The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, April 29, 2009, Page 1
PROMOTES SHANGHAI EXPO
Consultants has signed on to promote the Shanghai Expo 2010,
which is expected to showcase the Peoples Republic
of Chinas emergence on the worlds stage.
Le Corre, partner with PC, predicted the Expo will play
an important role in cultural, educational and scientific
exchanges and development, of the country, according
to the Shanghai Expos website.
made that remark at the April 15 signing ceremony at which
Chinese officials played up the role of PR in a world where
communications is quickly becoming more global.
Expo, earlier this month, hired Hill & Knowlton for
PR duties. H&K is part of Martin Sorrells WPP
Group. Publicis is a unit of Maurice Levys Publicis
Groupe. Sorrell and Levy are tough rivals.
TAPPED BY CANADAS CHIEF
White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer worked with Canadian
Prime Minister Stephen Harper to get U.S. coverage in the
days running up to the G20 Summit that took place in London
earlier this month.
to the Project G20 Media Plan worked up by Fleischer,
the objective was to provide communications advice
around issues pertaining to the 2009 G20 Summit as they
relate to the U.S. in order to effectively articulate the
position of the Government of Canada.
work included neither lobbying U.S. officials nor promoting
the policies of Harpers Government.
G20 priorities included fixing the financial system, avoiding
protectionism and coordinating worldwide economic stimulus
will host the G20 Summit next year at the Deerhurst Resort,
which is just north of Toronto.
CONFIRMED FOR PA POST
Duckworth, an Illinois National Guard major who lost both
legs and partial use of her arm in Iraq, has been confirmed
by the Senate to head public affairs and internal communications
for the Dept. of Veterans Affairs.
lost a bid for Congress in 2006 and later campaigned with
President Obama, who nominated her for the post. She takes
on the role of Assistant Secretary of Public and Intergovernmental
a native of Thailand whose father served in Vietnam, was
wounded in Iraq in 2004 when the helicopter she was piloting
was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade and crashed.
WARNED BY NASDAQ
Nasdaq Stock Market notified Medialink on April 20 that
its stockholders equity was below the minimum requirement
for listing on the exchange.
equity of $2,181,000 as of Dec. 31, 2008 falls short of
the $2.5M minimum required by Nasdaq rules.
broadcast and multimedia PR services company, which is scrambling
to find an investor or buyer, has until May 5 to file a
plan with Nasdaq.
stock exchange could then grant an extension to Medialink
of up to 105 days or move to delist its shares. Investor
relations firm Darrow Associates is working with the company.
pointed out the notification from Nasdaq in an April 24
SEC filing. Medialinks stock is trading around 13
cents, off its 52-week range of $.03 to $1.30.
TO LEAD U.S. VOLUNTEER PUSH
Obama plans to nominate Nike corporate social responsibility
pro Maria Eitel to run the Corp. for National and Community
Service, which plans a big expansion of the AmeriCorps volunteer
the Edward M. Kennedy Service America Act signed into law
April 21, AmeriCorps is to grow from 75K to 250K positions.
is president of the Nike Foundation and a corporate VP at
the footwear/athletic gear company. Most recently, she was
in charge of Nikes program to bolster opportunities
for disadvantaged girls.
Nikes first CSR officer, Eitel played a leading role
in improving working conditions in plants run by Nikes
overseas contractors, and creating the companys environmental
to Nike, Eitel managed European PR, corporate and community
affairs for Microsoft.
WITHHOLDS SPEAKERS LIST
Seminar, the premiere organization of senior communications
and public affairs executives of the worlds most influential
corporations, non-profit organizations and PR agencies,
is refusing to reveal the names of this years speakers
to registrants or the press.
say the program is usually provided at least two months
before the meeting but they have not received anything this
year that gives the names of the speakers.
deadline was April 8 for the meeting
on page 7)
4: 2008 revenue table of independent firms in professional
Edition, April 29, 2009, Page 2
GETS MILAGE FROM OBAMA
Government of Turkey hired Edelman earlier this month to
maximize the value of President Barack Obamas visit
deputy director general of Americas Ersin Ercin gave an
email okay of a $117K program on April 5, the day after
Edelman sprung into action. That message was to Edelmans
Peter Segall, managing director in D.C.
program was aimed at the European Union and U.S. It covered
arranging interviews for President Gul and Foreign Minister
Babacan in top-tier media. The independent PR
firm partnered with the Foreign Ministry to create a significance
of the visit document to be distributed to reporters
and other interesting parties.
Turkish Embassy, on April 13 posted its reflections
on Obamas trip and his historic speech
to the Grand National Assembly.
visit was a statement about the importance of Turkey,
not just to the United States, but to the world. Also,
his strong and vocal support during his overseas trip
of Turkeys admission into the European Union sent
an important message of friendship to the Turkish people.
has yet to register its full Turkey contract with the Justice
SHOOTS DOWN LVMH REPORTS
and Company is helping luxury goods client LVMH shot down
two reports out of the U.K. that the company is considering
a sale of its spirits division, Moet Hennessy.
handles PR/media relations for Paris-based LVMH in the U.S.
company, which includes brands like Dom Pérignon
and Donna Karan, issued a brief statement April 22 denying
reports in certain newspapers that the group
is in discussions to divest the MH wine and spirits unit.
LVMH confirms that no such negotiations are taking
place, the company said.
Financial Times and Daily Telegraph reported
April 22 that LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA could
sell its two-thirds stake (worth about $12B) in the division
to partner Diageo, although no decision by LVMH had been
SPENDS $675K FOR PR
International Assocs. has registered a $675K contract covering
`09 PA duties for Angola, a country that is attempting to
revamp its economy.
announced April 24 an $8B program to reduce its dependence
on its declining oil and diamond export markets.
African nation had been on an economic high since the `02
end of a nearly 30-year civil war that erupted with the
departure of the Portuguese.
agreement calls for assisting in the flow of open
source information to facilitate Angolas public image,
facilitating U.S-Angolan military-to-military relations,
facilitating sister city relationships.
also will arrange English language training sessions for
PULLS BABY APP AFTER OUTCRY
iTunes store has removed an application for iPhones called
Baby Shaker, which sparked an outcry from a
national group focused on childhood brain injuries.
app, developed by Sikalosoft, plays the sound of a crying
baby on an iPhone until the user shakes the phone forcefully
enough to stop it.
always distracting you from preparing for that big presentation
at work with their incessant crying, reads a promo
for the app. Before Baby Shaker, there was nothing
you could do about it.
Dickens, communications director for the New York-based
Sarah Jane Brain Project, emailed a press release headlined
Somethings Rotten at Apple to ODwyers
last week containing quotes from livid parents and expressing
the groups outrage over the Baby Shaker app.
Inc., which notoriously and routinely rejects new apps from
developers with a rigorous vetting processs,
nonetheless apparently allowed this horrible application
to be sold through its store, the group, which specializes
in Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury and Shaken Baby Syndrome,
said in the statement, which called the app reckless.
99-cent application was released on Monday, April 20, and
was pulled from the iTunes store on Wed., April 22, without
comment from Apple or Sikalosoft.
Foundation, which provided the emails and phone numbers
of top Apple executives, also asked for an apology from
Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who is currently on health leave,
and an effort to reverse the damage they have already
SCHOOL SEEKS PR PITCHES
Charter School, an online high school in Minnesota, is asking
for PR proposals to boost its visibility and student enrollment.
St. Paul-based school, Minnesotas first online institution
when it opened in 2000, had a rocky start but began seeing
enrollment blossom between 2006-08 and now counts about
caters to young mothers, full-time workers, so-called at-risk
teens and other students like athletes-in-training who need
flexibility in education.
school has issued an RFP for PR pitches through May 1.
work includes identifying and reaching prospective students,
finding students and parents who could be spokespeople for
the school, media relations, online networking and overall
communications planning for the institution.
is in the $125K range for planning and implementation. A
one-year contract through June 1, 2010 is expected, but
the school said it hopes to find a long-term firm.
profile of the school in the Star Tribune in December
highlighted a 19-year-old student with a two-year-old daughter,
one of 90 moms enrolled in the high school.
RFP has been posted online on the charter schools
Edition, April 29, 2009, Page 3
NAST PULLS PLUG ON PORTFOLIO
Nast is pulling the plug on its start-up monthly business
magazine Portfolio after two years.
Lipman broke the news to staff early April 27 saying the
decision had been made because of financial reasons at CN
parent company Advance Publications.
was apparently told of the decision by CN chairman S.I.
Newhouse early on April 27.
the unprecedented nature of these times has made business
and the economy the main topic of conversation, it has also
led to high levels of uncertainty and a tremendous reduction
in ad spend in the five key sectors Portfolios business
model depends on, CN group president and publishing
director David Carey said in a statement.
October, Portfolio was cut to 10 issues a year from 12 and
its online staff was decimated. The magazine was launched
in April 2007.
YAHOO MAKES MORE CUTS
Yahoo is cutting five
percent of its staff (700 people) in the aftermath of a
plunge in first-quarter net from $536M to $118M.
CEO Carol Bartz says the
performance shows that Yahoo is not immune to the
ongoing economic downturn.
Though the company felt
pressure in both the display and search sectors, Yahoo remains
one of the most compelling advertising buys on the
Internet, she said.
Bartz is confident Yahoo
will be positioned when online brand advertising resumes
The job cuts are the third
round of cuts that began last year when 2,400 people were
shaved from the payroll.
KAPLAN EXITS N.Y. OBSERVER
Peter Kaplan, editor of
the New York Observer, is leaving the cheeky salmon-colored
weekly in June after a 15-year stint.
The 55-year-old editor
told staffers its time to move on for a third
act. He was a reporter at the New York Times
and executive producer of The Charlie Rose Show.
The Observer has a circulation
of 50K in Manhattan. It was purchased for $10M by real estate
developer Jared Kushner, 28.
Kushner is fending off
reports that he is going to unload the paper.
MILLARD LEAVES MSLO
Wenda Harris Millard is
stepping down as co-CEO and president of media at Martha
Stewart Living Omnimedia to join the advertising and marketing
advisory firm Media Link LLC in New York.
Millard had been with
MSLO since July 2007 after serving on its board and served
as co-CEO for less than a year.
Previously, she was chief
sales officer at Yahoo! and chief Internet officer for Ziff
Davis Media, where she also served as president of its Internet
Millard was a founding
member of DoubleClick and held top publishing posts at Family
Circle, Adweek, Mediaweek and Brandweek.
She is the current chairman
of the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
MSLO said founder Martha
Stewart will be heading all creative and editorial operations
as a consultant.
TIMES WINS FIVE PULITZERS
The New York Times
took home five Pulitzer Prizes for journalism, including
an investigative reporting award for its probe of a Pentagon
David Barstow of the Times
won for his coverage of how retired generals, working as
radio and television analysts, had been used by the Pentagon
to make its case for the war in Iraq.
Barstow also revealed
how many of them also had undisclosed ties to companies
that benefited from policies they defended.
The Times also won for
breaking news reporting for the Elliot Spitzer scandal,
international reporting for Afghanistan and Pakistan, feature
photography (Damon Winter) and criticism (Holland Cotter).
The Las Vegas Sun
earned a Pulitzer for public service for Alexandra Berzons
coverage of the high death rate among construction workers
on the Las Vegas Strip.
Also winning were the
Los Angeles Times (explanatory), Detroit Free
Press staff and East Valley Tribune in Mesa Ariz.
(local reporting), St. Petersburg Times (national
reporting), Washington Post (commentary, Eugene Robinson),
Post-Star of Glens Falls, N.Y. (editorial writing),
San Diego Union-Tribune (editorial cartoons, Steve
Breen) and the Miami Herald (breaking news photography).
MYSPACE FOUNDERS PUSHED OUT
MySpace founders Chris
DeWolfe and Tom Anderson have been pushed out of the top
slots in a bid to rev up growth at the social networking
company. Owen Van Natta, VP/operations at Facebook, is the
DeWolfe becomes a strategic
advisor to the News Corp. property, while Anderson
is in talks about a new position within the organization.
News Corp. CEO Rupert
Murdoch recruited former AOL chief Jonathan Miller as CEO
of the digital media group earlier this month to oversee
MySpace, Photobucket and IGN Entertainment.
News Corp. bought MySpace
in `05 for $650. It remains the No. 1 social networking
site with 70M unique visitors in March. No. 2 Facebook has
been catching up with MySpace. It now had 71M viewers in
March, up 72 percent from a year earlier.
a cable TV unit of Viacom, plans to launch Centric
in October. The new network is aimed at middle aged and
older blacks. BET is viewed in nearly 90M homes. It is the
No. 1 black audience network. The networks only main
competitor, TV One, has 47M viewers.
news continued on next page)
Edition, April 29, 2009, Page 4
SENDS NEW MEDIA TEAM TO IRAQ
of State Hillary Clinton is sending a new media delegation
to Iraq in an effort to bolster the countrys emerging
delegation is to show how new tech communications tools
can foster greater transparency and accountability,
build upon anti-corruption efforts, promote critical thinking
in the classroom, scale-up civil society, and further empower
local entities and individuals by providing the tools for
believes the traveling troupe will teach the Iraqis how
to integrate new technology as a tool for smart power.
of the group include Twitter chairman-founder Jack Dorsey;
Jason Liebman, CEO-Founder, Howcast; David Nassar, VP-Blue
State Digital; Hunter Walk, Head Product Development-YouTube;
Steven Levy, Senior Writer-Wired Magazine; Scott Heiferman,
CEO-MeetUp; Raanan Bar-Cohen, VP-Automatic/WordPress; Googles
Kannan Pashupathy, Director of International Engineering
Operations and Ahmad Hamzawi, Head of Engineering, Middle
East/North Africa, and /Richard Robbins, director of social
innovation of ATT.
who maintains a blog on the State Dept.s website,
is said to be a strong component of new media tools.
GROUP SAYS NEWS CUTS HIT DIVERSITY
The American Society of
News Editors said this week that black journalists were
cut from newsrooms at a rate of 13.5 percent in 2008 making
them the single most targeted group for job losses.
Four hundred black journalists
were cut last year, the group said, which has scaled the
diversity of newsrooms back to 1998 levels.
ASNE said 458 newspapers
have no minorities on their news teams and only 111 of 633
papers have "achieved parity with the minority population
in their communities."
Newsroom jobs held by
black journalists were cut by an alarming 13.5 percent in
2008, making African-Americans the single most targeted
group for job losses in newsrooms across the country, according
to a study released by ASNE, the American Society of News
"While NABJ recognizes
the current economic downturn, newspapers must stop the
bloodletting of black journalists now," said NABJ Pres.
BARONE TO D.C. EXAMINER
Michael Barone, a resident
scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and 18-year
senior writer at U.S. News & World Report, has
joined the Washington Examiner as a senior political
Barone will pen a twice-weekly
column for the paper's politics page and blog for its website.
He is the co-author of
National Journals The Almanac of American
Politics, which is published every two years and started
Noting the challenging
time for journalism in the U.S., Barone said hes
happy to return to daily writing.
of Professional Services PR Firms
here for ranking.
Edition, April 29,
2009, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
FIFTEEN SEES REVENUE RISE POST- CUTS
Fifteen Communications Group, the U.K.-based parent to PR
firms like Bite Communications, Text 100 and Outcast Communications,
reported a 10 percent rise in revenue for the first half
of its fiscal year ending Jan. 31 of £33.5M ($48.9M
by current exchange rates).
Will Whitehorn said the results reflect the challenging
environment but added that the conglomerate has been
pursuing acquisitions in the U.S. and Asia. U.S. and Canada
revenue for the first half was £15.5M (about $22.7M),
up from £13M in 08.
100 posted 2008 revenue of $63M with 540 staffers, according
to figures provided to ODwyers. Bite had revenue
of $16.9M for 08.
percent of Next Fifteens revenues come from retainer
clients like IBM, Cisco, Coca-Cola and Microsoft. Whitehorn
said revenue dipped in January as expected as clients set
budgets for the year. But Whitehorn noted the company has
taken resolute steps in response to the market,
including a nine percent headcount reduction (about 100
jobs) and closure of its Seattle operations which led to
about a $1M (£700K) charge for the period. Further
cuts have been made so far in the second half and the group
said it will merge London-based PR firm Inferno, an 03
spinoff of Bite, into Bites operations to further
Tim Dyson struck a more upbeat tone in an interview with
Reuters/U.K. He said U.S. businesses by the summer will
be spending very close to what they were before the
added the group could start hiring again in the U.S. by
the summer, although he remains cautious toward
forecasts a decline in revenue of about 10 percent from
the first to second half of this year.
group has recently added work for Skype, SanDisk and Intuit
and said 33 percent of its revenue comes from its top 10
clients, down from 35 percent for the same period of 08.
MAKOVSKY IN SUSTAINABILITY
Ken Makovsky, president
of New York-based Makovsky + Company, has co-founded a group
of firms active in the environmental consulting arena to
counsel businesses on climate change risks and the advange
of sustainable actions.
In addition to Makovsky,
the group, called Interraction, includes law firm Arnold
& Porter, design and engineering firm Buro Happold,
consulting firm carbonRational, green architecture firm
FXFOWLE Architects, and climate change data firm Svante
Makovsky said as a group
the firms can help corporations see themselves as a whole,
which he said is key to making sustainability sustainable.
& Associates, New York, was correctly listed as the
No. 10 indepedent PR firm in the financial category in the
April 22 issue, but its 2008 revenue figure was incorrect.
The firm had financial PR revenue of $3,006,520 in 2008,
& Company, New York/Mattern & Associates,
law firm consultants, for a media comms. campaign.
Izzo Integrated Communications, New York/
Ben & Jacks Steak House, as AOR for PR for its
grand opening of a Fifth Avenue eatery in May.
Communications, New York/Club Quarters, for media
relations for the River Hotel, a new Chicago boutique hotel
opening in May.
Leifer DiMarco, Rockville Centre, N.Y./VHB Engineering,
Surveying and Landscape Architecture P.C., as AOR for PR
PR, Bridgewater, N.J./XStreamHD, high definition
home entertainment delivery, as AOR for PR.
Whitmyre, Sharon, Mass./T.R. Miller Co., to introduce
its The Life is good brand of apparel and accessories to
the corporate marketplace. The work includes media relations,
online PR, SEO and social media.
Baltimore/NAVA, the Association for Insured Retirement Solutions,
for creative strategy, PR, media planning and digital services.
Baltimore/Capital Funding Bancorp, for an internal and external
communications campaign for its acquisition of AmericasBank.
Novelli, Washington, D.C./National Heart, Lung, and
Blood Institute of the National Institute of Health, for
a three-year, $3.6M contract focused on its chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease awareness campaign called COPD Learn
More Breathe Better. PN noted the NHLBI was the firms
first client in 1972. Rosy McGillan, senior VP for health
and social marketing, leads the effort.
Communications, Washington, D.C./Oscar de La Hoya,
to produce a press conference for the boxing champs
retirement announcement. The event was held at Nokia Plaza
at LA Live in Los Angeles and was open to the public.
Communications, Atlanta/Capario, revenue cycle management
for healthcare services, for renaming and rebranding
of the company via an ongoing PR campaign.
& Associates, Atlanta/Century Architectural Specialties,
for a strategic PR program, and Basco Shower Enclosures,
for a trade and consumer advertising push.
PR, Miami/duMi Shapewear, for development and implementation
of a PR campaign via the firms style group for the
Structure Today, Jacksonville, Fla./Cannabis Science,
medical marijuana research, for branding and public/investor
Communications, San Francisco/DeLoach Vineyards of
Boisset Family Estates, for PR including media and consumer
relations, online and off.
Ross Group, Los Angeles/Christopher Guy, luxury furniture
brand, for PR for the launch of its design lounge in July
in Beverly Hills.
Communications, Los Angeles/Wyatt Films, New York,
for PR and web work.
Edition, April 29, 2009, Page 6
FEELS ECONOMIC CLIMATE
software company Vocus reported a $478K net loss for the
first quarter of '09 as new and renewal subscriptions lagged
expectations and the overall economy affected its business.
for the first quarter -- $20.4M -- was up 14 percent over
'08. A decline in selling prices and fewer net new subscribers
compared with last year affected the company's revenue during
net loss was an increase from the $403K loss for Q1 of '08.
clearly saw a business climate that was worse than what
we expected and one that now reflects the PR marketing cuts
that organizations are fully incorporating into their 2009
budgets, said CEO Rick Rudman.
shares were downgraded to neutral from buy
by Broadpoint Capital following the Q1 results.
new subscriptions were 179 for the period, fewer than expected
and down from 219 subs in Q1 last year. Vocus reported 3,558
active subscribers to its services and Rudman said the company
expects to break the 4,000 mark by the end of the year.
sees its market for PR software as more than 150,000 organizations.
noted the challenging macroeconomic environment
during the quarter. There were many positive results
and trends for Vocus during the quarter, yet clearly PR
marketing budgets are not immune to the bad economy,
he said during a conference call.
said average selling prices declined in the quarter as customers
selected fewer modules or add-ons to services for 2009.
said Vocus' PRWeb release distribution unit posted a record
number of new customers for the quarter and the company
sees the small business segment and overseas as keys to
INSTITUTE POSTS AUDIT ON WEBSITE
The Institute for PR,
which broke away from the PR Society in 1989,
reported a loss of $92,435 for 2008 as assets dropped 24%
to $288,325 and cash/investments fell 25% to $305,071.
Revenues fell only 3%
partly because $104,450 was received in temporarily restricted
funds in 2007 vs. only $11,000 in 2008.
The entire audit was posted
for public viewing on the IPR website.
Frank Ovaitt, who will
be succeeded as IPR president by Robert Grupp on July 1,
said savings had been built up for a rainy day and it
did begin storming toward the end of 2008.
IPRs goal is to
bridge the gap between the academic and practitioner
communities. It sees its mission as showing the science
beneath the art of public relations.
The PR Society,
a 501/c/6 non-profit, and the Arthur W. Page Society, a
501/c/3 non-profit, have yet to reveal either their audits
or IRS Form 990s.
c/3 corporations are usually
charities like the Red Cross or United Way but can also
include educational groups.
senior PR manager, Kel & Partners, to Fuseideas, Somerville,
Mass., as director of PR overseeing the full-service agencys
PR unit. She was previously an A/S for Schwartz Communications
and began her career at Peter Arnold Associates.
Hyett, a veteran
of Fleishman-Hillard, Hill & Knowlton and Noonan Russo
Presence Euro RSCG, to Widmeyer Communications, Washington,
D.C., as an assistant VP in the firms health and wellness
unit. Pfizer is a key focus of his work.
Rational PR, to Griffin & Company, Washington, D.C.,
as media relations manager. She was previously director
of marketing for Design Studios West in Denver.
of PR at MediciGlobal, to On The Scene Productions, Los
Angeles, as VP of business development to expand the broadcast
and digital PR services companys healthcare practice
and social media services. She works under executive producer
Ben Garrett, who knew Fazzina from their work on PR Societys
health academy board. She was previously PR manager at Cancer
Treatment Centers of America and senior manager, brand communications,
at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. Shes is an adjunct
professor at Temple University.
of govt affairs for Owens-Illinois Inc., to chair
of the National Association of Manufacturers national
public affairs steering committee, effective May 6. He takes
over for William Corcoran of W.R. Grace & Co.
FOUNDATION HONORS GRAHAM
John Graham, whose career
with Fleishman-Hillard stretches to 1966, was given the
first Paladin Award of the PRSA Foundation April
20 at a dinner in the W Hotel, New York.
Graham said the need
for what we do has never been greater.
Graham told nearly 100
PR executives at the dinner that the current times present
"a terrific opportunity" for PR. The need
for what we do has never been greater, he told an
audience that included Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman,
and Michael Cherenson and Gary McCormick, chair and chair-elect,
respectively, of the Society.
Kathy Lewton, of Lewton,
Seekins & Trester and chair of the Foundation, presided
over the ceremonies.
as defined by the Foundation, is a knightly or heroic
champion, a determined advocate or defender of a noble cause.
Graham urged all PR pros
to focus on doing outstanding work. There is
a need for open and complete dialog with all the audiences
that PR addresses, he said.
Graham joined F-H in 1966
after working as an editor at Hallmark Cards, St. Louis,
and serving as director of PR of the St. Louis Metropolitan
Edition, April 29, 2009, Page 7
for May 20-23 at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, Calif.
all registrants go as couples, paying $3,350 for speakers,
banquets and entertainment. Single registrants pay $2,250.
are usually editors and executives of major media, professors,
authors, and current and ex-government figures.
theory is that the speakers do not want to be identified
as attending a corporate meeting at an expensive resort
because of the criticism that followed a meeting of AIG
representatives last year at such a resort.
has become the lightning rod for critics of
bailouts, the Financial Times said April 14. A House
committee is investigating AIG contracts with Burson-Marsteller
and Hill & Knowlton.
Clift at 2008 Seminar
Bartiromo of the Closing Bell on CNBC, Eleanor
Clift, Newsweek columnist, and Margaret Carlson,
Bloomberg News columnist, were among the speakers last year.
Bloomberg, mayor of New York and founder of Bloomberg, was
a speaker in the 1990s. Judith Czelusniak, head of global
communications of Bloomberg, has been a member since 2005.
was criticized for holding a meeting of its representatives
at the St. Regis Resort, Monarch Bay, Calif., last October,
after receiving billions in federal bailout funds.
similar AIG meeting was planned at the Ritz-Carlton at Half
Moon Bay but was cancelled on Oct. 9, the day after Bloomberg
reporters Erik Holm and Hugh Son wrote about it.
Mathis, VP-communications of the New York Times Co., attended
PR Seminar in 2005.
have also included editors and executives of the Washington
Post, Fortune, Forbes, New York Times,
USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Financial
Times, and BusinessWeek as well as network and
cable TV shows.
include PR executives of companies and banks that have received
government bail-out funds.
members are Nicholas Ashooh, senior VP of communications,
AIG; Steve Harris, VP-global communications, General Motors,
Gary Sheffer, executive director, corporate communications
and PA, General Electric, and Michael ONeill, senior
VP, corporate affairs and communications, American Express.
Members Dominate Seminar, IPR
Harris and Sheffer are members of the Arthur W. Page Society
as are about half the members of Seminar including Charlotte
Otto of Procter & Gamble, chair of the 2009 meeting;
Johanna Schneider, Business Roundtable, program chair, and
Joan Wainwright, Tyco Electronics, secretary/treasurer.
Twenty-one of the 30 governing committee members of PRS
are Page members.
of the 44 trustees of the Institute for PR are members of
Page including those holding the top four IPR posts: co-chairs
Michael Fernandez of State Farm Insurance and Matthew Gonrng
of Gagen MacDonald, treasurer Kenneth Makovsky of Makovsky
& Co., and president/CEO Frank Ovaitt. Incoming president
Robert Grupp is also a Page member.
first principle of Page is: Tell the truth. Let the
public know whats happening and provide an accurate
picture of the companys character, ideals and practices.
SOCIETY BYLAWS PROPOSALS DISPUTED
bylaws chair Dave Rickey has irked Assembly delegate Mark
McLennan of Boston by saying that specifics of the proposed
direct election of board members and officers will
not be completed until after the bylaws are approved by
We are being asked
to vote on something without knowing how the very important
process is going to work, McLennan told the Governance
Forum on the Society website April 24.
He is asking that detailed
policies and procedures to cover the voting process be available
for review before the Assembly vote.
Some members say such
rules should be posted now so they can be reviewed by the
109 chapter presidents-elect who are meeting in New York
McClennan also expressed
his concern about allowing marketing, advertising and others
with a broader range of knowledge, experiences and
job responsibilities into the Society, as proposed.
Rickey responded that
many members, including himself, are equally involved
in advertising and marketing and that the intention
is not to dilute the PR profession but to strengthen
McClennan opposes the
elimination of district directors and making the 25 or so
national committee chairs Assembly delegates. The executive
branch already has a strong voice in the Assembly
he noted. Delegates include the 17 national directors, 19
section heads and 10 district chairs.
Both Rickey and McClennan
pleaded for more participants in the debate.
Thus far they are the
only two among 22,000 members offering their views.
Few members appear to
be aware of the bylaw proposals. They can only be accessed
by clicking on a link in a general discussion of the need
for new bylaws on the Society website.
For the first time in
more than 30 years, non-APRs could be on the board. But
they would have to have served as head of a chapter, section,
district or national committee or be able to show more
than 20 years of experience in PR with increasing levels
of responsibility. Service as a voting Assembly delegate
would no longer qualify a member for national office.
Rickey, defending the
elimination of board members representing districts, said
this geographic limitation has made it challenging
to find candidates for the national board.
Senior members said that
what has made it hard to find candidates is the APR rule
that has blocked more then 80% of members from running for
national office since the 1970s.
Edition, April 29, 2009,
Seminars withholding of its 2009
speakers program from members who have registered
(page one) is an example of the slippery slope of secrecy.
secrecy has taken its grip on an organization (and PRS has
been off-the-record for its entire 60-year history),
more and more secrecy becomes the norm.
not only are secrets being kept from the press but even
members. In this case, the members are those who have paid
$3,350 per couple (and mostly couples attend) for a four-day
stay at one of the most posh resorts in the U.S.the
Ritz-Carlton at Laguna Niguel, Calif.
members tell us that for the first time in its history,
PRS has not informed them of the speakers, who are usually
media figures (like Maria Bartiromo of CNBS and Eleanor
Clift of of Newsweek), corporate execs (Jamie Dimon
of JPMorgan Chase), consultants, college professors, scientists
hot topic of the day, of course, is corporate execs holding
business meetings at fancy resorts.
figures may not want it reported that they are taking part
in this corporate largess along with PR people from companies
that are on the public dole.
begrudge Seminar its secrecy because at least $1 million
is spent on it and nothing is published for the benefit
poll on odwyerpr.com
found the vote was about 70% in favor of PRS either canceling
the May 20-23 meeting or holding it in a city such as Chicago
or New York. Veteran PR pros are saying as much.
is following in the footsteps of the PR Society,
which communicates little if at all with the press, and
which cannot even communicate with its own members (page
Although it has 22,000
members, only two are taking part in an online debate on
sweeping changes in the Societys bylaws. Both are
begging for more to join in with no success even though
this is well into the second month of a discussion
of the proposed bylaws.
There are a couple of
reasons for this institutional silence. We bet nearly 100%
of the members dont even know what the proposed changes
are since they were buried in a link in a generalized announcement
of the changes.
They dont know that
the Assembly would lose its power to elect board members
and officers; that marketing, advertising and anyone remotely
connected with communications would be allowed in as full
members, and that districts would no longer have their own
APRs would retain their
grip on leadership by allowing non-APRs on the board but
candidates would have to show more than 20 years of
experience with increasing levels of responsibility.
Bylaws chair Dave Rickey
says its hard to find candidates from each of the
ten districts. The problem is not the districts but that
more than 80% of the members (the non-APRs) have been blocked
from running for office since the 1970s.
the Society has 22,000 members, there are about 2,200
in each of the ten districts. Yet districts such as Tri-State,
Southeast and Southwest have trouble finding even one candidate.
The Society should look to its own policies including virtually
barring members from working at h.q. (one or two PR pros
are allowed) as the reason for the disinterest.
Rickey, in saying that
many members, including himself, are equally involved
in advertising and marketing, has said a mouthful.
The Society is moving away from obtaining third party
endorsement, once the hallmark of the industry. We
doubt most members would approve of that trend. McClennan
certainly does not.
PR Seminar and the PR Society are run
by people who have the loftiest of ethical codes but who
dont live up to them.
Seminar is dominated by
members of the Arthur W. Page Society, who occupy 21 of
the 30 seats on the governing committee including the top
threeCharlotte Otto of Procter & Gamble, Johanna
Schneider of the Business Roundtable, and Joan Wainwright
of Tyco Electronic.
Page members account for
30 of the 44 trustees of the Institute for PR including
the top four postsco-chairs Michael Fernandez of State
Farm Insurance and Matthew Gonring of Gagen MacDonald, treasurer
Kenneth Makovsky of Makovsky + Co., and president/CEO Frank
Ovaitt. Incoming president Robert Grupp is also a Page member.
Leaders of Page, Seminar
and the Society should be experts in press relations. Instead,
they are like cooks who dont like the heat in the
kitchen, lifeguards who have aquaphobia, and surgeons who
cant stand the sight of blood.
The No. 1 Page principle
is: Tell the truth. Let the public know whats
happening and provide an accurate picture of the companys
character, ideals and practices.
2005, PR Week has been offering its $249 Contact
directory (also priced at $199 and $198) as an inducement
to new and renewal subscribers, which may be a violation
of the USPS rule that a premium may be no more than 70%
of the price of a publication mailed at the low Periodicals
If the premium is worth
more than 70%, subscriptions are deemed to be free.
The Periodicals rate is barred to publications with more
than 50% in free circulation.
Haymarket, since 2005,
has been offering the directory as a free bonus both to
new subscribers and renewals, and we wonder if the 50% rule
has been breached.
PRWs total circulation
averaged 8,902 in 2008, of which 2,381 consisted of free
circulation. So it could only distribute a total of 4,451
copies free or it would be in violation of the 50% rule
(an additional 2,070 copies).
Paid and requested circulation
averaged 6,521 in 2008. We have asked PRW president Lisa
Kirk and publishing director Julia Hood for comment on this.
Hood herself in 2008 was
sending pitches to prospects who were mentioned in PRW,
offering for $148 a one year subscription to PRW (regularly
$198), and as a BONUSreceive the PRWeek
Contact Directory (a $199 value!) at no additional cost.
The 2009 Contact has two
prices on it--$249 and $198.
Kirk says PRW is in compliance
with USPS rules and that it is only offering one consistent
full price of $198.
However, the 2009 Contact
has an offer of PRW, Contact and other services for $148.
In determining the value
of a premium, USPS uses the highest published price.
PRW submits a circulation
statement to USPS each year but it has never submitted to
an audit by the Audit Bureau of Circulations or the Business
Publications Audit. Sister publication Direct Marketing
News is audited by the BPA.