited with launching the non-profit Discovery Channel
Global Education Partnership, which offers free educational
programming to students in Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin
her work at Discovery, McHale unveiled the Global Environment
Fund/Africa Growth Fund investment unit to provide capital
to small companies.
started her media career at MTV Networks, where she was
also nominated Philip Crowley to be assistant secretary
of state for PA, or spokesperson for Hillary Clinton. He
takes over for Sean McCormick, who was spokesperson for
Condi Rice during the second Bush term. Crowley was director
of homeland security at the left-leaning Center for American
worked in the Clinton White House as special assistant to
the President for national security affairs and senior director
of PA for the National Security Council.
retired Air Force colonel served in Desert Storm
in 1991 and the ensuing Provide Comfort campaign
to protect Iraqi Kurds from retribution from Saddam Hussein.
SITRICK DEFENDS PEM GROUP
Crisis counselor Mike
Sitrick is repping PEM Group, which has its CEO money manager
Danny Pang temporarily stepping down amidst charges that
the Los Angeles based private equity firm is involved
in a Ponzi scheme.
A federal probe has been
launched and PEM denies the Ponzi scheme charge lodged against
it by former president Nasar Aboubakare. The Sitrick &
Co. CEO has labeled Aboubakare a disgruntled former
PEM Groups CFO Wilbur
Quon also has stepped aside until the Internal Revenue Service
completes its investigation of him. Sitrick has said that
probe is related to non-PEM Group business.
The Wall Street Journal
made Pangs decision to step aside in the wake of the
federal investigation its top story today.
Earlier this month, the
paper ran an item challenging Pangs academic degrees
and claim that he had worked at Morgan Stanley. Forty-two-year-old
Pang was born in Taiwan, where he raised most of PEM Groups
PR hand Kristin Lee has been tapped for the Transportation
Security Administration's top communications post.
Lee takes the title of
assistant administrator for the office of strategic comms.
and PA for the Dept. of Homeland Security division created
after the 9/11 attacks.
She was majority comms.
director for the House Rules Committee under Rep. Louise
DOMINOS GETS SOCIAL
Dominos Pizza, which
is managing a simmering crisis after two employees posted
a lewd video online, has been primarily handling the situation
in-house with support from a PR agency for social media.
Tim McIntyre, VP of communications
for the top pizza chain, praised the work of the companys
PR firm Crispin Porter Bogusky on the social media front.
in that area has been critical as the crisis started on
the video-sharing website YouTube and metastasized via blogs
Two employees at a North
Carolina franchise posted the video on April 14 and Dominos
has been playing defense ever since.
The companys U.S.
president, Patrick Doyle, appeared in a YouTube video to
sincerely apologize and thank members
of the online community who alerted the company and
allowed it to take action. Its not a surprise
that this has caused a lot of damage to our brand,
he said in the two-minute clip.
Dominos also created
a Twitter account to address the issue and is tweeting links
to articles about the crisis and responding to concerned
USA Today called
the incident a PR nightmare scenario. McIntyre
told the New York Times that companys executives
initially decided not to respond to the crisis aggressively
and the effect multiplied virally soon after.
SENECA NATION SEEKS PR SUPPORT
The Seneca Nation of Indians,
a federally recognized U.S. tribe with three territories
in western New York State, is seeking PR proposals for a
contract potentially lasting three years.
The Nation, which owns
three casinos and counts 7,700 members, wants a firm experienced
in strategic communications and New York media relations
with some knowledge of Indian affairs. The initial focus
of the firm will be to work closely with the Nations
president/CEO to articulate needs and concerns of the group.
The Senecas, or People
of the Great Hill, are one of the six nations of the
Iroquois Confederacy. Their operations are based in Salamanca,
A one-year contract is
planned with two additional option years but proposals should
cover all three years, according to the RFP.
The Nation has not yet
been reached about its current PR representation.
Proposals are due by May
1 with interviews slated for mid-month. The RFP can be viewed
EDELMAN HIRES ALMACY
David Almacy, who
was White House Internet and e-communications chief, has
joined Edelman's digital PA practice in Washington. He takes
the senior VP title.
His job is to help
clients of the biggest independent firm develop strategies
to enhance outreach, engage allies, shape legislative debates
and influence public opinion.
Almacy is a 15-year
communications veteran. He joins Edelman from Waggener Edstrom
Worldwide's Digital Strategies (Studio D) unit and worked
in the Bush White House from `05 to `07.
Edition, April 22, 2009, Page 3
TAKES BIG AD HIT
reported a 34 percent decline in Q1 publishing advertising
revenues to $723M as real estate, employment and auto advertising
plunged. That decline helped trigger a 60 percent fall in
net income to $77M.
digital operation posted a stellar quarter as revenues soared
more than 900 percent to $143M. That gain was driven by
the consolidation of CareerBuilder and ShopLocal.
Craig Dubow, in a statement, said business conditions remain
very challenging as Gannett continues to transform
all facets of the company as we position it for a more favorable
economic environment and the opportunities we see in the
changing media landscape.
flagship paper, USA Today sold 527 ad pages during
the quarter, down from 826 a year ago.
drug and advocacy ads were strong at USAT, while travel,
entertainment and financial categories were weak.
TIME BOTCHES MINE
Time Inc. has apologized
to people who signed up to receive a personalized copy of
the free mine, a made-to-order magazine sponsored
The first 31K people who
signed up for mine are to receive a magazine carrying content
from five magazines. An online version is available to 200K
Time Inc. sent an email
to mine subscribers to apologize for a "computer error"
that mixed up the personalized content.
Some of the mine stories
were two years old. A Sports Illustrated piece featured
an upcoming soccer match that was actually played last June,
according to a report by the Associated Press.
To compensate for the
snafu, Time Inc. will add another free issue to the five
that were planned.
MAG AD PAGES SINK BY QUARTER
Bureau reports magazine advertising pages dropped 26 percent
in the first quarter.
U.S. News & World
Report suffered the biggest setback, down 69 percent
to 72 pages. Conde Nast Portfolio, Ser Padres,
Technology Review and Wired reported declines
on more than 55 percent.
Sign of the recessionary
times: Hallmark Magazine showed the second biggest
gain in ad pages, spurting 30.5 percent to 54. That magazine
was shut down in February because of the economic downturn.
HAIRE HEADS PARADE
Jack Haire, who was working
at CNet Networks in advertising/distribution after a 30-year
stint at Time Inc., has been named CEO of Parade Publications.
He succeeds Walter Anderson, who is stepping down on July
Si Newhouse, chairman
of Parade parent Advance Publications, called Haire an experienced
executive who has a deep understanding of both print and
Haire will be a great
partner to Parade's advertisers and newspaper publishers,
said Newhouse in a statement.
NYT SLICES SECTIONS
The New York Times,
in its latest money-saving mood, is dropping "Escapes"
section that runs on Friday and Sunday local sections for
New York and its suburbs.
Escapes editorial is being
absorbed into the Weekend section as of May
1. The Sunday regional coverage will be part of a new section
with a zoned page tied to where the paper is
distributed. That is expected to take place May 24.
The sections that are
being revamped are dependent on freelancers. The NYT recently
announced plans to cut freelance work by 10 to 15 percent.
FORMER P-I STAFFERS LAUNCH
Fired staffers of the
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which is now online-only,
have established Seattlepostglobe.org
as a non-profit competitor.
Hearst Corp. turned off
the press March 17, saying the P-I hadn't earned a penny
Kery Murakami, who heads
the new venture, says he is looking to get 8,000 people
to pledge $10 a-month so he can hire some staffers. SPG,
which sells advertising, has a half-dozen volunteer
workers, though another 20 P-I alum expect to contribute.
SPG is housed in the office
of Seattles public TV station, KCTS-TV, which is accepting
contributions for the news venture. It is discussing joint
ZELL SAYS HE GOOFED IN BUYING
Real estate mogul Sam
Zell says his `07 deal to take Tribune Co. private was a
mistake, according to a report by Bloomberg.
He was too optimistic
in terms of the newspapers ability to preserve their
positions in the marketplace, he said of his properties
that include Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times
and Baltimore Sun.
Zell filed Chapter 11
in December to stop the bleeding and preserve a great
company. He is exploring various options because the
"newspaper model in its current model is not working."
Marcus Brauchli has revamped operations by creating new
reporting groups and streamlining edit desks as WaPo's print
and online units integrate.
In a memo, Brauchli
explains the drive to "simplify the handling of words,
pages, images and new media." He believes "decisions
about space and play must happen faster, both in print and
a "universal desk" that combines what is now spread
across departments and two separate newsrooms. Stories edited
during the day for posting on the website will form the
basis for print versions, and vice versa, he wrote. Sandy
Sugawara, assistant managing editor for business, is the
editor in charge of the universal desk.
Post reporters will
report to two editors. They are Kevin Merida, upped from
assist. managing editor for national news to national editor,
and Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, who is upped from assistant managing
editor for sports and weekend editor, local editor.
news continued on next page)
Edition, April 22, 2009, Page 4
EBAY TO SPIN
to spin off its Skype Internet phone business via an initial
public offering during the first-half of `10.
Donahoe called Skype a "great stand-alone business
with strong fundamentals and accelerating momentum."
The unit, in his view, does not fit with the auction site
and PayPal payments system.
Google and Yahoo! in a bidding war for Skype, shelling out
$2.6B in 06. Former CEO Margaret Whitman later conceded
EBay paid too much, writing down $1.4B of the purchase price.
$550M in `08 revenues.
GLOBE GUILD GETS PR SUPPORT
O'Neill and Associates is representing the Boston Newspaper
Guild as that union for Boston Globe staffers faces
pressure to make concessions or risk the closing of the
The guild is squaring off against Globe parent The New
York Times Co., which said it will sell or close the paper
if it doesn't get $20M in cuts.
The behavior of the Times Company is unconscionable,
said Union president Dan Totten, in a letter to members
made public on Friday. He is urging members not to offer
up concessions, adding: We are incredibly fortunate
that among the ranks of our membership are some of the most
skilled and intelligent communicators in the industry.
Thomas O'Neill, former lieutenant governor of Massachusetts
and eldest son of the late House Speaker, Tip, heads Boston-based
O&A, which was brought in by the guild on Friday.
The firm has worked with the union in the past and an endorsement
for past work from Totten is displayed on the PR firm's
O&A's staff is a power list of staffers from Boston
and statehouse business, journalism and politics.
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 consent forms.
Security was summoned and Schultz gave up the flash card
on his audio recorder after speaking with his news director.
of Financial PR Firms
here for ranking of Financial PR Firms.
Edition, April 22,
2009, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
SETS UP IN N.Y., PRUNES NAME
D.C.-based Spectrum Science Communications is shortening
its name to Spectrum and has opened a New York office to
build out its capabilities. John Seng, president and founder
of the firm, said new staff in digital media and health
policy, along with investments in research and consumer
marketing, brought on the change. He sees the firm as the
place where health and science communications meet.
VP Mary Ann Chaffee said the Obama administrations
indications that health issues will be a priority in noting
Spectrum has invested in taking advange of that agenda.
VPs Liza Morris and Cherry Dumaual head the New York outpost.
CALIF. PROP 8 FIRM GOES NATIONAL
Schubert Flint Public
Affairs, the Sacramento firm that played a key role in torpedoing
same-sex marriage in California, is now working with a national
group trying stem the tide of similar proposals across the
The firm, headed by conservative
former Goddard Claussen Porter Novelli partner Frank Schubert,
and former Russo Marsh + Rogers alum Jeff Flint, helped
kick of the Two Million for Marriage campaign
in Trenton, N.J., on April 8.
That effort is slated
to span two years in recruiting two million supporters to
oppose gay marriage pushes in the Garden State and others
like New York, Connecticut and Vermont.
A $1.5M advertising buy
is supporting the launch with a spot that features ominous
clouds over several people warning against same-sex marriage.
Schubert helped the Yes
on Proposition 8 campaign to defeat gay marriage in California
ALASKA FIRM TAKEN OVER BY
Jennifer Thompson, a PR
pro based in Anchorage, Alask., has inked a deal to buy
10-year-old Bernholz & Graham from owner Porcaro Communications.
Thompson has worked at
the firm since an internship in 1999 and recently served
The transaction took place
on April 1.
B&G was founded by
Bonnie Bernholz and Robbie Graham and works with the Alaska
Travel Industry Association and GCI, among its clients.
Porcaro bought the firm in March 2001.
Graham will stay on to
assist with the transition but says shell turn her
attention to public diplomacy and academics. B&G is
relocating to 445 W. 9th Ave in Anchorage. The firm will
partner with Porcaro on several client accounts.
& Co., Westminster, Colo., has formalized a social
media practice even though the firm says its been in the
space for years. We dont view Twitter, Facebook
and other technology-driven communications as something
new, said Karla Trippe. What has changed is
the speed with which non-media outlets have superseded traditional
media and the need for companies to be savvy about which
communication method works best for a particular message
PR, New York/Babelgum, free mobile and Internet TV
service, to develop media outreach and development for the
Hammond & Associates, New York/Sonoma County,
including its tourism bureau, county vintners group and
Winegrape Commission; Paradise Island Tourism Development
Association and the Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board,
and Gurneys Inn, Montauk, N.Y., all for PR.
Brandman Agency, New York/La Mamounia, Morocco hotel
re-opening in September after three-year renovation, for
PR in the U.S., Canada and Australia.
Lori Communications, Greenwich, Conn./W.J. Duetsch
& Sons, as AOR for its HobNob wines brand; The Best
@DianneB, gardening tools and accessories company set for
May 1 launch, as AOR for PR.
Group, New York/vision42, Internet campaign to turn
42nd Street in New York into an auto-free transit line,
for social marketing.
Communications, Somerset, N.J./American Board of
Addiction Medicine, as AOR for the first medical specialty
board with members from all areas of medicine focused on
treating drug addiction. TC is also working with The AGAM
Foundation, the boards educational arm.
Baltimore/Innovation Norway, as AOR for the industry and
tourism promotion board. The firm has worked with IN in
Communications, Washington, D.C./The Apartment and
Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington,
and the Water Design-Build Council., for PR related to environmental
Media, Denver/Westwood College, as national PR agency
of record following a competitive bidding process among
Colorado firms. The firm is handling media relations, social
media, marketing and community outreach.
Fusion Group, Los Angeles/St. Baldricks Foundation,
for PR for its charity fundraiser, and The Freedom Concert,
an event to thank armed services at The Pasadena Convention
Center, for PR.
PR, San Diego/The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las
Vegas; Suite and Tender, eatery, and Nika Water, bottled
water brand donating 100 percent of profits to water and
sanitation projects in developing countries.
Communications, Los Angeles/Rare Concepts Group;
Maggianos Little Italy; Margos Bark and Karlin
+ Pimsler, all for PR via its project practice intended
to recruit clients struggling in the current economy.
PR Worldwide, Beijing/The Boao Forum for Asia, for
PR for its annual meeting of Asian leaders. Martin Sorrel,
CEO of Ogilvy parent WPP, will attend the event as a panelist.
Edition, April 22, 2009, Page 6
SEEKS FUNDING OPTIONS
which expects to continue a string of operating losses in
2009, said it is pursuing options like outside financing
or third-party buyers to avoid going out of business.
the company cant secure backing or raise capital from
a sale, Medialink may not be able to continue as a
going concern, which would result in the companys
inability to realize the carrying value of its assets and
liquidate its liabilities, reads its annual report,
released April 15 after a delay.
companys outside auditor, KPMG of New York, added
in the report: These factors raise substantial doubt
about the Company's ability to continue as a going concern.
2008, Medialink saw revenues fall by 10.4 percent to $19.6M
for a net loss of $14.6M.
the fourth quarter, revenues were down nearly 21 percent
to $4.9M, slipping from $6.2M in 07, as the number
of projects declined in the global economic slump. That
equated to a net loss of $3M for the quarter.
said it expects to continue its history of operating losses
in 2009 as revenues continue to decline in the tough economy.
company said its working capital of $4.9M at the end of
08 is its sole source of funding and may not be sufficient
to fund continuing operating losses and existing obligations.
also reported $5.4M in cash.
economic conditions in 2009 have continued to put significant
pressure on the business and our clients, including resultant
delays in approval for clients' spending budgets,
Larry Moskowitz, president and CEO, said in a statement,
adding the company continues to cut costs and develop new
PR EXECS FORM TRAINING FIRM
With the sluggish economy
affecting PR budgets, two former agency execs have set up
a firm to help clients help themselves with PR.
Never has there
been a time when powerful communication is more important
than right now when every organization is facing severe
economic headwinds, said David Young, former president
of Cleveland-based Edward Howard & Co., who joins former
colleague and executive VP at EH, David Meeker, in Solon,
We teach clients
how to help themselves, said Meeker.
Donald Eagon, former VP
of global communication and investor relations at Diebold,
an Edward Howard client, also joins the new shop as a senior
Clients can choose from
14 training modules with others in the works.
chief communications officer for FedEx and ITT, has joined
the faculty of The George Washington University masters
in strategic PR program. Martin is currently executive in
residence at The College of Charlestown and will teach in
the GWU online program and lecture on campus on ethics in
corporate and political communications.
Davidson, who headed Porter Novelli's healthcare
practice in New York, is now at Burson-Marsteller as managing
director. At PN, she counseled on programs in infectious
disease, addiction, respiratory illness, arthritis, and
consumer health. Davidson also handle chores such as business
development and the grooming of talent. The 17-year PR veteran
began her PR career at Edelman. Gail Cohen chairs B-Ms
global healthcare practice.
Maggiacomo to VP of PR, Duffy & Shanley, Providence,
R.I. She oversees the firms consumer PR and public
affairs practices. Amy
Bagner and Shawna
Hassett have been upped to senior A/Es. Meaghan
Wims and Emily
Hollenbeck have joined the firm as senior A/E and
Chase was promoted to managing director of global
human resources, Burson-Marsteller. She takes over for Celia
Berk, who was named chief talent officer for Young
& Rubicam Brands, B-Ms parent. Chase had headed
HR for the firm in the U.S. since 2006. She was previously
with Financial Dynamics. Gillian
Wohl Edwick takes over the U.S. managing director
post after serving as director.
Johnson to corporate VP of worldwide media relations,
Lockheed Martin, Bethesda, Md., effective April 27. A former
Navy PA officer, she is director of comms. for Lockheed
Martin Simulation, Training & Support and joined in
Hunter, A/E at DBC PR+New Media, to press secretary
for Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wisc.).
White, deputy assistant administrator for the office
of strategic comms. and PA for the Transportation Security
Administration, to AirTran Airways, Orlando, Fla., as director
of PR, a new postition reporting to VP of marketing and
sales Tad Hutcheson. White oversees media relations and
external/internal comms. out of Atlanta. He was previously
a spokesman for the FAA in Atlanta and a senior A/E with
Cohn & Wolfe.
Vides Blake, senior VP at Weber Shandwick, to RL
PR, Los Angeles, as senior VP. She was previously a VP at
MS&L and an independent PR consultant. Shell manage
accounts like the California Milk Processors Board and Baskin-Robbins
for the Hispanic PR and marketing firm. She also heads social
media and mom-marketing efforts.
Nisita to A/S and Matt
Wong to A/E, Affect Strategies, New York. Nisita
joined in October 2007 while Wong signed on in April of
Hirata, a senior healthcare consultant for Burson-Marsteller
Tokyo, to MS&L Japan as director of healthcare overseeing
accounts like sanofi-aventis, AstraZeneca and AMD Alliance
International. He was previously in Eli Lilly Japans
corporate affairs group ofr 10 years. He earlier handled
marketing, crisis and corporate communications for The Japan
Upjohn Company and Pharmacia & Upjohn Company.
Edition, April 22, 2009, Page 7
TO MONTHLY; OFFER QUERIED
must show that subscriptions are genuine and
separated from all other business transactions so
as to constitute a distinct, voluntary and independent act.
The premium for a magazine selling for $20, for instance,
could not be worth more than $14.
PRW had several price promotions, it has mostly been selling
for $178 for 49-50 issues with the Contact directory offered
as a free bonus.
since 2001, the approximately 400-page directory of PR firm
and corporate PR contacts had a cover price of $249 for
most of that time although the 2009 edition has a price
of $198 on the spine and $249 on the first page.
was sold separately for most of its early years, an order
card in 2005 offering the directory and PRW for a combined
price of $285 which would provide a savings of $92.
same reply card said Contact could be bought separately
was offered as a separate publication for $249 on Amazon
as of Feb. 5, 2009. Purchase could not be cancelled or refunded.
The offer is no longer available on Amazon.
Asked to Investigate
NL brought the PRW sales materials to the USPS a year ago
and asked whether PRW was violating the rules for periodicals.
USPS is investigating the matter but no ruling has been
issued the following statement last week:
is in compliance with the USPS regulations governing publications.
PR Week is an integrated subscription service. PRWeek Contact
is not available for sale separately from PRWeek magazine.
If someone wishes to purchase PRWeek Contact they may do
so by purchasing an annual subscription to PRWeek.
note that we only publicize one consistent full price at
$198. The price includes the print magazine, PRWeek special
reports, full access to prweek.com, e-newsletters and PRWeek
page in the 2009 Contact offers 5 Fabulous Features
for $148 including 50 issues of the magazine, Contact, e-mail
newsletters, online access and four special reportsDiversity
Survey, Media Survey, Salary Survey and Career Guide.
whether subscribers would receive a pro-rated refund since
someone who just subscribed would receive 12 print issues
rather than 50, Kirk responded that buyers could cancel
their subscriptions and receive a prorated refund for the
remainder of the term.
they would not longer be subscribers and would be unable
to have full access to the PRW website.
Averaged 8,902 in 2008
PRWs statement in
its Oct. 20, 2008 issue gave 8,902 as its average distribution
over the previous 12 months vs. 9,759 in the previous year.
Average paid and requested subscriptions through the mails
was 6,521 vs. 6,918 in the previous year.
Sales through dealers,
counter sales and other non-USPS paid distribution averaged
1,067 in 2008 vs. 90 in 2006. Free distribution was 2,381
in 2008 vs. 2,841 in 2007.
A one-time full page color
ad costs $9,419, according to PRWs rate card. A 4%
discount is provided for a seven-times schedule. Half pages
The PR Society
aided the introduction of PRW in November 1998, COO Ray
Gaulke saying in a letter to members Aug. 14, 1998 We
could introduce them (PRW) to leaders in the business, help
them to meet our advertisers, and encourage our members
to subscribe. The 19,600 Society membership list was
used for at least several mailings.
PRA, formerly PR Aids,
rented offices to PRW as well as mailing lists. Full-page
ads were $5,350.
Gaulke and 1995 Society
president John Beardsley had gone to London twice to convince
Haymarket to launch a U.S. version of PRW/U.K after Advertising
Age had turned down a similar proposal.
Steve Pisinski, Society
1998 treasurer, said the Society should not be in
the position of favoring or appearing to favor any industry
publication and said Gaulkes letter to members
was not approved by the board.
Partners Sold PRW to Haymarket
PRW/U.S. was started in
April 1988 by Geoffrey Lace, an owner and publisher of PRW/U.K.;
Formay Group, a private group headed by Frank Madden, a
director of First Funding Corp., investment banker for Shandwick;
five principals of IR firm Dewe Rogerson, fifth largest
U.K. IR/PR firm, including CEO Roddy Dewe, and Anthony Freelaed,
a private investor.
The ownership of PRW/U.S.
by PR executives involved with DR and Shandwick was not
revealed to the U.S. PR audience.
The owners were said to
be Quotepledge of the U.K. and Formay &
Assocs. A report in the Feb. 10, 1988 issue of this NL revealed
the owners by name and affiliation.
Initial circulation of
the first PRW/U.S. was said to be 61,000, making it the
largest circulation PR publication in the world. Editor
was Paul Holmes, then 25, who was editor of PRW/U.K.
However, by late 1988
it ran into financial problems and published its last issue
in late November. A 15-page report to potential investors
said the tabloid had $323,954 in current and accumulated
losses as of Oct. 1, 1988; accounts payable of $164,283
(vs. accounts receivable of $148,574), and a long term debt
Biggest creditor was said
to be Balan Printing Co. of Brooklyn. The amount was not
revealed. The publication declared Chapter 7 (immediate)
bankruptcy in January, 1989.
PRW/U.K. was founded in
1984 by executives of DR who later reduced their interest
Dewe said in September,
1988 that it was sold to Haymarket because Haymarket had
more capital and more resources. He also noted
that the sale (for a reported $3 million) removed the awkwardness
of PRW being in the position of reporting on an owner. He
expressed satisfaction at starting the PR industry publication.
Lace, also a seller of
PRW/U.K., said the sale did not affect the operation of
Edition, April 22, 2009,
British have stiffed the U.S. PR community yet again
announcing that it will now publish PR Week
monthly instead of weekly, U.K.-based Haymarket has yanked
38 promised copies of a print publication from its 6,500
was nothing in the announcement about subscribers getting
reimbursed for the shortfall, only that there will be a
new online edition each Friday.
is not the service that we just paid $198 for. We contracted
for 50 issues of PR Week magazine plus six other
president Lisa Kirk, asked for a refund of some type, said
subscribers could cancel and get a prorated refund. However,
neither we nor many others can do that since we still want
access to the PRW news, services and archives.
will save a bundle by mailing a color magazine 12 times
a year instead of 50 and we think it should return the savings
buyers have lost three quarters of the issues due them,
they should get three-quarters of the price they paidmostly
$198. Wed cut the $150 in half figuring an average
of six months of service is owed.
which calls itself the largest privately held publishing
company in the U.K., with $350M in revenues, should
distribute about $487,000 to subscribers ($75 X 6,500).
also think it owes a substantial sum to the USPS for getting
First Class delivery
of PRW for years while undeservingly paying the low periodicals
rate. That rate bars premiums worth more than 70% of the
price of a publication.
came out with its Contact directory of PR firms and corporate
PR depts. in 2001 that was priced at $249. The same price
is on the 2009 edition on the first inside page although
the spine says $198. USPS uses whatever is the highest published
price in calculating the value of a premium.
mostly selling at $178 yearly, first started offering the
directory at a reduced price if purchased with PRW ($275
for both was one offer).
the directory became a free bonus. An order card showing
the 2005 Contact said PRW was $178, Contact was $249, and
both could be purchased for $178, a savings of $199.
The 70% rule would limit any premium for PRW to $124.
the ODwyer Co. sells a similar Directory of PR Firms
for $175, it did not help our marketing efforts to have
Contact, in effect, being given away.
took the PRW offers to the USPS a year ago and it said it
would investigate. So far there is no ruling.
2009 has an offer of five services for $148 including PRW
and Contact. PRW president Lisa Kirk says the five are now
part of a package not available separately and that PRW
is USPS compliant.
what about past years and why does the 2009 Contact have
prices on it? When the PR Society published
its members directory, it was part of the subscription
to Tactics and bore no price.
is the second time that a U.K.-owned
publication with the name PR Week has reneged
on a contract to subscribers.
first was in 1988 when the first PRW/U.S. folded in late
November after publishing eight months. Stiffed were subscribers
who paid for a full year, advertisers who had paid for schedules,
printers, and other suppliers (page 7).
owners were executives of Dewe Rogerson, fifth biggest IR/PR
firm in the U.K., who had founded PRW/U.K. in 1984. Shandwick,
headed by Peter Gummer, was also involved financially via
its investment banking firm, First Funding Corp.
readers did not know that PR executives were behind PRW/U.S.
until we obtained the corporate papers and revealed it.
executives, under the protection of a corporation, took
a hike while individuals took it on the chin.
current recession is playing a big role in
the cutback at PRW/U.S. Largely bankrolling it were the
PR firms of WPP, Omnicom, Interpublic and Publicis, whose
current combined debt is $15 billion ($8.2B for WPP; $3B
for Omnicom; $2.1B for IPG and $1.9B for Publicis).
is on Standard & Poors creditwatch and WPP was
downgraded to BBB by S&P. Both stocks are half of their
ad rates were so high ($9,419 for one page) that the big
conglomerate-owned firms were about the only ones that could
afford to advertise. The aim was no doubt to have the business
world see PR in terms of those agencies.
conglomerates had been successful in sweeping up just about
every ad agency but this did not happen in PR.
revenues are in a tailspin that threatens to be long-lasting.
WPP CEO Martin Sorrell said this month, In the 25-30
years that Ive been in the business, I have never
seen anything quite like this (in referring to the
Council of PR Firms, founded in 1998 (same year as PRW),
is largely funded by the conglomerates. Its favorite ad
vehicle was PRW which got about $150,000 in ads over a five-year
period while ODwyers PR Report got one $600
ad. PR Newswire, owned by UBM of the U.K., also favored
PRW, spending hundreds of thousands for ads. No PRN ads
at all were placed in ODwyer media. There were always
budget problems although PRN has been generating
nearly $100M yearly in gross profits.
Another U.K. venture
involving U.S. PR firms was
Shandwicks acquisition of 35 mostly U.S. firms from
1986-89 at an initial cost of $90M with $190M more in possible
payouts. Firms were told they were purchased for their names,
individual cultures and executives. Shandwicks debt
was $90M in 1992 when its stock fell to 2.75 pence from
a high of two pounds. It later recovered to around 50 pence
and was acquired by Interpublic in 1998 (still owing about
Corporate Communications purchased Georgeson,
New York, for an initial $12M in cash but didnt pay
another $7.5M. CC became insolvent in 1992. Debt was estimated
as high as $52 million. About 620 unsecured creditors (printers,
photographers, florists, etc.) were told by receiver Cork
Gully they had no hope of collecting anything.
Stock once worth $20M became worthless. Bank of Scotland
lost $20M. Directors of CC, including Tony Canning and Peter
Willetts, became officers of a new entity, Georgeson International.
Creditors complained that Georgeson was valued at $20M but
sold to its management for $11.6M.