The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, May 13, 2009, Page 1
SEEKS FIRM TO PITCH VOTERS
is searching for a firm to produce a public information
campaign outlining the process to join its first redistricting
commission made up of citizens.
campaign is mandated by the Voters First Act, which was
narrowly approved by Golden State voters in November as
Proposition 11. The act takes redistricting power away from
the state legislature and hands it over to a 14-member commission
of citizens. The political boundaries affect the state senate,
assembly and the states tax collecting body
the board of equalization.
goal of the PR campaign is to educate citizens about how
to join and work with the commission, which is chosen every
10 years starting with the first seating in 2010.
state auditor has issued an RFP for proposals to reach all
registered voters in the state to outline the process.
are due May 15. Questions are being taken and posted via
the states online procurement portal: https://www.bidsync.com/DPX?ac=view&auc=181699
QORVIS WINS ONLINE MEXICO
Mexico Tourism Board has
hired Qorvis Communications for a one-year online PR program,
covering marketing, new media relations, grassroots/allies
outreach and web support. The program is worth $330K.
Coordinating the work
with Mexicos U.S. Embassy, the Washington-based firm
is to develop a profile of the top five search engines for
Mexico, President Felipe Calderon and Ambassador Arturo
Sarukhan in order to bolster search efficiency.
Qorvis is to tackle blogger
relations. According to its agreement, the firm will feed
this community straight and factual information with the
end goal of engaging the bloggers in a conversation.
Other duties include creation
of mobile applications for IPhone, BlackBerry and Android,
plus establishment of the Virtual Consulate,
local portals aimed at major cities.
expires April 31, 2010. The firm is to receive its $27,500
monthly fee for the entire year even if the contract is
cancelled for any reason.
MTB has agreed to a one-year
Camooso Miller, who headed public affairs for the
National Community Pharmacists Association, has moved to
the Virginia-based American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity
as VP of media relations. The trade group is backed by coal
producers, railroads and power companies.
PR FIRM SPECIALTY RANKINGS
Although 24 fewer PR operations
provided net fee and employment totals for the 2009 O'Dwyer's
Directory of PR Firms, the total of fees reported for
12 specialty practices only declined from the record 618
for 2007 to 616 for 2008.
The 39th edition of the
Directory, which has overall rankings and rankings by city
and PR specialties and listings on more than 1,600 firms,
will be published in June.
Firms that take logo/statement
ads are also on odwyerpr.com
for a year. Ranked are 169 independents (-21) and 11 ad
agency PR depts. (-3).
The largest number of
specialty rankings were in technology/industrial, totaling
102. Others were healthcare, 96; financial/IR, 71, and professional
services, 65. The last category is for PR for doctors, lawyers,
accounting firms, consultants, real estate firms, etc.
Orders for the $95 Directory
are handled online at odwyerpr.com
or at 866/395-7710.
BURSON TAKES UP DTV EFFORT
a $3.5M pact to continue the Federal Communications Commission's
outreach for the digital TV transition previously led by
The consumer education
effort leads up to the June 12 transition date.
B-Ms D.C. outpost
will lead the contract, which called for the ability to
provide advertising and public relations expertise to supplement
and expand the FCCs existing consumer education campaign.
The FCC issued an RFP
in April after the digital transition deadline was moved
from Feb. 17 to June. At the time, Nielsen estimated that
nearly four million Americans were still unprepared for
Funds for the extension
came from the Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus package.
PRS SHOULD NOT BE IN MARKET
The PR Society
should not have been investing $1.89 million in stocks and
bonds or anything that risked members' money, CPAs told
The Society last week
revealed a $383,000 loss on investments that as of Jan.
1, 2008 included $1,179,684 in common stocks and $712,568
in corporate bonds and preferred stock.
Society leaders have known
about the losses since at least the first week in January
but they were only revealed in the 2008 audit published
last week (a PDF is available at odwyerpr.com).
(continued on page 7)
Edition, May 13, 2009, Page 2
SEEKS TRAVEL PR TO WOO EUROS
Governor Rick Perrys office has issued an RFP for
a long-term travel PR contract intended to lure overseas
travelers from Europe to the Lone Star State and revamp
its cowboy and dusty image.
state plans a two year contract with two additional 24-month
options beginning in September.
started running travel PR campaigns in international markets
in 1997 and it currently has one contract covering North
America, the U.K., Germany, Mexico and parts of Latin America
PR currently handles the tourism account.
new RFP will be the states first go at a regionally
based contract for Europe.
RFP notes research indicating many domestic and international
travelers have a stereotypical and one-dimensional
image of Texas, recognizing the state for its rich cowboy
image and western heritage, but also perceiving the state
to be a hot, flat, dry and dusty place with limited appeal
as a travel destination.
the U.S., the state uses the tagline Texas. Its
Like a Whole Other Country, while in Mexico it pitches
the state as A Little of Everything.
PENN BRINGS IN CLINTON COLLEAGUE
Joshua King, chief spokesman
and VP at The Hartford Financial Services Group, has re-joined
his former Clinton administration colleague Mark Penn at
Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates as a senior VP in
PS&B said King works
alongside managing director Jay Leveton and reports to president/CEO
(and Burson-Marsteller chief) Penn while focusing on new
business and overseeing staff and operations.
King was VP for media
and community relations at insurance giant Hartford since
2003 when he joined after serving as a consultant at PS&B
in D.C. He was previously director of production for Presidential
Events during the first term of the Clinton administration
when Penn was a senior advisor to Clinton.
REGAN HANDLES DOME WOES
Regan Communications is
handling crisis communications for Summit Structures and
Cover-All Building Systems, the makers of the dome that
collapsed during severe weather at the Dallas Cowboys practice
facility on May 3.
Mariellen Burns, VP and
director of crisis communications at Boston-based Regan,
is handling inquiries about the incident, an operator at
Cover-All told ODwyers.
Summit is based in Allentown,
Pa., while Cover-All is headquartered in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
The dome collapse injured
Cowboys personnel including an assistant scouting director,
who is paralyzed from the waist down, according to the football
The severe weather is
believed to have been a microburst, according
to the National Weather Service.
In a statement issued
by Regan for the dome builders, company president Nathan
Stobbe said, Our thoughts and prayers are with the
injured and their families. This is obviously a very difficult
time for each of them and for the Cowboys organization.
SLOANE DRIVES GM BONDHOLDERS
The Ad Hoc Committee of
General Motors Bondholders has retained Sloane & Co.
to handle communications aimed at the high end, high
stakes financial press, according to Elliot Sloane.
The New York-based financial
firm is supplementing the work of Democratic heavyweight
Glover Park Group, which is targeting its sights on Washington
The Ad Hoc Committee has
drawn up a plan that it says would enable GM to avoid
a lengthy and difficult bankruptcy process that would hurt
all stakeholders, employees and customers.
Its proposal prevents
the nationalization of one of the countrys largest
companies and provides for a fair and equitable allocation
of new GM equity across all stakeholder classes.
Sloane says his firm has
been hired by the bondholder group to help communicate
their counter proposal and support the bondholders as they
work to reach an agreement with the company and the Government.
KEKST AIDS CHRYSLER AGAIN
Kekst and Company, which
helped Chrysler fend off a hostile takeover in 1995, is
again working with the automaker at it navigates Chapter
11 and a sale to the Italian automaker Fiat.
A bankruptcy judge okayed
the automakers planned auction of most of its assets
by the end of the month to Fiat, the top bidder. The combine
will create the No. 6 automaker in the world, according
Fredric Spar, a partner
at New York-based Kekst, is handling the account.
Kekst, which is part of
Publicis, worked with Chrysler when investor Kirk Kerkorian
made a hostile bid for the automaker with the support of
its iconic retired CEO Lee Iacocca.
LEVICK TAPPED FOR SUMMIT CRISIS
Levick Strategic Communications
provided crisis PR insurance for the Summit of the Americas
that ran mid-April in Trinidad & Tobago, the event attracted
leaders of 34 nations.
LSC developed the plan
for the Trinidad & Tobago International Financial Center.
The elements of LSCs
program included developing a communications strategy
and implementing tactics geared toward positioning the TTIFC
in a positive light for the Summit of the Americas and toward
managing potential crisis issues that are likely to arise.
is looking to hire a GM-corporate communications
at its Melville, N.Y. (Long Island), operation to direct
consumer, trade and employee PR.
An executive with at least
10 years of experience will oversee PR, partnerships, trade
shows, dealer relations, publications, promotions and point-of-purchase
materials. He/she will guide branding activities in the
U.S. and lead the corporate spirit initiative
program of workshops, sporting events and seminars. The
position reports to the president.
Rick Delin of Lloyd Staffing
is leading the search ([email protected]
and 631/777-7600, ext: 722).
Edition, May 13, 2009, Page 3
CITES AD, SUBSCRIPTION SLUMP
Warner posted a seven percent decline in first quarter revenues
to $6.9 billion citing slumps at AOL and its publishing
and filmed entertainment units.
Networks segment, which includes Turner and HBO, was up
to $2.8B for Q1, up six percent from $2.7B in 08,
while publishing revenue fell 23 percent to dip under $1
billion in 08 to $806M for Q1. Advertising was down
30% while subscriptions fell 16%.
Bewkes, chairman and CEO, noted a challenging economic
environment thats affecting all our business,
singling out advertising at its AOL and publishing segments.
said the separation from Time Warner Cable has made TW a
more content-focused company.
revenues were down 23% to $867M mostly on a 27% fall in
subscription revenue and 20% slip in advertising. AOL had
106M monthly unique visitors in the U.S. during the quarter
for a total of 58 billion page views.
REPORTS Q1 SLIDE
reported a 26 percent slide in first quarter revenue to
$14M, compared with $18.9M for Q1 of 08. Advertising
and interactive marketing services revenue fell 45 percent
to $4.5M compared with 08.
loss for the first quarter reached $45.7M, including restructuring
costs and a one-time $24.1M impairment charge.
is clearly a time of great change within the company,
said interim-CEO Daryl Otte.
services revenue including subscription and syndication
revenue -- fell 12 percent to $9.5M for Q1.
companys board moved to reorganize in March and cut
21 positions, or six percent of its workforce, which contributed
to a $1M charge for the quarter. The revamp also led to
the resignation of CEO Thomas J. Clarke Jr. and a $1.6M
GOES FOR $2
New York Times is raising the Monday-Saturday newsstand
price of the paper to $2.
50 cent boost, effective June 1, is the third price hike
in two years.
price of the Times has doubled since July 2007. The Sunday
Times will cost $5, which is a $1 increase. Home delivery
prices remain the same.
NYT weekday circulation averaged 1.04M for the six-month
period ended March. That was down three percent from the
year earlier period.
ATLANTIC GRABS PORTFOLIO EXEC
Atlantic has scooped up Scott Havens, executive director
at now-defunct Portfolio.com.
takes the new post of VP, digital strategy and operations
for the Atlantic, overseeing its website.
was previously senior manager, business development, at
claimed 3.2M unique visitors in April.
was previously with Lighthouse International, NursingHands
prints its last magazine on June 1, then becoming an online-only
information source at TVWeek.com.
is spinning off its NewsPro supplement as a monthly stand-alone
magazine in August.
as Electronic Media in 82, TVW assumed its
current name in 03.
CALLS IT QUITS
Quindlen, 58, has given up her The Last Word
column in Newsweek after a nine-year run. She stepped
aside to provide an opportunity for someone younger to take
wrote in her final May 11/18 column that aging baby boomers
are blocking advancement opportunities for their children,
son recently told her, You guys just wont go,
during a talk about the unwillingness of Quindlen's friends
stall, to Quindlen, is a big problem in the news business,
which is supposed to remake itself in the image and
likeness of the public. She believes Americas
opinionators are too white and too gray. They do not reflect
the diversity of ethnicity and race, gender and generation.
They do not reflect the diversity of opinion, either, mainly
because most are part of an echo chamber of received wisdom
that takes place at restaurant tables in New York and Washington.
knocked an entire generation of Americans who seem
dedicated to the proposition that they will fight aging
to the death. Quite literally.
former New York Times columnist understands that
many aging journos would like to split but remain on the
job for economic reasons.
CHOPS NEARLY 200
San Diego Union-Tribune, which was just acquired
by Beverly Hills-based Platinum Equity., is cutting 192
jobs effective July 6.
cuts are across-the-board. The U-T will have about 850 staffers
following the cutbacks.
paper sells more than 300K issues every day and 330K on
Sunday. It was owned by Copley Press.
BRINGS IN EVP
news website Radar Online, which shuttered its print edition
last fall before re-launching on the web in March, has tapped
John Hughes as executive VP/business development.
is a joint venture of American Media and Integrity Multimedia.
developed the Clashorama and Pollclash web sites and worked
under American Media chairman/pres./CEO David Pecker for
six years as SVP/business affairs. He was previously with
Hachette Filipacchi Media as VP of entertainment media.
said: We are already being inundated with proposals
to migrate the Radar Online brand into television and Johns
expertise at handling these types of negotiations will be
news continued on next page)
Edition, May 13, 2009, Page 4
BLACK JOURNOS TO BE HONORED
journalists will be inducted into the National Association
of Black Journalists Hall of Fame in August during
the groups annual convention in Tampa, Fla.
reporters are getting the nod posthumously. Peggy Peterman,
a 31-year newsroom veteran of the St. Petersburg Times
who served as a reporter, columnist and editorial writer,
died in 2004 at 67. She had retired in 1996.
Whiteside, a former sports reporter for the Boston Globe
who covered the Red Sox from 1973-94, died in 2007 at 69.
Whiteside started the Black List in 1971 to
help sports editors hire qualified black journalists.
being honored are Earl Caldwell, who wrote for the New
York Times and N.Y. Daily News and currently
serves as writer-in-residence at the Maynard Institute,
and Lynn Norment, editor of Ebony Magazine who has
been with the publication since 1977.
remarkable individuals endured great challenges so that
black journalists today can have more freedom and professional
opportunity," said NABJ President Barbara Ciara.
has launched a blog to cover media in the San Francisco/Silicon
Valley region called BayNewser.com.
Golden, assistant director of communications and
marketing at Warburg College and editor of its magazine,
has moved to W&A Publishing in Cedar Falls, Iowa, as
executive editor. W&A publishes books for financial
professionals including Rookies Guide to Options
and Psychology of Trading.
Golden was a writer for
the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier from 1998 until
MORONEY RIPS GOOGLE &
Dallas Morning News
publisher Jim Moroney believes search engines, aggregators
and online news forums are ripping off newspapers and getting
a free ride on the investments they are making in
Moroney told Sen. John
Kerrys Future of Journalism Senate hearing
on May 6 that publishers should be able to obtain
reasonable compensation from Internet companies that reproduce
content for a commercial purpose.
Moroney took aim at Googles
claim that it drives traffic to newspapers sites by summarizing
a story and linking to the source material.
He noted that search engines
sell advertising wrapped around this newspaper content.
The DMN publisher suggested
that Congress establish a principle of consent
for content' for breaking news.
That principle would be
similar to the 1992 Cable Act, in which cable systems need
retransmission consent to carry local broadcast
That system serves
as a critical means for broadcasters to get a fair return
on their content and its underlying rational could seemingly
be extended to serve as a financial bulwark for local journalism,
according to the news exec.
Newspapers and their websites
are enjoying record readership, he continued.
Newspapers are in trouble
due to a dramatic and relentless drop in advertising
revenues, which traditionally have accounted for approximately
80 percent of newspaper revenues.
Moroney worries that at
the current rate of decline, by yearend ad revenues will
be down 50 percent over a three-year period.
friend of newspapers
Marissa Mayer, Googles
VP-search products and user experience, told the subcommittee
that her company is all for preserving robust and independent
journalism at both national and local levels.
Google is doing
its part by driving significant traffic to online news publishers
by helping them generate revenue through advertising, and
by providing tools and platforms that enable them to reach
millions of people, she said.
Mayer said Google Search
and Google News provide a valuable free service
to online newspapers specifically by sending interested
readers to their sites at a rate of more than 1B clicks
Newspapers use that
web traffic to increase their readership and generate additional
revenue, she said, acknowledging that publishers can
always opt out of Googles sites.
The executive also said
many print publishers use tools developed by Google.
The Los Angeles Times
website, for example, used Google Maps to track the recent
southern California wildfires, while Life magazine
uses Google Image Search to deliver its photo archive to
a whole new generation of readers, she noted.
O'DWYER'S RANKING OF SAN FRANCISCO
here for ranking.
Edition, May 13, 2009,
OF PR FIRMS
SHIFTS INFO TECH TO OMAHA
plans to consolidate back-office operations in Omaha as
part of CEO Michael Roths cost-cutting efforts at
the struggling ad/PR conglom.
systems, payroll, travel/expense, e-learning and email messaging
are to set up shop in Nebraskas biggest city over
the next 12 months.
in New York City, Chicago, London and Hong Kong currently
handle information technology functions.
is committed to spending $1M for its facility at the Scott
Technology Center located on the campus of the University
IPG jobs are to be created. Students at the Kiewit Institute,
UNOs IT/engineering program, will be among those getting
jobs. A back-up computer system designed to handle national/natural
disasters is to be established within 200 miles of the Big
dozen IPG executives toured the STC facility May 5. Joe
Farrelly, chief information officer, says consolidation
will cut cost and improve productivity.
has a history in Omaha, dating from its 01 acquisition
of True North. Bozell Inc., which was part of TN, was founded
shifted its help desk from New York to Omaha
in December. Farrelly likes the Omahans handling customers
of IPG because their voices shine through the phone.
OGILVY GUIDES IPO FOR CHINA
Ogilvy Financial Beijing,
the IR unit under Ogilvy PR Worldwide, handled the U.S.
IPO china-based gaming company Changyou.
The company went public
on the NASDAQ on April 2 and was the largest U.S. IPO of
a Chinese company since GT Solar Intl went public
Ogilvy provided strategic
counsel and corporate communications consulting aimed at
the global investment community, as well as IPO and corporate
PR Work included creation
of corporate and IR websites, a roadshow video production
and international media strategy and outreach.
100 Global PR has created a set of consulting services
intended to help C-suite executives communicate in the current
turbulent business environment. The services combine
crisis, social media, internal comms. and media relations
and are intended to manage negative news with minimal
risk, build confidence in the future, while at the same
time demonstrate return on PR investment. ...Hope-Beckham,
Atlanta, handled a New York media tour for client Aarons
Inc. in April which included coverage of its CEO and CFO
from Bloomberg, CNNmoney.com,
Forbes, Fortune, Fox Business News, Reuters
and a story in the Wall Street Journal. That same
week, the firm guided media relations for the companys
annual managers meeting in D.C. ...Jones
Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., said it donated
$215K in PR services to non-profit clients in 2008. The
firm handles pharma and govt work.
New York/Gator Group, newly formed licensing agency
for fashion and lifestyle brand Paul Frank Industries and
creator of a socially responsible toy line called Tales
4 Tomorrow, for PR for both the PFI and T4T brands.
Friedman Associates, New York/Primary Global Research,
investment research firm based in Silicon Valley, as AOR
for PR, including media relations, investment community
events, social networking and online research.
Lori Communications, Greenwich, Conn./
MacKenzie-Childs, home furnishings, as AOR, and the American
Institute for Stutterings third annual benefit gala,
Logic, Albany, N.Y./Microbia, industrial biotechnology,
as AOR for marketing and comms. support.
Group, Boston/Lexia Learning Systems, reading-skills
software, for PR and communications.
North Communications, Providence/Donald W. Wyatt
Dentention Center, for a PR pact worth $42K as the institution
faces scrutiny over the death of a Chinese national inmate.
PR Worldwide, Washington, D.C./ASAE & The Center
for Association Leadership, for an integrated campaign to
show how associations contribute to the American economy.
The push, called The Power of A, includes Ogilvy
staffers in creative, PA, media and digital strategy.
Herndon, Va./Visit Fairfax, tourism entity for Fairfax County,
Virginia, as AOR for advertising, brand marketing and PR
through July 2012.
Zimmerman Agency, Tallahassee, Fla./Cap Juluca (Anguilla),
Almond Resorts (St. Lucia/ Barbados), Brazilian Court (Palm
Beach) and The Mayfair (Coconut Grove), for PR.
Detroit, Mich./Univ. of Michigan Rose School of Business
Executive Education, for media relations and PR, and the
U.S. Dept. of Energy, to promote its Solar Decathalon program
and competition slated for October.
Consulting Group, Bend, Ore./Deschutes Brewery, as
AOR for PR focused on existing and potential craft beer
drinkers. DB also tapped Portland-based North for creative.
Communications, West Hollywood, Calif./Sunset Strip
Business Association, for PR and social media following
a competitive review.
PR, San Diego/Sudberry Properties, retail and urban
community developer, for an integrated PR campaign for the
company and its developments in the Southern California
region. Tom Gable, CEO, leads the account with Erin Koch,
Agency, San Diego/Drug Information Association, for
regional PR and marketing for the biopharmaceutical groups
45th annual meeting in June in San Diego.
Edition, May 13, 2009, Page 6
SPEAKS AT PR SEMINAR
Murray, executive editor, Wall Street Journal Online,
will address PR Seminar May 20-23 at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna
Niguel, Calif., on the topic: The Future of News:
Light at the End of a (Long) Tunnel.
Penn, CEO of Burson-Marsteller, is chair of the session.
Ashooh, SVP, communications, AIG, and Mike ONeill,
SVP, corporate affairs and communications, American Express,
will speak on Global Financial CrisisLessons
York counselor Michael Paul will moderate the session. He
is the official spokesperson for Seminar.
is in line to receive up to $173B from the government and
Amex has received $3.4B.
meetings, attended by PR and communications executives of
major companies and leaders of about a dozen big PR firms,
usually feature several top-flight journalists.
criticism of an AIG meeting last year at an expensive resort
apparently has made both journalists and Seminarians leery
of taking part in business meetings at resorts.
years meeting at the Four Seasons Troon, Scottsdale,
Ariz., featured Eleanor Clift, Newsweek columnist;
Maria Bartiromo of the Closing Bell Show on
CNBC; Margaret Carlson, Bloomberg News columnist, and Michele
Norris, host of All Things Considered on NPR
in 2007 included Matthew Bishop, U.S. editor of The Economist,
and Christopher Buckley, author of Thank You For Smoking
and founder and editor-in-chief of Forbes FYI magazine.
those not going this year is Steve Harris, VP, global communications,
General Motors. He is on the 30-member governing committee
of PRS and is also a member of the Arthur W. Page Society,
whose members dominate PRS governance (21 of 30 committee
posts). Some Seminarians are predicting that the turnout
this year could be half of the 162 executives who attended
registrations are $2,250 and couples pay $3,350. PRS revenues
in the year ended Aug. 31, 2008 were $566,589. In recent
years, 30 and more Seminarians have been freshmen
vs. 7-8 decades ago. Only ten of the 26 new Seminarians
from the 2005 meeting attended the 2008 meeting.
Wilson, chief financial officer and deputy CEO of
parent company, United
Business Media, has resigned. Wilson, who was named
CFO in 2001, will stay on through September but immediately
stepped down as a board member. UBM said it will conduct
a search over the summer. ...IPRA,
the International PR Association, said it received 342 entries
from 43 countries for its annual Golden World Awards for
Excellence competition, down from last years submission
numbers. Awards will be presented in London in October after
two rounds of judging. Maria Gergova, 2009 president of
the group, said the turnout has been good despite the economic
Graham, director of U.S. communications for BBVA
Group and former GM with Weber Shandwick, to Cohn &
Wolfe, as president of the firms Austin office. He
takes over for Paul Walker, who heads the firms digital
practice and had been wearing both hats. Graham was also
an executive VP and deputy GM for Edelman in the Southwest.
DelliCarpini, previously with Edelman, to MLB Network,
Secaucus, N.J., as manager of media relations. Jeff Heckelman,
who was handling PR for the new network since its January
launch, returns to his role as managing of business PR for
Haener, deputy chief of staff ex-Arizona Gov. Janet
Napolitano who is now Homeland Security chief, to Policy
Impact Communications, Washington, D.C., as a VP in its
Arizona office. He earlier directed legislative affairs
and comms. for the Arizona attorney general.
Feraci, who headed the healthcare and government
affairs unit at lobbying firm Greenberg Trauig, to MS&L
Worldwide, D.C., in its government affairs practice. She
was legislative assistant to Republican Reps. Ernie Fletcher
and Mac Thornberry, and staff assistant on the House Ways
ONeill, former SVP, investor relations and
corporate communications, First Industrial Realty Trust,
to Ensco International, Dallas, VP of IR, responsible for
IR, PR, corporate comms. and branding. He was corporate
VP, financial relations, for Aon Corporation and managing
director, strategic IR consulting, Thomson Financial. He
takes over for Richard LeBlanc, who is retiring, at Ensco,
which owns offshore drilling rigs.
Cook, director of marketing for Coldwell Banker Residential
Brokerage in Utah, to AlphaGraphics, Salt Lake city, as
director of marketing and PR. She was previously director
of brand strategy for Beneficial Financial Group and corporate
comms. manager for Surety Life.
Pittham, a PR consultant who earlier worked at The
Weber Group and Weber Shandwick, to Racepoint Group, London,
as managing director for Europe. Pittham also led Text 100s
European-based global client practice and was MD for the
U.K. Racepoint has also promoted Blaise Hammond to MD of
Racepoint/U.K. The firm acquired London-based Fuse PR in
2006 and that firms founders recently completed their
transition period and left the firm.
Roberti and Jayson
Schkloven to VPs, Merritt Group, Reston, Va. Conrad,
a seven-year MG veteran, handles client service, staff professional
development and account management. Roberti heads the firms
research practice and Schkloven leads strategic services.
Edition, May 13, 2009, Page 7
SHOULD NOT BE IN MARKET - CPAs
Fiske, 2008 treasurer, was asked at the 2008 Assembly how
the Society's investments were faring but declined to answer.
136-page transcript of the Assembly, which has a record
of her answer, is being withheld from delegates and members
by the board.
until 2003, when Reed Byrum was president and Judith Phair
was treasurer, the Society had mostly invested in certificates
of deposit, government mutual funds, diversified mutual
funds and corporate bonds and preferred stocks.
investment in mutual funds was $93,352 in 2001 out of a
total of $1,183,227 in investments. About $600K was in CDs.
Cherenson is current chair of the Society.
Announced New Policy
announced a new investment policy at the 2003 Assembly,
saying that that "While our previous position, based
on unrestricted net assets of $1M or less, relied heavily
on bonds, we can now invest more cash in a well-researched
combination of equities and bonds. The bottom line is we
can truly begin to build for tomorrow's growth in the Society."
said that the investment committee, chaired by Grace Leong
of Hunter PR, long active in the leadership of the New York
chapter, would work closely with Bridges Investments, which
managed the Society's investments.
Duties Possibly Breached
Wolitzer, CPA who speaks in behalf of the New York Society
of CPAs, said associations usually follow a conservative
investment policy that precludes any loss of members' money.
Society's policy did not follow that pattern and may open
up the board to charges that it did not live up to its fiduciary
responsibilities, he said.
have a right to see what common stocks were purchased by
the Society, he added.
who for many years has conducted classes for journalists,
showing them how to cut through legalese and accounting
complexity to get at the truth, faulted the Society for
only spending $2,317 on "ethics" when the Society
places such a high value on ethics.
code of the Society says "Ethical practice is the most
important obligation of a member."
financial officer of the Society is Philip Bonaventura,
who is a CPA but who is not "registered" (kept
up with the annual courses required for registration). He
cannot use CPA after his name.
Colletti, previous CFO, was not a CPA.
Salucci of Calucci & Assocs., West Orange, N.J., was
chair of the 2008 audit committee.
Finkle, head of the 2009 audit committee, is an editor at
Booz Allen Hamilton, Arlington, Va. Neither Salucci nor
Finkle are on the board of the Society as required by Sarbanes-Oxley.
The Society website says it is "committed" to
following the principles in SOX. Audit chairs are required
to be financial professionals.
Income Should Be Deferred
accounting Prof. Edward Ketz of Penn State, and accounting
Prof. Charles Mulford of Georgia Tech are already on record
as criticizing the Society's policy of booking dues as cash.
have said dues should be booked as earned during the course
of the year.
which is similar to the Society in members, programs and
billing according to the anniversary date of joining, had
$2.8M in dues in 2007 and deferred $1.6M.
AMA, AICPA, ASAE and other organizations defer about half
their dues income as unearned.
observing that a profit of $456K is claimed on the annual
conference (income of $1,510,649 vs. costs of $1,144,561),
said that annual conferences of non-profits are not supposed
to make money. They're supposed to break even, he said.
veterans said staff and leaders like to show that the annual
conference makes money since it is an activity they favor.
2008 audit shows that only $227,588 out of a total payroll
of $5,463,473 (payroll was up 6%) was spent on staff time
for the conference.
officers and treasurers say staff cost is far higher and
at least $1M since more than 200 speakers are typically
invited; exhibits are set up by more than 50 companies;
arrangements must be made for the 300-member Assembly; two
nearly 100-page magazines are created for the meeting, and
about 35 staffers attend, spending a week or more at the
about the Society policy, starting in 2004, of removing
"overhead" expenses from 13 categories of services
(APR, awards, publications, etc.) on the ground that such
figures were too hard to calculate, Wolitzer noted that
the Statement of Functional Expenses lists more than 150
individual expenses and says if those can be calculated,
overhead might also be calculated.
2004, $2,002,580 in overhead expenses was removed from 13
categories. The total in this "catch-all" designation
was $2,643,817 in 2008.
Yann, VP-PR of the PR Society, on May 7 asked for the names
of CPAs criticizing the 2008 audit so that the Society could
be in touch with them to see if the concerns youve
outlined on their behalf hold any water.
of the CPAs named in the article on odwyerpr.com
have retracted any of their criticisms.
a commentary on the article, Yann e-mailed a discussion
of ODwyer reporting that was posted on strumpette.com
on March 25, 2007 by Shel Holtz, long active in the leadership
of the International Assn. of Business Communicators.
Holtz letter questioned whether the accounting professors
who criticized the 2005 PRS audit (Edward Ketz of Penn State
and Charles Mulford of Georgia Tech) had delved deeply
into the books of PRS.
professors had been sent the complete 2005 audit of the
said in the letter that he believes in dues deferral,
which is used by IABC.
latest available financial report of IABC reported $2.8
million in dues in 2007 and deferred income of $1.6M.
Edition, May 13, 2009,
reader has taken us to task for being too rough
on ad people in last weeks editorial about the 4As
and too kind to PR people.
veteran PR person, citing his experience at major companies,
a partnership in a top five PR firm, and a switch
from pure PR to integrated marketing, says the
ad people he has interacted with are just
as honestand unfortunatelyjust as deceitful
at times as their PR counterparts.
pros, according to the reader, will say and/or do
anything to get what they want and make the problem go away
for their company or client. They are the masters of selective
disclosure, obfuscation and the verbal run-around (AKA lying).
continues: I am not just talking about political PR
people, who are probably the worst offenders. Corporate
PR pros are mostly the same. Indeed, corporations tend to
hire former political PR people because of their slash and
burn communications combat skills.
source feels PR needs to clean its own house before
we go casting aspersions on ad people. Sad to say, but the
PR profession these days is a big glass house
of us who live in it should be careful not to throw stones
at our neighbors.
had described a study by two journalism
professors who found that (pure) ad people tended to judge
prospective clients by how much money they had to spend
rather than ethical considerations (such as promoting consumption
of alcohol even though this violated their personal beliefs).
source feels ad people and PR pros are really integrated
marketing professionals these days, handling a wide
range of promotional techniques. They have moral failings,
he admits, but its unfair to carve out PR pros as
having a separate existence. This certainly tracks with
was once soft sellpolite, friendly, personable, accessible.
But with the invasion of marketers and the emphasis on the
bottom line and achieving measurable goals,
PR/marketing has become harsh, dictatorial, aggressive,
rude and one-way.
no wonder Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten
said the marketing-PR axis makes the team of Hitler
and Mussolini seem benevolent (11/25/07 WP).
other than the PR Societys bylaws chair
Dave Rickey feels that the Society must admit ad and marketing
people if it is to grow. Rickey himself says he spends much
of his time on advertising.
not for nothing that PR Seminar dropped
the PR two years ago. Almost none of its nearly 200 corporate
members have PR anywhere in their titles. Many
are involved in advertising.
put quote marks around the PR in the PR Society
because its leaders dont live up to any of the principles
in the Society code including dedication to truth,
fair treatment of press, public, etc., and protecting
and advancing the free flow of information.
ready to pronounce pure PR dead and at the top
of the list of suspected killers are the PR groups starting
with the PR Society.
question that arises is why are tens of thousands (maybe
even hundreds of thousands) of college students studying
PR when PR may only be a theoretical construct?
Societys latest fiasco, which it refuses
to discuss, as usual, is gambling away $383,000 of members
money in the stock market CPAs say non-profits have no business
playing the market and an excellent example is the Independent
Sector itself, a group of 800 non-profits with investments
of $13.4 million. It has $11.4M in the money market and
commercial notes, and a mere $56,032 in mutual funds, and
$165 in common stocks. PRS had $1.1 million of its $3.2M
in 2007 investments in common stocks.
the Society claims $3.3M in unrestricted net assets
vs. 2008 expenses of $11.4M, the Independent Sector has
unrestricted net assets of $17.7M vs. expenses of $6.7M.
If it deferred $2.4M in dues income as it should, Society
net assets would only be $900K.
have a right to know what those common stocks
Society undercuts its arguments that can book dues as cash
by offering an increased schedule of services throughout
the year including free professional development opportunities
for the first time. It offers seminars and workshops
throughout the year and posts items on Online Tactics
for a group that says
Ethical practice is the most important obligation
of a member and whose Code mentions ethics
and ethical 12 times on the first page alone,
is that only $2,317 was spent on ethics in 2008, a decline
from the $4,360 in 2007.
ethical transgressions of the Society
have been well documented by us including its practice of
about 15 years of selling copies of authors works
without their permission and refusing to share any proceeds
with them, and currently blocking the ODwyer Co. from
advertising its five products in Society media (which were
created with and operate on tax-free funds).
PR groups bear responsibility for the behavior of the Society.
Many Society leaders are also in these groups which have
Seminar, for instance, should be called Arthur Page/PR Seminar
because 85 of the 162 executives at the 2008 Seminar are
also Page members. The three top leaders of the 2009 Seminar
are Page members (Charlotte Otto, Johanna Schneider, Joan
Wainwright) as are 21 of the 30 governing board members
dominated by Page members is the Institute for PR, where
30 of the 44 trustees are Page members.
Seminar and IPR leaders sit on their hands while PRS continues
its press and member avoidance policies and questionable
has plenty of critics these days and journalist groups and
individual writers and media lambast each other all the
time. In the sister profession of PR, there
is only silence.
Societys board, after a more than three-month
delay, last week released the minutes of its Jan. 23 meeting.
The sleeper in the minutes, not previously disclosed,
is that the board wants to install the immediate past chair
(who is still on the board) as chair of the nominating committee.
This would fly in the face of the recommendations of the
2000 nomcom reform committee headed by 1986-87 president
Jack Felton, who said the Societys bylaws indicate
officers and board are to be elected by the Assembly
without any influence from the board.